April 27, 2008

Check out this Interview

Two writing friends of mine have been itnerviewed by Love Western Romances. Ciara Gold has several Westerns out (actually more than I even realized!) and Phyllis Campbell also a couple of Westerns out (as well as many other time-set books).

Please read their interview at http://www.lovewesternromances.com/spotlight.html

~ Anna Kathryn

April 26, 2008

Rules of Houston

Rules of Houston, H-Town, 3-rd Coast, Bayou City, The Dirty 3rd, or whatever you wanna call it.

1. You must learn to pronounce the city name. It is "Hue-stun," not "Ewe-stun", or "house-tun" Oh yeah, it is pronounced "San Phil-ee-pay," not"San Phil-eep" (San Felipe). Enunciate!

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Houston has its own version of traffic rules...Hold on and pray. There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Houston. We all drive like that.

3. All directions start with, "Go down to Loop 610".... which has no beginning and no end.

4. The Chamber of Commerce calls getting through traffic... a "Scenic Drive."

5. The morning rush hour is from 6:00AM to 10:00AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00PM to 7:00PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

6. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one off the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going, to avoid getting into any cross-traffic's way.

7. Kuykendahl Road can ONLY be pronounced by a native Houstonian.

8. Construction on I-10, I-45, US 59 and Loop 610 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment.

9. All unexplained smells are explained by the phrases, "Oh, we must be in Pasadena!" or "God, I hate Baytown!" or "Mmm, smell that Texas City!"

10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.

11. All old ladies with blue hair in a pink Cadillac have totalright-of-way.

12. The minimum acceptable speed on Loop 610 is 85 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. In turn, the minimum speed on Westheimer is at least 45mph...1

3. The rod iron on windows in east Houston is NOT ornamental.

14. Never stare at the driver of the car with the bumper sticker that says, "Keep honking, I'm reloading." In fact, don't honk at anyone.

15. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 mph in a 60 mph zone, people are not waving when they go by.

16. The Sam Houston Toll road is our daily version of NASCAR.

17. If it's 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.

18. When in doubt, remember that all unmarked exits lead to Louisiana.

19. If you live in Katy and I live on the south side of Houston we'll never hang out.

20. The best thing about being drunk between 2-5 am is Whataburger will serve both breakfast and normal menus.

21. You are always able to be pulled over by any police vehicle, even if you were just given a ticket.

22. You don't have to wait for an exit to get off a freeway, just follow the ruts in the grass to the feeder like everyone else. This is how Houston residents notify Texas Department of Transportation where exits should have been built.

23. Elsewhere, they are called frontage roads... Here in Houston, they are called FEEDER roads, so don’t look stupid when we say "Exit the feeder road and then use the loop"

If you don’t live here, most of this will sound utterly insane, but to all of us who call this home..nothing but the truth. and you know it!!!

April 19, 2008

Mother's Day Contest

You don’t have to be a mother to enter…..
It's that time of year where mothers are revered. We want you to at least get flowers for Mother's Day! Twelve artists are going the extra step to celebrate for our readers. All you need do to be in the pot to win one of the 21 fabulous prizes, plus be eligible for the Grand Prize, is to visit each of the 12 websites and locate the 12 bouquets of flowers left for entrants to find. The bouquet will be the same on each website. Visit the following websites to locate the bouquets:

Make a list of each author's page where you locate the bouquet. Send the list to happyendings2007@aol.com by midnight CST on Mother's Day.

April 12, 2008

Interview with Gavin from THE PRICELESS GIFT

A.K. Tell us about your childhood. Do you have any siblings?
G.H. I had great childhood, even though I was an only child. My parents were late bloomers. My mom was 38 and my dad was 40 when I was born, but they were wonderful parents. I grew up in the same house I live in now. It was built by my great-grandfather in 1908 after the old homestead burned in a fire.
A.K. Wow. Your family has owned this land for a while, then?
G.H. Yes. My great-great-great-grandparents Garrison and Danielle Holloway moved to Montana in the late 1840's and set up the Triple H Ranch. The Holloways have lived here ever since. A lot of Holloway blood and sweat has gone into this land.
A.K. So, ranching is the only thing you've done, right? Did you ever have dreams of doing something else?
G.H. (rubs hand along his jaw). I'd have to think about that. I'm sure as a child I wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut, but honestly, I don't think I ever did plan to do anything other than ranch.
A.K. But if you couldn't ranch, what would you do?
G.H. (shakes his head) I can't imagine not ranching. But if something happened to change my life drastically, I suppose I'd be a large animal veterinarian or a forest ranger…something to either do with animals or the out-of-doors.
A.K. How long have you been the boss of the Triple H?
G.H. (clears his throat) Since shortly after I graduated college. My father died of a sudden heart attack in August of that year.
A.K. That must have been hard on you.
G.H. It was. He was only sixty-four and until then, hadn't had any medical problems. Also, I didn't know about the financial problems we'd been having. My mom had helped with the books for years, but I had no I idea we were so deeply in debt. My father had taken a second mortgage out on the ranch. I'm still making payments on that as well as the first mortgage.
A.K. Okay. Is there something about you that no one or most people don't know about?
G.H. (grins sheepishly) Most people don't know I paint.
A.K. Paint?
G.H. Yes, I paint landscapes. No portraits. I find it relaxing. (He points to a painting above the mantle of a deer drinking at a shaded pond). I did that one and the painting in Jacob's living room.
A.K. So, tell us, have you been lucky in love?
G.H. Nope.
A.K. Care to elaborate?
G.H. For one thing, there's not a lot of single women in the area. The nearest town is thirty miles away and it's not much more than a crossroads. The nearest neighbor is closer, but no single women there. There were thirty-one kids in my high school.
Nineteen were boys. I did a little better in college. (He grins.) But I didn't meet that someone special. About six years ago, I hooked up with a girl from high school. Her family owned the diner in town. I can't say she rocked my world, but I was in my late twenties, my mom had died a couple of years before and I wanted a family.
A.K. Did you marry her?
G.H. No. About three months before the wedding, I discovered she was only marrying me for my ranch. Sure, I wasn't passionately in love with her, but I cared for her and I think we would have made a good marriage.
A.K. So you didn't marry her?
G.H. Hell, no! A few years after we'd have married, she planned to divorce me, take half my holdings, half my life.
A.K. Did that turn off on love, then?
G.H. It turned me off on conniving women, but I didn't love her very much and she sure didn't love me, so I can't say it turned me off on love.
A.K. Have you ever really been in love.
G.H. (Grins wickedly). There's this one woman, I could love her.
A.K. Who is she?
G.H. Now, you don't want me to kiss and tell, do you?
A.K. Only if you want to.
G.H. (Laughs). I met her a few months ago, on a cruise. She was fantastic, in bed and out. Long-legged, blonde, nice ass. It was a Mediterranean cruise and we had a great time exploring the ancient ruins and each other (wags eyebrows).
A.K. Are you still seeing her?
G.H. (sobers). No, unfortunately, we sorta kept our identities private. I don't know who she is or where she lives.
A.K. Have you tried to find her?
G.H. Yes, as soon as I got back home, I realized I made a mistake in not getting her name, her phone number. It wasn't just the sex with Lynn, there was a…hell, I don't know, a metaphysical connection with her. If I believed in soulmates, I'd say she was mine.
A.K. Wow. Okay, along those lines, what's your ideal date?
G.H. Well, I guess a quiet dinner at home, with me doing the cooking, of course. I'd grill a steak, bake some potatoes, fresh sautéed vegetables, some wine, soft music, candle light. Afterwards, we'd cuddle on some blankets on the floor in front of the hearth and talk of the future, our dreams, how many kids we'd want, that sort of thing.
A.K. Sounds nice. How many kids do you want?
G.H. More than one, that's for sure. I want mine to have siblings, lots of them, so I don't know, five or six.
A.K. Okay, and if your wife doesn't want that many?
G.H. It's negotiable. But I want two or three at least. Kids need someone to play with. My friend Jacob, he's always talking about his sister Christina and how close they were growing up,
even more so after their parents died when they were teenagers. They had each other to get through that. I want that for my kids, someone to be there for them in hard times. No matter what, they'll always have family.
A.K. True. All right, what's your idea of a good marriage?
G.H. Trust is the first thing you have to have. If you don't trust the person you're marrying, you've got nothing to grow on. Love, of course, mutual respect, compatibility in bed. Sex is great, but in a marriage, it should be an extension of your love, not in place of it.
A.K. Wise words.
G.H. (grins) My dad told me that and I could see that in my parent's marriage, there was love, respect, trust.

April 6, 2008

Out with the old...In with the new

So, on Saturday the 5th, my husband and I went car shopping. (see blog below for why) After a short discussion, we decided to buy a Ford Escape. I didn't drive until the next day (because I let him test drive it, since I'd test drove a similar one on Wednesday without him and I had to drive the rental car home). The first drive to church. It's a very smooth ride compared to my 11 year old van. It has a sun roof, which I'm not too sure about, because it's very sensitive to the touch and will open the little vent if you don't touch it just right...this is hard to explain, but the sun roof will open completely like a window. But you can also vent the back end of it. If you don't touch the 'close' button just right, it goes from closing the 'window' to opening the vent. I may not be opening the sun roof window very often.

I'm still learning all the buttons and knobs. In particular, there's this little button next to the gear shift. It's not the overdrive, that's on the gear shift itself. It has a sun on it, a car and a hill. I've pushed it and haven't noticed anything happening. Maybe I wasn't going fast enough, maybe it's an ejection button and I'll be popped right out of the car one day....lol.

I may have to go to my dealership and ask them what that button is for.

Oh, I'm so excited about one thing...a radio that works! My van's radio had been short circuited one day when I went through a car wash (note: turn off your AC when you go through a car wash, the soap will come through the vents). So, you had to push both the 'clock' button and the button you wanted to push: volume or channel. The scan and search buttons didn't work well at all. So, now I have a CD player (tape player in van) and Sirius radio....hundreds of channels. I've only listened to the Country stations so far, but will search out others while on a road trip this weekend.

For now, I'm happy with my new car, but I admit, I miss my van. After 11 years, it was part of the family!

Anna Kathryn

April 4, 2008

The Year of the Rat

This is the Chinese Year of the Rat, which is what I was born under. One would think it'd bring me good luck. But so far, this has not been a banner year for me. 2008 came in with a bang, literally, when a man ran a red light and, going 65 mph, hit me while I was driving my daughter's 8-month old car. The damage was so bad her car was totaled. I had moderate injuries and was just coming to the point where I could stop seeing the chiropracter when I rear-ended another car on the freeway. The reason for this accident was a 2x3 trunk someone dropped into the middle of the interstate. Both vehicles sustained damage. My van was moderately damaged, but it's 11 years old, so the insurance decided to total it. Aside from severe whiplash, I was okay, as was my 4-month old granddaughter who was riding with me. The other driver said he was okay, too, but the insurance told me he was turning in a medical claim. That's fine. If he's hurt, I want my insurance to take care of him. I certainly hope these things don't come in threes, cause I've had more than enough wrecks to last me 3 decades (which is how long it's been since I last had a major wreck!). ~Anna Kathryn

April 2, 2008

I Finally Made It

Okay, I've had this blog open for more than 6 months, but have just now decided to post my first blog! I mainly haven't blogged before, because I couldn't figure out how to do it...lol. So, this is a learning experience for me.

A lot of things have happened in the past few months--the main thing in my writing world is that I am the No. 1 best selling author at The Wild Rose Press. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm the best writer, just that I've sold more stories than anyone else. THE PRICELESS GIFT is holiday story that I really enjoyed writing. It has also gotten some very favorable reviews.

Here's the blurb:

The last thing Christina Scott expects Santa to bring her is a sexy—and very familiar—cowboy. Gavin Holloway’s just as shocked to discover she’s the woman he’s sent to pick up from the airport for a Christmas visit with her brother. They'd spent one hot week together months ago—a week where they both left their identities and individual problems behind. Neither ever expected a reunion.

Little do they know, Santa's elf has more than coal up his sleeve. Ho ho ho and a badgering we'll go before reindeer two-step on their rooftop and deliver THE PRICELESS GIFT that will leave their snowy days sizzling.

Here's a review:

The Priceless Gift, by Anna Kathryn Lanier
Reviewed by Jannine Corti Petska, REBEL HEART

Gavin Holloway has been burned by love before. So has Christina Scott. These love-lost souls find each other on a one week cruise in the Mediterranean. But mind-blowing sex wasn’t enough for either to reveal their real persona. At the end of the cruise, they went on their separate ways.

Six months later, with the meddling of Christina’s brother, who happens to be Gavin’s good friend, Gavin and Christina are reunited during the Christmas holiday in snowy Montana. Because of their deception on the cruise as well as their past experiences, each has trust issues. Even though they are more than compatible in bed, neither is willing to give in…until temptation could no longer hold them back. When Gavin learns the reason Christina is visiting her brother, her secret almost proves disastrous to their romance. Will love win over the emotional hurt each as suffered?

Ms. Lanier hooked me from the first sentence. Gavin is larger than life, sexy and hot. Christina is a perfect match for his don’t-mess-with-me character. I felt their emotions and passion and wished the story was a full-length novel. Ms. Lanier wove real life into her hero and heroine. I recommend The Priceless Gift to anyone who is a hopeless romantic and believes in a Happily Ever After.