Thursday, December 31, 2009

Horace Celebrates The New Year

"You are so taking me to the party!" Horace hopped up and down on the polished wood surface of Stasi's dresser as she rummaged through her closet.

"No." Her word was muffled but that didn't stop the power she exuded.

The six-inch grayish stone gargoyle snarled as he absently chewed on a razor sharp claw. "It's New Year's Eve."

"And your point is?" Stasi pulled out a cobalt silk strapless dress with a flirty hem that revealed more than it covered. She hung the dress on a nearby hook and returned to the closet to find shoes.

"I don't want to be alone."

The 700-year plus witch ignored his mock-sorrowful tone. "You won't be alone. Bogie isn't going either." She looked over her shoulder and smiled at her beloved and magickal Yorkie/Chihuahua that tended to float along the floor instead of walking and disappeared if he thought he was in trouble. At the moment, the dog was sleeping peacefully in the middle of her bed and looked as if he could care less the New Year would ring in in a few short hours.

"You're going off to have champagne and all sorts of fun food while I have to stay here and dogsit?"T

his time Bogie did raise his head with a curled upper lip and snarl sounding.

'Yeah, well, you'll probably go out and find yourself a dog to hump while I'm stuck here listening to everyone shout "Happy New Year" and doing the kissy face thing. What've I got?" Horace marched across the dresser surface, only barely avoiding kicking perfume bottles into the air but aware the consequences weren't worth the crime. Not when Stasi's best friend was an expert in revenge spells and Stasi would let Blair loose on him. He may be a gargoyle, but he wasn't stupid.

Stasi ignored his mutterings and stuck him in a drawer while she dressed. He was still complaining as she and Blair swept out the door to their party.

"You'll be sorry!" he shouted after them.

"There's pretzels in the cupboard!" Stasi called back to him.

"Pretzels. Big friggin' deal. I get crunchy salty twists while all over the place midnight madness is going on." Horace skidded to a stop and ran back to the back door. He smiled as he watched Stasi and Blair drive off.


"Some guys don't understand boundaries and a New Year's kiss doesn't mean a tonsillectomy," Stasi grumbled as she drove the SUV down Moonstone Lake's main street leading to the building that housed her and Blair's shops and second floor apartment. "

What is this?" She slowed down at the cars lining the road and lights flaring from the building on the corner. A building that shouldn't be that lit up.

Blair leaned forward. "Your shop is open!"

Stasi ended up stopping her vehicle in the middle of the road and jumped out, running over to her lingerie boutique's front door that stood open while women roamed in and out.

"Great sales in there and they're even serving champagne!" One woman walked out with an armful of bags. "75% off!"

Stasi's voice strangled inside her throat as she stared at her shop sadly depleted of stock while women, obviously coming back from parties elsewhere on the mountain, had stopped in for a midnight madness sale.

A smiling Horace sauntered out of the dressing room behind a shapely brunette. He didn't look the least bit guilty as Stasi loomed over him.

"What have you done?" Magick flew around her like a tornado.

He shrugged, looking not the least bit guilty. "I told you not to leave me alone."

Happy New Year from the Hexy Witches!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What Are Your New Year's Resolutions?

I used to make them then realized they’d be forgotten all too soon.

I do have goals. I know what I intend to do the coming year for my writing. Such as I have a few new projects in the works and hoping to see them through. My agent and I do the cheerleader bit “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Each other!”

And another goal is walking Barney a few times a week. Yes, it will be good for me and even better for him since I’ve learned that mini Schnauzers are prone to gain weight. He’s gained two pounds since he came to live with us in July and he looks more roly poly now. So we’ll do the walkies.

I’ll also be teaching some writing courses on line which I’ll be talking about more soon.

So what about you? Do you make resolutions and keep them? Make them and not keep them? Or just totally ignore them?


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

A wonderful holiday to you all.
Linda and the witches

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nick's Holiday Hell

Many men would rather poke their eyes out with a stick and Nick, Jazz's vampire honey, is no different as you can see.

"Have a wonderful Christmas!" one perky clerk chirped.

"Only fourteen shopping days left!" Another had to chime in.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!

I saw Santa kissing Santa Claus.

All I want for Christmas is ---

"Peace and quiet," Nick growled, literally, as he prowled the mall from hell. He really should have chosen the Magick Mall for his gift shopping needs, but since they don't have a Nordstrom, Sephora or Victoria's Secret, he was screwed and doomed to shop at the mall that offered all three and more since he doubted Jazz would appreciate receiving a check or even gift cards. Not to mention reloading her Starbucks card wouldn't go over too big either. No, he had to vampire up and do this thing.

He hadn't celebrated the holidays in decades and couldn't remember if he and Jazz ever had, but he vowed he'd do what it took to do it this year, even if he began to think a stake through the heart wouldn't be all that bad after all.

And what idiots are at a mall at eleven o'clock at night?! Other than him, that is. And all for those holiday bargains. The late night shopping hours were great for him since he was a vampire, although he could venture out during the day when it was cloudy. But we're talking sunny California and lately, December was more like July. Hence, his showing up now.

He hated shopping. He tended to order his clothing on line and have them delivered. But he doubted that Jazz would appreciate the personal touch, although he did find something for Krebs on line and even an elegant dog bed for Fluff and Puff that he knew they'd enjoy reclining on when they were on Jazz's feet. He even picked up a few DVDs for Irma's collection.

Now was the most difficult, yet interesting, shopping chore ahead of him.

"Would you like to try our new perfume, Midnight Madness, for your lady's pleasure?" One clerk asked, holding out a crystal bottle.

He reared back and just barely kept his fangs hidden. No way he could tell her he could smell that one and more.

"No thanks, but I may be back." He knew Jazz loved different perfumes to wear according to her mood and that one should work for her.

And what did Nick learn? That Sephora held more smelly stuff than his enhanced senses could handle. That he could see why Jazz spent a small fortune on skin and body products and he REALLY WANTED OUT OF THERE.

Victoria's Secret was another hellish trek as overeager clerks were only too happy to assist him and he didn't think it was because they were thinking of sales. Not when he kept finding notes with names and phone numbers tucked into his jacket pocket. He winced at the grand total of his purchases, but the idea of Jazz modeling the colorful silk chemises and thongs he picked up helped soothe the pain.

By the time Nick left the noise and mayhem of the mall and walked out to his Jeep Wrangler, he experienced something he hadn't felt in centuries.

He had the headache of all headaches and the knowledge the way things were going he'd be doing this again on Jazz's birthday.

"This was much easier in the Dark Ages."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hiding Behind Words

A writer’s life is a solitary one.

We sit at our computers writing words that turn into sentences into paragraphs into pages and ultimately into a finished book.

One of the good things about this? You can be anyone you want to be.

Why is that important?

I’m shy. Oh boy, I’m sure there are friends laughing themselves silly at that declaration.

But it’s true. Growing up I was painfully shy and why I buried myself in books and writing stories. Call it the peril of being an only child with an overactive imagination.

But it was the beginning of what I do now. Back then I wrote about characters that became real to me, my very own invisible playmates. I could thrust myself into a new world where I was brave and confident. Where I could be anyone I wanted to be. Not the shy gawky kid I was.

I was very lucky. Teachers encouraged my love for reading and my need to write stories. Thanks to them I grew in that respect.

What it showed me was that my characters could say what I didn’t have the nerve to say. Do what I wouldn’t be able to do.

Talk about the perfect way to be what you want to be!You run into a rude person in a store. So many things you’d love to say to them, but you don’t.

No problem, go home, create that character for a book and blast them. You’ll feel so much better. Maybe that’s why my favorite alter-ego is a pair of man-eating bunny slippers.

And even now I’m shy. It can be difficult for me to enter a new situation unless a friend is with me. I’ll do it, but I may not be as talkative as I normally am.

So what about you? Do you have the shy gene? How do you cope?


Friday, December 18, 2009

When Old Friends Meet

There’s nothing better than good friends getting together.

So many of my friends live in other states, so our communication is email and phone. Face to face is only at conferences or if we’re just darn lucky.

One of those times was last month when awesome buddy Beverly Barton was in San Diego speaking to my RWA chapter along with equally awesome Linda Howard and Linda Winstead Jones.

Beverly and I planned to have dinner after the meeting and we made sure the last third of our divahood, Paula Detmer Riggs, would be there also. Quite an undertaking when I live here, Beverly’s from Alabama and Paula lives in Oregon. But we did it!

We sat in the restaurant for hours just talking and laughing. What mattered to us was having this time together. And as you can see by the pictures, we did have fun. Paula’s the brunette in front, the laughing blonde and I’m the redhead.

We don’t know when we’ll be able to hook up together, but you can be assured when we do, we’ll be having just as much fun even if we’re in wheelchairs or using walkers!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

30 Years and Still Hexy!

Thirty years ago today I managed a personnel office where I placed executives in the accounting field. I also had written two romance novels.

I’d begun reading romances and tended to say, “I could write one of these!” After all, I had wanted to be a writer since the day I could pick up a crayon.

They say write what you know, but I’m not entirely sure I did that since I chose a ballerina heroine and we won’t even talk about my time in ballet class. And I even based the heroine’s looks on my best friend, who was also my first beta reader.

What I thought would take a short time to write actually took close to nine months and after I finished that book, I wrote another. Now it was time to find out if my efforts could find a home.

Silhouette Books was brand spanking new, not even on the shelves yet, and looking for authors.

What a great place for my books! A month after they were submitted to the publisher, I got THE CALL.

And what a day for that. It was my wedding anniversary and I had a gorgeous silk plant arrangement in my office courtesy of my husband, good boy for remembering, and I had lunch with a client who, for some reason I talked about my writing, and he was genuinely interested! Who knew I’d return to my office and be there for barely five minutes when my agent called to say Silhouette wanted to buy both books? I’m sure the entire building heard my screams.

What a beginning for me.

A month later, I was writing full time. Ironic thing about that was because my boss fired me accusing me of writing my books on company time. Considering all that I did, there was no way that happened, but that was fine. It meant I had to see if I could make it as a writer.

So what do you think? I’m still writing 30 years later.

And an easy way for my husband to never forget my anniversary!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Favorite Recipe

What can I say? I love making goodies! And I share since they're too dangerous to leave around the house.

This fudge is really fun and tastes just like a creamsicle and a favorite with family and friends.


Marbled Orange Fudge

1 1/2 tsp plus 3/4 cup butter--divided
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 pkg vanilla or white chips
1 jar marshmallow creme
3 tsp orange extract
orange food coloring

Grease 13x9 pan with 1 1/2 tsp butter. Combine sugar, cream and remaining butter. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 4 min. Remove from heat, stir in chips and marshmallow creme until smooth. Remove 1 cup, set aside. Add orange extract and coloring to remaining mixture. Stir until blended. Pour into pan. Drop reserved marshmallow mix by tablespoonfuls over top. Cut through mixture with a knife to swirl. Cover and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares.

try chocolate and mint, chocolate & coconut and put coconut in the coconut part, lime extract and vanilla, peppermint, maybe even cinnamon!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Horace Goes Holiday Shopping

"Where did all these new people to buy presents for come from?" Horace grumbled as he surveyed his shopping list. "Like I'm made of money." He thought of the bag of gold coins he had secreted away on his stone person that he hoped to use most of it on himself and not others. Looked like that wasn't going to happen.

Gargoyles tended not to wear clothing with pockets. Actually, gargoyles didn't wear clothing at all, so secreting the bag wasn't easy and wise to never ask just where it might be. Although Horace did sport a jaunty purple and gold knitted scarf wrapped around his throat. Since he was cursed to be grayish stone, he liked to look colorful when he could.

The Magick Mall was as colorful as the shops on either side of the stone road with fragrant spices scenting the air that even drifted from one color to the other like a never-ending rainbow.

Horace rubbed his horns in thought as he traveled down the main road of Dragon Lane that forked at the end with a 100-foot fiery fountain. What else do you expect from a road named Dragon Lane?

"Stasi gets wyrm weave silk shawl, Blair, one of those funky pieces of jewelry from Fastan's Jewelers," he muttered, pausing every so often to look inside a shop window. The warm yeasty scent of zerxe bread drifted out of the bakery and reminded him he hadn't eaten since he came to the magickal plain that offered every item known to wizard, witch and sorcerers the world over. "Guess Jazz wouldn't appreciate my buying her thong underwear. Come to think of it, Nick might. Nah, he'd just try to strangle me with it."

The Magick Mall was one of the few places Horace could visit and not worry about being stared at. Gargoyles that walked and talked were plentiful here along with every creature known to man and many they'd never seen nor would they if the creatures had their way about it.

"Hey, baby, so what do you look like without all the robes?" He grinned at a shapely witch who passed by him. As one who appreciated the female form, even more so when he hung out in one of the dressing rooms in Stasi's lingerie boutique, he never let a good looking female pass him by without offering up an opinion. He left the less than good looking ones alone after one crone covered him with a nasty smelling slime that he couldn't get off for a good month.

The witch cast him a glare, and luckily didn't cast anything else.

"Treats for Bogie," he continued reading his list. "Polish for Felix," he named Blair's retro Kit-Kat clock that not only kept excellent time, but enjoyed offering an opinion whether it was wanted or not. "Bunny slipper shampoo for Fluff and Puff. At least I don't have to shop for Irma and Sirius." He stopped and studied a shop sign that read they had the latest gadgets for the recently deceased. "The old lady isn't even close to recently deceased."

Since Horace hadn't been to the Magick Mall for some months, he was determined to enjoy his day before he got down to serious shopping. Plus, there were a lot of new shops and items that tempted him to investigate."I'll get their gifts," he vowed, ducking into the bakery for a thick slice of bread warm out of the oven and a tankard of ale.

And after that, Horace found himself in a gaming hall, betting on which crimson midnight roach would reach the finish line first and having a bit of slap and tickle with a sexy female gargoyle.

Before he knew it the day was almost over and he still hadn't picked any gifts and his sack of gold was a lot lighter."Oh man." He ducked down another road and peered in shop windows, looking at those that advertised major sales.It wasn't until he reached the last shop that a brightly colored window display caught his eye."Perfect!" He ran inside before anyone else saw it and handed over coin.


"Wait 'til you see what I found!" Horace announced, dragging a heavy canvas sack behind him."What have you been doing?" Stasi asked, hurrying to help him but he waved her off.

"Don't tell me. You went to the Magick Mall," Blair said.

"I got you and Blair the perfect gift. You can share it between your shops." He carefully set the bag upright then lifted it off with a flourish. "Ta da!"

Silence reigned in the shop as Stasi and Blair stared at Horace's find.

"Is that what I think it is?" Blair asked in a low voice.

"Only if you're thinking what I'm thinking," Stasi squeaked. "Horace, why did you buy this?"

"What do you mean? What's wrong with it? How cool is it? A pretty statue that's tall and sort of undulating but with that double base." He beamed with pride.

"It's a penis!" Blair clapped her hands over her mouth.

"We can't have a six foot high penis on display here," Stasi pointed out, sounding as choked as Blair.

"It's not a –" Horace moved backward to get a better look and tipped his head from one side to the other. "Oh wow, it is." He ignored the two witches who made gurgling sounds. "And here I was told it was a modern version of a baby dragon. Maybe they used a baby dragon penis as an example."He turned around and found Stasi and Blair hunched over and holding back shocked laughter."So you're serious? We can't use it in one of the display windows? What if we put a Santa hat on it?"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News and A Holiday Recipe

It’s the time of year when decorating, shopping, and baking come to mind.

How are all of you doing with your gift shopping? I know what I’m getting people, I just have to sit down and order along with heading to the mall.

But I’m also working on another Hex book that’s due soon and you can guess which comes first. But somehow I’ll get it all done.

First the news. Hex in High Heels has been nominated for Best Paranormal/Indie Press Category for the RT Reviewer's Choice Awards! Couldn’t you see Fluff, Puff and Horace at the awards ceremony hoping they could snag the award? Scary stuff.

Now for the recipe. I admit I’m a total peppermint and chocolate addict. Peppermint mochas at Starbucks, Candy Cane Blizzards at Dairy Queen and I love peppermint bark. This cheesecake recipe covers it all!

Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake
1 ¼ cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 24 wafers)¼ cup sugar¼ cup margarine or butter, melted1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)1 cup crushed hard peppermint candyRed food coloring, optional2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped (or nondairy whipped topping) Combine crumbs, sugar, and margarine. Press on bottoms and halfway up sides of two 9-inch springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Stir in crushed candy and food coloring if desired. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pan, and cover. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Garnish as desired. Return leftovers to freezer.Alternate crust: Purchase two prepared chocolate pie crusts. Follow rest of recipe.Yield: Two 9" pies.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Magickal Tree

"It's listing to the right."
"It's straight."
"You call that straight? I called it old man crooked." Jazz shot Krebs a look that said 'fix it or else!'
Her housemate blew out an exasperated breath as he stepped back a few paces and studied the tree. She was right. It was leaning a little too far to the right.
"I'll have to secure the damn thing to the wall," he muttered. "You had to have a ten-foot tree, didn't you?"
"The room cries out for a large tree." She held her arms out to encompass the huge living room that was bright with twinkle lights threaded through green garlands decorated with red velvet bows. Holiday music played in the background.
Krebs grunted as he struggled with the heavy tree. He shot a glare toward the man lounging on the couch. "You could help, you know. Vampire strength. Pick the tree up as if it was a toothpick and all that."
"This is your tradition, not mine." Nick grinned. "Besides, I'm enjoying the show you and Jazz are giving me as you argue about decorations and a tall tree." But he took pity on the human and went over to help steady the tree. "Perhaps someone will add her magick to the tree." He lifted an eyebrow at Jazz.
"What would you guys do without me?" She held her hands out. "Getting close to the date. Want the tree to be long. So stand up straight and stand up strong. Because I said so, damn it!" To go with the holiday spirit her magick left her fingertips in red and green sparkles, traveling to the tree and wrapping it in power. The tree immediately stopped listing to the right. "And no holes in the wall," she told Krebs.
"That works for me. Think you can do the lights too?"
"Putting lights up is guy work! I put up the ornaments and icicles." She held up a silvery strand of tinsel.
Krebs gritted his teeth as Jazz directed the placement of the strands of lights. "I thought this was guy work."
"It is, but you still need to know where they go." She handed him the star tree topper.
"What did you do before you had me to boss around?" Krebs asked.
"I had a three-foot tabletop tree, but this is so much better." Jazz sorted through the ornaments until she found the one she wanted and carefully placed it on a branch.
Fluff and Puff slid into the room, chattering away to themselves. They headed for the red basket filled with candy canes and grabbed one, growling and snapping at each other as they fought over the peppermint treat until it broke in half. Each retreated to an opposite corner to enjoy their booty while keeping an eye on the other to make sure it wasn't taken away from them.
"No, the angel has to go up there." Jazz pointed up and up and up.
Krebs sighed. "I'll get the ladder."
"I can take care of that." Nick levitated to the branch Jazz indicated and carefully hung the ornament.
Between Jazz's direction, Krebs and Nick doing her bidding the tree was decorated from top to bottom.
"Any reason why you couldn't do the witchy thing and just send the ornaments onto the tree?" Krebs asked.
"Sure, but it's not as much fun as making sure they're where they belong. I do great work." She beamed as she studied the tree.
Nick and Krebs exchanged a look. "Who does great work?" They asked in unison.
"I was the brains, you were the brawn." She waved off their words. "It's a beautiful tree."
With the drapes open, the tree was perfectly framed in the huge bay window that faced the street. With icicle lights decorating the house, twinkle lights blanketing the shrubs and lighted lollipops and candy canes along the cement walkway, the house was a holiday confection.
"Let's go outside and see the full effect!" Jazz grabbed the men by the hand and pulled them outside. They stood on the sidewalk to admire the final effect.
"Even prettier than last year," she pronounced.
"I have to admit you do good work." Krebs hugged her.
"Jazz has always loved the holidays," Nick said.
"Especially presents." She looked from one to the other.
"You know the rules. We wait until the morning of December 25 and not one minute sooner. It's cold out here. I'll make Irish coffee," he offered, heading for the front door. "You can drink that, right, Nick?"
"Thankfully, I can." He slipped an arm around Jazz's waist as they walked up the walkway.
"Gross!" Krebs stared at Fluff, or maybe it was Puff. "They ate peppermint and that came out of them?"
Jazz held her nose as she waved her hand through the noxious air that seemed to get worse by the minute. "I should have remembered that peppermint doesn't agree with them."
"I guess we'll be drinking our Irish coffee in the kitchen." Krebs led the way.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Means

Cleaning off shelves and spaces around the house so you can fill them again with holiday decorations and that 12-foot tree you saw in the lot. Well, maybe not 12 feet. My husband had enough trouble putting up our 10-foot tree one year and said never again. Something about wires, bolts in the wall and a ladder to put the decorations near the top. But it looks so pretty when the lights are lit and the colorful packages are arranged underneath.

Holiday scented candles scattered around so the house will smell like candy canes, fresh pine, sugar cookies, and maybe a bit of spice in there too.

Or standing outside saying "but honey, the lights really need to go higher." On our block the men like to decorate the outside when a female neighbor puts up her lights since she always wears shorts. Still, it gets them working!

And the mall. Yes, we have on line shopping, but it’s still fun to brave the mall to see the decorations there. I always enjoyed the animatronics carol singing bears at ours. You look for the perfect gift. The one that screams a family member or friend’s name. When that happens to me for a friend’s gift I have a family member looking at me skeptically saying “Are you sure she’d want this?” and I’d be so positive, “Definitely.” And I'm always right. :}

Baking a variety of cookies, whipping up candies and perhaps digging out some tried and true recipes that never go wrong for the season. I have some that I make without fail and always make more than enough to share.

Thanks to the post office we don’t have to stand in long lines to mail out packages, and they’re picked up at the home.

There’s even more to add to our holiday mix – the music that has us singing along and movies that make us alternately laugh and cry.Our CD player is loaded with holiday music and I switched over the music on my iPod so I can listen to it in my SUV and I also dug out our holiday DVD collection that I always add to every year.

And family and friends. Last month, we gave thanks for them and this month we celebrate with them.It’s also a season that can go all year long.

Just one tiny reminder – take the tree down. Do you really want a Charlie Brown tree dying in that corner? And after awhile Jingle Bell Rock will get on your nerves.

So from January 1 on just celebrate the color and energy and the meaning. Okay?


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hex in High Heels Cover Is Up For An Award!

But Blair needs your votes. After all, would you really want to cross a witch gifted with the ultimate revenge spells?
Voting is between December 1 and December 31st.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Fluff and Puff Vs Black Friday

“Why couldn’t we stay home?” Puff whined from his spot in Jazz’s Marc Jacobs pink leather tote, as she wove her way through the hordes of people that pushed around Jazz.

“Because you might come in handy.” Jazz had the grim determination you only saw one day a year. The day after Thanksgiving when serious shoppers came out to do their holiday shopping.

Jazz was there armed with credit cards, ready to do what it took to get all her shopping out of the way.

Fluff’s ears curved over the top of the bag, then his eyes peeped over, widening at the mob around them. “I’m going back to the car.”

Jazz tightened her hold on the bag. “No, you’re not.” She pushed her way into Nordstrom on the quest for the perfect gifts. It wasn’t long before she found a leather jacket for Nick, an even cuter leather jacket for herself, sweaters for Stasi and Blair, a wrap for Thea and she was still going strong.

“I want a pretzel,” Puff demanded.

“Later.” Jazz’s gaze narrowed as she spied a plum silk top across the store. She made her way there, but someone else saw the top too and there was only the one. “Create a diversion. Trip her,” she muttered, unceremoniously dumping them out of her bag.

“Pretzel,” Puff reminded her.

“Yeah, yeah.” But her mind was on the prize.

The slippers growled their way among the shoppers, who tended to stay out of their way, yet not one screamed or fainted as their magick protected them.

Jazz remained behind them, watching the woman destined to lose the top, because IT WAS JAZZ’S. She started to throw out a freeze spell, but she made a promise not to use magick when shopping. Sigh! She quickened her steps and practically slid across the floor reaching out for the top the same time as the other woman.

“I believe this is mine,” the woman said frostily, practically jerking Jazz off her feet as she pulled on the hanger.

“I was here first.” Jazz was happy to see that Fluff and Puff were on either side of her new enemy. She wanted this top, damn it!

Just then the woman yelped and released the hanger. Puff slid back, looking proud of himself.

“Now I get my pretzel.”

“After I finish my shopping.” Jazz glared at the woman who looked ready to pitch into her. “Not getting this top isn’t the end of the world,” she told her before she walked off.

“Pretzel!” Puff raised his voice.

“You promised!” Fluff added his two cents.

“Give it a rest. I said I’ll get you guys pretzels after I finish here. Oooh, pretty!” She squeaked to a stop by a large rack of silk dresses.

Fluff and Puff didn’t say another word, but sulked big time as Jazz finished her shopping in the store and added more large shopping bags to her arms.

As she exited the store, alarms went off big time.“What the –“ Jazz looked around to see who’d set off the security alarm when a hulkish type man came up to her.

“If you’ll come with me, ma’am,” he said quietly, taking her arm in a hold that said to come with him or else.

“What’s the problem?” She so wanted to zap him good, but she knew it wouldn’t be a good idea.

“We believe you have items you haven’t paid for.” He steered her toward the offices.

“Oh believe me, I paid for everything and have the receipts and depleted charge card to show for it.” If she wasn’t on probation, she would have used a spell to get out of there without any fuss, but she knew the man was wrong and there was nothing she loved more than showing a man he was wrong. “So what exactly didn’t I pay for?”

Once in the office, she set her shopping bags down and looked the part of a disgruntled shopper. After all, she had sales to plunder! More gifts to buy! And there was that gorgeous dress she saw in the paper that she knew would be perfect on her.

The security officer reached into one bag and pulled out two fluffy items.

Jazz stared at Fluff and Puff and laughed. “Are you kidding me? They’re mine. I brought them with me for when my feet get tired.” She gestured with her stiletto boots.

“Sure, lady. We all don’t believe in taking tags off our own items.” He dropped them on the desk, where, damn them, they didn’t move an inch and acted as if they were literal footwear, and picked up a phone. “And we have zero tolerance against shoplifters here.”

Jazz picked them up, gasped at the fifty-dollar price tag and glared at them hard enough to cause steam to come out of her ears. “You little shits,” she gritted. “You reveal yourselves now.”


The guard shook his head and picked up the phone.

Ten minutes later, Jazz was escorted out of the office by a police officer. When she glanced over her shoulder at the slippers still lying on the desk, she saw Puff slowly close one eye in a wink and mouth the word pretzel.

So a word of warning. If you’re at the mall and see bunny slippers, have a pretzel ready. They prefer the cinnamon sugar ones.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jazz and Irma Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

"I have to do what?" A horrified Jazz stared at the pale-skinned turkey lying on the counter.
"You have to reach inside the cavity and take out the giblets." Irma peered over her shoulder sending a shock of cold through Jazz’s body.
When Jazz broke down and asked Irma to help her cook Thanksgiving dinner, she had no idea it would involve putting her hands inside a raw turkey and pull its guts out. Can you spell euww!
She settled for sticking her hands inside two plastic bags before sticking them inside the turkey's butt. She kept her eyes closed and mouth scrunched up as she scooped out the innards.
"This is disgusting!"
"Perhaps if you'd cooked more often and not been out there doing witchy things, you'd know what to do in cooking a proper meal."
"Spare me from self-righteous spirits," Jazz muttered, dumping the giblets and the neck in the sink. She quickly peeled off the bags and dropped them in the trash.
"And don't forget to wash your hands thoroughly since you just handled raw poultry."
Jazz paused in wiping her hands on her jeans and reached for the hand soap instead.
"How big is the turkey?" Irma asked, pursing her Tangeed lips. While she now wore clothing designed for this century instead of the last, she still enjoyed some of her 1950s make up.
Jazz stared at the pale bird. "Big."
Irma sighed. "No, how many pounds."
"I don't know. I didn't exactly put it on a scale!"
"Then look at the wrapper! You determine the time it takes to cook it according to the number of pounds. We always bought our turkeys at the Farris Turkey Ranch. Such beautiful birds too."
Jazz ignored Irma reminiscing about the good old days when she was still alive. "Yeah yeah. Okay, the bird is twenty-three pounds since Krebs wants lots of leftovers and Stasi and Blair are coming down for dinner."
"Are you stuffing it? If you are, it will take longer to cook."
"Stuffing it? I just took stuff out of it!" Witches normally didn't get headaches but Jazz was well on her way to a doozy.
"And you make up a nice stuffing to put into the turkey cavity. There's cornbread stuffing, oyster, herb. Take your choice."
"Then I choose Stove-Top which I can put in the microwave and it doesn't have to go anywhere near a turkey's nether regions."
"That's not stuffing! That's pieces of Lord knows what in a box!"
Jazz studied the red and yellow box. "The box stays stuffing, it's stuffing."
Under Irma's guidance Jazz had the turkey rubbed with butter and herbs, placed in a large electric roaster, and the timer set.
"Off the counter!" She ordered Fluff and Puff as the bunny slippers scampered up to investigate what was going on. She gave each them of a piece of licorice root for a treat and watched them retreat to a corner of the kitchen.
"Brown sugar, molasses is nice and miniature marshmallows for the top of the candied yams," Irma told her. "Are you making cranberry sauce?"
Jazz held up two cans. "Jellied and whole-berry."
"You modern girls rely too much on canned goods. I always bought my cranberries and made my own sauce with ginger and a hint of orange peel." Irma's face seemed to fill the entire screen. "Does that jar say gravy? You can make it from the drippings! You picked up butter and cream for the mashed potatoes, didn't you? And I mean real butter, not that oleo or what you call margarine now. We had to use oleo during the war and it had no taste. Also did you pick up the makings for the green bean casserole? That's a classic dish for Thanksgiving. The French-fried onion strings make it look so fancy. Please don't tell me that tube holds biscuits? I made my biscuits from scratch. Harold said they tasted light as a feather."
"Light as a feather biscuits sure didn't keep your husband in line, did it?" Jazz muttered.
"Maybe if you worried less about eliminating curses you'd have a man to cook for! Look at that! You're not even using real whipped cream for the pumpkin pie."
Jazz flicked her fingers at the screen and muted the audio. She smiled at the picture of Irma talking away. "Ah, silence."
All too soon, she realized she did need help. She flicked her fingers at the screen again.
"You are a very rude girl," Irma huffed. "You asked for my help and I was only too willing to give it, yet on a whim you shut me off. Perhaps I should return to my program. Rachael Ray is coming on soon. She knows how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner."
Jazz briefly considered zapping Irma back to the garate, but since she needed the spirit's help, she didn't dare. Irma was a ghost who could hold a grudge with the best of them and Jazz wasn't even halfway through preparing dinner. She looked at the cans, jars and bowls scattered across the counters. Nothing had ever looked so intimidating.
And all because she wanted to do something nice for Krebs this year and give him a family-type dinner.
"Fine, I'm sorry I muted you. I lost my mind." Which she had in planning this dinner.
"I forgive you." A lit cigarette appeared between Irma's white-gloved fingers. "Now, you need to melt some butter to use in basting the turkey."
Jazz's head spun with the rapid-fire instructions Irma shot at her. And every time she started a new task she was tempted to use her magick.
"No wonder Samantha Stevens kept breaking her word in not using her magick," she muttered, mentally envisioning the potato peeler under six feet of concrete.
By the time the timer for the turkey went off, Jazz was ready for a nap.
"Where's our feast?" Krebs asked, coming into the kitchen with Jazz's sister witches, Stasi and Blair on his heels. "Do you want me to carry the turkey into the dining room?"
She waved her hand at the roaster. "Knock yourself out."
Except as Krebs lifted the turkey out of the roaster it looked more pink than golden.
"What did you do to it?" Irma demanded from the TV screen.
Jazz was horrified. "I cooked it! 5 ½ hours at 225."
"You cook it at 325!" Irma shouted. "That bird is still raw."
With a flick of the wrist, Jazz shut off the TV, faced the turkey, saying "Forget the book. Forget the look. Damn turkey needs to be cooked, because I say so damn it!"
In the wink of an eye, the turkey turned a well-cooked golden brown. Just as fast the food disappeared from the kitchen, leaving it clean and neat and reappeared on the dining room table.
Jazz snatched up a dark green bottle and marched into the other room. "I'll bring the wine."
Hopefully your Thanksgiving will be filled with good food, good friends and family and maybe a glass or four of wine.

Happy Thanksgiving from Linda and Jazz

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Wishes

May you have a wonderful day filled with friends and family and all things you’re thankful for.And when thinking about that first Thanksgiving, just remember a few things.No gas or electric ovens – just a fireplace or fire pit.No microwave ovens – horrors!

No refrigerator to store things and keep them cold.

No hot and cold running water -- if you wanted hot water you filled up a big pot and set it over the fire.

No central heat -- unless you count the fireplace.

No coffee pots, no Corning Ware or Pyrex, no electric mixer – no electricity at all!You have to kill and pluck your turkey before you toss that baby in the roaster.

Ditto for a ham, but without the plucking part. Could someone really want to cook Babe?

No grocery store to run to for those last minute items.

And no TV to keep the little ones occupied while you’re cooking, although they would be doing their own share of chores.

And, sob!!!! -- NO CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!

I’d say we have a lot to be thankful for!

So when you give thanks for family and friends and your health, don't forget to be thankful for modern conveniences.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time for a Barbecue

He'd told her not to go into the canyon by herself! But did she listen? No! The damn woman would be the death of him yet.

As he neared the edge of the ledge he heard sounds that he knew he'd still remember to his dying day. He slowly peered over the edge and found what he had hoped was legend instead of fact. The fact was like something out of nightmare.

Megan's back was against the canyon wall while four ungodly creatures fanned out in a semicircle, cutting off any hope of escape. Ugly didn't even begin to describe what he saw. From this high up he could only hazard a guess as to size, but they couldn't be more than five feet tall to Megan's 5'6". Under the moonlit sky, the coarse fur on their scrawny bow-backed bodies appeared to be a silvery black and their rough-skinned faces looked like a mutant abomination you'd see in a zoo of horrors. Nothing nastier than chupacabras.

What worried him the most was the razor-sharp claws they extended toward Megan. One swipe of those claws could split her open like a melon. He wouldn't be surprised if the spiky spines tracking down their backs were just as nasty.

It wasn't just the rotting meat smell that came off them that sent bile rolling up his throat. The idea of what they could do to her before he had time to intervene scared the spit out of him. He noted that Megan's face was contorted in a frozen mask of fear as she faced down the monsters.

He had to give her credit for staying put and not trying to run for it. He sensed they were toying with her as a cat toyed with a mouse before pouncing. He didn't want to think what they'd do once they grew bored with their victim.

He knew he had to move and move fast. Moving backward quietly and making sure not to dislodge any pebbles, he made his way back to their back packs.

He rummaged through them and found what he was looking for then made his way back to the edge. He looked down and in a split second he saw Megan's face turn upward. Not by a flicker of an eyelash did she betray his presence. He shot her a quick reassuring grin.

"Rock and roll," he whispered, as he tossed the rope over the edge and rappelled down the canyon wall. The minute his boots hit the earthen floor, the creatures turned as one and hissed a strident warning at the unwelcome intruder before two of them advanced his way.

He grinned as his adrenaline hit a new high.

"Hey, guys, welcome to the barbecue," he shouted as he set off the four phosphorous flares and tossed one at each creature. The animals ignited in a blinding light. If the hissing was bad on the ears, their screams of agony were even worse.

Megan covered her nose as the smell of burning meat filled the air. "If this is your idea of a barbecue I am so glad I'm a vegetarian!" she shouted back at him as she ran around the burning animals and leaped into his arms.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writing and Playgrounds

Writing is … fun. Writing is … work. Writing is … insane.

Writing is … play.

What is writing? All of the above.

But for me, it’s more a playground. Some fun, some kinda scary, and some nauseating. Remember the merry-go-round you’d push and push until you got so dizzy you feared the worst? That’s writing.

My Hex series is different since there’s a different witch in each book. Although I do bring the previous witches back just because I can’t let them go.

The book I’m working on now, The Best Hex Ever, is a playground of ups and downs. A lot of visits to the slides, swinging high and crawling through the multi-colored tunnels.

Witchy Maggie is a lot like Jazz, but she likes to blow things up more. Since she’s a Guardian for all creatures, she’s there to protect the weak and knock down the nasty. She does it very well too. She’s the fort you explore. Climbing to the top and looking out all sides to see something different. Always something new to find when you’re the adventuresome type.

Declan is a half fire demon that makes me think of the swings. You pump up and down (get your mind out of the gutter!) and your stomach does that whoosh! thing and you’re breathless all the time.

Maggie’s BFNWF (best female not witch friend) Sybil, who’s a calming Fae but also has the teeter-totter attitude in that while you feel relaxed around her anything can happen.

And Snips, Declan’s imp assistant who’s like one of the small animals you’ll ride. He’s so organized he’ll get your to your destination even if your imagination thinks you should be somewhere else.

Let’s add the messenger ferrets for the compound Maggie lives in. Highly caffeinated and mega attitude. They’re more like a nonstop game of tag.

That’s why when I talk about writing, I call it playing. I’m playing with my characters, not writing them.

We’ll have the playground all to ourselves where anything and everything can happen.

Lots of laughter, some tears (luckily, band-aids usually aren’t necessary), a need to stop and catch my breath.

Some days are rainy and gloomy, but the playground is always there with the sun shining. And other days the moon is full and there’s some sexy dancing going on there.

And when the writing goes tough, it’s easier to think of it this way than just slogging through it.

What about you? Do you try to view a task as more play than work to make it go easier?


Monday, November 9, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty

Maggie looked around the room that belonged in a museum then back to the man seated on a high backed chair that she swore resembled a throne. Gorgeous was an understatement where he was concerned. Midnight black hair, cobalt blue eyes and a body made for a centerfold. She reminded herself she was here on business, not to mentally seduce the man who was paying her to design a summerhouse for him.

But it didn't stop her from dreaming, did it? Judging from the smile in his eyes, he was equally interested. No so his feline companion. Since she wasn't fond of cats, she had no idea if it was Persian, Siamese or something else exotic. She only knew the bronze -furred, green-eyed creature looked at her as if Maggie belonged in her litter box. Maggie made a mental note to stay out of claw's reach. The cat had draped itself along the chair arm where Dante could stroke the cat's back in slow strokes that Maggie imagined were trailing across her own skin. She really must get out more!
"If you don't mind I'd like to look at the area again," she said with a wary smile in the cat's direction. "Of course." Dante smiled back. She rose from her chair and made her escape. She'd barely taken three steps out of the room when she heard a woman's voice.
"Are you honestly sure you want to use her?" the woman asked.
"She's lovely, don't you think?" Dante said.
"Only if you like them flat-chested and mousy."
Flat-chested and mousy? She was a respectable 34B, thank you very much and had just gotten highlights that cost a small fortune.
Curious, Maggie crept back toward the room and peeked around the corner. A tall woman lounged, there was no way you could say she was merely sitting, on the chaise by Dante's throne, uh, chair. Her hair was the same rich bronze shade as the cat's fur. Even her form-fitting silk dress echoed the same luxurious color.
I wonder if she dyes her hair to match the cat, was Maggie's catty thought as she carefully backed away and moved to the rear of the house to finish her work. When she returned to the room, Dante was alone with only the cat for company.
Maggie felt her smile slip. She swore that damn cat smirked at her.
"Did I hear voices?" she said. "If you have company, I can come back another time."
"No, that's all right," Dante assured her, running his long-fingered hand along the cat's back. "There is just myself and my cat."
Linda Wisdom copyright 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Favorite Winter Recipe

With cold weather here it's nice to have an easy recipe that's perfect for the season!

Working Woman's Meat & Gravy

2 lb stew meat-less is okay too
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can water
1 can mushrooms--optional
1/8 cup ketchup
salt & pepper to taste--I use a little Schilling Season All and garlic pepper

Combine all ingredients into crock-pot, cook on low setting for 8 hrs or high setting for 4-5 hrs. Serve over rice.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Day of Waiting

Ordinarily, I’d talk about the fun I’ve had guest blogging this month and talking about my recent release, Hex in High Heels. Hm, I guess I just did that!

But today is also the day of my husband’s surgery. A day of waiting to hear if he’ll be okay.

Inside, I feel he will be. And I’ll be in the waiting room with my netbook and reading material.

So do yourselves a favor today and hug the one you love.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Developing Unforgetable Characters

One of my favorite subjects is character development and creation. There's nothing more fun than coming up with new characters in my books and see what they’ll get up to.

My witches are pretty much a slamdunk even if each one has her own distinct personality and special gifts. No one can accuse them of being cookie cutter witches. There are times when they even surprise me.

My characters tend to pop fully grown into my head. I know their names, what they look like, their magickal gifts, and their personalities. From the beginning I knew Jazz would be the snarky one, Stasi the sweet one, and Blair the sassy one. They would be united in the thought that no villain would get away with hurting the innocent, but they’d each have their personal way of handling it. That’s part of the fun for me, because they need to be unique and I work hard to make sure it happens.

As for the creatures in my books, they tend to speak for themselves. Fluff and Puff were created because I always visualized Jazz wearing cute bunny slippers that sported fangs and had their own magick to protect them. Stasi has Bogie, her magickal dog that disappears when things get tense and Horace, a gargoyle whose middle name should be trouble. He was actually the result of my being a fan of the cult-animated show Duckman. Duckman couldn’t be politically correct if his life depended on it and Horace is the same way. Probably why his tail ends up singed so many times. For Blair it was Felix, her vintage Kit-Kat clock, that’s in her shop of retro items. As a kid I was always fascinated by these clocks and it seemed appropriate for Blair to have one. Felix might not be able to climb off the wall, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hear all the gossip and only too happy to share it.

I like to have fun with my characters in hopes my readers will relate to them whether it’s a powerful witch who can’t live without her morning mocha or a shapeshifter Border collie. Someone you can imagine living next door to you or running into at the grocery store. My characters might be supernatural, but they also blend in very well with the human population. I call it making the unbelievable believable.

I want my readers to accept it all as true. Consider that bunny slippers talk and move around on their own. I’m positive mine have done that since I never find them where I leave them. And the dogs seem to give my slippers a wide berth. Hmmmm….

This time around Blair is looking for love in shapeshifter Jake’s direction, even if he’s trying to hold her off. Blair is undeterred even if Jake’s wolf shifter mother tries to sharpen her claws on Blair, his brother tries the same, and some elves, not the cute holiday type, are in town to add ambiance to the winter festival.

As if that’s not bad enough Fluff and Puff have arranged in a very unique way, even for them, to remain in Moonstone Lake. But it’s Jake’s mother and brother who cause the most trouble and up to Blair, with Stasi’s help, to make sure there’s no wolfie mischief apaw. (Sorry couldn’t resist using that instead of afoot)

And that’s why my characters are so much fun for me. You never know what will happen. I hope you’ll agree and let me know what makes characters fun for you.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hex Is A Three Letter Word

Four years ago, a snarky witch named Jazz popped into my head and told me it was time for a new journey. It’s a good thing I love road trips because this one was the beginning of a wild ride that’s still going on.

As with all journeys, there’s been some curved roads, some unexpected side paths and the road that goes straight on. Even a few speed traps along the way.

From Jazz I moved to Stasi, a witch with a gentle nature that covered up a steel spine. After all, she brought down the forest Fae, didn’t she? And now it’s Blair’s turn to strut her stuff and strut she does. Blair takes on Weres, an abusive male, and even shows a cheating man the error of his ways.

Blair is the sassy witch with a gift for revenge spells. You’ll see in Hex in High Heels just what she can come up with. Proof to never get on her bad side!

Hex in High Heels takes up a few months after Wicked By Any Other Name leaves off. This time the town is gearing up for the winter carnival, Blair is less than subtly lusting after sexy carpenter Jake and he’s not making it easy for her. And who knew he was keeping more secrets from her. Ones he isn’t able to keep for long when his Alpha mother and brother show up in town. Blair needs to make sure she’s got all her shots since there’s love lost between the Weres who want to move in and take over the entire mountain and Blair who’s going to make sure that won’t happen. As if that’s not enough there’s a bunch of elves in town that aren’t any you’d see with Santa.

Blair also learns that the Weres can be creative when it comes to battling the witch, but that’s okay. She has more than her spells up her sleeve too and the assistance of Horace, Stasi’s gargoyle and even Fluff and Puff, bunny slippers turned … well, that’s something I don’t want to give away!

The fun part is giving each witch a distinct personality and different gifts to add to their powers. To make them unique. You’ll meet future witches in Hex in High Heels. Kick ass Maggie and romance novelist Thea. Remember what I said in the beginning? It’s a journey. I can promise you that each witch will have her journey, actually more a roller coaster ride, a meeting with her mate, and the typical trials and tribulations that makes a witch’s life interesting. I’ve always said I don’t make it easy for my witches. Or maybe it’s that they don’t make it easy for themselves. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be fun, because my characters and the creatures that are their sidekicks tend to make it fun. Fluff and Puff started the insanity and there’s more to come.

My magickal journey is still going on and with luck it won’t end any time soon.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hex In High Heels Is Here!

I know when I started writing these books I hoped they’d continue on and I was so glad to see them warmly welcomed by readers and now readers are even counting down to release dates. How wonderful is that?

The witch for this book was easy. It seemed only natural that Blair’s story would follow Stasi’s.

Last we read Jake revealed he was the Border collie that hung around the witches and thanks to his Were nature, he saved Blair, Stasi and Jazz from being burned at the stake.

But Jake has a lot more on his plate courtesy of his Were mom and brother showing up and trust me, no warm and fuzzies there, unless you count the fur flying. After all, witches and Weres don’t mix, according to the Alpha furry mom. Not that it will hold Blair back as she resists throwing a mange spell on the female.

As if Weres making trouble wasn’t enough, the mayor’s wife hired elves to add atmosphere to the town’s winter carnival. Except these aren’t the cute Santa type elves. Except them to have creepy crawlies coming out of their ears, drink beer, and scratch their privates. The thing is, will they stay that way or will Blair have to jump in and save the festival? Can she handle arrogant Werewolves and crazy elves along with a fledgling romance at the same time?

Oh, wait a minute! She’s a witch! She knows how to multi-task. Battle the Weres, make sure the elves don’t tear the town apart, and find some alone time with Jake. Easy peasy.

Romance isn’t easy for a witch and my witches tend to have an even more difficult time. But I find that’s half the fun in writing the books. Life is always full of ups and downs and incorporating it into my books is more than half the fun.

With a series you need to amp it up with every book and I hope that you see that in Hex in High Heels.
Don't forget to check out for my Name the Character contest!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trick or Treat, Smell Our Slippers!

“It’s not fair!” Fluff made huffing noises as he bounced as best he could on Jazz’s snazzy black and white comforter. “We should be able to go too!”

“You’re not,” she informed him, as she wiggled her way into a black silk and lace bustier that gave her all the lift she wanted then a black gown that fit her like a glove. By the time she finished her face was flushed from her exertions.

“We could have easily gone with you if you’d used our idea for a costume,” Puff chimed in, studying one of the red throw pillows on the bed. “And you could have just worn your pjs and us. How easy is that?”

“You put even one fang in that pillow and you’ll be back in that cage so fast your little head will spin,” Jazz warned, catching his intentions in the mirror as she tiptoed over to double check her make up. She picked up a blood red lipstick called Scarlet Hussy and used a lip brush to stroke it on. Her long nails matched her lips.

“Then why can’t we go as ourselves?” Puff whined, rolling back and forth.

“Yeah!” Fluff provided his buddy with a united front.

“Because you weren’t invited.”

“Like that’s ever stopped us before,” Fluff snarled, fully prepared to head into a major bunny slipper hissy fit. If there was one thing Fluff hated, it was missing out on a good party and he knew this party was going to be a total supernatural blowout. “Besides, who wouldn’t love having us attend their party? We’re fun! We can dance.” He reared up on and did a little shimmy before falling forward on his face.

While some supernaturals preferred celebrating the 31st of October as Samhain, there were others who enjoyed partying Halloween wild with costumes and anything else that struck their fancy. Jazz was attending the latter tonight and wasted no time in informing the slippers they weren’t attending. Since then, they’d done their best to make her life miserable, but she refused to give in. And since she had cast extra strong wards on anything she prized, as in everything in her suite, they weren’t able to inflict any damage in retaliation. So they bided their time on that.

“Do you really want me to pull out the list starting with the boardwalk and ending with most of the clubs that never want to see you again?” she reminded them. “You two can sit in the window and watch the trick or treaters.”

The slippers made gagging sounds.

“We could hand out candy,” Puff suggested, trying any way he could to look on the bright side, but it wasn’t easy.

“Yeah, like that would happen. You’d have it all eaten before it barely hit the bowl.” Jazz twisted her hair up into intricate swirls then dusted black and gold glitter over it. She used some of the glitter on her cheekbones and dusted the deep cleavage her dress afforded her. “I’ll put out all the Halloween movies for you, how’s that?”

Their dark expressions on their fuzzy faces told her that wasn’t nearly enough. “And popcorn balls.”

Puff retreated to the bed pillows and began bouncing up and down. “Chocolate.”

“Krebs said you can watch the movies on the big screen TV downstairs only if you didn’t have chocolate in there. You’re just lucky I could spell it out of the couch and chairs.” She arranged a black glittery bat clip in her elaborate updo. “What do you think?” She turned around and held her arms out while smiling broadly to reveal white fangs.

“Wow, girly vampire.” Fluff rolled his eyes.

Puff just yawned. “So original. Female fangster. Big woo.”

“And you wonder why you don’t go anywhere.” She slipped her lipstick in a hidden pocket in her gown. The black silk shimmered like a dark rainbow with its deep v neckline and long sleeves that ended in points. Jazz had used a pale foundation highlighted with the glitter and black eye shadow and liner. Instead of her fashionable witchy self, she looked like the perfect damsel of the dark. She lifted her long skirt and stepped into a pair of black stilettos.

“It’s attitudes like that that also keep you home,” she warned them, picking up a black velvet cape with red silk lining at the same time the doorbell rang. “There’s Nick and I don’t want to see any tantrums.

“We don’t have tantrums,” Fluff groused, as the slippers followed her downstairs, staying back as she opened the door to Nick dressed in purple silk robes trimmed in gold braid and a pair of old-fashioned spectacles perched on his nose. “A wizard? Sheesh, we could have done better than that.”

“You become something you aren’t.” She kissed Nick then allowed him to help her slip her cape on.

“Popcorn balls are in the family room with the DVDs. And if you get really bored you can visit Irma. She’s having a Gunsmoke marathon tonight.” She blew them a kiss and left.

The slippers moved to the windows on each side of the front door and nosed the sheers aside to watch Nick assist Jazz into his SUV.

“Does she really think we’re staying here for popcorn balls and movies?” Fluff said.“No way.” Puff’s attention was momentarily diverted by a group of trick or treaters making their way down the street.

“Whaddya think?”Fluff grinned.

“You got it.”

Since they knew Jazz didn’t trust them, although for the life of them they couldn’t understand why, they slipped out a window off the kitchen that wouldn’t raise any witchy alarms and they headed straight for the street.

“Hey, it’s Fluff and Puff!” one little girl squealed, jumping up and down in her pink tulle ballerina costume. “Are you going to go trick or treating with us?” she asked them.

While human adults couldn’t understand bunny slipper language, children had a language that was universal with the slippers. A quick nod of their heads and they were soon perched in her trick or treat bag.

“Does Jazz know you two are out?” The little girl’s mom asked, not really believing their bobbing heads of assent, but not wanting to disappoint her daughter with the slippers’ company.

For the rest of the evening, Fluff and Puff made the rounds of the neighborhood, got more than their share of candy and somehow managed not to frighten any cats, since they were their favorite forms of entertainment.

“I can’t make it up that window,” Puff groaned, flopping down on the grass with a tummy so bloated he looked pregnant.

“Don’t expect any help from me.” Fluff looked up at the window and realized it wasn’t going to be easy for him either.

Thanks to bunny slipper magick they just barely made it inside the house and managed to stumble their way into the family room where they collapsed on the couch.They heard the front door open and close hours later.

“I can’t believe they’re still up,” Jazz said walking into the family room with Nick behind her. “You have got to be kidding me!” She stopped short at the sight before her.

Fluff and Puff lay on their backs, their bellies bloated and their faces an unbecoming shade of purple along with smears of chocolate and caramel all over them. Their eyes were glazed over from sugar overload.

“Oh good,” Fluff moaned, unable to even roll over onto his side. “Do we have any Alka-Seltzer?”

Friday, October 16, 2009

Emerald City

No wizard. No ruby red slippers. No yellow brick road. No Wicked Witch of the West. Well, there could have been the latter.

Except this Emerald City was Bellevue, Washington and an annual writer’s conference that was put on last weekend.

I was up there to hook up with friends such as the awesome Yasmine Galenorn and Maura Andersen and meet other writers. I also gave a workshop titled ‘My Bunny Slippers Ate My Homework – How To Create Memorable Creatures’. What can I say? Fluff and Puff insisted I do it.

I sat in on fun workshops, connected with old friends, made new ones and drank lots of coffee. Tullys Coffee in the hotel lobby could do peppermint mochas, so I was there as often as an overly caffeinated person could be.

And a fun bookfair open to the public. They had three of my books and I had a lot of people asking for 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover. I enjoy talking to readers, because I tend to pick up new authors to read from them and it’s fun to hear what they like about my books and if there’s something they don’t like, I find that informational.

Did I sleep much? Not really. Too much too do and I was out in the evenings, but that was okay. These weekends don’t happen very much.

This is me at the bookfair and the view outside my hotel room.

I would highly recommend this conference to anyone and I know I’ll be back next year!


Also, I'll be signing my Hex series this Sunday, Oct. 18, at 2pm at Mysterious Galaxy,

7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.Suite #302San Diego, CA 92111

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's the Great Haunted Pumpkin, Fluff and Puff!

"We have to find just the right pumpkin," Fluff insisted to his partner in bunny slipper crime. The slippers had silently moved through the house, heading for the front door that opened as if by magick.
They immediately slid down the walkway to the sidewalk. Since it was heading toward midnight, the only ones out were those who preferred darkness for their deeds. Since fear wasn't in the slippers' vocabulary, they moved along.
"I know we can find it at the pumpkin patch by the boardwalk," Puff replied, heading left.
"But it's this way!" Fluff shifted right. Since the slippers didn't have feet they had to do their own version of Rock, Paper, Scissors and Puff won.
Magick gave them the stealth and speed to head down the street and over to the avenue that boasted shops appealing to tourists and the entrance to the ever-famous boardwalk with its midway and rides. Fluff and Puff managed to avoid the Weres' sharp eyes, since the slippers weren't all that popular there. Fall in the cotton candy vat JUST ONCE and sheesh! No one there has a sense of humor. Their destination was at the end of the street where an empty field still boasted a large selection of pumpkins to be fashioned into jack-o-lanterns and the contents turned into tasty pies.
The slippers easily passed by the barriers and wandered the small field.
"Here's one," Fluff announced heading toward one end. Puff shook his head. "We need a special one in just the right shape for our purposes. We need a haunted pumpkin," he reminded his best bud. "You look over there and I'll look over here."
One by one, the slippers carefully inspected each pumpkin, searching for just the right one. Until…
"I found it!" Fluff's squeak of excitement carried in the air. Puff scooted to the spot where just Fluff faced a pumpkin that wasn't too big or too small or too round or too oval.
It was just the right shape. Just the right color and a faint glow emanated from the squash fruit.
"Yes!" The slippers performed their own version of a high-five and each took one side, racing around the pumpkin, setting up their own magickal net to get the pumpkin back to the house.
Once the net was in place, they uttered the spell needed and left the pumpkin patch with their prize sliding along behind them. Just as when they left the house, the front door silently opened for them and allowed them to enter.
They wasted no time going back to the kitchen and spelling the pumpkin onto the table. After they scooted up the chairs to the table, they stared at their find with broad grins on their faces, their razor-sharp teeth gleaming in the darkness.
"This will be the best jack-o-lantern yet," Fluff pronounced.
"And a big surprise for Jazz," Puff agreed.

For the next hour, the kitchen's interior lit up with orange, purple and green lights as the slippers performed their own special magick.

Once they finished, they made their way up to the bedroom and returned to their cozy space on Jazz's bed. They may be slippers, but no way they were sleeping on the floor!
The slippers were sound asleep when Jazz headed downstairs in search of her first cup of coffee for the day, but they REALLY woke up when they heard Krebs' greeting her.
"Is this pumpkin your doing?" Krebs could be heard asking and there was more horror in his voice than admiration.
"No," her sleepy voice replied. "And talk about incredible work. The carved face looks just like Hugh Jackman. It's so lifelike that…Wait a minute…is that…Fluff! Puff! What have you done?!"
And a merry Hallows Eve to you all.
PS -- For anyone in the San Diego area, I'll be signing my Hex series at the Barnes and Noble in Oceanside. And Fluff and Puff will be there!
And I'm interviewed at Please stop by!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Emerald City Conference

Next week I'll be attending the Emerald City Conference in Bellevue, WA, giving a workshop there and signing my books.

Here's the info in case any of you live in the area.

The Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America is sponsoring a Book Fair on October 10, 2009 at the Bellevue Hilton. The event runs from 4:00-6:00 pm in the Skyview Ballroom and includes signing opportunities with more than fifty authors. This is a free event and open to the public. The Bellevue Hilton is located at 300 112th Avenue SE in Bellevue, Washington. Their phone number is 425-455-1300. Visit for more information.


The Hexster's In The House!

It's time to gear up for the release of Hex in High Heels. There will be interviews, guest blogging, and contests galore!

Two are going on right now, so I hope you'll stop by.

This book was so much fun to write and I hope you all will enjoy it.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

How Horace Came to be on Linda's Ankle

“So you’re really doing it?” Horace practically danced as he, Stasi, and Linda walked into the tattoo shop. “You won’t back down?”

“Yes, I am,” Linda replied. “I have Fluff and Puff on my ankle, so why not you on the other one?”

“Your funeral,” Stasi muttered, settling in a chair.

“You could get a belly ring,” Horace suggested, hopping up on the arm and peering into Jazz’s bag. “Ow!” He blew on his singed fingers as he pulled them back before she zapped them again.

“So he’s what you want on your ankle?” Pat asked, after getting a good look at the eight-inch gargoyle that occupied his time exploring the shop.

“He’s the one,” Linda confirmed.

Horace wasted no time striking a gargoyle pose. “You’ll make me look good, right?” He followed Pat into the back, pointedly ignoring the ‘no passing beyond this point unless you’re getting a tattoo’. “I’m not just any gargoyle, ya know. I’m special.”

Once the design was drawn and pattern made, Linda sat up on the bench and stretched out.

“My tail needs to look sexier,” Horace said, perched on Pat’s shoulder.

“You need to behave before you’re tossed out,” Linda said.

“I just want it to look right.”

“So you really like to hang out in Stasi’s lingerie boutique’s dressing rooms?” Pat asked Horace.

“It’s a great way to observe the human race.” He held up his claws in innocence. “Hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

After a few well-worded threats from Stasi, Horace remained out of striking range and occupied himself with wandering the studio and observing other tattoos in progress while dancing to the music.

“He’s very cool,” Pat told Linda and Stasi.

“Great, he’s all yours,” Stasi told him. “Just be prepared to find your refrigerator empty.”

Along the way Horace emerged on Linda’s ankle. The gargoyle made sure to return and offer his own opinion.

“The real thing is much better, but gotta say Pat did catch the real me.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Cool Recipe for a Hot Day

It's definitely a hot day here, so time to dig out one of my favorite recipes for that.

Pink Lemonade Pie

1 8 or 9 in pre baked pie shell (or graham cracker crust)
1 8oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk
1 6oz. can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed (I generally use the large 14 oz cans since I make a double recipe at one time)
few drops red food coloring, optional
1 4oz. container frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup pink tinted coconut

In large mixing bowl, beat cheese until fluffy, gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then lemonade concentrate and food coloring if desired. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into pie shell. Chill 4 hrs or until set. Garnish with coconut. Refrigerate leftovers.

Works well with limade, raspberry lemonade and orange juice concentrate. Fun to experiment with different flavors!



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hiding Behind Words

A writer’s life is a solitary one.

We sit at our computers writing words that turn into sentences into paragraphs into pages and ultimately into a finished book.

One of the good things about this? You can be anyone you want to be.

Why is that important?

I’m shy. Oh boy, I’m sure there are friends laughing themselves silly at that declaration.

But it’s true. Growing up I was painfully shy and why I buried myself in books and writing stories. Call it the peril of being an only child with an overactive imagination.

But it was the beginning of what I do now. Back then I wrote about characters that became real to me, my very own invisible playmates. I could thrust myself into a new world where I was brave and confident. Where I could be anyone I wanted to be. Not the shy gawky kid I was.

I was very lucky. Teachers encouraged my love for reading and my need to write stories. Thanks to them I grew in that respect.

What it showed me was that my characters could say what I didn’t have the nerve to say. Do what I wouldn’t be able to do.

Talk about the perfect way to be what you want to be!

You run into a rude person in a store. So many things you’d love to say to them, but you don’t. No problem, go home, create that character for a book and blast them. You’ll feel so much better. Maybe that’s why my favorite alter-ego is a pair of man-eating bunny slippers.

And even now I’m shy. It can be difficult for me to enter a new situation unless a friend is with me. I’ll do it, but I may not be as talkative as I normally am.

So what about you? Do you have the shy gene? How do you cope?


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confessions of a Chocoholic

Hello, my name is Linda and I’m a See’s chocoholic. I’m not a total chocolate slut. When I go in there it’s their milk chocolate bordeaux, which is a brown sugar cream, or their scotchmallow, marshmallow and caramel dipped in dark chocolate.

Those have been my absolute fave chocolates for what seems like forever and woe be to anyone who dares get between me and my See’s!Excellent example: I was part of a group book signing some years ago and someone placed a box of See’s near me. And there it was. Milk chocolate bordeaux. All that glorious creamy texture in milk chocolate and chocolate sprinkles that some days is as good as sex. And it was MINE!

Except a good friend of mine along with her family was there and Susan is also a bordeaux slut and proud of it. Picture this. She’s reaching for that piece, smiling at me, hoping to catch me off guard, but voila! I got there first and held it up with that aha! of triumph. She thought she’d be quick and snatch it out of my hand. There was only one thing to do. I licked the bottom and the piece was now well and truly mine. Susan later got even with me courtesy of a slice of boysenberry pie, but that’s what friends do. Battle over chocolate and exact revenge when need be. Or make up a chocolate care package when a friend needs that creamy smooth comfort.

Just as when our See’s opened here Susan and I were out for an early breakfast to make sure we were at that door when the shop formally opened. Who cared about speeches? Just open the shop already! Needless to say, the mayor was trampled by all the women waiting just like we were.

There’s no need for PMS as an excuse for See’s. If it’s just a good day, have one. If it’s a bad day, have three. If it’s a really bad day, get yourself a whole box.I didn’t need to be told chocolate could be good for you or make you feel good. I knew that a long time ago.

And that’s why, no matter the reason, I dip into my See’s stash.Which reminds me. I need a See’s run!What about you? Does chocolate do all those cool things for you?