Friday, December 16, 2011

CBLS 12 Days of Christmas:)

I'm over at Coffee Beans and Love Scenes today, participating in their 12 Days of Christmas giveaway party.  So come by and enter to win a copy of Teacher's Pet:)

See you over there:)  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

And The Winner Is....

(drum roll).....


And since I had such an overwhelming response, I picked another one.


Congratulations ladies:)  I'll be emailing your book shortly.

Thanks to all who participated and have a Merry Christmas!

Molly's 2nd book will be re-released hopefully next week, so check her blog for details:)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Here! It's Here! It's Here!

I was beginning to think this day would NEVER arrive!  But today's the day and one lucky commenter will win their own hot-off-the-conversion-file pdf copy:)


Taking a firm grip on her courage, she drove to his driveway and walked up to the porch. Her resolve weakened after she knocked on the door. This is stupid. You haven’t acted this way in over fourteen years. What’s he going to think about you showing up at his house and demanding he take you to bed? Is that how a grown woman with two children acts? Grow up, Tammy! Besides, the man should do the pursuing, not the other way around! Oh really…and what about equal rights? Don’t I have the right to demand sex just like men do?

Her internal war vanished when Kevin opened the door and swept her into his arms, closing the door behind them.

“You have driven me crazy for three days. The problem can wait. I’ve been wanting to kiss you ever since Saturday.” His tongue swept across the corners of her mouth, and, with a sigh, Tammy melted against him, answering his hunger with her own.

She tugged at his sweatshirt, wanting to run her hands up his hairy chest and over his rippling muscles. He worked it over his head, looking surprised when she threw off her own sweatshirt and pressed his naked torso to hers. He groaned and lifted her up, carried her to the bedroom, and left a trail of clothing behind.

“What brought this on?”

She peeled his athletic pants to his ankles. “I’m horny and pressed for time. And it’s all your fault.” She sank to her knees to take his length in her mouth.

                                            * * * *

“Horny and pressed…” his thoughts went out the window; the suction caused him to forget everything but her delectable mouth and tongue.

He buried his fingers in her loose hair, gathered it up, and massaged her scalp.  “Tammy…sweetheart…”

He tugged her head back and lifted her, positioning her on the bed. He kissed her, tasting himself on her tongue and reciprocated, spreading her legs wide. Her naked pussy glistened with moisture; he slipped a finger into her slick entrance, hearing a faint cry of pleasure. He added two more digits, and her muscles clenched. He leaned forward, stroked her petals with his tongue, and lapped at her clit.  She came in a rush and cried out his name. When the initial tremors faded, he removed his fingers and snaked his tongue inside. Her moans increased. Kevin eased upwards and slid his cock inside. He intended to tease her and take it slow, but she grabbed him, and his dick slammed inside her to the hilt. She screamed. He backed off and plunged again. She obviously wanted it hard and fast. Kevin bucked himself forward several times, certain he was hurting her, but she either didn’t care or didn’t notice it. Finally, Kevin’s own passion peaked, and he emptied himself inside her, feeling as though her contractions would snap his cock in two. He collapsed beside her, cupped her generous breasts, and kissed her, loving the damp warmth of her skin beneath his fingertips.

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“Why is it all my fault?” He rolled her nipples between his fingers.

“Because…you’ve unleashed something inside me. Something that’s been lying dormant for the past several years. Oh, God,” she sighed as his fingers glided down to her clit again. She shifted onto her back and spread her legs wide. “Oh, God, Kevin…I’ve felt like something was missing all weekend.”

“Something missing?” He propped himself up on an elbow and continued to watch her reaction to his easy exploration between her thighs. “Like what?”

“Your cock.” She reached up and kissed him, throwing her leg over his hip. “Make love to me again?”

Like what you're reading?  Buy it here:

Monday, December 12, 2011

One More Day!

Back in 2003, I met a young man at a ball game.  He bore a startling resemblance to my Soul Mate, and since I'm a (cough) happily married woman, I controlled my urge to openly ogle him.  I had taken my kids to baseball practice, and decided to watch the girls' softball game while I waited.

Imagine my surprise when Mr. Hotness came up the bleachers and sat beside me, talking to the Math teacher in front of me.  I wondered if he was the boyfriend of one of the softball players; a teacher; or just a student.  Since I knew the Math teacher, I felt comfortable listening to their conversation.

And that's when the conversation turned to educational standards.  Mr. Hotness mentioned he'd taught in Florida; great!  This made him a colleague, since I worked at the school.  I asked him what part of Florida he was from, and the answer?

"Tampa-St. Pete."

Oooooohhh!  My summer home!  I mentioned my connection to the area, and we had a wonderful conversation.  And then reality set in.

"Mom?  Can I have some money for the concession stand?"  My eight-year-old daughter tugged at my sweatshirt.

I told her to go find her father and turned back to the two men.

But he refused to talk to me after that.  I spent the rest of the time watching the game silently drooling over his profile until it was time to leave.

Fast-forward to October.

I'm now five months pregnant with my youngling.  I was looking for my son's Social Studies classroom and walked into the wrong one.  The teacher took me across the hall and there was Mr. Hottie!   I literally spent the next few minutes listening to him rave about my son while half my brain was screaming to lock the door and have my way with him!  I left that conference praying I sounded like a coherent adult parent instead of a raving hormonal teenager with her first crush!

Fast-forward again to October 2007:
I had decided to try NaNoWriMo for the first time and the authors I was chatting with on a daily basis encouraged me to spice up my sex scenes.  I decided to fictionalize the above scenario at the ball field and imagine what would have happened if I was single and he was interested:)

I sent off the first few pages to see if the heat level was 'hot' enough; the answer a resounding 'YES!  Keep going!'

And so Teacher's Pet was 'born'.

So there's the story behind the story; come back tomorrow for an excerpt and release day party info!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Checking in.....

My alter-ego's been deep in her editing cave, and I've finally been able to poke my head out to breathe!  In case you missed it, I did post my Best. Appetizer. Ever over at the Writer's Evo blog and nearly blew up the blog with 18 comments!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by!  This week's topic is the year-end check of New Year's Resolution/Goals.  So stop by the Evo on Sunday; I'll try to wrangle the computer again on Friday or Saturday.

Right now, I'm in the midst of holiday baking.  Molly's through with her 1st round of edits, so today we're baking cookies and going to pop into Amber's chat over at LRC.  And maybe she'll let me post a little promo for Teacher's Pet, which arrives in six short days:)  You can pre-order it here, and I've already got a party planned, plus karaoke next Wednesday.  So watch for details!

In the meantime, I'm about to embark on a sugar high, until Molly's editor send her back to the cave.  Hopefully round #2 won't take as long!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Inner Demons

Forgive me; I saw the topic for this week and all of a sudden Fleetwood Mac's 'My Little Demon' is going through my brain!

Okay; focus, Kenzie....what demons follow me around?

Wait; maybe I need to introduce myself?  I'm Kenzie Michaels; my stories are on the tame side of the Adult Contemporary Romance genre; and currently three books are published, with a fourth due out any day now and two more pending.  I've known most of the other writers of this blog for several years, and have a confession:  I've been writing my own essays each week and following their blog topics in hope that one day I might be invited to 'fill in' or even invited to join.  And voila!  Here I am, to brighten up your Sunday afternoon.

So with that out of the way, back to my demons:

a)  Demon of insecurity.  I've never been comfortable in social settings unless I had a friend along, but I've noticed that in the past several years I'm finally comfortable in my own skin.  I'm not sure if maturity has suddenly caught up to me, or it's the influence of a good friend, but I've been singing karaoke now for a year.  The first time I stood up, my knees shook and I held the microphone too far away from my mouth.  But last week, I had no problems singing duets with people and not caring how I sounded.  I'll even tell the karaoke goddess, "Don't applaud that!  I was horrible!" and graciously accept the thanks of those who cheer my name!

Insecurity also rears his head when I receive edits or cover art.  I'd rather have a second opinion if I'm not sure how to fix a scene, or disagree with my editor.  And the same goes for cover art; I've only had two covers which I 'knew' were the right ones.  And I'm grateful for friends who take time out of their busy schedules, since I still consider myself a 'newbie'.

b)  Demon of head-hopping.  Back in 2007, when I discovered the joys of networking with other authors, I also learned the rules had changed, considering how scenes were constructed.  I wrote in the style of my favorite books:  Danielle Steele, Judith McNaught, Kathleen Woodiwiss.  Now all of a sudden it's a no-no to switch POV's in the middle of the scene.  I still struggle with this, though I'm getting better.

c)  Demon of not speaking up/confrontation/defending myself:  This is a biggie.  I'm a people-pleaser who dislikes confrontation.  And I'm married to a man who likes to raise his voice.  A lot.  So I tend to let him have his say, and then fume about it, especially if I think he's wrong.  And the times I do argue back, my problem is overcoming his objections.  I saw this when I tried sales; I've never been good at persuading strangers to buy something they don't want.  I've had some high-pressure salesmen talk me into buying things, but I didn't enjoy them afterward.  When I buy something, it's because I WANT it, not because I want to shut someone up.

The demon I have conquered?  The 'yes' demon.  I'm more comfortable telling people 'No; I'm too busy.'

So what about you?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Did I Mention I Like Reader Comments?

This just made my day!!!!

"I love the Kenzie Michaels books I have had the pleasure of reading and found it very interesting what you do when your book is released.  I think the least you should do is the chocolate part...who doesn't deserve chocolate when you release a new book?  Seriously, I like the synopsis of Teacher's Pet and will definitely be buying it."

A hearty THANK YOU!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guest Blogging and Epic Fail Part 2....

First of all, I'm over at Tina Donahue's blog, and there's a sneak peek at the upcoming Teacher's Pet posted, so come by and say hi?  Please?

Secondly, when I reposted what I thought was one of my funniest Epic Fails, I failed to recall another one.  Ever get a message and totally misunderstand the instructions?  This happened in college, and all I can say is, thank God the guy was patient!

Aug 1986:
For a little background info:  My roommate and I had stored our belongings at a friend's house, since we were attending the summer session a few weeks later.  In late June, when we arrived to pick them up, our friend met me at the door and told me one of his friends wanted to get in touch with me.  The name wasn't familiar, but as I was between boyfriends at the time, I told him to have him call me.

And for three weeks, no phone call, so I put him out of my mind.

My roommate and I had taken jobs at a local restaurant, and split the shifts during the week.  She took M/W; I took T/Th, and on Fridays, I worked in the kitchen while she bussed tables and vice versa on Saturday.  We weren't old enough to wait tables, since this was also a bar.

Anyway, one day I came in from class/dinner/playing Euchre (don't really remember!) and E met me at the door with a phone number.

"He gets off work at 5 and wants you to call him."  It was the friend of my friend.

E was getting ready to head to work (it was Wednesday), so after she left, I looked at the clock.  Nearly 5, so I decided to give the guy time to get home and settle in before I called.

6pm:  I dialed with semi-shaking hands.  And turns out he'd left a message for me to call at 5, and had just spent the past hour thinking I was uninterested in him.  I told him the reason behind the delay, and he laughed.

"I was going to invite you over for dinner, but I went ahead and ate.  What are you doing tomorrow?"

I explained my work schedule.  "So not to sound arrogant or anything, but if you want to meet me, it would have to either be tonight or you'll have to wait until Sunday."

We also talked about how he knew me, and when he described who he thought I was, he was dead wrong. I'd never worn a beret in my life, and the last time I'd worn knickers was in the 6th grade.  So now he was even more curious as to what I looked like!

"How about I finish up some things around here and come get you in an hour?  We'll go out for ice cream."

"Sounds good to me."  We hung up.

An hour goes by and my phone rings.  My room was the first room past the lobby doors, so I asked him if he was facing the wall with the phone or the front desk.

"The wall; why?"

I opened my door and stepped out into the hall.  "Turn to your left and look through the door window.  I'm the one waving at you.  Have you ever seen me before?"  He certainly didn't look familiar!

"No; I don't think so.  Do you still want to get ice cream?"

"You bet.  Give me two seconds to hang up and grab my keys."

We went out for an enjoyable evening and had a wonderful six-month relationship, marred by only three misunderstandings.

-He was newly divorced, so I assumed he wasn't ready for a serious relationship.  I found out later he'd instantly flipped over me and assumed since I was ten years younger, I couldn't possibly feel the same way about him.  So we never expressed our true feeling for each other until it was too late.

-It was during this turmoil that I accidentally cheated on him, which caused us to be miserably apart for 5 weeks.  He was taking a night class at the university, and one of my friends in my 9am class was also in his class, so every M/W/F she'd greet me with 'Did you talk to him?/He's miserable without you/' 

'He ended it; he needs to make the first move.'

'Funny, he says the same thing about you!'

So finally when I received my graduation notice, I took a firm grip on my courage and called him, fully expecting to either get the machine or have him hang up the minute he heard my voice.  But he picked up.....and we talked.  And talked.  And he ended up coming to get me and I spent the weekend with him.

-After we'd been apart two months after graduation, I missed him so much, I got clingy.  And it basically drove him into the arms of another woman, who married him six months later, only to divorce him when SHE graduated.  And in 1990, he and I were back on friendly terms, only this time HE was living with someone.  When I happened to be in town one day, I stopped by to see him.

'Y'know, V's getting ready to move out.  If this had been next week, our reunion would NOT be taking place in my living room.  We'd be in there.'  He pointed down the hall.

I went home and thought about it.  Two weeks later, I called him to see how he was doing.

"Hey, congratulate me:  I'm getting married!"

"You are?  Congratulations!'  (Well, I guess that means I don't need to ask off for the weekend...).Turns out his girlfriend had changed her mind and once again, my decision to give him more time had backfired.

Fast-forward to 2006.  I'm married; he's married.  My family ended up moving back to town.  Some mutual friends showed up at Christmas and wanted me to go with them to see him.  I declined, since my hubby knew him but didn't particularly like him.  I figured it's a small town; surely I'd run into him somewhere!  I did send him a postcard announcing my book signing in Evansville in 2008, and put a personal note, asking him to attend.  And when he didn't, I took that as a sign he had no desire to renew our friendship.

And three weeks ago, I received the sad news he'd passed.  Last week, I met his 6th wife and we actually hit it off.  She knows some of the people I knew back in 1986, and was able to fill me in on everyone's happenings.  She misses him, as do I.  I regret the missed opportunities, but as I told her, I have some wonderful memories of the time I spent with him.  And that I will never regret.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Auto Technology 101

For the past several years, my most hilarious 'comedy of errors' involved one of my husband's trips to the hospital, which you can read about Here

The following is a reprint of my vehicle issues/woes from May 2008.  Enjoy!

Maybe I should have taken it?

First the computer gods laughed at me yesterday.

Today, it's the automotive gods who are having a field day.

Let's recap the past year:

April 2007: I'm halfway to my convention in Fishers, IN when my van refuses to go faster than 30 MPH. The kind person who let me use her phone graciously took me to my first stop; my friend's house, where my father was waiting to meet me. He was intending to pick up my 3 kids and take them home with him. Little did he know he would first be taking me to Fishers...And later, all it took was a $5 fuel filter repair.

December 1st, 2007: I'm scheduled to go to Muncie, IN, to be a part of the Midwest Writer's book signing. I'm only four blocks from home when I stop to buy oil, and the brakes suddenly lock up. I can't go forward or backwards! Two hours later, hubby gets it fixed and is totally perplexed at why it happened when the phone rings. Forget Muncie; I have to drive to Noblesville in order to get one of my best friends, as her mother just passed away, and she needs a ride to Evansville.

**The following is in reference to a book signing I set up in Ft. Wayne, IN, a four hour drive for me.  I was supposed to leave by 7am and arrive by noon.  Through another comedy of errors, I wasn't able to honor my commitment, and the other author (and the bookstore manager) were rather upset with me.  I was furious at both myself and my undependable transportation.

Last Saturday: My son takes my van to Walmart for a forgotten item and calls 30 minutes later to say the van refuses to back up, and the transmission is screaming. Hubby babies it home, and further inspection shows we're gonna need a new tranny. It's okay; Jackie says she needs a day with 'the girls' and says she'll drive.

6:15 am Today: The phone rings. I smile and pick it up, expecting Jackie to say she's on her way. Nope. It's her hubby.

"Got a slight problem. Apparently I hit something last night, and there's a 4-inch gash in the sidewall of one of the tires."

Ouch. And the tire repair shop doesn't open until 9am.

Ouch, ouch, ouch! But, there's a good side to all of this: 1) my kids were early to school; 2) Kelly gets to hold down the fort for the first two hours until we get there; 3) Mikey stayed in his cage all night; 4) I had time for more than one cup of coffee!So just pray everything goes well the rest of the day? Please?

And let's hope that when my next event rolls around, which is the Cincinnatti trip, all vehicles are in good, working condition!!!

We now have a family joke; we don't tell the van we're leaving the county!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You Like My Book!!!

Just saw something which made my day!  A reader commented the following:

"OMG, Wild At Heart... just read it... LOVED IT!!! Kenzie. you rock... felt like I was there, absorbing every word, i stayed up til 3am to finish, I think the only thing that would have been great was if Ethan would have gotten with Lori after Rehab lol."

It's like winning an OSCAR; complete strangers tell you they LOVE your work, and suggest ideas for sequels:)

As for costumes....each character tells me what they're wearing.  And the only time I've done a Halloween Party, I've based their costumes on past experience:

For example, my alter-ego's characters attended a 'Come As Your Favorite Fantasy' party, and dressed as punk rocker; a flasher; a mechanic; Dracula; and Army get ups.  In a later book, they would dress as Robert Palmer's Back Up Singers and yes, even had a Robert Palmer.   They compete in a Halloween Costume contest against a pregnant nun, a Coke can, M&M candy, and Hershey's Kiss.  Amy and Caty dress up as Dorothy and Glenda from Wizard of Oz, and Amy even refers to a previous Halloween when Matt gets the wrong costume, ruining her plans.

Maybe I need to incorporate a Lady Gaga costume into one of my next stories?

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Why Don't You Understand? This Is The Story Line!"

Scene:  Friend of Kenzie's house, with Barbie Townhouse.

Kenzie holds Malibu Barbie, dressed in silver sheath and Lillian, Barbie doll with changeable hair, dressed in tennis outfit. Both dolls are on top floor 'bedroom'.  Obviously Barbie is getting ready to go to a dance with Ken, and Lillie is helping her.

Downstairs, K holds Ken, dressed in formal wear.  A smaller doll, Skipper, 'answers' the door.

Skipper:  Hi Ken.  Barbie's upstairs.

Ken:  I'm ready to take her to the prom.

(Barbie gets up and gets in elevator to go downstairs):   I hope I look alright, Lil.

Lillie (follows Barbie to elevator):  You look GREAT!  I wish I could go.

Barbie:  Maybe Ken's friend Tom will be with him.

Both dolls arrive downstairs and greet Ken.

Barbie:  Ken, where is Tom?  I thought he was going to take Lillie.

Ken (looking puzzled.  K roots around in toy box and finds the Lone Ranger):  Am I late?'re Lillian?  Gee, you're taller than I am.

Lillie:  You're wearing a mask?  I want to see what you look like.

Tom:  No can do, ma'am.  I've got to be able to save damsels in distress at any moment.  And I can't be recognized.  Can you ride a horse?

Lillie:  Uh, Barbie, I guess I'll sit this one out.

Skipper:  I'll go!  I love to ride horses!

Tom and Skipper go off.  Ken, who's been propped up beside the townhouse, turns to Barbie:  Shall we?

Kenzie:  Are you insane?  Skipper can't go to the prom with the Lone Ranger; she's only in the 6th grade!

K:  Well, at least she's shorter than Tom.  What boy wants to be seen with someone who towers over them?

Kenzie:  He was supposed to throw her over her shoulder.  Then at the prom, while dancing to "Close To You", he agrees to take off his mask and they fall in love....and then some bullies try to take Barbie away from Ken and a fist-fight happens, so everyone escapes on Silver after the tires are slashed on the camper....

K:  I don't want to play anymore.  Let's go outside.

The above scenario is one reason I liked to play by myself.  I had the story line mapped out, or at least somewhat developed in my head, and couldn't understand why it wasn't 'obvious' to my playmates.  I couldn't TELL them what was going to happen; I just 'knew' it.  And it wouldn't be for another three or four years before I had the skills to WRITE it down.

I acted out my own continuing version of movies and books.  And got frustrated when no one wanted to go along with it.  And when my hormones kicked in at age 14, I inserted myself into romance novels, mainly the civil war era or Victorian historical ones.

I devoured Jean M Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear and especially Valley of the Horses.  And when I got to college and found out how much fun sex could be, I started writing it.  But there was a problem:  I was so descriptive, the only thing I could find in comparison was found in my dad's Playboys (my sister and I used to get them out and make fun of the girls.  I loved reading the comics though!).  But what good Christian girl read that sort of thing?  So I put them away or in one case, destroyed it.

And then in 2002, I found the Ellora's Cave site and ordered two books.  And a whole new world opened up!  Here were the books I wanted!  And I didn't have to be embarrassed, because no one could see me with them in my hand at the store!  (Yes, I've been too embarrassed to check out or buy the Kama Sutra, and it took me until 1994 to be comfortable buying condoms, even though I'd been married for three years by then!)

So yes, I'm a good Christian gal with a wild side.  I'm also finally getting comfortable enough to let her out occasionally.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda...

I don't have a lot of regrets in my life, but there are a few....

I wish I hadn't....
-Desired to 'fit in' so much in HS:  All my friends had boyfriends, and instead of being happy with my non-attached status, I took the first one offered.  (Can we say co-dependant???)

-(wished I HAD) seen the writing on the wall and gone after my Soul Mate instead of thinking my date was 'mine' (he wasn't; I should have told him where to go that night and maybe my SM and I would be together??)

-Given up on said Soul Mate when I DID tell my supposed boyfriend to take a hike.

-Lost patience when a 'surprise' was 'coming soon'.  Essentially gave up the chance to visit Hawaii....

-Spent all that money self-publishing.  If I'd been a little patient, maybe things would have been better?  (Although it DID show me how to promote myself, so it wasn't entirely all bad.  Chalk it up to learning experience...)

-(wished I HAD) chosen another major in college, one which gave me the skills to find a GOOD PAYING JOB?  (But then again, if I'd married my SM, I'd be fairly comfortable, instead of watching the pennies...or maybe even divorced, so maybe Life with him wouldn't have been so merry?  Who knows?)

-Been so anxious to move out of the city after storage unit being broken into and made a better choice of buying a house...(But then again, everything happens for a reason....)

Yes, I am not in control of my life.  Everything which has happened to me has made me the person I am today. And a little wiser, and more cautious.  And most importantly, I'm finally comfortable being ME.  I'm not seeking approval from the opposite sex; I know my SM is waiting for me.

I have readers who enjoy my work.

I have good friends who like to hang out with me.

And, I've raised three good kids. (Okay; the jury's still out on #3, but he has his good moments!)

What about you?  Any big regrets you'd like to share?  I'd love for Q to be able to show me what my life would have been like, if I'd changed a few decisions....with the option to return to my current lifetime, of course!  (Star Tren TNG, if you're unfamiliar with that character!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Got Nothin'....

Once upon a time, Alan Rickman went to the mall and was mobbed by women with sparkers, yelling 'Snape!  Sheriff of Nottingham!'....yeah....I don't know where else to go with that.....come back next week.

Since I missed last week's topic, who am I?  I'm Kenzie Michaels; mother of three (or four....or seven....hell, I adopt the entire neighborhood!), author with two pen names (are you just now figuring that out?) and a quirky sense of humor.  I've also known to accidentally offend people with jokes, song lyrics, and the odd one-liner which may pop out of my mouth unchecked.  More recently, my patriotism has gotten me into trouble on Face Book.  I also love my Colts football; my March Madness college basketball, and used to be a die-hard Cubs fan (okay; still a Cubs fan.  But don't watch all the games now, due to marrying a non-sports watcher!).  I have an extensive music collection and am fiercely loyal to my friends.  I don't pass along gossip; if you tell me something, you won't hear it from someone else (I slipped up once, after carrying a secret for twenty years; I thought SURELY she'd have come clean by now!  Oops...)

I am also college educated; have a personal print library of over 2000 books and an e-library of probably 300.  And due to the recent incident on FB, I've discovered my skin has REALLY gotten thick!

Meet me in person; you'll find I'm easy going and fun loving.  Pour a few drinks in me and I'll even get up and sing karaoke.  Want to talk religion?  I'm a Christian with an open mind.  I don't judge; you have your right to your views and I have my right to mine.  I will in no way try to convince you that I'm 'right'.

Okay; I'm heading into dangerous territory.  Time to change the subject.

I'm getting ready to edit Ch 5 of Teacher's Pet.  Hopefully, this means I'll have another release soon, since I LOVE this cover!

Monday, September 12, 2011

'It's The End of the World As We Know It..."

Sorry; I couldn't resist.  Seriously, for a 9/11 tribute, go see Molly; she's pretty much said everything I wanted to say.

Not that I'm making light of our nation or complaining...oh wait; yes, I'm going to complain.  Because a lot of what is happening is either Too Little Too Late; Over Kill; and proof our country's leaders have lost their minds.

TLTL:  Yeah, we thought we were invincible.  But didn't the Oklahoma City bomb teach us ANYTHING?  Or about the 1st attack on WTC?  You'd think the US would have gotten a clue something BIG was coming.  (And yeah, blame Clinton and the media....maybe if we hadn't have been sooooo concerned with his sexual exploits, we would have paid more attention to what was ALSO going on in the world???)  I know I was THRILLED that gas prices were less than a dollar.  I was THRILLED I could buy meat for under a dollar a pound.  And my milk was $1.19.  And no one cared that CEO's everywhere were making money and handing out bonuses equal to lottery payments.  Hell, my bonus in 1990 was $150.  Would it actually hit $200 the next year?  No; I didn't get one because I was on 'maternity leave'.  My 'bonus' that year was the extra tips I'd received after telling my favorite customers I was getting married.  But I digress...

In 2001, I could safely walk down the halls of the high school I worked for.  A year later, even though everyone knew me, I still had to stop at the office, sign in, and wear a badge saying I was authorized past the office doors.  WTH?  Oh....a new teacher might freak out and think I was there to kidnap someone/pull a gun/plant a bomb in a locker.  Get real....there's only 300 students in the WHOLE BUILDING, K-12!  EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYONE!

But that's a moot point now; I've moved and in the HS, I can move around undetected if I choose (I've gone upstairs to the guidance counselor many times!), but in the elementary, I need to check in at the office, and they lock the doors to the actual education wing.  Go figure; I guess elementary kids are the baddies....(Actually, I think this is due to the high population of child molesters in the area.)

Over Kill:  I understand taking precautions in the airports, thanks to those idiots who caused this attack.  I've actually only flown twice in the last ten years, but let me tell you, it was a pain in the ass.  First of all, our trip in 2004 to Ottowa.  1)  At first, it was funny.  I'm getting patted down while my 12- and 10 y/o are having to handle the diaper bag, stroller, their own carry on luggage, AND their baby brother.  I told the attendant, 'Take your time; my kids are doing all the work'.  LOL!

2)  The last leg of the trip was horrible.  Because my father could not come to the luggage carousel, he had no idea I was dealing with 10-month-old who'd exploded his diaper and was out of wipes, PLUS, there was NO BATHROOM FACILITY in that area, not to mention I was filling out the forms for our missing luggage.  Thank GOD I'd had the foresight to pack the child an extra set of clothing in his diaper bag.  I ended up throwing away a onezie and wrapping his pants in paper towels until we could get to the motel, plus go shopping the next day for baby wipes and more clothing!  (And thanks to the motel, which had guest laundry facilities!)

Our trip to Disney six months earlier had been better.   We'd sent our luggage with my father and oldest son, who drove, so we didn't have to worry about pesky details such as checking our luggage.

And the reason I've not flown lately?  Prices; the fact my ear has been acting up (if I don't load up on the Sudaphed, I'm in agony until we level off, and don't get me started about the descent!); and the restrictions...OMG....might as well leave your toiletries at home and buy the travel-size once you get there.  No, flying is now a pain, so we're rediscovering the beauty of our country as we travel.  And since portable DVD players exist, my kids are happy when we travel.  And I'm enjoying seeing the countryside I missed as a kid, because my nose was buried in a book.

POCLHLTM:  I'm probably going to piss off some people, but hey, this is my blog and I get to say what I want.  So if you don't want to hear about me complaining about our current leaders, STOP READING RIGHT NOW!

Okay, Obama got himself elected because 1) He was a better choice than Hilary (I admit, I voted Democratic in the primary to keep HER from winning in our state!); 2) McCain sealed his fate when he chose Sarah Palin (imho!), but now she's actually starting to sound intelligent; 3) Obama promised 'change' and 'less spending' and 'no special treatment for lobbyists'.  Hmmm.....'change' has been for the worse (unemployment; gas prices, Big Businesses failing...); 'less spending'...he's spent money like a kid who's suddenly won the lottery and turned loose in a candy store; 'no special treatment'...from what I've seen, he's reneged on every single one of his campaign promises!  I would not be surprised if his own damn party refused to nominate him again!

On the republican side (and let me state, I in no way vote a straight ticket!), things are heating up all over the place.  Ron Paul.  Michelle Bachman (I think that's how she spells her name??).  Mitt Romney.  And all anyone can talk about is 'create jobs'....'lower spending'.....'blame everyone else for our credit rating'.....I want a definite plan of action.  Not just vague topic sentences; I want to see a cohesive plan to get our country back on track.  And if that means (gasp!) stop sending money overseas to bail out countries who don't do anything but drain our economy, then so be it.  Where was Japan when the towers fell?  Katrina?  Irene?  What about Libya?  We helped oust Gadaffi; are they sending any relief money our way?

Remember the Cheers episode when Woody got elected to public office, all because Frazier wanted to prove a point about voter mentality?  People, stop voting with your hearts and use your intellect!  I'm beginning to agree; the recent earthquake was actually our founding fathers rolling over in their collective graves.  Time to get these career politicians out of Washington and get someone in there with a solid plan and the backing to get it done.  And one who's NOT a dictator, but rather one who motivates the country to pull together and WORK together.

Apologies if I've angered anyone; I warned you to stop reading!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back To Basics....

I've come to believe I need to go back to school. Why? I'll tell you.

Everything I thought I knew about writing dialogue has turned out to be WRONG!

I had one editor who didn't mind the use of the word 'said', 'protested'. 'admitted'.

Editor #2 told me to take them out and replace with gestures. Okay; now I have my characters 'smiling'; 'running hands through their hair'; 'taking sips of their drinks'.

Editor #3 didn't object to my use of action tags and the occasional dialogue tag when I couldn't find a way to eliminate it.

Editor #4: Honestly, the edits went so fast, I'm not sure what she thought of my issue.

Editor #5: I've only received one set of edits, on the wrong story; however, my publisher has created an 'inside the editor's mind' blog and I've discovered the last set of self-edits I used the wrong tags. The good side is, my editor will correct them. The bad side? My 'clean' draft is now not so 'clean'.

So maybe I should either do my daughter's English homework with her or take up the 'Back to school' offers and go take another Grammar course at my local college?


Monday, August 29, 2011

Can You Guess My Favorite Scent?

She stretched out on the couch, remote control in hand. The scent of her cucumber-melon votive candles made the living room smell like a fruit basket, even as she munched the red Twizzler candy licorice ropes.

The channel she selected showed mouthwatering yeast rolls dripping with honey butter. She bit off another chunk of the cinnamon-flavored licorice and clicked the next channel. A Jeopardy question. Awesome! She leaned forward.

“200 for Game Show Hosts, Alex,” the student with the cowboy hat said.

“POV, HOH, and CBS….Rachel.”

“Who is Julie Chen? Game show hosts for 400.”

“Answers, not questions….Rachel again.”

(laughs) “Who is Alex Trebeck?”

“Right again..Who knew I’d be in my own game show? Rachel, select again.”

“Same category, 600.”

“This show will leave you stranded, unless you have a strong alliance in the game….Justin.”

“Who is Jeff Probst? Game show contestants for 800.”

(Whooshing sound) “You’ve located the Daily Double. Justin, you can risk up to 1000.”

“I’ll bet 1000.”

“Okay. Here’s your answer: He didn’t know his sister would be on the same show with him.”


The bag of Twizzlers slipped from her lap. “I know that one!” She leaned forward as time ran out.

“I need an answer Justin…”

“Ummm. Russell Hantz?”

(Groans) “Oh, so sorry Justin; the answer is Cowboy.”

Her companion laughed as she reached down for the red ropes of candy. “Maybe you should audition for the show. As much as you're obsessed with some of the male contestants..."

“I’m much better at Wheel of Fortune. I used to win all the spelling competitions at school, but got beat in the Statewide Spelling Bee. Maybe I should apply.” She stretched out again to watch the rest of the show. "And I am not obsessed with men!"

"You cried when Jeff was voted off of Big Brother; you cheered when Russell was voted off Survivor; you screamed when Brendan was brought back; and oh yes, you voted for Dr. Will on everyone's email addresses, plus your other two. And anyone else who would let you vote on their computer." He ticked them off on his fingers. "And let's not forget the name of the cologne you buy me all the time!"

So how did you do? My favorite scents are:

Fresh bread




And Obsession For Men:)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beating The Heat and Needing 'Me' Time

Yes, I've been a baaad blogger lately. The past two weekends have been extremely busy, plus our heat wave BROKE finally! Which is weird...usually once the temps hit late 70's and early 80's, on go my shorts and T shirts, and maybe even a tank top. And since the spouse tends to open the windows and doors, I'm even happier.

Enter the 90 degree temp. Spouse closes up the house and the a/c is engaged. Suddenly, I'm wearing sweats in the house and stripping off a layer to go outdoors. And yes, carry a sweater with me to restaurants, in case of freeze-out. I admit it; I'm a split-personality in the summer.

But with kids running in and out, the house has been hot even WITH the a/c! I sleep in my 'granny gown' to stay cool at night. Tank tops and shorts rule, even in restaurants. Maybe I'm having hot flashes due to menapause?

Younglings #2 and 3 leave...and the 98+ temps and 105 degree heat index left last week....and suddenly Kenzie is back in her fleece jammies at night. Yes, you read that right; Kenzie sleeps in FLEECE all year round (with the exception of when she's having hot flashes...and with the addition of her thyroid meds, that has been cured, somewhat...).

I attended a mini-HS reunion last week, and the family laughed at me, because I didn't know what to pack. Tank top and capris, yes. But to wear the pink one with a shrug over it, or my dressy black one? I packed both. And ended up wearing the black one:)

And since the next day was a birthday party, wear a T-shirt with capris or a white tank and shorts? Went outside at 11am and it was nearly too humid to breathe. Tank top and shorts, coming up!

I also drink massive amounts of iced tea; we took the kids to the movies one day, since a friend reported the water at the public pool was near bathwater temps; and in 'normal' situations, cook inside as little as possible. I love my grill! ('Normal'=paragraph #2)

I Loves The Quiet!
I'll admit it; people think I'm strange. Most moms can't wait to spend time with their kids. Maybe I've spent too much time? I look forward to fall, when they all go back to school. I get 'my life' back! In the summer, unless I'm 'in the zone' or editing, I'm at their mercy. Running them here and there, be it ball games (1998-2002), playdates, the library, or whatever. I can't even watch TV anymore, or play my music (unless I'm downstairs in the shower or doing laundry, lol! I've also been known to pop a CD into the laptop while I'm cooking or doing the dishes!)

And the spouse reaaallly needs to get a hobby. I'm tired of him hanging around the house all the time. I need the house filled with MUSIC, not the sounds of Syfy channel, Food Network, History, DIY, or Discovery.

A neighbor absolutely baffled me twelve years ago. Her baby entered kindergarten, and she called me an hour later, sobbing: "I'm sooooo lonely! What am I going to do all day without her?"

Within two weeks, she'd volunteered to be a room mother, and was babysitting two other kids in the class after school (this was when kdgn was half day).

When my then-baby entered kdgn, I spent the mornings doing errands or on the computer! And when she started 1st grade, I literally threw myself a 3-day party: Lunch with a friend and a massage on day #1; dragged my spouse to the State Fair on day #2; and grocery-shopped and gave the house a thorough cleaning on day #3. Finished up on day #4, and settled down to write the following Monday. Did I miss the kids? Hell no!

So what do I need in order to write?
-Everyone out of the house
-Loud Music (when I get 'in the zone', I actually tune it out; go figure!)
-Plenty of iced tea in the kitchen (it means I'll get up every once in a while!)
-Cookies, preferably chocolate chip or Fig Newtons:)

And no spouse threatening me to get of the computer! Go away and leave me alone!! (Case in point: He's gone to church and I'm sitting at home, writing this post, lol! Tired and in too much pain to attend this morning.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Haz The Rage...

What makes me see red? Injustice, stupidity, and just plain stubbornness.

In Life:
I vented my rage here. I don't feel like copy/pasting; it's rather long and not pretty. If you're up for it, feel free to tell me if I'm just suffering from a massive case of PMS or if my family needs a cast-iron skillet upside the head. Or if I need to just go away and calm down for several weeks. Maybe it's just stress.

What makes me mad in books?
When the H/h don't talk to each other! A classic case can be found in Barbara Huffert's Deal of a Lifetime. The H/h spend most of the book making assumptions about the other, despite their inability to keep their hands off each other. I wanted to jump into the book and lock them in a room until they TALKED to each other, expressing feelings/emotions/misconceptions and kissed and made up. Yeah, I know; that would be a boring book. And I admit, it kept me reading. And since Barb is a friend, and I've read that book several times since, I don't think she'd mind a little free publicity for it:) (Love you Barb, if this shows up on a Google Alert, lol!!)

I just finished reading Jean M Aul's Land of Painted Caves. And I'm in agreement with the one review I saw: Enough of the damned cave paintings already! I skipped over much of the description and went straight to the dialogue. There were places where the story could have been more exciting, but instead, she went for the 'safe' approach. Several times I thought I knew how certain sub-plots would end, only to have them fizzle out. But still, this made me want to go back and reread Shelters of Stone, since it's been eight years between books. And even book #3, Mammoth Hunters, made me want to lock Jondalar and Ayla in a room until they admitted they loved each other. I sincerely hope A does get to reunite with her Clan and son before this series ends. And in case you're wondering, yes, I will buy LOPC when it arrives in paperback. I borrowed the hardback from the library.

So what gets YOUR dander up? What makes you so mad you want to punch something?

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?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Picture's Worth 1000 Words...

Friend and fellow author Linda Kage interviewed me today! Come on by and say hello!

Welcome to a sample of my hectic life! Here are some pics from Aunt Kenzie's Summer Reading Program and Father's Day. Miss Drama Queen (MDQ) and her brother Mr. Energy are staying with us for the summer, and maybe even during the school year.

Enjoy these kids' expressions, actions, and antics with me:)

Making the Father's Day cake. MDQ insisted Uncle Dad would LOVE strawberry frosting on his two layer devil's food cake! The kids ate most of it, though Uncle Dad did eat a slice or two:)

Buddy, one of my neighborhood 'adoptees' and MDQ making kites. ME opted not to attend this outing, and my youngling was at cub scout camp.

MDQ trying the Japanese snacks at the program on Japan. They were yummy, imho! I don't think she shared that opinion, though:)

Took them to one of our historical sites, and they all enjoyed playing with this cannon!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What Do You Call a Blog Post About Dates?

If we were talking about the boy-meets-girl-type, I'd have a wittier title!

When I was younger, I loved going out to eat and playing mini-golf on a first date, because it enabled us to TALK to each other. You really can't get to know your date while in a movie theater and hoping he'll hold your hand; that's for date #2.

In my 20's, dating consisted of either a party; going to a bar/nightclub; dinner. And since I married while in my 20's, 'date night' with the hubby meant dinner alone and a movie, or a drive.

Now my idea of a perfect date is still dinner and wine, and conversation that does not include the word 'Mommy' or mention of any kids (unless I bring it up first, heh heh!). Take my to BW3 and see if I can beat you at trivia. Or let's go sing karaoke.

Special dates I hold dear? There are many:

Jan 1: New Year's Day and SIL's b-day

Jan 29th: Special ex-b/f's birthday. Suffice it to say I met him while in college, and he's in my Top 3.

Feb 14-28: The span of time in which our tax money arrives.

March 1: Youngling's birthday

March 5: Another special friend's b-day (and the day the youngling was supposed to arrive)

March 17: 1st love's b-day

March 20: Spouse's b-day

March 31: Day I met my soul mate

April 7: Day I met my AF officer

April 10: Day I fell in love with the SOB AF officer

April 17: Day I realized I was pregnant with my oldest

May 2: Nephew's b-day

May 3: Wedding Anniversary (20 years so far) and another friend's b-day

May 12: Day BFF B and I were 'married' in the hallway between classes!

May 22: BFF #3's b-day

May 23: BFF #1's b-day and the day my soul mate broke my heart

June 16: The day I dreamed of getting married

June 19: The day I dreamed of getting married when I realized the 16th wasn't on a Saturday and the fact my fiancee was horrible with remembering dates! Also, another friend's b-day

June 28: Dad's b-day

July 3: Daughter's b-day and BFF #2's b-day

July 29: BFF in HS's b-day

Aug 1: Mom's b-day

Aug 5: AF Officer's b-day

Aug 6: 'Grandkids' b-day (born same day, one year apart!)

Aug 19: Day I had miscarriage and niece's b-day

Sept 20: Day I met my first serious crush

Sept 23: BFF #1's wedding anniversary

Oct 7: Sister's b-day

Oct 9: Nephew's b-day

Nov 20: Niece/stepdaughter's b-day

Dec 8: Oldest son's b-day and another friend's b-day; the one who introduced me to my spouse.

Dec 19: My b-day

Dec 25: Christmas

Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Now, what would YOU have called this post? LOL!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Show Me The Truth....

While I love the pre-Civil War era, and wouldn't mind for one day putting on a hoop skirt and dancing at a party, there is another era which has intrigued me: The Tudor Years.

My first introduction into this era was the book Anne of a Thousand Days. And Philippa Gregory's The Constant Princess shows a different side of the story.

Now maybe some of the facts were fudged, for romance angles, but I rather like the image of the conniving Henry, not the cold, calculating Anne of The Other Bolyne Girl.

So therefore, I would love to be a fly on the wall, or at least a lady-in-waiting, to see first hand what REALLY went on between Henry VIII, Katherine, Anne, and her sister Mary.

Another time I'd like to be the 'fly on the wall' would be at Elizabeth's court, to see what exactly transpired between her and Lord Dudley, and why she had Mary Queen of Scots executed. Was it all Lord Cecil?

I'm only halfway through this book, and can hardly wait to get back to it.

And as always, I would sorely miss my A/C, indoor plumbing, and modern conveniences.

If you could travel safely through time, what era would YOU visit? My hubby rather likes the Star Trek world!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mid Year Check Up

Did I make any resolutions this year? None are documented; I had limited internet access six months ago. But if I did make any resolutions in my professional life, they would have been the following:

-Submit, submit, submit my work. Check. Class Reunion has been accepted, and Off The Clock sent off for approval. I also sent off Appetite For Desire and it was accepted:) Now, I have nothing left but partial wips. My alter-ego is currently waiting for approval on her 3rd book. I also finally finished an appropriate submission for the 1000 Words anthology. Hopefully Travis found this one acceptable!

-Write, write, write. So-so. I've had a few writing days the last few months, but I need to do more. I don't think I've written anything new in the last month. Of course, it helps when the characters are screaming for attention! Mine are not; I think they all went looking for a less stressed out author.

-Make some money. Check....sort of. I have received two royalty checks this year....and just enough money for about a week's worth of chocolate. I have a love affair going with Hershey's Bliss milk chocolate squares. Shhhh....don't tell my dentist.....

-Be a better mom. I kind of dropped the ball on this one; I have a youngling who isn't reading yet, and a rebellious teenage daughter. Of course, if the spouse hadn't gone off the deep end on Super Bowl Sunday and thrown a fit over her choice of boyfriend....but that's private family issues so I won't bore you with that drama.

-Balance family and writing life. Again, I've sort of dropped the ball. Since I got my laptop, I've discovered I'm addicted to Face Book. And there are several days I did nothing but chat on a couple of loops....again, I refer you to item #2.

So yes, Kenzie has a lot of work to do the remainder of the year! Maybe once edits arrive for both Teacher's Pet and Appetite For Desire?? And maybe Mark and Becca will talk to me again???

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tagging Along....

Most of you are familiar with my alter ego Molly Daniels. Yes, she's the one who set up at local festivals with her print copies, and the awesome display with certain other authors' print books. Lately, I've been tagging along, with my CD's and poster of my latest cover (Teacher's Pet has been out there an awfully long time, and I really hope it's out soon! People are asking for it, so send me edits, damn it! Okay; rant over).

I also have my Sony Pocket e-reader handy, to show people how handy it is to use. Sometimes a friend will let me borrow his Kindle for the same purpose.

But I'll admit, I will not be using my latest official cover in public. Why? It's too damn HAWT! If I show it in a venue with anyone under the age of eighteen, I'm sure I'll be politely asked to take it down, or have customers shooting me evil glances. So I'll advertise it with the PG sample cover provided, but once the book is out, the R rated cover will be on the CD and only shown to the adults.

I've already stated that my status as a 'smut' writer (I prefer Adult Contemporay) has gotten me a few perks: Former classmates talk to me more; I've been given free wine; and the very fact I'm published with an honest-to-god publisher has earned me respect from aspiring writers and new authors.

I've made a few mistakes; I've disclosed too much information too soon to prospective friends, only to find out their ultra-conservativeness; I've accidentally let a tame curse word fly in mixed company (who knew a 'hell no' would bring an admonition? It happened!); and when I posted my wonderful Jimmy Thomas cover on Face Book, a few childhood friends (and my mother) expressed their disapproval. Mom's wasn't so bad; she just shook her head. But one friend went on a rant about eating habits of models. Huh?????

So now I'm more cautious about the content of my books. I've only got one scene which even sort of squicks me out, and I'm very careful when someone I know VERY WELL wants to read that book. I wouldn't want people to be turned off by a particular scene.

And when I'm promoting, I offer both a tame and spicy excerpt. Many times women want the spicy one, and I hope it generates sales, rather than an ' alert' moment.

Just as long as I don't get asked to leave or run out of town by the 'holier-than-thou' types, I'll continue to promote myself in public:)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

BICHOK....But no Words??

I've thought about the topic of No-Fail Writing Tactics, and coming up blank. Of course, there are different forms of writing, and if you're not familiar with the acronym BICHOK, it stands for Butt In Chair Hands (or Fingers) On Keyboard. During my first NaNoWriMo, this worked. Sure, I wrote a bunch of idiotic words and endless descriptions, but I accomplished my word count. And sometimes the brain got tired of the the stupidity and inspiration would strike.

Lately, the only thing I've managed to accomplish are journal entries. I sit down to write my latest wip, but instead, I end up pouring my thoughts onto a blank document.

For a while, the word wars on Twitter jump-started the creativity, but lately I just can't seem to be even motivated to sign into the site. I'm not sure if it's depression, or laziness, but I open the document and the finger-brain connection just isn't there.

And another urge is getting stronger. Other characters who've been on the back burner for several years are beginning to demand attention. I've set the wheels in motion; I'll know in a week if it will work.

So at the moment I'm not the person to offer advice on how to write when the words aren't flowing, or the characters go on vacation without you. What works for me won't necessarily work for someone else.

And sometimes, all it takes is an email from an editor, reader, or simply time off to recharge. Whatever it takes, I'll be ready for the day when the flood of words return and I'll have to be dragged from the computer kicking and screaming.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strange; I Hadn't Noticed....

When I first thought about the recurring themes in my books, I thought it would be easy. Romance, right?

And then I spent last week thinking about all the books I've written.

Drinking. Infidelity. Various social issues. Jumping to (wrong) conclusions. Trust issues, which ultimately lead to some sort of verbal or emotional abuse, be it past or present.

And then there's the current one.

I had a crit partner read the first three chapters, and he pointed out several things I hadn't noticed.
- I've got a lot of rivalry going on. Sibling rivalry; romantic entanglements; past teenage conflicts; competition.
- I also have an older brother portrayed as being stuck in small town, old fashioned values.
- And, yes, the heroine's past lover dumped her for someone 'more connected'.

Where do these come from?
I know the small town, prudish attitudes are due to living in one, plus the fact I'm currently watching past episodes of a favorite TV show, and the narrow-mindedness of my spouse's family.

I dated an alcoholic, plus witnessed a lot of drinking in college. I also have it in my family, so I'm careful not to overdo it when I drink socially. I know my limits, and stick to them.

I've been on both sides of the infidelity issue, so I'm well aware of the pain it brings, as well as the trust issues.

And I admit, I endured a lot of teasing while growing up, and dreamed of 'proving everyone wrong'. I'm sort of over that now, having proved that point the last several years.

So is my subconscious trying to tell me something? Or is this just an outlet for all the stress I've felt lately?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hindsight, Pt 2....

Ahhhh....the one(s) which got away.....where do I start?

1) Friend D: He was my 'Sunday Night Date' all through my junior year of high school...but I was too stupid to notice him until it was too late. Of course, do a rewind, and at the tender age of 12, I was all set to settle into holy matrimony with his identical twin brother! Two years later, hormones and a bit of anti-social behavior kicked in, and I pushed him away for greener pastures. (Have you been paying attention to Molly's Flashback Fridays? LOL!)

2) My soul mate: I met him while dating his best friend. And being the stubborn cuss that I am, I didn't understand the jerk I was dating was also hitting on other girls in front of me. If I could do it all over again, I'd have grabbed T that night and never looked back. Or, fast-forward one year and never given up on him. Took us three more years and six years of separation to see we'd both made major mistakes in our lives. And I'm still being a stubborn cuss...and now he's the one who got tired of waiting. Now we joke we'll finally make things right again when we're in our 80's....

3) JF: The first guy to 'educate' me on the finer points of living with the opposite sex. Of course, in hindsight, we'd probably be divorced by now, but at the same time, it was my jealousy which did us in. I had a two month period in which we lived apart, and in the 2nd month, my over-possessiveness made him feel smothered. He married six months later, and she divorced him as soon as she got her degree. He's on wife #6 or 7 right now....I would have been #4. So maybe that was a good thing after all?

And since if I could really have a do-over and make major changes to my life in 1987, everyone I dated from then until 1990 would have been different.

On the other hand, my soul mate has been the hero in the majority of my books, so he's been the driving influence behind my books:)

And on a good note, I received a fan letter over the weekend:) Pam, who won Wild At Heart through the TRS Stay at Home party, emailed me and said, "Just a note to let you know I really enjoyed the story! thanks so much again!"

Made my day! Thanks Pam:)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hindsight... always 20/20. Gah...if I could have a do-over of last year! Soooo many things I'd change or at least do differently! Let's start with February.

-I would have sent the hubby out to move the car, instead of the oldest child. Cost us $900 to repair the damage to friend's car when he failed to see it in the dark and backed into it.

-I would have held on to more of our tax refund; plus the minute the spouse complained about his sight, dragged him to the eye doctor.

-Picked a better date for oldest son's Eagle Ceremony, but as it turned out, nobody will ever forget that day, lol! (Palm Sunday, two days after hubby's eye surgery!)

-Investigated potential publisher a bit more thoroughly.

-Would have made a better decision, instead of keeping my 'WTHIGO' issues to myself.
-Bought oldest the College Care Package, even though he told me not to.

-Attended signing in the MORNING, instead of the afternoon. Everyone was gone by then.

I know there are others I'm forgetting; these are just the big ones. The best decision of last year, it seems, was doing the Farmer's Market every weekend. It got me noticed by the Christmas Parade planners, and as a result, myself and five other authors were made the Grand Marshals. I enjoyed it, and was thankful the weather cooperated.

What about you? Do you have anything you'd like to change about the past year? Or was 2010 pretty good?