Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday's Feast

EDITED TO ADD: I nearly forgot (see what being a blonde will do for you?) Tomorrow I have some BIG news for you. The Long and the Short of It is having a St. Patrick's day contest you do NOT want to miss. So... come back tomorrow for the announcement.

This Date In History
February 29, 1904: Jimmy Dorsey is born. Btw, since he was born this day, he is called a "leapling."

Click on the button to play along.


Who was the last person you hugged? My wonderful husband.


Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us. Hmmm.... my beauty/grooming routine is very basic. It consists of this: and this:


What does the color yellow make you think of? Sunshine... sending lots of it to Iowa and New Hampshire (and any where else that is tired of cold and snow)

Main Course

If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around? Probably kids. I love kids. As a matter of fact, for those who don't know, I was a preschool teacher before I "retired" to join my husband in our business and write mostly full-time. Well, that was the idea :-)

What was the longest book you ever read? Okay... I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone to find out I read a LOT. I couldn't think I Googled "longest book." If you want the list, you can find it here. Scanning down that list, I see I have read: Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Published 1957. approx. 645,000 words. 1168 pages
. So... there y'have it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Three Word Wednesday

Welcome to the 75th Edition of Three Word Wednesday. 3WW is the brainchild of Bone. He does a great job coming up with words every Wednesday and I encourage you to drop by both his blog and his 3WW site.

This week’s words are:


Jaqueline stood outside the door to Benny's classroom. Benjamin, she mentally reminded herself. He's Benjamin now. She shifted from one foot to the other. The last thing in the world she wanted to do was give him an apology for tripping him....what, ten years before? Who in their right mind would even consider such a thing?

She turned and walked down the hall, her heels clicking on the tiles. Some things are better left in the distant past and this was probably one of them.

"Jackie!" Benjamin's voice came down the hall after her.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday's Feast and Flutterings


Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim? Not really. In college I was part of a group practical joke. One of our group had a Karmangia, and a group of us (okay, it was mostly the guys) picked it up and moved it into the locked pool enclosure. That's about it. Well, if you don't count random calls at sleepovers. Are those practical jokes? Nothing very elaborate, anyway.


What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

They are clear glass with goldtones tops. I like them because that way they match whatever dishes I'm using and I tend to change dishes with the season.


Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)? Well, right now I'm writing to you from vacation (aren't I the dedicated blogger?) We FINALLY were able to get away to our place at Eastpoint for a long delayed escape. We had hoped to come down for Valentines Day but work interfered. So... we are here (the second time in seven months we've been able to make it). Next time, I guess, will the the writers conference the end of March. Anyone else going?

Main Course

What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry? Whatever happens to be handy. I get lotions and potions from my mom for every holiday and birthday, just about, so I have a stockpile. I have a bottle of something in my car, a bottle of something else next to my bedside table, and a bottle of another thing by my kitchen sink for after I do dishes.


Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name. hmmm... chocolate chip cookie dough.. spread it all out together in a pan. Bake it til it's just about done.. but not quite. Put chocolate chips and chopped nuts all over the top of it and put it back in the oven til the chocolate chips melt and the cookie is done. Drizzle some melted caramel syrup over the top of it (make a pretty design, now) and top that with melted chocolate in another design. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. The name is Sinfully Delicious.
Sorry for the lack of video, but we only have dial up down here on the coast, so... you get to enjoy still pictures from history.

Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500, 1959
Have you been by Marianne's for your daily chance to enter her contest for the spa package?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BTT and Things

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

Hmmmm.. for their durability and the way they look on the shelf, I really like hardbacks. For their portability and the way it's easy to hold them in bed or take them with me in the car or stick them in a bag, I really like paperbacks. So... I think I want hardbacks on the shelves in my living room and paperbacks in my bookshelves on my den and to use. I can do both, right?
Have you entered Marianne's contest yet? Why not? It's easy... and you might win a great spa package and a free download of her first full-length book, One Love for Liv. You don't want to miss reading it.
1958 - Mary Chapin Carpenter, American singer was born Wikipedia

Happy Birthday!


You Need Some Red in Your Life

Red will make you feel energetic, passionate, and determined.

And with a little red, you will project an aura of warmth.

If you want to feel intensely, you've got to get some red in your life!

For extra punch: Combine red with orange or pink

The downside of red: Red can provoke anger or rage. Watch out!

The consequences of more red in your life:

You will feel more enthusiasm for life

You will have the confidence to go after what you want

You will have a lot more physical energy

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

3WW and Wonderings

This is Three Word Wednesday. My name is Bone. Each week, I post some words. People write things using the words. Then they comment here.

This week’s words are:

This is the first time in a long time I've played... so let's see how it goes :-) Free style writing. No editing. You've been warned.

Jaqueline punched her twin brother in the arm as they climbed off the bus.

"What was that for?" James frowned at her as he rubbed the spot she'd hit.

"That was for not introducing me to the new guy."

"What new guy?" His eyes widened as he realized who she meant. "Oh, you mean the guy in the Grateful Dead T-shirt?"

"Yes, the guy in the 'Grateful Dead T-shirt'," she said. "Do you want my entire social life to unravel just because my jerk brother won't introduce me to the coolest guy in schoool?"

James laughed and then he shook his head. "You are too much. You didn't even recognize him, did you?"

"What do you mean? Of course I didn't. He's new, you moron." chanel handbags

"That was Benjamin Scott."

Jacqueline stopped short in her tracks and turned to look at her brother.

"Bennie the Skinny Scott? Who moved away from here in elementary school?"

"Yes, 'Bennie the Skinny Scott' who you tripped when he walked past you in the lunchroom. He remembers you all right."

Jacqueline crumpled in a heap on their front steps. "My social life is going to more than unravel. It's going to explode into nothingness."

Have you been to The Long and the Short of It yet to catch Marianne's latest entry in the Author Spotlight? And make sure you enter her contest for a free download of One Love for Liv. You won't regret it.
1998- American figure skater Tara Lipinski becomes the youngest gold-medalist at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. (courtesy Wikipedia


You Are Basil

You are quite popular and loved by post people.

You have a mild temperament, but your style is definitely distinctive.

You are sweet, attractive, and you often smell good.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Twitterings

I've been working on a short story...well, reworking one I had finished actually. Both my critique partners told me they "couldn't feel the love." Okay, I'm the first to admit I have trouble putting emotion in my work. I finally figured out why. When I write, I SEE the story in my head.. much like watching a movie. When you watch a movie, you grasp the feelings and emotions from the expressions and actions and what's said. So, you aren't actually IN the characters' minds. However, in a book, you need to be. So... I'm rewriting the whole thing in first person, and I think it's going to work. If you are a writer, how do you deal with the whole emotion thing?
Have you visited Marianne today to find out where she is on her Virtual Blog Tour? Believe me, you'll find out things about her you never knew you wanted to know! :-)
The Wild Rose Press is living up to its reputation as being a publisher that grows writers. They are starting a new service for writers, The Rose Trellis, The Wild Rose Press Critique Group. I don't know, as an author, what I would do without my critique partners. IMHO, good CPs are essential and I recommend any author who truly wants to grow as a writer check this out.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY (courtesy of Wikipedia
Happy Birthday, Seal!


You Should Visit Mexico

You can be as comfortable as you want, eating fast food and partying with English speakers in resort town.

But if you're feeling brave, venture out to Mexico City - or explore the tropical Yucatan.

YEA! Marianne and I are going to Mexico!

Monday, February 18, 2008

I Don't Know Where I've Been...

...but I almost missed out on one of the biggest social events of the year. In the Blogosphere, that is. I'm talking about the Twins' Ultimate Blog Party. Yep, Susan and Janice are once again throwing a blog party of the year. I participated last year and had a blast. So, of course, I have to do it again. So... I'm making my plans to party down and have a blast the week of March 7-14. It's a great way to meet new friends and maybe catch up with some old ones. So... come and join me as we party in March :-)

Monday Morning and Mutterings

Have you visited Marianne yet today to see where she's stopping on her virtual tour and how you can win some goodies?

Speaking of winning some goodies, you DON'T want to miss out on stopping by The Long and the Short of It. Romantic suspense writer Karen Harper is with us. Not only do we have a great interview with her, but THREE lucky people will win a copy of her book. Two will win ARCs of her newest book, being released this week, and the third will win an autographed copy of her last book. You can check out the review of the autographed book here. The review for the newly released book will be out tomorrow.

February 18th Questions:

1. How did your mother spend her day? Did she have a job or do volunteer work outside the home? How did her outside commitments affect your family? How did they affect you? My mom and dad separated when I was five and we came to Tifton to live with my grandparents, so Mama worked as long as I can remember. My grandmother took care of my sister and myself. Because I didn't know anything else, it was a normal life for me. I don't have any memories before that, so I don't know if there was a lot of adjustment or not. I'm sure there must have been, but my dad was in the Navy and we used to come home some and stay with Grandmama and Granddaddy when he was off at sea, so for a long time I thought that's what was going on (kids have no real idea of time, do they?)

2. What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever witnessed, live? When I was in college, a girl I'd befriended in our dorm signed up for the talent contest. The situation was horrible and sad. She tried so hard to fit in, but had a breakdown of some kind a little later. I often wonder what happened to her.

3. If you could add the number of hours in a day, how many would you add and how would this impact your daily life? I don't know. Sometimes rather than hours in the day, I'd rather turn myself into more people. You know, like in that movie with Bill Murray, "Clones"? I'd make one of me to go work with Bob, one of me to clean my house, one of me to do my writing and stuff. Of course, I would want all the memories of all of them... well, maybe not the clone who cleans house.

4. If you had to spend one year living alone in a remote cabin (without Internet!), what would you spend your time doing? Elaborate - what would you typical day look like? As long as I can have plenty of books, paper and writing implements I'd be fine. I'd get up in the morning and go for a long walk... look at what the birds and wildlife are doing. Then I'd spend the rest of the day reading, writing, or wandering around. I don't mind being alone and I can always find something to do.

From This Day In History...courtesy of Wikipedia

February 18, 1885: Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Scattered Thoughts

Charity tagged me with this book meme, so I thought I would play along (that way the next time I have a tag to make, I know who to tag ;-))

1). Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
2). Open the book to page 123
3). Find the fifth sentence
4). Post the next three sentences
5). Tag five people

The closest book to me is one I'm reading (or going to be reading) for a review for our review site. I hope there are no spoilers here.

The book: Brief Gaudy Hours, by Margaret Campbell Barnes. The book blurb:

The infamous love of King Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn undertook a rocky journey from innocent courtier to powerful Queen of England. A meticulous researcher, Margaret Campbell Barnes immerses readers in this intrigue and in the lush, glittery world of the Tudor Court. The beauty and charms of Anne Boleyn bewitched the most powerful man in the world, King Henry VIII, but her resourcefulness and cleverness were not enough to stop the malice of her enemies. Her swift rise to power quickly became her own undoing.

This is a quote from Anne: "Oh, I know, I know! You can see, Madame, the wickedness that is in me. But they planted it there, Wolsey and the King between them."

Have you been keeping up with Marianne on her Virtual Blog Tour? You can find out some interesting things about her AND get chances daily to win that wonderful spa package.

Stay tuned... The Long and the Short of It is going to have some exciting news in a couple of weeks and, trust me, you DON'T want to miss it.

And, in honor of the 104th anniversary of the premiere of Madame Butterfly:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fridays Feast and stuff

Okay... for some reason, I'm not being able to post pictures today... so... pretend this is a picture of a wonderful piece of (insert food of your choice here) and, if you click it, you will go to Friday's Feast where you can join along and play.


Name one thing that is unique about you. Hmmm, this is an interesting question. I can't say what's unique is that I'm a co-owner of The Long and the Short of It, because Marianne is too. I certainly can't say it's because I have blonde hair, because we ALL know that's not unique. I wish I could figure out how to get this song on here, but go here, scroll down and click on "I'm the Only Me," by Tom Chapin. He says it better than I can what makes me unique.


Fill in the blank: My favorite treat ischocolate but I likepopcorn too. Yeah, I know it's lame, but I haven't finished my first cup of coffee... give me a break.


What type of wood do you have for your home’s furnishings? Depends on the room. Our bedroom is wicker, our downstairs living room is oak (built in bookshelves) and bamboo, our den is eclectic (translation... a jumble)

Main Course

Who do you talk to most often on the phone? My daughter, Rebekah.


What level of responsibility do you have in your job? Wow, both of us (see question 1) have a lot of responsibility, since it's just the two of us. Marianne takes care of most of the behind-the-scenes stuff. She's the webbuilder, webmaster, she's in charge of the Author Spotlight and all the ads, the reviews; her part of the job makes me tired thinking about it. I'm more the "marketing" aspect of the job. I am the first line of contact with the authors we interview, provide the content for the webpages, line up donors for our contests (we have a lot of contests and plans are in the work right now for a great viral contest for St. Patrick's Day... so stay tuned), and pretty much do what Marianne tells me to do ;-) chanel handbags

Speaking of Marianne, don't forget to visit her blog for where to go on her Virtual Book Tour today and the question to answer for that fabulous spa package she's giving away.

And..she had this quiz on her blog that I so stole (because I'm just that way, y'know?)

Your PMS Disaster Level: High

You are definitely a PMS disaster!

At least you're only scary a few days of the month.

I have to mark "those days" out on the calendar for my husband so he knows what's going on :-) It's a good thing he loves me, y'know???

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Interview with Marianne Arkins

myspace layout images

myspace layout

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone. I was going to post a really nifty movie Valetine's card I had made for my husband...but then fate intervened and I never was able to get it made :-( But... my husband is my most important Valentine. He fully supports my writing, our website, and all my dreams. He's not only my husband and lover, he's my very best friend. Happy Valentine's Day, Bob. I love you.


Today I'm very very excited to host my friend and business partner Marianne in her Virtual Blog tour. I had interviewed her for The Long and the Short of It on Tuesday, but I've had the pleasure to interview her again...with all new questions. So, to find out a little bit more about Marianne, here is a new interview.

1. Who is your favorite author and why?

If I have to choose one, I'd have to say Jennie Crusie, just because you can't read her stuff without a grin on your face. She's so clever with her use of quirky situations and amazingly unique characters. She can create these people who are so far out, and yet completely believeable.

When I grow up, I want to be her.

2. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

To be honest, I don't know that any PUBLISHED author has influenced me that greatly. Where I learned the most, and the people who challenged me and made me stretch farther than was comfortable were some folks I took classes with, and was so fortunate to stay in contact with. One pushed me to submit the first time, and was never afraid to tell me I could do better. Another is the BEST editor ever (and, in fact, went through Liv's story for me after the first edit and told it like it was) and the last -- well, she's my best encouragment and cheering section, as well as a great crit partner.

3. What is your most embarrassing writer moment?

Hmm.... the only one I can think of is the time on my blog when I was ranting about poor editing somewhere, and had typos in the blog! I was horrified...

4. Describe your writing space.

Right now, it's the dining table. I used to have an office in the basement, and I've now been blessed with an office in some sunlight BUT, my desk from downstairs is ancient and falling to pieces, so won't survive the move (it's leaning against two walls right now... I'm a little afraid to move it). So, until I get a new desk... the dining table is my home.

Eventually, though... that new office is beautiful -- pale yellow walls, lots of sun, bookcases on nearly every wall, plants... it's gorgeous.

5. What would you say is your most interesting writer's quirk?

I have no quirks. I'm utterly normal and dull. Judy... why are you laughing?

So, her wonderful book One Love for Liv is out and, trust me, it is a wonderful book! It has a cast of characters you will love, not despite of but because of their quirks, a pair of great animal characters, and if you are like me, you'll be torn at the end when Liv has to decide which is her "one love." You can buy it here or you can visit Marianne's website for details on how you can win a wonderful spa package.

Now.. I have to post this so she can tell everyone on her blog that it's up (pssst... a little secret about Marianne... she has NO patience!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day....

...and Monday I received my Valentine's goodies from Kailani's Valentine's Swap. My partner this year was "Not the Queen" from Washington state.

She sent some lovely Mountain Huckleberry popcorn from The Popcorn Patch. You should check it out...they have flavors I would never have dreamed of. The Mountain Huckleberry is quite good.

The chocolates from The Chocolate and Cherry Factory... well, they are very good chocolates..mmmmmm. I'm being good though, and I'm trying to be good and not eat them all at once.

Don't forget, Marianne is going to be at Long and Short Romance Reviews for a Question and Answer session. Go over there and ask her some really tough questions ;-)

And now... our last Countdown to Valentine's video:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Countdown to Valentine

Bob and I were talking about what to get each other for Valentines and we decided that neither of us really want anything.... except a weekend down at the shore. So, if everything work related goes well, we'll be heading down to the coast. We were there Fourth of July weekend and then the first weekend in November... so we are way overdue for a trip (no matter what Marianne will tell you.

And.. speaking of Marianne, today is a very exciting day for her. One Love for Liv, her first full-length novel is being released by Samhain Publishing. She is also being interviewd by The Long and the Short of It. Tomorrow she will join us at Long and Short Romance Reviews Yahoo Group. Don't forget to stop by her blog to congratulate her (plus, I wouldnt' be surprised if she doesn't have something special going on.

And now... as we draw closer to Valentines Day...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Smatterings and Countdown to Valentine

Have y'all been watching the Jane Austen series on PBS? It's really been good. I have them all recorded and have watched a few of them. Not all yet... and I guess I need to go back and watch "Northanger Abbey" given the results of this quiz :-)

Which Jane Austen heroine are you?
created with
You scored as Catherine Morland

You're Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey! Innocent and good-hearted, you love to read gothic novels, the elements of which find their way into your daydreams.

Catherine Morland


Marianne Dashwood


Fanny Price


Emma Woodhouse


Anne Elliot


Elizabeth Bennet


Elinor Dashwood


BUT... am I the only one who finds Gillian Anderson an odd choice as host for this series?

I love this next video... they did a beautiful job including both Nat and Nathalie together. It's a shame they never had a chance to do this song together in life.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Feast.. sort of.. and countdown to Valentines.

Friday's Feast is off the air today, so I'm joining the party late.. but here is a newer version, courtesy of Gabriel and
Bethany. Drop by their sites and play along.


Appetizer - What would be your most treasured memory of your childhood?
One of the earliest memories I have is at kindergarten, watching a space launch. I don't have a lot of memories from when I was young, so that was memorable if only because I DO remember it!

Soup - When was the last time you just 'bit your tongue'?
Probably the last time I was PMSing.. it's a good thing to do then.. lol

Salad - Name that silly fact about you that was unknown...until now.
When I was little I was afraid of balloons.. especially when anyone was blowing them up. The noise when they popped scared me a lot!

Main Course - You're a superhero, but with 'non typical' superpowers. What would your super powers be, and what would you like to be called?
My 'non typical' superpower would be the ability to eat all the chocolate I wanted and never gain weight. I would be called "Skinny Girl"

Dessert - World Cup final, Olympic Games, Superbowl, World Series, NBA finals, Stanley Cup... which one would you like to play in? Uh...none of them? What about the World Championship Trivial Pursuit Contest.. or the SuperBowl of Scrabble... that's more my speed. :-)


1. What are some of your favorite websites?
I like Ananova and The Long and the Short of It and all my blog buddies.. you know who you are :-)

2. If you had boy/girl twins today, what would you name them?
Hmmmmmm.... Jeffrey and Jennifer

3. What was your favorite grade in elementary school? Did you have a favorite teacher? I liked all my grades in elementary school. I don't really have a favorite. But I loved my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. ... wouldn't you know I've gone blank on her name. I'll remember it tonight about bedtime. Her husband was the manager of Belk and her name is on the tip of my tongue. Anyway, the girls got to stay inside and dance instead of going outside for recess.

4. What types of punishment did your parents use while you were growing up? Which were most effective on you? My mom used to spank my butt if I needed it.. my grandmother was good about switching my legs. And yes.. I deserved every spanking and every switching I got!

5. Can you parallel park? Did you have to parallel park for your driving exam? Yes, and yes.

Bonus: Use this site to find where you should live. What are your top 5 and have you ever been to them before?
This is what I got:
1. Oxford, Mississippi
2. Paris, Tennessee
3. Deland, Florida
4. San Marcos, Texas
5. Gainesville, Georgia

This was a lot of fun!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Countdown to Valentines... Seven

Renee listed me as one of her "lazy tree buddies" and gave me this pretty :-) If you've never hung out at Renee's, you should give it a whirl. She's a blast! Thanks, Renee!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Countdown to Valentines

Still yucky... so here's another love song. This is one of my favorites.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Coughing, Cold, and Countdown to Valentines

I fell victim to the creeping crud that's been going around. You all know what it's like, so I won't gross you out with details. Let's just say... I'm ready for it all to go away.

And so.. today's post will be very light. Just our countdown to Valentine video for your viewing enjoyment.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day and Countdown to Valentines

Well.. it's official... Phil has spoken and the word is not good. Check out the news report. Six more weeks of winter. I live in the south, so I don't suffer as much as many of you... but I'm still ready for winter to be over.

We have some new and exciting things going on at Long and Short Romance and I wanted to announce it here first. On Mondays, we're inviting any romance author to post exerpts and links to their books for our members to check out. Wednesday, we normally have a Q&A with our author who was interviewed at LASR that week. If for some reason, the author cannot participate, we will have a general Q&A time on some aspect of the book and publishing industry. And.. on Fridays, we will have "Fave Friday." I will start the ball rolling every Friday morning by posting a "What is your favorite___" question. You never know what this twisted little brain of mine will come up with, so come and join the fun.

And now.. for our Countdown to Valentines (keep an eye in my sidebar so Valentine's Day doesn't sneak up on you):

Your Stress Level is: 38%

You are slightly prone to stress, but generally you keep it under control.
You know how to relax and take things as they come, even when your worlds seems to be falling apart.
Occasionally, you do let yourself get stressed out, but you snap out of it pretty quickly.

Which is one reason Marianne and I get along so well as business partners. :-)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday's Feast

Click on the picture to play along

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

When was the last time you purchased something for your home, what was it, and in which room did it go? Just two days ago... we had to buy a new freezer for our storage room. The old one died...and took with it over $400 worth of steaks and I don't know how many pounds of shrimp and fish... I'm still crying.

What is the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen? The one that comes to mind most readily is one that Marianne shared with me. Watch it... but turn your sound up.

Main Course
Make up a name for a company by using a spice and an animal (example: Cinnamon Monkey). OOOOOOOkay.... what about Sage Squirrel.. your company for a little bit of nutty wisdom.

Fill in the blank: I haven’t eaten since last night