Thursday, March 31, 2011

Head Spins

Well, we did ask for it. Kitchen needed to be torn out and rebuilt--from the ground up. It has been a subject of discussion for years. No. Not between my husband and I, since we don't own the house. The house is on forest preserve property, and they had to wait until the money was there. I guess. So, it has not begun as yet, but it will. Thus my life might get nuts in the next few weeks and posting will be impossible. Thus I will tell you that I'm going to be a guest on a blog on April 10th at Roxanne's Fangtastic Books. Listen up, folks: There will be a give away! Woohooo! Courtesy of Copperhill Media, my very kind publisher. E-book only for my book Vampire Ascending. So, if you have yet to get yourself any sort of copy, here is your chance, and I hope you go for it. I will repost this, should any of you miss this one. I will remind you the day before, and on the day of. The 10th is a Sunday, second week of the month. So, if you want to get a chance to win, I will have the post link up as soon as I can, and since I'm working you might want to just check in on her blog for this one.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Musings, Spring Updates & Books



Five more days until this month is gone--it went too fast. But I'm hopeful that the weather in April will turn warmer. We had 20 degrees for a low this morning! We're 15 degrees colder than we should be. I'll say!


I've finished the book An Embarrassment of Riches last night by Yarbro. This is not your typical blood sucking vampire story. Yarbro sets her vampire, Saint-Germain off from others in her own way, and needs not apologize for it. The scenes are lush with historical detail and language. The novel is set in the 1200's. The historical backdrop and all the clothing, and different words took me a while to get used to. (Yarabro's notes at the beginning are helpful and a must read before you go on to read the book.) This is definitely a book to read should you be interested in the Medieval time period, but I'd have to say it is not one filled with a lot of action. Saint-Germain--in this he is Razkoczy Feranci--who was known, in history, at this time as an alchemist. In this book he is an exile, and treated rather well since he owns land which the king wants. Kings at that time were going to war for power, land, and other such things. I felt Yarbro did a great job in showing how the power of the royalty works, but also how the church ruled over everyone and kept them all in the dark, as well as frightened about things they simply didn't understand--which included their own religion. You must remember at the time common people were illiterate, and very few upper class could read their own language let alone what is called church Latin.


When I closed the book for the last time, I felt somewhat as though it closed on a quiet note, assured that our hero would continue on in his way as a vampire. Saint-Germain's problem with all the women at court, from the queen to her ladies-waiting, he did so without becoming too perturbed, and maybe that's what bothered me a little bit. These various women who were very demanding, and could certainly give him probems--putting at risk his own people who would be slaughtered should he not dance to the tune of politics and meet demands for jewels, and sexual pleasures of Roza of Borsod, who held a high position in the queen's household. Still, I felt that he should have at least faced a little more of a threat than he did toward the end. Although I'm not disappointed in the fact he found a way out of it all, by no design of his own. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it. I did and look forward to reaind another of her books. It must have been a demanding piece of work researching the era, the people and their ways, as well as the clothing, and how they addressed one another. These things I did glean a great deal from the historical aspects.


The intrigue is more with the women who sought Raskoczy for his "sexual" favors. Of course, unless you are not familiar with Yarbro's St. Germain I'm not going to tell you a great deal about his sexuality. For me, what I do remember from the one other book I did read Hotel Transylvania, is that I was rather disappointed that she made him impotent. That was something that had stayed with me, back when I'd read it, before I penned my own vampire book, and I felt that it was a shame that he merely derived his pleasure from the blood he sought from women. Not that the women were disappointed, believe me. There was a very good reason these women came to him.


I would love to find another of her books and read it. Compare it. Each of her books are stand-alones, so you can hop around the centuries, new adventures, and countries.



The other book I read this month was All Hallow's Blood by Raven Corinn Carluk, who I hope to interview and post it here. In contrast to Yarbro, Carluk's book is set in modern-day Portland, and definitely had plenty of action, danger, sex and so forth. The character, Keila, had some special talents, and if you like the kick-ass chick type of vampire fiction, I would recommend this one. Her vampire, Varick Eitenhaur, is the yummy vampire who holds Keila to finding the bad vampires who want to take over his territory. Together they make quite a team, and in the process discover things about themselves they weren't aware of. An interesting tale and with the added psychic advantages that Keila has, it makes for a truly different type of heroine.

Other things that I've been busy at have been, of course, finding blogs which will host me/my book. I've had word back from two. One I've managed to get a definite date of the 10th of April, and I will announce this later on. Another is an interview with an acquaintance, Mike Kleen, who I met at a book signing, and he lives nearby. He has promised to send me interview questions, but theses have not come my way as yet. Possibly Mike may have bought the book in order to read it, before slinging questions my way about it. That would be very cool if he did.


I've appealed to two other places as well. One is a well known (and very popular) one to me, but until I get word back about it, I'll not mention it for now. All things in their good time.


I understand that there is a "post-a-day" thing coming up. If you are involved with that, have fun.


Meanwhile I work on the edits of my own book.


Adieu for now.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

WARNING: VIRUS ON FACEBOOK!!!

I just had this warning at my facebook and you must be aware of it if you spend any time at facebook at all.

There is a new virus spreading on Face Book. It is called "CHIKENFINGERS". It will damage your computer permanantly. If anyone sends you a file named "cute baby does handstand.chickenfingers DO NOT OPEN IT!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anti-Cruelty To Vampires Society



Alright, everyone who showed interest in the Anti-Cruelty To Vampire Society--here is the badge. If you want it, you may grab it from my blog here, but please post something so that I know that you have one.

My good friend John worked tirelessly on this for three days, loosing sleep over it (lol), and he made adjustments, working on the font and so forth for this badge. I think John can take a bow on this.

So, what do you guys think? Give feedback, especially if you grab it from this post.

I'll have to come up with some rules of the society later, so that we know we actually belong to something.

Happy vampires everywhere will thank us, I'm sure.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More Tease from Second book . . .

Morning. I'm feeling down and gloomy, not in a great mood because this is my last day of 9 days off. Plus, it's raining.

But you, my gentle readers/fans/fellow blogger-writers are in luck if you enjoy my writing. Here is a portion of chapter five if you wish to read it, just click on over to Lorelei's Archives.

It's a gloomy day, but I heard the robins singing their morning song, so that sort of cheered me up just a bit. And have decided to immerse myself into my work, thus I'll stay out of trouble for once. (As If that were possible!)

Have a good day, and if I don't post here in a while, don't worry. I'll be around. I know that I'll be exhausted after work, these next few days.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why I Hate Lawn Ornaments



Oh, honey, look! A deer!” the wife says, pointing into a yard they pass on their way to town.



The husband looks to where she's pointing. “That's just a stupid lawn ornament,” he growls.


Well, really, what are we supposed to think? That it's a real deer or something? I live in the country and see the actual living things all the time, as apposed to the cement ones which some people think they need to buy and display in their lawn as though the things are actually passing through their yard in suspended animation. Usually there's two, a male and female. Once in a while you might come across the whole family. Well, how nice. And it's spring and the male still has the antlers. . . and still hanging out with the female.


ERRRT! Wrong!


I have a neighbor lady who lives down the road who has one—I think a male—emerging from the trees. A nice touch. I'm sure that gets people turning to take a look to make sure whether it is real or not as they head into the park with their dogs.


Remember those stupid pink flamingos? The epitome of garden ornament kitsh! What was that all about? Remember when cement geese were very popular. You know the ones that people would dress up according to the season? They'd have a pilgrim hat and brown cape for Thanksgiving on them to decorate an entry way, and then some sort of red Santa suit for Christmas, and some sort of Easter type thing. I still see a few surviving here and there. I used to work in a craft mall and had to really keep from rolling my eyes whenever someone would buy one of the outfits. I had to pretend being interested if they talked about it—especially if it was a vendor. Thank goodness those sort of went out of style.


Remember the gazing globes? These weren't quite as bad, and now they've got different looking ones. In fact I've seen some hang rather than are suspended on a pedestal. These are a little smaller, and added to a little garden they aren't so obnoxious. I don't even mind the little gnome, or a ceramic frog here or there. There's plenty of ways to decorate a lawn. Put in a flower bed, some nice shrubs, get a nice bird bath for the birds. Or go all out and put in a nice pond, with a waterfall. Sort of gets you excited about gardening, doesn't it?

But if you have to place a lawn ornament out there in the lawn think small. Whatever you do, for goodness sakes don't get a lawn ornament that resembles Moammar Gadhafi and place it in your front yard. You might get more than you bargained for. I think hunting season began on him a few weeks back. Besides, he's so butt ugly. . . like those pink flamingos.













Friday, March 18, 2011

So Much To Chirp About



Hello, my fine feathered friends out there!

I am happy. Happy because for 3 days straight I didn't have to wear my winter jacket! It got above 50--in fact yesterday it was mid-sixties! Three days I've gone for a walk, one in one of my husband's and my favorite places, and then today out in our own park. Just seeing, and hearing the birds again is wonderful. In fact, when we drove into White Pines the other day, I saw a bluebird. That's the earliest I've ever seen one. (the fellow above is a beautiful indigo bunting. He's actually so dark blue this picture does not do him justice!)

Earlier this week I emailed an acquaintance of mine who investigates haunted areas, and he has gotten back to me. I have not been in touch with him in a few years. He has published a few of my pieces at an on-line magazine, which is no longer up and running. His name is Micheal Kleen, and has his own site where he and others post about various true hauntings in Illinois. His blog is http://trueillinoishaunts.com/ and if you enjoy true tales of haunted places, you'll definitely want to go and check out all the stories and posts he has there. There are separate pages for just about everything, including murders, and he sure has a lot on cemeteries. Mike is also a pretty good writer in his own right and I happen to have met him at a author signing back over a year ago with another author, and bought a copy of his short tales.

Earlier today I put up a post over at one of my sister blogs Something Nebulous Within. The title is "Popularity:What It means For A Writer". I had something to say and just wanted to say it there, since this site is where I like to post things for other writers, and I knew I wanted to post this little "up-to-speed" post here on Muse today. So, if you'd like to check out how I view blog-hopping and the idea of using up so many hours in a day blogging, you may go here for that.

I realized that today is Friday. It was also payday and it was nice knowing we didn't have to go in to drive today. But next Monday we are back to the grind-gack!

I've been printing up chapters of my second book, and doing my edits that way. This is much easier for me to find mistakes, places where I've repeated myself, and so forth. Also have been reading two novels (Raven Corinn Carluk's All Hallow's Blood, and I simply couldn't resist picking up Quinn's An Embarrassment of Riches), since I've had plenty of time, could stay up longer than normal and read, if I wanted. I will post about these two book separately soon, so stay tuned.

Also, if any of you are not aware, the moon will be full this weekend, and it is closer to the earth than it has been in 18 years. This is called a Perigee Moon. It will appear 15% larger. So, if you are a Were, I'm sure that your senses have already been feeling the itch to howl. I know I have been feeling oddly both excited and drained at times. I'm hoping it rains on the fullest night, so I can get some sleep! If not, I'll just sit up and read.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day ~ From a Vampire's Perspective



As the people of Chicago dye the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day, somewhere next to the river is Tremayne Towers, where the master vampire stands looking down upon it all, hands to slim hips and shakes his head uncomprehending it all.


"I'll never understand the Irish," Tremayne says to the man standing next to him. The man is six foot tall, but not quite as tall as Tremayne, who is seven feet tall.


"Don't even attempt it," says the man who has chosen a light green shirt beneath a darker green suit coat and a tie with shamrocks splashed all over it for the day. He doesn't normally have an Irish brogue, but today he has adopted one.


"Go, my friend. Take your people and enjoy the day," Tremayne says, clapping him on the shoulder.


"My people thank you," the man in green smiles and as he turns away adds, "May the sun not find you, today."


Tremayne smirks over his shoulder at the elf, and then turns back over the balcony, in the shadow of the North Tower, which is well out of the sun. He is the only vampire awake at this hour of the morning, merely because he needs no sleep because of his age. He has allowed the elves who runs the hospital and Sanguine Team of Tremayne Towers the whole day off. The rest of his staff on the north side, will take half the day off, and a swing shift to watch the monitors. He knows the day is one of celebration, but whatever reason people would want to drink green beer and consume the corned beef, is beyond him. They are Irish for the day. He could never pretend to be, nor would he want to. He will not admit to himself that he has done this out of niggling guilt for his human life where he had many times invaded the little green island on many occasions as a Viking is the reason he allows them all a day off, if they are fully Irish, as the elves surely are.


So it is with the master vampire, the magnate of the eastern half of the United States.


Sixty miles away, Sabrina Strong is celebrating in her own way, visiting her sister-in-law, Constance, in her shop, which is brimming with green--everything from green quilts to green teddy bears, and considers putting a shot of Bailey's in the hazelnut coffee Constance has in the back room. Vampires are not a thought for her today. Thankfully the big vampire Mogul has not called her in today, and she relishes the idea of having the whole day off, joining her brother, Randy, his wife Constance, and their two little girls later for dinner. But she will most likely not be wearing a silly green hat, and thinks about the real leprechaun she knows, Rick, and wonders what he might be doing today. She can envision him seated on his stool in Tom's Tavern, drinking a taker of ale, and wonders if it is tinted green, or if he'd rather it not be.

The thought is fleeting as a patron enters the store and she hears Constance's voice trill, filled with excitement. The sound of cheer and laughter pulls her away from the counter, and the Bailey's. Maybe later she'll consider drinking green beer with her brother, while he puts on the video of "The Quiet Man", and enjoy the corned beef Constance will have made.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Arrival By UPS: A New Book!



I was working in my office, which faces front, and toward the road. The distinctive low rumble of a truck caught my attention. The large brown straight truck was a signal to me: It has arrived! The book I won. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's An Embarrassment of Riches, delivered to me, straight from the publisher.




I've always wanted to read another one of Yarbro's St. Germain episodes. I still have the original paperback, Hotel Transylvania. I have the date 4/9/79 when I'd bought it written on the inside page. The pages of this poor book are yellowed, dog-eared, the binding has silver duct tape to hold it together. I loved the cover: A handsome, black-haired man kissing a woman's neck. This story was about Comte de Saint-Germain during the mid-1700's. Yarbro's St. Germain is a vampire.





Hotel Transylvania, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro were the very reason I strove to write my own version(s) of a vampire novel in 1980. That one, of course, never saw the light of publishing.

As you understand, I loved that book to death, and used it for inspiration toward a very different book I've penned, and have not published as yet. It would be the second in my Zofia Trickenbod series, the first of which I'd self-published Spell of the Black Unicorn. In the second book, Zofia returns to her own planet, and through certain series of events meets Count Saint Germain.




St. Germain is a real person in history, a man who's life is steeped in mystery, an alchemist, he was reportedly able to "grow" gems, and would often present them to ladies of royalty as a gift. That is what I'm getting that Yarbro has done with this Saint-Germain instalment of An Embarrassment of Riches, from the descriptions I've read.


Reportedly, the real Saint Germain also was said to have discovered the ability to stay alive by using the philosopher's stone (which very talented alchemists of his time were trying to achieve, but could not), this "stone" would keep a person alive for as long as they took it. From what I've been able to dig up on the philosopher's stone it was actually a powder made through some alchemical means, and with probably difficult to attain ingredients. It was more or less tantamount to magic, from everything I've ever read about it. In every historical tale about St. Germain, he was never seen to eat anything at any functions, however, would drink from his own glass some unknown substance, mixed possibly with wine. One must wonder what was in that glass. In other tales, he was said to have been seen by people who had seen/known him 20+ years prior, and he seemed to have never aged--not even a silver thread in his black hair, and no more wrinkles, while those people had aged quite a bit. Obviously, St. Germain would have to go into hiding for a while, an reinvent himself, name himself something different, and reappear as someone new.





Yarbro has taken her St. Germain and placed him in various historical events, using actual people in history, using lavishly rich historical background and historically accurate events in all of her St. Germain tales. I think this is what sets her novels apart from all other vampire novels. This, and, of course, her style of writing.


As I've mentioned, I've read a number of things about the actual St. Germain, and you have to wonder if he didn't really find a way to stay alive longer than the normal human life-span. I've read of people claiming they know he is still alive. There are sites set up claiming this. In fact I visited a site yesterday where a novelist told of her inspiration for her tales, and of a possible link between our historical St. Germain and someone who lived in New Orleans during the 17th century (I might be off a century, I can't recall the exact dates). The story goes this man seemed to be taking "donations" of blood from the ladies until one became quite upset, screamed, and jumped out his window, claiming he was going to bite her. However, I just wonder if the vampire tale was very much embellished for the tourists.


I'm very excited about reading this book, Yarbro has been nominated for the Edgar, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards. She's been named a Grand Master of the World Horror Convention and a Living Legend by the International Horror Guild. That's quite a number of honors and nominations for any author. I'm positive at some point I will pick up another one of her books, merely because I'll be hooked on this series.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

WORDSMITHING 101 ~ Learning to Plot from TV Shows




Have you ever watched older classic TV shows? I've been watching “Marshall Dillon” while having my coffee in the mornings with my husband. This was originally radio show, which later became the 30 minute TV show for 7 years, before it became the one hour show called “Gunsmoke” and lasted a total of 20 years, with the main characters, Matt, Miss Kitty, and Doc remaining on the show for all those years (except for Amanda Blake, who left after 19 years). I was in diapers when this show was on. Later when it became an hour long show, I remember watching it then, but I don't remember any of them.

What I've noticed in these shows are the basic murder/mystery plot. The first few minutes are used to introduce the characters who will be involved, aside from the 4 main characters. Dillon's side-kick, Chester, is played by Dennis Weaver. Anyway, the show opens up with the extras, and this is where you'll learn any motives which would make them look guilty for the murder that eventually takes place.


Although this is a western, the set up is like any murder-mystery. As in any murder-mystery, we, the viewer, can only know as much as our main characters. Matt Dillon, the sheriff of Dodge City, Kansas, must use the leads he has in order to find the killer. Often times, he has to track the person down out in the Kansas wilderness. Being a U.S. Marshall gives him this ability. Usually this person he is tracking is not the killer of the original murder in the beginning. But sometimes they have done something that will put them in jail, and often times they've killed someone along the way. Thus, you have a double-plot line, which is good for keeping everyone guessing. Misdirection is a basic key for a murder mystery. And depending upon how long a story goes, you could put in all kinds of red herrings and plot twists in to keep it interesting. Because “Marshall Dillon” was only 30 minutes long, it's easy to follow the plot line and see precisely how it is written.


What I've noticed is this is your basic plot all laid out. You have a mystery to solve. Doesn't matter if it is a murder. The mystery is what is important, and how it is solved.


You can learn quite a bit on how to set this sort of plot up by watching several of these shows. The simplicity of them helps one glean an understanding as to how to set up a very simple mystery. I've always enjoyed watching “Murder She Wrote” for the same reason, but mostly because she was a writer. I used to love watching this show because Angela Lansbury starred as an amateur sleuth and I loved her character as the mystery writer Jessica Fletcher. The plots of “Murder She Wrote” were really well done, with plenty of twits and turns to keep you guessing.

Learning and understanding how a murder plot is done, you might want to watch either of these shows. Besides, being entertained, I think you might get a few ideas for a plot all your own.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sumiko's Reads ~ In A Tizzy Over What To Read

I've been attempting to write my review of Midnight Riots but I cannot seem to get the words out. So - here I go again.

I've been in a bit of a tizzy. I had no sooner discovered the October Daye books and Katharine Kerr's new book -which I hope is a new series when I got an email newsletter from i09. The main article was a piece about Ben Aaronovitch and his Peter Grant books. The two things that caught me were that Aaronovitch has written for Doctor Who and that his Peter Grant books were compared to the Dresden books. The major differences being that Grant is a policeman not a consultant. If the Dresden and Toby Daye books are detective novels with magic than the Grant books are police procedurals with magic. They have the added attraction of being set in London - so even the police work has that exotic nature.

Peter Grant is a young policeman—the book starts with him at the point in the training where he and his classmates will be assigned to their units. He??? comes across a body under unusual circumstances and this brings him to the attention of DCI Thomas Nightshade who leads (wee, he is . . .) unit of the Met that deals with crimes involving magical and other uncanny circumstances. He is, in fact, a magician and by joining his unit Peter Grant becomes his apprentice.

I have such an appetite for this sort of book that I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I lapped it up and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm very happy to report that one of the MANY books that I received in the past week was the second book in the series so I am looking forward to getting started on that.

Yes, the beginning of March has brought a number of long expected books including the 4th book in the Toby Daye series which I finished yesterday: thoroughly enjoyed too, and the second book from Patrick Rothfuss. It is quite the tome and I have just started it. I also discovered Galen Beckett's The Magicians and Mrs. Quent—which was very entertaining—via Ravelry (the social networking site for Knitters and Crocheters).


It is like a combination of Austen and Bronte set in a world with magic. More Austen-y in tone but there is a middle section which cannot help but remind you of Jane Eyre. The second book came out last September so I am looking forward to continuing the
adventures of Mrs. Quent and her friends. The biggest news, however, is that George R.R. Martin announced the release date for the fifth book of The Song of Ice and Fire. July 12th is the date. Mark your calendars if you haven't already. I am incredibly excited about this and plan to start rereading ASAP. I hope to finish my A Game of Thrones reread in time for the premiere of the HBO series (April 17th.) If you are also anticipating this series - don't forget to tune in to HBO on April 3rd at 10 pm Eastern for a 15 minute Sneak Peek of the first episode. There is also a 30 minute "making of" show that is scheduled to air April 6th.

Link to "The Game Begins" trailer:

http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/production-diary/2011/3/4/the-game-begins-preview.html?cmpid=ABC587

Man, I cannot wait for A Dance with Dragons. I hope that he has a significant amount of material done for the next book too. ASOIAF is a series that I'm very glad I got in on 3 books in. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to read "A Game of Thrones" when it first came out and to have been reading and waiting for each book thereafter. I had no idea: I thought that the wait between finishing A Storm of Swords and waiting for A Feast for Crows was long: ha! I came in on the end of that wait. It's been a long, long time. But at least this series moves. I gave up on the Wheel of Time because it really seemed to not move. And I don't recall the characters being nearly as interesting.

Next time: possibly the second Aaronovitch, more on Toby Daye and possibly an update on the new Rothfuss.


Peter Grant's blog: http://westendblues.blogspot.com/

Galen Beckett's website: http://www.galenbecket.com/gb/LatestNews/LatestNews.html

Ben Aaronovitch's blog:http://temporarilysignificant.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Anti-Cruelty To Vampire Socitety

I am a member of the Anti-Cruelty To Vampire Society. I'm the first member, in fact, since as far as I know, I've just made it up.


So, what's it all about? Well, just as it says. I'm all for fair treatment of all vampires. I mean, really, we've been cruel to them in films and books down through the years. How can you not feel a little pity?










Well, Nosferatu was a pretty ugly vampire, I'll admit, but still. . .





When I think of all the films made, as well as books written where the vampires were staked, burned, be-headed, drowned and so forth, I simply felt sorry for the poor guy/gal. He seems to be saying "Hey, what's a vampire gotta do to get a good quick meal on the fly?"









I used to watch Bela Lugosi sweeping Lucy down to his crypt to hide her away from the men who were hunting him. Sort of a dumb idea, and if I were a vampire of Dracula's ilk, I would have found a better place to hide. He had to have known Van Helsing would know to look for him there.




Of course later on the movies which were made got a little more sophisticated, and the vampire seemed to have wised up a little more. And the old standard of the tails and tie sort of were dashed to smithereens when finally someone decided to make Dracula sexy. I mean when I saw Frank Langella do Dracula I said, "Now there's a hunk!"


The whole idea that Dracula was evil finally was shed in this 1979 Universal Pictures film version of Dracula, which was originally a Broadway play.





The books have also gone from making the vampire an evil creature to get rid of, and now perky women are making love to them. Go figure.


Seems we've gone from one extreme to the other. Although there are some books which do give better twists on the vampire lore and how we look at them, or treat them.


I'm all for giving the guys (and gals) who shun the sunlight and follow a strict liquid diet a little break. Allow them the intelligence to create their own societies under the noses of the world at large who have no idea that the person they might see getting on an elevator in a fancy hotel might be a vampire, or a werewolf, or a shape shifter.


So, I guess I'm asking if any of you wish to be a member of ACTVS? Maybe I need some sort of membership badge. What do you think?


All who want to see the vampire get the girl and live happily ever after, just let me know in comments. Or whatever you feel about vampires in general. Join up, if you feel as strongly as I do.






Saturday, March 5, 2011

Won Another Book! Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Latest


I guess I'm on a winning streak. Just wish I could win the Publisher's Clearing House. I've played it for 20 years!
Anyway, I just love Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's writing. I have what I believe was her very first writing of the St. Germain novels. It is called Hotel Transylvania I have the date of 1979 on the fly of when I bought it. The pages are yellow, brittle, and the cover is somewhat tattered and I've duck tape holding it together. I think it's like a beloved teddy bear with the eyes missing, and re sewn and so forth. It might be the one novel which I have repeatedly read passages more often than any other book.

For those of you who are not familiar with the St. Germain story, I'll give you a little bit here. St. Germain was a real person in history, and he was thought to have discovered the philosophers stone--which was to give a person immortality. A few years ago I did research into both St. Germain and the philosopher's stone because I was writing my own novel in which I had St. Germain play a major leading character. This was a second book in my Zofia Trickenbod series, which I've yet to try and continue with a different publisher (Infinity Publishers published the first in series).

But, back to St. Germain, and Yarbro's story. She has made St. Germain a vampire in her series, and even though I have not had the opportunity to read any other of her books, I've always wanted to. I'll probably read this and have to get the other books. The series is one which is not written in any chronological way, and each book, as I understand, can stand alone and we can read the adventures of this cunning man who was also accredited with being able to "grow" precious jewels, and often offered them to the ladies of royalty--which is what, from the description of this novel, looks as though he is doing.

I've tried to win another of her books about a year or so ago. I'm very thrilled that I was some how lucky enough among 25 entries (comments) over at Patricia's Vampire News.

Later today, I'm going to cash my royalty check, and for once take advantage of the sale going on at Office Max. They had a 15% sale going on--a paper bag whatever you can fit inside it is 15% off and today is the last day of the sale! So, I'm in a good place, I don't care what the weather is doing outside, I'm shopping!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring into Spring Fever


I'm needing a break and gonna get it in another week. I think everyone needs a break once in a while.

You know how you say something that's misconstrued and--well, I guess you sort of "screw" yourself because you misspoke. That happened to me today when I said something over our radio. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't a "bad" thing, I was being sarcastic and because my sarcasm has to be taken with a grain of salt--or possibly a teaspoon of salt--the guy who thought I was sort of making an indirect comment on something he'd just said over the radio took offence at it. And when I parked my bus and got off, there he was--all 6 foot and 200-something pounds of him.

Not really thinking that he'd come over to snarl at me, I said, "What's up" and he just sort of led off with the question if I'd meant "such 'n' such" and immediately I went to him, put my hand on him and told him not at all. I grabbed his arm and we spoke. He said he'd had a bad week. I assured him I wasn't making fun of what he'd said or tried to imply anything to the negative.

We all have bad weeks. I had a bad week last week. I seem to be saying things I don't mean, or things that can be taken wrong. I think it's something to do with Spring Fever. Yes. There is such a thing. I can't remember things, I can't talk right. Heck I probably can't even write right.

So, if I've offended anyone at all I'm so damned sorry. I tend to say things that some how come off as wrong and get misconstrued and I feel stupid for saying them. I know that I should just shut the heck up. Zip my lip. Say nada.

So, the guy--and I don't even know his name, if I ever knew it, I don't recall it--the student who drives one of the other 14-15 buses, he's going through it too. It's called mid-terms.

I grabbed his arm and we walked across the street together. "You need a hug," I said.
I felt his arm just sort of squeeze down on my hand as I had looped it under his, which told me he was forgiving me.

"No. What I need is a nap," he said.

We laughed and made disparaging remarks about our radios because that's exactly what the whole thing was about. Our radios go into this mode and we can't communicate with one another for a few moments--usually when we need them--the GPS system sucks.

I told him that I was glad he'd come over to me. He found out I wasn't the Witch of the North--or whatever he might have thought of me. We had rarely--if ever spoken to one another. Not even probably a "hi" at all. So, now he knows I'm a nice person, where as moments before he probably was cussing me out and wanted to rip into me for something that came out of my mouth while my brain was in a dumb mode.

So, that was a moment in my day. Believe it or not I didn't dwell on this. I took care of it. I have people get on my bus and talk to me and tell me about their day. I stop and let people cross the street between buildings on campus--all day long as I drive down Normal Road and get under way on my run.

I also was feeling under the weather and took 2 Zycams and one aspirin and hope that I can ward of whatever the heck invaded me while I wasn't looking.

So, this is my warning to all of you out there. If you are behaving strangely, can't remember things, feel like you need a nap in the middle of the day, out of sorts, irritable . . . blame it on Spring Fever.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Milestones

Yeay! We made it to March!
Baseball has begun spring training in those warmer regions, birds are winging their way back to the northern states, and I've seen joggers in shorts (still too cold for shorts, I don't care!)

And today marks twenty-five years ago Dennis and I went out on our first date. Yesterday I went and secretly bought him a card and was able to place it somewhere he would find it when he got up after making the coffee. Tee-hee, that was fun. He liked it. The card on the out side said "Hello, I love you" on the inside it said "Hi, I still love you". Well, I bought it in the student center, but hey, it worked. Had a bright flower on it and everything.

We went and got a pizza so that we can just enjoy the evening.

I'm still working on the second book, which I'm nearly through again, but will put aside and wait and read through again. Want to make sure I've got anything that bothers me out, anything that seems I've repeated, or is wrong out of this one. Hard to write a sequel, because you know what went on in the last one, but you don't want to keep on repeating yourself.

Because of winter's grip on us, I've had to just come home and crash. Yesterday was no fun to drive in, but we do it. It takes a lot of focus to drive a bus in that kind of weather. Being a tad older than I was it just takes a toll on me.

So, gonna go and get in the tub and wash the bus grime off and just veg out a little.

Customer Reviews... Good, Bad, and Best!

I always cringe when I see a new review has come up on my books. I'm never sure what they will say. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised,...