Flotsam & Jetsam

What set Ellie off anyway? A thought intruded. No, couldn’t be. He checked her profile. Nah. But his mouth formed a hopeful smile, and he leaned back, humming his favorite tune. Flotsam & Jetsam

The dashing Frenchman or the handsome handyman? Who will she choose? For the Love of a Spy

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Artful Dodging Announced on New Site

Murders, mistrust, misfits, and miscreants—Read all about my latest release Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders at Dawn Roberto’s new site New Release Announcements:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Party Hard for My New Release

On April 24, to celebrate my upcoming release, I’ll be talking about Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders (due out April 24 from Secret Cravings), I’ll be blogging at Dawn Prochilo’s Sex Marks the G Spot (http://www.sexmarksthegspot.com) AND at Shannon Leigh’s great website (http://authorshannonleigh.blogspot.com). 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Bugaboo of Time Lines--Blogging at Manic Readers

On April 24 at Manic Readers (http://manicreaders.com/blog/index.php/guest-authors/) I’ll take a stab at one of the most difficult parts (for me) of editing a first draft:  a consistent time line. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cast in Stone--The Grand Finale

Angela Kay Austin is hosting me today at Romancing the Pen. Drop by to talk about what part of a story is cast in stone.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Romance Reading: For Fun or Mental Health?

Reading romances—a psychological crutch or just plain fun? I blog about how normal we are today at Raine Delight’s. As lagniappe, try a bite of my upcoming release Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Booked up blogs

Please join me at Booked Up Blog on Thursday, April 19. I’ll reveal a secret about me, some of the most exotic birds I’ve ever seen, what I’m writing about (hint: there’s romance, suspense and murder involved),   and who I’d have dinner with (no, it’s not Johnny Depp). Here’s the site link (the extra “o” is not a typo). I look forward to your comments!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

You Asked For It!

Here's a taste of Arful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, soon to be released.

EXCERPT: The First Meeting

The bartender backed out past the man, who made no move to get out of his way. Milo frowned. The fellow appeared oblivious to the fact that his position inconvenienced everyone. At first she’d assumed he was waiting out the rain, but his body language said expectant. Every minute or so he’d poke his head out and look up and down King Street.
For lack of anything more exciting to do, she fell to observing him. The top of his head brushed the door jamb, making him about six feet three inches. His bulk didn’t jibe with his height though. She guessed him to weigh in at maybe 175 pounds stripped. He was undeniably her type—lean, trim, tall, clean-shaven—none of that painted-on five-o’clock shadow male celebrities sported nowadays. And old enough for once. Maybe forty? She could only see his profile at the moment, which revealed thick black hair curling over his ears, slices of silver gray relieving the dark waves at the temple, a straight nose, moderately rosy—from drink? Or the cold?and a forceful chin. Without warning he pivoted and Milo caught the full impact of a deeply masculine face right in the kisser. Whew. Even with the Armani suit, definitely not gay.
He tapped a highly polished Gucci loafer with impatience and pulled out a pocket watch. By this time Milo had dropped all pretence and openly scrutinized her subject. He thrust the watch back in his pocket with a scowl and spun around toward the bar, almost colliding with Tony. He took Milo’s glass from the startled bartender. “Thanks, just what the doctor ordered.”
Milo began to rise in protest. Tony looked at her and the man followed his gaze in surprise. He held up the whiskey. “Er, I take it this isn’t for me?”
Milo tried to come up with a flip response but his rich baritone rattled her. Tony stepped between them. “Yes, Sir, that drink belongs to the lady. May I get you something?”
The man didn’t answer. He stared at Milo more or less the way she was staring at him. Flustered, she plopped back down on the narrow bench, barely avoiding an embarrassing slide to the floor. He continued to stare. She resisted the impulse to pat her short fawn-colored ringlets which always appeared tousled no matter what she did, and blinked. He blinked back. Finally she blurted out, “Would you care to join me?”
He shook his head as though to clear it and replied, “Thank you. Forgive me—I’ve never seen such lovely eyes…I mean, eyes that color…I mean…sorry, what would you call them? Mahogany? Bronze?” His admiring gaze did wonders for Milo’s discomfiture and her mood took a decided uptick.
“I just call them brown. But thank you.”
 “I’m sorry about purloining your drink. Can I buy you a freshener in restitution?” 
“Okay. Did you want to sit down?”
“I’d better not. I’m waiting for someone.”
“Oh.” His plight, though not unexpected, depressed her. Of course Armani man had a date. He probably always has a date, even during Lent.
Tony brought another glass. The man paid him, then hesitated as though considering. “You know, she is awfully late. Since you’re right in the window seat with a commanding view of the entrance, may I change my mind and sit here until she arrives?”
Ulp. “Not at all.” Good—got that out without stuttering.
“Thanks.” He pulled a low barrel stool next to the bench and clinked her glass. “Cheers.”
 They sipped their whiskies in companionable silence. The rain pummeled both the sidewalk and the pedestrians with barely concealed antagonism. Milo decided her heart had settled down sufficiently to ensure a quaver-free sentence. “I’m Milo Everhart.” And I’m Gorgeous George. You don’t mind if I seduce you, do you? No, wait—he didn’t say that. I did. Hopefully in my head. “Um, I didn’t catch your name?”
“Tristram Brodie. Pleased to meet you.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Excerpt Extravaganza Features Losers Keepers

Everyone, come over to Lila Monroe’s site for the Excerpt Extravaganza! Along with 4 other fine writers I start off the show with a juicy excerpt from my romantic suspense Losers Keepers. If you’re late to the party, click on the link below. Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Blog Hop Winner--Yay!

Congratulations to IreneRJ, winner of a pdf copy of any of my four books. If you click on the covers to the left of my site you can read about each of them. Looking forward to hearing your choice. Thanks to everyone who commented and a very Happy Easter to all!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Welcome to the Easter Blog Hop

Eggs have always been associated with rebirth and immortality, which is why they are often seen as a symbol of the Resurrection. In Orthodox Church tradition, Mary Magdalene went to Caesar Augustus to convince him of Jesus’ resurrection. He scoffed that there was as much chance of a human being coming back from the dead as there was for the egg in her hand to turn red. She held it out for him: as he watched, the egg turned red.

In Eastern European countries, Easter eggs were thought to have magical powers of protection, including from evil spirits and crop loss. Russian homeowners used to place an Easter egg under the foundation of their house to ensure the prosperity of the inhabitants. There was a belief that eggs laid on Holy Thursday and eaten on Easter would protect one from illness. Consecrated eggs were considered to have the power to put out fire and so were kept near the hearth. Russians believed that an Easter egg given from the heart will never spoil.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union many Eastern European Easter customs have been revived. On Easter Sunday, Slavic families take baskets of painted eggs to friends, neighbors, and even to cemeteries to lay at the graves of relatives. Polish, Slavic and Ukrainian people still use the traditional method for painting eggs, in which the artist draws an intricate design on the egg with a wax pencil, then dips the egg in color made from onion peels and bits of dyed silk boiled together.

Here in America we generally stick with those flat little boxes containing colored tablets and stick-on paper bunny ears.  You’ll usually find two different types of egg decorators. First, there are those who (either for aesthetic reasons or laziness) go for the single dramatic color, letting their egg wallow in one cup until someone complains. The second type is the one who can’t make up her mind, dipping here, dipping there, never quite willing to commit. I’m of the latter variety, with the result that my eggs are generally washed with three or four indeterminate hues, ultimately ending up brownish purple.

When I was in graduate school in Chicago, a friend decided to have an Easter egg decorating party. Our little circle included Arabs, Armenians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Turks and a smattering of Americans. The host set out the usual PAAS paraphernalia, plus chalks, wax pencils, paints and colored pens. We went at it, pausing regularly to hydrate of course (vodka IS mainly water, right?).  When we’d finished, everyone displayed their creations.

This time I outdid myself. I etched shapes in wax before dipping, the result being two or three stick figures barely visible in the brownish purple. The others’ eggs weren’t much better. That is, until we came to our Ukrainian friend. Jaroslav shook his head gravely and swore his mother would be ashamed of him, then held up this beautiful egg,  painted in an elaborate pattern of scarlet and black. In that simple creation lay a perfect example of the profound influence culture has on its people. Jaroslav wasn’t an artist, but he saw his egg with an eye nurtured on Slavic artistic designs and unconsciously executed it.

Murmurs of appreciation all around, then everyone took a furtive swig of vodka and the host pulled out a pack of cards.

Hoppers! I will randomly choose one comment to win a pdf copy of one of my 4 romantic suspense stories (your choice). Please visit the next spot on the hop for more fun & games. Here's the link to the hop:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Rochelle's Reviews: Loser’s Keepers by M. S. Spencer

Rochelle's Reviews: Loser’s Keepers by M. S. Spencer:     Dagne Lonegan, aka Dear Philomena, advice dispenser extraordinaire, hoped that spending a year on the Eastern Shore island of Chincot...