Monday, December 19, 2011

Wishing You A Wonderful Christmas Week

I hope this Christmas will be a safe and happy one at your house!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meet the Author: Laurel O'Donnell

Today on Meet the Author my guest is Laurel O'Donnell. She has won numerous awards for her works, including the Holt Medallion for A Knight of Honor, the Happily Ever After contest for The Angel’s Assassin, and the Indiana’s Golden Opportunity contest for Immortal Death. The Angel and the Prince was nominated by the Romance Writers of America for their prestigious Golden Heart award. O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her five cats. She finds precious time every day to escape the real world and bring her characters to life in her writing.
Below are her answers to some fun questions. See what you think of her answers!

If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?

Benihana’s calamari!  The chief would have to cook it in front of me, too. 

When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react?

I curse at their complete stupidity.  Then, I “talk” sarcastically to them as if they can hear me.  I have visions of driving them off the road for being so rude and careless.  And then I finally calm down. 

You’ve just been handed a one-way ticket to where?

Disneyworld.  I love Disneyworld.  It’s magical and brings back wonderful, fun memories with my husband and kids.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Rock Band 3!  I love to sing.

What is your favortie kind of chocolate?

Dark Chocolate!  And if it has peanut butter, it’s all the better. 

What is the one thing you hate to do?

Get out of bed when it is cold.  I would much rather stay snuggled under the blankets and comforters and dream about what I’m going to write.

What do you love most about being a writer? 

I love when that scene comes to life in my mind and my fingers race across the keyboard and there is no hesitation about the words or the feelings I want to convey.  I love that moment when it all comes together perfectly and my characters breathe life.

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit Laurel at her website: to learn more about her and her books.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

5 Minute Christmas Party Dish: Mix, Chill and Serve

I like things easy and this is as easy as it gets when it comes to making a dish to take to a holiday get-together, church dinner or even to have with a meal at home. All you need are these four ingredients, a bowl and mixing spoon.

1 large box of Strawberry Jello
1 container Cool Whip
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 container of small curd cottage cheese
optional: 1/2 cup of pecan chips

Empty cottage cheese and Jello mix into bowl and stir. Add Cool Whip and stir.  Drain pineapple, add and stir. Add pecans if desired. I always make it with pecans because I love it with nuts. Spoon into serving dish. You can decorate the top by sprinkling pecans over it. Also, in the past, I have decorated it with fresh strawberry halves and pineapple chunks.  Cover dish and put in refrigerator to chill. I usually chill it overnight. I make it the night before the party and leave in the fridge until I'm ready to go.  Otherwise, I think 4-5 hours in the fridge would be long enough to get it chilled. Everyone always loves it and I don't know of anything any easier and foolproof than this.  Oh, I've always called it Pink Stuff because that's what my mother called it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Bookshelf: Romance by MJ Fredrick

It's cold outside!  Looking for some romance to warm you up?  Check out these two romances by MJ Fredrick.

Guarded Hearts

What does she fear more: Surrendering her privacy or her heart

Texas congresswoman McKenna Jones's life is in danger when her father's old enemy surfaces. She's the target of revenge and narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt. She's advised to go into hiding until the threat has passed, but her fight to get an important bill passed forces her to stay right where she is. When Ethan Riggins is assigned to protect her it may be a sacrifice on her privacy, but it's no real hardship since he's sinfully sexy and easy to work with.

For Ethan Riggins, it's a struggle to keep his distance from the congresswoman. McKenna is his assignment and his friend's daughter. She also happens to be smart, driven and beautiful. Being around her makes him want to loosen the reins on his emotions, which he's kept in check for far too long.

When the threat escalates, Ethan and McKenna have to take charge of the investigation so they can discover if a happily-ever-after is in store for them.

Three Days, Two Nights

Nathaniel Reis screwed up. He put his career as an air force pilot before his marriage to Tess, and wound up divorced. Now that he's left the service, he has a plan to fix things, if only he can get her alone for a few days.

When Tess misses her flight to a corporate retreat, Nat's there with his island-hopper plane and a plot to get stranded in paradise thanks to "mechanical problems". But his plans go awry when a storm blows them off course and they have to make a real emergency landing. And not on the island when he's stashed supplies.

Tess is furious. She's anxious to get to her retreat and away from Nat. She's even angrier that being so close to him arouses her in a way she hasn't been aroused in a long time. Rescue can't come soon enough but in the meantime, she's going to have to trust Nat to keep her safe. Even if she's in danger of falling for him all over again.

You can find links to buy these books on MJ's website:

Plus check back here on Monday when MJ will be featured on Meet The Author!  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Monday's Meet The Author: Regina Duke

Regina Duke has so many different stories running through her head, she has to write in different genres to get them all down on paper! Too bad she can’t write as fast as she talks. If she did, she might stand a chance of actually keeping up with her readers’ requests. She wrote her first novel at thirteen, a glorious disaster on lined paper with a black binder for a cover. Thank goodness we improve with practice! Regina lives in northern Nevada and considers herself a desert rat. She shares her life with dogs and writes about them under the name Linda White.

How are you going to celebrate Christmas?
My siblings and I are close at heart but not physically, so we spent part of Christmas day on speakerphones as we share love and laughter and open gifts we’ve given each other. We all wait until the phone call to open our presents. We try to make each other laugh a lot.  And locally, I share Christmas dinner with friends. I also make sure my doggies get some new toys, and if the weather allows, we go for a long walk in the park.

If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?
Every treat I deny myself now! LOL! I would pile it high with cream puffs and chocolates and ice cream and warm cookies fresh from the oven. Like many women I struggle to eat healthy and make wise decisions about food, but there was no doubt in my mind when I read this question what would be on my plate.

If you could be any fictional character (books, movies) who would you be?
Oh, I’ve always wanted to be Superman or Supergirl. Either one! I’ve always wanted to fly. I love to help people, and the idea of having super strength is irresistible. Or at least it was as a child. Now I realize I can make a difference in the lives of other people without a fancy red cape or the super strength it represents. I use my metaphorical super powers now to rescue dogs in need and find them new homes.

When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react?
Getting angry never helps me in those situations. It just ruins my day. So instead of getting angry, I bless them with safety and patience. I believe you get back what you put out in the world, and I only “curse” people with things that I want to experience myself. It’s just a  version of the Golden Rule, I guess.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I love knitting and crafts! I squeeze craft painting classes into my schedule, and I even started a new exercise program so I wouldn’t feel too terrible about sitting down and knitting for a couple of hours in the evenings.

If you could time-travel, where would your first stop be?
I would go into the future. I’d love to see what the world looks like in three hundred years. (I think I just gave away my love of paranormals and science fiction!)
What do you love most about being a writer? 
Being able to experience different realities. Putting myself inside other people and living through them. Letting my characters do the things that I am unable to do. Drawing readers into a world I have created. These are all things I love about being a writer.  I love the creation process and I love sharing my stories. I especially enjoy creating believable people. Many of them are likable and some are detestable, but if I do my job well, they should all be memorable. At least I hope so!

North Rim Delight,
The Woof in the Wedding Plans (a novella)
Trickster and Other Stories

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Skinny Fruit!! It's Really Good!

Looking for lo-cal canned fruit? I love pineapple and so I picked up a can of Skinny Fruits to try out. It is sweetened with Splenda instead of sugar.

I give this product 5 stars.  The pineapple was delicious. You couldn't tell it didn't have sugar in it. Overall, the pineapple was melt-in-your-mouth good! They have other Skinny Fruits.  I'm thinking there was grapefruit and also a blend of tropical fruit. I didn't look for peaches but I'd love to try those in a peach cobbler.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Monday's Meet The Author: Kelly Boyce

Kelly Boyce's writing career began at age seven when she realized the stories swirling around in her head could be put down on paper. Since then, she has never given up on her dream of being published. Her writing career has taken her down many strange paths, from wielding a broadsword, to being featured in the documentary Who's Afraid of Happy Endings?, profiling the romance writing industry. After placing in several contests, she sold her first book to Carina Press in 2010. When not writing and despite possessing what may be one of the world's worst senses of direction, she loves to travel and hopes to touch down everywhere in the world at least once. 

It’s raining men, so what kind of men? to pick. Well definitely a cowboy. I've been hooked on cowboys since I saw my first Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. But Knights and Soldiers are running a very close second. And don't even get me started on men in kilts...
What movie best describes your life?  Must Love Dogs. It was one of the first things I said to my husband when we started dating. My own dog had passed away 6 months before and I knew eventually I would be getting another one once I got over losing Coop. So I told him straight out - 'You've gotta love dogs, because we're always going to have one.' Guess he knew a deal-breaker when he heard one because he didn't flinch, although he's still adjusting to the big, goofy golden retriever who sheds furballs all over our house. 

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be? Can I be Indiana Jones? I know he's a guy, but that man knows his way around an adventure! 

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do tonight?  Have dinner with my family - parents, brother & sister, respective spouses, nieces and nephews and my husband and stepson. Dinner with my family is like a three ring circus mated with the Comedy Channel. If I'm going to die tomorrow, I'm going down laughing.
What barnyard animal is your favorite? I love horses. I'm also partial to the pig. I blame Charlotte's Web for this. 

You have wished upon a star, what did you wish for?  Every time I wish on a star I wish for the same thing - health, happiness and prosperity for my family and myself. I WANT to wish for a big fat publishing contract, or enough royalties to allow me to quit my day job and write full time, but I'm afraid if I get all selfish with my wishes I'll conjur up bad mojo and not get anything.  

What do you love about writing?  I love telling stories. I love crafting characters and discovering what their damage is and how I'm going to help them work through it and get to something better. Maybe I should have been a psychiatrist instead, but then I'd still have to deal with the voices in my head and who wants a crazy shrink?

Kelly Boyce
The Outlaw Bride - Available Now!
Carina PressFacebook: Kelly Boyce, Author Twitter: @KellyLBoyce Website:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thanksgiving by richard_dupont123
Thanksgiving, a photo by richard_dupont123 on Flickr.
Hope everyone has a safe and blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday's Meet The Author: Susan Edwards

Native American/Western romance writer Susan Edwards is the author of the popular “White” Series.  She was nominated for Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Western Historical and Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award.   Susan lives in Central California with her husband, a houseful of cats, including two rescue kittens.  Two new puppies joined her home recently.  Her other passions include gardening.  Come Spring, she plans to break ground and begin work on a  26 foot Medicine Wheel Garden she designed.  You can follow her progress on her website.  Susan also loves to knit and join her husband for hikes in the hills when it isn’t too hot outside

It’s raining men, so what kind of men? An energizer bunman.  One that keeps going, and going and going….

What movie best describes your life? Sound of Music—Life is one hill after another

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be? Samantha in betwitched  so I could twitch my nose and my housework would be done.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do tonight?
I’d wish upon a star (question below) and wish for enough time to finish all my knitting projects and  to be able to use ALL my stash of yarn.  That should give me a good hundred years!

What barnyard animal is your favorite?  Barn cat.  I could come and go at will and protect the rats from evil alley cats.  (I have rats as pets)

You have wished upon a star, what did you wish for?  See question above.

What do you love about writing?
I love the creative freedom of creating my own worlds, telling the stories in my heart and knowing that I can, through my writing, reach people who get so much enjoyment from the worlds that I and other writers create.  I also love the fact that I can work from home, with my pups and kits and cats keeping me company.

You can buy Susan's books at
You can visit Susan at her website:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Celebrating A Little Success Today

My novella, Almost an Outlaw, is on the Most Popular list at Carina Press today.  To celebrate, I'm posting a photo of Cole Younger back during the time when he and my hero, Austin, would have been riding together during the Civil War.  Love outlaws!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday's Meet the Author: Georgie Lee

A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Avalon Books. A Little Legal Luck, a contemporary novella is available from The Wild Rose Press. Look for her ancient Roman novella from Carina Press and her novel of love in the golden age of Hollywood from Avalon Books in 2012.
When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit for more information about Georgie and her novels.

Now, find out some fun things about Georgie, who wishes she had a "title".  

1)  It’s raining men, so what kind of men?
 It’s raining rich Regency lords with a smattering of Victorian and Edwardian gentlemen.

2)  What movie best describes your life?  
  Gone With the Wind because after all, tomorrow is another day. And frankly, some days I just don’t give a damn.

 3) If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
Princess Leia. She has Han Solo, a title and The Force. What more could a woman ask for?

5) What barnyard animal is your favorite?  Bacon followed a close second by steak.

6) You have wished upon a star, what did you wish for?  
 A title. I keep hoping the family genealogist will find one for me but so far, my ancestors were all peasants.

7) What do you love about writing? Not having to get dressed to go to work, or fight traffic.

Check out Georgie's books at:

Lady’s Wager and Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion

Hope everyone has a tolerable Monday! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 11/13: Lady Silver

My god, she’s going to take it off. The sheer anticipation almost overwhelmed him. His gaze locked on her. In the past, he had lovers who disposed of their clothing in front of him, but never had that moment been as exciting as this one. It was like all his dreams were about to be exposed. He clenched the neck of the wine bottle as the hood fell from her head.

Check out other author's snippets at or on Twitter #sixsunday.  Thanks for stopping by!   Come back tomorrow to meet author, Georgie Lee.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample: Lady Silver

This Saturday's sample is from my current WIP, Lady Silver, the story of a female spy and a soldier set in New Orleans in 1814.  The current sample is from a scene in Jesse's POV. This is the first time he has been in a lighted room with the heroine and he is dying to see her face.

     The candles sputtered and she rose to tend to them. Gently, she tilted each pillar candle and the liquid wax flowed away from the wick. The flames brightened and flickered. Their light caught in the prisms of her gold necklace and jeweled mask. Frustrated, he tapped his thighs. “Is that mask comfortable?” he blurted out like a curious schoolboy.
            She turned from her task to peer at him from behind the mask. Her lips twitched as if she were struggling to keep her face straight. She lost the battle. Her laughter settled into a stunning smile that created deep dimples in her cheeks. “The mask is very comfortable.”
            He decided to be direct. “I wish you would remove it,” he said. “I would like to see your face.”
            “I told you it is a plain face.”
            “I don’t think there is anything plain about you, Lady Silver.”

Check out samples from other writers at You may find some new writers you love.  I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday's Meet the Author: Wendy Soliman

Today's guest is Wendy Soliman. She is a British author, now dividing her time between Andorra and the west coast of Florida. She shares her life with her husband Andre and a rescued dog of indeterminate pedigree. She writes historical and contemporary romance under her full name and, as W. Soliman, marine crime mysteries and contemporary fiction. 

Check out Wendy's answers to some fun questions:

It’s raining men, so what kind of men?
Well now, let’s see. Hmm, Sean Connery as James Bond, Sean Bean as Sharpe, (what is it about men in uniforms?). Am I being too predictable here? Okay then, how about Glenn Fry from The Eagles? Pauses to fan herself.
 I’m as susceptible to a hunky body and handsome face as the next girl but, truth to tell, it’s intelligence in a man that really turns me on. Perhaps that’s why Andre and I have been together for 26 years. He’s a smart-arse and a bit of a hunk but someone had to make the ultimate sacrifice and marry him.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?
Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She liked men in uniform too, remember. Seems to me she had a better time of it that her more conventional sisters, flirting, flouting the rules, ignoring any advice she didn’t want to hear and generally doing precisely as she pleased.  And her big sisters married well, so she’d be looked after when the good times came to an end.
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do tonight?
Steal a march on the grim reaper. I hate being predictable, so rather than sitting about, bemoaning my lot, waiting for him to get round to me, I’d eat something exceedingly enjoyable, fattening and bad for me, (well, it wouldn’t be a time for calorie counting, would it?), drink myself insensible and…and then have another drink. Cheers!
You have wished upon a star, what did you wish for?
If I tell you, it won’t come true, will it? Oh, all right, since you asked so nicely, I don’t mind admitting that I didn’t think about world peace, eradicating famine or curing fatal illnesses. What does that say about me? No, don’t tell me. Anyway, I asked to be ten pounds lighter, twenty years younger and have more success as an author.
Hang on, that’s three wishes. Oh well…
What do you love about writing?
Escapism. Creation is at my fingertips and all the characters I give birth to have to dance to my tune. Oh, the power! I’m currently conducting a one-woman campaign against sizism. I don’t know a woman who doesn’t agonise over her shape and yet nearly all the books I read feature heroines of perfect proportions. Life just ain’t like that I wanted to write about someone that ordinary women could relate to.

Downsizing  has an overweight heroine who feels invisible in a room full of people because no one can see the warm, intelligent person lurking beneath all that bulk. No one except local heartthrob Noah Fenwick, that is. But even he lets Maxine down, proving to her that fat girls aren’t supposed to have fun.
Read the first chapter of Downsizing by W. Soliman on my website and let me know what you think of Maxine.
Downsizing by W. Soliman. Available as an e-book from Musa Publishing $4.99 Here’s the link:
Thanks for having me here, Pat. It’s been a blast, (I think!).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to Cook the Perfect Frozen Biscuit

Frozen biscuits are hard to cook. Maybe I should say they are hard for me to cook. I'm talking about the kind you buy in the bag at the supermarket like Pillsbury Frozen Buttermilk Biscuits. I'm sure many of you make homemade biscuits but not me. I need something faster and less messy. Now, a frozen biscuit is great for slicing and sticking a piece of ham or sausage in the middle. (I don't know how, but my cholesterol is normal.)

The problem I've had with frozen biscuits is the time it takes to cook them and that the bottom always gets done way too early. So the bottom of the biscuit is overcooked and hard before the rest of it gets done. Sometimes the top get done before the middle as well. This happened to me while using a regular cookie sheet or cake pan.  So, I tried a new approach. I used a iron griddle. I did preheat the oven so it was hot when I put the griddle and biscuit in the oven. I'm assuming the iron griddle takes longer to heat up because the top part of the biscuit was already baking when the bottom started to brown. When the biscuit was brown on top and appeared down, I took it out of the oven. I was pleased to find the bottom was evenly cooked and not hard, plus the center was done as well!  In fact, it looked like the biscuits they serve at Cracker Barrel.  You can't beat that!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Fun

How do you like the pumpkin stack? I thought it was so cute that I took a photo of it. Of course, I love taking photos, especially in the fall. So, I'm planning on another road trip tomorrow, up the Natchez Trace to the area where my grandfather had a farm. I don't know that I can find the place because it has been gone for decades but it'll be a little adventure.  Also, can't wait to see Supernatural tonight. It's been a great season so far!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Bookshelf: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne

This week I'm featuring Joanna Bourne's new release, The Black Hawk. For those of you who are familiar with this series, this book is about Adrian Hawker.  In Joanna's words: "This book is about hard times and staying true to your ideas, hanging on and hoping and the triumph of love in the end. So even though the book takes place long ago and far away, it speak to what is going on right now." Wow, doesn't it sound like a terrific read!

Here are two reviews that Joanna sent me which will tell you more about the characters and the plot.

Black Hawk is a starred review at Publishers Weekly:

Bourne mixes heart-pounding mystery and romance in her spellbinding fourth Spymaster historical romantic thriller (after 2010’s The Forbidden Rose). From childhood, Adrian Hawker spied on France for England while Justine DeCabrillac gathered intelligence for the Police Sècrete. They were teens when they met in Paris in 1794, and as they grew up, their paths crossed often in a changing world. Sometimes they were on the same side, and sometimes they were opposed, but it was inevitable that they fall bittersweetly in love, knowing that any minute duty could take precedence over passion. Their tempestuous love affair unfolds in flashbacks, alternating with scenes from 1818 London, where somebody tries to kill Justine and frame Hawker, now head of the British Intelligence Service with as many enemies in England as in France. Just the right amount of intrigue makes this vivid romance a gripping page-turner.

Library Journal says

Attacked and badly wounded by an assassin's blade, former French spy Justine DeCabrillac ("Owl") struggles through the rain to the home of the only man she can depend on to save her, English agent Adrian Hawkhurst, her longtime adversary—and unforgettable lover. But Justine is not the only one in danger; the killer is out to bring down Hawk as well. And it will take all of their finely honed skills and wary, hard-won trust to unearth—and destroy—the elusive, brutal villain. Vivid, illuminating flashbacks fill in the missing years of our protagonists' bond, developing the passionate, deeply conflicted relationship between Justine and Hawk with unparalleled insight and craft. VERDICT Beautifully flawed, intensely human characters, a deadly puzzle, and a love that survives incredible odds combine to make this another emotionally riveting page-turner from Bourne (The Forbidden Rose), whose novels always deliver. Fans of historical romance will be all over this one.

The Black Hawk goes on sale today!  I also recommend The Forbidden Rose, the story where Adrian and Justine meet.  And The Spymaster's Lady is one of my all-time favorites.  You can visit Joanna at her website:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Last Week for Color

This is definitely the last week of fall's bright and beautiful color. It happens far too quickly and is gone too soon.  The same could be said for life.

Stop by tomorrow for a feature on Joanna Bourne's new book, The Black Hawk!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

For Halloween: Is It Paranormal, Supernatural or Preternatural by Elijana Kindel

Is it Paranormal, Supernatural, or Preternatural?

Did you know that there's a difference between being paranormal, supernatural, and preternatural?  When I sat down to write this blog, I had no idea there was a difference.  But after doing some research on (one of my favorite sites) Wikipedia, I made up my mind that this was the topic I wanted to share with you.  Before I get into discussing my thoughts on each, let's look at Wikipedia's definitions for the paranormal, supernatural, and preternatural.

PARANORMAL...that which lies outside the range of normal experience or scientific experience.

SUPERNATURAL anything above or beyond what one holds to be natural or exists outside natural law and the observable universe.

PRETERNATURAL…that which is outside or beyond the natural and is believed to have a rational explanation for its occurrence.

Is it just me or do each of those definitions look similar?  Yeah, I thought so, too.  Which is why after I read (and re-read) them, I had to sit down and figure out just what the heck they meant. To me. As a writer of paranormal romance.

Here's what Imanaged to figure out.

First up, let's get on the same page about what exactly is meant by scientific explanation.  The word science is derived from the Latin scientia, meaning knowledge.  To my mind (which has been trained as a research scientist with concentrations in cellular biology and chemistry), scientists study the natural world in order to decipher what is its normal behavior.

Which leads me to the idea that if you don't have enough scientific data to rationalize the behavior of a given entity, event, or phenomenon in the natural world according to laws of that samenatural world, then guess what… it ain't normal.  And if it's not normal, then it's outside the hallowed grounds of scientific explanation which makes it… paranormal.

To hammer that point home, let's look at an example--Ghosts.

I believe ghosts exist.  I believe this, because I've watched enough episodes of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters Internationalon the SyFy channel (along with having my own personal experiences) to know that ghosts happen.  In my mind,ghosts are natural--they happen in the natural world.  Butare they normal?  Do I have enough empirical/scientific data that prove or make the ghost phenomenon reproducible and predictable?  Nope, I sure don't. So if I don't have enough data to normalize the behavior of the natural ghost phenomenon, then it is a natural occurring event that lies outside the realm of scientificexplanation. 

Ergo, ghosts are a paranormal event, entity, phenomenon.

But what about supernatural and preternatural?  If you go back and look at the definitions for these two categories, you'll notice that neither one of them mention anything at all about scientific explanations.  The reason for this is that you can't observe, record, and report scientific data on something that isn't tangible to the point where you can collect it from the natural world and hold it in your hand.  Knowing that, we now enter the realm of imagination… and faith. 

In Latin, the word super means above.  Therefore, to be supernatural means to be above the natural.  What types of entities are often considered to reside above our natural world?  God, gods, and goddesses.  What types of powers are typically associated with these supernatural beings? Infinite.  Is it rational to believe that supernatural entities have infinite powers?  Not according to myscientific mind, but that doesn't mean they don't have them or exist. How can I say that? Well, according to myopen-minded approach to life, liberty, and the universe… everything is possible until it is proven otherwise by scientific means. So supes and their supernatural presence… may not be rational, have no grounded scientific explanation, but they exist as long as you have faith in them.

To hammer that point home, think about some of the books you've read that may have had gods and goddesses in them.  Did you ever notice that the power of the god or goddess was directly proportional to the amount of followers who believed in them?Or even better… think about the evil god in that story you read or wrote.  Did that evil god grow in size and power as they collected more villains to propagate their cause?  And what impact did the growth of the evil god have on the power base of the good guys and their good god/goddess?  If you noticed an impact on the power base, then the author of that book did their homework (IMHO) and made the power of the god directly proportional to the amount of faith and followers funneled into their godhood.

Now, I want to go back to thegood guys mentioned up above and, yes, I'm talking about the tricked out warrior boys who fight the good fight for the gods they follow.  These tricked out warriors fall into the preternatural camp.  And here's how. 

Preter in Latin means beyond.  Ergo, preternatural describes that which is beyond the natural.  Again we're faced with the fact that we can't prove the existence of preternatural beings because they are not tangible which means we cannot collect empirical data to support their existence.  But we know they exist, because we have imagination and faith. 

So what the heck is the differencebetween preternatural and supernatural beings?  It has everything to do with the wording in the definition from Wikipedia and the phrasing that preternatural…is believed to have a rational explanation for its occurrence.Aha! There must be a rational explanation for the preternatural.  If there is a rational explanation, then there must be a rule by which it operates.  And where there are rules… there is a finite range of actions. Which means the preternatural can be normalized in its behavior beyond the natural world.

If you're scratching your head at this point and wondering what the heck I just said, don't worry. You're not alone. I had to read it several times myself and consider an example before it sunk in and made sense.  The easiest example of the preternatural is… Angels.  You have faith they exist.  They work for the supernatural God.  They have a finite range of powers and abilities.  By finite, I mean… angels are not God and do not have infinite power over life, liberty, and the universe.  Angels have a butt load of powers, yes, but they cannot… oh let's say, do the create the world thing.  Same thing with demons--but opposite.  They have mad powers, but do not possess the infinite ability to destroy the world. Only their evil god has that power.  Doesn't mean a group of demons can't descend upon the world and use their finite powers to muck up things to the point that it looks destroyed… but they cannot totally eradicate the Earth and make it disappear from existence. Only supernatural beings can do that.

And there you have it.  The difference between paranormal, supernatural, and preternatural.

I hope you enjoyed today's post and perhaps found some inspiration or clarity to help you craft your own paranormal world or understand the world you've already built.  Thanks for joining me today and I'd love to hear your thoughts on what today's post--or even better… do you have a favorite paranormal, supernatural, or preternatural character you've ever read, wrote about, or imagined? If so, I'd love to hear about it.

Until next time… take care and happy reading, writing, and musing!

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Happy Halloween to All!!!  And to all, a spooky night....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: Lady Silver

This is the first Sunday I've had a chance to participate in Six Sentence Sunday in a few months. I've had to devote the weekends to finishing up Lady Silver. It's a historical romance set in New Orleans in 1814 and this snippet has the heroine, Nicole, preparing to go meet her contact, Captain Jesse Cross.

“Don't worry about me.” She gave Colette a peck on the cheek and reached for the silver mask on the dressing table. A filigree band of crystalline gemstones trimmed the outer edge of the silk mask. Their prisms winked in the candlelight. It was a flirty mask that was meant to be worn by a lady in a ballroom. Not by a servant girl on a secret mission.
Thanks a bunch for stopping by! Check out snippets from other authors at  And I hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween weekend.  Watch out for the goblins, ghosts and graveyards.

Sweet Saturday Sample Oct 29th

This Saturday I'm participating in Sweet Saturday Sample. My post is the introduction to the heroine, Natalie, in my WIP. The working title is The Heart Doctor, because the hero is a cardiologist. That will probably change.

Hope everyone is having a great fall day!  I love this time of year.   Check out other samples by clicking here:  Sweet Saturday Samples

I won’t die here today.  Natalie Layton whispered those words to herself, thinking that maybe if she said them enough, they would come true.  She managed to crawl out of the overturned Land Rover, which contained the bodies of a French diplomat and a British colonel.  Bullets splintered off the metal and the scent of the melted tires almost overwhelmed her.
“Incoming,” a solider yelled.
After that explosion, Natalie could no longer hear the melee surrounding her on the dirt road to Kabul.
            She fumbled with her camera case.  Her camera was her livelihood.  One picture is worth a million words.  She had that motto framed and hanging in her office at MacKinley Media in London.  Sitting on the ground, she felt strangely numb.  She could see her photographs.  Those she had taken of the destitute and dying all over the world.  Disasters, both natural and man-made. Serbia,  Iraq, Indonesia, Dafur, Sudan, Mumbai.  She had photographed what most people were lucky enough to never see. 
She lifted the camera from the case.  Her hands trembled.  This was supposed to be her last assignment in dangerous territory.  She had not wanted it but Ian MacKinley had asked her because she was his best. This was to be a short trip where she would be in the company of diplomats and dignitaries. 
The earth rocked with more explosions.  Crawling, she made her way to the rear of the Land Rover and looked through the clouds of smoke and dust.  Trapped beneath the wreckage from an armored vehicle, a young soldier screamed for help.  Three of his comrades braved flying bullets to rescue him.  Valor.  Yes, that would be the name of the photograph that chronciled their unselfish efforts.  She pushed to her feet and started taking pictures.  The shutter release snapped as sudden pain seared through her left shoulder.  Blood soaked her khaki shirt and she dropped to her knees.
I won't die here today.  Her scattered thoughts were old memories of home.  Or what was once home.  Lafayette Springs, Mississippi.  Sunrooms and weeping willows.  Azaleas in the spring and pumpkins in the fall.  Home to the Layton family, small-town aristocrats.  She was the black sheep of the family.  The one who had left over ten years and never returned. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunflowers on a Rainy Day

On this rainy Friday, I decided to post the sunflower photos I took last Saturday while I was on the road. The field of sunflowers drew my attention from the highway and I pulled over to take photos.

Sunflowers definitely brighten up the day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bookshelf: Check out Resurrection, an urban fantasy and The Angel and The Prince, a historical romance by Laurel O'Donnel

The purpose of The Bookshelf is to spotlight a book and let readers know about it. The book, the author or the genre may be new to you.  If you are interested in knowing more about the book, reading reviews or buying it, I am including a buy link as well as the author's website.

Resurrection is the first episode in the exciting new urban fantasy series by Laura O'Donnell.
Christian Thompson is killed in a car accident but refuses to pass into the afterlife because of his protective need to shelter his daughter, Aurora, from her cruel mother. He soon discovers there are others like him, other wandering spirits trapped between the world of the living and the dead. He joins this larger group of Lost Souls in their struggle to destroy the evil endangering their existence.

Unholy creatures threaten both Christian’s new world and his old. They are entities called the Changed, beings who were once Lost Souls but who are now dark, dangerous and disturbed monsters. Their ultimate goal is to return to the land of the living by possessing the body of a human.

Little does Christian realize his decision to refuse his own death will endanger the very life of the daughter he has vowed to protect.

Buy Nook Edition:

In this exciting medieval romance, the French lady knight known as the Angel of Death wages a battle of wills and desires against her dreaded enemy -- the English warrior known as the Prince of Darkness.

Ryen De Bouriez is a French warrior, dedicated to protecting her country against the hated English. In place of glittering ball gowns, she wears shining armor. Instead of practicing the gentler arts, she wields a sword. Those who whisper her name in fear and awe call her the Angel of Death.
Bryce Princeton is the Prince of Darkness, an English knight sent by his king to find and destroy their most hated adversary -- the Angel of Death. Little does he know that his enemy is no man at all, but a beautiful woman who will challenge his heart and honor at every turn.

Forced to choose between love and honor, the Angel and the Prince wage a battle of wills that challenges everything they have ever believed in.

Amazon link:

Visit the author at

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Monday's Meet the Author: Carla Swafford

This Monday I am featuring one of Avon Impulse's new authors, Carla Swafford. An Alabama gal, Carla inherited her love of books from her dad and his father. Growing up, she read every book with a horse on the cover until the age of twelve when she read her first romance. Tired of waiting for her favorite authors to publish more books, she decided to write one. She joined Romance Writers of American and was the finalist in several writing contests. Currently, she works in a male-dominated occupation at the same company with her husband. You can find out more about Carla and her books at  I've known Carla for several years and she's a true gem! Plus, she has graced us with some pretty cool answers to a few probing questions.

Thanks, Patricia, for asking me to post on your blog.  I’ve always loved hanging out with you.

If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?

Oh, that’s easy. Sesame chicken from The Palace in Trussville, AL. Their other dishes are wonderful as my daughters try different ones when they go with me, and I take a bite of theirs. Several times I’ve planned to order something else, but I always order the same dish. And on Saturdays they have egg drop soup that is delicious along with their crispy egg rolls. Now I’m hungry for it.

If you could be any fictional character (books, movies) who would you be?

I’m going to cheat a little on the question because I would love to be Renee Russo. She’s not fictional, of course, but she played some great fictional characters. Who can forget her in Lethal Weapon Three when she and Mel Gibson’s characters fought over who had the most scars. Or The Thomas Crown Affair, when her character falls in love with Pierce Brosnan’s billionaire thief. Oh, my, lucky girl. Heck, lucky guy too.

While writing Olivia in Circle of Desire, I thought of Ms. Russo. Many of her roles were of strong women with strong men. She always holds her own.  Olivia does the same.

You’ve just been handed a one-way ticket to where?

To Seattle. I love the city and its atmosphere. Something that proves not all characters are like their authors. Olivia disliked Seattle and the rain as she couldn’t wait to move on to her next job in Denver. But every time I’ve visited, I’ve found something more to love. The relaxed atmosphere, the coffee shops where everyone has a book opened at their tables. The people are polite and nice. I often teased the people I know there that they’re misplaced southerners.

If I were rich, I would have a summer home there as too many of my family members live in Alabama for me to move away permanently.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

I’ve been on a diet for four months so all of my guilty pleasures are centered on food. The sesame chicken I mentioned earlier and malted milk balls. Every since I was a kid that has been one of my big weaknesses.  I usually settle for Whoppers, but my favorite is from Brach’s. Must. Stay. Away. From. Candy. Aisle.

It’s raining men! What kind of men?

Oh that’s easy. I like all shapes and sizes. In several of my unpublished books, I have men under six foot to those as tall as six five with coal black hair to sandy blond.

In Circle of Desire, the hero looks like a young Hugh Jackman. For some of the other fellows, I thought of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel.  There’s even a Pierce Brosnan as one of the older guys in Circle of Danger that’s coming out next year.

Do you still remember your first kiss?

Wow! I haven’t thought about it for years. I guess my first real kiss was at the age of twelve. I was very mature (I thought). My cousin set me up with his girlfriend’s brother. The four of us met at the movies. It was 2001: Space Odyssey. Yes. I’m really telling my age now. Anyway, he kissed me, and I remembered I didn’t know what to do with my hands. You know, the movies (at the time) didn’t really show that. It was always a close up of the characters’ faces, and I never paid any attention to where they placed their hands. Needless to say, my cousin teased me about waving my hands in the air.

 What do you love most about being a writer? 

Making stories up. Creating a life for people I’ve never met but know so well. Meeting people with a similar drive to become published and being successful at it. You know, writers have voices in their heads reciting fascinating stories that needs repeating with ink and paper. It so nice to know I’m not alone.

I think writers are open minded, willing to find something redeemable even in the bad boys of the world or something frightful in those too good to be true girls. Writers look at all the angles and find beauty or horror in the oddest places. 

Being a romance writer is even more special. We are eternal optimists with our happily ever afters. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

We are glad you stopped by and if you have time, leave a comment. Carla would love to hear from you. Tweets are appreciated.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Monday's Meet the Author: David Russell

Hello All! This Monday you get to meet David Russell. Born 12 June 1940 and living in West London, UK, David is a writer in all genres, including poetry, fiction, and criticism, and he is a guitarist and singer-songwriter. Some of David's erotic poems have been featured in anthologies produced by Forward Press. He has a collection of poetry and prose entitled Prickling Counterpoints, that has been published in many magazines. He has written two novellas: High Wired On (speculative fiction) and Self's Blossom (romance). The latter, together with the short story Explorations, have been published by Silk's Vault. His albums include Bricolage (Hangman Records, 1992) and Bacteria Shrapnel (Posterity Recordings, 1997).

Below are David's answers to seven random self-revealing questions. I have to say David is the first guy who has answered the questions. It is no surprise his answers are brief and come with no explanation. LOL!

1.What movie best describes your life?  Giant (starring James Dean)

2. How are you going to celebrate Halloween? I may go on an expedition with my flashlight camera, and take a picture or two of the masks.

3. If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate? Mildly curried greens of all kinds, lentils, sweet potatoes, rice, paratha. Apple juice and low-fat strawberry yogurt.

4. If you could be any fictional character (books, movies) who would you be? Joseph K in Kafka’s The Trial/Beach hero in From Here to Eternity

5. When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react? I either get extremely edgy and exasperated, or I appreciate the meditative time/headspace.

6.  You’ve just been handed a one-way ticket to where? Madagascar

7. What do you love most about being a writer?  I can make wild speculations, enact unfulfilled desires, and get de-stressed.

Any comments on his answer to Number 7?  Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How Do I Have Such A Mess?

This kitty photo is one of my all-time favorites. Right now, I feel like the kitten looks. It's been an exhausting day. Well, actually, two days. I've been running nonstop. I think I need memory pills because every time I went out, I forgot something. And, how can my house be such a wreck? It is actually a case of neglect and I had a bad habit of being a clutter butt until the day comes when I have to put everything back where it belongs. During those days, I think I walk about 50 miles a day, in my house, going from room to room, taking stuff back.

I have a ton more stuff I need to do, especially in my writing room where there are multiple file cabinets and drawers and the closet that all needs to be gone through since I've done that in how many years?  I dread even starting it. But, I know I need to do it before I die. Over the past few years, I've seen what it is like to leave behind your stuff for someone else to deal with.  Of course, I have a new time suck on the way. Photoshop Elements 10. I'll have that to play with and I'm going to revamp my blog next month. Those file cabinets may have to wait a bit longer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Duplicating the Arby's Chicken Pecan Salad Wrap

If you miss the Arby's Chicken Pecan salad wrap, here are the ingredients I used to make it. Chop up a Jonathan apple,some red or black grapes and celery. Mix together with Tyson's packaged chicken. Add a couple of tablespoons of Kraft Regular Mayo. (Don't use a thin mayo) and add about a half cup of chopped pecans. Stir and chill. Serve on a wheat wrap with ruffled lettuce.

That's all folks! And it makes a great-tasting wrap.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Monday's Meet the Author: Taryn Kincaid & Win A Book!

Today I've got a terrific Meet the Author post, featuring Taryn Kincaid, who lives with a varied bunch of characters in the northern suburbs of New York City, in the historic and mystical Hudson Valley, only a hop, skip & jump from Sleepy Hollow. She is a former award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist, and now haunts courthouses. Don't ask me what she is doing haunting courthouses, but, hey, it sounds interesting. 

If you're looking for a good October read, check out Sleepy Hollow Dreams, her paranormal romance. She also has a Carina Press title available, Healing Hearts, which has been nominated for a 2012 EPIC Award in the Historical Romance category. 
Now for some fun!!  Taryn's characters answered the questions for her!

Thanks so much for inviting me in, Pat.  Thrilled to be here. Unfortunately, the interview questions were sitting on my computer a few days and, as usual, my characters decided to take over. (This is what happens when you procrastinate.) And sometimes some of them are pretty unruly. Or…highhanded lordly: One’s an English viscount, one’s Lord of the Dead and one’s Lord of the Deep. Then there’s the sexy dream voyager and the cool FBI agent… And that’s just the men. Only their heroines can get them to shut up. Sigh.

1. What movie best describes your life?
Adam (Viscount Riverton, HEALING HEARTS): What’s a movie?
Emma: You know, my dear. When the earth moves. When you make –
Adam: Indeed? Time to retire, my love. I think there’s some furniture we haven’t yet broken!
 2. How are you going to celebrate Halloween?
Ryck Van Winkle (SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS): Well, it is our anniversary.
Katy: Give or take a week or two.
Ryck: Come on, sweetling. Like I might ever forget the first time we were together, flesh to flesh.
Katy: [Blushes.] Talk about earth shaking! [Runs fingers across Ryck’s Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt.] But maybe this year we can just spend a quiet night at home? Without demons chasing us into Sleepy Hollow Cemetery?
 3. When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react?
Cole (WIP): The mo’fo better be in hot pursuit of terrorists or I’m taking him in.
Lara: And trust me. G-man here drives like a madman. Competent and in control, but a madman nevertheless. You do not want to be the one he’s chasing.
Cole: Hold on, Ace. [Gives her a cool, icy-eyed stare.] You do not want me chasing you?
Lara: Like it a lot better when you catch me, Irish. [Offers him a sultry wink.] Especially if there’s a hot tub involved.
 4. If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?
Aidon, Lord of the Dead (WIP): If you’re a live babe visiting my realm, I suggest you forgo the pomegranate seeds.
Stephanie: I dunno, Big Guy. That sort of worked out for us didn’t it?
Aidon: They weren’t exactly on a plate, Stef.
Stephanie: Right. C’mere a sec. [Tugs on his arm. Examines the squashed seed on his cheek.] I think we missed one.
 5. What movie best describes your life?
Surfer Dude, Lord of the Deep (Aidon’s younger brother) [WIP]: The Poseidon Adventure.
Mia: Ignore him. He’s just being silly.
 6. If you could time-travel, where would your first stop be?
Adam (HEALING HEARTS): We would like to have tea with that Taryn Kincaid woman. We have a few things to discuss.  
Emma: (HEALING HEARTS): Now, Adam. She did bring us together, after all, my dear. But we don’t suppose she has adequate tea things. So if we are about to travel to the 21st century, please tell her we would like to make a quick stop at Harrod’s or Fortnum & Mason first.
Ryck: (SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS): I’m so over time-traveling.
Katy: (SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS): It’s been 300 years for Ryck. So, if it’s all the same to you. Now that he’s home. I’m keeping him here in Sleepy Hollow with me. In 2011. Good times.

(Read more about these characters on Taryn Kincaid’s site,

Healing Hearts is available from Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books on Board, and other digital booksellers.
Sleepy Hollow Dreams is available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, DigiBook Café, Fictionwise and other digital booksellers.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment. Tell us which one of Taryn's character you liked best or just say Hi! You will be entered in the drawing on Wednesday for your choice of Taryn's books and a set of that book's romance trading cards. If you comment under Anonymous, please leave an email address.  

Thanks again for stopping by from Patricia, who is trying to make Mondays suck a little less...