Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Howdy guys and gals! I`m really tickled to have been tagged in a really fun blog event called ‘The Next Big Thing’ by the always perky Mia Fisher! Mia is a fellow author and genuine sweetheart. You can visit her here on her Facebook page. *Big Hugs*

Mia Fisher

Okay, so what this post is supposed to do is fill you in on the next book due out from yours truly. That will be my romantic/comedy short Two Guys Walk into an Apocalypse, part of an anthology published by Torquere Press due for release the first week of January 2013.

Below are some fun questions about the book and the characters. At the end I`ll tag another writer and so it goes. I hope you enjoy my Next Big Thing!


Title of the book –

He Loves Me for My Brainsssss


Where did the idea come from?

The call for submissions came from Torquere Press. Let`s face it, zombies are hot right now. Who here watches The Walking Dead religiously? *Waves hand and swoons over Daryl*I happened to see the call and thought to myself ‘Hmm, a romantic zombie apocalypse story with gay leads? I can do this!’ and I put my mind to coming up with something that would work. It was not easy to find the right blend of romance, horror, and comedy at first. That took some tweaking but I finally hit the right mix I think.


What genre does your book fall under?

It would have to be romance.


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie adaptation?

Oh this is easy. For Paul, the one who tells the story, my choice is Alex Skarsgard. *Sighs dreamily*

For Gordon, Paul`s partner, it is hands down Eric Bana. *Swoons*

Both are skilled actors and could pull off the complexities of comedy in a horror setting. I also think they would make a very attractive couple.


What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Come take a bite out of Two Guys Walk into an Apocalypse!


How long for the first draft?

Probably close to three months, maybe a little less. As I said the real trick was making sure I had enough horror for the zombie fanatics and enough comedy and romance for the Rom/Com fans. There were some things added and some taken out to give it a nice mixture that should appeal to all.


What other books would you compare this story to?

I honestly can`t think of another book that is similar to Two Guys. The screenplays for Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead are close and gave me great inspiration for how to weave comedy and horror but they`re not novels. The addition of two gay men as romantic leads is what makes this story quite different. I`ve read Max Brooks` books and had the joy of hearing him speak, but his zombie novels are not romances. So yeah, I can`t think of a story that has all the unique little things that Two Guys Walk into an Apocalypse has.


What about your book may pique the reader’s interest?

Well, it has sex! That always piques me. But it also has a ton of laughs, some really scary moments, and a totally committed couple who are so much in love even a damned zombie uprising won`t break them apart. And that is what really made me fall in love with this short story: Paul and Gordon`s love. *Sighs dreamily* I`m just a sucker for a good romance….


Woo and hoo, that was a blast! I hope you enjoyed finding out a bit about my next big thing! Now I`m tagging the bubbly and loverly Angel Walker who`ll fill you in on what she has coming out next for your reading enjoyment!

Angel Walker

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Tales - Wine

Welcome back! This week we`ll continue the story of ‘The Silver Box’.

Libby and Ares are the stars of my Gods & Goats trilogy. The word prompt this week is ‘Wine’ so the story will reflect the prompt. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance. Try not to let them boggle you down though if possible.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!

The Silver Box


     Ares has two war horses - Fear and Dread – that pull his golden chariot.

They are miserable, contrary, flatulent, fire-snorting steeds that hate me with a passion. I am not overly fond of them either.

“Pick which one you wish to ride,” Ares said then tugged on the golden reins to bring the horses front feet back to earth. When I said nothing he glanced under Fear`s black stomach. He did not have to bend over to do so. The horses are as big as minivans and not half as smart.

“Perhaps we should ride Dread, he seems less prone to violence,” Harmonia said.

I nodded. My helm slipped down over my eyes. This is the problem with borrowing armor from your lover. It`s all way too big. The helmet rotated around my skull. The cuirass needed a much bigger chest than mine to fill it, and the greaves covered my knees and half my thighs. At least I had a nicely weighted celestial bronze short sword hanging at my side. Hephaestus sure can work a forge!

“He is a far more docile beast,” Ares agreed and handed the reins to Harmonia. She looked awesome in armor of polished silver, a matching helmet with a bright green plume running down her back, sparkling silver shield and lance. As her father led Fear back into the cow pasture I sneered at the nag that was eye-balling me openly.

“Have you ever ridden before?” Harmonia asked, leaping up onto the ivory steeds back like it was second nature. It probably was for her. As a daughter of Aphrodite she oversaw marital harmony but as a child of Ares she also rode into war with her father, her twin brothers Deimos (Dread) and Phobos (Fear), Ares` sister Eris (Discord) and Eris` son, Strife, to ensure harmony in battle.

“I used to love the pony rides at the fair,” I muttered as she extended her hand down to me. I eyed that tiny palm like it was a rattlesnake.

“Then you have knowledge of the equestrian skills,” Harmonia smiled and brushed my nose with her fingertips. All unease left my body. I grabbed her hand and up I went onto Dread`s wide back. He pawed at the driveway, eager to be off. Harmonia handled the massive beast with grace and poise. I grabbed her around the waist. My legs were spread so wide I felt like a wishbone in the hands of two greedy children.

“Keep a tight rein on him lest he get his head,” Ares said, exiting the cow barn and turning his face into the wind and snow. “Follow the coast of Greece and Anatolia until you find the Caspian Sea. The land of the Sarmatian`s lies between the mighty lake and the Vistula River. Do not drop into the city of Themiscyra unannounced. Ride up upon the royal city and proclaim your birthright to the guards, my daughter, and you shall be granted immediate access. Bunting,” he grabbed my bare thigh and squeezed. I turned my head and looked down at him, “Do not speak of our relationship with Otrere. She is a jealous woman that has never truly forgiven me for leaving her.”

I was going to say something snide but he slapped Dread`s white ass at that moment. The cutting comment turned into a wimpy squeak of terror as the horse took off. We rode straight at my lovely house and then Dread got some air. Whinnies of joy echoed down the valley as Ares` horse threw his weight skyward. I hung onto Harmonia for dear life, eyes closed and pulse racing in my ears. My eyes were watering terribly as we soared through the bitter cold night sky. I glanced over the right side of Dread and saw my mountain bathed in inky darkness, the lights from the few homes along my road fading into nothingness as Harmonia put her sandaled heels into the war stallion`s sides.

Travelling with a god or goddess is tricky business. They can manipulate time and space with a whispered word. They can make themselves appear as small clouds or flocks of birds to skip under radar. When you move through time with one, it feels as if your stomach is being pulled out of your nostrils. Teleporting is even worse. Humans cannot handle the disassembling of their atoms despite what we`ve seen on the transporter bay of the USS Enterprise.

I tucked myself into Harmonia`s back as snugly as I could. The higher we flew the colder it got. My nose was running as we cleared the clouds. I think it was beginning to freeze to my upper lip. My, wouldn`t I just look spiffy meeting another of Ares ex-lovers?

“Close your eyes and do not let go,” Harmonia said over her shoulder.

I nodded. She spurred the horse for more speed. Dread gave her all he had. We were flying so fast the air threatened to rip off my helmet. Then the change of time happened. It was like driving into a brick wall without a seatbelt. My body was flung to the front then whipped backwards as a thousand light bulbs went off simultaneously.

The lights I assumed were stars snapping as we magically moved back in time. My stomach cramped. I broke into a sweat. My ears popped and I grew disoriented and dizzy. Harmonia felt my grip slackening as passing out tapped me on the forehead and asked if it could come in for a cuppa. Her left hand dropped the reins and she clamped onto my wrist. I then did the sensible thing and fainted.

I came around sometime later. I was warm. It was nice. Much nicer than have icy snot flash-frozen to your face I will say that. I rolled to the right and gagged a time or two. Nothing came up thank Hera. No, let`s not thank Hera. I`m mad at her for making me get snot frozen to my cheeks. We`ll thank Zeus for awhile.

“Libby, `tis time to awaken; we have many miles yet to go.”

I knew that soft, sweet voice. It was Harmonia, the goddess who slept in my spare bedroom. The daughter I never had.

“Wine,” I coughed. Harmonia laughed softly and lifted my blubbery body upwards. A flask was placed in my hands and with her assistance I gulped down some delightful red wine seasoned with orange zest. Dread was somewhere nearby, snorting noxious sulfur scented clouds. Or was that the other end of the rotten beast?

“Are you recovered enough to ride? We must make haste through this land,” Harmonia inquired. I swiped at my mouth with the back of my hand.

“I`m good, just a bit more wine.” I washed the taste of time travel from my mouth, rinsing and not spitting cause that`s just a waste. I opened my eyes. We were in a deep valley with mountains of grey reaching up to caress a crystal blue sky. I lowered the wine skin and got to my feet slowly. The air was dry and carried the scent of fresh water and decaying trees. I inhaled deeply. It reminded me, in a way, of the way my Pennsylvania woodlands smells on a summer day. “Which way do we have to go?”

“Down,” Harmonia answered tugging the wine from my hands to cork it. She whistled one high note and Dread, the white gas bag, ambled out of the woods, his mouth filled with long blades of sharp grass. He and I had a moment of eye-to-eye battle and then he tossed his head as if to say ‘Bring it, puny mortal woman!’

“This horse hates me,” I told Harmonia as she was kneeling beside me, her hands linked to give me a boost.

“He does not hate you, he simply knows that you fear him,” she said as I placed a sandal into her hands. I grabbed his long white mane and the horse danced to the side. A ripe curse came out of me. We tried again, and again, and then once more, just for shits and giggles. Finally, Harmonia, fed up with the horse and me I`m sure, jumped up on the beast`s back. He kicked and snorted and frothed. She struggled with the huge stallion.

I figured I`d just wait it out and leaned against a tree in some shade. Dread was feeling his oats after a nice run obviously. I glanced to the side as he and the goddess went round and round. Something moved from one tree to the next. I straightened up and squinted into the moving patches of shade and sun. Harmonia was cursing in Greek, which is very unlike her.

“I think there`s something out there,” I said. Dread was making such a racket she didn`t hear me. I pushed from the tree and stepped forward, reaching down to find the handle of my short sword. It may seem overly paranoid but if you`d have faced the monsters that I`ve faced since I hooked up with Ares, you`d pull your sword first and ask questions later too.

Dread was screaming. I inhaled when I saw what was stalking closer. Now I understood why the horse was freaking out. I took a step backwards as the Caspian Tiger dropped down into a crouch not ten feet from where I stood, his amber eyes locked on the white horse and its rider.


Click below to go to Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales

See you next Tuesday as ‘The Silver Box’ continues!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Envelope Please.....

The winner of the print copy of Of Gods & Goats is Millie from A Goat`s View of Eden Hills blog! Millie, I`ll be getting in contact with your human right away so I can mail your copy to you!

Thanks to everyone for stopping in and commenting.

Cookies, Memories, Recipes, and Hopping!

Morning gang! It`s Cyber Monday, time to get those credit cards fired up for some internet shopping. I try to do most of my shopping locally but its hard living as rurally as I do. I find I have to hit the internet at times for a few gifts I just cannot find in the hills of Pennsylvania. Having one Wal-Mart to shop at does make the choices rather limited.

It`s funny how the holidays bring out the sweet and treat monster in all of us. I`ve already had my family requesting fudge be made. I`ll probably break down and do a pan or two of fudge but I have cut back over the years. All that sugar isn`t good for any of us or our waist lines. I remember when I was a kid I too used to request something every Christmas season. Sand tart cookies.

My mother- God rest her soul - made THE BEST sand tarts ever. I distinctly recall that moment when you`d take that warm cookie from the cooling rack and dunk it into your mom`s coffee. That`s probably where I got my love of java! There are a thousand different cookie recipes but my mother`s is the absolute best. I thought I`d pass it along to you. Feel free to give it a whirl but watch out for sneaky kids eying your cup of coffee after the cookies come out of the oven.

Sand Tarts

2 pounds butter

2 cups white sugar

5 eggs

8 cups all purpose flour

1 egg white

1 tablespoon of milk

¼ cup cinnamon sugar

¾ pecan halves (optional) We never cared for the pecans as kids and used sprinkles to decorate.

1. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together. Add just enough flour to stiffen. Dough should be slightly sticky. Place dough in the refrigerator and let chill overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a very small bowl combine the egg white and the milk. Set aside.

3. Remove small amount of dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface roll it out very thin. Cut out rounds with a biscuit cutter or drinking glass dipped in flour. Place cookies on a cookie sheet and paint the top with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and top with a pecan half. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes and the edges are slightly browned. Watch these cookies closely for they burn very easily.


Today is the last day for our mini blog hop so get to commenting for your chance to win a print copy of Of Gods & Goats. The winner will be chosen this evening at 8 PM Eastern and announced shortly thereafter. Please do stop by and visit with the other authors who are hopping along with me. I know they`ve got some great stuff to give away as well!

Jean Joachim

T.c. Hightower

Jessica Sales

Kathleen Ball

Sherry Gloag

See you this evening with the winner`s name!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Preview from 'Of Heroes & Haybales'!

That`s right, the second book is done and now deeply in edits. *shakes fist at rassafrassin` commas and apostrophes* Below you`ll find a loverly interlude from the novel where Libby and Ares are celebrating the Fourth of July at Lake Ironbottom. Since the cover art for the book is still a work-in-progress I`ve added some images that fit the series. You know, a little romance....a little action....a little humor....a little spice... Wink-wink.

As this is a rough copy of the manuscript there may be errors that I haven`t gotten around to tidying up yet. Please try to overlook those if possible. Enjoy your peek at Of Heroes & Haybales, due out in April of 2013!


     “Why are you so belligerent of a sudden?” the man behind me asked. I let the pine bough I was holding snap back and smiled devilishly when I heard it impact his face. My caboose stopped so quickly I thought my arm might dislocate. I was tugged back, spun around and enveloped in a pair of arms that felt like steel bands. “Speak to me of what ails you, Bunting. Has your monthly female course come upon you?”

     “Why is it that men always think that when a womans mad it`s because of her friend?” I snapped upward. It was hard to make out his face in the dark but his massive shoulders rose and fell, the motion lifting my arms up and down as he held me.

     “I did not ask if Lora-Mae were upsetting you. I asked if `twas your menses that has you in such a foul mood.”

     My mouth opened. Then closed silently. A smile replaced the frown I had been wearing. I shook my head and rose up to my toes, snaking my arms free so I could run my fingers over his beard.

     “No, it`s not my menses that has me so riled. I haven`t gotten it yet,” I whispered, moving my hands to the back of his block head. I tugged and he lowered his forehead to mine. Wood-smoke from the many campsites blew across us, as did the wet, earthy smell of Lake Ironbottom. “I just want a little time with you alone.”

     “Ah,” he replied. “Aye, I too would like some time alone with you. I still carry the passion of this morning.”

     When his pelvis crushed against mine I could feel he was still carrying passion. I wet my lips.

     “Let`s get a little further from the campers, shall we?”

     He was all up for that. And a few other things as well. Off we went, skipping through Penn`s Woods like a couple of nymphs, until all we could hear was the sound of bullfrogs and the first set of fireworks whizzing into the night sky. I squinted and peered through the thick copse beside the lake. Only a few fires could be seen. Then I turned and launched myself at Ares. His mouth came down over mine roughly. It didn`t take long for us to get into a froth.

I was now hanging from him, my head back and my left leg riding up his side. His teeth and tongue were moving up and down my neck. I watched an explosion of red and green illuminate the sky. I made a sound of appreciation but rest assured, it wasn`t because of the gunpowder lightshow overhead. My sandal slid from my foot when Ares grabbed my thigh and hiked my leg higher on his side. Something then hit Ares in the back with so much force the man flew forward. I was summarily dropped and landed on my ass.

     I heard the war god collide with a tree and his breath rush from him. I got to my feet right before whatever the hell it was backhanded me into the lake. I came up sputtering and madder than a wet goatherder, trying to catch the breath that had been knocked out of me. Another volley of sound and light erupted and I caught a glimpse of what Ares was now wrestling with on the shore.

For most normal caprine raisers, the sight of a winged person/deity/monster with three human bodies from the waist up, all clad in silver armor might put you off your oatmeal. I, it is well known, am not normal. All I felt was anger for having what was promising to be one hell of a tumble beside the lake interrupted. That and some deep pain across my chest. Whatever the hell that creature was, and I had a damned good notion hell was the right word to use; it was giving Ares all he could handle and then some. The fireworks fizzled out. Darkness engulfed the lake once more.


I hope you enjoyed that small tidbit. Don`t forget to stop in and visit the others lovely bloggers who are hopping along all this weekend! And don`t forget to leave your comments on the blog hop posts for your chance to win an autographed copy of Of Gods & Goats.

Jean Joachim

T.c. Hightower

Jessica Sales

Kathleen Ball

Sherry Gloag

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Storytime Trysts

Saturday is here and so is the fourth and final chapter of my contemporary romance White Moon, Yellow Leaves over at Storytime Trysts. I have a warm, tingly feeling about Dana and Jonah, don`t you?

Is there anything better than a warm romance on a chilly fall day??

Storytime Trysts

Don`t forget we`re still hopping along! After reading Dana & Jonah`s story, why not drop a comment here? It will give you another chance at that signed print copy of Of Gods & Goats! And remember to check out all the other authors who are participating. You can find their links below.

Jean Joachim

T.c. Hightower

Jessica Sales

Kathleen Ball

Sherry Gloag

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Hopping, Romantic, Snippet, Memory Filled Four Days!

Morning gang! If you celebrate Thanksgiving I hope yours was stuffed with family, friends and love. Mine was that`s for sure. I think I`m still suffering from a carbohydrate hangover.

When I was a kid there was one way – and only one way – that I knew the Christmas season was truly upon us. It wasn`t all the stuff in the stores because when I was younger the Christmas decorations weren`t out in September, shocking as that may seem. The Christmas goodies weren`t brought out until after Thanksgiving back in the old days. Gasp!

Since the stores were being run by sensible managers back then the only way I had to know if the season of giving was here was to watch the Macy`s Thanksgiving Day parade. Yep. When I saw Santa coming down the lane waving and Ho-Ho-Hoing his heart out, I knew I had better be watching my P`s and Q`s or nary a gift would I see.

Speaking of gifts…..Nice segue huh? *winks*

This weekend I`m participating in a mini blog hop with some of my good friends from the Tuesday Tales family. Each author will be having gifts and special little fun things to share with you from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.

For those of you who stop in here and leave a comment your name will be tossed into the goat milk jar and one lucky winner will get a free autographed copy of the print version of ‘Of Gods & Goats’.

I know, right? How cool is that! Signed books make great gifts. Or our lucky winner can keep it all for themselves. If It were me I`d be hard pressed to give Ares away. *sighs dreamily*

So stop in and say howdy daily, the more comments you leave the more chances you`ll get to win that free book! Please check out all the other writers blogs as well as I know they`re giving away some great stuff as well.


T.c. Hightower

Jessica Sales

Kathleen Tighe Ball

Sherry Gloag

Tomorrow I`ll be linking up over at Storytime Trysts for the fourth and final part of my fall romance White Moon, Yellow Leaves. Sunday we`ll have a snippet from the second book in the Gods & Goats trilogy to whet your whistle, and Monday we`ll be chatting about my favorite childhood holiday treats and revealing the winner at eight PM eastern.

So drop in often and leave those comments!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt

Welcome back! This week we`ll continue the story of ‘The Silver Box’.

Today we have a picture prompt and the story is written to reflect the image and must be 300 words. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance. Try not to let them boggle you down though if possible.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!

The Silver Box


“What of the feasting and football?!”

I calmly flipped the page in the magazine. He`d stop blustering soon then I`d get a few words in. Oh look at the lovely picture of a lovely table all set for a lovely Thanksgiving feast! Maybe I wouldn`t be dead after this queenly quest and be able to cook a meal worthy of a magazine picture.

“Libby! Why are you not responding to me?”

I closed my latest copy of Farming Life & Wife and stared at the heaving mount of manly indignation glaring down at me.

“Is it my turn now?” I asked sweetly. Ares glowered. He eyed the back of a kitchen chair. “Don`t even think about it,” I warned then motioned him to sit across from me. His finely crafted ass dropped like a ton of Pennsylvania granite into the seat. The poor chair screamed in agony. The war god grabbed a pink pig pepper shaker and began rolling it in his powerful hands.

“I do not approve of you and my daughter heading off without a man at your side,” he said through clenched teeth.

“We`ll be fine. I can handle myself and Harmonia is a goddess. We`ll zip in, visit with your former consort and-”

“Do not listen to a word of what that shrew tells you, Bunting!” Ares shook his pig at me. A tiny black cloud flittered down to the table.

“I won`t,” I vowed. “We`ll be back in time for turkey and football, don`t worry,” I reached across the table to pat his hairy forearm.

“Whenever you are gone from my side, I worry,” he confessed then sneezed. I placed the napkins back in the holder then smiled.

“I know you do. Can I borrow some ordnance and a war horse?”


Click below to go to Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales

See you next Tuesday as ‘The Silver Box’ continues!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Book and a Cuppa - World War Z

Darn zombies. Seems like every time you turn on a movie or flip channels the danged undead are making trouble for the living. I mean just look at the mess zombies have created for Rick and his gang on The Walking Dead TV series on AMC. (I have to woot for my main man Daryl. WOOT!)

Ahem, okay, so back to zombies and those who write about them. Last week I had the privilege of going to hear Max Brooks speak at a local college. Before the announcement of his appearance I was not familiar with his books. I know….fifty lashes with a rotted zombie arm for my newbieness. I just was never into zombies until two things happened. One was The Walking Dead show and two was my leap into zombie journalism for a short story submission. (See that groovy cover over on the right?-->)

Yep, up until those two things I had stayed away from zombie flicks and books. Well, aside from Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead but those I consider comedies and not horror. Maybe they`re horrific comedies? That doesn`t sound complimentary does it? Well, they are funny, funny movies that play up the comedic aspect of a zombie apocalypse as opposed to playing up the horror aspect. I suspect that`s why I could enjoy them. Most other undead films, books, or comics left me feeling lifeless. See what I did there??

All that has changed since I read World War Z by Max Brooks.

I find myself now oddly compelled to read more about zombies and I`m sure it’s due to how Mr. Brooks (Yeppers, he is the son of Mel Brooks) laid out this novel. It is done in a Studs Terkel interview style. I loved how human that made the telling. We got to know each person the interviewer spoke to and relive their tales from the beginning of the outbreak through the end of the war against the undead. We get a wonderfully dark yet moving account of the plague years. Mr. Brooks gives us a haunting view of the battle told by the men and women who witnessed and fought the undead horde.

I think it was this human aspect that made the book so enjoyable for me. It was more than unkempt dead folks stumbling around. Much like the AMC series the story is more about the drama and heartache and human spirit. That is what makes me read or watch a tale like this. Even as a writer of zombie literature myself now I have to have humor and love to counterbalance the horror and darkness. My own works are Rom/Com zombie tales, so the light is equal to the dark. World War Z handled what I require as a reader perfectly. It is an addictive book that is so much more than your typical zombie gore fest.

World War Z gets a solid four stars out of five. If the movie starring Brad Pitt can tell the tale half as well as Max Brooks did, we`ll have one hell of a film! I encourage you to give the book a try even if you`re not ‘into zombies’ per say. I think you`ll be pleasantly surprised and may even find yourself looking at a new genre to read. I know I`m certainly going back to the zombie section at my local Indie bookstore to see what I can sink my teeth into next.

Okay, I`ll stop I promise. *Winks impishly*

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Storytime Trysts

It`s Saturday again, and that means another issue of my story White Moon Yellow Leaves is up! If you`re following the blossoming attraction between Jonah and Dana, head on over to Storytime Trysts for a free contemporary romace read.

Is there anything better than a warm romance on a chilly fall day?

Storytime Trysts

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday Tales - Sexy

Welcome back! This week we`ll continue the story of ‘The Silver Box’.

Libby and Ares are the stars of my ‘Of Gods & Goats’ trilogy. The word prompt this week is ‘Sexy’ so the story will reflect the prompt. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance. Try not to let them boggle you down though if possible.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!

The Silver Box


There are times I imagine how nice it would be to have my man`s mother stop by and drop off freshly baked cookies, not bombs about trying to locate a mythical box. I know, the cookies would go right to my ass, but better that than a journey off to some odd place to find a silver box.

“You do know Thanksgiving is next week, right?” I inquired of the Skymother. She blinked at me then raised her sight to her son.

“It is a holiday where there is much feasting and football,” Ares explained. “Why do you wish Libby to do this for you? Would it not be more sensible to ask Athena or Artemis?”

“I wish to have her locate it for me. My reasons are my own,” Hera returned to sipping her goddess juice. “She is free to take one person with her on this quest.”

“Ah,” I leaned forward and placed my arms on the table, “It`s a quest, is it? Don`t you think what Ares and I went through with Hades….”

Hera waved her hand at my words like they were buzzing blowflies. I snapped my jaw closed.

“I only wish to ensure my son has chosen a woman worthy of sharing his bed.”

Ares detonated behind me. He and Hera exchanged several rounds of explosive Greek before the god of battle threw his considerable bulk out the back door.

“So, yeah,” I mumbled, “He`s kind of upset about this.”

“He shall move past his anger,” Hera said, placing her lovely fan across her lap. “You are free to take one person along; I suggest you take Harmonia as the silver box was last seen in the lands of Sarmatia.”

I nodded. Taking Ares` daughter Harmonia along was no problem. She was easy enough to find since she lived here on earth with us.

“Why not take Ares, or one of the twins?” I began tapping nervously on the tabletop.

“Sarmatia is the land of the Amazon`s. I would not recommend taking Phobos or Deimos into their lands. As for Ares, I did not think you would wish to have him so close to a woman he once called consort. He sired a child upon Otrere, queen of the Amazons and daughter of Eurus, the east wind. That daughter was….”

“Hippolyta, one of the queens of the Amazon who lost her girdle to your favorite hero, Heracles, as one of his twelve labors. Yeah, I read that. I do that a lot. Read that is. Ares does as well as shocking as you may find that!”

Hera`s mouth drew into a slash. I might have been a tad acidic, I admit it, but it fires me up when the gods think all I do is lay on my back and spread my legs for Ares! Ever since he came into my life and heart I have studied like a daemon to try to learn all I can about him, his family, and the stories that surround them. I am much more than a bed partner for Ares, although I`m sure none of the exalted ones would ever care to see that. If they thought Ares loved me then they would have to admit that he was more than a barbaric blood-thirsty animal. Gods forbid they ever changed their opinions! The Heracles jab was pretty low I will confess. I know that Hera hates Heracles passionately.

“Your tongue is indeed sharp. I strongly suggest you soften its edge, Mortal.”

I pushed to my feet and began pacing around the table. “I`m sorry,” I said as I passed the coffeemaker on the counter, “I`m rather defensive when it comes to your son.”

“As I have seen,” Hera stood up slowly. I stopped walking and leaned my rump to the counter. “Find my silver box and I shall bestow upon you a gift. Do not seek to deny this gift,” she added when my mouth opened, “It is a gift that shall bring you much joy.”

She disappeared in a flash of pure white light that sent my synapses into a whirl. I spun around to face the coffeepot. After several minutes passed I opened one eye and then the other. There were still dots in front of my face.

“I hate that teleporting crap,” I muttered while pawing around for the handle of the coffeepot. Once located, I filled a mug that I pulled from the dish drainer and waited for the black spots to fade away. “I hope she took her stupid peacocks with her,” I mumbled just because I wanted to mumble.

Sipping at the steaming brew I stared out the tiny window over the sink. Ares would return shortly. He always did. I had more pressing matters to dwell upon. The sound of a teenager thundering down from the second floor tugged me from the rather envious images of Ares and some sexy Amazon woman making the bed springs squeak.

Harmonia, the goddess of harmony, daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, fairly floated into the room. I smiled at her over my mug. She was a glorious creature with long dark hair and emerald cat-like eyes. Her presence filled the kitchen with serenity, something that I sorely needed at the moment.

“I saw a great light upon the yard from my bedroom window. Was father called to Olympus?” she inquired, opening the fridge to pull out the pitcher of goat milk.

“No, that was your grandmother,” I told the goddess in jeans and a pink sweatshirt. The girl paused in pouring milk into glass. Her expression said it all.

“What did grandmother wish?” Harmonia asked with trepidation.

“She wants us to find her silver box.” Harmonia`s slim eyebrows knitted in confusion, “The silver box that the gods filled with terrible things and then gave to Pandora.”

“The box that she carried when she went to Epimetheus?”

“The very same,” I huffed, arms folded over my chest. I blew a ginger curl away from my nose. “It`s been how many centuries and Hera decides she needs this box back now?”

“Perhaps grandmother seeks a way for you to prove your worth?” Harmonia tucked a long strand of chestnut behind her ear. “It is not unlike grandmother to do such a thing. Set a seemingly impossible task before a human knowing that they will fail.”

“Yeah well, Hera needs to be shown that not all of us mortal women are simpering dipshits. Sorry,” I added when her cheeks grew pink. “She suggested you accompany me on this quest to prove myself worthy of your father. Want to be my wing-woman?”

Her lovely face glowed. She hurried to put her glass on the counter then dashed at me to throw her arms around my neck. I inhaled her flowery scent and my soul was filled with accord.

“I would be thrilled to be your winged woman on this great quest!” Harmonia gushed and kissed my cheek. I was so full of tranquility from her touch I was expecting a unicorn and some fuzzy pink bunnies to come hopping into my house.

What came hopping in was no pink bunny. It was a god of war and he had a definite burr under his cuirass.


Click below to go to Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales

See you next Tuesday as ‘The Silver Box’ continues!


Click below to go to Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales

See you next Tuesday with more of The Silver Box!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

To Honor a Veteran - Frank F. George Jr.

Tomorrow is Veteran`s Day here in the US. I thought I`d take just a minute to honor a vet in my life and pass along a small talk we had last weekend.

This is my step-father Frank F. George Jr. who served in World War Two as a Seabee in the United States Navy.

Most of you know my pop from me chatting about him and relaying stories about him. Last weekend he came out and wanted a picture taken of him and his dog Tinker sitting in his El Camino.

“My last dog in my last car,” he informed me as we went outside to snap the photo above. I surely hope not but since my dad was born on April 10, 1925 it might well be his last car and dog. We`ll keep thinking good thoughts though!

Pop was quite impressed by the ease of my digital camera. He had brought his camera, a 35 mm that he had found at the thrift shop for three dollars. My dad is quite proud of that camera and the price tag he got it for. Pop is always ready to save a penny or two. I think that goes back to living through the depression and not having those two pennies to rub together.

I told him that I could take his picture on my digital camera, download it, and print out copies for his Christmas cards in about two minutes. I don`t think he really believed me until I placed the copies into his hands.

“Well,” he said, looking intently at the images, “This is rather nice.”

“Yep,” I said, sitting down beside him on the couch, “No more waiting for a week to have pictures developed. No more fuzzy or blurry shots. I don`t think I`d ever go back to old cameras.”

“Huh,” he said, with his images an inch from his nose (his driving glasses were in the El Camino) “I guess my old 35 mm is obsolete now, just like the old dodder that uses it.”

“Nah,” I smiled and patted his shoulder gently, “You`ll never be obsolete pop.”

“I`m just a classic, is that it?” he chuckled.

“Yep, that`s it,” I smiled.

Y`all know the definition of a classic, right? Serving as a standard or model, of the highest class or rank according to Webster`s.

Here`s to you pop, and all those who have served to keep our country free. You truly are models of the highest quality.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Storytime Trysts

Hey gang!

For those of you who may have moseyed over to Storytime Trysts last week, I thank you. Part two of my contemporary fall romance White Moon Yellow Leaves is now posted if you`re wondering how things are going with Dana and Jonah.

Is there anything better than a warm romance on a chilly fall day?? *sighs dreamily*

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Tales - Election

Today in our tale we begin a serialized original story with Libby and Ares, the stars of my ‘Of Gods & Goats’ trilogy.

The word prompt this week is ‘Election’. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance. Try not to let them boggle you down though if possible.

Due to Hurricane Sandy and other obligations, many of our Tuesday Tales writers couldn`t participate this week. They`ll be back next week, no worries! For todays post we won`t be linking back to the main Tuesday Tales blog. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!

The Silver Box


Most married women have a mother-in-law to deal with. If they`re lucky, like I was in my marriage to Matt, they get a second mother. I wouldn`t have traded in my mother-in-law for neither love nor money. To this day I miss her as dearly as I do my own parent`s. Sometimes these mothers are sweethearts and sometimes not, but overall if you tweak their nose they won`t turn you into a turnip.

I have Hera, the queen of the gods and Skymother to try to placate. Thankfully she does not venture down from Olympus often. If I could only get Athena to stay at home like Hera does I would be one happy goatherder.

Every so often Hera decides to come down to Earth and bestow her favors upon someone though. Oh joyous day for those who receive the blessings of Hera! When you`re living with one of Hera`s sons, the arrival of the queen of gods is not such a whoop-de-do event because what you may end up with is a coffee klatch of disaster.

I found myself in this rather awkward predicament just the other day. It was colder than Hades` heart as November blew across the Laurel Highlands. Snow was whipping through the white pines. Nothing heavy, just enough to let us know the shovels would be needed soon. I was over at the cow barn helping Ares take care of our two bovines: Paddy - my red and white Hereford snuggle bug and George, our resident gay Minotaur. We are a very open-minded farmstead and embrace all love equally.

“Libby make good food,” George smiled as he wadded in handfuls of raw ground venison. Thank the gods for Henry Swanson and his five boys. They`ve kept us well stocked in deer meat and never ask where it all goes so quickly. No-one seems to question my lame ‘Oh that`s a Greek Bison!’ fabrication.

“Thanks,” I smiled as I scratched behind his ear. Oh I know, most folks would be terrified of a Minotaur, and rightly so. They are known to eat virgins and give heroes a bad time. Just ask Theseus. But George is different. He came here with bad intentions, sure, but he has turned the other horn. I couldn`t imagine this farm without him, and neither could his boy-toy, Paddy.

Ares stopped forking hay into the manger and left in hurry wearing a very constricted look. I continued making a fool of the Minotaur. The god of war exited the cow barn leaving the hay fork lying atop the mounds of fresh hay.

“Guess he had to go potty,” I told the bovine boys.

“Go potty! Go potty!” George mumbled. Paddy grabbed a mouthful of hay and chewed. I was just about to finish the evening chores when the door to the barn flew open. Ares filled the doorframe. His cheeks were ruddy from the cold winds. Stray snowflakes lingered in his hair, beard, and the shoulders of his Goodwill wool coat.

“Hey,” I said, shoving more hay into the manger. “What`s up?”

“My mother is here,” Ares said. All forking stopped immediately. I looked at the man. He looked at me.

“She wishes to speak to you,” he added tersely. To say Ares and his mother have a strained relationship would be putting it mildly. Actually, Ares has a strained relationship with his entire family. The god of war is not favored by the other members of the pantheon. To them he is nothing but a blood-thirsty barbarian, not worthy of staying upon Olympus. Ares was forced to live in Thrace back in the Grecian hey-day, a fact that he has never forgotten. Fortunately, I see much more in Ares than most do, and yes, that includes his mother.

“Is she alone?” I asked placing the fork back where it hangs on the wall. If Zeus was with her I wanted to aleast pick the chaff out of my bra and wash the Minotaur stink from my hands.

“Aye, she is alone. She awaits you in the house. Libby, do not speak as freely to her as you do Athena,” he warned as I slid past him and the cowboys.

“I`ll watch my tongue,” I promised and jogged across my driveway to my little stone cottage, ignoring the flock of peacocks picking grit and looking rather put out by the snow falling onto their glorious backs and tail feathers. Yep. Hera was in the house.

Hermione was at my heels as usual. I entered the house and stamped the snow from my Muck boots. My beagle ran into the kitchen at full ‘Free Head Scratches!’ mode. My boots went into the boot rack beside the door. I pulled off my old barn coat, hung it on the pegs above the boot rack and then walked the short distance to my kitchen.

Hera was seated at the small round table. Such a sight at one time would have sent me running to the hills behind my house blowing spit bubbles. Now, it was commonplace. Like talking to owls, singing kindergarten songs with a Minotaur, and curling up with an immortal every night.

She looked just as I recalled. Her dark hair was swept up upon her head. Glittering sapphires decorated the mass of thick chestnut locks. The gemstones were a perfect accompaniment to the dark blue chiton the queen had on. The Skymother was shooing my beagle away with a large fan made of peacock feathers.

“Hermione, stop pestering,” I snapped. The dog slunk under the table, working the poor pitiful hound look for all it was worth. Hera raised blue eyes identical to Ares to me. I sketched a fast curtsy then went to the sink to wash up. “She`s not a bad dog, just enthusiastic,” I said over my shoulder.

“The beast needs to learn manners,” Hera replied. I lathered briskly. I dried my hands on a dishtowel hanging from the handle of my stove. I fiddled with the coffeepot, trying to decide if I should make a pot or not. Did someone offer the goddess of marriage de-caf or regular?

“Would you like some coffee?” I asked, turning to look at my lover`s mother. She was studying my salt and pepper shakers.

“Have you not any ambrosia?” she asked, placing the little pink pigs back beside the napkin holder.

“They were all out at the Shop & Save,” rolled out unbidden. I bit down on my tongue. Hera arched a finely plucked eyebrow then waved her hand. A golden goblet encrusted with rubies and emeralds appeared on my gingham covered table.

“`Twould seem you would have the food and drink of the gods at the ready,” she sniffed and raised the goblet to her perfect rosy lips. “But then again,” she said between sips, “Ares has always been uncouth and ill-bred.”

I nearly bit my tongue in two. Instead of spouting off, and risking being turned into a three-headed eggplant or something along those lines, I spun around, slapped the coffeepot on, and counted to twenty.

“Come sit across from me. I have a matter to discuss with you.”

I did as commanded. When I was seated Hera placed her goblet to the table and pinned me down with a royal look. Perhaps I should have lowered my eyes.

“You are just as Athena tells me you are,” Hera commented, running her sight over my clothes and hair, “Bold, sharp of tongue, and lacking in obvious feminine assets.”

See, all I wanted to do was sit back tonight and watch the election results, not trade barbs with ‘She of the Heights’. I forced a smile. Hera glanced around me when Ares entered the house. Her demeanor shifted subtly, the firmness of her jaw lessening ever so slightly. When her son stepped into the kitchen I caught a brief flash of maternal affection.

“Mother,” Ares grunted stepping behind me and placing his hands to my shoulders. I reached up to pat the massive mitts gently. “I hope you have been kind to my consort?”

“She`s been very nice,” I said peeking up and winking at him. He got the message. Hera was as kind as Hera was going to be.

“You seem well, my son,” Hera said stiffly. Ares grunted. Time ticked slowly by. Guess the mother-son bonding was over. I stepped in to fill a conversational void the size of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

“So what brings you from Olympus, my queen?” I inquired. Hera nodded at the proper tone and began to fan herself.

“I wish to have something returned to me.”

When I simply stared at the queen of gods she glanced up at Ares still at my back.

“Once I had a chest of silver. Within it I kept my finest raiment’s and broidered veil`s. I wish you to return my box to me,” Hera announced then lifted her chalice to her lips.

Ares` fingers tightened on my collarbone. I had a very bad feeling starting to bubble in my belly.

“Where was the box last seen?” I asked while prying my lover`s fingers out of my flesh.

“When last it was seen it was in the possession of ‘the gift of all’,” Hera said, her eyes locked onto me.

That bad feeling I mentioned a minute ago? It was now a rumbling mass of ‘Holy Hell’ inside my gullet.

“You want me to go find Pandora`s box?” I squeaked.


See you next Tuesday as ‘The Silver Box’ continues!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Storytime Trysts

Howdy gang! I`m thrilled to be a guest author/blogger over at the sexy, spicy, and all things romantic blog Storytime Trysts this month. Every Saturday in November you`ll find a free chapter of a contemporary romance, White Moon Yellow Leaves, written by me just for Storytime Trysts. While you`re there please check out the other stories and poems by the other skilled writers.

I hope you enjoy meeting Dana and Jonah today and come back every week to see how their romance progresses. Thank you for stopping in and enjoy!