Friday, 30 September 2011

These Girls Are Connected

Please welcome Bri Clark.

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Call me vain, conceded, stuck in the Middle Ages whatever but I love my breasts. We go way back to the fourth grade where I'd daily fight with my poor mother about wearing a bra. I'm not talking about a training bra either. I woke up one morning to a B. A B-cup at 10! Shortly after Aunt Flow began her monthly visits. I hate her she can leave anytime.

But not my girls.

Why this post on losing my cleavage? Well once in my life I seriously considered breast reduction surgery. At 5'10 and curvy I'm very well endowed. At that point in my life, I was too heavy up top among other places. After my fourth child, my back really took a beating and the weight that pulled on my shoulders from my chest left indentions in my skin from the straps. My grandmother actually has scarring.

So I researched what breast reduction meant at 23 years old. After a documentary, some before and after pictures and a scheduled then canceled consultation I decided to never have that surgery performed willingly. My mother did eventually get it and was very happy. However, she was herself in her 40's at the time. I won't go into details but I figure spending the first few years hating my chest then finally find a love for it I'm not going to choose to change 'em unless it's a life and death situation. Luckily, I haven't faced that and hope I don't. Instead I endeavored to lose weight by working out and strengthening my back and core.

Now I'll discuss the unforeseen culprit. All my life I've struggled with weight. I'm not thin--a size 10 is my goal. Actually, I feel that my goal to look like a blonde Jessica Rabbit is perfectly reasonable. In fact at the moment my 3 work out buddies are considered boot camp whores 'cause we bounce to each new trial or discounted membership. Thus, we come to the problem.

For 2 years, I have risen with these friends at odarkthirty and walked for one hour 5xs a week roughly, 20 miles a week. Then we started boot camps. Sigh. After pushups, running, core training, blah, blah, blah I have lost 20lbs and 4 inches across my chest. Yep you read correctly 4 inches across my freaking chest!

I'll pause for a moment so you too can mourn those four beautiful inches forever lost.


OK back to the problem...this wouldn't be so bad if I'd lost it in my middle too. NO! I've only lost an inch (since I've been counting) in my hips and waist. Alas, what to do? Eat the Costco Halloween candy I bought early; gorge on a gallon of ice cream? Which brings me to the ultimate question--I know one of you knows what the answer is--what can I eat that will go straight to my chest?

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If you want to continue to see my battle with my body or to check out the writing and industry, related topics I rant and sass about check me out here. Or you can find me on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks to all you ladies at 4SW for the rant. I love the blog. It is so nice to not be the only sassy mouth in the world.


Bri Clark is a real example of redemption and renewal. Growing penniless in the South, Bri learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She watched her mother work several jobs to care for their small family. Once her brother could fend for himself, Bri moved on to a series of bad choices including leaving school and living on her own. Rebelliousness was a strong understatement to describe those formative years. As a teenager, her wakeup call came from a fight with brass knuckles and a judge that gave her a choice of shaping up or spending time in jail. She took that opportunity and found a way to moved up from the streets. She ended up co-owning an extremely successful construction business. She lived the high life until the real estate crash when she lost everything. She moved west and found herself living with her husband and 4 kids in a 900 square foot apartment. She now fills her time, writing, blogging, leading a group of frugal shoppers and sharing her southern culture. Her unique background gives her writing a raw sensibility. She understands what it takes to overcome life's obstacles. She often tells friends, "I can do poor. I'm good at poor. It's prosperity that I'm not used to." Bri and her husband Chris live in Boise. Bri is known as the Belle of Boise for her true southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.

Bri boasts several positions in the publishing industry. An author, professional reviewer, blogger, and author platform consultant she enjoys all aspects of her career from the creation of story to the branding and marketing needed to make her books successful.

Her latest book is Glazier, a romantic fantasy adventure novel with espionage, genetic powers, underground bases and a ginger beauty with memory issues that take you on a ride that begins in Vermont and comes to a head in Egypt.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Chocolate Mice

Please help us welcome Larion Wills today.

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Yes, mice can be addicted to chocolate too. How do I know? That's my rant. This week I discovered, to my complete dismay, new tenants, uninvited, had moved in when I decided our guests deserved more than a trundle day bed to sleep in and took advantage of my hunking 200 pound grandson to do the furniture moving for me. Another one of my great ideas; it only cost me an antique kerosene lamp, but that's a separate rant. Our guest room is like I'm sure many of yours are, a general catch all. Whenever I have guests it takes a major cleaning and rearranging. You know the room, if you can't think where else to put it or you want it out of sight in a hurry, put it in there. We haven't had a guest since last Nov making it nearly a year since I'd opened the door to do more than add a box to rapidly growing stacks making the room look like a second hand stores back room. My plan did, however, take me into the nether regions to discover we'd been invaded. First alert: mouse ran across the floor when I opened the door. I'm not a screaming eeker type person, but I did groan. Second: we started moving all those boxes that had stacked up. I'm sure I had a reason for saving all those empty ones, really, and oh, that's where that went. Mouse tu--ummm--can I say that here? Well, their leavings were scattered all over the floor in the corners. Then we took the bed apart and found wrappers from the individual candies, empty, of course, that I'd put out for guests along with more 'leavings' on the under mattress. Yuck. A quick search confirmed, the dishes of chocolate that I hadn't paid too much attention to--not being my favorite brand and held for emergencies only when I run out of ding dongs, (such as a severe snow or rain storm that grounds me when the urge to imbibe hits) were empty. Not only that, the covered dish of M & Ms, the real emergency stash, had the lid off to the side and it was empty. They were stealing my chocolate! This means war.

Out go the poison baits and then the discovery that when you remove a mouse nest, sweep away all the M & Ms they moved to their stash, the little beasts get upset and start running around where they hadn't been running before, like across the living room when you're watching TV. They didn't need to come out before. They had all my chocolate to eat. I also discovered there are some finicky mice that won't eat certain types of bait even when you cover it with chocolate syrup. Yes, I was desperate. Well what else would I use for bait? As well as the poison not seeming to work, I was greatly disappointed in my two dogs, six year old Maltese. They never seemed to notice the new activities, not even when one of the brazen little devils perched on the edge of their water dish for a drink.

Off to the store for a new bait, but there's hope. The same day I put out the new bait, Guy, the larger of the two dogs, saw one. He didn't catch it, but it did put him on the hunt. I watched him for an hour sniffing and scratching at the door the mouse ran under, back to the spare room haven. He gave up, laid down, and out came the mouse. The race is on; he nails it. I'm so proud and then frustrated. He does not kill. Maybe kill isn't in a house dog's forte, but really, throwing it around, pouncing, throwing, and by now Nekko, the smaller dog figured out something is going on. Guy tosses, the mouse runs, they get it trapped behind the water dish. This is a good time to mention that Nekko is nearly blind. Still when the mouse ran out his side, he caught it--and tossed. He couldn't see where it landed and because he tossed, neither could Guy. The mouse ran back under the door. By the time I could get the door open for them to continue the chase, the mouse was, of course, nowhere in sight.

Is that the end of the story? Of course not. Grandson had left, husband wasn't home, and there's only me and the two dogs to deal with a mouse that has a death wish. After an hour of both of them sniffing and pawing at the door--I can't let them in there for the poison out--they lay down, and I swear not two minutes later, out comes the mouse. Do you suppose it needed a chocolate fit? Just stupid? Or maybe the first poison is slow acting and the thing has lost its mind. Whatever, I have to tell you I'm a bit on the squeamish side when it comes to exterminating any living creature, but when Guy nailed it again and Nekko joined him for the let's toss it around party, I couldn't take it anymore. I looked for the nearest easy to wield item that would serve as a weapon before they lost track of it and it dove under the door again. Snatching up a heavy handled screwdriver hubby hadn't put away, I thumped it in the head. Shudder. Shudder. Cringe. Okay, I tell myself, it had to be done. There was no sense torturing the prey. Hopefully the rest will eat the poison and save me the trauma of a quick dispatch, although the dogs did seem to have fun. Mice are cute little things, and I wouldn't mind sharing space with them if they weren't so messy, carried who knows what diseases, and DIDN'T steal my chocolate!

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Larriane AKA Larion Wills, two names one author, thousands of stories.


Eighteen and in deep trouble, Chase is given a choice, keep his mouth shut about the beating they gave him and leave town or go to prison for rape. Twelve years later he can’t leave the doubt alone. Was Tiffany pregnant? Discovering Tiffany didn’t lie, at least that time, he returned. Suffering the lengths they went to be rid of him, he knows what they’d do if they saw him. Only wanting to see the boy, from a distance, not cause trouble, he never expected to be allowed anywhere near the child. He gets a startling invitation to stay with disturbing results. Tiffany disappeared years before, both her parents are dead, all three under suspicious circumstances. The lone family survivor, Tiffany’s younger sister, inherited the family fortune and his son. Grateful to Sydney for the care she gives Ryan, fascinated by her, he can’t help seeing something is not right even before he’s told were there enough evidence, she’d be on trial for murder.


Books by Larion Wills:

Her two latest releases:


Monday, 26 September 2011

Shopping Cart Hit and Run

Where have all the nice people gone? Seriously, what the heck happened to the courteous, polite folks who say ‘excuse me’, ‘pardon moi’, ‘oh, I’m sorry’, and ‘let me get out of your way’?

Saturday I had to go to our local Walmart Super Center for groceries.

{whimper} Already having horrible flashbacks!

Anyway, it was packed in that store! I’m guessing many of the elderly received their SS checks because seniors were half of the crowd. People were racing through the parking lot, looking for someone to run over to get the nearest handicapped spots or next-to-the-door spaces. And don't even get me started on the twits who park wonky, taking up two parking places!

I took my 13-yr-old dau with me. She’s super about helping me gather all the things on the list, scratching them off, and reminding me about items I may’ve forgotten to write on said list. She took the cart from me and followed me throughout the store. We dodged people in the soup aisle, avoided collisions in the coffee-and-spices aisle, and managed to get through the front of the store where all the registers were packed. Why, after all that food shopping, was I going from one side of that huge store to the other? Simple really. Although I was finished with my grocery list, Walmart finds it necessary to put the freaking pet food on the opposite side of the darn building—a building, I might add, that’s the size of a warehouse!

People milled about like ants in an anthill kicked apart by a mean kid. I hate going out in public when it’s crowded like that because A) people are just plain rude, and B) my patience and temper are reeaalllyyy short. If someone is deliberately rude or mean my scathing sarcasm button gets pushed.

So with the dau pushing the buggy behind me, we started our trek across to the opposite side of the store. Dodge. Dodge. Scramble to the left. Jump to the right. Mutter ‘excuse me’ a hundred times only to be blatantly ignored—ignored by people who think it’s perfectly okay to stand in the middle of the aisles blocking traffic because they’re so important.

So once again I encounter another group in the middle of the walkway, people describing someone’s labor and delivery—in detail, I might add!—and I say, “Ahem, excuse us, please." They ignored us. [must not let them push button...must not let them push--damn.] "Ahem. EXCUSE ME!” [startled looks are thrown my way] Oh, lookie there. They moved!

The dau and I pop a wheelie to miss the kid throwing a fit next to a candy display. Ride the cart’s wheels to the left in an attempt to miss the chick who is incapable of walking and texting at the same time (heaven help her if someone gives her some bubble gum, too). Slam on the breaks for the dude who steps out in front of us from a big dolly of items to shelve. Squeal wheels to zigzag around the harried mother who has no idea how to discipline the four screaming brats who resemble ticked off Chimpanzees (look out! They're flinging poo!), and then...then...there’s a break in the crowd! We can get through! The sea of Walmart has parted!

Grab the cart and run like hell!

[insert sound of screeching tires and the aroma of burning rubber]

This very large woman does a burnout to get in front of us with her cart. I never knew anyone that large could move that fast. I halted so abruptly to keep from colliding with her my Sketcher Shape-Ups squealed on the tile. I threw my hand out to stop the dau from running into me with the buggy (still have a sore place on my calf muscle from the son ramming me with the cart in Dollar General). This woman didn’t say excuse me, screw you, or kiss my ass. Oh, no. She nearly creates a ten-buggy pile up to get in front of me so she can walk at a snail’s pace. No, I take that back. She walked so slowly a snail would’ve looked like it had left a trail of slime fire behind it as it blew past her freaking rude rump!

I think I wore the enamel off my teeth as I inched along behind her. I couldn’t get around her either. She went right down the middle of the aisle, an aisle that was jammed with one big display after another of shampoos, perfumes, new makeup displays, etc., so there was very li'l room for anyone to move, let alone if you were pushing a buggy. And it wasn’t just me who was annoyed as heck with her either. Other people waiting to cross the aisle to other corridors couldn’t get through until she passed. It was either step out and have the woman mow them over via steamroller from Slower Than Hell Town or wait fifteen minutes for her pass.

What’s worse is there was nothing wrong with her! She just didn't want to move any faster, period. She's pause and look at this item and that item... I could’ve understood it if she had been handicapped or had a cane, but to rudely rush in front of someone almost mowing over babies and old men with canes just to walk so slowly she almost stood still? It was like that jerk who waits to pull out into traffic, then when you get right up to them, he guns the gas and pulls out in front of you so that you have to stop on a dime. Then the jerk goes 5 mph (and I firmly believe these people are the pioneers of road rage).

I turned around to say something to my dau and she was gone.

Looking farther back, I saw her struggling to get our buggy unhooked from an old woman's electric shopping cart. She had rammed my dau with her cart! I kid you not! She smashed right into my dau, pushed our cart to the side, got our cart hooked on her electric buggy, and then nearly overturned our cart. I couldn't run to help her because Slower Than Hell Town was still in front of me, people choked the alternate routes around her, and there were shoppers behind me, waiting for movement like I was.

When my dau finally caught up to me, she couldn’t believe what happened. I had to laugh a li'l because she was so upset she sounded like a chicken trying to lay an egg. “Mom, she saw me and ran right into me on purpose to get through! She looked right at me and hit me with her cart! And she was an elderly lady! Aren’t elderly people supposed to be nice?”

Apparently, not when it’s SS week.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Cussing the Air Blue

Lately I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my email and Yahoo groups. I also have IE, or Internet Exploder as 4SW Marci calls it. I hate both my email provider and IE. It’s bad enough when IE freezes, but when my email account decides to glitch, refuses to attach files, or just doesn’t connect, I tend to cuss the air blue…and purple, and sometimes I get a lovely rainbow effect when I’m really on a roll.

The other day I couldn’t get into my email account. I figured when I switched to one of my alternate Yahoo emails that I forgot to tick the “stay logged in” button when I returned to my main account. After about twelve attempts to put my password in, the damn thing would NOT let me in. The log-in page kept giving me a message stating I was using the wrong user name and password.

What the hell???

So I thought maybe this was just the company’s way of getting me to change my password. I changed it, wrote it down, and logged in. Worked great. Besides, it’s a good idea to change your passwords once in a while due to hackers out there.

Darn. Forgot to do something in the alternate account. So I logged out and went back into my second most-used email. However, when I returned to my main email, know what happened? You guessed it. The log-in page kept telling me that I was using the wrong user name and password so I had to change my password again!

Later, I remembered I could promo on a particular loop that day, so for the third time, I went back into my alternate account. And for the third time of returning to the main email, it gave me the same damn message.

OMG! Did I ever come unglued! I cussed and ranted. I shouted at the laptop so loudly my cat ran and hid under the kitchen table. I cussed some more, put the laptop on the footstool and glared at the screen until it began to vibrate. Matter of fact, I think I had a coupla rainbows that shot out of my ass, too.

I swear there are times I think my email provider does this to me to piss me off on purpose!

When we were first moving into this house, I had all of my Internet info transferred to this address. My provider, email, everything was switched here and all ready to go, and I was assured nothing would cause any problems.


After we moved in—AFTER—I discover there was no DSL available in this area. Wait. I was assured DSL was in this area! We moved 8 miles closer to the provider’s base, but there is no Internet here???

All we had was phone service and that sucked too.

It took me three months to get it through the company’s collective consciousness that I did not want dial up at almost $30 a month, and that I did not want their expensive-as-hell wireless service either. Three months! Finally, I got so pissed dealing with bone-head reps that I had the landline disconnected and went with my current provider. Although it’s expensive too, it’s not as much as the other and the service is a lot better.

So my original provider allowed me to have my email account without having to pay for it yearly because of all the grief their dumbass reps put me through—not to mention bouncing me from one department to another and another and… The thing is, they’re still sticking it to me through all the email glitches and the loop problems. Why don’t I shift everything over to a new email provider? Simple. I have a minimum of 15 years of contacts, etc., in my email account that deals with my work and publishing in general. The idea of trying to switch all that over to a different email system scares the bejeezus out of me. With my luck I’d lose everything.

However, I’m open to suggestions for a new browser. A good friend of mine suggested Opera. I’ve looked at it but know very li’l about it. I use Chrome on my office machine. And I’ve never had any luck with Firefox, so I don’t really care for it.


***Btw writers and readers, visit me over at Savvy Authors and check out my commentary on how it seems porn fiction has slipped into erotic romances. If nothing else, you'll get a good laugh! Here's the link: And if you're not a member at Savvy Authors, you can still leave a comment; the mods will just have to approve it, but I will reply to you there once they do.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

My Life is Chaos

You think I'm exaggerating, of course. Most people do. I'm not. How else can you explain how a conversation that starts with hubs saying: "Honey, I think it's time to get a cell phone.", and ends with my living room torn apart, me without reliable Internet access for a month and the entire family descending on the old couch tearing it apart one slice of fabric and padding at a time. If not chaos, then what?

Bad star alignment?

Poor luck?

An elaborate practical joke?

I know it's not insufficient planning. Hubs plans everything out precisely. It isn't his fault the universe throws eight year olds, in-laws, and Microsoft operating systems at him willy-nilly.

Each step in the progression from ordering a cell phone to the current state of affairs happened so logically. Get the cell phone. Transfer the land line over, use it as the Internet hotspot for the house and shave fifty bucks off the phone/Internet bill. Logical.

Format the computers first. No sense hooking virus-riddled computers up to this new system. Logical. 250 Microsoft patches to download first. Wait....can't do that without the phone since there is no more Internet. Then the computers without a cd drive, the the one without a wifi capability, and the idea to move the big office table out of the corner....

Well. While we are moving furniture anyway, why not get the big screen TV and the Wii out of the bedroom finally. I'm all for that. I don't really need kids bouncing on the bed playing Wii at ungodly hours of the morning anyway. But then, the loom has to move from the living room to the basement, which means the old couch we no longer want has to go to make room for the loom. Logical.

That leaves us without a couch, but we can always take the stained fabric off the frame, cut down the arms and replace the padding with some see? This is how it happens. Every time. What the hell?

And I wake up one morning realizing I'm three weeks behind in edits, it's my turn to blog and no one has mowed the lawn in six weeks. And half way through the insanity, I had to find a part time job so we could pay the bills.

I thought at some point, all this was supposed to get easier. Maybe I should just give up, toss my inhibitions to the wind and dance naked in the moonlight; offer all this up to the god of chaos. At least I'd be having fun, and maybe, get in better shape....

Now, some art I drew, because it makes me happy, and happy is better than chaotic.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Where Do You Carry Your Wallet?

**Welcome today's guest, Stephy Smith.**

I had to break down and buy new underwear the other day. I made my choice, walked to the checkout stand and stood in line. I couldn't wait to get home and slip into one of the pretty little tuffs of material. Just something about new panties makes you feel all fresh and clean.

Piling my hair on the top of my head, I jumped in the tub and slathered up with baby oil. What a delight. I dried off and slipped into a pair of new black bikini panties. Soft, expandable little numbers I might add. My droopy ass was now in tight firm rolls instead of knee knockers. So what's a few lumps? I wear jeans anyway that will flatten the hills.

Long spaghetti tits swung just above the waistline as if they were Vanna White pointing out the correct letter. I pranced around the bathroom admiring the view for a few moments then dressed. I couldn't wait for the next need to pee! I drank tons of water, tea and coffee to forward the process... nothing!

Hours later, the need finally hit! Yes, oh yes I thought to myself. I perched on the thrown like a queen. All done and time to pull them up to experience the comfort of these little critters climbing across the hills and sinking into crevices excited me. The feel of the material of my new bloomers sliding up my legs, tantalized and molded cellulite as I tugged upward.

The pliable band clenched in my hands, sent tingles down my spine.

What the hell... my ring caught in the crotch.

Who put a pocket there and why? I re-read the package. It doesn't say anything about a frigging pocket! And it sure doesn't say what you are suppose to put in it. Am I wearing these things wrong side out? Were the panties made for a pole dancer? Is this where the men stuff the money?

Holy shit, are they for a cross dresser to stuff his dangling parts inside the pocket to hide them? Should I roll up the saggy lips and tuck them in to make a camel toe to be envious of? Do you braid the pubic hair before swimming and tuck the braids neatly inside so you don't have to rip that shit out before entering the pool?

Is there some kind of little vibrator you stuff in it to give you an all day orgasm? Do you carry extra Kotex in there? I don't have to worry about that any more, cancer cured that problem over twenty years ago. Is this a new place to hide your wallet for gravity possessed women? What the f***? Oh, hell! Has it been twenty years since I bought new underwear?

Blurb: Shawnee Turner left her home, family and friends to start a new life on a Colorado ranch. When the ranch sold, she was forced to return to her Texas hometown and the job she left behind. Emory Creek owned the sale barn. Anxious for his one true love to return he had to come up with a plan to convince her, he was the man for her.

Short excerpt:
Pool balls clanked together, Alan Jackson bellowed to be propped against the jukebox, while whoops and hollers filtered through the wooden door.
Shawnee and Cheyenne entered the dimness of the Lonely Steer Bar and Grill. They stepped to one side of the door and let their eyes adjust to the darkness then zigzagged through the crowded room to the bar.
“Two cola’s, hot wings, and an order of fries, if you got ‘em,” Shawnee called to the bartender. Shawnee slid a cola in front of Cheyenne.
Food in hand, they wove their way past pool tables, pinball games, and a dartboard to an empty table near the dance floor. A woman escorted her man in their direction, leaning one way and then the other toward them.
“Pick up,” Shawnee reached for her drink and food. Cheyenne followed suit until the intoxicated couple slithered past.
Cheyenne swiveled the straw in the glass. “I’m getting butterflies about tomorrow, Shaw.”
“If it makes things any better, I’m kinda nervous, too. At least we’ll be working together. It’s not like we haven’t been to a sale barn before,” Shawnee tilted her head to the couple shuffling their way to the dance floor.
“I know, just the thought of strange people, good-looking cowboys; you know I’m not comfortable around them anymore.” Cheyenne’s eyes scanned the room. Her last job consisted of working as an unsupervised vet tech.
Shawnee followed her gaze. “You know, most of these guys are wanna-be cowboys and not real ones. They’re gonna be different than the ones you’ll work around.”
“They’re still men. I haven’t been around men in so long they just make me a little jumpy.” Cheyenne glanced as the dance floor filled with couples.
Shawnee twisted to face the bar. A tall, dark-haired man headed in their direction. His slow, easy saunter and broad, muscled chest sent a strange quiver down her spine.
“Yeah, all these guys in here just want to rub belt buckles and have a good time.” She stared as the man’s back pockets tightened across his hips until he took a seat. Leaning across the table, she lowered her voice, “I wouldn’t mind unpacking his saddlebags.”

Visit Stephy's site to buy Shawnee's Creek and check out her other titles too.

Stephy Smith

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Argument, or OMG I hate Technology

A typical day in our household:

C1: "Yo-ou ca-an't make me!" *in a singing voice*
C2: "You just don't know how."
C1: "I Do too,"
C2: "Do not!"
C1: "Do too!"
C2: "Not!"
C1: "You're dumb. I don't want to do what you do."
C2: "You have to. Mom said!"
C1: "Your way is dumb."
C2: "Here, hold this. I'll show you."
C1: "Moo-oooom! Ow! No touching!!!! Stop it! I don't want---Stop poking me! MOM!"
Me: "Can't you two just get along?"
C2: "He's being dumb."
C1: "No, you are."
C2: "Am not!"
C1: "Are too!"
C2: "am not!"
C1: "R2"
C2: "Not, not not!!!"
C1: "2,2,2"
C2: *goes to sleep*
C1: "blue screen of death*
Me: *sighpout*

Those PC/Mac commercials are tame compared to the reality of trying to get them to really talk to one another. Seriously. My 11-yr-old daughter and 8-yr-old son get along better. There has to be a better way, but Bill and Steve just refuse to make things easy on the people actually using their technology, and that sucks ass. Just sayin'

(And don't even get me started on autocorrect. Do know my hubby texted me the other day and typed "Kissy face" I received "Judas face" I hope I'm not the only one that finds that rather freaky...)

And speaking of technology....the iPad app for Facebook doesn't give me an option to log out. I just posted to my family account about work. Good thing I already gave up my pen name identity....stupid app.....

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Obsession With Age

Sapphire Phelan visits with us today. Please give her a warm welcome.

What is this obsession about age? I mean, my 57th birthday just hit me September 11th and do you see me all in a titter about it? Well, okay, maybe a little.

Look at Hollywood, for example. They take an actor like Sean Connery who's close to retirement age and pair him up with this 20-30-something for a romantic age. I see that many times in movies. I rarely see an older actress and a younger man as romantic leads, or even a man and woman the same age. Excuse me?

With Baby Boomers at or close to Social Security age, they don't call themselves old but middle-aged. I even saw a new report on CBS Early Show where senior citizens are getting face lifts through plastic surgery. And don't get me started on Botox!

With creams for anti-aging of all kinds fighting for space with the original, Olay, on shelves at stores, and every day on some talk show there's an expert on aging talking about how to fight age like a valiant knight battling a terrible dragon, no wonder age is on our minds all the time. We're searching for the "magic bullet" to delay wrinkles from spiraling out of control on our faces and hands. Put an anti-aging label on a bottle, stick it on the shelf at the store, and off it flies.

I admit I use Olay. I listen to those "experts" and try to do it ala natural, buying and eating vegetables, fruits, green tea, and other foods jammed packed full of antioxidants and other things that are suppose to save me from becoming Granny from Beverly Hillbillies. Besides the fact, I am not just fighting off wrinkles, but memory loss, osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. There's so much to worry and think about getting old, it's no wonder I might welcome memory loss.

I dye my hair. But my husband doesn't. When I tell him we can get him Just for Men, an over-the-counter hair dye for the guys, he just looks at me like I am crazy or something. He tells me he's happy with the gray. Maybe we should be like him and say, "So what? Who cares?" Then again, what does he know? This is the man who freaks out if I put his age on his birthday cake.

Yes, I think that everybody today is obsessed about age. But I plan to try and not be so much. In fact, I pledged to . . . excuse me, but I got to go, as another expert on aging is on right now on Live With Regis and Kelly.

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My newest title is A Familiar Tangle With Hell, the sequel to Being Familiar With a Witch. Find it at Phaze Books. Tina isn't obsessed with age--she's immortal--but she is worried about Lucifer, demons, prophesy, and even a demon bunny. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt from the erotic urban fantasy.


Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal--well, as normal as it could be for an immortal Witch and her demon Familiar. Except there was another prophesy, one that laid claim that if Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it.

When Tina is stolen away, Charun, along with Jacokb the archangel, must race against time into the bowels of Hell to rescue her. But with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?


She leaned back against the rocky wall in the cave and heaved a sigh of relief.

"Who are you?" asked a sweet little voice.

Wary, for in Hell, a child could be deadly, Tina muttered another spell and lit up the cave to see who the voice belonged to. Startled, she saw a cute little white bunny, wiggling its fluffy tail.

What the--

"I am Fluffy. Who are you?" it asked, hopping closer.

Tina dropped into a crouch, putting out a hand. "I'm Tina."

Fluffy stopped. "I am hungry. So very hungry. May I munch on you?" It opened its mouth incredibly wide and revealed sharp, bloody fangs, with what looked like a couple of pieces of flesh caught between in the back.

Tina leaped to her feet. "No, you may not eat me."

The bunny from Hell cocked its head, puzzled. "Why not? Lucifer has never stopped me from doing it to other unlucky living mortals who ended up here." Its eyes darkened, going to a hell spawn gleam. "My master has even let me nibble on souls, too, though those do not taste as good as real flesh."

"Well, there it is! Your master would not like it if I ended up on your dinner plate a pile of bones."


"Because specifically, he had me brought to Hell to become the mother of his child."

The tiny fiend looked downcast. "Master would give me to demons to roast over a fire if I do a stupid thing and eat you." It looked up at her and Tina grew chilled as a parody of a cunning grin flitted across its mouth. Back on Earth real rabbits did not grin. "But once you give Master his child, then maybe he will be grateful to Fluffy because I take you to him." Fluffy stared up at her with big, round eyes. "I do not think he would want you roaming around Hell. Other demons may not be as smart as me and would go ahead and swallow you."

Visit Sapphire's website and other online places to find her:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Satellite, Bills, and Dumb Customer Service

Help us welcome Shaunna Wolf today. Who hasn't wanted to reach out and strangle someone? (g)

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I started out writing this about the twisted hand of fate, well, then I had to deal with a truly amazing satellite technician. So I thought I would share. We have all had to deal with flipping idiots on the other end of the phone or chat window, feel free to insert other f word for flipping. Please do.

Whatever home entertainment selection you have it costs $$$, big $$$, unless you just use Netflix or have a small channel package. We have the top package with our satellite provider with three movie channel packages. One we get for free as a customer loyalty gift for a year. So you do the math on what I pay for service. Is it too much to ask for service in return?

Six years ago when we had the dish installed, I loved their service. The guys came out the day after we moved into the house and got everything set up. I wish I had changed the way the people before us had the thing set up, but that is a different story. Having come from town and cable and all its hidden costs, the dish seemed like a gift from the gods.

Flash forward to this provider becoming more and more popular. We had a problem with the dish being blocked by a willow tree--I never expected the thing to be more than a large bush--I live in hot-as-hell- Texas after all--you know that commercial for the fancy water where everything is melting? Well that's about like it is here. Anyway, I had not used the dish mover option, so they came out to move the dish. (Note: this was in the winter so it wasn't blasting hot, the hot was for the tree, not the dish.)

The guy had tobacco juice running down his beard and smelled like he had not taken a bath in a month. I wanted to offer him use of my shower and deodorant, but then I would have had to sandblast my shower afterwards. The dish got moved, he checked that we had a signal, and he left. Thank god for air-freshener. That night: no signal. We go out and discover that he left the cables just flapping in the wind, and they had come undone from the one leading into the house. I had to anchor the cable to the eves as well.

Six months later enter the chat tech from the land of "I am so stupid it is a wonder my head doesn't implode from the 1.5 brain cells I have bouncing around in there trying to find each other." Make that 2 chat techs a level 1 and a level 2. Twiddledee and Twiddledum anyone?

Note: they send you the chat text in an e-mail. I have edited to remove info like account pin etc., but this is basically how it went.

Ivan: How can I help you today?

Shawn: I am having a problem with my remote. The RF signal for TV 2 is not working right, we have to stand right in front of the receiver for it to work. The infrared part is working fine, it turns the TV on and off and controls the volume etc. but it is like it doesn't have any range. We have replaced the batteries, I tried two different brand new sets and it didn't make a difference. I also used the online troubleshooting guide and tried the steps listed there, nothing worked. If I stand right in front of the receiver it will work sometimes.

Ivan: OK, we will fix this for you today. Can I have your phone number please?

Shawn: I give him the phone number and then he asks for the account pin and billing address. I give him all that info.

Ivan: Ok, we will fix this for you today. Can you please describe to me fully the problem you are experiencing?


Shawn: I cut and paste the stuff I put in earlier.

Ivan: Ok, we will fix this for you today. (Again: really?) So I understand you are having a problem with your remote. Can you please tell me when did you last replace the batteries?

OMG. Really? Are you kidding me? Did I not just tell this guy twice that I had replaced the batteries twice?

Shawn: I replaced the batteries, twice. I also did all the online troubleshooting steps. It is still not working right.

Ivan: (who is now in my mind Ivan-the-Stupid) Ok, we need to address your remote that is why it is not working.

Really? That is the second thing the online troubleshooting asks you to do.

Shawn: I've done that already. It didn't help.

Ivan: Ok, not to worry, we well fix this for you today. Can you please go to the system info screen and give me the number in the white box in the middle of the screen, it starts with R00.

Shawn: The remote is not working correctly, I can't get to that screen, and the TV is now stuck on the weather channel.

Ivan: The system info button is on the left side of the remote.

Are you kidding me???

Shawn: I know where the button is. The remote is not working. That's why I called. I cannot get to the screen--or anywhere else for that matter. The receiver is on the weather channel, and I can't get it to let me change the channels!

Ivan: (you guessed it) Ok not to worry we . . . . I will look up the info I need on your account. Can I have your phone number, and the billing address, then I will need your security pin?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh--I fell like that credit card ad where the guy keeps saying hello my name is Peggy.

Shawn: I repeat all the info I already gave him, then he says just a minute. He comes back in about three minutes.

Ivan: Good news, I have found the problem. You have voluntarily disconnected your services due to past due bills; this is why your remote will not turn on your receiver. (He then goes into how much it will cost to reconnect my service once I have paid the past due bills.)

I am feeling the burning edges of murderous rage creeping up past my eyeballs. I want to reach through the screen and throttle this guy. I want to beat him with the non-working remote.

Shawn: Say what? We have not disconnected our service, and we are not behind on our bill. We have never even had a late payment--THE DISH IS ON--WE HAVE SERVICE! IT IS THE REMOTE THAT IS NOT WORKING, NOT OUR SERVICE.

Ivan: Please check your caps lock key, I think you must have hit it. I am looking at your account, and it says your service was disconnected in 2004, voluntarily when you got behind on your bill.

WTF? OMG? I now have a headache. Does this guy not know it is 2011? Does he really think I waited from 2004 to 2011 to call and pretend I was having a problem? What about the installation in 2005? What about the dish move in 2010, what about the new remotes we have ordered over the past 6 years?

Shawn: We didn't even have your service in 2004. I am about to cancel my service right now and switch to your competitor. Please get someone who knows what they are talking about.

Ivan: I will get you a service tech 2, but I need some info before I send you to him. (And you guessed it--we go around about the R00 number, and he asks for all the account id info again.)

Another tech comes on the chat window.

Mike3: I understand you think you are having a problem with your receiver?

Ahhhhhhhh, I think my hair is on fire my head is so hot.

Shawn: I don't THINK I have a problem with my receiver, I know that I DO NOT have a problem with my receiver. I am having a problem with the remote. (I paste in the stuff from the top about the problem)

Mike3: I need the R00 number to make sure we have the right account, because I am showing you have a delinquent account.

Shawn: Ok, look. I do not have a delinquent account. Period. I didn't have your service in 2004 or even live here then. The problem is with the remote. I have said that. And since the remote is not working right, I can't get to the R00 number. I have given you our name and address. Is the name the same on the account you are looking at?

Mike3: Let me check the name on the account.

I wait a few moments then he comes back to the chat window.

Mike3: We will fix your remote problem today. Please walk up to your TV 2 and the receiver. Push the system info button and then the sat button and then record. (He's telling me how to address the remote on a remote that does not work.)

Shawn: Did you find the right account info?

Mike3: Have you followed my instructions to fix your remote?

OM freaking G! I scream fuck fuck fuck several times, so often and loud that my daughter comes out of the office just to be sure I am not going to explode all over the living room and leave a mess she will have to clean up afterwards.

Shawn: I've been through all the troubleshooting steps. I've replaced the batteries, I've tried to readdress the remote--IT DOESN'T WORK. We have equipment insurance. Did you find the correct account?

I am now more worried about them thinking I need to pay them 400 plus dollars on an account that is not mine or has nothing to do with me than my stupid remote not working.

Mike3: Since you cannot stand in front of your receiver to fix this we will have to send you a new remote, can I have your phone number and address please, and I will need your account pin for security purposes . . .

My new remote will arrive in 3 to 5 business days since it will be shipped 2 day blue express and they assured me that it was a pleasure dealing with me. Did I ever find out if they had the right account? I had to ask the guy three more times if they now had the right account. He simply said yes, no apology--nothing.

I think that by the time I get the new remote, I will have the competitor's system installed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Jezren Darksky left Earth behind for the lure of the stars, and to escape her life on the streets. Accepted into the renowned Night Bird Warrior's Guild she never expects to find the love of her life in the form of an alien man and then lose him. After chasing three fugitives across ten worlds, and nearly losing her life in the process, Jezren returns to the Guild Home world to mark her husband's death. Lonely and guilt-ridden, Jezren makes a discovery in the arms of another non-human man that will change her life forever.


"You shouldn't have tried to touch my sword. If my hand hadn't been on it..." She poured another shot of whiskey and tossed it into the fire. The flames flared brightly, lapping up the alcohol in a quick burst.

He reached with a serpent's speed and caught her hand. "I didn't want to touch your sword..." He cleared his throat and grasped her hand tighter. "I have to touch you," he whispered.

Jezren made to pull her hand out of his. He touched his lips to the back of her hand. Very slowly, his tongue slid over her flesh, long, thin at the tip getting thicker near his lips. Like his lips, it was a lighter shade of blue than the rest of him and cat rough. Jezren sucked in a breath, quick, hard-she made a small attempt to take her hand away.

He continued to stare at her, his gaze locked with hers. His ice-blue eyes now looked tinged with purple. Whiskey fire burned through her insides and streaked into her loins when he wound his tongue around one of her fingers, not just once, but in two blue swirls. He slowly pulled it back into his mouth-sliding it off one finger before circling the next one.

Jezren shivered, sure her sudden desire would be soaking the chair seat soon. Using her free hand, she took a sip of the costly amber liquid in the small bottle. She'd already had too much, not so much she couldn't think for herself, but enough that he, with his seductive tongue, had won her will.

"Perhaps," she whispered, "I should know your name." He continued to wrap and unwrap his tongue around her fingers. He turned her arm and pushed her sleeve up so he could lick the inside of her arm.

"Names, what does a name really matter?" he asked without stopping his attention to her arm.

She gasped, aware of others in the room staring at them even though she'd closed her eyes, the heat growing between her legs hotter already than the fire in the hearth. When he stroked his nails down the now sensitive flesh of her arm, she sat up straight and stared directly at him. She reached to touch his braid-her fingers meeting with smooth strands of silkiness. He laughed in a soft way that sung on her nerves and made her squeeze her legs together in self-pleasure. She could no longer sit still.

Shifting positions, she pushed the bottle to the side and leaned toward him. "I have a room," she whispered.

Catching her by surprise, he pushed his mouth against hers. His tongue rasped across her lips, probing, but waiting for her permission. She parted her lips and let her tongue touch his. His mouth tasted sweet, overlain with the smooth touch of the whiskey. Only by pushing against his chest with her palm could she make herself move back from him.

A flash of laughter came to her, Din'arik's. Jezren had repeated an oft said thing among the humans at the academy-Din'arik resembled a demon-who knew what he might expect from a human woman or what his "thing" might be like. So many of the human women who came to the academy were such proper prudes. Among the students, there had been two groups-those who stayed with their own kind, and those who deliberately sought out other races for both friendship and partnership. Jezren had almost learned the hard way that not all races were compatible with each other-barbs being the least of it.

His musical laughter came again, and at last his deep voice, shaking, almost unsure. "Lady, you will enjoy me-I have been with human women before," he told her. His tongue went around her fingers again, promising pleasure in other places.

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Friday, 9 September 2011

Bank Fees, Paper, School, and Waste

I had great plans for this week, but, alas, even with Lily at school, my schedule still wasn’t my own. (sigh) It’s how it is some weeks. (Notice I didn’t say “days.”) I had plans for more humor. Instead, I’m bitching again. Hopefully, with a little humor this fine Friday morning. (g)

This post was meant to be coupled with this one. It’s a nice little addendum, I think. Although the way my thoughts are going right now, humor has fled the vicinity. I apologize in advance.

So, I’ve cleaned out a lot of excess paper--in every bank statement was an extra page, sometimes with nothing on it except my account number, of course. That means I have to shred it, right? (Another thing to shred. Yay! I’m so excited. snort) Amongst all of this extra, unneeded paper was a list of fees. As I do only what I have to at the bank, I’ve never paid much attention to the fees beyond the monthly one. However, after seeing it more than a few times, I started to take notice of them. Boy, was I surprised. (I shouldn’t have been knowing what I do about banks, but I was.)

Beyond the monthly fee, of which you have to keep a balance of $1 million a day in order to avoid (yes, I’m exaggerating, but it’s not far from the truth some months), if you bring in rolls of coins, they will charge you fifteen cents/roll to deposit. (D.E.P.O.S.I.T. One would think they’d glad to get your money, but no we pay for the privilege to keep our money there.)If you deposit checks at the teller, it’s $2. Funds transfers are $25 each, or I would use them for my authors, editors, etc. In the last statement, another page was included stating that they had made an error and a policy was changing. The monthly fee was no longer waived if you had automatic deposits. (Read: too many of you have this, and we aren’t making enough money off of you even with all of the other fees, one of which is for breathing in our presence. Okay, maybe not the last one, but it sure seems like it.)

Just another way to squeeze anyone who uses a bank. And how can you possibly do business, or even live, without using one? This after we bailed them out. (Whatever happened to that money, anyway? Supposedly, a good portion of it was paid back, but it hasn’t seemed to make a difference in our every day lives, has it.)

Now, this paper is everywhere. I spend half my time getting rid of paper I don’t want. The banks and credit card companies are constantly sending me offers for things I’m not interested in. Paper of which I have to shred at least part of it because, call me paranoid, but I won’t throw a credit card application with my name on it or that invitation number. It has to be shredded. I seem to get at least one of these every day the post office delivers. How many trees die for these stupid offers? If I want another credit card, I will find it myself. Oh, and I don’t ever use those advance checks they send with every credit card statement. More money spent; more trees cut down; more paper I have to shred; more wasted time.

It’s a vicious cycle.

And now the school is in on it. The first day Lily came home, there was so much paper my dining room table, which was clean and lovely, is now full of paper that I don’t know what to do with. Most of it will end up in the recycle bin, some of it I need, but really, you have to send home that much paper? I have to sign how many forms? And one of the forms says that parent and child agrees to the dress code, the behavioral code, the discrimination code, etc., without including all of these codes. Well, yes, I got it last year. I don’t need the whole packet again, right? Sure, but has any of it changed? Or is it all the same? And, if you want to save paper, why not include a link to the packet so I can review it online? Honestly, I don’t know if I kept it. (There’s too much paper in my house as it is. I don’t need more!) I’m not signing anything until I read it.

Anyone else drowning in paper, tired of bank fees, and just want the waste to stop besides me?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wish lists and Freedom

This is a rant. It is not going to be politically correct. It might even offend a few of you, so don't say I didn't warn you. (grin)

This is not really about politics, although it has become political, like so many other things. This is about stupidity. This is about the sad, litigious state of our nation. And I'm pretty tired of it.

This latest one carries some good and some bad, as you will see.

Today was Lily's first day of school. A few months ago, the school had posted teacher's "wish lists" for supplies that parents could purchase if they felt inclined or not. It was a wish list, not a "you must buy this" list. None of the teachers have ever made any parent feel like they were awful if they couldn't provide anything. It's understood, at least in our community, that some will be able to do it, and others won't. And I think all of us agree that the teachers shouldn't have to buy school supplies. (Where do our tax dollars go anyway? And that's another rant.)

Now, I do agree that it is wrong to require parents to pay for public education, to require parents to raise money for sports, music, the arts, etc, or the kids are penalized or threatened when the family just can't afford it. I also don't think we should have to buy school supplies like this, but I will shell out that $10-20 for them. (And, really, we pay taxes, so why are we being asked again? Where the hell did the money we paid in taxes go?) There is no question it is wrong, but going the other way is just as bad.

The other way? What other way? Well, because of a lawsuit, schools can't even tell the parents what they need and let the parents decide whether to raise the money, donate, or not. I'm not talking about for sports either. This is for anything.

That's right. Those wish lists (not a "required list") with things like erasers, Kleenex, pencils, crayons, and so on, had to be removed because it violated a court ruling. A teacher, or school, can't ask for volunteers because it violates this ruling. My father-in-law, a track coach, can't hand out the uniforms unless they are paid for by the student/student's family, but he can't tell the student or their family this. Now, if the parent asks to who to make the check out, he can tell them that. Nothing else.

So, um, so, um... WTF?

When I was in high school, pre-budgets woes--well, not really, there have ever been budget woes in CA schools as far as I can remember--if we wanted to wear the team swim suit, we had to buy it. It wasn't cheap either (usually about $60 for the girls and $15 for the boys. Oh, the inequity!). I don't think everyone wore one, but I honestly don't remember. Our parents weren't asked for school supplies; our schools were better; we had more kids per classroom; we had ESL students, but not separate classrooms or curriculum for them; there was no such thing as a teacher's aide; our teachers did music in the classroom as well as art; the kids were better behaved.

What the hell happened?

And I have digressed. This isn't about the state of the schools. This is about the inability to communicate. Last year, I remember Lily's school sending home this letter talking about how the school relies on every family to give the school $250/child attending that school to help it continue to do what it does. It didn't require it, but it did lay the guilt trip on pretty heavy.

It succeeded in pissing me off. (Guilt trips don't work well with me.) I donated what I could when I felt I could, and if I thought the program was worth donating too. Some programs I didn't agree with, so I didn't donate. And I didn't donate $250. We pay enough in property taxes as it is. It should be enough to cover the school. They'd also passed a tax that increased our property taxes to pay for the music and arts programs in our school. I voted against it. I would have supported it, but the measure did not protect the monies already slated toward these programs. Instead, we were just taxed more. You know what will happen to the monies that were originally set aside for these programs?


What do you think happened to those funds? No one's telling, but I can guess.

Again, I digress.

It reminds me of the one time I took the witness stand. I was one of the few bystanders, possibly the only one, who was willing to testify against a pilot who buzzed the Santa Monica Pier. After spending hours waiting to do nothing, I understand, but as a citizen, it was my duty to do so. So, wasted time or not, it was worth it. The pilot was convicted, as he should have been.

Anyway, back to topic, the defense lawyer got the judge to agree that the witnesses called to the stand could not say anything that would indicate we thought we under a terrorist attack, compare it to 9/11, and so on. This might sway the jurors and unduly play on their sympathies.

Um, I can honestly say that when I stood on that beach and watched the jet's wings miss the tops of the lamps by less than 10 feet, miss the Ferris wheel by less than 20 feet, and come up over the end of the pier with maybe 6 feet to spare when it pulled up, I did wonder if we were being attacked.

Top it off with the fact that the plane had no markings on it, but there was no question it was a fighter jet, of course I wondered if this was a terrorist attack. I'm sure all of the screaming people that scattered on the pier thought so too. Yet the judge agreed with the defense lawyer. When I testified, I couldn't use any "inflammatory language" to "sway the jurors."

In short, I couldn't tell them what I was really thinking at the time. How is that justice? Not that I wasn't able to get around this. I alluded to 9/11 without actually saying it, but still? I had to do that to get my point across?

For me, this is similar. Require it? No. Allow the schools to put it out there and leave it up to the community to decide? Yes. Penalize those who can't? No. Reward those who do? No.

But when, and where, does this madness stop? There are so many limits to what we can say and do anymore you have to wonder how free we are.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Things that really should be four-letter words

Some things in life really should be four-letter words comprised mainly of consonants. That way, when I say them (internally or orally), they come out exactly how I feel about them. (grin) You would think that for someone who rants once a month, this would be easy. Oddly enough, at first, it was hard to pick them, but after a few came to mind, they rolled fast and furious. My inner bitch didn't fail me. (grin)

  1. Nylons--these were the first torture devices that came to mind. I can't remember the last time I wore nylons. That's a good thing, because I'm sure I'd be spouting a lot of four-letter words if I still had to wear them. (g) And when they run, I'd just yell, "Nyln! Nyln! Nyln!" and run away. (Forgive me for the bad pun. I think I'm a bit sleep-deprived.)
  2. Cockroaches--there are some people who like them (entomologist). These disgusting bugs have a purpose in the they say. The only thing I've found them to be useful for is seeing how many four-letter words I can say in sequence if I encounter one. They should be known as crks or just, "Ahhh!"
  3. Cleaning--some of you may love to clean, but I'm not a fan. I do it because it has to be done. However, while doing it, I'm thinking of everything else, anything else, that I could be doing. (g) If I had my druthers, I'd never have to say anything associated with this word. (g)
  4. Stupid people--I already have words for them already. None of them are four-letter, but they do have the same effect. (grin) Matter of fact, I was rear-ended the other day at an all-way stop. Fortunately, he hit me going only a couple miles an hour. No car damage, no body damage. Lucky, but how do you hit someone while in a line like that? Only one answer: stupid. Too bad Darwin was sleeping. (Gah, I'm so evil sometimes!)
  5. High heels--some of you love them, but me? I don't. I wear them rarely. Combine heels with nylons, and you have my own private hell. LOL A four-letter word? You bet.
  6. Spam--Wait! That is already a four-letter word. Well-deserved too. (g)
  7. Junk mail--My house is under siege from junk mail. I spend way too much time getting rid of this excess of unwanted paper. All those trees cut down for paper I don't want. Wouldn't it be nice if we could take that junk mail and just dump it on the companies who send it to us? In particular, the CEO's front yard. Oooo... We could TP their lawns with the shredded remains and turn the sprinklers on. (g) Perhaps it would take them as long to clean that up as it has me my house. (Mwahahahahaha)
  8. Cellulite--It's ironic that this word, which conjures up visions of rippling flesh (and not the good kind), contains "lite." Perhaps you can help me come up with a word appropriate for this. I'd like to say I've learned to live with it, but, honestly, I don't have a lot of choice, unless I'm willing to give up chocolate. Hm... yeah, no.

I know I had more, but a very busy, tiring, fun weekend left my brain all mushy. I need your help to come up with a few more things that really should be four-letter words.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Raccoon Tooth Necklaces…

We have a lovely guest author with us today. I really enjoyed her blog, so grab a cup of coffee or cold drink and sit back to enjoy a look into Jennifer Madden's world.

I was, and I guess still am, a total tomboy. I’ll admit that. I grew up on a dairy farm, riding cows and horses, and loved being outside with ‘the boys’ doing hay and working on vehicles. Kitchen work? Ugh! The nastiest punishment I could receive as a kid was having to do dishes or laundry. Still don’t like doing either one. (But now I have kids and I make them do it!)

I met my husband weaving baskets at Longaberger Basket Company, and he says he fell in love with me when I was working on a buddy’s truck and had grease smeared on my face. I pride myself on being self-sufficient and a more-than competent woman, so it took me a while to rely on him. I took care of my own vehicle, put myself through college and kept an apartment while working full time. I was a deputy sheriff for nine years, and it was not unusual for me to be called a bitch at work. That was fine, because it usually meant I was doing my job correctly, to the letter of the law.

When I had my kids, I finally started to mellow. There’s nothing like being pregnant to bring out a woman’s feminine, nurturing side. I bought pretty maternity things for me and began pampering myself. I started looking at clothes for the baby and *gasp* decorating. My first child was a boy, rowdy and happy to play with mom in the dirt and ride four-wheelers with her.

Then my second came along. A beautiful, happy, blond-haired, blue-eyed girl. Who also loved to play with mom in the dirt and ride four-wheelers with her.

I was fascinated with having a little girl, because I thought maybe I could make her a little more socially acceptable by getting her to wear dresses and play with dolls. Well, I quickly discovered the dresses better be machine washable to get the mud out and the dolls better be able to hold toy guns or they’d end up in the trash. Pretty little necklaces better have good fasteners to hang onto the bicycle as it rattles through a field.


I went to a chapter meeting one day, and my husband called me, bewildered and needing advice. The daughter had found a raccoon skeleton in the field and ripped a tooth out of the skull, and she wanted Daddy, her hero, to make a necklace out of it. Her reasoning was, big brother had a shark-tooth necklace from the aquarium, so how was this any different? I told hubby to try to clean it up and go ahead, I guess.

Regretfully (NOT!), the tooth shattered under the drill bit, so she had to go without.

I’m presented with these situations on a daily basis, anymore, and I kind of given up on femininizing dear daughter. Is that even a word? Yes, she occasionally wears dresses now, but they better match her black eyes and the bruises on her knees.

I come from a long line of tomboys, and we’ve all turned out fantastic, so I guess I’ll just roll with whatever she throws at me.

Strong women are definitely a theme with me, though, in my writing. When I first read romances, you had the pansy-ass, ‘Oh, Rex, can you help me?’ twits that just drove me nuts. That was when I started writing heroines. I guarantee you will not find a pansy-ass woman in any of my books.

My newest release is titled Wet Dream, and it’s about a strong woman who wants to be just a little softer for one night. And the war veteran who steps in to be her hero. Here’s the blurb:

Ex-FBI agent Ginger Hampton is not surprised when her date is a no show. Madame Evangeline, owner of 1NightStand promised her a perfect night…but Ginger is used to disappointment in love. The fact that she’s six feet tall, model perfect and owns her own high-end security firm tends to intimidate men. In spite of herself, she’d had high hopes for this date.

Madame Eve’s email had told him to watch for a woman in distress, and the woman at the bar is exactly that. Chief of Security Cameron Jones doesn’t see himself as a hero, but he’s willing to check on a special guest for his boss. He doesn’t realize until he sees her face that it’s Ginger Hampton, his own personal weak spot. She’s not turned off by his brutal scarring, and even flirts as if she’s interested. When he escorts her to her room, does he have the balls to respond to her interest, and stay the night? How can he say no to…

His own personal wet dream?

I loved writing this story and exploring the dynamic between these two characters. Would you like to win a copy? Tell me the best tomboy (or princess, if you swung that way) story from your past. Come on, we all have them. Good or bad. The one that cracks me up the most will win a copy of Wet Dream. I’ll note the winner in the comments section September 2nd.

And if you don’t win, you can always pick up a copy at:


Or Decadent Publishing-

You can check out my website here:

And I have to thank the blog owners for letting me speak here. Fantastic blog for women!