Laura and Heather, Heather and Laura

Hi Everyone! Take a gander at this short, sweet, and fun interview I did with Laura Novak, author of the Clari Drake series. Don’t you just love her hat? Here’s the website: Laura got a lot out of me in two quick questions! She’s across the Bay in Berkeley but we’ve never met. We had so much fun!

Writing With Cats

I am sitting at my computer, pecking at the keys with one hand, because the other hand is balancing a Siamese cat on my shoulder. His name is Yulie. I’m getting good at this one-handed thing. I’m also getting good at talking on the telephone over a purring, talkative Siamese, who has much to say and no intention of not saying it. Draped over and completely covering the 30-day calendar on my desk, is my 2nd cat, Ellie. I’m not so good at pushing her belly out of the way to write down upcoming social events, or work deadlines on the calendar. She doesn’t like to be disturbed. Elle, 1/2 Egyptian Mau and 1/2 Sealpoint Siamese, maintains that there is no need for me to have any obligations, anyway, other than rubbing her belly or tossing one of her toys. We’re at a stalemate over this but Ellie has the upper paw.My husband says I spoil them. I have no idea where he gets that idea from. What’s that Yulie, time for a treat? Coming right up. Don’t move, son. I’ll bring it right to you. Where’s that itch, Ellie? Let mommy get her backscratcher. Time to be brushed or have your nails clipped? I’ll drop what I’m doing and get right on it.Now, where was I? Oh, yes. My husband thinks I spoil them. Honestly. Men.

An Energy Consumer

The horrible catastrophes in Japan are playing out like a bad Sci Fi movie of the week. If any writer had said to me, I’m writing a story about a major earthquake, followed by a lethal tsunami, followed by several nuclear plants having meltdowns, my reply would probably have been, chose one, maybe two, but you can’t have all three. It’s just way over the top.And yet, here we are, with these very real horrors. As I watch what is happening, a visual and virtual partner via my TV and the internet, I feel almost a part of it. In one way I am, but not in a way I’m comfortable with. After all, I can’t control Mother Nature but I can control how energy is provided, can’t I?When I was having a self-righteous moment and condemning nuclear plants, my husband pointed out that I like my life just the way it is and would be unwilling to give it up. And the piper must be paid, he said. Nuclear energy is the piper.I thought about it. My usual day consists of getting up in the morning, making coffee and breakfast on my stove in my all-electric kitchen, sitting down to my computer in my heated or cooled office depending on the weather, washing and drying clothes, vacuuming, getting into my car to go shopping for food, watching TV, listening to the radio, CD, or whatever, and so forth. A typical day.I am a consumer. I am consuming vast amounts of energy just to maintain a very ordinary, humdrum life. Whether it’s oil, coal, or nuclear power that is converted into electricity, there is an ultimate price, far more than dollars and cents. We are seeing just a small part of it in Japan, a country that is the foremost …

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Stranger on the Shore by Roseanne Dowell

Please join me in welcoming Roseanne Dowell, as she writes about her exciting new story! Stranger on the Shore started out as part of a 1000 word assignment for a writing course I took. Needless to say, Jordan wasn’t happy with that and over the years, I’ve expanded it.After numerous revisions and expansions, it turned into an almost 7000 word story.I first got the idea for this story when we went to a cottage along Lake Erie. Not isolated like Jordan’s but we drove past many like that. As we walked along the shore, I wondered what it would be like to live there during a storm. Lake Erie, being a shallow lake is notorious for sudden, treacherous storms. When the weather turns cold it produces Lake Effect snow.Being no stranger to lake effect snow, away from the lake, I can only imagine what it’s like on the shoreline.So as usual, my imagination took over and Stranger on the Shore was born. Author, Jordan Blake rescues a handsome stranger from her shore and more than a storm rages inside and out. To make matters worse the sexy stranger has amnesia. Against her better judgment, Jordan finds herself strangely attracted to the man. Heck for all she knows he could be a serial killer. It’d be just her luck to be stranded in a storm with someone like that. To avoid her attraction and the stranger, who can’t tell her anything about himself, Jordan locks herself in her office. Not that she can work. Thoughts of the stranger interfere with her writing. Besides she can hear him moving around and whistling in her living room. What will happen when he recovers his identity. Stranger on the Shore will be available March 1st from Muse It Up Publishing, you’d like to …

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Please help me welcome Ginger Simpson

Pleae help me welcome the prolific and amazing writer, Ginger Simpson. Ginger is also the author of the award winning blogsite, Dishin’ It Out. This talented lady can do things like nobody else, and all with a sense of humor! She writes now about her wonderful book, Sarah’s Journey Months ago, I queried HQ on a short, historical story that is supposed to be ‘spicy.’ I thought I WAS writing spicy by using a few ‘buzz’ words here and there, and it made me sweat, trying to come up with something creative. BUT…I shared it with my friend who IS the Queen of Steam, and although she loved the story, she said it wouldn’t fly. I know why! It’s hard to be inventive. I realize there is a lot of ME in each of my stories, and I don’t feel the least bit sexy…for reasons I’ve described numerous times on my own blog. If I truly wrote what my mind sees when I think about sex scenes, it is highly doubtful that anyone would be swept away to anything but hysteria. Here’s an example. Moonlight filtered through the venetian blinds and highlighted him as he disrobed. He pulled his shirt over his head, then shimmied out of his pants. Her breath hitched. When had his stomach gotten so huge? *rofl* OR His breath warmed her neck as his lips trailed upward. He nibbled at her earlobe then raised up and gazed upon her face. His mouth, a few inches from hers, he licked his lips and drew closer. She recoiled and rolled away. “Geez, I told you not to have onions on that burger. You reek.” ORHe entered her with a quick thrust. She gasped, feeling a sensation all too familiar. “God, get off me. Quick! I have a Charlie …

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Moms Can Kill Ya

On my mother,The-Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day, Lila Hamilton AlvarezByLee Alvarez My mother makes me crazy. I say this because she is perfect. I once heard a joke that went like this: Two men are drinking at a bar. One man says to the other, “What brings you here every night? For me, my wife can’t do anything right. I can’t stand being around her.” The second man shakes his head and replies, “It’s not my wife’s faults that are killing me. It’s her virtues.” The first man says, “Wow! You have my sympathy. That’s even worse.”I can relate to the second man’s point of view like nobody’s business. All my life I have lived in the shadow of the most beautiful, in-control, stylish, intelligent, and knowledgeable woman on this planet, my mother, the Blond Ice Princess. Since I was a little kid, my girlfriends used to tell me how lucky I was to have such a ‘with it and gorgeous’ mom. When I got a little older, all my boyfriends developed huge crushes on her. I think most of them hung out with me, just to get to her. When Dad was alive, he said Mom was the only woman alive to clean fish in a beaded Halston gown. Mom would respond, arching one of her famous eyebrows, that she didn’t see anything wrong with that, because she always wore an apron over it. Then they’d both laugh. It was a running joke between them.These two were seriously in love. Dad worshiped Mom and Mom adored Dad. They were a modern day Romeo and Juliet, he the Mexican immigrant made good, and her the Palo Alto blueblood. I’m told I take after my father in nearly every way. Dark hair, twilight colored eyes, fiery temper. When I was a kid, everybody said, “Lee’s …

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A gorgeous day in San Jose, the first of many spring and summer days, I hope. Have been reviewing the mock-up covers for my new mystery book, Murder is a Family Business. The graphic artist is quite talented. This is very exciting. Can’t wait for its release January 1st! But first the book needs to go thru the editing process. Hope that comes out as well as the book jacket has.

Today is a great day

Today I was introduced to the editor of my new book, Murder is a Family Business, and received the first draft of the art work for my book jacket. And it’s my birthday! Could the day get any better? Well, maybe I could be thirty pounds light but I write murder mysteries, not fantasy.