Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

As 2008 fades away, and a clean slate in front of you, it's the time of your life to let go and be more than you'd ever dreamed of being.

2009 is a new year to set new writing goals and resolutions. What are yours going to be? Find an agent? A publisher? Finish a book?

It's the first day of the first year of a new unwritten future. A blank page. You can write your own future.

In the loosely interpreted words of Natasha Bedingfield and her song "Unwritten", today is when your book begins. The rest is unwritten. You have a blank page before you. No one else has your book inside them. It's your gift. You must release your inhibitions and go for it.

And, you will get there, one step at a time. Keep your goals firmly set in your mind. Stay focused. Use the support of your writing networks. And, set your goals high. Reach for the stars!

So, what are your top five writing goals or resolutions for 2009?

Mine are:
1. Obtain a publishing contract for OUT FOR JUSTICE
2. Finish edits on 3 short stories and find them a published home.
3. Write erotic story for Ravenous Romance.
4. Enter writing contests.
5. Write at least 5 chapters of DRIVING ME CRAZY.

I'd like to hear what yours are.

Monday, December 29, 2008

E-Books - Starting to Take Hold

Well, folks, tell us something we don't know, right?

But, here it is, in the New York Times. Posted 12/23/08.

According to the article, and correct me if I'm wrong, it sounds like they're crediting the success of the e-readers for the success of e-books.

Okay, I'll bite.

Don't you have to have something to READ before you want to have something to READ it ON?

I say e-books are a success because of the authors, and the e-reader products improved based on demand.

But, that's my humble opinion.

You can read the article here. Turning Page, E-Books Start to Take Hold. Skip the add that might pop up and go straight to the article.

I'd love to hear your opinion.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Travel

My husband and I recently returned from traveling to WV, PA, and DC. We decided it would be a great Christmas present to his nieces to take them to DC for a couple of days. So, we flew into to the Philadelphia airport, picked up our rental minivan, drove to Buckhannon, West Virginia (5 hours) stayed overnight in a hotel.

Uh Huh, they do have hotels in Buckhannon. A very nice one as a matter of fact. The Bicentennial. If anyone gets out that way, that's my recommendation.

We picked up the girls the next morning from my husband's sister's house. After finding it.

Thank God for GPS and Google Maps. She has no address. Nope. None. Just lives on this little one lane road in the middle on nowhere.

We drove to Washington, DC (5 and 1/2 hours later). Thank goodness for a laptop computer and a movie. It kept the girls occupied.

The first day of our tour we saw the National Archives and the American Indian Museum.

In the rain.

Cold rain. And wind. Oh yeah. Wind and cold rain.

Of course none of us had umbrellas. But, I don't think it would have done any good anyway. But, I digress. The next day we parked at Union Station and walked from there to the Lincoln Memorial and back and saw everything we could in between before traveling back to WV. (Another 5 1/2 miles)

By then it was snowing. And snowing. And, we're from Florida remember? We're talking 20 degrees and under.. Brrrrrr.

We got back to Buckhannon, dropped off our nieces, checked into our hotel again, burrowed ourselves into the covers and blasted the heater.

Ahh, family time.... two days spent with my in-laws. (I plead the fifth here).

Then, it's time to travel back to Philadelphia to catch our plane back to Tampa, Florida.

Easy peasy, right?

NOT!

First, we get there early, because, well, I'm an OCD, and have panic attacks and anxiety, and my hubby can't deny me when I get that way, so we get their early. About 4 hours early.

Then we wait.

He keeps himself occupied with his computer. I walk.

Then, we find out our flight's been delayed.

So, we wait some more.

He pulls out his computer again; I get antsy.

Then, you guessed it, our flight is delayed again.

NO!!!!

By this time, hubby is deep into his computer, and I'm tapping my toes and trying to do a puzzle while eating a turkey sandwich, because now I've missed dinner.

Finally, the plane arrives. They're excuse: Holiday Travel.

Okay. From December 10th to the 15th, they had excessive holiday travel. Hmmm.. Sorry folks, but if that's the case, I really feel for those of you who are traveling right through the holiday.

So, back to the story. We make our connection some how in Atlanta because, low and behold, our plane is late. Imagine that!!??!!

Eventually, we make it back to Tampa, tired and beat.. several hours late.

But, what didn't arrive??? Our luggage!!

After all that, our luggage never made it on the plane!!!

But we were so glad to be home. And, the airlines were confident they would find our luggage and deliver it the next day. (Miracle upon miracle, they did just that!)

And we woke up to 80 degree weather. Can't get better than that.

Here's an article titled 12 Secrets to Surviving Holiday Travel for tips to help you get through your holiday traveling.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Teddy Bears With Chocolate Recall

Walgreens Recalls 173 Teddy Bears With Chocolate Bars Sold Since Late September 2008

Contact:
Michael Polzin
(847) 914-2925

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- DEERFIELD, Ill., Dec. 5, 2008 – Walgreens is recalling 173 teddy bears with chocolate bars sold in stores since late September 2008. Analysis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that certain samples of the chocolate provided with the teddy bears were contaminated with melamine. Customers who purchased any of the 173 teddy bears should return them immediately to the Walgreens stores where they were purchased for a full refund.

Walgreens already has instructed stores to stop selling the product, which is specifically described as an approximately 9-inch high Dressy Teddy Bear with 4-oz. Chocolate Bar. The product's UPC number is 047475864485, and the product tag also includes the item number 291332. Walgreens has not received any reports of illness or injury related to this product.

Walgreens takes the safety of its customers seriously and is working with the FDA on this recall. For additional information, visit Walgreens Web site at http://www.walgreens.com/images/pdfs/recalls/TeddyBear_Product_Safety.pdf or contact Walgreens Product Quality department at 847-315-2755, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Books Make Great Gifts Part II


Historical Vampire/Werewolf Romance

==============================

THE BLEEDING DUSK - Colleen Gleason - Signet Eclipse (Feb.)

UNDER THE BLOOD RED MOON - Mina Hepsen - Avon A (Oct.)

COME THE NIGHT - Susan Krinard HQN (Oct.)

LET THE NIGHT BEGIN - Kathryn Smith Avon (Jul.)

THE RAVENING - Dawn Thompson - Love Spell (Feb.)

Historical Romantic Adventure

========================

THEFT OF SHADOWS - Naomi Bellis - Signet Eclipse (Feb.)

HER EVERY PLEASURE - Gaelen Foley - Ballantine (Apr.)

THE TREASURE - Iris Johansen - Bantam (Dec.)

TO SEDUCE A BRIDE - Nicole Jordan - Ballantine (Apr.)

THE PERILS OF PLEASURE - Julie Anne Long - Avon (Feb.)

PRISONER OF THE FLAMES - Dawn MacTavish - Leisure (Nov.)

SEDUCED BY A SPY - Andrea Pickens - Forever (Mar.)

Sensual Historical Romance
=======================

A ROGUE'S GAME - Renee Bernard - Pocket (May)

DON'T TEMPT ME - Sylvia Day Brava (Apr.)

DOUBLE FANTASY - Cheryl Holt - St. Martin's (Mar.)

EXPLOSIVE - Charlotte Mede - Brava (Jan.)

JUST FOR HER - Katherine O'Neal - Brava (Jul.)

Historical Fiction -


THE DARK LANTERN - Gerri Brightwell - Crown (Mar.)

THE WINTER ROSE - Jennifer Donnelly - Hyperion (Jan.)

THE TSARINA'S DAUGHTER - Carolly Erickson - St. Martin's (Oct.)

PHYLLIDA AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF PHILANDER - Ann Herendeen - Harper (May)

THE WHISKEY REBELS - David Liss - Random House (Oct.)

Historical Biography

===================

TUMBLEWEED - Jane Candia Coleman - Leisure (Jun.)

THE OTHER QUEEN - Philippa Gregory - Simon and Schuster (Sep.)

THE KING'S FAVORITE - Susan Holloway Scott - NAL (Jul.)

THE KING'S DAUGHTER - Sandra Worth - Berkley (Dec.)

Historical K.I.S.S. Hero

====================

Trevelyn Deveridge - DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS - Emily Bryan - Leisure (Mar.)

Harry Morant - HIS CAPTIVE LADY - Anne Gracie - Berkley Sensation (Sep.)

General Merin - 22 NIGHTS - Linda Winstead Jones - Berkley Sensation (Dec.)

Chance Morgan - MAVERICK WILD - Stacey Kayne - Harlequin (Jan.)

Nicholas Ramsay - THE MIDNIGHT MAN - Charlotte Mede - Brava (Aug.)

Major Harrison - THE SCANDALOUS LIFE OF A TRUE LADY - Barbara Metzger -
Signet Eclipse (Jun.)

Wyatt Yarbro - THE RUSTLER - Linda Lael Miller - HQN (Oct.)

Gabriel MacBraedon - THE NIGHT BEFORE - THE WEDDING - Debra Mullins - Avon
(Feb.)

Historical Romantic Mystery/Gothic
===========================

SEDUCTION BECOMES HER - Shirlee Busbee - Zebra (Jul.)

DARK TEMPTATION - Allison Chase - Signet Eclipse (Nov.)

CONFESSIONS AT MIDNIGHT - Jacquie D'Alessandro - Avon (Jan.)

AFTER THE KISS - Suzanne Enoch - Avon (Jul.)

WICKED INTENSIONS - Lydia Joyce - Signet Eclipse (Dec.)

WHERE THE HEART LEADS - Stephanie Laurens - Morrow (Feb.)

THE SEDUCTION OF THE CRIMSON ROSE - Lauren Willig - Dutton (Feb.)

Best Erotic Romance and Erotic Novels of 2008

Paranormal/Fantasy/Paranormal/Fantasy

=================================

UNDERCOVER - Lauren Dane - Heat (Dec.)

SEDUCED BY DARKNESS - Delilah Devlin - Avon Red (Apr.)

THE MARK OF THE VAMPIRE QUEEN - Joey W. Hill - Heat (Feb.)

FULL CIRCLE - Ann Jacobs - Ellora's Cave (May)

ETERNAL DESIGNS - Gracie C. McKeever - Siren (Mar.)

ADDICTED - Lydia Parks - Aphrodisia (Sep.)

Erotic Romantic Suspense
====================

FORBIDDEN FRUIT - Eden Bradley - Delta (Nov.)

RIDING WILD - Jaci Burton - Heat (Feb.)

SHE'S ON TOP - Susan Lyons - Aphrodisia (Apr.)

JADED - Karin Tabke - Pocket (Jun.)

Erotic Romance Historical

==================

MIRAGE - Monica Burns - Samhain (Jan.)

CROSSED SWORDS - Marianne LaCroix - Ellora's Cave (Apr.)

ONE WICKED NIGHT - Noelle Mack - Aphrodisia (Jan.)

BLACK SILK - Sharon Page - Aphrodisia (May)

NATE - Beth Williamson - Samhain (Jan.)

Erotic Fiction
==============

SWAP - Jenesi Ash - Heat (Sep.)

THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW,THE SEX THEY HAVE - Aubrey Leatherwood - Lyrical (Dec.)

SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL - Vanessa Marlow - St. Martin's Griffin (Apr.)

WHIP APPEAL - M├ęta Smith - Pocket (Aug.)

Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels 2008

Science Fiction Novel

=================

DUST - Elizabeth Bear - Bantam Spectra (Jan.)

ZOE'S TALE - John Scalzi - Tor (Aug.)

GALAXY BLUES - Allen Steele - Ace (Apr.)

SATURN'S CHILDREN - Charles Stross - Ace (Jul.)

HALF A CROWN - Jo Walton - Tor (Oct.)

Fantasy Novel

===============

THE HOUSE OF THE STAG - Kage Baker - Tor (Sep.)

SHADOWS RETURN - Lynn Flewelling - Bantam Spectra (Jul.)

SHADOWBRIDGE - Gregory Frost - Del Rey (Jan.)

GOBLIN WAR - Jim C. Hines - Daw (Mar.)

CAST IN FURY - Michelle Sagara - Luna (Oct.)

FORTUNE AND FATE - Sharon Shinn - Ace (Nov.)

KING OF SWORD AND SKY - C.L. Wilson - Leisure (Oct.)

Epic Fantasy Novel

================

PRINCEPS' FURY - Jim Butcher - Ace (Dec.)

THE IMMORTAL PRINCE - Jennifer Fallon - Tor (Mar.)

BLACK SHIPS - Jo Graham - Orbit (Mar.)

HAWKSPAR - Holly Lisle - Tor (Jun.)

THE HERO OF AGES - Brandon Sanderson - Tor (Oct.)

UrbanFantasy Novel

====================

MAGIC BURNS - Ilona Andrews - Ace (Apr.)

BITE THE BULLET - L.A. Banks - St. Martin's (Oct.)

MIDNIGHT'S DAUGHTER - Karen Chance - Onyx (Oct.)

PURE BLOOD - Caitlin Kittredge - St. Martin's (Sep.)

THE IRON HUNT - Marjorie M. Liu - Ace (Jul.)

STORM BORN - Richelle Mead - Zebra (Aug.)

MAGIC TO THE BONE - Devon Monk - Roc (Nov.)

Urban Fantasy Protagonist
=====================

Mercy Thompson - IRON KISSED - Patricia Briggs - Ace (Jan.)

Joanne Baldwin - GALE FORCE - Rachel Caine - Roc (Aug.)

Cat Crawfield - ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE - Jeaniene Frost - Avon (May)

Sookie Stackhouse - FROM DEAD TO WORSE - Charlaine Harris - Ace (May)

Daunuan - HOTTER THAN HELL - Jackie Kessler - Zebra (Aug.)

Marla Mason - DEAD REIGN - T.A. Pratt - Bantam Spectra(Nov.M

Anna Strong - LEGACY - Jeanne C. Stein - Ace (Sep.)

Best Contemporary and Paranormal Romances of 2008

Contemporary Romanc
e
===================

OVERNIGHT MALE - Elizabeth Bevarly - HQN (Jun.)

EVERYBODY LOVES EVIE - Beth Ciotta - HQN (Feb.)

THIGH HIGH - Christina Dodd - Signet (Mar.)

HELLO, DOGGY - Elaine Fox - Avon (Jan.)

ACCIDENTALLY YOURS - Susan Mallery - HQN (Jan.)

FLAT-OUT SEXY - Erin McCarthy - Berkley Sensation (Nov.)

UNRAVEL ME - Christie Ridgway - Berkley Sensation (Nov.)

Futuristic/Fantasy Romance

======================

MOONSTRUCK - Susan Grant - HQN (Jun.)

SOLAR HEAT - Susan Kearney - Tor Paranormal Romance (Feb.)

HIDDEN - Eve Kenin - Shomi (Jul.)

THE MAGE'S DAUGHTER - Lynn Kurland - Berkley Sensation (Jan.)

COUNTDOWN - Michelle Maddox - Shomi (Aug.)

PHENOMENAL GIRL 5 - A.J. Menden - Shomi (Nov.)

SHADES OF DARK - Linnea Sinclair - Bantam (Aug.)

Vampire Romance

===============

MIDNIGHT RISING - Lara Adrian - Dell (Apr.)

THE DARKNESS - L.A. Banks - St. Martin's Griffin (Feb.)

BECAUSE YOUR VAMPIRE SAID SO - Michele Bardsley - Signet Eclipse (May)

DARK CURSE - Christine Feehan - Berkley (Sep.)

DARKNESS EVERLASTING - Alexandra Ivy - Zebra (May)

SUCKER BET - Erin McCarthy - Berkley Sensation (Jan.)

THE ACCIDENTAL VAMPIRE - Lynsay Sands - Avon (Jan.)

Shapeshifter Romance

==================

THE ACCIDENTAL WEREWOLF - Dakota Cassidy - Berkley Sensation (Feb.)

KISS OF FIRE - Deborah Cooke - Signet (Feb.)

THE DRAGON MASTER - Allyson James - Berkley Sensation (Nov.)

THE LAST TWILIGHT - Marjorie M. Liu - Leisure (Feb.)

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE - Christine Warren - St. Martin's (Jun.)

Contemporary Paranormal Romance

============================

DESTINY KILLS - Keri Arthur - BantamSpectra (Nov.)

TURBULENT SEA - Christine Feehan - Jove (Aug.)

NOAH - Jacquelyn Frank - Zebra (Sep.)

THUNDER MOON - Lori Handeland - St. Martin's (Jan.)

DEMON'S HUNGER - Eve Silver - Forever (Dec.)

NIGHT SEASON - Eileen Wilks - Berkley Sensation (Nov.)

Paranormal Action Adventure Romance

==============================

ETERNAL PLEASURE - Nina Bangs - Leisure (Jul.)

DARK DESIRES AFTER DUSK - Kresley Cole - Pocket (Jun.)

PREDATORY GAME - Christine Feehan - Jove (Mar.)

DARK MAGIC - Cheyenne McCray - St. Martin's (Nov.)

HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE - Nalini Singh - BerkleySensation (Sep.)

BOUND BY SHADOW - Anna Windsor - Ballantine (Jul.)

Paranormal Fiction
===============

UNDEAD AND UNWORTHY - MaryJanice Davidson - BerkleySensation(UNDEA

PLAYING WITH FIRE - Katie MacAlister - Signet (May)

UP IN SMOKE - Katie MacAlister - Signet (Oct.)

Best African-American Novels 2008

African-American Romance
=====================

THE CRITIC - Dyanne Davis - Parker (May)

SUDDENLY SINGLE - Carmen Green - Dafina (Mar.)

SWEET LIKE HONEY - Kim Louise - Kimani/Arabesque (Apr.)

NOT EVEN IF YOU BEGGED - Francis Ray - St. Martin's Griffin (Feb.)

THE WAY YOU LOVE ME - Francis Ray - St. Martin's (Sep.)

African-American Fiction Novel

============================

LIFE ISN'T PERFECT HOLLA - Sandra Foy - Genesis/Indigo (Nov.)

HIS FIRST WIFE - Octavia Grace - Dafina (Oct.)

TANGLED WEBS - T.T. Henderson - Parker (Mar.)

YOU GOTTA SIN TO GET SAVED - J.D. Mason - St. Martin's (Apr.)

Best Inspirational Novels 2008

=========================

WHISPERS OF THE BAYOU - Mindy Starns Clark - Harvest House (Jan.)

MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE - Kip Gayden Center Street (Feb.)

FOREVERMORE - Cathy Marie Hake - Bethany House (Jan.)

HEALING STONES - Nancy Rue & Stephen Arterburn - Thomas Nelson (Jan.)

TAMING RAFE - Susan May Warren - Tyndale (Jan.)

Best Small Press 2008

Small Press Contemporary Paranormal/FuturistSmall P

======================================

CALL OF THE HIGHLAND MOON - Kendra LeighCastle - Sourcebooks (May)

HER EYES - Jennifer Cloud &Regan Taylor - Amira (Jan.)

PROMISE FOR TOMORROW - Liz Kreger - Samhain (Oct.)

CLOCKWORK HEART - Dru Pagliassotti - Juno (Apr.)

SHAKING OFF THE DUST - Rhianna Samuels - Samhain (May)

CRY OF SORROW - Holly Taylor - Medallion (Jul.)

Small Press Romance

=================

TAKING FLIGHT - Connie Cox - Avalon (Apr.)

SEALED WITH A KISS - Mary Margret Daughtridge - Sourcebooks (Apr.)

EVERYTHING BUT A BRIDE - Holly Jacobs - Avalon (Aug.)

WINDSWEPT - Ann Macela - Medallion (Feb.)

Best Mainstream and ChickLit Fiction Novels of 2008

Women's Fiction

====================

THE SUGAR QUEEN - Sarah Addison Allen - Bantam (Jun.)

FIREFLY LANE - Kristin Hannah - St. Martin's (Feb.)

THE GIRL WITH NO SHADOW - Joanne Harris - Morrow (May)

THE ART OF KEEPING SECRETS - Patti Callahan Henry - NAL (Jun.)

THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING - Joshilyn Jackson - Grand Central (Mar.)

THREE MOTHERS - Sonia Lambert - Berkley (Jan.)

CERTAIN GIRLS - Jennifer Weiner - Atria (Apr.)

SNOWFALL AT WILLOW LAKE - Susan Wiggs - Mira (Feb.)

Chick Lit Novel

=================

THE BRIDE OF CASA DRACULA - Marta Acosta - Pocket (Sep.)

FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME - Lisa Daily - Plume (Apr.)

NOTES FROM THE BACKSEAT - Jodi Gehrman - Red Dress Ink (Jan.)

THE HARD WAY - Julie Luongo - Forge (Jan.)

RECONSTRUCTING BRIGID - Lee Nichols - Red Dress Ink (Aug.)

SLIGHTLY SUBURBAN - Wendy Markham - Red Dress Ink (Jul.)

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE MARRYING - Melissa Senate - Red Dress Ink (Jun.)

Young Adult Novel

==================

AUDREY, WAIT! - Robin Benway - Razorbill (Apr.)

WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED - Judy Blundell - Scholastic (Nov.)

THE HUNGER GAMES - Suzanne Collins - Scholastic (Oct.)

PAPER TOWNS - John Green - Dutton (Oct.)

Best Mystery and Suspense Novels of 2008

Contemporary Mystery

======================

THE PRICE OF BUTCHER'S MEAT - Reginald Hill - Harper(Nov.)

SLEEP SOFTLY - Gwen Hunter - Mira (Feb.)

THE GENIUS - Jesse Kellerman - Putnam (May)

IN A DARK SEASON - Vicki Lane - Dell (Jun.)

THE LAUGHTER OF DEAD KINGS - Elizabeth Peters - Morrow (Aug.)

P.I./Procedural Novel

================

DEAD HUNT - Beverly Connor - Obsidian (Feb.)

THE DIRTY SECRETS CLUB - Meg Gardiner - Dutton (Jun.)

TWISTED - Andrea Kane - Morrow (Apr.)

NOTORIOUS - Michele Martinez - Morrow (Feb.)

FRACTURED - Karin Slaughter - Delacorte (Aug.)

Historical Mystery

==============

THE SPIRITUALIST - Megan Chance - Three Rivers Press (Jun.)

WHERE SERPENTS SLEEP - C.S. Harris - NAL (Nov.)

TOUCHSTONE - Laurie R. King - Ballantine (Jan.)

BUCKINGHAM PALACE GARDENS - Anne Perry - Ballantine (Apr.)

First Mystery - FREEZING POINT - Karen Dionne - Jove (Oct.)

STALKING SUSAN - Julie Kramer - Doubleday (Jul.)

DEFENSELESS - Celeste Marsella - Dell (Nov.)

WHAT WAS LOST - Catherine O'Flynn - Holt (Jul.)

FIRST TO KILL - Andrew Peterson - Leisure (Sep.)

Suspense/Thriller
==============

KILLING FEAR - Allison Brennan - Ballantine (Feb.)

THE BODIES LEFT BEHIND - Jeffery Deaver - Simon & Schuster (Nov.)

THE ARCHANGEL PROJECT - C.S. Graham - Harper (Oct.)

DARK SUMMER - Iris Johansen - St. Martin's (Oct.)

THE DARKER SIDE - Cody McFadyen - Bantam (Oct.)

SCREAM FOR ME - Karen Rose - Grand Central (May)

Amateur Sleuth
===========

ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET - Barbara Allan - Kensington (Oct.)

QUICK STUDY - Maggie Barbieri - St. Martin's Minotaur (Dec.)

WORKING STIFF - Tori Carrington - Forge (Sep.)

MURDER MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH - Nancy Martin - NAL (Mar.)

TOO PRETTY TO DIE - Susan McBride - Avon (Feb.)

Best Romantic Suspense/Intrigue Novels of 2008

Romantic Intrigue
====================

DARK AND DANGEROUS - Jeanne Adams - Zebra (Jun.)

NO CONTROL - Shannon Butcher - Forever (Feb.)

NO ONE LIVES FOREVER - Jordan Dane - Avon (Jun.)

PURSUIT - Elizabeth Jennings - Forever (Apr.)

MOVING TARGET - Cheyenne McCray - St. Martin's (Jan.)

TO CATCH A THIEF - Christina Skye - HQN (Sep.)

NAMELESS - Debra Webb - St. Martin's (Feb.)

Romantic Suspense
===============

THE MURDER GAME - Beverly Barton - Zebra (Feb.)

WEDDINGS CAN BE MURDER - Christie Craig - Love Spell (Jun.)

SHOW NO MERCY - Cindy Gerard - Pocket (Oct.)

LOST SOULS - Lisa Jackson - Kensington (Apr.)

LOOSE AND EASY - Tara Janzen - Dell (Sep.)

CATCH A SHADOW - Patricia Potter - Berkley Sensation (Mar.)

FIRE AND ICE - Anne Stuart - Mira (May)

Paranormal Romantic Suspense
=========================

NIGHT SHADOW - Cherry Adair - Ballantine (Dec.)

TOUCH OF DARKNESS - C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp - Tor Paranormal Romance (Aug.)

BLIND INSTINCT - Fiona Brand - Mira (May)

DEADLY HARVEST - Heather Graham - Mira (Nov.)

ACHERON - Sherrilyn Kenyon - St. Martin's (Aug.)

MERCURY'S WAR - Lora Leigh - Berkley Sensation (Oct.)

DEADLY DECEPTION - Linda Lael Miller - HQN


Guys, some of these you might be interested in as well. So, start your list and hand it to your sweetie!!

Readers, here's your chance. If you have a book to suggest, add it to the comments list. Let's see how many books we can accumulate for our readers!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Holiday Tipping Guide

It's that time of year again. Ho Ho Ho... Merry Christmas... and all that ... but even more important. The time to tip you friendly neighborhood postman and yardman and pool service and hair dresser and well you get the idea ... the list goes on.

Don't know what to tip? Well, have I got just the article for you!

The Ultimate Holiday Tipping Guide

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... and Happy Tipping!

Books Make Great Gifts

Two pertinent lists from Jessica James, author of Shades of Gray, posted on Amazon:

Top Five Reasons Why Guys Should Give Books as Gifts

5: She can't connect with a new sweater like she can with a book.
4: Hey guys, they're easy to wrap!
3: They come in all sizes, shapes and colors--what could be easier?
2: It's cheaper than a romantic getaway but can produce the same result.
1: Books are gifts of love and joy--and can create everlasting memories.

Top Five Reasons Why Girls Should Give Books as Gifts:

5: They're easy to store--on coffee tables, bookshelves, nightstands or countertops.
4: They never go bad no matter how long they're stored--and they can be used quickly or savored over time.
3: Books can teach, educate, entertain--and distract him from football.
2: It's a small investment that can return dividends for life.
1: Books are the perfect gift of enjoyment that don't require him to leave his chair.

Guys, if you need any help, the Romantic Times Magazine just came out with the nominees for their books of the year. You can't miss with picking up one of these books for your lady. I've listed them out by category.



CAREER ACHIEVEMENT NOMINEES:


Historical\HISTORICHistorical\HIST
===============================
Victoria Alexander - Sabrina Jeffries - Anne Mallory - Patricia Rice -

HISTORICAL STORYTELLER OF THE YEAR
====================================
Celeste Bradley - Carol Finch - Susan Johnson - Paula Quinn

INNOVATIVE HISTORICAL ROMANCE

=================================
Lois Greiman - Lorraine Heath - Elizabeth Hoyt - Robin Schone -

Series\SERIES ROMANCE

======================
Roz Denny Fox - Jillian Hart - Emilie Rose - Debra Salonen -

SERIES ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

==========================
Jessica Andersen - Linda Castillo - Linda Conrad - Julie Miller - Joanna
Wayne -

SERIES ROMANTIC ADVENTURE

==============================
Kylie Brant - Kathleen Creighton - Kay David - Sylvie Kurtz - Marilyn
Pappano -

SERIES ROMANCE LOVE & LAUGHTER

================================
Susan Crosby - Lucy Gordon - Marion Lennox - Molly O'Keefe - Melanie
Schuster -

SERIES STORYTELLER OF THE YEAR

==================================
Leanne Banks - Jean Brashear - Jackie Braun - K.N./Ken Casper - Eve
Gaddy –

Contemporary\Contemporary\CONTEM
====================================
Carly Phillips - Christie Ridgway - Vicki Lewis Thompson - Sherryl Woods


PARANORMAL

===============
C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp - Nina Bangs - P.C. Cast - Katie MacAlister -

URBAN FANTASY
================
Keri Arthur - Simon R. Green - Charlaine Harris - Kim Harrison -

Mainstream\WOMEN'Mainstream\WOM

==========================
Barbara Taylor Bradford - Joy Fielding - Lorna Landvik - Nicholas Sparks
-

Romantic Suspense\ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
=================================
Cherry Adair - Heather Graham - Tara Janzen - Carla Neggers -

Mystery & Suspense\MYSTERY SERIES

===============================
Laura Childs - Joanne Fluke - Elizabeth Peters - Kate Wilhelm -

FEMALE SLEUTH

==================
Nevada Barr - Carolyn Hart - Alex Kava - Nancy Martin -

SUSPENSE/THRILLER
======================
Kay Hooper - J.D. Robb - James Rollins - Karen Rose -

Inspirational\Inspirational
========================
Hannah Alexander - Terri Blackstock - Beverly Lewis - Lori Wick -

African-American\African-American

===============================
A.C. Arthur - Leslie Esdaile - Melanie Schuster - Janice Sims -
Jacquelin Thomas -

FOR BEST BOOKS AND AUTHORS OF 2008 -

Best Series Romance Novels 2008 - Reviewers' Choice Nominees -


First Series Romance

================

HIS MISTRESS BY ARRANGEMENT - Natalie Anderson - Harlequin Presents (Jun.)

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT - Kerry Connor - Harlequin Intrigue (Jun.)

MARRYING THE BOSS - Megan Kelly - Harlequin American (Apr.)

MARRIAGE AT THE MILLIONAIRE'MARRIAGE AT THE MILLIONAIRE'S COMMAND -
(Jun.)

Harlequin American

==================

FOREVER HIS BRIDE - Lisa Childs (Aug.)

RELUCTANT PARTNERS - Kara Lennox (Jun.)

THE RIGHT MR. WRONG - Cindi Myers (Feb.)

THE PILOT'S WOMAN - Ann Roth (Mar.)

TEXAS HEIR - Linda Warren (Sep.)

Harlequin Blaze
================

UNLEASHED - Lori Borrill (Nov.)

RESTLESS - Tori Carrington (Dec.)

MS. MATCH - Jo Leigh (Oct.)

BELOW THE BELT - Sarah Mayberry (Jun.)

PRIMAL INSTINCTS - Jill Monroe (Feb.)

Harlequin Intrigue

================

BENEATH THE BADGE - Rita Herron (Aug.)

NICK OF TIME - Elle James (Nov.)

ARMED AND DEVASTATING - Julie Miller (Jul.)

I'LL BE WATCHING YOU - Tracy Montoya (Apr.)

GUARDIAN ANGEL - Debra Webb (Feb.)

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT - Rebecca York (Oct.)

Harlequin NASCAR

=================

EXTREME CAUTION - Jean Brashear (Dec.)

PEAK PERFORMANCE - Helen Brenna (May)

HITTING THE BRAKES - Ken Casper (Jun.)

HOT PURSUIT - Wendy Etherington (Sep.)

TEAMING UP - Abby Gaines (Aug.)

Harlequin Presents
==================

THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL - Ally Blake (Sep.)

BRIDE OF DESIRE - Sara Craven (Dec.)

BOUGHT: THE GREEK'S INNOCENT VIRGIN - Sarah Morgan (Aug.)

ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS - Susan Napier (May)

BEDDED BY THE GREEK BILLIONAIRE - Kate Walker (Nov.)

Harlequin Presents Extra

===================

THE ITALIAN'S PREGNANCY PROPOSAL - Maggie Cox (Aug.)

ANGELO'S CAPTIVE VIRGIN - India Grey (Sep.)

HOUSEKEEPER TO THE MILLIONAIRE - Lucy Monroe (Apr.)

MISTRESS - Kathryn Ross (Sep.)

THE GIANNAKIS BRIDE - Catherine Spencer (May)

Harlequin Romance

===================

THE BOSS'S UNCONVENTIONAL ASSISTANT - Jennie Adams (Aug.)

HIRED: THE BOSS'S BRIDE - Ally Blake (Oct.)

HER BABY, HIS PROPOSAL - Teresa Carpenter (Jun.)

THE SHEIKH'S UNSUITABLE BRIDE - Liz Fielding (Jan.)

THE HEIR'S CONVENIENT WIFE - Myrna Mackenzie (May)

HarlequinSuperRomanHarlequ
=====================

SECOND-CHANCE FAMILY - Karina Bliss (Nov.)

FINDING MR. RIGHT - Helen Brenna (Oct.)

TO PROTECT THE CHILD - Anna DeStefano (Jun.)

BABY BY CONTRACT - Debra Salonen (May)

HIS SON'S TEACHER - Kay Stockham (Jul.)

Kimani Romance

================

TENDER SECRETS - Ann Christopher (Oct.)

TAME A WILD STALLION - Deborah Fletcher Mello (Jun.)

MODEL PERFECT PASSION - Melanie Schuster (Apr.)

SECRET AGENT SEDUCTION - Maureen Smith (Sep.)

HER KIND OF MAN - Pamela Yaye (May)

Silhouette Desire
==================

THE DESERT LORD'S BABY - Olivia Gates (May)

QUADE'S BABIES - Brenda Jackson (Dec.)

DANTE'S BLACKMAILED BRIDE - Day Leclaire (Feb.)

DO NOT DISTURB UNTIL CHRISTMAS - Charlene Sands (Nov.)

FRONT-PAGE ENGAGEMENT - Laura Wright (Aug.)

Silhouette Nocturne
===================

VEILED TRUTH - Vivi Anna (Oct.)

LAST WOLF HUNTING - Rhyannon Byrd (Apr.)

LAST WOLF WATCHING - Rhyannon Byrd (May)

WILD HUNT - Lori Devoti (Jun.)

DEADLY REDEMPTION - Kathleen Korbel (Sep.)

Silhouette Romantic Suspense
=======================

COLD CASE COP - Mary Burton (Jan.)

HER BEST FRIEND'S HUSBAND - Justine Davis (Aug.)

A SOLDIER'S HOMECOMING - Rachel Lee (Jul.)

UNDERCOVER WIFE - Merline Lovelace (Oct.)

THE PASSION OF SAM BROUSSARD - Maggie Price (Feb.)

Silhouette Special Edition

=====================

THE SINGLE DAD'S VIRGIN WIFE - Susan Crosby (Oct.)

THE MILLIONAIRE'THE MILLIONAIRE'S MAKEOVER - L

THE CHEF'S CHOICE - Kristin Hardy (Aug.)

BACHELOR BOSS - Christie Ridgway (Apr.)

YOURS, MINE . OR OURS? - Karen Templeton (Jan.)

Steeple Hill Love Inspired

=====================

FINALLY A FAMILY - Carolyne Aarsen (Jun.)

MISSION: MOTHERHOOD - Marta Perry (Jul.)

A COWBOY'S HONOR - Lois Richer (Apr.)

FAMILY TREASURES - Kathryn Springer (Nov.)

TIME FOR GRACE - Kate Welsh (May)

Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical

=============================

COURTING MISS ADELAIDE - Janet Dean (Sep.)

THE ROAD TO LOVE - Linda Ford (May)

HIGH COUNTRY BRIDE - Jillian Hart (Jul.)

LEGACY OF SECRETS - Sara Mitchell (Apr.)

SEASIDE CINDERELLA - Anna Schmidt (Jul.)

Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense

===========================

HIDDEN MOTIVE - Hannah Alexander (Apr.)

SHADOWS AT THE WINDOW - Linda Hall (Jul.)

THE PROTECTOR'S PROMISE - Shirlee McCoy (Nov.)

HER ONLY PROTECTOR - Lisa Mondello (Aug.)

THE FACE OF DECEIT - Ramona Richards (Sep.)

BROKEN LULLABY - Pamela Tracy (Mar.)

Best Continuity -

FULL EXPOSURE - Diana Duncan - Mediterranean Nights (
Jan.)

PICTURE OF PERFECTION - Kristin Gabriel - Thoroughbred Legacy (Jul.)

FLASHPOINT - Connie Hall - Athena Force (Apr.)

BREATHLESS - Sharron McClellan - Athena Force (Feb.)

BIDING HER TIME - Wendy Warren - Thoroughbred Legacy (Jul.)

Best Historical Novels 2008

Historical Romance of the Year

========================

SEDUCTION OF A PROPER GENTLEMAN - Victoria Alexander - Avon (Sep.)

SIMPLY PERFECT - Mary Balogh - Delacorte (Apr.)

TRAITOR'S KISS/LOVER'S KISS - Mary Blayney - Bantam (Nov.)

NEVER ROMANCE A RAKE - Liz Carlyle - Pocket (Aug.)

TO TASTE TEMPTATION - Elizabeth Hoyt - Forever (May)

SECRETS OF SURRENDER - Madeline Hunter - Dell (Jun.)

THE SEDUCTION OF AN UNKNOWN LADY - Samantha James - Avon (Apr.)

A DANGEROUS LOVE - Brenda Joyce - HQN (Apr.)

SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE - Lisa Kleypas - St. Martin's (Oct.)

THE BOOK OF SCANDAL - Julia London - Pocket (Aug.)

THE BRIDE PRICE - Anne Mallory - Avon (Nov.)

First Historical Romance

===================

THE SPYMASTER'S LADY - Joanna Bourne - Berkley Sensation (Jan.)

THE DUKE OF SHADOWS - Meredith Duran - Pocket Star (Apr.)

NIGHT FALLS DARKLY - Kim Lenox - Signet Eclipse (Oct.)

MISTRESS OF PLEASURE - Delilah Marvelle - Zebra (Sep.)

PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS - Sherry Thomas - Bantam (Apr.)

Historical Love & Laughter

=======================

DESPERATELY SEEKING A DUKE - Celeste Bradley - St. Martin's (Mar.)

HOW TO PROPOSE TO A PRINCE - Kathryn Caskie - Avon (Mar.)

UNDER YOUR SPELL - Lois Greiman - Avon (Jun.)

THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT - Donna MacMeans - Berkley Sensation (Jun.)

American-Set Historical Romance

============================

GUARDED HEART - Jennifer Blake - Mira (Feb.)

THE LONER - Geralyn Dawson - HQN (May)

A REASON TO SIN - Maureen McKade - Berkley Sensation (Mar.)

TALL, DARK AND TEXAN - Jodi Thomas Jove (Nov.)

British Isle-Set Historical Romance
===========================

A LADY'S SECRET - Jo Beverley - Signet (Apr.)

THE WICKED WAYS OF A DUKE - Laura Lee Guhrke - Avon (Jan.)

IN BED WITH THE DEVIL - Lorraine Heath - Avon (Jul.)

THE DECADENT DUKE - Virginia Henley - Signet (Nov.)

DUCHESS BY NIGHT - Eloisa James - Avon (Jul.)

VEILED PASSIONS - Tracy MacNish - Zebra (Oct.)

THE CAPTIVE HEART - Bertrice Small - NAL (Oct.)

Regency-Set Historical Romance

=========================

TO WED A WICKED PRINCE - Jane Feather - Pocket Star (Apr.)

WICKED AS SIN - Jillian Hunter - Ballantine (Jul.)

LET SLEEPING ROGUES LIE - Sabrina Jeffries - Pocket (Mar.)

TO PLEASURE A LADY - Nicole Jordan - Ballantine (Feb.)

A BRIDE FOR HIS CONVENIENCE - Edith Layton - Avon (Dec.)

NO CHOICE BUT SURRENDER - Johanna Lindsey - Pocket (Jul.)

THE KISS - Sophia Nash Avon (Mar.)

Scotland-Set Historical Romance

===========================

SHADOW MUSIC - Julie Garwood - Ballantine (Jan.)

WILD ANGEL - Sasha Lord - Signet Eclipse (Jan.)

IN THE HIGHLANDER'S BED - Cathy Maxwell - Avon (Feb.)

A HIGHLANDER NEVER SURRENDERS - Pamela Quinn - Forever (Aug.)

BORDER WEDDING - Amanda Scott - Forever (Mar.)

Historical Paranormal

===================

TEMPTED BY THE NIGHT - Elizabeth Boyle - Avon (Sep.)

THE WIZARD'S DAUGHTER - Catherine Coulter - Jove (Jan.)

IMMORTAL WARRIOR - Lisa Hendrix - Berkley Sensation (Nov.)

MY IMMORTAL PROTECTOR - Jen Holling - Pocket (Mar.)

DARK EMBRACE - Brenda Joyce - HQN (Sep.)

PHANTOM - Lindsay Randall - Love Spell (Jun.)

MYSTIC RIDER - Patricia Rice - Signet Eclipse (Jul.)

THE SORCERESS OF BELMAIR - Bertrice Small HQN (May)


SEE BOOKS MAKE GREAT GIFTS PART II FOR THE REST OF THIS BLOG ARTICLE

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

I got up early, took my 8 mile walk, and reflected on my blessings over the last year.

I have so much to be grateful for this year like:

* having 3 wonderful children to love and support their choices in life
* being out of the hospital
* celebrating in Hawaii 10 years married to my husband
* enjoying the birth of my granddaughter
* discovering that the tumor in my son-in-law's brain was benign
* being with my grandson to celebrate his 2nd birthday
* the men and women who protect our borders here and across the world
* celebrating my 47th birthday
* getting the motivation back to write again
* finding and reconnecting with a dear friend after 15 years
* the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in 1st place
* we survived another hurricane season
* and for all my online friends who hold a special place in my heart.

What are you grateful for this year?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Red Hot Publicity

In October, I was at a Wizards of Words writers conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

How is that significant you ask?

Well, they held an auction and of several items, and I won one of the items.

So what, you say?

Well, shame on you, because one of those items was a one hour consultation with Penny Sansevieri the author of Red Hot Internet Publicity - An Insider's Guide to Marketing Your Book on the Internet and Jeniffer Thompson of monkeyCmedia designhaus.

That one hour was priceless. The advice and suggestions they gave me for my blog, my website, and my writers' forum were perfect. They narrowed in on spots like putting a "BUY BOOK" button on my front page instead of having the user negotiate the pages to find it on the BOOKS page.

They suggested I syndicate my articles which is something I never thought of before! Who knew I could recycle them and put them out on e-zine.com and let the world of syndication take hold of them.

Most of all they gave me suggestions about getting more traffic to my site. Which I sorely need. So, come on people, hit my site!! Look for some changes, because I'm going to be implementing their ideas. There may even be a chance to win a prize!

Most of their changes dealt with my home page because that's what the reader sees first. And that's where I want to hook them and draw them into buying my books. Who knew, right? It sounds so simple, but it took a professional to point it out to me.

I had one of those "slap my forehead" moments. Now, why didn't I think of that? I guess that's why I'm a writer and not a marketer. But, in this day of publishing, we have to be both, if we want to survive.

So, if you don't do anything else, do this. Hop over to Penny's Author Marketing Experts website and see what she has to offer. Join her newsletter. If you want to learn more about marketing your book on the Internet, you won't be sorry.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Interview with Lady Cerelli, author of "My Journey to Peace"



In her book, "My Journey to Peace with PTSD," Lady Cerelli shares how keeping trauma to yourself leads to behavior disorders. She learned how to be at peace with who she was and change those behaviors in order to grow into the individual she wished to become. A spiritual counselor for over forty years, Lady Cerelli never dreamed she would step on the same path her clients walked.

Her book explains why you can be a victim of: abuse, suicide attempts, alcohol or drug addiction. Lady also deals with workaholics, frequent insomnia, nightmares, and depression. She explains why you are always angry, finding yourself speeding, or engaging in road rage. These are just a few of the symptoms of a PTSD victim; someone who has been severely or repeatedly traumatized.

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Lady Cerelli a few questions. I'd like to share them with you.

1.Lady Cerelli, why did you write this book?

It was a story that had to be told. It was my healing journey to help me understand why I had made my choices in my life and how I came to be victimized from a military rape. I also wanted to show people how affective my technique is. I, the counselor, had to walk the same path on which I place my clients. The reader follows in my footsteps through pain, self-discovery, and healing. They see how and when the disorders started after my incest experience and how it set me up to be a rape victim 12 years later.

2. Who does this book benefit?

The book benefits anyone who has been traumatized by sexual assault or incest. It also helps PTSD victims and their families. I know more books have been shared than purchased and every victim who has read the book has given it to their therapists. This book has helped everyone who has picked it up. What surprises everyone is that no matter the kind of abuse of how often, the behavior disorders in the adult are similar. A lot of readers have told me how the abuse may not have been the same, but the disorders were in their adult life.

3. What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

I learned who I am and what I needed to do to change into the person I am today. It was truly devastating to discover that 40 years of my life had been built on a lie. I had suppressed the military rape for over 40 years and was not aware of why I had behaved the way I did until I was nearly 60 years old. The hardest part of this journey was sifting through the various aspects and parts of my life and my inner core to discern what I wanted to keep, what I wanted to change, and what I needed to let go. The biggest surprise was after carrying around the incest memory for over 50 years; I had to refer to the book for a piece of information that had faded. I knew this to be a major sign of healing. When you have dealt with what caused the inner anger, the trauma no longer retraumatizes. The trauma actually becomes just a memory that eventually fades away or can be put into a place in the brain where we can see it but it doesn't affect us. The biggest pleasure is after the anger I had carried around with me for over over 50 years, I discovered the love of self. Not only have I forgiven my abusers and all those who have have harmed me, I have learned to love them, including my rapist. I despise what they did to me and would not allow it today, but I now know they were hurting also. The impact of this revelation is even more phenomenal when I know that because I was pregnant at the time of the rape, it had caused me to psychologically abort 6 babies over 10-year period.

4. What are you working on for the future?

I have turned to another chapter in my life by letting go of the book and placing it into God's hands. The past few weeks have been spent reflecting on the new path that has opened up, or reopened. Essentially, I have gone back home, to coin a phrase. I have learned that sexual assault is a stigma to which no one wants to attach themselves by admitting they are a victim. Not everyone has the courage to look at and directly deal with their inner pains as I have. I won't be addressing the pain in others as much as I shall be teaching them to care for themselves; teaching them self-nurturing. I have enrolled into a college of natural medicine and will get recertified as an herbalist; go on to Master Herbalist, Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner, then my Bachelor of Science. I am presently enrolled in beekeeping school and am working with our local Ag Office for grant money to start growing endangered herbs and obtaining beehives. Will eventually create gardens, tours, workshops, etc. This is similar to what I have done in the past. I used to lecture to large crowds as a C.H. Right now, I'm looking at specializing in natural remedies for trauma victims and teaching people to go back to the earth for their healing. I used to do this until my mother died; we moved; flashback; etc. It was all a journey in and of itself to get me to where I am today. The people who have come into my life just in the past 7 days are phenomenal and world-wide. What I will be doing for the rest of my life is based on everything I have learned in my life. In other words, the student now becomes the creator and teacher/healer using every skill learned. Everything has culminated to this point of my life. If nothing happens, know I am content with who I am and where I'm at. I also intend to get back in Fiber Art again but in a different way. I have art works in nearly every state and the Virgin Islands.


Thank you, Lady Cerelli, for your time and your heartfelt answers.

Friends, you can purchase your own copy of My Journey to Peace with PTSD

* Disclaimer: As always, the information provided herein this book should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition, or during any medical emergency. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Hey kiddies and not so kiddie-ish!

Halloween is here and that means tempting candy is close at hand. Ever wonder which ones are "better" for you than the others?

I did to. So I found this article from Lifescript. Trick or Treat: What's Good to Eat?

I suggest you read it and tell me what you think.

While you're at it, tell me what your favorite Halloween candy was when you were a kid. Mine was and still is Tootsie Rolls. And, guess what I got to give out? Tootsie Rolls. Yep, and I'm going to be stingy too, so I"ll have some left over for me. Mawaaahaahaahaaa!!

What's your most memorable Halloween? Mine was when I was about 5 years old. I was washing dishes and a top from a can slid into the water. It sliced my left thumb. I went around as a fairy princess with a great big bandage on my thumb. I had to show everyone and tell them the whole story. I still have the scar.

So, have a Happy Halloween and for those that practice, Happy Samhain.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Society of Instant Gratification. What happened to Patience?

I was sitting with my therapist, and we were discussing why we don't see layaway departments anymore in stores. Consumers can't handle waiting for their purchases anymore. Before, there was the satisfaction of buying a product, putting it on layaway, making payments, and then when it was paid off, you got your item.

But, that's not good enough anymore.

With the onslaught of credit cards and debit cards for anyone and everyone, layaway departments went out of business. People didn't have the patience anymore to wait to make their payments ahead of time. They wanted their product now, and be damned about the money. They'd make their payments later. That's what credit cards were for, right? Who cared what the interest rate was, so long as they got their product now.

Instant Gratification. IG

IG, it follows into other parts of people's lives as well. I was talking to some women in my doctor's office the other day and we were talking about losing weight. We all had our stories to tell. One woman had lost 40 pounds and wanted to lose even more, while another had lost 60 and had more than a hundred to lose. I told them I lost 100 pounds and how it took me 3 years to do it by walking and eating right. They sighed and slumped their shoulders. I could hear the voices in their heads saying "so long, I can't wait that long!"

One woman piped up and said she was on a weight loss program with a doctor and was getting B-12 shots. I didn't pry and ask her what else she was doing on the program. But, I she did say she wasn't walking because of bad knees.

Dieters. Most of them want the Instant Gratification of weight loss. You see the commercials on television, on the Internet, and hear them on the radio. They all have these miracle cures for you to take and you'll be thin and toned in a few weeks. Do they work? Duh, NO! If they did, wouldn't we all be walking around toned and thin???

It all comes down to patience. No one has time for it anymore. It took years to put on that weight. It's not going to come off in a few weeks. Okay, so it might, but it's not going to stay off for a long time, especially not your life time. A slow and steady weight loss with a lifestyle change of new eating habits combined with an exercise program and you're more likely to have long term changes that are effective.

Those toys that consumer bought with his/her credit card? I'd probably win the bet that their kid was already bored with them by the time they were paid off, or they were broken.

No one has patience anymore. We have drive through banks. Fast food. And now curb side service at restaurants. You don't even have to get out of your car to get a good dinner. No patience.

We don't even have the pleasure of going to the record store and buying a record anymore. Open the iTunes store and purchase a song and download it to your iPod.

Instant Gratification.

What's next?

I wish you a slow and patient day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Laws of Ultimate Reality. Really! It happens every time!

THE LAWS OF ULTIMATE REALITY

& Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

& Law of Gravity
Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

& Law of Random Numbers
If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

& Law of the Alibi
If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

& Variation Law
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

& Law of the Bath
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

& Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

& Law of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

& Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

& Law of the Theater
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

& The Starbucks Law
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

& Murphy's Law of Lockers
If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

& Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

& Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

& Brown's Law of Physical Appearance
If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

& Oliver's Law of Public Speaking
A closed mouth gathers no feet.

& Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

& Doctors' Law
If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

& Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

-- author unknown

How many of these have you experienced? I hate it when I find a product I like and then the manufacturer stops making it. That just makes me want to scream!

How many times have you tried to prove to someone that something didn't work and the darn thing worked every time? Hands up! Me too!! That gets me so frustrated I just want to punch the stupid thing.

Which ones do you identify with?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Believe in America - Remember 9/11

I Believe in America

I believe in firefighters that climb 50 flights
of stairs to help people they never met.
I believe in people who give their lives crashing an
airplane to save the lives of people they never met.
I believe in people who give blood, money, and
supplies to aide people they've never met.

I believe in America.

I believe in a country that stands strong and
proud, even in the face of grief and tragedy.
I believe in a country that not only
allows, but encourages and values diversity.
I believe in a country that does not think that
human suffering is "someone else's problem".

I believe in America.

I believe in a country that values freedom so
highly that rather than inhibit an individuals
rights, tragic events can sometimes occur.
I believe in a country that does not allow innocent
people to suffer at the hands of a madman.
I believe in a country that is willing to risk it's own
lives and safety to protect and aide innocent people.

I believe in America.

I believe in a country that does not lash out
quickly or rashly in revenge and retaliation.
I believe in a country that will defend
itself with appropriate means.
I believe in a country whose people will rise
to any challenge, and will stand up and fight
boldly and proudly against it's aggressors.

I believe in America.

by Gregory S. Taylor (c) 2001

This poem was written by my husband from his heart after the attack on 9/11/01. I share it with you today.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tummy Tuck - Do I or Don't I?

Okay, I've been thinking about a tummy tuck for about six months now. And, I'm ready to tell the world that I want one. Okay, you consist of my world.

I want a tummy tuck. So, should I?

I know, the cons are general surgery, painful recovery, infection, etc.

But, the pros are that awful flap of skin from having 3 babies and losing over a 100 pounds would be gone!!! I could wear a bathing suit that I wouldn't be embarrassed to show my body!

My husband says he loves me know matter what my body looks like, and I love him for that. But, I want to love my body too. And, this is the only part of my body that I don't love.

I know, my boobs sag and my butt has disappeared and my thighs look like an ad for cottage cheese, but I don't care. I know that's all a part of aging. I have wings under my arms that flap .. woo hoo!

But, I am not happy with my sagging belly fat. It looks awful and It makes a horrible outline in whatever I wear. No matter what type of control underwear I put on, it still sags.

So, I'm asking for your honest opinion. Should I or shouldn't I?

Have you had a tummy tuck? What was your experience? Share please!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

5 Stages of Grief - My Personal Loss

Did you ever lose something so precious that your heart ached as if it were broken into tiny pieces?

What if that "something" was "someone"?

I consider myself fairly smart and I knew I was grieving so I did some research on the five stages of grieving; or the grieving process. Did you know that the loss of anything that matters to us can trigger the grieving process?

A pet. Our health. A treasured heirloom or special item. A loved one.

Must a loved one die for us to grieve? I say no. Absolutely not. We can grieve for the loss they leave in our lives and our hearts when they move away. Even when that move is supposed to be temporary. The grief still breaks through and settles around my shoulders like a heavy sweater on a hot day.

I'm in the grieving process. My daughter, son-in-law, and precious granddaughter have moved out of state on a temporary basis. They'll stay with my daughter's father until they can get back on their feet and move back. That's what I have to keep telling myself. It's only temporary and they'll be back home.

I believe I'm still in Stage 1 of the grieving process. Denial and Isolation. I've tried to just pretend that they really haven't gone, that they're still living here. I've definitely withdrawn from my normal social activities, online and offline and have just hidden myself away from the world. I haven't felt like doing much of anything.

Then, there's Stage 2, Anger. The experts say the grieving person may become furious at the person who inflicted the hurt or at the world for letting it happen. I may even become angry at myself for even letting it take place even if there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Now, there's a stumper for you. Was there anything I could do? They couldn't pay their mortgage so their house was being sold. Could we pay their mortgage for them? Not possible. We've done it before, but we couldn't do it on a regular basis. Not for the next six months while my son-in-law healed from brain surgery then went back to work. Would they have been able to move in with us? Again, no. We just don't have the room. We have no empty rooms available. Fortunately, my ex-husband and his wife had two rooms. But they were across the country.

On to Stage 3, Bargaining, making bargains with God by asking "If I do this, will you take away the loss?"

Then, there's Stage 4, Depression. I know what depression feels like. I've lived with nearly all my life. Will this situation slide me into a depressive cycle? That's what my Support Team is for, to help me through it and to keep me from it. I've already talked to my therapist about it and next week I talk to my psychiatrist and physician about it. They'll all be ready to handle any crisis that may occur, if it does.

Finally, Stage 5, Acceptance. This is where I will have finally accepted the reality of my loss and the anger, sadness, and mourning will have gone away.

A person can go through the five stages in a few moments a few hours or even longer. Sometimes it can take years to finish the five stages, if a person finishes them at all. It depends on the person.

I know I'll get through this. My daughter has a goal to come back to Florida, and I believe in that goal. That's what keeps me going every day. That's what helps me with my grieving process.

I want to thank all of my friends and family who have helped me through this entire process before and after my daughter and son-in-law moved. During my son-in-law's surgery, my daughter's crisis, and the rest of their downward spiraling issues. I'll never forget your open hearts and I will always treasure your prayers and good wishes. You've shown me true friendship and support and for that I'll always be humbled by your generosity.

My children have a goal. And, I have a goal too. I'm going to fly out and see them in October. And, I'll keep going to see them, until they come home to stay.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wisdom from Paul Harvey

Can you answer this riddle?

Here is a pretty neat little thing from Paul Harvey. See if you can guess the riddle at the end.

Paul Harvey Writes:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.

I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.
I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy/girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it.. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hannukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.

Paul Harvey RIDDLE:

When asked this riddle, 80% of kindergarten kids got the answer, compared to 17% of Stanford University seniors.

What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, The poor have it, The rich need it, and if you eat it, you'll die?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Get What You Want Out of Life

Do we ever get what we want out of life? How many of us really do? Do we even know what we want?

That's the hard part, isn't it? If you really sit down and think about it, what do you really want out of life. Did you see the movie "The Bucket List?" Now, that made me think about what I really wanted out of life.

Thinking about what I want out of life, and getting what I want out of life, can be two very different things. We must work very hard to make the both of them come together.

* As far as traveling goes, I'd love to see Greece and Rome some day. Oh, and to travel to Australia.

* I'd like to settle into retirement in a place in the Florida Keys or near enough that I can enjoy them on a regular weekly basis.

* I'd like to put my stamp on life somehow by making an important contribution. What it is, yet, I'm not sure, but I'd like people to say that I was good at what I did and it made people happy.

* I'd like to become a foster home for rescue American Eskimo dogs.

There's a quote that seems appropriate. It's from Logan Pearsall Smith, who lived from 1865 - 1946. He said, "There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second."

So, I ask you to make it your mission in life. Know what you want. Get it. Then enjoy it.

Peace to you.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence Day & Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Of all the signers, he's the one I'm most curious about. He also intrigues my husband, to the point that we've found books to read about him.

First, here's some Independence Day Fun.

Now, back to Benjamin Franklin.

He was born on January 17, 1706. And, died April 17, 1790.

He said, ''Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.''

Did you know that when Benjamin was 16, he experimented with begin a vegan so that he could save money to buy more books?

You know that he experimented with electricity and developed various inventions including the famous kite and lightning experiment. But did you know that at the age of 17 he left home and became a printer?

Later in his life he also served as ambassador to France, successfully securing French support for the newly formed United States.

Benjamin Franklin was a true hero in history and our nation's Renaissance Man.

You can find out more about Benjamin Franklin by visiting these sites:


Fast Facts About Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin Quick Facts
Quick Biography of Benjamin Franklin
Interesting Facts
Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby Boomer Diva Day - Celebrate!

Are you a baby boomer woman with a book or product in need of promotion? Great? Have we got a deal for you!!!

We want to share your talent with the world on June 20, 2008 from 10 am - 3 pm. The 2nd annual Baby Boomer Diva Day.

For the low price of $10 we'll showcase your produce for 15 minutes giving you the opportunity to sell your product to boomer women from all over the world. A few vendor slots are still available, so don't let this opportunity pass you by.


Also, there will be plenty of prize giveaways with special guest speaker, Heidi Richards, who will discuss how blogging can turn into $$$ for your business or product.

You'll have fun displaying your products, we'll have fun purchasing them, and we'll celebrate being boomer women.

Go to http://www.keybusinesspartners@verizon.net and get more information. You'll be happy you did. So will we!

See you on the 20th!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Finding Balance in Life

I'm having a great day. I'm sitting and listening to my ipod, which is currently playing the Doors, while I sit at my computer, with my dog at my feet. The sun is streaming through the trees and into my window.

What a day.

Later I'm going to lay out by the pool and relax and do some reading. Life in Florida. Nice, huh?

I'm not telling you all this, to feel envious, or to brag, but to show you that when you have a good thing, don't let it pass you by. Grab a hold of it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Live it. Don't think you'll just wait for the next time.

What if next time didn't come?

Live each day to the fullest. Take advantage of the opportunities you have now, don't wait for another to come.

I used to live that way. And, what did it get me? Way too much stress. Sick. And a terribly unhealthy life, both mentally and physically. It's not a good way to live. You can't live that way for long. Something's gotta give, and it's usually a breakdown of some sort, either mentally or physically.

Mine was both.

I learned the hard way. I don't want you to make the same mistakes. Give yourself permission to have fun. Take a few extra minutes out of your busy life and give them to yourself. Start small. Work your way to giving yourself more and more time until you're able to find the appropriate balance in your life.

That's what's it's all about.

Balance.

And, while you're finding that balance, blow some bubbles. No one can be stressed while blowing bubbles!

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Battling a Life Long Disorder


Hello,

My name is Julie Fast and I have bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed with the illness in 1995 at age 31. I created a treatment plan in 1999 that is now used by people all over the world to manage the illness. I have been close to suicide too many times to count and have had destructive manic episodes since the age of 17. I'm the author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and Get it Done When You're Depressed. I wrote all of these books when I was depressed and often psychotic.

Bipolar disorder is a rotten illness.

I'm writing you on behalf of a person who cares about you very much. This person has been diagnosed with the illness bipolar disorder and is concerned you may not understand the reality and seriousness of the diagnosis. I hope that reading this letter can open a window of understanding to help you see that although bipolar disorder can look like someone is faking, whining, lying, making excuses, causing you trouble, making waves, being weak or just making it all up, it's not. It's a illness that originates in the brain. It's a physical illness that comes out in emotional ways, which is why it's so hard for people to understand.

Here are some interesting details about bipolar disorder:

- As with any major illness, people with bipolar disorder share the same symptoms- the symptoms are so similar for people around the world that I can list what a person says, thinks and does during certain mood swings without knowing them. This is quite a party trick! Thus, it's not random emotional behavior that causes problems, but a very structured set of symptoms that lead to a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

- Bipolar disorder is under diagnosed because of the reasons you may feel it isn't real- it looks like those of us with the illness just need to get a handle on our emotions! The problem is that we can't without the proper treatment. If we could handle our emotions, then the overwhelming symptoms of bipolar disorder would be easy to manage.

- Bipolar disorder affects an estimated 17,000,000 million people in the US alone. I think this is a ridiculously low number as I meet people with a bipolar diagnosis almost everywhere I go. It's important to get this into perspective- it's estimated that around one million people in the US have HIV/Aids - one million. Compare that to the 17 million who have bipolar disorder. You probably know a lot more about AIDS than bipolar, but the chance of your knowing someone with AIDS is very slim. You already know someone with bipolar disorder and they need your help.

Bipolar disorder has killed far, far more people in the US than AIDS.

- Bipolar disorder as an illness has not increased in the past 50 years, but there is a lot more awareness these days which makes it seem like doctors are going crazy with the diagnosis! Awareness is a good thing- the diagnoses are real.

- I write treatment plans and can't survive without one, but there is a fact that no one with the illness can deny:
Without medications, the life quality for a person with bipolar disorder is very, very low.
This means that most people with bipolar disorder need medication treatment. Just as people with cancer need chemotherapy.

- All people with bipolar disorder will struggle with relationship issues, work problems, physical health, parenting, cooking, going to school, thinking, traveling, etc, etc at some point in their lives. We all get overwhelmed very easily. Our struggles, as you may have noticed are far more emotional and often out of control than what is considered the norm.

- Anything that causes an emotional response can lead to a bipolar disorder mood swing. Think of it this way- if our lives are a teeter totter- with our stable selves in the middle, we all have to struggle to keep our lives in balance. Get a picture of that teeter totter in your mind and then put a 10 ton weight on one side and see how hard it will be to find the middle stability. That is what it's like to have bipolar disorder- it's a ten ton weight that we didn't ask for. If it were golf, our handicap would be off the charts!

When the weight is too heavy and the balance is too hard, people kill themselves to get out of the pain.

- Up to 20% of people with bipolar disorder kill themselves. I get letters from family members quite often thanking me for my work - and then giving me the news that their son, daughter, father, mother, lover, grandmother, etc has died. They thank me because they know that we all tried to help the person who had the illness called bipolar disorder- but the illness won. Just as cancer wins sometimes. Suicide is NOT a weakness. It's an outcome of an illness that was just too strong. The 10 ton weight on their shoulders was just too much.

As you can imagine, I could go on forever here, but I do have a final question:
If someone who loves you has said they have bipolar disorder and you have your doubts of the diagnosis- or even feel that the whole thing is a sham, why do you feel they have told you the news?

They have told you because they are scared and need your love and support. Bipolar disorder is an illness that has been documented for over 2000 years. It's a killer- just as cancer is a killer. The medications can be harsh and without support, the person with bipolar disorder can lead a life of constant hell. It needs treatment and the best way for treatment to work is through education especially for the people who love us.

I recently asked my mailing list to send in questions for my radio show- my mother was the guest and I wanted to get an idea of what information they needed. Hundreds of people replied and many people asked how they could get someone they cared about to believe the diagnosis and give them help, especially around medications. This is why I wrote this

I encourage you to let go of your anger, frustration, sadness and disbelief - these feelings are all normal by the way- and see bipolar disorder for what it is- a very serious illness. Someone you love has bipolar disorder and they need your help. The rest is up to you.

Julie A. Fast www.bipolarhappens.com

Julie Fast - www.BipolarHappens.com

P.O. Box 86728
Portland, OR
97286
US


Like Julie, I have Bipolar as well. And I'll be on BlogTalk Radio on May 15th 2008 at 12 noon EST to talk about it with Beverly Mahone. For an encore presentation, I'll be on Straighttalk at 8:00 EST that same evening for an open discussion. Follow the link, sign up and you'll receive confirmation and a phone number to call and a code to use to access the teleseminar. The list of teleseminars are to the right of the signup form.

Come listen and ask questions. I look forward to "seeing" you there.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Baby Boomers Diva Girlfriends Retreat Afterglow

One word.

Empowered.

That's what I took from the retreat last weekend. Empowered. I don't know if "took" is the right word. More like it was given to me. Bestowed upon me. Anointed upon me.

Divas. Divinely. Inspired. Vivaciously. Anointed. Divas. Wow, did I meet a lot of Divas last weekend. Women from all over the country came together in spirit, song, friendship, and love to network.



Network in a way that I'd never seen before. We went to workshops. We learned about how to plan for retirement. We learned about ways of "networking" on the Internet. We even learned how to improve our physical image, but more than that we learned how to network our hearts.

Friendships bonded, addresses exchanged. Business cards flurried back and forth. I basked in the warmth generated.

Beverly Mahone gets all the credit for creating the first of many annual Diva Girlfriend Retreats. She worked herself to exhaustion, creating a memorable experience for all of us. I even created a photo album of our memories. Code word "boomer". Many of us were part of the audience of a special PBS taping of a Baby Boomer Q&A of a panel of experts. It went exceptionally well.

One of our special guests of honor was Bern Nadette Stanis the actor who portrayed Thelma from the television show "Good Times". I bought her book and can't wait to delve into it.



I brought a suitcase full of clothes and I used them all, as we changed several times throughout the days for television shows, receptions, workshops, workouts, pageants, pajama parties, etc.

Did I mention pajama party? Yes, I did!

What a HOOT! A DJ played music, there was plenty of chocolate and drinks, and we danced and danced and danced. I know because I woke up Sunday morning with aches from muscles I don't remember ever using in a long time!

Not only are my Diva friends full of love and laughter they are truly spiritual. The invocation on Sunday morning moved me to near tears and made my heart sing. Never had I felt closer to God than then.

The time for us to say good bye came much too fast. We lingered as long as we could, but eventually we had to go. We hugged, we kissed, we said our good byes again. We promised to stay in touch. We had our e-loop to go back to. And our memories to take home. As for me, I'll never be the same again.

Empowered.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Meet the Diva of the Baby Boomer Divas - Beverly Mahone!


I had the most wonderful opportunity to be invited by an extraordinary woman to join a unique group of women called Baby Boomer Divas. Divas. Divinely. Inspired. Vivacious. Anointed. Women with power. Women with class. Women with sass. And a lot of flash. Hot flashes!!

Beverly Mahone is the brainstorm behind this wave of excitement and I'd like to introduce her to you as I ask her a few questions about the weekend retreat she has planned for us baby boomer divas. (If you'd like to see what's planned visit here) If you'd like to learn more about Beverly visit her website

Vicki: Beverly what was your inspiration for the Baby Boomer Girlfriends' Spring Break Weekend Getaway?

Beverly: Initially, the idea was to have a Pajama Party for boomer women over 40. In my mind, I visualized us all gathered together in a hotel somewhere laughing, dancing and sharing hot flash stories! But as the idea began to evolve and more people wanted to help out with the event, it expanded becoming a three-day weekend. The concept of calling it a "Spring Break Weekend Getaway" comes from the fact that many of us used to go on Spring Break when we were in college and the memory of this time was fun. Although we've grown up and matured, we can still have fun. In an interview I recently did I told the audience this: "We spend 362 days out of the year taking care of husbands, children, and pets; dealing with obnoxious co-workers, traffic jams and nosey neighbors-----but for three days (April 18-20) we are going to throw caution to the wind in Daytona Beach, FL and do something just for us." Of course, it's a different kind of fun but it gives us an opportunity to socialize and network with fellow boomer women around the country.

Vicki: What is your main goal for the Event?

Beverly: I don't have just one main goal. I want this event to inspire women in many different ways. In addition to being a fun weekend, it is also designed to educate and empower us as women. There will be seminars to address our concerns and needs as we grow older. This is also the opportunity to network and fellowship with women you probably wouldn't be able to connect with otherwise. There are women coming from Ohio, Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina, New Mexico and even as far away as California. For me, personally, I'm excited because this is the first time I will get to meet fellow members of the Boomer Diva Nation Group. I met one woman (Linda Alexander) last year but I've only associated with the others through online networking so this will be an absolute thrill for me! When it's all over, I want women to walk away with renewed strength and encouragement. Our group's motto is: Women on the Move and Making a Difference. I hope they will take that statement to heart and go back to their home communities and be the change they want to see in their worlds.

Vicki: What is the most unexpected thing to occur since putting this event together?

Beverly: The most unexpected thing to happen was getting a telephone call from someone representing People Magazine saying they might be interested in covering the event! I was in the grocery store the evening I got the call. You would've thought I had just been told I won the lottery. I was rather loud with my excitement and enthusiasm! To think that People Magazine had heard about this event and wanted to cover it was simply amazing. I was so curious as to how they found me and the young lady said they "googled" Spring Break and up popped my event. I was instructed to ask the fellow members of Boomer Diva Nation to share their thoughts about attending the event so I immediately everyone and as I understand, they were flooded with emails from our group. We haven't heard yet whether or not they will actually be coming but just the fact that they contacted me was a true blessing and a moment that took my breath away!

Vicki: What is next for Boomer Diva Nation?

Beverly:
First of all, I'm already planning for the next Spring Break! :) As far as Boomer Diva Nation goes, we are continuing to grow. We're actually global with Diva sisters in Australia. There is so much talent in this group and I want to make sure the whole world knows about the wonderful resources these women have to offer. One of our missions is to offer an annual scholarship of some kind. We're still working out the details for that.

If you missed the blog tour post, click here

And please be sure to check out tomorrow’s post for this blog tour here

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Phantom Pleasures by Julie Leto - Give Away





My friend, and great author, Julie Leto is doing some great giveaways at her blog, http://www.plotmonkeys.com, starting today!

She's not only giving away a chapter a day of her upcoming paranormal romance, PHANTOM PLEASURES, but she's also sweetening the pot by offering a $20 Amazon/Borders gift card per day to anyone who leaves a comment.

Julie's Website

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rescuing the Unrescuable

I met a true escape artist today.

A little brown and white terrier. He followed me home from my walk in the neighborhood. So friendly and happy. He took to me right away. He had no tag. I thought I would do a good deed and put him in my back yard and try to locate his owner.

In the back yard he went.

I continued my walk and about ten minutes later, I hear him running behind me. He’d gotten out, somehow.

We walked back to my house, I put him back in the yard, I continued with my walk, and not less then five minutes, he was back by my side.

We walked back to the house, I put him in the yard, and this time I watched. He poked his head through a loose board and out he came. Aha! I put him back in the yard and put a cement block in front of the board. Problem, solved.

Or so I thought.

I finished my walk, and when I returned home, he was gone. Vanished. I called for him. "Hear puppy dog!" I clapped my hands loudly. I’d almost given up, when I saw a streak of white and brown in the neighbor’s yard and there he was, at my side, jumping up and down, so excited to see me.

I put him back in the yard. Watched to see how he got out. Then put another cement block in front of the hole he’d discovered. Crafty little character.

While I had him in the back yard. I took pictures of him thinking I’d make a couple of posters and put them up at the end of the street to let neighbors know that I’d found him. He knew a few commands and was very photogenic. I gave him water and food and he made himself at home making his mark around the yard.

I left to go to Curves. All the while thinking how I would design the poster. I came home and hurried to the back yard to greet my temporary guest.

Gone.

I don’t know how he got out this time.

I called and called for him.

This time no response.

I worry about where he is. I look at the pictures I printed and smile. He was only in my life for a very short time but he left a lasting impression.

You know, people are like that too. Some people, no matter what you try to do for them, just can’t be helped. You have to learn to let go. For your on sanity. I’m not saying give up on everyone.

There’s a fine line between those that need our help and those that can’t be helped. What’s the difference?

They have to want our help.

You’ll be able to tell the difference.. deep in your gut. Listen to it.
As for that little dog, I want to think he knew his way back home and that’s where he is now. I’ll continue to watch the neighborhood for him. If I see him, I’ll try again to find a way to help locate his owner. I don’t think he really wants to roam the streets.

That’s no life for a dog.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I've been tagged

I've Been Tagged: 6 Unimportant Things About Myself

I think I was tagged before, but I didn't know what it was for. Now I know. So here goes.

They say the rules of this meme are simple, but you know me, if it's simple, I'm sure there's a way for me to mess it up. Anyway, let's get started:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.

4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry.

5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs.


SIX UNIMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT MYSELF:

1. I like the color pink.

2. I collect teddy bears, oh, and shot glasses from states I've been.

3. My favorite song of the moment is "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves.

4. My father wanted to name me Victoria, but couldn't spell it, so named me Vicki.

5. I was a US Marine where I met my first husband.

6. I have the potential to be a packrat if I'm not careful.

Now, I must link back to Karen Lingefelt and I will tag Queen Jaw Jaw, Pop Art Diva, Mary Williams, Miss Kitty, Trish, Ok, that's it. I found six. Whew. Now, let's see who comes out to play.