Thursday, July 18, 2019
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Enjoy your Sunday everyone! ~ Linda
Friday, July 12, 2019
|credit: NASA|Artemis of Ephesus (Ephesus Archaeological Museum)
|Lunar Lander (credit: NASA)|
Sunday, July 7, 2019
I decided I had to get away from my cat-empty apartment and took a trip up the coast from San Francisco to Mendocino, where I could sit and watch the waves pound against the rocks and soak in a hot tub in my room watching Underworld: Awakening and not have to do anything else. It was heavenly. But I still couldn’t stop thinking about how empty my house was without cats. As soon as I came back, I started looking at rescue kittens. And on Memorial Day weekend, I brought home Sophie.
Sophie is the best medicine. She’s a ridiculous brat, and I love her.
At any rate, that’s why I’ve been AWOL from the blog for a few months. The words were just not there. And when I can’t seem to focus on words, I binge TV. Which is how I discovered my new favorite show (that I somehow only just now realized the awesomeness of): Lucifer.
When the show was cancelled on Fox and the outcry of loyal fans got it picked up again by Netflix, I figured it was time to give it a try. This show is a-MAZE-ing. (See what I did there, Lucifer fans?) For the uninitiated, Maze, short for Mazikeen, is one of the characters on the show, a demoness who leaves Hell with Lucifer Morningstar and tends bar at his nightclub in Los Angeles. And also kicks a lot of ass. She’s just one of several unfairly sexy characters in this ensemble cast that includes the marvelously snarky and blithely narcissistic—as well as unapologetically kinky and bisexual—Lucifer Morningstar; Lucifer’s uptight brother, the angel Amenadiel (played by a moody, conflicted D.B. Woodside, just to kill me); Detective Chloe Decker, who takes Lucifer on as a “consulting” sidekick in solving homicides; Chloe’s ex-husband Dan, another homicide detective with secrets; Lucifer’s therapist, Linda, who has a sexy librarian-in-glasses thing going on; and Lucifer’s mom, the Goddess of All Creation, played by none other than Tricia Helfer. And I haven’t even mentioned the adorkably perky forensic scientist Ella Lopez yet or the surprising character arc of Smallville’s Tom Welling that I won’t give away here. And then when Eve shows up after escaping a boring Adam in boring Heaven…
Well, I think you get the picture. This show is chock full of really well-written characters with a lot of unexpected emotional vulnerability—the kind of characters I strive to create in my writing. (I’d be lucky if I could do it half as well.) I understand that Netflix has renewed the show for one more season, but Season 5 will be its last.
Watching and getting caught up in this series made me think of other paranormal TV series that were prematurely cancelled: Dracula, with its titular character played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, was obscenely cancelled (again by Fox) after one amazing season. Sleepy Hollow was cancelled after the disastrous decision by (checks notes)—uh, Fox—to kill off the female lead, played by Nicole Behaire. Tom Mison and his eyebrow were amazing, but Behaire was crucial to that show’s success. I didn’t even bother watching Season 4, and I wasn’t surprised when I heard it wasn’t coming back. Then there was Penny Dreadful on Showtime (hey, not your fault this time, Fox!) that had amazing actors and boasted such fabulous characters as Frankenstein and his monster, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Grey, and Dracula, among others, but was apparently too expensive to be worth continuing with for the ratings it was getting. It was cancelled at the end of Season 3.
Paranormal television series, of course, aren’t the only ones that suffer this fate, but when they do, it always feels like the networks didn’t quite get their audience—or maybe didn’t respect it. Though sometimes, like with NBC’s Grimm and Fox’s Fringe, the shows just seem to have run their course. Thankfully, in those latter cases, they ended with what I consider to be two of the most satisfying conclusions in paranormal television history. It’s worth mentioning that none of these shows were actually billed as romances (because when was the last time romance got any respect on television outside of the Hallmark Channel?), but there are some lovely romantic elements in all of them.
As with television series, it often seems that paranormal book series have a tendency to get prematurely cancelled. (As all of Harlequin’s Nocturne authors sadly can attest.) I hope to one day have a chance to write Laurel’s, Rosemary’s, and Rowan’s stories to finish up the Sisters in Sin series, but right now I’m just starting to get back to work on some other projects that have been languishing—my out-of-print House of Arkhangel’sk and Demons of Elysium series, which I’m hoping to get back into print someday, as well as a paranormal romantic suspense series I set aside back in 2014 to do Sisters. Over the past few days, I’ve been able to keep up my old daily word count of 1K per day. Here’s hoping that will continue. (Even if playing with Sophie instead is really, really tempting.)
Are there any television or book series whose cancellations you still pine over? Let us know in the comments so we can check them out and be sad together. ;)
Monday, July 1, 2019
|photo credit: NASA|
When I read that NASA has a new mission, and it's to Titan, Saturn's moon, I did a happy dance. (I'm sure you heard the thudding.) I am still geeked about this. I wrote a novella, Mission to New Earth, that starts on Titan. Two years later, Liza O'Connor wrote Destination: Titan, Book 1 of her Leaving Earth series. I researched so much about Titan to write my book that I thought I knew a lot about Saturn's largest moon. Then, Liza wrote many blog posts about that place. Wow. I didn't know as much as I thought.
Thank goodness for NASA and all its pictures.
|photo credit: NASA Seeing Titan with infrared Eyes|
Anyway, I feel like I have a special affinity for the newest of NASA's future explorations. Scientists think that Titan is now what Earth was billions of years ago. By researching this moon, they believe it will "revolutionize what we know about life in the universe."
|photo credit: NASA Dragonfly landing on Titan|
You know how NASA sent Rover (a land-based robotic vehicle) to Mars, its job to scoop up dirt and analyze it? The mission to Titan will be fantastically different. Dragonfly is a rotocraft, and it will fly to dozens of locations, picking up surface materials and taking off again to fly to the next location.
What's so special about Titan?
|photo credit: IMDB|
|photo credit: NASA|
Dragonfly will use 13 years of data gathered by the Cassini spacecraft. Titan has clouds, rain, rivers, lakes, and oceans of methane and ethane, (Guess we won't be swimming there.) It also has sand dunes and mountains. It's the second largest moon in our solar system and bigger than Mercury. Titan has a nitrogen-based atmosphere, like Earth. The most important reason to find out more about Titan is that it's filled with such a variety of organic compounds that it could tell us more about the building blocks of life.
I hope I live long enough to see Dragonfly do its thing. It will leave Earth in 2026 and won't get to Titan until 2034. But if I'm still around, you'll find me glued to the TV, just like when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
Now for a commercial break.
Mission to New Earth, a science fiction novella
If you want to read more about the Dragonfly Mission and Titan, go to https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/moons/saturn-moons/titan/overview
For more photos of Titan, go tohttps://www.space.com/12638-amazing-photos-titan-saturn-moon.html
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Ryan Rourke wasn’t looking for love when he sat at the foot of the statue, Michael Emerging. The inanimate object listens and he could swear there’s someone beneath the granite. One night he gives into his desire and kisses the statue. It won’t hurt anything, right? It’s just a granite statue—except there’s a soul in the cold rock.
Indio fell in love with Ryan the moment the shy college junior spoke to him the first time. The tenderness, warmth, and sense of humor were everything Indio wanted—if he weren’t trapped in granite. The attraction is stronger than he ever thought possible. Can Ryan’s kiss free him forever? Or will the power of Zeus and the majesty of the curse be too much to overcome? If Indio has his way, he will get his man.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
|Logan's Run Before Black Friday Sales|
|Logan's Run After|
Monday, June 24, 2019
"Georgianna Darby is as warm as a cow pod! " Henry blurted out to the others. A tenacious line of beer foam, rimmed the droopy mustache over his wet mouth. It nicely highlighted the sneer on his florid face. "Well, maybe a recently dropped pod!" he added to the delight of his listeners. Henry used the back of his hairy knuckles to mop at his whiskers until the laughing died down around their table, and the tables nearby, of accidental listeners.
He went on describing the named woman in even courser terms.
"I have yet to see a glimmer of a smile on that pasty-white face. Always scowling like an old witch over her brew," he added with a flourish of his hand, tipping some of his own brew, onto his shabby suit lapel. "She's as tight with her good humors, as the braids she wears like a black crown on her head."
His comments opened the way for the others to speak their minds, befuddled as they were becoming with the arrival of a third pint.
"I've taken note of how she only joins us at our dinner, never breakfast. Even then, she barely speaks," put in Tomas, the youngest man staying at the Darby. "It's mostly just 'yes' or 'no', to civil attempts at conversation." Tomas was a newly minted accountant and always spoke with the precision of that profession.
"And she never eats, only sips at her wine. I swear, her bones already poke through those black dresses of hers! How long has she been in mourning, anyway?" Ralph asked, looking around the table. As an insurance agent, Ralph was always concerned with health matters.
The three turned a bleary eye to Carter, the only one who hadn't offered insights regarding the cold, dour, and emaciated Mrs. Darby. In fact, he rarely spoke more than a few words on any topic. However, Carter's surreptitious glances at the landlady during her stony visits at supper, spoke volumes to the other boarders. They all noted how he pulled out her chair like an attentive suitor. They observed how the lady of the house, leaned in, directing whispered remarks for his ears exclusively. For some opaque reason, Carter was interested this eccentric widow. Oddly, Georgianna Darby became almost attractive in those moments, with Carter looking up from his meal to stare momentarily into her dark eyes.
"Come on Carter, being a Copper, you probably know something of Mrs. Darby's background," Henry said, giving the taciturn Peace Officer a hard tap on his shoulder.
"I've only been at the Boarding house for a few weeks. I can't say I know any more than you lot," Carter answer in his usual soft-spoken manner.
"But you have to agree," barked Ralph, "she has some peculiar ways about her. And then there's those noises we've all heard late at night. It's like the old bird is having a party somewhere in the place!" he said looking around at three nodding heads.
Tomas joined in saying, "The racket seems to be coming from the cellar. Though upon questioning the cook, she'd only say the lady of the house was putting away wines and food stuff in their bins down there."
Mention of the cook, brought other oddities about the household to light and comment. All the men, with the exception of Carter, had strong opinions on this hugely fat woman, though all agreed they ate well. Only the finest cuts of meat graced their table each evening and the cook was never stingy in their portions.
At the conclusion of graphic descriptions of the bloody-red roast they enjoyed just that evening, Carter stood up, swaying ever so slightly on his feet. His current assignment, impersonating a lowly Patrol Officer on the streets of the fourth, New York Precinct, placed him in the boarding house nearly three weeks back.
In reality, Carter was a highly successful Investigative Officer for a burgeoning constabulary. He' d been assigned to look into five, Missing Persons Reports, posted on past boarders who resided at the Darby House just prior to disappearing off the face of the earth. So far, Carter discovered each of the disappeared men had been given the same room he now occupied and that all, like him, were unattached. In fact, it was their employers who filed reports when they failed to show for work after several days. And then there was the question of Mrs. Darby.
After careful questioning, Carter learned from the current boarders, all five of the missing fellows had become strangely smitten, with the wraith-like figure and sickly pale looks of their landlady. To his chagrin, Carter found he too, felt she exerted some sort of influence over him. He felt more and more drawn to the darkly crowned woman, even experiencing some strangely vivid dreams, with her lying intimately close to him in his bed, speaking in a hypnotic, soothing voice.
He always woke when the dreams became overly intense, but he'd been suffering extreme fatigue and lost focus over the past few days.
Returning to the boarding house took several halting minutes while he struggled to regain his sobriety. I only need a good night's rest, he thought as he opened the door and entered the dimly lit foyer.
The gloom was heavy with the scent of wood polish and the sickening sweet smell of Mrs. Darby's fragrance. He noticed it the second he walked into the boarding house weeks ago. It permeated the air, the drapes, the carpeting and every stick of upholstered furnisher. For some reason, it was extremely strong when he laid on his bed. Smelling it so strongly now, he shivered, knowing the woman of the house might be nearby. He only wanted peace and rest and didn't want to hold any conversations with the landlady at this hour.
"Mr. Wellington," came her silky voice out of the cloying darkness. "I see the pub has gotten the best of you," she gurgled like a gently flowing brook. "Let me help you to your room, these stairs are very steep and I couldn't live... (she cleared her throat)...with myself if you suffered."
"What d'ya mean, 'suffered', Carter slurred.
"If you suffered a mishap, of course. Now, shall we get you to your bed?" She'd already managed to slip her bony arm through his, using his elbow like a rudder to guide him up the long, narrow staircase to the second floor.
His bed looked so inviting to him, he put up no fuss when Mrs. Darby carefully pushed him down onto the fluffy comforter. He began to doze off immediately as she busied herself, humming softly while divesting Carter of all his clothing until he lay as innocently naked as a babe. There was a stirring, more like a rumble, coming from the bedroom closet when the door was flung open.
Pushing her great weight forward, the cook peered long and hard at the lean body of the sleeping Carter saying, "This one will drain quickly, Mistress, but we won't get much meat off of him I fear."
"No worries, my dear. Just be certain to fill the wine bottles well and don't spill any this time. You know how I detest waste."