Sunday, November 30, 2008

Helping an author

From the AAD Blog:

As many of you may know, author Jo Leigh lost her husband this year to cancer. Theirs was a story of reunited lovers worthy of a romance novel. The loss of her husband hit her hard, both emotionally and financially. (authors are self-employed, so often have no medical insurance.)

In an effort to raise money to help her pay off those medical debts, the romance community has once again banded together and an auction is being held. Check out all the wonderful items here:
Just imagine what great Christmas presents these items would make!

Read more here:
Diana Castilleja || Diana DeRicci
Best Selling Author

Half size

Friday, November 28, 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year. What do I want for the holidays? An iPhone/iTouch so that I can use Stanza to read all the romance I need from all the publishers I love that I buy at All Romance eBooks. You see, Santa, I deserve the iPhone/iTouch because this year, the man and I are putting a cap, a very small one on each other so we can have a nice Christmas for our son. I'd love a new reader and it isn't going to happen for Christmas. This would make an excellent Christmas surprise for an avid reader.

Diana C.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy turkey day!

From me and mine to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A New Cover!

I just got my latest Aiza Cover!

Trust Earned_FINAL

How's that for sexy? LOL

Blurb and Excerpts coming soon!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Eternal Kiss at a discount!

The Eternal Kiss on Amazon! At a low price!

Buy a book! Buy one for a friend! And here's a special offer: the first 5 orders will receive a signed poster with their book (May be mailed separately at no extra cost). All books can be autographed, with a short inscription.

Christmas is coming! Enjoy a book! Share a book! Give a book!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Sunday Funny

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Norma Lee.
Norma Lee who?
Norma Lee I don't eat this much!

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Gladys who?
Gladys Thanksgiving! Aren't you?

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Olive who?
Olive the stuffing too!

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Aida who?
Aida lot more than I should have!

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Dewey who?
Dewey have to wait long to eat?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Book News



I’ve had a lot of firsts in my life – first female sports report on The Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan; first woman to own a rock and roll agency in Detroit, the home of Motown; first woman president of the Pasco (Florida) Economic Development Council.

When my children were small, I satisfied my need for writing by working for weekly newspapers. I had a wild and wacky time managing rock and roll bands, then worked in fundraising, public affairs and community relations. But writing fiction was always my dream. Now my wonderful husband, David, and I are retired. we live in the Te3xas Hill Country and I write full time.

When I’m not writing I’m an avid reader – anything and everything – and watching football, especially my beloved Michigan Wolverines.


Buy it here:




When Robin Fletcher saw her sister brutally murdered by her wealthy, abusive husband, she followed her instinct and grabbed her five-year-old nephew, determined to protect him at all costs. Months later they are living in Memphis, with new names and a new life, when their sense of security is shattered. Andy is diagnosed with aplastic anemia and in a malevolent twist of fate, the killer has discovered where Robin, now Laura, is living. Can the doctor with whom she is rapidly falling in love protect her against the vicious man determined t kill her as he did her sister, or will she once again have to go ON THE RUN?

When Robin Fletcher saw her sister brutally murdered by her wealthy, abusive husband, she grabbed her five-year-old nephew and ran. Months late, living in Memphis with new names and a new life, their sense of security is shattered. First Andy is diagnosed with aplastic anemia. Then fate sends them directly into the path of the killer. Can Andy’s doctor who’s captured her heart protect her or will she again have to go ON THE RUN?




Taking the highway into Oregon might have been easier on her, but she was sure that was the first route C.D. would check. Instead, she cut east immediately into Idaho. Besides, evading C.D., she had a specific reason for coming this way. Tomorrow they’d get to Helena, where she had important business to take care of. Things that would help keep her and Bobby safe.

Robin had only a vague idea of how long they’d been driving but it felt as if she’d been doing it forever. Her eyes were gritty from lack of sleep and her muscles rigid with tension. It didn’t help that she was constantly watching for some car to run her off the road or but her off.

She’d been lucky enough to find a couple of drive-through’s where she fueled up with coffee. Caffeine raced through her system like a wild horse, revving her up and making her edgy.

She slid a glance at Bobby, wrapped in a blanket and buckled into his car seat. What a lucky thing he was sleeping so heavily. Still, she knew they needed to find a bed pretty soon. And food. Starvation wouldn’t be a pretty way to die.

By the time they reached Kellogg, Idaho, she was more than ready to stop. She pulled gratefully into a motel whose sign blinked ‘Vacancy’ in big red letters. It was the most welcoming site Robin had seen in a long time.

Nervously she left Bobby in the car while she registered, keeping one eye on the parking lot, terrified that any moment she’d hear the screeching of brakes and C.D. would leap out of his car. At last they were in their room at the back of the motel, well hidden from the street. She toted in her duffel bag and laptop, then tucked the little boy into bed.

After that she treated herself to a shower. Tired as she was, she still needed to wash away the strain of driving nearly three hundred miles at night. All she wanted was to wash the fatigue from her muscles before she climbed into bed. But as the hot spray beat down on her physically and emotionally exhausted body, her control disintegrated and tears began to cascade down her cheeks. She was thankful that the drumming of the water against the tiles drowned out the huge gulping sobs that wracked her body, so Bobby couldn’t hear.

She cried as she had never cried before in her life, tears of despair and grief. And self-condemnation, that she hadn’t been able to do anything to save her sister. She didn’t think that particular guilt would ever leave her.

Jamie! Oh, Jamie! How did I let this happen to you?

The water ran cold before the last shudder died from her body. She drew in a long breath and blew it out slowly. Her heart ached unbearably, but she had a responsibility now. A mission, and she would not fail, no matter what. Keep Bobby safe and away from C.D. Create a whole new life for the two of them. This would be her tribute to her sister.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thank you SARA!

This is a shout out to all the lovely ladies at SARA, San Antonio Romance Authors, I drove to SA tonight to do a marketing and promotions spiel and they were so awesome.

Thank you Patricia, JoAnn, Judith, Mary, Linda and everyone who was there. Y'all made me feel welcomed and not like a blithering idiot because I was pretty sure at least twice, that's how I sounded. LOL You guys were great. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

This Week: In Diana's Head



I know this is usually like a Tuesday blog, because that's when I finally get around to writing it, but this week, I have some fun news to share! If you were around over the weekend, you know I went and picked up a puppy. He's been a blast and I'd like to introduce him to you.

Please say hi to Rascal!

IM000391   IM000390  


He's a whopping pound and a half of vicious fury... No, not really, but he's got a loaded tail of Happy, and an itty bitty bladder! LOL I should have some more pictures of him soon because as small as he is, he doesn't do cold weather very well, and of course, I picked him up on the first big cold snap day of November. By the way, that monster human hand you see is my almost 7yo son, the puppy is six weeks. He's sitting in his lap, but his size is so small, you could put him between two slices of bread. Seriously. Okay, he'd wiggle too much but he's teeeeeeeny tiny, and a huge love bug and he's really taking to going potty outside.

So watch out, you may stumble into the odd post of cuteness here from now on. It kind of looks like someone licked him up his face, doesn't it?

Now for other news...

I just read Jennifer Leeland's Regaining Command regainingcommand. If you have not read her stuff, trust me, you are missing out. This book was hot, twisted, sexy, sin-tastic (it too is a word. I just made it up!) and if it weren't for the fact that my PDA's battery screams in pain when I read too long, I would've read it in one sitting. The entire Regaining Command Series can be found through Liquid Silver Books. Another author that I've recently read, and loved, is Jaquelyn Frank, the Nightwalkers. OMG! Can we just say *drool*? Freaking awesome demon stories, with vampires, shifteres, shadow people. A whole world to love. And lastly, Stella and Audra Prices's Deep Water. Super cool dragon story. I adored Kael in this book and felt the family dynamics would be a great background to visit regularly. I'm sure actually staying with his crazy optimistic sister in law for any lengtt of time would be a whole other issue, but you know it'd never be boring.

So that's been my reading shelf. I'm also reading MJD's Queen Betsy books. I'm on Undead and Unpopular tonight. I'm sure I'll be done with it by the time this goes live on Monday. ;) My TBR pile is only about 600 books. Every one read counts. LOL

Also, I'm participating in a huge Christmas scavenger hunt! Click the banner to get started. Tons of prizes, tons of authors to check out, but it's super easy! A quick scavenger hunt! Running until December 15! So go hunting!


Be sure to stop by SRN's Yahoo group December 12th. We'll be having our annual Christmas Bash! There will be excerpts, prizes and surprises! I think even a publisher or two might be joining for the fun! So stop by, share some hot chocolate or eggnog!


And just one more....

2Stacys Christmas blogfest 08 Blogging mayhem starting December 1st! Check in daily for the latest!

It's going to be a busy Christmas season! Get in on it now!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Funnies

A feller is talking to a farmer when he looks over and sees a rooster wearing pants, a shirt, and suspenders. He says, "What on earth is that all about?"

The farmer says, "We had a fire in the chicken coop two months ago and all his feathers got singed off, so the wife made him some clothes to keep him warm."

"Okay, but that was two months ago. Why does he still wear them?"

The farmer replied, "There ain't nothing funnier than watching him try to hold down a hen with one foot and get his pants down with the other."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Book News


The Catalyst

Released October 1, 2008

From Forbidden Publications

Be sure to check out my website for more releases

The Catalyst

A Mystery Romance


Dark revelations and secret love lead to personal resurrection.

Carolyn Madison didn’t kill her husband but didn’t mourn him either. The rapist deserved to die, or at least she thought so. Beneath a myriad of family secrets, Carolyn drags the skeletons out of the closet and in the arms of her true, learns to love again.

Walt Tollhouse has pined for Carolyn since she was a shy seventeen-year-old. Little did he know Robert Dubois would steal her away, and then destroy the beautiful spirit he still loved. Beneath the guise of clean-up man, the martial arts instructor never pushes his battered love but gives her silent support she deserves.


Where is the devil?

From the doorway, Carolyn Madison’s gaze sharpened as she scanned the room. Her traitor ex wouldn’t miss the opening of a new ballroom at his favorite riverboat casino in Kansas City. She couldn’t wait to tell him the Odyssey casinos were still hers.

Great. He’s not here to ruin her evening.

Even after their divorce, Robert Dubois retained a position at the Odysseys. It galled Carolyn that her father had allowed her ex to remain on the board, although she knew Daddy wouldn’t have if he’d known the crime Robert had committed against her.

Unclenching her hands, she took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly. She slid her moist palms down her black Halston evening dress.

Lanterns graced the walls, giving out a dim orange glow. Large, terra cotta pots of purple flowers and green shrubbery scattered throughout the area and a large fountain standing in the center added authenticity to the Mediterranean-style room.

Long tables were filled with hors d’oeuvres of Greek spinach and cheese pastries, spinach salads, and dishes of chicken, pork, and lamb. Ice sculptures of dolphins playfully cavorted at one end. The tantalizing smells of garlic, oregano and basil from the serving pans conflicted with the guests’ perfumes as they enveloped her.

Women in elegant gowns and men in tuxedos stood in groups, chatting while sipping champagne. She’d created the perfect spot to entertain the high rollers, proving she was capable of running the casinos. The company was still hers despite Robert’s schemes. Strolling into the room, she sidestepped people as she maneuvered through the crowd, waving and smiling when she heard her name.

The touch of a hand on her arm made her turn. Carolyn smiled at the tanned, prematurely white-haired man who was their head of security and board member, too.

“Hello, Walt. I didn’t think I would see you tonight.”

She’d always talked to Walt Tollhouse more than with other men. In the last month since he’d informed her of Robert’s treachery, she’d spent more time with him and grown to trust him.

He grinned. “I wouldn’t miss your party for anything.”

“Thanks. I know you hate crowds and don’t usually attend these shindigs, so I appreciate your coming.” Walt’s dark brown eyes crinkled with a softness she’d never seen before and brought back a memory of being in love with him as a teenager.

The CIA had grabbed him for covert operations in the Middle East, and when he had come back, she was married. Still, the last few weeks stirred a longing she hadn’t known in years. She regretted not having waited until he came home instead of jumping into a loveless marriage.

“Is the board meeting on for tomorrow?”

“Yes. Changes need to be made immediately.” Carolyn knew Walt worried about the company. Robert had sold out to a competitor by hiring one of their people. He’d made it necessary for her to run the company in order to protect it from a takeover when her father died a few months ago. She’d called a special meeting to let the other members know he’d been removed from the board.

“Good.” Walt patted her shoulder. “I’ll be there.”

“I’m grateful for your extra effort and support, Walt.” She reached out and embraced him, her cheek brushed the lapel of his gray tux, and she noted his wide chest and clean good-guy smell. “We would’ve lost the Odysseys if not for you and my father.” She gazed at him with gratitude. He’d helped her to find the courage to do what she was doing.

His arms enclosed her in a brief clasp, then he stepped back and dropped his hands to his sides. “I’d never let that happen.”

“I know you wouldn’t.” Carolyn squeezed his arm, touching solid muscle. She regarded him more closely. He was a handsome man even at fifty, and a good friend to her family as well as head of security. They’d met when he’d worked as a cashier at the casino while getting his college degree. Back then, their age difference had seemed enormous; today it wasn’t such a stretch. Five years didn’t seem as much now.

She’d avoided men since her divorce from Robert twenty years ago after six years of putting up with his affairs. It could be time for her to move on with her life. The thought made her decide she'd better go mingle because she didn’t know if she was ready to share her time with someone. Her fear of Robert shouldn’t deprive her of other relationships. Her existence since becoming a mother was devoted to her children. Now that they were grown, it was time for her to move on.

“I’ll see you tomorrow at the meeting, Walt.”

“Okay. I’ll stay awhile longer to make sure a crisis doesn’t pop up this evening.”

“Thanks.” Smiling, she started to walk away, but stopped in time to keep from bumping into a group.

A twinge of a headache settled in her temples, and she rubbed the right side of her head. After a few moments the pressure lifted. There were guests to be entertained.

Carolyn waved to several people, then she spotted her children and decided to join them.

She was proud of them for working their way up in the company. Her oldest, Alan, dressed in his usual conservative dark suit, and her oldest daughter, Jolene, were total opposites. She was a peacock in a multicolored gown. Her youngest, Melanie, at twenty-two, wore a simple black sheath similar to her mother’s.

Melanie resembled a younger version of Carolyn, petite and pale. She clashed with this daughter because they were so much alike but mostly due to Robert’s influence on Melanie. At sixteen, Melanie had become rebellious, and her father encouraged her mutiny. He'd thought it was funny to turn her daughter against her. Although Jolene and Alan had their father’s dark hair and his height, six feet, they were nothing like him otherwise.

She turned to invite Walt, but he was gone. A movement in the doorway attracted her attention and her gaze fell on her ex.

He’s here. A spurt of anger slashed through her brain, the headache of a moment ago now screaming. She sped toward the entry where Robert stood, noting several ladies waved at him. Why would anyone be interested in a thieving, no-good drunk? Even though appearance wasn’t everything, his excessive drinking had put lines on his face and added pounds to his belly. She wove her way around people while fury surged into her chest like acid at the memories of his deeds.

She saw that he’d spied her and he turned away. He’d run, of course. Usually, since their divorce, she avoided him, so he had to know she was onto him. She pushed through the exit. He wouldn’t get away. She would let him know she’d learned of his devious plan in time to foil him.

“Darn it.” She tottered on stilettos and grabbed the rail just in time to prevent a tumble onto the bridge of wooden planks between the boat and land. Panic seized her, and she wondered if she was doing the right thing by confronting Robert; he had a history of violence.

Yes, the time had come for her to beat down her fears. She glanced ahead at the tree-lined and dimly lit parking lot. The shadows scared her, but she still followed him and reached his assigned spot before he could pull away.

She banged on the window. “Robert. Stop! I want to talk to you now. Be a man for once.” A man? Not likely. He was a rat; a big fat rodent, who sniffed and hunted for his next female victim. The motor revved and tires squealed. She jumped back when the black BMW’s back fender grazed her hip.

“You’re despicable, Robert!” She banged her hand down on the fender of the car next to her.

“Carolyn, are you all right?” Walt ran toward her. He reached for her and pulled her close. He rubbed his hands up and down her arms. “You’re not injured, are you?”

“No.” She wobbled and leaned against him. She wanted to melt into his dark chocolate eyes, but instead pushed him away. Their contact alarmed her--she liked his touch too much. Carolyn didn’t think she was ready for intimacy but maybe...“I-I’m fine.” Her hip ached like the devil.

“I’ll get him for this. Robert won’t harm you again.” He patted her shoulder tenderly. “Go back to the party. I’ll take care of Robert.”

What did he mean? Carolyn stared after Walt as he dashed off. She touched her arms where he’d stroked her. They radiated heat like dice rolled between two palms.

Would this gentle man really harm Robert? Remembering the stories of how he’d saved people at great risk to himself while in the Middle East, she shuddered.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Allll Abbooooooaaaard The Puppy Train!

Well, if all goes to plan, tomorrow we will have a new addition to the family. One of these lucky guys will be coming home tomorrow. Wish I could bring them all, but I'm only one person and a puppy is just like a baby, and well, I'm the woman here. LOL

So, here's the male side of the progeny:

morepic 216 morepic 217 morepic 225

Aren't they just edible?! I can't wait to see what the boy thinks. We're going tonight to get the puppy requirements. Just remind me when I'm whining about potty training how excited I am today, K? I have my eye on one. The man has given his stamp of approval, so now it's just the boy's input. I wish he were already home so we could talk and giggle about it! LOL

I'll tell on Monday which we choose! With pics of course! LOL

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Week: In Diana's Head


It's that time again. Time for me to wrack my brain for things that occured to me as topics over the weekend that now, two days later, I can't remember for the life of me.

My typical week.

Unfortunately, I was out of town for most of Saturday at a family get together, exhausting, emotional. Yeah, one of those kinds of get togethers. But Sunday... Sunday was a great day. I had a signing at the San Marcos Public Library, the Annual Texas Author's Day hosted by the library. I talked to a nice girl from the college about the genre, what I thought of True Blood (I don't), and even had a very welcome shock.

One of my writing buddies drove from ODESSA with his wife to meet me. A.C. Croom and Annie. Could've knocked me over with a feather. I'm not sure, but I know I probably could've fainted. It was great to finally meet him. You've been just awesome, A.C.

This was my table mate, IM000378 JoAnn Odenwelder. She had a historical fiction book, Thirteen Buttonholes. I was going to put up a picture of me, but it didn't come out. Maybe I should ask Santa for a new camera. This is the only one that looks good besides, JoAnn's...IM000377 And no, I'm just not avoiding putting me there. LOL Just a little table space for all my stuff. Over all it was a lot of fun, and I'm so doing it again next year. In fact, I think Romance should make it a point to take over the library for this function. I think I was the only romance author out of some 30 in the building. We'll correct that next year. *wink*


Starting on November 15th, I'm going to be participating in the first of several Christmas-time shennigans and oddball hunts and fun.

Banner_for_hunt[1] Check out my website on the 15th for the skinny.



I should have more updates and fun in the coming weeks so please check back.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Funnies

A Redneck buys a ticket and wins the lottery. He goes to Austin to claim it and the man verifies his ticket number.

The Redneck says, ''I want my $20 million.'' The man replied, ''No, sir. It doesn't work that way. We give you a million today and then you'll get the rest spread out for the next 19 years.''

The Redneck said, ''Oh, no. I want all my money right now! I won it and I want it.'' Again, the man explain that he would only get a million that day and the rest during the next 19 years.

The Redneck, furious with the man, screams out, ''Look, I want my money! If you're not going to give me my $20 million right now, then I want my dollar back!''

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Book News


Chapter One

Coast of England ‐ 1079

All noise ceased as the immense Viking entered the inn. His green

eyes  surveyed  the  scene  quickly,  then  his  strong  legs  carried  him

purposely toward the bar, where Esmeralda Handrian attempted to cover

her nudity with the shredded remains of her gown. Was he to be her fate,

then?  The  nuns  who  had  raised  her  had  not  prepared  her  for  the

possibility  of  being  abandoned  by  her  traveling  companions.  Penniless

and without proof of her identity, she’d been forced to seek shelter at this

inn, only to be stripped and bid upon like a common whore.

Eerie silence reigned until the Viking nodded to the innkeeper and

tossed  him  several  coins.  Behind  him,  his  second  in  command  threw  a

handful of coins to the gathered men, dispersing them quickly.

“Have her bathed and fed,” the Viking told the innkeeper. “And

make sure we’re not disturbed until morning.”

“Of course, I’ll see to it myself.” The innkeeper cowered before the

Viking’s fierce stare, and then scurried away to do his bidding.

Esme gripped her dress, biting her tongue to keep from crying out

in distress. She wanted to scream that the Viking had no right to buy her,

but knew this was not the time. Her only chance was to try and convince

him that there had been a misunderstanding and try to persuade him to

help her.

To her surprise, he swept the white fox cloak from his shoulders

and  wrapped  it  around  her  half‐naked  body.  She  stared  up  at  him,

stunned. She hadn’t expected kindness. A maid came up beside her and

tried to pull her away, tugging at her hand when she remained frozen in

place, staring up into the Viking’s startling green eyes. He met her gaze

for a long, strange moment then waved his hand in an arrogant command

for her to be dragged upstairs to the inn’s finest chamber. 

Esme  bathed  in  the  shallow  tub  provided,  rushing  to  take

advantage of the scalding water before the Viking came for her. The maid

helped wash her long sable curls before retreating, leaving her alone in the

chamber. Taking a seat before the large fire, she raced to stitch the torn

bodice of her gown while the heat dried her hair. 

A tray of food sat on a long wooden table in the center of the room,

untouched. Though she was starving, she didn’t want to put herself any

further in debt to him.

She  flinched  when  the  heavy  door  pushed  open,  and  the  Viking

ducked through. He was so tall; he had to duck to enter the room. As he

straightened  to  his  full  height,  she  pulled  the  cloak  tighter  around  her

shoulders,  desperately  wishing  she’d  managed  to  finish  mending  her


As he shut the door behind him, his hungry gaze swept her from

head to toe. She flushed, and a curious warmth bloomed with her. For one

strange  moment,  she  wondered  what  it  would  feel  like  if  he  held  her,

kissed her, or even touched her intimately. The idea both intimidated and

thrilled her. Ashamed, she dropped her gaze. The nuns would lock her

away forever if they knew what she was thinking.

Ulrich Valda hadnʹt planned on buying a maid for the night, but

the  moment  he’d  seen  her,  he’d  known  she  wasnʹt  in  her  element.

Normally he wouldnʹt have cared. Heʹd use his purchase and set her free

in  the  morning.  But  he’d  been  stunned  by  her  fear  and  innocent

appearance.  When  he’d  entered  the  inn,  she’d  tensed  and  set  her

shoulders bravely before looking him directly in the eye. 

He dropped the bar in place across the door, refusing admittance to

any outsider. Her whole body jolted when the wood made contact. He

was in no hurry; he had all night to do as he wished with her. Noting she

hadnʹt touched the food provided, he sat at the table, poured himself a

cup of mead, and watched her wordlessly. 

They’d come to an impasse.

“You look much better cleansed,” he commented wryly.

“Of course I do!” she snapped, obviously affronted.

He couldn’t hold back his laughter. “Ah, so you do have a voice.

Youʹve not touched the food.”

“And owe you more? I think not. And letʹs get this straight between

us  from  the  beginning;  the  innkeeper  had  no  right  to  sell  me  to  you.  I

simply came in to ask for help and he…started auctioning me off, he—”

She cursed low under her breath as she pricked her finger with a needle.

She put her finger to her lips. 

“What is your name?” He didnʹt try to hide his obvious appraisal.

Her story might have some merit. Her pampered hands were not those of

a working maid. 

“Would it matter?” Obviously frustrated, she drew in a deep breath

before lifting her gaze. “You were the highest bidder.”

“Was my bid not high enough?” He laughed as she calculated her

next move. “It matters not. Youʹre mine for the night. Might as well eat,

the foodʹs been bought.” 

He  nodded  toward  the  table,  and  she  finally  moved  closer  to  it,

selecting only an apple from a tray before quickly moving back beside the

fire, trying to hold his cloak closed over her naked body. She ate the fruit

quickly, as if she hadn’t been fed in months.

“Now,  what  is  your  name?”  Ulrich  moved  from  the  chair  and

poured a second cup of mead, handing it to her. He topped off his cup

and sat back, knowing he made her anxious. Standing abruptly, he took

the core from her fingers and tossed it into the fire beside her. 

“Esme. And you are?” An edge sharpened her voice. 

“Iʹm Ulrich Valda.”  

Comprehension  swept  over  her  features.  “Ah,  the  Viking  trader,

Iʹve heard stories of you, sir. Are they true?” She softened, curiosity filling

her fine, dark eyes.

“That depends on the story. What do they call you besides Esme?”

“Esmeralda,  sir.  Esmeralda  Handrian.”  She  seemed  frustrated

when  he  showed  no  recognition.  “Esmeralda  Handrian—as  in  Lord

Gehard Handrianʹs niece. Surely youʹve heard of him?”

He  frowned.  “Anyone  who  knows  the  coast  knows  of  Lord

Handrian. His trading center is run well, fair prices for goods.” 

She only nodded her head at his words. 

“If you are his blood, what have you done to disfavor yourself?”

“What do you mean?”

“You had to have done something to wind up being bid on in the

inn tonight.”

“I did nothing, sir. And if youʹll let me explain, itʹs not as you might


He  inclined  his  head  for  her  to  continue,  and  she  finally  sipped

from her cup. 

“I was on my way home from the convent. We left three days ago,

and my companions were paid to see me home. Only yesterday morning I

awoke to find theyʹd abandoned me, taken the horses and all our supplies,

including my clothing and money.”

“Why not stay at the inn where you spent the night and send word

ahead to your uncle?” 

She  looked  at  him  as  if  he  was  a  complete  dolt.  “I  would  have,

except that my companions forced us to go further than the planned stop

last  eve,  making  me  believe  we  could  make  this  inn  by  night  fall.  We

couldnʹt and were forced to camp. When I awoke they were gone and so

was everything else we had with us.” Her slim fingers rose to stroke the

back of her neck. When she saw him watching, she dropped her hand.  

“I see.” 

“Do you?” She stood, glaring at him in the dim light.

Ulrich  wondered  if  she  realized  the  portrait  she  made,  her  hair

glowing in the firelight, her long slender legs peaking from his cloak with

each step she took, her slim fingers holding the wrap closed around her. 

“I knew it was only a half dayʹs travel to this inn. It seemed wiser to

make my way here, closer to Uncle. But in the last year, the innkeeper has

changed.  He  did  not  know  me  and  wouldnʹt  allow  me  time  to  explain

before  the  men  started  bidding  on  me.  You  walked  in  and—”  She

shrugged. “Iʹm not going back to the convent. Anything I find further on

my journey would be better.” 

They were both quiet for a while, and Ulrich finally tried a different

approach. His mind reeled with possibilities, now that he knew who she

was. Lord Handrian was not a man to anger if you wanted to continue

trading in his port. If this was truly his niece, heʹd best tread carefully. 

“You did not appreciate your schooling?”

“Itʹs not the schooling I dread; itʹs the monotony of time, sir. I didnʹt

always board at the school. While my father was alive I lived at Handrian.

I was free there, to ride and wander the fields, to shop the docks and stroll

among the traders. I had friends and we were happy, we laughed…” 

He groaned silently. She was beautiful, and Ulrich didnʹt need a

beautiful, spoiled woman on his hands. 

“Why send you away?” He shifted in his chair, watching her every

move. She was a bit thin for his taste, but she was young. Sheʹd fill out

with a few years behind her. 

“My  uncle  felt  it  best.  He  wanted  me  educated.  I  donʹt  think  he

understood taking me from one life and putting me behind the convent

walls would be so…” She stood and started pacing once again.

“Stop  wandering,  girl.  You  make  me  tired  watching  you.  Come

closer so I can see you clearer.” 

She hesitated then sat beside the fire once again.  

“Iʹm not an animal,” he snapped, losing his patience. “Come here!” 

With a defiant lift of her chin, she slowly approached him, leaning

over his chair to bring her face close to his. When he lifted his hand to

touch her, she pulled back quickly, moving to the other side of the room.

He laughed at her retreat, thinking it was a good thing her uncle had put

her in a convent. She was beautiful and strong‐willed, a temptation to any

man’s good sense.

Best  not  to  let  himself  get  involved  with  Lord  Handrian’s  niece.

Better  men  than  he  had  been  tied  to  the  land  because  of  women  who

weren’t nearly as beautiful as Esme. He’d not let her beauty bind him to

the mistake of his lifetime.

A  woman  of  Esme’s  background  would  be  expected  to  marry  a

man who would enhance her stature. Ulrich was not that man. On the

other hand, he accepted that her plight had become his. If she was truly

Lord Handrian’s niece and he didn’t help her, his trading days in Port

Handrian would cease.

Esme knew if she stayed close to the Viking, sheʹd want to touch

him.  He  was  larger  than  life  to  her.  The  stories  sheʹd  heard  of  his

conquering ways had always amazed her. Heʹd found trading to his liking

and  was  successful  beyond  anyoneʹs  dreams.  He  was  known  to  be  fair

when  dealt  with  fairly  and  quick  to  conquer  when  angered.  All  she

wanted to do was touch him, to feel the width of his shoulders under her

fingers, to know what his blond hair felt like against her skin. The entire

time she’d been in the convent, her private dreams had always been about

the fair‐haired, green‐eyed warrior who would come and take her away

and make her his own. 

Now  that  she  stood  in  the  same  room  with  such  a  creature,

confusion vexed her mind. What was right and what her body told her

she  wanted  were  two  different  things.  Suddenly  she  wondered  if  she

might not have both—Ulrich for the night and a way home. For the first

time since waking that morning and finding sheʹd been abandoned in the

woods, she smiled. 

Nobody  would  ever  have  to  know  she’d  let  him  touch  her  and

teach her what it meant to lay beside a man. The idea made her tingle in

lower places, and her skin heated at the idea of his touch. Esme thought

about  all  the  time  sheʹd  spent  in  extra  prayer  after  asking  the  nuns  a

question about sex or love and laughed aloud at the irony of the situation. 

Ulrich would have the final word, but at least her mind would be

clear that she tried to keep herself pure. If she wasnʹt holding the cloak

closed around her she would have crossed her fingers in hopes heʹd not

heed her next words. 

“Ulrich, please take me home to my uncle. I assure you heʹll reward

you well.”

“I travel in the opposite direction. Itʹs impossible.” 

“Then send me home with several of your trusted men. Theyʹll be

rewarded for their time and trouble.”

“Why  should  I  believe  you  really  are  his  niece?  You  could  be


“How  dare  you  call  me  a  liar?  You  have  no  reason  to  believe

otherwise and besides, once we got to his castle, what would you expect

me to do if I wasnʹt his blood?” She began to pace again, mumbling under

her breath. She didn’t care if he made out an occasional phrase. She cursed

the fates that had hindered her journey and given her a strange gift she

shouldn’t accept.

“Somehow I donʹt think Lord Handrianʹs niece would speak as you


“You don’t know anything about me, only that you think Iʹm some

whore you can buy for a nightʹs pleasure.” And that was her quandary.

She wanted to be with Ulrich but as a lover, not as a paid whore. 

She gathered up her gown and brought it to him, dropping it on his

lap. “Here, does this look like the gown of a street whore? No, look at the

fine weave and quality of the stitches. Ulrich, please see me home and

youʹll be rewarded, I swear to you.”

“I canʹt do that. Iʹve done what I can for you, girl. Iʹve taken you

away  from  the  drunks  downstairs,  given  you  a  bath  and  food.  On  the

morrow, I head inland.”

“A horse, then. Loan me a horse, and when you travel back to the

city heʹll be returned and youʹll be rewarded.”

“And  what  if  you  come  upon  another  innkeeper  who  doesnʹt

believe you are who you say? What then?”

“Donʹt  you  see?  Thatʹs  my  point.”  In  her  utter  frustration,  she

forgot to hold the cloak closed, giving Ulrich glimpses of her body under

his  furs.  It  occurred  to  her  she  should  feel  uncomfortable  about  the

situation. After all, the man was a virtual stranger. But for some reason

she  didn’t  care  that  he  saw  her body.  Perhaps  she  was  offering  herself

silently with her actions. 

“With you as my guard, no one would dare…”

“Dare what, Esme?”

“Dare to treat me as they did today.”




Having been born and raised on Long Island, NY, my husband and I were both eager to leave the urban lifestyle behind us and explore our futures. With his encouragement I'm living my dream of writing romance novels full time. Our new rural setting allows us time to enjoy time together
and guiltless hours in my imagination indulging my other passion. When I realized my works consistently tended towards the erotic I gave myself permission to explore places I might not venture in real life.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What happened in October?

In plain terms, even. Read this and then go buy a book.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Please Please remind your children of street safety



I had a little girl, about six, run out from in front of a parked car in our subdivision not fifteen minutes ago. Right in front of my car. I wasn't speeding, but the speed limit in our, and most subdivisions, is still 30 MPH. That is fast enough to kill a child. Instantly.

I managed to not hit her because she was able to reverse herself pretty quickly. If she hadn't, she'd be under my car. Not a pretty picture is it? I stopped about three feet ahead of where she popped out from. I could talk to her almost directly from my passenger window. That's a lot of car to stop.

Figure this out. A 1700lb vehicle versus a 30lb child. Who do you think would win?

Don't let your children risk themselves in this way. I am constantly aware of the kids around here because there are so many, but people cutting through our subdivisions don't. People who aren't familiar with the times schools let out don't. Accept that you are the only force to teach your children this valuable and life saving common sense action.

Please keep your children safe.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Funnies

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack. So he says, ''Ms. Whack, I'd like to get a loan to buy a boat and go on a holiday.''

Patti looks at the frog in disbelief and asks him how much he wants to borrow. The frog says $30,000. The teller asks his name and the frog says it's Kermit Jagger and that it's ok, he knows the bank manager.

Patti explains that $30,000 is a substantial amount of money and that he would need to secure some collateral against the loan and asks if he has anything he can use as collateral.

The frog says ''Sure, I have this'' and produces a tiny pink elephant, about half an inch tall. Bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patti explains that she'll have to consult with the manager and disappears into a back office. She finds the manager and says: ''There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow 30 grand. And he wants to use this as collateral''. She holds up the tiny pink elephant. ''I mean, what is this?''

The bank manager replies: ''It's a knick-knack Patti Whack. Give the frog a loan, his old man's a Rolling Stone''.

( Aaarrrrggggg.......thud.... )

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Book News

lost in the mist of time 500x 1413793029

Title: Lost in the Mist of Time

Author: Karen Michelle Nutt

Publisher: PA

ISBN 1413793029


Available at Barnes and Noble:


Longer Synopsis: Aislinn Hennessy's love life was almost laughable, with a trail of disastrous relationships to show for it. She long ago gave up thinking a knight in shining armor was going to sweep her off her feet, but then she never expected to run him off the road either. 
Sir Dougray Fitzpatrick, Lord of Dunhaven already buried one wife and had no wish for another, but it was foreseen that he would go to the future to seek a vision, a crucial venture to secure his future born. Only he hadn't bargained on it being a woman that would insist on battling against him at every turn. 
Dougray finds that Aislinn is fearless in the face of an enemy, but shies away from what her heart holds true. Aislinn discovers that Dougray is honest and brave to a fault. He would die for her if necessary. They were thrown together by a twist of fate, a magical mist that sends them back to sixteenth century Ireland where conspiracies, feuds and unexpected violence are commonplace threats, but along the way, they discover a few surprises that neither one expects: a chance for love even when they're: Lost in the Mist of time .

Category:  Romance/ Time-Travel/ Paranormal


Chapter One  
Sixteenth Century Ireland  
“What is it, old woman? Why have ye summoned me?” He was civil though to anyone that knew Dougray Fitzpatrick, they would have known that he was not pleased to be beckoned forth in the middle of the night. 

Neala, the woman of the glen was not a fool. She was well aware that this man was strong enough to crush her with one powerful blow. Yet she was not afraid. She knew him better than perhaps he knew himself. He would grumble and threaten, but he would never raise a hand to do harm. Her high-pitched cackle was proof enough that she feared him not. “Milord, ye speak gruffly, but I'll forgive ye. Come follow me, so only ye can hear what I have been destined to reveal.” 

Dougray could not help but roll his eyes wishing that he had stayed back at the castle where he was nice and warm with the fire burning hot and his goblet filled to the brim. He sighed, knowing if he didn't let the old crone speak her mind, there would be no end to this charade. Reluctantly he made his feet move to follow her. 

She waved a crooked finger at him, so that he would lean ever closer. 

“Well, woman?” He threw up his hands. “I lose patience.” 

“Then listen well, young lord, for ye will have to keep the wits about ye, when ye are cast from this place and time.” 

“What are ye babbling about?” 

She shook her head, but continued determined to make him listen to her. 

“Ye will be sent to another place and time for it has been written. Learn what need be so that ye can save yer future born.” He was about to give her an unpleasant retort but she silenced him. “I have more to say to ye before ye go wagging yer tongue.” 

He gave her a rather unpleasant snort letting her know just how annoyed he was with her prattling. When she folded her arms against her chest and narrowed her silver-gray eyes at him, he finally gave in with an irritated harrumph, nodding for her to continue. “Ye will meet a lass that will believe yer tale. She will be the vision, a dream. Do not rush what should not be. Listen to yer heart, and ye will find yer true love. Do ye understand me Fitzpatrick?” 

“Aye, aye,” he said with impatience to be gone. He wasn't one to believe in fanciful tales, and most especially if they involved matters of the heart. 

“Ye will do well, young lord.” She placed her gnarled hand on his.

“Please pray ye will not tarry long in this other world.” 

Tarry? Dougray couldn't help but chuckle. “How is it, old crone, that I  
will be thrust from this time and place?” Neala was well aware that he was just humoring her, but all the same she felt it was her duty to answer him. 

“A mist like no other will appear covering ye like it were a woolen  
blanket. When ye finally come out of its heaviness, ye will be where yer destiny has sent ye.” 

Once more, Dougray's deep vibrant chuckle filled the night air. “I'll take heed, old crone. If ever I see such a mist, I'll do as ye bid. Now if that is all,I would like to get back to the warmth of my fire.” 

“I have spoken.” With a wave of her hand, she turned away from him with her dismissal.

He shook his head wondering why he allowed her to give him orders. He straightened his mantle and strode back to his horse thinking no more of the old woman's prediction. “Magical mists!” he exclaimed. “Dar Dia!” 

Murrough didn't miss the Lord of Dunhaven's scowl. He had known the man long enough to realize that he was not troubled but rather perturbed.  
Obviously the old witch had not given him bad news, onlyinformation that thoroughly irked him. “So what did she say of our meeting with the Butler?” 

Dougray shrugged his shoulders. “It seems, my friend, that we were  
summoned out here for no reason at all. She had no news. Rather she wanted to warn me of a magical mist.” 

For a moment, Murrough just sat there upon his horse wondering if he were joking. Neala was known for peculiarities, but this? “Milord, surely ye jest.” 

“Ah, that I were. It seems the old woman has dipped into the spirits this night. She babbled about me finding my true love.” He chuckled, though it was the troubled laugh that Murrough recognized all too well. Neala may have been talking nonsense, but she had hit a sore spot. Dougray had been married once to the beautiful fair-haired Ella, the daughter of his now hated enemy, Fingham Butler the Lord of Castlehold. It had been a good match for the clans, ending the petty quarrels that had plagued the land. The marriage was even approved by the Tudor King bestowing favor once more to the inhabitants of Dunhaven. By the stars, their love had been of youth's strong devotion, but tragedy befell Ella only a few weeks after the blessed nuptials. Dougray vowed that he would never love again. As far as Murrough knew, he was holding strong to that promise. As for Ella's father, he blamed Dougray for her death, and was determined to avenge her. The raids and skirmishes were now a weekly occurrence to that pledge. 

Tomorrow marked the anniversary of Ella's death, and Fingham  
summoned a meeting. He proclaimed that he just wanted to converse, but Murrough didn't trust it. He had the men well prepared in case of trickery. If only he could convince Dougray to finish the deed, but his friend wouldn't force Fingham to the death. He still insisted that they try to find peace. 

“We best head home.” Dougray clicked his mount into motion. 

They rode in silence for a while before Murrough sparked a conversation wondering if Neala wasn't right to have spoken of a new love. “Are ye ever going to open yer heart to another?” 

“Why do ye continue to ask me this? You know Ella was the only woman for me.” 

“Aye. Ye loved her, but she is gone but one year now. You need to think of the future. What of an heir?” 

“An heir can be sought without love. When the time comes, I will choose someone that will make do this task.” 

Murrough shook his head. “Do ye not think that a woman would want  
more than to lie down and take your seed?” 

“Perhaps.” He chuckled at the way Murrough was so concerned over his personal life. “Maybe I will ask Fiona to do the honors. She has been more than willing to give in to my needs without promise of more.” 

“Aye, and she is willing with half of the keep.” This won Murrough a  
sideways glare, which he chose to ignore as he continued, “Maybe this mist would be a godsend.” 

“Don't tell me ye believe the old crone?” 

Murrough sighed not knowing if he believed it or not. Neala was of the old ways and was known to have a second sight. “Stranger things have happened.In ancient times, an O'Donoghue of the Glens was supposed to have gone over to the fairies. According to the legend on May Day, he glided over the Lakes of Killarney on a white horse. And the unearthly music could be heard while his troops of spirits scattered flowers.”  
“Dar Dia! I would loathed to go into battle, worried that my back was not covered because ye were looking for the wee folk, or worst this mist the old woman speaks of.” 

Murrough's red, bushy brows furrowed with irked displeasure. “I must tell ye that I take offence to that statement. Have I ever let ye down?” 

Dougray hadn't meant for his teasing to offend him and immediately tried to make amends. “Never, my friend. Ye're the only one that I have ever trusted. I know without a doubt that I would never have to worry as long as ye're at my side.” 

“Apology accepted.” 

“Good. Now tell me Murrough, why have ye not married?” 

“I am not cut out for marriage. Women are of a troublesome breed.” He said this with such venom that it caused Dougray to laugh. 

“Ye had another argument with Rhiannon, didn't ye?” 

“Bah! The woman has a bite. I'll tell ye. She was put out because I had  
forgotten to take home the shirt that she had made for me. Come morning, I went straightaway to her door, and the foul woman nearly spit in my face. She said that I didn't love her, that I didn't care a wink about her feelings. Can ye believe this? Me?” He pounded his chest. “I do everything, but kiss that woman's…well ye know what I'm saying.” 

“Bring her some flowers and she will surely welcome ye back.” 

“I'm not crawling back to her. I've done so much groveling, that my knees are near worn thin.” 

Dougray let his friend vent, but he already knew that Murrough would be at Rhiannon's door as soon as they returned to the keep. It was Murrough's way. He didn't like any dispute to last more than a day's time, and unfortunately Rhiannon also was aware of this. She'd pout for a while then she'd forgive him. He was sure that come tomorrow's light, when they rode out to meet the Butler, Murrough would be wearing a satisfying grin.