Saturday, March 31, 2012

HOUSE FOR SALE

So our house has been for sale for a year now. We've had lots of lookers but no buyers.

When there's a showing, we have to leave. (Don't want our looks to scare anyone off!) So we go to Wendy's and have a Frosty, or if it's lunchtime, a burger. That mean's we're plumping up. We keep talking about going for a walk in the park but I can't see it happening. At least not till the yellow stuff goes away.

So today we come back from Wendy's and it looks like no one's been here. No new real estate agent card. Lights still on. Cats not traumatized. I start to put on my comfy clothes. (We tend to slouch around the house in dirty shorts/sweatpants/undershirts, whatever.)

My guy frowns. "Uh uh. Sure as anything, we'll get comfy and someone will show up."

I sigh but keep my good clothes on. So after three hours, I figure it's safe. I change clothes.

Then my guy says, "Remember the time no one came? And we thought it had been so long they wouldn't come? Except they did? At eight o'clock that night?"

I do remember, now that he brings it up. I'd had my bath, put on my jammies and was about to watch NCIS. Horrible experience.

I weigh my options. Nope. Still not gonna put that bra back on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

UPDATED REVISION for 99 Cents

My romantic suspense TREACHEROUS BEAUTIES was published years ago--and used as the basis for a TV movie--but I recently got the rights back. After updating and (since I can't resist fiddling with words) revising it, I am self-publishing it for $.99. Right now, it's up on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Treacherous-Beauties-ebook/dp/B007P5461C/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332979452&sr=1-2

Also on Smashwords at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145317

I imagine it'll take longer for Barnes and Noble, and the iTunes store to pick it up but it'll eventually be there, too.

So anyone who's read it: Don't buy it again! Anyone interested in checking out my style: This is a cheap intro.

Calista Taylor did the new cover art, and I really like it.


Friday, March 23, 2012

CATS

Our cats aren't allowed outside. So my guy took out one of the French door panes and put in a cat door that opens onto the screened porch; they can get out there whenever they like.

The other night, while we were sleeping, they woke us up by carousing in the other part of the house. So my guy, brave fellow, went to see what was going on.

"A rat!" he yells. "The cats have a rat in the house!"

I hop up to see. Turns out it was a ground squirrel, or chipmunk. And it's running from the living room to the kitchen to my office to the utility room, and then starting all over again.

My guy grabs a towel and tries to throw it over the scared baby. I'm screaming and jumping out of the way every time it rushes at me. The boy cat is trying to herd it (it ran right under him several times but the boy cat never once bit or pounced on it), and keeps chasing it out from behind the sofa and TV and other places. The girl cat goes back to the bedroom and hides under the bed.

Finally, we leave the French door open, herd the poor little thing that way, it sees the open door and goes out on the screened porch and disappears behind a plant. Exhausted, we put the cover on the cat door so it can't get back in the house. In the morning it's gone via the way it came in, I'm sure.

The girl cat finally came out from under the bed. The boy cat pranced around for a while and looked very proud of himself.

My guy's talking about changing their zip code again.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

NEW COVER

Got the cover for my July romantic mystery SET UP. Here it is:




And here's the blurb:

Three divorces should teach a man something, but hotel heir Cal McIntyre can't figure out what. Then a flashy redhead – the kind he adores – shows up. Since he's off women, he reluctantly takes a bet to seduce her. One more hook-up won't matter. Especially with this temptress.

But Amanda’s hair is dyed and she’s not about to be seduced. Her younger sister gambled with an heirloom engagement ring, and Cal won. If Amanda has to drug him to retrieve the ring and save her sister's marriage, so be it.

She doesn't count on Cal's kisses awakening a long-banished sexuality. Lucky for her, he passes out before she gets carried away. She escapes with the ring and virtue intact. Now to forget him.

But Cal tracks her down. And tells her he bought the ring. From her sister. Worse, someone stole diamonds worth millions after she knocked him out. Cal wasn’t the only one set up.

There must be an explanation, but her sister can't give it; she's vanished. Now Amanda must help Cal find her sister or go to jail. She's determined to protect her sister, and he's determined to recover his diamonds.

Sparks are about to fly.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CONTINUING TRAVELS

When we went to the Elberton Guidestones, a friend, my guy, and I also visited Kettle Creek Battlefield in Wilkes County. Most people haven't heard of it, but Kettle Creek was the site of a Revolutionary War battle. Some claim it was the turning point in the south, with the victory coming after the British took Savannah and Charleston, SC. Here's the entrance, the memorial, and one of the sides that tells the date (1779 and not 1770 as the photo makes it appear).






There hasn't been much written about the battle, maybe because no British officers were involved as in Cowpens or even Kings Mountain. But a couple hundred Americans took on about six hundred Tories or Loyalists. I think it was more of a draw than a decisive victory, but the close combat lasted several hours before the Tory leader was killed and his band scattered. The sign tells more about the battle; the marker gives names of the Americans involved.






I can't imagine shooting and fighting hand to hand for three hours as these men did. It's said the Americans put a green spring in their hats while the Tories had white paper in theirs so they could tell who was on what side! In all the smoke from the guns, I bet it was hard to tell if you were shooting at friend or foe.

Anyway, the battle must have made a big impression because a cemetery at first glance, turns out to be memorials for surviving Americans who died much later. Their families evidently knew what an event this was for their patriarchs and put the markers up.

A shame it isn't a state or federal park. There were picnic tables but no toilets or a place to get literature about the battle. Georgia misses out on the tourist trade by not emphasizing historical spots like this one.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

TRAVELS TO THE GUIDESTONES

Ever hear of the Elbert County Guidestones? Most people haven't, but they've been around since 1980.

Last week, my guy and I picked up a friend in Elberton and went to see them. It was a weekday afternoon, but several cars were there. I guess they're more popular than I expected.

Anyway, they're big slabs of granite set up in the corner of a pasture. The big thing is no one knows who set them up. A Mr. R.C. Christian came to one of the granite men in Elberton (Elberton, in case you didn't know, calls itself the granite center of the world because of all the granite quarries there) and commissioned the project. They're inscribed in Hindu, Spanish, Chinese, Greek, Russian, English, and a couple more languages I can't recall. The writing exhorts us to go green and watch our population--maybe not in those exact words--and do several more sensible things. Not that it'll make a difference, but hey! Someone's got to tell us what to do!

Here's what they look like.





Oh, and on the way to Elberton, we pass through the cutest little town. It always reminds me of one of those places in old cowboy movies where the horses get tied to the hitching posts in front of the stores. This is Carlton, GA.



Friday, March 16, 2012

WAS INSTEAD OF WERE

I'm excited. Kind of.

THE MAN IN THE BOAT is now available in the MuseItUp bookstore - www.MuseItUp.com - and also on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Boat-ebook/dp/B007JW8L94/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331912514&sr=1-1 but it isn't out yet at Barnes and Noble or from Apple. They sometimes take longer to get books up.

Why I'm not excited? I got an advance copy and read it night before last. Not out of vanity. Mainly to make sure the formatting was okay. And it was. Except about 30-40 pages in, I read a sentence and stopped, horrified. Reread it to be sure. Yep. There was a 'was' where a 'were' should have been.

In the beginning, a line editor read the entire manuscript, sent it back to me with changes, I accepted or defended, sent back; she accepted, disputed, sent back; I accepted/refused/defended, sent back. We finally agreed on the 6th or so version which I reread and approved.

The copy editor got it next. Same procedures. Six or seven times through, I reread one last time and approved.

Publisher got it, sent me final galleys. I went through, reread, made a few last corrections, sent back.

So how the heck did that 'was' sneak in instead of the 'were' that should have been there?

I'm hardened to people disapproving of sex scenes. But this! I'm mortified!

Glad I don't have to worry about my old English teachers reading romance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

OUT OF IT

Between writing and keeping the house clean for prospective buyers, I'm about to lose it. This picking up and putting away and scrubbing and dusting is for the birds. We rush around like crazy before a viewer comes, then we have to go and lose ourselves for 1,2 or more hours. We're getting fat because we often kill time by going to Wendy's for a Frosty.

And the madness is showing up in my dreams. This morning I dreamed I was in my car when my cell rang. We're in the process of changing to a voice-over?? system (or something like that) so I figured my guy was testing it. Still, I was miffed. He knows I hate to talk and drive.

"What!" I snapped, trying to dodge traffic.

"Hon! Hon!" he says, all panicky. "Did you dispose?"

Did I dispose? "Dispose of what?"

"You know!" His panic increases. "Did you?"

And I woke up. Never did figure out what I was supposed to dispose of. Cat litter? Garbage? Old clothes?

I asked when he woke up, but he just looked blank. Some places it's best not to go.

Monday, March 12, 2012

RELEASE DATE

I finally got the release date for my romantic mystery, THE MAN IN THE BOAT. Looks like it'll be available in MuseItUp's bookstore -- link is: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=338&category_id=69&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1 -- on March 16th, and probably Amazon soon after that.

Muse rearranged the schedule to push up a release from one of our authors who's battling cancer. The historical romance, GARNET GALE GETS HER MAN, was due out in June but they moved it up to last week so that she could see it pubbed.

So if anyone likes romantic mysteries, my book's out this week; anyone who likes historical romance, Nan D. Arnold's book is already out on Amazon and at Muse!

Friday, March 9, 2012

AND STILL MORE TRAVELS

We finished up our visit to Anna Ruby Falls and the covered bridge by swinging back by the Indian Mounds near Helen, GA. I think this mound preceded the Cherokee but they used it, too. Now it sits in the middle of a cow pasture and boasts a gazebo on top.

I took a photo of the mound and the sign with my phone. My guy took one with his camera. Then he did some arty stuff to it and it looks really cool. Bet you can tell which one's which!






Wednesday, March 7, 2012

BLOG VISIT

So today, Penny Ehrenkranz kindly invited me to be interviewed on her blog and give an excerpt of THE MAN IN THE BOAT coming out this month from MuseItUp. I hope. Not got a final date yet, but as far as I know it's still on.

Anyway, I was surprised and pleased at several people turning up to comment. The link, in case you want to go see it later, is: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/

For a confirmed introvert like me, it wasn't bad at all. No talking face to face, no nervous giggling or dumbfounded silence, no bunch of strange faces staring at me. I rather liked it. Hope they're all that easy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MORE TRAVELS

Last week, after viewing Anna Ruby Falls, we hung out with the ranger for a while. He was very kind, telling us about the falls and other places of interest around Helen.

One was a covered bridge. That got my guy excited since there aren't that many of them around anymore. The road had changed; the pavement went on over a new bridge, but the old covered one lay right below. We could pull off to see it with no problem. In fact some EMC workers were eating their lunch there and offered to move, though it wasn't necessary for my guy to take his pix.

A grist mill and other things had been around the bridge at one time but had been washed away. The bridge itself wasn't as picturesque as some, but...

While reading the marker, I discovered that -- ta dum! -- it was the very bridge filmed in the 1951 Susan Hayward movie, I'D CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN.

How about that! Here's the sign (taken with my phone, not my guy's nice camera).





And here's the covered bridge. Imagine taking shelter from a thunderstorm or snowfall. If it could only talk!

Monday, March 5, 2012

MERMAID BLUES by Joel Brown

This is the second in this series I've read, and I'm looking forward to the next from Joel Brown.

Baxter, a folk/pop singer who had one big hit decades ago, is trying to make a comeback when a local Lothario turns up dead. Naturally, Baxter's semi-involvement puts his new record contract at risk. Naturally, Baxter keeps prying into the murder. And naturally, more corpses turn up.

Poor Baxter. His romance with the record company's representative fizzles (after he spends a fortune treating her to an exclusive dinner in the top of the lighthouse). His comeback concert is hit by a thunderstorm. His ex-wife's husband still annoys him no end. But he keeps nosing around looking for the killer while trying to tend to his paternal duties. He's a likable guy in a hairy situation.

The atmosphere of the touristy harbor town is wonderful. The characters come to life. And the ending is one I didn't see coming. Good read!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

TRAVELS

Took a day off last week and went up to Anna Ruby Falls near Helen. We stopped at the Cleveland McDonald's to grab a biscuit and they have the cutest display of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls! Guess it's 'cause Babyland General, their 'birthing' place is located here. Maybe you can see something from my phone pix.





And then on to the falls! They're gorgeous. Although the photo makes them look like three waterfalls, they're actually twins, separating at the top and falling below into two distinct falls before merging back together.