March 30, 2009

Win a $10 Gift Certificate

Last two days to enter to win a $10 The Wild Rose Press Gift Certificate. All you need to do is visit my website and make a comment in my guest book., The guest book link is at the bottom of the Home Page. Tellme what your favorite Birthday memory is. I'll draw a winner on or about April 1st.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

March 29, 2009


Spring is in the air! Bees are buzzing. Children anxiously await the big morning where they can graze on candy all day. What about mom? We've got a treat for you! Come join a group of romance authors in celebration of spring. Enter to win a prize a day as well as enter to win the grand prize. All you need do is begin at Silver James' blog on April 1st at Silver will host the day's contest and provide the link to the next day's location. Don't forget to enter to win the grand prize!


To enter to win prizes from the authors donating treasures to the grand prize (see each day's post for what an author is donating to the grand prize), find the four Easter eggs in the A TISKET A TASKET, PUT ROMANCE IN YOUR BASKET blog event.

You will be searching for the above egg. Just visit all of the authors' websites, locate the 4 eggs, make a list of their locations by pasting the urls to the website pages in an e-mail, then send the entry to by midnight CST on May 1st, 2009. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced May 2nd at Tip #1, subscribe to to learn if you're the winner! And don't worry.

If you start in on the blog event late, just head back to Silver James' blog on April 1st at to begin your website search for the Easter eggs. Don't miss the fun! See you next to the burgundy tulips.

March 28, 2009

The Friday Record: Colonial and Native American Women, Part Three

Yesterday, I had a lot going on in my household. My daugher, son-in-law and grandchildren arrived for my daughter's birthday, but on the way, their car had engine trouble. So we needed to figure out how to fix the car, while enteraining 3 kids. Anyway, I forgot to post The Friday Record. So here it is, part three of

A Woman’s Place is in the House:
The Affect of Colonization on
Native American and Colonial Women’s
Place in Society

The first permanent European colony in the New World was established in 1607. Those seeking a new life in the virgin land brought with them old beliefs and laws, including the idea that “all of them (European women) are understood either married or to bee married,” anonymous lawyer T.E. wrote in his 1632 treatise on the legal status of women.1

All of the New England colonies recognized that in a marriage, a wife’s “personality (identity) come absolutely to her husband when they wed.”2 All property became his, she could not make her own will or contract and she very seldom filed her own lawsuits.3 Any income a wife earned was her husband’s as well. And in difference to the Native American culture, the children were not hers, but his.

Divorce was mostly unheard of in the colonies. Absolute divorce, which allowed the parties to remarry, was only available in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Other colonies allowed for separation, which did not allow for remarriage. Even with divorce on the law books, it was uncommon and usually granted only on the grounds of desertion for more than six years. In a fifty-two year period, (1639-1692) Massachusetts granted only twenty-seven divorces.4

Even more so than with Native American women, British colonial women had a place in society and they were expected to stay in it. It should not be surprising to learn that not all women conformed to expectation. Anne Hutchinson, a Puritan and daughter of an Anglican minister was outspoken in her belief that women had as much right to testify on the Gospel as men. She held very popular prayer meetings in her home, which were acceptable in the eyes of the church, until she started interpreting the bible herself and claiming people could communicate directly to God without ministers interceding. In doing that, she crossed the line. When she was brought before the council, she out spoke the men with her knowledge of the bible, turning their words back on them. Their decision made before the trial even started, they found her guilty of sedition and banished her from the colony for life.5

As a result of her heresy, a college was established to educate theologians with common knowledge so they could protect the church and government against future seditious citizens such as Anne Hutchinson. Peter G. Gomes, in an article for Harvard Magazine, proclaims Mrs. Hutchinson the “midwife to what would become Harvard College.”6 He goes on to say that it is ironic that in the present day, Mrs. Hutchinson would find herself and her thoughts more acceptable at Harvard than the men who had started the college.7

Anne Hutchinson is not the only colonial woman who stepped out of place. Mary Dyer, a follower of Anne, walked out of the church with her when Anne was excommunicated. When Mary returned to Boston many years later, she wore Quaker clothing and was immediately arrested and banished again. The Boston General Court determined that Quaker doctrine ran counter to Puritan dogma and was an assault on the fundamental truths of religion. Undeterred and wishing to “look the bloody laws in the face,”8 she returned several more times, escaping the hangman’s noose by mere seconds with an entreaty made by her son. Ever the zealot, she returned yet again and was sentenced to death a second time. Mary Dyer was hanged by the neck until dead in 1660 for, as she stated at the time of her final trial, coming “to keep bloodguiltiness from you, desireing you to repeal the unrighteous and unjust law made against the innocent servants of the Lord.”9

Following Mary Dyer’s execution, Mary, Hannah and Lydia Wright, three Quaker sisters, stood against the status quo and questioned the authority of ministers and magistrates in defense of their religion. They protested the treatment of Quakers, including the hanging of Mary Dyer. The Wright sisters were all three admonished, jailed, and banished from Boston for their affronts to authority. Lydia was stripped to the waist and whipped as she was driven out of town. 10 In all these cases, the first punishment for crossing the line was banishment, which women usually followed through with, Dyer being an exception. Her punishment exceeded that of many women because she pushed the status quo with her outspoken refusal to stay in her place.

* * *

The relationship between Indians and Europeans was rocky from the start. The Europeans had come to conquer a people they thought were uncivilized. The natives, however, liked their lives as they were and thought the white man’s ways strange. By looking at how they treated one another, it is easy to see which group was civilized and which group was not.

With free interaction between Native Americans and Europeans and the shortage of women in the white settlements, it should come as no surprise that European men took up with Native American women. As fur traders moved through the new land, they came to realize the value of the Native women, “who provided the knowledge, skills and labor that made it possible to survive in the unfamiliar environment.”11 The comment made by the Jesuit priest about women being pack-mules is a more accurate description for the way native women were treated by European men than in the context in which it was made.

Though some relationships between traders and native women led to long and happy marriages, more often, Native American women were exploited. They were frequently subjected to racial prejudices and European laws, which gave husbands the right to their property and children. Often times, the women and their mixed-blood children would be abandoned when the men returned to Europe.

Realizing they were being unjustly treated within the European society, several Native American women sought to establish power in the white man’s world such as they had in their tribes. Coosaponakesa, raised as a Creek and known by the English as Mary Musgrove, was the daughter of an English father and Creek mother and the niece of a powerful Creek chief named Brims. She married three Englishmen during her life. The first marriage was arranged between her uncle and John Musgrove to end the Yamassee War, a conflict between Carolina traders and the Creek Indians due to trade abuses. John Musgrove, a member of the Carolina Commission of Indian Trade, offered his son, also named John and thought to be a mixed-blood Creek, as groom to Coosaponakesa. Her second marriage seems to be based on circumstances more than love. After John’s death, she married an indentured servant in order to maintain control of her property. Though it appears her husbands treated her well, the same cannot be said about the English government. She spent from 1732 until 1759 acting as interpreter between the Creeks and the English government, often preventing war and simultaneously fighting the English in their courts to gain title for land the Creeks had given her. William Stephens, president of the Savannah court, disliked Mary, calling her “dangerous, overbearing, unstable, disloyal and unruly.”12 He refused to allow Indian testimony in the courts, testimony which would support Mary’s claim that the Creeks had given her use of the land.

She went so far as to travel to England and petition the courts there, but to no avail. The government finally settled with Mary to prevent an impending Creek uprising and to open up disputed land for English settlement. Five years before her death, Mary finally had title to the land that was hers not only by birthright, but as a loyal citizen of the English crown. 13

The European government did not seem to understand the behind-the-scenes influence of Native American women concerning policies. Nor did they know how to handle a female chief, as they were unfamiliar in dealing with women who held power. When Cockacoeske, weronsqua of the Pamunkey was summoned before the General Assembly of Virginia, the chairman spoke to her with little respect and turned aside her grievances with coldness and little thought. Only after her village was attacked during Bacon’s Rebellion and she demanded a return of her lands and compensation for her lost goods, did officials realize they could not afford to have such a powerful chief as an enemy and insisted the assembly appease her.14

1 Mary Beth Norton, “‘Either Married or to Bee Married:’ Women’s Legal Inequality in Early America.,” Inequality in Early America 25
2 Mary Beth Norton, “‘Either Married or to Bee Married:’ Women’s Legal Inequality in Early America.,” 26.
3 Mary Beth Norton, “‘Either Married or to Bee Married:’ Women’s Legal Inequality in Early America,” 26.
4 Nancy Woloch, Early American Women, 92
5 “The Trail of Anne Hutchinson”
6 Peter G. Gomes, “Anne Hutchinson: Brief life of Harvard’s ‘midwife:’ 1595-1643” ¶ 2.
7 Peter G. Gomes, “Anne Hutchinson: Brief life of Harvard’s ‘midwife:’ 1595-1643” ¶ 11.
8 “Mary Dyer: A Quaker Martyr,” Mayflower Families ¶ 6.
9 “Mary Dyer: A Quaker Martyr” Mayflower Families ¶ 19.
10 “The Sisterhood of Friends.”
11 Sara Evans, “The First American Women,” Women’s America: Refocusing the Past 33
12 Michael D. Green. “Mary Musgrove: Creating a New World.” Sifters: Native American Women’s Lives 38
13 Michael D. Green. “Mary Musgrove: Creating a New World.” Sifters: Native American Women’s Lives 45.
14 Liz Sonneborn, “Cockacoseke, Queen of the Pamunkey,” A to Z of Native American Women, 32.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

March 25, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Blueberry Cake

I've had this recipe for over ten years. I like it because, as usual, it's delicious, cheap and VERY EASY. It's a great cake for a warm spring day.


1 angel food cake (I buy store ,made)
1 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 8 oz whipped topping, thawed
1 cup sugar
1 can blueberry pie filling

1) Combine cream cheese, whipped topping and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

2) Cut cake in half lengthwise (parallel to the counter) so you have 2 layers.

3) Cover bottom layer with half of the cream cheese mixture, then replace the top layer of cake.

4) Cover rest of cake with remaining mixture.

5) Pour blueberry filling over all.

Refrigerate leftover cake.

I mean, does it get any easier than that?

When I was younger, I didn't like blueberries. When I was staying in Finland for that year of school, they ate a lot of blueberries and when I told people I didn't like them, they'd say, 'try this, you'll like it.' So, I finally got to the point where I'd tell them I was allergic to them. They stopped trying to push them on me after that. But now, I eat fresh blueberries and I find I like them, as well as canned. This cake is really good, and really sweet, so slice small pieces.

What do you do when offered or given a food you don't like? Leave a comment to be eligible for my monthly prize (and your e-mail if your blogspot page doesn't have a link to it).

Anna Kathryn Lanier

March 23, 2009

My head is in the clouds

First, I want to think Anna Kathryn for having me as her guest blogger today. This is exciting! I loved her blog about buying that village in England. If only I had the money....

Today I'd like to talk about my upcoming story from The Wild Rose Press, The Man Hunt. It's due to be released on March 25 - in a couple of days, and I'm holding my breath until it's out. A few years ago, one of my co-workers introduced me to her son - a VERY good looking guy going through a heart-breaking divorce. As I thought about this Hunk, I realized he needed a happily ever after - even if it's in my imagination. heehee His name is Brock - just what I named my sexy hero. But you know, the hero of my story took his own identity as I wrote, and he's nothing like the Brock in real life. Now it's okay to slobber over my hero without feeling guilty. Check out the awesome trailer, too!

Unwilling to let another man control her life, Dr. Jordan Reed hires someone to portray her new love interest to satisfy her nagging stepmother. Part of the bargain is that he convince her ex-boyfriend that she has happily moved on. Unfortunately, it’s hard to prove when Brock Hamill blames Jordan for his sister’s suicide and embarks on a mission to destroy her psychiatric credibility. Acting the part of a patient, his mission is deterred by the doctor’s hot body and giving heart, and when he discovers her life 's in jeopardy, he’s willing to reveal his true identity to save her. Will Jordan forgive his deceit when she learns the truth?

Doctor Jordan Reed squinted and adjusted her eyes to the dimly lit bar. The Standard Examiner lay opened in front of her as she scanned the advertisement. Woman seeking man for business partner. Must be charming and witty. Must be between thirty and forty-five and have acting ability. Call 1-800-777-4042 to arrange interview.

“Oh no! Erica, what have you done?”

Jordan focused on the little black letters that practically reached out and slapped her. She slumped forward, banged her forehead on the table, finally letting it come to rest on the opened newspaper. “Why? Why? Why?” she moaned.

Sitting across the table, Erica patted Jordan’s hand. “Don’t be mad at me. It’ll work out. I promise.”

“Oh, God, Erica! This makes me look desperate.” Jordan shook her head. Her forehead crinkled the paper. “Then again, maybe I am. I should be the patient instead of the psychiatrist.”

Erica laughed. “Will you stop worrying? I told you, everything will be just fine.”
Jordan raised her head just enough to look at her friend. Yeah right. “How many people do you think are going to read this ad? How many people will actually take it seriously? Damn, Erica, what kind of woman hunts for a man by taking out an ad in the newspaper, especially in my profession? That’s what people are going to think and don’t say they won’t.”

Erica shrugged her thin shoulders. “You’ve been hurt. People will understand…at least the right people will. And I don’t think you need help. All you need is—” She bit her bottom lip and drew her brows together.

Jordan straightened and looked at her friend. “What do I need?”

The corner of Erica’s mouth lifted into a smirk. “It’s like I told you before, all you need is a good romp in the sack. That will cure all your problems.”

“Oh Lord.” Jordan rolled her eyes and thumped her head back on the table. Pain exploded like a cannon in her skull. She yelped.

Erica touched Jordan’s head. “Are you all right?”

“I will be after my head stops pounding.”

Erica chuckled and scooted across her seat. “I’m going to get our drinks. What do you want?”

“Nothing. I need a clear head to finish the work day, especially now that I’ve seen the havoc you’ve caused.”

“Okay, no vodka. How about soda and water?”

“That’s fine.”

Jordan worked her hands between her head and the newspaper and massaged her aching skull. How could it have come to this? Sure, Erica was only thinking about her, but an ad in the newspaper? Oh, God! Still, desperate times called for desperate measures. Didn’t they? She’d been without a man since Kenneth left. Kenneth, the man she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. The man who broke her heart when he married her wealthy stepmother. And now they were coming for a visit. Like she wanted to see him. No way she’d let either of them see her without a man.

As much as she wanted to yell and cuss at her secretary for placing the ad, Jordan had to admit hiring someone to portray her boyfriend wasn’t a bad idea. Especially since she was running out of time.

Humiliation spread through her at the thought of Kenneth discovering how much he’d hurt her two years ago. Especially after he laughed in her face and told her she’d never have another relationship. Then again, he always thought he was God’s gift to women. Oh how she wished her stepmother hadn’t gone against her advice and married the jerk anyway. Not that she blamed her stepmother. Kenneth had been so conniving and convincing. It made Jordan ill just to think of it.

A warm hand touched her shoulder, before the intoxicating scent of male spice lured her from her thoughts. “Excuse me, miss. Are you all right?”

Why did everyone ask her that? She huffed, ready to give the stranger a set down if he thought she was an easy pick-up, and raised her head. She sat up, turned toward the intruder, and opened her mouth to speak. The words got lost. It took a minute to remember to breathe.

Absolutely gorgeous!

His freshly-shaven, square jaw emphasized his slightly pointed nose and highlighted a beautiful smile. Dreamy! Sexy! Even in the smoke-filled shadows of the bar, Charlie’s Passion, his dark hair grabbed her attention - cut short and slicked back, just the way she liked.

His eyes hypnotized her. Because of the shadows, she couldn’t detect a color, but it was as if his wide, radiant eyes saw right through her. For a moment, she caught a glimpse of a wild wolf lurking in their depths.

She shivered and blinked a few times to see if the image disappeared. Was she dreaming, or was there really a man so incredibly good-looking, so incredibly sexy in this bar?

“Miss? You all right?” he spoke again, mentally shaking her from her stupor.

She nodded. “I was just...hmmm, well...” She glanced down at the wrinkled paper. “I was reading the paper.”

His smile widened, and he slid into the seat beside her. His eyes drifted to her head. “With your forehead?”

She chuckled and rubbed the still smarting tender spot. He brushed her fingers away. Heat from his skin pierced through her like a lightening bolt.

“There’s something on your forehead.” When he leaned closer, his rock-hard chest bumped her shoulder. Warmth spread through every limb right down to her toes. His raspberry colored tongue peeked over his lip, just as he slid his thumb across it. When he lifted his hand to rub off the mark, she couldn't take her eyes off his face. The liquid heat on his thumb burned her skin like molten lava, making her insides tremble.

“The paper left its mark on you.”

She swallowed hard. Not just the paper left its mark, so had he.

Visit my website for more stories and wonderful book trailers -

Anna Kathryn, thanks again for having me here!


March 21, 2009

Want to own an English Country Village?

So, there's an entire English country village for sale. Linkenholt in Southern England consists of 1,500 acres of farmland, 425 acres of wood land, a cricket patch, 21 cottages, and a grand manor house. Oh, and it has about 40 residents. You can have it all (minus the 12th century church and graveyard, because according the real estate agent Time Sherston, "That is owned by God."). It's for sale for a mere $32 million dollars.

Now, really, if I had $32 million dollars, I'd snatch it up in a New York minute. Can you imagine? It's almost as good as owning a castle! You'd get to live in the Grand Manor House, or a cottage if you wanted to and own a really picturesque piece of England.

What would you do if you the money to buy your wildest dream? Actually, I guess the question is, what's your wildest dream? Where would you live? Or what you do? Aside from buying a village or castle or my own tropical island, I'd love to cruise around the world and/or spend a year touring England and Scotland.

Leave a comment telling us what your wildest dream is and you could win a copy "What a Lady Wants" and "A Littlte Bit Wicked", both by Victoria Alexander. I'll draw a winner for the prize next Friday (March 27).
Anna Kathryn

Click to Give

I spoke about this before, back in October, but thought I'd remind everyone about this wonderful site. All you gotta do is check in daily, and click to give: foodfor the hungry, mammograms, health care to kids, books to kids, rainforest support, and food for animals. It takes about a minute to go through all the tabs and click for the six different causes.

Find out more at:

The also have stores where you can purchase items, with proceeds going to the causes.

Anna Kathryn

March 19, 2009

The Friday Record - Colonial and Native American Women, Part Two

This is part of my continuing series on the honor's paper I wrote for a World History class in college in 2006. Due to the response from part one, posted on March 13, I've decided to post the rest of the paper until it's completed. Thanks for all the comments I've received.

While the chief of a tribe was typically male, there are several occasions where a woman was the tribal leader, providing women with the opportunity to advance and participate politically in the Native American society. Two of the more well-known female chiefs are Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey and Weetamoo of the Wampanoag. Cockacoeske became werowance,1 when her husband was killed fighting for the colonists. During her twenty year reign2 she sided with England through Bacon’s Rebellion.3 Cockacoeske signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation of 1677, which prescribed hunting, fishing and gathering rights to the tribe, made her the suzerain4 of the other chiefs who signed the treaty, and disallowed colonists from settling within three miles of any Indian village.5 This treaty is still in effect and a law suit was filed in the State of Virginia a few years ago claiming the treaty was being violated by plans to build a reservoir within the three mile range set in the treaty.6

Weetamoo, sister-in-law of Metacom (King Philip), became sachem7 of her family’s tribe when her father died. When her husband, and Metacom’s brother, died unexpectedly after a visit with the English, she vowed revenge, believing her husband had been poisoned. She controlled three hundred warriors, divorced her second husband because of his friendliness with the English and married the nephew of the sachem of the Narraganset tribe. This marriage was seen as a political match. Her new husband purchased Mary Rowlandson after she was captured and Mary was a servant for Weetamoo during her captivity. Weetamoo was an ally of Metacom and participated in his war against the English. Weetamoo’s former father-in-law, Massasoit had cultivated friendship and peace with the colonists. However, by the time Weetamoo and Meatcom were sachems, a bitter resentment had developed between the natives and English over the loss of land by the Native Americans. In 1675 Metacom’s tribe, the Wampanoag, rose up in a bloody revolt, killing up to one third of the people in New England. 8 Weetamoo aligned her tribe and her third husband’s tribe, the Narraganset, with Metacom and fought with him. She was killed trying to escape the English.9


While Native American tribes seemed more ready to accept the power of women, they still expected them to remain in their places. Tekakwitha, the daughter of a captured Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father, was one woman who stepped out of line. Orphaned at four when small pox swept through her village, killing her family and leaving her severely scared and nearly blind, she was adopted by her mother’s brother-in-law, an important Mohawk chief. He hated Christians in general and Roman Catholics in particular.

When she was eleven, Tekakwitha became familiar with Jesuits’ teachings and declared she wished to become a convert, much to her uncle’s dislike. After her baptism, at which time she took the name Katherine, she was “ridiculed…mocked and jeered. When she refused to work in the fields [on the Sabbath] she was pelted with stones.”10 After she learned of the vow of chastity nuns took, she stated she would remain unmarried. The Mohawks were angered at her refusal to marry, to have children or to do the work expected of a Mohawk woman.

After receiving death threats, Tekakwitha left her village for another where Christians were more welcomed. Soon after arriving, she approached the priests about starting a convent. Feeling she was too newly converted, they refused her, but finally allowed her take the vow of chastity.

This chastity request by Tekakwitha may have come from her Mohawk upbringing. The Mohawks allowed women to declare themselves virgins for life and to live cloistered with other such women. Unfortunately, “several cloistered women became drunk from alcohol given them…[and] their behavior was so embarrassing to Mohawk leaders that the virgin enclaves were disbanded.”11 It is possible the memory of this incident contributed to the Mohawk’s anger at Tekakwitha when she vowed to remain a virgin.
She plunged into her new life by embracing self-sacrificing habits. Her abuse of eating little, flogging herself and praying in the snow took its toil on her and she died at the age of twenty-four. It was claimed that upon her death, her pock-marks disappeared and she became beautiful.12

Reports of her conversion and pious life lead to her grave being visited by many people who prayed to her and soon miracles were attributed to her. In 1943, the Catholic Church declared her venerable and in 1980 she was blessed, the two steps before Sainthood. Though ridiculed by her own tribe, Tekakwitha may well become the first Native American saint of the Roman Catholic Church.13

1 Queen.
2 Liz Sonneborn, “Cockacoeske, Queen of the Pamunkey ,” A to Z of Native American Women, 31.
3 Bacon’s Rebellion – a power struggle between Virginia Gov. Sir William Berkeley, and Nathaniel Bacon, Jr. in 1676.
4 A feudal lord over other kings or leaders.
5 “What was the Treaty of Middle Plantation?,” The Mariners’ Museum: Chesapeake Bay, Native Americans website.
6 “How a 1677 treaty could snag reservoir in court”, Virginia Indians.
7 Chieftain.
8 “King Philips’s War” ¶ 3.
9 Liz Sonnebon, “Weetamoo, Wampanoag Tribal Leader”Liz Sonneborn,” A to Z of Native American Women, 193.
10 Liz Sonneborn, “Tekakwitha, Kateri (Catherine, Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks)” A to Z of Native American Women, 173.
11 Liz Sonneborn,“Tekakwitha, Kateri (Catherine, Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks),” 174.
12 Liz Sonneborn, “Tekckwitha, Katreri (Catharine, Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks),” 174.
13 Liz Sonnebon, “Tekakwitha, Kateri (Catherine, Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks), A to Z of Native American Women, 175

March 18, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Chessy Slow Cooker Chicken

My eldest daughter Tiffany, the mother of two children, ages 23 months and 4 years, also works full-time in child care center. So, she's a pretty busy wife and mother. She recently tried this recipe and posted it on her myspace blog. My younger daughter, Holly, (mother of a 16 month old, and also working outside the home) saw the post and suggested that I post it here. I haven't tried it, but if Tiffany likes it, I'm sure it's good.

I personally like crockpot recipes....dump the ingredients into the pot in the morning and then forget about it. Go about your daily business and come home to a already-cooked meal. One word of warning (learned from personal experience)....make sure the crockpot is PLUGGED IN before you leave the house....somehow, the food just doesn't cook if it's not and you have to make something else for dinner (not to mention throwing away a really nice looking pot roast).

Leave a comment about one of your cooking disasters and be eligible for my monthly drawing for a really cook prizes.

Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken (Crockpot Recipe)


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Salt, black pepper and garlic powder to taste

2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed Cheddar cheese soup, undiluted

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Hot cooked pasta (your choice, I like the rotini with it)


1. Place 3 chicken breasts in Crockpot slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Repeat with remaining 3 chicken breasts and seasonings.

2. Combine soups in medium bowl; pour over chicken. Cover; cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is tender.

3. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve over pasta.

** Yields 6 Servings**

Note: This sauce is also delicious over rice or mashed potatoes.

****Tiffany gave this recipe 5 stars, saying the flavor is wonderful and the chicken is really tender.****

Anna Kathryn Lanier

March 15, 2009

Guest Blogger - Jannine Corti-Petska

In honor of Women's History Month, I thought I'd shine the spotlight on an Italian woman who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1926. She is Grazia (Madesani) Deledda, born in Nuoro, a small, isolated village in Sardinia in 1871. She was a gifted writer who published her first work at the age of thirteen. Grazia wove stories about real places and people with real emotions. She painted a picture of reality interspersed with her vivid imagination based on the people and natural surroundings of her village.

She attended elementary school but completed her education under a private tutor. He gave her themed writing assignments and encouraged her to publish her stories in a newspaper. It was the start of an illustrious writing career for Grazia. She sold her first submission, Sangue Sardo (Sardinian Blood) a tragic short story, to a magazine. In 1892, she wrote and sold her first novel. Grazia's talent didn't stop with novels. She also wrote a three-act play and poems. Her novel Cenere was turned into a movie for a famous Italian actress.

In Grazia's time, as well as history in general, women were supposed to concern themselves with domestic duties only. She wasn't supposed to depict in writing what was regarded as a matter for men. Her work was not well-received by her village. But Grazia was a nonconformist. After she married and moved to Rome, she continued to write about Sardinia. Her writing was described as "eloquent and unpretentious." A famous Italian critic said, "Her style is that of the great masters of the narrative; it has the characteristic marks of all great novelists. No one in Italy today writes novels which have the vigor of style, the power of craftsmanship, the structure, or the social relevance which I found in of Grazia Deledda........"

On December 10, 1927, Grazia Deledda was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. In his speech, Archbishop Nathan Soderblom (of the Swedish Academy) said, "Dear Madame. The proverb says, 'All roads lead to Rome.' In your literary work, all roads lead to the human heart........."

Grazia continued to write until her death in 1936. Only those who study Italian literature may know of her, but women of her determination have made strides in a world considered owned by men. And because I am an author, I admire her strength and talent.

I don't write Nobel Prize-worthy literature, but I do write stories from the heart. Stories of real life interwoven with the imagination in my mind and characters with emotion. My favorite backdrop is Medieval Italy where two of my books are set. My latest release is CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, the first book in my medieval psychic sisters trilogy. It takes place in Northern Italy and available in ebook and print.

The last thing Count Luciano Ruggero expected was to fall in love with a commoner. But Carina Gallo is the only woman to capture his interest and his heart. When he discovers she has psychic abilities, he is torn between keeping her secret and using her gift to locate his missing brother. Neither the count nor Carina know that her life is in danger until it's almost too late.

Also available is my ebook short story KNIGHT'S DESIRE, set in 14th century Piemonte, Italy.

Mariella Rizzoli seeks employment in Baron Romano DeSanto's castle, hoping to obtain the rights to her dead father's keep. When he bids her to seduce him for the keep, she will do whatever it takes to retain her home. But can she seduce the handsome knight without losing her heart to him?

And for a change of scenery, the following book, REBEL HEART, is a historical western romance set in Santa Fe in 1872.

When the woman he's sworn to protect finds herself in the middle of a range war, Beau Hamilton fights against losing his heart while defending Courtney Danning against the unscrupulous man fixing to run her out of town. But when their passion turns as hot as the Santa Fe sun, will their love in the untamed West prevail? Or will Beau's dark past tear them apart?

Information for purchasing Jannine's books:

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes

First, how to win each month - JUST COMMENT ON MY BLOG. I draw a winner from all those who comment on my blog for a special prize each month. Of late, I haven't decided until the end what the prize will be, but it's always something nice, trust me: a gift certificate, books, Bath and Body Works shower gel/lotion, etc.

The second way to each month: leave a comment in my guestbook on my website, Find link to my guestbook at the bottom of the HOME page. Information on the contest can be found on my contest page. This month's prize is a $10 The Wild Rose Press Gift certificate. The question to answer is, what's your favorite birthday memory.

Now, next month, I'll be participating in a Blog train contest:

Spring is in the air! Bees are buzzing. Children anxiously await the big morning where they can graze on candy all day. What about mom? We've got a treat for you! Come join a group of romance authors in celebration of spring. Enter to win a prize a day as well as enter to win the grand prize. All you need do is begin at on April 1st. The first author will host the day's contest and provide the link to the next day's location. Don't forget to enter to win the grand prize! Here's the dirt for that:


To enter to win prizes from the authors donating treasures to the grand prize (see each day's post for what an author is donating to the grand prize), find the four Easter eggs in the A TISKET A TASKET, PUT ROMANCE IN YOUR BASKET blog event and send their names in to the e-mail provided.


My day to host the blog train is April 30!

Anna Kathryn Lanier

March 13, 2009

The Friday Record - Colonial and Native American Women's Roles in Society

In May, 2008 I graduated from a junior college with an A.A. in history/education. I earned 18 hours of honors classes. The following is part of an essay I did for World Civilization. The entire essay is 12 pages long, so no, I didn't post it all here. Since it's a college essay, it's a bit dry, but I hope you like it. I did remove the first paragraph, which really explains why it's called "A Woman's Place is the House." I wrote it in 2006, when we held the mid-term elections and Nancy Pelosi was about to be voted into the highest elected office any woman has held in the United States.

My apologies that the footnote numbers have been messed up, so just overlook the huge numbers in the middle of sentences.

Please make a comment on your thoughts about what I've written here. March is National Women's History month. Sometimes I think we forget that women did have a role in shaping our history....but as I say below, history is written by the victors, and those in charge. Those in charge were usually the men. They tended to overlook the role women played.....

A Woman’s Place is in the House:
The Affect of Colonization on
Native American and Colonial Women’s
Place in Society

In the past few decades, women are re-opening doors that were closed with European expansion and going back to the time when they owned the property, the children and were tribal chiefs. The British colonization of the North America Atlantic seaboard is often historically identified in terms of western European conquest, advancement and imperialist destiny, leading to the decline of the Native American civilizations. Because the conquerors wrote the history, the power of Native American women was misidentified or overlooked. Whether on purpose or because of ingrained biases toward women European observers of the American Indian tribes did not recognize the high status of the native women. However, when exploring these powers, it should not be ignored that though native women had much more freedom than the European women, both groups had boundaries that women were expected to stay in and both groups paid the consequences for crossing the line and breaking the rules.

The idea that Native American women were, as a Jesuit priest observed, slaves and “pack-mules”1 to husbands and fathers is a misconception many of the early Europeans to the New World conveyed in their observations and writings. The priest based his argument on the fact that women worked in the field while the men appeared to frolic and play in the woods. His interpretation of women’s work demonstrated his bias and failure to understand the true power and prestige Native American women held within their family and tribe.

Throughout their history, Native American women have had an esteemed position in their tribe’s society. Both the Huron and Iroquois tribes believed in the myth of the Turtle Woman,2 the mother of creation. In this myth, women are sacred creatures, rather than the fallen women of Judo-Christian belief who were vilified for leading men into sin.3 St. Jerome, a 4th-century Latin father, claimed, "Woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of the serpent, in a word a perilous object."4 Furthermore, Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century Christian theologian, expressed the view that a woman’s only worth was to birth children, because “for other purposes men would be better assisted by other men."5 The Christian church did not feel child birth was enough to raise the status of women above the original sin. However, the reverence of forming the world and birthing human-kind raised the standing of Native women within their societies.

In the European society of the time, women were very seldom owners of property. Even today, when a couple buys a home the primary ownership will be listed in the husband’s name. This is contrary to Native American societies where women tended to be the primary property owners. In her essay “The Changing Status of Seneca Women,” Joy Bilharz explains that Iroquois women held high status because of the “female ownership of the land [and] control over horticultural production….”6 Since women were the ones who toiled in the field the land belonged to them, as well as the harvest they reaped from it. Thus, Native American women were in control of the food and could give or deny it as they saw fit. Though it was the Chief who saw to the redistribution of the harvest, it was the women who had the final say in the matter, as the foodstuff belonged to them.7 As the property owners, Native American women held an elevated status within Native American societies.

In addition, since women ran the household, did the cooking and cared for the children, they owned the home, the possessions and the children. Women in Western Europe held all the same duties, yet did not own or control anything. Therefore, the early explorers did not seem to fully understand the role of Native American women. For similar reasons, the explorers did not understand the power Native women had in arranging marriages for their children. In both Europe and the Colonies it was the father who did the arranging, which were usually based on alliances or filling the family’s coffers. However, in some tribes, such as the Iroquois, mothers oversaw this task, looking for unions that would be most advantageous to not only the family, but the community.8

Native women also held a favorable position in marriage. Unlike a European union, either party within a Native American marriage could easily obtain a divorce. Anthony Wallace’s “The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca” explains that since men were hunters, often gone for months or years at a time, “marriages were apt to fray when a husband traveled too far, too frequently or for too long.”9 He might take up a temporary marriage with a woman in another village whose husband was gone, while his wife was doing the same in her village. Upon the husband’s return, he could try to win her back, but it was frowned upon for him to punish his wife or her lover should she choose to stay with the new man.10 In the event of a divorce, the belongings, household and children generally stayed with the woman while the man moved out of the house.

1. Natalie Zemon Davis, “Iroquois Women, European Women.” American Encounters 99.
2. “Native American Myths: Creation By Women,” Cystalinks.
3. “Women’s History in America.”
4. John Demos, “Husbands and Wives, Parents and Children in Plymouth Colony,” The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History 64.
5. “Women’s History in America.”
6. Joy Bilharz, “First Among Equals: The Changing Status of Seneca Women,” Women and Power in Native North America 103.
7. James Taylor Carson, “Molly Brant: From Clan mother to Loyalist Chief” Sifters: Native American Women’s Lives 49.
8. Natalie Zemon Davis “Iroquois Women, European Women,” American Encounters 99.
9.Anthony Wallace, “The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca,” The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History 12.
10. Anthony Wallace, “The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca,” 12

Anna Kathyrn Lanier

March 10, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

Unlike some of the previous recipes I've put up, I have made this cake. My husband's birthday was a few days ago, and I made this for it. It's a really good cake. Looking at it the ingreidents, you wouldn't believe that it's moist, but it is. And the glaze is TO DIE FOR.

It makes a large pan of cake, so make sure you have plenty of people around to help you eat it....unlike us, who basically have hubby and myself! Yeah, and I'm supposed to be on a diet.....

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake
1 (18.25 oz) plain devil's food cake mix
or devil's food cake mix with pudding
1 (21-oz) can cherry pie filling
2 large eggs
1 tsp. Pure almond extract

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup (6-oz pkg) semisweet chocolate chips

Place a rack in the center o the oven and preheat 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 9x13-in baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Place the cake mix, cherry pie filling, eggs and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down as needed. The batter should look thick and well blended.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula. Place pan in oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your fingers and just starts to pull away from pan (30-35 minutes).

For the glaze, place the sugar, butter and milk in small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, about 10 minutes. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in chocolate chips. When the chips have melted and the glaze is smooth, pour it over the warm cake so that it covers the entire surface. The glaze will be thin, but will firm up as it cools.
Cool cake 20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Serves 20.

Anna Kathryn

March 9, 2009

I Had a Blast in Shreveport at the Nola Stars Conference! & PW's Party Time!!!

Thanks so much to Anna Kathryn for having me!

I'm really excited about my latest werewolf release, Destiny of the Wolf. It's a stand alone title, although Heart of the Wolf came out last year and made Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year. The werewolf continues in To Tempt the Wolf, which is coming out September 1, think hot sexy naked man on cold Oregon beach where heroine rescues him, but he soon shifts to rescue mode when the heroine's safety is threatened. :)

And after that, an Arctic werewolf story.

Have you ever wondered why writers write what they do?
Heart of the Wolf was written from the heart. Something totally new for me, and my wolfish characters are like real wolves when in their wolf form, but still have the human and wolf instincts, and in their human form, still have their wolf senses. With Destiny of the Wolf, I wanted to show a working werewolf pack who actually run their own town. And in To Tempt the Wolf, the heroe's troubles begin from page one and just keep escalating as he becomes entangled with a woman who's not a werewolf, but stirs his interest just like a lupus garou would. In Legend of the White Wolf, title to change, neither the hero or heroine are werewolves, so it's a whole new set of problems. And in the next two in the series, fans are clamoring for more of Carol from Destiny of the Wolf, Leidolf who is in all the stories, Jake and Tom, who are the hero's brothers in Destiny of the Wolf, and even Zooman Thompson from Heart of the Wolf, and Sam the bartender from Destiny of the Wolf. Sooo, I'm working on Carol's story and her hero. And a new heroine for the another story, and one of the secondaries in the other stories will be her hero. Zooman Thompson makes an appearance also.
And this March, my publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, is featured in Webzine Les Romantiques and they did an interview of me! :) So if you read French, have a peek at their beautiful webzine!

But I also wanted to mention the fun Shreveport conference where everyone is the friendliest! Lots of great food, super workshops, and a great editor and agent panel, plus tons of editor and agent pitches available.

And I had a couple of firsts there! This was the first time I was a workshop presenter and I gave the Happy Hookers workshop. I had a ball, even though the air conditioner went on the blitz, but no one left the workshop even!! Except for a couple of folks who had to leave for pitches. And they did great! Got requests!

The other first? I got to meet my editor, Deb, from Sourcebooks! I enjoyed spending some time with her, and thinking, gee, a few years back I thought just how neat it was when author friends of mine couldn't spend time with us because they were busy talking to their agents and editors. And finally, that was me! :)

So keep on persevering because it could be you too!
What was said at the conference? Agents and editors alike agreed that your story needs to be unique, finished, not a partial unless you're a multi-published big time author, and well-written, of course, with a hook. See, if you come to Happy Hookers, I can tell you how to do it!

I will be teaching at a teen writing workshop this summer, and again in Toronto! :) But if you can't travel, I teach classes every month all year long.

So why a hook to pitch to the editor or agent? Because if it's an agent, they pass that hook to the editor. And if it's an editor, they use that hook to sell to their sales force. And the sales force uses that pitch to sell to the book stores. That's why a 2-3 sentence hook is so important!
I also have a couple of other releases out this month--Deidre's Secret, YA teen psychic mystery, and Deadly Liaisons, adult vampire romantic suspense, Mar 31. The Vampire...In My Dreams and Winning the Highlander's Heart are already out. :)
This just in: Darque Review of Destiny of the Wolf:
Destiny of the Wolf follows Lelandi’s search for answers in the death of her sister Larissa. With a heavy dose of suspense, Ms. Spear weaves a romantic paranormal mystery that will keep readers on their toes. While the heroine’s sister is a character that even in her absence may be someone that readers will tend to dislike, Lelandi is someone you can’t help warming up to. I’ll be looking forward to this author’s next werewolf adventure.

Barbara Vey's invite to free books on her Publishers Weekly Anniversary Bash!
Sourcebooks authors will be providing recipes and books on Mar 14! 13 authors, 13 books!
And if you want to read about the Nerdy Side of Me, I'm at Fallen Angels Reviews today also!
Thanks again to Anna Kathryn for having me! And thanks for the Nola Stars coordinators of the conference who truly are stars!
Terry Spear

March 8, 2009

Western Words 3 Answers - Guest Blogger Terry Spears

How'd you do with Wester Words 3? Here's the correct answers. Thanks for everyone who tried to guess!

1. Calico - C. A woman.
2. Fannin' on her fat - J. Slapping the side of a horse with one's hat.
3. Sand cutter. - E. A native of Kansas.
4. Race A. - A crooked blaze on a horses forehead.
5. Bulge - I. To appear suddenly.
6. Music roots - D. Sweet potatoes.
7. Axle grease - B. Butter.
8. Throw lead - G. The act of shooting a gun.
9. Wassup - H. A nickname for an outlaw horse.
10. Long-haired partner. - F. What a cowman sometimes calls his wife.

On Monday, March 9th, Terry Spears will guest blog for me:

Award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Heart of the Wolf just named in Publishers Weekly's BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses.

Originally from California, she’s lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas. She is the author of Heart of the Wolf, Destiny of the Wolf, Temptation of the Wolf, Allure of the Wolf, Winning the Highlander’s Heart, Deadly Liaisons, The Vampire…In My Dreams (young adult), Deidre's Secret (young adult), The Accidental Highland Hero (2010) and numerous articles and short stories for magazines.

Check out more on Terry at

Stop by on the 9th and tell Terry hi!

Anna Kathryn

SALVATION BRIDE is Featured in News Article

Author Teri Thackston discusses the popularity of e-books in her daily column. She features several e-book authors, including myself. Check it out and leave a message on her board about what you think of e-books.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

March 6, 2009

The Friday Record - Western Words 3

Westerns Words – A dictionary of the Old West

Well, obviously, I haven't had time to do a proper The Friday Record. I mean, it's 9:15 p.m. On Friday. So, here's another western words quiz from Ramon F. Adams' book WESTERN WORDS: A Dictionary of the Old West. Good luck.

Once again, just match the Numbers to the Letters.
Example: 15 X, 16 Y, 17, U

2.Fannin' on her fat
3.Sand cutter.
6.Music roots
7.Axle grease
8.Throw lead
10.Long-haired partner

A. A crooked blaze on a horses forehead.
B. Butter.
C. A woman.
D. Sweet potatoes.
E. A native of Kansas.
F. What a cowman sometimes calls his wife.
G. The act of shooting a gun.
H. A nickname for an outlaw horse. (I know, what's an outlaw horse?)
I. To appear suddenly.
J. Slapping the side of a horse with one's hat.

Anna Kathryn

March 5, 2009

The Breast Cancer Site needs your help

The Breast Cancer Site is a place to support free mammograms for poor women. By just clicking a button, you help raise money from its sponsors. There are 4 or 5 other causes you can support at the site as well, from child literacy to animals to feeding the hungry.....all by just clicking a box. They also have stores you can buy nifty stuff from to help raise money. It takes me less than 60 seconds to click through all the sites....but I admit, I don't do it everyday. I need to start doing that again on a regular basis.

Once you get to the site, you can click just one of the charities and ask that they send you a daily reminder, which I get, but as said, still don't think I have the time....however, come does only take about a minute to click all the tabs.

March is Women's History Month....let's do something to help the women of the future and give them a live saving mammagram to those who can't afford it.

Anna Kathryn

March 3, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Green Beans with Basil

So, you may have noticed The Biggest Loser logo on the right side there. I joined the club in January and did pretty well (7 pounds) until this past weekend. I sorta went wild and gained a few pounds back...yeah in a WEEKEND! That bites. But I'm back on track today (excpet for the Brach's Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs--which ONLY are on sale this time of the year....but that's another post, which I think I really do need to post about).

With the club, you get a daily menu and recipes. The other day, I made these green beans and let me tell you...they are really good. Usually, I just steam the beans and salt them. But these few added, low calorie additions really make the beans great. A very nice side dish and not too complicated.

Green Beans with Basil

12 ounces of fresh green beans, ends and strings removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons of butter
½ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable broth*
1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped OR
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

*I used water and beef bullion glandular.

Steam beans until beans are crisp-tender: In a large saucepan, bring 1-inch of water to a boil. Place the beans in a steamer basket and set the basket in the saucepan, making sure the basket sits above the water. Cover and steam for 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the broth, basil and rosemary. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until the celery is tender. Add beans and mix well. Serve warm.

4 servings. 50 calories a serving.

Anna Kathryn

March 1, 2009

Meet Author T. V. Sweeney

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

A little about myself... Let's see...I'm just your typical genteely-raised, shy Southerner who ran away from home by hitching a ride on a Conestoga wagon which broke down on the snow-laden plains of Nebraska, where I was stranded until I caught another wagon train headed for sunny California.

A typical day? I wake up, get up, get dressed, drink breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then go back to bed. Seriously, I get up and have a cup of hot chocolate, read the Orange County Register and wonder once more why my name isn't it (if only in the Obits!), then settle myself in front of the computer and go through the job sites and employment listings--sending out resumes and e-mails. Around 6:00 PM, I work on a manuscript, do an interview, or fight with my computer to force it to let me finish a trailer. So far, I've won, but I've a feeling it's just biding its time before it pounces! Around 10:00 PM, I try to watch a little TV but I've yet to see a complete episode of anything. I always fall asleep about 20 minutes into the show!

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

You mean writing seriously. Right? Not the fact that when I was nine, I was drawing comics and typing stories on my manual typewriter? Or did a little writing for the college newspaper and actually started a novel while I was in college? (That story later became Bloodseek, by the way.) I began to write seriously after I was stranded in Nebraska. I mean, there's nothing else to do when all you can see out your window is miles and miles of miles and miles...most of them under a blanket of snow in winter or covered with cornstalks or cows in summer. I had very little money for such frivolities as I wrote my own. I dug out that manuscript and finished it and wrote a sequel and a third novel and a fourth and... You get the idea. I took them to work and shared them with all the other readers who were my co-workers and one of them dared me to get one published. "You won't do it!" was the way she put it, with a jeer, so--of course--I had to make a liar out of her, didn't I? I had my honor as a future writer to uphold! (Wish I could let her know what she started! Maybe she'll read this!)

How did you break into publishing?

I'd like to say I sent a manuscript to a well-known publishing house, they recognized my genius, and contracted my book on the spot! Didn't happen. I did send the book I'd just finished, a little Lovecraftian ditty entitled A Bit of the Dark World, which I am currently editing, by the way. (I remember I thought I was being so shocking because the antagonist and the heroine went skinny-dipping! Whoa, have my attitudes changed! In Shadows--my vampire series-- they're naked two-thirds of the time!) Back to the explanation--I sent the manuscript to Kensington Publications and got a very nice, handwritten rejection with suggestions. Not wise to the ways of editors at that point, I didn't know to act on those suggestions and re-submit so I just put it in my "Rejection Folder"--yes, I actually have one--and went on to bigger and better things. (Wonder if that editor's still with them? Nah, probably not.) So I wrote another book--the third version of Bloodseek--and decided to send it to Blue Jay Press which was very active in SF/fantasy at that time. I didn't have their address, so I called Read All About it, a local bookstore, and asked them to look it up for me. The clerk gave me Bluebird Publications' address instead. OK, so I have the name wrong, I thought. I sent the manuscript in, they answered. Wrong publisher. They only did children's stories but they liked the writing. Did I perchance have a young adult story laying around somewhere? What a surprise! Yes, I did! I wrote them. Send it, they pleaded. So... (have you figured out the punchline yet?) I didn't have a story. I had to sit down and write one--which I did--in two weeks (Spacedog's Best Friend) and sent to them. They accepted it... Bingo!--I'm a published writer!

What influenced you to write?

What--or who...? I've always loved to read. My parents--everyone in my family--loves to read. My father never got past the eighth grade but he always had a book handy and he loved science fiction--and James Bond. So on his birthday, I always got him the latest Ian Fleming book and some SF. I got my first book when I was a year old--a cloth one which I tried to devour. It still has my teeth prints on it! (Yes, I still have it!) In the seventh grade, my teacher encouraged all her students to write short stories and read them aloud and I was right up there...back then I wrote about horses and vampires. I still throw in a horse once in a while (Bargain with Lucifer, Dark God Descending) but somewhere along the line, vampires took precedence. In college, I had two teachers who made learning so much fun that I incorporated their expertise into my stories...18th-century literature and Chaucer and Shakespeare. I've dedicated books to all three. Thank you, Drs. Snipes and McMillan, and Mrs. Comer! If I hadn't loved to read, the 3 months I spent in the hospital after an auto accident would have been sheer torture!

What inspired you to write romance?

I didn't really think I was writing romances. I ascribe to the "romans" theory. Those were the stories told by wandering minstrels and troubadors during the Middle Ages--tales of heroic young men on quests and beautiful, endangered heroines with villains with magical powers and lots of supernatural elements. That's what I thought I was writing and somehow "romans" became "romance" and here I am!

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

I think it's more like a cross-genre rather than a sub-genre. I've written about five "straight" romances--and by that I mean with no supernatural elements at all--but all the rest have some atmosphere of the supernatural about them. If I have to pick a subgenre, I guess it's paranormal romance.

What difficulties does writing this genre present?

I don't find many difficulties at all. The supernatural covers a vast amount of territory, since every culture has its own pantheon of the paranormal. If you ever exhaust one, you can just dig into another, but I doubt depletion of such a vast supply will ever happen, not as long as we authors put our own spin on them. Ireland and Romania seen to be the chief centers of interest, but--there's a whole world out there, with its indigenous monsters and creatures, just waiting to be immortalized in literature! Anyhow...I've found that, if you stick to the very basics within the genre, you can go wild with the specifics and make up just about anything you want. Who's going to prove you wrong?

What motivated you to write your current book?

My current mean the one I'm working on right this minute? That one is a rebellion against the vampire genre, I suppose you could say. Shadows. It poses the question: When is a vampire not a vampire? And the answer: When he's simply a second species of Mankind and not a supernatural creature. I also think that's why it's having such a difficult time being accepted by a publisher--because it's bending the rules a little. I've tried to give logical and natural reasons why these people avoid sunlight...why they are repelled by garlic...can't look at religious object...have wings...and--above all--why they have to have human blood while appearing as otherwise normal humans, but it's still being looked at as a "traditional" vampire story. So--I decided to enter it in the ABNA (Amazon Break-through Novel Award) contest instead!

If you mean the current book to be published, Jericho Road (to be out in March from Lyrical Press) is a romance set in Georgia during the Vietnam War. One of the man characters is a returning vet, newly-married who is haunted by both the atrocities of the war as well as his relationship with an Afro-American soldier in his platoon. Besides those problems, he's in a conflict with his father who's a dye-in-the-world bigot and doesn't want foreigners in their town. When the daughter of the family begins a romance with a Part-Native American doctor, everything explodes.

How much time do you devote to writing each day?

When I was working full-time, I wrote after I got home..usually 3-4 hours a night and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. Now that I'm temporarily "at leisure," I write a little more, about 5-6 hours a day, generally from 6:00 PM to midnight or beyond, if I get inspired.

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

Where to start? (This is where it gets embarrassing because I feel that I'm just doing nothing but bragging. Can I ask one of my fellow writers to take over for this segment? Linda? Mary? Are either of you two around?) I'm just going to list them by Publisher, would that be all right?

Books in Motion (three audio books): Walks the Shadow Trail, Vengeance from Eden, The Last Voyage of Sinbad Singh

PublishAmerica: The Rose and the Dragon, Dragon in Chains

Double Dragon Publications: full-length, unabridged editions of Walks the Shadow Trail, Vengeance from Eden, Sinbad's Last Voyage, Sinbad's Wife, Bloodseek, Blood Curse, and;Murder in Old Blood, Bloodseek, The Irish Lady's Spanish Lover (by Icy Snow Blackstone). All available in print, ebook, or Kindle. Scheduled for 2009: A Singing in the Blood, Sinbad's Pride.

The Wild Rose Press: "Love, Vampire Style," "Demon in Blue Jeans," Three Moon Station (by Icy Snow Blackstone)

Lyrical Press: scheduled for March, April, May 2009: Jericho Road, Earthman's Bride, When the Condor Returns

Leucrota Press: Blood Sin scheduled for June, 2009

Wolfsongs anthology (out in December) "Ill-Met by Moonlight."

Sounds of the Night magazine: "Sometimes Love Returns." (February, 2009 issue) "Ill-met by Moonlight" appears in the premier and a poem "Epitaf" was in the second issue.

Amazon Shorts: "Sidewalk Sale," "Shadow's Crossing," "One for Eternity," "Victory for the Hawk," "The Lover in the Lake," "Love and Adler's Brain," "The Witch, the Wolf, and the Sellsword," "The Best Dentist in Orange County," "Paradise Redundant," and "Variation on the Theme of Man." (available in Kindle)

What are you working on now?

I'm currently struggling with a paranormal story called Wizard's Wife. I just finished editing Blood Sin for Leucrota Press and Jericho Road for Lyrical Press.

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

Sometimes one, sometimes the other. I could conjure up a plot--an impoverished European nobleman buys a ranch in the American West--and then the characters emerge to play it out. I start thinking dialogue--"Why do you love me?" he asked, suddenly. "God knows," she answered, "because I sure don't!" or description--not necessarily in the order it will go in the book, such as: Once, in a reminiscent moment, he told her how the other cadets teased him shortly after he'd been sent to the Academy. Because of his coppery ringlets, they'd called him "Sweetheart" and "Dearest" and one morning, he'd awakened to find the curls adorned with bright pink ribbons knotted so tightly they had to be cut off with a knife. He'd used that same blade on his hair and had never let it grow past the nape of his neck again. I might think out the very last line of a story and build the entire novel around it. I may think up a character--a halfbreed who hates his father's people and then falls in love with one of them--and it goes from there: The Rover disappeared around the bend in the road, taking Sinbad to his last voyage.

What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? I mean, I’ve gotten a plot idea from a song I heard, from brainstorming with a classmate. What unusual thing caused you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’

I think all my "flashes of genius" are unusual. You've already heard about Three Moon Station. The inspiration for "Demon in Blue Jeans" was a song I heard when I was a Doctor's Assistant, beack in the '80s. I think the title was "Somebody's Knockin'." It was a Country/Western song about a woman who discovers the devil outside her door, and the lines, "I'd heard about him but I'd never dreamed he'd have blue eyes and blue jeans..." stuck with me. I could just see her peeping through the fisheye and seeing this gorgeous hunk with perhaps tiny horns on his temples. That image stayed with me until 2007, when I finally gave up and wrote the story. Talk about long-lasting! I've been talking with someone and said something and thrown out, "And that would make a good story, wouldn't it?" so they come from all places. I also wrote a story from a dream, once.

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

I know the people who know me are thinking I'm going to say Dracula, but I'm not...perhaps Cleopatra, a very strong-willed, determined woman. I'd finally get the low-down on her and Julius Caesar and Mark Antony...did he really sleep with his mouth open so she could drop grapes into it?

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

How much space do we have? (Just kidding!) "Love, Vampire Style" has gotten some very good reviews: Though Love Vampire Style is just a small bite of a story, it’s a good bite, and, with a great main character and a savory love story, it’s well worth your time to read. I’ve always enjoyed anything written by Ms. Sweeney, and Love Vampire Style is no exception. --Margaret Marr, Nights and Weekends; Love, Vampire Style may be short but if you want to sit back and enjoy a paranormal delight, sink your teeth into this story.--Long and Short Reviews

Others: Murder in Old Blood-- I haven’t read a vampire novel this good since Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire... This is an author to watch; she’s sure to go places in the vampire genre.--Margaret Marr, Nights and Weekends. Bloodseek-- From arresting cover graphics to Toni V. Sweeney’s impeccable approach, her marvel of beautiful linguistics, brisk humour before a grim mood unearths the ineffable...Toni V. Sweeney carves yet another sensation.--Eugen Bacon, Sinbad's Last Voyage: ...the best thing Ms. Sweeney has written so far... You'll be hard-pressed to find anything like Sinbad's Last Voyage, so if you're looking for a romance that's not another of the cookie-cutter offerings out there, this is a great place to start.--Margaret Marr, Nights and Weekends, and one last one from Ms. Marr-- Ms. Sweeney brings her characters to life so well that you'll really care about what happens to them... Vengeance from Eden will go on my bookshelf as one of my favorite westerns to date. (I think she likes me!)

What is your all time favorite book?

I'm afraid I'd have to divide that between Dracula and Gone with the Wind--and if that isn't a diversity of interest, I don't know what is!

How do you do research for your books? What’s the most interesting bit of research you’ve come across?

It depends on the book. In Shadow Lord, I wanted to make certain even the most mundane things--what we take for granted today--were as accurate as possible, such as...cigarettes and fire arms... Did they have cigarettes in the early 19th century? If so, what did they use to light them? Couldn't whip out the ol' Zippo. A candle or burning twig from the fire is okay, but what if there's no fire around? What if there's a dance and you're taking a breather on the terrace and want a smoke? I discovered that cigarettes were around in 1809 and were called cigaritos. Matches were invented around that time and were known as lucifers. They were very dangerous because they could ignite just from touching each other. I also discovered that handguns were very common weapons as far back as the 13th century. For Bloodseek, I did a lot of research into medieval betrothal and marriage customs, for even though the story is a fantasy set on another planet, the culture is similar to that of the 12th century, so I took what I found and changed it just enough to make it more appropriate to an alien lifestyle. I think one of the more interesting bits of information I found was when I was researching a fictional biography of Vlad Tepes, the man known as Dracula, a little something called the "Morning Gift," a present bestowed on a bride after her wedding night by a grateful husband. Dracula's gift to his bride is the execution of a man who conspired to assassinate him. She asks instead that he make the man's life her "Morning Gift" and let him live instead. He agrees and banishes the would-be murderer from Transylvania forthwith.

Discovery and History Channels are wells of information to be stored away for future use.

What advice would you give aspiring writers today?

The usual: Be determined, be persistent, and be tough!

How do you like your fans to contact you?

I have a website, and there's an e-mail address, if they're driving past, they can wave!