This was on Facebook earlier this week. I had a lot of fun doing it.

 

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.  Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think!
Pick your Artist: Bob Dylan
Are you a Male or a Female: JUST LIKE A WOMAN
Describe Yourself: ONLY A PAWN IN THEIR GAME
How do you feel: FOREVER YOUNG
Describe where you currently live: GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: BLACK DIAMOND BAY
Your Favorite form of Transportation: BLOWING IN THE WIND or LIKE A ROLLING STONE
Your Best Friend is: ABSOLUTELY SWEET MARIE
You and your best friends are: RAINY DAY WOMEN
What’s the weather like: A HARD RAIN’S GONNA FALL or HURRICANE
Favorite Time of Day: MEET ME IN THE MORNING
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: WHEN I PAINT MY MASTERPIECE
What is life to you: I SHALL BE FREE
Your last relationship: MR. TAMBOURINE MAN
Your fear: MONEY BLUES
What is the best advice you have to give: DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S ALL RIGHT
Thought for the day: ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE
How I would like to die: KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR
My soul’s present condition: BEYOND THE HORIZON
My motto: THE TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGING

Category: Music  Leave a Comment

Time for another of my pet peeves: receiving change when I make a cash purchase.

Many decades ago, when I worked in retail, I was taught to count back the change to the customer, starting with the coins.

Example: The individual made a $2.42 purchase and paid with a five dollar bill. Change was counted back like this:

  • “Forty-three, forty-four, forty-five,” while handing back three pennies.
  • “Fifty,” with a nickle.
  • “Seventy-five, three,” with two quarters.
  • “Four and five,” with two one-dollar bills.

The change went into the palm first.

That is not how it’s done these days, and it irks me. The cashier plops the bills on a person’s open palm, followed the the receipt, then the coins, which slide off all that paper.

Seriously? The old way is better.

I have had a Yahoo home page for years. When I sign onto my computer, up pops my horoscope, local weather, word of the day, and scores from my favorite sports teams. I can link to favorite sites from it–blogs, my local library, Amazon, Goodreads. It’s a great tool.

The only thing I don’t love about it is the ad. For some reason, for the entire time I’ve had this pages–at least fifteen years, if not more–I see an ad for an on-line dating service. I have no idea why. I’ve been happily married for over 25 years. But there they are: single men in my area. But what’s curious is that over the years, the photos have never changed. The same men are single. For over fifteen years.

Makes a woman wonder what’s wrong with these guys that they’re still available.

Sometimes my imagination runs rampant. At least two of men whose photos are in the ad look like someone with whom I would not want to share a bathroom.

Ever see an ad and draw conclusions about the models?

I took a break from promoting my book (see info to the right) to watch a movie with TV Stevie last night. We chose Saving Mr. Banks. Although I’d never seen Disney’s Mary Poppins as a child, I did have the Disney version of the book (bright pink cover), and my Chromos watched the motion picture incessantly when they were younger. I am familiar with the story.

TV Stevie and I liked the movie (Saving Mr. Banks) a lot. Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Paul Giamatti, and Colin Farrell were great in their roles. I thought the pacing was a bit slow at times, but it was okay.

One question was never answered, and the writer in me is plagued by that, even though it was a minor thing.

But the thing that haunted me throughout the movie was the similarity of P.L. Travers’ childhood (as portrayed in the movie) to that of Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  After reading about P.L. Travers life on Wikipedia and learning some of the poetic license used by the Saving Mr. Banks writers, I have to wonder if they were influenced by A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Or are dreaming, drunken Irish fathers a stereotype?

 

 

Category: Movies  Leave a Comment

Today is the realization of my lifelong ambition: I am a published author. What else is there to say?

How about this?

Alpha male werewolf Tokarz de Lobo Garnier will do anything for his headstrong human bride . . . except trust her. Shes a reporter, and shes on the trail of a story that could destroy the sanctuary his pack has enjoyed since the American Revolution. But shes in danger, and risking her safety goes against everything he believes. When the evil turns its sights on him, he must make a decision: the safety of his mate or the security of the pack he leads.

Or this?

“Compton’s debut is a gripping, sexy as hell, page turner of a werewolf novel not for the faint hearted!”

~NY Times Bestselling Author Maggie Shayne

Or this?

Please buy my book.

 

 

Category: Writing  One Comment

A few days ago, someone mentioned to my husband that the model on my book cover reminded her of Toby Keith.

MoonlightSerenade Final Cover with Quote

Funny thing about that, Kylie.

I listened to a lot of Toby Keith while writing Moonlight Serenade. I bought his entire backlist of CDs. If he was on TV, I taped the segment so I could study him. I even did something I’ve never done before: I joined an official fan club. The Toby Keith International Fan Club.

TK Member card

Yeah, hard to believe. I was a Road Warrior.

Then I learned Toby would be in concert  in my general area. I conned a friend into saying she would go, and bought tickets.

Ticket

Then, just for giggles, I entered a lottery for a backstage meet & greet. And won. Squee!

instructions

So I drove to the venue–several hours away–and reported to will call, where there was an envelope with my name on it.

Guest Pass

Inside the envelope were instructions and a name tag.

name badge

I reported to where I needed to be. I had my husband’s digital camera. I was nervous as all get out. A lot of other people had also won meet-and-greets, so the line was long. We really only had a minute with his Toby-ness, while one of his staff snapped a photo.

molly & toby july 2004

And what did I say? “Thank you for the music.”

His response: “That’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever told me.”

All of that said, the hero of Moonlight Serenade is not based on Toby Keith. For starters, I very much doubt Toby is a werewolf.

The motion picture Crazy Heart  thanked Toby Keith in the end credits for his help with the movie. I’m thanking Toby here for inspiring my muse.

This post is part of a blog tag, where writers share a bit about their writing process and their books, then tag three other authors to do the same.

Thanks, Patricia Patterson, for the tag!

What am I working on?

Three things (I’m a glutton for punishment!):

  • I’m revising the second book (And Jericho Burned) in my Toke Lobo & the Pack paranormal romantic suspense series.
  • Toke LoboI’m writing the third book (Daughter of the Moon) in the series.
  • I’m plotting a novella for an anthology my critique partners and I plan to self publish.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to think of it as paranormal “light”. Other than werewolf heroes, there isn’t much woo-woo going on. And my guys—the band—are inept in Keystone Kop-like manner, which injects a bit of humor. Paranormal romances these days seem overly dark and gritty. I say, why be gritty when you can be happy? My werewolves are essentially happy guys.

Why do I write what I do?

Why do I write werewolves?  I like the idea of alpha males–really alpha males–whose first priority is family. Nothing else matters to them. And I like the idea of strong women standing up to those guys and making them rethink outside their norm. And, of course, the women learn a thing or two about love, too.

Why do I write romance? Because life isn’t always easy, and sometimes a person needs a diversion. I think it’s good for readers to not only escape into the fantasy a romance novel provides, but also see how other people work through what life throws at them, even if it is fiction.

How does my writing process work?

I come up with an idea. I jot down a lot of notes—different sizes and colors of sticky notes are this writer’s best friend! I run ideas by my critique partners, who are the world’s best brainstorming team. I also do a lot of what I call “dream walking.” In that magic time between sleep and waking, my brain tends to think about my stories, and I often have “tiffanies” about plotting. I’ve learned to keep a pad of paper and pen next to the bed and have gotten quite good at scribbling in the dark. Eventually I open up a new Scrivener file and start outlining scenes. I love Scrivener, because it gives me the ability to rearrange scenes by simply dragging them to where I want them.

Now I’m tagging three more authors.

Nicki Greenwood

Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources. She found her passion in writing stories of romantic adventure, and combines that with her love of the environment. Her works have won several awards, including the Rebecca Eddy Memorial Contest. Her first book, EARTH, debuted in 2010 through The Wild Rose Press.

Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the arts, gardening, interior decorating, and trips to the local Renaissance Faire.

Contact Nicki at her website:

http://www.nickigreenwood.com

Email Nicki at:

nicki@nickigreenwood.com

Linda Mooney

Linda loves to write sensuously erotic romance with a fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction flair. Her technique is often described as being as visual as a motion picture or graphic novel.

A wife, mother, and retired Kindergarten and music teacher, she lives in a small south Texas town near the Gulf coast where she delves into alternate worlds filled with daring exploits, adventure, and intense love.

She has numerous best sellers, including 10 consecutive #1s. In 2009, she was named Whiskey Creek Press Torrid’s Author of the Year, and her book MY STRENGTH, MY POWER, MY LOVE was named the 2009 WCPT Book of the Year. In 2011, her book LORD OF THUNDER was named the Epic Ebook “Eppie” Award Winner for Best Erotic Sci-Fi Romance.

http://www.LindaMooney.com

 Kristina Mathews

Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.

Check them out next Monday (March 24) to learn more about their writing process and their books.
Category: Writing  6 Comments

Moonlight Serenade features a country band. Most of the musicians wear hats.

Toke Lobo

Somehow, while I was writing this book, I accumulated cowboy hats. Now, I like hats. I own quite a collection. But three cowboy hats?

hat-sun

This purple hat is crush-able for easy packing and is supposed to have magical sun-screening properties. I bought it before going to Reno in for the RWA conference in 2005, but I don’t think I’ve ever worn it.

hat-leather

This one is actually a leather “barn” hat. It reminds me of the hat worn by the model on the cover of Moonlight Serenade. I was very pleased to note the similarities, such as the braided band.

hat pink wool

This is my favorite. It’s wool. It’s pink. I think I bought this before going to Dallas for the 2004 RWA conference. I wore it, too. There may even be pictures of me in it floating around on the Internet. Oh, and I have matching pink leather gloves.

I think it’s very important for an author to have tools to put her in the frame of mind to write her story.  Hats are one of mine.

Moonlight Serenade, on sale, March 26, 2014.

 

MoonlightSerenade Final Cover with Quote

 

 

 

Since Baroness Orczy created The Scarlet Pimpernel shortly after the turn of the 20th century, the secret-identity hero has become a staple in fiction. Literature, comics, motion pictures, and television have all adopted the device with varying degrees of success.

 As a child of the late 1950′s, early 1960′s, and the Cold War, I grew up on televised versions of Superman, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and Batman. The dark rural nights of my childhood echoed with eerie laughter as my cousins, siblings, neighborhood children, and I re-enacted The Wonderful Word of Disney’s The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. Even then, I knew there is something very special, very romantic, about the hero who performed his good deeds in disguise.

I knew then, too, that the mask/glasses weren’t only to deflect the villain, but also because a true hero doesn’t need credit for his escapades. A true hero does the right thing because he is inherently good.

A made-for-TV version of The Scarlet Pimpernelstarring Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews intrigued me. The tension between the characters of Sir Percival Blakeney and Marguerite St. Just was exquisitely believable. I fell in love. I dashed out and bought the book. Here was a hero, a true, secret-identity guy, who risked his life to rescue the French aristocracy from the guillotine.

But Sir Percival Blakeney was much, much more than someone with a gift for theatrical make-up and derring-do. He also created a secret identity in which to live, one that very nearly cost him the love of his life.

When Warner Brothers resurrected Superman in the form of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, I was there. The spin was a little different on this updated version of my childhood hero, but one I could easily embrace. Dean Cain’s portrayal of Superman didn’t hurt, nor did Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane. And this incarnation of Lois was someone with whom I could identify. Even better, the sexual tension between the two characters was believable. And explosive. The first season of this series simply blew my mind.

I didn’t like it as much once Lois learned that Clark Kent was really Superman, and I really didn’t like it when Clark told Lois, “Clark is who I am, Superman is what I do.”

Wrong. Completely dead wrong.

The unique thing about Superman as opposed to other comic book superheroes is Superman–Kal-El–is the character and Clark Kent the disguise. Bruce Wayne became Batman, Peter Parker became Spiderman–even Percy Blakeney and Don Diego de la Vega became The Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro. Kal-El became Clark Kent. The Clark Kent identity was created to disguise the alien baby. The whole “mild-mannered-reporter” persona originated, exactly like the “fop” persona of Sir Percy Blakeney, in order to distract the everyday world from the true character.

Percy and Clark shed their disguises to do the right thing, using their inherent abilities as opposed to hiding behind masks (okay, Percy hid behind theatrical makeup), gadgets and nuclear mutations/lab accidents, etc. (It’s my understanding that this is also the Phantom’s m.o., but I’ve never read the comic.)

Neither the Scarlet Pimpernel nor Superman is motivated by revenge. Peter Parker wants to get back at the men who killed his uncle; Bruce Wayne wants the men who killed his parents.

What does Superman want? He has no hidden, personal agenda for helping.

Same with Blakeney. He is a wealthy man, a baronet, and could easily live a stress-free life. Indeed, in the original book, he claims he goes into revolution-ridden France to rescue those sentenced to death for ‘sport’. Pretty noble, if you ask me, when others in his time sported with dog/cock fights, fox hunts, wenching, and gambling.

Toke Lobo

So it’s not surprising that given my penchant for the secret-identity hero whose everyday life is the identity he sheds in order to be his heroic self, that my books feature characters of the same ilk. But Tokarz, Stoker, Restin, and the gang–er, pack–aren’t from mysterious planets or privileged societies. They’re down-home guys who value family above all else, patriots of the nation that granted sanctuary to their ancestors when the old country was awash in revolution.

Okay, things get a little hairy when the moon is full, but no one gets hurt–unless the core values of these heroes are threatened. Then there is no stopping a pack of crazed werewolves bent on revenge.

Moonlight Serenadeon sale March 26 from Soul Mate Publishing.

ISBN-13: 978-1-61935-388-6

MoonlightSerenade Final Cover with Quote

Okay, it’s March. The longest month of the year is over. Spring is on the calendar in just a week or two. There is daylight when I drive to work, and there is daylight when I drive home from work. So what’s the problem, you ask?

These negative temperatures are getting to me.

winterIt’s just too cold. The snow is never going to melt. I’m never going to thaw. And when it’s this cold, I’m filled with energy . . . in the form of static electricity. I can’t touch anything without getting multiple shocks, even when I try to “ground” myself by touching my foot to the baseboard register. I can see the sparks.

The first person who complains about the heat this summer is going to be served a generous piece of my mind.