3 New Year’s Traditions: are they worth the effort?

SHOULD YOU EAT BLACK-EYED PEAS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE? A Southern Tradition, traditionally called: Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas served with rice, pork, and seasonings. If you follow the full tradition, you’re to eat 365 peas. That’s a mouthful. Thought to originate from Civil War days – Sherman on his march through the South left devastated crops, and not much beyond black-eyed peas and salted port, which were considered animal fodder. The reeling South was grateful for any bounty and the practice of eating black-eyed peas (with pork/bacon/renderings) was thought to bring about good luck. Sherman’s marching dates seem to discount this theory, but it’s another Southern story passed along. (Wiki-pedia) Superstition or not – Black-eyed […]

A Warlock Under The Mistletoe by S.S. Bazinet – book review

Are fantasies and fairy tales required for a happy ending? Or is true love the only necessary magic? In S.S. Bazinet’s Christmas release, A WARLOCK UNDER THE MISTLETOE, heroine, Pippa sets out to prove to co-worker and friend, Adeline that real heroes are more than just a fantasy. Readers, world-wide, will identify with Pippa, a heroine who believes in romance of the heart and has her very own true love: Chester. Chester . . . Chester???? Can you really make a HERO out of a ‘Chester’? If you’re author, S.S. Bazinet you can. For doubting-Thomas readers, who believe there’s no conflict if the heroine and hero are already a matched pair, S.S. Bazinet proves that […]

Snapping Photos?? Breathe LIFE into Writing . . .

I’m old enough that Kodak still means cameras to me. Instant camera was our phrase from the 60s & 70s. Of course, considering today’s technology, it’s ludicrous to think those were instant pictures. 1) First to film – The lucky owned a 35MM, which meant loading the camera was always a treat. Lining it up – perfectly – to catch the leading edge of the film reel (and hoping like crazy that you’d really accomplished that feat so you’d be taking pictures instead of just turning the hand crank). For the novice photo buff, it started with a Kodak Instamatic: a pop-and-click camera. 2) No do-overs — As you shot the roll of film, it […]

Sunday Morning Construction

Why do those pesky ‘small’ fix-it or remodel jobs turn out to be so: And HOW, oh HOW do we, weekend DIYers, make them easier? 5 common sense DIY tips to balance the ‘home repair project’ scale. Read the directions Don’t be afraid to ask for help Proper tools YouTube Videos are your friend Take pictures As a serious do-it-all fixer, I’ve learned — through my share of mistakes — a few keys lessons that make installing . . . repairing . . . replacing . . . new construction a bit easier. 1) Read the directions. And I do mean ALL the directions. Don’t skip to what you think concerns you. Read them all. […]

Grey’s Lady by Natasha Blackthorne – Book Review

Grey’s Lady (Wild, Wicked and Wanton – Book 1) by Natasha Blackthorne 1st Spoiler Alert – this novel is Book 1 in a series. While there is a Resolution, there is NOT a conclusion to the story or with these characters. But no grousing! Author Natasha Blackthorne has this as a current KindleUnlimited download, and has the book marked as a ‘Prequel’. While historical, author Natasha Blackthorne offers readers a more unique setting as this story line takes place in Philadelphia, PA, spring 1812, where the Port of Philadelphia is blooming. Attic-borne, Elizabeth (Beth) McConnell and wealthy merchant and shipping owner, Grey Sexton set the sheets on fire with their torrid meetings. If readers are […]

Giving a Heart of Lace: Sweet and Clean Regency Romance – book review

Giving a Heart of Lace: Sweet and Clean Regency Romance is a lovely, sweet read. How many times has a novel left you wanting to ‘thunk’ the historical heroine in the head, and say, “Take control of your life, girl. Stop waiting for the inevitable.”? Too many times for me. Giving a Heart of Lace: Sweet and Clean Regency Romance is a great change of pace from that normal historical and often, hysterical female character. While staying true to the period, Ms. Richmond has linked two characters—one confined to rank by constraints of birth and one a true victim of circumstances beyond financial control—who find themselves on the outside of the TON plate-glass window looking […]

Chasing Destiny – The Donovan Legacy, Book 2

As I’m currently working through edits — CHASING DESTINY — and always on the look-out for snippets to share during release, here are a few that caught my Tuesday morning muse. My favorites for the day . . . 1) Garrick glanced toward the unopened bottle and glasses. She seemed far too at home, too at ease in his house. How long had this lovely stranger been living here—alone—with his father? “Enough of the cat and mouse game. Who are you?” Some strange woman, with endless mahogany eyes, was making herself quite comfortable. He would have his answer, and now. Sultry voice and cooking skills included, she could be a dangerous distraction for any guy, […]

Teaching an Old Dog (writer) New Tricks. Secrets to Better Writing.

The Donovan Legacy (HARM’S WAY – current release) actually started with a prequel. CHASING DESTINY CHASING DESTINY was written a year in front of HARM’S WAY and then promptly buried among all my floppy disks. Yep, that long ago.  Having recovered my earlier works, I realized the characters of CHASING DESTINY (Garrick & Jaycee) deserved their own release. To that end, the rewrites began. The process has been enlightening: good & bad. And that tenuous, often painful, process deserved to be shared as well. Producing better writing is hard work. Short cuts are not generally the answer, but you can learn to be a smarter writer by following some of these writing tips. New eyes […]

Book Review – Tempting Mr. Townsend by Anna Campbell

Suffering from historical romance fever? Burning to read about past-times filled with heroes & heroines? Then an Anna Campbell romance is the perfect cure. In TEMPTING MR. TOWNSEND, author, Anna Campbell once again captures the incurable romantic heart. In this dashing widow selection, Lady Deerham has known and lost true love. Comfortable in her widow’s shell, Fenella is resolved to raise her son alone and spend her remaining years without the comfort of a man’s presence. That is . . . until a bear of a man burst into her quite proper drawing room, and conveys her cross- country to find her missing son. Anthony Townsend has never wanted a woman as he does Fenella, […]