Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Yesterday was my husband's birthday, and I decided to go bananas with his party. :-) He has quite the weird sense of humor, my Bob, and given that he's thrown me some very uniquely themed birthday parties over the years (a Home Depot party, an eBay party, a Big Lots party, and a Buddha party), I felt like it was his turn.

Here he is doing is best to look like the monkey on his banner, and doing a pretty good job! One of the most fun parts of the evening was that everyone else there got into the swing of things, too, and after making Bob leave the room while we prepared, we treated him to a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" with everyone wearing monkey masks!

This was one of my favorite shots of the evening, taken quite accidently, when one of our guests realized that Bob was standing and chatting, oblivious to the fact that one of the hanging monkey decorations was perfectly aligned with his head! (The monkey stars were aligned, so to speak.) He snapped it before Bob moved away, and I seriously think he should start using it as his Facebook photo, don't you?

Here's a shot of what happens when people really get into swing of things (I've known for years that my sister was bananas, but I had no idea they'd start coming out of her ears!)

At any rate, a good time was had by all, and my wonderful husband is another year older (but no wiser). Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Life Is What Happens When You're Making Other Plans...

The last two weeks of December have been a bit of blur - not only have I been responsible for the stock prices of Kleenex shooting into the hemisphere and spent a lot of time in bed or in a recliner watching old movies, but my dear, sweet mother-in-law has been gravely ill in the hospital, my son graduated college, and oh, we celebrated the small annual occurrance that is Christmas. :-)

Plus, I'm writing. The first book of my new series is due April 1st, and I want it to be awesome, so in between the Kleenex and the family time, I'm writing. :-) Apart from some Twits and a bit of Facebook time, I haven't been online much.

At any rate, I'm wishing everyone a fabulous New Year and letting you know I'm not dead. I will be back again soon, with my normal fascinating and riveting combination of excerpts and observations. (Can't wait, I know!) ;-P

That was totally sarcastic. Really.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Behind The Veil

Sometimes I feel like that on this blog, except I'm not nearly as spooky as Boris Karloff... :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Battle Of The Bad Boys

The boogeyman under the bed... the monster in the closet... scary creatures who go bump in the night seem a lot more physical these days. Vampires, shapeshifters, demons, fallen angels. Spooky has become sexy, and it started long before Bram Stoker's Dracula. The Old Testament alludes to how angels found mortal women desirable, Gen. 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. One would certainly assume that those ancient women found angels completely irresistable in return. So the yen and yang of sex and attraction has always gone hand-in-hand with good and evil, and sometimes the two get mixed.

So what's the current connection between sex and supernatural? Why so many books and movies? Aside from the marketing aspects, I think, for women, it's not just the idea of the ultimate, misunderstood, bad boy... it's about female empowerment. If a woman can bring a supernatural male to his knees through love and desire, that's quite a coup. (If that sounds sexist, then it is, because part of the empowerment involved is admitting it.) :-) It's all about the ladies these days, and what pleases us, whether you're Team Edward or Team Jacob. :-)

Of course, we do love our bad boys (in theory). The bad boy with the good side who wants to be good, but is trapped, governed by fate or fortune or forces beyond his control. Poor, misunderstood bad boy. LOL

The book I'm working on right now, THE DEVIL'S BARGAIN, has two bad boys, and they're squaring off for a battle royale. As the writer, I'm not quite sure who's side I'm on, because I'm rooting for them both. :) The main character is such a bad boy that he's stealing all the scenes. (Oh, that Sammy Divine... he's got a story to tell, that one. And he's determined to tell it his own way, in his own time, with a wicked wink, a killer grin and a bad boy swagger.) But he's got some competition in Finn, the rock star who sold his soul for rock-n-roll, and now wants it back.

Me? I'm just sitting back, calling the shots, and feeling empowered. :-)

Neither one of these bad boys want to stay under the bed or in the closet, and I don't want them to, either.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies In A Jar (great gift idea!)

I just sent out my most recent newsletter (you're on the list, aren't you?), and since I like to include little extras in it whenever I can, I started searching for great (inexpensive) gift ideas, and found this:


3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup raisins
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Layer ingredients in order given in a 1 quart "wide mouth" canning jar. It will be a tight fit, make sure you firmly pack down each layer in place before adding the flour mixture.

Instructions to attach to jar:

Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookies
1. Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix.
2. Add: 3/4 cup butter or margarine softened at room temp. Stir in one egg, slightly beaten. Add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
3. Mix until completely blended. You may need to finish mixing with your hands.
4. Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart. DO NOT USE WAXED PAPER.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 11 to 13 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to baking racks to finish cooling. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Put a festive ribbon around the top of the jar, and you've got an inexpensive holiday gift that can be given regardless of race, creed or color (Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, atheism, monotheism, paganism..). Everybody loves cookies!

And by the way, did I mention that you should JOIN MY MAILING LIST? I usually only send them four times a year to keep my readers updated on new releases, contests, free bookmarks and other goodies like the cookie recipe. Go sign up!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

O Spider, Where Art Thou?

Ok, must confess that I've avoided going into the attic all week because last weekend, when I went in to pull out the Christmas tree ornaments, I saw a big, ugly spider sitting right on top of the box I was about to put my hand on. *picture me screaming, snatching my hand back, and disappearing out the door*

Today, made my son go in with me to fend off giant, hairy, 8-legged creatures, only to discover that it was a PLASTIC HALLOWEEN SPIDER that had fallen off my Halloween wreath.

Sigh. My favorite holiday just came back to bite me. My only consolation is that he was very cautious in his approach, too, though I'll probably never live it down...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Apologies (In Advance) to Twilight Fans...

... but this cracked me up!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dark Kisses from Croatia: New Interview and Book Review at Venia, the Croatian webzine for all things dark!

Venia is a very cool Croatian e-zine devoted to alternative music, pop culture, literature and movies. The magazine is also a part of the team behind the Croatian fansite for my favorite vampire/goth band, The 69 Eyes, (, and when I got an email from the editor last month, asking if I'd consent to an email interview about my writing, I was only to happy to oblige!

*WARNING* The English translation leaves a bit to be desired - it's a bit choppy, but you can get the gist!

Take a look at their very cool site (here's the English version) , read my interview at, read a great review of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY at, or enter the contest to win a signed copy at


However, if you're like me, you might find it cooler just to read the Croatian versions at:


The 69 Eyes will be playing in Zagreb (Croatia) on January 24th, 2010. I'd love nothing more than to be there, but I will just have to be satisfied with some dark kisses from Croatia in the meantime.

Rock on, ghoulfriends, and THANKS, Venia-Mag!