Monday, July 25, 2011

African Adventure

"We're almost there folks." Their guide steered the Jeep over bumps, making Tom's teeth rattle in his head. Why had he given in? Why couldn't his wife be content with the Jungle Safari ride at Disney World? What in the world had prompted her to sign them up for a REAL African Jungle safari? The heat, the miserable mosquitoes, and the real danger of running into a hippo was enough to drive a person over the edge.

"Sandy, if you ever sign me up for anything like this again, I swear I'll file for divorce." His back ached as the back wheel landed in yet another rut.

His wife's camera continued to click. "You didn't object when we toured the diamond mine."

"Of course not! That was actually interesting, and we weren't in any danger of being eaten." Tom slapped at another pesky insect buzzing by his left ear. "I don't think that insect repellent is working."

"Oh shut up. When we get to the ruins, it will all be worth it." Sandy put down her camera and reached into her tote bag. "Here, put this on." She handed him the Skin So Soft lotion from Avon. "It does a better job than that Deep Woods Off."

She didn't seem to be suffering from insect bites. Tom could feel several welts on his neck. "Okay." He shook some onto his hand and applied it to all exposed skin.

"Why did you bring that package with you? The corner keeps digging into my knee."

"The FedEx Man gave it to me just as we were about to leave. The guide said he wasn't going to wait, so I brought the damn thing with me. I'll open it up when we get back."

The thick foliage gave way to a clearing. The guide pulled up beside a large canvas structure. "You'll have two hours folks. Lunch will be provided in the shelter, and if you choose to explore the ruins, please watch out for snakes and spiders. Do not go off by yourself; please use the Buddy System."

Tom climbed out of the Jeep after Sandy. He picked at the unfamiliar food, but enjoyed the freshness of the fruit. After they had eaten, he trailed after his wife as they toured the ancient temple ruins, keeping a sharp eye out for any sign of insects and reptiles.

Two hours later, the group piled back into the Jeep and headed back to civilization. Halfway there, the guide suddenly stopped the vehicle and got out to examine the right rear tire. He stood up and reached across the passenger in the front seat.

"Jeep Six to base....yes Base...I've got a puncture over....not sure....thank you." He replaced the radio microphone and turned to Tom, a slight grin on his face. "I don't suppose you have a tire pump in that package."

"I hardly think so." Jeez, had everyone seen Castaway? "Why would someone send me a tire pump?"

"It would be handy about now." The other passengers tittered with nervous giggles. "They're sending another Jeep to meet us, but we might be stranded for a while." The guide shrugged and returned to his seat.

Tom sighed at the looks from the other members of their group. "Okay, I'll open it. You never know, and I wasn't expecting anything anyway." One of the men handed him a pocket knife. "Thanks."

Successfully opening the box, he couldn't believe his eyes. "Sandy, your mother's been watching McGuyver again. She sent us duct tape, chewing gum, and a rope! Can you repair the tire with any of this stuff?"

Their guide smiled and slapped his knee. "I sure can! Thanks Tom; aren't you glad we were in a hurry now?"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Anger, Thick Skin, and Patience

I've had an online presence now of four years. And I've learned several hard lessons along the way, in addition to my 40+ on earth.

-If someone angers you, take a few moments before you respond. Instant retaliation may make you feel better, but it could also do serious damage to your relationships.

For example, take my temperamental friend. I was in a Very Good Mood one day, but caught her in a Bad Mood. Instead of being happy to hear my cheerful voice, she snapped at me and hung up. An hour later, I received another angry response from her via email. I almost posted a snotty answer and hit 'send'....but then thought about what I knew about her in our then-twenty-three year friendship.

Long story short, if I'd posted my knee-jerk reaction, we probably wouldn't be friends at the moment. But because I took the time to figure out she was under heavy stress due to a recent divorce and my phone call bore the brunt of that stress, she took me to lunch a month later and unburdened herself in tears. She had been at a low point when I called, and now knows she can count on me to listen when she's overwhelmed.

Same thing goes for blogging: If you don't like what someone posts, remember YOU have the power to STOP READING. Don't email the blogger and blast them for their opinion; if something offends you, don't keep reading! Or, do what I do. Return the next week, to see if the offensive material continues. No one is forcing you to keep clicking their link.

Item #2:
-If you're going to put yourself 'out there' on the web, via publishing or blogging, develop a thick skin. You're not going to please everyone, and there will always be someone who feels the need to email you or comment on your 'wrong' attitude.

In fact, if you want to know how many people read your stuff, post something controversial. Back in 2007, I posted some lyrics of an Adam Sandler holiday song. I wasn't getting a great deal of comments at the time, but didn't think anything about it several hours later. And then I opened my email.

Imagine my surprise when I found a 'get that offensive shit off your blog IMMEDIATELY' email. Being a newbie, and not wanting to step on any toes, I took it down and tried to do damage control. But it was too late; I lost a scheduled interview and those who had read my fledgling blog stayed away for about a month.

And while this was going on, I was fuming. The 1st amendment gives me the right to post what I want, right? So why could I post sexual content, poke fun at historical figures, but not post lyrics to a song which at the time was playing on public radio? It made no sense. And later, when the topic came up on someone else's blog, I raised my question again. And discovered my new friends hadn't seen my old post, but agreed the fallout from it had left many people scratching their heads over the super-critical 'morality police'. So another lesson learned here is, weigh all sides of an issue before jumping to conclusions.

And finally, Patience.

-If you write it, they will come. Don't act like a spoiled brat when posts aren't commented on, or you feel overlooked. Maybe you've not posted the information in the right place, at the right time, and with the correct links?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Addictions? I Haz Many....

Facebook: You can usually track my progress by watching my status updates....or get bogged down in too many YouTube videos. I love the 30 Day Music Challenges....but the first time through, I had trouble picking Just One song. Doing much better this time!

Twitter: I have a growing addiction to this social media site.

TV: Every so often, I find a classic TV show and watch all the episodes, DVR-ing them until I get free time. In 2007, it was ER, Dawson's Creek, and BH 90210, plus Charmed. In 2009, it was Law And Order. And now in 2011, it's The Waltons. I think I began watching Season 4 and and am now catching up on Seasons #1 and 9 (some were deleted by younglings wanting Cartoon Network.)

I'm also addicted to Deadliest Catch, After The Catch, Big Brother, Eureka, and Warehouse 13 (both start tonight, and again, the younglings deleted the 1st two episodes of BB).

Coffee: Gotta have my Irish Cream creamer for morning coffee.

Pasta: My favorite food. Alfredo, marinara, pesto all preferred toppings.

Bread: Freshly baked or latest 'addiction', French bread smothered in butter and popped into microwave for 25 seconds. Yumm!

Chocolate: I always get either a Whatchamacallit or PB Twix candy bar when at grocery/gas station. And I keep a stash of Hershey Bliss Milk Chocolate squares hidden in my bedroom.

Books/Reading: 'Nuff said. I loved working in the bookstore, and hubby complains about all the boxes of books stored in basement. I want Belle's library!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Got an 'Appetite'?

Appetite For Desire:
Blurb: Dustin James is shocked to learn the sexy blonde he met two days earlier is none other than his father’s caterer who also works at the country club he’s recently joined. When he can’t keep his hands off of her, is lust for her sexy body all he wants, or is it love?

Courtney Bright defied the rules by admitting her attraction to the new customer at the country club. But when she realizes her feelings aren’t just sexual, will she take a chance on love, or is her job more important?

Buy link

“Want to see the upstairs?” Dustin led her to the golden oak staircase, the risers carpeted in the same dark blue as the living room.

She nodded and followed him, poking her head into each of the five bedrooms, all decorated differently.

“There are two full baths on this floor,” Dustin explained as he showed her the master suite. “And two half baths downstairs.”

“Someone finally got smart.” Courtney looked at the glass-walled shower and the whirlpool tub. “Growing up, we only had one full and one half. My brother would often go outside and pee in the bushes if both were full.” She took one more glance and headed for the doorway. “Your friend hasn’t lived here very long, has he?” She lingered by the door.

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, look,” she gestured at the walls. “No photographs, no pictures, and everything looks as if it just came out of the showroom.”

Very perceptive. He chuckled. “That’s because this is one of the model houses for the neighborhood.”

Courtney blushed. “Oh. I should have realized…”

“No, no, don’t worry.” He leaned against the door jam. “So what do you think?”

“About the house? It’s lovely.” She looked at him, her eyes dreamy. As he watched, she shook her head. “Thank you for showing it to me.”

“My pleasure.” Dustin put a finger under her chin and brushed her lips with his.


His cock swelled as the memory of their night together flooded his mind. He groaned and pulled her closer.

I'm also over at Sam Crescent's blog. And since I'm in such a good mood, I'm giving away a free copy to one random, lucky commenter:) So stop by!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Awesome News!!!

What a weekend! Found out last Thursday Appetite For Desire was indeed releasing July 6th instead of late September, and my first round edits arrived on Friday. Stayed up until 2am and went to bed when I realized the brain was NOT processing any information, lol!

Saturday, the family rebelled against me and monopolized all computers/internet connections after lunch. So again I edited from 10pm until midnight and sent them off.

Sunday after church, the 2nd round edits arrived. But then my oldest decided to try to figure out why the wifi wasn't working. Three hours later, he admitted defeat and let me have my internet back. Edits were finished in an hour and returned.

Yesterday morning, I received the proof copy. Added my dedication and contact info and sent back. Two hours later, my ARC arrived. I approved and returned it. You can now pre-order it here:)

I jumped on Face Book to rejoice:)

And found an AWESOME review from Coffee and Romance! Here's a snippet, but you can read the entire thing here:)

Michaels interweaves the lives of Angela, Brad and Emma without giving a second thought. Angela is still in love with Steve and hasn't been able to tell Brad about her and Steve's past. The reconnection between Angela and Steve is realistic, heartfelt and genuine while Emma and Brad's developing love interest is paced perfectly for this short novella.

So how was YOUR fourth of July weekend?