Romance Author Hotspot Halloween Bash Blog Hop & Giveaway!

The Romance Author Hotspot is running   a fun blog hop/giveaway from Halloween through November 7th, so check out their website for the details and links! Leave me a comment below about your favorite Halloween costume (or favorite October/November memory) and be entered to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card from me!

This is my grandson and his 2012 pumpkins (he wanted to be a ghost, hence the blurry photo LOL!). The pumpkins are Marlin and Nemo BTW.

And here’s my grandson in this year’s costume to the right:

A vintage one of me to the left – the year I was 12 and switched from trick or treating to handing out candy. I was a gypsy…..

And below is me at some indeterminate age!

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Six Sentence Sunday – Running Out Of Time – More SF Adventure

(The novel is still out on resubmission, might hear something by mid November – this is not a pursuit for the impatient LOL.)

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

Finding a massive roadblock ahead of them, they’ve taken shelter in a rock formation, and are fighting a gallant last stand. Andi is under  a psychic attack from an enemy alien and Tom is attempting to teach her a mental defense technique. Andi isn’t getting it but he won’t let her give up…small word of explanation here – early in the novel, Andi encountered a herd of near-mythological creatures of Zulaire, gazelle-like, three horned animals known as urabu…

Leaning against the rock wall, trying to get com­fortable, Andi didn’t want any distraction, however small, as she figured out her mental defense. She’d already found one chink in the Betang’s armor – her genetic ability to see right through its illusions – so perhaps Tom was right and she could fight off its other powers as well.

Something on a nearby slab of the black rock caught her eye. Brushing the patina of dust away, she uncovered a small painting, faded, aged with the passage of centuries, but the figure seemed clear enough – urabu.

No one was going to think an urabu buck to death. He’d go down fighting and inflict grievous harm on the opponent – even a Betang would be hard put to get past the urabu unarmed.

So will the urabu come to assist Andi in this mental battle? The insurgents are about to renew their physical assault on the defenses Tom and his few remaining soldiers have put up….but we’re out of sentences for this week!

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.

Who Would You Be Once Upon A Time?

One of my favorite TV programs is ONCE UPON A TIME and I particularly enjoy the way many fairy tale characters and people from other fantastical stories are introduced – they’re never quite what you expect. The fun starts there!

I’ve thought long and hard about which fairy tale character I’d be, if I popped up suddenly in OUAT. My decision is – (blare of trumpets and drum roll) – Elisa the Wild Swan Princess from Hans Christian Andersen. No, not THE Swan Princess from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and the animated movies. Not even the lady from Swan Lake.  Elisa was an ordinary princess with eleven brothers. The inevitable wicked witch who married her less-than-observant-Father turned the boys into swans. They could only be human at night.

Next the witch tried to turn Elisa to the dark side….um, I mean to be evil, but our girl was too strong minded for that, even at the age of 15. So, the brothers flew her to another land for safekeeping. The Queen of the Fairies advised Elisa to gather nettles in graveyards at night and weave them into shirts for her brothers. (Can’t you just hear Mr. Gold whispering “All magic comes with a price, dearie?”). Elisa can’t utter a single word the entire time she’s making these shirts, or the brothers will die.  (I’d say all magic is kinda convoluted too!)

The Archbishop of the land decides this activity means Elisa is a witch herself. The king falls in love with her but somehow lacks the power to commute her sentence and save her. Hmmm. She keeps knitting those nettles into sweaters right up to the last second. (HOW does one knit a nettle??? Time for research!) The brothers swoop down and save her from burning at the stake, she gives them their shirts and they transform back to handsome young men (ah, the sequels)….but the youngest brother is left with a swan’s wing for one arm because she didn’t have time to finish his shirt.

Elisa faints from all the stress (into the handsome-if-a-bit-ineffective King’s arms, I HOPE) and the brothers launch into the complicated backstory. While they’re talking and the townsfolk are oohing and aahing (and the bad guy is creeping away presumably), the logs piled around that nasty stake burst into flowers. (I demand roses!) The king plucks one rose and asks Elisa to forgive him and to marry him and you can guess the rest.

So that’s me, folks, and I feel quite sure that I’d be behind the dry cleaner’s counter in Storybrooke, and could do a mean set of alterations on shirts!

What fairy tale character would you be and wh’s your counterpart in Storybrooke?

Six Sentence Sunday – What Says Defense to You? Science Fiction Cliff Hanger

(The novel is still out on resubmission, might hear something by the end of October.)

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

Finding a massive roadblock ahead of them, they’ve taken shelter in a rock formation, and are fighting a gallant last stand. Tom agreed to Andi’s demand take part in the fight and for now they’ve beaten the enemy back. (Skipped ahead a bit from where we left off last week – you guys can only take so much tension, right?) The alien enemy has arrived on the scene, however, and is applying its unique mental powers to kill Andi. Tom wants Andi to attempt her own mental defense.

Obediently she shut her eyes, ignoring increasing pressure in her chest and flashes of pain in her head from the Betang’s mind scan. What says protection to me?  A wall, as he’d suggested – no, walls crumble or fall down. Fire? Shivering, Andi remembered what it had been like, caught in the burning Tonkiln mansion. Definitely not fire.

Stay tuned next week…will she figure out a defense before the Betang succeeds in killing her? (Well, there IS an HEA LOL) What would you visualize to defend yourself?

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.

Alpha Male Blog Hop – WINNERS

Updated 10/23/12 =>Here are the winners:

After over 9,000 comments our Alpha Male Hop has some grand prize winners!!

Congrats!

Grand Prize Winners:
Kindle Fire Winner:
Marie Hahn
$130 Amazon Gift Card:
Jessica Mange
Swag Pack:
Natasha Donohoo
The grand prize winners have already been notified and have their prizes or the prizes are on their way!
VS sez for my Blog Winner, the randomly selected Commenter was Yvette and I’ll be sending her the Amazon gift card in a minute. Thanks everyone for all the comments and I’ve sure found some new books to read LOL!

For me, the Alpha Male is epitomized by Lucas Hunter and Hawke in Nalini Singh’s Psy Wars series. Each is strong, smart, sexy as all get out, and determined to protect his woman and his Pack. Nothing on Earth is going to get in the way. If you’re with one of them, hold on tight for one wild ride. Yet these Alpha Males can be tender, loving, unafraid to allow their Mate space to find her own path…but available the instant she needs him at her side.  Perfectly at ease in the boardroom, the bedroom or on the battlefield – the complete package! Sigh and SWOON!

I realize there can be Alpha Males who aren’t living in the pages of paranormal romance novels about sexy shifters, but that’s sure the vision that comes to MY mind.

Leave me a comment about your favorite Alpha Males (include your e mail please, so we can contact winners) to enter the Grand Prize drawings, then visit the central blog hop website to link up with the other participating sites for even more chances to win!

In A Good Place, With Questions!

I love answering the questions posed to celebrities and others in magazines, don’t you? Found a series of intriguing ones in the most recent O Magazine, which fell right in with my reflective mood following a birthday last week.

Here goes:

When I was younger I wanted to be…all kinds of things – a nurse, an astronaut, a teacher, daring explorer – mostly based on the books I was reading, or the movies I saw, I think. My deepest desire was always to be a full time writer, but for most of my life that didn’t seem possible.

But I’m glad that I became…well, actually I can’t say I’m deeply, heartfelt glad I became a business professional, doing government contracting and process improvement and  change management at the day job! Except that the career allowed me to provide for my family all these years and I was never bored. And I’m still a writer on my own time, as I’ve always been, except now I’m published (dream of a lifetime) and working on getting some more books out there.

When I need inspiration, I…If I’m stuck about a plot in general, I love to get in the car and just cruise the California freeways (not at rush hour), with the music cranked way up, and think. If I’m working on a story set in ancient Egypt, I like to browse through all the many books of Egyptian lore on my bookshelves and study the gorgeous photos…taking a walk is always a good thing but there’s nowhere good/safe/peaceful to walk close by.

I’ve learned to love my…ok, truth again here. I don’t love my ears (they stick out a bit) but they are good for displaying long, dangly earrings. And I don’t love my walk but since I grew up in the country and the nearest neighbors were a mile away, I walk fast. I cover the ground! Not graceful maybe but effective. And I’ve read that the faster you walk, the longer you live. Good stuff!

Most people don’t know that I… Have occasional psychic flashes (no, not hot flashes, psychic ones LOL)?  I don’t mention that attribute any too much at the office!

If I weren’t me, I’d be…a dragon!

I hope my future self…has a bookcase full of her books, published in many languages, and at least one novel that’s been made into a movie or TV mini series. (Dream big or go home!) Of course if I don’t write every day, this outcome isn’t too likely….so, only time for one more question and then it’s back to the Work in Progress:

The best compliment I ever received was…that I looked like a swan in the moonlight. Be still my beating heart! And yes, the guy was tall, dark and handsome…what better situation for a romance writer?! This could possibly explain the rather large collection of swan figurines I now possess…

So what’s your hope for your future self?

Six Sentence Sunday – Last Stand – Science Fiction Continues!

The novel is still out on resubmission, might hear something by the end of October.

Tom and Andi and their companions have a few more twists and turns to navigate before the HEA….

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

Finding a massive roadblock ahead of them, they’ve taken shelter in a rock formation, and are preparing for a last stand. Tom has agreed to Andi’s demand take part in the fight:

Crouching behind the rear flank of the car, Andi found a position where she had a clear line of sight without being too exposed.

Strange how the enemy is so silent – why aren’t they yelling demands?  Sweat trickled down her neck and her legs were cramping already. Inaction was so much more torturous to endure than action. She wanted to stand up and run towards the rebel trucks, just to break the terrible tension, end the waiting.

“Remember, make each shot count,” Tom said in a tense whisper.

Stay tuned next week – Andi’s most dangerous enemy has yet to arrive on the scene!

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.

Calling the Snake Goddess – Blogging at Paranormal Romantics today!

Blogging today over at Paranormal Romantics (where you can find me on the 13th of every month), about Ancient Egypt, birthdays and Renenutet the Snake Goddess, plus a small snippet from my WIP DANCER OF THE NILE, a paranormal romance set in Ancient Egypt!

Here’s what my cat Keanu thinks of all this – sometimes even a cat needs a lovey LOL!

Twelve Things I’ve Stopped Waiting For + Gift Card Giveaway WINNER!

UPDATE Oct 10th: Patricia P was the randomly selected winner of the gift card giveaway – thanks to everyone for the terrific comments!!!

Yesterday was my birthday – had cake and fun times – so I thought today was the perfect day for this post – Twelve Things I’ve Stopped Waiting For:

1. That one last upward growth spurt my Mother promised me – been waiting for that since I was twelve. Yup, still 5’2 ½”…I think that’s the final number, Mom.

2. Winning the Publishers’ Clearinghouse contest…never gonna hear the doorbell ring and be greeted by a check bigger than the door.

3. Developing a green thumb (for anything other than roses and iris, which curiously I can grow) – I can even kill cacti!

4. Being informed I’m actually a princess of some ruling house in Europe and Next In Line for the Throne. Apparently not.

5. Or, being informed I’m actually a princess of some alien civilization and…well, you can probably fill in the blanks here.

6. Walking past a TV or movie film site at just the right moment and being exactly what they need  to play the role that the famous actress failed to show up for that day. (Is there an Oscar in my future LOL?)

7. Somewhat related – “meeting cute” with that People’s Sexiest Man (any year, I’m not too picky on this one!), who falls madly, immediately (and permanently) in love and sweeps me away.

8. Discovering time travel and going back to see dinosaurs from a safe distance. (IS there a safe distance when it comes to dino watching?)

9. Having Tim Gunn admonish me to Make It Work while he restyles my wardrobe. (What could he do with a closet full of Ross Dress for Less and Maxxonista dresses???)

10. Being the first woman on Mars…

11. Waltzing with the Duke of ______ and becoming the next Duchess, wowing them at Almack’s on a regular basis…(this one kinda depends on that time travel invention again)

12. Being kidnapped by a sexy Alpha Shifter because I’m his immortal Mate…

I could go on, but this is probably a good list. I have checked off some items – children, a grandson, becoming a published author (thank you Carina Press, for your faith in me!), career at the day job, good friends, excellent memories (I don’t bother to hang onto the bad memories too much)….

I do see a kind of theme in the above list though – most of them lend themselves to becoming plots or subplots in a romance, so it’s lucky I’m an author. If you can’t live it yourself (ME? I’m the next Queen of Intergalactic Space?), you can always write about it….except for the height thing, but hey, that’s why the high heel was invented, right?

What have you stopped waiting for? I’ll give a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly selected commenter in honor of my birthday!

SixSentence Sunday – Preparing for the Last Stand – Sci Fi

The novel is still out on resubmission, might hear something by the end of October.

Tom and Andi and their companions have a few more twists and turns to navigate before the HEA….

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

Finding a massive roadblock ahead of them, they’ve taken shelter in a rock formation, and are preparing for a last stand.

 “Take charge here for a few minutes, ” Tom said to the sergeant. “I’ve got to talk to Andi.”

Andi pulled her hand from Tom’s. “I can fight –  I want to be here on the line with you, not hiding in a rock crevice.”

She expected him to argue, had her own counterarguments ready.

He stood staring at her for a long minute, hands on his hips, saying nothing, face drawn.

Stay tuned next week!

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.