Holiday Love

For the first time in years, I am truly excited for the holidays. There’s no particular rhyme or reason as to why this is, simply that it is.

I have finished buying all the gifts and even wrapped them too. That is a pretty major feat. I just decided a few days ago that I wanted this last weekend before Christmas to be light, chill and enjoyable, not frantic and staying up late to wrap. So yay for me.

I am also excited about the gifts for everyone. I really enjoy the anticipation of someone opening their gift and loving it. In my family, you are batting almost 100% due to my secret method of making sure everyone gets what they want for Christmas. It seriously takes out the hard decisions, the guesses, and the failed gifts.

I’ll share it with you. If you’re not much of a computer person, you will cringe, but if you can get around a computer pretty well, and excel isn’t just a word meaning you’re really good at something, then this will work for you.

Here’s how we handle gift giving at our place.

A week before Thanksgiving I start emailing the family.

GIVE ME A CHRISTMAS WISH LIST ON THANKSGIVING OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES (losing your sister / mother / aunt from being stabbed by Gma).

Once I receive the lists, I prepare an excel document with all the info. I also include a special bonus of what each person likes to get/wants in the stocking. (I know this from past years, that can always be requested in the email mentioned earlier.)

At Thanksgiving, when we’re all stuffing our faces with turkey (or in my case, ham) we throw everyone’s name into a hat and pull out the name of the person whose stocking we’re going to handle. ($50 limit, parents handle their own kidlets.)

Then after reviewing and tweaking the gift wish list, I send it out to everyone. Then if “Dad” wants a new computer, we don’t all fall on the ground laughing, we figure out together how to get that person what they want or as close to it as possible. We also agree in advance what is an acceptable amount to spend. You don’t want Bob to throw in a $20 when you’re forking out $80. It has to be fair. If you’re lucky and have a wealthy family member, they can fill in the price gap on spendy stuff.

So, everyone gets what they want.

It helps to have a “coordinator”. Yep, that would be me. I enjoy it for the most part and Christmas day is always so nice because there are no upsets to deal with, everyone gets something they wanted, we all share in the food activities, and then we play games for the day and spend good quality time together.



This is here for no other reason than it is really cute.


I send my happy wishes to you all to have a wonderful holiday season, that you get what you want, spend it however you want and hopefully with someone special.

I am looking forward to 2018 and everything I’m going to get done. Expect some fun new things from me this coming year. I can’t wait to finish them.

Cheers and hugs!


How Twitter Became Fun

I’ve known that Twitter could potentially be a fun place to hang out and maybe even promote a book every now and then but with the exception of a few entertaining users, anytime I looked at it I felt like I might  A) drop into a political overload of annoyance or B) suffer from a snore fest. I just couldn’t find the enjoyment of it on a regular basis.

Then I was introduced to two things.

One of the gals in my writer’s group (Find the gal here, find the writer’s group here) recently told us all a Twitter tip from one of her super smart media expert friends.

I took the advice and couldn’t be happier.

The advice? Go to (in my case) the profiles of your favorite authors and check out THEIR followers. Then follow those who are interesting. If you’re not an author, you could go to profiles of people involved in subjects you’re interested in and check out their followers. I couldn’t be happier. People that I have reality and understanding with are all over my feed and it is so entertaining now!

The other thing I learned, from the same author friend mentioned above, is about monthly games that various people play where they post a sheet with a question for every day of the month and you get to post answers and find even more interesting people. Here’s an example of one.



This one is #authorconfession and is hosted by @_JM_Sullivan. I would think there are such things available for other items of interest. It’s fun to participate and see what other people post.

There is also #51writers and #wipjoy and #wiptunes and #mythcampnano…you get the idea.

I like it waaaayy more than Facebook now. Cheers!

Dragon Scales and Comfortable Jails

The latest Ink Slingers Guild meeting was excellent as always. We were able to fit in four writing exercises which I LOVE! During each exercise three words are chosen randomly and we have 5 minutes to write a quick story. Here are mine! Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • dance
  • flutter
  • circus

The dance was still hours away but Malie had already been in the bathroom for half an hour with her seemingly endless grooming. As a circus performer myself, I was comfortable in my skin and confident in my step. It took me all of 15 minutes to get ready even in the most glamorous of occasions and the flutters of nervousness from the past was long gone. I woke up with drool running down my chin and was annoyed to have to fix my thick make up before leaving. Malie took that moment to walk in the room.

“Gah!” she hollered when our eyes met. “Your scales are showing, Stace. Go fix it. We have to leave.”

I got up wearily and went into the bathroom. Sure enough, the drool had taken its toll. I caked on more make-up, successfully, covering my scales, made sure my tail was still strapped down and hidden and went to meet Malie at the front door.


  • bottle
  • paisley
  • gift card

My black and gray paisley silk dress fit this dance party like a blue sky at a rally against happiness. All around me were half dressed girls including my dear friend Malie and the boys, well, they were wearing clothes almost tighter than the girls. I hadn’t gotten out much but I couldn’t help be appalled that the men should wear clothes such as this. What happened to lace lined shirts and coats with tails. I was not in my element. I hoisted my bottle of ale, can’t even get a proper mug here, and went toward a table in the corner. As I passed a table a lady called out offering “gift cards” for sale. My glance at the brochures on the table told me she was promoting the restaurant portion of the club and I quickly shook my head. This place was awful.


  • peppers
  • rushed
  • persnickety

The strong smell of roasted red peppers filled the car. It caught me so off guard I almost hit the breaks in alarm. But the realization infiltrated my mind before I could cause a five car pile up and I glanced to the back seat. A small gnome like creature sat in the center seat. The green cap sat side-ways like it was rushed on and I would have thought it should fall off but in all the times I’ve seen him, it never had. “Bob,” I said. He nodded. I was always afraid of saying much more. He was such a persnickety little fellow and truthfully, he scared the hell out of me. Beneath that, I coughed in my head, cute exterior was a vicious and calculating, sharp toothed little fae. And the fae never had anything but their own interests in mind. The only reason they even gave me the time of day was because I was part fae, part were-wolf. Whenever they needed to tell the Alpha something, they came to me. Oh boy.


  • chain
  • sweater
  • tissue

The chain dragged along the stone floor. At least I thought it was the floor. I supposed he, or she, could have been pulling it along the wall but that seemed like a lot more work and I didn’t see the prison guards as being particularly industrious. I sat in the corner of my cell wearing my ragged brown sweater and a pair of leggings with a large hole in one knee. At least it was spring, the cell wasn’t too hot or cold. Last time I was here, I was so hot I thought I would sweat all the water out of my body and just be a husk when someone finally realized who I was and let me out. I waited patiently for the box of delicate tissues, a bag of sugar and a note from my father to be delivered. I had been missing for, oh, four days now. Despite my drunken rampage into the knight’s lap, it was a pub after all, it wasn’t that big a deal, I was surprised they didn’t rough me up a bit more.


Motorcycle Riding Lessons: Day 1


Today my husband, who has been riding motorcycles off and on for about thirty years, gave me my first lesson in riding a motorcycle. I was terrified, to be honest, but his care gave me some immediate knowledge that I was able to use right away.

To back up a moment, my third book in the Gargoyles Den series is about to commence and in it, one of my main characters is taught to ride a motorcycle by her lover. I knew this was coming while I was still writing the second book.

Although I have grown up with a Harley riding dad, married a rider and watched my son learn to ride a few years ago, I however, was not a rider. Not because I wasn’t interested but more because I was scared and didn’t have a good enough reason.

Two things happened to change that.

One, my husband, who buys, fixes and sells motorcycles and cars here and there, went to see a motorcycle and though he wasn’t interested in it, the person also had a little Suzuki GZ 250 that wasn’t running. It was sitting there looking lonely and my hubby offered a $100. Sold! Within days of getting it home and giving it some love, he had it happily purring away. He then offered it to me if I was interested.

Two, I needed to be able to explain, from my character’s point of view, how in the world to ride a motorcycle. I couldn’t do that well without the experience. Sure, I could interview my family and get their view, but how much better would it be if I learned for myself? Way. Yep. Way.

So, first things first, Kimbo pulled the bike into the driveway and had me sit on it. He then pointed out the basics. The breaks, the clutch, the gear shifter, how the gears work. The first thing I realized was that knowing how to drive a standard car or truck made this MUCH easier for me. Though, I was still scared. See, the clutch is on the left handlebar. The front break is on the right handlebar.

Yeah, what? Exactly what I said!

The gear shifting is done with your left foot. Um, ok. Assuming the bike is in Neutral, press the shifter down once for first gear. To go back into Neutral, a very gentle shift upward. Apparently, and I haven’t tried it at this point, lift the shifter again to go into 2nd gear, up again for 3rd gear and so on to 5th gear.

Kimbo then showed me how to turn the bike on. (Important detail.) Turn the key to on position (no, Im not drinking at the moment), then hit the ‘On’ button. Ta da! Engine roars to life or in the case of my little bike, put-puts to life. He then showed me a little lever called the ‘choke’. Remember, if you ever are angry and want to choke something, get a motorcycle and do it without going to jail. The choke does something or other which Kimbo told me but I forgot and somehow helps the engine warm up.

You always want to warm the engine for a bit before taking off, kind of like a woman. In fact, my hubby does call his bike his girlfriend. I get first in line though since I’m the wife. 😉

Just so you can see what I’m talking about – here’s the hub and his girlfriend:


Kimbo on his Honda CBR 1000

I took the picture when he wasn’t paying attention. Mwahahaha! And no, he doesn’t ride wearing flip flops. We just live in Florida so even in November we wear flip flops for all times. Except riding. When we can wear boots. Yay boots!

I haven’t gotten a very good pic yet, but this is my baby:

Suzuki GZ 250

Anyway, once I felt confident in turning on the bike and putting it into first gear, Kimbo moved the bike to the street for me. (I was very worried that trying to go across the dip at the end of the driveway would kill me.) I didn’t wear a helmet or jacket, just good boots as I wasn’t going anywhere fast. Before you snicker, finish reading. 😉

He had me turn on the bike, put it into first gear (hold down the clutch and shift down) and practice letting out the clutch slow and letting the bike “move” itself forward while I “walked” it along, breaking periodically. I did this activity up and down the street several times. This was easy, not scary and he was there walking right next to me (sometimes running hehe) the whole time. I never went over 5 mph.

Then I figured out how to go to the end of the street, turning around, and coming back without watching my hubby run beside me. I gave him a break and he watched and I continued, by myself to go up and down the street a few more times before calling it a day.

It was the best lesson I think he could have given me. It was at a speed that I could tolerate and enjoyed myself while getting a feel for the bike. I’ll post the next lesson soon!

Welcome Uncanny Quarry! Scavenger Hunt Time!


Hi, all!

Join the fun on the Uncanny Quarry Scavenger Hunt!

Today I am excited to share the third author in the Round Robin for October 20th:

Susan Catalano

The answers to her questions can be found by visiting her site:

Happy Hunting!

  1. What color robes was the woman on the cliff wearing? (Click Books link, click Read Chapter 1)
  2. What was the original name of Danvers, MA? (Click Blog link)
  3. What is the name of Susan’s dog? (Click Bio link)
  4. What is the name of the upcoming sequel to The Timeless Ones? (Click Books link)
  5. What is the title of Chapter 8? (Click Books link – click Amazon link and Look Inside)