On the Road Again – soon

The very first Book Lovers Con is coming up, and I can’t wait. The planners decided to hold BLC in the fantastically multi-cultural city of New Orleans this May 15 – 19. Now, I don’t know about you but whenever I travel to an event, I must (not need to, but must) get there a couple days earlier just to get a feel for the area, it’s local hot-spots, and history.

Confession time here – this will be my second time visiting New Orleans. And truthfully … I’m even more excited this time than I was back then. Before, I could only imagine what it was that the city had to offer. NOW I KNOW! The cultural history, the diversity of the people, some of the best food I’ve ever tasted (and since I’ve been to nine different countries and over a dozen states – that’s saying something) … and the tours! Don’t get me started on just how many tours I’ve pre-purchased tickets for. But it’s the street-corner musicians I can’t wait to listen to again. Not just Jazz, but some of the most amazing Blue-grass music on the planet is played on a daily basses right outside on several street corners! Absolutely remarkable musician play their own creations, along with a few recognizable offerings. And this time … I’m purchasing their CDs.

Perhaps the most important thing about BLC 2019 is the lectures their offering. I have a mission to finally learn how to get a stronger handle on the workings of social media in promoting my books. Confession #2 – I totally suck at promotion. It’s a genuine weakness that no amount of webinars have thus-far managed to help me shore up. I’m a hands-on leaner, always have been … and jumping into this sea of promotional necessity without even a floaty just hasn’t been working. So, outside of the fan-girl, favorite author, groupie parties I’ll be attending – there’s the focus on finally mastering social media to truly learn the ropes of promotion.

I’ll take lots of picture in and around Nola to share, make as many contacts as time – and the lack-of-sleep allows, eat the food, see the sights, absorb the music, and come back ready to apply what I’ve learned to the business of being an author. QUESTION – Is it true what they say in this business: It’s all about the reader? ANSWER – I’m not sure. And until I master the technique on just how to reach my readers, I may never know.

“Write on.”

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Were-Animal verses Shifter

Truly, where do you stand in the extensively growing field of paranormal romance alpha characters? What side of the bleachers do you sit on – team were-animal or team shifter? Do you cheerfully read/root for team vampire or team Wicca master? Maybe your field-play involves the truly dead (aka) team ghosts or team myths. As for me – I love them all. I also enjoy books best when it’s the alpha-male that’s the otherworldly character in search of his human mate, don’t you agree? Of course … his mate can also be a shifter, but I seem to have a separation issue when reading books were the ‘mate’ is superior to the alpha male.

Does that make me a sexiest reader? If so, who cares? Reading is all about enjoyment after-all. We read what we love, which is why I read in far more genres than I write.

When I first started writing, I instantly knew I wanted my books to fall into the paranormal romance genre. I don’t know how I knew it, but I also felt that writing in three separate series just plan did-it for me. And, being from the Pacific Northwest, cougars quickly came to mind. I would write a series on were-cougars. Keeping the titles clean and catchy. My muse instantly jumped on board and Cat Calls was born.

That said, I want to share a short piece of my third book in my first series published – Samuel’s Tail – which is currently with my publisher right now!  This section, line edited only at this point, comes right after omega twin brothers Andy and Tony found out that striking out alone in search of their mates wasn’t such a good idea after all.  Warning … it’s just slightly over 1000 words – ENJOY.

With a welcoming chuckle at the nervous little omega, Robert met Kelly’s questioning eyes. “Would you please deliver Tony’s order to our table when it’s done babe?” Robert asked, winking at his mate to reassure him that everything was fine.

“Absolutely, and would you like a refill too sir?” Kelly asked, with a conspirator’s smile.

“Not just yet, sweets, and you should be good for a few hours yourself.” Robert answered with a sexy grin keenly directed at Kelly. Robert continued to smile at the blush he could see climbing up Kelly’s cheeks, before he led Tony over to his table.

Having claimed a chair, Tony respectfully waited until Robert was seated as well before he rushed in to continue his explanation.

“My brother and I have been looking for, that is – we heard about a pride called the Mountain Clan. And we kinda, that is –  we decided we needed to petition him … well not ‘needed to,” Tony said making quotation marks, “but really wanted to, and … well, a couple of days ago, I met a were-cougar gamma named Sammy. Well … we talked a while – you see, and we kinda agreed to meet back here later. That is – today. So, when I came into the Starbucks and smelled the barista … you and he are newly mated, right?”

“We are, please continue. I would very much like to hear how it is you are alone when there is a pride of rogues in this area targeting all manner of shifters – indiscriminately.” Robert said, inwardly chuckling at the youngling’s scattered dialogue. He made sure to use just enough gentle authority to let Tony know that he and his brother’s adventure was over. This young man could give Roger a run for his money in rambling, Robert decided.

“Yes, Beta, about that, well – we really did come to find the alpha to the Mountain Clan and petition to join his pride.” Tony admitted, unable to hide the whiff of bitterly dry forest, or his embarrassment at knowing he and his brother were so very much in the wrong here.

“First off, Tony, a were-cougar wishing yo petition a new pride seeks out that prides beta – not their alpha. Something I feel certain your host pride would have informed you of, had you but inquired.”

“Oops … we didn’t know that. I guess my brother and I have some major apologizing to do when we get back there.” Tony felt terrible. They hadn’t gotten anything right with their adventure.

“Just what kind of brother would allow an omega sibling to wander into a coffee shop alone? Where is this brother pf yours, Tony?” Robert asked, pulling Tony’s attention away from his thoughts. This time Robert was not completely able to hide his anger at such a slight. Judging by Tony’s partially opened mouth; the youth detected his scent of rotting vegetation.

Tone it down Robert, he counselled. Tony’s out of danger for the moment – you do not want to be the reason for his fear to increase, again.

With perfect timing, Sammy returned from checking out the furthest restroom and immediately recognized Tony sitting next to Robert. Unaware of all the specifics of their conversation, Sammy extended his greeting.

“Well, hello Tony. I’m glad to see that you made it to our little parley.” Sammy said as he claimed the chair nearest the door, “I brought that book I’d mentioned to you, it’s in my satchel. The one on the Maya that you said you wanted to look at. But … ” Sammy took in the rest of the Starbucks. “Didn’t you tell me that your brother would be accompanying you here today?”

“Oh, Sammy – I’m so happy to see you! Um … about my brother …”

A three-tone-jingle sounded, indicating that the main entrance’s door had swung open – temporarily distracting their conversation. Immediately a whiff of such an alluring scent, one Sammy had rarely even dared to dream of, hit him square in his Jacobson organ. It instantly had him swinging his head around – just as an exact duplicate of the omega he was talking to walked into the Starbucks. With one alarming difference. Mixed in with that enticing catnip was the faint scent of blood! It mattered not that the wounds were healing. Only that someone had dared to hurt his mate. They will die for that, he inwardly promised.

“Mine.” Sammy growled, before jumping up so fast from his chair that it would have crashed to the floor had Robert not grabbed it.

“Control yourself Gamma Samuel. Your mate needs you to comfort him now – seek retribution later,” Robert ordered. His full beta-authority was evident in both his voice and his scent.

Using his proper name along with his rank meant that if Sammy didn’t acknowledge his beta’s command, it would be taken as a challenge. With a wounded mate, whom he didn’t even know the name of yet – potentially still in danger, there was no way he would disrespect his beta.

“Go to him, Sammy – calmly,” Robert advised. “I’ll text Alpha Leviticus and get him here expeditiously. I’ll add to my request that he also bring Gamma Dennis and Omega Marcus Christian along with him.” Robert mentioned the rank and names of his pride brothers for Tony’s benefit. Instinctively knowing it would comfort the youngling.

His text sent, Robert thanked Mother Nature and the Fates for continuing to smile down on his pride. It appears that our were-cougar family has not only gained two more omegas, but we’ve been given a bonus gift to-boot. Since one’s obviously the mate to a well-deserving shifter.

Sammy didn’t much care who saw his actions, or what anyone thought of his possessive behavior. He carried his precious pretty boy with the deepest, darkest-blue eyes he’d ever seen back to their table. After immediately reclaiming his chair, he sat his mate on his lap. It dawned on Sammy that the same colored eyes were staring at him from across the table. Yet, they didn’t seem to hold any of the same deep-degree of intensity that was literally shinning in his mate’s.

The simple act of breathing in the scent of his mate had Sammy very much wanting to kiss him. However, he was entirely mindful of those fading bruises – causing him to hesitate. Not even daring a chaste one. Instead Sammy wrapped his pretty boy’s long tawny-hair, held back in a loose pony, in his right hand. Then cupping the smoothest face he’d ever felt, he turned it slightly away from him, so he could began nibbling on his mate’s beckoning earlobe.

While so pleasantly occupied, it occurred to Sammy that the unusual scent he detected on Tony –  the one that had been bugging him relentlessly for the past two days, was an extremely diluted version of his mate. Although it was a bit strange that he hadn’t made the connection sooner, he wasn’t going to waste any more time dwelling on that oddity right now. He adamantly decided that that puzzling issue would be stored away for a much less utopian moment. It would probably be best to bring the oddness of the matter up with Levi. Even going as far as to request a pride discussion, if necessary. Being a twin himself, Levi might know the reason his cougar didn’t react much at all to Tony’s weakened scent of his mate. Well, not any more protectively than I would for any other omega out alone, Sammy thought.

Andy took that moment to snuggle a little closer to Sammy’s chest. His movement stimulating yet another interest within Sammy’s body. In the area currently being occupied be the enticing rear of his mate.

There will be no lengthy discussion until after I’ve claimed my mate, Sammy silently swore. I don’t intend to repeat Robert’s mistake – battling his cougar-side for control – nearly shifting to attack Calvin when Kelly greeted him with far too much familiarity. All that pent-up tension irrupted within him because he thought he had plenty of time and delayed the marking ritual … infuriating his cat.

Andy turned to look up at his mate, puzzled that he’d just heard his mate’s thoughts in his head. But he was too caught up in the moment to dwell on it over much.

“What is your name, precious? Tell me,” Sammy cooed. “Tell me too, that you can feel the sacred pull between mates. I have waited over two centuries for you. Tell me what I have longed to hear.” Sammy whispered as he began to gently place kisses on the fading, yet still visible marks doting Andy’s face.

Giggling in the chair next to Robert, completely recovered from the shock that his beloved brother had indeed found his mate, Tony said, “His name is Andrew, Gamma Samuel. But we call him Andy … and I promise you that my brother felt the pull just as soon as you picked him up. Um … is it okay if I drop your rank now and go back to Sammy … you know – now that you’ll be part of my family?

Tony’s mirth turned to bashfulness when he noticed the confused looks directed his way from Robert and Sammy. Swallowing softly, Tony attempted to clarify. “I ah, well … Andy couldn’t tell you himself because he’s on sensual overload from all the sniffing and kissing you’re doing, um Ga …”

“Yes. Please go back to addressing me as Sammy, we’re as good as kith-and-kin now Tony.

Kelly came back to the table with the ground coffee beans, and a venti carry-mug of Tony’s hot black tea, sporting a huge smile on his face. “OMG! I so can’t believe it. Another mate. Holy big ‘J’ and all his peeps … this is co cool! This make’s three of us found because of this humble little coffee shop. Congratulations Sammy, and to your mate …”

“Andy. My name’s Andy.” And when he glanced over at his brother there were matching tears shinning in his eyes. “Happy Birthday, brother … and thanks for the coffee beans.”

Both brothers immediately reached across the table to embrace each other. Their exuberance nearly knocking over the chair Sammy was sitting in, causing him to tighten his hold on Andy. It was again saved from crashing to the floor be a now grinning Robert.

***I hope this sneak-peak bates your interest to stay in touch with my blog. I’ll most definitely post when Samuel’s Tail will become available. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, due pick up a copy of Leviticus’s Purr and Robert’s Roar – both available in print and eBook form on Amazon. As always, I welcome your comments.*** “Write On!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s True – It’s All About the Title

Who knew that the very first thing I learned in a Boot-camp for Romance Writers course would become the most important. Well, that and using every-single-keyword-imaginable that’ll even remotely draw attention to readers in your genre. At the risk of ‘blowing my own horn’, I believe I’ve mastered the title dilemma. I mean … just check out my titles in my paranormal, man-love, were-cougar, Cat Calls shifter series: Leviticus’s Purr; Robert’s Roar (both available now in print or eBook on Amazon – or my blog page); Samuel’s Tail (coming soon); Calvin’s Cubs (in final editing stage); and Peter’s Pounce (in its rough-draft).

Not to mention that Coffee’s the New Blood, the first book in my The OLD & the NEW series involving a centuries-old vampire, royalty woes, spells gone array, ghost pets, and a very modern mid-twenties no-nonsense business woman. Which is currently in the hands of my beta readers. What’s in the works now with this series do you ask? Well …  it’s book-2, Hairy, but Not Scary. Any guesses what paranormal ‘regular’ takes center stage in this book? If you guessed were-wolf – you’d be correct. The hero is a shifter of the moon-loving were-wolf verity, and his mate is very gifted in the earthy powers of gemstones, Tarot  cards, herds and woman-power. Adding to her list of credits is her unfailing love of anything with four-paws, fury, and wounded laying on the side of the road.

Warriors and Wicca play a huge part in my third series – Tri-Natured Warriors.  This good-verses-evil standard paranormal romance is my only series that I’m attempting to attract an agent for. That’s right … I believe my first book, Savor the Bond, will benefit greatly as one of the many warrior/witch/demon conflict-filled romances published the “old-fashion” tried-n-true standard publishing way. With that being said, I have received four rejections (so far) from agents. But, the take away from their rejections is their willingness to take the time to briefly write me ways to improve my manuscript. That makes every rejection a total win with me.

Lastly, did any of you count the number of KEYWORDS in this post? Please feel free to email me or comment on this blog if you have come up with more innovative keywords for paranormal romance books that contain all things that go bump in the night. “Write on!”

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No Two Snowflakes are Ever Alike

I was raised in a state that can still boost having all four individually pronounced seasons, with each one owning their particular mood. I’m speaking of Minnesota, although I’m aware my home state isn’t alone in this. I think I was about three-years old the first time I heard that saying, no two snowflakes are ever alike.  Admittedly, at that age, I had no idea what my auntie Eva was talking about. All I wanted to do was catch them on my tongue, form them into snowballs, and avoid any place where our dog had been. Now, of course, I totally get the reason why that saying’s been proven true..

There are dozens of other sayings that were equally perplexing in my youth that also began to make total sense as I warped from childhood to adulthood. Such as:                                                        * That’s how the cookie crumbles.                                                                                                        * Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.                                                                                                * Just alike as two peas in a pod.                                                                                                          *  Don’t judge a book by its cover.                                                                                                        * Enough is as good as too much.                                                                                                          * It’s best to be 30-minutes early than 5-minutes late. (A favorite of my mother’s)  You get my drift, and please feel free to share with me any catchy sayings that you recall.

Of the six I’ve listed, I believe I can totally discredit the logic behind one of them. Any guesses which one? Go ahead … reread them. Now, if you chose – Don’t judge a book by its cover. – you’re absolutely correct. If you chose one of the other five, may I humbly suggest that you go back to my first blog post and get to know me?

As an author, the most important thing to me, after the full completion of my books (including editing), was the cover. I wanted there to be no mistake that at the first glance of each cover, my readers knew exactly what they would find within the pages of the book. In my Cat Calls series, each book will always have a cougar in the forefront with a stunning looking couple (both men) off to the side. Making it clear that your looking at a paranormal man-with-man romance that evolves around world of were-cougars. That alone should be enough to entice interested readers to then read the blurb on the back. And in a perfect world – buy my book.

In my mind, I knew exactly how I wanted my MM were-cougar covers to look. But that seems not to be the case with my standard male/female romance series – The OLD & the NEW. My lead characters are a modern day mid-twenties business woman, with a somewhat untamed gift of precognition. And a nearly 300-year old vampire prince on a mission to make her his own, despite or maybe because of the hurtles thrown at him. Your guess is as good as mine on what that cover will look like.

If you have any suggestions, please send them to me. If I chose your idea … I’ll send you a signed copy of ‘Coffee’s the New Blood’ once it gets published. “Write on.”

 

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Writing Contest … to enter, or not to enter?

That is the question I ask myself that each and every time before I press send. Thrusting snippets of my blood-sweat-and-tears out to individual contests to be scrutinized by professionals in the romance field – other than just another one of my perspective agents or editors. Although my works have yet to be graced with a win, I still enter writing contest because … admittedly, I want validation from my peers that I’m good at what I love to do.

That being said – hold onto your seats. Because as soon as I’d learned of a Haiku local poetry contest a few weeks back I decided to try my skills at a form of writing I’d not even been aware of until then. For those of you like me, Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry made most famous by Matsuo Basho in the 1600’s. This style of poetry consist of three-lines … only! The first and third  lines have just 5-syllables, and the second line has seven. That’s it. That is the whole style – period. Apparently there are two types to Haiku as well. The traditional style of haiku creates a mental image such as a snapshot of a moment in time. Whereas a Pop haiku can cover a myriad of subjects which are often humorous in nature.

Being new to Haiku – or for that matter writing any poetry, I opted to enter one of each style. I offer for your consideration (and hopefully enjoyment) my two entries:                                                   Traditional – Yes, I write romance                                                                                                                                 And my books are my children.                                                                                                             No sitter needed.

Pop style —  While under a tree                                                                                                                                   Enjoying natures bounty,                                                                                                                       A nut hit my head.

I’m sure I need not point out that my traditional entry’s my favorite. Still … I enjoy the whimsy of the pop style. Both styles say a lot about how I love to write.  With each of my books I pen conflict that will eventually lead to lessons learned and boundaries rebuilt. But I love adding a bit a humor to my characters plights. I think it makes for a far more enjoyable read if you add a bit of relief to the tension every now-an-then. “Write on!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Official

Well, it’s official … my 2019 New Year’s Resolution has come to an end. Oh, I know what you’re thinking and (believe me) I agree. How can anybody make a new year resolution and in just two weeks admit it’s over? In my defense, I give you Webster’s College Dictionary – 2002 edition’s definition for resolution: Resolution (n) 1. The act of resolving or reducing to a simpler form. 3. The purpose of course resolved upon. 5. An outcome or result that serves to settle a problem, uncertainty, or conflict. (Did you notice the pattern?)

As an author, I took the liberty of picking and choosing which ones of  Webster’s 7-plus definitions I wanted to use/agree with. You can imagine the conclusion I was easily able to come to as a result. I actually do comply with my standards of keeping my new year’s resolution after all! I meet #1 because I’ve lowered my word count per-book per-day to an attainable number. And can now celebrate every day when I write over that amount, instead of metaphorically speaking beating myself up. #3 is obtained because I’ve blocked out hours (yes, hours) each day that are all about my writing. Not any particular set time, mind you, but a total hour requirement. These hours involve research, edits, as-well-as new verbiage. And because of my commitment to the first two, I’m able to claim victory over the fifth. The problem settling mention in #5 is perhaps the most important of the three. Since my word-count goals are met – uncertainty dissolves (most, but not all) with every critique I receive from my beta readers, line-editors, and would-be agents’ rejection letters. And conflict, well … let’s just say I leave that on the pages of my books.

So it would seem that my 2019 New Year’s Resolution hasn’t come to an end after all.  That’s great news for me, since this year marks the end to my life-long streak of breaking new year resolutions. And you’re all welcome to use my fix to resolve your own issues with any resolutions you’ve made. “Write on!”

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Good-bye 2018 (RIP) – Hello 2019, Let’s Kick Some Butt

Thank(full) for the cycle of life. Keep your glass half full, fill up on the other things you are thankful for.  ***Quote from Marc Roland’s article in the Columbia River Reader (Nov. 25, 2018 – Jan. 10, 2019)***

Some people look at the world and see a glass half full. Others see it half empty. I always welcome a glass half full especially when it comes to wine. If you fill a wine glass to the brim you are missing out on at least half the pleasure in drinking wine because then you can’t stick your nose in it. Also from Marc Roland’s article.

Not only do I agree with Marc, but I think his half full belief can also be adopted and applied to writing. Which will  now become my New Years Eve goal for 2019. I’ll be striving to keep my muse half full (aka) not pilling so much on my book-writing plate that I don’t finish any of my projects. Currently I have six unfinished books. Three in my ‘Cat Calls’ series; Two in my ‘The OLD & the NEW’ series; and one in my ‘Tri-Natured Warrior’ series. My plan-of-attack is simply – just FDBS (aka) finish the damn book silly.

Yeah, I know you expected my to say – stupid, but there is nothing stupid about my devotion to my writing and growing as a author. To date, I’ve got book-3, Cat Calls – “Samuel’s’ Tail’, ready for its publishing packet; book-1, The OLD & the NEW – ‘Coffee’s the New Blood’, off to my beta readers (again); and still waiting to hear from an agent for book-1, Tri-Natured Warriors – ‘Savor the Bond’. However book-4 – ‘Calvin’s Cubs’ final edits must be completed and book-5 – ‘Peter’s Pounce’ needs its rough-draft finished before I write more in book-5 – ‘Rodney’s Miracles’. As does book-2, ‘Hairy, but Not Scary’ and book-2, ‘Savor the Blood’. So you see – I have plenty of work to keep my author’s glass-of-wine half full. These projects will be placed on a timeline for completion in 2019 before any new stories are started.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, my muse still has lots of ideas for new works – believe me. But those ideas will be jotted down and addressed only after I drain my current writer’s glass. I leave you with one final quote for 2018 ; I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on. One must never, for whatever reason, turn one’s back on life. Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady, author, and public speaker, 1884 – 1962 (same reader). “Write on!”

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Happy Holidays!

Finally we have a Monday coming up that a majority of people are actually looking forward to instead of dreading. Christmas Eve-day is on a Monday this year – alas, we Anti-Monday-Morning people have a reason not to dread getting up.  But honestly, there are a few other things over the holiday-craziness that I’ve come to dread infinitely more than Monday mornings. I think Charley Brown, off that beloved Christmas program which airs every year, said it best – “Commercialism … @#{%!”

Moving on. In my Cat Calls series I have a character – Marcus Christian (aka) MC, that was born into the domestic were-cougar rank of omega.  (You meet MC first in book-1, ‘Leviticus’s Purr’, and he cameos in book-2, ‘Robert’s Roar’, and the soon to be released book-3, ‘Samuel’s Tail’, as well as each book the follows – leading into his own story – book-6, ‘Dominic’s Own’, scheduled for 2022.) Simplified, that means MC loves everything about the domestic duties he sees to for the members of his growing pride. In my last blog post, I toughed briefly on the foods that several of my characters from two of my series shared with my muse that they’d typically serve over the holidays. And that got me to thinking. What about real people, like myself for instance? Ones that don’t like to cook. The idea of wrestling with fresh or frozen fowl, raw legs of whatever, or slabs of beef is the farthest thing from holiday fun for us that can be. So, what can we do?

Well, I was lucky enough to stumble onto one solution during a stop off at the Post Office. A lady asked me if I wanted a copy of the magazine, ‘Southern Living’. It seems she’d been getting two a month and the problem was yet to be resolved. Never one to turn down anything potentially useful, specially when free, I thanked her and we wished each other ‘Happy Holidays’. It was the December 2018 issue, and inside was an article by Jennifer Justus titles – The Ham Lady.  The article centered on a family ran business (for generations), currently lead by Nancy Newsom along with her son-and-heir John. The business is called – Newsom’s Old Mill Store, and they’re all about country-cured hams! You can’t have a three-generation business without set-backs, and a few were mentioned that these “aged country hams” professionals were able to overcome. But hey, even Julia Child was quoted in the article singing praises about these hams. The article mentions that at one time they had a mail-order business … and they still do! I know I’ll be googling for more info in time for next year’s holidays. It’s all about the research when you’re an author after all. You non-cooks, and even those of you that cook, can find all of the Newsom’s hams at newsomscountryham.com . “Write on.”

 

 

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What My Characters Eat Over The Holidays

Fun fact concerning this topic – I’ve actually overruled my muse. Pulling delicious memories from my childhood that I know the BFF’s in my ‘The OLD & the NEW’ series’s first book, ‘Coffee’s the New Blood’ – Penelope, Amanda, and Melissa, would have definitely prepared. Chiefly … turkey with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving. But, unlike the omega were-cougar, MC,  from my ‘Cat Calls’ male-with-male series, that I know for certain would have put dark-chocolate in his homemade pumpkin pies and  roasted pecans in the dough of his pecan pies (as well as good Kentucky bourbon in the filling).

The girls would have stayed traditional … right down to stuffing (yes, I said stuffing) their bird with roasted chestnuts and cranberry stuffing. They’d have also had mashed potatoes with giblet-gravy, sweet-potatoes topped with toasted marshmallows, glazed carrots and bacon green-bean casserole made with fresh (not canned) beans with very crunchy onions on top. (FYI: My mother used canned cream-of-mushroom soup in this dish – but I like it better without it. Sheesh!) Now, since my were-cougars are carnivores through-and-through, MC wouldn’t have complicated his Thanksgiving feast with hot veggie-dishes. But, if you read the first two books in that series, ‘Leviticus’s Purr’ and ‘Robert’s Roar’, you already know that MC is always about a well balanced meal. Therefore, a huge bowl of mixed greens with delicious home-made blue-cheese dressing would have graced his table.

Literally surrounding that salad would be several high-protein options. A tremendous honey and whisky-glassed bone-in ham, venison, several rabbits, and a whole head-to-tail (though cleaned) king-salmon. Its cavity stuffed with a verity of fresh herbs and lemon wedges. (Although I’ve had this fish both baked and grilled … I prefer it baked.) Every item mentioned above I’ve enjoyed one year or another while growing up. Other than Christmas Eve, where we always had a verity of finger-foods, home-made cookies and candies –  along with a huge pot of freshly made clam-chowder, Christmas dinner mimicked Thanksgiving. So – I fell it is the same for my characters. Don’t misunderstand – there were many, many more options that were interchangeable. Far too numerous to mention. But I feel certain that in up-and-coming books, for both these two series at least, I’m going to convince my muse to pen a holiday feast.

If you have any fun-family-memories, or food favorites that have become a must have during the holidays … please share them with me. I’ll consider your suggestion(s) and perhaps include it in a future book. If I do – I’ll not only contact you, but will also mention you and your contribution on the acknowledgement page of that book. “Write on.”

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Physical Theatre’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel

Now that’s a handle if ever there was one. Although I live in a fairly small town by the ‘world standards’ … we are not without our offers of genuinely fine theater performances. Now, it’s no secret that I love everything paranormal. Either through my writing, my published books, Facebook, lite-conversation in a grocery store line, or my Blog … I enjoy everything in the paranormal genre. So, it would stand to reason that my family would have picked up on my interest – right? Nevertheless, when one of my favorite nieces surprised me with birthday tickets to see ‘Dracula’ at our local Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts … I was beyond flabbergasted.

I’ll not cheapen the reading experience of those of you (however few there must be) that have yet to read the original book on this subject, I will go on to applaud the creative interpretation  of ‘Push Physical Theatre’s Dracula’. Push’s creative performance, in my awe-struck interpretation, gave credence to the genre that dominates my muse’s every-waking-hour. Suffice to say –  it was the best birthday gift ever.

Moving on – I want to continue with a couple ‘Quips & Quotes’ that I noticed in the Oct. 15 – Nov. 24 ‘Columbia Reader’ (a complimentary locally published small paper).                                                                                                                        Mark Twain (1835 – 1910): The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read.                                                                                George R. R. Martin ( 1948 – ) A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.                                                                ***Evelyn R. Loren-Martin (1956 – ) If I could grant anything … it would be to send adults back in time to recapture their love of reading before they allowed life’s annoyances to mutate that enjoyment. ***Disclaimer – my little quip wasn’t in the Columbia Reader.

I realize this is a short blog post – and long in coming. No excuses offered. Suffice to say … my writing has remained on track. I hope to interest my old publisher to pick up ‘Samuel’s Tail’ next year, while still pursuing an agent to accept ‘Savor the Bond’. Meanwhile – ‘Coffee’s the New Blood’ has been manipulating my time. Writing new word-counts will always be my ‘JAM’. But when you find your finished manuscript falling short of the required minimum, things get a bit ‘jiggy’.  Until next time, write on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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