Friday, August 29, 2008
And there they are. My five books published by Cerridwen Press. The first was A Very Difficult Man and the latest, Too Young To Die. I am pleased with my accomplishments but what to do for an encore?
I have two contemporary manuscripts tucked away. I could work on them.
I have written 41,000 words in a historical romance set in the Regency period and am not sure why, but I can't seem to get in the "zone" where words will fly from my brain to the page and I'll finish and start revisions. I love the story. I enjoy the characters. I have a great setting in the English countryside. I even know what's going to happen when the evil character in my story tries to do away with my heroine and make it look like an accident.
Words of wisdom from the Goddesses will inspire me. So what do you do if and when the words limp along?
If you want to see the cover of my non-fiction book, The House at Bridal Veil, you can view it on my web site. www.anitabirt.com There's also a map showing exactly where the house in on the Columbia River, east of Portland, Oregon.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Meantime, here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you. www.tonianderson.com
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. List 6 unspectacular quirks you have.
4. Tag 6 bloggers by linking them. This means YOU, Anny Cook, Kelly Kirsch, Kelly Nyrae, Amarinda Jones, Cindy Spencer Pape and Regina Carlysle
5. Leave a comment on each person's blog or email them to let them know they've been tagged.
Six Unspectacular Quirks About Me:
1. I don't like any kind of soft drink,. I'd rather have water. When pushed I'll drink Diet coke.
2. I love sunrise better than sunet.
3. I have the same blouse in six different colors.
4. If I like a book-really, really love it-I can reread it as many as 60 times.
5. I could live on pizza and Chinese food.
6. I don't like to drive in city traffic.
Okay, ladies. You've all been tagged. Now it's your turn.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
While Annie had taken some time to play with her niece and nephew in the pool, he’d spent a good bit of time talking to his neighbors, Logan and Riley. Both appeared to be sound men, ex-rodeo cowboys who were serious about ranching and crazy about their wives. They’d be good neighbors, he decided. And Hawk, at least, seemed as uncomfortable in a crowd as Drew was. It was kind of nice to be around someone else who’d clearly learned about life the hard way. Made Drew feel less like the only pit bull at a poodle convention.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Let me see, my blog title is Urban Deer, so why have I uploaded the cover for my historical romance, A Very Difficult Man? An excellent question for which I do not have an answer. My story is set in the English countryside, 1855. Many estates kept a herd of deer for food. Venison from a young animal is very delicious.
I walked into our kitchen yesterday morning and a doe was ambling through our garden. I grabbed my new digital camera and before I got it working she ambled back the way she came. Right in Victoria we have deer roaming our neighbourhood. There is a huge meadow down behind Government House and the deer have taken up residence there. I haven't a clue how they got there but the herd is thriving. Our son spotted two young bucks on our street a few days ago and I spotted four, two buck and two does, on Rockland Avenue about a month ago. Cars tear up and down Rockland although the speed limit is 30kms. One of these days there will be horrible messy crash. We live right in the city. Victoria is a small city with a small downtown. Within blocks of the harbour and the city core, you are in residential areas. Very pretty. I shall post a picture but not to-day.
Having given you the latest news from the urban landscape, I am going to start some serious PR for my book. It will be in print in October/November, just in time for Christmas purchases. This is my first print book and I am thrilled to bits. I want to launch it with a bang. I discussed it with husband, son and daughter-in-law and they think I should have a cocktail party so I can "smooze" with guests. More about that when I know my book is available. I have to see which Victoria book stores will carry it. We have two great independent books stores here. Munro's and Bolen Books.
I have had some great entries for The Portrait of a Lady in a Blue Dress contest. One week to go so if you wish to enter, check my blog, www.anitabirtstoryteller.blogspot.com to see her picture. I was so entranced by her portrait I started to write a historical romance with her as my heroine. A writer's mind never rests. Thanks for dropping by.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Married and committed girls, of course you can go too - for the views.
Another guy fest location I recently found myself in: the midnight premiere showing of Dark Knight. My guess is that all the midnight premieres of similar movies would have the same crowd-mostly all guys ages 21-50. (Yeah, I know there are younger ones there, but we aren't doing that here, lol).
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Out now from Ellora’s Cave
Sent to Atlantic City to retrieve an ancient artifact vital to the future of his clan, gargoyle Remy Rocher meets sexy selkie Marina Bell and ends up getting shot for his efforts. Now he has to find the chalice and keep Marina and himself alive—all while dealing with the hottest sex of his life and emotions that scare him more than evil wizards or mobsters with guns.
Mari played in the waves, reveling in the feel of the cool water gliding along her fur. She hadn’t done this in forever. She’d been so busy finishing up her education, that she hadn’t taken time for herself. She’d gone to great pains to ensure that being a selkie wasn’t the be-all and end-all of her life, that she’d neglected this side of her nature. Her species wasn’t the only thing that defined her, not like it was for her mother and sister. Mari was determined to make something of her life.
But that didn’t mean she could completely ignore her heritage. Being a selkie came with baggage. The need to change and swim was part of it, so here she was.
She swam up under the pier until the tip of her front flipper just grazed the sand. Then she closed her eyes and willed herself to change. Her fur split down the middle and vanished, except for the small scrap she always wore on a silver chain around her neck. Human knees and toes touched down on the sand, and her flippers became arms, holding her up on her hands and knees.
Why wasn’t he running or screaming? Cautiously, she took his hand and stood. Her wet human form felt the cold midnight breeze and she shivered.
“Come, let’s get you warm.” He tugged her toward the beach with the hand that he still had linked in his.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Love With a Proper Rancher by Judith Rochelle
All Paige Cavanaugh wanted in life was a fairy tale romance with a happy ending. Too bad she kept getting frogs instead of princes. The latest was the worst, a greedy toad for whom the wedding was only part of a business deal. Distraught and humiliated, she runs from the wedding, and soon finds herself stranded and out of gas in the little West Texas town of White Tail. She's sworn off men, but the first person she meets is sexy, mouth watering, let-me-drag-you-into-my-bed rancher/attorney Ryan Cutter, a meeting closer to warfare than romance.
When Paige decides to hang around for awhile, hiding out from the mess she left behind, Ryan sets out to chase her away. When they least expect it, passion explodes between them and the rules of the game suddenly change. But how will this fragile relationship survive when the jilted fiance, hungry to complete his business deal, shows up prepared to drag Paige back to the altar? Will Paige's happy ending elude her once more?
Just one of the delightful treats awaiting you by this author! Author Judith Rochelle knows how to take you on an adventure and keep you anticipating every curve along the way!
Check out all she has to offer you at: http://www.judithrochelle.com/default2.htm
Sunday, August 10, 2008
My latest book is exactly what I wanted it to be. The fourth in my Island Guardian series it shares the story of the Guardian of Air and the men who become her mates. Though some may complain that it is too short it conveys exactly what I wanted it to with no excess filler. One of my favorite stories, I hope that fans enjoy it as much as I do! Here is a look at this latest release!
Breathing Her Air by Lacey Thorn
Book 4 in the Island Guardians Series.
Drew and Sorran Xandova have finally returned to their island home only to find that the one they have vowed to protect has been murdered. And Alea, the woman promised them, has taken off in pursuit of those responsible. When fate brings them together, they vow to seduce her before pursuing justice for their prince. Alea is more than they hoped for, the perfect mate and companion for the Xandova warriors. And her seduction? The greatest pleasure they have ever known.
Alea is swept away by the two men destined to be her mates. Her fears are relieved as her body comes alive with carnal pleasures she never imagined. Two men with her complete satisfaction their only goal. Good thing they appear to be over achievers
Breathing Her Air
By Lacey Thorn
Vulcan gave a cry from the air above, jerking Alea out of her thoughts. It was harsh and full of warning and she quickly searched the area for what Vulcan sensed. There was nothing…and then there was way too much. A man stepped out of the trees mere feet in front of her, followed quickly by another one. They were both well over seven feet tall, huge even compared to her cousins who stood seven feet even. They had shoulder length brown hair streaked on the sides with a deep silver that seemed to catch in the sun, and she would have said that they were identical until they looked up and clashed gazes with her. One had a piercing gaze that hooked her and wouldn’t let her go. She had never seen such a pure silver before. Except on the beak and talons of her best friend, Vulcan.
As a slow smile took place on his lips another caw filled the air. Alea was poised to run when the unthinkable happened and the bird that called none friend but her landed on the arm of one of the warriors in front of her.
“You must be Alea,” the one with the piercing gaze said and slowly headed toward her. “We’ve come a long way to find you.”
And then it hit her. These were the Xandova brothers, her chosen mates. These two men would claim her and mate with her and she would belong to them. As fear took over Alea was paralyzed, unable to move or breathe. The last thing she heard was a harsh gasp as the black cloud obscuring her vision overtook her and her knees gave way. The ones she had hoped wouldn’t show were here. And they had come for her.
It's your world...unlaced.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
We just had our first Heat Alert. My husband is a quadriplegic so the Social Services calls us to make sure we know there is a heat alert and that if we need it there is a cooling center nearby.
August is showing to be a hot month, I thought I would tell you some safety tips for having a healthy, not overheated summer.
Heat related illness comes in many forms. From mild to severe.
WebMd enumerates heat illnesses as:
Heat rash which occurs when the sweat ducts to the skin become blocked or swell, and cause discomfort and itching.
Heat cramps, which occur in muscles after exercise because sweating causes the body to lose water, salt, and minerals (electrolytes).
Heat edema (swelling) in the legs and hands, which can occur when you sit or stand for a long time in a hot environment.
Heat tetany (hyperventilation and heat stress), which is usually caused by short periods of stress in a hot environment.
Heat syncope (fainting), which occurs from low blood pressure when heat causes the blood vessels to expand (dilate) and body fluids move into the legs because of gravity.
Heat exhaustion (heat prostration), which generally develops when a person is working or exercising in hot weather and does not drink enough liquids to replace those lost liquids.
Heatstroke (sunstroke), which occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and body temperature continues to rise, often to 105 F or higher. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Even with immediate treatment, it can be life-threatening or cause serious long-term problems.
To avoid any of the above, the Arizona Department of Heath Services suggests you:
Never leave infants, children or pets inside a parked vehicle.
Increase fluid intake, regardless of activity level. Don’t wait until thirsty to drink fluids; drink more liquid than one’s thirst indicates.
Avoid "heat hangover." Continue to drink fluids even after strenuous activity. This will enable the body to maintain optimum hydration, and help prevent the after effects of heat exposure such as headaches and fatigue.
Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar as they dehydrate the body.
Avoid very cold beverages as they cause stomach cramps.
Limit exercise or outdoor activity between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its peak intensity. If active during this time frame, drink a minimum of 16 to 32 ounces of water each hour.
Some medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may increase the risk of heat related illness. Consult your physician if you have questions.
Wear a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15. Apply at least 30 minutes prior to going outdoors, and re-apply as necessary.
Rest frequently in shady areas so that the body’s temperature has a chance to recover.
If unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, gradually increase the pace and limit exercise or work time.
Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing; sunglasses to protect the eyes; and a wide-brimmed hat to provide shade and keep the head cool.
Take special precaution with infants and young children by dressing them in loose, cool clothing and shading their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella. Protect their feet with shoes.
In general, be aware of the symptoms of heat illness. Try to stay cool. If you don't have air conditioning or windows you can open with a fan, go to a cooling center. If you don't know where one is, contact your local library, your local fire department (Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency. Call the information number found in your phone book), even your social services or local department of health.
Symptoms of heat illness include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, weak but rapid pulse and headaches. People with these symptoms should find shade, drink water slowly and make sure there is good ventilation.
Staying in an air-conditioned area, either at home or in a public place such as a mall, library or recreation center is the most effective way to fight heat. If air conditioning is not available, pull the shades over the windows and use cross-ventilation and fans to cool rooms. (do not try to use fans to cool yourself off with all the windows closed. many elderly have succumbed to heat stroke in rooms that are closed up tightly.) A cool shower or bath also is an effective way to cool off. Limit use of stoves and ovens to keep home temperatures lower.
Be a good neighbor this year. If you know of an elderly person or handicapped person who does not have air-conditioning, either offer to take them to a cooling center or invite them into your air conditioned home. If they will not accept either offer, be sure to check on them from time to time to make sure the heat has not caused them harm.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I walked through Chinatown with a friend -- it looks just like it does in movies. The sidewalks are Very Crowded and there are cars, bikes, and trucks jammed into nearly every possible space. Just as we were wondering if the shop keepers ever have trouble with people snatching stuff from the hundreds of baskets along the sidewalks, we saw a guy get dragged into one of the shops...hmmm...
I bought all my souvenirs in Chinatown including a bright, yellow, plastic mug which I think came from a convenience store because the logo read, "Enjoy convenience and the fun of life." Sounds good to me.
We had no trouble finding a place to go dancing. The Starlight Lounge was right down the street from our hotel. The gothic interior was a surprise and an interesting contrast to the hipstery Journey dance remixes. The view from the dance floor:
HARD FALL was released last week, and I have the winners of my release contest. The five cover magnet winners are:
And the ebook winner is:
Winners should have rec'd an email from me, but if you see your name here and haven't, send me a note email@example.com.
If you didn't win - but love the cover - I have some cover postcards and I'd be happy to send you one. Just send me your snail mail addy firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to those who entered - watch for my COWBOY FOR HIRE release contest in September.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
“Stone and Earth”
A Garnet Jewels of the Nile Quickie
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Available now at Ellora’s Cave:
Buy link: http://www.ellorascave.com/AuthorsBooks.asp?AuthorCode=CSPa
Gargoyle Damien St. Pierre has to find an ancient artifact needed by his people. When he meets Earth witch Katie Calhoun, he can’t keep his hands off of her. Because of the problems his people are having, Damien is afraid to attempt the conversion necessary to make her his mate. But Katie is determined to help him in his quest and to become the gargoyle of his dreams. Can her faith overcome his fear? Will the magic of love succeed in the mating of Stone and Earth?
Excerpt: (ADULT Language warning!)
Sleeping next to Katie was possibly the second best sensation in the world. Fucking her was without a doubt number one.
Damien knew he needed to be out of her sight before dawn, so he’d set the alarm on his cell phone to give him a half-hour leeway. If their relationship went any further, he’d have to let her see him by daylight eventually, but no way was he ready for that after only one night. She’d told him the other room on this floor was the bedroom intended for him. He figured he could hide out there until nightfall.
Even after the near-silent buzz had wakened him though, he couldn’t bring himself to move. There was something so seductive about lying on silky cotton sheets with Katie warm and soft in his arms, her bright auburn head pillowed on his chest. They’d made love twice more last night after leaving the roof, once in the kitchen and once more here in her bed. He closed his eyes and inhaled the scent of her hair. Moss and earth and spice.
Damien must have dozed off again, because when he opened his eyes, the first pale rays of dawn were filtering through the slats in the blinds. To horror, he felt his body beginning to change.
He tried to slip quietly from the bed but Katie’s long lithe limbs were twined around his own. She stirred, sitting up and blinking as he rushed to disentangle himself.
“Damien, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, cherie. I just—need to use the bathroom.”
“Hmm. Then you’re heading the wrong direction. Nice wings, by the way.”
Merde! He’d turned his back to her trying to flee the room. “I need to go.”
“Damien. Relax.” She moved up behind him and circled his waist with her arms, rubbing her soft cheek on the leathery surface of his demonic wings. He wondered if she’d also spotted the long tail that he tucked forward between his ankles. Since she hadn’t run screaming yet, probably not. “So this is why you travel at night.”
“Yeah.” He knew his voice was deeper and huskier in this form. Hell’s teeth, she was dropping butterfly kisses on the pointed tips of his wings. “It tends to frighten the tollbooth workers on the turnpike.”
“I’ll bet.” Her gentle chuckle was a benediction, warm and curious but completely lacking the fear or disgust he’d expected. “So this happens every morning?”
“Sunrise to sunset.” Oh, fuck! Now her busy hands had found his tail and were exploring it. She traced her fingers along the coiled muscle down to the barbed tip. This was probably not the time for him to mention that when he was in demon shape, his tail was an erogenous zone. Of course, he’d never had a chance to prove that except by himself. He’d never fucked another gargoyle and he’d never let a human woman see him like this.
“Turn around, Damien.”
“No.” He knew the front was even more horrific than the back. Even some of his own kind found him painful to look at.
“Damien.” She kissed the ridge of his spine, then moved her hands to his hips, forcing him to either fight her or turn. “I know it’s too early to talk about this, but I fell in love with you last night. And the man I fell in love with just happens to be a gargoyle. I don’t know much about what that means, but apparently this is part of it. I do know that under this thick gray skin, you’re the same man who held me through the night.”
“Gargoyles are part demon,” he told her. “A curse of our race.” But slowly, he did turn. And forced himself to look into her grass-green eyes.
“And you said it was bad!” She tsked and shook her head, still studying him carefully. He followed her gaze, knew she’d seen the horns that poked through his hair, the heavier brow ridge and protruding jaw. Fangs poked out from both upper and lower lips. “Goddess, Damien, you still have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”
Monday, August 4, 2008
They’d fallen in love with this cottage by the Gulf of Mexico, thinking the cool salt water air would help diffuse the heat of summer. Today it just sat there like a big bath tub, mocking them. The waves rubbed against the shore with a lazy, almost indolent movement. A light summer breeze no more than a hint of moving air whispered over Avery’s smooth, tanned skin and stirred a few tendrils of her thick, raven-black hair, but it did little to cool her body.
“Summer’s supposed to be hot, luv.” Dylan Black sat up on the chaise next to hers, picked up his drink and dribbled it onto her naked, oiled flesh. “See if this cools you off.”
“Hey!” Avery jack-knifed to a sitting position and swatted at Dylan with the magazine. “That’s cold!”
He laughed, a deep, rumbling sound that always made her body clench. As long as they’d been together, the level of excitement had never dropped. Looking at him now, with the sun reflecting off his golden-streaked light brown hair, mischief dancing in his whiskey-coloured eyes and humour softening the rugged planes of his face, she felt her nipples beading and moisture gathering between her thighs. If she wasn’t careful, she’d leave a little puddle on the canvas of the chaise.
“Make up your mind here.”
“At least give a girl a little warning,” she protested, brushing at the drops with her fingertips.
“Why not take a dip in the water? We’re the only ones here. Nobody to bother us. Come on.” He reached for her hand. “Let’s go play.”
Their cottage, as Dylan called his “let’s get away for a few days and fuck” hideaway, was on a private beach sheltered by huge rock jetties on both sides. There was only one other cottage about five hundred yards away, also owned by Dylan, and the weekend tenant had not yet arrived.
Avery took his hand and rose to her feet, glancing over at the other cottage. “What if Tony shows up? He’s renting for the whole weekend, isn’t he?”
They were both completely nude, their favourite way to sunbathe.
“Let him drool over what a luscious piece I’ve captured. He does anyway.” He tugged at her hand. “Come on. That sand’s hot.”
Indeed it was. Pure white and soft as talc, but so hot it nearly burned the soles of their feet. Avery raced behind Dylan until they reached the water’s edge. Although the sun had raised the temperature of the bay to lukewarm, it was still initially cool against their skin. Avery dove into it head first and swam out to catch Dylan, who was a bit ahead of her. One thing she liked about this place was the water was shallow for a long way out. When they stood up, it was in water that barely reached their waistlines.
“Can’t do this in the winter,” he reminded her. “Be grateful for the heat.”
“Only in degrees.” She smoothed her long wet hair away from her face. “This is really lovely out here, Dylan. I always like coming here.”
“I’ll bet you do.” He grinned.
She blushed, realising what she’d just said.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Good manners means paying attention to the people around you, at home, at work, shopping, riding a bike, driving a car, running, jogging, walking. Two days ago I was close to the bank when the door opened and an elderly lady with a walker started to push through. A young lad, ten or eleven, already in the bank rushed to hold the door for her. She thanked the boy and she and I smiled at each other. "Doesn't that just make your day," I said. When I entered the bank, the boy was standing next to is father at a bank machine. What a great kid. With great parents and possibly a grandmother.
Manners came with the territory when I was brought up and my husband and I passed them on to our children. For instance, on a crowded bus. My son has a seat and a very pregnant woman moves up to stand near him. Of course, he stands and offers her his seat. That's what we did as children. Always stood to give a seat to the old and infirm or hugely pregnant.
Lynn Truss says it better than I. This is a quote from her book. "Manners are based on an ideal of empathy, of imagining the impact of one's own actions on others. They involve doing something for the sake of other people that is not obligatory and attracts no reward."
I still remember the bad manners of a man riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. He came up behind me as I was walking and I had to dodge to the side. I said, "There's a road out there for you to ride on." And he said, "Fuck off." It's the common expletive if you dare to make a comment about a rude gesture.
Then to make you all smile, here is the story about the dear little toodlets. A woman, Zoey Slater, was so distressed to see hundreds of toodlets squashed on the road in the Ryder Lake area of Chilliwack, BC. that she organized 150 people over 10 days to rescue the toodlets as they tried to cross the road to a swamp. The volunteers came with buckets and shovels, the kind found in a child's sand box and scooped up the dime-sized toadlets. In the article there's a story about the toads who breed in the area. They are listed by the federal government as "special concern" or a species at risk. So Ms Slater wants to have a toad tunnel built under the road to save the thousands squashed every year. Now that's what I call good manners. Concern for a species at risk.
And now for something competely different. "The Rough Guide to GETTING NAKED." That's about engaging in sexual activity in a public place. "Sex is as much a part if vacations these days as tucked-in sheets and overpriced cocktails, and the MILE HIGH CLUB has seemingly been replaced with the MILES AWAY CLUB, with people engaging in erotic behaviour in increasingly exotic locales." That's from The Globe and Mail again.
I think it's Bad Manners to have sex in a public place. I mean, who wants to watch a couple having at it? Not a pretty sight. I leave you to picture the scene. And now I must leave you.