Monday, December 31, 2012

One Perfect Word

I saw this the other day and just had to share it.  Go watch it and then come back. :-)

Isn't this a cool idea? A word for the to carry around with you.  I haven't decided on my word yet but I'm testing a couple out. As soon as I figure it out, I'll be sure to let you know.

What about you? Do you have a word for the year?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays

Can you believe it's almost Christmas and then 2013? 

I'm gonna spend the next few days with family and friends celebrating so won't be blogging.  I'll be back on Jan. 2nd.

Until then,  y'all be safe, spend time with your own family and friends and have a...


and a


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ten Things I'm Thankful For

Time for another installment of Ten Things Tuesday! Here's ten things I'm thankful for. In no certain order of importance.

1. My hubby - There's so many reasons to be thankful...he works hard so I can stay home and write, he supports me in whatever crazy thing I'm doing, and is always there for me or the kids.

2. My kids -  I've got great kids, even if they aren't really kids any longer. They are smart, caring, giving, responsible and I'm so proud of each of them.

3. My church - I don't normally post anything of religious nature here but I'm very thankful for my church and church family.

4. Friends - There are several special friends who mean a lot to me. One who I've known for many years, that went through some hard times with me and one who is a new friend I'm looking forward to getting to know better.

5. Music - I love music.  All kinds...except hip hop and rap. Country, rock, blues, classical, gothic...I even like the occasional techno thing.

6. Mom - I left home for the Air Force when I was seventeen. And until about nine months ago, I haven't been home with mom, except for the occasional visit. In March of this year, we moved her to Longview with us.  Now, I get to see her several times a week.  It's fun reconnecting.

7. Purring Cats - I love a purring cat. Baggins thinks he needs to sleep right under my chin or be held. It's a good thing he purrs or he'd be out of luck.

8. Great Books - I'm thankful for books that let me escape 'reality' for just a bit and get away from what's going on in the real world.

9. Chocolate - especially Nutella on whole grain toast. YUM!!!  Chocolate chip cookies, hot cocoa, chocolate ice cream.  There's no such thing as too much chocolate.

10. Heroes - I'm thankful for the men and women who serve in Police and Fire departments and the military risking their lives for strangers and those who don't appreciate the sacrifice. For those who rush in to save a stranger without thinking of the cost.

And a bonus...

11.  Puppies - I love puppies...all kinds. But especially for Dobermann puppies which I'll be acquiring some time next year, early summer I hope.  I've got my name on a list with a breeder.  Can hardly wait!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Liebster Award

A short time ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Judith Victoria Douglas.

Now that I've recovered from the Mystery We Write Blog Tour, I finally have time to take care of this.
Here are the rules for acceptance of the “LIEBSTER AWARD.” This is important because at the end I will be nominating eleven blogs for this coveted award.
The Rules:
1) When you receive the award you must post eleven random facts about yourself; 2) you must answer eleven questions posed by the person who nominated you; 3) you pass the award on to the eleven blogger friends you are nominating, making sure you notify them of their nominations; 4) you write up eleven new questions for the bloggers you are nominating (and you cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you); and finally, 5) you paste the award picture into your blog along with eleven random facts about yourself and your eleven questions and answers given by your nominator. (Not much different from the Next Big Thing)
Here's my eleven random facts about myself...
1. I tried barrel racing horse refused to run. He wanted to check out the crowd. I was SO embarassed.
2. I used to train and show Dobermann Pinschers.
3. I owned 2 champion American Foxhounds.

4. I once owned a Thoroughbred. His parents were racehorses in Florida and did pretty well. I planned on training him for the track too but the Air Force sent us to Guam instead.

5. I spent almost 5 years in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic.

6. I'm a secret nerd. I LOVE Big Bang Theory.

7. I could give up chocolate...but I'm not a quitter.

8. I love the smell of hay. Fresh cut or even dry and baled.
9. I need a greenhouse in the back yard for all my plants.

10. I like to turn up the volume and sing along with the radio in the car.

11. I'm going to Peru in July of 2013. I'm really excited about it.

Now here are the questions along with my answers.
1. If there was one person — real, fiction or fantasy — you could spend some time talking with, who would it be?
I think it'd be Benjamen Franklin.

2. If you could change anything about yourself, physical, mental, emotional, heritage-wise, anything, what would it be?
Easy....I'd get rid of my tendency to procrastinate and put things off. 

3. What animal, fish or bird, living or extinct, would you like to know more about, up close and personal, maybe even as a pet?
I love all the big cats, lions and tigers but definitely not as a pet. They are wild and need to be wild. 
4. If you could choose your last meal, and you weren’t in prison at the time, what would it be?
Hmmm...either steak or BBQ ribs, baked potato with lots of butter, corn on the cob, homemade yeast rolls, and chocolate pecan pie for dessert.

5. If English is your primary language, but you could instantly be fluent in another, what would it be?
Another easy one.  Spanish. I'm actually working on it but it'd be great to be instantly fluent.

6. Where in the universe, if not this planet, would you live if you had a choice and it was actually feasible?
 I used to watch the show Grizzly Adams as a kid and wanted to live in the mountains like he did.  I even checked to see where it was filmed...northern Utah.  Beautiful country...

7. What object, place or thing do you equate with your favorite color, and why? Please state your favorite color so your reasoning will be clear to your readers.
Hmmm...favorite color, sage green. I think probably that fresh cut hay would be a close connection.

8. What movie would you have liked to play a part, even a minor part if the top slot was taken by your favorite actor/actress.  Name your favorite actor/actress so your readers will be clear on this, as well.

I don't really have a favorite actor or actress but I'd have loved to had a part in any of the Lord of the Ring movies or The Hobbit.  

9. What book do you wish you had written?  Include why you picked this particular book.
 The Green Rider series by Kristen Britain.  Cause if  I'd written it, I wouldn't be waiting for the next one. :-) Seriously, the plotting is great, love the characters and setting.

10. What scientific or social (not political or religious) endeavor or event would most benefit mankind at this moment in time?  If you say a Space-Alien Invasion, please explain why.
Cure for childhood cancers.  We lost a 5 year old daughter to neuroblastoma years ago.

11. How would you explain to a blind person the difference between God and Santa Claus, if both were standing in front of you? This is like The Elephant and the Six Blind Men, but its only you telling one person the difference between the two.
This I'll pass on this one since there's no such thing as Santa. :-) And as a preacher's wife, I don't think I could come anywhere near describing God. 

Now...who do I nominate?  Let's see...

Next...what do I ask? Hmmm....

1. When did you realize for the first time you really were a writer?

2. What writer has influenced your writing the most and why?

3. If you use a pen name, why? If you don't, why not?

4. What writer would you like to sit and chat with about writing? Why?

5. Do you have a writing ritual or routine? If so, tell us about it.

6. Do you use an outline or just get started with an idea and see what happens?

7. What real life occurrences have inspired your writing?

8. What have you learned from writing?

9. Does your writing have a message for your readers? If so, do you put it there intentionally or does it just sorta find its way in?

10. What is the best piece of advice you were given as a writer?

11. Tell about your current WIP or latest release.

I can't wait to read your answers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And the winner is...

Six Pack of Murder winners are...

Mary Preston
Dana Wilkerson Spille

Dark Descent winners are...

Rosalee Richland
JQ Rose
Marja McGraw

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy.  If you don't hear from me soon, please get in contact with me.

MWW Tour Stops

In case you missed any stops along the tour, here they are in order. 

Day One  The Romance of Mystery
Day Two   Mysterious Writers
Day Three   Marilyn Musings
Day Four  Rionna Morgan's Chanting of Muses
Day Five  The ExPat Returneth
Day Six  Earl Stagg's Blog
Day Seven  Anne K. Albert's Blog
Day Eight   Feeling the Fiction
Day Nine  Evelyn Cullet's Blog
Day Ten  Rest Stop
Day Eleven   W. S. Gager on Writing
Day Twelve   Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum
Day Thirteen  M. M. Gormell's Blog
Day Fourteen  Madison Johns' Blog
Day Fifteen   Modern Confessional

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mystery We Write Blog Tour - Parking The Bus

"I'm so glad we had this time together, Just to have a laugh, or sing a song. Seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say, "So long". *

That's right, it's time to park the tour bus until next our next trip. I want to thank all those who shared their work on the blog. Wow, talk about some great reading. My TBR pile really grew these past weeks. I can hardly wait to dive in. 

I also want to thank each reader who stopped by. You are the reason we do what we do, well at least one reason. I  know many more stopped by than left a comment and I'm so glad you stopped by. For those of you who left comments...thanks so much.

Each author will be announcing their winners on their blog in the next few days and I'll be announcing my winners on the 12th. 

* Special prize for the first person to leave the origin of the opening paragraph in the comments.*

I'll be doing more excerpts, author interviews and miscellaneous mischief in the coming days and new year so stay tuned. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mystery We Write Blog Tour - Jean Henry Mead

Jean Henry Mead is a national award-winning photojournalist published domestically as well as abroad. She’s also the author of 18 books including the Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series, Hamilton Kids’ mysteries and western historical novels. Her nonfiction books include five books of  interviews and several history books, one of which served as a college textbook. She began her writing career as a news reporter and worked as a staff writer-photographer and editor for three newspapers in California and Wyoming.  She also served as editor for magazines and small presses and freelanced for the Denver Post.

Jean says, " Although I was born and reared in Los Angeles, I live on a mountaintop ranch in Wyoming, which is the setting for my latest Logan & Cafferty novel, Gray Wolf Mountain. Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty are driving Dana’s Escalade down the mountain when someone shoots out a tire and the SUV rolls off the road. They’re soon rescued by an old man in an ancient, rusty pickup and they learn that he nurses wounded wolves back to life. Someone’s using the wolves for target practice, and later humans as well."

Here's an excerpt from Gray Wolf Mountain. 

Stooped and slim as a broom handle, he shuffled around to the opposite side of the truck in his frayed plaid shirt and greasy, ragged overalls. Dana flipped open her cell phone and punched in 911. Wouldn’t you know? No service in the area. They would have to accept the ride. Offering to help their benefactor, they were waved off as he removed an aging yellow cat the size of a short-legged cocker spaniel. He then hauled out a battered plastic box with a cracked lid. Placing the box and cat in the bed of his truck, he next retrieved several lengths of greasy rope with hooks attached to both ends. That left something wrapped in a filthy blanket. When it fell to the ground, they saw that it was a saber.
Sarah gasped and grabbed Dana’s arm. “We don’t want to put you to any trouble,” she said,  voice quavering.
He cupped a hand to his left ear. “What’s that you say?”
So he was hard of hearing. Sarah raised her voice and repeated what she’d said.
“No trouble, young lady. I need to clean my truck out, anyhow.”
“Young lady?” They looked at one another and grinned. “We haven’t been called young in ages.”
His returning grin had several teeth missing. “You two look mighty spry to me. Good lookin’ too, if I might add.”
That settled it. They would have to accept the ride, but neither wanted to sit next to him. The old man didn’t appear to have had taken a bath in months. Turning her back, Dana removed a coin from her wallet and flipped it on her wrist. Covering it with her palm she motioned for Sarah to call it.
“Heads.” Sarah said, crossing fingers.
Sighing with relief, Dana showed her the coin.
“No problem,” Sarah whispered. “My sinuses are so clogged from all this mountain greenery that I can’t smell a thing. Make sure you roll down the window.”

Jean will be giving away a copy of Gray Wolf Mountain at the conclusion of the blog tour on December 11, and will announce the winner at Mysterious Writers:

Gray Wolf Mountain is available in Kindle and print editions HERE.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mystery We Write Blog Tour - Joyce Lavene

Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mystery with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. Visit her at, Facebook/ Twitter: @authorjlavene,

Here's an excerpt of A Haunting Dream:

The moonlight made a white band out of Duck Road as it moved through the center of town. I followed it, winding down the silent streets, until I reached the shore of the Atlantic. There was a hazy quality to the sea that night. The waves were so calm, it was almost like looking at the Currituck Sound on the other side of town. 

I stood on the shore and stared out at the water like so many of my Banker relatives had for centuries in the past. The Atlantic was the lifeblood of Duck and the other older towns on the island. Our ancestors scratched out a living here by taking in cargo that was lost to what came to be known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. 

Hundreds of ships went down here. Some because of the treacherous waters, others because of the local pirates, and a few here and there due to Banker tricks that caused no small amount of disaster. People did what they had to if they wanted to survive. Those weren’t easy times. Cut off from the mainland—no bridges then—life had been difficult.

As I followed the line of the sky with my eyes, I saw what looked like an old wooden ship. It was huge and was under full sail. It looked heavy and cargo rich—a Spanish galleon, if I wasn’t mistaken.
“The Andalusia,” I barely breathed aloud. 

It was a legend, a ghost ship that went down with all hands onboard and a treasure of what most people believed to be over twenty-five million dollars in today’s currency. The ship was destroyed in 1721, never to be seen again as a real vessel. But many people had seen it down through the years, sailing across the water. People in Duck took it as an ill omen. 

All of my life had been spent here, but I’d never seen this before. As I watched it, thrilled and terrified at the same time, I knew it couldn’t be anything else. The ship, even though it looked heavy with cargo, wasn’t quite resting on the dark water. A light that wasn’t part of the moon glow filled it, creating an aura around it. 

I’d heard people say that seeing the ghost ship had transfixed them. They’d walked for miles looking at it. I felt the same way—captivated by the sight of it. I couldn’t look away. 

I started walking along the beach, trying to keep pace with the ghostly galleon. Except for that light and the glow from the moon, it was very dark along the water. I stumbled into a ditch in the sand, created by rain running off from the island. It was still very wet from the tail end of a hurricane we’d had recently.  I lost my balance and sank to my knees in the soft sand. 

I put my hands out to keep myself steady. I didn’t want to look away from the Andalusia, but I had no choice if I wanted to get back on my feet. 

I looked down at the sand and saw a face with wide open eyes looking back at me.

The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. When her boyfriend Kevin’s ex-fiancĂ©e Ann arrives in Duck looking for a second chance, Dae suddenly finds herself facing certain heartache. And while her romantic life is in shambles, she’s even more concerned by the sudden change in her gift. After touching a medallion owned by a local named Chuck Sparks, Dae is shocked when her vision reveals his murder—and a cry for help. Dae doesn’t know what to make of the dead man’s plea to “Help her,” until she has another vision about a kidnapped girl—Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a child missing, the FBI steps in to take over the case. But Dae can’t ignore her visions of Betsy, or the fact that Kevin’s psychic ex-fiancĂ© might be the only person who can help find her.

  You can get your copy here.

Win a copy of A Haunting Dream, the fourth book in the Missing Pieces Mysteries, by leaving your name at my blog: