LOOK (another challenge)!

Hey, LOOK! It’s another fun challenge…

Thank you, L.J. Kentowski for tagging me in this challenge. Don’t know L.J.? She’s the author of Guardian of Fate, an urban fantasy novel that I read and personally loved. Definitely check it out and do it soon because she’s getting ready to release the next book in the series, which proves to be just as hard to put down as the first!

Now, the rules of the challenge are as follows:

* Find the first usage of the word “look” in your WIP and post the surrounding paragraph into your blog.

* Tag as many people as you want to take part in the challenge with you

Easy as pie, right? So, let’s get to it. Here is the first instance of “look” that I could find in my WIP Ghosts Don’t Wear Silk Stockings.


He lit a cigarette and gave her a sultry stare. He was still sitting in her bed, a sheet pulled just high enough to cover a perfect set of toned legs. His chiseled chest sprouted dark hair mingled with the occasional grey sprout that gave him an air of distinction. His dark Mediterranean skin echoed memories of pictures she’d seen in a magazine of gods. He was handsome; there was little doubt of that. He was more than handsome, he was drop dead gorgeous. Looking at him was enough to get her going again and if she wasn’t careful, she’d be back in bed and lost in erotic oblivion for the rest of the morning.


Yep, it’s our first glimpse of Dan in Chapter One. Sure didn’t take me long to take a good, long ‘look’ at him, did it? Can you blame me? 😉

Your turn!

Megan Trennett

Christina McKnight

Jami Gray


The Sunshine Award – For Moi?

A million thanks and a million beautiful flowers to Mae Clair for honoring me with the lovely Sunshine Award. How better to celebrate the end of the summer than by basking in lazy, late summer sunshine and accepting this award?

How does the Sunshine Award work, you’re wondering? Allow me to shed some light …

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. – THANK YOU, MAE! (Check out the link to Mae’s blog!)
  2. Post the award icon – Sailing high above in the blog post, just where it should be.
  3. Answer the questions below. – Oh, goody gum drops.
  4. Nominate ten other bloggers. – Chewing fingernails. Who shall I nominate? Who? Who? Who?

Without further ado, let’s jump into the questions…

  1. What is your favorite Christmas/festive movie?
    Is it that time of year already? I love Christmas movies but either I’ve got a mental block on winter festivities at the moment, or I can’t just pick one that stands above the rest. If I am forced to choose a favorite holiday indulgence, I must pick Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and Frosty – the cartoon classics that I grew up with and still enjoy every year.
  2. What is your favorite flower?
    I love all flowers. Something quirky about me? I’ve never understood the appeal of cutting them just to display on a table. They die in a few days and it just seems terribly sad. My favorite flowers are the ones that bring the world around me to life.
  3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
    Coke, although I would never drink it daily. It’s that special, once-in-a-while drink I look forward to. Mostly, I drink water from the moment I wake up (no coffee for me!) until the moment I go to bed.
  4. What is your passion?
    Well, writing. Duh! 😉 Books are my passion. Language is my passion. My family is my passion. I’ve got a lot of reasons to be happy.
  5. What is your favorite time of year?
    Definitely Fall! Summer is a happy time but I’m not a fan of the heat and humidity that comes with it. Fall brings that much needed reprieve and breath of fresh air. I love the colors in the trees, the smell in the air, the crunch of the leaves on a walk through the woods. I love pumpkins and hay rides, drinking apple cider, the joy of oranges, yellows, and reds! Best of all, I love wrapping up in a cozy sweater, snuggling close to the people I love. Now, if only winter didn’t have to follow. Hmmm…
  6. What is your favorite time of day?
    I’ve always been more of a morning person. I get more done in the early hours than I do the rest of the day. But my favorite? That point in the day when we start winding down and I can just cuddle up and veg. 🙂
  7. What is your favorite physical activity?
    Dancing is a favorite for me too, Mae! I also love walking and yoga.
  8. What is your favorite vacation?
    As in the best I’ve ever had or my ideal dream getaway for the future? Hmmm… My best vacation was a solo journey to London, England that I made ten years ago. I’d been to London once before and knew there was so much more I wanted to explore but what I hadn’t been planning was to fall in love! Yep, I met a native and we hit it off pretty well. We kept in touch after I returned to the US and eventually he visited me here. A couple more trips back and forth and we got engaged. I ought to write it in a novel, huh? 😉 I’d go back to London in a heartbeat. There is just something about the city that calls to me. But pretty much, my ideal getaway spot is anywhere new and exciting to explore. I want to see what I can get into next…

Time to pick out ten bloggers for my nominations of The Sunshine Award. This is the tough part. I know a couple of you have already been nominated but consider yourselves extra special for being nominated twice!

1. Christina McKnight

2. L.J. Kentowski

3. Terri Rochenski

4. Ella Gray

5. Marsha Moore

6. Jami Gray

7. Megan Trennett

8. Karen Robiscoe

9. Alison Deluca

10. James Garcia Jr.
Have fun, campers, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Change of Plans

Just a quick note to announce a slight change of plans. I have made the decision not to self-publish Ghosts Don’t Wear Silk Stockings in September. I will write a longer blog post soon with a better explanation. If you were looking forward to reading Ghosts, please don’t despair. I haven’t given up on the book. I’m just reconsidering my path to publication.
Stay tuned …

The True Beginning of the End…

Today I finished the manuscript. I know, you’ve heard this all before, right? Today I love it. Tomorrow I hate it, scrap it, and start all over again.

And we’re standing on this precipice with nothing much to save

But the deep blue screams of falling dreams with our next move

Heaven hide your eyes

Heaven’s eyes will never dry…

These lyrics keep popping into my head as I write the last words to this story. They come from a song called The Promise by a band called Arcadia, which most of you have probably never heard of. This song had significance to a younger version of me (like waaaay back in the early 90’s??)  and it’s just a tad ironic that they make a reappearance now. If you’re interested, you can find the song on YouTube HERE. I used to listen to this on record, long before any such thing as YouTube existed and at the time, I was pretty certain this particular album had magical properties… a conversation for another blog post, perhaps?

I finished the story that took so long to tell. This should be a happy occasion worthy of hugs and celebrations, not moody dark music that makes us feel as though we’re ready to plunge into some unknown fate, right? So, what gives?

Perhaps it’s the uncertainty that keeps tugging at me? I want to believe in my story. I want to believe in my ability to be a writer and yet I keep coming back full circle to doubt both. Perhaps it’s because I’ve started out to follow a path and I’ve lost my way and now I’m struggling to get back on course.

Perhaps I just have a funny way of celebrating?

At any rate, put away the champagne for now. August brings a lot of hard work and plenty of ups and downs of its own. After all, it’s time for me to rewind back to chapter one and comb through all thirty chapters to make sure that what I wrote actually makes sense. (It’s easy for me to forget something I planted in the early chapters and never resolved by the end.)

I’m also attempting something just a bit terrifying, which is probably the real reason behind the moody song. Once I’ve gone over my story and made sure it’s as perfect as I can make it, I’ve decided to write a synopsis and send a query. I have one publisher in mind (thanks to DuoTrope), I’ve printed out their submission requirements, and I wonder if we might be a perfect fit for one another? A literary match made in heaven? Our own version of happily ever after? I’ve never queried before. I’ve never set myself up for the possibility of rejection. This is a first… and I’m scared…

Fingers crossed? Let’s take the plunge …

Kiski Junction – Tuesday Photos

Over the weekend, we took the kids on a local train ride. It wasn’t quite Thomas the Tank Engine and I admit, it wasn’t even a steam engine, but the kids loved it just the same and so did I.

This is one of the minions and me posed by the diesel engine before we boarded the train.

One of my earliest and fondest memories is from when I was just a little younger than this guy. My parents lived in a trailer park until I was five when they bought the house that I would eventually grow up in. I don’t have a lot of memories of the trailer park where we lived in those early years but I do remember there were train tracks at the bottom of a large hill and my dad used to take me to watch the trains go by. I loved it. I had a fascination with trains from an early age and to some degree, I still do.


This particular train ride only lasted an hour, which is probably about the perfect amount of time with three young children. We traveled along the Kiski River. Here is a peek of the river through the trees.


…and again, along with all the lush vegetation that I love about Pennsylvania summers.


There is a nice camping area along the river, at least if you’re into big campers and such. (Personally, I’m more of a tent in the woods kind of girl, but that’s just me…) There is a sense of community amongst these campers.


I could see a story taking place here. Could you?


My personal favorite part of the train ride was the view over a tall bridge where we stopped to enjoy the view and take pictures. I took quite a few photos from here but since I can’t possibly share them all, I singled out this one and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Thanks for joining me on our little train ride adventure. I look forward to sharing more in the near future (including photos from an upcoming camping trip!) so stay tuned…