Shiny Things December 18

Our tree this year.
Our tree this year.

Things distracting me today, December 18th 2014

1. A serious message from the Authors of Soul Mate Publishing #kindle #books I worked hard on this homemade video. I hope you’ll take a gander! This video sucked away about ten hours of writing time What non-writing/work projects are sucking up your time?
2. Still Christmas shopping. I started early, but when I looked to see what I had it wasn’t as much as I thought. Going into panic shopping mode. This is difficult as I am the queen of indecision! How’s your shopping going? This is the first year I’ve shopped this far from Christmas. It was supposed to relax me, and make Christmas easy, but so far no dice.
3. I’ve got my latest hero and heroine inches from the clinch and every time I sit (or walk) down to seal the deal, I suddenly find something more important to do, like laundry.
Hope you’re enjoying the season!


Shiny Things December 17th

The clock of nations Midtown Plaza mall circa 1960
The clock of nations Midtown Plaza mall circa 1960

Shiny things December 17th

Things that are distracting me, today.

1. Old-time Pottery: I love this store! Especially at the holidays. So many glittery, neat, little chachkis<sp> so little time! Have I mentioned I like shiny things? It’s a bit far, so I only make the trek (fifteen whole minutes!) a few times a year. Do you have a favorite store for holiday time?

2. Nostalgia: As I was thinking about Old-time Pottery, I started thinking about where we went at Christmas when I was a child, and I remembered Mid-town plaza mall in downtown Rochester. It was a wonderland! Even ordinary department stores had a little section like a fun house, but you walked along and saw holiday tableaux. And near Santa was the clock–the Clock of Nations. Each little door would open and show children dressed in the clothes of their native land. And all around that, the most enchanting thing of all, a miniature monorail that circled the clock big enough for children to ride! It was the highlight of my year.

3. Birthdays: My kids’ birthdays are one week before and one week after Christmas, so I’m all about the cake, ’bout the cake, ’bout the cake, right now. And presents, too. What do you get the children who have everything, twice? Oy vey!
What’s distracting you these days? Got some memories to share?

Happy Holidays!


Available now!
Available now!

Run/walk, Write/walk

I am a couch potato. Hell, I’m a bed potato. Given a choice my favorite thing to do is lie on my bed and read. The same goes for writing, though I usually sit. We writers even have an acronym for it, BICHOK (butt in chair hands on keyboard). It works great for producing words, but not so much for said butt!
Studies have shown that no matter how hard you exercise when you’re not sitting, you can’t undo the damage long hours of sitting can do. Humans are meant to move.
So, this last spring I got a treadmill desk.

I can’t afford that! you say? Neither can I. Those fancy desks are mucho dinero.
This is what I’ve done.

My treadmill in the basement . Regular.
My treadmill in the basement . Regular.
My Treadmill in the basement  "pimped" into a tread desk.
My Treadmill in the basement “pimped” into a tread desk.

My husband got me a wire shelf from Home Depot and Velcro ties. Fortunately, my treadmill has arms, so all I do is fasten it on, put my tablet and its Bluetooth keyboard on a cardboard box to make it higher, and start walking. I started slow and have built up to 2 mph, 2.5 if I’m up to it. Still, 1 mph would be fine. If you write for four hours at that speed, you will have walked four miles. It also makes it hard to stop and go do something (not impossible, but harder) so you stay more focused. Nothing makes you feel better at the end of the day, than having written ten pages and walked seven miles.

I built up to going that far. In the beginning I did shorter amounts, so I wouldn’t get footsore.

There are other alternatives, too if you don’t have a treadmill, balance balls, getting up with a timer every few minutes, and exercise bikes under the desk, as well!

Let’s birth a new acronym FOTHOK. Feet On Treadmill, Hands On Keyboard!

What are you doing to get moving?


Try to remember

In memory of Sky and Banner, our basenjis who await us in heaven. If they're not there, I'm not going!
In memory of Sky and Banner, our basenjis who await us in heaven.
If they’re not there, I’m not going!

Christmas isn’t like it used to be, for one, both my kids have birthdays on either side of the holiday. I’m responsible for all the trials and tribulations of buying presents and everything associated with spending the holiday at my parents’ house in NYS. (Including the worry of travelling through Erie and Buffalo on the way!)

But I still love Christmas. I love the lights, the food, the festive music, and even the cold (Sorry, Aussies. No matter what you tell yourself, Christmas isn’t the same without snow. 😉 )

Today I got thinking about my childhood and some of the things I loved best back then (besides waking up on Christmas morning to a family room over-flowing with presents.).

I loved the old black and white movie THE MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS. When I was little it was played right around Thanksgiving and signaled the start of the season. We had a channel called PIX back then, that came from NYC (despite the fact we were 5 hours’ drive from NYC). Every Christmas, PIX would have kids call in and play this game, where they had to say PIX when it appeared on the screen and then they would win something. I couldn’t take part being too far away, but the idea of calling in and winning something made me watch these kids say “PIX, PIX, PIX” as if my life depended on it.

My favorite holiday song was, “Do You Hear What I hear?.”

My favorite activity was making (and eating) cut-out cookies. We had all the colors and would try to make the angels, and Santas, boots, and reindeer look like their namesakes. (Now, I confess, I just frost everything white and put colored sprinkles on them.)

There was bad stuff, too. Our church had real evergreen boughs that almost always triggered a horrible asthma attack in me. No one ever knew what to get me for Christmas because I always asked for the same thing—a dog. (See horrible asthma attacks above) There were occasional fights, etc, but when I look back, it’s the good stuff I remember.

How about you? What were your favorite childhood Christmas activities, memories, songs, gifts? (Aussies, you can even mention the sand in your teeth. I was just kidding about the snow thing.)

Of course, being grown up does have its perks. I finally got that dog (or four. Though not all at the same time)


Merry Christmas!




Nibble, Nibble…

Ethan Mara, brother Chimera 2 ENTITY MINE
Ethan Mara, brother Chimera 2 ENTITY 

In honor of the holidays here are four “bites,” five-ish line hors d’oeuvres to whet your appetite for the meal.
This excerpt is from my Paranormal Romance. BLOOD AND KISSES out now.
The heroine, Thalia, is walking down a dark street with a serial killer on the loose. This is her first meeting with the hero, Gideon, an ancient vampire.
The two-legged kick landed hard, and the figure, a man by his outline, went down easily.
Too easily. Took her with him. For a moment, the air was knocked out of her, but she sucked in
a breath, straddling his hips and raising her stake high to drive it into his heart.

“I would have gone for ‘Hello, how are you?’ but you’re the witches’ Champion not me.”

For more:

For those who like shifters, this appetizer is from my Paranormal Romance IN LIKE A LION, the first book in The Chimera Chronicles series.

This is the first time the heroine, Anjali, a research scientist, meets the hero, Jake Finn, her subject and reputed killer.

He looked up when she stopped before him. His hair parted and she could see one of his eyes.
She swallowed. The Group’s records called them brown, but they were closer to golden, almost yellow, like an eagle or a lion, with a dark, nearly black rim. And there was an intensity there, a feeling of leashed menace that rippled through her like a shockwave.

But the expression in his eyes bore no resemblance to the dead emptiness she’d seen in pictures of other killers. Instead they held the raw power of a predator, the impotent
rage of a captive animal.

For more:

Here in this “bite” from ENTITY MINE, a Paranormal Romance (shifters). It’s book 2, but can be a stand alone. Ethan, the hero, is a shifter who is unknowingly trapped between forms and not knowing what he is, believes himself a ghost…

Insane in life. Insane in death.The visceral pain in his gut drew his thoughts away from his mental state. Or maybe this all was a figment of his imagination. Maybe he only dreamed he walked the Earth. Maybe this was hell.

After months of this tortuous, aimless existence, he
started to think so.
For more:

Second helpings from ENTITY MINE

Devon Daughtry, Psychic Medium for hire.

He rocked back on his heels. A bitter laugh rocked his shoulders and echoed in his ears as it rumbled out full-formed. He’d never believed in anything woo-woo. Never believed in ghosts and, Lord knew, he’d stood at the head of the line of those who thought the people who took advantage of the brokenhearted were the lowest of the low, and yet this
woman, who, in life, he would have dismissed as little more than a con artist, now represented his best chance to peel back the truth about his death.

For more:

I hope you enjoyed your hors d’oeuvres! Happy Holidays!