Black Swans are common to the wetlands of Australia. Their preferred habitat is permanent wetlands including ornamental lakes, but they may be found in flooded pastures, tidal mudflats or on the open sea near the shore. The species is nomadic with no set migratory pattern.

The males (Cobs) are larger than the females (pens) and have a longer and straighter bill. Young Black Swans (Cygnets) are a greyish-brown. A mature bird measures between 43-56 inches in length and weighs between 8.1-20 lbs with a wing span between 5 and 6 feet.
An interesting fact: Black Swans have white flight feathers.

Black swans are noted for their musical bugle-like sound, but they have a wide range of softer crooning notes and can whistle when disturbed while breeding and nesting.

The Black Swan is very popular as an ornamental waterbird in Britain with nine breeding pairs recorded and an estimated 43 feral birds in the UK. Five black swans reside at The University of York. Though they have shown some aggressive behavior toward students, they will eat bread from the hands of humans. For forty years, the bird has been the town of Dawlish, Devon’s emblem.

Black swans nest in the winter months from February to September. Typically, a clutch contains 4 to 8 greenish eggs that are incubated for 35-40 days. When the eggs hatch, the parents tend the cygnets for approximately 6 months. For longer trips into deeper water, the young may ride on their parent's back.

Another interesting fact about the black swan is sexuality. An exhibition in Norway called

Against Nature explored homosexual behavior in several species which exhibited lifelong homosocial behavior, where it serves as a flexible life strategy. The build nests and have sex.
Same-sex pairs are a major bonus to a pen. A pen without a partner seek out these couples, have sex with one of the cobs and lay her eggs in their nest. She is then chased off, and the cobs raise the cygnets. With access to more food, the cygnets have as much as ten times the survival rate of a brood with a heterosexual swan couple. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is a rewarding strategy for the cobs as well.

And that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about black swans!

In my spicy vampire story, Black Swan, available from The Wild Rose Press, black swans are mortals who willingly submit to the vampire to experience the euphoria of the Kiss.
Blurb: Suffering from a broken marriage, Carol Langston meets Tristan McLaghlan at a Black Swan party. Black Swans are mortals who willingly barter blood for the sensual ecstasy and euphoria vampires give in return. To Carol, this looks like the real thing until her handsome vampire runs away from her and his true nature. Separated by miles, divided across two species, can their love survive?

Drop by my web site: and answer the following question from Vampire Hunt, a short story, to be entered to win a Black Swan coffee mug and autographed cover flat.
What color is Jaime’s hair?

The following is taken from a letter my environmentally minded mom wrote to 'Living on Earth,' the program that comes on our local public radio on Sunday afternoons. She said: "In looking over the offerings of this week's show, I thought how extremely depressing almost all environmental news is and has been in recent years. Any topic you look at, is depressing. Those of us who are trying to do something lose heart and those who feel they can't do anything significant anyway, don't even bother to try. We seem doomed either way."

They sent me an email saying they'd been musing over this letter and wanted to read it on the air and have me reply to it, which, in fact, happened. In the time since I'd written the letter, however, I'd been to our denomination's conference center in Montreat, NC, to an environmental conference, where I had visited Warren-Wilson College and become so excited about what they're doing there, I had written a letter to Michelle Obama asking her to visit and spread the word. I told her about the new "eco" dorm they had built, including an article from the New York Times:

"Next fall, [2002] Warren Wilson College will open an 'EcoDorm' on its Asheville, N.C., campus. The residence hall is built almost entirely with reusable and recycled materials, such as wooden farm fences that were turned into siding. Solar fuel cells will convert sunlight into electricity and heat. Runoff from the roof, funneled through a converted 10,000-gallon railroad tank car, will provide water to the building and grounds. The dorm will also feature composting toilets and waterless urinals. Best of all for students hit with sudden hunger pangs, all the property's shrubs and other plants will be edible."

Additionally, we visited their gardens which include a gigantic composter, purchased second hand from a local penitentiary. (Seems the officials at the pen decided they would compost their scrap food to cut down on trips by inmates outside their gates.) Warren Wilson composts all the food from its dining hall. We saw it steaming away as it did its work. The compost then is moved to a large pile where it is finished, and then is spread on gardens all over the grounds. Healthy soil makes healthy plants which are better able to protect themselves from predators. Those who work in the gardens also practice companion planting, crop rotation, double dug beds, and use computers to plan their gardens for optimal production.

For years I have thought how terrible the food waste is from our schools, hospitals, retirement homes and other establishments in this country. If we could only go the compost route, it could be sold or distributed to local gardens instead of going to landfills.

One more point made by one of our speakers was to look at the website []. For some weird reason the writer visits landfills all over this country and others. She notes that "...we (Americans) are humongous waste makers...Nationally, we generate over 250 million tons of garbage each year, and that is only the municipal waste - or garbage - which doesn't even include the much larger amounts of waste from industries, mining, and construction. We make enough garbage each year in the U. S. to fill a convoy of 10-ton trucks long enough to wrap around the earth six times!"
It's too depressing to think about more than the one piece we can do. Try not to be discouraged, just do what we can.

Pat Churchman

*Pics are of EcoDorms at Warren-Wilson College.
The little cutie eating a tomato is one I added because I believe children greatly benefit from being part of the family garden.

Post Contributed by Beth Trissel, an avid gardener as well as a writer. I come from a long line of gardeners.

In the movie The Thing, the reporter admonishes the world, "Look to the skies!" to watch for alien spacecraft. In 1610, Galileo did just that, but he wasn't looking for invaders from Mars. He looked to the stars and discovered four of Jupiter's moons. Today, Man may not have conquered the stars but those steps taken by Galileo, Copernicus, Huygens, and Cassini have enable him to take that "one small step."

July is the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It is also the International Year of Astronomy.

To celebrate this, NASA has organized science events this month to help the people of Earth connect with the vast glories of the universe. You may not discover a new planet or even an asteroid, but looking to the stars can help you discover the universe, out place in the heavens, and--perhaps, even something of your own destiny.

Two of the website to visit to begin your adventure:

The moon website will take you on the adventure of Apollo 11, from just before blast-off to the Eagle landing. You can hear actual recordings, view photos and facts, plot the course of the spaceship, view a timeline of other events taking place that month, and--if you sit through the entire sequence, which takes about 90 minutes--print yourself a certificate verifying that you, too, have been to the moon.

I slept through the actual moon landing, didn't get to hear those historical words but I've listened to them many times since and to see them in their actual context is thrilling. To think about those three men out there in the airless, dangerous blackness of space in something not much larger than an automobile, a vehicle covered with thin sheets much similar to aluminum foil is frightening. Truly, they were brave and truly they went on an adventure not many will ever experience.

This is one way we earthbound can share in that an adventure, and no one should miss it.

Presidents, States, and Capitals

Posted by Jianne Carlo | 9:17 AM | 8 comments »

The Founding Colonies – Connecticut

Now I know most of you know all about the thirteen founding colonies, but I learned about them the first time this weekend. Fascinating history, the stuff of legends and lore (ooh, couldn’t resist).

But I’m sure the majority of my audience doesn’t want to know the same-old, same-old facts and figures so I thought I’d take a different slant for this blog. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still share my newfound knowledge of State statistics but I’ll keep the basics to the minimum.

As you may have noticed I am fixated on order and organization therefore, we’ll be doing this, the exploration of the thirteen colonies in, you guessed it, alphabetical order.


Capital: Hartford
Size: approximately 5,500 square miles with 618 miles of coastline
Size Rank: 48
Bird: Robin
Admitted to Statehood: January 9, 1788, 5th Constitution
Population: 3, 405,565
Presidents (birth): George W. Bush

I’ve decided to focus on the smallest towns in each State for this blog measured by either population and size and I take full editorial license to choose either both or one as I see fit. The 2000 census forms the basis for all of these blogs.

Settled in 1642 as an Indian trading post (Paugasset), Derby, Connecticut is only 5 square miles in size and has a population of 12,391. I almost blanched at those figures as I’ve always thought of small towns as having a very low population density. Sigh, another rural myth put to rest.

Amazingly enough, Obsornedale State Park comprises approximately 350 acres or almost ten percent of the total square miles of Derby.

And I’ve always thought of small towns as being non-industrialized. Go figure. The Kraus Corset Factory, The Howe Manufacturing Company (one of the first mechanized pin factories in the US) and Charlton Comics all claim Derby as home at one point in time or another.

Interestingly. one Frances Osborne, daughter of the original founders of The Kraus Factory became a business magnate in the eighteenth century. Frances ran the company she inherited on her own from 1907 until her death in 1956.

An incredible and astonishing woman.

In an era where females were relegated to the roles of wives and mothers, Frances became an international tycoon. Positions she held included: president of Union Fabric Company, vice president of Connecticut Clasp, treasurer of the F. Kelly Company, as well as a founding partner of Steels and Busks, Ltd. of Leicester, England.

The first woman bank director in the state (Birmingham National Bank), the first female to serve on the Derby Board of Education, Frances was treasurer of District Nurse Assn., director of the American Holstein - Friesian Assn., the CT Forest and Park Assn., and the CT Jersey Cattle Club.

And she did all this in spite of the fact she was blind in one eye and because of this handicap had been unable to complete her public school education.

Frances died with her boots on, serving in most of these positions until her death at the age of 80!

What an example!

Amongst Derby’s prominent residents during its history are:

Actor Brian Dennehy
The first black diplomat in US history (Ambassador to Haiti): Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett
Co-founder of Spider-Man Comics, Steve Ditko
Commodore Isaac Hull, who commanded the U.S.S. Constitution in the Revolutionary War

Another notable is William Hull (uncle to Issac), a General in the American Revolutionary War who later served as a judge and as a Massachusetts’ state senator as well as Governor of Michigan Territory.

I’ll end on a note of intriguing trivia (sad my penchant and capacity for retaining useless facts).

William Hull, friend to Nathan Hale, is generally credited with publicizing Hale’s famous last quote, “I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Of course, now I’m planning a ‘small town’ trip to Connecticut. Anyone have favorites to share?

Help me welcome our guest blogger, Rita Herron. I knew Rita before she joined Georgia Romance Writers. I won’t tell how long ago that was if she doesn’t. The woman is prolific!

Multi-published, award-winning author Rita Herron cut her teeth on mystery books and television shows like Alfred Hitchcock, The Outer Limits and the Twilight Zone. More recently, she’s added Medium, The Ghost Whisperer, and Dead Zone to her list of favorites.

She currently writes paranormal romantic suspense for Grand Central Publishing and category romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

With her new series THE DEMONBORN, she blends her love of dark, steamy romantic suspense stories with her other love -- the paranormal.

Set in the contemporary world, she explores the age-old battle of good versus evil, and that battle as it rages within each person. And of course, the ultimate question for the romantic – can love conquer all?


Both please
Where can we find both?
Between the pages of a romance novel!

Are the stories realistic? Are the men real? Do we expect our husbands/boyfriends/companions to talk, act or even look as hot as the men in our novels?
Not necessarily.
Books, like movies, may be more dramatic than our own lives, because, after all, sometimes our lives are BORING!

We read so we can escape into another world. We want to be swept up in the characters’ lives, problems, friendships, and love lives. These books feed our fantasies, our dreams, our hopes and provide us with entertainment.

They also provide us with the exhilarating fantasy of falling in love over and over again. Of great sex. Of a hero to melt our hearts, give us pleasure, and take us to erotic and exotic places we might never go.

In The Demonborn series, the heroes’ fantasies are steamy and run toward the forbidden.
Quinton Valtrez has dark hungers that he can’t deny. Hunger for the dark side. Hunger for vengeance. Hunger for a woman in his bed.
Hunger for Annabelle Armstrong.

Quinton’s brother Vincent had an insatiable desire for sex. He needed to feed daily to keep his compulsions for violence at bay. And he never slept with a woman more than once.
Until he met the elusive, psychic Clarissa King.
Quinton’s secret fantasies are wicked and naughty – he likes to watch.

What are your fantasies? Are they tame, or are you a tigress inside?
Maybe you hunger for dark chocolate? For spicy food? For adventure?
For the love of a good man? For him simply to hold your hand?
For him to make love to you slow and sweet? For his touch to skate over your body? His hands to tease you with mindless pleasure?
For his lips to trail kisses and tongue lashes along your spine?

Or maybe you want hot wild sex, fast and furious? Maybe you fantasize about his body pounding into yours until you are one in that moment in time. Or do you hunger to please him? To drive him wild with your lips and tongue and hands?

Whatever your fantasy, whether a romantic candlelit dinner in a secluded cabin with snow falling outside, a night of lovemaking on a crowded beach, a secret rendezvous in a foreign city, a mountain climbing expedition, to be tied up and pleasured, to indulge in a three-way, to find a lover who will last forever, you can find it somewhere between the pages of a romance novel!

Would we do all the things we read about in a romance novel? Maybe. Maybe not.
But fantasies are like foreplay and foreplay is fun! Foreplay builds anticipation. Foreplay is romantic.
Just as our fantasies feed our romantic lives, they take us to exotic places, to new experiences. To that heart-pounding place where we sigh and moan and go away feeling happy and euphoric.
I hope you feel that excitement when you read Quinton and Annabelle’s story in Dark Hunger!

What character or book have you read lately that gave you that feeling?

Leave a comment or question for Rita today and be entered in a contest for a copy of Rita’s first book in The Demonborn Series: Insatiable Desire. But don’t stop there! There’s a second contest for today’s readers. Visit Rita at her website and sign up for her newsletter to be entered in a contest to a copy of both books in The Demonborn Series: Insatiable Desire and Dark Hunger. And, by signing up for Rita’s newsletter, you will also be automatically entered in Rita’s regular monthly contests. You can find extras on the Demonborn Series at And visit Rita on Facebook,, and !

To recognize that the soul of a man is unknowable is the ultimate achievement of Wisdom. The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighed the sun in a balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul?

Oscar Wilde

"See you at OSFEst," the e-mail from my publisher read.

OSFest? Who? What? Where? If I'm supposed to be there, I'd better find out. Googling brought up several hits: OSFest...the annual ostrich festival in Chandler, Arizona; OZZFest...about Ozzie Osbourne...OSFest 2003...featuring the Osmonds...nope, neither of those...OSFest, Omaha Science Fiction Education Society...Okay, that sounds more like it!

Throwing a change of clothing into my backpack, I hopped into the Sentra, feed the coordinates into the Navigator, and hit the road! (The road hit back with a right cross.) An hour later, I was in Omaha, parking the Sentra in a "Handicapped" space, and walking inside the Omaha Comfort Inn to register...and immediately searching for an ATM as I was told registration was in CASH! Cash was acquired, Registration was accomplished, and--armed with name tag and program--I was set loose in the wonderful world of OSFest. Omaha Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, here I come!

Wandering into the Dealer's Room, I saw a half dozen R2D2s (their correct name was R2ET, I believe) in a row, waiting for Luke Skywalker to activate them and take them home. Luke wasn't available but Darth Maul, resplendent in red and black body paint, his horns freshly polished, was wandering around (looking for a Jedi to fight, no doubt) as well as several Jedi knights who were studiously ignoring him. Followed by an activated R2, I blundered into the elevator, and found myself in the Com Suite, helping myself to the buffet. As I munched on a handful of toasted, buttered, salted pecans (absolutely no calories!) I
chatted with Link from the Legend of Zelda about writing, took his picture, and asked his permission to use it in my blog. He, as well as everyone else, was very agreeable. Outside, in front of the elevators, near the sign with the convention logo, a giant snow tiger cavorted. He informed me he was "Snap E. Tiger" as he posed by the sign, then hurried away to moderate a panel, a mountain lion, and another cat of some kind weaving their way through the crowd behind him. Several men in kilts and long braids wandered by.

Downstairs, the lobby was congested with members of a girl's volleyball team who had gathered around Darth Maul, having their picture taken with the bare-chested lightsaber-wielder, who obligingly flicked it into operating mode and twirled it expertly without amputating his limbs or anyone else's. Others--mostly youngsters--crowded around Mr. Tiger or Link to be photographed. The Jedis watched them from a distance, with amiable tolerance.

In the Main Programming Room, NASA engineer Bridget Landry gave slide lectures on the Huygens-Cassini telescope mission, noting that the two 16th-century scientists for whom the mission was named were bitter enemies and it was ironic they would be forever linked together in aerospace history. The photos of Saturn and its moons, specifically Titan and Enceladus, were amazing...until the computer decided to crash, proving once again that man's technology is fallible. During the lecture, it was noted that by
the time a spacecraft has been designed and built and launched, the technology in it is already obsolete, and one of the first problems faced with Cassini was that the doppler effect wasn't taken into account and had to be solved (from the ground) before the now-launched spacecraft could be sent on its way. Bridget herself was a treat. Dressed in red and orange camo complete with beret (a great disguise if one is hiding in a volcano, I suppose), she appeared the antithesis of the rocket scientist. "Please!" she said as she placed pamphlets, trading cards of Saturn's moons, and temporary tattoos on the edge of the stage. "Take some. Take a lot! I don't want to take these back home. They're too heavy!" A lady with a sense of humor, she is also a devotee of Renaissance Faire and changed her costume several times during her lectures, once appearing as a Renaissance lady and once as someone who seemed to have leaped from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, complete with pith helmet.

Another room held science fiction-fantasy art and there were some lovely astronomy-themed paintings there, as well as prints, and sketches. The Dealers Room was also where publishers hawked their wares, writers autographed their books (being authorized by Tony-Paul de Vissage to forge his signature, I signed 8 copies of the February issue of Sounds of the Night which held a copy of his story, "Sometimes Love Returns." I also pocketed his royalties from the sales. It was only fair. I was the one getting writer's cramp!) There was a jewelry vendor with the most beautiful bracelets and necklaces,
all hand-made. I had to fight with myself not to purchase a fantastic piece called "Faust's Memories of Hell," large silver dollar-sized drops of amber shot with red and connected by silver links. The price tag ($68.00) finally stopped me. T-shirts, action figures, one table, sat Nevermore, a ghost-hunting Omaha non-profit organization which investigates paranormal activity in Nebraska. (I stayed away. Didn't need any wandering revenants following me home.) Next to them, a movie director was selling DVDs of his latest 1950's-pastische sci-fi flick. "It's showing tonight at 10:00," he told me. "I'll be there," I promised. (I didn't make it so I bought a copy of the DVD instead.) In another room, entrants in the costume judging that night were being given pointers. Writer Kevin J. Anderson, whose novel The Winds of Dune, co-authored with Brian Herbert, is a Science Fiction Book Club offering this month, sat near the entrance, behind a table covered with his novels.

Next to the Main Programming Room was a table filled with free paperbacks. I descended upon it avidly, coming away with at least six novels which I had heard of and never managed to acquire until now.

Later, my publisher, Tyree Campbell, and I went to dinner with the artist who had the table next to ours. (Tyree had participated in a reading earlier, and was set for a panel on "Worst Mistakes by Beginning Writers" the next morning. I couldn't wait for that. I wanted to see just how many of those mistakes I had
committed.) Between swilling Mexican beer and eating everything on the menu, we had a great time. Though I didn't contribute much, it was great listening to those rapier-wits zing each other. Later, I spent some time "schmoozing," i.e., getting to know the people who ran the convention, meeting other writers, and various media representatives. I'm tentatively signed up to do a reading at next year's con, and was given the dates of several more gatherings taking place this year.

Too soon, OSFest came to an end. As Tyree packed up his table, I gathered my souvenirs. Clad in an OSFest tee-shirt, a Saturn temporary tattoo on my left forearm, my arms laden with "Anita Blake" graphic novels, pamphlets, DVDs, free paperbacks, a styrofoam clamshell filled with the remains of my dinner, and a Grape NeHi, I shouldered my pack and headed for the Sentra. In an hour, I was back home and in fifteen more minutes, was viewing e-mails from Lyrical Press telling me that the attachment was the final edit for Earthman's Bride which is coming out in August, so get to it!

Back to work, back to the mundane (?), but boy! it was a great two-day escape from reality!

PHOTOS: OSFest Sign; Link (Will Pereira) from the Legend of Zelda; Darth Maul (Tamren Cardwell from Party at My Place costumers); Snap E. Tiger; Dealers Room; Darth Maul checks out R2ET; Tyree (sams dot publishing) and Moi (sitting in for Tony-Paul de Vissage.)

Joanne--Deal of the Day

Posted by Josie | 3:04 PM | 3 comments »

Hi Everyone,
Some deals for today!

Every Friday Mars chocolate offers a few chocolate bar. Go to the Mars website to sign up for your free bar. There is a limit of 4 bars throughout the summer. is offering their end of the month 80% off discount. Go to the website and type in your zip code. Code this month is NAPKIN.

Have fun!

Favorite quote: "I can't afford to save any more money."

Joanne--Deal of the Day

Posted by Josie | 1:34 PM | 5 comments »

Hi everyone,
I'm back with some deals for today, Thursday, July 23rd.

McAlister's Deli is offering free tea all day. Stop in for their wonderful iced tea.

Estee Lauder is offering a free 10 day sample of their Advanced Night repair system from 5:00-9:00 P.M. this evening at their cosmetic counters in stores. has a great deal on an all in one printer/scanner--model number V305. Regularly priced at $99.00, the printer is on sale for $49.00 with free shipping.

Staples is offering a free backpack to all rewards card members. If you are not a member of their rewards club (it's free to join) either join in the store or online.

Happy shopping!

"I can't afford to save any more money."--Favorite quote

Presidents, States, and Capitals

Posted by Jianne Carlo | 11:15 AM | 7 comments »

As many of you know, this August I will become eligible for citizenship, and I recently downloaded the list of questions that could be asked during the exam I will eventually take.

I thought it might be an interesting exercise to start my blog on Presidents, States, and Capital Cities with the geography section of the test.

I have already memorized all the states (but to my consternation can only list them in strict alphabetical order -- go figure, I have that kind of mind). Not anywhere on the exam does it require such a basic, fundamental knowledge of the country, knowledge of all fifty states.

Surely, you shouldn’t be able to become a citizen other wise?

The following are a sample of the questions on the exam:

1. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
2. What oceans are on the East and West Coast of the country (you only need to know one of them)?
3. Name one U.S. Territory.
4. Name one state that borders Canada or one that borders Mexico?
5. What is the capital of the U.S.?
6. Where is the Statue of Liberty?

I know this is a vast country. I know many non English-speaking immigrants take the test. I choose to become an adult citizen of this country; I am not here by accident of birth. Shouldn’t anyone making a choice as important as this have to know all the states?

In case you’re interested:

There are 4 A states, (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona)
3 C’s
1 each of D, F, G, H, L, P, R, and U
4 I’s
2 K’s
8 M’s
8 N’s
3 O’s
2 S’s
2 T’s
2 V’s
4 W’s

Here are the territories:

American Samoa
District of Columbia
Northern Mariana Islands
Puerto Rico
US Minor Outlying Islands
US Virgin Islands

The dh and I love wandering through country back roads and exploring and discovering. So far we’ve yet to visit over half of the states, but are planning trips. Arizona and the Grand Canyon, the badlands of South Dakota, New Mexico, and Texas are high on list ‘must see’ list.

For my US geography knowledge, I plan to take one state at a time in order of joining the union. Over the coming weeks I’ll try to find interesting facts about each state’s capital city, information about a state park, and the food of the state and share them with you.

Along the way I’ll pose more questions from the citizenship test related to history, government, and civics. I hope you’ll stop by and share your discoveries about this great nation with me.

I savor reading and writing on my sunspace. Gold light pours over the sunflowers
outside the windows like a benediction.

"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful." ~Abram L. Urban

*My garden with the old red barn in background. Pic by my daughter Elise.

Joanne--Deal of the Day

Posted by Josie | 1:25 PM | 7 comments »

Hi everyone,
I'm back with some great deals this week, starting with today.

It's Mocha Monday at McDonald's. Try their new, delicious coffee drink (cold or hot) for free! I believe this offer is good on Mondays only at participating McDonald's, from 7:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m.


Favorite quote: "I can't afford to save any more money."

Blood Sin is a cautionary tale. The story of a prince who falls in love with the wrong woman and pays the price for that crime, it is the first of a series called The Kan Ingan Archives.(The kan Ingans apparently had no shame in recording their deeds and mis-deeds for posterity!) Blood Sin has had a singular history. In reality, it was the second novel in the series to be written; in the 70's when I wrote what was intended to be a stand-alone novel. About ten years later, I got to thinking about the background to that story. I ended up writing of happened before Blood Sin took place--about the crime he committed, and the acts leading up to it. A prequel, if you will, that eventually became Book One.

During all this switching and re-writing, I also decided to relate the stories to The Chronicles of Riven the Heretic by having my hero (Erik Brand) be a direct descendent of the hero of The Chronicles. That necessitated a change of name and spelling, so he became Aric kan Ingan. Since Riven was considered the ancestor of the ruling family in the Emeraunt Galaxy, Aric became the Crown Prince of the current branch. The story came mostly out of my own imagination but I will admit it has a vague resemblance to the ancient Greek myth of Phaedra. You know...older man, young wife, young handsome male ingredients for disaster. That story's been played out a thousand times in a thousand variations--especially on the daily Soaps--since Euripides introduced Phaedra in his drama Hippolytus in 428 BC. (The ancient Greeks, by the way, didn't receive it appreciatively. Too immoral, they decided.)

Blood Sin was submitted to 6 publishers--and rejected by all of them. At this point, I'll repeat myself, so those of you who know this story, don't listen! Shortly after the last rejection, Danielle Kaheaku of Leucrota Press, called me to give me her reasons for not accepting the story. She talked to me for nearly thirty minutes while I occasionally asked her to slow down because I was taking notes. At the end of her conversation, she told me if I would act on her suggestions, re-work some sections and add more characterization, she would review the manuscript again.

The rest, as they say, is history...

So, here's the Promo: Blood Sin, the story of a man destined to be the most powerful person in the galaxy until that troublemaker Cupid skewers him with one of those devastating little darts. A man accused of committing a crime and unable to prove himself innocent because to do so would reveal he's committed an ever greater crime. It's got plenty of love, sex, and violence. (Who could ask for anything more?)

Blood Sin will be released in August by Leucrota Press. It can be pre-ordered from For a preview, here's the trailer:

American Historicals are on sale at The Wild Rose Press through July. Purchase the digital download of THROUGH THE FIRE or ENEMY OF THE KING and email me proof of purchase at and I will send you the other download for FREE. Limited offer, act now.

1780 South Carolina

Stone lions the size of wolfhounds sat on either side of the imposing front door as if to devour unwanted guests. Perhaps Jeremiah enjoyed their significance. He seldom entertained and seemed happier seated astride a horse than in the company of most ladies and gentlemen. He turned the marble knob and led Meriwether out onto the crescent-shaped balcony. He leaned momentarily on the iron railing. “Feel that breeze.”

“Delightful.” The cool wind fanned her hot cheeks. Lifting her skirts, she walked arm in arm with him down the brick steps of the gracious Georgian-style home.

Pleasant Grove had been built by his grandfather on a bluff above the Santee River and fashioned after the manor in Kent that Lord Jordan had been forced to flee in 1647 after fighting with Charles I, who lost his kingdom and his head. Fortunately Jeremiah’s Royalist ancestor had fared better than the ill-fated king and escaped to America with his young wife and her jewels. But his near capture by Cromwell and the loss of everything else had given him a wariness he’d passed to his descendents. Was Jeremiah secretly opposing a different king?

She cocked her head at him a little apprehensively. “Is there anywhere in particular you’re taking me?”

He smiled as if to reassure her. “Just farther in.”

“As you wish.” Being out here alone with him was like being in a glistening Eden. A thrush warbled from high above them in the live oak. Green-gray moss hung from its far-reaching branches and blew in the breeze, reminding her of the McChesney, her father’s largest ship, its sails billowing.

Jeremiah held her back, the warmth of his hand radiating through her sleeve. “You’ll spoil those fine shoes.”

He led her around the sprawling puddle she hadn’t noticed and onto the green mat creeping over the path. The fragrant thyme scented the air as they trod on the tiny leaves and wound deeper into the garden. Newly washed hollyhocks, rosy balsam, and wine-red salvia gleamed. The glowing colors, heady fragrances, her arm tingling at his touch…stirred a pulsing awareness in Meriwether that she’d never felt in the house. There was so much she wanted to say, to ask, but couldn’t, and she darted glances at him.

He caught her eye. “What are you thinking?”

“Nothing of consequence,” she almost stuttered.

He quirked his left eyebrow at her; the narrow scar gave it a slightly crooked rise. “And earlier in the parlor?”

She glanced away from his searching gaze and focused on the toe of his boot. “Just chatter.”

“Are you truly worried?”

“Only as much as anyone these days.” Still evading his scrutiny, she bent and plucked a sweetly-scented nicotiana blossom.

He took the white flower from her hand as she straightened, setting her skin afire, and tucked it behind her ear. “I sense there’s much left unsaid. Why won’t you speak?”

Still battling the near irresistible draw of those blue eyes, she stared at his open neckline. “I prefer to listen.”

“Yet I would know what fills your fair head.”

“Perhaps you already do,” she said, hastily shifting her inspection from his bronzed chest back to the snowy blossoms.

His voice lowered even further. “No. You are not so easily read.”

Jeremiah grew silent and led her into the avenue, as he called it, strolling with her between rows of English boxwood that reached up over their heads. The clipped shrubs exuded the warm Old World scent Meriwether remembered from childhood.

“Stay a moment,” he said, stopping beside the fish pool. The statue of his father’s favorite spaniel sat on the pebble path beside the water, a whimsical touch. The brown stone was flecked with moss, as was anything that sat out of doors too long, but the cocker seemed as if he really were intent on the water.

She patted his granite ears and sighed. How could she confide her deepest longing and her fears?

“Such a weighty sigh. Has our walk overtaxed you?”

She lifted her gaze to his, bracing herself under the force of his study. “No. I’m much stronger now.”

“Good. You seem so. You were as weak as a newborn kitten when I first found you.”

“I only remember that you brought me here in your boat.”

He scooped up a pebble, tossing it into the pool. Goldfish scattered, and a little green frog plopped in among the lilies. “Charles Town is a graveyard. Thank God yours has not swelled the family plot.”

The intensity in his voice took her by surprise.

“Are you content at Pleasant Grove, Miss Steele?”

“Yes,” she answered in growing confusion.


She shied away from his inquiry and watched goldfish rippling through the water like orange silk. “Why doubt me?”

“I must know.”

His earnestness made her stomach churn. “For my part, I am content. I trust you don’t find my presence burdensome?”

“Not yet,” he said gravely.

Her eyes startled back to his. “Do you think I will become so?”

“Quite possibly.”


1780 South Carolina, spies and intrigue, a vindictive ghost, the battle of King’s Mountain, Patriots and Tories, pounding adventure, pulsing romance…ENEMY OF THE KING.

*These are royalty free photographs of historic Virginia and the deep South.

For more on my work please visit:

Emma Lai is proud to announce the release of her newest novel, His Ship, Her Fantasy, by The Wild Rose Press.
This is Emma's first release and I hope that it impresses you as much as it does me. She has also contracted, His Hope, Her Salvation, with The Wild Rose Press to be released at a later date.

His Ship, Her Fantasy is coming from The Wild Rose Press on August 12th! It is a sci-fi romantic short.


Ellie Woods is in love…with a ship. When an argument with the ship results in a bump on the head, she finds herself in the strong arms of Alastair. But who is he and where did he come from?

Alastair has loved Ellie from afar for years, but duty has kept him from revealing himself to her. When a grave threat reveals his true identity, he hopes that Ellie will choose reality over fantasy.

Ellie’s character is the primary driving force behind the story. Her difficulties in being the only female space engineer lead to the story.

But, how did I get inside her head?

I pursued my Electrical Engineering degree with a handful of other women. When I started looking for a job, I went where the money was. When you live in Houston, TX, this means oil and gas, specifically a large service company.

The industry has always been male dominated with a healthy dose of chauvinism. My first day at work I had one engineer ask me if my daddy put me up to this…meaning a career in engineering. For the entire five years I was with the company, one engineer outright refused to speak to me…even if we were supposed to work together. However, as with the bad, there is good as well. My manager did an excellent job of helping me grow professionally.

I took the remembered frustrations, grouchy characters, and silent support of the few and used them in His Ship, Her Fantasy. My hope is the reader will see Ellie’s strength and understand her quiet determination. She is a part of me.

As for the question, did my daddy put me up to this?

We’re all influenced by people in our lives, and my dad was a huge reason I went into engineering, but he was still surprised when I told him what I wanted to study. I’m not sure why. After all, he helped me put together my science project on series and parallel circuits, let me take apart his radio to see how it worked, and bought me my first computer, which I promptly used to write a program in BASIC, all when I was eight.

What comes next?

His Ship, Her Fantasy inspired a whole series of shorts that cross over into multiple genres to include sci-fi, fantasy, and time travel. The second story, His Hope, Her Salvation, of the Mates of the Guardians series has been contracted with The Wild Rose Press. It is the story of Judith and Donovan. However, as with all strong, determined women, Ellie has decided her story isn’t done. I’m working on polishing her new story and hope it will become contracted as the third story in the Mates of the Guardians series.

Thank you so much Emma, you are a sweetheart, for joining the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers today. We expect to see big things from you in the future. The best of luck with sales, the best of health for you and your family, and the best is yet to come!!

Here is the final preview of my paranormal suspense romance, White Wolf. If you get a chance please check out the trailer by clicking on Final White Wolf Preview.

“You must have heard the rumors about me and the girls while you were growing up.” Gray knuckled her cheek, touched a finger to her lower lip.

“The white wolf,” she whispered.

Gray’s skin gave off a clean spring aroma, as if the lake had cleansed him. An owl hooted nearby. Sorcha flinched and swallowed, trying to moisten her suddenly dry mouth.

“I can hear and see and smell and taste better than anyone I know. I could smell your arousal when you covered yourself with that blanket earlier. I could smell your fear before I left earlier, and in the lake a few moments ago. Our family has always had an affinity with the animals of this land. The members of my family have bonded with the spirit of the white wolf for generations. I am no different.”

“I don’t understand.” Her palms grew damp.

He draped the throw around her shoulders, separating the blue fabric so it framed her breasts.

“I have all the magnified senses of a wolf.” Gray tipped his head back and studied her through hooded eyes. “I don’t run on all fours, but I can identify your scent in O’Hare on its busiest day. My night vision allows me to see for miles. My hearing is so acute, I heard you ask God not to let you fall in love with me all over again in the bathroom earlier.”

Bitterness washed over her tongue; he knew, he knew she’d always loved him. She cupped a hand over her mouth, a move akin to closing the barn door after the horses had escaped. Shame channeled into a rising temper, and she smacked his shoulder with an open hand. “I’m not going to, you know. Not if I can help it.”

“I don’t think either of us is going to be able to control what’s happening between us.” His smile held a grim warning.

“And this?” She dipped her chin at their joined bodies.

“That’s new for me. But I have talked about it with my cousins and my grandfather. Apparently when a wolf finds his mate, this happens. Until we mate and there is a mate-lock, the males of our tribe aren’t fertile. Our sperm shoots blanks.”

“Mate?” she croaked. The throbbing at her temples doubled in volume.

“Mate,” he said, holding her chin firmly with his thumb and forefinger. “You’re mine now, just as I’m yours.”

“This is crazy,” Sorcha said.

“And you’re terrified. Your pupils are so dilated I can hardly see your irises. The roses are gone from your cheeks. I can smell not just fear, but confusion, honey. Come here.” He pressed her cheek to his chest. “What are you going to do now that you’ve returned to town? Jobs aren’t easy to come by in this county, especially in this economy.”

“Huh?” Her mind reeled, and she wanted to shake sense into him.

“Your heart’s leaping.” He rested his thumb on the hollow of her throat. “Let’s try normal conversation for a while. What do you plan to do now that you’ve returned to Twisp?”

Go with the flow, she reasoned, try to figure out this craziness. Be logical. Right. Answer his question, concentrate. Sorcha took a deep inhale, closed her eyes, and replied, “I’m going to start my own business, an ad agency. I figure I’d kick off my company by producing a magazine guide to Okanagan County. This area’s become quite a magnet for up-and-coming artists. There are eight semi-famous potteries in the area, the same for jewelers, sculptors.”

“How long have you been planning this?”

Since I started having the nightmare.

Sorcha had almost said the words aloud.

Mama Mary and Scarlet are in Washington DC at the Romance Writers of America National conference. Mama Mary is in the sitting area beside the elevators so she can get online free to do this blog for you.

Mama Mary and Scarlet pose in front of the Marriott, the conference hotel.


Scarlet says hi!
Where does she think she's going?

White Wolf Release

Posted by Jianne Carlo | 8:24 AM | 9 comments »

I am thrilled to announce the release of my Fifth book almost a year to the date my first one was published. A little blurb on White Wolf, a paranormal suspense, follows. I'm also very proud to announce I've dedicated this one to our own Mary Ricksen whose unflaggling support and cheerleading never fails to inspire me.

As an FYI, three of my five books are available in print on Amazon - here’s the link to them: http:

And for all you Trinis, D is for Desire, which begins with J’ouvert and mud mas’, has won three awards.

White Wolf

“I’m counting to ten and then I’ll start shooting,” Sheriff Gray White balanced a rifle on one shoulder and held a spotlight at eye level effectively blinding the perp.

“My name’s Sorcha McFadden, officer, and as you can see I’ve been skinny dipping,” his very naked, very sexy perp announced.

Stunned, White Wolf Gray can’t reconcile the nude, auburn-haired nymph, Sorcha, with his little sister’s childhood best friend. Especially when fate and his own body decree her his mate.

At thirteen, Sorcha watched Gray screwing Tonya Hazzard, the captain of the cheerleading team, from her perch in the hayloft. The image of his pumping hips invaded Sorcha's every fantasy, propelled her every climax from that day forward.

They're destined for each other, except... Sorcha doesn't believe in the supernatural, but her life—as well as the answers to the mystery surrounding her parents' murder-suicide fifteen years—earlier depend on it.

Gray's the only thing standing between her and certain death, but her grandmother's last message was "Trust no one."

Does that include Gray?

Buy Now:
Release Date: July 14, 2008
Number of Pages: 202
Publisher: Loose-ID
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-59632-976-8


Looking for love in all the wrong places, Susie is lucky to be at the Candy Bar on a particular magical night. Born with a deformity, she was a major disappointment to her father. He’s a plastic surgeon and she became his work of art. Beautiful on the outside, she still feels flawed underneath. She longs for love and approval, but until she learns to love herself, happiness will continue to elude her.

With the help of magic, Susie is given a new sight and she can see beyond the surface, into people, and discovers this is where true beauty comes from. Art has always been her dream and passion, and now with the heightened sight she is able to view the world differently and her paintings, always good, become inspired.

Susie is becoming the woman she always wanted to be. She even has a hot new boyfriend, a firefighter, and maybe, just maybe, someone might love her, flawed and all. An explosion changes everything. He is badly burned, and now is the one who carries scars.

Her love for him is deeper than ever, but he pushes her away, encouraging her to live her dream of going to Florence to study art. Can the new Susie--strong, independent, courageous—stand up to his pressure and convince him that she is entitled to both?

Patrice we are pleased to welcome you to our blog.
Today Patrice tells us a story about having that part of us that calls for greatness. The part of us which seeks to accomplish. With the success of Patrice's books, there is no doubt that she is a champion! Patrice the blog is all yours.

Last Sunday, I got out of bed early, as I had spent the last couple of hours lying there, thinking to myself, how was Andy Roddick going to win Wimbledon. Now, if you’re not a tennis fanatic like I am, you might not know that Andy is from Florida and the only major title he has ever won is the US Open in 2002, when he was 21. Not because he doesn’t have talent. Not because he doesn’t have commitment. Not because he doesn’t train hard enough, or work hard enough, or care enough. He does all that and still doesn’t win. Why? Well, there is a little problem in his way. Possibly the greatest tennis player ever, was born a year before Andy. Roger Federer is the freight train that keeps running over Andy, the destroyer of all his dreams.
When I woke up last Sunday, I had thought of a way for Andy to beat Roger. All he had to do was ace him 90 times. Four aces per game, 6 games to win a set. That’s 24 aces, and he needed to win the best of five sets. I figured 90 aces should do it.
Well, Andy played his heart out and never lost his serve. He broke the mighty Federer twice, in the first set and in the fourth. They battled the fifth set, a record breaking 16-14 game, but still, after giving everything he had to the sport, his heart, his soul, his gladiator spirit and will to win, after all that he still came up short and Roger walked away with the winning trophy.
My heart ached for Andy, and it still does. What does it take to sit in that winner’s circle? Let’s ask all the writers that have been on the best seller list. Is that what it takes to be a winner? Or is selling one book enough?
For Andy Roddick, he is not content with being a top ten player, winning the small tournaments, he wants more. He wants the grand prize, to win another major title, but the same old Swiss keeps getting in his way and snatching his prize.
For us writers, we all have different dreams and goals. Some of us are content with writing for pleasure, others for publication. Some of us have set our goals on the majors, and nothing will satisfy us until we see our books on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. We are dedicated, we are talented, we work hard and we fight the fight, and don’t give up on our dreams, but sometimes that is not enough. We need a little luck, or the economy to be better, or for the young editor who is reading your magnificent story to understand how a forty-year-old woman might feel. We need the golden handshake that all successful writers share, we need to be brighter, funnier, sexier, scarier than all the other writers out there. We need to stand out. And when that doesn’t happen, we have to pick ourselves up again off the floor, dust ourselves off, and try again.
Like Andy, we can’t give up. We try, and try, and try again.

Patrice Wilton


The one thing Susie Levine has confidence in is her painting; she has never felt confident in her appearance, frequently comparing herself to her friends and family and finding herself lacking. In Desperately Seeking Susie, Patrice Wilton let's the reader see from the beginning that Susie is the one searching, for herself. It is the reader's luck to join Susie on her search, observing all her steps and missteps along the way.
While trying to find out who she is, Susie also meets the man of her dreams; does he feel the same, and how Susie validates her feelings for him lead to many interesting situations. Ms. Wilton is a very descriptive writer; she does not shy away from the passion between her main characters, reminding us often that Desperately Seeking Susie is a romance, by including combustible, steamy love scenes between the main characters Susie and Brett. The reader is fortunate in being able to experience a variety of eccentric personalities in the secondary characters as well, just one more element designed to keep us entertained for hours. And luckily for us, this is an entertaining book to read: I definitely recommend picking up a copy and finding that out for yourself!

Thanks Patrice for blogging with us today.
Greatness is certainly in all of us. We just have to dig deep into our souls and pull out that strength. The strength that makes us keep writing despite all the rejections. Because one day a publisher will read our story and get it. From then on, we are what we were destined to be, authors.

Because she is now thirty-eight, the mandatory age of retirement, Captain Soledad Scott is forced to relinquish her command. Having been in the service since a teenager, she finds herself, for the first time in her life, without a purpose in life. In a weak moment, wondering what to do now that she's free from responsibility, she allows her sister to talk her into putting in a maternity request and subsequently finds herself in a room at one of the forty-eight pleasure domes in the Straits of Tralarie with a man who meets her specifications to be the father of her child...

Gabriel Meriweather is a half-breed Chakra, grandson of the leader of that warlike planet. Raised in the palace after his Royal father and his Terran mother are murdered by his grandfather's command, Gabe leaves the planet as soon as he's old enough, joining the Diplomatic Corps. Now he's their Commander and a registered Master Empath, a talent that comes in handy when he's attempting to make peace treaties. Unfortunately, his empathic abilities also open him to the thoughts of everyone around him and he's continually inundated by their emotions. Gabe lives in a constant state of rigid control--fighting what he senses from others, while also struggling against his own barbaric heritage. After a particularly difficult mission that ends in tragedy, and for which he blames himself, he takes refuge in the pleasure dome to block his mind with a few hours of meaningless sex...

...and there he meets Soledad.

It's only after their night of totally unexpected passion that they discover a mistake has been made. Soledad, suffering from wormhole dyslexia from too many years in space, read the room number backwards and went to the wrong suite. To further compound the problem, Gabriel turns out to be the man who brought about the passing of the law placing an age limit on the length of time a captain can remain in command, so it's his fault Soledad has been forced to retire.

That he is also now the father of her unborn child merely adds insult to injury.

In the confusion following the mix-up, Soledad disappears, just as Gabe discovers that in her presence, he's unable to sense others' thoughts and desires. All he finds is peace and mental silence. Realizing Soledad and his child are now the most important factors in his life, he attempts to find her, and their dramatic courtship and what follows make up the rest of the story.

Soledad is portrayed as a strong woman accustomed to command, braving death and dishonor to do what's right even if it breaks the rules. Gabe is shown to be brave, compassionate, haunted by the myriad emotions and memories constantly flooding through him from other people. In his search for Soledad and their unborn child, he finds himself under attack by forces determined to undermine the Diplomatic Corps, cause the deaths of him and his men, and pave the way for another war...

..and the last thing he wants to do now is die, because he has so much to live for.

Pleasure Dome by L.F. Hampton is available as an e-book from www.imajinn.books, www/, or

Some of us at RT were playing and checking out the men who wanted to be Mr. Romance. I checked them out carefully, just so I'd know which one should win this male beauty contest.

I checked their talent, then I learned there wasn't a talent portion.

Linda worked hard to check their credentials.


Mona was gentle wit
h them.

They were definitely posing!

Years ago a brave woman named Kathryn Falk, Lady of Barrow, started a magazine for readers of romances. Now the magazine is huge. Fans of that magazine and the authors she showcases in it meet for a convention yearly. This year the convention took place in Orlando, Florida and some of the ladies on our blog took part.

There are book signings, workshops and parties! OH, and there's a contest for men who want to be on romance novel covers. Hunky guys compete to be named Mr Romance. They strut their stuff and vie for that title and the contracts that go with it.

Yes, I got close to as many as I could. No, I won't tell you for which hunk I voted!

Linda and I found our own Mona Risk the first day there.

Then we found our Jianne.

Mona signed To Love a Hero.

Linda signed her novella, Black Swan,

Some people were actually working.

We found Helen Scott Taylor, former member of this blog.

Let's welcome author Kathye Quick!
Kathye has three new books coming out with Avalon Books coming out in September, December and early next year, they are Amethyst, Sapphire and Citrine.
She also has a book out now with The Wild Rose Press called Cynthia And Constantine.
Check out the blurbs here. Please forgive me for not being able to put a copy of the book up. I just couldn't do it!


Lady Cynthia of Abertaine is trapped. Not only has her fiancĂ©. Sir William Leyborne, not been back to the castle for over ten years, but she’s also not a titled Lady. Lord Simon of Cowell, a renegade warlord aligned with Mordred against Arthur and his Knights, has declared himself sovereign over Leyborne Castle and everything that once belonged to Sir William - including Cynthia. Sir Constantine, Knight of the Round Table, has come to the shire to give Cynthia the news that her fiancĂ© has fallen in battle. With him is William’s oral will giving all he owns to Cynthia as though they had been wed. But when he finds Cynthia and discovers that the shire under the control of an evil warlord, he knows he cannot leave without first driving Simon and his soldiers from the land. Drawn together by an attraction older than time, Cynthia and Constantine soon discover that though a vow made by a knight’s honor has brought them together, it may just also cost them their lives.

Contemporary Romance series
Coming fall 2009 from Avalon Books


Widow Tess Archer, a 55 year-old mother of three who is not willing to abandon her flower-child roots, has decided she wants to be a grandmother. After all, all her lady friends have grandchildren! Deciding that her children need serious help to find their perfect mates, she calls a family meeting and gives each of them one of their Grandmother’s Rings.

AMETHYST (Book One) – promotes calmness and is given to the oldest, Somer. Somer, a newspaper reporter, must tackle her disconnected side in order to have the career she always wanted. Little does she know that in order to do that, she first has to tackle the problem of Nick Daultry, a New York police officer who has come to New Jersey as part of a Homeland Security initiative that allows rural police officers to train in the city while the city officer trains in a rural setting to help understand the differences between city and town situations. While cops and reporters are natural enemies, Somer and Nick find out that they can’t solve the problem of local home invasions without each other; she has the local knowledge, he has the resources. And along the way, they also discover that they need to solve the problem of their growing attraction and admit that they just might be made for each other.

Let's talk to Kathye and find out a bit more about her. We are so glad you joined us Kathye.

How do you define success? If I have to ask questions I might as well start with this one.

Success for me is small daily victories like just sitting down and trying to write a few pages.
For us mid-list writers, we don’t have the luxury of being able to make a whole lot of money from our writing. Most of us still need a full-time job or another source of income that seems to take up a lot of our writing time.
Factor in family and there isn’t a whole lot of time left. We do have to sleep sometime, too.
And at this very moment, I just found out my flash drive failed and won’t read on my desktop. Add in the fact that I was too lazy to save the files to my hard drive and success for me will be my teckkie recovering three chapters of a book I was writing.
If not, I guess it was God’s way of telling me that the story wasn’t very good anyway.

How did you first get published? Always a story there isn't there.

Ah,. I remember the call. 1999. It came the day after Hurricane Floyd it and I lost the rear foundation to my house and had 4 feet of water on the first floor. The phones worked only because the phone company ran the line in from the pole through the attic. I got the call from the owner of q unique new venture – an E-book publisher – Starlight Publications. Ebooks had just been born and were never expected to survive, but that call was my lifeline. I was pulling up wet carpeting and found out my book was going to be published. It was like a rainbow.
Now here’s the weird part. That particular book began with the heroine in the middle of a hurricane. Now if I though I was gong to be so prophetic, I would have started the book with the heroine winning the lottery.

Any family history or traditions you'd like to share with us? My families is eating and holiday gluttony.

Actually, it’s a not a family tradition as much as a family laugh fest. When we were cleaning out our grandmother’s house getting her ready to move in with my mom and dad, we (the granddaughters) found a black, pillbox hat in a hat box in her attic. It wasn’t a Jackie Kennedy type hat, it was a 1940-ish type; small, round and about five inches high. Each of us took turns trying it on and needless to say looked hysterical in it. I secretly took it knowing I would find something diabolical to do with it.
And I did.
That Christmas, I put it in a Victoria’s Secret box, wrapped it and gave it to my middle sister in front of the family at our annual Christmas Eve brouhaha. We made her ear it for the rest of the night and she vowed revenge. Cleverly, she didn’t return the favor the next year, but waited until she was sure we’d forgotten about the hat, which we did when two years later, I do it back properly decorated with Christmas greens and tree ornaments. Of course, I had to wear the hat the whole time during our Christmas Eve gift exchange.
From then on it was on. The hat was been passed around for over 20 years now and no one in the family is safe. We include children and cousins in the scheme. It has gone through some amazing and artsy transformations and now resides in South Jersey with my niece.
It hasn’t surfaced in two years, but we know it’s alive and well and just waiting to rear its newly decorated head!

What's the scariest thing that ever happened to you? I've always wanted to ask that one.

I looked in the mirror this morning and noticed I wasn’t 35 any longer. When did that happen and where did all these wrinkles come from?

Have you always been an avid reader? Reading has been a big part of my life, it took me places I always wanted to go.

I first started reading as a passion by reading my mom’s TRUE STORY magazines when I was about 11. That was in the ‘60’s and at the time, I thought every word was absolutely true. They fascinated me. I was a starry eyed-prepubescent and starting to discover boys, so the romance in them was very storybook to me. The short stories were a bit purer and idealistic back then.
When mom found out she had a fit. It took me about a month to find out where she hid them. I carefully put them back so she’d never know I found her secret hiding place. I did that for years until I was 16 and she decided I was “old” enough to read True Story and True Confessions and then began to share them with me,
Although I haven’t read any lately, some of my friends write for the Confessions Market. But what they write, I think the modern Trues are a bit racier and involved.
I can attribute these short stories to my entrance into romance and reading. As I gold older, ancient now, I found I loved knights in shining armor, paranormal and contemporary romance. When I began writing, I gravitated to these genres.

What was your favorite thing to do as a child?

I lived in a small coal mining community in Pennsylvania. My grandmother’s house backed up to a mountain with a ravine that the town used as its dump. Now back then a dump wasn’t considered evil as it is today. Monthly, after the town dumped its garbage or people came and tossed their appliances down the ravine, the town would come and backfill the area used with dirt. There was about 500 feet from the rear of my grandparents’ property to the ravine, and I really never noticed odors or anything. I was just happy to play in her backyard.
One of my favorite things to do was walk along the property to get to the side of the ravine and then look for fossils. Since the town was in the Slate Belt area, there were plenty of opportunities for this. My sisters and I would see who would be the first to find rock with beautiful fern imprints in them. Somehow, probably by way of some digging and blasting by the town, these fossils worked their way up to the surface.
Some of the happiest times I remember were walking with my grandfather to look for them.Hey, maybe there is a book in that. Little girl hunts for fossils by herself one day and finds the entrance to a cave that is actually an old portal through time. Too bad I don’t do time travel. Maybe, though, it could be a paranormal!

Were you a geek or popular girl? I was a geek for sure.

Pure geek. It wasn’t called that back then. In fact, I forget what we were called. But you could find us at a back lunch table in the cafeteria. We didn’t have all the right clothes, most of us wore glasses, but we were all on the honor roll. We weren’t Cheerleaders or on the Pep Squad or a Majorette. We did things like the newspaper, the year book and Future Teachers of America.
From that, though, because I was on the newspaper – the Blueprint to be exact – I learned journalism and how to write. My friends were really friends and not just the friend-off-the-most-current-fad or because my dad and mom had money.
But we evolved and did okay because being geeks made us tough. Most of us are pretty hot these days as well as being successful and the popular girls; not so much. Living well is the best revenge.

How was your high school prom? I never got to go. I didn't want to go with the only guy who asked me. What about you?

It sucked because no one invites me to go.
I made up for it years later after I outgrew the geeky-thing by dating a professional football player for a few seasons. Take that Laura!!!! (She was the popular girl who always treated me like Human Services project).

Who did you dedicate your first book to and why?

I dedicate all my books to my mom because she became an angel before she ever got to read one.

Thanks Kathye, I've listed the links you mentioned. We loved your interview and wish you the best of luck!

Links - website -
blog -

publishers -