August 30, 2008

Amusing Conflicting Proverbs

Actions speak louder than words.
The pen is mightier than the sword.

Look before you leap.
He who hesitates is lost.

A silent man is a wise one.
A man without words is a man without thoughts.

Clothes make the man.
Don't judge a book by its cover.

Many hands make light work.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Better safe than sorry!

It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
The nail that sticks out gets hammered.

from Jokes-A-Day

~Anna Kathryn

August 28, 2008

The Shot Heard Around the World

Now, I thought this was a real shot, but in reality, it's a baseball home run and it lasted three (3) seconds. In "It's About Time: How Long History Took" by Mike Flanagan, he talks about the world famous game winning hit on page 2 of the book:

"Baseball's Greatest Moment" came on October 3, 1951, at New York's Polo Grounds. In just over seven weeks, the New York Giants had closed in on the Brooklyn Dodgers' 12-game lead to finish tied for first at season's end. In the third and deciding playoff game, Brooklyn was up 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth when Bobby Thomson came to bat with two men on base and sent Ralph Branca's second pitch into the left field stands. Radio listeners heard the crack of Thomsons' bat followed almost immediately by commentator Russ Hodge's first burst of "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

I found two sites, among many, that had good sports information:

If you scroll down to No. 2 on this site, you'll see a video about and an interview with an author who wrote a book and talked to a few of the players about an alleged controversy over the hit:

http://vidfan.com/top10sports.php

The second site has the posters top 50 sports moments. He lists "The Shot Heard Around the World" as No. 15:

http://www.jamescampion.com/greatest_sports.html

So, do you have a great sports moment? One that involved you or one you witnessed? Offhand, I can't think of one of my own, as I'm not a big sports playing person. I am a big Houston Astro's fan and was delighted when they went to the world series a few years ago. I'd really like them to repeat that!

~Anna Kathryn

Tessy won the Calendar

The winner of the Southwest Cooking Recipe 2009 calendar is Tessy. Thanks again, Tessy and Robyn, for the recipes. I can't wait to try them out. Congrats!

Tessy, e-mail me at annaklanier@aol.com so I can get your address and send you the calendar.

Robyn, if you'll e-mail me too, I'll send you a copy of my short story The Priceless Gift as a consolation prize. :-)


Anna Kathryn

August 27, 2008

My Books' Trailer

Broccoli Slaw

Here's a really good, simply recipe....great to beat the summer heat:

1 bunch of broccoli, stalks discarded, heads chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds bacon, cooked crisp


Dressing:

1 cup of Mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons vinegar

Mix dressing ahead of time (3 hours ahead or overnight), but don't pour it on the salad yet. Mix chopped broccoli, onion and bacon together. Within an hour of serving salad, pour dressing over it.

Do you have a good salad recipe? I'm been looking for a pea salad recipe for years. I love pea salad, but have never made it. I know, I could find one on the net, but if you have one to share, please do. And not just pea salad, any salad.

Mmmmmm, we'll have a contest today. Anyone who posts a salad recipe will be eligible for 2009 Sourwest Cooking Calendar - a new recipe every month.

~Anna Kathryn

August 26, 2008

Top Ten Signs You're a Lousy Cook

10. Your family heads for the dinner table when they hear the smoke detector.

9. Your kids know what "peas porridge in a pot nine days old" tastes like!

8. When your toddler goes outside to make mud pies, the rest of the family grabs forks and follows.

7. Your kids' favourite drinks are Alka-Seltzer and Pepto Bismal!

6. Your family is perpetually jealous of the delicious-looking food in Fido's bowl.

5. Your kids got even with the neighbourhood bully by inviting him for brunch.

4. Your kids got suspended from school for smuggling toxic waste into the cafeteria.

3. Your husband refers to that smoke detector as the 'dinner bell'.

2. No matter what you do to it, the gravy still turns blue!

And the SUREST SIGN you are a lousy cook...

1. You cause kitchen fires when making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

*From Jokes a Day

BTW, I'll be posting a recipe tomorrow...

~Anna Kathryn
www.aklanier.com
www.myspace.com/aklanier

August 25, 2008

The Winner of a Donna Michael's download is...

...Cathy!!!

How cool is that? My son drew the paper with your name on it to win a free download of your choice from any of my released titles. You can find the blurbs and excerpts on my website: www.donnamichaelsauthor.com

Woohooo! Now you'll get to sample my work.;)

Please email me with your choice at donna_michaels @ msn. com (without the spaces)and I'll send it to you.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated today. I had a great time and appreciate your support. A special thank you to Anna Kathryn for allowing me to spend the day on her blog and share some Fated Hearts with you.

And as always, thanks for reading.

~Donna

Another FATED HEARTS excerpt

Fated Hearts
ISBN 1-60154-300-X
View Trailer
Purchase
=======================


Fated Hearts has acquired two wonderful reviews already and I'd love to share them.

5 Hearts/ Reviewer Top Pick--NOR

Click HERE for the full review:

Ms. Michaels penned a remarkable story that was heart wrenching and heartwarming at the same time. The characters were extremely believable and I was hoping the entire time that Jordan would be the one to break down Cole’s walls and make him start living again. This is a story that you shouldn’t pass up. I would love to see a sequel dedicated to Kerri and Connor, Jordan’s sister and Cole’s brother. You outdid yourself, Donna. Fantastic job!


Fantastic Stays on Shelf--WRDF

Click HERE for the full review:

When I first started reading Fated Hearts, I found hints of Diana Palmer(whom I love) in Donna Michaels voice. Fated Hearts is the type of story that got me hooked on reading and writing Romance. The internal struggles Cole and Jordan strive to overcome are heart wrenching. Jordan is a force to be reckoned with and I don't believe Cole knows what hit him. She doesn't let him get away with wallowing in self pity and some of her antics are laugh out loud funny.

When I got to the end it was with a sigh, a very wonderful love story with a sweet ending. I would recommend Fated Hearts to anyone who loves a good contemporary love story with a couple of feisty characters. I also hope to see Connor and Kerri's story soon.

****


Here's another Fated Hearts excerpt as promised. This one is in Cole's POV and he's not happy with his body's reaction to Jordan's...body.

****


Stilled to the point of not breathing, Cole halted his horse next to Connor’s mount, under the shade of a willow oak tree. Damn. As big as this ranch is, over a thousand acres, and we have to stumble across Jordan and Kerri having their picnic. Pounding increased in his head. The girls squirted on sunscreen and proceeded to rub the lotion all over their nearly naked bodies.

Cole’s groin bypassed tight and jumped straight to throb. Closing his eyes, he cursed his weakness. He hadn’t had an erection since his wife died; except for the few caused by thoughts of Bess or the dreams she’d haunted.

Not that he’d lacked opportunity the past two years. He knew without conceit he’d had plenty. But he never gave the flirting a second thought. He felt nothing.

Until now.

He swallowed. Now his body betrayed his heart and all at the sight of Jordan who, by the measure of the bikini she wore, was practically naked.

Blood raced to his groin as he gazed at his curvy ex-neighbor. He’d always known she’d grow up beautiful but, taking in her ample curves and long torso, what he saw was a knock out.

And that’s exactly what she was doing; knocking out a piece of the carefully built wall he’d erected around his emotions. She attacked his libido like a heavyweight in a title match—he didn’t stand a chance.

Leather groaned under the stress of his clenching fists. He didn’t want to feel. Not now. Not with her.

Jordan stood and lifted her arms above her head to stretch.

Hunger ripped through him and gripped tight. Tall and lean, she made him sweat as her curvy butt, barely concealed under her blue bottoms, dried his throat. Damn near perfect. Her top, which at that angle didn’t cover her abundant, more than a handful bust, twisted his gut. I take it back. She is perfect. He would’ve salivated if he had any saliva left. She had him fully aroused without even touching him.

Her hands returned to her sides and everything fell back into place. He expelled the breath he hadn’t realized he held and, Heaven help him, continued to survey her body. A strong urge to place his mouth in the curve of her waist and trail kisses to the bottom of the tiny blue triangle awakened the rest of his long dormant cravings. Did she taste as hot as she looked?

Hell. He wanted to strip off the blue cloth and feel her flesh quivering beneath him. Desire turned so fierce, need nearly doubled him over.

Was this intense response from being celibate for the past two years...or just his reaction to Jordan?

He gripped the reins tighter. I owe Bess. How can I even think these thoughts, let alone allow myself to be driven into this state?

Self-loathing lessened the intolerable need. He swallowed and turned toward his silent brother. A pulse pounded in Connor’s neck as he gazed at Kerri in a similar manor. At least he wasn’t alone in his tortured state.

Another quick glance at the girls and Cole’s heart stopped altogether. Incredibly, Jordan shielded her eyes and looked straight in their direction. Remaining still, he prayed the trees shaded them enough from her view. Now was certainly not a good time for a confrontation.

When Kerri stood and joined her sister in the search, he thought for sure they were busted. Relief swiftly flooded his body when the girls stopped and began to playfully romp with each other before disappearing down the ocean trail.

That’s what he needed—a cold soaking.

He cleared his tight throat. “I uh vote we high-tail it to the stable. I’ve seen more than enough.”

Connor lifted his hat, swiped an arm across his sweat soaked forehead, then placed the hat back on his head. “I’m with you little brother. Those California bikinis sure don’t leave much to the imagination, do they?”

“No, they don’t.”

“Still.” Connor lips grew into a mischievous grin. “Those two sure can fill them out, or should I say—fall out.”

Groaning at the images those words conjured, Cole turned his mount. “Let’s just go.”

Without waiting for his sadistic brother, he galloped toward the stable, putting as much distance as he could between Jordan’s sexy curves and his pent up body.

August 24, 2008

Share some fun with author Donna Michaels

Thanks for spotlighting me today, Anna Kathryn! I appreciate the opportunity to talk a little bit about my writing, my latest release and a few contests.

For those of you who don’t know, Donna is my real name but I used my husband’s first name ‘Michael’ to come up with my pen name Donna Michaels. You know, for when I hit it real big and want to keep my private life private. I’m an author of Romaginative Fiction. What in the world is that, you ask? Well its simple really, Romaginative comes from a mixture of my imagination and romance. As of right now, I have 16 contracts between The Wild Rose Press and Forbidden Publications and write all lengths from very short to epic. More variety…what can I say? lol

Before I get to my latest release, I’d like to take a second to let you know, like Donna Marie Rogers who was here last week, I am also a participating author in the Summer Sony eReader promotion going on until this Friday, August 31st. For full details check out the Wild Rose Press homepage: http://thewildrosepress.com/

And if you like Multi-Author contests, then you’ll love this one—Dog Days of Summer—going on until August 30th. Check the contest page on my website for details. www.donnamichaelsauthor.com

And finally, to celebrate my latest release, Fated Hearts, I’ll give away a free download of any of my released titles (winner choice) to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave me a comment on any of my posts today and I’ll draw a name later this afternoon.

Okay, on with Fated Hearts. Six years ago, when all four of my children were finally in school all day, I was started to pursue my writing dream. FH was the very first story I wrote.

Here’s the blurb and an excerpt:

Thanks to fate, Jordan Mitchell-Ryan’s heart is tattered. Having kept her from the man she thought she’d always marry, the same fickle fate took away the man she eventually did. Thrown back into the path of her fist love, she finds hers is not the only heart fate has damaged.

Widower and software CEO, Cole McCall fills his days with computer codes and working the family ranch. When his visiting former neighbor sets out to delete the firewall around his heart, he discovers there’s no protection against the Jordan virus. Though she understands his pain and reawakens his soul, will it be enough for Cole to overcome his past and embrace their fated hearts?

****


“Wait up, Cole. I’ll walk with you.”

Broad shoulders rose and fell but stopped at the door and waited while she said her goodnights.

“Thanks,” she told him as they began their ascent upstairs. Worried about his pallor and the fatigue slumping his shoulders, she put her hand on his arm when they reached the top. “What are you trying to do? Work yourself to death?”

“Drop it, Jordan.” He yanked his arm out of her grasp. “I’m not in the mood.”

She brushed his irritation aside and searched his face. “You have to stop doing this to yourself, Cole. You need to slow down.”

“And you need to mind your own damned business.”

She ignored him. “There’s more to life than just work. What happened to that mischievous boy I knew?”

“He died.”

Her hissed breath echoed down the hall. “Cole McCall! That’s a horrible thing to say and I refuse to believe it.” She gripped his shoulders, hard. “He’s still in there and I’m going to find him. And when I do…I’m going to kick his ass for letting you take over.”

“There’s nothing wrong with me, Jordan,” he scoffed. “I grew up. You should try it.”

She released him and laughed. “Yeah, you sure got me pegged, McCall. I’m very immature and not responsible at all.”

He pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled. “Maybe you are as far as work is concerned, but you need to stop trying to change me, Jordan.” He dropped his hand and his gaze bore into hers, flashing a silent warning.

She hated warnings.

“No.”

“What do you mean no?”

“Just what I said. I won’t stop trying to change you because I don’t particularly like you. I want you gone and the old Cole back.”

He grasped her upper arms and sneered. “Too damn bad. This is who I am now. The old Cole might’ve put up with your antics but I won’t.”

Her heart raced out of control. Damn, his hands were strong…and big. They covered most of her upper arms.

She drew in a breath. Not smart, her mind screamed while her nose rejoiced. Mmm…Was that fresh scent soap or body wash? Desire flooded her fluttering stomach and pooled between her legs with a sudden vision of Cole lathered and wet.

“Did you hear me, Jordan? I won’t put up with your nonsense.”

He increased the pressure on her arms, and the warmth amplified between her thighs.

Whoa. Back the reaction train up. I’m not the one who needs to feel.

She straightened her spine. “Oh no? Well, I’m not going to stop just because you tell me to, Cole. You’re way over due for an emotional overhaul and reality check. So, what are you going to do about it, Mr. Personality?”

This.” He pinned her against the wall and pressed into her with his body.
Sensations—hot and frenzied, scorched a path to her core. The resulting shudder had her dazed, wide eyes staring up at him.

Triumph gleamed in his darkened gaze.

He leaned closer and whispered in her ear, “Apparently, you like me after all, Jordan.”

Anger erupted and cancelled her yearnings.

She pushed out of his hold. “Don’t try to turn this all around and put the focus on me, pal. It won’t work. I’m not one of your unsuspecting victims. But, you’re right. There is something about you I like. Your body. Or should I say Cole’s body,” she corrected, looking him up and down. “It’s grown up quite nice. But I still don’t like you.” Pivoting on her heel, she drew in a steadying breath and walked as nonchalantly as she could to her room.

His deep chuckle echoed down the hall and rumbled through her like a Southern California tremor. It was great to hear genuine amusement from him…although she could’ve done without the Me thinks she doth protest too much remark uttered with it.

Damn sexy Texan. Okay, so I’m not as immune to him as I’d hoped. That changes nothing. Shivers covered her skin. She ignored them.

Jordan Mitchell-Ryan never failed a case and Operation Heal McCall would be no exception.

Donna Michaels

Welcome on Monday my guest blogger, Donna Michaels. Donna is a multi-published author, in a variety of genres. It's going to be fun getting inside her head and learning how she ticks.

Spruce up on your knowledge and get those questions ready by visiting her website:

http://www.donnamichaelsauthor.com/

And remember, anyone leaving a comment will be eligible for the $15 The Wild Rose Press gift certificate I'll draw for after the end of the month.

~Anna Kathryn
www.aklanier.com

Horrific Domain Names

Make sure you don't make the same mistake these folks made when setting up their web sites. It's not always easy choosing the right domain name... but you can't do much worse than these five!


1) Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island:
www.penisland.net


2) Firstly there is "Who Represents?" - a database for agencies to the rich and famous:
www.whorepresents.com


3) Second is the Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views:
www.expertsexchange.com


4) Need a therapist? Try:
www.therapistfinder.com


5) Finally we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New SouthWales:
www.molestationnursery.com

Note: If you did not get this joke, go back and read the domains carefully!

~Jokes A Day

Anna Kathryn

August 23, 2008

Lost in Translation

Cracking an international market is a goal of most growing corporations. It shouldn't be difficult, yet even the big multi-nationals run into trouble because of language and cultural differences. For example...

~ The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect.

~ Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "ko-kou-ko-le," which can be loosely translated as "happiness in the mouth."

~ In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" came out as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead."

~ Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."

~ Japan's second-largest tourist agency was mystified when it entered English-speaking markets and began receiving requests for unusual sex tours. Upon finding out why, the owners of Kinki Nippon Tourist Company changed its name.

~ When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." However, the company mistakenly thought the spanish word "embarazar" meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that "It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

~ Chicken-man Frank Perdue's slogan, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," got terribly mangled in another Spanish translation. A photo of Perdue with one of his birds appeared on billboards all over Mexico with a caption that explained "It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused."

~ In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.

~ When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go." After the company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.

~ Ford had a similar problem in Brazil when the Pinto flopped. The company found out that Pinto was Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals". Ford pried all the nameplates off and substituted Corcel, which means horse.

~ An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of the desired "I Saw the Pope" in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed "I Saw the Potato."

~ Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos before finding out that the phrase, in slang, means " big breasts." In this case, however, the name problem did not have a noticeable effect on sales.

~ The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem - Feeling Free," got translated in the Japanese market into "When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty."

~ Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of of a nororious porno magazine.

~ In an effort to boost orange juice sales in predominantly continental breakfast eating England, a campaign was devised to extoll the drink's eye-opening, pick-me-up qualities. Hence the slogan, "Orange juice. It gets your pecker up."

Anna Kathryn
www.aklanier.com

August 22, 2008

Photographing the Flag Raising

As promised, I'm going to do a blog each Friday about something in the book "It's About Time: How Long History Took" by Mike Flanagan. To keep myself from duplicating posts, I'm going to start at the beginning of the book and work my way through it. Mr. Flanagan starts with the faster historical moments and works his way up to the longest. The fastest moment he has is the photographing the American Flag raising on Iwo Jima, which took 1/400th of a second.....that's not quite as fast as Michael Phelps' win in the Olympics, but it's pretty fast.

Here's what Mr. Flanagan has to say about this momentous occasion:

"Time felt suspended on the island of Iwo Jima [which means sulphur island in Japanese] after 72 consecutive days of naval bombardment. Now the Fifth Marines Division had landed to finish the job, flushing out the remaining Japanese defenders from a network of catacombs. On the fourth day of the operation, February 23, 1945, Col. Chandler Johnson called for a large flag to be planted on Mount Suribachi, a dormant volcano. Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal perched on a pile of sandbags, set his shutter for 1/400th of a second and snapped the most famous picture of WWII as Rene Gagnon, John Bradley, Mike Strank, Harlan Block, Frank Sousley and Ira Hays hoisted the 20-foot pipe that bore the American flag."

The website http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/7338/usmc.html explains that the island of Iwo Jima was important to the allied forces because of its "distance between mainland Japan and U.S. bases in the Mariana Islands, the capture of Iwo Jima would provide an emergency landing strip for crippled B-29s returning from bombing runs. The seizure of Iwo would allow for sea and air blockades, the ability to conduct intensive air bombardment and to destroy the enemy's air and naval capabilities. "

The flag raising that Rosenthal captured was actually the second flag raising of the day. The above sited website goes on to say: "At 10:20 a.m., the flag was hoisted on a steel pipe above the island by First Lieutenant Harold Schrier, platoon commander, Sergeant Ernest I. Thomas, platoon sergeant, Corporal Charles W. Lindberg, and Private First Class James R. Nicel. This symbol of victory sent a wave of strength to the battle-weary fighting men below, and struck a further mental blow against the island's defenders." This flag raising was captured on film by Marine Corps photographer Sergeant Lou Lowery.

Three hours later, the more famous and well-known flag raising was ordered and photographed.

The Geocities website also gives the campaign results:

"The 36-day assault resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead. Of the 20,000 Japanese defenders, only 1,083 survived. The Marines' efforts, however, provided a vital link in the U.S. chain of bomber bases. By war's end, 2,400 B-29 bombers carrying 27,000 crewman made unscheduled landings on the island. Historians described U.S. forces' attack against the Japanese defense as "throwing human flesh against reinforced concrete." In the end, Iwo Jima was won not only by the fighting spirit of the Marines, but by the meticulous planning and support provided by the Navy and Army through supply efforts, medical care, and air and naval gunfire. Twenty-seven Medals of Honor were awarded to Marines and sailors, many posthumously, more than were awarded for any other single operation during the war."

Another good website for information on this battle is: http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/iwo_jima/iwo.html It includes the video taken by Sgt. Lou Lowery.

~Anna Kathryn

August 21, 2008

Not Hero Material

So, in yesterday's Houston's Chronicle, there's this article about a guy arrested for exposing himself. His defense is he "could not have exposed himself to an undercover cop because that which is alleged to have been exposed is too small to have been seen."

Yep, you read that right.....his manhood was too small for the officer to have seen it being exposed, had he actually exposed himself (which he denies doing). He was found guilty of exposing himself and brought up the size of his member in his appeal.

Here's the other part of the story that's hard to believe. "He said he went to the park during a 20-minute work break and just wanted to talk to someone." Okay, men don't talk about marriage and family to people they know....let alone to some stranger the meet in the park, who suggests they go behind the bathroom to talk.

Back to the 'does size matter' question...."Secondly, the urologist testified that given the officer's own description of how the doctor (Oh, yeah, the guy's a doctor) allegedly showed off, the illegal part of the alleged display would have been concealed by the doctor's palm, which the urologist measured as being more than half again as large as the subject at hand [2.8 inches]." In other words, when the doctor whipped it out, his fist would have been covering his manhood, because the fist was bigger than the member and the officer couldn't have seen anything.....

I don't know about you, but I don't think this guy is built, in more ways than one, to be hero material.

To read the whole article by RICK CASEY, to go http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/casey/5954517.htm You'll have a great chuckle!

~Anna Kathryn
http://www.aklanier.com/

August 20, 2008

Double Chocolate Brownies

Okay, here's a really good brownie recipe that, if I hadn't misplaced it, would have had for 25 years. But since I couldn't find it for 10 or so years, I can't claim I've had it all this time. Back in the early 1980's I lived in a trailer park in Brighton, Colorado. They had a monthly newsletter. This recipe was in that newsletter one month. I used to make it all the time. Then, as I said, I lost the recipe.

Now, a few years back, my mother-in-law asked for family recipes. I sent this to her (along with a few others) and she made a CD of family recipes, which I've had for years, but I've never really looked at it until last week. There I discovered this recipe (along with one for Buttermilk Pie I've also misplaced). I was ecstatic! I can't wait to make both recipes!

So, here's my brownie recipe....do you have a favorite one and would you mind sharing it with us?

Double Chocolate Brownies

3/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. water
1- 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Heat oven to 375°. in small bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt; set aside
in small saucepan, combine butter, sugar and water; bring just to a boil.
Add half ( 1 cup ) of morsels and vanilla. Stir until morsels are melted and
mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating
after each addition. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Stir in remaining 1 cup morsels and nuts. Spread into a greased and floured 9'' square pan. Bake 30 to 35 min.

Thanks, Donna

Thanks, Donna for guest blogging. It was great to read about your stories and nice to learn about you.

I'll have another Donna on Monday, August 25th when Donna Michaels jumps in to guest blog.

Now, I know I need to makes some comments myself, so I'm going to do two things, which I hope won't bore people. On Wednesdays I'm going to post recipes. I'm not the world's best cook...fast and easy is what I like (except with me....well, at least not the fast part), but I'll find something to post each week. And I'd like you all to post recipes, too. Since it's not quite midnight here in Central Daylight Savings time, I'll post a recipe in just a bit.

Also, I have this really cute book called "It's About Time: How Long History Took" by Mike Flanagan. It tells you how long things took (like Columbus's first voyage, the War of the Roses, etc.). I'm going to post a tidbit on Friday's each week and we can discuss that.

I hope this will make my blog somewhat interesting, and I hope you'll join me.

~Anna Kathryn Lanier
www.aklanier.com

August 19, 2008

And the winners are...

Angelgrl AND Margay!! You'll both receive a download of Golden Opportunity and a $5.00 gift certificate for the Wild Rose Press! The reason I picked two winners is because I have two young daughters, and if one gets to do something (like draw a winner for mommy) the other has to do it, too. LOL I hope you both enjoy Golden Opportunity! Please email me at paulck1225@aol.com with your email addresses so that I can get you your prizes! And thanks again to everyone who posted and left such wonderful comments about my very first cowboy story!! I'll leave you with a short excerpt, the opening scene of Golden Opportunity:

* * *

Excerpt:

Opening scene...

"I'm telling you I bought it fair and square. This deed proves it."

James McMillan glared down at the crazy woman waving a document under his nose. So his fool baby brother had finally done it--he'd gambled away his half of the ranch. James' biggest fear had come true, and she barely reached his shoulder. He blew out a silent breath and thumbed his Stetson back. "Look, Miss...?"

"Roberts. Angela Roberts."

"It'll take me a few days to raise the funds to buy it back. In the meantime, there are several hotels in downtown Golden-"

"Sorry, Cowboy, but you're not getting rid of me that easy. I'm staying right here at the Double M. Reese said-"

"Reese is an idiot, and I don't give a damn what he said. I'll be dipped if some gold-digging opportunist is gonna set one foot inside the home my great-grandparents built with their own hands. Now, I'll pay for your hotel room if you can't afford one, but either way, you're leaving."

She huffed out a sigh of frustration and crossed her arms over her ample chest. Big blue eyes clear as the Colorado sky gazed up at him, and for a brief moment, James became lost in them. He gave himself a mental shake, ignoring her full pouty lips and shiny auburn hair, which hung in loose waves down to her waist. Lord, did he love long hair on a woman.

Damn you, Reese.

"I told you, I'm not going anywhere. I own half this ranch, whether you like it or not. And if you insist on making me leave, I promise you I'll be back with the sheriff."

Great. Just freakin' great. Sheriff Martin would pounce like a mountain lion on a chance to make James miserable. And if she got that vindictive old cuss involved, the story of Reese's stupidity would be all over town by nightfall. His frustration must have shown on his face because a knowing smile curved those luscious lips. James propped his hands on his hips in defeat and took a step back.

"Fine. You wanna play house, lady, be my guest. Just don't get too comfortable."

With a toss of her head, she picked up her suitcase, her high heels clicking on the tiled floor of the foyer as she strode past him. It took all James' self-control not to give her denim-clad ass a swat as she passed by.

August 18, 2008

Win a download of Golden Opportunity AND a $6.00 gift certificate!!



Thank you so much for having me, Anna! Golden Opportunity is my newest release and I'm thrilled to say it's made the best seller list on the Wild Rose Press homepage. To celebrate, I'll be giving away a download of Golden Opportunity AND a $6.00 gift certificate for the Wild Rose Press to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave me a comment. :-) Also, I'm a participating author in the Summer Sony eReader promotion going on right now. For full details check out the Wild Rose Press homepage: http://thewildrosepress.com/

I'm going to post a few excerpts today since Anna was kind enough to let me play on her blog...LOL

* * *

James whistled a happy tune as he strode away. No doubt about it, little Miss Gold Digger would be begging him to buy her out by the end of the week. Hell, maybe even by the end of the day. The sooner the better, as far as he was concerned. A man could only take so much temptation. And Miss Angela Roberts was temptation with a capital T. He couldn't get within five feet of her without wanting to pull her into his arms and kiss her breathless.

Christ, there he went again, letting her monopolize his thoughts.

"Hey, there you are. I was afraid I'd have to search every corner of this place, like last time."
James turned to see his lawyer, Calvin Henderson heading his way. The older man watched the ground as he walked, bringing a grin to James' face. "You don't have to worry about stepping in anything back here, Cal."

"Sorry, but last time I had to toss my shoes. And they were Italian loafers."

The two men shook hands and James gave him a thump on the back. "I told you to bill me for 'em."

Cal shrugged that off. "I'd be happy if you just remembered to carry your cell phone."

Before James could respond, Cal's attention was stolen by something behind him. James turned to see Angela maneuvering the wheelbarrow over to the manure pile. Even handling horse shit the woman was the most beautiful sight he'd ever seen. He swung his gaze back to Cal. Seemed the older man agreed.

"Don't suppose she's single?"

James hated the twinge of jealousy that clenched his gut. "Christ, the ink is barely dry on your divorce papers."

"But it's dry." Cal turned back to James. "Unless, of course, you have dibs?"

James snorted. "What are you, sixteen?"

Cal grinned, his eyes narrowing perceptively. "You want her."

God, yes. "Hell no. I want her shares of the Double M back, and I want her conniving ass gone." With that, James spun around and stalked toward the house. Chuckling, Cal followed.

Once they were seated in his study, James slapped the papers into Cal's hand. "She's got two weeks to play rancher, then her ass is gone."

Cal perused the contract with amused interest. "You know, that's the second time you've mentioned her ass in what, five minutes?"

"And I'm gonna kick yours if you don't get serious here." James swiped a hand through his hair, his frustration mounting. Cal was as perceptive as they came, which was why he ranked as one of the top attorneys in the state.

Cal gave him a quizzical look and tossed the contract on the desk. "It looks fine, James. But if this Angela Roberts is truly nothing more than a gold digger, why would she suggest such a thing," he gestured toward the contract, "let alone make it legal?"

James had been asking himself that very same question since the moment his head hit the pillow last night. But the bottom line was it just didn't matter. The last thing he wanted or needed in his life right now—in any capacity—was a woman. And with this being a busy month for the ranch, he wasn't exactly happy about having to babysit one for the next two weeks.

Never mind the fact he'd been walking around at half-mast all morning. He just couldn't get the intoxicating smell of her out of his mind. When she'd squeezed in close last night to read the contract, the sweet scent of apples had wrapped around him like a silk scarf, and all he'd wanted to do was lean forward and bury his face in her glorious auburn mane.

Jesus, there he went again. Focus, you bonehead!

"Hell, I don't know. Maybe she figures she'll have me wrapped around her little finger by then."
Cal's grin returned. "She'd be wearing me as a diamond necklace by then."

James shook his head, a reluctant smile lifting the corners of his mouth. "Buy yourself a little black sports car, Cal. In the long run, it'll be a whole lot cheaper."

The older man's eyes twinkled. "But not nearly as much fun to ride, my friend."

August 17, 2008

The Cynic's Guide to Life

~ The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

~ I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. And a foundation leaks, and a ball game gets rained out, and a car rusts and ...

~ Follow your dream! .... Unless it's the one where you're at work in your underwear during a fire drill.

~ When I'm feeling down, I like to whistle. It makes the neighbor's dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.

~ It's always darkest before the dawn. So if you're going to steal the neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

~ Into every life some rain must fall. Usually when your car windows are down.

~ This morning I woke up to the unmistakable scent of pigs in a blanket. That's the price you pay for letting relatives stay over.

~ This land is your land. This land is my land. So stay on your land.

~ Love is like a roller coaster: when it's good you don't want to get off, and when it isn't ... you can't wait to throw up.

~Anna Kathryn

Guest Blogger Donna Marie Rogers/Liza James

So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?

Oh, boy, probably pretty boring, actually...LOL I get up when my kids wake me up and make us all a cup of tea. I turn on my computer, check emails, try to get some writing done. Watch TV (I’m a TV junkie, have been since I used to race home to watch the Three Stooges & Little Rascals hour *G*), cook, clean....wow, it’s even more pathetic saying it aloud!

When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published? How many stories did you finish before you were published?

I started writing in my early twenties, but I was never able to get more than halfway through a manuscript before giving up and starting a new project. I actually quit writing for several years because I’d burnt myself out, and also some people scoffed that I’d never get published anyway. I took it to heart and gave up. Heck, I couldn’t finish a manuscript anyway, I figured. But in early 2004, I sat down at the computer and decided to give it another try. Eight months later I typed ‘The End’ of the first draft of There’s Only Been You, which releases October 10th from the Wild Rose Press (in print April 2009). I wrote the second book in the series, Meant To Be (which is in edits with TWRP), and then a short erotic romance, which is the first story I sold.

How did you break into publishing?

I wrote what was supposed to be the first chapter of an erotic novella. A friend thought it read well as is, so I sent it to the Wild Rose Press’ senior editor, Diana Carlile, hoping for some comments or suggestions. She really liked it, but asked for some changes to the ending. So I revised, and she offered me a contract. I can still remember how crazy excited I was...LOL

What influenced you to write?

I fell in love with romance novels after reading the Wolf & the Dove by the late Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. Hundreds of books and a couple of years later, I felt compelled to write my own story. The thought of being able to end a story the way I wanted to was heady. Of course, I quickly found out it’s a lot easier to write a novel in theory than to actually sit down and write one. *G*

What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?

I write romance. Mostly contemporary, although I have one historical erotic short story, and I’m working on a full-length paranormal right now.

What motivated you to write your current book?

The hero of my WIP is introduced in another of my books, and I just completely fell in love with him and knew he had to have his own story.

How much time do you devote to writing each day?

I try to write for a few hours each day. I have small children, so sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not so much...LOL

Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.

My newest release is Golden Opportunity, a contemporay western novella (Miniature Yellow Rose) which released from the Wild Rose Press on August 6th. Here’s a blurb:

James McMillan is a third generation owner of the most prosperous horse ranch in Golden, Colorado. When a gorgeous little filly shows up at his door waving what she claims to be the deed to his brother Reese's half of the ranch, James is skeptical. But the document turns out to be authentic. According to his lawyer, Reese sold her his forty-nine percent of the Double M during a poker game in Atlantic City. Now, not only does James need to find a way to get back those shares, he needs to fight his growing attraction for his luscious new business partner, who turns out to be a lot more than just a pretty face.

Having been on her own since she was a teenager, Angela Roberts has never wanted anything more than the security of a real home, preferably one far away from the city. Her dreams come true when the chance to own half of a Colorado horse ranch falls into her lap. If Reese McMillan is too blind to appreciate what he has, that’s his loss. Only she hadn't counted on the hostile reception she receives from his devil of a brother. Surly as a bear, James McMillan is also much too handsome for her peace of mind. Refusing to be intimidated, Angela sets out to win him over by proving she has what it takes to help him run the ranch—and ends up losing her heart to both.

And on October 10th, There’s Only Been You comes out in e-format with the Wild Rose Press. This is the “book of my heart”, so I just can’t wait! I’ll post a blurb for There’s Only Been You as well:

Sara Jamison has no clue where Mike Andrews has been all these years, but she knows where she's been—busy raising their son, Ethan. Two weeks after Mike accused her of cheating and disappeared from her life, Sara discovered she was something she never expected to be—an unwed pregnant teenager. But with the love and support of her annoyingly alpha-male family, she's managed to make a good life for herself and her young son. She even owns her own business, Sara's Bakery, which she's built into a thriving success. Sure, she works too hard and her social life is nonexistent, but for the most part, she's content.

Until the day Detective Mike Andrews walks into her bakery and back into her life...

What are you working on now?

The paranormal I mentioned, tentatively titled Love Heals All. This manuscript won Karin Tabke’s First Line contest last May, and the final judge, Hilary Sares of Kensington, requested the full. I hope to have it finished by the end of next month. Here’s a blurb:

Mia Grey is having a hard enough time keeping her own unique healing abilities in check, never mind those of her mischievous fourteen-year-old sister, whose recently discovered she can makes objects fly across the room using nothing but the powers of her mind. Mia’s realizing it’s not so easy keeping a teenaged witch on the right path while running her small convenience store/bait shop full-time. And her brooding, much-too-gorgeous-for-her-peace-of-mind new neighbor sure isn’t helping since she can’t seem to stop thinking about him...

Jack Sutton spent the last seven years of his life behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. He has few friends, even less family, and would like nothing more than to be left alone. He rents an auto garage in the quaint little town of Shelbyville, Illinois and just starts to settle in to small-town life when he’s stabbed late one night and left for dead. He wakes the following morning with a throbbing head and an aching gut. The good news is, he’s alive. The bad news is he seems to have woken up in an episode of the Twilight Zone—with his beautiful new neighbor playing the starring role.

How do you write? Are you a panster or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?

I started out as a complete pantster, but I’ve evolved into a plotter. Not to say my stories don’t stray from the plot I’ve mapped out...LOL I believe a story has to be character driven to work. I try to make sure my characters don’t do or say things they normally wouldn’t in the name of plot.

If you could spend an hour talking to anyone from any time in history, who would it be? And Why?

It would be my biological father. He died before I had a chance to find him, so I’d like to chat with him for an hour. I have lots of questions for him.

Tell us some of the things interviewers are saying about your story or stories.

I’ve been blessed with some really wonderful reviews. Welcome To Redemption, which I co-wrote with Stacey Joy Netzel, has received amazing reviews including a 4-1/2* star from Romantic Times BOOK Reviews. And I’ve already received a Reviewer Top Pick for Golden Opportunity from Diana Coyle of Night Owl Romance.

What is your all time favorite book?

A Kingdom of Dream by Judith McNaught closely followed by Honor’s Splendor by Julie Garwood. Well, Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is up there, too. And I really loved Rainbows and Rapture by Rebecca Paisley...I could go on forever...LOL


What advice would you give aspiring writers today?

If you’re truly serious about writing, don’t quit. It’s so easy to get discouraged and want to throw in the towel. We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. But If you’re as passionate about writing as I am, please don’t give up. Eventually you’ll realize your dream. J And learn your craft. Read craft books, articles, take in workshops. You’ll learn a little something new every single time.

How do you like your fans to contact you?

I write romance under my maiden name, Donna Marie Rogers, and erotic romance under the name Liza James.

Please visit me at: http://www.donnamarierogers.com/ and http://www.lizajamesauthor.com/

I’m also at Myspace: www.myspace.com/donnamarierogers and www.myspace.com/lizajamesauthor

Email me at DonnaKowal@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for having me, Anna!

Name my Heorine Winners

After a close vote, well, actually, a tie, the winning name is "Dizzy Lizzy" suggested by Peggy. Peggy wins a copy of the book WILD, WILD WOMEN OF THE WEST, an anthology by Delilah Devlin, Layla Chase and Myla Jackson.

Peggy, e-mail me your address and I'll send you the book - annaklanier@aol.com

The winner for voting is Ciara Gold. Ciara, won TEXAS RAIN by Jodi Thomas (autographed, too). E-mail me and we'll arrange getting you the book.

Thanks everyone for your help. I was just really stuck on coming up with a name and I loved all the suggestions!

~Anna Kathryn

August 16, 2008

Dog Days of Summer Contest

Join me and 11 other writers celebrate the Dog Days of Summer with our contest, featuring more than 18 prizes, including a grand prize!

I'm giving away two prizes in this contest:

1) Stay Cool in the Summer gift package. It'll include a water bottle, chapstick, Bath and Body Works Cool Melon lotion and more.

2) A collection of Hot Romance Novels:

Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews
Taming Him by Kimberly Dean, Summer Devon and Michelle M. Pillow
Secrets Vol. 14 by Angela Knight, Alexa Aames, Leigh Wyndfield, Jennifer Barlowe
Tempting the Prince by Patricai Grasso
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell by Samantha James
Wicked Night Games by Kathleen Lawless
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
The Priceless Gift by Anna Kathryn Lanier
Just find the picture of a dog (excluding any book covers) on the following websites to be in the running for prizes from 12 romance authors. To enter, visit each author's website, find the picture of a dog, and note that website page on a list that you will send to happyendings2007@aol.com by midnight CST, August 30th, 2008.

Get started at http://www.aklanier.com/

Skhye Moncrief
Have fun exploring our websites! And good luck.
~Anna Kathryn

August 14, 2008

Winner of Bess McBride Guest Blogging Day

Hi all,

I drew Virginia's name as the prize winner on my guest blogging day. Please contact me at bess @ gmail.com, Virginia, and we'll make arrangements for the delivery of the prize, a download of my newest release, A Trail of Love.

Bess McBride
www.bessmcbride.com

August 13, 2008

Win The Orchid Hunter by Sandra K. Moore

People have until midnight CST August 17th to enter to win THE ORCHID HUNTER by Sandra K. Moore. Just leave a comment on Skhye Moncrief's blog what you prefer in a romance: a kilt, a mystery, or sexual tension. ;) ~Skhye

http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com/2008/08/11/win-sandra-k-moores-the-orchid-hunter.aspx

So go stop by Skhye's place and enter for your chance to win this great book.

~Anna Kathryn

August 12, 2008

Vote for my heroine's nick name.

The heroine in my WIP is a highly intelligent woman, who has a lot of self-doubts and is very klutzy. Her name is Leslie McAllister. I can change the last name, but not the first. Leslie is a character in my Christmas story release - A COWBOY'S DREAM. I asked a few days ago for some suggestions. All of them were great. Thanks for taking the time to help.

I then asked a few friends of mine to read over the suggestions and pick their top three. I'm posting them here, so you can vote on them.

Dizzy Lizzy
Hurricane Leslie
Miss Accident Prone
Grace
Messy Lessy
Klutzy Lutzy

Please vote once and by midnight, Friday August 15th. The person who suggested the winning name will receive WILD WOMEN OF THE WEST an anthology with stories by Delilah Devlin, Layla Chase and Myla Jackson. This book is rated REALLY HOT.

Thanks!

~Anna Kathryn

A COWBOY'S DREAM - coming Nov. 2008

Author Leah Smith has fantasized about her neighbor, Houston’s pro baseball player Marcus Slade, for years, but thinks it’s unlikely she’d catch the cowboy’s interest since her IQ is bigger than her bra size. Having already been hurt by a man who wanted size over substance, she’s not in a hurry to play in that ball field again.

When an unexpected opportunity gets Marcus inside his favorite author’s apartment, he’s not about to let a second chance at love pass him by. Their attraction is quick and electric and has him instantly thinking about something more long-term. But when a woman from his past intrudes, his hopes of a cozy Christmas with Leah are buried beneath her cold shoulder.


Unedited Excerpt:


The mouthwatering scents of seared steak wafted around Leah as Marcus escorted her into the world famous Kemah Steak House. Her stomach grumbled, a reminder she hadn’t eaten since early morning.

The hostess greeted Marcus by name and he smiled warmly in return. Leah glanced at him, wondering how often he came to the restaurant. Celebration dinners should be rare, not weekly—unless you found an excuse to celebrate every little thing. But what made them special then?

She slid into the booth and mentally shook her head. No matter what Marcus did in the past, this was her celebratory dinner. She smiled as he sat opposite her and determined to enjoy his company for as long as she had it.

The hostess handed them menus. “Would you like something from the bar, Mr. Slade?”

Marcus placed his Stetson on the booth cushion and raised a brow to Leah.

“Whatever they have on tap will be fine,” she said.

He grinned and nodded. “Two beers, please.”

Glancing at his ‘celebration clothing,’ she was glad she’d summed him up right. She’d nearly put on the nine hundred dollar designer gown she planned to wear to next month’s charity fund raiser. However, at the last minute, she went over what she knew about Marcus Slade. Celebrity though he may be, he was still a cowboy at heart. Instead of the silk and satin confection she’d thought to wear, she pulled on crisp blue jeans and simple button-up blouse. The result matched his jeans and western-styled shirt well.

Leah opened the menu and glanced over it. “You’re a man after my own heart. There’s nothing better to celebrate with than a cold beer and a good steak.”

He jerked back as if surprised. “You mean to say you’ll actually order a steak?”

“Of course.” She laughed, pushing her hair behind her ear. “What’s the point of going to a steak house and not ordering a steak?”

He opened his mouth, but then shut it for a moment before uttering, “Truth be told, most of the women I know don’t eat much meat.”

That was no surprise. Most of the women she’d seen him with were the size of twigs—except in the bosom area—and probably ate weeds.

“Well, I hope you brought along your charge card,” she teased. “I haven’t eaten much today and I’m starving. I plan to order a really big steak with all the fixings to celebrate.”

Marcus laughed. “Honey, the day I can’t afford to buy a pretty lady a steak is the day I’ll hang it up for good.”

Her heart fluttered at the endearment. Sure, it was common enough for Texans to drop honey and darling like hello and good-bye, but still, hearing it from Marcus made her insides quiver.
When he glanced down to study his menu, Leah released a small sigh. Since she was a Roughrider’s fan and a season ticket holder, she’d known who Marcus was before he moved into The Towers. To say she had a crush on him was probably an understatement, but she’d never suffered from delusions, either. Leah Smith, plain, average daughter of nomad archeologists just wasn’t the type of woman the major league outfielder dated. As much as she wished differently, she shouldn’t read more into this ‘date’ than what it was—a friendly, celebratory meal.

A COWBOY'S DREAM - coming November 2008 from The Wild Rose Press

Thanks, Bess.

Thanks Bess for blogging for me. I really enjoyed reading about your stories and not having to blog myself ... :-).

If she hasn't already, Bess will draw a winner from those who commented and they'll win one of her books .... I've forgotten which one, though.

And of course, all who commented are eligible for my August drawing - a $15 The Wild Rose Press gift certificate.

~Anna Kathryn

Bess McBride Sails into the Sunset





Just as a reminder, I'm running a quick prize giveaway for whoever goes to my website at http://www.bessmcbride.com/gpage5.html, watches my new book trailer for A Trail of Love, coming out on August 16th, and posts a comment on Anna Kathryn's blog with the name of the handsome bear ranger. The deadline is midnight tonight Hawaii time. For all I know, that could be sometime tomorrow! :-)

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Bess McBride
www.bessmcbride.com
www.rvromance.com

August 11, 2008

Bess McBride Rides A Train Through Time



Last but not least is one of my favorite books, A Train Through Time, my time travel, which is due to be released in e-book format on August 22, 2008, print version to follow in February 2009. It will be available at www.thewildrosepress.com and www.amazon.com at the Kindle Store. I loved doing this time travel, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do more of them! Isn't the cover of this fabulous?? Done by Tamra Westberry...

Blurb: College teacher Ellie Standish thinks she’s on a sleek modern train heading to a conference on women’s studies in Seattle, but she awakens from a night’s doze to find herself on a bizarre historical train full of late Victorian era reenactors who refuse to come out of character. When the leader of the group—one handsome, green-eyed Robert Chamberlain—finally convinces her the date is indeed 1901, a skeptical Ellie decries any eccentric theories of time travel and presumes she is smack dab in the middle of a very interesting historical dream. She turns the directorial reins of her dream over to one smitten and willing Robert, only to realize that dreams cannot last forever. Someday, she must wake up to reality, though Ellie no longer has any idea what reality is. She only knows that Robert must play an important part in her future. But how can he...if he’s only a figment of her imagination or worse yet...a man who belongs to an era long past?

Excerpt:
“I’m not going to marry an eighteen-year-old girl, Grandmother.” Robert turned away and strode to the bay window. He stared down onto the city below.
“Robert, be reasonable. You need to marry sometime. Don’t you want a wife? One young enough to give you children? Any one of your sister’s friends would be quite suitable.”
“I’m afraid not, Grandmother. I’m waiting.”
“Waiting for what?” Mrs. Chamberlain muttered.
“The right one. She will come along. I know it.”
“For goodness sake, Robert. Where will you find her? You never appear even to look.”
Robert continued to stare out the window with his hands clasped behind his back. “I do not think I have met her yet, but I feel certain that I will know her when she does finally appear.”
“Robert, what nonsense! You are usually so sensible in all matters except when it comes to this subject. It seems my son’s wife raised a silly romantic,” the older woman muttered.
“Perhaps she did, Grandmother. Perhaps she did,” he murmured with a smile.
“Give me great-grandchildren, Robert. I cannot live forever.”
He turned away and grinned at the frail appearing silver-haired woman resting on the green velvet settee.
“Yes, you will, Grandmother. You will outlive us all.”
“Hmmppff,” she muttered looking away. “The house is quiet. We need children in it once again.”
“Perhaps my sister can do the honors in a few years, Grandmother. All she lacks is a suitable husband.” He consulted his pocket watch.
She eyed him with a piercing stare.
“Have you become a confirmed bachelor, Robert? Has time passed you by then?”
Robert laughed and bent to kiss his grandmother’s pale cheek.
“I hope not, madam. I did not intend to remain a bachelor for the rest of my life.”
“Then why do you wait? Give me a practical reason, none of your romantic musings.”
He straightened and grinned. “I can only assure you once again that I wait for the right woman. I know it sounds foolish, but it is the truth.” He turned away toward the door. “I must go into the office to see to a few things before we leave tomorrow. I look forward to riding the train. I always do.”

Thanks to Anna Kathryn for having me here today! I'll be checking back later to see who wins the prize!

Bess McBride, www.bessmcbride.com, www.rvromance.com

A Trail of Love Followed by Bess McBride




Hi again!

Moving along with the day! Thanks again for your comments. Remember, if you watch the book trailer for A Trail of Love on my website at www.bessmcbride.com and post a comment to this blog with the name of the handsome bear ranger, you'll be eligible to win a free download of the book and a gift certificate from Anna Kathryn Lanier.

And while we're talking about A Trail of Love, why don't I tell you about the book. As many of you might know, this is my second summer working seasonally as a park ranger at Glacier National Park. I love to write books to celebrate my travels, and this is one of my favorites. I hope I captured the beauty of Glacier National Park in the story.

Here's the blurb and an excerpt and a lovely review.

Kerrie is on the run from a painful past, and she hides in plain sight as a summer employee in the majestic setting of Glacier National Park. Lonely and isolated from the family and friends she left behind, she dreams of the day when a kind and gentle man will say to her: “I fell in love with you the first time I saw you across the room.”

Dace Mitchell could be that man! The handsome bear ranger rescues Kerrie from her own foolish behavior--more than once--and she finds herself drawn to him against her will...until she discovers he’s already involved with someone else.

When Kerrie begins to get mysterious silent phone calls, it seems the past has caught up to her. Can Dace save her from a violent man who will stop at nothing to have her?


Dace cleaned off the battery posts and reattached the cables. He got back in the truck and turned the ignition over. The truck started right up. Kerrie was sure she actually heard it purring under his care.

Dace unfolded his long legs from the small truck and got out. “There you go,” he said with a grin as Kerrie kept her distance.

“Thank you, Dace. I really appreciate your help. I should get one of those gizmos so I don’t have to stand by my dead truck like a helpless female.”

His eyebrows shot up, and he tilted his head inquiringly. “I doubt you’re helpless. I’ve discovered you women are pretty handy when you need to be. Goodnight, Kerrie.”

Dace climbed in his truck and watched Kerrie pull out of the parking lot. Her taillights disappeared into the night. What was with that woman? For that matter, what was with him? He had better things to do than stalk an unwilling female. Didn’t he? A vision of his sterile, lonely apartment in government housing popped into view. Okay, so maybe he didn’t have anything better to do.

Still, there was something in those beautiful brown eyes of hers that compelled him. Loneliness was turning him into a hopeless romantic, for Pete’s sake. Every now and then, he caught her looking at him with an expression of... What was it? Longing? Dace bit his lower lip. If anything, Kerrie acted like she would be happy to see the last of him. For the most part.

He smiled at the last thought. There was something about her, and he wasn’t going to be satisfied until he knew what it was...or she gave him firm marching orders. With a sigh, he pondered the night ahead, hoping he would be able to get some sleep...though that seemed unlikely. Images of the silky dark curls of a complicated woman had been interrupting his sleep for the past few nights.


A moose! Baby mooses! Was that the right word? Kerrie had never seen moose before in real life. They were magnificent! The dark brown mother so tall, her long stick-like legs seemingly incapable of bearing her great weight. The dark blonde youngsters, though lighter in color and smaller in scale, were perfect mirror images of their mother.

She turned to face an approaching vehicle, casting a last glance over her shoulder to make sure the moose cow and her calves did not reenter the road.

A large silver truck pulled up to the kiosk and Kerrie wished she could have slid down to the floor of her booth. The driver was Dace and he wore the same Smokey Bear hat as she, except as one of those outdoorsy men, it looked so much better on him. He worked for the Park Service. Her summer had just gotten much, much longer.

Kerrie’s heart tapped an excited rhythm against her chest. If this was any indication of what the summer promised, her hiding place suddenly looked a lot like Paradise.

I'm thrilled to announce that my upcoming August 16th release, "A Trail of Love" received five hearts and a recommended read from Diana at Night Owl Romance.

"Ms. McBride outdid herself with this story. I immediately felt drawn to Kerrie because of everything she had gone through over the years. I felt bad for her that she had such lack of self-esteem for herself. I also fell in love with Dace because he was the perfect knight in shining armor for Kerrie. He was everything that she had hoped to find in a man and so much more. Ms. McBride wrote this story from the heart and she even had me laughing at loud during some of the scenes. Pick up a copy of this story. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed. You did a fantastic job, Bess!"

For the rest of the review, follow this link: http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/reviews/Review.asp?ReviewId=2005

The book will be available at www.thewildrosepress.com and www.amazon.com at the Kindle store on August 16th. Print follows in February.

Bess McBride, www. bessmcbride.com, www.rvromance.com


Bess McBride Checks Back in With A Sigh of Love!




Hi all!

It's me, Bess McBride, checking back in. I see I already have a couple entries to my little prize giveaway (see earlier post). Thank you for commenting!

August is going to be a busy, busy month for me! I have three releases this month. Can you believe it? Three!

My beloved Alaskan romance, A Sigh of Love, (inspired by a true incident in my life), is out in print now, and available at all online bookstores. I have my author copies in my hot little hands, and if you'd like a signed copy, I'm sure we could arrange a little something.

Here's the blurb and a short excerpt.

Blurb: Abbie is on her way to Anchorage, Alaska to meet George whom she has been corresponding by telephone for the past three months. George has repeatedly asked her to come up to Alaska for a visit so they can meet in person. Call her crazy, but Abbie makes airline reservations to fly from her home in Seattle up to Anchorage to meet George. She’s lonely. Why shouldn’t she make a mad romantic dash up to the last frontier to meet a man? She’ll just ignore the practicality and logistics of a long-distance relationship. When she calls George to let him know her arrival time, he chooses that awful moment to let Abbie know that he thinks they don’t have much in common after all and she should cancel her plane reservations. Abbie is stunned, humiliated and ashamed of the lonely desperation that drove her to make nonrefundable airline reservations to Alaska.

What to do? Abbie decides to go to Alaska anyway. A grouchy and depressed Abbie meets Tom on the plane, a tall, handsome anthropology professor who happens to be half Native Alaskan and half Caucasian. As the plane flies north, Tom and Abbie discover a mutual attraction. By flight’s end, Abbie is completely enamored of the stranger, and she doubts her judgment, perhaps even her sanity, as she finds herself falling again for yet another Alaskan male...until George shows up, that is.

Excerpt: Abbie shoved her carryon bag under the seat in front of her as far as it would go. She had the aisle all to herself, and she fervently hoped that the two seats next to her would remain empty. She was in no mood for casual airplane chitchat. From her seat, she could see down the length of the plane, and it appeared as if most of the passengers had already boarded and seated themselves.
Good, she thought with satisfaction stretching her legs out in front of her and placing her paperback on the seat next to her. What kind of idiot takes an 8 p.m. flight to Anchorage, Alaska, in September anyway? She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. Besides me.

Abbie let loose a sigh which began deep within her soul. It came out louder than she planned, and she hoped no one else on the quiet plane heard the understated groan. She opened her eyes and found a tall man standing in the aisle next to her seat. Startled, she blinked and met a pair of almond-shaped, obsidian eyes that crinkled at the corners. His friendly smile widened to a grin.
“May I?” he asked, indicating the window seat past her.
“Oh, sure.” Abbie quickly scrambled out of her seat and stepped into the aisle to allow him to pass. She caught her breath when he slid past her to take his seat. His face was strikingly handsome. Exotic eyes were the prominent feature in an angular bronze face with a narrow nose and full lips.


As the plane rolled onto the runway, Abbie leaned her head back and closed her eyes for a moment. It wasn’t too late. She could still jump up and ask the attendants to stop the plane and let her off. She smiled imagining the scene. Would they open the doors and let her out onto the runway to trudge back to the terminal on foot? Would they take the airplane back to the terminal and boot her out the door—forbidden ever to book a flight with them again? A quiet hysterical giggle escaped her wayward lips. Or would they force her to inexorably march on and continue the flight to Anchorage against her will?

As they neared the downtown area, Abbie observed with joy that summertime Anchorage remained as festive as she remembered. Large luscious baskets of flowers hung from ornate lampposts along the streets and colorful blooms spilled over flowerboxes affixed to buildings and gracing the sidewalks. People flocked downtown to wander the streets and admire the lush growth of trees, grass and flowers made possible by the almost unending light of the long summer days.
The market seemed much larger and more crowded than Abbie remembered, but she happily wandered up and down the vendor rows with Tom while they discussed the various arts, crafts, and food for sale. She noticed with amusement that tourists occasionally paused to stare at Tom with his obvious Alaska Native heritage and distinctive long hair. He appeared oblivious to the stares and double-takes as he moved through the stalls. Other people of Alaska Native ancestry who sold artwork or browsed the stalls showed the same unconcern regarding the curious glances of visitors.
Abbie was taken aback when two older women with silver hair, white sunhats, and sporty leisure suits stopped Tom and asked if they could have their photo taken with him.
He gave them a huge grin and said, “Sure, ladies.”
Abbie stifled a giggle when he put his arms around the much shorter women and pulled them in close for the photo that a bystander was coerced into taking. The older women laughed in delight while gazing up at Tom with something akin to adoration on their faces. Abbie suspected she knew how they felt since it was all she could do to keep the same adoring look from appearing on her face.
Tom gave each woman a quick squeeze before he released them. He waved as they wandered off, whispering to each other, giggling, and throwing longing glances back in his direction
“Well, Tom, you seem to be in your element. Does this sort of thing occur often?”
He winked at her. Her knees weakened at the gesture, and she wished she too could have been one of the women pressed up against him in an embrace.
“Happens all the time during tourist season,” he chuckled. “It’s the long hair,” he said, tugging on his ponytail. “They get a kick out of posing with a local.”
Abbie smiled and wondered if he had any idea how handsome he was. No matter what his ethnicity, she suspected the ladies would still have asked to have a picture taken with him because he presented such a striking figure.
“You don’t think your looks have something to do with it?” she smiled brightly.
Color stole into his cheeks, giving him a boyish quality.
“Aw, come on. I look pretty ordinary around here. You should see my sister and my mother. Now, they’re quite beautiful. Even Dad is a pretty good-looking fellow. I’m the runt of the litter,” he laughed self-mockingly.


Tom and Abbie pulled over at a man-made fish ladder to watch exhausted sockeye salmon attempt to jump over the ladder and make their way into the lake on the other side of the road to their final spawning grounds.
“I wish I could just pick them up and help them over. They’re so tired. It seems like such a sad journey, doesn’t it? To make it out to sea and then return to their hatching place to spawn and die.”
“I don’t think I ever thought of it that way,” Tom smiled. “They’re fighters, that’s for sure,” he said watching the fish, bright red as they neared the end of their lives, trying to fly over the ladder.
“Is it still against the law to touch them?” Abbie asked sadly.
“Yes, I’m afraid it is. Something about impeding the natural movement of fish...even if it is with the best intentions.”
She looked up at him with misty eyes.
“What a struggle they have,” she said mournfully as she walked over to the lake on the other side of the road. Those bright red fish that had successfully made the jump milled about peacefully in the shallow waters.
“I’m glad we don’t just die after we procreate. Our lives would be so short.” She peeked at Tom with dancing eyes. “Mine would be much shorter than yours since I’ve already had my kids. You could still be spawning.”
Abbie found herself laughing uproariously at her joke.
It wasn’t that funny, Abbie!
She hoped she wasn’t disintegrating into hysterics. Tears of laughter streamed from her eyes. She glanced at Tom to find him watching her with a strange light in his eyes.
Tom unexpectedly pulled her into his arms and bent his head to kiss her. Without thought, she instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck to pull his head even closer as she kissed him back. His embrace tightened, and she rose up on tiptoe to close any possible gap between them. His kiss was firm and insistent, and she lost herself in the magic of his lips. The world around her began to sway, but his strong arms kept her from falling to her knees.
He raised his head and loosened his grip around her waist as he looked down into her half-closed eyes.
“Wow!” He cleared his throat, but failed to rid his voice of its sensual huskiness. “I’m not sure what came over me. I can’t believe I just did that. Are you okay?” he asked with a frown between his narrowed glittering eyes.
“Ummm...oh yes, I’m fine,” she said backing away in embarrassment at her own loss of control. She avoided his intent gaze and turned to stare blindly out at the lake. “I’m sorry too. That’s not like me.”
“Hey.” He tilted her head back with gentle fingers, forcing her to meet his glittering gaze. “I didn’t say I was sorry. I just said I can’t believe I did that.” His color was high as he added, “I don’t usually grab women and maul them. I hope I didn’t scare you off.”
Abbie’s heart skipped at least one beat.
“No, I’m not scared. I didn’t exactly run,” she murmured. She closed her eyes against his seductive gaze.
“No, you didn’t, did you?” He released her chin and put his hands in his pockets. “I’m glad,” he said simply and turned to head back to the jeep.

Five Hearts from The Romance Studio! Read it here! http://www.theromancestudio.com/reviews/reviews/sighlovemcbride.htm

Buy Link:
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Sigh-Love-Bess-McBride/dp/1601541775/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218126803&sr=1-2
Barnes and Noble.com http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Love-of-My-Heart/Bess-McBride/e/9781601540911/?itm=1

Bess McBride, www.bessmcbride.com, www.rvromance.com

Good Morning from Guest Blogger Bess McBride



Good morning (afternoon to some of you) all!

Anna has graciously allowed me to guest blog today! Since it's 11 a.m. Mountain Time, she must be wondering if I was ever going to show up! But you all know how it is...I wanted to get my e-mails out of the way before I settled in for a visit.

I've "known" Anna for, oh, about nine months now when I first joined a multi-author contest she was coordinating. I've been a contest addict ever since. I have to tell you an insider tip though! Anna and Skhye give away the best prizes! Okay, nuff said. Can't reveal any more than that!

And speaking of prizes...Anna asked me if I wanted to give away a prize today while guest blogging, and I said...sure! So, the prize will be a free download of my upcoming release, A Trail of Love, my contemporary romance set in Glacier National Park featuring a woman running from a painful past, a handsome bear ranger, grizzly bears and love, love, love.

But what's the contest part, you say?

Hmmm...thinking.... Okay, got it! I just finished the book trailer for A Trail of Love, and (not to overuse the word), I "love" it! Love those book trailers.

Here's the link to the book trailer page on my web site http://www.bessmcbride.com/gpage5.html. Go ahead and give the trailer a look see, and tell me what the handsome bear ranger's name is.

You've got till midnight tonight (let's make it Hawaii time) to post the answer in a comment to this blog!

I'll be back in a few!



Bess McBride

"Romances for Armchair Travelers"

www.bessmcbride.com www.myspace.com/bessmcbride

www.rvromance.com

Love of My Heart available now

A Sigh of Love available now

A Trail of Love coming August 16, 2008

A Train Through Time coming August 22, 2008

Caribbean Dreams of Love coming December 12, 2008

www.thewildrosepress.com www.amazon.com


Join Bess McBride and me in THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER Contest

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER Is the August heat and price of gas keeping you indoors? Never fear. The DOG DAYS OF SUMMER contest has romantic and inspiring prizes to help you beat the heat. Just find the picture of a dog (excluding any book covers) on the following websites to be in the running for prizes from 12 romance authors. To enter, visit each author's website, find the picture of a dog, and note that website page on a list that you will send to mailto:happyendings07@aol.com by midnight CST, August 30th, 2008.

Get started visit one of the Participating Authors' websites:

Skhye Moncrief
Sky Purington
Bess McBride
Anna Kathryn Lanier
Dayana Knight
Kyann Waters
Connie Rachal
Anh Leod
Aithne Jarretta
Donna Micheals
Tarah Scott
Alisha Paige

August 9, 2008

Come Chat with Bess McBride

Join me on Monday as I welcome guest blogger Bess McBride. She'll tells all about her wonderful life and her great stories:

Bess McBride is multi-published, with two stories set to be released in August.

Love of My Heart available now
A Sigh of Love available now
A Trail of Love coming August 16, 2008
A Train Through Time coming August 22, 2008
http://www.bessmcbride.com/
www.myspace.com/bessmcbride
http://www.rvromance.com/

~Anna Kathryn