I Can’t Sleep ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from theSFR Galaxy Award wedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away. Andi goes on with her social duties, attending the reception in the evening, where Captain Deverane catches up to her and  asks her to dance. They soon decide to go outside since the dance floor is so crowded. While they’re outside the lights flicker, there’s an explosion and screams. Andi and Deverane escape across the lake in a boat.

I’m skipping quite a bit of the action because SPOILERS. But here’s the beginning of a small scene where Andi and the captain start to become better acquainted. The small group of survivors is camped deep in the jungle by a lake and Andi can’t sleep:

A breeze stirred her hair. Clearly, I’m not going to get back to sleep for a long time. If at all. Wrapping herself in the shawl, she picked her way through the other sleepers to join the captain.

Deverane looked up as she walked over, patting the rock beside him in invitation. “Can’t sleep?”

Shuddering as she sat, Andi rewrapped her shawl more tightly. “You’re surprised I’m having bad dreams?  After everything we saw today? What time is it?”

 Reaching over, he tucked the fabric more securely around her shoulder. “Still middle of the night, I’m afraid. A long time to go until sunrise chases away the nightmares.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. I’m drowsy but scared to risk closing my eyes for more than a second. There are a lot of vivid images forming a queue in my subconscious tonight. These kinds of things don’t affect soldiers, I suppose.” Leaning back, she tilted her head to look at him, eyebrows slightly raised in query.

He continued to gaze across the rippling water and said nothing for a long minute. When he did speak, his voice was low and measured. “I went into the military because the abuse and slaughter of innocent civilians do bother me. At least in the service, I can do something to prevent atrocities.”

Biting her lip, she looked away across the lake. “I’m sorry. Was I being rude? Maybe I’d better go back to bed and leave you alone.”

“No, please stay.” He grabbed at the shawl, which promptly came off her shoulder again. Their hands met as he tried to reposition the wrap and she tried to keep it from falling off.  “I apologize if I sounded abrupt.”

She stared at him for a minute then smiled as she settled back down. “It’s all right. The last few days have been…rough. For both of us.”

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResThe story:

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.

That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.

Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play 

 

A Is for Alas Babylon

003Every year I’m so tempted by the April A to Z challenge. I love the idea of writing a post about every letter of the alphabet but there’s no way I can cram that into 26 days straight, not with the day job and all the other stuff. I give huge kudos to those who can manage it!

So I decided this morning that there was no reason I couldn’t do the challenge anyway, but on my own terms. So here I am with my letter “A”. Now the thing about me, which you probably know by now, is that I’m very stream of consciousness when it comes to posts. If you read my Word Whores posts on Saturdays over on their website, you’ve seen this facet of me in operation! Unless I have a very specific topic with enough aspects to inspire me to outline and provide a structured discussion, I kind of bounce. I also love the test-taking theory of put the answer that comes to mind first.

Accordingly, the initial thing that the letter “A” inspires for me is the book Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. It was my first exposure to the whole idea of the manmade or natural apocalypse in one form or another and the life a person would have to live afterwards. The book was one of my Dad’s favorites and I devoured it. I still reread it from time to time and have the original paperback (much thrashed) in my bookcase. Of course the words live on my kindle now. I thought I was alone in my passion for this novel until one day I looked it up on Amazon and discovered how much of a classic it is. SPOILER ALERT  - I always want Randy Bragg’s brother Mark to be alive, somewhere, and I always wish they could save Malachi. I LOVED the TV series “Jericho” because it felt so much tojericho skeet me like a modern take on Alas Babylon, at least in the early episodes, before things got all conspiracy-complicated. (And Skeet Ulrich is very easy to look at….but I digress.)

jurassic amber“A” is also for amber in my idiosyncratic illustrated alphabet. My favorite piece of amber probably isn’t real – that would be John Hammond’s   giant chunk of amber from “Jurassic Park,” adorning his cane, with a prehistoric mosquito chock full of dinosaur blood forever trapped inside. (“dino-sawer” as that narrator from the Park’s video says). We saw the props from “Jurassic Park” at Universal Studios, back when this kind of exhibit hadn’t really been done before. Somehow we took a wrong turn at the theme park and got into the back door of the ehxibit (my mistake, I swear) so we had the area to ourselves for a few minutes. Then of course the crush of people came in but it was still an amazing experience to see the recreation of the kitchen where the velocipraptors stalked the kids and touch the triceratops as she laboriously breathed in and out and watch the egg incubator turning big eggs.

I have my own little mini collection of amber, mostly in rings. No trapped insects though!

And there you have my kickoff post in the alphabet challenge! (I’m either 113 days behind the rest of the world on this series of blog posts or 352 days early LOL. You can decide!). Next week I’ll arrive at Point “B”….

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Talking Titanic Here and at USA Today

titanic03I’ve always been fascinated by the sinking of the Titanic and this year is the 102nd anniversary of the ship striking the iceberg and foundering. Over at the USA Today Happily Ever After blog today I’m talking about why I believe the sinking has captured the public’s interest for so long and also recommending some newer books about the tragedy, both fiction and nonfiction.

One in particular, “The Girl Who Came Home” by Hazel Gaynor, is a fictionalized account of a group of Third Class passengers from the same small town in Ireland, which I highly recommend. I’ve never seen the Titanic Third Class experience brought to vividly to life as Ms. Gaynor achieves in her novel.
Violet_jessop_titanicA nonfiction book I read a long time ago was “Titanic Survivor” by Violet Jessop, a stewardess on the ship, who survived. She was often referred to as Miss Unsinkable because not only did she make it through the Titanic disaster, she had also been on board the Olympic during its collision with another vessel in 1911 (although either ship sank). And Ms. Jessop was working for the British Red Cross on the Britannic in 1916 during World War I when that ship was either attacked by a submarine or struck a mine (stories vary) and sank. Again, she survived, living to be 83.

I remember her book was very matter of fact about all the adventures she had, including Titanic, and gave a fascinating picture of being a working woman on the great cruise ships in a bygone era. To illustrate the calm way in which she approached her life’s adventures, when the Britannic sank, she took time to grab her toothbrush because, she’s quoted as saying, that was the thing she missed right after Titanic sank! When Britanic foundered, Ms. Jessop had gotten into a lifeboat, which she then had to abandon because the ship’s propeller was threatening to slice the boat in half. Suffering a blow to the head as she was sucked under the water, Violet’s thick hair provided cushioning to save her from serious injury. Eventually another lifeboat picked her up.

Apparently very modest as well as matter of fact, prior to her death, Violet told a friend of hers about a phone call she’d received late on a stormy evening, where a voice asked if she’d saved a baby’s life on the Titanic, to which she replied she had. The person on the other end of the line said they were that baby, laughed and hung up! The friend felt this was probably a prank call, and Violet informed them she actually had saved a baby, on Lifeboat No. 16, but had never revealed that fact to anyone before.

Violet’s Titanic experiences have been touched upon in most of the movies about the sinking, particularly any scene where Thomas Andrews, the shipbuilder, tells a young stewardess to put on her lifebelt to set a good example for the passengers.

I hope you’ll check out my post over at USA Today/HEA for some more book recommendations!

And if you enjoy science fiction adventure,  my Wreck of the Nebula Dream is a loose retelling of the Titanic sinking, set in the far future aboard a luxury spaceliner on its maiden voyage. An SFR Galaxy Award and Laurel Wreath winner…

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalLargeThe Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

Available from  Amazon Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks iTuneGoogle Play   Kobo

Audiobook, narrated by Actor Michael Riffle – Available Now at Amazon and iTunes

What Am I Doing? MAGIC OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400So we’ve moved on to the newly Released MAGIC OF THE NILE. This week’s excerpt follows Sahure’s invitation to Tyema to accompany him to the festival. I’ve skipped a bit of cajoling on Sahure’s part. (I may have played with the punctuation to make it eight sentences. I think!):

 Tyema hastened to her quarters, the whole time asking herself what she was doing. She rarely set foot in town, with all its sad memories, not even to visit her sisters. Never to attend festivals! Am I so susceptible to a handsome stranger? She giggled, thinking of her half-sister Merys and the handsome stranger she’d  met, who of course was revealed to be the god Sobek himself. “I don’t think this Sahure is a god in disguise,” she laughed to herself as she returned to the gate, half expecting to find him gone. But he’s a pleasing companion and tonight I’m in the mood to be wild, to do the unexpected.

            “You were quick, my lady,” he said, pushing away from the wall and coming to take her hand.

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

A Small Malfunction WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other ScienceSFR Galaxy Award Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

Today’s selection is from WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM,  my SFR Galaxy and Laurel Wreath Award winning novel, loosely based on the Titanic, but set in the far future, on a luxury spaceliner. April 14th marks the 102nd anniversary of Titanic’s tragic encounter with the ice berg, leading to the sinking.

This excerpt is from the moment of the crash, on the second night. We’re in the POV of Nick Jameson, the main character, a passenger aboard the ship:

For the second straight night, Nick was awakened by a ship malfunction. This time he was hurled abruptly out of bed, landing halfway across the cabin, instinctively curling to break his fall even as he transitioned from sleep to full wakefulness in midair. The deck pitched violently underneath him, and Nick was thrown the other direction, fetching up against the bed platform shoulder first with bruising force.

Rubbing his shoulder, Nick glared around the cabin. “Ship, what the hell is going on?”

No answer.

The Nebula Dream pitched to starboard, but not as drastically, and then slowly returned to near vertical. Getting cautious­ly to his feet, Nick grabbed for his scattered clothes, pulling them on as fast as possible.

“Ship, I want status.” Nick fastened his blue shirt as the deck wobbled underfoot again. The engines are down again, for one thing. Deter­mined to wrest some information from someone, he made his way to the interface panel.

Just as he got there, clinging to the molded desk as the ship shuddered again, the image of Captain Bonlors appeared. Flickering once, the holo stabilized. Amazingly, the captain continued to project unshakable calm. If I hadn’t met the man, I’d be wondering if he was nothing but a well-designed hologram. Reassuring to the passengers or not, no one should be this serene while in charge of a ship pitching and rolling in space like the Nebula Dream.

“Again, I must apologize to you, my passengers,” the image was saying. “We have experienced a small malfunction –”

“Not from where I’m standing, pal,” Nick said grimly. “Small is not the word for it.”

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedThe Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

Available from  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks iTunes  Google Play   Kobo

Audiobook, narrated by Actor Michael Riffle – Available Now at Amazon and iTunes

Steamy SciFi Encounter at USA Today HEA

HEAOver at the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, I’m interviewing science fiction romance author Eve Langlais, who specializes in hot and spicy…she’s a NYT and USA Today  Best Selling author, whose books are consistently in the top of the Amazon science fiction romance best seller lists. I also have a few other recommendations to share, from steamy to not-as-much.

SethQuite a few SFR novels have cyborgs (short for “cybernetic organism”) – male and female – as the main terminatorcharacters/love interests. In the old days when I thought of a cyborg, my mind went straight to the Terminator films and if there was romance to be had, I was more interested in Kyle Reese, soldier from the future, than I was attracted to Mr. Schwarzenegger. Fortunately many SFR authors have a more active imagination than I do on this topic, and cyborgs have become quite the romantic heroes.  In most cases they have a lot more dialog than the 58 words uttered by the Terminator in the first movie! Just looking at the cover of Eve’s latest novel and comparing that image to the Terminator, you get the feeling Seth would be MUCH better as a romantic partner.

Edgar Allen Poe generally gets the credit for being the first to mention a man with prostheses, back in 1843. Then there was the Six Million Dollar Man TV series in the 1970′s, with a lot of good science fiction stories being written between Mr. Poe and Lee Majors’s time. And many more in the past forty years since then!

Nowadays medicine can do amazing things with prostheses to restore a lost function, such as an arm or leg, or to provide a missing ability, the way cochlear implants can allow people to hear. I have a feeling we may not be all that far away from the capabilities that SF writers give to their cyborgs…but come on over to USA Today HEA and have the SciFi Encounter!

(And before we hop over there, here’s Kyle Reese as well as his ‘brother’ Derek Reese, from “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’  TV show, which I enjoyed.)

kyle

brian a greene

Will You? MAGIC OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…
MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400So we’ve moved on to the newly Released MAGIC OF THE NILE, which is the sequel to the book I had been sharing excerpts from.  Last week we had the first eight sentences. Just so you know, she refused old Hotepre the Crocodile Keeper’s well intentioned suggestion that she attend the festival and he gave up, leaving to enjoy the festivities. I’m going to jump ahead for now, past her first moments of conversation with the extremely handsome and dashing Captain Sahure from Thebes, enjoyable as they were LOL, to the point where he issues an unexpected invitation. Sahure doesn’t realize she’s the high priestess he came to talk to, since she’s not wearing her ceremonial garb, but a more simple dress. (I may have played with the punctuation to make it eight sentences. I think!):

            “I noticed the town was preparing for a festival of some kind,” he said, “You don’t attend?”

            “It’s in honor of Horus, not Sobek.” An easy answer, which should deflect further questions. Sometimes she wished her defenses weren’t so well honed, so automatic. So imprisoning. Putting her hand on the gate, she pushed the painted gilt panel ajar.

            “Well then, I must certainly put in an appearance, since Horus is my patron god.” He peered through the open gate at the deserted temple compound and said, “Will you come with me?”

Ah, that moment of temptation!

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

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Why Are the Engines Off? WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science SFR Galaxy AwardFiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

Today’s selection is from WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM,  my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely based on the Titanic, but set in the far future, on a luxury spaceliner. I’m switching off to excerpts from this book for a while, because April 14th marks the 102nd anniversary of Titanic’s tragic encounter with the ice berg, leading to the sinking.

This excerpt is from early in the cruise, the first time the Nebula Dream experiences some difficulties. We’re in the POV of Nick Jameson, the main character, a passenger aboard the ship:

Moving seamlessly from the depths of a dream into alert awareness, he came awake in the middle of the night. He lay in the center of the bed for a second, trying to assess what had changed in the environment, triggering his reflexes.

            “The engines are off,” Nick realized, sitting up and throw­ing off the covers. He raised his voice to a conversational tone. “Ship, what happened to the engines?”

            No response.

            “Ship, I want to know what’s going on.” Nick strode to the direct interface console in the bulkhead, keying in a quick in­quiry.

            “There is nothing to be concerned about, Passenger Jameson. We apologize for disturbing your sleep. Please resume your slumbers now, with no further care.” The AI’s voice was smooth, glib as always. “Do you require a sleep inject, Passenger Jameson?”

            “No, I do not.” Nick allowed his considerable annoyance to creep into his tone. “Why are the engines off?”

            “Merely some required maintenance, sir.”

            “Yeah, right. And I’m a Bengaz silk trader.” Nick glared at the interface. “No one does engine maintenance in the middle of the shipping lanes.”

            Silence from the AI.

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedThe Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

Available from  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks iTunes  Google Play   Kobo

Audiobook, narrated by Actor Michael Riffle – Available Now at Amazon and iTunes

 

Veronica Answers More Last Thing Questions

???????????????????????????????(Why yes, I am faffing around before working on the WIP, how did you know?)

(Random photo from my archives, randomly selected because I love sequins and bling and it’s colorful…)

It’s been a while since I did a magazine quiz and I love the “One Last Thing” quizzes in People  magazine, so here goes with a few more:

Last sport I played: Volleyball at a party given by one of my co-workers. This was a few years ago, not the world’s most athletic person here. But as Readers of this blog may recall, I had a killer year at volleyball in the ninth grade, my team winning a school championship and everything so…let’s just say I was a total ringer at this work-related party and my co-workers were blown away by the mad volleyball skillz I dredged up. Pick me last and see what happens, mwahahahaha!

Last thing I misplaced: Hmm, give me a moment while I try to remember…never my keys. I ALWAYS keep them in the same, sacred spot precisely so this will not happen to me. At work I wear the key to my office on my badge lanyard so I don’t lock myself out, which would cause much amusement to my co-workers because I am the Keeper of the Keys to everything. So I can’t lose one. I’m afraid the last thing I ransacked the house searching for has escaped my memory so…moving on LOL.

Last time I cringed: April Fools Day actually, when one of my co-workers (hmmm, is this actually the Co-Worker Blog today???) played a particularly dumb and not-well-thought-out joke on the entire organization. Repercussions to come, I’m sure and a lot of “what was he thinking?” type conversation. Can’t say any more on that!

Last time I danced: I’m assuming this question isn’t asking about the time I did some sashaying and hip swinging in the aisle at the store because the muzak happened to be playing something I like…have you ever seen that commercial where the lady in yellow goes full out Broadway chorus girl in the frozen food aisle? Yeah, that wasn’t me. Actually, I danced at my younger daughter’s birthday party last year, which was held in a swing dancing venue and it was my first ever dance with my grandson, who was then eleven, so it was a very special moment. Still waiting for the waltzing Duke…

HunnamLast Celeb Crush: Charlie Hunnam in “Pacific Rim”…or maybe Idris Elba in anything….

Last Adventure: I was standing in the Forbidden Valley next to Pharaoh and Sobek the Crocodile God, fighting an evil sorceror – oh wait, no that wasn’t me, it was the heroine of my last book…..ummm, I don’t do adventures much, not on purpose. They sort of find me, not the other way around. Probably the last big earthquake I was in, because you never know if this will be The Big One and All The Things are going to fall down on your head.

Last Diva Demand: to be moved to a different table at our favorite restaurant because I can’t sit and look at venetian blinds – the stripe effect gives me vertigo and then a migraine. I don’t think the server believed me!

And on that note, I really do need to get back to the WIP. Happy Friday!

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400

 

 

Blogging at USA Today HEA About Anxiety, Ancient Egypt and Me

HEAApril is National Anxiety Month (and probably some other “National Months” too, so many topics need attention)…so I’ve written a special column over at USA Today Happily Ever After blog on this subject.

Now I’m strictly a  layperson, but as I understand it, almost everyone suffers stress and anxiety from time to time in our modern world. There are plenty of things to stress a person in the normal day – commuting to work, the big meeting with the boss or client, the final exam, making a speech etc. Anxiety becomes a problem when it interferes with a person’s everyday life.

In my house, we call it “Mama’s feeling tense”, which can be quite an understatement at times. But I’m happy to say it isn’t all the time, every day either! Everyone has their own health challenges –  I have migraines, asthma and oh, anxiety attacks. None of the three things is 24 hours of the day, seven days a week, thank goodness, and there’s stuff I can do to alleviate each one when it comes on.  Now I’m not trying to make light of the topic, not in the least. After a near fatal car crash on the way to work one morning, I became subject to anxiety attacks, particularly when I had to drive. Especially when I had to drive to work along the same route where I had my accident!

I pretty much avoid that particular bridge on the 605 freeway every time I can, even after all these years.

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400Now I’m not my characters and they aren’t me, but when I was writing my latest novel, MAGIC OF THE NILE, I realized the adult heroine Tyema had been through a very stressful series of events as a child, when the enemy had invaded her village, killed a number of people she knew and kidnapped her. (These events form part of the plot of my first novel PRIESTESS OF THE NILE, about Tyema’s older sister.)  It wasn’t believable that Tyema wouldn’t have some lingering effects as an adult. Symptoms of anxiety were well recognized in ancient Egypt, although not of course by that name.

You can read more in my post over at USA Today Happily Ever After. My primary reason for writing the post was to urge anyone who might have symptoms of anxiety not to hesitate, but to do something about it. I was so lucky that my family doctor diagnosed what was going on right away, so I’ve always known what to do for it.

My character figures out what to do about her challenges over the course of the novel, in ways that work for her. And yes, she has a Happily Ever After! It’s a romance after all :-)

Best wishes!