Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hey all!

Just popping my head in again. Been VERY busy getting better since four days after I got to San Francisco I broke my left wrist & ring finger. So I'm now finally able to type again both handed even though it sorta is painful....but at this point I'm not caring about that little bit of pain because typing with one hand is more of a pain than typing two handed is! LOL

Still have Hush to give away.....I haven't forgotten about that.....the move just blindsided me too much to be able to get enough responses to really make it a decent giveaway. Those that have entered to win still have enteries....I haven't forgotten about y'all.

Until later my literary pals!!

Oh, yes.....wanted to mention that my friend Gretchen McNeil's book has come out & it looks ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! You should support her and check it out!  The cover alone is enough of a reason to buy it!! ;)

Friday, June 10, 2011

GIVEAWAY time!!!

So...as you can see below, HUSH was the hands down winner! So....here's the 'portant part! The rules:

1) Be a follower of my blog
2) Leave me a comment +1
3) Tweet this contest +2 (leave me the link please)
4) Leave me an email to reach you...unless you don't WANNNNNT the book!
5) Blog about this contest +3 (leave me a link please)

Rules 2, 3, & 5 are optional but rules 1 & 4 are mandatory. (Gotta keep some semblance of order around here!) The little pluses after some of the rules are the amount of extra entries you get for doing these things! So comment away!

Next Friday I will put all your entries in a hat & choose the winner! Easy as that. Looking forward to all of your comments! Mongerers, this is all because of your awesome efforts Mongering & spreading the Mongering word! Thank you for everything you do.

Annnnnnnnd the winner is!!

It seems that overwhelmingly y'all want HUSH by Cherry Adair!! So......starting tomorrow I'm going to start taking entries to win this awesome book! WOO HOO! The masses have spoken and I am responding! Thank you for the great turn out Mongerers & friends! This couldn't have been possible without you! Be on the lookout, I'll be creating the post to give away my people's choice!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I know I haven't had a lot of "bells & whistles" but read this & reserve your thoughts.

Ok! I know that I've been all about the Mongering lately...anyone who has seen my new Twitter avatar & have even looked at this page can instantly see that.

Now I've got ONE guest blog under my belt...if you would like to read it the web page is here:

Now Sonia G Medeiros is seriously thinking about interviewing me for HER blog. This is an exciting time for me!

So...without further ado...I will announce my first bell! I'm SERIOUSLY going to do a giveaway in honor of how GREAT #wordmongering is going. I have TWO books that I can give....so vote as to which book I give this time you have two to choose from...but THIS giveaway will only be ONE book...so when I tally up all the votes I will do a giveaway!

Your choices:  HUSH by Cherry Adair
                       The Fallen Demon by Kristina Douglas

Right now all you do is vote for which I should give away! Next Friday I will tally up the votes & then announce the giveaway! That's it!! Let the voting begin!!!  In order to vote just be a follower of my blog! That's it...I won't expect you to jump through flaming hoops....yet....hee hee

Unfortunately the giveaway is only going to be for US people...since I don't have international money to be able to send it out! (sorry Int'l people hopefully soon I can include you!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Annnnd #wordmongering & #editmongering logos go LIVE today!!

I SWEAR this is my last post for today!

THIS is big news for us at the Mongering crew because we have gone live with our dual logos! If you'd like to get the full badges you can visit our official WIX site here: http://www.wix.com/notveryalice/wordmongering#!bbb

With a coordinated effort between @notveryalice, MHowalt, and I we have come up with the most beautiful Mongering logos. Now, with that being said what I REALLY mean is that MHowalt designed them and @notveryalice and I had input into the design process...mostly color choices and such since the idea that M had was just too gorgeous to deny. Here I will share the basics....but if you want the "full Monty" the site I posted up there is your best bet!

There they are in all their colorful glory and I'm VERY proud to display them on my blog. Thank you to ALL of you because without you Mongering wouldn't be as much fun or even possible! Pat yourselves on the backs for jobs well done and words on the pages! WOO HOOO!! Enjoy and I'll see ya Mongering!!

I have a SPECIAL Mongering award for some people out there!

You can attach them to your blog...or just save them for your desk top (which is what "I" have on MINE right now ;) !)

Since the mug is for edits & the bulb is for word this award is for those tireless people that do BOTH! Thank you for your support and know that I'm extremely proud of your progress that I've been seeing in my TweetDeck! Without futher ado......HERE'S my picks for May!! YAYAYAYAY!












g d cribbs





Because of you FINE WONDERFUL folks both Mongerings have been an AWESOME success!! Enjoy the wonderful handiwork of MHowalt and her beautiful badges and logos for Mongering.

Blog pages as promised!

MHowalt-- http://howalt.wordpress.com/

@notveryalice-- http://maybeandthewolf.wordpress.com/

MyshelfAndI-- http://www.memyshelfandi.com/

Ava_Jae-- http://avajae.blogspot.com/

Jessica Lei-- http://metahypnosis.blogspot.com/

Kim McCormack-- http://kimcormack.com/

Leigh Fallon-- http://www.leighfallon.com/

InLuvWithBooks-- http://ibetuthinkthisblogisaboutyou.blogspot.com/

Author Tiffany-- http://authortiffany.wordpress.com/

JenBigHeart-- http://jenbigheart.blogspot.com/

BethFishReads-- http://www.bethfishreads.com/

Helene Boudreau-- http://www.heleneboudreau.com/

TheFourPartLand-- http://www.thefourpartland.com/

ErinBrambilla-- http://www.erinbrambilla.com/

DanniM86-- http://epicrobotdanni.blogspot.com/

There ya have it! So click away at all of these wonderful blogs! There WILL be more postings....but this time I'll be handing out Mongering badges! Think y'all can handle it? (hee hee)

So, Wordmongering has gathered me another award!

So, MHowalt was the SWEETEST ever and gave me this cute little award! What's really funny is the award looks A LOT like what my brother and I had every year for our birthday cake. How did she know? I hafta say that whoever presented her with this award was right on the money with her since the GORGEOUS images that @notveryalice and I have on our WIX webpage are solely courtesy of her. She jumped right on the Mongering bandwagon and created the cutest pics ever to depict our Mongering logos. (Don't worry, as soon as I pull them off of my emails I will be posting their beauty here on my musings.) SO....it's MY turn to go ahead and award this same cute little award back out since it would be UTTERLY rude of me to hang on to such a lucious cake! ;)

So....who to give the award to? Well that's easy but not so easy isn't it? The HARDER part will be giving y'all links to everyone's websites. Don't worry, I may not be uber web savvy, but I have the re-post down pat, so once I put all of my wonderful blog awardees down here I shall come back and give everyone's webpages so that you may click away! Annnnnnnnnd without further ado the WINNERS:

MHowalt (of course!)
@notveryalice (for obvious Mongering reasons)
MyshelfAndI (Because she's an awesome trivia bookmark giver!)
Ava_Jae (For her awesome pom pom skillz!)
LeiJessica-JessicaLei (Or even BOTH of her simply because she's one of the best crit'rs EVAR)
Kim McCormack (Because SHE'S lucky enough to have an ADHD fairy!)
Leigh Fallon (Because she's willing to trade my servitude for an ARC hee hee)
InLuvWithBooks (Because she said my quote trumped hers! hee hee)
AuthorTiffany (Because ANYONE with a unicorn in her avi is soooper sweet!)
JenBigHeart (Because she has the BEST swag & isn't shy about sharing!)
BethFishReads (Simply for her being an editing MACHINE!)
Helene Boudreau (For her fashion sense while being covered in scales)
TheFourPartLand (It ain't easy being cheesy like he is! ;) And he makes it look GOOD)
Erin Brambilla (Those pom poms & fingers just never quit!)
DanniM86 (Cuz she's one ROCK'N speed demon on the keyboard)

The instructions, as they were passed on to me, are these:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.2. Share seven random facts about yourself.3. Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

So my Seven Random Facts:

1) I'm all about the color purple. All of the lighters in the house that are purple are mine (that's how I know hublet is trying to snatch mine, if it's purple...it's mine! LOL)

2) I usually find my shoes in the kid's section....little known fact, a woman's size 6 shoe equals to be a 3 1/2 - 4 in kids. One year I got the COOLEST sparkly light up Barbie shoes! Too bad the next door neighbor's dog shredded them three days after I bought them. I was too disappointed to buy another pair. :)

3) My favorite ice cream flavor is Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio--other brands tend to fill space with almonds and that's not as tasty.

4) I am a fiend for crablegs! Promise me an all you can eat crab leg buffett and I'll go ANYWHERE with you! (just make sure you're not teasing cuz I WILL get mad! LOL)

5) I named my kitty Tabbytha in honor of a passed away puppy that was named Tabitha, the funny thing is....they both were/are VERY similar creatures despite the species gap!

6) Lilacs & lavendar are my two most favorite floral smells, but purple orchids are my favorite pretty flowers. Once upon a time it was the rose, and that was LONG before I found out that it was the June flower.

7) My hublet thinks that it's strange that I can only spend about five minutes on my make-up, but I can literally spend hours grooming my hair.

All right! There you have it. Some rather strange and random facts about lil ol me! Watch the next blog post for everyone's blog addresses!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#Wordmongering Part Two...Toss in some #editmongering for good measure!

Ok! Here @notveryalice and I have finally come to an agreement.  The times between :00 & :30 are devoted to those that wish to #wordmongering & the times between :30 & :00 are dedicated to those that wish to be #editmongering.  So far it's working out beautifully.  Granted there's more #wordmongering than there is #editmongering....but I'm here to say don't be shy about it! If you've got some work you'd like to edit....jump on & get together with @notveryalice!  She doesn't bite...and she LOVES to have the company!  If anyone has any questions about the rules, or wish to learn more about @notveryalice we have a website dedicated to nothing but the #wordmongering & #editmongering come stop on by!  http://www.wix.com/notveryalice/wordmongering#!  We'd love to hear from you.  Keep watching the community space too...we're working on some sort of event for both hashtags!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New website celebrating the #wordmongering hashtag!


My co-founder @notveryalice has created something that's a joy to behold! I'm sharing it with you now!  Come join the fun & check out the site!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Processes Writing is Full of Them.....

So here I am with a fully written novel, I'm in the process of editing this wonderous thing.  Now what?  Well, I have to do something that's the most scariest thing in the whole wide world.  Start the querying process.  There is so much involved in this process and it's absolutely frightening!

First, you have to start with all the research.  How do you write a query for that dream agent if you don't have the information needed?  After all, the point of the query is to land that dream deal.  (When I say "dream deal" I'm not talking Amanda Hocking type deal, for me those two words consist of getting representation and selling my work!)  Agents are people like everyone else, they just happen to be those that have their fingers right on the pulse of the world you wish to run with.  Having said that, you have to remember to TREAT them like people.  You wouldn't go to a job interview and call Mr. Smith Mr. Jones.  The same goes with the agents.  They wouldn't be too responsive if you called them some other name.  I know that "I" am a little picky about my name.  Most people have that bad habit of calling me Monica.  Well, that's only HALF of my name.  People usually look at me like I'm insane when I correct them, but it's a person's name.  The same goes for those agents we writers put on pedastals.  They have names first and foremost.  The very next important thing is remembering what genre they represent.  You wouldn't send a fiction piece to an agent that represents only non-fiction.  This not only helps out the writer, but the agent too! They get bombarded with so many query letters per day I'm sure that opening someone's query and it's addressed to someone else entirely, not even in the genre you represent makes them feel pretty annoyed.  I know that "I" would feel that way.  It's a waste of their very valuable, very put upon time.  They have so much that they're doing and to have someone not appreciate that all that they do is just pure insulting.  Since I'd much prefer to woo these agents I want them to know that their time and efforts are as valuable as they are.  Research is one of the most important steps in your querying process.

Next, writing the letter.  Now I'm not here trying to tell you that I'm an expert.  I can't lie to you like that.  To be honest, the research is uber easy as far as I'm concerned, but the writing of that letter is dangerously close to paralyzing for me.  Here it is that I have to take my wonderful work that I wrote anywhere from 50,000-70,000 words of and condense it onto a page of no more than 300 words.  The ratio just doesn't seem to work out in my mind.  So there I sit, staring at my open word document with blank eyes and shaking hands.  I will get around to writing that letter...after all this is something that I've been dreaming of since I was 7-8 years old.  But I thought that I'd write this piece to let people know that being neurotic during this time seems to me the absolutely normal thing to do.  Here's wishing all of us the best of luck and wonderful query letters for those wonderful Agents to get their mitts on!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

#wordmongering A Hashtag To Jumpstart Your Writing......

Yes, word sprints are not new under the sun.  I admit this.  But, this approach is sort of new.  Being someone with a diagnosed issue with ADHD I was having some issues sticking to a writing plan, schedule, or anything else for that matter.  A while ago I'd come across a great site FlyLady.  Her philosophy was that you can do anything for 15 mintues.  This is true!  I'd managed to get my house clean in this manner, it works!!  Well, one day I'm sitting and staring at my work in progress wondering how in holy heck am I going to get the words on the page?  Then it hit me, we writers can sit and do thirty minutes that's all we need is thirty minutes.  So I challanged people to a word war.  So we'd start at :00 or even :30 depending on what time the challenges started that day, and just write like crazy,  after rest for thirty minutes.  *ZING* it hit me.  A sort of FlyLady way of writing.  Thirty minutes on and thirty minutes off.  It worked.....it excited me......I racked up the wordcount, turned off the editor, and just wrote!  Managed over 12,000 words one day and I felt like I was on top of the world!

So, how to get the word out there?  After all, writing alone is great if you're one of those guys that has a liver that'd seen better days, a hermit, or just a recluse in general.  Twitter!  I have Twitter!  So I went shamelessly to my Twitter feed and started challenging the writers on my TwitterFeed to "word warmongering".  People started taking me up on it.  Once I explained that we were doing a half hour on half hour off system they actually liked it.  What better way to be able to feel like you're writing, but not working on writing?  One of my fun followers @notveryalice and I were talking about it, and I had kept referring to it as word warmongering.  Well, as hashtags go, wordwarmongering was rather long and a little unwieldy.  Now, a conversation never ensued, but @notveryalice just jumped in with the brilliant hashtag #wordmongering kind of a squooshing together of word warmongering.  We started running away with the hashtag.  Like any other "grassTweets" movement it's been a little work.  The constant plugging on our Twitter feeds.  But it's never been work cheering on the mongerers (as I call all of our WONDERFUL participants).

Ultimately #wordmongering has become an awesome way to get words to the paper and let your fellow writers know that even if you have a word count of 15, that's 15 more than you had before the half hour sprint started.  Yes, we call them "word count challenges" we post our word counts at the end of the half hour, but it's not a win or lose thing.  The whole situation is a win!  It's a win because you came together with other writers and all you expected was thirty minutes.  You didn't have to worry about how much  you got done in just that thirty minutes.  There's something freeing with doing things a little at a time.  Just like that old adage of how you're supposed to eat an elephant.  One bite at a time.  Productivity comes when you release HUGE expectations.  Just write, write like Forrest Gump runs (as I'm always telling my mongerers!).  It's amazing what will happen if you jump on the train......there you are, with your fellow Tweeple that have accepted the thrown down gauntlet and you post your word count.....you have just managed to get something more out of this little bit than you orginally thought.  "What? I got more than I did last time!" you might think to yourself.  It happens, yes, we all have our up moments and our down moments, but at end of the day it's all about getting those words onto the screen, page, parchement, skywriting, however and whatever it takes for you to work best.

So if you see @MonicaMarieV on your Twitter feed don't think that she's talking crazy talk when she's talking about #wordmongering.  I'm just working on helping out others like me, if I get some word count along the way so be it! *SHRUG*  The bottom line is don't be shy!  Come on over and say "Hi" to me.....participate in a couple of hours of writing where you only actually write for an hour......converse with other authors that are finding this way of working an awesome boost to their word counts and their love of being productive.  We're a real fun and diverse bunch and we don't mind another friendly face!  See you mongering!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running Down That Hallway.....

I remember when I was much much younger than I am now I read A LOT.  I read everything that I could get my grubby little paws on.  From the time I was two and a half I was nothing but a reading fool.  I realized that there were worlds in them there books!  One day, I'd have to say that I was about seven maybe even eight, I realized that people actually WROTE those books.  There were companies that MADE those books.  A dream started building....I wanted those same companies to make books that "I" wrote.

Let's jump ahead quite a few years.....life got in the way....children came along.  The dream dropped back to a forgotten recess of my mind.  After all, how could there be time to entertain a dream when there are noses to wipe and work to do?  Somewhere along the way I'd forgotten.

Jump ahead a quite a few more years.....an epiphany hit......I STILL wanted to be one of those writers.  The words Bantam and Scholastic ran through my dreams as I chased them through endless hallways.  I sat down at a computer (that was back from the stone age I think) and started writing.  I became a woman obsessed.  Words flowed out of my fingertips like water.  Granted I had no clue what I was doing, but it felt good.  I was going to be the next Hemingway, the next Shakespeare, heck even the next J K Rowling or something!  It was going to be fabulous!  The bucks were going to start rolling in!

Yeah, I'd only forgotten one small little detail.  Things never come that easily.  All of those wonderful books that I'd fallen in love with before I knew what boy/girl love was, they were written by people that worked on those books.  They worked darned hard too.  I know because I've been working my fingers to the bone writing this stuff. 

Now that I know that there is a process that's involved I've been splitting my focus.  Working out how the process works, trying to keep my creativity spinning so those words still keep flowing.  But, I'll tell you what, it's nice to know that my dream is still alive.  The dreams of me chasing all of those wonderful publishing companies are gone.  They have been replaced by the physical chase.  Only now I know a little more than I did going into it.  But ultimately, I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's a great feeling remembering something about yourself that had so long ago been buried in the recesses of your mind.  It's as if all of the pieces of you are returned.  Especially since for all the time that I wasn't honoring or even remembering that dream I'd felt like I was only half there.  Like I was on some strange auto-pilot.  Now, I'm the captain of my own ship, the flyer of my own destiny.  Will this ride ever stop?  I really hope not.

Monday, April 25, 2011

All agog about vampires.....treatment of vampires--Challenge question--

Since the advent of the Twilight series the entire country as well as some others, have been gaga over vampires.  I have to admit, I've read each and every one of the the books and enjoyed them too.  Interview With a Vampire was a great movie, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt did a great job!  Oh, and how cute was little Kirsten Dunst?  She really did look just like a little doll.  Now there has been an even bigger onslaught of the undead set.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, merely stating facts.  Many publishing houses and agents specify these days NO VAMPIRES....well....this is a good and a bad thing.  Let me explain before I get mean mugging via comments and emails.  Bear (bare-depending on how you see this particular cliche) with me here.

Let's start with the arguement for the banning of vampires being good:

Well, as authors we want to sell books.  Heck, let's admit it outright!  Granted there is a few authors that write for the sheer joy of writing.  There are authors that write both for the sheer joy as well as hoping they can make a living from their craft.  So on and so on.  There are as many breeds of authors as there are varieties of vampire depictions out there.  Publishers and agents are worried about the business end of things.  I'm not ranting and raving about a publisher's or agent's right to make a living, I promise you this.  In fact here I'm defending that right.  They work darned hard to get our works out there, we literally owe them our livings.  Now, having clarified that point, let's get down to the brass tacks.  When a publisher and an agent both say that they can't sell vamp stories, by golly I believe them.  They know....they've been there done that and have seen what's out there for us.  For those of us that aren't the altruistic type, that would love to make some money (even if it's a little bit) it behooves us to believe them as well.  This is an argument for the good.

Now....on the other side the bad (publishers and agents that read this, please don't be offended, I'm merely pointing out something in my opinion):

The reason I think that it's bad that vamp stories have had a moratorium placed on them, is because there are so many more directions that people can take the stories.  How can people make something more out of something that's been done since the fifties and told throughout the generations you might ask?  Well, let's take those examples that I cited above.  Twilight-Stephenie Meyers....she made Edward and company glitter in the sun rather than go up in a puff of smoke.  This I found to be interesting, and brilliant on screen (literally, like a brilliant diamond) when it was portrayed.  Ms. Meyers followed her theme from beginning to end.  She made up the rules for her vamps and she stuck to them like gangbusters.  Her portrayal was one that hadn't truly been done before.  Granted, relationships between mortals/vamps have been done before, but not done the way in which she had done them.  At least not until I read all four of her books on the subject.  Going again to Interview With a Vampire, and Anne Rice's portrayal of vamps.  Opposite ends of the spectrum.  Initially she stuck with much of the tradition they burn in the sun, they live in the underground systems as a group and things like that, but there was that added difference of the one vamp wanting to tell his story to a mortal to get everything off his chest.  Now that was an interesting little twist.  Of course I couldn't resist the fact that she made his choice of cities to spill his story was in San Francisco.  LOVED that little part (hee hee...what can I say, I'm a sucker for the city I adore!)  My point is, these stories have something similar in that they are both about vampires, the vampires pretty much have the same diet--blood of some sort (whether human or animal--which incidentally was portrayed in both), and they are inevitably pretty (who would argue that with me having seen either movie or read either book?).  Ultimately their rules ended up very differently.  These authors took something that could have been classified as blase and turned it into something you'd stop and think about and not confuse the two.  That's the best part about writing fiction, you have the ability to take something that people have been handing down in stories for generations and retelling it in such a way as to catch a new audience's attention.

My point through all of this rambling is that even if there are subjects that SEEM to be overdone, to me they are challenges that are begging me to find a different way to treat them.  Have them do something out of the ordinary that isn't typical.  To cite an example of that is a new web TV series that I've been watching lately Vampire Mob (http://www.vampiremob.com/), the guy is a vampire, but he's a mobster too.  That's something that hasn't really been done before.  Now there is someone that took the time to twist something seemingly familiar and make an audience for it.

 My challenge to you now is to take something you think has been "overdone", research it, write down the ways that you have seen it treated and see if there isn't some way that you could put a clever twist to it.  It's working for how people are portraying vampires....maybe there's some other mythical, horror, or even made up creature that you can do the same thing to.  Who knows, you might have fun and even sell something "new and improved"?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reviewing a book I read....Force of Habit by Alice Loweecy

I have to admit, I won this book purely by accident when I first joined Twitter.  So like any other person that wins a wonderful book I started to do a little research.  Boy did I hit a familiar point when I did that.  Not only had she written a book that actually got published, she was also a fellow AW member.  For those of you that aren't familiar with what AW is it's Absolute Write, a writer's message board.  Fellow writers whether published or hoping like crazy to be published (I fall into the second category by the way) all go there to congregate to commiserate, hob nob, and help each other along.  For good measure agents stop by to give advice along the way.  Good place for good people.  If you'd like to visit you can find it at http://www.absolutewrite.com/ stay and take a look around who knows you might like it.

Getting back to the book that I won.....well, for one thing the mail that goes from Alice Loweecy's home town must be made of light speed or something, because the next day after I won it, there it was sitting in my mailbox waiting for me to rip into it.  My surprise and joy knew no bounds at that point.  Then.......I opened it........

Now for my thoughts on this piece of literature......I have to say wholeheartedly that I highly recommend anyone and everyone read this book.  Ms. Loweecy's background shone like a sun in this book beckoning me from one page to the next.  I couldn't keep from reading on more and more until I got to the ending.  Needless to say I'm looking forward to Back in the Habit the sequel to this wonderful novel.

If you're thinking that I'm forgetting to tell you what's going on in this little gem, I haven't....but in order to tell you what's going on I thought it best to let the book tell you itself.  Meaning I'll be writing what's on the back of the book....because the last thing I want to do is give anything away, after all, what would be your incentive to read it if I tell you what happens?

All Manner of Sin

Giulia Falcone is convinced she's going to Hell.  First, because she left the convent.  Second, her new job with a private investigator has her sneaking around and lying.  Adjusting to life in the outside world isn't easy.  Makeup, dating, and sex are all new to her.  And despite a crush on her new boss Frank Driscoll--a foul mouthed, soft-hearted ex-cop--Giuilia is sure he'd never fall for an ex-nun.

Her first case involves drop-dead handsome Blake Parker, a man iwth immense wealth and an ego to match.  He and his fiance'e are getting disturbing "gifts" with messages based on biblical verses.  When Giulia is drawn into the stalker's twisted game, salacious photos of her appear, threatening her job and her friendship with Frank.  No one imagines--least of all naive Giulia--the danger ahead, when following the clues turns into a fight for her life.

This is book one of her Falcone & Driscoll Investigation series.

Needless to say as I mentioned above I highly recommend reading this book.  Enjoy the reading adventure offered by this wonderful and friendly writer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I won a creative blog award! YAY!

I'm honored to display this award!  Thank you for giving me this.  Not only am I proud, but I'm sure that Dad will be happy to hear about this!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Saga of Don's Infamous Beans.....

Growing up, my dad worked as the head cook at The Honor Camp in La Honda, CA.  This is a minimum security jail facility outside of Redwood City for those that are familiar with California.  Now, dad is actually a very excellent cook, much better than mom but that's a different story.

Dad's signature dish at The Honor Camp was chili beans.  I have since gotten the recipe for these now "infamous" beans and there's nothing toxic, outrageous, or otherwise out of the ordinary in them, they are the most bland of ingredients when they're seperate.  For some reason when he made them at "the camp" as he called it at home, it became something of a ticking time bomb in someone's stomach.  This is the re-telling of those tales as I remember them from my childhood.

Tale # 1  The Dogs & Doctor Death

One deputy was an avid hunter, he liked to shoot smaller game, ducks, rabbits, things like that.  He had specially bred dacshunds that he used to scare them out from underneath the brush so he could get them.  One day he made the grave error of telling my dad something he learned to regret.

"Don, whatever you have leftover just give it to me, my dog's will eat anything!"

Dad of course had quite a bit of this wonderful tasting noxious concoction left over and gave it to him.  Now, what this unsuspecting deputy that dad gave this to didn't realize was that the batch that dad had given him was enough to feed about twenty people give or take a few.  When we think of a dog's appetite we think that they can eat quite a bit and not have any problems.  Unfortunately considering the size and the amount that each dog consumed, this proved fatal.  There was one left that was the most loyal and cuddly to this deputy, but when he got home the dog was growling and snapping at him, but she too didn't last long.  Not long after this dad was referred to as "Dr. Death", the deputies even had a special placard made up for his dorm room at work.

Side effect #1

Later on, when word got around to the deputies and the inmates, it became common practice to threaten anyone not conforming with a forced second helping.  Part of the problem was that sometimes people purposely subjected themselves to this since the chili was actually quite good, it was just, like I said before, a time bomb waiting to do it's worst.

Tale #2  The Green Deputy

It was common practice for the deputies to switch off with the deputies that were in town, or to stop off and eat when they were tansporting prisoners.  One deputy had his newbie hanging with him after one of these drop offs.  Newbie of course eats the beans and finds them really good, his partner warns him quite extensively that they'll be doing road patrol later, he might not want to have that second bowl.  Yes, they went out on road patrol and the trip did not bode well for the newbie.  They were driving on some overpasses when the urge came over him suddenly to do his thing, but there wasn't anywhere in sight and it was quickly becoming an emergency.  This poor man wound up hanging from the overpass and his undershirt had to work in a pinch.  Needless to say, his partner was never doubted from that time forward.

Tale #3  The Lieutenant and his Wife

A new Lt came on board at the camp.  This wasn't bad, this happened every so many years, it's just the way it is there.  His wife and him lived in a nicer part of town, from what I remember dad saying she was a banking VP or something like that, basically the business suits to work type.  Yes, the deputies warned the Lt not to have that second, or was it third bowl, of chili but he continued chowing down lauding the praises of dad's cooking all the while.  His shift ended and he went home, needless to say him by himself put the Blazing Saddles campfire scene to shame.  Wife comes home tired from her long day and the first thing she does is sniff like a bloodhound on the trail of it's prey.  She starts moving the furniture around, looking under things, moving what she's already moved twice before.  Finally she sticks her hands on her hips and smacks her husband.

"Get up and help me!  The dog's crapped in the house and I can't find it." 

Well, at first he was able to get away with blaming the dog, to be honest who really hasn't done that at least once or twice?  After this "ghost crap" was never located the wife put two and two together (she's good with numbers, remember she's a bank VP?) she realized that it was husband who created the olfactory overload and banished him to the couch for, tale has it, a month.  Unfortunately being in the position that she was, the couch was more for looks than for comfort, the Lt was about as uncomfortable as could be.

"Don!  I forbid you to ever make that chili here at the camp as long as I'm Lt of this post!"  So came the banned chili.

Oh, the deputies still asked Don to make his "infamous" chili for old times sakes, but it wasn't until the Lt left the post right before the camp shut down that he was actually able to do it again.  I am pleased to report that in that instance there wasn't any casualties, accidents, or banishments to the couch (that were reported) at this feeding.  Although, before the camp closed it's doors for good the deputies got together and got dad a trophy.  They had taken a #20 tomato can and replaced the label with one that had dad's smiling face presiding over a huge vat of the edible weapon the caption read "Don's Famous Chili".  It was complete with a list of ingredients.  Dad swears up and down that they got the ingredients off of a bottle of industrial strength cleaning chemicals (it sure isn't the same recipe that dad gave me several years later after much cajoling and wheedling) but some people still have their doubts. 

For the sake of my family I have chosen to leave everyone but my dad's name out of this.  The last thing dad needs is to have lawsuits popping up, even so many years later.  Now, despite this one choice of menu, dad was and is a very good cook and he taught me most everything he knows.  To this day I haven't made this chili recipe, not sure I even want to risk it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hunted--Young Adult Paranormal with Romance elements

Seventeen year old Aurora Caine lives alone on the streets of San Francisco.  She wasn't always homeless, once she had a cozy house, a nice car, and a beautiful life.  Suddenly this life was ripped apart by a strange illness that claimed her parents and her fraternal twin sister Audrey.

The lab where her parents both worked in had an accident with bio-chemicals that were being tested for their uses as bio-weapons for the military.  The fact that she alone had survived made her a hunted girl.  The powers that be at Agro-Gen Chemicals, the name the company chose to hide their true purpose, wanted her for experiments and the anti-bodies that she had against this virus they labeled Agro-Chrome #19.

On the run from her hometown of Bellevue, NE she leaves signs that she's headed for New York City, but instead goes the opposite direction to San Francisco, CA.

Her life of scrounging to get by, choosing a new name every six weeks, and constantly looking over her shoulder is about to be put to the test.  Not only is she immune to the devastating effects of Agro-Chrome #19, but she's also noticing a change in her.  Suddenly she's able to influence people's thinking and her hands heat up as a defense mechanism.  Attempting to control her newfound abilities will be the key to keeping off of Agro-Gen's radar, but also the government's too.

She also gets caught when she meets James Mead.  His shy manner and trusting eyes disarms her.  She has to make a choice, would she trust this boy she was falling in love with, or would she have to move down to Los Angeles?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Phoenix......Young Adult Contemporary

Phoenix was your popular girl, cheerleader, with the great guy, everything was great.  Her best friend was throwing an epic Sweet Sixteen bash, everything was platinum.  That dream life was shattered one day by one disturbed boy. 

Left to figure out how to live life again, this time in a wheelchair Phoenix now has a new outlook on life.  Things weren't about the popular crowd anymore.  They were about being able to get out of bed by herself, being able to get in the house, being able to do things for herself again with confidence.

Somewhere along the way she realizes that not only did she have power all along to help herself, but she helps her family as well, and still manages to get the guy in the end.

This project is now completed & in the process of being queried.

First of my two new ideas......Young Adult Supernatural

The story of Samantha, a teenaged girl that was raised to think that she was human when she was not.  Her fate was sealed the day that she was born, for she was destined to be the youngest of the Three Fates.  Out of the blue a very strange man shows up at her doorstep asking about a key her grandmother had been holding on to for her and is extremely mysterious about why he needs her to use it.

Her story continues on through her journey of taking over the position of Clotho, the youngest Fate, and the obstacles that stand in her way, since there are many other beings that reside on Earth that would rather the Fates didn't have their complete set of three.

Samantha fights through her fears, her bumbling, and her heart to finally assume her rightful position as Clotho and continue to give the humans of the world their fate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Salem By Way of California--Young Adult Paranormal

Salem By Way of California is the story of Randi Halstead, a teenage girl who is suddenly moved from San Francisco, CA to Salem, MA to live with her paternal grandmother and her parents. Her parents are viciously murdered by Lawrence Putnam who has had a centuries old grudge against the Warren Family, Randi's maternal side of the gene pool, dating back to the days of the Salem Witch Trials.  Lawrence has been waiting for the return of the Halsteads so he could carry out his grudge. 

Randi simultaneously has to deal with the loss of what she considered her hometown, coming to grips with the loss of her main family unit, as well as dodging death because Lawrence has vowed to kill all that are descended from the Warren line.  Soon after the death of her parents Randi realizes that she has abilities that have the potential to get out of hand, she has premonitions, empathy, telekinesis, and pyrokinesis.  These abilities have traveled down the family line to her.

Randi, with the help of her paternal grandmother and great aunts, is able to get a handle on her abilities.  Along the way she finds that she’s able to finally get to know her family in a way that she never has, and find love and happiness in the end.