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

http://www.backlistebooks.com/2012/06/saving-gerda/ 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.