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.