Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Normally, I do not shop on the day after Thanksgiving—for one reason because it’s way too crowded!—unless there’s something I really want and it’s priced ridiculously low (as in 75% off).

But this year, #2 son woke me up at the crack of dawn to go shopping, because he saw a necklace in the paper that he wanted to buy his female friend for Christmas. So since we were there, I decided to look at two other necklaces that were also on sale.

Surprising, we were the second in line at the jewelry counter (which just shows how early we arrived, because by the time they opened, the parking lot was packed). The woman in front of us asked to see the two necklaces that I was interested in. During the course of their conversation, the saleswoman stated that they only received one each of those necklaces, so, of course, the woman purchased both. Thankfully, they had six of the necklace that my son wanted, so he did get to buy his Christmas gift.

I’m not upset that I didn’t get to buy these necklaces, but here’s what does upset me—if a store advertises something, they need to have it in stock (to only have one is ridiculous!), and if they don’t have it, they need to offer rain checks. Could I get a rain check? No, because at the bottom of the sales paper in tiny print it said ‘no rain checks’.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those celebrating the holiday...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Congrats to Terry Spear!

Big huge congrats to fellow author and critique partner, Terry Spear. Her book, Heart of the Wolf, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly.

Way to go, Terry!

If you haven’t read this book yet, you should--it’s fabulous!

You can learn more about Terry's books by clicking HERE to visit her website.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Newest Member Of Our Family

On my first birthday my grandparents gave me a puppy (although, I honestly don't know what in the world they thought a one-year-old needed with a puppy). He died when I was sixteen. I cried for an entire month. I have refused to have another dog since then.

My kids have spent the last 10 years begging for a dog, and we've always replied with a very firm 'no'. the newest member of our family:

He's a stray that we adopted from the pound (with a nice, hefty adoption fee attached!). I swear I feel like I have another child. I have to watch him constantly to make sure he's not into something. I'm hoping things will settle down in a few months, and he'll learn the rules of the house. But in the meantime, if anyone has any tips on how to get a dog to stop chewing on shoes, please share them! He has chew toys, but for some reason would rather chomp on shoes instead.

On the bright side, he does very well with not using our house as a toilet, and for that, I am most grateful!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Winners Are...

I received approximately 75 entries for my November contest. A huge thanks to all who took the time to enter!

I had my oldest son draw two names out of the hat, and the winners were: Cathy M. from California and Michelle B. from New York.

Cathy chose to receive a copy of Her Protector, and Michelle chose to receive a copy of Finding Passion. Enjoy, ladies!

Please remember to check my website and blog the beginning of December for information about my next contest.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

November Contest (ends 11/20/08)

Since my monthly contest was on hiatus last month, this month I’ll be drawing two winners. Each winner will receive a download of either Her Protector or Finding Passion (their choice).

To be entered into the drawing, all you have to do is send me an email and tell me what you’re grateful for this year (since we in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving this month) and tell me which book you would like to receive. You can view the blurbs for the books and read excerpts and reviews at my website.

The contest will run through November 20th, 2008. One entry per person please.

Visit my website HERE for more information.

Good luck!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week One Winner of Halloween Countdown Contest

The week one winner of Kate Hill’s Halloween Countdown Contest was Caitlin H. from NJ. Caitlin won a download of my novella, Finding Passion, along with several other great prizes. Congrats, Caitlin!

Remember there are still three weeks to go in the contest, with a winner each week, so make sure you get your entries in!

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I was so busy in September that I didn’t have time to plan an October contest, so I’ve decided that instead of rushing to put one together, I’ll take a hiatus this month. My contest will return in November with prizes being offered to TWO winners.

In the meantime, don’t forget to enter Kate Hill’s Halloween Countdown Contest.

And please visit my Ebooks--New Releases and Contests blog for information about even more contests being offered by other epublished authors, along with information on some fabulous new releases. This blog is updated on a regular basis, so make sure you check it often!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Apology and a Contest

First, an apology. I normally blog from the 20th through the end of the month (once my monthly contest ends until the next contest begins), but in September, I did not, and I apologize to my readers for that. I was busy, busy, busy and barely had time to breathe. But hopefully going forward I will be back on schedule!

Check back in the next fews days for information about my October contest, and in the meantime, I’m also participating in a Halloween Countdown Contest being hosted by author Kate Hill. Visit Kate's Halloween page each week during the month of October for a chance to win some fabulous prizes. My contribution--a download of my novella, Finding Passion--is included in week one’s prize package. You only have until midnight October 7, 2008 to get your entry in for this prize package, so go enter today! Click HERE to visit Kate's Halloween page for all the details.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Winner Is…

I received slightly over 120 entries for my September contest. A huge thanks to all who took the time to enter!

I had my oldest son draw a name out of the hat, and the winner of the $15 Egift card for Bath and Body Works is....Gail M. from Texas.

Congrats, Gail!

Please remember to check my website and blog the beginning of October for information about my next contest, as well as information about a special Halloween activity that I’ll be participating in.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

September Contest (ends 09/20/08)

The winner of my September contest will receive a $15 Egift card for Bath and Body Works (one of my favorite stores!).

To be entered into the drawing, you’ll have to answer four questions correctly, and it will require you to go on a little scavenger hunt, but don’t worry, I’ll give you lots of clues.

1) Name my publishers (hint: there are two)
2) Name the state I live in (hint: check my website)
3) Name one of my favorite movies (hint: check my MySpace page)
4) Visit either my Shelfari page or my Goodreads page, and list any two of the books loaded on my bookshelf

Email the answers to with the subject line "September Contest". Please include your name and state or country of residency. By entering the drawing you are giving permission for that information to be placed on my website and blog in the event that you are the winner (note: your last name will not be posted).

The last day for entry is September 20, 2008. One entry per person please.

Good luck!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Something To Make You Smile

A Florida senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he pushed it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left. Amazing he thought as he flew down I-95, pushing the pedal even more.

Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a state trooper behind him, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120.

Suddenly he thought What am I doing? I'm too old for this and he pulled over to await the trooper's arrival.

Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch and said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. If you can give me a reason for speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go."

The old gentleman paused. Then said, "Three years ago, my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back."

"Have a good day, Sir," replied the trooper.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Author's Responsibility To Write A Book?

Stephenie Meyers, author of the wildly popular Twilight series, announced at her website that a partial draft of Midnight Sun (her current work-in-progress which is the latest book in the series) was illegally posted on the Internet, and as a result she has put the book on hold indefinitely. As a writer, I can understand that this would cause her to lose the focus and enthusiasm that she needs to finish the book.

There's a reader’s board I visit, which is frequented by some very die-hard Twilight fans, and let me tell you--those fans are pissed. They feel that Meyers is 'punishing' them by refusing to finish the book. The one statement they made which made me stop and think was, "Meyers has a responsibility to her fans to finish it."

Certainly, an author has responsibilities to their readers. They have the responsibility of writing the best book possible. They have the responsibility of treating their readers with respect. But is it an author's responsibility to write a specific book? Maybe, in particular if it’s part of a series and they’ve announced that they’re writing it. Or maybe not. What are your thoughts?

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Did Not See This One Coming…

I try my best not to blog about political issues, but I was so surprised by this...

John McCain chooses Sarah Palin as his running mate

To give equal time to the Democratic nominees...Barack Obama and Joe Biden

As someone pointed out to me--whatever happens, history will be made. The US will either have their first female vice-president or their first African-American president. All I will say on the subject is--for the love of all that’s holy, please do not cast your vote based merely on gender or race.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Kiss Day

Today is 'First Kiss Day'. On this day in 1929, Popeye and Olive Oyl had their first kiss :)

I remember my first kiss very well. I was 14, it was summer, and we were standing in front of my house under a huge shade tree (I have no clue what kind of tree it was). We were both nervous. The kiss was...okay. But it was just okay. There were no 'fireworks', which I found somewhat disappointing. And sadly, the kisses never improved much with him.

But thankfully that wasn’t my only first kiss. You get a new first kiss with each relationship. And with my second first kiss--the fireworks exploded!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Winner Is...

I received over 600 (no, that’s not a typo) entries for my August contest! I was a little curious about the HUGE increase, so I did some snooping and discovered that the contest got listed on a contest/sweepstake website, which apparently had a lot of visitors :)

I assigned each entry a number and had my youngest son pick a number at random.

The winner was...Judy J. from Oklahoma. Congrats, Judy!

Thanks to all who took the time to enter. Please be sure to check my website and blog the beginning of September for information about my next contest.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

August Contest (ends 08/20/08)

August is Romance Awareness Month. In honor of that I’m giving one lucky winner a $25 online gift card to Victoria’s Secret. You can visit their website by clicking HERE. You’ll find plenty of items--sleepwear, lingerie, beauty products, and more--to help keep the romance and passion thriving in your relationship!

The contest will run through August 20th, 2008.

Click HERE to visit my website for the details of how to enter.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some Favorite Writing Quotes

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly." -- C. J. Cherryh

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -- Sylvia Plath

"I had a friend who said, “You don’t have an internal critic. You have an internal sadist.” -- Libba Bray

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." -- Tom Clancy

"If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write." -- Stephen King

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Writing Contests

Writing Contests—I’ve entered them, I’ve finaled in them, I’ve received requests as a result of finaling. I’ve also judged a few.

When I first began entering contests it was basically because I wanted the feedback.

Then it was because I wanted to final/win—that’s always a great feeling, and when it seems as if you’re not making progress toward your goal of publication, that final/win is a nice validation that your work is in fact good. Plus, it looks kind of nice on your query letters :)

Once I began to final, I entered contests based strictly on whether or not the final round judge was someone I wanted to get my work in front of.

If you click HERE you’ll find a list of RWA contests. There are contests for first chapter (the most common), first kiss, best scene, best hook/opening, and more. They all require an entry fee, but it’s usually minimal.

Here are a few of my tips for entering contests:
* Obviously, you should read the rules carefully, because if you fail to follow them, it can result in you being disqualified with no refund of the entry fee.
* Another obvious tip is to send in your best work. Polish, polish, polish. And then polish it again.
* Look for contests that allow electronic entries, because it can save you quite a bit of money (postage, printing costs/copy fees, etc).
* Personally, I preferred contests that guaranteed at least one published judge (more if possible), because I found that most often they gave me higher scores than unpublished judges. My theory--which certainly could be wrong--is that it was because they focused more on the story itself and less on 'rules'.
* Look for contests that either drop the lowest score or that have discrepancy judging if one scores varies greatly from the rest. Too often I got great scores from all but one judge and that one low score would knock me out of finaling.

When you get your scores back, if they aren’t as good as you’d like or you think they should be—shake it off. Don’t argue about it (with the judge or the contest coordinator), because it will serve no purpose.

Okay, you can argue if it’s a situation such as: your manuscript is the story of Dave and Amy who are professional jewel thieves and are running from the law, but the comments on the score sheet refer to Bob and Sue who are ranchers in Montana. In that case, you can argue, because you obviously got the wrong scores. But other than that, let it go. Remember that a judge’s opinion is strictly that—their opinion, and while every opinion holds some value, they are not the person you’re ultimately hoping to impress.

If you can afford them, I think contests are wonderful tools, but don’t go overboard. You don’t need to enter every contest. Keep your ultimate goal in mind and be selective.

One final thought—if I could go back to that time when I was entering contests, the one thing I would do differently is ask if I could enter under my pen name as opposed to my real name. The reason is this—I can’t list my contest wins on my website (or least I haven’t) strictly because they're under my real name. That kind of sucks :(

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Writing Websites, Blogs, and Forums

Each year Writer’s Digest comes up with a list of the 101 Best Sites for Writers. You can view their 2008 list by clicking HERE. There are a lot of great sites listed, and several of them are sites that I visit often. However, I was surprised that Charlotte Dillon’s website was not listed this year. In my opinion, she has the absolute best site for authors. You can visit her site by clicking HERE.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Writing Book: Hero and Heroine Archetypes by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders

The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders

One of my writing friends recommended this book, and I’m so glad she did. I found it extremely useful in improving on characterization and character development.

This book discuses hero and heroine archetypes (ie the chief, the bad boy, the charmer, the lost soul, the crusader, the nurturer, and many others). It lists qualities, virtues, flaws, etc. for each archetype. It also covers layered archetypes (where the character has qualities of more than one), evolving archetypes (where it changes over the course of the story), archetype interactions, and much more.

This is another book that I highly recommend.

You can purchase it at all the usual places (Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Books-A-Million), or you can purchase an autographed copy at Tami Cowden’s website by clicking HERE.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Writing Book: GMC by Debra Dixon

Goal, Motivation & Conflict, The Building Blocks Of Good Fiction by Debra Dixon

I highly recommend this book. Personally, I think it’s an absolute must for all beginning writers. Even more experienced writers will find it helpful.

As the title suggest, the book focuses on the importance of goal (what the character wants), motivation (why they want it), and conflict (what’s keeping them from getting it). It’s a simple concept, but for me, the book really helped it all to click into place. After reading the book, I was able to identify--and correct--some weakness in my work. My writing improved a great deal as a result of this book.

Be warned, if you order this book from Amazon, the price can run up to $100+. Don’t pay that much! Click HERE to order it directly from the publisher for $19.95.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blogging About Writing Next Week

Next week several thousand romance authors, editors, agents, etc. will be heading out to San Francisco, CA for the Romance Writers of America National Conference.

Unfortunately, I will not be one of them :(

But the next few RWA conferences will be held within driving distance of me—Washington, DC in 2009 and Nashville, TN in 2010—so I’m hoping I’ll be able to attend one of those.

In honor of RWA’s National Conference, I’m going spend the next week blogging about writing--my favorite writing books, writing websites that I find helpful, and more. So, if you’re interested, make sure you check back.

Friday, July 25, 2008

One Of My Favorite Movies

Terminator was playing on TV tonight, so I settled down on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and huge glass sweet tea, and enjoyed! Terminator is one of my favorite movies of all time. I think the plot is brilliant and I love the characters.

Did you know T4, starring Christian Bale as John Connor, is scheduled to be released next summer? I had no clue until my son mentioned it tonight. Personally, I’m not particularly excited about it, probably because I was very disappointed with T2 & T3.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cover Contest Results

The results of Cover Cafe's 2007 Cover Contest have been announced. Click HERE to see the nominees and the winners. There are some incredible covers there. Or in the case of the 'worst' category some not-so-great covers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Winner Is…

I received approximately 40 entries for my July contest. A huge thanks to everyone who entered!

I had my hubby draw a name out of the hat, and the winner of a download of my novella, Finding Passion, is....Linda S. from Australia.

Congrats, Linda! Please check your email--I need to know what format you prefer.

Check my website and blog the beginning of August for information about my next contest.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July Contest (ends 07/20/08)

The winner of my July contest will receive a download of my novella, Finding Passion.

To be entered into the drawing, just send me an email with the subject line "July Contest" and answer this question about the book: Why are Nathan and Susan stranded together for the weekend? (the answer can be found on my website)

The contest will run through July 20th. One entry per person please. A winner will be drawn at random from all correct entries received.

Click HERE to visit my website for more information.

Note: Due to the adult content of this book, you must be 18 or older to enter the contest.

Good luck!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

National Rose Month

June is National Rose Month!

If you’re considering sending some roses to your loved ones in celebration, here’s a guide to rose color meaning:

Red: Symbolizes love and romance
Pink: Symbolizes admiration, appreciation, gratitude
Yellow: Symbolizes joy and friendship
White: Symbolizes innocence, purity, new beginnings
Orange: Symbolizes passion, excitement, enthusiasm
Lavender: Symbolizes enchantment, often used to express feelings of love at first sight

Personally, I doubt I’ll be sending any roses, but since I’m always looking for an excuse to buy flowers—because I love having a big vase of flowers sitting on the table—I may celebrate by buying some to decorate my home. Of course, it would be a lot cheaper if I could grow my own, but that’s not an option for me--apparently I have a black thumb when it comes to growing flowers :(

Friday, June 27, 2008

Current And Recent Reads

Here’s what I’m currently reading, and it is yummy!

Exclusive by Eden Bradley, Jaci Burton, and Lisa Renee Jones

Here’s what I previously read:

Mrs. Cooney is Loony! by Dan Gutman

Yes, it’s a children’s book. I read it with my niece when she was visiting this month, and I loved it. My niece liked it too :) If you have children in the 6-10 year age range, you should check it out. It’s part of the My Weird School Series.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Visiting Washington, DC

Another place we visited while my mom and niece were here was Washington, DC. We’ve been to DC several times because we live fairly close (4-5 hours away), but my niece had never been and the last time my mother visited was when she was a small girl.

This was the first time we ever visited in the summer. We've always gone in the fall or spring. And we won’t ever go again in the summer because it was much more crowded (I guess I should have expected that, eh?).

If you ever have the opportunity to visit DC, you should. There’s lots to see. But here’s some advice for you:

1) Do not go in the summer, it’s too hot and too crowded!
2) Be aware that the traffic is awful and the parking is even worse. We were there on a weekend and there were still traffic jams and it took us almost an hour to find a parking space.
3) Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and be prepared to walk and walk and walk.

We were all exhausted by the time we left.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is My Fear Now An Actual Phobia?

As I’ve mentioned before, heights make me very uneasy. They always have, for as long as I can remember. But I think it might now be entering the range of an actual phobia.

Acrophobia (an irrational fear of heights) has traditionally been thought to be caused by a traumatic experience involving heights. So, did I have a traumatic experience involving heights? Well, actually...

When my youngest son was about 5, we went hiking on Chimney Rock in the North Carolina mountains. It’s absolutely beautiful there (that’s where The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day-Lewis was filmed, by the way). Youngest son refused to hold my hand, because he thought he was too big for that. It had been raining earlier, and I had just said, "Son, be careful, the ground is wet and you’ll slip." No sooner had the words left my mouth than he slipped and fell...right down the side of the mountain. I managed to grab him--barely--by one arm. I’m very proud to say that as he dangled off the side of the mountain with me hanging on to him by one arm, I did not panic. Well, not too much anyway. I pulled him up, I chastised him (strongly!) for not listening/not being more careful, and then I cried.

We’ve been back to the mountains since then, but we stayed far away from any cliffs. This month was the first time back on a cliff. The only reason we were there is because my mom and niece were visiting from out-of-state, they’d never been to the mountains, and they wanted to go.

We went to the top of Grandfather Mountain (our first time there). When I got a glimpse over the side (and no, I didn’t intentionally look over the side, it just happened) my heart started racing, I got dizzy, I got sick to my stomach, and I felt like I was going to pass out. I could feel myself starting to panic and I was desperately fighting it (hey, Mom has to try to maintain some semblance of control!). I’ve never had a reaction that intense. I could not wait to get down off that mountain. And I can assure you that I will not be going back!

So, maybe I have my son to thank for my now intense fear of heights. I’ll just add it to the list of other things I have to thank him for like those gray hairs that started appearing when he hit his teenage years.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Special Birthday Present

My birthday was earlier this month. My family is not real big on celebrating birthdays. Some years I don’t even remember/realize that it’s my own birthday until someone brings it up. And frankly, after 29 I didn’t want to remember them! But this year I got a very special birthday present... on my birthday my oldest son graduated high school. Pretty cool gift, eh?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Winners Are....

I had 75 entries in my June (Stock Up On Summer Reading Material) contest. A huge thanks to everyone who participated!

I had my youngest son draw two names out of the hat, and the winners are:

Prize #1 (includes books by Lena Matthews, Gena Showalter, and Rhonda Nelson): Ashley A. from Wisconsin

Prize #2 (includes books by Jodi Lynn Copeland, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Leslie Kelly): Carol M. from Pennsylvania

Congrats, ladies! Happy reading!

Please remember to check my website and blog the beginning of July for information about my next contest.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

2nd Annual ‘Stock Up On Summer Reading Material’ Contest (ends 6/20/08)

Last June I ran a 'Stock Up On Summer Reading Material' contest, and it was so successful, I’ve decided to make it a yearly event. This is a contest where I help YOU stock on reading material for those times that you’re lazing by the poolside, en route to your vacation destination, etc.

There will be two winners, and each winner will receive multiple books.

Prize #1:
Stripped Bare by Lena Matthews (Samhain Publishing)
Catch A Mate by Gena Showalter (Harlequin)
The Loner by Rhonda Nelson (Harlequin Blaze)

Prize #2:
Operation g-spot by Jodi Lynn Copeland (Aphrodisia)
Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Avon)
Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly (Harlequin Blaze)

Entry requires reading a short excerpt from my novella Finding Passion and answering a question. Visit my website HERE for all the details.

The last date for entry is June 20th.

Please note that you must be 18 or older to enter the contest!

Good luck!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning, And I’m Exhausted!

#1 son graduates from high school next week. Well, we hope anyway, he still has to pass those end-of-course tests, but assuming he passes them (and he feels confident!), he graduates on my birthday! How cool is that?

My mom and niece are flying up for the ceremony. This is only the 5th time in 19 years that Mom's come to visit us...usually we go to visit her. So, I’ve been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

I’m exhausted! And sadly, I’m still not done.

But at least I'm not only one who's exhausted. Last weekend, hubby and the kiddos got to clean the garage and paint the deck. They don't know it yet, but this weekend, they get to do yard work :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What I’m Reading

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

I bought this book for #2 son, because he had to read it for English class. I’d never read it before. It was on the kitchen counter, so when I was cooking dinner one night—waiting for my chicken to brown—I picked it up and read a few pages. And then I kept reading. It’s a really good book. If you haven’t read it yet, you should check it out. You can read more about it by clicking HERE.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

"Most of those who died in defense of our country were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives - the one they were living, and the one they would have lived. They gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up everything for their country ... for us. And all we can do is remember." -- Ronald Reagan

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Hate Windows Vista!

A few months ago my laptop got a nasty, nasty virus. After spending days trying to fix the problem and getting nowhere, computer-expert hubby decided to reformat and rebuild. Since I was--thankfully!--able to save my files, that wasn’t a problem.

Then we talked about what operating system to install. I had Windows XP. I was happy with Windows XP. But since I’d heard that it was going to become obsolete in the relatively near future, with Microsoft no longer selling or supporting it, I reluctantly gave the go-head to install Windows Vista.

I HATE IT! Now my laptop is sloooooooooooooooooooooooooow as molasses.

I am not a happy camper.

Why do companies do this? They discontinue products customers like for 'new and improved' and a big majority of the time it’s not improved at all. If you’re lucky the new product is 'just as good'. If you’re not lucky, like in the case of Vista, it’s inferior.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

International Jazz Day

Living with a saxophonist (#1 son), a trumpeter (#2 son), and a drummer (hubby), jazz is very prevalent in our home. Today is International Jazz Day, and in honor of that, I’m posting a video of "In The Mood" (one of my favorite swing-jazz songs) performed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Something To Make You Smile

The things kids say...


One day a first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part where Chicken Little warns the farmer "The sky is falling!" The teacher then asked the class, "And what do you think that farmer said?"

One little girl raised her hand and said, "I think he said Holy shit! A talking chicken!"


An exasperated mother whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into Heaven?"

The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I’ll run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, For Heaven’s sake, come in or stay out!"


A small boy was sent to bed by his father.

Five minutes later:
"I’m thirsty. Can you bring me a drink of water?"
"No. You had your chance. Go to sleep."

Five minutes later:
"I’m thirsty. Can I have a drink of water?"
"I told you no. If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you!"

Five minutes later:
"Da-aaad! When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?"


A four-year-old child came into the bedroom as her mother was undressing to get in the shower. Mom was six months pregnant.

"Mommy, you’re getting fat!" the little girl said.

"Yes, honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy."

"I know," her daughter replied, "but what’s growing in your butt?"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Prize Winners--May Contest & NCP Spring Scavenger Hunt

A huge thanks to everyone who participated in my May contest! I had my husband draw a name out of the hat, and the winner is...Sharon W. from Minnesota. Sharon won a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble (her choice from either Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Borders Books). Congrats, Sharon!

I’d also like to announce that Rhonda B. from Ohio and Sara W. from Virginia each won a download of my book Her Protector in the NCP Spring Scavenger Hunt. I hope you enjoy the book, ladies!

Please remember to check my website and blog the beginning of June for information about my next contest. It’s going to be something special, so you will not want to miss it!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Contest (ends 05/20/08)--Win a Gift Card

The winner of my May contest will receive a $10 gift card to either Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Borders Books (winner’s choice).

Click HERE to visit my website for all the details of the contest. The last date for entry is May 20, 2008.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Whispers Publishing Free Giveaways For Our Readers!

On May 1, 2008, Whispers Publishing will begin sponsoring bi-weekly giveaways for readers participating in and posting to our Yahoo Group. To join simply visit HERE.

Additionally, by joining our Bebo Page HERE as a friend and commenting, you can earn additional chances at winning.

The more times you post and participate, the more chances you have to win.

If you're wondering what we'll be giving away, take a look at the list below!
Egyptian Perfume Bottles (made in Egypt and ordered from Egypt)
Papyrus Bookmarks from Egypt
Engraved silver bracelets handmade in Peru
Chinese silver charms
And even more bracelets!

You don't want to miss out on your chance to win one of these beautiful prizes.

Want to increase your chances even more? Tell a friend about our group! When they join, just have them send an e-mail to the group saying who invited them.

There is no limit to the number of times you can win, and every other week we'll be giving away a different prize.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Naked in Vermont

A while back, I read an article about a town in Vermont that allowed public nudity. According to the article, which you can read HERE, "Vermont has no state laws against public nudity, although a handful of cities and towns have enacted anti-nudity ordinances."

So, what’s currently going on in the world of public nudity in Vermont? A naked bike ride being held June 7, 2008, to protest against oil dependency.

Their website HERE claims "it doesn’t hurt your ass anymore than a clothed ride". Somehow I find that a little hard to believe, but hey, I’ve never biked naked before, so maybe...

At any rate, if you’re near Vermont, you wish to protest oil dependency, and you have no aversion to biking naked, the ride starts at 2 PM!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Beauty Of Spring

Everything’s springing to life, flowers are blooming, the temperature is perfect—not too hot, not too cold—it’s glorious.

And I get to enjoy it, for the most part, from indoors. If I’m outside for more than fifteen minutes at a time, I become absolutely miserable. I sneeze nonstop, my eyes get itchy and watery, I get a runny nose, and at my worst, my entire face aches.

I was lucky, though, because I didn’t develop allergies until I was an adult, so during my childhood I was able to enjoy spring to the fullest. I really miss those days.

For those who don’t suffer from seasonal allergies—oh, how I envy you!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Something To Make You Smile

John was going on his first date, but wasn’t yet old enough to drive. He gave his chauffeur/father strict instructions: "Just drive. Don’t turn around, don’t try to talk to the girl, and don’t embarrass me!"

They arrived at the girl’s house, and John went to the door to pick up his date. As the two walked back toward the car, the father focused on staring straight ahead. The father heard the car door open and then slam shut. Following his son’s wishes, he drove away in silence.

A few minutes later, the date shyly leaned forward and said, “Excuse me, sir—John didn’t have time to get in the car. He’s still standing in my driveway.”

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cost of Prom

2 Prom Tickets - $80

Tux Rental - $170

Haircut - $20

Corsage - $40

Limo Rental – Oh, who the hell are we kidding, we can’t afford that, not after all the other senior year expenses we just got through paying for (cap & gown, graduation invitations, senior pictures, senior trip, etc)

Total: $310

Seeing son in something other than jeans and a t-shirt — worth the price!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Blog and MySpace Layouts

If you haven’t noticed, I changed my blog layout and I have a new, customized header!

I also changed my MySpace layout. Click HERE to view it.

Let me know what you think of them!

Monday, April 21, 2008

April Winner/Reminder of Spring Scavenger Hunt

A huge thanks to everyone who participated in my April contest! I had my youngest son draw a name out of the hat, and the winner is...Connie N. from Arizona.

Congrats, Connie! Your prize--an autographed copy of Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear--will be mailed out in the next few days. Happy Reading!

Since some asked where they could purchase Terry’s book in the event they didn’t win a copy... you can purchase it HERE and HERE among other places.

Check my website and blog the beginning of May for information about my next contest. In the meantime, don’t forget about the NCP Spring Scavenger Hunt that I’m participating in (information HERE). You only have 9 more days to get your entry in!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Contest/Drawing (ends 04/20/08)--Win an Autographed Book

This month I'm holding a 'blog comment' contest/drawing. Everyone who leaves a comment on my blog (any post) between now and April 20th will be entered into the drawing. To increase your chances of winning leave a comment on more than one post. Your name will go into the hat for each comment that you leave up to three.

Be aware that if you are the winner of this contest/drawing your name and state (or country) of residency will be posted on my blog and website. The winner will be announced on April 21, 2008. I DO need your email address so I can contact you in the event that you win the drawing. If I can backtrack and locate an address for you (for example, an email address listed on blogger), then that’s wonderful. If not, then you need to send your email address, along with a copy of your post, to The winner will be notified by email and will have one week to reply and provide their mailing address. If there's no reply after seven days a new winner will be drawn.

The prize this month is an autographed copy of a new release from my very talented critique partner, Ms. Terry Spear.

Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear

While searching for clues of a lupus garou who is killing women in the rainy Portland suburbs, Bella Wilder becomes the hunted. She had run away from the gray pack who had taken her in when she was she young. And she will do so again before the brutish pack leader can have her.

Devlyn Greystoke has a mission—return Bella to the gray pack for safekeeping before she exposes their kind and gets herself killed. But little red wolves are in short supply and high demand and Bella’s determined to be the bait to flush out the killer. Keeping her out of danger is only half the trouble Devlyn encounters as his compulsion to make her his mate grows and she fights being his, fearful the pack leader will kill him.

Volan Smith, the gray alpha leader, claimed Bella when she was young. Now that he has located her, he wants Bella back. And he will stop at nothing to have her.

This is a fabulous book! Take a look at some of the reviews it’s received:

Fallen Angel Reviews (5 Angels and a Recommended Read!):
"Heart of the Wolf is full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance and is one of best werewolf stories I’ve read."

Simply Romance Reviews (GRADE: A):
"Heart of the Wolf is an outstanding read! Loaded with steamy, naughty sex its hot enough to scorch the pages and make you hot all over! Keep something cool nearby because you’re going to need it!"

Romantic Times Magazine Review (4 Stars):
"A solidly crafted werewolf story."

ParaNormal Romance Reviews:
"You’ll be drawn into the story from the first page to the last."

The Romance Studio:
"Enchanting romance with a unique twist!"

Visit Terry’s website HERE for more information about Heart of the Wolf and her other books.

2008 NCP Spring Scavenger Hunt

In celebration of spring and to show our appreciation for our readers, several New Concepts authors have joined forces to hold a Spring Scavenger Hunt exclusively for members of the New Concepts Readers and Authors Yahoo group.

Not a member of the group? Just click here to join:

Perks of membership include advance excerpts, members only contests, announcement of new titles, and one-on-one contact with authors.

The details of the Spring Scavenger Hunt will be announced April 1st on the NCP Readers and Authors group. The last date for entry is April 30th. There will be FIVE fabulous prize packages awarded. Each package will contain numerous goodies, including several NCP books.

Please come and join in the fun!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Where You Can Find Me

Wondering where you can find me? Visit me at the following places by clicking the links!

My Website





Author's Den

Book Place

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Survey: Ladies, What Makes You Feel Sexy?

I tried to set this up as a poll, but it didn’t work :(

I want to know what makes you feel sexy. Number one for any woman would be compliments from others, be it a verbal or just a I like what I see look. But what else makes you feel sexy?

Some possibilities:

* wearing sexy underwear--even if no one else knows you’re wearing it/will see it

* well-fitting clothes that flatter your figure

* wearing a certain type of shoes (ie high heels, strappy sandals, etc)

* a good hair day

* the perfect shade of lipstick/other makeup

* getting your nails done

* pampering yourself (bubble bath, facial, lotions, etc)

* a great perfume

* fabulous jewerly

* alcohol ;)

* all of the above

* something else you didn’t mention (and tell me what it is!)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sexy Music Video

I love this song. It's the song on MySpace Page. A few days ago, I saw the music video for the first time, and damn, it's sexy. Check it out.

"Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right" by Billy Currington

Friday, March 28, 2008

America's Most Lustful Cities/Only One Southern City Listed?

Per research firm ACNielsen, based on over-the-counter contraceptive purchases, Denver, Colorado is the most lustful city in the US, followed by:

San Antonio, Texas
Portland, Oregon
Seattle, Washington
Salt Lake City, Utah
Boise, Idaho
Washington, D.C.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Baltimore, Maryland
Buffalo, New York
Rochester, New York

You can read the full article HERE.

Of course, you have to take into account that lots of people don’t use over-the-counter contraceptives. I haven’t used an over-the-counter contraceptive in many, many years, but that doesn’t mean there’s not lots of lust in my life ;)

I did find it interesting that San Antonio was the only southern city to make the list. Why is that? I'm sure there are numerous factors that come into play, but I suspect one reason might be a lack of safe sex education programs/awareness of the youth. Being a southern I can tell you that there are still plenty of parents who don’t discuss safe sex with their children. And in my area they refuse to allow the schools to do it either—the schools here teach abstinence only. They’ve tried to change the policy several times to make the sex education instruction more comprehensive, but too many (very vocal) parents object.

Are our young people abstaining from sex? I’m sure some are, but apparently not enough, because we rank in the top ten states with the highest teenage pregnancy rate. They’re having sex, they just aren’t using protection. And that’s why I’m very sad to see that my city didn’t make this list, not because it would prove we were lustful, but because making it would mean more people are having safe sex.

I swear when I started this post it was not supposed to be a rant about the importance of teaching young people to practice safe sex, but it kind of veered off in that direction, didn't it?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sexiest Movie Kisses

Check out this article from MSN Movies.

They ranked the sexiest screen kisses as:
10. Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur in The More the Merrier (1943)
9. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (1946)
8. James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)
7. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not (1944)
6. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (2005)
5. James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
4. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation (2003)
3. Naomi Watts and Laura Harring in Mulholland Dr. (2001)
2. Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot (1959)
1. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in Spider-Man (2002)

I found it interesting that more than half of these are from movies in the 40’s and 50’s. I guess actors really knew how to kiss back then. I also found it interesting that there are no movies listed from 1960-1999.

I agree that the kisses from It’s a Wonderful Life and Brokeback Mountain (two of my favorite movies) definitely deserved to make the list. The rest? Well, with the exception of Spiderman, I haven’t seen them, but now I want to.

If you have seen any of these movies, do you agree with the sexiest screen kiss title?

Is there a movie that you think deserved to make the list, but didn't?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Your Cell Phone Color Says About You

I read an article recently that stated a person’s choice of cell phone color signals something about them.

A brief breakdown:
Red--provocative, dramatic, powerful
Orange--social, optimistic, energetic
Yellow--lively, friendly
Green--peaceful, values harmony and balance
Blue--dependable, soothing, calming
Purple--artistic, desire to be unique and different
Pink--innocent, playful, flirtatious
Black--dignified, impressive without being showy
White--values simplicity
Gold--reflects a desire for prestige

While I agree that sometimes the colors you choose say something about you, in the case of my cell phone... I have a red cell phone. What it says about me is simply this--the red phones were on sale when I bought my cell phone :)

Then again, in considering it further, if another color had been on sale--for example, purple--I might have spent more money and bought a different color. While purple is a beautiful color, I don’t own many purple things, because the color is just a bit too flashy for me. Soooo, maybe the red phone does say something about me. Do I consider myself provocative and powerful (I definitely am not dramatic)? Not especially, but maybe I want others to view me that way.

What color is your cell phone, and do you think the color says something about you?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Something To Make You Smile

Two women friends went out without their husbands for a Girls Night Out. As they were walking home, both of them incredibly drunk, they suddenly realized they both needed to pee. They were near a graveyard and one of them suggested they do their business behind a headstone.

They realized they didn't have anything to wipe with. One of the women took off her panties, used them and discarded them. Her friend, however, was wearing a pair of expensive underwear and didn't want to ruin them, but she was lucky enough to salvage a large ribbon from a wreath that was on a grave and proceeded to wipe herself with it. After finishing, they made their way home.

The next day the first woman's husband phones the other husband and says, "These damn girls nights out have got to stop. My wife came home last night without her panties."

"That's nothing," said the other. "Mine came back with a card stuck between the cheeks of her butt that said, From all of us at the Fire Station, we'll never forget you!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

What I'm Reading

Trouble in High Heels by Christina Dodd

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

For those who celebrate the holiday--have a good one!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Which Hunk Was The Favorite?

I thought you might be interested in knowing the results of the "Favorite Hunk" Contest. The winner was a tie! Of the eight choices given, the two gentlemen pictured below each received 26% of the vote.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Winner is...

I had a total of 69 entries in my March/Favorite Hunk contest. A huge thanks to everyone who participated!

I had my oldest son draw a name out of the hat, and the winner is...Laura D. from North Carolina.

Congrats, Laura! You should receive your prize--an 8 oz bottle of Tropical Passionfruit body cream from Bath and Body Works and a 12 oz bag of Hershey’s Kisses--sometime next week.

If you’d like to see which 'hunk' received the most votes, come back tomorrow!

Please check my website and blog over the next few weeks for information about a Spring Scavenger Hunt I'll be participating in and my April contest.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

2nd Annual Favorite Hunk Contest (ends 03/20/08)

Last March I ran a Favorite Hunk Contest, and it was so successful, I've decided to make it an annual event.

I’ve posted pictures at my website of eight gorgeous hunks, and all you have to do is tell me which one is your favorite.

The last date for entry is March 20th, 2008. On March 21, 2008, I will randomly draw a winner from all entries received.

The winner will receive a 12 oz bag of Hershey’s Kisses and an 8 oz bottle of Tropical Passionfruit body cream from Bath and Body Works (because hunks, kisses, and passion just seem to go hand-in-hand!).

Visit my website HERE and click on the contest page for all the details.

Good luck!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Ladies--Today’s Your Day to Pop the Question!

Still waiting on that proposal? Today you can propose to him!

This tradition supposedly began in Ireland in the 5th century when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that the sisters in her nunnery were unhappy that they weren’t able to propose to men, and apparently the men weren't beating down the nunnery door to propose to them. (Did you think that nuns weren’t allowed to marry? Me too! It seems things were very different then.) In response, St. Patrick agreed to allow one day every four years--Leap Day--when women could propose.

Is the story true? Who knows. Some feel that it's doubtful, but still the legend persist.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Public Sleeping Day

We've had an issue recently with #2 son falling asleep in English class. His excuse--"we’re reading Tom Sawyer and it’s boring".

Well, he has a new excuse’s Public Sleeping Day! Of course, I doubt his teacher will consider that to be a valid excuse for sleeping in class, but I’m sure he’ll try to get away with using it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Her Protector Finally Available At Fictionwise

I’m so excited because my New Concepts Publishing book, Her Protector, which was released in September 2006 is finally available for purchase on Fictionwise. Yay! You can purchase it by clicking HERE. It’s currently 15% off :)

I'm really proud of this book. It was my first published work, and it received some great reviews, including a Recommended Read from Rites of Romance Reviews. It also won the Ecata Romance Best First eBook of 2006 award.

Her Protector by Pamela Tyner
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: Sensual

Fleeing the law and a violent boyfriend, Tricia Stephens returns to the hometown she left years ago, never intending to return. But when Matt follows her she has no choice but to seek protection from the one man she learned early on that she could not trust.

Clint's sister was killed by her abusive husband, and he isn't about to allow that to happen to anyone else he cares for. Unfortunately, their past still haunts both of them and the act of love he used to set Tricia free has destroyed her trust in him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Letter To The IRS

Dear IRS,

For the first time I am filing taxes with a 17-year-old dependant.

As I was working on my taxes, I discovered that I can only receive the child tax credit for my dependants who were under 17 as of December 31, 2007.

As I was researching the details of the Economic Stimulus/Tax Rebate Plan, I discovered that I only receive the $300 rebate for dependants who were under 17 as of December 31, 2007.

What idiot made these rules? What’s the reasoning behind them?

Do you realize that in every single state of the US, a 17-year-old (unless they’ve been emancipated in some manner) is a minor and their parents are legally responsible for providing for them? Do you think it costs any less to provide for a 17-year-old than it does to provide for a 16-year-old, a 15-year-old, etc? It does not.

Common sense (which frankly, seems to be in short supply in Washington) dictates that you need to change these rules.

A very unhappy taxpayer

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ready, Set, Don't Go

I’m not particularly a fan of Billy Ray Cyrus or Hannah Montana (although I have some nieces who think she’s great). But I saw this video the other day and absolutely loved it. Now granted, that may be because I can relate to it. #1 son turns 18 in about two months, graduates a month after that, and about three months after graduation will be packing his suitcases and heading out to conqueror the world (well, to go to college anyway). Right now, I’m not quite sure how I’ll handle that, but I suspect tears may be involved.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Something To Make You Smile

One evening a husband, thinking he was being funny, said to his wife, "Perhaps we should start washing your clothes in Slim Fast. Maybe it would take a few inches off of your butt!"

His wife was not amused and decided that she simply couldn't let such a comment go unrewarded.

The next morning the husband took a pair of underwear out of his drawer. "What the hell is this?" he said as a little "dust" cloud appeared when he shook them out.

"April," he hollered into the bathroom, "Why did you put talcum powder in my underwear?"

"It's not talcum powder," she replied. "It's Miracle Grow."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What I'm Reading...

The Doctor's Wife by Elizabeth Brundage (yes, sometimes I read books other than romance :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Increasing Blog Traffic

Every once in a while, I check to see what google search queries are bringing people to my blog. Here’s the winner (by a long shot)---"average number of sexual partners" from this post. So, apparently one way to increase my blog traffic is to blog more about sex. No surprise there, I guess ;)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Winner Is...

A huge thanks to everyone who participated in my February contest. I had my youngest son draw a name out of the hat, and the winner is…. Maria M. from New York.

Congrats, Maria. A one-pound box of Godiva chocolates is en route to you. Enjoy!

Don't forget to check my website and blog the beginning of March for information about my next contest. I have something very fun planned :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

How would you like to get a valentine like this?

I know some might find it a tad bit crude, but it made me smile :)

Here's a more traditional Valentine for you...

MySpace Comments - Valentines Day

Friday, February 01, 2008

February Contest (expires 02/20/08)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the winner of my February contest will receive a box of Godiva chocolates. YUM!

To be entered just send me an email and list the award that I was nominated for last moth (you can find that information here at my blog).

Click HERE to visit my website for all the details of the contest. The last date for entry is February 20, 2008.

While I didn’t win this award, I was thrilled just to be nominated! The winner was author Anne Rainey. I’m a HUGE fan of Anne’s work. I think she is an incredibly talented author, and I consider it a tremendous honor just to be nominated in the same category as her and all the other nominees.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Brava Novella Contest--Please Vote!

My fellow critique partner, Liz Falkner, has finaled in the Reader's Choice portion of the Brava Novella Contest.

I’m so proud of Liz! She’s a fabulous author (not to mention an all-around great person), and I encourage you to support her by participating/voting in this contest.

Click HERE to access the Brava Forum. You can read the entries (there are 20 total) by clicking on the Brava Novella Reader's Choice Finalist Thread. Liz’s entry is #310, TREASURE’S PLEASURE. Then vote for your favorite three by clicking on the Official Voting Thread. Please note that you must register for the forum in order to vote.

Voting will be open--I believe--for approximately one more week.

Monday, January 28, 2008

January, Month of Empty Pockets!

"January, month of empty pockets! Let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer's forehead." -- Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sidonie Gabrielle Colette, she was a French novelist, who wrote, among other things, Gigi, which became a Broadway play. Click HERE to read more about her. This woman led a very interesting life.

But I’m getting sidetracked...

How many of you are suffering from 'empty pocket' syndrome?
*raising my hand high and waving it madly*

How many of you are dreading receiving your credit card bill?
*raising my hand high and waving it madly*

How many of you have a significant other who doesn’t know how much that credit card bill is going to be?
Thankfully, I don’t fall into that category this year, but only because I forced my husband to go Christmas shopping with me, which is not something he normally does.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

2007 Darwin Award Winner

For those who aren't familiar with the Darwin Awards: Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.

Back in July, I blogged about one of the 2007 Darwin Award nominees. Click HERE to read the post. The couple that I blogged about won first runner up. So, who was the 2007 Darwin Award Winner? This brilliant guy from Texas...

Michael was an alcoholic. And not an ordinary alcoholic, but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor...well, rectally. His wife said he was "addicted to enemas" and often used alcohol in this manner. The result was the same: inebriation. And tonight, Michael was in for one hell of a party.

Two 1.5 litre bottles of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces, right up the old address!

When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or pass out. When Michael had had enough (and subsequently passed out) the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be absorbed. The next morning, Michael was dead.

The 58-year-old did a pretty good job of embalming himself. Toxicology reports measured his blood alcohol level as 0.47%.

In order to qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove himself from the gene pool via an "astounding misapplication of judgment." Three litres of sherry up the butt can only be described as astounding. Unsurprisingly, his neighbors said they were surprised to learn of the incident.

If you'd like to read about the other Darwin Award nominees, click HERE.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Most Embarrassing First Date

A friend emailed this to me the other day. I actually saw this show when it aired years ago, and I’ve never forgotten this story because it was so hilarious.

On The Tonight Show, Jay Leno went into the audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had. There was absolutely no question as to why this woman took the prize!

She said it was midwinter...snowing and quite cold...and the guy had taken her skiing in the mountains outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon.

They were driving back down the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte. They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room. Her date suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while.

Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her go beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car. They stopped and she got out of the car, yanked her pants down and started. In the deep snow she didn't have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself.

Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation. Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation. As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender.

Thoughts of tongues frozen to poles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem due to the extreme cold. Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor of the moment, she answered her date's concerns about 'what is taking so long' with a reply that indeed, she was 'freezing her butt off' and in need of some assistance!

He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked into his eyes, he burst out laughing. She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma.

Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem. Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal. Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place; both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free.

So, as she looked the other way, her first-time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

As the audience screamed in laughter, she took the Tonight Show prize hands down. Or perhaps that should be 'pants down'.

Jay Leno's comment: "This gives a whole new meaning to being pissed off."

Oh, and how did the first date turn out?

He became her husband and was sitting next to her on The Tonight Show.

Now I’ve had some embarrassing moments on dates, but they did not begin to compare to this. Had it been me, I doubt I would have ever seen this guy again, because I wouldn’t have been able to look him in the face after that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Compliment Day

Today is Compliment Day. Compliments are a powerful thing. They have the power to brighten someone’s day...maybe even their entire week. They even have the power to soften feelings. Don’t believe me? Try paying a compliment to someone you’re normally at odds with and see if they don't warm up to you just a tad (after they get over the shock of it :) The only clincher is the compliment must be sincere and can’t be 'overdone' (don’t gush!), because people can spot a phony compliment a mile away.

So, hand out a few compliments today. It costs nothing. It makes the recipient feel good. And doesn’t it make you feel good also to know that you brought some happiness to someone with just a few simple words?

I suggest you start with your significant other--because too often we forget to compliment them/thank them--and go from there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

National Handwriting Day

Today is National Handwriting Day. It’s celebrated on January 23rd because it’s the birthday of John Hancock. He was, as I’m sure you know, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence and is famous for his large signature.

The purpose of the day is to "alert the public to the importance of handwriting". And frankly, I think we need something to remind people how important it is, because it’s becoming a lost art.

Years ago when I was in school, a huge emphasis was placed on handwriting. In elementary school, we received a handwriting grade. We practiced it every single day. Once we were taught to write in cursive, we were then required to write everything in cursive. If our handwriting was sloppy, it decreased our grade. If it was too sloppy, we had to re-do the paper.

Today, it’s a different story.

My kids spent very little time in school--in class or in the form of homework--practicing handwriting. They were taught cursive, but were never required to use it beyond the 'lessons'. Both of them, now 17 and 13, still print. Frankly, I doubt they even remember how to write in cursive, beyond writing their signature, and they’ll print that if they can get away with it. And sadly, even their print isn’t especially 'pretty'. In fact my oldest son’s handwriting boarders on illegible. But in his defense, he is left-handed and I think his teachers, who were right-handed, didn’t know how to teach a left-handed child to write (and I certainly didn’t know). But, I digress. That’s a subject for another time.

It’s not just my kids who are lacking in cursive ability and penmanship. I’ve talked to other parents about this. I’ve talked to teachers about this. It’s a growing trend.

According to this article in The Washington Post: When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters.

So, why is this becoming a lost art? There are a lot of reasons. In the elementary schools, time that was previously spent on handwriting is now being gobbled up by other subjects, such as computer class, foreign language class (we didn’t take foreign language until high school), PE (we had PE in high school, but not in elementary school--we just played at recess--and yet, we were healthier than kids today are), etc. And let’s not forget the increased importance of year-end testing. The teachers are more concerned with other things. Legible handwriting is not 'tested' and required for a student to pass. What’s that you say? The teachers still have to be able to read the students' work? Sure they do, so the solution is simple--have them type their papers.

Obviously, computer usage/dependency plays a BIG part in this issue.

Even I rarely handwrite anything anymore. Given a choice, I prefer to type. It’s faster. When I write by hand, my hand can’t keep up with my brain. When you type, it’s easier to edit your work--to add passages, to delete passages, etc. The computer also offers me the convenience of spell-check.

These days, other than my signature, about the only things I handwrite are my grocery list and my checks, and with debit cards, electronic banking, and automatic draft, I rarely write checks anymore.

So, today I encourage you all to handwrite something!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Dead At 28

Wow, what a shock.

I’m a big fan of Mr. Ledger’s work. I thought he was brillant in Brokeback Mountain and Monster’s Ball (which I actually found to be a very disturbing movie, but it was a good movie). I loved him in A Knight’s Tale, The Patriot, and Ten Things I Hate About You.

A tragic loss. It’s such a shame that his daughter will have to grow up without him in her life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Winner Is...

Thanks to all who entered my January contest! I had my husband draw a name out of the hat, and the winner was...Anna M. from Ohio.

Congrats, Anna! You should receive your prize--a copy of Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty--sometime in the next week. Happy Reading!

Please remember to check my website and blog the beginning of February for information about my next contest.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Got Nominated For An Award--GO VOTE FOR ME :)

I just discovered that I was nominated for an award--Best Contemporary Author--at Rites of Romance Reviews! I was shocked and absolutely thrilled to get this news.

If you’d like to vote for me (and please do!)....

Voting is being held in the polls section of the RoRRChatters Yahoo group. You must be signed up with the group in order to vote. If you’re not yet a member of the group, just go HERE and then click Join This Group.

Thanks in advance for your support. I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January Contest (expires 01/20/08)

The winner of my January contest will receive a copy of Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty (Harlequin Spice, November 2007). I chose this prize because one of the entrants in my December contest listed Caine as the person they’d like to meet under the mistletoe :)

If you’d like to meet Caine--or at least read his story--all you have to do is post a comment on this blog entry between now and January 20th stating that you want to be entered into the drawing. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on January 21, 2008.

Be aware that if you are the winner, your name and state (or country) of residency will be posted on my blog and website. I DO need your email address so I can contact you in the event that you win the drawing. If I can backtrack and locate an address for you (for example, an email address listed on blogger), then that’s wonderful. If not, then you need to send your email address, along with a copy of your post, to The winner will be notified by email and will have one week to reply. If there's no reply after seven days a new winner will be drawn.

*Please note--due to the erotic nature of this book, you must be at least 18 to enter the contest.*

The Hell's Eight is the only family he's ever needed, until he meets the only woman he's ever wanted...

Caine Allen is a hardened Texas Ranger, definitely not the marrying kind. But when he rescues a kidnapped woman and returns her to town, the preacher calls in a favor. One Caine's honor won't let him refuse. From the moment he beds Desi, Caine knows turmoil will follow. Desi might have the face of a temptress, but she also has a will of iron and while she needs his protection, she's determined that no man will control her again. They establish an uneasy bond, but it isn't enough for Caine. He wants all Desi has to offer. He wants her screams, her moans, her demands…everything. Yet there's still a bounty on Desi's head, and keeping her sexually satisfied is proving easier than keeping her alive.