This is only a part of the amazing mural which decorated the end of the Winn Dixie supermarket, complete with outdoor speakers giving us the sounds of a round-up.
This mural was a beautiful backdrop to a memory garden, complete with fish pond.
My hubby, the train buff, took pictures of a couple murals that had trains in them. The first one was on the front wall of the school.
I wish we'd taken more pictures. If it had just been my husband and me, we would have spent the day here, searching out all 47 murals, stopping into many of the shops along the streets, and taking many more pictures. But we were with my elderly parents and that wasn't an option while we were there. I hope we can stop by again and take our time there.
I think part of the fun of vacation is discovering new places, places we want to return to another time. What about you?
Sorry for the delay in my blog post today. Been some chaos this morning, which will also make this blog post short since my mind is still trying to wrap around what has happened and I can’t seem to focus on anything else. All will be well though.
Anyway, I wanted to talk about couponing. Yes, I know a far stretch from writing, but I’ve recently started watching Extreme Couponing on TLC and let me tell you, I finally get it. I’ve never totally grasped the couponing thing. I knew the basics: you buy a product, use a coupon and save a dollar. However, I never understood how some couponers got things for next to nothing and how they got such mass quantities of it.
Man, do I get it now. I don’t plan to be like some of the couponers on Extreme Couponing. One, I don’t have the room and two, I don’t have the time, but seriously? Why in the heck have I not been stocking up on my favorite items for next to nothing when I had the chance? I’m actually angry at myself for not grasping this sooner. The money I could have saved. The MEAT I could have bought. All these years.
Either way, I’m aware now and never plan to go back to shopping the way I was, especially with the way food prices have skyrocketed over the last year. I’ll save that extra money to buy Rib-eyes and roasts (can you tell I’m a meat eater, lol). I’ve already had some luck. The other day I bought $11 worth of stuff I needed (this wasn’t just buying stuff because I could, I needed butter, rice and tea bags) for $3.13. You’d think I was offered a new contract for a story, I was so excited.
Anyone else diving into the extreme couponing realm?
I'm home again after a two week vacation to Florida. Hubby and I pull a 33 foot travel trailer and that in itself can make a road trip challenging. It's nice to carry your own bathroom and kitchen with you when you need a rest stop, but manuvering that sucker in traffic and finding a large enough gas station can be a trick. So after 15 days on the road, here are a few words of wisdom.
Lesson #1 - Don't wear a sundress when you climb the 203 steps to the top of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse! And if you do, make sure you're hubby is behind you when the wind blows your skirt up over your butt!
Lesson #2 - Don't ignore that hot smell as you drive down the road. We burned up a wheel bearing on the trailer and lost 5 hours while we got it fixed.
Lesson #3 - Be Prepared. We had a total of 3 flat tires on our way home from Florida, wo of them on the side of I-77 outside Charlotte at 5pm rush hour. Always have spares! Know how to change trailer tires AND truck tires. Or have a hubby who knows how. And say a few prayers while you watch said hubby changing the tires with the traffic whizzing by.
Lesson #4 - Expect the unexpected. After 3 breakdowns in 3 days, we were almost home. New tires all the way around. We hopped into the truck Saturday morning to get gas and breakfast before hooking up and driving home. The brake pedal went straight to the floor! We'd broken a brake line. We felt a little like we were cursed, but at least it happened in the campground and not out on the road.
Lesson #5 - Keep your sense of humor. Hubby and I went through a lot of stress in the past few days. If we hadn't laughed, we probably would have cried and what's the use of tears?
Lesson #6. Enjoy each day to the fullest! When all is said and done, we had a wonderful trip to Florida, enjoyed hot, dry weather while the folks back home were cold and wet. We visited friends and family, saw the Shuttle lift off and walked the beach.
Our problems didn't start until we were headed home. Maybe that means we should have stayed amid the sun, surf and sand...
The attraction that lies within that one word is undeniable: immortality. It gives you the chance to see more than just a tiny slice of history. It allows you to be part of different eras, to experience the shifts that span generations. And to constantly change yourself. You can reinvent yourself with each change in society, live so many different lives, and experience everything that’s on offer. Who could resist?
Even in my relatively short life, I’ve seen the world change. When I grew up, there were no computers, and look at us today. Personally, I can’t imagine not having a computer. Plane travel has become common day. Most young people have never seen a rotary phone or used a typewriter. Imagine the changes a vampire would see: to go from a horse-drawn carriage to an automobile to a plane.
But this intimate look into history as a vampire isn’t all that attracts me to this creature. We probably all remember our first love. Who thought it would last forever? (*raises hand*) Yet, it didn’t last. But then later, we find our one true love and we think how could I have wasted all these years? I met my husband when I was already in my mid-thirties. Now we only have a relatively short time left. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that we have eternity with our love, with our soul mate? A vampire has that. When he finds his true love he can say “I love you for eternity.” And mean it.
So maybe that’s what our fascination with vampires (or at least mine) is all about: our fear of mortality, and our wish to love and be loved for eternity.
And that’s why I write vampire romances: my characters will live and love forever.
I currently have two vampire series published: Scanguards Vampires (4 books out so far, book 5 coming at Christmas 2011), and Venice Vampyr (3 novellas out so far).
Links for Tina Folsom's books:
Tina's Romance Website
Kimberly’s constant chatter provided an easy background noise to drift off to. She couldn’t tell how long she was out, but it couldn’t have been long. Kimberly was still essentially telling the same story, or maybe it was a variation of it, when Yvette’s senses caught something else.
First, a grating noise reached her ears; it sounded like somebody was trying to pry an old door open, the rusted hinges providing the music fitting for a horror movie. The hairs on the back of her neck instantly stood sentry while she tried to get her bearings. Something was wrong about the sound. Disturbing.
Yvette sat up, her spine stiff and alert.
She trained her eyes on the door, but nothing moved there, and no sound came from it.
There it was again. It came from the outside; that much was sure now.
Yvette yanked her head toward the window at the same time as a ray of sun burst into the room. She froze just long enough to feel a bite of pain from where the sun touched her arm.
“No!” Haven’s shout jerked her out of her trance as did another cranking sound. She finally realized what was happening: the fucking witch was prying away the plywood planks to let sunlight into the room, making good on her earlier threat!
“Shit!” Yvette yelled and jumped up, nearly colliding with Haven.
Panic struck her like a lightning strike, then she felt Haven’s hand grabbing her.
“Move!” Haven screamed and pulled her with him. She tumbled more than ran with him as he swung the bathroom door open and flung her inside ahead of him, the rays of the sun on their heels. She slammed against the sink before she heard the door close behind them with a loud thud.
Only a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling illuminated the tiny space which wasn’t any bigger than a six-person elevator.
Her heart raced and beat into her throat. Behind her, Haven’s breathing was just as erratic. When Yvette turned toward him, she didn’t even get a chance to thank him for his quick action, because his arms came around her instantly and pulled her tightly to his large chest. One hand on the back of her head, the other around her waist, he squeezed her against him.
“Oh, shit!” he gasped on an exhaled breath. “That bitch!”
Yvette swallowed hard, unable to form any words yet. The shock still sat too deeply in her bones. She’d frozen, even though it had only happened for an instant. She’d never frozen before.
Haven put his hands on her shoulders and pushed her away a few inches. “Are you okay? Did the sun get you anywhere?” His concerned eyes scanned her body, the slight tremble in this voice only underscoring his worry.
Yvette shook off his hands. Having had her face pressed against his naked chest had been temptation enough. She needed to sever her contact with him before it was too late. “I’m fine. Thanks.” She wasn’t, but she would be.
He nodded briefly, then turned to the door. But he didn’t open it. “Wesley?”
“Yeah?” his brother’s reply came instantly.
“Take the blankets from the cots and hang the window with it. Make sure you get the sides as well so no light will filter through.”
Then Haven turned back to her and crossed the one-foot distance that was between them. There was no getting away from him in the miniscule bathroom. His look was serious when he gazed at her, making her aware again of how much taller and bigger he was. “You can beat the shit out of me later, but right now I have to hold you.”
And just like that, he pulled her back into his embrace.
“Shh. Not now, Yvette. I almost had a heart attack thinking you’d die right in front of me.
Her heart made a flipping motion as if somebody had installed a trampoline and was jumping up and down on it. This big, bad vampire slayer was worried about her. The man who’d confessed that he’d killed other vampires to avenge his mother had saved her with his quick thinking by pushing her into the windowless bathroom. And now, he was holding her in the tightest hug she’d ever found herself in as if something bad were to happen if he’d let go. A hairline crack appeared in the door to her heart as her next thought took root.
Haven didn’t hate her.
After the ten-thousandth fight with her father, the Devil's daughter is forced to surrender her trident and true love in order to save Earth from devastation of a magnitude it's never known. More than a few pulses are raised when Hellé Hawthorn and her minions hit Sin City on the hottest day of summer and make their business every man's pleasure.
Excerpt from the erotica paranormal romance, HELLE IN HEELS by Shawna Moore --
Naked except for some of my favorite gold jewelry, I took one last look at the hellhole that had served as my private domain since birth. Lavender-blue deposits of ameniorite, a rare gem as yet undiscovered by those aboveground, twinkled where my mirrors weren’t placed. Gorgeous ameniorite, the miracle rock that would seal the success of my elixir—or drop me back down to Hell and a fiery grave. A glance in all directions made my last memory.
Whatever I needed, I would pick up at the chic boutique on Bourbon. On the cedar chest, my favorite Kate Spade satchel lay open. If I were into blessing people, I’d bless the generous clotheshorse that descended here after an untimely death late last week. Who would have thought my pairing her with a wicked fashion designer would gain me such a special gift? She’d perished while still clutching that trendy piece and brought it with her to Hell. What a shame to let that lovely handbag behind. But better here than being reduced to ashes upon my special ascent.
Caminosh would find my goodbye note and claim the spring bag sought by many on Earth. She was a she-beast totally clueless about fashion but a friend to the end. Too bad she wouldn’t part company with her hell-raiser and accompany me to what lay thousands of feet above us. I blew a kiss at the far mirror. As long as she polished these lovelies, I wouldn’t care if she took over my favorite spot in the whole wide underworld.
But if a single fingerprint marred their shiny surfaces, I’d find a way to pay her a visit on Halloween and make her ass-length brunette hair curl like a poodle’s.
I wound my black mane into a knot and fastened it with a fistful of pins. They’d likely all fall out upon my ascent, but at least they’d keep my hair in place until then. Stifling a yawn, I flexed the fingers not covered from bottom knuckle to middle by bands of gold. Once I arrived in New Orleans I’d pay for my shopping spree with a couple of them. The shop owner would be far ahead in the transaction, since I always believed in heavy tipping.
I might be the Devil’s daughter, but I never had to steal anything—even a date to the Devilish Debs dress balls in years past.
And once I hit the jackpot at Harrah’s, my day spa and massaging divas would be on the lips of every male.
I claimed the vial from the champagne satin comforter, pulled out the cork and tossed down the bitter deep-purple contents. My gut roiled but soon got over its snack. Hopefully my body would cooperate once I passed from my world to the real world. Unknown to others, I’d reached the Kellion level several times but my lack of focus and the fact I had the hots for a particularly handsome former rugby player prevented me from breaking through.
Today failure wasn’t an option. If I did, I’d perish in the pit of which so many had spoken in hushed tones. Hell wasn’t home for me anymore, with Satan out to claim more than my soul because of a good argument gone bad after too many rounds and too many centuries.
I smashed the vial against the far cave fall and ground the glass shards into the spaces in the rock flooring.
Without a backward glance I rushed from the room and made my way to the Crystal Chamber. My body was already vibrating, my bones closing upon themselves. I quickened my pace and traveled through the various tunnels and passageways at warp speed.
At reaching the sapphire-inlaid altar, I clutched myself, fingernails digging into the flesh of my triceps. Flames rose from the adjacent fire pits. Smoke curled toward an interminable blackness. The same blackness my body would soon penetrate. A tapping beset my skin. I stared at the stalactites encrusted with rich mineral deposits. Those deposits contained the most powerful energy down here other than that emanating from His Royal Pain-in-the-Ass, my father, the Devil.
I took several steps to the right and poised my right great toe over the rendering of Bacchus and the left over the Pyramids. Egypt and Rome were diametrically opposed cultures, but my research and formulas yielded these were my markers for a journey to New Orleans. My skin pulsed and violent spasms rocked me from my hair roots to my heels. I stretched my arms toward the sky that lay well beyond this world and my imagination. Energy exchanged between my body and the space where the crystals lay. Every pore on my body now seeped the substance providing the elements and energy that would draw me up and away from the world where I no longer belonged.
A peculiar force hauled me from the platform and I closed my eyes. The stench of damp rock. The nipple ring leaving my flesh. Cold fingers of air teasing my exposed body. A din that rendered me deaf except to the voice inside my own head. The voice that willed me to focus. Focus on getting the hell out of Hell.
As the air lightened, I opened my eyes. Swarms of mila bugs, each almost translucent and no bigger than a pin’s head, flitted in front of my face. As my ascent stopped I puffed them away. I’d reached Kellion. Opening my fists, I drew my left middle fingertip over one of the protruding crystals directly above my head. Blood oozed from the wound and I milked out several more droplets. Then, placing my bleeding finger upon my tongue, I closed my mouth and eyes and focused.
“Blood from my body, serve as the final catalyst that allows me to pierce the Kellion and reach my desired portal.” I repeated the words over and over.
My body pulsed, this time as though tossed by the waves of the ocean during a storm. I shot upward, my hair wrenched from the pins and nearly pulled out by the roots. Bile rose in my throat. Tears burned behind my closed lids. Hot and cold air alternated in currents over my damp skin.
Bring it on, Bacchus. Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler. Let those good times roll like never before.
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Wishing you all many happy reading moments,
TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED (Recommended Read) -- Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave
He considered she’d abandoned him and run to the blue officials, but the idea of it constricted his chest and brought an ache he didn’t care to suffer. He used his legs to push himself up the wall and stumbled to the corner of the passageway. He heard noises, like those in a great battle. One of the loudest sounded familiar. With great care, he leaned around the corner and peeked at the front of the Chinese food-serving place. He didn’t believe the sight greeting him.
A dragon, its glorious scales sporting a flowered print extending from the top of its snout to the tip of its tail, stood tall and majestic as it beat the whey out of the blue officials rushing it with a matching glossy bag. The dragon bellowed, whapping any human within striking distance, but in a very feminine, elegant way. One man she knocked to the ground and continued to pound him until he stopped moving, then she turned on the others.
Nioral woke with a jolt and a snort. The noise in his dreams now interrupted his waking as well. Someone yelling, human words as much as he could make out, shook the leaves above him. One drifted down, floating past his snout, and he watched it mix with the underbrush on the forest floor, which, to his surprise, moved. Nioral blinked, unsure if his drowsiness caused an illusion or if the floor of the forest had just come alive. Fascinating.
“Get it! Those eyes alone will make us rich!”
"Simply sizzling, this is one tale that fairly burns off the pages! This book was magical both in the story and in the spicy scenes. Author Nicole North has captured the mythology of the Fae and tied them into the heart of Scotland. Throw in a whole lotta lust, and this book is sure to light a fire in the mind of any reader."