Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last Stop on the January Express!

The temperatures here by the ocean are frigid! The thermometer claims it's a balmy 10 degrees, but the damp breeze that rattles my window promises that it feels much colder.

Stay warm with another cup of coffee and click over to Sky Purington's website "The Write Mind" for the last of my January blog tour dates! I'm kicking off her paranormal romance month and she's promising lots of fun and prizes all month long in honor of the genre!

Who are your favorite supernaturals to read about? Ghosts and Psychics, grounded in reality, or Vampires and Shapeshifters, still in our world yet on another level? Do you like the new trend of Angels and Demons, taking us into a parallel dimension? Or do you go for even more "para" in your "normal"?

What's your favorite thing to read about when it's too cold to venture outside? Me? I want to read something WARM...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Finishing a Month of Guest Blogs and Interviews

For the Long, Cold Month of January, I've been keeping busy and warm here by the computer, flitting around cyberspace and chatting with authors, readers and friends. My "blog tour" has been a lot of fun, if not as grueling as some (one author friend of mine did 25 blogs in 25 days to chat about an upcoming Christmas tale!)

To read my interviews, you can click on the links in the box over in the left-hand column under "Where You'll find Me" - I'll be updating it today to take you directly to my post (as opposed to just taking you to the site.)

To round out the month, I'll be on Sky Purington's "Write Mind" blog starting Saturday January 30th through Friday February 5th, to kick off her month-long event of visits, interviews and excerpts from paranormal romance authors. I've had fun getting to know another fellow author and ghost-lover, and can't wait to read her books!

Now that you've read all these different interviews, do you feel like you know me better? Are you more or less likely to go buy the book after reading several different excerpts?

So what are your thoughts on blog tours? Is it fun to zip off to different spots and check out new sites? Have you followed me all over cyberspace and need a break to rest your tired mouse? Are you an author who likes to fill out interviews and chat with new readers about your latest release? Obviously, I've been having fun with it - what do you think?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why I like the Beach in the Winter...

I'm being interviewed today over at the AUTHOR EXCHANGE blog. Find out who first got me hooked on being an author, why I like working at CapeWomenOnline... and why I like the beach best in the winter time!

With blue skies today, I think I'll head to the beach right now! After all, there's supposedly a blizzard on tap for later this week. Go read my interview then enjoy the sun now, while it lasts!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Can you believe January is almost over? And Girl Scout Cookie Sales only have about a month left for 2010 - and then they'll be all gone until next year!

Time to stock those freezers with Thin Mints!

What? You don't know about freezing Girl Scout Cookies??? Let me tell you something new...

Thin Mints and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream make the BEST summer desserts! If you're serving adults-only, drizzle a little creme de menthe on the top.... Mm Mm Good!

Frozen Peanut Butter Patties are almost like ice cream bon bons - the crunchy chocolate coating and the softer peanut butter filling.... wonderfully refreshing on a warm day (or any day, really!)

PLUS my troop and many others will be collecting donations to send cookies overseas to the soldiers still in the Middle East. For the last two years my Girl Scout troop has sent cookies overseas as part of Operation Homefront, and received grateful emails from homesick soldiers.

So next time you pass those Girl Scouts, standing at the table in your supermarket or at the Mall, take a minute and buy a box of cookies. Buy them for yourself, for the soldiers, or to freeze for those summer guests you know are going to show up on your doorstep.

You'll be supporting a great cause, and getting some great cookies!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Visit me today at Book Talk with J&J

While I'm home today working diligently to get the latest issue of to go live, I'm also out and about in cyberspace! Isn't it cool how the internet can let us be two places at once?

Come visit me today over at Book Talk with J&J - leave a comment or question to be entered to win a free copy of my ebook, Unfolding the Shadows.

Now I need to get back to banging my head against the wall.... I mean editing...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hoping for Calmer Waters...

Writing this week reminded me of the tides. The ebb and flow of ideas. The crash of a big wave while I wasn't ready for it, only to find it had drawn back out to sea before I could put fingers to keyboard and capture it.

I'm hoping for calmer water this week, for the words to just flow easily onto the page. Some days - some stories - are like that. Others crash about in fits and starts, not willing to be pinned down. You can't catch a wave upon the sand.

I did manage to pin down the last photograph for the Winter Issue of The subject was elusive: hard to get on the phone for an interview (busy woman, new job title, and 3 kids at home) and hard to catch on film.

The closet paparazzi stalker that I am, I went on photo safari. I took my camera everywhere in hopes of catching up with her. Spying her at the edge of the bleachers in the middle school gym, I sidled up to her at the half-time break during our sons' basketball game and dragged her out into the school's courtyard for a few quick snaps. Article finished!

I also managed to finish up my interviews for two more blog appearances I'll be making this coming week, and try to plan more appearances for the future. This week:

Monday and Tuesday, January 25-26 I'll be appearing on Book Talk with J&J

Thursday, January 28th I'll be the guest on Author Exchange

Links to both of these web pages are in the left-hand column of this blog, as well as the links to the other cool places I've visited this month! I'm so grateful for all my fellow writers who've taken the time to get to know me and have me as their guest! It's been fun!

Have a great week, with smooth sailing and calm water for all!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Looking for blue skies...

The sun is trying to break through the clouds, just as I'm trying to break through the fog that has my head feeling like I'm underwater. So many things I should be doing, none of which include writing a blog entry of course. And yet - here I sit, typing away.

The devastation in Haiti is overwhelming and pervasive in its presence in the media. It's hard to worry about cleaning the house when so many people have no more homes at all. The election here in Massachusetts also became overwhelming and omnipresent for the last four days - I can't even count the number of robo-calls we received from both sides of the argument.

Beyond that, my kids were home from school for four days. It feels like the holiday break only just ended. I haven't finished packing Christmas away.

And to top it all off, it rained for the last few days. Straight through. No fresh powder here on Cape Cod. Just cold rain and mud.

I'm trying to be an optimist. I'm looking for blue skies today, for me, for Massachusetts as the state and nation start to heal after a divisive and mean election, and for the people and aid workers in Haiti who experienced yet another strong earthquake overnight.

2010 is off to a rocky start. Let's all hope the clouds start to blow away soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ghosts in the Machine...

Still in the spotlight over at the Chicks of Characterization blog, with an excerpt from the novel posted today and another to be posted tomorrow. Today's scene is a conversation between Jillian and the ghost of her grandmother. Click on the link over in the left hand column to visit me over there for an escapist moment...

Luckily, these posts were already written and sent - I'm having trouble going about my normal life with all the devasting news and pictures coming out of Haiti. My thoughts and prayers are with the people and the aid workers trying to make sense of the tragedy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Ghost Tale for Tuesday

It's bitterly cold here on Cape Cod, as it is up and down the Eastern seaboard. They say the prices on produce will skyrocket in the next few weeks as Florida farmers try to salvage the winter crops. Cold - cold - cold -cold - cold - cold - cold - cold!

My son came running up the stairs last night, and breathlessly asked my husband, "Did you know there's a really cold spot in the middle of the basement?" He shivered for emphasis. He'd gone down there to fetch something from the workbench in the back room.

"The back room is always a little cold," my husband told him, almost ignoring his statement as he reached for the tool.

"No, this was on my way through the basement," my son insisted. "Just one big cold spot I passed through, and then it was warm again."

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

If you've read anything about ghosts and ghost hunting, you know that cold spots indicate a spirit presence. Spirit entities have been shown to lower temperatures in rooms by measurable degrees by paranormal investigators.

And haunted houses are always colder than regular houses, for obvious reasons (like, no one pays the oil bills, ha ha ha.)

I had thought our ghost had left the house. Which was kind of bittersweet to me, because as much as he freaked me out, he did give me the idea for my novel, and stayed up with me a lot of late nights while I was writing it. Okay, he was usually somewhere else in the house, but I knew he was "with" me.

And then today, I had to turn out the kitchen light three times in a row. I mean, I consciously thought about it and turned it off, the first time thinking about how my dad always hated it when we left unnecessary lights on. The second time thinking, didn't I already turn this one off? And the third time thinking, I KNOW I turned this off. WTF?

My ghost is back.

Which makes sense in a way because I've started writing the next novel about Jillian and the ghosts that haunt her. I'm a dozen or so pages into it and have mapped out a bunch in my head. I'm excited about the plot, and about being able to give Jillian and Jake some of those love scenes that I think they earned (but never got to consummate) in the last book.

But it's still a little spooky. Guess I'd better write quickly!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guest Blogging at Chicks of Characterization!

It's a cold, cold day on Cape Cod! The ocean isn't frozen yet, but the waves are leaving icy clumps along the shore...

Stay warm indoors and surf the Internet instead! I'm guest blogging all this week over at

Join me over there to talk about my book, learn more about me, and read some great excerpts from Unfolding the Shadows. Today through Friday - something new every day! Be sure to leave a comment - one lucky poster will win a copy of Unfolding the Shadows!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

No Lifeguard on Duty

Did you ever wish you had your own personal lifeguard, one who was on duty 24/7, to keep an eye out for those little traumas that life might bring your way?

No, nothing truly traumatic has happened to me. Just the usual emotional dramas and mid-winter feeding frenzy. I need a lifeguard to blow his whistle every time I step into the kitchen. Wouldn't that be great for dieting?

"Thweeeeeet! Don't even THINK about putting that in your mouth!"

I went to a friend's play reading this morning. She's participating in a year-long contest sponsored by the Eventide Arts Association here on Cape Cod. Unfortunately, due to either the time of day or the iffy weather, there was a very low turn-out. So I got roped into being one of her readers. Argh!

I survived, but felt like I really needed a lifeguard to blow his whistle (or call my cell phone) and rescue me from embarrassment.

"Thweeeeeet! Get off of that stage right now, lady, before someone gets hurt!"

Her play, however, is really coming along. Hopefully she can scrounge up better actresses next time.

Or maybe my lifeguard will show up for duty.

Friday, January 8, 2010

On The Way...

One of my favorite views in my neighborhood is the path to the ocean. With split rail fencing on either side, the little right-of-way snuggles between two large ocean-front homes, a cut through for those of us who don't live right on the water.

Walk through this almost secret path, and emerge onto the long empty stretch of beach, Nantucket Sound before you stretching out for miles in every direction. It's a different world than the street just steps away.

In springtime, the path itself comes alive with climbing rose bushes clinging to the fence on the left, and French Hydrangea bushes looming over the fence to the right. Buzzing bees can be heard but not seen, hiding somewhere deep within the shadows. Grass greens quickly underfoot and to either side of the narrow path.

By early summer, the colors practically shout at you as you pass through. Glowing green grass, screaming hot pinks and soothing pale blues, all fighting for your attention as you make your way toward the pounding surf. But why linger among the heady scents when you can be digging your toes in the warming sands and searching the strand line for wayward seaglass?

Mid to late summer, the roses take their revenge on those who have ignored them. You need to be careful of the overgrown thorns that lash out at passersby, lodging themselves in unsuspecting bare feet. The bees, too, grow more bold and dart out to inspect those who dare pass through during the middle of the day.

Autumn falls slowly by the shore, the still-warm ocean waters keeping the weather at an even keel. The blooms may fade but the bushes do their best to cling to their greenery well into November, when the strong winds finally rip them from their branches and the now-sweatshirted landscapers prune the hedges to within inches of death. There they wait, their branches naked and empty, until spring finds them once again.

But in the depths of winter, there is still some beauty in these bare forms. The twisting shadows they cast upon the white sheet of snow are intriguing. The way the hydrangea bushes create deeper snow drifts and keeps them shadowed and alive on the one side of the pathway keeps you alert to the fact that winter is with us, even on Cape Cod. Blue shadows fall deep in the white snow, showing where a boot has sunk too deeply. Especially in January, when the snow blows through, whistling through the bushes and fences like the soundtrack of an old movie, or a ghost haunting its nemesis.

Only the sparkling sun promises that spring may yet be just around the corner.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January Freeze

Baby, It's cold outside!
Winter is really and truly here on Cape Cod.
It's good to be cuddled up with my warm computer, with a ton of work to do, LOL.

What do you like to do when it's cold outside? Ski and play in the snow, or snuggle up on the couch with a book? Today feels like more of a snuggle day to me... and the forecast for the rest of the week is for temperatures in the teens and twenties. Better head to the library to stock up!

P.S. My blog appearance over at Hannah Howell's website is still there at the top of her page - click the link over in the left column to visit me there!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Guest Blogging today over at Hannah's place

Happy First Monday of 2010!

To "celebrate," I'm the guest blogger over at romance author Hannah Howell's site. If you've never read any of her books, take a few minutes to check out the rest of her site. She's a multi-published, highly talented author with oodles of hot Highlanders gracing her book covers. Her books were also some of the only romance paperbacks that were available for sale in Jamaica at our hotel when we were there last November (eons ago!)

She's also a very down-to-earth, wonderful lady, who welcomed me to my very first Romance Writers of America meeting so long ago. I'm thrilled to be her guest today. Come join me and leave a comment... and have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looking Ahead...

January certainly started with a roar along the East coast, bringing higher than usual tides and a flurry of weather to keep us bundled up and on the alert. On the alert for what? I'm not sure yet. 2010 has only just begun.

Since the start of the new year, I've been busy trying to prioritize my life. I seem to do this a lot, don't I? I spent a lot of time this weekend reorganizing rooms and rearranging furniture - decluttering the kids' spaces, mostly. Mine will be next, I hope.

I started work on another novel - driving home from Georgia after Christmas I had an idea for a beginning and a plot that wouldn't go away, taking Jillian on another adventure with the ghosts that haunt her. So I started writing it down yesterday. I somehow lost three hours - gone in a flash of keyboard strokes - but I have almost a whole chapter and I like it so far.

But there's that problem of prioritizing my life again. It's hard to devote time - both mentally and physically - to writing when the kids are home and the house is in chaos. I envy those who have the discipline to shut the door and just write. I'm too easily distracted. It's hard to ignore that cry for "Mo-omm...."

On a more positive note, I received my first piece of "fan mail" this week - an email from someone I don't know who said she loved my book and wished me a happy new year. I'm still a little in shock and haven't written back to her yet. I guess I should - but what to say?

I also got a phone call from a friend who finally finished reading the book. He was in the writing class with me when I started writing it - he was excited to read the ending and see what all happened to the characters. And he told me I'm a good writer. Nice praise from a fellow writer.

The month ahead is filled with visits to other places in the blogosphere - tomorrow I'm guesting on Hannah Howell's blog, next week I'm in the spotlight on Chicks of Characterization, and the last week of the month I'll be the guest for two days on Book Talk with J&J. These appearances are noted on the sidebar to the left, with links to the other blogs. I hope you'll come visit me there, and leave a comment.

The third week in January should herald the next issue of CapeWomenOnline - the Winter 2010 issue, full of lots of great articles from talented writers both familiar and fresh.

2010 is starting well, with lots of fresh things to write and fresh places to write in. Now if I can just get my daughter to keep her room organized, and get the boys to put away their clothes and shoes, I'll be all set! Happy New Year! I hope 2010 brings you everything you're hoping for.