Saturday, August 22, 2009

Welcome guest blogger Holly Greenfield

I'm jazzed to have Holly as this week's guest blogger. She's done an awesome job as vice president (soon to be President) of Central New York Romance Writers this year, and is also a fellow TWRP author. Holly's, Beltane Faerie of Fate, was published in the popular Enchanted Faerie Anthology. Bellow is the link to read an excerpt:

Holly also writes a blog with several other authors at the Author's studio:

For a change of pace, today she's decided to chat about the power of positive thinking, something we need more of in these changing economic times.

Positive Thinking:
Positive thinking powers the mind like the moon drives the tides. And the tides are important to the balance of the sea. Just as positive thinking is important to balance in our lives. It is amazing the people out there that scoff at the power and energy of positive thinking. I won't like and tell you being positive is easy, but I can assure the results are worth the effort.

Being positive is not a single action, or a brief moment, but a life style. A way in which we enrich our lives in all that we do, say, think, feel, and touch. "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world" –Buddha.
You don't have to be Buddhist to know that Buddha was a pretty smart guy. He says "All that we are arises with our thoughts." Think about this for minute. Those who already live by the mantra of positive energy know that this is the golden key. But for those who haven't yet accepted that a reversal in thought can change their lives, should take a minute to dissect the Buddha's wisdom. (And know that Buddha isn't the only one to offer such advice).

All that we are arises from our thoughts…
The actions we complete, the words we string together in a sentence, the treatment we extend to others—it's all from the power of our thoughts. If you awake on a rainy morning and from the moment your eyes open, decided that a rainy day is a gloomy, bad day—guess what?—Your thoughts for that day, your words and actions for that day will be gloomy and bad. And as a result so will every interaction you have that day, so will every thought thereafter, and so your inability attempt a positive attitude will inevitably negatively effect those around you. You will not see the joy in what the rain brings to the earth, nor the opportunities if affords you.-- A rain-day from work, a reason to call in and curl up on the couch dressed in cozy pajamas with a good book and just relax. It could offer you the opportunity to play with your children in the rain, to wait it out and hear and smell the clarity that is in air and the songs birds that sing after a good, hard rain. The rainy day could be yours for the taking—all you have to do is want it.
A rainy down is a small scale version of what positive thinking can do for you, but the bigger picture is always the same.
Decide today that this is going to be a great day. Decided today that whatever goes wrong isn't the end of a good day. And that perhaps whatever went awry wasn't exactly wrong, but a different way for it to be done. Decided today to take a lesson from each of your encounters, instead of walking away with anger, frustration or even sadness weighing you down. I don't mean that these emotions are not valid emotions that should be acknowledged, but where we can take a weight off your hearts (and perhaps live a little longer for it), and where we can be a bright spot in some else's day (Perhaps helping them to live a longer as well) then why not make that decision.
By making an effort to see the silver lining in every gray cloud, you will inevitably feel lighter, healthier, and more energetic than you have in ages. And it's not far off to think, that positive energy used in positive thinking will produce positive actions, such as friendlier conversations, unexpected friendships in the oddest of places, healthier eating, healthier habits, a clearer complexion, a loss in excess weight… the positive results from positive thinking are endless. What have you to lose by giving it a try?

Arthur Rubinstein said, "I have found that if you love life, life will love you back." This is a positive attitude, positive thoughts resulting in positive living. How can life not be good to you, when you are good to life! Your argument could be that sometimes bad things happen to good people. Bad, hurtful things happen and weigh heavily on the mind and soul. Of course they happen, but it is how you face them, how you handle the situation that affords you the solace of positive living. The psychologist, William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude." What greater gift could a person ask for, than to be in control of your own happiness?
In being positive you generate positive energy that carries a contagious bug. We all know that when you smile at someone, they have to smile back. Why? Because happiness, positive energy is contagious, and no matter the source of the smile, it is always happy.

I completely agree, Holly.
Thanks for stopping by.
Love and Peace,

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Someone's missing a T-shirt niche for when you leave the Glen. "I survived The Glen '09." I'd have worn one all week.
Per tradition, upon arrival at the beautiful Watkins Glen International raceway, we walked around to check for changes. More fencing, mostly additional grandstands, and the new vendors. We sat at turn 10 grandstand, by the gravel pit that Boris Said sunk into in qualifying and DJ skid across in the Cup race. Not a good year for another one of my alltime favorite drivers Dale. (The license plate holder for my mustang is #88). Another tradition is to walk across the pedestrian bridge during a race. I crossed during the Nationwide race. Imagine these nearly deafening sounds when you're about 50 feet about the track: 'errrrr-wham,' pause 'errr-whamwham' pause 'errwhamwhamwham' pause 'errwhamwhamwhamwhamwham.' Each 'wham' is one car racing under the bridge. The noise reverberates through your body. A cool experience, but not for the faint hearted.
You battle mother nature gambit of weather conditions when you're at the Glen, and parking lot jungles (grass, not blacktop), and stampeding fans (many bruises), that I don't have my normal quantity of pictures. I met a lot of first timer this year, people from Iowa, Connecticut, Tennessee. People with families and friends. NASCAR fans at their finest.
I saw plenty of drivers. Carl Edwards only from a distance, though. He always had someone talking to him. But I followed him on my Sprint device for both the Nationwide and Cup race. A thrill to hear him talking to spotters and his crew chief, getting encouragement that he could pass Kyle Bush. With a team like that I'm confident he'll win the Cup this year. I saw Jeff Gordon as he drove by in a golf cart. He used to smile more. That wreck was nasty. I hope he'll be okay. I spied Kevin Harvick walking by before the Nationwide race, and when his Copart Crew Chief, the handsome Ernie Clue stopped for ice cream, I wished him good luck and I got his picture (check my Facebook). At the McDonald's Funzone I got about 5 feet from Kasey Kahne. Of the four driver Q&A's I saw that day: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Dave Reutimann,(all Toyota drivers) Kasey looked the most relaxed. The kids asked the silliest questions, and I can't remember one of them now, but they were the kind that only kids can think of. You could see the thought process in Kasey's eyes along with the smile. Again, the guy is just TOO cute. And he drives a two ton race car about 180 mph and has driven as fast as 200mph. I admit to a couple of joy rides with old boyfriends, at speed of around 120mph, and the landscape was a blur. A BLUR! I'm in awe of these NASCAR drivers. So congrats to Brian Vickers for winning the pole at Michigan with a qualifying speed of 187.242mph, and Kasey qualified #10 185.782. Carl and DJ are probably unhappy they aren't in the top ten, but they're in my top ten for coolest guys on the planet.
Who's your favorite NASCAR DRIVER? Who do you think will win the CUP?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Short Story Bingo- Welcome Vicki Batman

Tonight I'm happy to welcome a delightful friend I met at the KOD party at Dallas Convention, Vicki Batman. She's had a lot going on and has wonderful news to share!

His, Susan, and thanks for having me. I've had one crazy week and soon will tell more. Partly, because of the two newly adopted malti-poos, Champ (white) and Jones (charcoal). They are adorable, but potty training is killing all of us.

Susan and I talked at National about how our writing careers are progressing. Congratulations, gal, on your new release. I know you are thrilled.

My short story is now on the newsstands, Charlie's Friend, a September True Romance Happily Ever After. This story answers the never-ending questions of how I met Handsome. It's pretty funny. I like to write wit and humor into my stories.

I've been writing for five years now. I have three books (unpublished), written many stories which are out there in submission, and several essays.

About a year and a half ago, my critique partner said her New Year's goal was to write six to eight shorts to submit to Women's World magazine. Would I read them?

Of course I said yes. And in doing so, I got a crash course in writing a short story. One day I passed from my bedroom to my closet and Wham! An idea hit. (Don't you love it when that happens?) Since, I've been happily writing short stories. I love the rush of putting it down on paper (computer), then layering and layering. Finally, when I think, "no more," I send it to my partner.

She'll tell you she spreads blood (aka red ink) all over the page. I laugh when I get her critiques. Like I have one in my in box today and she found a huge glaring mistake that I'd read over multiple times. Even another friend never noticed. Thank God! for her.

Like all critique relationships, she does have her way and I have mine. I have to choose what I believe is best for my story. I am always eternally grateful when something she does really allows me to deepen my writing. (I only hope I do the same for her. LOL.)

So why stick with writing short stories? For now, I find it very satisfying. Oh yeah, I have a book on the back burner that needs a crucial element weaved in. But that takes too long. Someday I'll tackle that one again because I love the characters.

I'll keep on writing the shorts as long as I have ideas. It is amazing what stimulates the mind. Walking through the closet (I see a pattern here), I glanced over at Handsome's ties arrayed in a row on top of his dresser. Handsome buys the most beautiful silk ones ever. Then, bingo! The idea of a girl and a guy fighting over the same tie clicked. I raced downstairs and put what I had in the head on the computer and Presto! I'd written "Christmas Ties."

So lesson learned: never take the Bing! moments for granted. I believe the come from a special place. (Also learned to keep walking through the closet!!)

Thanks, Susan, for having me. If I can answer any questions, I'll be happy to. Contact me at or I'll be doing an in-depth author interview on loverly Susan in October.

Happy writing!

Vicki Batman

Friday, August 7, 2009

Guest blogger Mary Ricksen

Please join me in welcoming fellow TWRP author, Mary Ricksen, as my first guest Blogger. Mary is the author of Tripping Through Time, a touching love story set in Lake Champlain. When asked to talk about her favorite subject, Mary selected this tale about her DH. The toilet and the butterfly- effect. She's also enclosed an excerpt from her book. Thanks again for stopping by Mary!

"Well I had an interesting weekend. It started off quiet and I didn't expect
anything, although in hindsight I should have know better. My husband
decided to fix the toilet. Now right now money is tight, just like for
everyone else. So if he can fix it, he will try. Problem is, well I'm not
sure what the problem is.
I should have realized when he took a blow torch into the bathroom. I
decided to ignore it what could he do in the bathroom? If he couldn't fix
that leaky pipe below the toilet we'd just have to call a plumber. So I went
back to sleep. It was a late night for me, trying to finish a book.
It started when my husband and the dog were making noise at 8:00am. I
ignored it, until he came running in yelling. "Mary, Mary, the dog is in the
pool chasing a raccoon!" I ran to the sliding glass doors just as the
raccoon pooped in the pool and ran up a tree. The dog was wet. I quietly
handed him a large towel, told him to wipe the dog and clean the poop out
and went back to bed. If not for him yelling outside, I probably would have
fallen asleep. I went in, turned the pool on and went back to bed.The
raccoons stay away when the fountain is running. It was 8:15am.
At 8:30am my husband began in the bathroom and I settled for a snooze. At
8:45am I smelled smoke and I thought naw, can't be Well the dog, a huge,
loud, dog, began to bark, and my husband began to yell. "Mary, Mary, the
toilet seat is on fire!!" After putting the dog in the the bedroom I shut
the door, and ran to the kitchen. A pan of water in hand I ran to the
bathroom. My husband had a face mask and gloves on and the toilet was
smoking. I never did ask him why. You know those soft toilet seats have wood
inside? Well a lot more water and a promise to clean up, sent me back to
bed. In a little while I heard him in the closet taking out tools. Naw,
ignore it I thought, he'd already had one catastrophe today.
At 9:00am I heard my car start in the driveway. I got up and asked what he
was doing. "Nothing much," he answered. "Working on the the fuel injectors

and the bitsco beater." Yeah, Yeah, whatever, went back to bed. At 9:15am I
heard him yelling. "Mary, Mary, call 911, call 911, the car is on fire!"
Hmm. two fires in one day. He's broken a record today. I ran outside and he
was running around still yelling to call 911. I hate when I have to call
them back and say forget it, so I'm glad I waited. He turned the car off and
I handed him a hose. Who knew a catalytic converter could catch on fire?
It's 9:30am and I go back to bed. Hoping... At 9:45am I heard him yelling.
"Mary, Mary! No stop, Junior, leave the kitty alone, his head is stuck!"
This was of course at the same time the big, big, dog is barking. But his
bark has a different timbre. I ran outside, still in my nightgown, and held
the dog by the collar. My husband pulled the dog out from under his car. The
cat ran like the devil out from under the car. Hair standing on end, it was
awful. So at 10:00am I went back to bed.
Well at 10:15am the phone rang. It was my neighbor. I thought I had heard my
husband yelling, "Mary, Mary." But I thought I dreamed it. But her phone
call confirmed it."Your husband is chasing the dog down Flagler Drive. The
dog has a mouse trap on his tail and he looks scared. My husband is running
down the street after him. And I was trying to sleep. You know Saturday. Day
off and sleep late kind of thing." At 10:30am after I apologized, I ran for
his car, mine I didn't trust just yet. Oh Lord now he's got the neighbors
involved! By the time I got back it was almost eleven. So I got dressed, and
I hoped I could sleep late on Sunday. The toilet seat is on fire. It could
have been worse.

So I had another interesting weekend. How about you? And somebody asked me
what DH meant and I told them dear husband. Ha!!"


In the waters of Lake Champlain there is magic, and a Celtic Ring with a
mystic spell proves that love is truly timeless.

For years Keealyn McCalley has been under her father's commanding thumb.
After a young child dies in her arms, Keealyn leaves nursing school despite
his disapproval. She ends up staying at a camp on Lake Champlain, in

Depressed and overwhelmed she takes her first drink and before she knows it
she is stoned. Hungover and not thinking clearly she jumps into the lake.
Her misguided act leads her to find an ancient Celtic ring with a spell on
it. Putting it on sends her back to the year 1869. Found on the shore by
Ryan Wolf, she is immediately attracted to his misty green eyes, hard body,
and compassionate nature.

She must learn to trust him not to abuse her, save her heart, and teach her
the powerful healing power of unconditional love.


Finally, her father left, furious and disgusted

with her. He gave her a non-refundable bus ticket

and his last words echoed in her mind.

"Take your choice, either come home with this

ticket, or go back to school immediately. I'm finished,

do whatever you want, I really don't care. The only

reason I came is your mother made me. As far as I

am concerned you were our biggest mistake."

"To you I am a mistake, but I am a mistake that

has a mind, feelings, and the right to choose how I

want to spend my life. You can't make me into what

you want me to be."

"That's for sure, you can't even come close. Try

living without any money, let's see if you dare to

speak to me like that when you are begging for my


"Dad, I will never beg for your help, I'd rather be

dead. You will not hear from this mistake ever


"Good." Her father shook his head, the look of

disgust on his face apparent. He turned and walked

out of her life forever.

After she left the police station, she ripped the

ticket into small pieces and watched wistfully as the

small pieces blew away in the wind. Finally

emancipated, it was over-bittersweet because now

she could never go home again.

Slowly her thinking became less coherent and

her lungs screamed for air.

The longer she held her breath underwater, the

slower her thoughts came, her mind now numb,

jumbled. She saw fish dart by above her and

followed them with hazy eyes. One seemed to stare

into her face, before swimming to the bottom. It

circled below her, as if trying to get her attention.

She saw something on the bottom. Bright gold,

it glowed, its radiance attracted her and she realized

it was a ring. At that point, she felt indifferent, so it

must have been reflex, or providence, that coerced

her to reach down, pick it up, put it on and then

open her mouth to end it all.

Before the water could fill her lungs she felt a

shock, her body tingled and her blood burned

through her veins. A bright flash of light surrounded

her for a moment and she passed out with a last

thought. I hope I don't go to hell for this. That

Catholic rhetoric they'd drilled into her head still

made her question her actions. Why was I ever born?

Darkness filmed her mind and she gave into the

respite of it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Off to the Races

Hey there fellow NASCAR fans,

I'm packed and showered (never know what condition the bathroom will be in) and headed to Watkins Glen International Raceway for the "Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dip at the Glen" Long name for a road race. I hope the skies stay clear so I get plenty of candid pix of my favorite drivers to share. Who are they? For starts, as a romance writer you gotta love Carl Edwards. He's made cameo appearances in HQN and Harlequin series novels. I watched Jeff Gordon munch on his Wheaties at a Drivers Breakfast his rookie year, and right there and then decided I'd be a fan for life. And I have the picture to prove it! And who doesn't love DJ? Check out Dale Earnhardt Jr's My Space page. Love it, and him. Then there's the incredible Jimmy Johnson. Sigh.... The man is perfect. Speaking of perfect, did I tell you my tickets are for the McDonalds Family Zone? Richard Petty will make an appearance Sunday to sign autographs, and so will his #1 driver, the man who won the first road race of the season at Sonoma, Kasey Kahne! Be still my cougar heart!! I promise I'll take loads of pictures! Meantime, check out my facebook page for hius video. What a cutie!!