Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Gargoyle 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 I want to celebrate! ."

"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. “And Cleo’s coming with Lili. She’ll stay with you.”

"You're going off to have champagne and all sorts of fun food while I have to stay here and dog and catsit?"

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

'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 he watched Maggie, Declan and Lili arrive with Jazz, Nick, Trev, and Jake on their heels.

Cleo, Lili’s arrogant Persian looked Horace up and down with her usual regal disdain.

“What should I do with him?” she asked, prowling the kitchen. “Where’s the catnip wine?”

“Forget the catnip wine and behave,” Lili warned her.

"Oh no," the feline snarled, twitching her plush tail. "If I have to spend the evening with it I want magnums of catnip wine."

"No catnip wine!" all the witches shouted, aware what the addictive drink did to the cat.

“Ladies,” the men intoned as one, staring at their watches even as they admired the gorgeous witches.

“Be good,” Stasi told Horace as they left the apartment. .

"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 Trev drove the SUV down Moonstone Lake's main street leading to the building that housed her and Blair's shops and second floor apartment. The others had headed for the nearby resort where they rented rooms for the night. "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!” Trev warned as his witch hopped out of the vehicle, 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 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. Trev stood a fair distance back so he wouldn’t be caught up in the insanity.

Horace shrugged. "I told you not to leave me alone."

Have a magickal New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

May you all have a fantastic holiday. And that Santa brings you the perfect item!

Hugs Linda and Barney along with Jazz, Stasi, Blair, Maggie, and Lili. And yes, Fluff and Puff, Horace, Bogie, Elle and Cleo, who you'll meet next month!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Vampire's Holiday Hell

When it comes to gift shopping, 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 THE HADES 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, 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.

Monday, December 19, 2011

And The Winner Is!

Random generator chose Sharon Baker!

Congratulations Sharon! You've won the two books!

Email me your snail mail info at contact at lindawisdom dot com.


Horace Goes Yule 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 mostly 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 them 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 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.

She 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 next," 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.


"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. "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? Maybe if we put a Santa hat on it?"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Double Celebration!

Today is my 40th wedding anniversary, but also the 32nd anniversary celebrating the sale of my first two books to Silhouette Romance, Dancer in the Shadows and 14K Beauty.

And what a ride it's been!

I will be releasing Dancer in the Shadows and 14K Beauty early next year as ebooks through Joyride Books. Many more of my backlist books will be up too. So great to see those books have a new life!

To celebrate I'm offering a signed copy of Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend and a signed ARC of A Demon Does it Better to a lucky commenter. Just comment to any December post and you're entered!

The contest will end at midnight tomorrow night and the winner will be announced on Monday Dec. 19.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meet Our New Family Member

Meet Katie.

While she doesn’t look like Barney, she’s also a white mini Schnauzer. Or as the vet said, primarily mini Schnauzer. It doesn't matter since she's our baby.

And a total love.

Katie came to us under wild circumstances.

After the hospice’s butterfly release ceremony in October, we had lunch with a couple of my husband’s co workers and the head of the hospice office. She knew about Barney and mentioned that someone in the office was looking for a home for her mini Schnauzer. My husband started bumping me as in “can we, Mom, can we?”

I called the woman, we chatted for awhile and it was like a sign since her first name is Linda and her last name is Barney. Katie’s name was originally Dani, but too close to sounding like Barney and when I tried names out on her, she liked Katie. Everyone saw it as a sure thing. I reminded everyone it was still up to Barney.

Katie wasn’t too sure at first, but then neither was Barney. After all, he’d been king here for almost two years. Within four days they were chasing each other all over the house and it turned into their playground.

We had Katie groomed, I picked up toys she could consider hers and it’s like she’s always lived here.

While sleeping I’ve got Katie on one side and Barney on the other. Toasty yes, but not easy to move around!

She’s a total love and I also consider her a gift. So far she hasn’t liked having her picture taken, but I hope that will change. And I know I’ll have to catch video of them playing. They can be You Tube stars. :}

How ironic both dogs came to me the way they did. When Barney showed up everyone said he was sent to me since Bogie’s health wasn’t good. And the hospice that took such good care of Mom here at home basically gave me a dog. My angel puppies.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Merry!

Can you believe it’s that time of year again? I admit I love Christmas. I love the colors, the energy, music, you name it.

After Thanksgiving I’m ready to decorate inside and out. I have some things I do the same every year, but I also like to mix things up. I have pieces to a fun holiday village, some fibre optic pieces, and now with our latest furry critter, Katie, I need to keep a close eye on the plush animals. She seems to think they’re all hers!

It also means pulling out the holiday DVDs. I’m such a sucker for Christmas In Connecticut, original Miracle on 34th Street, and Muppet Christmas Carol among others. And a nice background if I’m not playing music while I bake up cookies and candies to hand out. No way I leave much of that around the house! Way too tempting. Although I do have to check them out.

I have some regular recipes I make every year and always add a few new ones. There have been a few disasters, but it’s still fun. Between that and my Bath and Body Works wallflowers, the house smells yummy!

What about you? What traditions do you have for Christmas? Are you in to decorating and baking? Playing your favorite music and/or movies? And who all loves Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas song?

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

No matter what, have a wonderful holiday!

While this isn’t a true holiday treat, it is popular among friends and family out here. I make multiple batches of this candy. It’s easy to make and even easier to eat!



Choconut Caramel Bars

2 pkg milk chocolate chips
4 tbsp shortening
2 14-oz pkg caramels
4 tbsp water Choconut
2 cups peanuts, chopped

Melt 1 pkg choc. chips and 2 tbsp shortening-takes about a minute or so in microwave. Stir until smooth. Pour into 9x13 foil lined pan. Refrigerate until firm. Melt caramels and water-about 2 to 4 min. in microwave. Stir until smooth. Stir in peanuts. Pour into choc. lined pan, spread evenly, refrigerate until firm. Top with remaining chocolate and refrigerate.

Halve recipe if using 8 in. square pan. Very much like a Snickers bar, actually better!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Magick

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 if not another city." Krebs led the way.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Winner of A Demon Does It Better ARC Is ...

Random name generator said Tori Lennox!

Congratulations Tori!

Email me at contact at lindawisdom dot com with your mailing addy.

I'll be giving away another ARC in mid-December and a guest blog with a giveaway is coming up. So stop back to see when.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday With Fluff and Puff

“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. She 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 HERS. 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 wearing a khaki uniform 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 with the Witches Council, 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 more 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 the price 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.” Nothing.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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey Day Is Coming!

Three days to that fantastic turkey dinner!

Are you ready? Or wondering just what have you put yourself in for?

I want to be one of the witches and hex up dinner. Same with the dirty dishes afterwards. That way I can indulge in a good book. I’d even settle for minions to do it all.

Not that I can complain since we’re going out to dinner this year.

If you get a chance to get some good reading in, more power to you!

To get you in the mood, I’m including a Thanksgiving story about Jazz and Irma.

And for one lucky commenter I’m giving away an advanced reading copy of A Demon Does It Better, my January release. US residents only please. The winner will be chosen from the commenters on Monday morning at 8am, November 28.

And for all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Too bad we don’t all have Irma to oversee our culinary efforts!

"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.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

And Your Little Dog Too!

“What do you think?” Stasi stepped back from the large bay window to better study the display she’d designed for the upcoming holiday. She brushed her hands down her bold turquoise and black skirt with its spangled scarf hem that brushed her black high-heeled boots. A softer turquoise cowl neck sweater completed the look. She recently added gold highlights to her brown hair that was pulled back with a black band.

Isn’t It Romantic? was in stylized gold script lettering on the overhanging sign.

Blair also stepped back. Her forest green boat-necked sweater and matching leggings gave her an Audrey Hepburn look. She admired the black sheer nightgown with cobweb sleeves draped on a delicate hanger. An ebony glitter half mask was draped from invisible fingers, courtesy of Stasi’s magick, along with black marabou high heels slides. On the other side was a pumpkin orange silk bustier seeming to be slung over an ivory velvet bench. The small vanity table showed several romance novels and a crystal flacon of perfume. Orange gold and black sparkles danced in the display finishing what was a combination of saucy and elegant.

“It’s perfect,” Blair pronounced. “I hope you put away that nightgown for me.”

“And me.”

The two witches shared grins, aware their respective shapeshifter and wizard hotties wouldn’t probably allow them to wear the sexy gown for long.

Stasi moved a few steps to take a look at Blair’s display window. Blair’s love of retro showed strong in her shop, Blast From The Past. She use an old-fashioned fence for the background, putting up vintage pictures of black cats, witches against a full moon, and bubbling cauldrons. Dolls dressed in Halloween costumes filled the window along with a tiny red wagon loaded with teddy bears. A boy doll dressed as a ghost appeared to be pulling it.

“I can’t believe we’re doing it again,” Blair moaned. “Every year we tell them we won’t go with the usual Halloween crap.”

“And every year we give in to Agatha.” Stasi named the mayor’s wife who was a mighty force onto her own. “She’s even worse now that the elves are on her side. They volunteered to run around the town as goblins.”

Blair wrinkled her nose in distaste. “That just means they’ll revert back to their nasty original selves.”

The two witches returned to Stasi’s shop and walked in, immediately heading for the coffee pot in the back. Stasi poured them each a cup of aromatic chocolate cinnamon and brought out the plate of snickerdoodle cookies.
“Oh, good!” Now that food was available, Horace, Stasi’s pain in the butt gargoyle, swooped down to snatch up a treat. His horns practically rotated in orgasmic joy as he gobbled up his coffkie.

“One,” Stasi warned him even as he snuck a second.

“Ouch!” Horace glared at Blair as he rubbed his scorched tail. She smiled back and as blew on her forefinger that she used to zap him.

“There you are!”

The witches closed their eyes and muttered a spell for patience as the mighty force known as Agatha Pierce rolled into the store. Her husband, Floyd, might be mayor, but it was common knowledge that it was Agatha that ruled the town.

The woman steamed in like a Sherman tank, her black wool suit sporting a large orange zircon pumpkin pin on the lapel. Chu-Chu, her bad-tempered golden-color Pekinese that resided in a large leather tote. The small dog popped his head over the top and lifted his lip at Horace who snarled back.

“Oh my!” Agatha stared at the gargoyle and moved back as if afraid he’d attack her. “Is that thing …?”

Stasi nodded.

“Did it always …?” She rotated her finger in a silent question about Horace living and breathing and not a statue as he usually pretended to be when anyone else came into the boutique.

Blair nodded.

Agatha patted her beloved pet’s head. “Don’t worry, darling, Mumsie will protect you from that ugly thing,” she cooed.

“Who’re you calling ugly you --!” Horace knew when to quit when he saw Stasi starting to mouth a spell. “I’m gone.” And he was.

“Your book order came in, Agatha.” Stasi moved into the stock room and returned with a bag.

“Thank you, my dear.” She accepted the bag. “Just charge my credit card as always.”

Blair almost choked when she saw the note stapled to the bag before Agatha tore it off. It seemed the esteemed mayor’s wife was addicted to very racy novels. Who knew?

“I am so glad you are participating with our Halloween festivities this year,” Agatha almost gushed. “As always we’ll be having cemetery tours, ghost walks.”

“And won’t the ghosts love that,” Blair muttered.

“It’s not as if they’re real,” the woman insisted then faltered. Even after all this time, she was never sure if the two witches were teasing her or speaking the truth. To date, she never dared ask. “It’s for effect, you understand. The Ladies League met this afternoon and voted on adding a new feature to this year’s Halloween festivities.”

Stasi and Blair’s smiles froze.

“New feature?” Stasi finally found her tongue.

Agatha’s head bobbed up and down, almost dislodging the elaborate curls on her head.

“A play,” she announced.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Blair muttered under her breath, staring to step backwards but Stasi’s grip on her arm didn’t allow her to escape.

“Don’t make me freeze you,” Stasi said grimly.

“What kind of play?” Blair asked, already dreading the worst.

The woman’s smile didn’t falter as she looked from one to the other. “Our own version of Wizard of Oz. After all, we have our very own magickal residents, don’t we?” She patted Chu-Chu’s head as he continued to growl in Horace’s direction. “I thought that Stasi, you could ask your lovely young man to play the wizard, and Blair, wouldn’t Jake make an adorable Cowardly Lion?” She glanced at Horace who was glaring at the nasty tempered dog. “Does it get any taller? Perhaps as the Tin Man? And with you two being wi—“ she paused at the looks of horror on Stasi and Blair’s faces. “Well, being such an integral part of the community you’d wish to be a part of the play. And my own darling Chu-Chu could play Toto.” In response to his name the little darling passed noxious gas.

“Oh ew!” Horace held his nose.

“Agatha.” Blair took one step forward while Agatha wisely took two back. “There is no way Stasi will sport green skin and wear an ugly black gown.”

“Me? What about you wearing it?” Stasi turned on her friend. Her eyes glowed gold with anger.

Sparks of magick shot up over both witches.

Agatha’s eyes widened as she realized staying in the vicinity might not be a good idea. She started backing up even faster.

Just not fast enough.

“Out!” Blair ordered.

“And your little dog too,” Stasi added.

The mayor’s wife whirled around and ran for the door. She barely crossed the threshold when the two witches smiled and held out their hands.

“Ideas in play. Not good to say. Find out what it’s like to be witch for a day!”

A tornado of purple and pink sparks flew through the air and enveloped Agatha. Her screams were loud enough to shatter glass as she was swept up into the air. A few moments later she was gently deposited on the sidewalk.

Except now, her skin was a dark green, a hairy mole decorated her pointed chin and hawk like nose. Her black silk suit morphed into a gauzy gown along with pointy hat and old fashioned high button shoes. Even her designer bag had turned into a broom and Chu-Chu was now even ugily as a monkey flying around her head.

Agatha stared at them with her mouth open. Whatever she planned to say came out as a clich├ęd cackle. A flash of fury crossed her eyes as she stomped off, broom in hand.

Fellow shopkeepers appeared in the doorways to watch the show and tourists strolling the sidewalk seemed to think it was part of a Halloween show.

“Don’t worry, Agatha, it will be gone by morning!” Stasi called after her, laughter bubbling up.

The moral of the story is don’t assume a witch likes your ideas.

Monday, October 3, 2011

In Memory of Thelma Randall -- My Mom

Sadly, my mom, Thelma Randall, passed away on September 18.

It’s been a hard year for us as her health started decline the beginning of this year until she went into hospice care this past July. All I can say about the Visiting Nurse Association is that they were fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for all they did for Mom.

Even with her health problems, Mom was a great friend to all, ‘Mom’ to my friends, and interested in what goes on.

Her service was last Friday where family and friends gathered to share their memories.

There were tears, there was laughter, and I know Mom would have enjoyed it all. Sad thing is, because I couldn’t find her discharge papers from the Marine Corps I couldn’t have an honor guard for her. The funeral home did their part and Facebook friends offered up wonderful suggestions. The home gave us a flag and I asked my FB friends to shout out ‘Semper Fi’ during the time of her service. And they did.

Below is what I spoke at her service.

Mom was a great cheerleader for authors.

When I was a brand spanking new author and told the world (okay not literally) what I did Mom smiled and suggested I not sound like I was bragging.

A few years later we were out having lunch. Mom looked across the restaurant and saw a woman reading one of my books. She hustled over there, told the woman her daughter had written that book, and motioned me over to introduce us and even asked the woman if she wanted me to sign the book.

I guess I didn’t need to brag. Mom did it for me. :}

I’ll miss Mom, but I know she’s always with me. And that I kept my promise to her. She didn't go into the hospital or a nursing home. She was at home where she belonged.

Memories of Mom

When I thought about writing something I realized what popped into my head was what I call snapshot memories. Bits and pieces of things that happened over the years.

One thing was Mom’s love for the marines. She might have only been in the womens reserve for a year during WWII but it impacted her life. She made lifelong friends as a result. She was a charter member of the womens military memorial and the women marines association. And yes, I’ll say what always embarrassed her. She dated Tyrone Powers’s crew chief.

She was first rejected when she went to join up. The doctor was going to say no because she had mild scoliosis. She told him her dad had been in the navy, had three daughters and she considered herself her father’s son. She made it in. If she hadn’t married Dad, she would have made it her career. Personally, I’m glad she married Dad.

Pride in her mother and grandmother who were driving forces in making Mom the woman she was.

My memories of Mom are a combination of laughter and tears.

I remember Mom making me sit in the car’s back seat because our shepherd mix, Skipper, insisted on the front passenger seat.

Mom horrified when a rattlesnake almost bit me but Skipper got to it first. Maybe that’s why Skipper insisted on the front seat.

Mom wearing her favorite lavender print halter dress and lavender leather high heels slides that I liked to try on and always fell over in.

Sitting nearby with a book in her hands while Dad and I fished for rainbow trout.

During same fishing trips going out to the outhouse in the late night and hoping that bear nearby wouldn’t decide we might make a nice snack.

Mom insisting a Toni home perm was good for me. It wasn’t.

Understanding that her daughter is a dreamer and indulging her love of books.

Laid up in bed and insisting ten year old me go outside to find out the source of the loud crash in the garage where Dad was working on his 1957 Bel Air and find out why Dad was swearing up a storm. The car was soon gone and Dad mumbled a lot every time he saw a blue Bel Air.

Explaining to me that I probably wouldn’t wear glasses all my life. Yeah Mom.

Introduced me to See’s chocolates. Thanks Mom!

Going to the drive in on Friday nights when Dad was away on business trips.

Our girls only Thanksgiving dinner at Knotts Berry Farm when Dad was snowed in in Montana.

Handling things after an earthquake, mopping up water when water flooded one of the bedrooms, and evacuating during a forest fire.

Patiently explaining to me that yes, I was having a Christmas wedding, but no, I shouldn’t wear red or green.

Mom going out with me when I was learning to master driving stick shift after Dad and I returned home yelling at each other. Don’t even ask.

Her adopting all my friends as her girls. Always asking about them, interested in what they were doing. Sending them love and virtual hugs if they needed them.

I miss Mom’s teasing when I forget to set up my coffee and whimper when I see the empty pot in the morning.

Even with all her health problems, Mom never faltered. She was an inspiration to many.

Mom was love, strength, faith and my best friend.

I’ll miss you Mom, but I understand why you had to leave me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Join Me At Literal Addicted!

On Saturday July 9, I’ll be at Literal Addiction with a live chat. I hope you’ll join me.

Also check out the awesome fangear that Michelle designed!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th!

A Happy Fourth of July to you all!

What do you have planned for the holiday? Barbecue, visiting friends, going to the beach, a park, the mountains? Or even staying around the house and being lazy, perhaps with a book?

With it so hot I see lots of cold drinks coming my way. And with it so hot this weekend we're debating whether to barbecue. Even Barney's happy staying inside where it's cool.

Have a great holiday everyone!


Friday, May 27, 2011

A Perilous Affair Out Again

Inspiration for our books come from many sources.

In April of 1985 a friend and I sat in a darkened theater and watched the incredible love story of Ladyhawke. A curse cast onto lovers leaving them together yet apart. She has a hawk during the daylight hours and he as a wolf roaming the nights.

I wasn’t writing paranormal then and it wasn’t all that popular, but the idea of lovers parted in such a way had my imagination going full bore. I knew I’d have to write my version of Ladyhawke. In fact, the friend sitting with me said she knew that look on my face and that a book was going to follow.

Since I wrote contemporary I thought of two lovers who worked for a government agency. The type who were soulmates, but something horrific happened to separate them. Her knowing it was for the best and he thinking she was killed.

Until they come together a few years later except she has a new name, new face, and even a new personality. The question is will he still recognize what’s in her heart? And is there a chance that the cold-blooded killer who had been searching for her would find her again and force her to face her worst fears.

When my agent read the synopsis she called me up and screamed “I didn’t know you could write romantic suspense!” Clueless me said “I didn’t either.” I was writing about two long lost lovers. To this day, this book is one of my favorites such as Ladyhawke is still one of my favorite movies.

Even better, I was able to give A Perilous Affair a new life. Look for two lovers, a man standing in their way, a villain who wants our heroine dead, and yes, romantic suspense I didn’t know I could write. :}

Below you’ll find where the book is carried. I hope you’ll give it a try.

A PERILOUS AFFAIR (Dell Candlelight Supreme published 1987)
She had a new name, a new face, a new identity – even a new personality. For ex-agent Mari Chandler, the past was dead and gone. Only her love for Reid Morgan refused to die. She went back to Mexico determined to let that love go. What had brought Reid to the same place at the same time with the same idea? He thought her a stranger, but soon there were the same burning kisses, the same deep, hungry needs. To surrender her secret would put both their lives in peril. Once they’d been in mortal danger … danger that still lurked in the shadows. Mari knew their lives depended on her playing a cool game, but how could she extinguish the blaze of love that ignites her heart?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Deadline for Brenda Novak's Auction for Diabetes Nearing!

May 31 is the last day for the Brenda Novak's auction to benefit diabetes research.

She's tireless in hosting an auction with the proceeds to benefit this sad disease.

I have donated a paranormal manuscript critique along with a witchy tote bag of goodies.

I hope you'll check out all the offerings. There is so much there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mega BacklistEBooks Sale Going On!

I'm still putting up more of my backlist books and many of us are now having some great sales through Smashwords.

It's a great way to reconnect with older books you've missed and even finding new ones! Visit our website to obtain the coupon codes for Smashwords.

HUGE #eBook sale: #Books by bestselling, award-winning authors 25-100% off!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brenda Novak's Annual Auction to Benefit Diabetes

Brenda Novak is not just a fantastic author, but also tireless in her quest to do what she can to work toward a cure for diabetes.

Every year she hosts an auction with the proceeds to benefit this sad disease.

I have donated a paranormal manuscript critique along with a witchy tote bag of goodies.

I hope you'll check out all the offerings. There is so much there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Curses ... Spoiled Again!

Jasper, Nebraska
February 2, 1957

Jazz was in love. Absolute lust-filled, hormone-jumping, panting love. She stared at the aqua and white Ford Thunderbird with the same covetousness she gave her favorite See’s chocolates.
Too bad there was a cranky looking woman seated in the passenger seat.
“So, ah, Fred Merton over at the Saveway said you can do something about things like this.” Harold Carmichael, a ruddy-faced man in his late 50s shifted from one foot to the other. He turned back to stare at the car with a similar look of lust but his expression was also coated with frustration, a hint of fear, and a smidgeon of anger. Who knew one man could show all those emotions at once? “You have to understand I don’t hold for nonsense about curses and such, but …” he shook his head.
But then why wouldn’t he when his wife didn’t just kill herself in his brand new car, but also managed to haunt it?
Probably a good thing Harold couldn’t see his dead wife glaring daggers at him.
But that was why Jazz was here. The 600+ year young witch was gifted at eliminating curses. Have witch will travel and banish all those nasty hexes that mess up your life.
“What do you notice about your car, Mr. Carmichael?” Jazz asked, glancing around at the garage that had tools neatly placed on the walls and a floor that looked clean enough to eat off of. At 5’8” she towered over the portly man with a bad comb over and dressed in an ill-fitting brown suit topped by a heavy coat against the late winter weather. Her nose twitched at the strong aroma of too much bay rum aftershave.
He stared down at the ground. “It does things,” he said, clearly uncomfortable with the subject.
“Things,” she repeated, realizing this job wasn’t going to be as easy as she’d hoped.
Wasn’t it bad enough she was stranded in Nebraska, of all places? Or that her job at the A&W Drive In would end after one night. She figured the grabby mechanic would recover from non-stop hiccups in about a day or so. Maybe. But now she needed money so she could head down to the Greyhound station and buy herself a bus ticket out of this burg.
“What are you? His new chippie? Wasn’t Lorraine enough?” The ghost in the car demanded.
Jazz knew enough to ignore the spirit since Harold couldn’t see her. Guessing by his uneasy manner, she had a good idea he could sense something wasn’t right.
“The Reverend Morris says my car is possessed,” Harold’s words came out in a rush. “He came over one night last week and prayed over it then ran out when the horn wouldn’t stop honking and the headlights turned on and off.” He jumped when both happened. “Do you see what I mean?” He pointed a shaky finger at the vehicle. “Now I paid good money for that car and I want whatever devil’s in it out. Fred said he heard you do things like that.”
“Not if I have anything to say about it,” the gray-haired wraith spoke up. “I didn’t die in this car to let that bleached blonde floozy Lorraine Bigelow park her cheap perfumed behind in here.” She crossed her arms in front of her generous bosom. “I don’t know what you are, young lady, but I suggest you leave right now.” She glared at her. “That man deserves to be haunted and I’ll do it until the day he draws his dyin’ breath.”
Harold frowned and leaned closer to Jazz. “Can whatever’s in there hear me?” he whispered loudly. “Is it dangerous?”
“I’m dead, not deaf!” Irma shrieked, her powdered cheeks flaring a bright red.
Jazz nodded and turned to Harold. “I can understand your worries, Mr. Carmichael. Just as you must understand that what I do is highly specialized work.” And something no mundane human being should see. “Why don’t you go on in and wait in the house for me? I should be finished in about thirty minutes.”
“Never!” the ghost snorted.
“Harold! Is everything all right out there?” A woman’s nasal voice cut through the air. “Can she do anything for the car?”
Harold divided his attention between the unseen woman, Jazz, and the car.
“Go,” she advised. “I’ll come in when I’m finished.
The man wasted no time exiting the garage.
Once she heard the back door slam, Jazz turned back to the car and its spirit occupant.
“So I gather you’re the wife and you have a reason to haunt the car.”
“I’m not sitting out here for my health, you know!” she said tartly in her flat Midwestern twang. “I am Irma Carmichael and I will not allow that tart to move into my house. Lorraine has been sniffing after my Harold for the past fifteen years after her Edgar died of a heart attack. I wouldn’t be surprised if she managed to kill him somehow. Edgar was never going to get promoted over at the railroad yard and she saw her moving up in the social circle if she nabbed Harold. He owns his own hardware store, but it was my family’s money that helped him get started. Harold wouldn’t have even a little of what he has now if it wasn’t for me.”
Jazz looked around and found a stool, sitting down as she folded her wool coat around her knees. She whispered a warming spell into her hands as she rubbed them briskly together.
“So you’re Irma and you killed yourself in the car along with cursing your spirit into it.” Her moss green eyes ran over the car as she imagined herself driving down the highway on a sunny day with the top down, the wind blowing through her coppery red hair. She even thought she could smell the rich scent of the leather upholstery.
What good was being a witch if she couldn’t hex up a gorgeous car like this? She wondered how many decades Eurydice would add to her banishment if she conjured up this gorgeous T-Bird’s twin.
“And Lorraine in there is taking over,” she figured out.
Irma nodded. Her Tangeed colored lips narrowed in anger, but tears sparkled in her eyes. “Harold called to tell me he was working late at the hardware store,” she said. “And here I had made a nice pot roast that day, so I fixed it up to take down to him. I don’t like him eating at the Kountry Kitchen. Ruby, who does the cooking there, looks at the money and not at the flavor. Well, I went in through the back door of the store and there was Harold and Lorraine,” she stopped and swallowed hard. “They were having carnal relations right there on Harold’s desk when he wouldn’t even kiss me when I’d be down there! He said it wasn’t businesslike! Yet, there he was with his pants down and her dress up over her head.” Her double chin wobbled. She sniffed loudly and gathered herself together. “So what are you?”
“I’m a witch. I am,” she insisted, when she saw the spirit's skepticism.
“Witches are evil, so says Preacher Morris.”
“But he couldn’t get you out of the car, could he? And I can.” Jazz reached down into her coveted Chanel quilted leather bag and pulled out candles, and a vial of water charged with cedar and oils along with several crystals.
“You will not use those wicked items on me!” Irma insisted with wide eyes. "I"m a good Christian woman."
“Then leave the car.”
She stiffened. “I will not! As long as I reside in Harold’s car he will not allow that wanton woman to ride with her.” She smirked. “She tried once and said she didn’t feel right.”
Jazz grinned. “While you probably couldn’t make her feel anything, you made her feel uncomfortable.”
The witch felt bad for the wife who not only lost her husband’s affections, but took her life at the same time.
“Why did you curse yourself into the car when you died, Irma?” She didn’t believe in tiptoeing around when talking to a wraith. There was no doubt that Irma knew she was dead.
Irma faced straight ahead, her fingers tight on the strap of her navy patent leather purse.
“I was so angry at Harold for being with Lorraine,” she said. “I was hurtin’ and I wanted him to hurt too. He’d just bought this car and treated it better than he treated me even though I’d been cookin’ and cleanin’ for him for the better part of thirty-four years. We got married the day after I graduated from Jasper High. I swear if he could have brought this thing into the house he would have.” Her fingers twitched. “I thought about coming in here and droppin’ a match on it.”
Jazz nodded, understanding the need for revenge. “Too bad you didn’t know me back then. I could have referred you to someone who would have made both of them suffer a lot.”
“I did make him suffer,” Irma told her. “I came out here, closed the garage door, and turned on the engine. I knew he wouldn’t be home any time soon. I told myself he’d never be rid of me now and he’d never know peace with Lorraine. And then I went to sleep.” Her forehead crinkled. “Funny thing about that. When I woke up, I was sitting here in this ugly dress that I’m sure Lorraine chose. She never had any taste and it’s not like Harold would know what to buy. And I couldn’t leave the car.” Her lips stretched in a pleased smile. “Harold came out here to start up the car and I could hear him complaining how cold it was. Even the heater didn’t warm him up. It took me awhile, but I learned I could honk the horn and turn on the lights. Preacher Morris came out and prayed over the car. Can you imagine how much Harold must have paid into the church building fund for that? He told Harold the car was possessed and he needed to get rid of it.”
“And why I’m here.” Jazz stood up and started to take off her coat then changed her mind. She was getting out of Nebraska as fast as possible. From now on she was living where it was sunny and warm.
She smudged the garage with white sage then set out her crystals and the charged water.
“Past time to grieve. Best to leave.” She placed her palms on the icy cold metal and projected her magick into it. “Move on, go away, and do as I say. Your time is past, so make it fast. Because I say so, damn it!”
“I do not allow cursing in my house!” Irma shouted as the crackles of power covered the car.
Jazz smiled as she felt the swirls of magick surround the ghost.
One un-haunted car and a nice fee to get her out of Nebraska.
“What do you mean you can’t get it out of the car?” Harold’s roly-poly body practically bounced around the garage. “Fred said you could do it!”
“And I can.” Jazz glared at Irma who smirked back at her. “Your wife doesn’t want to leave the car. I’ve done everything I can and it didn’t work.” And here she had a 100% success rate in eliminating curses too. Didn’t this woman understand it was time to move on?
“What am I supposed to do?”
“You can either sell the car or put up with your wife haunting it.”
“Do you know how long I had to wait for it?” he yelped. “That car is my pride and joy.”
“I’m sure Lorraine would love to hear that,” Irma sniffed.
“These things happen.” Jazz gritted her teeth. “Now as to my fee.”
“I’m not paying you a dime,” he sneered. “You were supposed to get that woman out of my car and you didn’t.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest. “I don’t care what Fred says, you’re nothing more than a swindler. I should just call Walter up at the sheriff’s office and let him deal with you.”
Jazz’s red hair was the perfect indicator of her Irish temper. She narrowed her gaze at him as she stared down the man. “And I say you will pay.”
“Ha!” Irma bounced up and down on the seat. “You show him, witch! Use your magick and make him a toad. I don’t want the kind a princess could kiss and turn him into a prince.”
Harold looked from Jazz to the car. He looked uneasy. “Is she talking?”
“Of course, she’s talking, you idiot!” Irma shouted, trying to throw her handbag at her husband, but failing.
Jazz smiled. “Irma doesn’t want to leave, Harold and I’d say she’s got enough revenge in mind she can make your life miserable for the rest of your life. I’d say you only have one choice.”

February 4, 1957

“You’re driving too fast.”
“Kansas is very flat, isn’t it? There’s really not very much to see.”
“Oh! I’ve heard of Stuckeys, but Harold doesn’t like to drive out of state. Let’s stop there.”
“Is there a way you can use your magick to give me a new dress?”
“You turn that hellish music off right this moment! Everyone knows that Elvis is dangerous to innocent girls.” Irma’s fingers swept through the radio dial.
“Will we live in Hollywood? Do you think we’ll see Clark Gable or Tyrone Power? I hope you can give me a new dress before we run into them.”
Jazz’s fingers tightened on the steering wheel until the circle almost cracked under the pressure. Angry magick fountained around her like Roman candles.
“If it’s the last thing I do I will get this woman out of my car.”

Copyright 2011

Was Jazz ever able to get Irma out of her beloved T-Bird? Did Irma ever forgive her husband for cheating on her? Did she ever get a new dress?

I'll give you a hint. The answers are in Hex Appeal.

Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend Excerpt

This is what happens if you piss off a witch. Enjoy.

“He asked for my number,” Sybil chattered away in the car.
“And you were a good little elf and didn’t give it to him.” Maggie downshifted as she turned a corner. Her silence was telling. “Please tell me you at least checked him out!”
“Not his ass, him overall. You did some interrogation mojo on him, right?”
“He knows I’m with the Guard. Do you really think he’d try something?”
“Hm, let’s see. There was that gremlin we brought in two months ago. He knew you were with the Guard and he also thought you were a total pushover. Which you almost were because he trotted out a sob story worthy of a midnight soap opera on the Supe Love Channel.”
“I went through my usual list of questions as we drank and danced and his answers were all I hoped for,” she assured her friend.“
Her cell phone chirping All Star interrupted Maggie’s comment about sanity having more than one meaning. Without looking down she tapped her Bluetooth button on her steering wheel to answer.
“Tell your friend that Algar has to cancel their dinner date this weekend. He’s been called back to the Dark Country,” Declan’s voice flowed through the microphone like smooth jazz.
Maggie shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “How did you get this number?”
“What did you do to him?” Sybil demanded, practically leaning across Maggie.
“Trying to drive here, babe,” Maggie told her.
“I want to know what you did to him, Declan!” Sybil’s voice grew shrill even as she still partially obstructed Maggie’s vision.
“Syb!” She pushed at her shoulder. “I can’t see the road!”
“Algar’s a great person and there was no reason for you to mess with my social life,” Sybil growled.
“Trust me, there was an excellent reason.”
“I want to know how you got this number!” Maggie chimed in.
“Sweet dreams, Maggie.” He clicked off.
Maggie muttered a variety of curses in multiple languages while Sybil added a few of her own.
“That’s it. I’m dragging that Anna in tomorrow.” Sybil fell back against her seat. “My eight brothers weren’t allowed to mess with my social life, so there’s no reason for him to think he can.” A soft chirp sounded from her bag. She pulled out her cell phone and began reading. “Oh boy.”
“Oh boy what?”
“Yours isn’t the only cell number Declan dug up. He texted me a report on Algar. It seems that son of a whore has a few side businesses we need to check into.” Sybil’s delicate features turned hard.
Maggie grimaced. “So Declan did a good thing.”
Sybil looked at the witch. “Did you do something?”
Maggie took a deep breath. “Remember Jim Morrison singing about lighting his fire? Well, I guess you’d say I doused Declan’s.”
Her friend gaped then burst out laughing. “Let’s hope he’s wash and wear.”
When Anna walked into Declan’s office she found him standing in the midst of a downpour that didn’t touch one piece of furniture.
She pressed her hands over her mouth and just stared with saucer-size midnight black eyes as her shoulders began shaking with suppressed laughter. “Declan?” she choked out the name.
The long-suffering demon wiped his face as steam rose up from his clothing.
“Anna, would you get me a towel please?”

So tell me. If you had the power would you do the above to a guy who deserved it?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend in the Spotlight!

Maggie and Declan are spotlighted on author Gabriella Hewitt's blog!

Come by and take a look.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm Interviewed Today

And what better place than Much Cheaper Than Therapy!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Want A Free Hex Ebook?

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover is a free read for your Kindle, Nook, and other ereaders! If you haven't read the first book in the series, it's the perfect time to start! Plus I've got a lot of interviews and guest blogs up.

If you'd like a chance for a free copy of Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend I'm at,, and

Here are all the sites that has 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover as a free ebook and it's available through April 11.

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover FREE during the week of 04/05/2011 – 04/11/2011














Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm Guest Blogging Today

I'm talking about Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend and my publisher is great enough to give away copies to some commenters! I hope you'll stop by and say hi.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My New Cover!

It doesn't come out until next January, but I thought you'd like to see it, and drool, now. I'm still mopping the floors!

Blog Tour On The Move!

I'm at two sites today and I hope you'll drop by and say hi!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Congratulations Kendra Leigh Castle!

A good friend of mine, Kendra Leigh Castle, was informed this morning that her Harlequin Nocturne, Renegade Angel, has been named a finalist in the Romance Writers of America Rita Awards!

I am so happy for Kendra! She’s a fantastic writer. She and Renegade Angel, deserve this.

If you want a great read, go check it out.

It's been thousands of years since Raum's angelic wings turned from white to black, and the Destroyer of Dignities and Robber of Kings never looked back. These days he's also on the outs with Hell and works with a motley crew of ex-demons on a new mission: snuffing out lesser demons and their half-human progeny.
Raum's latest assignment brings him to a small Vermont town—and a sweet, funny half-demon, half-human he'll risk everything to save. Ember Riddick stirs him as no woman ever before—and she holds the key to what Lucifer will move Hell and Earth to prevent: his team's redemption.
But Ember's secrets are as dark as Raum's midnight wings. And their fate may leave them entwined…but destroyed….

Congratulations, Kendra!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Looking For That Pot of Gold!

"Be vewy vewy quiet, we’we hunting lepwechauns,” Horace intoned, creeping along the lush grass covered path. He ignored the birds perched in the trees overhead, although he did growl when bird poo plopped on his head.

“Dude, you have got to stop watching cartoons,” Puff muttered, nudging him with his ear.

“Those cartoons are classics,” the gargoyle informed him, looking at the paths branching off. “We need to go left.”

“We go right,” Fluff argued.

“Hello!” Puff rolled his eyes. “We stay on this path for three more kilometers.” A small map hung from his ears.

“Dude, didn’t you ever hear of GPS?” Horace hooted, flicking his claw at a map corner.

“Dude.” Sarcasm dripped from the word. “Did you ever hear how our magick and electronics don’t mix?”

“Plus Krebs wouldn’t let us use his,” Fluff muttered. “He said we already ruined four of them and he didn’t intend to see us screw up a fifth.”

Horace came to a stop and stared at Puff, tipping his head to the side so far he almost fell over. “You dummy, it’s upside down!” He snatched the map and turned it around.

“Why’d you do that? Now we have to go back the other way!” Fluff smacked his brother slipper with his ear and flipped around. “And look there!” He pointed upward where a colorful rainbow hung in the sky.

The threesome already knew their destination was the end of that rainbow.

“We’ve got to get there before someone else finds it and demands the leprechaun give up his gold.” Horace rubbed his claws in gleeful anticipation. He already had plans for his share. Big screen Hi Def TV topped the list.

“How do we know he even has a pot of gold?” Fluff asked, starting to slow down.

”Because if someone gets the gold, the rainbow disappears,” Horace told him.

“Are you sure? My feet hurt!”

“We don’t have feet, dork.” Puff hip checked Fluff.

“Doesn’t matter, something hurts. And there’s rocks here,” he whined.

“Quiet. We’re getting closer and we don’t want the leprechaun to hear us,” Horace warned them. He began to wish he’d done this hunt on his own. But he needed Fluff and Puff’s magick along with his own just to get them to the Emerald Isle. Maybe he wouldn’t have to split the gold three ways. Rabbits can’t count all that well, can they? He vowed to keep a mega gargoyle share.

Lilting sounds of a flute reached Fluff and Puff’s ears first. They mined shushing Horace and the trio fanned out along the path finally reaching the center of the forest where they came upon a small glade covered in perfect four leaf clovers.

Bands of brilliant color ended in a large cauldron holding a dazzling amount of gold coins.

“Gold,” Horace whispered with awe, his eyes glowing avarice.

“We can buy a chocolate company,” Fluff breathed, staring at the pot.

“We can buy the world.” Puff was close behind.

Except seated on a nearby rock was a three-foot high red bearded man dressed in an emerald green jacket and breeches with a green bowler perched on his curly mop of rusty red hair. His round cheeks glowed red as he played a lively dance tune on his flute.

Horace tapped a clawed foot in time to the music.

“Mine, all mine.”

“Ours,” Puff reminded him.

“Why’re ye here disturbing Seamus’s playing, magickal ones?” The leprechaun looked up from his playing.

“For your gold.” Horace stepped forward with the slippers on either side of him.

Seamus laughed as he set down his flute and hopped off the rock, dancing around the pot. The buckles on his black shoes gleamed the same color as the coins that overflowed their container.

“Ye shall not have my gold, creatures,” he sang out, dancing a jig.

“It’s in the rules,” Horace argued. “We demand your gold. You give it to us.”
“You have to catch me first!” He laughed, continuing to dance. He snatched up his flute and began playing again.

The game was on. Horace, Fluff and Puff fanned out ready to catch the elusive leprechaun. But the little man hadn’t lived these many thousand years without tricks of his own. The gold was his and he wasn’t about to give it up.

Magickal keepaway began and an hour later, Horace was panting with fatigue – after all the gargoyle was more used to lounging around Stasi’s lingerie boutique than doing any form of exercise. Fluff and Puff weren’t doing much better since their idea of activity was taking vigorous naps.

“I told ye!” Seamus chortled, dancing away from them.

But Horace was determined. Damn it, he had that TV all picked out! And a Bose sound system. He ran at Seamus like a linebacker but tripped and skidded through the grass as Seamus winked out of sight and appeared nearby.

“Enough, I have no more time for this marlarky,” Seamus announced. “Ye didn’t even offer me a pint.”

“Then give us the gold!” Horace yelled at him.

The leprechaun stared at the gargoyle. “Ye three didna do me right. Ye three didna leave me sight. Ye three must pay the piper and see the light.” He picked up his flute and played a variety of notes that seemed to fly in the air like glowing gnats and buzzed around the trio.

“Hey!” Horace swatted at the intruders, but they only swarmed closer.

“No!” The slippers wailed as they were likewise attacked.

Just as suddenly, their assailants were gone. And so was Seamus and his pot of gold.

Fluff and Puff stared at each other; their razor sharp toothy mouths wide open. “We’re green!” They turned to face Horace who looked down at himself.

“What the –“ The gargoyle practically wheezed. “I’m – I’m –“

“Gold.” The slippers whispered the word with the reverence they usually only gave to licorice root and chocolate.

Horace threw his claws up to the sky. “I look like an Academy Award!” he wailed, before looking down. “Don’t even think it,” he growled, as the slippers advanced on him with the same intensity Elmer Fudd used in tracking Bugs Bunny. “What are you doing?” He fought the net that covered him as the slippers tipped him to the ground and began slowly, but steadily, dragging him out of the glade.

“Do you know what gold’s going for now?” Fluff asked his best bud as they made their way.

“No, but we can check once we get him home.” Puff ignored Horace’s curses and threats as they hauled their booty back to the magick portal that would send them back home. “We should probably pick up some bleach too. Green isn’t a good color for me.”

Just remember – you also need a dram of whiskey or a pint if you catch a leprechaun and demand his pot ‘o gold or you might end up green or gold too!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Plus just to let you all know Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend is available at Amazon and B&N!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Small Town Secrets is Now An Ebook!

I'm so happy this book has been re released since I enjoyed writing it. You can now find it for your Kindle, Nook, and other e readers.

Trouble in Warm Springs

The sleepy little town in the California desert was supposed to be a sanctuary for Bree Fitzpatrick – a place of refuge from the big city crime that had left her a widow with three children to raise.

But something was wrong, terribly wrong, in Warm Springs. Nothing could have prepared even a hardened police officer like her for the dark mystery of this place – a mystery that had cost far too many people their lives. And nothing could have prepared her for Cole Becker, the devastatingly handsome newspaper reporter who was determined to help her uncover the truth – and show a grieving woman that she could have a second chance at love…

Originally published in February 2002

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Do You Do On A Rainy Day?

It’s one of those days. So cold outside it takes your breath away. Rain falling in sheets. Wind whipping in wild gusts.

No way you want to leave the house where it’s warm and cozy.

Do you have coffee, tea, or hot chocolate on hand? A good book or a DVD you’ve been meaning to watch?

What’s your pleasure on a day like that?

Linda, looking at the rain and sipping her chocolate truffle coffee

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer

I was asked to be part of a wonderful project. What better subject than falling in love!
Such are the pearls of insight generously dispensed with wisdom, wit, and emotional resonance from the bestselling authors who write all about it in Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer: The Secret Keys to a Long and Lasting Love. Award-winning novelist Amelia Grey takes us on a journey with more than sixty-five of the romance world's most beloved storytellers whose personal experiences with that old black magic reveal a wealth of knowledge about the language of love and what makes it work—or not.
At turns entertaining, thought-provoking, poignant, and unexpected, Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer is far more than a collection of essays. It is a collection of secrets that contain the keys to a love that will endure. As critically acclaimed author Jean Brashear advises, 'A long love affair needs a special, private, safe place to grow and blossom. Creating that space is, I believe with all my heart, both the joy and the most sacred duty of a marriage.'
Fall in love and bloom.
Readers will enjoy glimpsing into the exclusive and private world of their favorite romance authors. Humorous, poignant, and entertaining from beginning to end, Fall in Love Like A Romance Writer reveals what it takes to have your own happily ever after, just like the ones your beloved writers are creating...and living.
This book goes beyond the fictional love stories to uncover the real romantic relationships of more than 60 beloved, bestselling romance novelists.
Linda Lael Miller, Mariah Stewart, Robyn Carr, Heather Graham, Karen Robards, Joan Johnston, Kat Martin, Pamela Morsi, Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, Rachel Gibson, Susan Anderson, Bertrice Small, Jennifer Blake, Mary Balogh, Teresa Medeiros, Cathy Maxwell, Victoria Alexander, Laura Lee Guhrke, Mary Jo Putney, Jill Marie Landis, Meryl Sawyer, Stella Cameron, Stef Ann Holm, Elizabeth Hoyt, Kasey Michaels, Julianne MacLean, Lorraine Heath, Gaelen Foley, Haywood Smith, Wendy Corsi Staub, Elizabeth Boyle, Christie Ridgway, Jane Porter, Elizabeth Grayson, Amanda Scott, Gayle Callen, Annette Blair, Amanda McCabe, Jean Brashear, Suzanne Forster, Karen White, Stephanie Bond, Judith Arnold, Patricia Potter, Barbara Samuel, Dee Davis, Robin Lee Hatcher, Shana Galen, Leigh Greenwood, Deb Stover, Linda Wisdom, Jasmine Cresswell, Shirl Henk, Judi Fennell, Jo Ann Ferguson, Michele Ann Young, Nicola Cornick, Kate Austin, Geri Buckley, Cheryl Brooks, Nicole Byrd, Sharon Lathan, Jade Lee, Terry Spear, Jannine Corti Petska, Ciji Ware, and many others tell about how they met the love of their lives, or how they made their love last through the years, or what they believe makes love and romance timeless. Some of the stories are heart-warming, some are inspiring, and others are filled with humor, but they are all sprinkled with that magical feeling of being in love.
You can find the book at any bookstore.