Friday, November 30, 2018

When Disaster Strikes

A Scouting for Food pick-up to be remembered

Unless you’ve been on a total social media blackout for the last three weeks, you have at least heard about the wildfires in California. The good news is that the biggest one—the Camp Fire—is now 100% contained. The bad news…well, it’s bad, people. This fire now holds the dubious honor of being the single most destructive wildfire in California history. Worse than the Tubbs Fire in Napa County last year. So many homes and businesses were destroyed in the town of Paradise alone that it’s easier to take pictures of what’s still standing than what’s not.

How big was the Camp Fire ultimately? At the time I wrote this blog, 153,336 acres (almost 240 square miles) have burned. Eight-five confirmed dead, with hundreds still missing. It gobbled up the towns of Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Park Hill, and several others. For a time, it even threatened the City of Chico.

How fast is fast? "This fire was outrunning us before we realized we were in a race." -Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea. The Bay Area is over one hundred sixty miles away from Paradise. It took barely an hour and a half for the high winds to blow the smoke into our area, and it stayed with us for two and half weeks until the rain finally came the day before Thanksgiving.

But, with human tragedy comes human compassion. In the mad rush to evacuate, people still stopped and grabbed other stranded motorists and animals--even though they were all surrounded by walls of flame with helicopters dumping water directly on them--and driving them to safety. The stories are beautiful and endless, and reaffirmed my faith in my fellow humans.

During a FB Live, my dear friend and fellow author R.L.Merrill brought me to tears when she said, “I can’t even say how much it bothers me think about all the kids who aren’t going to have homes to have holidays in this year…We’re debating here whether or not to keep our schools open, they don’t have a school. We’re staying inside our houses to avoid the smoke; they don’t have houses.” (Less than an hour after she said this, the phone calls went out announcing schools in our county would be closed the next day.)

Suddenly having to wear masks outside doesn't seem like such a hardship, does it? But, this is where human compassion steps up. Thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement are gladly accepted! Always will be, imo. However, if you’re looking for other ways to give, here’s some places seeking help:


Do you have a Northern California home, apartment, or condo listed with AirBnB? Contact AirBnB to open your property to displaced families or disaster relief workers deployed to the area. (Nov. 8 – Dec 14, 2018.)


Please note that just about every organization has been flooded with clothing and household items, and they’re begging people to stop dropping off because there’s nowhere to store these items, especially now that the rains have started. Instead, monetary donations can be made to:

Butte County Office of Education – Donors can specify where and what their monetary donation can be spent on (text books, musical instruments, sports gear, school supplies, etc.)
Northern Valley Animal Disaster Group – Need volunteers, temporary foster homes, monetary donations.
Butte Humane Society – Amazon Wishlist

If you know any other legitimate organizations giving aid to the victims of this fire, please feel free to mention them in the comments.

As always, research any charities you might donate to!

Another way to help:
From now through Christmas, R.L Merrill will donate 100% of the proceeds from her book Father F’in’Christmas to help the recovery efforts for the Camp Fire. This book was written on a dare, and is a perfect choice for the cause! Here’s the blurb:

When deceased firefighter Tommy Quintana wakes up in a gymnasium and is told he suffers from Death Denial Syndrome, he knows the one thing he must do in order to move on: mind his wife, Kimberly. Assigned to work with Intervention Specialist Louis Sheffield, he soon learns that he has much more to make up for than he thought as his widow is literally dying of a broken heart. With the help of a 1980s-era punk rocker, a gargoyle, and an alley cat, Tommy will attempt a friggin' Christmas miracle to save her.

Sunrise from my house on Nov. 9th, 160 miles from the fire.

The arrival of the rains brings its own challenges, specifically landslides. With the vegetation gone, the blackened hillsides in the fire zone have already made the search for human remains a difficult and dangerous job. Please keep our first-responders and volunteers in your prayers.


~Lea Kirk

By the way, Sheriff Honea seems to have achieved Chuck Norris level notoriety in this collection of memes. My favorite is “Death once had a near Honea experience.”


USA Today Bestselling Author Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance Prophecy series. She’s an avid Trekkie, Gryffindor, and wannabe space explorer. She’s made one foray into paranormal romance with her Magic, NM vampire novella, Made for Her, and hopes to write more stories in this world.

When she’s not busy writing, she’s hanging out with her wonderful hubby of twenty-eight years, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and a spoiled Dobie mix pup.

For more on Lea's books (past, present, and future), check out her:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

It's Snowing! Warm Up with a Good Book ~ Faerie Matchmaker by @MeganSlayer #faeries #mf #romance #PNR

As I write this post, the snow is falling. It's not so thick today, but man, it's cold out. If you're like me and need something to warm you up, then try my novella, Faerie Matchmaker (previously titled Faeries After Dark ~ Cordelia). It's a hot story!

Faerie Matchmaker 

By: Megan Slayer
After Dark Series, #1
M/F, Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Megan Slayer Publications

What’s a love faerie supposed to do without her magic? 

Cordelia likes to play fast and loose with the rules. So she’s made a few mistakes with magic along the way? No one got hurt…right? The blue-haired faerie, prone to the occasional blue language and dirty jokes, loses her right to create magic after one goof-up too many. But she’s about to find redemption in the form of a merman named Henry and a human named Jinx. Fix them up and she’ll get her right to create magic back. There’s only one problem…Liam. 

Liam could be the right man to help Cordelia rise above her troubles…but first she’s got to make him believe she exists. Not impossible, right?

©Megan Slayer, 2018, All Rights Reserved
She’d have to face the guy some time. She whipped around and collided with a solid wall of male muscle. He smelled like leather and stood at least eight inches taller than her. She splayed her hands on his chest to steady herself, then backed up. “Sorry.”
“I scared you?”
She met his gaze. Holy fuck. He had blue eyes. “Jinx?”
“That’s my brother.” He smiled. “Are you okay? You look lost and a little confused.”
A little? “You’re fucking serious? You’re not Jinx?” She swept her gaze over him. Christ. She’d cream her shorts at this rate. He had muscle in all the right places, a chiseled jaw, reddish blond hair and blue eyes. When he smiled, his dimple showed. He smelled good and when he spoke, shivers ran the length of her spine. And here she was with a wet tank top and hard nipples. She was so fucked.
“I’m serious.” He laughed and offered his hand. “Jinx—er—my brother, Jeremy, tends to be here. He paints. Why are you looking for him? It’s too late for him to paint tonight.”
“Oh. Right.” God. She sounded stupid. “I’ll stop talking now.”
“You don’t have to.” He slipped her hand into his and tugged her to the closest bench. “Have a seat, catch your breath and let’s talk. You look flustered. You can’t possibly be a hitwoman or out to find him because of a secret baby.”
“Why not?” Being a hitwoman wasn’t on her radar, but anything was possible.
“Despite your foul mouth, you’re too sweet.” He nodded to the bench. “Sit. Tell me your name and what’s going on.”
She plopped onto the bench and willed her chest to cooperate. She pressed her knees together. Christ, the heat in her body would overwhelm her sooner than later. She wanted to touch him again and feel that sizzle. “My name is Cory…Cordelia.” She shook hands with him. Damn. Firm grip. What would it feel like to have those hands around her waist during sex? Probably heaven… Shit. She had to focus. “I’m actually trying to find Jinx or Jeremy, as you called him, for a friend of mine. A mutual friend told me to get them in contact and put in a good word.”
 “Is either friend a guy?”
“Yeah. One of them is.” She slid her gaze to him. “Why? Didn’t you know he’s gay?”
“I knew.”
“Before we go any farther, what’s your name?” Call her nosy, but she wanted to address him properly when she asked him to bed later.
“Liam. It’s short for William. William Darling.” He shook her hand again. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Cordelia.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Audio coming for the holidays By Reservation Only

Since my book does have a ghost I'm including it here. By Reservation Only, the first book in the Deerbourne Inn Series will be available in Audio for the holidays. It was a learning experience to pick a reader, then listen to each chapter read by someone else. It takes time and I just finished with a relieved sigh. I think it sounds great. Hopefully my readers will agree.


By Reservation Only, Book One in the Deerbourne Inn Series, is an ongoing saga about the people who visit or live at the Inn. the stories vary from contemporary romance to historical romance, a ghost story and a mystery. and thats only the start.

The second book, Hope's Dream (Deerbourne Inn) by Peggy Jaeger 
Link:  is out November 5

Buy links:

Amazon //WildRose Press // Kobo 

You can connect with Barbara here:

website // Blog // Amazon // Facebook // Google + // Pinterest 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

C-C-C-Changes! by Nancy Gideon

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a creature of firmly entrenched habit. Maybe it’s the ADD/OCD, but I wrap myself up in the armor of the familiar, oftentimes pulling it over my head to hide from new and scary things I’d rather ignore than embrace unless forced. Last person to explore the internet – raises hand. Last person to get a cell phone – blushing but nods. Yes, that’s me. The person who goes to three different mapping sites before going across town . . . just to be sure (but still has never used the map app on said cell phone or gone on an impulsive day trip without a pre-studied and printed itinerary). I don’t like surprises or detours or trendy things that distract me from the tried and true. It’s a wonder I’ve survived 2018 with all its upheavals and (duhduhduh) journeys into the unknown (also the name of my favorite anthology series of scary TV shows back in the late 60’s ala Twilight Zone). 

To recap 2018 – end of employment I adored due to boss’s retirement followed by thankfully short-term nightmare job, and now a new position at a big firm starting tomorrow; readying for last book in a series I’ve loved writing for 10 years; and finally, dropping the number followed by an X to actually shop for ‘regular’ size clothes. What’s an iron-clad introvert supposed to do?

Okay, not all these things are bad, (i.e. becoming actively political for the first time) but they are rocking my boat of comfortable placidity to the point I feel like I’m bailing like mad (but burning calories, so maybe that’s a win!). I even stepped from the traditional for the fam’s holiday meal (since we’ve been sharing recipes this month) by trolling for interesting sidedishes to accent the Big Bird. This year’s secret word: Bacon. Green beans with bacon, garlic, Dijon mustard and a pinch of brown sugar; Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing with a pinch of soy sauce, ginger and Bacon; and, an Autumn Salad with quickly replaced Romaine, chopped pears, dried cherries, pecans, Feta, poppy seed dressing and, you guessed it, Bacon! (Recipes are on my Home for the Holidays Pinterest page!). Yummo!

I guess it’s time to pull up my slightly smaller Big Girl Panties and venture out into the world of new things . . . starting tomorrow with my new job (with full benefits!). 

If you have time, pop over to my Blog for my Weekend Writing Warriors post where characters from my recent shapeshifter release PRINCE OF DREAMS are coming to terms with the unexpected on the road to a HEA, too.

Sooooo, change can be good!
Nancy Gideon on the Web

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Road Trip by Francesca Quarto

The vacation was well-planned, down to the snacks and number of possible rest stops.  The big Dodge Ram truck was stuffed like a Christmas turkey on wheels.  Suitcases, coolers, electronics totes and sundry items needed for the man's hunting foray, were jammed into every available crevice and secured for an adventure covering almost four thousand miles, round trip.
As they pulled away from their suburban home, the wife sat in the front seat, dreamily thinking of beautiful vistas and enchanting small towns, along the roads from Indiana to San Antonio, Texas.  A week there and then on to Laredo and up to the wild Texas foothills, for another week.
The trip would include a stop in Arkansas at the Diamond Crater State Park, known for the discovery of the rare gems, by any keen-eyed bloke and the occasional youngster kicking dirt clods out of boredom.  The wife was prepared to dig for her own diamond and already thinking of ring settings for the one carrot sparkler.
They drove into Arkansas commenting on the lovely scenery, but also noting a paucity of Rest Areas along their road.  Worse still, there seemed no exits off the seemingly endless highway leading deep into the black Arkansas night. 
Driving for several hours, bladders screaming for relief, they finally spotted lights off in the distance.  Civilization!
A small cluster of buildings constituted the town, a village really, on the outskirts of the famed diamond grounds.  Pulling into a motel called "Paradise Rest", the husband secured a room from the owner, a large-boned woman, wearing shorts likely belonging to a granddaughter and a not-too-friendly look.  The couple were told to "park behind our  motorcycles"  sitting like giant black beetles, two feet from their motel room door.
On an early morning walk, the wife discovered a menagerie of twenty parakeets stuffed into an undersized cage near the motel office.  They screeched like witches pleading for mercy before burning, adding a somber feel to an over-cast morning. She hoped it wasn't an omen.
Later, when the husband jumped into the shower, the water ran as cold as a mountain stream, inspiring a hasty scrub and rinse and many muttered profanities.  This occurrence was greeted with a blank look when reported to the floozy running the place.  Evidently, showers were not a significant part of their daily routine, though their bikes looked clean.
Off to the diamond hunting grounds! The two had purchased a small shovel and rented a sifter and other accoutrement, so they could pan for their gems. They came prepared to hit the jackpot, but ill-prepared to dig in the broiling sun.
No hat for the wife, no water, no gloves, knee pads, sun screen.  After three hours of slogging over deeply rutted ground and through muddy channels, where the gleaming treasure supposedly poked out of gray dirt clods, they quit!  Dehydration sucked them as dry as over-cooked chickens. Heat stroke was a real possibility, whereas, finding her diamond was not.
Back on the road, the wife did have a new T Shirt, reading Diamond Crater State Park and the husband a new shovel. 
Many long hours and state highways later, they crossed into the Lone-Star State.  Another night on the road before hitting San Antonio, Texas, where they could board with relatives while they explored the fabled Alamo.
The Alamo was a Mission Fort in its time and offered a rare look back to the formation of Texas.  It seemed to exude a kind of solemn serenity, considering its bloody history. Entering, the wife and husband noted how the big city surrounded the small Mission like the troops of Santa Anna had, in its historic last days.
Onward to Laredo, a city reflecting the warm colors of Mexican tradition, language and faces.  The food was traditional, the antacid liberally employed by the husband.  Visiting another willing family member afforded them the chance to relax between meals, shopping and more food. The wife resolved to diet upon returning home, her husband swore off Mexican sauces in future.
During the quick return trip to San Antonio, before heading back to Indiana, the couple toured another Mission Fort favored by the Spaniards, centuries past.  The wife voiced her objection to using a religious facility so blatantly as cover for the true purpose of the Mission; fortifying Spanish interests and wealth.  The priests proselytized, baptized, and generally ruled over the indigenous peoples with their own brand of "God."  The Indians were housed at the Mission in small, stone quarters, sharing outdoor brick ovens with other families.  As semi-wards of the Spanish, they were expected to plant and garden, helping to provision the population of the Mission along with any garrisoned soldiers.  Proving yet again to the wife and husband, the arrogance of one race over another, long pre-dated modern times, but was no less deplorable.
Homeward bound, on the road for ten hours each day, the couple had a clearer view of what it meant to be a "road warrior."  They had faced travel-monsters along the way.  Heavy road traffic, horrific looking accidents and rubber-necking, beds that sag, food that rearranges internal organs, weather that ranged from sweltering, to near flood stage overnight.
In spite of the challenges, they did learn more about this wonderfully diverse country of theirs.  They felt like foreigners at times, visiting a new land with a vastly different subculture. 
And for the wife, well, she loved the accent!  Bye Ya'll!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Dessert for Romance Readers (& Writers)

I love that many of us have been sharing holiday recipes this month. I am a big fan of food. It's very important in my life and to my happiness and well being. Lol. The recipe I'm sharing today isn't one that has to wait for holidays either.

You may not want to share the name with friends (blush), but it is the perfect recipe for a romance reader (or writer).



  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (even better if it's German chocolate cake mix)
  • Any ingredients (eggs, veggie oil) for the cake mix
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 bottle caramel sauce (can be ice cream sauce)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bag crushed toffee/chocolate (Heath bar) topping (you can find it in the chocolate chips section of the grocery store)


Step 1 - Prep
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Step 2 - Cake
Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using milk instead of water. Pour batter into prepared dish and bake according to directions on box. Let cake cool completely.

Step 3 - The "Sauces"
Use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over cake.
The more the better to absorb the liquids. I do rows of holes.

Pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake, making sure to fill the holes.
Pour the caramel sauce over the cake. (If it's the ice cream sauce, be sure to heat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave first. NOT in a metal container though.)

Step 4 - Whip
Whip heavy whipping cream on medium high speed with an electric mixer. With mixer running, add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whip until stiff peaks form.

BTW--Yes you can substitute Cool Whip or any other ready-made whipped cream for this step to save yourself some time. I just love homemade whipped cream so much better though.

Step 5 - Top
Spread whipped cream over the cake. Dribble more caramel sauce over the top. Finish by sprinkling with the crushed toffee/chocolate (Heath candy). The more toffee topping the better in my opinion. This is not the time to be stingy. 

I highly recommend you refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. 

Honestly, I love this cake even better the next day. WARNING: This cake will be a bit soggy, like Tres Leches, but it's so tasty, that's part of the joy.

Do keep refrigerated.

Here's a fun video showing you how in speedy-time from My Recipes!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Not Another Boring Turkey Casserole--Thanksgiving Leftovers that Rock! by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

My hubs love, love, loves Thanksgiving dinner. Loves it and eats it multiple times a year.  We regularly have a turkey in the freezer. He’s so obsessed with it from his childhood that he makes his mom’s special secret stuffing recipe and makes a special basting sauce. He only lets me make the gravy, deviled eggs and salad.  Yes, I’m his sous-chef de Thanksgiving cuisine. I’m not even going to pretend I don’t think that’s super dandy.

However, when it comes to leftovers, he’s strictly a heat it up a couple days and then toss it kinda guy. Keep in mind that he, “talked myself out of getting the 20 lb as I knew that was too big for just the two of us” (my kids live out of state). “That’s good, hon. So what size did you get?” “I just got an 18 lb one.”

So now I am already thinking about leftovers, and I am not a huge fan of leftovers, but I’m also not a huge fan of turkey.  I mean, I like it okay, but I’m not a die-hard fanatic like hubs. I’m also not a fan of throwing out half a turkey.  That mean, unless I want to eat turkey soup or chili or lasagna of casserole a la boring, I have to get creative. 

For those of you who are tired of the same old thanksgiving leftover recipes, you’re in luck. I think I found some good ones!  Take a look and let me know what you think!


Turkey-and-Spinach Wraps with Cranberry-Walnut-Cream Cheese Spread

Turkey Milanese

Leftover turkey breasts are fried to a golden crisp and topped with leftover turkey gravy and mushrooms. Make it a complete meal by serving it with a side salad of arugula and blue cheese.

Grilled Turkey, Brie, and Apple Butter Sandwich with Arugula

The ultimate next-day comfort food: turkey, brie, arugula and apple butter are sandwiched between two pieces of rye bread to create a grilled cheese sandwich you'll crave year-round.

Turkey Waldorf Salad--Which Would be Good with Cranberry Dressing, too!


And don't forget to get my BLACK FRIDAY release of 
The Young Adult Writer's Journey

The Kindle will be having some special treats from 
Nov. 23-Dec. 3

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Very Best Stuff: Holiday Shopping for Readers and Writers by L. A. Kelley

Readers and writers on your list? Take the stress out of holiday shopping with my ideas for fun stuff.

Personalized Stuff

How about personalized luggage tags with a book cover instead of a picture? Two-sided luggage tags come in two sizes. Use two covers or a book cover on one side and a business card or address on the other. $5

Every Christmas gift list includes a dull, boring mug with some stupid inspirational saying. Instead, choose a handmade mug with room for a short log line from a book. $25

Imagine wearing your book cover or blurb.
Personalized scarves are more fun when you use a book cover and blurb. $37 

Why stop at a just a t-shirt? Check out the rest of the Bags of Love site and choose from among beanies, caps, sarongs, socks, sunglasses, belts, bandanas, ties, aprons and more. Prices range from $34 to $56. 

Housewares and Home Decor Stuff

Add a book cover to a wall mural or the tag line from your favorite book mounted on the wall. Prices start at under $20 for something small and go up from there.

Can’t put down that book even if you’re gross and smelly? Use the bathtub book holder in the tub. $35.99 

Ever dream of having your own bookstore? Now you can build one. The bookstore kit comes complete with book, shelves, ladder, paintings, even electric lights. $39.95

Need some inspiration for your next fantasy novel? Cozy up to your laptop in a crocheted mermaid tail blanket. In small and large sizes, choose from a multitude of colors. $13.85

Books look cooler propped up between katana sword bookends. $39.99

Who knew book shelves could bring a smile.  Check out the wondershelves  and bookends by Artori Design, most under $50

Eat your vegetables and learn your grammar. Grammarstuff plates are $12.50 each.

The composition notebook bottle will keep beverages hot or cold. $59.99

For the true book fan - a true

book fan. The folds are made from vintage books. $14.95

Do the best ideas come just as you drift off to sleep? Jot down a few notes on the doodle pillowcase. It comes with machine washable fabric markers. $19.95

Have a book cover printed on the surface of a light switch for $12.95.

Yeah we’ve all been there. Check out the writer's clock$26.95

The book rest lamp holds your place and gives off a soothing light. $60

This book light give off a gentle light and looks cool with any decor. $50

Even if you love the people around you, sometimes they just need to go away so you can get your work done. Hang this cheeky Do Not Disturb sign to make the point. $12.99

A puzzle book box will hold secret treasures, once the recipient figures out the trick to opening it. Recommended for people you don't like, but owe a gift. $54.99

Use literary soap to wash the naughty bits with some of your favorite authors. $3.95

Extra Stuff

What obsessive writer doesn't need quotation mark earrings$28.80

A book handbag for the fashionable bibliophiles on your list. $99

Yeah, I got nothing to say about this except perfume that smells like a paperback is just plain weird. Prices range from $4 to $40.

When inspiration strikes in the shower use Aqua Notes. $10.81

Can a grammar book be fun to read? Yes, if it’s Eats, Shoots& Leaves by Lynne Truss. A delightful book with cheeky wit and grammar how-to’s.  By the last page you’ll be declaring your undying love for the semicolon. It’s available in ebook, paperback, hard cover, and audiobook. Prices range from $6 to $42 depending on format.

Know a writer who is odd? Boy, is that a loaded question. How about one who likes to figure out plot points while strolling down the street? Get the poor dear a PORTOCAM to talk into so people don’t stare. It records and even takes pictures. $67.88

Why just sign your books when you can emboss them, too? Prices for this personalized embosser run from about $50 to $150.

And Finally…Butt Stuff

Writers and readers tend to spend time on their butts. An under the desk elliptical machine for $249 is just the ticket to keep in shape and you don’t even have to stop writing or reading.

L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy adventures with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. Keep your mitts off her stuff.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Houston Robot Brothel

Houston is surprised and the Mayor is already on his soapbox about Houston’s debut robot brothel. I’m surprised that the Toronto chose Houston of all places. I just left Houston, and I remember it as very traditional and not very liberal. So, I am amazed.

Last week, a Toronto businessman announced the opening of the establishment by the end of
September or early October. Not giving authorities much time to close the joint. Now, I’m all for
robot sex dolls. (Aside: they do come in male models, but even if I could afford one, I wouldn’t buy
myself a man). He already operates such a brothel in Toronto.

Houston’s brothel is the nation’s first. (I can’t believe it! Did he do his research?) I bet Joel Osteen
will be on this fast.

At the brothel, the patron can either pay to rent a doll or purchase one. Here’s a YouTube video on the
dolls, including what they look like.

I found out about the dolls on Facebook. A friend of mine in Texas messaged me. She said, “Love or 
Sale.”  My book Love For Sale is about sentient androids totally indistinguishable from human,
who’re programmed as loving companions. Oddly enough, Love For Sale is set in Houston. Go
figure. I’m psychic!


March Morgan believes in true love, but her faith in finding her soul mate is slowly fading.
She’s been married but never in love.  So, it’s a miracle to find that fantasy exists on the last page of a women’s journal.  Mayfair Electronics, Ltd., in a glossy black and white ad, offers Love for Sale.  The London firm has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from human.  She flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life.

Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight.  He’s handsome, cultured…absolutely perfect…and a little different from the other androids.  He has an unexpected independent streak.
March signs on the dotted line, buying her dream man.  They return to Houston, but soon her past and his future threaten their Happily Ever After—indeed their lives. (Available in audio, eBook and print).  5-Stars  and available on Amazon.


Motionless, she watched the parade of beauty, but none of them struck the special chord that would make her heart sing. They can be customized, March reminded herself.  Still, it took more than looks to make her fall in love.

Then he strode through the door, and her heart did a double back flip. She inhaled a soft gasp.  He was perfect, no customization needed.  The only programming required was a sense of humor and an intense libido.  Lord, she wanted to touch him, run her fingers through his hair and kiss that luscious mouth.

"Sorry to keep you waiting."  His voice defined musical and played that special chord she'd dreamed of.  "I was on the phone."

The Special Editions had gathered around her.  The auburn haired woman whispered a laugh.  "Is there any need for more than one introduction, Ms. Morgan?"

That someone was speaking barely registered.  March didn't respond.  She was speechless and couldn't peel her gaze off the most beautiful man she'd ever seen.  His eyes were crystalline blue, his hair wheat colored.  She'd wanted sparks.  She'd gotten fireworks!  No way in hell was she leaving London without him.

Spellbound, March was drawn one step toward perfection, her willful eyes traveling over his body, pausing at his zipper, sliding down his long legs.  The wasted years looped through her memory, regret stinging her eyes.

Melissa squeezed her hand.  "Ah, you like our blond."  She beckoned.  "Come, Christian."

In tight jeans and a tux jacket with plaid cummerbund and bow tie, her dream man paused in the light of a crystal and gold chandelier.  His shoulder-length hair shone like silk.  Mischief sparkled in his eyes.  Full lips parted on a smile, his teeth white and even.  March loved a beautiful smile, and everything inside her melted.

Morally, I don’t see the robot brothel degrading machines when compared to human women being
degraded in similar circumstances. As to men becoming addicted, are they not in danger of becoming
addicted to human establishments now in operation in this country?

On the news front, Happy Wednesday, Linda.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Should We Call E.T.? by Diane Burton

With the exception of a few movies (e.g., Star Trek: First Contact), aliens have invaded Earth mostly for the same reason—invasion and destruction of humankind or we have something they need (like water in Oblivion). If we’re able to make contact with aliens, will they be “good” aliens who want to help us further our exploration of space? Or will they be “bad” guys who want to destroy us?

That presumes we’re capable of contacting aliens. Scientists are trying to figure out a way. A study announced earlier this month by MIT proposed that laser technology would be used to announce our presence in this part of the universe. 

On one of our trips home from Arizona, we stopped near Socorro, New Mexico to see the Very Large Array, a field of twenty-seven 25-foot radio telescopes that are used to investigate the heavens. At the same time, we’re taking in information, we’re also letting E.T. know that we’re home.

While standing near those huge telescopes (that remind me of satellite dishes), I was filled with excitement as I remembered the movie Contact when Jody Foster’s character discovered signals from an unknown world while working with SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute at Aricebo, Puerto Rico.

Having seen too many science fiction movies where the aliens resemble giant insects or lizards, I want to know where are the aliens that are humanoid? Like in sci-fi romances? I wouldn’t mind if they have pointed ears (like the Vulcans in Star Trek) or are warriors like the Klingons. In my sci-fi romances, my aliens are not creepy. But, what if in real life, they are creepy? Disgusting looking? District 9, anyone? Okay, I know I shouldn't judge any being by its appearance. How that being looks is no indication of its intelligence, ethics, or purpose.

What if they don't come in peace? What if they don't want to be friends? What if they only want our minerals and the heck with the inhabitants? Do we really want to transmit signals that say “hey, guys, here we are”?

Something to think about.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Infinite Monkey Theorem by Jane Kindred

Do you hear that sound? That clickity-clacking, cicada-like buzzing permeating the air? That’s either the sound of a thousand monkeys accidentally typing Shakespeare’s complete works or the sound of a million completely mental writers plunging into NaNoWriMo. That’s National Novel Writing Month, for those not in the know, when writers pledge to write a 50,000-word novel in
30 days, racing to beat their own word-count records.

For some writers, completing a novel in 30 days is an average month. I am not one of those monkeys—er, writers. My usual pace is 1,000 words a day when I’m in the groove, and it takes me about three to four months to write a full-length novel. In an average year, I write three. This year, I have written exactly zero novels. The Shakespeare monkeys are gaining on me.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I finished up a series early in the year and had a long dry spell where I couldn’t manage to put down a single word. In June, the words finally started flowing again, but the pace has been extremely slow, thanks to my aging cat who can’t cope with not sitting on my lap. I’ve been writing on the weekends at a café, but I’m determined to get this thing done this year, so I figured NaNo would be the perfect opportunity.

I had close to 50,000 words written by the end of October, which is about half the length of what I expect this book to be, so I made sure I got to the 50,000 mark exactly by Halloween night so that I could commit to writing 50,000 in November. At midnight, my NaNo counter began at zero.

I wasn’t sure I had it in me to write steadily after dithering about for so many months. I knew I couldn’t write at my desk without the cat screaming bloody murder, and I can’t afford to go to the café every day, so I decided to write on my iPad with the external keyboard—while sitting on my bed with a cat commandeering my lap.

It’s working, so far. I have to put the iPad off to the side and twist myself in half—and my neck and spine are not appreciating it—but I’ve kept up a steady pace. I’ve logged 12,000 new words in the first six days, which, at the pace I’ve been going all year, is more than a month’s worth of writing. I’m hopeful that I’m actually going to finish this thing—and hopeful that it won’t be a giant steaming pile of monkey funk when I’m done.

I need to get back to it, so I’m going to wrap this up. But here’s a little peek at the fruits of my labor:

Excerpt from the novel tentatively titled The Blood Court:

When her fingers relaxed in mine and her cries tapered off into wistful moans, I released her, sitting back on my heels and spreading my skirt around me. “I believe I have fulfilled the terms of our current bargain, have I not?”

“You cheated.”

She was pouting, her cheeks flushed pink and her swollen lips, crimson with increased circulation, belying her professed unhappiness. With her damp hair tumbled about her head against the silk and the brightness of pleasure in her eyes, she was, for the moment, the encapsulation of pure, unadulterated beauty. Which was not to say that Queen Arania, Consort of the Ruling Hand of Yliastr, was not beautiful in her own right, but the haughtiness and unhappiness that normally spoiled her complexion were temporarily absent. And her borrowed coloring enhanced the effects of her unguarded delight.

It was the flush and heat of my Salamand-touched blood—Freya’s vitality lent to me through a single kiss—that granted Arania her momentarily exquisite beauty. I hated her for being the undeserving recipient of my Freya’s gift. But I could not deny that I had enjoyed bestowing it. I tucked the ache of the guilt of that betrayal away. I would punish myself for it later. Right now, it was a price I was willing to pay.

And now it was time to spoil the purity of the queen’s pleasure. I regretted it just a little.