Gosh, guys. Sorry about the late post today. Drama has been going on in the Bishop house today in the form of a dead car. Doesn’t that suck? You’re walking out to your car, ready to go to the bank, turn the key and…nothing. Somewhere between 8 pm when I got home from work and noon the next day, my starter decided it was going to give me the big ole finger. Thanks, starter. You made my week.
Can we talk cats?
I love mine. I do. I have two precious kittens that adore me. Out of everyone that lives in this house, those cats would live on my lap if I would let them. No one else’s. What drives me crazy is they want to live on my lap. LOL.
I spend a majority of my time, just picking them up and dropping them off the couch. I love them, cuddle them, but come on! Every second I’m in this house?
I have had cats in the past, but oh my God these two beat anything I’ve ever seen with their need for human attention. I call them the attention whores. LOL.
Do any of you have a furry baby that demands your undivided attention?
Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She's best known for Tuesday's Child, her romantic suspense novel that was one of the final four in the Kensington Brava/Romantic Times contest this last year. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in several different genres. To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series in ebook format.
Q: Welcome Dale! Please tell us about your YA book, Vampire in Denial. And do you have a review you could share with us?
A: Vampire in Denial: Blood doesn't just make her who she is...it also makes her what she is.
Like being a sixteen-year-old vampire isn't hard enough, Tessa's throwback human genes make her an outcast among her relatives. But try as she might, she can't get a handle on the vampire lifestyle and all the...blood.
Turning her back on the vamp world, she embraces the human teenage lifestyle—high school, peer pressure and finding a boyfriend. Jared manages to stir something in her blood. He's smart and fun and oh, so cute. But Tessa's dream of a having the perfect boyfriend turns into a nightmare when vampires attack the movie theatre and kidnap her date.
Once again, Tessa finds herself torn between the human world and the vampire one. Will blood own out? Can she make peace with who she is as well as what?
This book isn't my latest release but it's one of the books of my heart. It's done very well in terms of reviews.
Here are a couple of links to reviews:
Q: What inspired this story?
A: Watching my 13 year old daughter grow up in today's world, trying to fit in and feeling like that was a lost cause.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing Young Adult?
A: Writing YAs are just plain fun for me. I write in many genres for adults and children. However my adult books are very convoluted plots with crazy twists all throughout. So writing YA is a refreshing change. The issues facing teenage characters are not so different than what adults face, but they problem solve differently. I really enjoy writing for that age group.
Q: Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
A: Tessa is my favorite character in this book, followed by Cody. Tessa is a gawky 16 year old on a journey to finding who she is. She reminds me of my daughter and of course there are little bits of me in there.
Q: Which element of this story is your favorite?
A: I love the skills that Tessa finds, some accidentally, some through learning to embrace her heritage. She truly finds out what she can and she can't do in this book.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: The hardest thing about this story was the ending. I could NOT do anything but leave the cliffhanger ending on this book. I tried to change it several times, but my muse refused. It had to stay as is.
Q: What is your writing process or method?
To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her online with Twitter at www.twitter.com/dalemayerand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.
Love is the Answer
Family – any group of related things or beings.
Okay, so this isn’t the most common definition of family, but I like it better than any of the others. Perhaps that’s because some of my relatives fit under the ‘things’ category more than the ‘beings’ category. Shhhh! Don’t tell them I said that! I’m sure some of them think the same thing about me, so we’re even.
For the most part, we don’t get to pick our family – they’re given to us by birth, or they marry into the family – usually without asking the rest of us if we’re in agreement. I’ve sometimes wondered if it wouldn’t be more reasonable to vote on letting new people into the family. Say, your cousin wants to marry. Everyone would get a chance to meet the prospective bride, and then cast his or her vote. It’s a practical system, don’t you agree? That way, we’d have some say as to whom we’re related to.
If this had been the case in my family, I can think of a few who never would have made the cut. No one but the person they married liked them, and even that didn’t last. They should have just asked us, we could have told them they were wasting their time. We could have saved them a lot of heartache, and alimony too. But of course, that’s not the way it works. Larry McMurtry said it very well in Leaving Cheyenne - “…a woman’s love is like the morning dew, it’s just as apt to fall on a horse turd as it is on a rose.”
That’s a pretty cynical look at love, especially coming from a hopeless romantic, like me. But I’ve seen the truth in the statement, and I’m sure you have too. There isn’t any accounting for taste. So, when I was writing Four of Hearts, I kept coming back to one thing that bothered me the most. Why would anyone want more than one spouse? Marriage is hard enough when it only involves two people, so what would possess happily married people to enter into a committed relationship with someone else?
The answer is love. We have little choice in where our heart leads us. Yes, we can guide it with logic and common sense, sometimes. But just as often, our heart opens and lets someone in, against our better judgment. No amount of rational thinking will dissuade us from following a course of action that is sure to bring challenges. It’s how we handle those challenges that make the difference. We can choose to hide from them, or we can face them head-on.
My characters in Four of Hearts find themselves in uncharted waters, loving beyond their traditional marriages. Finding the right path for them is difficult – the road littered with challenges they couldn’t begin to conceive at the beginning of the relationship. There are no easy answers, and a wrong choice could destroy everything if they aren’t careful. In the end, believing in their love is the key.
Here’s a bit more about Four of Hearts. I hope you’ll enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Marriage hasn’t tamed Candace Callahan’s sexual curiosity, something her husband Ryan is grateful for, but when she asks him to tie her up for her anniversary present, he knows he’s going to need the help of their friends, Richard Wolfe and his wife, Fallon.
Dr. Fallon Enright is the resident sex therapist aboard the Lothario - the cruise ship co-owned by her husband and Ryan Callahan. When Ryan asks to participate in one of their couple’s rope bondage classes, Richard isn’t sure it’s a good idea, but Fallon assures him all will be well.
What begins as innocent curiosity, blossoms into a polyamorous relationship none of them could have expected, but they are powerless to ignore. When the tabloids expose their new lifestyle, the foursome must choose between the love they feel for each other, or accepting society’s moral constraints.
Candace was through trying to understand him. After their first sexual encounter with Richard and Fallon, Ryan had retreated into his shell, and it had taken her a week to coax him back out. This time was different. This time he wouldn’t leave her alone. On some level, she knew it was a good problem to have, an attentive husband, but on another level, she wanted some time alone.
For two weeks, Ryan had dogged her steps like he was attached to her by an invisible cord. She couldn’t shower without him in the shower with her, or standing guard in the bathroom. The one time he left the island to check on the resort construction project, he’d insisted she go along. He was beginning to remind her of gum on the bottom of her shoe.
“Ryan, go away.”
“I’m okay here. Don’t mind me.”
“How can I not mind you? You’re making me nervous.” She waved the knife she was using to cut up the fruit for their lunch. “Go to the beach. Come back in half an hour. Lunch will be ready then.”
“I like watching you.”
Candace slammed the knife down on the counter. “I love you. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here when you get back. I promise.”
The man was beyond exasperating. He slumped in the kitchen chair and crossed his
ankles and his arms. “I don’t want to go to the beach. I want to stay here.”
Candace walked around the kitchen island, pulled out another chair and sat. “Ryan, tell me what’s going on. Richard is emailing every day wondering when you’re going to do the Employee Performance Reviews. You follow me around like you’re stuck to my shoe. I’m not complaining about you being an attentive husband, but really, Ryan, is it necessary to be with me every second? What’s going on?”
“Nothing. I just feel uneasy about being away from you.”
She gentled her voice and leaned in close. “I’m not going anywhere.” His eyes were hard, distant. “There’s something else going on. I can see it in your eyes. What are you afraid of?”
“I’m not afraid of anything. It’s…I don’t know. I can’t shake this feeling that our lives are changing and…I…I don’t want it to change.”
“Is this about the time we spent with Richard and Fallon? Are you afraid that changed things between you and me?”
“No. If anything, I love you even more than I did before, but yeah, this started then. I can’t explain it.”
“That was a special time, for all of us. Our relationship with them is different now because of it, but not in a bad way. I love you, Ryan. I love you more than I ever thought possible, but a part of me loves Richard and Fallon too. I wish we could all find a way to be together, but…”
“Don’t go there. We aren’t going there. I made promises to you, and I’m going to keep them.”
“Is that what this is about? Are you afraid your feelings for Richard and Fallon are the same as breaking your promises to me?” His silence confirmed her analysis. “Don’t you see? The promises we made to each other are still valid. Nothing in those promises prohibited us from loving beyond just you and me. I know you won’t act on your feelings without my consent, and you know in your heart, I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. That’s how strong our love is. I’ll do anything to keep you, even deny my love to expand to include Richard and Fallon.”
“I don’t want you to deny your feelings. I want you to have everything. I’m trying to wrap my head around this, but our lives are changing in a way I don’t understand. I can’t lose you. I can’t.”
Candace sank to her knees between his, and took his hands in her own. His hard eyes pleaded with her to understand. “You’ll never lose me. I would give up anything, but you. You are non-negotiable.” She flashed her wedding band at him. “I have a no-trade agreement. You’re stuck with me.”
He pulled her to his lap and held her tight. “Same goes. No-trade.”
Author Bio –
Roz Lee has been married to her best friend, and high school sweetheart, for over three decades. These days she splits her time between their home in rural New Jersey, and Southern California, where her husband works. Even though she’s lived on both coasts, her heart lies in between, in Texas. A Texan by birth, she can trace her family back to the Republic of Texas. With roots that deep, she says, “You can’t ever really leave.”
Roz and her husband have two grown daughters they couldn’t be more proud of, and are currently raising a eleven-year-old Labrador Retriever, Betty Boop, who isn’t aware of her canine heritage.
When Roz isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traipsing around the country on one adventure or another. No trip is too small, no tourist trap too cheesy, and no road unworthy of traveling.
Find Roz –
Buy links –
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
Usually, we put up the Christmas tree and decorations. This year, I'm still in Houston, soon to be headed home, and then I've got work. But after that, I'll probably start hauling in the boxes.
I would do it on Saturday, but have to work on Saturday too. I'm hoping it won't be bad because on Tuesday night, I had to cover for 2 people who called in sick and another who went on vacation, and Wed, another 2 called in that they couldn't make it and I was scrambling to find coverage for the 2 of us who were left so we could have lunch breaks.
*sigh* So with that kind of record already, I'm just hoping that the 4 of us scheduled actually all turn up.
Hopefully, everyone will be enjoying family, traveling, or Christmas shopping and it'll be quiet at the library so we ca get caught up. Hopefully!
So what do YOU plan to do for Black Friday? Is it your usual, or something new?
Oh, and I have to tell you, we played a fun board game called "A Touch of Evil." We had to kill the bad werewolf. My SIL told me that the werewolf was not the sexy kind like I write about. LOL
And we played LA Noir, a fun game where we tried to solve arsons, and murder, etc, set in the 1940's. The most fun was driving the car through LA, trying to reach the crime scenes and well, let me say I was a reckless driver, having the worst time staying in my lane or not weaving across the street, or running over street lamps, light signals and running into other cars. I was teasing my SIL about HIS reckless driving. But I have to admit it was easy to leave black skid marks on the pavement, and wreak havoc all over the city when we were supposed to be solving the crimes. I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my cheeks. Just too fun.
Hope you had fun too!
Have a super weekend, and let me know what you're up to!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality."
The Thanksgiving Treat
An familiar smell filled the air in his kitchen and Eric frowned. He inhaled deeply, recognizing the delicious aroma wafting from next door. Peanut butter cookies.
Not good. Not good at all.
This was the third Saturday in a row that his gorgeous next door neighbor, Evie Walters, baked some kind of delectable treat as opposed to the comfort foods she usually prepared after a Friday night foray into the dating scene. Over the last several months, her pattern hadn’t changed.
A so-so date netted some kind of chicken or potato dish, while a bad date meant a casserole of some kind. A horrible date translated into a pasta dish with which Evie could enjoy a relaxing and somewhat analgesic glass of her favorite port. Good dates, which had been few and far between to Eric’s secret relief, meant the neighborhood kids would enjoy cupcakes or cookies or fudge, and so would he. The good dates never got past one Saturday treat, so three meant Evie was serious about someone, and it wasn’t him. His gut tightened.
His cell buzzed, drawing away from his misery. He checked the caller and sighed.
“Hey sis. What’s up?” he asked, knowing this conversation wasn’t going to make him feel any better.
“You’re an idiot,” his sister Jessa stated. Great, just what he needed. He tried not to let his irritation show, but as the essence of the peanut buttery treat engulfed him, he snapped.
“And why is that?”
“You haven’t asked her out yet, have you? And you’ve got a perfect excuse. You need a date for Thanksgiving next week or the entire family is going to roll their eyes at you for being such a weenie.”
“How’s that? None of them know about Evie except…”
“I told them. I told them you’ve been waiting for her to get over her divorce before asking her out. For over a year. They laughed, and they’ll laugh at you if you show up alone next week.”
Eric rubbed his hand over his face. He loved his family dearly, but Jessa was right. Most of them served with distinction in the military, including Jessa, who made a much better sergeant than a confidante. They’d think, even after his service in Iraq and his heading his own security firm, that his situation qualified as hilarious.
How could he tell his sister that he’d waited too long and now Evie found some other guy to give her goodies to? He pictured her curves and her smile and her long brown hair and her sparkling eyes. Damn it! Jessa was right. He was an idiot.
Her voice brought him back to reality.
“What’s she cooking today?”
“Peanut butter cookies. The third Saturday in a row she’s baked treats,” he answered glumly, mentally kicking himself. He should have gone over and stopped this madness after the chocolate cupcakes last week. With the marshmallow icing. How could he have not seen this coming?
It’s not like he and Evie weren’t friends already. It’s not like they didn’t get along well and sometimes even went grocery shopping together. It’s not like they hadn’t sat on his porch sipping wine a couple of times.
“Those are your favorite. Stop being such a dork and ask her for one.” With that command and a click, Jessa ended their conversation.
If Eric hadn’t already decided to follow Jessa’s firm advice, the sight of Dirk the Jerk, the neighborhood lothario, strutting up to Evie’s door would have convinced him to do what he should have done months ago. He stormed out the door, his mission set.
By the time he made it to Evie’s walkway, Dirk the Jerk, smirking and hands full with a tray of pastries he probably coaxed her into creating for one of his half-baked schemes, swaggered toward his car parked at the curb. He winked at Eric.
“Nice goodies, huh, Eric? They love ‘em at the bingo parlor,” he said, his emphasis on “bingo parlor” making it clear he’d made it up to get a chance at Evie.
Eric resisted the urge to pummel the scumball and stalked toward Evie’s porch. She stood in her doorway, rocking a day dress and apron combo that hugged her figure and made Eric’s heart pound. She smiled, and every part of him tightened. He opened his mouth, but words failed him. Evie stared, her expression expectant.
“I-May I have a peanut butter cookie?” Eric stammered, and Evie grinned.
“Thought you’d never ask,” she said, her perfect pouty lips suddenly more inviting than ever.
“They’re you’re favorite, aren’t they? Figured so. I’ve been watching what you put in your shopping cart. I've cooked all your favorites--chicken, potatoes, every casserole I can think of, pasta... I thought I'd never get you over here."
Eric grinned and stepped closer, plucking a peanut butter delight from the plate in Evie’s hand. This Thanksgiving was going to be much better than he thought.
I love Thanksgiving. It is one of the less stressful holidays for me, and one I really look forward to each year. One, I can’t wait for my mom’s dinner. Her stuffing rocks!
Anyway, we have a very odd family tradition, but it works for us. Today, I will pack up my kids and my nephew and head to my mom and dad’s house. I plan to get there early, because I have a full day to spend with the kids. Usually, we will take them to do something fun. There is an awesome place in my hometown that is so much cooler than Chuck E Cheese that I love to take the kids to when we are in town, and I play just as hard as the kids do. Video games, bumper cars, and laser tag. Yes!
Afterwards, we’ll come home where we have dinner. This isn’t Thanksgiving dinner, this is all the goodies we love dinner. This year is hot dogs, bacon and breakfast crescents. Yes, you read the right. I wanted hot dogs (my mom’s slaw rocks!) and my sister wanted bacon and the breakfast crescents. Then we’ll all gather around the dining room table and play games and the adults will have a couple of drinks.
Every year for as far back as I can remember, we wake up bright and early and go to the annual Flea Market held on Thanksgiving morning. Unfortunately, flea markets aren’t as cool as they used to be. Back when I was younger, flea markets were more like a huge yard sale and you could find all kind of treasures. Nowadays, it’s a bunch of junk. Really. You can buy deodorant, or if it really tickles your fancy, Hamburger Helper. I’m not joking. But even with the change in the flea market, not going would just feel wrong.
When we get back, football comes on and then we eat dinner. Then everyone gathers around the living room and promptly falls asleep. Do you know how funny it is to walk into a room and every sofa and chair has someone in it asleep?
So what are your Thanksgiving traditions?
If you’re jetlagged or weren’t able to sleep on the plane, give yourself a day or two to rest up. Most flights from the US to Scotland are at night. And you lose five hours in the transatlantic flight. Going for 36+ hours with no sleep is exhausting and makes it difficult to enjoy sightseeing the first day. But if you CAN sleep on the plane, you’ll have fewer problems. Allow a few days to get fully adjusted to the time change and be aware that in summer there’s very little darkness.
Any time you visit Scotland, especially the Highlands, from spring to fall, you should probably dress for late fall/ early spring in the US. Forget the sandals, shorts, Capri pants or any other type of summer clothing, unless you’re staying in Southern Scotland. I’ve heard of some people having to buy a whole new wardrobe once they arrived because they misjudged the weather. The further north you go, especially into the Highlands and Islands, the colder it gets. The weather in Scotland is unpredictable and can change in five minutes. It rains A LOT and the wind is usually cold and brisk, even in summer. In certain areas, it can snow any month of the year, although this is probably rare in July and August. But I have seen snow in June. I’ve found it easiest to layers of sweaters and jackets that I can add to or remove depending on the temperature. A good rain jacket or rain coat with a hood is a must. Not only does it protect you from the driving rain you might be caught out in, but it also acts as a windbreaker. Umbrellas are useless most of the time because of the wind. Ski hats can even be worn in June. Sure, the Scots might laugh at you, but you will be warm. LOL Some especially cold and windy places are coastlines and the tops of mountains.
|While driving in Scotland, watch for red deer, which could be on the road.|
|Ditto for the sheep.|
|Making use of a pull off or passing place.|
Unless you like driving 80 MPH on narrow, curvy roads, on the wrong side of the road, cars will likely ride your bumper. It’s probably best to pull over into the pull-off or passing spots, marked with a sign--a “P” on a blue background. Or a different sign that says "Passing Place." The Scots will appreciate this and show it by honking their horns briefly.
If you’re going anywhere away from the large cities of Scotland, remember to take food and water with you. In some of the smaller towns and villages, you should be able to find restaurants open at reasonable hours from mid-spring to mid-fall. But if it’s after hours or mid-fall to mid-spring, don’t expect many restaurants to be open. Your options may be limited. This is a good thing. It simply makes you appreciate the food you find that much more. LOL One night we had planned to eat at a pub, the only restaurant in the area, but there was a power outage. Good thing we had snacks.
|You want to have phone service here.|
Scotland’s superstores or supercenters are Tesco and ASDA. They’re similar to Wal-Mart in that they sell food, clothing and a lot of other necessities at low prices. You may find you need an extra jacket, batteries, a phone, food or something to drink and these would be a good place to find things like that without breaking the bank. They rarely sell souvenirs or cool things made in Scotland. Go to smaller shops for that. Scotland also has Coops which are similar to superstores in that they sell a wide variety of things, but they’re smaller and will be found in the smaller towns that don’t have superstores.
|No superstores out here.|
|Kilt Rock. Definitely a place to stop for photos.|
If you’re going with your spouse or significant other, be aware that most Scottish beds for two people are double, which to me is way too small. Queen-sized or king-sized beds are difficult to find unless the hotel or B&B has been recently renovated. Single beds are also plentiful.
I’ve found National Car Rental to be the most economical for car rental or car hire. We were able to get an automatic for around 400 GBP for two weeks. Automatics are hard to come by in the UK so if you can drive a manual, shifting with your left hand, the cost should be even less. If possible, reserve one ahead of time, but this doesn’t guarantee your car will be there when you show up. Don’t you just love surprises like that? :)
Gas or Petrol in the UK is more expensive than it is in the US but most of their cars get far better gas mileage. The last one we rented (see photo above) got 50 miles per gallon.
Do you have any Scotland travel tips to add to my list? I'm still learning so I'll take all the tips I can get.
CONTEST: each person who comments will be entered into a drawing for a 2012 Scotland calendar made with my photos. You can either leave a travel tip, a suggestion for a must see site, or the place you most want to visit in Scotland. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you. This contest is open until Dec. 1 and the winner will be drawn at random.
Thanks for checking out my post!!
Do you browse the bookstore shelves or the online recommendations? Do you stick with authors you know? Publishers you know? Are you drawn to a sexy cover? An intriguing blurb? Do you depend on reviews?
Or do you rely on word of mouth?
Authors are readers first. I'm always looking for good books to read. I consider recommendations the best way to discover new books to enjoy. That doesn't always mean face to face conversations because most of my friends and co-workers don't read what I like, although I have tried some new authors/genres and discovered some favorites that way.
I've discovered some great new, or new-to-me, authors from Twitter. But not from author promo. From readers mentioning a great book they just read. I love reading several tweets about the same book from excited readers. I always check them out.
It's also a reminder for me, for all of us, to let others know when we've read a book we love. Not just because you want to talk about the story with someone else (although that may often be the reason with my face to face friends) But it can be simply because you want others to get the same enjoyment you did. And because you want to support your favorite authors and let them know you loved what they wrote. And because of that, they'll write even more stories for you to love.
And it's all from word of mouth.
For those of you who like to read reviews, I'm thrilled with the one I just received for RISK IT, my newest release. Marika from Harlie's Book Blog starts by saying:
"Natasha Moore has written a book that should be on everyone's list to read and discuss with their partner, married or not. Its thought provoking, sexy and is written with a intimate knowledge of when a marriage is on the edge of unraveling." You can read the rest of the review here.
How do you find books to read? And do you have any recommendations for me??
FLAUNT IT - Paolo's Playhouse #1
RISK IT - Paolo's Playhouse #2
Jake Silver is visiting Breckenridge to drop off some of his photography to a local art studio when he spots a woman acting suspiciously across the street. The wolf and man in him is intrigued and goes on the hunt. Though his kind (wolves) doesn’t normally interfere with human problems he can’t help but come to the rescue of the beautiful Alicia Greiston from a couple mob goons. Unaware of the danger Jake placed himself in, Alicia takes it upon herself to keep Jake safe by disappearing. If she’s gone, the mob won’t go after Jake to hurt her. One night together should have been an easy thing for Jake to get over. Since Alicia is human it’s not like he could have a long relationship with her. But when Alicia starts coming to him in his dreams every single night, he knows something isn’t right. His family has a history of dreaming of their intended mate, but Alicia isn’t a wolf. So what is it about this woman that is drawing him to her? ~~Rhonda Valverde
I have to report a great review of Seduced by the Wolf at Where the Wolves Read! I love the title of her blog!!! And the wolfies heading it up! And Seduced got 5 Howls! Yes!
Summary: Fascinating aspects of real-life wolf behavior based on extensive research on how wolves live in the wild make Terry Spear's werewolf paranormal series stand out and attract a growing audience. The fifth in the series features heroine Cassie Roux, a biologist who has studied wolves for years, trying to prove to the world they're not evil predators. A red lupus garou (werewolf), who lost her pack and was raised by real wolves, she has dedicated her life to their preservation. Leidolf Wildhaven is a red lupus garou pack leader who has more troubles than he ever thought possible, what with running a pack, a ranch, and other businesses. When Cassie—a rare red female— is spotted in his territory, Leidolf figures he's found the answer to his pack's threatened extinction. Only the headstrong woman has other priorities…
Plus, I received some more copies of the ARC of Dreaming of the Wolf if anyone is up to reviewing it. :)