Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Travel: Top 3 Favorite U.S. Cities

We all have favorite cities outside the one where we live (though some may not be too fond of where they live...LOL), and I do enjoy living in Denver. But when I travel here are 3 of the cities I enjoy visiting. There are others I wouldn't mind visiting again or even for the first time. So let's start with the ones I want to get back to soon.

San Francisco - Love the up and down hills, the curvy Lombard Street as long as I'm not behind the wheel, the food of various cultures, the cable cars and China Town, just a few of the amazing things to see and do. Fingers crossed I make it back next year. Been too long!
Definitely a crooked street!

How about a walk along the Cape Fear?

Wilmington, NC - Maybe I'm partial to this once because I grew up in North Carolina, but probably the main reason is the proximity to the ocean. In town you have the arts and culture combined with history. And when you feel like the beach, a short trip over to Carolina Beach or one of the others in the area gives you the fix.

French Quarter


What is one of your favorite cities?

New Orleans, LA - I've only been once and would love to go again. The French Quarter is fun, a trip out into the Bayou is an adventure, touring the Southern Plantations is interesting and seeing the areas Katrina devastated that haven't been brought back would be heart wrenching. But the city keeps on moving and the people are amazing.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday - Top 3 Peeves

I think I'm fairly easy going with most things, but there are a few things that annoy me to the point I'd like to shake someone and tell them they are not the only person on earth. A little consideration of others would go a long way.

Human Pigs: Yes, they do exist in the form of slobs who can't be bothered to put their trash in containers. Hello! You can't have the soda bottle/can you just swilled in your car long enough to get home and put in your trash can? Or wait, you don't have a trash can at home and this is your wait of keeping trash out of our house. 

Stuffing the Human Pig into a toilet might be fun!

More Human Pigs: Those who use a public toilet and are too damned lazy to flush! What makes you think the rest of us love to come in after you to flush before we go. Definitely a pig!

Weaving Drivers: When you're behind them you're not sure if the are drunk or high. But no! You are beside them at a stop light and discover they are on their cell phone. People, you need to KEEP BOTH HANDS on the wheel. You may consider yourself to be the world's best driver, but those of us watching you weave back and forth in your lane don't. Nor does the person you collide with because of your distraction.

Okay, there you have 3 of my top vents. Would love to hear yours!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Spotlight - Adele Downs Special

Hook Me Up, Please by Adele Downs

The iconic image of a firefighter rescuing a kitten from a tree has endured through generations. Cats are very good at climbing trees, but their physiology prevents them from climbing down. They have to be carried to safety, and who better to do that than a caring firefighter with a solid grip and a sturdy ladder? Our pets are family, and first responders care about the families in their communities. These days, however, the demands of their job prevent them rescuing cats trapped on tree limbs. That responsibility remains with the pet owner.

What would happen, I wondered, if both the cat and the pet owner got stuck during a failed rescue attempt? That question prompted my sweet but sexy firefighter story HOOK ME UP, one of eight sizzling novellas included in the INTO THE FLAMES anthology.

 The story heroine, Lexi Wentworth, takes her responsibility to her kitten seriously. When Ginger slips out of the house at dawn and runs up an apple tree in the yard, Lexi chases after her. How far can a kitten climb, anyway? Havoc erupts when Lexi discovers the answer to her question. She gets hurt, and then trapped, leaving them both stuck. Lexi is bleeding and losing consciousness, and no one knows where they are. Who will save them? And why the hell did she have to be wearing a sheer nightie and a thong that day, of all days?
 Hook Me Up by Adele Downs

Firemen don't free cats from trees anymore—until a pretty schoolteacher gets trapped on a limb with her kitten and the county's hottest firefighter comes to their rescue.
Rescue Me by N.J. Walters

When firefighter Frank Ellis rescues an old flame from a burning building, sparks ignite. He’ll do anything to protect her, even if it means she discovers he’s a mythical phoenix.
Flashpoint by Desiree Holt

...When everything explodes

 Where There's Smoke by Cindy Spencer Pape

Firefighting in the 1920's is dangerous business, but so is falling in love.
FireBrew by Liz Crowe

Fate throws them together. But the horrific memory of a fiery disaster could tear them apart. 
Hook Me Up by Adele Downs

Firemen don't free cats from trees anymore—until a pretty schoolteacher gets trapped on a limb with her kitten and the county's hottest firefighter comes to their rescue.
Slow Burner by Sam Cheever

A love that burns slowly burns longest, creating the greatest heat.

 Uncontrolled Burn: A RISEN Team Novel by Nina Pierce

A woman forced to live a life she didn’t choose. A vampire bound by honor to protect humans. A deadly game of revenge that threatens both their lives …
About Adele:
 Adele Downs is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than 20 romance titles, including those written under another pen name, and a former journalist with hundreds of articles to her credit. When not writing in her home office in rural Pennsylvania, she can be found reading a book on the nearest beach, taking photographs, or riding in her convertible. 

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Spotlight Friday: Author Margaret Locke #romance #fiction

Today's spotlight is focused on Margaret Locke and her first romance.

About Margaret in her own words: A former doctoral student in medieval history turned stay-at-home-mom, I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember and a lover of romance novels since the age of ten (sorry, mom).

A Man of Character 
by Margaret Locke

What would you do if you discovered the men you were dating were fictional characters you'd 
created long ago? Thirty-five-year-old Catherine Schreiber has shelved love for good. Keeping her ailing bookstore afloat takes all her time, and she’s perfectly fine with that. So when several men ask her out in short order, she’s not sure what to do…especially since something about them seems eerily familiar. A startling revelation - that these men are fictional characters she’d created and forgotten years ago - forces Cat to reevaluate her world and the people in it. Because these characters are alive. Here. Now. And most definitely in the flesh. Her best friend, Eliza, a romance novel junkie craving her own Happily Ever After, is thrilled by the possibilities. The power to create Mr. Perfect - who could pass that up? But can a relationship be real if it’s fiction? Caught between fantasy and reality, Cat must decide which—or whom—she wants more. Blending humor with unusual twists, including a magical manuscript, a computer scientist in shining armor, and even a Regency ball, A Man of Character tells a story not only of love, but also of the lengths we'll go for friendship, self-discovery, and second chances.

Check out Margaret's website to learn more about her and the delightful books she writes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday - Your eyes are right. The Cat has No Tail and that sheep has 4 horns!

The July cruise included a trip to the beautiful Isle of Man, and I feel in love with not only the island, but with the Manx cat and the sheep with four horns. Yes, they do!

We started out by busing down to the Calf of Man and watching the seals lounge on the rocks and a few worked up the energy to go for a swim.

Yes, there really are seals across the way.

From there we traveled to the historic village, Cregneash. Turns out one of my Top 10 movies, Waking Ned Devine, was filmed on the island including the village, not in Ireland where the story takes place.

The village has a number of historical houses and some are used as rentals. Didn't get to see the inside of those, but sure hope the accommodations are better than the ones we were allowed to go into. WARNING: Be careful tall people. My head can attest to how easy it is to bang against some of the ceilings.

Some the thatched roofs and stone cottages

Outside in the barnyards animals roam around and so do the delightful Manx cats. One wanted to be buddies and followed us around for ear scratches. The Manx breed can't swish their tails in irritation when they get mad because they don't have one. They probably have others ways to let you know though. After all they are cats!

Tourists are exhausting!

Yes, you need to scratch me. Why do you think I came over here?

The Manx Loaghtan sheep were interesting. I'd never seen one with four horns...two sticking up and two curling down. Even their color was different, varying in shades of tan vs. the usual cream sheep.

Chilling in the shade. One of my pictures.

A better picture of the horns from
The rest of the island was beautiful too. I could see spending a few weeks there in summer for sure.

What is the last place you thought spending more than a few days would be terrific?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Spotlight Friday: Remembering 9-11

I don't think I'll ever forget where I was when the news broke. I'd just pulled into a parking spot at Kinko's to have copies made. An announcer broke into the program on the radio station I had on in the car and I sat there stunned. When I managed to move, I went into Kinko's and saw the horror on faces of those inside. Instead of the other errands I had planned I went home and sat in front of the TV the rest of the day. Yes, lots of tears were shed as I watched the heartbreak and pain broadcasted.

Where were you when you heard the news?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday Travel - Anniversary Celebration #Borthwickcastle #Scotland

Twelve years ago I married a man who has enriched my life in so many ways. We wanted to make this marriage special and decided to follow one of our ancestral lines and get married in Scotland. After numerous web searches and emails back and forth with the wedding coordinator, we chose Borthwick Castle as our destination.

The history of the castle is one of the reason we selected Borthwick, outside Edinburgh . Mary Queen of Scots spent time there after her marriage to Earl of Bothwell. When the British army arrived to capture the Earl for the murder of Mary's prior husband, he escaped to go raise and army of his own. When the Brits came for Mary she escaped through a window dressed as a page.

Memories were created for us here, including being late for our wedding. The countryside offered opportunity to explore an old church can cemetery which led to losing track of time. Fortunately, we were only a few minutes late and I couldn't believe I was following a Piper up the winding narrow stone steps to the chapel on the top floor to say "I do." Those two little words have become some of the best ones I've spoken.

So thank you My Honey. Our years together brought the missing piece we both had in our lives together. Yes, I'm not only happy but content, along with feeling blessed. And yes, you look great in a kilt.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday - Short & Sweet #friends #holidays

Here in the U.S.A. today is a holiday...Labor Day, a day created to recognize the contribution workers have made to our nation. Contrary to the name, a lot of people aren't laboring, but have the day off. So to honor the tradition I'm having a down day too.

But, I did want to give tribute to my friends...the special ones, and they know who they are, with this the share below. Come to think of it, if you are friends with me even on social media, this applies to you!

Welcome to my Tribe!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Spotlight - Sharon Ledwith #recipe #YA #timetravel

Sharon Ledwith is here to share a delicious meal that you will truly enjoy. And cleanup is a snap. So take it away...
I LOVE this recipe. I used it for my first book launch party. My reason? The characters in my time travel series The Last Timekeepers got to sample a 13th century version of bread bowl rabbit stew, so I thought for my book release—why not imitate art? Since rabbit is a bit harder to find at the local supermarket, I settled on beef for the main ingredient. I believe my party-goers were happy with that decision as my recipe went over fabulously even though it was a tad hot to serve on the sunny, humid day we experienced. But when the weather turns to cool, damp days, this steamy stew will bring a smile to your face, and comfort to your soul.
This recipe takes about fifteen minutes to prepare and eight or five hours to cook. Serves four. 
Bull’s-Eye Beef Stew
4 bread bowls (click HERE to see how to make one)or if you prefer, large Kaiser buns
1 cup 25%-less-sodium beef broth
½ cup Bull’s-Eye Guinness Draught Beer Blend Barbecue Sauce you can substitute this sauce with your favorite brand
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 lb. (450g) stewing beef, cut into 1¼ inch cubes
1 lb. (450g) red potatoes (about 4), quartered
4 large carrots (1 lb./450g), cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, cut into chucks
3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. water
Mix broth, barbecue sauce and oregano in slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except flour and water; toss to coat. Cover with lid. Cook on low 8 to 9 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.
Transfer meat and vegetables to bread bowl with slotted spoon; cover to keep warm.
Mix flour and water until blended. Stir into juices in slow cooker; cover. Cook on high for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. 
Spoon over meat and vegetables and serve.
While you’re waiting for the stew to cook, there’s plenty of time to relax, get cozy, and delve into that novel you’ve been planning to read. Time travel story, anyone?

Children are the keys to our future.
And now, children are the only hope for our past.
When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.
Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.
Amanda Sault silently studied the words she just scrawled: May 1st, 1214—Games and songs and revelry, act as the cloak of devilry. So that an English legend may give to the poor, we must travel to Nottingham to even the score.
She frowned. She was the Scribe. Amanda knew that meant she was supposed to understand what this riddle meant. But she didn’t have a clue. All she knew was that she, her four annoying classmates, and two offbeat adults were standing in what was left of the lost continent of Atlantis and they were supposed to be the Timekeepers, the legendary time travelers handpicked by destiny to keep Earth’s history safe from evil. But no one had told them how they were supposed to do it.
Their problem: no matter what happened—good or bad—they weren’t supposed to mess with the past. Period. Dot. End of story. Amanda felt hot liquid build in her throat. Her thumb traced the words of the arcane riddle. Their first Timekeeper mission. Amanda knew this wasn’t the end of the story.
This was just the beginning.
To read more of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis or purchase a copy, please click a vendor's name

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Mirror World Publishing, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.
Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog.  Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday...Announcements. #drawing #winner #newprize

Today is madness and I realized I forgot to announce last month's drawing winner and what is up for give away this month. So here goes:

Winner for August of the magnet that gives a glimpse of what's under the kilt and the deck of playing cards.... Sloane Taylor!  I know this gal will appreciate the little peek!

For September, a signed print copy of Nordic Heat is the prize. All you need to do is comment on any or all Monday/Wednesday post and you are in the drawing. Of course, the more you comment the more entries you have!