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Authors After Dark Preparation

Yes, I’m still alive!  I promise! and very excited about the forthcoming Authors After Dark conference in New Orleans.  First, I’ve never made it to this conference and as I can only make one  a  year, I’m really looking forward to the excitement, and meeting all the readers and other authors out there!  I’ll be easy to spot!  I’m going to be the short chubby lady dressed as a shapeshifter!  I’m sure you’ll recognize me the moment you see me.  After all, whoever saw a shapeshifter who wears glasses?  But I’m a “Special” kind of shifter, so figured I’d go for it anyway. :D

Seconds, I’m giving away a goody basket.  Okay, really it’s a goody bag – with the baskets being given away so close to everyone’s departure flights, I decided to be nice to my winner by instead making it a bag!  A special bag made just for the person who wins!  It’s from premier bag makers, with lots of pockets and will be great to take to book club meetings, right along with your own e-reader (Kindle touch). In fact, the only detractor from giving out a bag, is nobody can see what’s inside, so here’s a photo of all the goodies (minus some of the chocolates).

 

Isn’t the Lion cute??? He’s filled with candy, btw.  The red pot you see in the back?  It’s a chocolate fondue warmer, and the packets of chocolate in front are what goes inside. :D   The tiger photo is from my local zoo, and proceeds went to support that very tiger.  She’s one of the new ones at the zoo, and is struggling to find her place with a lioness and another tiger, Spartacus, who is bigger and older than she.  They seem to be getting along well these days.

There’s lots of Romance Trading cards too, which I have collected over the last year or so.  I think you’ll enjoy them.  With them is a collector’s box to help you organize your RTC’s.  And it wouldn’t be a shifter’s basket without a shifter, right?  Included is a size XL t-shirt with your very own wolf!  She’s popping right out of ya!  It’s an awesome T-shirt.

And of course, with your kindle touch is a book light, and screen protector, all of my backlist, and 10 other etitles.  Sorry, there’s no case, but that’s because I believe that’s almost as personal as the books you put on it. :)  Mine is bright red.  What color do you want YOURS to be?  I bet once you get looking around, you’ll find the perfect one just for you.  Overall the “Basket” including the bag is worth over $330.  I hope the winner enjoys every bit of it!

New Orleans – HERE WE COME!!!

 

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There are two things about me that send professionals into a tizzy….

The bad part is it’s not all for good reasons.  The first, is my hair.  It doesn’t happen so much anymore, but when I was younger, if I went to a new beautician who liked to be “Original”, I’d have to spend my first half hour there either agreeing to, or fighting against a new style with loads of layers.  Why?  Because my hair is THICK.  And when I say thick, I mean THICK.  But it’s also baby fine.  (Ok, it was till it turned all grey).  Beauticians couldn’t wait to get their fingers in it, their combs, their scissors.  I’m not much of a “Hair” person – I’m so uncoordinated with curlers, hot rollers, curling irons, blow dryers, you wouldn’t believe it.  Yet I could always see the mysterious grin of pleasure these people had when they got to work with my hair.  I’m afraid that pleasurable “tizzy” has gone by the wayside, replaced by the more harsh and slightly thinner gray hair, but as my beautician agrees: “It’s not like I’m actually lacking for hair, I’m just like normal people now.”  A shame.  I hate being normal. LOL

But the second one isn’t quite as pleasurable, but I’ve learned to get a kick out of it anyway.  It’s my eyes.  You see, I’m severely nearsighted.  No, I’m not a little nearsighted like your brother or your granny.  I’m SEVERELY nearsighted.  I had the weirdest experience back in April, where a man came up to me at the restaurant where we were having dinner and said “Oh look, your eyes are as bad as mine.  May I ask your prescription?”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he said “OMG, yours are even worse than mine!  You’re the first person with eyes worse than mine that I’ve ever met.”

‘Tis true, my friends, I’m blind. If anyone has ever read Lynsay Sand’s Love is Blind, I can say she was about 98% correct in how that works.  Feel free to read it.  I laughed until I cried with that book.  For me, it was as if she’d written my life.  Well, except I’ve never thought a man’s leg was a table, because they always wore dark colored pants and the table cloth was white, but I can see the point. LOL.  (one thing a nearsighted patient can always see is COLOR).

So today I went to a new eye doctor.  The tizzy didn’t start right away.  He hadn’t looked at the paperwork yet, and I had no glasses on, and I commented how it was nice to meet him, and hoped I’d see him shortly.  He thought that was funny.  Then he looked at the paperwork.  ”Uhm, I’ll be right back.  I want to look at your glasses first.”  I don’t think he believed the readings they’d received from the automatic prescription thingie they use.  He came back, my glasses in his hands, and says “You were right about not being able to see me!”

Then his panic set in. I could hear his brain turning.  ”What if I miss something like a detached retina?  Omg, this poor woman.”  So he starts saying things like “You need to start seeing a retinal specialist once per year….” and so forth.  Inside I was laughing.  I didn’t know if he’d actually follow through.  I’d heard this almost every time a new doctor peeks into my peepers.

So we got the prescription for the glasses then he put the dreaded drops in my eyes.  (If there are typos here, it’s cuz I still am dilated to no end, and can’t see hardly a thing).  He sent me out to choose my new glasses.  About 20 minutes later I was back in the chair with the magnified lights beaming into my eyes.  The most UNFUN part of an exam, and for those who’ve never had your eyes dilated, consider yourself blessed.  I could sense his body relaxing.  His fear that he was going to miss something diminished.  See, I have no physical signs indicating a possible impending detached retina.  Never have.  I have other signs that mean my eyes are suffering from their nearsightedness, and it could lead to that, but nothing showing we were in danger right now.  His relief was palpable.  His tizzy melted away into a more common level of diagnostic concern.  I smiled and nodded, when he said “make sure you come in if you see any flashing lights or any changes in your vision.”  Yes sir!  Of course, I’ve been hearing that same thing since I was about 20, but that’s okay.  I appreciate his concern and thoroughness.

It’s a shame, really, that the only thing that now leads my professional care takers into a tizzy is my nearsightedness.  Ahh well.  Guess I’ll just have to send people into a tizzy with my writing.  Whatcha think?  Any tizzies lately?

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Canine Behavior – Aggression, the Fear

It’s funny, because those who are not “canine knowledgeable” tend to slap all canine aggression into one tidy box.  “That dog bites”.  Does it?  Years ago I was working at a veterinarian clinic volunteer.  For my first task, I was asked to put ointment in a dog’s ears.  The dog – a german shepherd who was obviously submissive and fearful, accepted me into her kennel, and up until that point had accepted my touch. I Hadn’t quite gotten the ointment to her ears, but dang, infected ears hurt, so I understood the sudden jerks away.  She was a sweet little GSD afraid of pain. I get that.  Don’t you?

Then another worker walked by and stopped, shock in her eyes.  “That dog bites!  Get out of there.”

Wait a second.  I’m seated on the floor, the dog standing beside me, my hand on her back.  Really?  Of course the instant I heard the words, I was suddenly afraid.  Until you’ve been bitten by a dog, the fear always remains and at this time I was “biteless”.  I moved with extreme care and left the cage, but I noticed at the same time a sudden change in the dog.  She was suddenly more skittish, more fearful.  Why?  Because I was skittish and fearful.  She was feeding off of my fear.

Fear aggression is one of the most dangerous of all aggression among dogs.  It’s pretty easy to identify, if you know what you’re looking for.  The dog crouches.  the dart toward you and back, their ears are back instead of forward, the tail is not only town, but slightly tucked inward.  Maybe ALOT tucked inward, depending on the fear level of the dog.  They make alot of noise!

They’re shouting at you to Go away! You’re scaring me” with every fiber of their being.

I got bitten about two years ago for the first time, in just such a scenario.  It was my own fault really. I’d been asked, in an emergency situation to watch someone’s dog, and didn’t realize until later that I didn’t remember the dog’s name.  We’d only met once before.  I walked into the house – the owner had left all lights out, and I couldn’t find the switch.  All the while this poor dog is terrified, barking and growling. I can’t see her (she’s black) and knew the only way to end this was find a light.  I turned my back, feeling for the switch as carefully as I could, and of course that’s when she struck.

Being the smart lady I am, I did not jerk away.  I didn’t move at all.  Therefore all I ended up with was a horrendous bruise covering my entire calf.  There was no blood, no nothing.  I got the light on, yelled at her to get in the kennel with my meanest alpha voice.  We stood there for a few minutes, both of us trying to decide what to do next.  The poor thing needed to go outside and she needed food.  So, I gave in to my first instinct.

“Wanna go outside?” in my happiest doggy voice.  In an instant she was out, wagging her tail and happy again.  Me, I was rather in pain.  We didn’t have any more instances like that, thank heaven!

So far, I haven’t added fear aggression to any of my characters, but it’s definitely something to consider. The hero’s sister is lost, and everywhere she turns there is only deeper forest.  She moves toward water.  A river.  Look, there’s a waterfall.  Relief.  As she’s taking a sip a man approaches.  Not just any man.  The villain.  He snarls at her, even in human form he knows what she is.  A shifter.  She looks left, and right.  There’s no where to go.  Just water the water fall behind, and the only way out is straight ahead.  Through him.  Evil permeates from him, and she knows she will die if he touches her.  What does she do?   Well, I shall leave that there for you. :)  Feel free to finish it, based off what you’ve learned so far.  What WOULD she do?

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Canine Behavior – Let’s have some fun!

Ok, so I’ve been a very bad girl, and I apologize.  I haven’t blogged for a month – and I”m not sure how that happened.  I think of things to blog about.  I do!  But the next thing I know it’s a week later and it still hasn’t been written.  Well phooey.  It’s probably because I lead such a dull life it’s hard to get excited over basic  blogs about my life and living.  But last nite I realized there’s something in my writing that everyone has commented about, so maybe I should talk about that – Canine behavior!  So I’m staring a little series about canine behavior, how I learned it, examples, and other fun stuff.  Alot of the scenarios I show here have been rewritten into more aggressive and exciting paranormal shifter scenes, so that should be fun for my regular readers.  Others like today’s, is just a simple observation of canine behavior which flies in the face of the supposed “Science” of canine behavior, and makes me laugh.

See, scientists believe that canines are pure creatures of instinct.  They don’t love.  They don’t enjoy life so much as they live it.  They exist only to continue their species.  I’m here to tell you – they are wrong.  Today’s little story will show you that.  Feel free to tell me if this behavior is a conditioned behavior (ie., we taught the dog to do it thru repetition and praise or positive response), an instinctive behavior (ie, the continuation of their species behavior) or something else – like an active feeling and intelligent brain.

So, last nite I was lying in bed next to my youngest dog (young is a matter of perspective here, as this dog is 9 years old.  He’s just younger than the almost 15 yr old). He’s snuggling with me, but is too far for me to do the ultimate sin, which is plant a kiss on the bridge of his nose (muzzle for you canine gurus).  So, I did what any good dog lover would do, I pretended to kiss him, loudly smacking my blown kiss so he’d notice it.  I did it three times.

He blew a kiss back.

No, really, he did.  His little tongue poked out and he gave an imaginary kiss!  How long he’s been doing this is beyond me, cuz I’m sure I’ve always took it to be coincidental, he licked his lips.  But no, I did this three more times.  He did it again.  I went downstairs and showed hubby, and every time I blew a noisy kiss, I got the same response.  A sweet, delicate, imaginary kiss from Ace.

I don’t what you think, but I can honestly say I have NEVER praised him for this behavior until last nite.  By the 100% response he gives, I seriously doubt it’s something he just started last nite.  His smile is not even 100% and I’ve been working on that for years with no change.  He still only smiles upon greeting, though because I like it, he tends to do that more, but I can’t initiate it like I do the blown kisses.

So what do you think? Conditioning?  Instinct?  Or Cognitive function here?

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My 2nd favorite performance of American Idol from this past week. Makes me cry

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It’s not easy being green!

Happy Saint Paddy’s day everyone!  I hope you remembered to wear your green, cuz if not, I’m sending you a virtual pinch!  For those wearing green, I hope you find your gold at the end of the rainbow!

 

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I’m Guestblogging today, and #ZART stuff

For What it’s worth I’m guestblogging over at www.fwiwreviews.net, and telling a few secrets about Lone Wolf! Come drop by and say hi!  And keep your eyes peeled, I’m headed out tonight for a #ZART assignment.  I’m going to be hunting down some of those Zombies that hide in the dark of the night!  And let me share this beautiful cover with you guys again.  Cuz I just can’t help myself.   :angel:

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Release Date for Lone Wolf – Maxey Wizards, Book 2, 27 March 2012!

 

Ok, I’ll be honest, it’s the re-release date for Lone Wolf!  For those who didn’t get to catch it the few months it was available, Lone Wolf is coming back!  With one added scene and a bit more editing, Lone Wolf will be available for you to read on 27 March!  That’s right!  So send out the word!  Whisper it to your best friends – Lone Wolf is coming before the Zombie Apocalypse!  Hurry and get your copy before the Zombies eat your e-readers!!  Lone Wolf will be available on Kindle, PDF, and B&N sites and more at smashwords, so get ready!  And to celebrate this amazing event, we’re going to have a few prizes given out, but first, let me introduce you to this WONDERFUL cover *gives the Vanna White motion*.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Now there’s a handsome and sexy couple, but don’t forget there’s some handsome and sexy werewolves in this – and on top of that, there’s more of the Maxey Wizard hunks, uh, I mean brothers.

Isn’t this exciting???  And Damon, he holds his own against the powerful Maxey Wizard brothers, even to the point of standing between them and their sister!  How kewl is that?

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Best of Romance Writers of the 20th Century ~ Nora Roberts

Of course you can’t talk about the great authors of the 20th century without talking about Nora Roberts.  Nora has been a mainstay in the romance genre for so long she’s like a staple.  Now I will be honest, I’m not a humongous Nora Roberts fan.  That doesn’t mean I’m not a fan.  Of course I read her books.  I don’t read everything she puts out, but I do read her books. To me, they are that quick read I grab when I know I’m going to have about 2-3 hrs available and need to “refresh” my brain.  (Yes, I read exceptionally fast).  I can always count on Nora’s books to relax my mind and give me that 3 hour “vacation” I might need so desperately.  While I Don’t consider her books to be the most emotional, they are good for bringing a tear to my eye, and to let the hero and heroine step into their new worlds and overcome together.  They are a celebration of what I was looking for back when I took that Love In Literature class.  A celebration of love and life, and what you can do together, as a couple.  I especially like her trilogies, where we can visit the same “world” in more than one book.

I don’t have any special stories about how I found Nora, she just “is”.  I can’t remember my first “Nora” book. I Can’t choose a favorite.  Nora is such a part of life as a romance reader and author, she just “exists” the same way bread and water exist.  The same way my morning bowl of cereal exists.  She just is.  There aren’t too many strangers in my life that I feel that way about.  She’s a force of nature, changing the romance genre to fit her image and paving the way for hundreds and thousands of other authors.  In fact, I actually chose a pen name because of Nora.  My last name is too close to Roberts.  I was afraid nobody would ever read my books if they ever made it to a book store, because they’d either ignore me because I wasn’t Nora, or they’d ignore me because they’d skip the R’s. LOL.

So I know you have read a Nora book.  Which is your favorite? Or are you like me, and unable to chose a favorite?

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The Zombie Apocalypse Is at hand! #ZART

I know you all thought the end of the world was going to be in December 2012, but the zombies are already out there, and we must stop them!  They’ll be heading to New Orleans just in time for the Authors After Dark Conference!  That’s the terrifying event where all paranormal romance lovers get to meet their favorite authors!  But wait!  Some of those readers are zombies!!  Oh no!  So, I’ve joined the Zombie Apocalypse Response Team!  You heard that right!  We have to do something about it and fast!  What do you have to do?  Jump on board!  Get your pitch forks and the flashlights and come join us for free books and exciting contests!  There will be video journal entries and a book a week drawing!  There will be 4 premium gift baskets, t-shirts and mugs!   Our leader is Author TJ Michaels, and you can find all what’s going on here at TJ’s Facebook page!

Watch Twitter, Facebook and all those amazing places so you can participate in this terrifying apocalypse!  I’m digging out my Air Force Uniforms, packing my backpack and getting my camelback (and if you don’t know what that is, just you wait!).  I can’t bring a gun, cuz you all know Zombies don’t die when you shoot them!

My biggest fear is being turned into a zombie myself!  OMG, how will I deal with it?  I have enough trouble with my hair and nails as is!  Imagine if I were a zombie!!!!!  My complexion might get better though.  I look really good in certain shades of green.

The shifters are all going to join in.  And not just mine either!  Keep your eyes open for more ZART information!

So join us, because the ZART team will be the only ones to survive this terrifying apocalypse!

Learn more about ZART by dropping in Wednesday night at the Lakota Phillips Radio Show The Rebel Goddess.  http://newdissidentradio.com/rebel_goddess.html at 3 pm Pacific time!  (Which I think is 6 pm ET).  Don’t forget!  ZART is important!  Your life is at stake, and only we of the ZART know how to save you!

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