My Five Favorite Heroines

For today’s Friday Five I’m talking about heroines. I like a heroine who is flawed, funny and overcoming a major obstacle that either happened in her past or she’s dealing with at the opening of the book. She also has to be strong enough to put her hero in place, but I don’t want her stronger than the hero.

So here they are, in no certain order:

1. Stephanie Plum – Janet Evanovich’s Plum series – contemporary. Stephanie’s humor is legendary and while she readily admits she doesn’t know what she’s doing, she still tries.

2. Laura Townsend – Catherine Anderson’s My Sunshine – contemporary. Laura is my favorite heroine of all time. After suffering a brain injury and losing her career, Laura must learn to cope with a new life.

3. Diana, Countess of Arradale – Jo Beverly’s Devilish – historical. Ms. Beverly picked a perfect heroine for her famous Rothgar. Diana is rich and strong willed enough to face down the formidable hero and the king himself.

4. Claire – Diana Gabaldan’s Outlander – historical. Outlander is one of my top five favorite books of all time so it makes sense that Claire makes this list. Although Gabaldan doesn’t consider Outlander a romance. Claire is a spunky 20th century woman who finds herself in the 18th century with a sexy Highlander.

5. Samantha Jellicoe – Suzanne Enoch’s Suzanne Jellicoe series – contemporary. Samantha is a thief who is caught by a sexy billionaire while she’s trying to steal from him. This is a five book series that I wish would never have ended.

So who are your favorite heroines?

 

Ahoy Matey – Talk Like a Pirate Day

So yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day and I totally missed it! I’m so bummed. I’ve written two pirate stories and have a third planned because I LOVE pirates!

Argghhhh (<–pirate speak)

So in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day I’m giving you a short excerpt from my first pirate story, Wherever You Are.

Morgan sat at a corner table at The Scabbard, a tankard of ale within easy reach and a willing woman on his knee.

The ale he’d come in search of, the woman was an added bonus. Or so he thought. Now, hours later, he just wanted the whore gone, but couldn’t seem to remove her from his knee. That probably had a lot to do with his very advanced inebriated state.

He took a swig of ale only to find the tankard empty and signaled the barmaid for another. The woman on his lap slipped and grabbed his neck for support. She giggled and placed a sloppy, wet kiss on his cheek. He pushed at her, but she was like a barnacle he feared his mates would need to scrape from his body.

Blearily, through a thick haze of alcohol, he noted her once red dress had faded to a dull orange. Her breasts were falling out of the tattered garment. Dirty, brown hair hung in her face. He didn’t even want to think what crawled in it.

Disgusted, he looked away. The Scabbard was one of the most dangerous taverns on the docks. Dank and dark, a smoky haze hung over the occupants. The floorboards stuck to your feet when you walked. More than one patron was plastered to the floor, full-bodied.

It was the type of place those without heart and soul congregated, a sort of hell on Earth and Morgan felt right at home. He fingered the cutlass hanging at his side as his gaze swept the room, searching for trouble. Whether to get in to or out of, he didn’t know.

Kindle | Nook | Blurb

Meet Cory

That’s a tennis ball in her mouth and my husband’s shoes on her paws.

In March my husband and I had a blip in our sanity.

We added a dog to our brood.

At the time it seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea. Our other dog, Winston, was getting up there in age. He’s a 12 year old Labrador retriever. We’d heard that a younger dog could really give an older dog a boost of energy.

So we brought Cory home. Well, her name wasn’t Cory, it was Millie. We hated Millie so it took us a day or so to name her. The kids, my husband and I all tossed ideas out there. I was pushing for Sadie, my daughter Josie. The only name we could all agree on was Cory. Named after the Harry Chapin song, Cory’s Coming.

Cory decided that she was going to be the alpha dog of the small 2-dog pack. Or at least she tried. At first Winston was terrified of her and I was heartbroken. What had we done to our mild-mannered, elderly dog? What were we thinking? He’d hide in the corner and peer around the side of the couch, searching the room for the little brown

I think I finally killed it.

and white virago we dared to bring into his den. He would carefully, slowly put one paw out of his hiding place, then another. He’d look around, inch his way closer to the middle of the family room. Then she would race out and he would scurry back into his corner.

While they tried to figure out their place in the pack, my husband and I were fixing her health problems. You see, we paid a whopping $.25 for Cory. Yes, a quarter of a dollar. However, she’d been in the pound for a month and living with all those dogs for so long, she had some problems. $1000 worth of problems.

What were we thinking???

We could have easily gone to a breeder and bought a pure bred for that amount. Yet there’s something about rescuing a dog from the pound. Cory is our second rescue (Winston was not) and we have found that a rescue dog is so grateful. It’s as if they know what fate they dodged.

Oooh, oooh, he has a snack. Drop it, please, pretty please!

Eventually Winston and Cory figured out their place. Winston decided he wasn’t playing those games anymore and quickly showed Cory that he was the alpha dog of this pack. Now, six months later, she’s a happy beta dog, following Winston around, curling up against him at night and snuggling with him.

The other day my husband was petting her and she started crying. We discovered she was suffering from a raging ear infection that required (another) trip to the vet. I felt so horrible for her. She was obviously in pain and wanted nothing more than to snuggle and sleep.

That’s when I new that Cory had wormed her way into my heart.

She’s turned Winston around. He’s found a new lease on life and with a little help from

You don’t see me hiding behind the couch with your kitchen towel.

Glucosomine, he can somewhat keep up with her. They play, they wrestle, they snuggle together.

Why didn’t we do this sooner?

Now I’m wondering why we waited so long to bring this little one into our life.

So what about you? Are you a multiple pet family or a single pet? And if you’re a multiple pet will you go back to being a single pet?

The Notorious Lady Anne

Welcome to Sweet Saturday Samples. Click here to find other wonderful samples.

Boldly, almost daringly, she stared at him. Her eyes were more green than blue today, matching her shimmering gown. At any other time, in other circumstances, he would have admired her beauty, but his frustration wouldn’t allow it. Not when she was an interloper on his ship.

“You are aware we are sailing to Boston?” he asked. “Boston is nowhere near Barbados.”

Her smile didn’t dim. In fact it appeared to brighten as if she knew he was irritated and it pleased her. Which only served to drive his irritation straight into anger. Emmaline Sutherland was a distraction he could ill afford. Good God, they would spend five weeks together on this ship.

Impossible. He simply could not take her to Boston.

Except they’d already left port and if he were to stay on schedule, he couldn’t possibly drop anchor now.

“I am aware of the location of Boston on the map, Captain.”

“And what business have you in Boston, Mrs. Sutherland?”

He swore her jaw muscles tensed, but more than likely it was the shadow cast by the sails.

“Personal business, sir.”

What possible “personal business” did a woman have in Boston? If her husband was any sort of man he wouldn’t allow his wife to gallivant around the world unprotected on some mysterious “personal business”. His irritation now encompassed Mr. Sutherland. For allowing his wife to travel alone, for not protecting her. For not being here. Because if he were here, Nicholas wouldn’t be responsible for her.

“I admit to being away from society for some time. I wasn’t aware that the best dress makers are now in the colonies rather than England and France.” What the hell happened to him when he was around this woman? His tongue had a mind of its own, it seemed. He was about to apologize for his lack of manners but her narrowed eyes stayed the words and suddenly he wanted to see that back straighten again and those eyes flash fire at him. Because she was exquisitely beautiful when angry.

“Not all women are concerned with fashion,” she said between clenched teeth.

He barely stopped himself from grinning. Damn but she was beautiful. “I can’t imagine what other personal business a woman alone would have in Boston.”

Did she bar her teeth at him?

“That’s why it’s called personal business, sir. It’s personal. I wasn’t aware a sea captain need be informed of a paying passenger’s reason for travel.”

 

Find out more about Lady Anne here.

Happy September 14th

Today on Friday Five I’m talking about today – September 14th

Sept 14th is the 257th day of the year. Why is today such an important day, you ask? Why, I shall tell you.

Today is:

National Cream Filled Donut Day. While I’m not a big fan of cream filled donuts, I am a fan of donuts in general. It’s been ages since I’ve had one because my hips and butt don’t appreciate when I eat them. My favorite donut is blueberry. I wonder if there’s a blueberry donut day?

 

Eat a Hoagie Day. A hoagie is also known as a sub. I love subs. Turkey, swiss, mayo, pickles and tomatoes are my fave sub ingredients. Hold the onions please.

 

 

National Anthem Day in the United States. A tribute to Francis Scott Key who penned the popular song that became the US anthem on this day in 1814

 

Pet Memorial Day. For all our furry (or maybe not so furry) family members that have passed.

 

 

 

On this date in 1752 England and America adopt the Gregorian calendar and had to skip Sept 3-13th. Imagine if it was your birthday that was skipped?

 

 

Now its your turn to tell me what your favorite donut is….

I’m a Mac

I bought a Mac the other day. This is a big statement since I’ve been a PC all my life. But after burning through three laptops in less than five years I was fed up with shelling out 400+ dollars for a new laptop.

My daughter bought a Mac in the spring. I own an iPod, an iPhone and my husband has his beloved iPad. I think its safe to say that we’re slowly becoming an Apple family.

This is what I’ve learned this week:

-Apparently with Apple you download apps. There’s an app for just about everything.

-Gmail crashes Thunderbird. They don’t play well together.

-Hotmail doesn’t play well with Outlook which is kinda weird since Hotmail is Microsoft’s email service and Outlook is made by Microsoft.

-I am intimately familiar with SMTP, POP and IMAP services. Just five days ago I had no idea these things even existed.

-I think I’m going to like this Mac. As soon as the learning curve is over. If its ever over.

So what are you? A Mac? Or a PC?

 

 

 

Top 5 Favorite Romances

Welcome to Friday Five where every Friday I list five of my favorite things then ask you to do the same. Today I’m listing my five favorite romances and discovered, after I wrote my list that all of them, except #5, are historicals. Huh. Figures my top five are the same genre I like to write.

Again, these are in no certain order:

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

 

 

 

 

I read this book over ten years ago and still, to this day, the characters have stayed with me. I just recently downloaded the Kindle version and when I get time, I’m going to read it for the third time.

 

2. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

I remember reading this book twenty-two years ago. Yes, that’s how old it is. But its timeless and, again, another book where the characters just stay inside you. This is more time-travel than historical, but still an excellent book.

3. The Bride by Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood’s historicals are comfort reads to me. I read them over and over when I’m feeling down, or can’t settle into a good book. I absolutely love every one of her heroes.

4. Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen

I just recently read this one and didn’t want it to end (the hallmark of a great book). I loved the characters and the fact they are married but didn’t really know much about each other. Some of my favorite stories are about couples who are couples before the book even begins.

5. Second Chances by Sharon Sala

When I first started even thinking about writing romance I knew I wanted to write emotion like Sharon Sala. This book is packed full of it. The journey these two characters take really spoke to me.

Okay. Your turn. Name five of your favorite romances. One… Two… Three… GO!

Homemade peanut butter cups

I had to share this because it’s way too good not to share. This past weekend my daughter made homemade peanut butter cups for us and I have to say they are probably the yummiest things I’ve ever eaten.

They taste like they should have about 3 bazillion calories but I actually did the calorie count and one has a little less than 300 calories. Which makes this super yummy!

1 tbs Nutella spread in the bottom of a cupcake holder

1 tbs peanut butter on top of the Nutella

1 tbs Nutella again

Freeze until hardened. If its too frozen you can pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

Homemade peanut butter cups

This is an actual picture of her peanut butter cup after my son took a huge bite out of it

Wow! That’s all I can say.

Sunday Six

From The Notorious Lady Anne (release date 2/11/2013)

He was insufferable, dictatorial, sometimes rude, with a sense of entitlement that being a prisoner would never banish.

He had dark blue eyes that saw too much and well-formed lips too quick to offend.

And yet, she was drawn to this irresistible, irritating, irrational man who willingly left his warm bed to help her tend a man he believed was already condemned to a watery grave.

“Emmaline.”

Her head jerked up and she quickly wiped the tears from her face.