TONI: Greeting lovers of Paranormal Romances.  I’m Toni V. Sweeney interviewing a new resident to the South, recently arrived from Central Europe.  He’s here visiting my friend, Tony-Paul de Vissage, and he’s also the hero, if you can call him that, of a new vampire novel. (picks up a trade paperback with a red cover, reading from the back blurb) As it says here…ahem... “Meet Vlad Chemare, a blast from the past who isn’t to be denied. He’s up-to-date, traveling by jet, and seeking revenge against the master who buried him alive for daring to lead a revolt back in the 15th century.  Armed with a Chase Sapphire and a Kevlar vest, Vlad’s out for blood—specifically Baslo Rigla’s—and he isn’t about to let his feelings for mortal Meredith Swanson stand in his way.  After all, a woman’s just a woman, but revenge is a dish best served cold, and six hundred years makes for some pretty chilly morsels.”  Well, that’s a rather chauvinistic statement.  So now, he-e-e-re’s Vlad! Come in, Mr. Chemare. Make yourself comfortable.  Can I get you a drink?   


VLAD: (He drops gracefully into a chair.  He’s tall, handsome, and very much aware of it) That’s a leading question, Nurliu.  Do you happen to have any Bombay Blood ’29 around?
TONI: Uh, sorry, I don’t.  Only some Merlot and a little charadonnay.  And what was that you called me?
 VLAD: You mean, Nurliu?  In my native language, it means “sweetheart.”  I know we’re not lovers, but I’ve been told it’s an acceptable term to use when speaking to a female acquaintance.  If not, I apologize.
TONI: In that case, I’m flattered, but watch that “lovers” business, will you? People might get the wrong idea. 
VLAD: (nods)  I hope I’m dressed properly.  TP said I could come casual but I’m afraid his idea of casual and mine don’t exactly jell.  I mean…a sweatshirt and jeans?  So I decided on my most conservative Dolce & Gabbana.  He was after me to put my hair in a pony-tail but I prefer not to.  Have you seen his hair?  He wears it in a braid.  That’s a bit much, to my way of thinking.  Still, he’s a writer so I guess it’s all part of the pose.
TONI: I find absolutely nothing wrong with the way you’re dressed.  You look as if you could pose for Vampire Gentleman’s Quarterly.  Love your accent, by the way.  Where are you from?
VLAD: Would you like the truth or that delightful but thoroughly false story Meredith cooked up to tell her parents?  Although I don’t know why she bothered.  They’ve got a vampire for a daughter, for cryin’ out loud, so why should we hide from them the fact that their other daughter is dating a vampire?  There’s some logic there somewhere, but so far, it’s eluded me.  So, the official story:  (speaks as if reciting a lesson he’s memorized) I’m the grandson of Russian immigrants who came to Lincoln, Nebraska to work in the salt mines there.  (laughs) Yes, there really are salt mines in Nebraska.  That accounts for my accent.  I’m going to night school in Savannah, while I work during the day, which keeps me from meeting the parents.   (leans forward and whispers)  Truth is, I’m from Transylvania, and I’ve never worked a day in my life—or Undeath.  Independently wealthy, and all that.
TONI: So tell me a little about your background.  Where were you born and when, etc.?
VLAD: It’s a common enough story.  I was born of rich and noble parents in Transylvania in 1348, on All Saint’s Eve, which is October 31.  That should’ve warned my parents right then that I was going to be trouble, but it didn’t or if it did, they ignored it.  Actually, my father was so busy getting into his own trouble, he didn’t have time to worry about what his son and heir was doing.  I had the usual profligate and aimless spoiled young noble’s life…ran riot through all the village girls, gambled and drank, and had all kinds of fun, and then…one night, when I was riding back to the castel, something swooped out of the sky, knocked me off my horse, and when I woke up, I was lying in state in the family tomb.  Baslo Rigla was there to explain it all to me, how he’d seen me, decided I was a tasty morsel (his words, not mine!) and decided to take a bite.
TONI: And how did you feel about that?  Being cut off so quickly in your youth?  How old were you, anyway?
VLAD: I was twenty-four—and still am, I guess.  At first I was angry.  Because he’d dared lay hands on a noble’s son.  Then, I remembered that my father was a mere baron, not much more than a glorified peasant, and now I was being given an offer I didn’t want to refuse, so I accepted it, with open arms.

TONI: Tell me, why did you come here?
VLAD: To America you mean?  That answer’s simple.  Four words: To kill Baslo Rigla.  Domnitor Rigla, I suppose I should give him his title, let him use it a little longer, anyway.
TONI: Why?  If he’s your…uh…sire, isn’t that a little ungrateful? 
VLAD: No more ungrateful than when you Americans decided to give King George the boot.    Baslo Rigla is a tyrant, plain and simple.  He’s been ruling the vampires for a couple of millennia, now and as far as I, and they, are concerned, that’s 2000 years too many.  He had all the nosferatu in Romania under his thumb, although those in Europe were so far away, he couldn’t do much with them, and then a good many emigrated to America just to be free of his stringent ways.  But now, jet planes, television, and the Internet have enabled him to get them in his grasp again.  He’s in America now, in Savannah, Georgia, as a matter of fact.
TONI: Why Savannah?  Why not New Orleans?
VLAD: Because it has a lower supernatural profile than New Orleans.  Everyone flocks to the Big Easy.  One day, the vampire hunters are going to move in and wipe out everyone, so Rigla was smart.  He went somewhere else.  But he didn’t count on one thing…that American hatred of tyranny. Paranormals are ready to revolt. They just need someone to lead them.
TONI: And that’s you?
VLAD: You’d better believe it, sweetheart!
TONI: How do you expect to best Baslo Rigla?
VLAD: Better than I did last time, thank you very much!  Back then, I was a mere fledgling, only turned for 50 years and still wet behind the wings.  Now, I’ve got 650 years of experience behind me, as well as a whole lot of vengeance I’ve been stockpiling.  I’ve recruited a group of eager, young Southern nosferatu—I’m sure you know how those lads from Down South like to fight—and with them behind me, and the local werewolf population making up my K-9 corps, I’ve complete confidence that this time I won’t fail.  Well, 99% complete anyway.  One must always expect the unexpected.
TONI: What about Meredith Swanson?  Did you expect to fall for a mortal woman?
VLAD: That’s part of the unexpected I was speaking of.  Actually, I first fell for her twin sister, Valerie.  Now, there is one hot lady…although I don’t know if “lady’s” the correct word. I can think of some more descriptive Transylvanian ones.   Especially since she threw me over for a Louisiana werewolf from some little bayou town called Bon Ton or Ben Times or some Creole name.  Don’t get me started on Valerie or we’ll be here all night. That was the reason I went to Meredith, to get revenge for losing Valerie…and instead…  (stops, takes a deep breath)  I think I’d rather not speak of my feelings for Meredith.  It might make me appear weak.
TONI: How does she feel about what you’re planning?
VLAD: I haven’t told her yet.  Unlike her sister, Meredith appears to be perfectly happy to see me every night, attend her classes at the University of Georgia at Savannah during the day, and that’s all.  (looks worried)  You don’t suppose she’s just pretending, do you?  That she’s really as curious as her sister and is going to start bugging me soon?  What do you do after you leave me, Vlad?  Where do you go?  Who do you see?  Oh, Name I can’t Say, I hope not.
TONI: I think you really love Meredith.  Admit it.
VLAD: If you promise not to tell her.  I want to do that myself.  When it’s the right psychological moment.  Although it seems to be getting closer and closer each night I’m with her. So…okay, I admit it.  I love Meredith.
TONI: I understand Tony-Paul has written a book chronicling your time in Savannah, and with Meredith, and…
VLAD: That’s correct.  He entitled it The Last Vampire Standing. Although I preferred a more sensational title, such as 50 Shades of Scarlet.  He told me that title had been taken, or something close to it, so…
TONI: So do you think Tony-Paul did your story justice?
VLAD: I wouldn’t have anyone other than that chubby little Creole write my story. He also had a short movie made about the book…a…uh…trailer, I believe he called it.  In fact, didn’t he commission you to create it?
TONI: I thought you’d never ask! So, with your permission, let’s present the trailer for The Last Vampire Standing, starring Vlad Chemare.
VLAD: And my beloved Meredith, don’t forget her.
TONI: And Meredith Swanson.


VLAD: (Laughs) You’re beginning to sound like me.
TONI: Thank you so much for coming to visit with me, Vlad. 

VLAD: Anytime, Nurliu.  I’ve enjoyed sitting here speaking of my favorite subject…myself.  Now, if you’ll excuse me…I must fly. (laughs and lifts her hand and kisses it)  Good night, my dear.

The Last Vampire Standing is available from Class Act Books: http://www.classactbooks.com/processxml.asp?tid=LASTVAMPIRESTANDING&StyleSheet=title.xsl

The Next Best Thing

Posted by Mona Risk | 11:22 AM | 8 comments »


I was tagged by the fabulous Beth Trissel, author of SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, and here I am answering a few questions.

What is the title of your book?
CHRISTMAS BABIES, very appropriate for the Christmas season.

Where did the idea come from for the book?The story takes place in Florida where I live. While living in northern states, I have often wondered how people celebrate Christmas on the beach. Now I know and I love it. Like my daughter, the heroine is a pediatrician and neonatologist. But what if this heroine who deals with tiny patients all day long can’t have children of her own?
What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary romance, with some medical scenes, although most of the story takes place out of the hospital or on the beach at Christmas time.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I love Kate Hudson. She’s sassy and confident. She can handle the role of Dr. Madelyn Ramsay. I can picture Matthew McConaughey in the role of Dr. Nick Preston.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The best synopsis was given by my friend Mary Ricksen:
Would that we all realize about love without needing a health scare to convince us.

Where (or when) can we get your book?
CHRISTMAS BABIES is available at Amazon for 99cents. It’s a bestseller with a rank #180 in kindle store and #41 in Contemporary romance. Link to order: http://tinyurl.com/burgd9j

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
My manuscript is 36,000 wc. I wrote it in four weeks while in  a cruise in the Middle East and India. I was relaxed. The words flew off my fingers.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is my first Christmas story. I wrote several medical romances in the same genre. BABIESIN THE BARGAIN, NO MORE LIES, and RIGHT NAME,WRONG MAN.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The story involves an interesting look at foster care and adoption. Believe me, I did some intense research about these subjects.

Blurb: A heartwarming holiday story set in South Florida.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas.


But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions? Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?

***The next stop on The next Big Thing (Monday the 31st) will be with the talented Celia Yeary, either at her blog: http://celiayeary.blogspot.com/

Wishing you a Happy Holiday

Posted by Autumn Jordon | 10:51 PM | 4 comments »


The Pink Fuzzy ladies are taking a few days to spend time with our families. We appreciate that you stopped by and wish you a wonderful and safe holiday. We'll be back on December 26th with a post from Linda.

Stress... and More stress!

Posted by Patrice Wilton | 1:37 PM | 7 comments »

Happy Holidays Everyone!
 Well, I had no idea what I would blog about today but I came home from tennis and found my house in total chaos, which sent my already high blood pressure soaring! Not only did I lose my last match of the season, but it is one week from Christmas, and the world is ending, and some idiots were sitting on our lawn eating their lunch. They are here, courtesy of our HOA, to power wash the roof, which doesn't need cleaning, and will make a total mess of our windows which were cleaned for Christmas holidays about 2 weeks ago. So, I begged a little for them to pass our house, pretend they did it, and just move on to the next house in line. Meanwhile, we had decided to get a new pool heater and who shows up but the guys delivering the heater, and the other crew were using toxic chemicals to clean the neighbor's roof, and we are in a zero plot line, so they are gasping for air as they work to install our heater. Meanwhile, my husband, gentle soul that he is, is cranky, pulling his hair out, as he told the roof guys to finish before noon so the pool guys could do their work.

I need a massage. Or a drink - but it's only one, so I may have to wait a bit. Uh, is that long enough?
Anyway, my daughter and her family, my 3 and 5 year-old granddaughters will be here to celebrate Christmas, aand hopefully our windows will still be clean because I begged the roofers to spare our house. Now, to add to my stress, I have a son and a grand-daughter, and a pregnant soon-to-be daughter in law in Orlando, and I'm driving there on Thursday to spend two nights and an early Christmas, and driving back here to West Palm on Saturday morning - Doomsday. The day the world might end. Holy crap. I have a 3 hour drive and I may be all alone, with no loved ones around me. Now, how is that for stress?????

And if that's not bad enough, I now have a three book contract and the first should be coming out in February, and I hope to live to see it, and then of course, I'll have to worry about numbers. Did I sell enough?

Okay, enough whining! But what about the poor, poor families who lost their dear babies. What are we to do to make sure this insanity stops?

What is is about this time of the year, one which is all about giving and spreading joy, that creates such a high leval of stress, and how do we cope with it?

Tell me your solutions, and I'll tell you mine. Lots of wine, my friends. And to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. I want for nothing. I have everything I need, and all that I want. I am one hundred percent happy with my life, my husband, our joint families, my career path, my dear beloved friends, and I wish all the very same for each and every one of you.

HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY EVERYONE!
   

 

Recently, I created a trailer for Tony-Paul de Vissage's re-issue of his novel Dark God Descending.  Here's the trailer and here's his blog on the subject:

Two men…separated by thousands of years, cultures, and customs…and in love with the same woman…

All grad student James Tucker Upchurch wanted was to earn summer credit on an archaeological dig to Central America…and to marry his fiancĂ©e, Shannon.  All Semris wanted was to escape the monotony of a millennia-old life, and the burdens being a demon king, and the son of the Mayan God of Death, have placed upon him.

Tuck never expected to lose his girl to a demon nor to be given immortality, and Semris never thought he’d experience mortal love, but when the current world meets a more ancient one, everything and everyone they know will be changed. 

Forever.

Dark God Descending is a vampire romance but it's one, I hope, with an enjoyable twist.  It's also a story of friendship--between two men, separated by millennia:  Tucker Upchurch, an archaeology student from the University of Georgia, and Semris, a Mayan god-king already several thousand years old.

Tuck and Semris meet when the student accompanies his professor to Yucatan on the trail of an ancient bat god.  Instead of finding a stone statue, however, they find a living being in an extant Mayan city in the middle of the jungle, and as usual when modern civilisation intrudes into the past, disaster results.  Tuck's professor is without scruples if it will enhance his own reputation, and this is an opportunity he can't turn down.  He and his men steal the city's most prize possession--its Emperor, Semris.

Drugged and caged, Semris is guarded by Tuck who soon develops an emotional bond with his captive charge.  The two men communicate through an archaic form of Spanish, and Tuck learns that Semris is the son of Yum Cimil, the Mayan god of death, and is, in the eyes of the civilised world, a vampire.  Tuck gives his blood to keep his friend alive, and when the opportunity arises, he helps the emperor-god escape.

Before he manages to once again return to the city in the jungle, Semris will learn of human love and sacrifice, and will suffer an all too-human grief.  Tuck will lose the one person he's loved all his life but will gain something more precious in Semris' friendship, and be blessed with near-immortality.  Everyone they touch on the journey back to Yucatan will be changed forever.  And the punishment to the villain is both fitting as well as ironic.

I think it’s a good story!   I hope my readers agree. I know the critics have:
  
I highly recommend this out-of-the-ordinary novel to readers of paranormal romance.
--Fallen Angel Reviews

From its startling opening to its final showdown in the jungle, readers of modern fantasy won’t want to skip a word.
--Tony Richards, Stoker Award nominee,  Author of the Raine’s Landing series

Dark God Descending is a unique, stay-up-all-night read. It simply fascinates from beginning to end, and, when it ends, it’ll leave you hungry for more.
--Margaret Marr, nightsandweekends.com

Dark God Descending reads like a classic Indiana Jones adventure with a dark and bloody spin,
--Nerine Dorman, House of Toad

Dark God Descending is being re-issued by Class Act Books, www.classactbooks.com




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The one thing I always wanted was to have children. Believe me when I say I did everything I could, but for some reason God decided not to give them to me. For years it has been my biggest heartbreak. I so envied those lucky mom's who got to smell the sweet infant scent, you know the one that melts your heart. To never hear those first words, or see those first steps, I musta been really bad in my last life!
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When people showed me pictures, or my sister sent the videos of my nieces, I held back my feelings. How, could this happen to me. To adopt a normal baby was way out of my league. Who has twenty grand sitting around for the chance of holding that small bundle and giving my unconditional love. Not me. So I have held my hearts desire at bay. Stop thinking about how much I would have done for my child, or what I have missed...because there wasn't a thing I could do about it anyhow.
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On Friday night I thanked God for not putting me through the pain so many parents felt that evening. I watched as a whole country cried over the senseless death of innocents. What reason was there to kill those children? Why did God let it happen? So many questions and no answers for any of them.
Do we stop letting people have guns? Would that stop the death of these children? How many parents are wondering what they can do. It boggles the mind. Mostly because the answer is so vague and uncertain.

Rifles - China Army
Could anyone have suspected that their child would kill them? Why does a woman need an assault rifle, for target practice? Why weren't those guns locked up? I just don't get it...

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Would it help to have guns taken away from everyone? Does the saying, "if guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have them," make sense to you?
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I don't know, but I don't like the idea that my neighbor's son pulled an AK47 on my husband when he went to ask about our fence after a hurricane. If that was my son, he'd be in a place out west for disturbed boys, getting the help he needed. Well, that didn't happen, last I heard he was doing ten years for assault with a deadly weapon. Why did his mother allow her son, who she knew had issues, to continue his behavior and be his enabler? I don't get it at all.
I'd like to think my child would have been killed. Your children are supposed to outlive you!
The horror of what those parents are going through, I just can't fathom. But, maybe God had a reason for not giving me children. Would my child be dead from this kind of horror? How could I stand that kind of pain, I cannot imagine. Never to see that impish face of my child again. Never to hold that little body close and infuse my love into it. Never to watch them grow and marry and hold those grandchildren, would be more than I could live with.
But, even worse, imagine being that young man's father. To know your flesh and blood had done the unthinkable--it boggles the mind. I can't go there.
My friends know I am a sap. I cry over old Lassie movies. I just had a hard time understanding when a co-author pal told me she wouldn't cry if she was telling her best friend, that a child they knew had been raped, in a book we are writing together. Two of our critique partners agreed. Me, I'd be crying a blue streak.
But, sap or not, no one can watch the news and not feel the emotional loss. No one...
So, I guess what I am trying to say is this. No one can understand why awful things happen to innocents of any age. No one will ever really know what drove a young man to murder his mother. How could he shoot another round after he saw the blood, the pain, or heard the screams...how could he shoot on and on? There is no way to comprehend that kind of mindset. But, I tell you this, for once in my life I thank God that I don't have children. Because, I don't think I could have survived that kind of pain.

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Words from Wilde

Posted by Nightingale | 8:49 AM | 7 comments »

There is no sin except stupidity.

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

Language is the noblest instrument we have, either for the revealing or the concealing of thought; talk itself is a sort of spiritualized action.

I can resist everything except temptation.

The truth is rarely pure and simple.

Oscar Wilde
________________________________________

The Night Before Doomsday, the story of the Grigori, is nominated for Best Book of 2012 at Paranormal Romance Guild.  I'd appreciate all votes!!

 

Burned into Time

Posted by Toni V.S. | 7:52 PM | 9 comments »

A horrific car accident, a Celtic ring and destiny, send a young woman on a journey to the past. In a desperate search for her lost sister, she follows the instructions left her in a bank vault from a hundred years ago.
Little did she know the ring would save her life and change it in ways she could never imagine. Does she have the strength to live through her nightmare and find her destiny?

Can she face her sister now that things have changefd so drastically?  Only Time will tell...






LINKS:  http://www.wings-press.com/http://www.wings-press.com/ 



For many Christmas is synonym of snow, cold, a fire in the chimney; indoors decorated Christmas trees; evergreen wreaths and garlands; red ribbons to accent the Christmas look; twinkling lights decorating the doors and front yards; and a spicy hot punch; or hot chocolate to warm you up.

Christmas in Ohio
Yes that’s the Christmas I remember having when my children were growing, in school and in college.It was so cold outside, and so warm and cozy inside.

Christmas in Florida

My present Christmas is so different. How do you celebrate Christmas in Florida? In church, nothing is changed, but all the rest is different. Our Christmas trees are often smaller. We decorate palm trees and take advantage of our clement weather. You can find us at the beach if the temperature is in the seventies.


Outdoors decorations


My latest book, CHRISTMAS BABIES, is a heartwarming holiday story, set in South Florida.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas.


But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions?

Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?



The Next Big Thing




I agreed to participate in The Next Big Thing because two friends asked me to. 
Here’s to Barbara Monajem http://barbaramonajem.blogspot.com
 and Annie Rayburn https://annierayburn.wordpress.com. ( I’m very late filling Annie’s request.)  


The picture has nothing to do with anything, I liked the colors.



On to the questions!
What is the title of your book?
I’d like to tell you about CHEERLEADER DAD.

How did you come by the idea?
Actually, I was listening to a story about a woman who put a hit on a cheerleader so her kid could make the squad as a replacement for the one she wanted to off or injure. Details are sketchy now. Then I saw a version of The Parent Trap. 

What genre does your book fall under?
Sweet Contemporary Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?
I have no idea. I don’t usually put faces of actors or actresses to my characters.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Two eleven year old cheerleaders work to get their parents together.

Will your book be self-published or traditional?

I’ll probably self-publish this one.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I spend around two months putting this one together.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t remember a book like this one.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The idea intrigued me and an editor asked to see the full, which I didn’t have. I finished it, but got a no thanks, which I expected, because the kids played a big part in the story.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I think the kids will be a big draw.  Eleven year girls can be so funny as they torture their parents.  Unlike The Parent Trap, the girls are not twins and their parents were not married to each other.

I found the iris in my yard yesterday, no kidding!

Excerpt: Cheerleader Dad

     Lily Bateman sat in the gym bleachers watching her daughter and her friend Jaycee try out for the cheerleading squad. So far her Alex was doing well, as she always did when she wanted something. Poor Jaycee Richmond stared at the gym doors instead of watching her competition perform.
Lily smiled when Alex wandered over to Jaycee and hugged her. Then Lily turned her attention to the other girls going through routines.    
     For the past half-hour groups of eleven and twelve-year old girls had cheered their hearts out while their fellow hopefuls worried. Where the hell was Jaycee’s father? Surely, just this once, the man could have taken a few minutes from his schedule to be here for his daughter.      
     “Poor kid keeps looking for her daddy to show,” she muttered to the mother on her right. “I’ve never seen him at a practice.” Of course Lily didn’t mind taking both girls home so often.
     Her gaze fixed on the hunk standing in the doorway. Could that handsome man be Jaycee’s dad? He looks too GQ and out of place in this old renovated gym. More likely her dad would have with reddish hair like Jaycee’s.
This man had thick, black hair that looked as though he’d raked it back more than once today but it still wasn’t behaving. The pale blue shirt hugged his broad chest. Though he had rolled his shirtsleeves and wore no tie, Lily’d bet he had come straight from a business meeting. Who could he be? She knew all the other girls and their parents.
     He seemed to search the groups of girls. He was even more handsome when he smiled at one.
     Mr. GQ waved toward a group of girls waiting to try out next. The man’s blinding grin was answered by an equally blinding grin that lit up Jaycee’s face. The kid glowed with excitement and relief. Her wave back to the hunk surprised Lily. So the too-busy-to-take-care-of-his-daughter executive was handsome. Handsome and sexy didn’t impress her. She still owed him a piece of her mind for neglecting his child.
     While Lily daydreamed GQ man crossed the gym and started up the bleachers filled with parents and kids. Now he stood on the plank below her, tall enough that he still looked down to her.
     “You must be Alex’s mom,” he said. “I’ve heard so much about you I’d have recognized you anywhere.” His hand was warm, rough for a business exec type, his handshake firm and personal. “Jaycee didn’t exaggerate when she told me how pretty you are, even more than the pictures she carries of you.”
     His gray eyes spoke of sincerity, but Lily wasn’t swayed by flattery. Her black running suit looked fine enough for the school gym, but it was not an outfit for compliments. Her French-braided blond hair wasn’t outstanding either and her makeup had surely worn off by now.
     She tried to stay aloof, holding to her intention to let him know how much he was missing by neglecting his kid. “Yes, and you must be Jaycee’s very busy father.” The girl must look like her mother. With her green eyes and red-gold hair she looked nothing like this man.
     “I’m Jesse Richmond.” His voice was a rich baritone, intimate and low, damned sexy.
For a moment she couldn’t find her own voice to respond. She cleared her throat, then wiped her damp hand on her pants. When he took her hand in his larger one she felt small and feminine.
“Hello, Mr. Richmond.”

Then he planted his too sexy self down beside her and let her have her hand back. His spicy scent invaded her space, masking the gymnasium smells, but not as much as his body heat did when he crowded her as though he had a right. He spread wide shoulders and settled elbows and knees, taking more space than he needed. Just like a confident man!     

Do you like the characters yet? COMMENT AND I'LL SEND A COUPON FOR A FREE NOVELLA!

Joanne--Deals of the Day

Posted by Josie | 10:01 AM | 8 comments »

Hi Everyone, It's time for more great deals. First, if you love CVS as much as I do, always scan your CVS card when you walk in. This week, most folks are being offered a coupon for $4.00 off of a $20.00 purchase. Cute for Daily Steals is a portable indoor/outdoor folding picnic table and chairs in a carry case. Can't beat the price at $39.00, a huge savings. The new IPhone 5 is available at Best Buy today for $149.99. A wonderful deal, but must sign up for a new 2 year contract. And, at Amazon.com, the Kindle Fire HD, 8.9" is available for $299.00 with free super saver shipping. Coupon code FIREHD89, today only, takes $50.00 off that price. Happy shopping! Check out my Tudor novella, SEEKING CATHERINE, available at Amazon.com for $.99. The novella, although sweet, is set in a brothel, described by one reviewer as a "delightful historical romance."

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

Joanne--deals of the day

Posted by Josie | 12:33 PM | 6 comments »

Hi Everyone, There is a very good chance that I missed last week's blog, so I wanted to share some wonderful deals of the day today. If you have a Publix near you, check out the Redbox and text MARKETto 727272 to get your code for a free movie. Check out discountmags.com for some great cooking magazine subscription which include Taste of Home magazine for $3.99 and La Cucina magazine for $4.99. Free Kindle books are always welcome and free for today is The Christmas Gift by Pepper Phillips. If you haven't checked out my debut inspirational release, SEEKING PATIENCE, check out amazon.com for a great holiday read. Enjoy!

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


Fascinating Tale of the Girl in the Portrait and Me~


Girl in Painting









While watching Steven Spielberg’s Young Sherlock Holmes on Amazon instant video this evening, I shouted, ‘that’s me!’ during the fiery scene in the Victorian gentleman’s home. Between the flames filling the unfortunate fellow’s room, I spotted the identical old family print/painting I grew up hearing referred to as ‘Little Beth’ hanging on his wall. I’ve never seen this painting before anywhere, although I’ve been told the original hangs in a museum somewhere in Italy. If anyone knows the name of the portrait and the artist who painted it, please share that info with me. But back to my tale.
(Image above of the painting on the television screen and ours beside it)
Chapel Hill - old VA family home placeLong before ‘Little Beth’ was so-called, or I was even born, my great Aunt Margaret Gilkeson Wray, a woman I never met, had an antique shop in the Blair’s Brick House on The Duke of Gloucester Street. This home later became part of the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg and we’re no longer certain which house it is, or was. If anyone has that information I’d also be most grateful. In the 30′s and 40′s (not during WWII) Aunt Margaret would sail to Europe and bring things back for her shop. It was there that she came across this print which found its way to her younger sister, my grandmother, where it hung for decades in the family home place in Augusta County, VA (circa 1816). That gracious home is the inspiration behind many of my stories set in old homes, and is the setting for Somewhere the Bells Ring. (House pictured above)
Girl in Painting 2








As I grew older I realized the girl in the painting/print couldn’t be me despite the uncanny resemblance between us, because she was dressed in an elaborate costume I’d never worn, not even at Halloween, and I wasn’t ever in possession of such stunning jewelry. But her face, even her chopped hair was identical to mine. Eventually ‘Little Beth’ was given to me by my grandmother, we fondly called ‘Mommom’ while she still had the mental faculties to distribute some of these special family pieces. She’s hung in our farmhouse over the mantle in the living room ever since.
'Little Beth’ is the inspiration for the heroine Meriwether in my historical romance novel, Enemy of the King, whose hair was cut from fever.  The thought came to me one day as I studied the painting that, even for a child, her hair is too short. Mine was kept that way because I wouldn’t stay still long enough to have it brushed. But historically speaking, a girl or woman’s hair wasn’t cut for any reason I could think of apart from it being matted during fever. Perhaps this beloved girl had been terribly ill and her parents were so grateful she survived they had her portrait done.  Obviously these were very wealthy, possibly even noble people, which contributed to my thinking that I was once a princess. Definitely gentry. It also led me to speculate on former lives…another reason for my Somewhere in Time series.


***This just in. A friend discovered the painting and, as I suspected, the girl did have fever. I also always thought she died young, and she did.  She also lived in the 16th century which I'd concluded.  Weird, huh....
From wikipedia:
Bia de' Medici (c. 1536 – March 1, 1542) was the illegitimate daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, born before his first marriage.
After her death of a fever at about the age of six, her father commissioned a painting of her by Agnolo Bronzino that is one of his most famous works.