Archive | October, 2012

Sabrina Tries to be Nice on Six Sentence Sunday

21 Oct

For this week’s Six Sentence Sunday post, I’m giving you a snippet from my upcoming release, Taming Scrooge.

Sabrina Whitlock’s gift shop shares a building with Will Holly’s ski & snowboard shop. Sabrina’s a bit of a holiday nut and tends to go all out on celebrating and decorations. She knows she drives Will up a tree, and she enjoys needling him for his grumpiness. Still, when she realizes he has worked on Thanksgiving Day, she takes pity on him and delivers a plate of leftovers from the meal she made with her brothers. He’s obviously dubious about her motives when she delivers dinner to his shop, just before closing time. But she perseveres. After all, everyone deserves a great Thanksgiving dinner, even cranky people.

She stretched her arms out, holding the plate up to encourage him. Shouldn’t a bear like him grab a food offering and rush back to his den to gobble it up? He looked positively skittish. “Come on, it’s yummy. A classic Thanksgiving feast. Don’t worry, I left the rat poison off.”

Check out more Six Sentence fun at Six Sentence Sunday!

Exploring Yellowstone in the Fall

19 Oct

The last week really got away from me. The Helvetican and I went to Yellowstone for our anniversary trip. Most everything inside the park was closed for the season, and the town of West Yellowstone, where we stayed, was clearly wrapping up the tourist season too. Some of the restaurants were closed and several shops advertised clearance sales. However, having been to Yellowstone during the regular season and now, in the off-season, I much prefer going when there’s not so many other people around. It’s much quieter and the pace is slower. Good stuff.

My trip didn’t end on such a grand note, due to food poisoning the last night that made the drive home the next day a bit uncomfortable and exhausting, and left me kinda under the weather all week. But let’s not let that get in the way of good memories. On to the photos!

One of the great things about visiting Yellowstone in the fall is that you can look around the park as you’re driving and see steam rising from all the thermal features in the park. It’s amazing to see. However, it made taking photos of said features a bit tricky.

Emerald Pool is one of the many colorful thermal pools in the Yellowstone caldera. Most of them were impossible to photograph because in the cold air, the rising steam obscured the colors.

One of the many bubbling mudpots in the park. Many are reduced to hissing out steam rather than frothing with mud due to lower water/mud levels this time of year.

 

I got a kick out of this mudpot. Found in the Artist’s Paint Pots area, this one looks like bright white paint bubbling in the ground.

 

Definitely don’t want to jump in this pool for a soak. See the boiling going on there?

Got close to a bison just off the road. A good-sized herd of probably 50 bison, including babies, were fording this river, two at a time, for grazing hills on the other side. Reminds me of Peg-leg! (see Mending Fences)

There is a craggy canyon carved through one section of Yellowstone, where the river has been busy wearing away rock for millennia. This is the Upper Falls in that canyon.

Around a bend in the river/canyon, is another, the Lower Falls.

I met these two cuties at the lookout for the Lower Falls. The tree roots they’re playing on have had the ground eroded from below. There’s a drop almost straight to the bottom of the canyon beneath these cute critters.

Here’s the Helvetican! He brought his little telescope to better enjoy the features of the canyon.

This pretty elk stopped traffic to grab a bite along the road.

 

One of my favorite parts of the trip was a visit to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. The wolves living in their packs are gorgeous animals. I loved getting so close to them, separated via a platform a few feet in the air and an electric fence. Apparently, if you stay in the hotel across the street, you can hear them howl at night.

That’s probably enough photos for now. I didn’t post geyser photos, mainly because there are photos of Old Faithful everywhere online. I may post more on here later, but at some point, it becomes rather like the old days of friends inviting you over to watch their home movies, you know?

Have you been to Yellowstone? What was your favorite sight?

Lucy’s #SixSentence Sunday: What Andri Needs

14 Oct

I’m back from my trip, lots to tell, but first…

For this week’s Six Sentence Sunday post, I’ve taken a snippet from Finding Refuge.

Travis Holt and Andromeda Miller both know they have too much baggage in their lives to risk a new relationship, yet the attraction pulling them together can’t be denied. When a discussion on their first date makes Andri recognize she needs to let loose and enjoy herself for a change, she decides Travis is the man for the job. Poor guy, how can he resist?

He swallowed, his voice rough when he spoke. “What do you need, Andromeda?”

She refused to stop and think. “Right this second? Travis, I need you to kiss me.”

Travis’s logic raised its head for a split second, but she dropped her hand to his chest, her lips parted slightly as she drew a breath, and all that mattered was giving her what she wanted. 

You’ll find Travis and Andri’s story at:  Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Smashwords

4.5 Blue Ribbons. “Beautifully written, with heart-wrenching emotions and real life problems, this is a wonderful story of two people struggling to find their way to forgiveness and happiness.” –Romance Junkies Reviews

Check out more Six Sentence fun at: Six Sentence Sunday

Lucy’s Monday Musings & Heading for Yellowstone

8 Oct

It’s 11pm on Monday, and I’m FINALLY getting a chance to sit and catch my breath. Oy, what a weekend! The Helvetican had a few days off, but ended up sick. Poor thing. And you know, I love men, but they are the worst patients when they get sick…

Oh, come on, you know it’s true.

So, in addition to playing Nurse Lucy, I edited two magazine issues (only one of which I expected to land in my lap), and dealt with son #4. What’s his problem? He hates high school. Here’s a kid who is popular, smart, athletic…the kind of kid who is supposed to float through high school, everything going his way, everyone adoring him. He has all of that, and he doesn’t want it. For two years, he’s wanted to be be done already, free to move on to college. Now, as a senior, when he’s supposed to be having fun and breezing through his last year, he’s decided to bear down and earn credits outside of the regular school day so he can graduate early, at mid-year.

I admire his determination, but I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with a kid who wants to buck the system…especially since it will cost a pretty penny to get those extra credits. I like the school year to run in an orderly fashion, and he’s shaking it up. I have to remind myself that it could be far worse. He could have decided to simply drop out. Yeah, given that option, I think I’ll just happily take paying for extra credits for a kid who’s finally driven to do something.

So, it’s been a very full few days. Tonight finished off with a scramble: grocery store, running several loads of laundry, attempting to check in online. I have to ensure that the kids are all set with whatever they might need before I leave in the morning. The Helvetican and I are heading off to Yellowstone for a couple of days. It’s our anniversary trip, and I plan to unplug, unwind, and enjoy.

Take care of yourself, have a lovely week, and I’ll be back on Friday with lots of cool (I hope) vacation photos!

Happy Anniversary! Lucy’s Real Romance

5 Oct

Today is my wedding anniversary! After raising five kids with my Helvetican Hero, you can imagine how many crazy, fun, dramatic stories I have stuffed in my memory. But the best story of all is how we ended up together.

I was divorced and dating a few different guys. One particular guy was introduced to my profile by the woman running the dating service we’d both joined a few months earlier. This pre-dated online matchmaking, and while a computer would suggest members with similar interests within a particular age range, we still had to look through binders full of hand-written profiles and photos. I had already viewed his profile, really liked what I saw, and had given permission for him to contact me. He liked my profile as well and called me one week before my birthday.

We talked for an hour on the first call. He asked me out and we met for dinner and a long walk a few days later. By the time he sent flowers to my office the next day, I was hooked. We talked every night on the phone for hours, because we lived in different cities and getting together was tricky.

He had other plans on my birthday, but he called me late that night, and as we talked, the conversation turned serious. Suddenly, the perfect moment struck, and he asked me to marry him.

I’d known him a week. We’d seen each other one night. I hadn’t even kissed him yet. But I knew. Lightning had struck, and I just knew.

I said yes.

Oh, I did finally kiss him when I saw him the next day. A lack of chemistry would have been a deal-breaker, but when his lips touched mine…wow! Every nerve ending in my body hummed.

One month later, he picked me up and we eloped to Vegas. We were married by the Reverend Belinda Rhodes at the Little White Wedding Chapel, the one with the drive-through window. It was the start of an amazing ride together. And after all these years, he can still make me weak in the knees with a kiss.

I don’t recommend this approach to finding a mate to anyone else, because the list of ways it could’ve gone terribly wrong is a mile long. But for us, it worked.

Now you know why I write romance…because underneath the ups and downs and doldrums of regular life, I’m blessed to live Happily Ever After!

The Madness of My Yearly Roller Coaster

2 Oct

Everyone’s year comes with ups and downs. Sometimes that means a long period of a gentle, smooth ride with a few kiddie-thrill hills tossed in. Sometimes it means a year filled with corkscrews and double loops. Heaven help you if you’ve experienced the latter this year, and remember to count your blessings if it is the former.

However, a year for me always comes with two tracks. The first runs January 1 through about the third week of August. Anything can happen, of course, but generally it’s a pretty smooth ride from January until May, when madness and few races up and down hills hit due to that being the wrap-up for the school year and, lately, one child or another graduating. The track smooths out again for the summer, with an occasional car repair or holiday thrown in to make things interesting.

The new ride kicks in as August is fading, when I climb that first hill of getting kids back to school. The first hill is a doozy, chugging upward, multiple stories high, over those weeks until it crests on my birthday at the first part of September. The coaster train pauses there at the top for a little bit before plunging into the steep, terrifyingly fast maze of twists and turns that make up the remainder of the year.

Between my birthday and New Year’s Day, life is littered with family birthdays, my wedding anniversary, and the three biggest holidays of the year (the biggest we celebrate, anyway). I learned long ago that once my birthday hits, I have to just hold on and try to occasionally catch my breath, because it’s going to be the end of the year before I know it.

I’m in the middle of the most maddening section right now, the triple-barrel-roll-loop formed by having three of my children’s birthdays and my anniversary all within a 17-day period.

I expect the rest of the year to finish out with more than the usual frenetic pacing. I’m packing additional stuff in there, including releasing Finding Refuge in paperback, publishing Taming Scrooge, and wrapping up the third book in the Heart’s Redemption series for release in January.

I clearly did not think through the timing of all that in conjunction with the rest of my life. But I will do what I always do as my roller coaster tears through the end of the year: Hold on tight, breathe, and enjoy the ride!

How does your year flow? Do you have an annual crazy section?

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