It's summer and the living should be easy, but if you're an author that isn't necessarily true. Oh, I know there are those who find the silver lining with every thing they touch. I wish I were one of those authors. I'm not, mores the pity.

I've become jaded with the publication of my first book. I expected more. I received less, much less. Sound familiar? It's a struggle. I'm working on a new book, this one on spec for a different publisher. They loved my first book and requested I write the same type book for them, sans paranormal. What? Don't they realize paranorml seeps into every story I write? So, here I sit struggling to write a romantic suspense that does not contain paranormal elements.

I've decided to follow the advice of my critique partner and forget about the first book. It's a big kid now and can take care of itself. Still, it makes me sad remembering how many dollars I've spent over the years on romance books authored by my friends and now my book languishes out in cyber land alone and unloved. It's a sign of the times. When there were gatekeepers and limited numbers of books printed, it must have been easier, right? Not to hear my friends talk, it wasn't. Being an author has always been a hard, lonely job. It's one that I chose, no one forced me down this path. It's my own fault. So the general public thinks my baby is ugly. What do I care? I'm working on my next story. 

I'm in full procrastination mode today, can you tell? I'll give you a few clues how I can tell. I cleaned the kitchen without anything jumping out of the sink grabbing me as I went by. I swept the floor and used the dust pan, if you know me and how bad my back is, you will understand sweeping was a major clue because it always causes my back to go out. Then here I am, writing a post on the Pink Fuzzies, when I'm supposed to be writing on the wip. Yep procrastination pure and simple.

Did I tell you I'm going to take up painting with water colors? Yep, I think it will be easier than writing a book that people will take the time to read. If someone doesn't like my paintings I'll just tell them its an abstract and they have no appreciation for art.

What about you? How do you cope when your babies are ignored on Amazon and other outlets?

In preparation for July 4th, next week, when was the last time you really paid attention to the words of the "Pledge of Allegiance"?

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

I'd like to invite you to listen to my favorite version, the John Wayne’s version of The Pledge of Allegiance

Just listening to his deep grizzly voice saying the words gives me the chills, but his explanation of the words literally brings tears in my eyes.

We live in a great nation, regardless of how faulty our government is. I wish we could get back to the when it felt like our country cared about us as much as we care about it. I also wish we could get our so-called government listen to this version...reminding them of what we use to be, and could be again.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.


Monday’s child is fair of face
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

—old fortune-telling nursery rhyme, 1838
Roud Folksong Index, #19526

The answer to the mystery of Grace McAllister’s paternity lies in this nursery rhyme but she has yet to decipher it.

Tuesday’s Child is a romance but it’s also a bit of a thriller and a mystery. It’s a return to a town which was the setting for Jericho Road, a story set in the South in the Vietnam era. It’s now forty years later, and Temple, GA, is still filled with scandals…some of them completely unknown to the populace of a town where “everybody knows your name.”
Grace McAllister has neither seen nor heard from her father since her mother took her away twenty years before.  Now, Benjamin Troup McAllister is dead and Grace is invited to return to Temple, Georgia, for the reading of his will.  She’s in for more than the culture shock of a small Southern town, however, for not only does she inherit nothing, but her father’s will also denies his paternity.

The lawyer cleared his throat once again, more out of nervousness this time. “…the matter of Grace Stephanie McAllister…” He hesitated an instant, then continued, “If you are present at this reading, as I imagine you will be, out of curiosity, if nothing else… I leave you… Nothing.”
What? I visibly jerked. Nothing? I came all this way for nothing?
“Though my name is on your birth certificate, you are not my daughter,” Mr. Simmons plowed on, not looking anywhere except at the will now.

Enlisting childhood friend Mayfield Donovan, Grace attempts to find her real father. 

“What are you going to do?”
“Finish my breakfast.”
“About your father?”
“You mean the real one?” He nodded. I thought about it.
“What can I do?”
“Find him.” He made it sound so simple.

As a child, May was the bully who made Grace’s life a living Hell. He knocked her down, skinned her knees, took her for a bike ride and left her to walk home alone.  As a man, May’s done an about-face. Tall, handsome, and apparently eager to help ease Grace’s pain—in any way possible—he’s there for her and ready to do whatever it takes to help her discover who her father really is. It isn’t long before the two make another very important discovery having nothing to do with their investigations…

“I don’t know what the Hell’s happening. I just know from the moment I heard you were coming back I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t in front of the Manor by accident that day. I love you, Gracie.”

As they sift through the facts of her mother’s life and the men who loved her,  they uncover a tale of revenge, deception, and murder, and discover a truth neither wants to believe or accept…

Tuesday’s Child is a more closely-knit story because it involves only two people as opposed to Jericho Road which encompassed an entire family.  Both May and Grace’s thoughts and inner processes are important to the plot as are their relationship to each other and to everyone else in Temple, a place where everyone knows almost everything about everyone else…except in this case, the name of the man who is Grace’s father.


He was silent for exactly two seconds. “Know what you should do now?”
“Wha’?” I didn’t open my eyes. I had come to the Manor's bar to drown my sorrow and by God I was going to do just Tom Collins at a time!
“Go to bed. Come on.” I heard him push back his chair and stand up.
Go to bed? Great idea. I knew just who I wanted to do that with. Before I could tell him, however, I felt his hand on my arm. “Up you go, Gracie. You’re almost out. Time for beddy-bye.”
He frogmarched me outside and around the corner to his car.
I fell into the Mustang, managed to fasten my seatbelt, then sat there, eyes closed, leaning against the headrest. As before, May didn’t start the car right away, and I had a feeling he was sitting there studying me. When the engine finally came to life and we were moving, I forced my eyes open.
“I know m’ sense o’ d’rection’s slightly off-center, but isn’t th’ Manor th’ other way?”
“Give the girl two points. You’re not going back to the Manor.”
“Where’m I goin’?” I studied the buildings flying by. May was driving pretty fast for the business district but it was fairly late and maybe there were no cops lurking in one of Temple’s alleys just waiting for a certain Mustang to zoom by. No prob for me if there were. I might be snockered but I wasn’t driving. Thanks goodness.
“Home. With me.” My heart gave a jump but his next words knocked it back into place. “You don’t need to be alone tonight, Gracie.”
“Oh? Just whatcha got in min’, Mr. Donovan?”
“Nothing but your welfare, Miss McAllister.”
“Not McAllister,” I corrected, managing to squeeze out a tear that had survived being a victim of the other inundations. Now it was being sacrificed to self-pity. “I’m… Damn it, May. I dunno who I am now.”
He didn’t answer and I shut my eyes and stayed quiet. I didn’t open them until the car stopped some twenty minutes later. What I saw was the now-familiar front porch of Chez Donovan.
He had to help me out of the car. Sitting still for so long had a bad effect on my muscles. They wanted to stay relaxed. After I’d twice taken two steps and had my knees buckle, he sighed and swung me into his arms.
“Don’, May,” I managed to protest. “I’m too heavy.”
“Got that right,” he answered with an exaggerated grunt. “What do you weigh, anyway?”
“Dunno…” I managed a drunken shrug and nearly flung myself out of his arms. His grip tightened. “Hunnert…ten?”
“Is that all?” He was laughing now. “Could’ve sworn it was at least a hundred and eleven.” He carried me up the steps. “Can you stand up while I get some sheets?”
“Gonna lemme see th’ upstairs now?”
“There are three guestrooms, Gracie.” It was said so patiently. “You can have your choice.”
“Then I wan’ th’ one you’re sleepin’ in.” There. I said it. No mistaking my meaning.
“Th’…whatchacallit?” I went on, determinedly. “Th’ Master bedroom. I wanna sleep with you, Master May.” I reached out, intending to pat his cheek. Instead, I swatted his chin.
“You’re drunk, Gracie.” Still holding onto my arm, he dodged easily. Why was I surprised he was fighting it? Could it be he didn’t want me as much as I was convincing myself I wanted him? At this point I didn’t have to do much convincing. “You don’t mean that.”
“Yep, I do, an’ no, I’m not. See?” I pushed away from him, holding up one hand, thumb and little finger pressed against my palm. “Three fingers.” I closed my eyes and tapped the end of my nose. “Co’rdination fine.” I opened my eyes again, looking up into those brilliant copper ones. “Take me upstairs, May.”
I’m so damned eloquent. Guess I convinced him. He stared at me for just one breathless moment that was so quiet we could’ve heard the beams shifting and the clock ticking on the mantel…if we’d been listening. All I could hear was May’s breathing and a louder sound coming from inside me, the pounding of my heart. It drowned out the world.

Tuesday’s Child is available from Class Act Books.

Icy Snow Blackstone is the pseudonym of Toni V.Sweeney. She is also the author of Jericho Road, Bargain with Lucifer, Brother Devil, and Gypsy Charm, romances all set in the South. Her paranormal romance The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover will also be released by Class Act Books later this year.

I just returned from attending the first annual Key West Mystery Writers fest. My friend and critique partner Mary Marvella and I drove down to Key West, it was a long trip and we stopped overnight both coming and going. Since we were traveling in my van, I did all the driving and MM rode shotgun. She manned the map and GPS, as a result, we arrived on time without too many setbacks.

We stopped often along the way to stretch our legs.

The weather was good until we hit the Florida Turnpike, that's when the monsoon started. For the next one hundred and fifty miles there was a steady downpour, but we keep going and finally drove out of it. We planned to spend the night in Ft. Lauderdale, but somehow we missed that exit and were in Miami before we realized it. So we stopped for the night on the southern side of the city.

We got a good night's sleep, after spending an hour or so working on our current projects and reading emails. We were up and on the move early.

Out goal was to arrive at the hotel by 3 pm and we pulled into the resort at five minutes til. Not bad, not bad at all.

We registered for our room and then registered for the Fest. The first thing on the agenda was a bar crawl starting on Duval Street, downtown Key West. The hotel provided a shuttle and we were off! The first stop was the Smoking Tuna Saloon. The opening ceremonies welcomed all the mystery writers to Key West and then Heather Graham joined the musician onstage and sang several songs. We met and mingled and had a great time. (Don't tell anyone, but MM and I left early, we only made it to two bars-we took the shuttle back to the hotel so we would be rested for the workshops early Saturday morning)
I enjoyed the panels and the best thing about it was they ran consecutively. You didn't have to choose which to attend. Don't you just hate it when you choose the wrong one and everyone tells you how great the one you didn't go to was? I know I do.

We met lots of new friends and sold some of our books. Key West was a blast, the food was amazing and the views were inspiring. I want to return to Key West and I definitely want to use it as a setting for one of my books. What about you, have you been to Key West? What did you like the best?

I love any kind of comedy, "I Love Lucy", "Laverne & Shirley", "Golden Girls", you name it...I love them.

Why, because they make me laugh!

In this day and age where all you see on the news is: terrorists, tragedy, killing and other horrible events...I need something happy, silly, okay, downright goofy to make me smile, laugh, and believe the world isn't a completely lost cause.

For me it's about the situation comedies...I mean really...who doesn't cringe at the voice of Lucy saying "I've got an idea."

Or any of the mad-capped Zany things Laverne and Shirley did.

How many problems were solved around that little kitchen table for Rose, Dorothy, Blanche, or Sophia, usually with cheesecake?

I write romantic comedies. The television shows mentioned above are all visual, but how far can you safely push the comedy in a book and have people get it? Romantic comedy, to me, is the ability to use your words to create the visual images the television does...and man is it hard. One wrong or misplaced word can totally screw up the visual effect you want to convey.

The following is from the opening scene of my debut book, Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aids:

“Oh for the love of God.” Bent over the tiny sink in the office restroom, Sabrina Thompson cupped cold water in her hands and splashed her lips.

Shocked, she stared into the mirror. Her reflection didn’t lie. Who’d have thought her skin could burn so badly without actually being on fire?

Of all the dumb-assed idiotic gimmicks. Why had paraffin wax, petroleum jelly, and jalapeno extract sounded harmless? Hindsight. Redder, plumper lips without lipstick seemed like a reasonable goal. She’d never expected this. If there were a Mick Jagger look-a-like contest, she’d count on a rejection. Even he wouldn’t want these lips.

“This is what I get for trusting the Internet.” Her lips vibrated like a kazoo when she spoke. The recipe probably had a tag for great April Fools pranks and some fifteen-year-old boy wrote it while he laughed his ass off. It crossed her mind to take a picture of the results to show what not to do.

Why today, of all days, to have an early morning meeting in the boss’s office? Thank God her boss was also her best friend. Sure, Kat would have questions about her lips. And yes, there’d be laughter at her expense, like that was something new.

Sabrina gently blotted her lips with a moist paper towel, and prayed she’d removed it all. She checked the makeup covering the scar on her right cheek, peeked out the bathroom door to be certain the coast was clear, and headed to Kat’s office. At least since she’d come in early, nobody was around to witness her humiliation.

Kat had been out of town, on the East Coast, something to do with her family. Other than a quick email to schedule this meeting, she hadn’t heard from her in over a week.

She stopped by the water cooler. Ice water in hand, she dropped into one of the ultra-modern leather chairs opposite Kat’s desk. Dunking her sore lips in the water, she made a mental note to run by her favorite consignment shop during her lunch to check out the Manolo’s that had just come in. Tina said they were her size. A perfect gift to herself for her promotion to Senior Editor. She admired the framed covers of past magazine issues lining the office. Kat made the magazine what it was today. She was proud of the periodical.

“Sabrina, right on time, as us—” Kat stopped mid-stride. “What the hell is wrong with your mouth? You look like a fish.”

Startled, she sloshed water on her skirt and tried to act casual as she wiped herself off. “The recipe didn’t mention possible swelling, only increased blood supply to the lips.” Better than what you do with yours, caught in her throat at Kat’s colorless expression. So much for hoping it wasn’t that bad.

Kat turned away, took boxes from the closet and began transferring files to them.

“What’s wrong?” Sabrina asked.

Kat didn’t respond.

“A bit early for spring cleaning, aren’t you?”

“In case I haven’t told you, I really appreciate your punctuality. Especially today.”

“What’s so special about today?” Something in Kat’s tone set her on edge, making her cautious of Kat’s behavior.

Wishing she were anywhere but here, Sabrina slid her tongue over her plump, burning lips. Mid-lick, her worst nightmare and hottest fantasy walked in, past her chair, and behind Kat’s desk. No. First her lips, then her job, now him. The man she’d dreamt of for years.

Trent Wellington.

Maybe if she pretended to be calm, cool, and collected, and ignored the fact she felt like a circus clown, he wouldn’t notice her or her enormous lips.

He winked and grinned at Kat, who merely nodded and went back to her files.

Struggling to set the cup on Kat’s desk, her vision swam, the desk weaving in and out of her reach. Her hands shook so badly she was sure to dump the rest of the water on herself. She folded her hands in her lap, knuckles white, and smiled as if it was any other day. She could do this. And maybe, she’d even pull this meeting off without thoroughly humiliating herself in front of him, again.

When he glanced her way, his brows shot up and his grin only added to her paranoid misery.

She wished someone would hurry up and say something because her jangled nerves had re-ignited the jalapeno oil.

Trent—not Kat—took the seat behind the desk.

Kat studied the carpet, blinking watery eyes.


Hopefully the imagery I wanted to come out in the opening scene came through??? And yet, how zany can a book be. My story has a couple of old ladies that I unleashed on the hero, Trent...Mitzi and Vera do a pretty good job of utterly humiliating him.

In book two (I'm almost done with revisions) they multiply and become the Blue-Haired goal in life is to become one of them in my old age.

I'd love to hear from you...if you read this book and your thoughts are on Mitzi and Vera.

Have a wonderful day.


I'm very pleased to announce that today and tomorrow, June 3rd and 4th, my novella BACK TO BITE YOU is free for Kindle! Please download it, and tell all your friends, too. :)

Here's a link to download it: 

or for the full link:

When vampire Mirabel Lane goes to Bayou Gavotte to hide out from the mobster she just dumped, the last thing she expects is to inherit a house. No, make that the second to last thing. What she really doesn’t expect is to fall for the previous owner’s gorgeous grandson.

When Gerry Kingsley goes to Bayou Gavotte to check out probable gold-digger and possible murderer Mirabel Lane, the last thing he expects is to fall in love with the irresistible twenty-something vampire.

No, what he really doesn’t expect is to unearth―once and for all―his family’s dark, convoluted past.