Get thee to the Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research and find somethin’ ta spend yer filthy lucre on!
Books! Author critiques! Trips! Jewels! Fripperies and fropperies! All manner of treasures be there!
Including a particular item from yer favorite writing pirate…ME!
Aye, puttin’ me brain ta work, I dug through me treasure trove and offered up a great big leather satchel…this thing be big, heavy duty, good shoulder strap, nice threatenin’ message embroidered on the flap along with a skull and bones with lit torches.
Then I filled the bag with swag. And I’m still on the lookout fer swag! I gots until June 15 ta cram all I can inta the bag afore it goes ta the winnin’ bid, though the biddin’ closes on May 31st!
Me books, a mini tricorn, a little kraken, sparklies, goodies, provisions, shot glasses…this bag will be full a’ bounty!
Register and bid! The bag be here!
Any ideas a’ what I should include?
Books…A Caribbean Spell has been out for a few weeks and sales are sporadic, but I figure this story will find its niche and snuggle on in and flourish. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s gonna happen. Book two, Red Sean’s Revenge will be out in June and this week I start working with my cover artist to put something awesome together. And I’m painstakingly working through revisions for book number three…which might be called The French Gambit or Bernard’s Gambit. I’m leaning for The French Gambit.
Life? Well, life is good. I’m not sure when it happened, but I’m suddenly growing fond on my house again and find myself spending less and less time sitting in Starbucks, working on my books. For one thing, we have a new gas powered fireplace that makes the house so comfy! And drier. (I live less than ½ miles from the ocean and we’re normally on the damp side.) I turn it on when I get up and by the time we crawl into bed, it’s 77 degrees in the house. Without the ash dust, wood chips or smoke. It’s good!
Exercise. This is going so well! I started the year with a blog about how I intended to climb this particular hill…then my back and sciatica laughed and took me down. Hard. And a cold. Gods, really, the first two months of 2013 sucked when it came to health/exercise goals. Saw my doctor, who weighed me and gave me that look… That week went out and bought an elliptical machine. And my first time on it was torture. Five minutes. That was it. Five minutes and the sciatica pitched a fit and I thought I was going to die. But I kept at it. Five minutes at a time. Then I’d sit, let the sciatica calm down. Wait an hour, do another five minutes. Until at the end of a week, I could do ten minutes at a time.
Second week , I added another ten minutes, to thirty a day. Sometimes five minutes at a time, sometimes ten. Third week, I made it forty minutes a day and it was in ten minute chunks. Sometimes a rare twenty. Entering my fourth week and graduating to fifty minutes.
No added resistance, started slow…going faster now. I’m pushing to hit an hour a day, steady. Then I’ll add resistance. And I’m feeling good! The sciatica still hollars, but less and less. I’m actually breaking a sweat now because of the work out, not the pain. And that is a good thing!
Meanwhile, I have a new release coming out from Decadent Publishing. Lorelei’s Song. A little bit of Steampunk, a little horror, a lot of erotica. Keep an eye out for it. Be out on March 29th!
Announcing the beginnings of a new pirate series! After nearly a decade of work, I have taken the plunge, delightfully jumping from the gangplank into the sweet blue seas of self-publishing with the debut of my series, A Caribbean Spell!
Meet Miranda, experienced time traveler, sexual adventurer, and do-gooder. Making friends and finding lovers comes easy, while interfering is her specialty. Confident, impetuous, she treasures new experiences; life is for learning and the joy is in the journey.
Riding the currents of time is a challenge this witch is up for. No matter where or when she lands, she hits the ground ready, looking for whatever challenge the universe presents. She discovered her talent, to walk between the realities of time and space, after losing her 20th century world to a devastating earthquake. Seeking a cause to die for, or a reason to live, she stumbles upon the Caribbean of Jake Reynard. This new realm proves more tempting than she counted on.
Not to mention totally unfamiliar. Port Royal thrives, and is certainly not the wicked city her world’s history painted it. But it does prove exciting. Handsome pirates, magical devices, even an evil sorceress sail these seas.
Before she faces these realities, she befriends Joanna, married to a good man whose gentle nature wins Miranda’s allegiance. Port Royal finds her unconventional but is still willing to embrace her differences, despite her uncouth clothing, her lack of social skills and an uncanny ability at speaking the truth, regardless of propriety. A beautiful setting, charming climate, this sweet world quickly captures her loyalty. And her heart.
Once danger rises to threaten her new friends, she takes it on. Better the perils aimed at the city come her way since she can handle them using assorted tricks, magical spells and the skills she’s developed in decades of travel.
Miranda is a wounded woman. Though appearing merry and in control, the guilt of survival drives her to take desperate chances. Going up against an evil sorceress is right up her alley. What begins as nothing more than a simple liaison with Reynard to keep her magical energy primed raises questions she isn’t prepared for. Has she really found a reason to live in this freewheeling world?
She may be a witch who restores her magical energy through sex, a role the pirate Reynard is delighted to fulfill, but she didn’t count on the sex to deepen into real caring, or love, heaven help her.
Nor did he.
Reynard loves his life. A consummate pirate, he treasures his rum, his ship and showing how clever he is. When acquaintances rope him into assisting in a rescue of what sounds like a reckless woman, taken prisoner by a notoriously evil female pirate, he agrees. Raising sail to save the world is the last thing he expects to be caught up in. But if that is what it takes to keep the fascinating witch he pulls from the sea, then so be it. Falling in love is not part of the plan. He didn’t build his profitable reputation on doing good deeds and trust doesn’t come easy.
But trust and luck is something these two need if they are to survive and master A Caribbean Spell.
How many books will there be? 30! Yes, you read that correctly. The second book, Red Sean’s Revenge, will be released in June, 2013…the next in September and a fourth in December.
Where can you purchase A Caribbean Spell? I’ll be updating the books soonest, but in the meantime…
I will be putting the book out in print, stay tuned for details!
So, it’s been a little over 5 years since the modern miracle of medicine stepped forward and installed a portable defibrillator in my chest. Aside from the circumstances that saw this necessity, it’s been a good five years. At this stage, I’m just biding my time, waiting for that little alarm to go off inside.
What alarm? The little alarm which lets me know that it’s time to replace the unit because the battery is winding down. I’ve only had the handy little sucker fire off twice, both false alarms. All about how the device was set to make a mountain out of a molehill, so it did.
Not a great feeling, that interior kick from a horse. But it’s survivable and even doesn’t knock a person out. And that is a good thing to know, since I could have been driving a car, etc. Now I know that if that happens, I won’t lose control of the car or lose consciousness.
Sometime, in the next year more than likely, I’ll hear those little electronic chimes and it will be time to call my cardiologist and schedule that replacement. It will be the entire device, because it isn’t possible to just replace the battery. With luck, the leads, which thread through my arteries into my heart, won’t need to be replaced. So, it should be an out-patient thing.
I remember when I first took on this little personal EMT. How the shoulder incision was so sore, and swollen. The things I needed to be careful of, like not lifting my arms, taking care of the position I sleep in…that was the first physical challenges.
But the biggest ones were the mental challenges. Getting used to having this little watchman inside me. The metal box and the scar. And the feeling of it inside me. For a long time, several years in fact, I felt like I’d never get used to it. Every seatbelt hit it, my bra strap crossed it, purse straps would irritate it. Still does, but the awareness of it has faded to a blip on my radar. Used to be a whale on my radar.
As the time approaches when I know it will be replaced, I’m growing aware of it again. Every now and then, I hear the use of electronic tones on the radio and I have to pause and think, “Was that my ICD?” I figure when I do hear it for real, I’ll freak out a bit.
My cardiologist says once it goes off, I will typically have 3 months to get it replaced. No massive rush, but still…I wonder… Will it take me another matter of years to get used to it all again? I hope not.
Recently I read that one of the ICD/Pacemaker companies was exploring a new device that wouldn’t need a battery replacement, because it will be powered from the electrical energy the heart itself generates. That would be nice! No new surgery every 5-7 years.
Living with a device in your body, connected to your heart, is a big deal. And a little deal. In the larger scheme of things, it means if my heart does something funky, I have more than a chance. It gives me the confidence to travel, to be places alone, to drive and see very little change in my life from before the sudden cardiac death.
But it’s tricky. It feels odd. I think it will always feel odd. It’s a constant reminder that I am fragile. That life is balanced on the edge of nothingness. All of the time.
Another FB friend recently returned from a near death incident to find herself with a pacemaker. I want her to know…it’s all true. It will feel wrong. It will feel right. It will be a godsend and it will scare you. And it’s okay. Ask me, anytime. Anyone who wonders…ask me. Robin Leigh Anderson, I’m here for you!
Hmmm… I don’t do resolutions. But then again, I have always shied away from the idea of specific goals. I’m superstitious.
Let me explain. Specific goals tempt the gods to raise an eyebrow and laugh. I have no idea where I came up with this conviction. But it seems to run in my family. If you keep it nebulous and unstated, you hide it from the forces in the world who will do their best to see you fail. Or laugh when you fail. It’s a bit like Gollum, hiding in the Misty Mountains with the awesome ring that makes him invisible.
Now, this goes totally against the other side of my convictions…that the world wants you to succeed.
I’m a contrarian. I really need to design a t-shirt.
I’m working on teaching the two sides of my philosophy to waltz. I think they are actually going to end up as a great couple.
In the meantime, I do have a…let’s see, what can I call it?
I have something I want to do in 2013.
This is a hill. With a trail to the top, which winds around the summit before descending back to the park where it begins. The park locally known as Blue Ball Park, though it does have an official name that isn’t so giggle worthy. But when you put public art consisting of giant steel balls scattered at a park and paint them blue, what else can you expect?
Now, the hill. It’s a steep hill. Probably about the equivalent of the hike to Nob Hill from Union Square in San Francisco. Blue Ball Park has a walking path around the playing fields and twice around this nice, fairly level path, is 1 mile. Bonnie, the dog, enjoys this walk as there are numerous gophers and ground squirrels to stare at.
She likes to stare at rodents. What can I say? She’s very good at it!
This hike up the hill… I’ve looked at it. And turned away. The day the space shuttle made its farewell tour of California, the best view was at the top of the hill and people were lined up watching her fly by. I stood on the lowlands.
So, this is the idea. I want to climb that hill in 2013. In fact. I want to make climbing it a regular thing. I’m not in the best shape and I know it will be a slow hike, with many rest periods along the way. Which is okay, I’m not looking to set any records. Considering the name for this little hike is Killer Hill Trail…I’m not going to push it.
It’s a simple thing. Climb a hill. I’m going to be a bit ambitious and say…I want to climb it once in January, twice in February, three times in March and so forth. (Though twelve times in December? We’ll see. If it’s a wet December, like this one has been, that could be difficult to do.)
Is this a metaphor for what I want to do with my life?
Maybe not. I’m not sure. My Gollum isn’t talking to Galadriel at the moment. (I love that spell check actually knew that name! Isn’t that cool!?)
What about you? You have a hill in mind to climb? Metaphorically or actually?
We could donate these ties. But look at them!
Bugs! Tigger! Sails boats! Pepe le Pew! You can’t see ‘em all, but trust me, there are some wonderful ties in this massive stack of ties.
And to be truthful, I really don’t want to just get rid of them. Now, I don’t need any sort of wall art. Or pillows…but I’d love some ideas on what to do with this richness of ties…
So, friends…what do you suggest? I can sew, snip, destroy…in the cause of holding onto these memories. I bought most of them for him. Knowing he needed ties, but wanted more character than a simple nice color… I found one project which turned a tie into a little cell phone carrier…but most of my husband’s ties would be upside down! That won’t do!
Are there patterns? Craft ideas? Help a pirate out!
Yup, movie review here. I’ve seen a lot of movies these last few months. I’m dealing with writer’s stagnation. Movies help me escape from my self-doubt and screaming inner demons.
Give me a good action movie, some explosions, chase scenes…I forget my woes. Same with a good animated feature. No sobby stuff, please.( Love mysteries, but no one does those anymore.)
Now, I’ve come to the Daniel Craig Bond really late. I liked Pierce Brosnan and even Timothy Dalton, wasn’t sure about a blond Bond. But now that he’s going grey? Well, I saw the previews for Skyfall and thought, I need to see that!
But I couldn’t without seeing the first two. Luckily, they were available with my cable On-Demand service. So…watched ‘em. Liked ‘em! More for Judi Densch than Daniel. I mean, yeah…he’s good. And built like a brick wall but I wasn’t totally sold. Though I really liked the dynamic between Bond and M.
Skyfall showed that relationship to a particular degree. I especially adored the acknowledgment that Bond, and M, are showing their age. Bond especially. I mean, how often can this guy leap onto hard services and not show some knee pain? Get punched over and over and over and not hold his ribs?
I understand it’s a fictional super-duper hero type story, but I find when I see a more realistic portrayal of someone pushing on despite the pain, etc…I am more able to buy the story.
And I bought Bond totally this time. His reaction to the young Q was wonderful. Not to mention the play with the villain when he’s tied to a chair… (Won’t spoil that for anyone. We can discuss it later if you like!)
It’s a great story, very intricate, digging deeper into Bond and even M’s history than in the other movies. And we finally are joined be a very familiar name from the books. I won’t say and spoil it for those who haven’t seen it.
From the opening sequence and opening credits, with a song by Adele that fit the storyline perfectly…it’s a fun movie!
And let’s hear it for the mature hero!
Author Ruth Morris Gates tagged me in a game of blog hop. According to author Shel Delisle, the idea is “about a lot of authors getting together to share their readers and to help them to find other great authors to read.” We are supposed to answer ten questions about one of our books, or a work in progress, I only have, oh, about 4 books out in submissions right now, another three on my computer that I’m working on… So, I’m gonna chat about the one I’m actually most excited about shipping around right now… Almost Human and the one I’m fiddling with, tentatively entitled Homeless.
1- What is the working title of your book?
Well, as I just said, the one I’m working, Homeless. I doubt it will keep this name, but it’s one of the theme threads I’m following so it works for now. Homeless is an alternate Sherlock Holmes story, with a time traveler getting involved with the man. And really messing him up. Which is what I’m doing with the canon. Hee, hee!
Almost Human is part of my alien encounter books, and as one might figure, it’s about aliens and humans. Villains, a near future that is nasty and a love story. Fun stuff!
2- Where did the idea come from for the book?
Homeless rose from me trying to beat writer’s block. I’m a big Holmesian universe fan and love how people mess with the original. So I thought I’d give it a try.
Almost Human was me attempt at creating a Leroy Jethro Gibbs type character and throwing him up against the government. Become a sort of rebel. Oh, with a woman mixed up in all of it.
3- What genre does your book fall under?
Hmmmm! Homeless is romantic adventure, hint of paranormal and steampunk. Almost Human is romantic scifi. Romance first, light on the scifi.
4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Love these type of questions! My Holmes? Pierce Brosnan, I think. His love interest? Gina Davis. Now, my Sam? Stephen Lang. (Who I often cast as the lead in my books.) Ria, the heroine? I’m thinking Daryl Hannah.
5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Time traveling Jennifer knows how screwed up time is, but meeting Sherlock Holmes proves how wrong history, and fiction, can be.
Finding a woman who died decades ago, restored to youth was only the first of the complications the aliens brought to Sam’s life, but what they could promise would change the world forever.
6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will probably self-publish Homeless, but I have hopes that Almost Human will find a home along more traditional paths.
7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m still working on Homeless, but hope to see it complete before the end of the year. Though I’m not entirely sure what complete will consist of! Almost Human took about two months for the first draft.
8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Homeless is a bit of a mutt. Jenny is mouthy, Holmes is melancholy, perhaps a Betsy the Vampire Queen, less snark, more empathy.
Almost Human? Tougher! 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea meets NCIS.
9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Well, dreams. Almost Human rose straight from a dream I had. Homeless came from watching the new Holmes version on TV, Elementary.
10- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you like Holmes and mucking about with Holmes, I think you’d enjoy Homeless. Almost Human is heartrending and the growth of the central characters is touching.
Been a bit dark in my life lately. The wonders of depression piled with getting older troubles on top of relatives really getting older and misunderstandings, money… Yup, been a long dark tunnel for way too long.
I’m fighting my way back, trying to beat the major memory fog I’ve stumbled into with lists. If I can remember where I put them or to look at them or…
Yeah, I got it bad.
But I’m trying to look at the little things and celebrate those bits of light in the dark. Sometimes, it’s all we can do!
What little thing are you celebrating? I got out of the house before noon today. That’s my claim to fame!
Man, new goodies at Starbucks that are just…insane. I’m a bit of a fan of this time of year, when they bring out the autumn flavors of drinks. Pumpkin spice lattes, which smell awesome, for example.
I never get it, because I always get the same thing – an iced Americano, decaf.
Sigh. It’s low on calories, I get a venti and add just a splash of half & half…it’s good! But I enjoy smelling the other treats…
And come the holidays, I will treat myself to a peppermint mocha. One. And it will be good and I will be wonderful with it. No guilt.
But these things…they are guilt in a tube…
I watch a lot of FoodNetwork. I don’t cook, honestly, but I do eat. And so I watch the shows and drool a lot. But I’ve never understood the whole bit of adding salt to chocolate. I mean, I’d follow the chefs, pastry cooks, whoever, as they made these incredibly decadent chocolate indulgences and then they’d add a pinch of rock salt and I’d grimace… “Oh, man, they ruined the chocolate!”
I didn’t understand.
Chocolate covered bacon…what?
Then, I tried it. The bacon. Okay, that was pretty interesting! Crunchy, tasty…but wow, I was thirsty afterward!
I like salt but the bacon with chocolate was too salty. Next, I tried one of those salted caramel thingies… I’d probably adore it if I loved caramel. It was eh…
One morning at Starbucks, I saw these new treats… Salted Almond Chocolate Bites. OMG.
A eureka moment! I suddenly understand why salt is good for chocolate. It opens the tastebuds so one can fully appreciate the chocolate. The almond crunch is the trick to fool oneself that you’re eating something that is good for you… You know, instead of an apple fritter.
At least that is my rational.