Wednesday Whimsy New Year’s Eve

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Been saving a few Victorian trade cards for this post…I hope whatever you’re doing for New Year’s Eve, whether it be an evening at home with the family, or a night out dancing, you’re going to have fun!

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.” Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” Rainer Maria Rilke

“All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives.” Steven Spielberg

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Tom Peters

This card just seems very New Years Eve-ish to me….

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And I love the dramatic representation of time in this one!

???????????????????????????????Best wishes for a wonderful 2015 and may all your dreams come true!

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We’re Going To Make A Run For It Weekend Writing Warriors

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

We’re onto a new story of mine, a WIP that still needs a lot of work. Mark, an ex-Special Forces soldier in the Sectors, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue a kidnap victim who’s been taken to the border planet Freemarket, where anything goes and the authorities are usually hands off. Kind of like Las Vegas…he’s broken into the kidnapper’s house, persuaded Alessandra to go with him and now they’re fleeing in a stolen car, pursued by the bad guys (Kliin is the leader) and the planetary police…Mark is speaking:

“Local cops. Damn, I was hoping they’d stay out of this like they usually do. Kliin must have paid them one hell of a lot of money to be at his beck and call. We’re going to have to ditch the car and make a run for it.” He took his attention off the road for a moment, to assess how Alessandra was holding up.

            She screamed a warning but even Mark’s reflexes weren’t fast enough to avoid a collision with the cargo hauler pulling into his lane. The groundcar rammed the side of the truck, the safety mechanisms deploying instantly and then retracting.

“Where the seven hells did you learn to drive, pal?” demanded the truck driver as he half fell from his vehicle.

There’s a lot of backstory between Mark, Kliin and Alessandra (not revealed in an info dump, I promise), a lot of adventures to come for Mark and ‘Sandy’…I might try to get this finished in 2015. I’ll probably do a few weeks of excerpts from this scene, see what you all think…

As an aside, I mention the Outlier empire and its Empress in passing in my other books, so I thought it’d be fun to bring a bit of that other galactic civilization into the mix.

hubble imagenew

 

 

Veronica Takes A New Quiz

???????????????????????????????This is one of those “Last Thing” quizzes from People magazine….

Last thing I purchased: A Modcloth gift card for my younger daughter, who adores them and who looks fabulous in All Their Things! Last thing I purchased for myself: new lingerie on sale after Christmas yesterday O_o and eyeliner from Drew Barrymore’s Flower line. Oh, and blueberries!

Last thing I prepared in the microwave:  Lean Cuisine Santa Fe Style Beans and Rice. Yum. Of course I add a lot of sour cream, which probably defeats the “lean” part…

Last playtime with my kids: Played Scrabble (I won), UNO (they won) and put together a fiendish 300 piece puzzle full of colorful frogs with my daughter and her fiance on Christmas Day. Last time I played with my grandson we assembled Guardians of the Galaxy Legos. Groot was adorable!

Last Book I read: Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh, which actually was a reread. Last book I read for the first time: Departure by A. G. Riddle, which started off really well and exciting, loved the “voice” but got bogged down in too much exposition and backstory and a crazy time travel plot so finished by skimming madly….won’t be reading it again. Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy was the last new book I read before that and it was wonderful, can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy.

Last thing I regretted: Umm, not really big on regrets actually. Probably not having finished my next ancient Egyptian paranormal novel yet, which was supposed to be released in 2014 but will now be a 2015 event…

Adding a few questions I want to answer:

005My favorite Christmas present: All my book covers beautifully framed by my older daughter:

My favorite Christmas present from my Grandson (because he’s in a category all by himself!): This fun shark-pirate  ornament. Sharks have been his ???????????????????????????????favorite thing practically since birth.

My favorite picture of my cat Jake (because it deserves to be seen again!)

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Best wishes for a very Happy New Year to you!

Wednesday Whimsy Disney Ornaments Hats and Shoes

???????????????????????????????We do have a more conventional Christmas tree in the living room of course, but I also keep???????????????????????????????
this “tree” full of my Disney mouse hat and character shoe theme ornaments. I started collecting them a few years during a trip to Disneyland and now each time I go back, I pick up a few more. (You can also find them on eBay.) There are usually some new ones for the new movies – this year I added two Frozen shoes. I find these ornaments enchanting and fun – whoever designs them does a great job.

I also added a Mulan shoe that I WISH came in real lady sizes. I’d love to have dragons on ???????????????????????????????my feet! I think….

Finding Nemo was my grandson’s favorite movie when he was little and we watched it over and over, and then some. Luckily I enjoyed it too! And then along came Cars – Mater the Tow truck is my grandson’s ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????favorite character and my brother’s. I think I’m partial to R2D2 myself.???????????????????????????????

 

 

But my heart truly belongs to the princesses! Rapunzel, Aurora, Jasmine….and of course, Belle, who loves books so much! But the Rapunzel character shoe is my absolute favorite. I’ll need a bigger tree after next year’s trip to Disneyland! Happy Holidays to everyone!????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Did He Remember? WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonFirst, a very Happy Holiday season to you all!!!

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

The luxury ship Nebula Dream has suffered a middle of the night catastrophe in space. My hero, Nick Jameson, has fought his way to the nearest lifeboat and found chaos.As he’s just about finished loading the lifeboat, businesswoman Mara Lyrae arrives, much to his relief. But she refuses to get on the lifeboat, as there are children in need of rescuing…after a brief argument, Nick sends the lifeboat on its way. He and Mara set out to rescue the children, accompanied by Khevan, a D’nvannae Brother (think bodyguard/assassin sworn to serve an alien goddess).

They’ve reached the family’s cabin and discovered a growing hull breach. This snippet is after the children have crawled to safety and Mara and Kevan have taken them  into the main corridor. Nick fights his way through the collapsing debris tunnel, and out of the cabin, where he discovers the hull breach has worsened. The blast doors are closing…but  Mike made it to safety. Barely. Here’s the end of the scene and the fate of Huntington the Bear –  did Nick remember to save the little girl’s beloved, stuffed companion? (Did a bit of editing.) Mara had asked Nick if he was okay…:

           Nick worked on breathing, “Feels like a knife in my chest when I inhale. Maybe a cracked rib.” Reaching into his shirt, he produced the stuffed animal.

            “What in the name of space do you have there?” Mara asked.

            “Meet Huntington the Bear.” Nick extended the bear to Gianna, who stepped away from Mara, took the toy without a word, and immediately resumed sucking her thumb.

            “Bet you were afraid I’d lost him, weren’t you?” Nick said, smiling.

            She nodded solemnly, took her thumb out of her mouth long enough to say, “Thank you,” and gave the bear a big hug, hiding her face in the soft, brown plush.

OK, so we’ll stop there with excerpts from WRECK. This is only the beginning of the hard times for my little group of passengers (and Huntington) before they make it off the dying Nebula Dream…but I’ll move on to another science fiction WIP next week, since this book is available. Thanks for all  the comments and feedback!

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?

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Disneyland in the Rain for Wednesday Whimsy

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We had that huge, severe rainstorm here in Southern California last week and a minor ripple was my plan to go to Disneyland. (Which was nothing compared to mudslides, a tornado, etc., that many people had to deal with.) My best friend and I go annually right around this time of year and in all the time we’ve done that, it’s only rained twice. Rainy days have a magical effect on Disneyland – many fewer people! I have four layers on in the photo to the left – it was freezing in the morning! The photo at the top is my new pair of mouse ears, complete with peacock feather…

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We went a bit later than usual, to miss the freeway jam ups. For the first hour it was raining pretty steadily but then the magic of Disney kicked in and we had blue skies in Anaheim. There were quite a few people but nothing like the normal December day so we were able to walk right up to rides, even Star Tours and Indiana Jones. The sidewalks weren’t crowded and we were able to get a good spot on the curb to watch the parade when it began, instead of sitting for an hour.

photo (7)I tried to take some different Disneyland photos this trip. There are a lot
photo (6)altof unexpected details in the park, which are fun to uncover. Here’s a view from the second floor of the Jungle Cruise landing area. And then the view looking left, toward the Aladdin pavilion (or whatever it’s exact title is).

photo (5)My friend has a low tolerance for photo (9)“It’s A Small World” so we only ride that photo (3)photo (10)once. It was SO pretty with all the lights!

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Did He Make It? WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM 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…

The luxury ship Nebula Dream has suffered a middle of the night catastrophe in space. My hero, Nick Jameson, has fought his way to the nearest lifeboat and found chaos.As he’s just about finished loading the lifeboat, businesswoman Mara Lyrae arrives, much to his relief. But she refuses to get on the lifeboat, as there are children in need of rescuing…after a brief argument, Nick sends the lifeboat on its way. He and Mara set out to rescue the children, accompanied by Khevan, a D’nvannae Brother (think bodyguard/assassin sworn to serve an alien goddess).

They’ve reached the family’s cabin and discovered a growing hull breach. This snippet is after the children have crawled to safety and Mara and Kevan have taken them  into the main corridor. Nick fights his way through the collapsing debris tunnel, and out of the cabin, where he discovers the hull breach has worsened. The blast doors are closing…(I skipped a little bit of the struggle and edited a bit here.)

          The escaping air was a solid force, pulling Nick toward certain death.

           Locking his grip on Nick’s wrist, Khevan pulled with a superhuman effort, yanking the captain through the portal to the other side. They fell to the deck as the blast door slammed shut and locked, inches away from their feet.

            The sudden silence was deafening – Nick’s ears rang from the changes in air pressure. Mara and the two children stared at him from an alcove where she’d wedged herself, keeping them safe, leaving Khevan free to concentrate on Nick’s rescue.

            Exhausted by the battle against the escaping atmosphere, Nick rolled slowly over, covering his eyes with one arm, breathing deeply.

            “Are you okay?” Mara clutched Gianna closer to her.

Note from me: next week the fate of Huntington the Bear and that will probably be my last excerpt from WRECK.

All feedback and comments appreciated!

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?

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks iTunes  Google Play   Kobo

           

Winter Fun for Wednesday Whimsy

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I used to love walking the in the snow, having snowball fights, building snow forts…of course I lived in upstate New York at the time! One of my favorite sub genres of romance is the Christmas Regency. I love those big house parties where the governess and the Duke waltz and go sledding and fall in love.

And a little girl who missed all the fun – such a wistful face.???????????????????????????????
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Here’s an intrepid couple who decided to go snowshoeing! And someone who voted for skating…although she seems a bit dubious at the moment. I hope your winter is going well so far (even though winter itself hasn’t officially arrived yet, surely there’s enough snow in some places!)

Maya Angelou: Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, ‘I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway.’

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Run For Your Life WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM 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…

The luxury ship Nebula Dream has suffered a middle of the night catastrophe in space. My hero, Nick Jameson, has fought his way to the nearest lifeboat and found chaos.As he’s just about finished loading the lifeboat, businesswoman Mara Lyrae arrives, much to his relief. But she refuses to get on the lifeboat, as there are children in need of rescuing…after a brief argument, Nick sends the lifeboat on its way. He and Mara set out to rescue the children, accompanied by Khevan, a D’nvannae Brother (think bodyguard/assassin sworn to serve an alien goddess).

They’ve reached the family’s cabin and discovered a growing hull breach. This snippet is after the children have crawled to safety and Mara and Kevan have taken them  into the main corridor. Nick fights his way through the collapsing debris tunnel, and out of the cabin, where he discovers the hull breach has worsened.

He heard Mara screaming at him to hurry. Raising his head, squinting against the grit and dust in the air, which was now practically at gale force, Nick realized the blast door was belatedly attempting to block off this section of the corridor. He was probably about ten yards from life or death.

He had to beat the ponderous door.

Khevan was attempting to delay the closure of the door, but powerful drive motors were inexorably shoving him aside. Still, his effort might buy Nick an extra second or two and make the difference.

“Run, Captain!” shouted the Brother, digging his feet into the carpet, back to the door, extending one hand toward Nick, “For your life!”

Maybe one or two snippets to finish this (and reveal the fate of Huntington the Bear) and then I’ll move onto something else. Thanks for all comments and feedback. Much appreciated!

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?

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks iTunes  Google Play   Kobo

Love the Rain Wednesday Whimsy

???????????????????????????????I’m totally enjoying the rain in Southern California this week! There’s nothing I like better than curling up with  a good book (reread Nalini Singh’s Caressed by Ice, seem to be on a binge of working my way through the Psy-Changeling series again, start to finish…) and my two cats and just savoring the cool Fall weather, accompanied by the sound of rainfall.

We need the rain out here of course, although I feel sorry for the areas that are getting too much too fast and which may have mudflows to contend with. In my little corner of the world, it’s raining gently and soaking in.

I had to leave work in the midst of the worst of it today, to go off to the dentist. My first umbrella gave out while I was walking to my car. No problem, thought I – there’s another umbrella in the car. (Sometimes I am over-prepared for all eventualities LOL.) Got through the dentist ok – I love my dentist and his staff, but I hate the cleaning process, gives me a migraine usually. And today was the first time it’s been done since I had my health issue in September and had to go onto blood thinners. so we were all a bit tense but no problems and I earned my sticker-for-good-behavior…then off to the grocery store, where my second umbrella of the day failed and I got drenched. So I bought the only umbrella they had left, which was very lime green, and that got me home.

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad??????????????????????????????? weather, only different kinds of good weather.” John Ruskin, Rnglish art critic of the Victorian era (which seems so appropriate since I use 1880’s trade cards for illustrations currently)

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton

???????????????????????????????“Save a boyfriend for a rainy day – and another, in case it doesn’t rain.” Mae West I guess I saved my book boyfriend, Psy Arrow Judd Lauren, for today!

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” Roger Miller Well, I LOVE walking in the rain myself….

We might get heavy rain with thunder at 3AM tonight. I hope so – we never get a really good thunderstorm out here, not like I grew up with in the South, so I enjoy the novelty when it does happen. The cats, however, do not.

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Then there was this post I ran across on io9 – ironic timing – “Yes You Can Buy The Scent of Rain in a Desert”

And of course, the ultimate in rain-related: