Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Picture Can Create a Story

What story is behind this beautiful picture? I wonder...
I love to use pictures in my novels. This is perfect for My Angel a historical that begins in the Dakotas and ends up in the Crimea. The hero is a Russian prince and the heroine is a gun toten' dreamer who was brought up in the rockies but wanted nothing more than to travel the world.

Did she get her wish? Hmmm....
One would have to read My Angel to discover the truth.
Look for My Angel the second book in my Lakota Pinkerton series which begins with Dakota's Bride.


My Angel by Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at: 
This is the 4th book in the Lakota/Pinkerton series
Dakota's Bride, My Angel, The Locket, The Talisman, and Forever His

Denver, 1893

A polished azure sky looked down on a day that vacillated between winter and spring--a day unable to make up its mind. Cool breezes lifted Angela Chamberlain's brand-new canary yellow skirt off the moisture-laden sidewalk. A blazing hot sun dried the puddles in the street left over from last night's deluge.

Unlike the day, Angela had no trouble making up her mind. Angela knew what she wanted out of life. She touched one finger to the sapphire earrings adorning her newly pierced ears.

She wanted adventure.

She had a terrible craving to see the world--to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to walk the Great Wall of China. She yearned to fly in a hot-air balloon high above the earth, or ride in a gondola in Venice. She wanted to fall in love with a man who was as brave and smart as her father and as dangerous as Devil Blackmoor.

Angela's wish list had no end.

Instead of adventure and romance, in three short weeks she'd be enrolled in Miss Somebody's finishing school for young ladies, where knowing which fork to use was more important than riding with the wind on her favorite horse, Kangee. A place where changing one's clothes three times or more each day was common practice.

Two days ago she'd told her father she didn't want to go.

And two days ago her father had told her she would learn to appreciate the schooling and that she was a very lucky young woman. He'd also promised her a trip to the continent for a graduation present.

A graduation present! She wanted to yell at him, but wisely kept her mouth shut. She wanted to travel now. Today. But more than anything, she didn't want to be confined to the stuffy drawing rooms in the East. Just like her father, she needed freedom. But her father meant to take the choice from her.

To gossip and chatter with rich society women was not her destiny. To know which wine was served with fish would not make her happy. This was his dream for her. Sam Chamberlain needed to look to his own heart and remember the choices he had made twenty-five years ago.

Her destiny was out there somewhere, waiting for her to snap it up and hold the moment close to her heart. She knew what she wanted, and to prove her point, she'd bought a camera and had the machine sent over to the hotel. She meant to photograph all her adventures, every nook and cranny, every monument, every intriguing person.

Across the street and down two blocks, Devil Blackmoor had just taken the saddle off his horse. He brushed the stallion's back, all the while petting the animal's sleek coat and crooning into the horse's ear. Mesmerized, she watched his hands and the gentle way he stroked the horse.

She wished she had her camera.

Devil Blackmoor commanded her attention. He symbolized everything a father cautioned his daughter to be wary of. Despite the warning, Devil's strong jaw, his powerful shoulders and the confident way he held himself beckoned to every feminine nerve in Angela's body.

Angela clutched her hands to her chest, willing her gaze to shift to something or someone who wouldn't shatter her senses and set her blood boiling. Helpless to control her wayward heart, she kept looking back at Devil. She noticed everything about him, the way he moved, the way his denim jeans clung to his legs and the way they molded to his backside. Devil laughed at something the bouncer from the saloon said, and when he smiled, one edge of his mouth tilted crookedly. Ange­la's heart swooned and fluttered, and she thought she might never breathe again.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Please Welcome Brian Young author of Blood Veins

Blood Veins a science fiction novel by Brian Young will be published on January 1st. I can hardly wait. I have read the book and I'm not biased or anything but I loved it and he set the sequel up perfectly.


"We will not survive this march. It will soon be freezing and we are not equipped for it," whined the prisoner walking besides Briah. "It is a sign from God. First, he releases these Conquerors from the foot of the mountain. Then, he brings the snow and ice while we are homeless without shelter and fire."

Briah looked at the man for the first time and immediately recognized him as a priest. His name was Brother Mable. Briah narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously.

"You should not speak of such things. This is not of God's doing, and you will scare the other people here."

His tone transformed instantly from one of shrill despondency to authoritative strength.

"Don't talk to me that way, poor girl. You are misguided; it is of God's doing. He is upset at us for embracing technologies. It is forbidden! I recognize you. You are one of the sisters that dwell in the mountain. You think you have the right to live closer to God, and you think you have the right to dig under his mountain. It is placed there for a reason. We dug too deep. It is you and your kinds' fault for influencing the King and angering the Creator! The city has fallen to the soulless heathen invaders and our gateway to the afterlife has been taken!"

The priest was raising his voice and other prisoners were beginning to take interest in their conversation.

Briah glanced around at the other prisoners and realized she might need protection from the guards based on some of the looks she was receiving.

"Be quiet you fool." She snapped at the priest. "You will draw the attention of the guards and they do not care what your status is. Neither do I."


Brian was born in Salem, Oregon and currently resides in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and daughter. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in English. He squeezes in time for writing in the early hours of the morning and during lunch breaks at work


A black wave of terror has passed over the thriving kingdom of Larista. Mysterious invaders have swept over the land, laying waste to everything in their path and leaving ghost towns in their wake. No one knows where they came from and no one knows their purpose.

Tasting nothing but defeat after defeat after, the light of hope is fading in the kingdom; but the guerilla forces resisting the invasion have received new information. The news has provided a small glimmer that could possibly spark into something more. Captain Maximus Rex leads a daring rescue mission deep in the Laristan forests to save the lone surviving member of the royal family.

Once freed, Prince Alexander Novelle, along with his friends and comrades, face a perilous journey deep behind enemy lines. Their destination is Castle Varanasi. The once proud Laristan capital, gateway to heaven and salvation, lines in ruins under Dolus occupation.

Mysterious assassins, underworld savages and renegade Dolus survivors stand between them and the answers they seek. What they find there will shatter their perceptions and lead to unknown perils none of them are ready to face.

Blog Tour
Begins January 2, 2012

January 2, Lisa Haselton's interviews and reviews
January 3rd, Dawn's Reading Nook
January 4th  The Character Connection,
January 5th The Muse
January 6th  Immortality and Beyond

January 9th  The Plot Thickens
January 10th  Reader Girls
January 11th  Stories of My Life
January 12th I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
January 13th  Work in Progress

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

tt1568346.jpgWent to see the movie last night with my family. Really liked Elizabeth's character such a strong woman despite all that she had to endure. There were some parts that the squeamish at heart probably won't like (I know I didn't) but I just closed my eyes. The movie was long but we didn't realize how long. It engaged me through its entirety.

I haven't read the book yet but as usual in the transition from the book to the movie there were some changes. To my ultra critical family the changes didn't really matter. The few changes that were made seemed to make scene transitions more fluid.

If you are wanting to see a movie this is a must see. I know I thought the movie was well done.

On another note, I am getting back to work on editing for the house (rogue phoenix press). And I'm trying to figure out what my next project will be. I need to read through Rebel Heart for its rerelease and I also need to finish Ghost Dance which is really the first book in the Lakota Pinkerton series.

I'm also trying to figure out which book to send on a goddessfish tour. Hmm...I'm leaning towards Safari Moon my one and only contemporary so far. Geez, when I sit down and start typing out what I need to do, I know I need to spend more quality time at my computer.

What are your plans for the new year?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Safari Moon by Christine Young writing as AnnChristine

Safari Moon
C. L. Kraemer
Excerpt Heat Level: 2
Book Heat Level: 2

Buy at:

Wanted: A professional wildlife photographer to take pictures in the Alaskan wilderness. Experience first hand a real safari moon. Call(555)381-1252 or send resumes to 2286 Main, Suite 2D Bend, Oregon.

Solo St. John was in the middle of an erotic dream about his buddy, Nyssa Harrington, when the click of his front door shutting brought him to instant alert mode. 

Solo looked up, caught a flashing glimpse of a good deal of naked flesh; long legs, perfectly rounded derriere, and a waist he could span with his hands. The intruder's long blond hair curled around her shoulders an inch above the ties of her bikini top.

Then he saw the skunk. He blinked twice.

This woman and the skunk were not the subject of his brief and very strange dream, a fantasy that made his mind speed along at sixty in a residential zone. This was someone he had never seen before and he resented the intrusion.

"Hello," she cooed seductively from his living room. "Will you come out and play?"

The skunk stuck a black and white head around the open door to his bedroom. A second later the animal turned and lifted his tail before disappearing into the living room.

Solo was out of bed and pulling on his jeans before the count of five. Yet in that short time, the lady in question, along with the skunk that was now exploring his fireplace hearth, had taken over his living room.

The lithe, supple blond sported an expensive camera, and all the while the lady in question babbled nonsense words.

"I'm willing, able, and eager." She posed for him, a pose meant to entice.

"You're insane?" He hesitated then said to the lady, "Get that animal out of here!"

"I read the ad in the newspaper for a wildlife photographer, and I wanted to be the first one here." She smiled and tugged on a leash which was connected to the skunk. "Juniper is my pet. She's deperfumed or whatever."


He had never, to his recollection, set eyes on this woman. Frozen stock-still in his bare feet between the bedroom and the living room of his rustic forest retreat in the hills outside Sisters, Oregon, Solo St. John was completely, utterly baffled.

After all, he had placed the ad in a few of the most widely distributed papers in Oregon. That was two days ago. Yesterday, having second thoughts and knowing he didn't want to train an assistant, he pulled it. Although none of this made sense, instinctively, he knew she told the truth. The ad was the cause of this phenomenon in his cabin.

"Come here and play." Posing seductively once again, she beckoned him with one slim index finger.

Why didn't he want to play? Wouldn't any normal, warm-blooded American male dream of waking up to an almost naked blond bombshell in his living room? Wouldn't that male want to play?

Why didn't he feel turned on and excited. Why didn't he fantasize about what would happen if he obeyed? All those lush curvaceous parts on display didn't interest him in the least.

He closed his eyes for a brief count of three. No, this wasn't a dream and the slap on the face he gave himself didn't cause the vision to disappear. He still had a good view of long, shapely legs and a bust line that threatened to pop the seams of her minuscule top.

"Lord." Only now, he realized he must have left his front door unlocked. He pulled his gaze from the fiasco on his hearth and reminded himself that a gentleman didn't stare.

"Smile." She brought the camera up and clicked a sideways snapshot of him before she stepped back and captured a print of the skunk. "You did want someone who could photograph wildlife. Didn't you?"

Solo raked a hand through short, ragged blond hair he knew had begun to stand on end. He didn't need this, and he was always hard pressed to put two and two together this late at night. He was a morning person, up before dawn. Even if he'd had all his wits about him, he wouldn't know how to politely rid himself of this strange intruder and her pet skunk.

He didn't want to admit, even to himself, but it looked like she was disrobing. Stripping was a better term. All she needed were a pair of tassels and music.

As he stepped forward in an attempt to stop her, she slipped off her top and twirling it around her index finger tossed it at him. The bikini bra flew past him and missed his nose by less than an inch. The bottoms landed squarely against his chest and slid down his body to land on his bare feet. Before he could reach her, she stood in front of him, all kinds of pale pink flesh revealed and waiting for him.


ISBN# 9780982002544
January 2009
Rogue Phoenix Press
Buy at:
154 pages
Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 cups

Solo St. John is looking for an assistant. After placing an ad in the local paper, he stops it. Solo's grandfather, Colonel, runs an ad of his own, in the hopes of helping his grandson find a wife.

Nyssa Harrington is Solo's best friend as well as the subject of his fantasies. After leaving New York for reasons she refuses to share, she is now living in the same city as Solo. She is happily engaged to Robert, who is a state Senator, but she has one longing...Solo.

Being best friends for the last ten years, Solo has taken Nyssa off on some of the wildest adventures. Nyssa has gone on these spontaneous expeditions and followed Solo simply because it gave her a chance to be with him. Because of the chaos Colonel has caused, Nyssa promises Solo one last adventure before her wedding. One tiny problem...there is a secret they have been keeping from each other, and it is about to be discovered in the wilderness of Alaska.

What a gorgeous setting for this story! From Oregon to Alaska, the fresh air and beauty leaps from the pages. I adore the relationship Solo and Nyssa share. Best friends with the potential to be more. It is a tale as old as time itself, yet so fresh and new, I kept reading just to find out the outcome. These two people are so confident until it comes to their feelings for one another. This story will bring laughter to your life, a tear to your eye, and joy to your heart.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Little Side Diversion

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

My favorite little knitting store is in Medford Oregon. We were supposed to drive south before Christmas but it didn't work out this year. I'm trying to make ski boarder hats. I had the right size circular needles for the hats but they were too long and the hat got twisted. I honestly can not visualize how that could possible happen but it did. I have been hunting for size 17 length 16 inches but haven't had any luck. My husband searched in Eugene and we looked in Salem--nothing. I used to teach a personal finance class and one of the projects we did was starting a business. I know, I know another diversions. Anyway one of the girls who took this class started a knitting store (hypothetically speaking). She told me about the store in Silverton. (Other wise I would not have known it existed). I called and hallelujah they had the needles.

We took our daughter and son-in-law with us and diverged to Silver Creek Falls. It's a gorgeous place in Oregon and a must to visit if you are anywhere close. It was freezing cold but sunny. Inside a little visitor store there was a map. Many people from all over the world had visited the Falls. No one however, from Albania. (My son-in-law was born in Albania and my daughter met him in Athens). To make a long story a wee bit shorter, he put a pin on the map showing he came from Albania.

Working on the end of my Highland tour. Last day is tomorrow. What a whirlwind but I definitely would recommend it as a way to get your name in cyberspace.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Taking A Day Off--Sort Of

Source: via Popoka on Pinterest

I haven't done much today except figure out new ways to advertise. I played with my granddaughter until she left for home. Seems pretty lazy to me. Yet--I'm reading the suggestions from my critique partner for my part of the April Fools Anthology The Twist. LOL I wrote in several scenes trying to repaint the antagonist but I guess it didn't work. I set him so much one way that I think only a bulldozer will change the impression he has made.

I do love these evil folks. And it doesn't make a difference whether or not they are male or female. In Dakota's Bride one of the antagonist was Madame Velvet Le Bon and boy was she evil. (and fun to write) I used to wonder why these evil characters were so much fun to me. There are no holds barred. I don't have to be politically correct. They can say, do, think and believe anything I want them to believe. They are after all the mustache twirling bad guy.

What do you like about evil characters?

Do they have a special place in a book?

Some authors write without ever using a protagonist to further their plot.

Not me! I love to hate the bad guy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Day With the Little Angels

Source: via Chris on Pinterest

The granddaughters are sweet sweet angels. We have had the wonderful opportunity to take care of the youngest one for two nights. And the oldest one has been here during the day. We think Ana speaks angel talk. Her uncle says he taught her Albanian. Who knows. I'm sure she knows what she is saying even though no one else does.

Abby know what just about every animal says. Her favorite is the duck, quack, quack. She is a "Duck" baby--both mother and father went to University of Oregon. She know how to raise up her arms and say "Touch down" so cute.

My sons first book Blood Veins went to the printer today as well as reviewers. The first of January--January second to be exact. He will be at Lias Haseltons blog

Hope everyone stops by and leaves a comment.
Blood Veins is a Science Fiction/Fantasy

Monday, December 19, 2011


Source: via Chris on Pinterest

White Lightning

I'm still working on edits to Highland Song and a new cover. I do believe I will give all my Highland books sexy new covers--something that screams highlands and braw highlanders. I have found a great site, one that will prove beneficial to this project.

Have so many must dos... where to start... or where to end. I've got thirty more pages of HS to read today. but I'm hoping to get a little farther.


"Don't do anything to, er, startle me," Lainie told him. "I don't want to have your death on my conscience." She paused. “I mean it.”

"You mean you don't want to have one more thing for Bertram to put on that wanted flyer," he corrected. "Can you find your way home from here?" he asked.

"Nay," she shook her head, hands trembling too much to use the dirk to shave this man. "I would be lost."

"What could I do to, er, startle you?" he asked, smiling.

"Touch me."

"I've been waiting a long time for you to ask," Slade said, lifting his hands from his thighs and letting them rest on her waist once more. His thumbs made gentle circles as he moved his hands lower to settle on her hips and then back.

"Nay, that's not what I mean," Lainie said, stepping back out of his reach. "Well, it is, but not that way. I dinna think ye should touch me when I'm holding this dirk so close to your neck," she said agitated.

"Don't confuse me," Slade told her.

"Then don't touch me."

Slade's entire body became still, his eyes narrowing almost as if he were angry at what she'd told him.

"You made a bargain, little fox. Or have you forgotten so soon?" he asked. "If my memory serves me right, I can touch you any time I please."

Lainie shook her head, her eyes closing for a moment.

"I haven't forgotten. Sometimes that is all I can think of. But in this case it might be in your best interest to show some self-control."

"All you can think about?"

"Aye," she said.
Old Cover

Possible couple for new cover

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Power and Beauty

This is breathtaking and makes one wonder at the forces of nature--the power to create and the power to destroy.

I thought I would blog a couple of days with storm posts.

If you could incorporate this photo into a story, how would you do it?

Is the storm a curse or a blessing?

If your hero/heroine were in this storm how would the forces of mother nature affect the outcome of their adventure?

I think for me the story would be set in the wild wild west and the hero/a handsome cowboy and the heroine his beautiful saloon girl--very in trouble by the mustache twirling villain--would find a way to escape the villains' evil clutches.

How about you?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Liquid Lightning--Power Unchained

Have any of you seen anything as fierce as this?
Someone took the picture so I'm guessing someone saw it. I would have been high-tailing it out of the area if I had any idea this would happen. I know some of you live in parts of the country where lightning is this explosive.

Liquid Lightning--is that anything like "grease lightning?" Utilize the power of the mind--stimulate creativity. Sit down in the chair and do it.

Highland song is the cumulation of my highland series. I am finishing it this week. Look in on the rogues angels blog check in day on Thursday and see if I finished it. LOL. I sure I have completed the edits. I have so much on my plate, I have to reach my goals.

Are goals like liquid lightning? Hmm... interesting thought.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Unleash The Power

The power of the sword or the power of the pen or even perhaps the power of mother nature, which is stronger? I have always loved pirate books. My first romance and the one that started my career in writing was Pirates Pleasure by Heather Graham. There is something so seemingly romantic about a good gentlemanly alpha pirate. Does that person really exist? Perhaps only in our wildest fantasies.

So what about a female pirate? Is this theme romantic? Maybe if she battles her male counterpart for dominance. But does she have to win? Probably not. Can they call it a draw. Most definitely. The alpha male I envision would want a strong woman as a soul mate. No cowering damsel in distress for my pirate fantasy.

What is your fantasy?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Inspiration--Where oh Where Are You?

Spaghetti and meatball cupcakes--Yum...

This holiday season has been hectic and fun. I've shopped and eaten tons of food. I've finished my April Fools Anthology to be published the April 1, 2012. It has never taken me as long to write a book as it has this one. I think it was because the characters were not talking to me. When they finally did it wasn't until the last chapter. And then wow--they blindsided me. I never planned for the ending. Then I had to go back and rework some of the scenes so the ending would be plausible.

Highland Song is now on my agenda. I have pulled the book up on my computer several times and still have not made it past page 1. To me, editing is like mending. I do hate to mend but I love to sew. I love to write books but I truly dislike the editing. Thank you for wonderful critique partners.

Maybe tomorrow I will find the missing inspiration to sit down and edit.

Wow! Looking on Pinterest at different April Fools Day jokes gave me ideas. Some I just might incorporate into my story.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Looking For a Good Story?

They say a picture paints a thousand words. When I saw this photo I thought of my friend who loves to write stories with elves, fairies, shape shifters and oh so many more delightful creatures. I see a story in this picture and isn't even about the wee folk.

This home could be a hut in the 12th century where an aged woman sits and stirs the food she will eat. The hero or heroine finds her and...

The picture could also be one where a murder takes place.

The tiny hut could be the home of some fantasy of yours.

What do you see in this photograph?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Plotting Bunnies vs. Garden Bunnies

Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

I learned something new today. I found out what a plotting bunny was--never heard the term before. So, you ask, how or when did I hear it? My son who is doing interviews for his first book Blood Veins. As it turned out I asked some of the writers loops and discovered the answer which I passed on to my son.

so here are some quotes from

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." --John Steinbeck

plot bunny is a story idea that refuses to go away until it is written. The term's origin is unknown but is known to predate NaNoWriMo. Because plot bunnies tend to multiply quickly, the term is thought to be related to the oft-quoted John Steinbeck quote about ideas and rabbits.
The NaNoWriMo forums offer several resources for the care and handling of plot bunnies. Unwanted bunnies can be put up for adoption in the Adoption Society forum--prior to this forum's creation in 2010, they were offered in the Plot Doctoring forum. Plot bunnies that the writer wants to write later can be left in the Plot Bunny Day Care Center in the NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul forum, where they can breed with the plot bunnies of other Wrimosand be cared for in the finest fashion.
The care and history of plot bunnies is described in detail in Ilea For's "Plot Bunny Fields Forever: A Study in Plot Bunny Care and Husbandry", transcribed by Leo Fair.
Despite the similarity in name, the plot bunny is not synonymous with the plot ninja.

I guess I need to look up plot ninja. Maybe we will see what that means tomorrow.

I know I have had a million plot bunnies. I also know I have stories that are half written. Are those plot bunnies too?

How about you. Do you have plot bunnies hiding somewhere waiting to be heard?
Do they make noises?
Garden bunnies make noises...I think...I am a city girl.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What Is This Story?

Source: via Chris on Pinterest

I love this pictures. I wish the caption told where it was taken but then it doesn't really matter. The sidewalk is beautiful, romantic, a bit lonely but very Christmas.

One could use this picture to begin a story that could be set anywhere. Oh my but I have many different scenarios for this scene.

What is the conflict? Maybe a young woman running away from a past she would like to forget and into what appears to be an uncertain future but perhaps one with much hope. Of course there would be a strong, dark and handsome alpha male waiting in the wings to give aid as well as hope and encouragement.

Perhaps  it is no longer Christmas Eve but the end of the holidays. What could have happened to have the heroine so desperate she had to leave the warm shelter of her home? Oh, does the mind play with this.

Could this be Steampunk? Could this really be set in the 1800's?
Or maybe Urban Fantasy where magic will play a part in the plot.
The sprit world could also be at play, you see a ghost on the bench?
Is that a faery I see in the tree--over there by the blue lights?
Ohh! A vampire just stepped from behind that tree--you see him--that tree on the left.

I digress but that is one of the things my students used to like about me. It was oh too easy for them to get me off topic. And when it came to Algebra they reveled in off topic.

So,what story lurks in this picture for you?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Girls Sleep Over

Great day today, my son drove north from Eugene with his baby girl to help pick out a tree. Everyone save Relis and Kari were here for the expedition. I stayed home, (I hate the cold) and cleaned house so we could put the tree up.

We spent the afternoon putting on lights and decorating the tree. It isn't as big as some we have had but it is probably at least ten feet tall. (my husband just told me it was eleven feet). We have had a few trees that were six-teen feet. It is a major effort to decorate but so much fun. I collect Santas, so after the tree was up we brought out all of my Santas. There really isn't enough room in the house for all of them.

We watched movies and my older granddaughter all of 2 years and 1 month is staying the night. We have a sleep over. Sometime both girls will be able to spend the night. They have so much fun playing, laughing and running around the house.

Half of my book tour is over. It has been fun and I think cost effective. I have been selling books like crazy, not just the Highland Honor book but all of my books. The wager was just released and it is selling almost as well as the tour book. It has a really great cover.

Still missing Relis though...

Have almost all of my Christmas shopping done.
How about all of you? How are you doing? Or are you one of those who has it finished in July?

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Wonderful Day with most of My Family

Source: via Emma on Pinterest

Shopping at Bridgeport, watching Ana laugh and enjoy life so much. Freezing in the shade and the sun. My youngest daughter is here from New York City. Where do you think it was coldest? Oregon of course. It was 30 degrees in Salem and can you believe it? a heat wave in NY 50 degrees today.

I cannot figure out how to dress for this cold weather. Ate lunch at California Pizza at least it was warm inside and thoughts of California tried to warm my cold fingers and toes. We found crazy, wonderful fun toys. Bought a wine glass to match the one that broke but discovered when I got home that it wasn't the right one. I loved the way the clerk looked at me when there was only one. I guess no one buys just one. Sigh...I will have to back and buy one more. I almost bought one of both. Should of, would of, could of.

Tomorrow family breakfast and Christmas tree cutting.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

So Much To Do So Little Time

Source: via Chris on Pinterest

Sometimes I feel as if I'm going in circles. So many Christmas things to take care of I don't know what to do first. If I were an organized person, I would make a list and I most likely would accomplish everything I need to do. But I'm not organized. Instead, I fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes I just sit and stare at the computer, thinking there is something I could do but I can't remember what it is. (I think that is what lists are for)

Check list:
1. Check my blog tour: done that a couple of times
2. Edit at least one scene in my April Fools Anthology: New working title The Twist and no I'm not talking about the old dance craze.
3. Read a chapter in Highland Song so Rouge Phoenix Press can publish it
4. Make Christmas cookies for friends (hmm... my husband usually does that but I kind of want to this year, retirement you know)
5. Watch granddaughter in pageant
6.  Finish needle point
7. Work on crazy ski boarder hats
8. Wrap presents
9. I think my Christmas shopping is finished
10. take a nap, I'm exhausted just writing this and I'm sure there are a few things I have forgotten

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Please Welcome Lori Toland

Ashlee Bennett has her priorities straight. Fighting demons is at the top of the list until she meets her sexy neighbor, Luke Byrne. Even though he is human, she can't stop dreaming about his buff body and sexy grin, until her dreams turn to nightmares.

Her world is turned upside down when Luke follows her one night but instead of being afraid, he is only more determined to stand beside her and fight. Ashlee knows she needs to keep her distance from Luke, not just to protect her virginity but her heart as well. But Luke may be the only one who can save her from the night, and her dreams.

Contest: Make sure you leave a comment.

The winner's choice of a $25 GC to either Amazon, AllRomanceEbooks or Loose Id for both blog host with most comments and one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

It’s all about location!
When I chose the backdrop for Soul Seduction, I went through a list of cities I had visited and knew fairly well. New York and DC came to mind but I wanted a different place, one I felt a deeper connection with when I visited. 
Liverpool is a beautiful city, rich with culture and history. When I traveled there, I fell in love with Albert Dock. We were just steps away from it at our hotel (I don’t like to impose on family when we visit). There were tons of museums and the people there were so friendly. We fell in love with a bar called Sam’s Bar, which has since closed. I believe he and his wife followed their daughter to the US after she fell in love with a man in the military. I hope all is well with them!
But there actually are apartments on Albert Dock, called The Collonades, just like in Soul Seduction. The old docks were refurbished and reopened in 1988 as a shopping and dining center, along with condos as Ashlee would call them, or flats as Luke would call them. 
I really recommend going to see this area. Besides being romantic, the sightseeing is out of this world. While I always focus on the relationship first in my books, the backdrop of Liverpool really does play into the scenes from Luke and Ashlee’s flats to the catacombs where thousands of souls are buried. 
And maybe against the gorgeous backdrop of Liverpool, Luke and Ashlee can find a happily ever after. 
Now for a recipe! My husband always talks about his mum’s scouse. I had to admit, it sounded delicious but an awful lot like my mom’s beef stew. So I asked her for the great Toland family recipe. And this was what she had to say: 
“Oi, I’m not giving you the family recipe unless I get a bottle of wine.”
So after much bribing, here is the recipe. 
Get a large pot.
Wash and chop potatoes, carrots, turnips (oh yuck but my mother-in-law or MIL likes them) or any root vegetables. Chop one of the pieces of potato finely so that this will thicken the stock. You can also add white cabbage, if you’d like. Throw them in the large pot.
Add meat. There are two kinds. You can add minced beef (ground beef for the US) or cut up steak. If using stew meat, realize you’re going to need extra time for the meat to tenderize. The better the cut of beef, the more tender. You can also do lamb, maybe chicken if you are adventurous. 
Add stock and herbs. For herbs, we recommend thyme and rosemary. I also recommend garlic.  
Bring to a boil and then simmer. After a while (an hour generally) skim the scum from the top. Okay, I have to admit, I had no idea what she was talking about because I never had scum on my stew. But I smiled and nodded. 
Number one rule: NO PEAS. Then it becomes a stew and not scouse. If you have to have peas, then my MIL says “You’re not part of my family.”
Simmer for a couple of hours. Once the beef is tender, you are done! The sauce should have thickened from the finely chopped potatoes. 
Now for the final touches. You can add the juice of pickled beets or malt vinegar. Some people love it with HP sauce or ketchup. Then salt and pepper to taste and dig in. 
I hope you enjoy my bringing a little taste of Liverpool to you.



“I can’t just leave,” I protested as the cool evening air hit me. “I came with a friend.”

He rounded on me, and I nearly ran into him. “You mean your boyfriend? Do you want to stay with him? Just say the word, Ash.”

The possessive tone in his voice ticked me off. “What the hell, Luke? I don’t even know you, and you’re acting like you fucking own me.” But even as I said the words, I wanted him to grab me, hold me, and take me however he wanted. My lust for him clouded my ability to say no.

“Ash,” he said gruffly, “all I think about is having you.” He moved forward as he spoke, and I stepped backward, keeping my distance until my back met a wall. I knew my control around him was shot to hell, and I couldn’t trust myself. He snaked his hand into my hair and roughly grabbed the strands. He angled my head so I couldn’t look away. If I were able to breathe, I would have hyperventilated.

“Don’t.” My plea sounded weak, and I doubted he even heard me.

“I can’t help myself,” he said and kissed me gently. It was the lightest of pressure on my lips, until he coaxed them apart. When my tongue met his, I was tentative at first, but Luke took charge and claimed my mouth.

I was strong enough to pull away, to tell him no and kick him in the nuts if he didn’t stop. But I didn’t want to. I let myself drown in his kisses. I was so wrapped up in what he was doing to me with his mouth, I barely noticed he had lifted me up and held me against the concrete wall.

He settled his hips between my legs and rocked them, pressing his cock against my clit. The only thing keeping him from fucking me was the thin barrier of our jeans. I spiraled higher, and my pussy clenched, desperate to have him inside me.

He pulled his lips away from mine, and my vision whited out. My clit pulsed faster and faster, and I accidentally banged the back of my head against the hard concrete wall as every muscle in my body tensed.

I shook from the intensity of my climax, my teeth grinding together. He leaned in and kissed me, claiming my mouth with his tongue again. Then he broke our kiss and whispered, “You are mine, Ash. Don’t doubt for a second that I will own you. All of you.”

I quivered, my lips parting, ready for more. I felt like we were frozen in time, and I would have spent forever there, memorizing his face.

CEO by day, erotic romance writer by night, Lori Toland lives in Orlando where the summers are hot but the romance between her characters is even hotter. Writing since the tender age of 13, Lori somehow finds time to play video games and watch movies while taking care of her beloved cats and a husband who will forever be her hero.