Thursday, July 31, 2008

Coming in October -

My novel "Deja Vu Lover" will be released in October as part of the Vintage Rose line. And believe it, if the heroine had known her fortune she could have spared herself a whole lot of heartache!

I play around with fortunetelling as a hobby, and so here's your fortune for the first weekend in August. TIPTOE AROUND A FRIEND OR LOVER AND TOSS IN SINCERE COMPLIMENTS. FRIDAY OFFERS ENERGY OR IDEAS FOR A GREAT WEEKEND.

For more of the fortunes,check the Predictions link at
Or be my friend at
I will love to hear from you! (By all means, let me know how the fortune matched your weekend!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Accidental Fate is released

Thought I'd drop by to share the news today...

Mia Simon, a successful freelance writer, wasn’t looking for love. So when Austin Turner, owner of a limousine company literally ran into her in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pittsburgh, she didn’t recognized what hit her…until it was too late.

Austin was beyond a gentleman. He was an exemplary example of a perfect mate. Or was he? He was intelligent, compassionate, considerate…and far too attractive for Mia’s comfort. How was she expected to display rational judgment when he was so charming and handsome? The inner skeptic Mia was struggling to develop screamed with objection when he asked her not to report the accident, but her soft heart wouldn’t oblige.

Mia knew she’d made the right decision when her car was repaired and Austin came through on his word to pay for the damage. But when he disappeared from her life as soon as the incident was smoothed over, she knew she’d been played for a fool…again.

Later this week I'll be talking on my blog about some behind the scenes tid bits for Accidental Fate. I'll even reveal who my real life inspiration was for the Hero, so stop by and enjoy some fun!


Just Released ~ NovelTea Next Door

Blurb: Second in the NovelTea Series

Government agent Grant Gerard knows he’s cocky. It’s the reason he can do this job day after day. He’s always kept his life simple and uncomplicated…until destiny took a turn when he met bookstore/tea shop owner Juliet Truesdale.

Armed with a new lead pertaining to known criminal spook, Alexis Guthrie, Grant enlists Juliet to aid the investigation which ends up at the door of her neighbor, Adam Trudeau. This investment banker neighbor of hers seems harmless enough despite his annoying interest in Juliet. Will this turn of events only usher in more dangerous or even deadly situations for the duo? Can Grant allow Juliet into his heart and keep her safe from the danger looming in the distance?

A Night of NovelTea (book 1) brought us into the world of secret agents aka: spies through the eyes of the naïve bookshop owner, Juliet. She doesn’t know what’s going on but she has no choice but to go along with it. In the second book, NovelTea Next Door, I had to bring this world to life even more especially as it is written from the perspective of government agent, Grant Gerard. That included creating a villain and a believable case to solve. I hope you will enjoy this sequel. It is dedicated to all the readers. Thank you.

Here is the Prologue to NovelTea Next Door from the first person perspective of the villain.

The sweet darkness of midnight embraced me like an ever expectant lover. Standing alone in my solitary state peering out at the shadowed city streets, I was captivated. The black sheet of the night skyline twinkled with a diminutive number of stars. Leaning over the balcony railing, I slowly inhaled a gulp of the crisp air. This was the time of day when I felt alive—when my true spirit was released and I could feel it breathing inside of me.

It had all been just too easy. His arrogance and their conceit have played right into my hand. Before they put the pieces together, all evidence of my existence will be gone and they’ll once more be rubbing their heads wondering what went wrong.

I’ll be sad to end this charade. It has served me well. Perhaps too well. I was becoming overly comfortable in this guise—making contact with too many people…like her. She would have loved the real me if only I could have shown her. In another time or another place, I might have had that chance. Maybe I still will. I’m beginning to grow tired of this game. At any rate, time has a way of catching up with you in the end.

Visit my website to read the first chapter.


Don’t miss out on book 1 of the series: Available now: A Night of NovelTea.

Juliet Truesdale believes life is passing her by as she runs her parents bookstore/tea shop until the day a handsome, mysterious stranger enters the shop, steals her heart and turns her life upside down, throwing her into a mix of dangerous yet comical situations she never could have contemplated.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Great review for Watching You

I just got a great 4 1/2 shamrock review for my latest book, Watching You, from this website:

Evil is watching you, Evil is coming for you….

Angeline Hamilton and Sebastian are thrown together after the loss of her father, along with her inheritance and her home. Through a case of mistaken identity, she ends up being employed by him.

Sebastian Tremaine, now the owner of her home, and dealing with his own emotional and physical loss, steps in as Angeline’s guardian angel. He soon realizes all is not what it seems.

Unbeknown to Angeline, evil and death follow her. Sebastian is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Angeline alive, but can he secure her love and save her? For she is earmarked as the “NEXT” on the killer’s list.

Watching You is a heart wrenching romance filled with passion, forgiveness, intrigue and murder. Ms. Rees has penned a fantastic story about two wounded people who have to learn to deal with life’s changes and move on. I read Watching You in one sitting and really loved the main characters. Angeline has just enough naiveté to match Sebastian’s well travelled, expect the worst attitude. The levels of involvement of the supporting characters are well played. Not only do they bring brief glimpses of levity, but open up the possibility for future stories in a potential series.

These amazing characters also prove that your second chance at love might just be your first. I really enjoyed this book.

Reviewed by Sandra

What is Urban Fantasy

I’ve seen this question asked a lot lately. Everyone from agents to editors to authors are coming out with their own versions. And I’ve been asked this a lot by students and others. So this is my version:

When I first started writing vampires, the tag urban fantasy didn’t exist, so I used “paranormal.” But paranormal to me, is really ghosts, psychics, that kind of otherworldly phenomenon. And it can be in present day, or the past, as long as it’s not fantasy. Fantasy, anything goes, because it’s fantasy and exists in a world that is not our own.

So what is urban fantasy? To me, it is mythical, fantastical creatures living in our contemporary times. Have a demon romance? It’s urban fantasy. It can be urban fantasy horror, or urban fantasy romance. But it’s urban fantasy. The fantastical element in modern times.

Think of the hero, werewolf extraordinaire, working on his computer. It’s urban fantasy. He can be sitting in the country estate, or living in the city. But it’s still urban fantasy.
Think of the gargoyle that protects your apartment complex at night, and talks to the heroine during the day. Urban Fantasy.
Now, what is being said–urban fantasy is first person. Why? I’ve read tons of third person POV urban fantasy werewolf stories, for one. And they were urban fantasies by virtue of the fact werewolves live among us. Whether they’re in the closet or have come out, it doesn’t matter. It’s a fantasy world within the normal structure of our world.
Some say that urban fantasies are not romances. Why? Are paranormals not romances? Some are, some aren’t. Some historical fictions have romances and some don’t. I know, because I review them and ask for only the ones that have romances. So sometimes we try to limit ourselves into some narrow defined category because some write like this and all of a sudden we’re all supposed to write that to fit the category, and again I ask why?

My werewolves, as well as many others, are sexy. They are romances. They are third person, and they are urban fantasy. They’re not fantasy, which would be set in a different world. They are not paranormal, dealing with psychic or ghostly entities. They are urban fantasies.

Why get hung up on a tag? Because people who are writing them want to define this for query letters to agents and editors. And also because readers and devout fans of urban fantasies need to see the tags. Some readers might not like hot, sexy urban fantasies. That’s okay. They can read the reviews and see if it’s something they want to read. Some want hot, sexy reads. The same thing.
So what is urban fantasy? Mythical creatures living in present day society, whether they’re vampires, werewolves, mermaids, gargoyles, other shapeshifters, fairies, pixies, ghouls, or other kinds of creatures that we normally don’t see joining the exercise clubs or dancing in our dance clubs–that’s urban fantasy, 3rd person point of view, 1st person point of view, romance, no romance, light, dark, doesn’t matter.
So what is your take on urban fantasy?
Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde
Deidre's Secret (paranormal, psychic YA)
Heart of the Wolf, Don’t Cry Wolf
The Vampire…In My Dreams
, coming Aug 26 to bookstores!
Deadly Liaisons, coming November! (vampire adult romantic suspense–urban fantasy )

Friday, July 25, 2008

Salvation Bride - A Cowboy's Dream - Coming fall 2008

What do these two stories have in common--besides the same author penning them? Well, Marcus in A COWBOY'S WAY is the great-great-great-great-great grandson of Laura and David (so you know that story has a happy ending!). SALVATION BRIDE will be out in the early fall, and A COWBOY'S WAY will be released around Christmas. I'll keep you posted.

The hot dusty town of Salvation, Texas has more than its share of secrets in 1873 when Laura Ashton's stage rolls into town. Sheriff David Slade has no idea what baggage his mail-order bride is bringing into his life. Throw in the nightmares from his Civil War days and he's got more than courting to contend with. Laura's a woman ahead of her time, a woman trained in medicine. And she's got a will that could move mountains. Unfortunately, the only mountains in Salvation are in Sheriff Slade's memory. Can the determined doctor heal his pain, or will the dark secret in her past turn up to steal his Salvation Bride?

Author Leah Smith has fantasized about her neighbor, Houston’s pro baseball player Marcus Slade, for years, but thinks it’s unlikely she’d catch the cowboy’s interest since her IQ is bigger than her bra size. Having already been hurt by a man who wanted size over substance, she’s not in a hurry to play in that ball field again.

When an unexpected opportunity gets Marcus inside his favorite author’s apartment, he’s not about to let a second chance at love pass him by. Their attraction is quick and electric and has him instantly thinking about something more long-term. But when a woman from his past intrudes, his hopes of a cozy Christmas with Leah are buried beneath her cold shoulder.

~Anna Kathryn Lanier

Smooth Lies Trailer

Wow, I can't believe that I have three stories out with The Wild Rose Press. Coiled Revenge, a thrilling suspense, Smooth Lies, a suspense with a military bent and Princess Slave by Sara York, my alter ego, offered in the Wilder Rose Catalog.

Watch my trailer for Smooth Lies and tell me what you think.

Have a lovely day. I'll be signing Coiled Revenge in San Francisco on July 30th at the San Francisco Marriott at 5:30. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


by Sharon Cullen
PRINT ISBN 1-60154-269-0
(220 pages) Spicy

Mikael Giovanni, King of the Giovanni gypsy tribe, has been cursed to live forever. Jaded and bitter with the life he’d been dealt, he meets Allie Tremont, a woman with her own demons to battle.

Allie’s life is threatened when Mikael’s considerable past catches up to him, thrusting her in the middle of a centuries old gypsy feud. Facing the possibility of eternity without the love it took centuries to find, Mikael must confront the past before it destroys his last chance at a forever kind of thing.

Read an excerpt

Buy Now

Other books by Sharon Cullen and The Wild Rose Press

Just Released!

New Release! Courting Trouble by Renee Knowles

Regency Historical
108 Pages

Lord Anthony Darby is determined to marry a wife with an exemplary reputation. Then he sees his childhood companion, gorgeous, scandalous, Lily Kennyon again. And all he wants is her in his bed. He decides to avoid her. Until her father makes him an irresistible offer: he'll sponsor Anthony's entry into an exclusive club, if Anthony will accompany his outcast daughter to society events. Can Anthony resist Lily's sensual lure? Or will his hunger make him lose control?

Lily has always rued her impulsive nature. Never more than when her defiance led to an accident, which paralyzed her sister. Afterward, she decided if her sister would never marry, neither would she. Yet she wants to experience lovemaking. So, when Anthony courts her, she devises a plan to seduce him. But she fears she's falling in love. Then she discovers Anthony's attentions were all part of a pact with her father…

Read an excerpt here.



PASSION AT AN EXHIBITION - my Debut Released Today!


My debut novella is NOW AVAILABLE in the American Rose Line!

I’m ever-so-thrilled to report that my spicy historical novella, Passion at an Exhibition, is now available for download here at The Wild Rose Press!

“Rosalyn Abbett, a spirited young suffragette in 1890’s New York City, has just received news that turns her world upside down. Anthony Simms, whom she’s met only through letters, will be arriving tomorrow night. A junior curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she and Mr. Simms will prepare an exhibition of royal jewelry from around the world. Together. Without a chaperone. Scorching dreams of this stranger have plagued her for ages… but what will happen in the flesh?”

Passion at an Exhibition is short, sweet and spicy! (As well as a very affordable download! Just $3!) It’s a Miniature Rose here in our American Rose Line.

Be sure to visit me at
and tell me what you think!

I’m trying to carve out my niche in sensual Victorian Era stories with a bold kick, so if this sounds up your alley, please come support me!


Tori Anne

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Good Morning! I'm guest blogging today over at THE ROMANCE STUDIO! Stop by and say hello! Here's the link:


Monday, July 21, 2008

Why does he seem so mysterious?

Ancient Awakening has a cover! And it's lovely. I have it posted at both my website and my blog

It's been an exciting month. I have my edits back to my editor, Amanda. Got my fingers crossed they are all okay. I have my cover. Did I mention its absolutely wonderful? I have my website updated and a working blog. Who ever said women couldn't do it all? Oh, I forgot. I have squeezed in time to work on the next book set in Rhodes End, the quirky New England town where Ancient Awakening happens.

Here's a blurb:
In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.

Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth when another corpse is discovered.

Deaths happen. Mel is injured confronting the suspect.
In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.

Barbara Edwards
Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press: Ancient Awakening, a Black Rose for Barb'Ed Comments for Annie's Heart, Another Love, Rachel's Rescue

At Last!

Hi everyone,

Finally, after several false starts, I have managed to upload the cover art for my new Regency Romance, 'Lizzie's Rake'. I love this cover and everyone has agreed that's it's my best one yet! I don't have a publication date, but I hope it won't be long before I can share Elizabeth and Maxim's story with everyone.

Here is a short blurb:

Can a rake reform his ways and truly love? Lizzie's head tells her one thing, her heart another.

Infamous rake and Corinthian, Maxim Beaufort, Earl of St. Ive, finding himself in possession of a property in Yorkshire, is unprepared for the changes it will bring into his life. Irresistibly drawn to Elizabeth Granger, the former owner’s daughter, he attempts to help the family, finding himself filling the role of benefactor. When the house is razed to the ground, he arranges for temporary accommodation for Elizabeth and her siblings on his estate.

When Elizabeth rejects his proposal of marriage, he is nonetheless determined to win her over. However, events and his reputation conspire to thwart his efforts and his course is one fraught with dangers.

Trust does not come easily and determined to protect her heart, Elizabeth struggles to resist her own longings.

At times, their difficulties appear insurmountable but the earl is widely known as ‘The Indomitable’ and the name was not lightly earned.

This is my first contract with The Wild Rose Press, but I am looking forward to a long and happy association with everyone.

Regards to all,


Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Foreknown Love

Hello all in the TWRP garden! My name is Kelly Renea Hohenstern and I recently signed my first contract with TWRP for my paranormal romance A FOREKNOWN LOVE, THE WICCAN SISTERS BOOK I. It is the first in a series of novels telling the story of seven sister witches.
A FORKNOWN LOVE is Shoney Wiccan's story, the sister with the ability to receive premonitions, have visions and read other people's thoughts. And of course her handsome earl, Anthony Treyworth, who moonlights as a spy! :)
I am very happy to be here and wish everyone a beautiful and magical day!
~Kelly Renea Hohenstern

What is Urban Fantasy?

Urban Fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that takes place in contemporary times. Which means, gargoyles, and demons, and yes, werewolves, oh my, live in our times. Just think, you could be conversing with a werewolf or a vampire even on the Internet and never realize it. You thought some of the people out there were scary? Well, in an urban fantasies, you don't know the half of it.

How can us poor humans face a world like that? In the past, these fantastical creatures were often evil. Now? Lovers. Werewolf lovers. Vampire lovers. Gargoyle lovers? Even half human/half demon lovers. Yep, it takes all kinds to make the world go around.

And that's what's fun with having an imagination and sharing it with the world. No longer are the princes just plain cursed...the prince who is a bear by day, the prince who is a the princes are vampires, and princely ghosts, stone princes, and well, yes, even frog princes of a much sexier nature.

What are your favorite kinds of urban fantasies and why?

Terry Spear

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Hello Everyone! Hope you're all having a great summer! I seem to be walking on the clouds...thanks to some great reviews for Hidden Shadows.

I am so pleased to share with you two wonderful reviews from Romance Reader at Heart and Simply Romance Reviews. Both gave Hidden Shadows stellar reviews and said some gracious words about the author and the book...So THANK YOU, Sue and Tonie, for the kind words, eloquently written reviews and support!! I greatly appreciate it.

The links for both reviews are below. Check them out and let me know what you think!

FULL REVIEW - Romance Reader at Heart

FULL REVIEW - Simply Romance Reviews

Watching You

My latest WRP novel, a romantic suspense, has just been published in e-book format. Watching You is the tale of one woman's quest for justice. Here is the blurb:

Upon the reading of her father’s will, Angeline Hamilton is devastated to discover that not only has she lost her inheritance, but she has lost Tarrington Manor -- her beloved family home. When a reckless decision results in her working for the new owner, Sebastian Tremaine, she finds herself hopelessly attracted to the very man she should resent.

But her confusion over the unexpected romance soon gives way to fear. Someone wants her dead. Soon she’s embroiled in secrets, seduction and a simmering love affair.

Stalked by evil, Angeline and Sebastian try desperately to hold onto their new found love…and their lives.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ebook Readers, take a look

I bought an ebook reader, and I'm getting used to it. In fact, I like it. The one I bought, for $140, is the eBookwise-1150 with a 64 MB memory card.
Here is some information I found in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine (August 2008). Author is Jeff Bertolucci.
The top two sellers in this technology of "wireless reading devices" are the Kindle and the Sony Reader.
Both feature a 6" screen with high contrast. Both are easy to read, even in sunlight. Neither is backlighted.
Through Kindle, owned by Amazon, readers have access to 125,000 digital books. Price is $359. The exterior is white plastic which Bertolucci said slipped out of its leather case. It has a mini keyboard that makes it easy to search while browsing online. (That would be a great feature, in my opinion.)
Sony has a metal case and stays securely in its attractive leather holder. Price for the Sony PRS-505 is $300. You can charge it through your PC with a USB cable, but if you want a separate AC charger you'll have to pay another $30. "Chintzy, considering the Reader's high price," says Bertolucci.
Sony's ebook store has 20,000 titles.
Sony does have one huge advantage, though. There's a headphone jack for listening to MP3s.
Sony requires you to download to a computer from the web and then transfer to the reader. Kindle uses a wireless Sprint connection to download books from, thus eliminating the PC in the middle.
Kiplinger's opinion is that 1) these two devices cost too much for the limited advantages you receive, and 2) buying digital books through Amazon and Sony is expensive. (Featured titles on Sony are $5 to $19 and most digital bestsellers on Amazon are $10.)
Bertolucci says, "A portable reader in the $100 to $150 ballpark would persuade us to overlook a lot of drawbacks."
I hope he finds the eBookwise Reader. I think it offers the best option in portable reader devices.
The AC charger came with my eBookwise, and downloading books through my PC is fairly easy.
I'd love to hear about others' experiences with these devices.
Lynnette Baughman

Monday, July 14, 2008

Confessions of a Pantster

I, Carol Ann Erhardt, do hereby swear that I am a pantster. I've tried to overcome this and become a plotter, but pantster roots are deeply imbedded in my creative genes. My latest foray into the plotting world was a storyboarding class. Why not? I thought. I liked the concept because it didn't take writing down a full synopsis prior to embarking on a new project. Instead I would have a nice neat foam board filled with pretty colored post-its and it would give me a picture of my novel in progress, keep me on track, and it would be easy to change as I went moved forward with the project. Great concept!

I actually created a beautiful storyboard. It sits in my office, looking impressive, but it intimidates me. Instead I started a totally different project with no outline, not storyboard, no synopsis. All I have is an idea of what the novel is to accomplish. I'm having a great time writing the project, and I'm not "curbed" by any outline or storyboard.

Maybe someday I'll write the novel I've outlined on my board, but for now, it idea...fully outlined...

I'm a pantster.

Carol Ann Erhardt
Coming August 29, JOSHUA'S HOPE
"A little boy who knows too much...a mother who will do anything to save him."

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The galleys of See Megan Run is sitting on my hardrive. I cannot begin to tell you how bleeping excited I am. I penned this tale last October. Finished it in December. Sent it off to my editor in January. And then that's when the headache began. For the past six months I've been editing this story. Adding, cutting, rewriting and sobbing occasionally.

Writing is a true labor of love and now I get to see it in it's final form. Soon it will be coming to you readers and I now some of you can't wait. Or at least that's what I told myself every time I got to urge to tell my editor, "Please don't make me read it again." Imagine having to read the same story EVERY month. *le sigh* But it's worth it. Though there have been times I wanted to scream, I am so proud of this story.

If you are like who is Melissa Blue? And what is a See Megan Run? Here is a recap:

A rock and a hard place has nothing on Megan Hazley when she agrees to stay for her mother's wedding. Nicole aka Mommie Dearest isn't Megan's only obstacle to getting the deed to her deceased father's home; her ex-boyfriend, Aiden Blake, is the best man. Time hasn’t lessened the spark between them, a spark that should have died the day she hitched hiked out of “Boondock”, U.S.A.

Megan must deal with the troubles she left behind 12 years ago and choose between the man she once loved and the life she built for herself.

Who said going home was easy?


He nodded. “Do you want to sleep with me?”

Aiden had the vase before Megan could think to catch it. “Where did that come from?”

“The drool on the side of your mouth when you watched me lick my lips.” Aiden shrugged and kept the pace of their slow walk. Megan had no idea where they were going, but she was sure half the town would know when they left downtown. She rolled her shoulders at the uncomfortable feeling of being watched. Though she couldn’t see anyone looking directly at them, Megan knew her hometown. At least five people could read lips a mile away, and after his comment those five people would tell five more people that they were headed to Aiden’s secret place for a rendezvous.

“Aren’t you arrogant?”

Aiden stopped and moved in front of her. He leaned in close to her ear and said, “You’re curious.” He took her lobe into his mouth, doing things with tongue and teeth that proved him right. She was curious. He laid a kiss on her neck, then said, “Your curiosity is going to bite you in the ass one of these days.”

But could you bite me first? Megan coughed to clear her throat and reached for the vase, taking it from his hands. “And what are you getting from this?”

He took another step toward her and reached out, touching the apex of her throat. Her heartbeat sped under his fingertips. “I want you to...”

“You want me to what?”

This book will be coming to you soon. If you can't wait you can always get my debut novella, How Much You Want to Bet? Or check out my website and read a freebie.

Melissa Blue and I'm out.


Another great review for THE DOCTOR'S DECEPTION!!! Romance Junkies Reviewer, Laurie D. gives The Doctor's Deception 4 BLUE RIBBONS!! Here is part of the review:

"...If you enjoy great romance with a medical setting, steamy passion, and a tortured hero that you’ll find yourself rooting for, I highly recommend THE DOCTOR’S DECEPTION."

To read the entire review, go to this link:

Thank you, Laurie!! I am so glad you enjoyed my book! Stop by Lauie's blog at:

The Doctor's Deception Available in
Print/Ebook form on 06/25/08
Print ISBN:1-60154-287-9

Friday, July 11, 2008

In Tribute to My Own Mother

Yes, Mother's Day has come and gone. Families gathered to honor their moms with flowers, boxes of chocolate, maybe even cookout's and homemade ice cream. However each observed the event, it was meant to show appreciation to the woman who not only brought them into the world, but who also diapered their bottoms, kissed away their boo-boo's and exclaimed with delight over the hard wrought C's on their report cards.

My mom was born August 18, 1930, the eldest of five children. At three years old, her eighty-year-old father died. Her widowed, much younger mother remarried a kind man who my mom often spoke of with fondness. But when Mom was eleven years old, her mother died from complications of producing a child for this man. Though he tried hard to keep his brood of six together, times being what they were in this country, the man reluctantly made a difficult choice. Mom said he cried when the siblings were separated. They went to various relatives, Mom going to live with a harsh aunt and uncle. Each had their own stories to share of what they endured during those years.

So my mom never really knew her mother and she received no maternal affections from her aunt. But God gave Mom a gift. As natural as breathing, this woman knew how to love. She devoted her life to her husband, her children, her grandchildren with the depth of selfless sacrifice you only read about. Yet I, and my older brother and sister, lived each day sheltered in the security of her love. We always knew she supported us--even when we were wrong (not always the wisest thing, perhaps!). But her faithfulness and loyalty was a thing we never doubted. Whenever life dealt us a blow we felt too big to handle, we went to Mom. Like the reassurance of a concrete wall in a hurricane, she stood steadfast. Not once--ever--did she let us down.

We grew up, moved away, had our own families. But Mom was only a phone call away. And when she felt inclined to call one of her kids, as soon as she finished speaking, she'd call up the others. She shared equally, and generously.

For 46 years she and Dad were married. He died on March 11, 1996, right in the same bedroom of the old homestead where the two had spent their wedding night. Poor Mom had to watch the man she loved slip away, telling him, "I can't live without you." After his funeral, she worked to put her affairs in order. She bought more life insurance, went to the lawyer and drew up papers to leave that home in equal parts to her children. Then, on April 11, 1996, like she told my dad she couldn't live without him, it came true. She passed away in her sleep in the same bedroom where she'd had to say good-bye to him.

Though setting aside one day in the year is a good tradition to nationally recognize and honor mothers, I have Mother's Day at any given moment (and Father's Day too, I'd like to add). My mom is always close. All I have to do is remember her smile or the touch of her rough, work-calloused hand and I can imagine myself again as a little girl when I'd crawl to her and Daddy's bed after a nightmare. She'd throw aside the blanket and open her arms where I'd snuggle against her chest. Sighing, I'd fall back to sleep, knowing nothing would hurt me with Mommy there.

Her phone calls are silent now, but her love lives on with all the memories she gave me. Mommy is still near, tucked forever inside my heart.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Are You the Author?

It's odd to hear that question asked of me. Since fifth grade when I'd poured over the adventurous stories of Nancy Drew, Donna Parker and Trixie Belden, and I attempted my own words to paper, I had no inkling that one day my name would appear on a book's cover.

Two years ago when I browsed inside a bookstore and inquired to the location for a writer's handbook, the clerk asked, "Are you a writer?" I wasn't sure how to answer. Though the title of "writer" deserved to be bestowed on a choice few, I was certain I wasn't one of them. I'd had a few articles accepted to an ezine--unpaid--but I'd learned that didn't qualify one to be called an official "writer." But because I did write, I answered the question in the affirmative.

Still, it was a tad embarrassing. Folks naturally seem to think if you're a "writer", then you're an "author", which I wasn't. I never exactly knew how to describe the difference without making myself sound like an idiot in which case the hearer would probably think, "Well, I wouldn't want to buy any of her books anyway! If she had some out, that is."

During these past two years, I struggled and learned. God opened doors for me. I actually sold some articles--with pay! And the next step that happened was...I received my first contract for a book length manuscript. Wow!

A few months later that was followed with a second contract. Time to catch my breath here and ask--Is this really happening to me?

Part of the job of writing is to market and promote your works. With that in mind, I walked to my local newspaper office and asked if they'd run an ad about my book. They agreed. About three weeks later, my bank teller told me she'd seen the article where I was featured.

Oh, boy. This I've gotta see for myself.

So I walk to the newspaper office, leaving my purse and my money in the car. When I enter the building, I see the stack of papers in a stand, but--duh! I didn't have the fifty cents to buy my own paper! The editor is at a desk and peers at me over the top of his glasses. I tell him I want to buy an issue but will need to return to my car and get my purse. He then asks, "Are you the author?"

Such sweet words.

Though I felt a bit like ducking behind his desk, it hit me how, through the grace of God, He'd allowed me the right to wear that hard won badge.

To Him I humbly give thanks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hooves of Adventure

Like a lot of kids, when I was small, I was horse-crazy. From the ages of seven through twelve, I collected the "Horses of Destiny" series, anything by Marguerite Henry, and any other horse story I could lay my hot little hands on. I kept spiral notebooks of drawings of horses, with their names and fictitious pedigrees. I knew the breeds, their origins, famous horses representing them. The first stories I wrote were horse stories, patterned closely after the books I'd read. I dreamed of one day owning a horse like those in my stories...a beautiful, intelligent steed who would carry me on my adventures.

One Christmas, I dared to ask Santa for a pony. I knew it was useless. I lived in the city--where would I keep a horse? Nevertheless, every store Santa who asked me got that answer: "I want a pony."
My parents talked it over. They looked through the newspaper, saw an ad, went to see the pony advertised, came back shaking their heads. "We were too late. Someone else bought him." To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

Christmas day arrived with plenty of gifts but not the expected pony, but...what was that on the table next to the plate with the crumbs of cookies? A note! "Dear Toni. I hope you like your presents. I left another one for you at your grandfather's, because it was too big to put under the tree...."

You guessed it! Good ol' Santa came through!

Arriving at my grandfather's farm, I hurried to the corral to stare at what stood there staring back at me. I couldn't believe it. "Oh, Mama, can I be dreaming?"

A bay and white tobiano pinto, a streak of white resembling the Mississippi cutting through the splotch of red on his chest, sweeping mane, tail brushing the ground. Barely fifteen hands high (just tall enough to be considered a horse), he was the product of an amorous Morgan stallion and a little Shetland mare everyone had thought too old to breed. Guess that showed 'em! His name was Nipper, for he loved to take a quick bite...out of the unwary.

From that day on, Nipper, my grandfather's dog, Midnight, and I were inseparable. Riding the pastures and red hills of my grandfather's 220-acre farm...through pine forests and cornfields...into swamps and down dusty Georgia roads, my beautiful, intelligent steed carried me on my adventures, some of which have undoubtedly found their way into my books.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hilarious Take On My New Book

An online friend made his own wittism about my new book, "Said the Spider to the Fly." I wanted to share it with everyone...

"Come into my web, Mr. Fly."
"Yea, why...Give me one good reason why I should."
"I spent all day spinning this web. I just want you to tell me if it's, like, soft enough."
"Soft enough?"
"Yes. I don't want a web that's abbrasive, or anything."
"Well, I don't wanna go into your web."
"Why not?"
"My mother told me NOT to trust spiders."
"Look at me. Do I look like I would do anything bad..."
"You're a spider. I'm a fly. Somehow that is not good for me."
"Oh, C'mon! That's an old wive's tale! I wouldn't do anything bad...Like EAT you, or anything!"
"You wouldn't? Wait a sec..Why not...I'm not GOOD enough for you?"
"It's not that. See, I like plump bugs. You're kinda thin."
"Whataya mean, thin! Geez, I workout! I fly all OVER the place! I mean, I'm in GREAT shape!"
"Naw.Not interested. By the way, Mr. Fly..."
"Where's your mother..."
"She's kinda plump, isn't she?"
"Yea, she is. She could go on a diet..Wait a sec..You don't mean..."
"Just asking."
"I got a BETTER idea. I got this Mother-In-Law...."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Popping Fourth of July

Everybody knows (unless your pulse rate has suddenly gone silent) that most of our paychecks these days go to feed our hungry vehicles with ever more costly liquid food. I suspected with so much moola being spent on gasoline, it'd be a pretty quiet Fourth. Hey, who can buy fireworks, right?

Well, wouldn't you know? Our out-of-work neighbors. Okay, maybe you like fireworks, and I agree they're beautiful to watch as a display at fairs. But when the Fourth came and went and it was silent next door, I was sure fireworks was a luxury no one in our neck of the woods could afford. Then comes Friday night. And Friday night ends the Fourth, right? Isn't the logical thought to welcome in the anniversary? 

After the Fourth has ended, we hear these "squeeeeels" from across the fence. Yep, those pop-pop-pops ain't popcorn gone crazy. It's fireworks and bottle rockets.

After I'd gone to bed. After my dog has gone to bed. After we'd gone to sleep.

The "celebration" has started.

I thought for sure Friday night would be safe. I lay there, blinking my sleep-heavy lids and wonder if the folks next door got their timing all messed up. Well, they have my sleep all messed up, that's for sure. 

The dog gets up, goes to the back door, watches all that weird light sparkling and crackling and hissing, tucks her tail between her legs and heads back to bed. Together, she and I lay there, waiting for the merriment of the Fifth of July party to wane.

Hmm. Maybe they're wanting to start their own tradition.

Miss Mae,

"See No Evil, My Pretty Lady" available now. "Said the Spider to the Fly" to be released later this year.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

Quick, name the best three things about summer! I'll bet one of them is FRUIT. Where I live, on the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington, we're never far from by fields of fruit and vegetables. The store we shop at most is the store for a private farm. Just the name-- Sunny Farms --makes me smile! Today my husband and I stopped at a strawberry farm to pick five pounds. They're wonderful!
Beside them in my refrigerator I have bing cherries, red grapes, a huge papaya (Caribbean) and a small watermelon. Oh, and black plums, nectarines, and oranges.
I hope you're enjoying a taste of summer wherever you are (unless you're in the southern hemisphere).
Lynnette Baughman
"Love with a Welcome Stranger" coming Sept. 19

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Honey, Don't Flush the Toilet"

I've been looking forward to the nice long weekend since I have July 4th off. Woo hoo! Monday dawned and all I could think of was only four days to work this week. I envisioned cleaning house and getting all my weekend work finished on Friday so I'd have two whole days to read, write and relax. I was fixing dinner when my hubby rushed into the kitchen and said, "Honey, don't flush the toilet. It's leaking!"

Our half-bath downstairs was being flooded. He removed the ceiling panels and found the leak at the floor under the upstairs toilet. Not too bad, since hubby is a handy man. I just felt bad that he would have to spend his Tuesday wrestling with the toilet by himself.

I came home Tuesday night and he was happy. He'd replaced the wax rings and we now had two flushable toilets again. We had planned to go to Home Depot and look at floor tile because I had finally agreed to replace the twelve year old tile which had seen better days. We found the perfect flooring. Looks like old wood like you'd see in an old school house. You can see the knot holes and grain. Hickory in color. It had a 25 year guarantee. The new tile doesn't stick to the subfloor, but instead sticks to each separate piece and makes a beautiful pattern. We ate and came home and I retired to the sofa to rest. Then I heard these dreaded words: "Honey, don't flush the toilet!"

I thought he was kidding, but nope. That porcelain throne was leaking again. Yesterday, hubby spent another day "fixing" the toilet. I came home to a living room full of kitchen. The microwave stand, the butcher block serving cart, the table and chairs, the wine rack...everything dominated my living room. Hubby had stripped about half the tile from the kitchen floor in preparation for adding another layer of subfloor before putting down the new flooring. **sigh** I hate this. My nice long weekend would be interrupted with nail hammering and sawing. Impossible to find a quiet spot to write. No need to even think about cleaning and dusting until this whole fiasco is finished. At least a week. But at least the toilet was fixed.

We ate and I retired to my office to write.

"Honey! Don't flush the toilet!"

Nooooooo. So once again...hubby will spend today "fixing" the toilet. He says he knows the right combination of wax rings to use this time. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Featured Author @ Time With Tannia

Hello Dear Reader Friends,

I don't get a chance to post often, but wanted to let you all know that I'm the "Featured Author" this month at Time with Tianna

Tianna did a lovely interview and all of my books/stories including my TWRP titles are on her Coffee Table.

If you get a chance, run over there and leave a comment.

Who knows, I just may give away a prize or two. :-)

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!"

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Finding Time to Tell a Story!!

I'm in the middle of house repairs, trying to get my place ready to sell, trying to find a job, teaching online classes, trying to promote, write a new book, and do edits for publishers on three others.

So when is there time to write??? :)

No matter how much is going on in my life, I try to write. I had to take my mother to the emergency room a little while ago and we were there for 5 hours. I couldn't concentrate to write, but I read a book I had to review, and that night, finished it and wrote the review. It was one of the "have to do" priorities that keep stacking up, but it's also a promotional effort. The workmen are here today again, and they've asked me questions innumerable times, but I snatched a couple of hours of writing time before they arrived. Once I'm done with some blog posts, I'm writing. If my mother doesn't show up to talk again. LOL

At night, I write in bed for a while. Oftentimes making up for all the distractions that are taking me away from my writing during the day. If I don't have workmen here, sometimes I'll go to my bedroom and write by long hand there. I can often get a lot more written that way if I don't look at the Internet all day long. Granted, I use it for research. I just used it for looking up pictures for the Fourth of July blog I did for Wickedly Romantic tomorrow. And I was researching more about Arctic tents and Arctic clothing for Allure of the Wolf. But what about all the emails??? Yep, they're a distraction.

I remember reading how one writer said she used to watch just her favorite show, then she got hooked on another and another, until she was watching tv all day long and not getting anywhere.

Sometimes just seeing how much time we're wasting on unproductive stuff can help us to overcome our lack of time to write. One writer said she gave up her full time job for a part time job so she could write more, and ended up filling the time with more stuff. When she quit the part time job, she found she still didn't have enough time to write. :)

It's all in time management. Forcing oneself to accomplish so much in a day. I have a sheet that shows how many words I've done today--and what I do is just calculate it in 1000's, so I wrote 1100 yesterday, I mark it as 1000. Today, I wrote a 1000, but plan to do another. In reality, I wrote 750, because yesterday I was at 54250. I can go over, but not under. :) So I have to make the 1000 mark before I go to bed at night, and often write more to make another 500 or more. :) And before I know it, the book is done. Now, I couldn't write for 4 days because of all this stuff with the house, realtors, etc, but the last two days I'm back at it. And I post it on Facebook and Bebo, which makes me feel good. I've told the world! I'm now at 56K, and I want to keep going.

So cut out the time wasters and you can find time to write too. :)

Terry Spear
Relative Danger
Terry Lee Wilde
Deidre's Secret