Friday, December 27, 2013

Babies Are Here!


Still out town but had to post baby pics. Emily and Marshall arrived yesterday morning. I'll catch up soon. Promise.

 Dad and babies in delivery room.
We've had a big day.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, dear friends. 
Later today, the hh and I will be heading out of town to await the arrival of our grandbabies. 
I will be posting and visiting blogs soon.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
 In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
 The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
 While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
 And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
 Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
 When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
 I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
 Away to the window I flew like a flash,
 Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
 The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
 Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
 When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
 But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
 With a little old driver so lively and quick,
 I  knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
 More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
 And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
 "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
 On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
 To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
 Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
 As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
 When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
 So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
 With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
 And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
 The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
 As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
 Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
 He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
 And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
 A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
 And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
 His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
 His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
 His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
 And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
 The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
 And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
 He had a broad face and a little round belly
 That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
 And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
 A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
 Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
 He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
 And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
 And laying his finger aside of his nose,
 And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
 He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
 And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
 But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
 “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
~Clement Clarke Moore 
who wrote it for his children

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's The Weekend

It's the weekend and it's almost Christmas. Have a good one.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Released Today: Tall, Dark and Undead




It's out.....
 His eyes glowed bright as brimstone. The tips of fangs were visible even under his closed lips. 
“Give me a moment,” he whispered in a hoarse voice.
As I stared, the glow subsided. From the wash of the street light his eyes shone a stormy gray. The tips of the fangs retracted. I walked to him, unafraid. “That’s twice now you’ve saved me.”
“You use up lives quicker than a cat.” His voice had returned to its normal melodious cadence. He watched me approach.
“Thank you, again.” I held out my hand. “I’m Suzanne James.”
The hand that swallowed mine felt cool and hard. “Adrian Caine.”  His touch drew me. His eyes compelled me. My heart beat quickened. My breath grew shallow. I took a step closer then closer yet, my only awareness: his magnetic gaze and the sweet peppermint of his breath on my upturned face. His eyes were stormy as thunderclouds on a dark night. “You conflict me.” He breathed that sweet scent on my face as his head lowered toward mine.
“Friend of yours?”
Cal’s voice startled me and broke the spell I had fallen under. I took a deep breath and a step back. “Yes. Cal Royce, Adrian Caine.”
The men sized each other up. From the expressions on their face, neither was much impressed with the other.
“You should do a better job protecting her, policeman.” Adrian spoke in a soft voice but it carried a sting like a whiplash.
Cal’s head jerked back. His hand tightened around my purse. I grabbed it before the contents spewed out from the force of his grip. “What the hell does that mean and who the hell are you? How did you know I was a detective?”
“Where were you when she was attacked just now?” Adrian countered.
Cal whipped around. “Is that true, Suzanne?”
“Yes.”  I felt a headache coming on. And my eye began to twitch.

Available Nov 28, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

VBT: Cassie Scot Paranormal Detective and Secreets and Lies




BLURB:
Book One
Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective
Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.
Book Two
Secrets and Lies
Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness.
Excerpt:
My parents think the longer the name, the more powerful the sorcerer, so they named me Cassandra Morgan Ursula Margaret Scot. You can call me Cassie.

I've been called a lot of things in my life: normal, ordinary, and even a disappointment. After the Harry Potter books came out, a couple of people called me a squib. Since I haven't read them, I have to assume it's a compliment.

Personally, I prefer normal, which is why the sign on my office door reads: Cassie Scot, Normal Detective.
 
You have to understand that around here, when your last name is Scot, people are easily confused. Not only are my parents powerful practitioners, but I have six talented brothers and sisters. Plus, my family hasn't always been known for its subtlety. When weird stuff happens around here, the people who are willing to believe in magic are prone to suspect the Scots.

The day I opened for business I got a call from an old woman who swore her cat was possessed by the devil. She also swore she'd read my web site, which clearly stated the types of work I did and did not do. Exorcisms were on the No list, and while I hadn't specified pet exorcisms, I would have thought it was implicit.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon or BN


Monday, December 16, 2013

Vanilla Brandy, err Vanilla Extract

Greetings everyone, yes it is Monday, but it's getting closer and closer to the holidays where we'll be home even on Mondays.
My Vanilla Extract is bottled and ready to go.  I ordered the bottles and labels on line. Next year I'm going to start in July so those beans can get good and saturated, and my vanilla will smell more like extract and less like brandy:) I'm giving them out with a Christmas spatula and chocolate covered pretzel.

Babies are still in holding pattern, which is just fine with the hh since he is in the middle of giving and grading finals. I kept the ceramic planters from when my babies were born and I'm recycling them for the next generation.  I took the planters to the local florist and had them put plants in them and when our little peas in the pod decide to make their entrance I'll take them to the hospital and give to the DIL.  It's hard to tell from the picture but the one plant is a pink Christmas Cactus.

But enough about me. How was your weekend? Wondrous? Of course, it was.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

VBT: King of Bad



With us today is Kai Strand talking about: Good vs Bad. Not Always A Clear Choice

I’m going to ask you to do some imagining with me. Picturing scenarios in your head for the purposes of illustrating a point.

Imagine if you will, an epic traffic pile up on a freeway. An oil tanker has tipped on its side and is spewing its contents. The river of gasoline is headed straight for the pile of cars that are already aflame. The truck’s driver hit his head and is out cold, slumped over the steering wheel. (The cab is still upright, while the tank is on its side. We must keep this simple-ish). How do you react?

GOOD person: Rushes forward, throws open the truck’s door, climbs in, unbuckles the unconscious person and drags him clear just as the trail of gasoline ignites and a line of flame zips backward to blow the tanker sky high.

BAD person: Rushes for truck, throws open door, climbs in, rifles through driver’s pockets for wallet. Repeats process with any other unconscious driver in the pile up not already engulfed in flames. Walks away from incident with $140.00.

Now, imagine with me a crowd of revelers pouring out of a sports arena after their team won its first championship in 100 years. How do you react?

BAD person: Insights riot, sets trashcans on fire, tips over cop cars, breaks car windows. Shouts their team’s name prefaced by a cuss word. So proud of their actions, they grin into the news cameras.

GOOD person: gets the heck out of there. Fast.

Okay, let’s go back to that first scenario and put yourself in the BAD person’s position. But first let me give you a little background. BAD person in on the freeway in the first place because she got a call that her son fell off the jungle gym on the playground and cracked his head open. He was rushed to the hospital, where she was headed when the multi-car pile up happened in front of her. She doesn’t have health insurance and only a part time temp job that pays barely more than minimum wage. She’s already gotten a disconnect notice from the electric company and she’s two weeks behind paying rent. BAD person might have made a bad decision to steal money, but she saw an opportunity that may help pay the hospital bill. Is she a bad person or is she a person reacting to bad circumstances?

Now, let’s move on to the second scenario. Put yourself in BAD person’s position. Or better yet, don’t. That person is simply unlawful and disrespectful.

As you can see, sometimes people are in a victim mentality, making decisions with what little opportunity they have and other times a person is just bad. However, in both circumstances, you likely don’t have the entire story in order to make that determination.

Jeff Mean is King of Bad. But don’t judge him until you’ve read his entire story.

BLURB:

    Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

    He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?
Excerpt:
The Amazon

Sitting front and center in math class the next morning was the Amazon. Jeff almost stumbled when he saw her. Even folded into a standard classroom desk, her body went on and on. Her olive skin glowed under the fluorescent lights. Miles of wavy sable locks tumbled to her waist. A short skirt revealed a never-ending expanse of legs gracefully wrapped together under the desk. They seemed indecent. Jeff wasn’t attracted to her, per se, but she intrigued him. And scared him to death.

Amber colored eyes gleamed when they met his. She looked him over from head to toe and a half smile curved her full lips. Jeff fought the urge to scurry past and with all the casual aloofness he could muster, he sauntered to his desk at the back of the room. He heaved a loud mental sigh when he was safely behind her. He might understand Pyro’s claim that something wasn’t right about the Amazon. Though he doubted that he and Pyro were referring to the same thing.

To Jeff’s dismay, the math teacher had the Amazon introduce herself to the class. She stood at the front and stared pointedly at Jeff most of the time. When she spoke he groaned. Her voice was warmed butter rum—soothing, comforting and intoxicating. Jeff made the mistake of glancing at her while she spoke about her home in northern Italy. As soon as they made eye contact, Jeff was transfixed. Though she continued to speak aloud to the class she also spoke directly to Jeff in his mind. It wasn’t in a language that Jeff understood, but he knew she was hypnotizing him.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
When the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died, the end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for younger children Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Visit Kai’s website, www.kaistrand.com, to browse her books, download companion materials or to find all her online haunts.

You can usually find Kai online at Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KaiStrandAuthor
Buy it: 
Publisher:
Barnes and Noble: 
Add it to Goodreads:
Kai will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC plus a signed book mark to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (International).
Tour dates can be found here:   http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/09/virtual-book-tour-king-of-bad-by-kai.html
 Rafflecopter code for entries: