Monday, December 24, 2012

Fluff and Puff on the Naughty List

“You’re on the Naughty List!”

“No, you’re on the Naughty List!”

Red, gold and dark green sparks of magick flew through the air as the bunny slippers faced off.

“Santa wrote Fluff on the naughty list,” Puff insisted, glaring at his brother slipper.

“The name there is Puff,” Fluff countered, shooting another a red spear of power at him. The slipper deftly avoided the weapon.

“Hey! What in Hades is going on here?” A wide-eyed Jazz stared the disaster zone once known as her bedroom.

Her black and white print comforter hung from the ceiling while red and black throw pillows floated around the room. Perfume bottles drifted around like scented ornaments. She quickly ducked just in time as a shot of magick almost created a new part in her hair.

“Stop it now!” She threw out her hands and froze the slippers in place. Their eyes rolled and tiny growls left their mouths as they glared at her. “If you promise to behave and clean up this mess I will release you. And then I want to know why you two are acting like this. Blink one for yes, you’ll behave.” After the receiving the signal. She reversed her spell. “Now, why are you fighting?”

“Fluff is on the Naughty List and he claims it’s me,” Puff shouted, bouncing up and down.

“It’s Puff who’s on the Naughty List!”

“So why the battle?”

Fluff tipped his ear toward Jazz and a long scroll unrolled in front of her.

Her lips parted in shock. “You stole Santa’s Naughty List? It’s Christmas Eve! Santa needs this list tonight.”

“And he’s on it.” They pointed at each other.

“But it doesn’t say exactly which one of us is on it,” Puff explained. “Look under the Us.”

Jazz scanned the List and soon saw why the problem. “Uff,” she said.

“For Puff.”

“For Fluff!”

They glared at each other and started revving up some magick until Jazz pointed a warning finger at each.
“You know what? I don’t have time for this. Nick, Krebs, and Letitia and I are going to a party tonight.” She headed for her closet and pulled out a red sparkly dress. “I want this mess cleaned up by the time I get out of the shower. And the two of you make up. Personally, I wouldn’t put either of you on the Nice List. And I’m sure Santa would agree with me.” After pulling lingerie out of drawers she sailed into the bathroom. “And clean up my room!”

“Like she cleans it up,” Puff muttered, zapping the floating pillows while Fluff worked on bringing the comforter back to the bed. The perfume bottles returned to their upright position on the dresser. “As if there’s someone out there named Uff.”

Fluff’s dark eyes lit up and he spun around. “There’s one way to find out for sure,” he said slowly.

Puff stared at his partner in magickal crime and smiled.

This time, they linked their ears and willed their power to a new high.

“Santa, come to us. Come to us now. Santa, bring our presents and bring them swift. Prove we’re on the Nice List,” they chanted. “And give it to us now right away!”

The temperature in the room dropped a good sixty degrees as snow fell on them in thick drifts.
“Whoa, something went wrong!” Fluff’s fangs chattered from the ice cold.

“The sound of sleigh bells rang loud in their ears and they ducked as something large swooped over their heads.
“Why have you called me here? This is my busiest night of the year.” The large man dressed in red trimmed with white fur climbed out of his sleigh and loomed over the bunny slippers. He spied the scroll lying nearby. “So that’s where it went.” He snapped his fingers, The scroll instantly appeared between his gloved fingertips and he tucked it away. Then he turned his gaze on the slippers. “Why did you steal my Naughty List?”

“To see which one of us was on it,” the slippers said in unison.

His belly jiggled as he laughed. “Silly bunny slippers. You have your very own list.” He snapped his fingers again and a scroll unrolled until it almost filled the room. “Master Uff only had a few transgressions to rate being on the Naughty List. The two of you surpassed that.” He frowned at them.

“Soooo, no gifts?” Fluff asked, trying unsuccessfully to wrap his ears around his shivering body.

“No sled? ATV? Race car?” Puff added hopefully.

“Only what you deserve.” Santa hopped into his sleigh and took off in a wink of red and gold lights.

A holiday dressed Jazz walked out of the bathroom in a cloud of her favorite perfume. “Now you better have cleaned everythi—“ She stopped short, stared at the chaos that used to be her room and shook her head. She took several deep breaths but the rolling thunder overhead warned everyone her temper was rapidly fraying. She returned to the bathroom and came back out holding two scrub brushes and a bottle of cleaner. “Get to it.” She navigated the room on red high heels and closed the door behind her.

Fluff zapped his cleaning brush at his brother. “You just had to steal the List and get us in even more trouble, didn’t you?”

“Me? It was you!” Both brushes flew at Puff. They bounced off the mountain of coal, sending black dust everywhere that created a nasty black paste thanks to the snow Santa left behind.

PS: It took a lot of Jazz’s magick to get the room back to what it was and as for the slippers, they weren’t off the Naughty List for a Very Long Time.

So whether you’re on the Nice List or Naughty List, have a wonderful holiday

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis The Season!

It’s natural that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And Christmas is right up there.

Let’s see. With one, you can get lots of candy. The other you can get lots of candy, cookies, and presents. But that’s not why I love the two holidays. Well, maybe a little bit.

I love the colors and the energy that comes with it. There is nothing more enjoyable than driving around at night and seeing all the decorations. I remember growing up where the house of an aerospace engineer always had incredible decorations. Santa in a rocket ship one year including motion and sound effects was one of my favorites.
No wonder I was so happy when I was asked to write a Christmas theme book for Harlequin American Romance. I was asked to do that for three years and I have the rights back to two of those books, which are out right now.

Twas the Night was originally titled He’s A Rebel and is my flat out fun book. A government agent wants to quit the agency in order to take care of her orphaned niece and nephew is now on the run because her boss refuses to accept her resignation. Plus we have a true crime writer who’s decided to hole up in a Lake Tahoe cabin he owns jointly with his best friends. He doesn’t care it’s Christmastime. Ukiah ‘Ki’ Jones has a book about an infamous serial killer to write and the cabin is his idea of solitude. Too bad that’s not going to happen with Sydney Taylor and her two young charges and two dogs barging into his solitude. A man who’s determined to never marry and a formerly footless and fancy free woman who doesn’t see marriage in her future either. Used to a life on the edge and roaming the world on dangerous assignments she’s determined to give her niece and nephew the home life they deserve. But as we all know love barges in where we don’t expect it and that’s what happens here. Plus, with children, can Christmas really be ignored?

Mistletoe Magic originally titled No Room at the Inn is my holiday Brigadoon. I thought of the idea of a Christmas village in Vermont that’s only visible during the month of December and disappears every Christmas night at midnight. A village only reveals itself to those who truly need that magic of the holidays. Quinn and Santee, who was first introduced in Sometimes A Lady, meet on a blizzard covered road and find sanctuary in a small village that they think celebrate Christmas 365 days a year. Quinn is an advertising executive who needs to decide if the man who proposed to her is the man she wants to be with for the rest of her life and for some unknown reason deputy sheriff Santee felt the need to travel from California to Vermont. Attraction is immediate and along the way Quinn also is able to confront a piece of her past and help a woman and her granddaughter not end up the way she did.

In romances, falling in love is expected. And when you can add a holiday to it it’s even more special.

Twas the Night and Mistletoe Magic are available at Amazon and Smashwords and soon available for Nook, Apple, Sony, and Kobo.

I hope you’ll try my holiday romances and find yourself transported to something unique.

And then you can share the Christmas spirit.

A Happy Holiday to you all!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Awesome Halloween Contest Is Here!

It's that time of year again!

I’m part of Sam Cheever’s awesome Halloween contest that runs from October 15 to the 31st.

Do you want to know all about the chance at winning some fantastic prizes?

Go visit Sam’s page!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mom, I Haz An Owie

Our Katie was spayed yesterday.

Poor baby isn’t happy and who can blame her?

We dropped her off at the clinic yesterday morning and picked her up in the late afternoon. She was groggy, wearing her cone, and very happy to see Mom and Dad.

It’s been fifteen years since we’ve gone through this and amazing what the mind forgets!

Or maybe it’s because Katie’s older since she’s about eighteen months old. My husband and I took turns keeping her in our arms since she was most comfortable that way. When she was down the poor baby tried very hard not to walk into walls.

It was a given she wouldn’t be going upstairs, so I used the guest room last night. By using the pillow shams to help prop her up. Except I didn’t bring Barney’s pillow down with mine, so he decided to make my pillow his and we fought over it all night long. I ended up with him draped along the back of my head while I had to contort some since Katie wanted physical contact.

Sleep? What’s that?

Today she still wants to be in her mom’s arms and I haven’t told her she has to wear the cone for fourteen days.

At least Barney’s behaved, except for the pillow incident. And he even looks after her when we go outside. Both Katie and I will be counting down the days. For now, I’ll give my baby her cuddles because she has an owie.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Blogger Lilian Darcy

It's always fun to have a guest author here in hopes my followers will find someone new to read. I know I love it when I find someone new to me. Lilian Darcy is an awesome writer and I hope you'll enjoy her post, say hi, and please give her books a try! 

Welcome Lilian!

Thanks for having me on your wonderfully witchy blog. I love the way

your career has become increasingly magical over the years.

Isn't it amazing how diverse the romance genre is?

Like Linda, I started in series romance and am still writing for Harlequin

Special Edition. Also like you, however, I found that there were stories I

couldn't tell within the framework of short contemporary romance. You found

that you didn't want to be hemmed in by realism but needed to let your magic

fly, while I learned that I just needed more space, more room for characters

and layers and complexities that contemporary series romance readers aren't

looking for when they pick up that kind of book.

The great thing is that, just as we might feel like cereal for breakfast one

day and toast the next, our moods change as readers. Today we want to pick

up that short, sexy contemporary romance that we can devour in a single

sitting. Tomorrow we might want witchy antics, or the sizzle and danger or

romantic suspense, or the tangled relationships of a sweeping saga.

I love the way the covers on your website clearly show the reader what he or

she is in for, whether it's fun and flirty and hexy, or hot and dramatic and


But it seems to me that both readers and writers of romance carry with them

some non-negotiable wants and needs when we move into new territory.

We need women we can identify with. Sometimes that means women just like us.

Sometimes it means women who fulfill our long-held fantasies. Sometimes it's

a woman who shows us a part of ourselves that we've almost forgotten or

never seen before.

We need a moral universe that feels right, and in balance. If a major

character does something wrong, he or she knows it. The women we want to

read about can make mistakes sometimes, but at heart they're good people.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need reasons to feel. It doesn't

matter if our feelings come from laughing or crying or holding our breath in

suspense, from being in love with the hero or temporarily furious with him,

or from getting lost in the heroine's richly described universe of sights

and sounds and textures. We just want to strap ourselves in and be taken on

a glorious ride.

My novel Saving Gerda, launched this month, is going to take readers on a

very different kind of ride to any that I've taken them on before. It's the

first time I've set a book in the past, in this case in Germany in the

1930s, in the challenging and confronting period of history that led up to

the Second World War. It's about a mother's love for her daughter as much as

it's about the romance between a man and a woman, although there's strong

romance in the mix. But the story still has all those qualities and elements

I've talked about - women we identify with, a moral universe that reflects

our own, and an intensely emotional ride.

I really hope readers follow me into this new territory the way they've

followed you into your magical world, Linda.

You can buy Saving Gerda at by clicking on the links

to your chosen ebook store.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Demon Fashionista

“Food, shower, bed,” Maggie muttered, stumbling into the kitchen. She lifted an arm and sniffed. “Shower, food, bed.”

She made it as far as the table before collapsing on a chair and resting her head on the smooth surface.

“Uh babe, no offense, but you reek like a long dead troll.” Declan’s hand rested lightly on her head then retreated.

“More like a chupacabra with enhanced magick,” she mumbled into her crossed arms. “Bad. Very bad. When we destroyed him his blood and guts went everywhere. Namely on me.” She moaned as his hands dug into her tight shoulders. Courtesy of his half fire demon blood, warmth sprang up from his touch. “Don’t stop.”

“Hm, I’ve heard that before,” he chuckled in her ear then reared back at the stench. “Why don’t you take a hot shower while I fix you something to eat?”

“I can do that.” She didn’t move.

“I’ve missed you.” He dipped his head quickly to place a kiss behind her ear. The only part of her body that wasn’t covered with chupacabra filth. And love that he was willing to touch her with his mouth.

Maggie smiled. “Oh love, I wish I had the energy.”

“Maybe I can persuade you since we have the house to ourselves,” he growled.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!” Courtney burst into the kitchen.

“I spoke too soon,” Declan sighed, straightening up.

“You’re back!” The teenager bounced up and down on her toes. She ran to Maggie than hopped back. “Eww!” She scrunched up her nose. “You smell really bad, Mags. Seriously, you need a mega-bottle of body wash.”

Really?” She counted sarcasm as her middle name.

“But I’m so glad you’re here because the deadline’s in two days.” Courtney waved a sheet of paper in front of her. “And they need a check with the registration forms.”

Maggie lifted her head and finally got a good look at her charge.

What in Hades happened to your hair!” she shrieked, staring at the girl’s vari-colored hair that ranged from robins egg blue to yellow to emerald to magenta along with bright turquoise tips.

“Isn’t it cool?” Courtney whirled around.

Maggie speared her lover with a glare fit to kill. “You let her color her hair!”

“She said it was a temporary rinse,” Declan defended himself.

The witch slowly got to her feet, feeling every ache and pain from her battle in Mexico. “Does that look temporary?” She gestured at Courtney’s waist-length locks. “That’s it. Next time I have to be gone for more than twenty four hours I’m getting a baby sitter. For both of you!” she pointed at Declan.

He held up his hands. “It was easier than listening to her beg for a tattoo.”

“Youngling not ready,” Elle, Maggie’s black widow spider tattoo/protector, that doubled as a tattoo on Maggie’s biceps chimed in.

“And I’m not ready for rainbow sherbet hair. Wash it out,” Maggie commanded.
“It rinses out gradually,” Courtney explained, still oblivious to Maggie’s anger. She hopped on a bar stool by the counter. “Besides, we need to talk about camp.” She waved the papers again.

“Camp.” Thoughts of a shower, food and bed disappeared.
The teenager’s head bobbed.

“What kind of camp?”

“This is a totally cool fashionista camp.” Her eyes sparkled with excitement as she again waved the paper.

Maggie frowned. Her idea of fashion was wearing lip gloss and mascara if she thought about it. The creatures she hunted didn’t care if she wore eye shadow or not. Luckily, Declan didn’t mind that she wasn’t in to all the make up and designer clothing the women entering his club lived by. Although she was willing to layer it on nights she visited his club because no matter what she liked looking pretty for her hot hot demon.

“And what happens at a fashionista camp?” Maggie asked her charge.

“It’s so cool. There’re no stupid games, swimming and or any of those lame crafts you normally do at camp. At this one you learn proper ways to wear make up, there’re workshops taught by Hollywood stylists and hairdressers. You learn how to dominate the world.” She finally thrust the paper at Maggie.

Maggie’s gaze skimmed the details and zeroed in on the bottom. She was positive her eyes bugged out like a Tex Avery cartoon character. “$4,000!”

“Well, sure. I mean, I’d be there for a month,” Courtney explained. “And you get free make up and hair products. Plus the camp is in Malibu.”

“Oh well, that explains it,” Declan murmured. He held his hands up in quick justification. “Better than her coming up with one of those leather pouches she’d sew. Especially after she almost flunked Home Ec.”

Bed. No, forget it, take me back to Mexico and another chupacabra. I don’t care how much blood and gore he’d spit on me.

When Maggie was named guardian of orphaned Courtney whose demon blood made her valuable among many, she hadn’t planned on dealing with a teenager filled with the usual emotional highs and lows and who considered fashion conscious Thea her best friend and Maggie the Wicked Witch of Texas. Then there were the times Courtney wanted to try her hand at magick and Maggie put a stop to it by casting a geas so she couldn’t talk about it.

Maggie took a deep breath. “I am not spending $4,000 for a month’s at a camp where you’ll be surrounded by spoiled wealthy girls who live by designer labels.”

“I need this,” she pleaded. “I will never ask for anything else again for the rest of my life.”

“Seems we’ve heard that before.” Declan rested his hand against the back of Maggie’s neck to keep her in her seat instead of raging back and forth. “Last month there were the booties you couldn’t live without. Shoes you wore twice and haven’t worn since.”

“Jeans guaranteed to turn you into a goddess,” Maggie added, shaking her head. “There’s no four grand for you. And don’t turn the puppy dog eyes on Declan!” she ordered, seeing the direction of Courtney’s soulful gaze. “He won’t pay it either.”

The girl’s hopeful expression darkened. “Then why can’t we pay for it with boom boom.” She gritted her teeth. “I hate that binding spell!”

“Better than you tweeting about magick among people who don’t need to know about it,” Maggie told her, suppressing a grin at her charge’s mutinous glare.

But Courtney wasn’t finished. “What if I earn the money? Can I go then?”

“You said the deadline to register is in two days.”

“There’s another session later in the summer. What if I have the money for that one.”

“And where do you expect to find a job that will earn you that kind of money?”

Courtney drew herself up tall. “I’ll find it. You’ll see. Deal?” She held out her hand.

Maggie and Declan looked at each other with that silent communication adults require when dealing with a teenager. Declan shrugged.

“Fine. If you can earn the money you can go. And nothing illegal!”

Courtney rolled her eyes. “Oh yeah, like I would. You’ll see! I’ll have the money.”

One week later

Maggie checked the roast, pleased to see it looked as good as it hopefully would taste.

“Where’s the kid?” Declan pulled her into an embrace with a sizzling kiss to follow.

“Working,” she replied, drawing him back for another kiss.

“She found a job already?”
She nodded. “She wouldn’t tell me where. Just had that smirk on her face when she left this morning. She called about an hour ago and said not to wait dinner for her.”

“I’ll get the wine.”

Maggie and Declan enjoyed their meal on the patio and were relaxing with a second bottle of wine when the back gate clicked open.

Courtney, looking less than fresh, walked slowly into the back yard. There wasn’t a trace of the vibrant teenager.

“What happened to you?” Maggie half rose from her chair.

Declan ran over and grasped the girl around her waist and helped to his chair.

“Oh honey.” He brushed hair from her face.

Courtney’s shoulders rose and fell. “I got a job at The Library,” she whispered as if she couldn’t speak in a louder tone.

“You wanted to work there?” Maggie was in shock since The (long e if you please) Librarian was known not to appreciate anyone working in the stacks. He considered the books, scrolls, and parchments his personal kingdom.

She nodded. “It seemed like a great deal at the time. And better than that nursery job at the Compound you wanted me to take. And pays better. Now I know why.” She started to reach for Maggie’s glass of wine. The witch swiftly put it out of her reach and conjured up a glass of Coke.

“What did you do there?” Declan asked, taking one of the other chairs.

“The Librarian wanted someone to catalog these new scrolls that had been found in a cave in Greece. What he didn’t tell me was that they bite!” She held up her hands showing tiny nip marks on her fingers.
“And is this job going to pay for Fashionista Camp?” Maggie asked her, thinking she’d see where this was going.

Courtney nodded. “Yes, and now I know why he was willing to pay so much. Can you use something to fix my owies?” she asked, holding out her hands.

Maggie laid her hands on Courtney’s which promptly healed.

“So I guess you’ll want me to see if the nursery job is still open?”

“Oh no!” The teenager drew herself up. Her eyes glittered with determination. “There’s no way those damn scrolls are going to get the best of me. Tomorrow I’ll be ready for them.”

“Fashionista Camp,” Maggie muttered, dreading what the girl would come back looking like.

“Look at the bright side, love,” Declan grinned. “We’ll have a month with the house all to ourselves.”

The witch shook her head. "Fine, but if she comes home with a rock or reality show star I'm blaming you."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Recipes

Summer's here! Lots of hot weather and days where it seems appropriate to curl up with a good book, a cold drink, and have the A/C on or if nice enough sit outside.

Sadly, I'm usually stuck inside writing. But also have had a lot of house things going on. Amazing how annoying real life can be at times! And why I still want minions.

I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite summer recipes with you. Pink Lemonade Pie ended up a hit from the first time I made it. The owner of a local restaurant even asked to feature it one summer! And Arctic Mousse is perfect when you need that chocolate fix.


Pink Lemonade Pie

1 8 or 9 in pre baked pie shell (or graham cracker crust)

1 8oz pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk

1 6oz. can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed (I generally use the large 14 oz cans since I make a double recipe at one time)

few drops red food coloring, optional

1 4oz. container frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup pink tinted coconut

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

Works well with limade and other lemonade concentrates. I’ve also made it with orange concentrate and tinted the coconut black for Halloween! So fun to experiment with different flavors!

Arctic Mousse

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup melted margarine

1 7oz. jar marshmallow creme

2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbs. milk

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine crumbs, sugar & margarine, press into bottom of 8" square pan. Combine marshmallow creme, chocolate and vanilla, mix until well blended. Gradually add milk, blending until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into pan, freeze. Sprinkle with additional crumbs or garnish with chocolate curls.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Man With Doubts Japanese Comic Book

A Japanese publisher contracted three of my backlist books to be turned into cell phone downloads and comic books. The first one was released in January and I just received copies!

A Man with Doubts was my first Silhouette Special Edition published in 1982. I loved the original cover so much I purchased the original artwork.

Since I now own the rights to the book I will have it available as an ebook soon.

I just wanted to share the cover and two of the pages with you.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Searching for that Pot 'O 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!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blast to the Past -- Midnight Lady

Midnight Lady was my second Loveswept Romance published in 1994.

I’m a big fan of the classic horror and sci-fi films. I would have been one of those pesky fans who’d want to spend time with Boris Karloff and Vincent Price hoping they’d share stories from their careers.

Since that wasn’t possible, I did the next best thing. I created a film studio that produced classy horror films owned by a once famous horror actor who had a bit of Karloff, Price, Lugosi, and even Lorre in him.

Since Baron Lyons wouldn’t make a good romance book hero and he was more than a little old for it, I gave him a gorgeous daughter, Samantha.

Along with that came magazine writer Kyle Fletcher who’s arrived at the family estate to interview Baron and falls for Samantha along the way.

I wanted to have fun with this book so there’s a body in the windowseat, a hint of a woman’s figure in a window, strange wailing sounds in the halls late at night, and Kyle even has an invisible female visitor in the shower one evening. Is the house haunted? Could Baron Lyons be a vampire or something else? Does Samantha have fangs or just an incredibly sensual hold over Kyle?

And does any of that really matter to him?

I wanted to write something fun. A heroine who grew up hearing Vincent Price read bedtime stories to her. A father who was a star during the golden period of horror movies. And your typical guy who stumbles into a lot more than he expected. Not entirely like the wacky haunted house movies in the 40s and 50s, but there’s still a hint of that in it.

I’m glad the book is back out in ebook form, because it was so much fun to write. I enjoy finding ebooks of the older books I once enjoyed reading and can now have on my Nook.

I hope you’ll give Midnight Lady a try

Kindle --

B&N --

Smashwords --

Friday, March 9, 2012

Winner of Hexy Prize!

Drum roll please ...

Random generator said the winner is Nay Nay, Renee Bennett

Congatulations Renee!

You're the winner of a signed Hexy tote bag , some hexy goodies and a copy of one of my backlist books.

If you'll send me your snail mail at contact at lindawisdom dot com I can get it out to you.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blast to the Past -- O'Hara Vs Wilder

With so many of backlist books out there as ebooks, I thought I’d start talking about them.

I wrote three books for the Loveswept line and O’Hara Vs Wilder was one of my favorites.

I wanted to write a sassy suspense with a hint of humor in it. Scruffy FBI agent Jake Wilder was my idea of the right type of hero for small town sheriff, Tess O’Hara, who’d once been his partner and one night stand until she took off for the hills. Or in this case, the small desert town of Crater Rock.

The ex-partners and lovers meet again when Jake is sent out to Tess’s town to investigate suspicions of the manufacture of counterfeit green cards in the area. She’s not happy to have the sexy agent in her territory. And he knows he’s not welcome.

But that doesn’t stop him from doing his job and finding a way back into her bed and life.

It was while writing this book a good friend received a speeding ticket. I could see this scene in my head as she told me what happened and I begged her to use to it. It was the perfect beginning for chapter one where Tess pulls Jake over for speeding and gives him a ticket. I even used a little of the dialogue that was said then. Although there was no flirting involved with my friend and the California Highway Patrol officer!

I wanted a strong smart-mouthed hero who wasn’t above breaking the rules and a strong heroine who could go toe to toe with him. Jake and Tess were the perfect match.

And Jake was secure enough in his masculinity to step back when Tess had to go up against a violent drunk.

I also wanted to show why they were a good pair as partners.

This was a fun book to write and I’m glad I’m able to give it a second chance.

O’Hara Vs Wilder was a Finalist for Romantic Times Best Loveswept Award for 1994 and the Romantic Times WISH award for June 1994.

The ebook is available at Amazon,,BN for Nook, and other ebook stores.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Anniversary To Barbara Vey's Blog!

It’s that time of year when Barbara invites authors and fans alike to celebrate!

This year, awesome author Lisa Kessler brought some of us together to offer up a Kindle and gift card to one lucky reader. Plus, we’re posting our own little contests on our blogs. I’m listing the other authors below so you can pop in to see what they have.

I’m giving to one lucky commenter here a very special hexy prize. Something I normally don’t give away! The winner will be announced on Friday morning.

And please tweet and FB about the contest. Let’s get the party rolling!


The link to add to visit Barbara Vey's blog is

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pet Peeves -- I Haz Dem

I’m sure we all have pet peeves. Little ones, medium size ones and the ultra big ones that make us scream.

Yesterday I saw a few of mine that had me ready to scream at more than a few people.

So I thought I’d take the safer route and talk about them.

Not just list some of my pet peeves but also how I deal with some of them.

Peeve -- A big one has to do with people who talk during a movie. Have your conversation before and after, not during! One, it’s downright rude. Two, it’s more than annoying. And nowadays if you tell someone to please be quiet they tend to get in your face.

How I handle it – A friend and I came up with the ‘movie cough’. It came by accident years ago when we both had bronchitis but had to see a particular movie. Theater had few people in it but it seemed they all wanted to sit by us. Until we coughed. So now I sound like I’m losing a lung and they sit elsewhere. We have a few other methods, but the cough works nicely. We don’t use it in a crowded theater, but we tended to go when we knew there wouldn’t be a crowd.

Peeve – People pushing to get on the elevator while all I want to do is get off.

How I Handle It – I get cranky. I want off and if someone’s toes get stepped on, oh well, they should have stood back and let me pass. Times like that I wish I had my dad’s cane. I’m sure it making ‘accidental’ contact with someone’s toes would make more of an impression than my foot could.

Peeve -- People still leaving their children or pets in a car while they go into a store.

I saw that yesterday with a woman leaving her elderly lab in the back of her car, windows rolled up and the car parked in the sun. Just because it was a chilly day didn't mean the dog would be all right. Or when a mother thinks there's no harm leaving her kids in the car with the motor running so the heater or A/C could run. Keanu Reeves said it best in the movie, Parenthood. 'You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any #%&*%$#(* be a father.' I'd say that counts for mothers too.

Peeve – People not watching the road because they’re talking on their cell phone.

Yes, it’s illegal and yes, we see it all the time. And how many of you have been almost run over in a parking lot or run off the road because that driver isn’t paying attention? One woman talking on her cell phone almost backed into me while I was loading the back of my SUV with groceries. I yelled at her to stop then yelled “one word, Bluetooth!” She stared at me, rolled down her window and said “for one thing, that doesn’t work with phones and for another, Bluetooth is two words.” She drove off. It took me a minute to stop my head from spinning.

Peeve – Someone in the grocery store with a full cart in the express lane.

A clerk once told me they can’t refuse to help the person once they’ve started loading items on the belt. All they can do is remind the person that it is the express lane. I say let the ones behind that person at them.

Peeve – Mama’s little darling pushing a stroller or ‘future customer’ shopping cart around the grocery store at warp speed or kids skating on their wheeled shoes. Especially if that cart or stroller is behind you and Damien loves to smack you with the cart or stroller and Mom coos “oh sweetheart, mustn’t do that” instead of taking the cart away from the diabolical little devil.

Nothing you can do about that unless you want to scream in pain. What can I say? It’s been tempting to try that.

Peeve – Sitting in the doctor’s office where it states to turn off your cell phone but there’s always someone carrying on a conversation you really don’t care to hear.

Unfortunately, those people don’t care. I’ve been tempted to take notes and thank them for new material for my next book. It’s just a shame almost all the time it’s nothing I could really use.

Peeve – People cutting in front of you in line, stating they’re next when you are.

When I was younger I just fumed and let them do it. My being short seems to allow people to think they can get away with it. Funny thing, after I turned forty I was more “excuse me, I’m next.”
A friend said I was finally tapping into my inner goddess. I’m sure some would say I was tapping into something else. :}

Peeve – People using a handicapped slot when they don’t qualify.

It’s absolutely not fair to those who need to park close to a store. Sad to say, I don’t think enough of them get caught.

Peeve -- People thinking it's okay to talk baby talk to your pet.

How one was handled -- Bogie, my beloved Chihuahua/Yorkie, hated anyone using their cutsey oppsie voice. He'd actually back up and look at me with his 'MOOOM!' expression.

Then there was one of the times at our bird groomer. I would take Syd, our Panama Nape Amazon parrot and Max, our greenwing macaw to the groomer for a bath and trim. Karen, the groomer, and I would go out to lunch once she was finished. She worked out of her house. One time a client was really laying on the 'aren't you so cute!' voice to Karen's buffoon macaw, Buffy. Buffy stared her down and said (no joke) 'get real lady!' then turned her back on the client.

Little peeves.

My husband not wiping out the sink after he’s trimmed his beard. We won’t even talk about the toothpaste tube top rarely put back on.

The dogs thinking it’s okay to leave their toys on the stairs. And they have more than enough to leave one on each step.

Dishes not rinsed off and left in the sink to congeal.

Finding used glasses everywhere but the sink.

But I can live with them even if I do a lot of muttering.

What about you?

What pet peeves do you have? What has you grinding your teeth and wishing mayhem on someone?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Merge of Truth and Fiction

There are times when the phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ comes in handy.

There’s something true in each of my books. Not historical fact. I’m talking something that’s either happened to myself or to a friend. I always changed the names to protect the guilty. Plus throwing in things that interest me and I always hope they'll pique my readers' interest too.

Naturally, some stand out in my mind more than others, so I thought I’d mention the ones that do along with books that had my critters in them.

My first book, Silhouette Romance, Dancer in the Shadows came about due to the ballet class a friend and I were taking at the time. Naturally, I used Diane as the template for my heroine. Seemed only fair since we’d been friends since high school.

Diane’s and my adventures showed up again in another Silhouette Romance, Bright Tomorrow, where I used our trip to a psychic. Let me tell you that was one crazy night in a tiny Laguna Beach house with its red door.

My Silhouette Special Edition, Island Rogue came about after a trip to Hawaii and taking a cocktail cruise off Diamond Head. Ironic part was that the hostess on the yawl was in the Coast Guard and her husband stationed on the cutter my husband had been stationed on. With that it was easy to imagine a single mom heroine with the same kind of job and a cockatoo named Syd who fell in love with the hero.

Another Silhouette Special Edition, Business As Usual, featured a lively cockatiel named Shadow in it. The hero (Fabio was the hero on the cover even if it didn’t look like him) and heroine had a custody battle over the feathered critter. I named him Shadow after Dancer in the Shadows and he was a total sweetie. He whistled the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme and loved chattering away. He was my first bird but not my last.

I pulled a scene from my dating years in my Silhouette Special Edition, A World of Their Own. My husband and I met while working in a Sears catalog store. One night, we were saying good night in the parking lot when a police helicopter hovered overhead and ‘suggested’ we move along. Embarrassing! And worked pretty well in the book, although I made it a lot sexier than the true episode.

I created some twists in my Dell Candlelight Supreme, Caution – Man at Work. My husband and I taught pre-school church then and one of our students was a fun loving little girl who may have dressed in ruffles and had curls, but she gave her brothers a run for their money. Her mother provided stories of her escapades that could have fueled a lot of books. There was so much I created twin boys getting into mega trouble. Nowadays, I would have kept it as the girl. Who knows, perhaps I still will. I still have a lot of her stories.

My Dell Candlelight Ecstasy Romance, All A Man Could Want, came from meeting a celebrity lookalike, who unfortunately was a total jerk, but still gave me some good ideas for my hero. Namely what he wouldn’t act like!

Another Dell Candlelight Ecstasy, Birds of a Feather, featured a parrot behaviorist based on my good friend Chris Davis aka The Bird Lady. Chris came into my life to teach my Panama Nape Syd manners. That was in 1983 and Syd still hasn’t forgiven his Auntie Chris. Syd was in the book along with some of Chris’s birds.

I used a friend’s injury in my Harlequin American Romance, He’s A Rebel. A friend of mine’s husband suffered a dislocated shoulder from inline skating, and well, the wacky results of drugs were just too good to pass up. Except instead of using it for the hero, I decided it was the heroine who would end up loopy from pain meds. My terri-poo, Cocoa, and Chihuahua/Yorkie, Bogie, also ‘starred’ in the book. I even used some of their quirks.

One of my favorite books is O'Malley's Quest. It would be tagged 'if Indiana Jones had a granddaughter'. It came about after a trip to Arizona. I'd always been intrigued by the story of the Lost Dutchman mine in the Superstition Mountains. I decided it was more fun to make the heroine the archeologist looking for adventure, but that doesn't mean there's not a sexy hero in there too.

Naughty ‘N Nice, another Harlequin American Romance, featured same friend’s husband. What can I say? He gives me such good fodder! This time was due to a demented treadmill. To this day no one knows what he did to cause the treadmill to literally throw him off. My husband couldn’t believe I did that and asked how I could use them. I told him it was easy. Susan said I could.

My Bantam Loveswept, O’Hara Vs Wilder, uses a friend’s speeding ticket. Funny thing is, she’s another author and when she related this tale to me I begged to use it. Luckily, she shared. Even the dialogue during heroine writing out the ticket and sexy hero is very similar to what the CHP said to her, but without the sexy parts. :}

I used my love for Warner Brothers cartoons in my Harlequin American Romance, Mommy Heiress, when a little girl describes a cartoon titled Corny Concerto. If you haven’t seen it, you really need to. What can I say? I’m still a kid at heart.

Harlequin American Romance, Sometimes A Lady, was easy to use critters since the heroine was a veterinarian. Florence, our tortoise, was in there, her habit of snoring during hibernation and all. Along with birds and dogs.

Harlequin American Romances, Two Little Secrets and Single Kid Seeks Dad, had a big time scary cat named Luther in the book. Luther was actually Elvis, an evil cat that lived next door. Trust me, the cat was scary. He hung out in the garage, activated the garage door opener when he shouldn’t and even the kids wouldn’t go out in the garage alone because “Elvis is out there!” He loved stalking people and some of us probably bear the scars. Insane kitty but we all miss him.

I used Bogie again in 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and Wicked By Any Other Name. My little guy had a habit of gliding across the floors. I called him a tiny thoroughbred, so it was easy to give him the gift of floating.

There are scenes that come to mind, but I don’t remember what books they were in. Such as a date where movie theater seats broke and heroine’s legs ended up in the air. Single friends provide the best date stories!

I’ve used my love for chocolate, coffee, and even provided recipes in some of my books. Shared some of my interests and found new ones along the way.

What’s been fun along the way is when readers try to guess the real scene in the books. Sometimes they’re way off and a few are correct.

That’s what I’ve always wanted to do all along. Have fun with my books and I hope my readers have fun too.

And what’s more fun than slipping something true into a fiction book?

Many of these books are available as ebooks now through Amazon, B&N and Smashwords along with More of them will be coming out soon.

I’ve also had readers ask about print copies. If you’ll contact me privately, I do have copies of many of the books still available.


Monday, February 13, 2012

That Romantic First Date

Who remembers their first date?

Was it good? Funny? Sweet? Romantic? Or so horrific you’ve pushed it to the back of your mind intent on never thinking of it, or him, ever again?

With Valentine’s Day I wondered what to write about for this day of romance.

Then I thought about first dates.

When I was in college I worked as a teletype operator in a Sears catalog satellite store in my home town. I was what you’d call a junior supervisor while the guy I later married worked in the stock room. That’s right, I was his boss. :}

We started out having Cokes on our breaks and then he asked me to a dance at his fraternity house. Sounded good to me. Except a week before he backed out because his ex-girlfriend insisted she was still going with him. As in he asked her and even though they broke up she wasn’t giving up the date. Hmmm.

And to think I gave him a second chance! But I didn’t make it easy for him. Still, when you see that hangdog face every day you tend to give in.

No dance. Nothing fancy. We went to the movies, a drive in theater where we saw Airport and The Andromeda Strain. And we had my new puppy with us. Schroeder was new to the family and I didn’t want to leave him home. A fun relaxed evening with a puppy who thought our popcorn was his.

We were married a year and a half later. Maybe he still felt guilty about that missed dance. But I was the one attending the other fraternity parties and did I learn interesting stories that almost bordered Animal House. Nothing like putting the house president's bed, while he was lying drunk in it, on the house roof or have the police fly overhead.

I can think of a lot of first dates that were interesting, but I guess this is the most interesting. Well, except for the train robber from Knotts Berry Farm who serenaded me on his guitar.

What about you? Any fun or horrifying first date stories?


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cupid Gets Even

A Note from Linda: This flash fiction was written before Wicked by Any Other Name was published. I thought it would be nice to bring it back.

“Welcome to Romantic Spirits. We’re here to show you all the romantic places to visit,” the perky blonde with dark gold eyes and a feline cast to her features held a heart-shaped microphone stood in front of an old-fashioned wood building. “Last week we interviewed Havelock Tennart, the troll with romance so deep in his heart, he actually spirited the love of his life off to the Midnight Dreams realm for a proposal she will never forget.” She heaved a deep sigh. “And today we’re visiting the witch who offers up more than just romance. She offers hope for the supernatural and mortal alike with sexy lingerie, romance novels and bespelled sachets guaranteed to bring love into your heart. Stasi Romanov is known all over the country and realms for what she can give a hopeful female in search of her soul mate.” She held up a bright pink heart-shaped silk sachet with embroidered roses around the edge. She held it to her nose and inhaled. Her face took on a dreamy expression. “Now if it can do to my mate what it does to me. Ooh la la! I feel ready for romance already!” she laughed. “Now let’s go inside.
“Let’s not!” The corpulent creature that resembled Sidney Greenstreet more than the cherub humans knew as Cupid, glared at his heart-shaped flat panel television that sat on the white cabinet with its gold leaf edges. He blindly reached into the vivid red satin-lined box and picked up a chocolate truffle, popping into his mouth and chewing furiously. “Insipid creature,” he muttered, choosing another fudge truffle. “She is a witch. I am the god of Eros! The god who invented romance.” He heaved himself out of his scarlet silk easy chair and paced a red carpet that belonged at a Hollywood film premiere. He waved his pudgy arms about as he stalked and talked, casting curses (not the literal kind since at heart he still delivered romance, not disease or even a stomach ache) on the sweet-faced witch who was presently being interviewed.
“And you believe in love and romance for everyone?” The reporter asked Stasi.
The witch smiled and nodded. “Of course. There’s a mate out there for all of us.”
“Yet you don’t have one.”
Stasi ignored the reporter’s sly look. “Maybe some day. For now, I like seeing others happy.”
“Happy? That’s my job, witch!” Cupid thrust out his arm, forefinger pointing at the screen. “You should be standing over a cauldron and casting your silly little spells. Not venturing into my territory.” He suddenly smiled as the idea of the millennium came to mind.His jowls danced as he snarled and snapped, not missing a beat as he continued to feast on his favorite truffles. He sighed with regret when he realized the box was empty.
He rubbed his oversize belly as he levered himself off the lipstick red velvet heart-shaped chair and waddled out of the room. His destination was a large sunlit room at the end of the hallway.
Cupid inhaled the rich scent of Belgian chocolate and cinnamon heart-shaped candies as he entered the room that soothed him best.
He activated the stereo and headed straight to a black lacquered cabinet.
“Love and marriage go together,” he murmured the words that released the lock. The doors swung open and revealed a hand-size heart that shimmered red, silver and gold. He smiled as he picked it up and gently caressed the metallic surface.
“One particular witch will soon learn her place.” He carried the heart over to a nearby table and began his work.
Do you want to know what Cupid did to Stasi? All you have to do is read Wicked By Any Other Name!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love and Bunny Slippers

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Fluff looked over Barney’s shoulder as the whie mini Schnauzer tapped away on the laptop keyboard.

“Easy peasy. I watch Mom do this every day,” the dog insisted, waving him off with a paw.

“This won’t work,” Puff groused, rummaging in a drawer.

“You better get out of Linda’s chocolate stash,” Barney warned. “If she finds that See’s box empty of her Bordeauxs she’ll be having Jazz lock you up for the next thousand years.” He groaned as he watched an empty white box fly into the air and fall over. “I shouldn’t even do this for you!”

“Sure you will. Or we’ll tell Linda YOU were the one in her chocolate.” Puff wiped chocolate off his face.

Barney uttered doggy curses as he returned to the computer. “Here we go, Freaklist. See anyone you like?” He sat back on his haunches so his fuzzy buddies could get a peek.

“Eh, you could do better.” Fluff scrunched up his nose.

“He doesn’t understand our world,” Puff reminded his cohort.

“Wait ‘til I’m in a book,” Barney muttered.

The bunny slippers hooted. “You’ll never be in one of Linda’s books!"

“Ha! She’s already got plans for me.” The small dog smirked.

“As what? A miniature Yeti?” The two slippers rolled around the floor in laughter, pleased with their retort.

“Oh, you’ll see.” Barney already saw himself as a true star. He continued scrolling down. “I’m going to make you guys total toast when it’s my turn.”

Fluff rolled over as a flash of pink caught his eye. “Yes!” He shot over to the laptop and used his ear to tap the keys. “Puff!” His fuzzy partner in crime was soon beside him.

“So pretty,” he breathed. Puff practically crawled over his friend to stare lovingly at the pink bunny high-heeled slippers named Val N Tine. “I’m in love,” he cooed.

“Email them! Now!” Barney clicked away then reared back, almost falling back on his butt. “Whoa! You guys better be prepared to grovel big time.”

“Why?” Fluff demanded.

"They live with Cupid.” The bunny slippers thought back to all the damage they’d done to Cupid’s digs.

“How many chocolate truffles do you think it will take to make him like us again?” Fluff asked. “Get Krebs’ black AmEx,” Puff told him. “And any other credit card you can find! We’re going to need to do some major shopping.”

Barney looked at the smears of chocolate on the carpet, the custom made blinds, the ceiling, and the furniture.

“You better get a boatload of See’s Bordeaux for Linda too, cuz no way I’m taking the blame for this.”

"There’s a way out,” Puff said, heading for a cabinet and pulling out a stack of spell books. “We are so going to meet those babes!”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Twas the Night Before Valentine's by Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb has graciously allowed this to be reposted, so I had to share.

Twas the Night Before Valentinesby Author Kristen Lamb

Twas the night before Valentines, and all through the land
The poor single people were wringing their hands
Handcuffs were hung by the nighties with care
Near the lotions and chocolates and mint underwear.
A day made by Hallmark to sell lots of stuff
Pushing candies and kittens and kisses and fluff
A day that makes “Single” a social disease
Like bubonic or typhoid or chiggers or fleas
And that fat baby Cupid must be on the take
Paid in buckets of cash and red velvet cake.
Love songs are played on every damn station
As “mush” takes over our entire nation.
Now not that we’re jaded, us single-type folk
We’ve tried Facebook and Match, and Equally-Yoked
We’ve tried parks and clubs and churches and bars
And a handful resorted to wishing on stars.
Like most other people, we want company
Without drama or fighting or disharmony.
No Jerry Springer or Kardashian drama
We have no time for all of that trauma.
Maybe we’re picky, world-weary, or fussy
Because we won’t date any Joe Schmo or hussy.
We want someone good-looking, gentle and sweet.
Hey, just cuz we’re single doesn’t make us minced meat.
We don’t begrudge the romance of others
The passion of courtship, the heat between lovers.
Before you judge my singular state
Think back to the days when you had to date.
Tomorrow we’ll stand in the grocery store line
Behind the husband with a bottle of wine
And a “Get-Well” bouquet cuz he waited too late
To find the red roses to give to his mate.
Hallmark has trained you to scurry and dash
Into its stores with fistfuls of cash.
For stuffed little critters with a lap full of love
And boxes of chocolate morsels from Dove.
Singles won’t stand hours waiting to dine
On elf food with garnish and overpriced wine.
No chocolates with abnormal tropical middles
Or angst about thighs that may wiggle and jiggle.
No staying in bars desperately late
Trying to connect with a last-minute date.
So embrace your status and shout it out loud.
Yes, I am single! Single and Proud!

A Tour of Crying Souls Hospital

I see the hospital inside my head as a 3-D building. Too bad I can’t just download it to my computer. :} So I’ll do the best I can to show you what the hospital is like.

“You’re all going to die!” The un-named vulture that perched over the hospital entrance flapped his wings and craned his head, snapping his beak at all who approached the gothic-style building.

Hm, A hospital designed to keep you alive and a vulture designed to want you dead and rotting.

I vote for the hospital.

All Souls has actually been in existence since the 1500s, first based outside of olde London then moving to the California coast a couple hundred years ago.

Just remember that not everyone here likes mundanes. Muggles to Harry Potter fans. Namely those who don’t have magick in their blood.

As you can tell by looking at the sanatorium you are seeing a four-story sprawling building that looks as if it popped out of a Boris Karloff horror movie. While All Souls is in San Francisco, the exterior looks as if it would be more comfortable in scary and merry olde England. Stone exterior with a strange black moss creeping up the sides and the vulture waiting for his next meal. Just remember one thing. Looks can be deceiving.

Or are they?

Don’t continue to think you’re the star in a B horror movie where a deranged medical professional might pounce out of the shadows. Although you still might want to be aware of your surroundings. Anything can happen.

The hospital interior is very modern. It is well lit, the nurses wear colorful scrubs, doctors with their lab coats even if a few might tend to be furry or sport scales. And if you catch a hint of sulfur it’s due to Director of Nursing Arementha Garrish who’s a dragon shifter. She rules over her nurses with an iron tail. As one who worked under her, I should know. Our head of the hospital is Dr. Mortimer. A wizard of undeterminable age who some think is more like a mad scientist.

Don’t expect to see an ER like the one at your hospital. One wall reveals portals that deliver emergencies faster than any ambulance. Even a pharmacy manned by a cranky gnome who dispenses potions or tisanes that always includes a spell as accompaniment can be an eye opener for the uninitiated.

Here you will see creatures you thought only existed in fairy tales or those odd books you might find in a musty old bookshop. There might be a troll waiting to be treated for injuries after a bridge mishap. A gnome with a bad sunburn that looks more like pus pockets. Then there’s the Fooz who looks like a gelatinous mass that oozes over the gurney and drips down. The doctors play wand, scroll, and scalpel to see who gets that patient. We won’t even talk what the place is like on a Full Moon. Some Weres tend to party way too much. It’s the variety that pleases Lili since she never knows what will show up next. Many patients that show up aren’t what you’d see in your everyday ER. But then, neither are the nurses and doctors. No wonder the gurneys and beds here can turn into iron-barred cages with the mention of a word. A word of warning. Whatever you do, don’t call Deisphe, the WereLeopard nurse a pretty kitty. Not if you want to keep your head.

Since even pretenatural creatures can also require medical treatment we’ll find the floors divided for those with dangerous illnesses, namely anything where the patient might explode, contagious diseases, a pediatric ward where you’ll find Lil’s cat Cleo entertaining the younglings with tales from her youth. Luckily, she keeps them G-rated. My advice is you stay away from the maternity ward. If you think hormonal mundane woman are scary, think about a female bloater that pops out (literally) a hundred or so baby bloaters and part of the birthing process involves singing at a key that can shatter eardrums.

And yes, that is not an illusion floating through the halls but a ghost. Many of the nurses didn’t want to leave the hospital and enjoy hanging around to view modern medicine and sometimes manage to make their opinions known. The interesting part is seeing the different in nursing uniforms through the centuries.

Oh wait, don’t go near those stairs! You really don’t want to go below. Actually, you wouldn’t be able to get too far. There’s a very large and heavy door that seals off the asylum from the hospital. The reason given is to protect the innocent from the dangerous patients locked down in the asylum.

This part of the hospital is only open to Dr. Mortimer, the head of the hospital, two nasty ogres named Turtifo and Coing who believe their job is to keep the patients in line by any means possible, and Lili, who’s new to the ward.

It’s something you’d only think you’d see a horror movie. While magick powers modern conveniences for the staff, the patients live in stone cells with iron doors. No real beds, food, well, don’t even think what it might be, and treatment is out of the Dark Ages. Rumors are that the patients’ families pay large sums to keep them there. But one cell houses a patient that intrigues Lili and she intends to find out just what goes on with Patient 1172, AKA Jared.

Now, who would like to go up to Pediatrics and eavesdrop on Cleo? Sometimes she forget she’s speaking to younglings and you just might get some useful advice for your love life along with dirt on her past lovers.

Do yourself a favor and ignore the vulture on your way out.

Just because he says we’re all going to die doesn’t mean it’s happening today. Or even tomorrow.

What would you like to know about the hospital?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How Paranormal Chose Me

I’ve often been asked why I chose to write paranormal and I have to say that it was more that paranormal chose me.

My favorite books growing up were fairy tales and my comic books were Casper the Ghost and Wendy the Little Witch. Yes, it dates me. Hm, I wonder what they’d be worth now if I’d kept them.

We have a house ghost named Frank, so yes, paranormal is all around me. I think he’s a secret cook since utensils tend to disappear at odd times then reappear in the same spot later on. We missed a potato masher for a year until it showed up without warning.

I tend to put a magickal spin on my life. Can be scary at times, but it’s also fun. I don’t have dogs. I have hellhounds. Our parrot has some wild tendencies and even our tortoise has her own methods.

I loved reading the gothic romances back in the 70s and 80s. Some even had ghosts in the attic. But paranormal romances weren’t out there. Then ideas for several paranormals came to mind and I worked them up. When I mentioned them to my then agent I heard “you’re killing me here! I can’t sell those!” I offered to send her the ideas along with wine. :}

But let’s talk timing. My agent sent them on to my editor and the day they landed on her desk was the day she came up with a calendar of books. She said my romance set in Salem, MA was perfect for Halloween and Under His Spell was out there. Not a true paranormal but I loved the elements. Along with that was A Man for Maggie, a murder suspense involving a psychic, No Room at the Inn, which was my Christmas version of Brigadoon, Twist of Fate, what I called another type of Quantum Leap, and Bells Rings and Angel’s Wings, my spin on It’s A Wonderful Life. But readers weren’t totally ready for paranormal romances. The best thing about these books are that they’re back out there as ebooks.

Even if the books weren’t selling back then the idea of paranormal was still there in the back of my mind. There was an idea lingering that would whisper you really need to listen to me.

So I did. Witches who’d been around since the 1300s formed in living color and I knew I had to write the stories.

I talked to pagan friends, researched historical facts to add as background information, and the magickal world I already lived in had become even richer to my senses.

I have snarky bunny slippers that roam the house and harass the dogs. A gargoyle that I sometimes find in my lingerie drawers. A witch who thinks my coffee is hers. Another witch who reminds me romance is a good thing. A hexster who whispers in my ear when I feel the need to get even with someone. One who lets me know I may be short but to stand up for myself as in ‘hey, I’m supposed to be waited on next” and a healer who’s sorry her power won’t cure my cold. One who loves it when I go shopping and so on.

And this is why paranormal chose me.

What about you? What does paranormal do for you?


Monday, February 6, 2012

Why Cleo Makes Me Laugh

There are always scenes in a book that I either laugh or cry over the most.

I always knew one of the witches would have a cat. I just didn't know it would be someone like Cleo.

I probably look more than a little strange as I type away and laugh or sniffle. With A Demon Does it Better it has to be Cleo who had me laughing. A cat who overindulges in catnip wine can only turn out hilarious. She may have started out life as the queen of the Nile and known for her lovers, Cleo is now a plump Persian cat with mega attitude and believing Lili can’t have a decent love life if she doesn’t listen to Cleo.

I hope you enjoy this scene with Cleo. If you have any questions for her, feel free to ask.

Cleo lay in the middle of the floor sprawled on her back, staring intently at her frothy plume of a tail that waved back and forth. She hummed a snake charmer’s tune as the tail danced in circles before her twitching nose.
The feline twisted her head around and stared at the witch and demon with glazed eyes.
“What do you do with a drunken kitty? What do you do with a drunken kitty? What do you do with a drunken kitty early in the morning!” Cleo howled loud enough to shatter glass.
“If I didn’t know better I’d think she was drunk,” Jared choked back a laugh. He hastily erased his grin when the witch turned to spear him with a look fit to hex.
“She is,” Lili said grimly. “That furry twit wasn’t happy she couldn’t go to Asmeth’s, so she managed to get hold of catnip wine. How did you get all those bottles?” she demanded of the cat. “I never keep more than one bottle in the house. Do you know what each bottle costs?” Her shriek rang through the house rattling the paintings on the wall and a vase on the mantel started to teeter back and forth before settling back in its original spot.
Cleo laughed boisterously as she waved a paw in a wide circle. “Did you know they deliver and all you have to do is give them your credit card number and for an extra fee they’ll even magick express it?” She purred. “So that’s what I did. I gave them your Visa.” She started waving both paws in the air. “They’re even willing to set up an auto delivery, so I said yes.” The cat cackled with glee.
Jared looked down at the clattering sound on the floor. He watched in amazement as the many bottles rolled into the kitchen and tossed themselves into the recycling container.
“You’re the one that will have to suffer the hangover in the morning,” Lili snarled, standing over the intoxicated cat. “And it won’t be pretty. Remember 1936? You were sick for days.” She threw up her hands. “I should make you sleep outside.”
Jared turned away to hide the grin that was stretching his mouth to the limit.
“And here I thought I’d seen it all,” he muttered, struggling not to laugh and quickly losing the battle.
“Don’t even think about it,” she warned him. “You’ll only encourage her.”
“I’m only a puss in a gilded cage,” Cleo warbled, rolling from one side to the other.
Jared shook his head and walked into the kitchen. He dropped onto one of the chairs and buried his face in his hands, his shoulders shaking with the laughter he could no longer hold back. The sound sounded foreign and rusty to his ears. When was the last time he’d truly laughed in true amusement?
“It’s not funny!” Lili stormed in, her magick flying around her in erratic flutters. “Cleo can be out of control when she’s sober, but you have no idea how bad she is when she’s drunk on catnip wine. One time she even snuck into a zoo and tried to seduce a lion!”
He shook his head, unable to form any coherent words. His mouth worked. “My stomach hurts,” he finally gasped.

The following is from the next morning

Cleo wearing extra dark sunglasses was spread out on the hood.
“You better not have left any claw marks on my baby.” Lili reached inside her SUV and pulled out her coffee tumbler. The liquid was still hot and bracing on her tongue.
“Talk to the paw.” She held up an appendage, offering the witch a wicked smile as long razor-sharp claws shot out. She lowered it to the metal and etched her name with that painful nails- on- a- chalkboard screech. Lili snarled and covered her ears with her hands. The witch shot an array of ent sparks toward Cleo that had her jumping up in the air as the scratches disappeared.
“I hate you,” the cat sneered when she landed all feet down. “There was no reason to drag me out here just because you needed to get in touch with your inner witch. I could have stayed home deliberately shedding all over your bed.”
“Not when you’d probably projectile vomit all over my silk comforter. Besides, I wasn’t the one who overindulged on catnip wine last night and maxed out my Visa.” She waited until Cleo crawled her way into the passenger seat.
“Just kill me now or give me a hangover remedy,” the feline moaned, curling up on the seat with her nose tucked into her tail.
“The potion doesn’t y don’t work on catnip wine and you know it. You’ll just have to suck it up and suffer the consequences of your wild night.” She glanced at the clock on the dashboard. She gauged she had just enough time to make it home and get dressed for work.
“I smell the demon on you.” Cleo wrinkled her nose. Her lush fur ruffled. “How come he gets around so much and can’t leave the hospital for good? If I had to smell that musty wizard doc all the time I’d be outta there like a puss on a mouse.”