Sunday, December 28, 2008

Book Trailer ~ One Love For Liv by Marianne Arkins

One Love For Liv by Marianne Arkins

Liv is out to prove her high society fiancé is cheating on her. Can she do it without breaking a nail—or falling in love with Mike the mechanic?

Olivia “Liv” Leigh, wealthy socialite and spa owner, suspects her fiancé of cheating on her. Drastic steps are required to discover whether appearances are deceiving. And if those steps require a bit of stalking, a change of appearance, a hippo-sized dog named Spike, and sacrificing her manicure to clean house for a sexy-but-sloppy man whose neighbor is determined to break several of the strangest Guinness world records, why should that be a problem?

Mike, a happily single auto mechanic, is more than content sharing his bachelor pad with piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and a sneaky ferret. But when a half-crazed woman in a bad wig shows up on his doorstep, what’s a nice guy to do?

Why, invite her in, unknowingly help her in her search for the truth and, in the process, fall head over heels for a woman who’s never been less his type.


Want to see your book trailer here? Go here to find out how!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas, and while I know that most of you are probably doing family stuff and won't see this, I still wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate whether it be Yule, Kwanzaa or something else. Since there will no longer be any more Thursday Thirteen, I decided that I would show y'all one of my favorite Christmas carols sung by one of my favorite musical groups.

Here's hoping y'all have a safe and wonderful holiday, and we'll see you again, real soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve!

I'm busy, busy, busy... cleaning and cooking and writing and "family-ing", so I thought I'd just post a couple of things that are traditions with our family this time of year.

A tree -- covered mainly with homemade or gifted ornaments:

Stockings hung by the chimney with care (including ones for our pets AND for two of my DD's stuffed animals -- and yes, Santa brings gifts for them, too):

Watching my two all-time favorite Christmas movies:

It's a Wonderful Life:

Miracle on 34th Street (the original, of course):

And of course, presents!

What are some of your holiday traditions?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TMI Tuesday!

Okay, I am so darned tired today. After a treadmill test that didn't really go all that well (when your Dr. says, "Well, that's not good!" you know something's wrong) and finally getting my tree decorated (it's been up for two days, but I have to do everything in stages lately, otherwise I run out of steam real quick and things never get done), I am just so tired with too many things still left to do. So, today y'all get a meme:

It's TMI Tuesday. There are five questions asked that may not have much to do with one another or may... but sometimes you may be giving... Too Much Information! Thus, TMI Tuesday, lol. So here are the questions and my answers:

1. What present do you hope ends up under your tree?

Hmm... I would really love to get a new e-book reader. I am currently using my Palm Pilot with a program that converts pdfs into format I can read on it, but the screen is so small I only get a couple of paragraphs at a time... and it would be really nice to get a better reader. Now, that being said, I don't expect one and my hubby pays attention to all of my "Oh, that's neat/pretty/cool" comments and remembers them for birthdays/Christmas/anniversary gifts. So, I know that no matter what I get, I'll love it.

2. What present are you most psyched about giving (PLEASE be vague or ignore this question if the recipient reads your blog)?

I am so psyched to see the look on my oldest son's face when he sees that he IS getting his own computer for his bedroom (refurbished, but HIS). He thinks that there's only going to be the one computer he has to share with his brothers (we've had it for some time, just not hooked up).

3. DO you prefer to give or receive?

*snort* This could be taken so badly... and knowing me you know I took it that way. Hee hee... it depends on my mood. *snicker* Ahem, as far as Christmas and gifts I love to give, I always over-buy for everyone, and even buy/make gifts for everyone when we only draw certain names for gifts.

4. What is your favorite part off a sexual partner's body?

Well... I am REALLY hoping the author meant OF, cuz I don't really want any part OFF my hubby's body. So, in that vein... I love my hubby's lips. They're just perfect in my opinion and he knows what to do with them. Yup, TMI, but that's the point. :-D

5. What is your favorite part of your body - the one you hope a sexual partner will find or pay the most attention to?

That crease where thigh meets... hip. It's so sensitive and it makes the stomach clench and the breath catch. *sigh* Just a really yummy part of the body that can be ignored... but not in my house!

So, that's my TMI Tuesday. Was it TMI? What are YOUR answers to these questions? Or, pick one and tell me your answer. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Holiday. Merry Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, and a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday With Jenny

Want to know all about someone? Well, I found a site that will let you do just that :-) And, I'm going to let you know all about the Menagerie (things you always wanted to know, I'm sure).

JennyKat Shepherd:

1. 25% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 92.6% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are poorly envoweled.

2. Backwards, it is Takynnej Drehpehs... nice ring to it, huh? (shall I use it for a character one day?)

3. Your personal power animal is the Naked Mole-rat

4. Your 'Numerology' number is 3. If it wasn't bulls**t, it would mean that you are enthusiastic, creative, optimistic, and fun-loving. You seek self-expression through words or the arts, and enjoy learning through life experiences.

5. According to the US Census Bureau°, fewer than 0.001% of US residents have the first name 'Jennykat' and 0.0239% have the surname 'Shepherd'. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there is only 1 American who goes by the name Jennykat Shepherd. (I always knew I was unique!)

Mysti Holiday

1. 33% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 60.6% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are averagely envoweled.

2. Backwards, it is Itsym Yadiloh... nice ring to it, huh?

3. Your personal power animal is the Hawaiian Monk Seal

4. Your 'Numerology' number is 7. If it wasn't bulls**t, it would mean that you are spiritual, eccentric, and a bit of a loner. Introspective and analytical, you think deeply and prefer seclusion.

5. According to the US Census Bureau°, fewer than 0.001% of US residents have the first name 'Mysti' and 0.0027% have the surname 'Holiday'. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there is only 1 American who goes by the name Mysti Holiday.

Kealie Shay

1. 50% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 2.2% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are extremely well envoweled.

2. Backwards, it is Eilaek Yahs... nice ring to it, huh?

3. Your personal power animal is the Tae-kwon Dodo

4. Your 'Numerology' number is 6. If it wasn't bulls**t, it would mean that you are responsible, careful, and compassionate. A giver, you are there to support and care for the most vulnerable.

5. According to the US Census Bureau°, fewer than 0.001% of US residents have the first name 'Kealie' and 0.0038% have the surname 'Shay'. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there is only 1 American who goes by the name Kealie Shay.

So.... we are all unique (and we're not surprised!); in our group there is a "envoweled" person for everyone.. so whether you are into
"poorly envoweled" (like me), or "extremely well envoweled" (like Kealie), or somewhere in the middle (like Mysti)...we've got the girl for you!

And...the scary thing is....we're using pseudonyms, but the readings on the numerology number? They are scarily accurate!

If you want to find out about yourself (or another person), check out Is This Your Name?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: Christmas Cookies

I have baking for Christmas on the brain, so thought I'd share some recipes from my fave all time recipe site, -- just click on the photo to get the recipe if you're interested!

13. Delicious Christmas Cookies

12. Christmas Molasses Cookies

11. Christmas Ornament Cookies

10. Christmas Cornflake Wreath Cookies

9. Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie Logs

8. Holly Berry Cookies

7. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

6. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

5. Festive Shortbread

4. Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

3. Holiday Biscotti

2. Gingerbread Cookies I

1. Turtle Bars

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dear Santa...

What I'd really like for Christmas is a little more time. Do you suppose you can slip one of those nifty watches like Hermione had in Harry Potter into my stocking?

If I had three of myself (or three times the hours in the day), I might be able to manage being a wife, mother, housekeeper, author, student, accountant, dog trainer and more into one day.

Now? With only one of me, and a meager 24-lousy-hours a day?

Have you seen the dust on my mantle? The husband who barely knows my name? My DD, tugging on my arm, begging for me to play a board game? My heroine, currently tied to the bed and being ravaged by the hero (actually, she may be okay with that, and doesn't mind waiting until I get back to her, lol)? My dog, who regularly wreaks havoc in and out of the house?

So, Santa, I don't need anything extravagant. Keep the diamond earrings and the Caribbean cruise. Just send me a few more hours. Please? I've been (mostly) good.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lifus Interruptus

*sigh* I suck... I'm sorry everyone! I forgot completely about Saturday Hottie. Actually, I started one and was so tired I told myself I'd finish it Saturday morning... instead life interrupted and I never made it back onto the computer Saturday. I have been making files and getting them organized to have posts ready to go ahead of time, but it hasn't come to complete fruition yet. Hopefully, soon I'll be able to have stuff all organized.

So, aside from a nagging case of Lifus Interruptus, things have been pretty fun in our house. I love Christmas, and with four children I am constantly given an opportunity to see the world in a whole new way.

We had a fun activity that we participated in this weekend: Breakfast With Santa! Technically, we didn't get to eat directly with Santa, but we had a nice breakfast as a family and then got to visit with Santa (there were a lot of kids, I think Santa would have been trampled if he hadn't sat on his... throne and had some order to the whole thing). My kids loved it... except the baby. His reaction was the most dramatic we've ever had to date. At first he was fine with this person taking him and holding him (he's a pretty easygoing kid), but once he did a double-take and saw it was some strange man with lots of white hair on his face... he got a bit frantic and started to scream and squirm to get away. The entire time I was trying to take the pictures with my hubby insisting quite loudly that I hurry cuz the baby was freaking out... and my camera wouldn't take the picture. Poor Santa valiantly tried to keep the baby from nose-diving off his lap until I could get the picture. He succeeded, but not a moment too soon by the way, my camera worked and my hubby snatched the baby from Santa who looked a little strained.

Needless to say, it was interesting and fun. It wasn't until we got home and loaded the picture that I realized that I had actually captured the baby's double-take at Santa. The look on his face is priceless!

Well, here's to holiday memories no matter what your traditions, and I hope Lifus Interruptus doesn't take permanent hold on my life, lol.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Book Trailer ~ The Christmas Curse by Marianne Arkins

The Christmas Curse by Marianne Arkins

For Molly Scott, everything bad in her life has happened during the Christmas season, from training bras in her stocking to being jilted by her fiancé. This year is no exception.

Ten days before Christmas, she arrives at work to find her department closed down and everyone laid off. Desperate, she takes a job for a singing telegram service and, dressed as Mrs. Claus, meets the man of her dreams--who turns out to be a nightmare--in a broken-down elevator. The Christmas Curse is right on track.


Want to see your book trailer here? Go here to find out how!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday With Jenny

I am so not ready for Christmas. I looked at the calendar yesterday and it hit me right between the eyes: TWO WEEKS! And now, it's LESS than two weeks before Christmas and I have bought ONE present. One! And all the kids are going to be home this year so I have a lot of stuff to do yet to get ready.

How is everyone out there doing on their holiday shopping, baking, decorating? Please, tell me I'm not the only one who's been so busy that this Christmas has snuck up on (I did that on purpose.. Mysti HATES snuck... it's a regional thing.. lol).

Anyway... for our Today in History....

French novelist Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, is born on this day in 1821 in Rouen, France.


28 years ago today.... Armand Hammer paid more than $5M for one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks. Ya reckon one day OUR notebooks will sale for anything??? :-)

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Merry Christmas, Everyone

I won't be back before Christmas (where HAS the time gone??) so I wanted to share with you thirteen movies I like to watch every Christmas:














Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone, and I'll see y'all in 2009 :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Best Of Intentions

I have learned this week that even with the best of intentions things don't always go the way we want them to. I had planned on doing the "I Love Your Blog Awards" today, but I had to push it back yet another week. Sorry!

This week has been a study in frustration. All things considered it could be going much worse than it is, and that's what keeps me from sticking my head in the oven... that and I have four kids who would just yank me out before I could even get a good dose of dain bramage... wait, maybe not! LOL

I have a doctor's appointment today, and honestly I just can't get my brain to wrap around much else. Considering I'll be going against my natural inclinations to not rock the boat (Why are you laughing, Mysti? Sheesh!) and demand that they do more testing and figure something else out instead of just throwing drugs at it and hoping it all goes away. Because what we are doing currently is doing nothing for me... and a mother of four boys cannot afford to be as exhausted as I have been lately.

GAH, we'll see. So, since I didn't get to the "We Love Your Blog Awards" I had nothing to blog about today... well, except for the above, and I'm sure y'all could care less. LOL

Anyway, anyone have any suggestions on how to actually get some writing done when my muse feels as horrid as I do? She's sitting in my head draped artfully across a fainting couch hand flopped over her eyes, other arm hanging from the side of the couch, "I... just... can't... inspire... right... now... too... tired..." HEY, maybe that's where all my energy has disappeared to! My muse used it all up with her insane sexy/party antics. The witch! Ah, well, hopefully she starts to feel better when I start to feel better. :-D

I'll keep y'all updated (okay, I'll TRY to keep y'all updated) as to what we figure out. I hope your week is shaping up to be interesting and fun. Have a great week!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Book Trailer ~ Celtic Love Knots Vol. 10 by Kiki Howell

Celtic Love Knots Vol. 10 by Kiki Howell

Sexual Magic
A cast circle of sexual magic; an ancestral Books of Shadows; and a sexual magic spell cast in desperation hundreds of years ago leave Caitlyn angry that her destiny may have been tampered with.

Now, she needs to know if she is meant to be with Brent, a man who often doesn’t understand her ways but to whom she is undeniably pulled.

Tailltean Marriage
Ten years ago, at their first Lughnasadh, Allena and Devyn made a pact to go through a Tailltean Marriage, a trial marriage, if they were both still unattached on Lughnasadh the year they turned twenty-eight.

Even though Allena and Devyn have been best friends, sharing everything for years, once their hand-fasting ceremony is over they fear that sex will change their friendship.


Want to see your book trailer here? Go here to find out how!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ Things I'm NOT Getting My Kids For Christmas

It's that time of year, and while I love the holidays, I don't love the commercialism of it all. I like getting my kids things they need and even want for Christmas, but I don't like the constant begging for things that I would never buy them anyway. It doesn't help that the commercials on their channels (the only ones they are allowed to watch BTW) are all about these super-duper, priced up the wazoo toys that are most likely poorly made and will break once my boys start really playing with them. So, my list is thirteen things I will NOT buy for my kids for Christmas.

1. A Cell Phone ~ Are you kidding me? My oldest is only 9 years old! I see kids his age with their cell phones out texting back and forth, playing games and downloading things. Heck NO! He does NOT need a cell phone to call his friends, he can use the house phone. He does NOT need a cell phone to listen to music or play games, he has an MP3 player and Gameboy for that. He doesn't need one for the walk home from school... we live right across the street. I'm just as neurotic as most parents these days... but giving a 9 year old a cell phone is just asking for an astronomical cell bill.

2. A PSP (PlayStation Portable) ~ They can barely take care of their much cheaper, much more durable Gameboys (and not the DS kind either). Why in the world would I get them something else they can treat poorly?

3. A puppy ~ Somehow I don't see Harley taking too well to a hyper little puppy invading his space. He has a hard enough time finding a quiet spot away from my rambunctious kids... a puppy would drive my poor baby insane! Not to mention the fact that I would be the one who would have to do all the taking care of a training. I'd rather not when my health is so... off right now. LOL

4. Night-Vision Goggles ~ OH, don't get me wrong... these look cool as all get out! I even considered them until I remembered that I have a hard enough time getting the little darlings to go to sleep as it is. They don't need another excuse to slip out of bed. "Mommy... I can seeeeee yooooouuuuu!"

5. An Actual TRAIN ~ I just don't have the room... or the money! Four boys + All their toys = Enough clutter to last a lifetime! :-D

6. Designer clothes ~ *SNORT* If they can tear holes in the knees of Levis with reinforced knees... Can you imagine how much it would cost me to pay for designer clothing? :::shudder:::

7. Tickle Me Elmo Extreme ~ Cuz it's just plain creepy! Come on, you have to admit... that little Elmo doll that giggles and kicks and rolls around... GAH gives me the willies!

8. A Wii ~ Mainly because I can't afford one. We do well enough with my hubby's job and my dance classes. We don't go hungry, we have a house and some luxuries... but we already have a perfectly good gaming system that still makes games. I don't see the point in upgrading. Yeah, yeah... it's not gonna happen... deal with it.

9. A Laptop ~ HA! Do you know what I had to do for Santa to get MINE? The pervert! *snicker* They don't need one, they can use the desktop PC just fine... and that's that!

10. A New Car ~ Umm... yeah, my oldest is NINE YEARS OLD! I don't even get a new car. Did I mention we probably couldn't afford it anyway? Why put ourselves in debt over something we don't really need? BUT, isn't this one so puurrty?! *sigh*

11. A Furby ~ :::shudder::: Yet another creepy toy! I get chills whenever the darned thing open their little eyes and start talking.... GAH, I just now gave myself the willies!

12. A Set of Golf Clubs ~ Did I mention I have boys? Yeah... I'd be buying new windows too. No thanks!

13. Heelies ~ A couple years ago my mother bought a pair for my oldest son. I hated them! I think that they teach poor manners. My kids aren't supposed to RUN through a store, and yet I see all these kids popped up on their heels rolling through the stores at top speed with no one telling them to stop. Granted, whenever I caught my son doing it I threatened to remove the wheels and he stopped, but the temptation was ALWAYS there. I won't stop him from wearing them if someone else buys them... but I won't be buying them.

So that is my list, I hope you enjoyed it. Like I said, I DO love this time of year and trying to find the perfect gift for my family and friends is really a blast when I'm not so tired... and sometimes even when I am. Happy TT!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All I Want For Christmas...

Okay folks... I need some suggestions. I have lots of people on my Christmas list, and I'm going to try to get books for one and all. I don't read much outside my fave genres, so how about some help?

What would you recommend for:

Romantic Suspense?
Straight Horror?
Cozy Mystery?
Young Adult?
Middle Grade?
Sweet Romance?

Anyone? Bueller?

And... what about you? Are you buying books this Christmas? What's on YOUR wishlist?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lesson Learned

Yesterday, Devon talked about what she had learned in writing her latest release, and I got to thinking about a few things in regards to my latest project. First... Would I ever get it finished and published? If I have anything to say about it I will. :-D Second... What have I learned? That even when I fail I learned and accomplished something.

You may be wondering what I failed at. Well, I didn't even come close to getting 50,000 words on my NaNoWriMo project. It wasn't for lack of ambition or even inspiration. I really wanted to sit down and write, and the characters were chattering non-stop in my head the entire time... in fact they haven't stopped. Maybe because I haven't finished their story yet. LOL But, circumstances have conspired against me and things that were really rather important took precedence.

Anyway, what did I learn? I learned that sometimes, we just can't reach our goals in the time limits we set for ourselves. Not for lack of discipline or lack of desire or anything else like that. Simply by living we can sometimes have to put other things on the back burner. That doesn't mean we give up on those dreams and goals entirely, it simply means that we need to reevaluate how we are going to get those things done. In my case, my health has made me realize that sometimes life throws us a curveball when we expect a fastball. It would have been lovely to sit at the times I set aside and write, but the fatigue about kicked my behind and I'd find I was nodding off at my computer. That in and of itself is a HUGE deal... just ask Mysti and Jenny and anyone else who knows how little I normally sleep.

But, I digress... I learned that it doesn't mean I'm going to give up and just stop. I love writing, I love the characters and the stories and wondering where I'll find myself at the next keystroke. I learned that if I make sure my loved ones understand just how important these things are to me... they will support me in whatever way I need them to (even if it takes a bit of a hissy fit to get my point across). I learned that stressing about it only makes me sicker... and that is bad enough without me adding to it thank you very much. So, I'm not going to stress about it. I'm proud of my friends who met the goal of 50,000 words... more than I can say. I sat and grinned like an idiot when I read that our sweet Helen had hit her goal before Thanksgiving. By the way, "WAY TO GO, HELEN!"

And I've followed along with my other friends as they kept our various groups updated... and that it is an amazing group of people I've found out here in the ether that is the World Wide Web. I'm lucky to have them on my side, and I hope they feel the same way about me. So, congratulations to all of y'all out there who met your goals. I look forward to seeing how things move along for you. Stay tuned and hopefully, we'll see The Menagerie authors flourish and thrive as well. I have faith, and that's a really good start. I hope y'all have a great week, and had a joyous holiday. Until next time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Guest Blogger ~ Devon Gray

Today, our guest blogger is Devon Gray! Her newest release, Playing for Keeps, just released this last month at The Wild Rose Press-The Wilder Roses. Please join us here at The Menagerie in giving her a warm welcome!

Available Now from The Wild Rose Press- The Wilder Roses: Playing for Keeps by Devon Gray.

Here is a quick blurb:

Pasts are best left behind, hidden deep in your memory—that is where I buried mine. The feel of his hands and mouth on my body, the height of sensuality I reached beneath his touch. I'd fought so hard to forget—how could just the sight of him bring it all back, forcing me to become lost in him?


Years before I had watched him, craved him—a guitarist in a band riding the wave to stardom—my brother's best friend. On the verge of womanhood, I never dared to reveal how I yearned. Until a cold New Year's Eve when I offered myself as the woman I'd become, bringing to fruition the deepest of wants. As that night turned, so did my life. Devastatingly so.

I never dreamed I'd become another of his one night stands.

Can pasts be exorcised if they come back to haunt you? And when a notorious playboy who broke your heart offers you his…how do you know if he's playing for keeps?

What I learned from writing this book:

1. It is imperative to have a synopsis before you begin to write a book.

2. Recording studios sometimes keep their gold and platinum records in the bathroom.

3. A man would not describe a woman’s eyes as “lake” blue.

4. It is imperative to have a synopsis before you begin to write a book.

5. If you are over thirty and are trying to get a record deal you have a better shot of becoming president.

6. Jimmy Choos should not be italicized in a manuscript.

7. It is imperative to have a synopsis before you begin to write a book.

8. It is difficult to write a love scene from the male point of view…in first person.

9. If you are a teenaged recording artist performing in bars, you have to have your mom or dad with you at all times.

10. It is imperative to have a synopsis before you begin to write a book.

I cannot even remember how many false starts this book had. The problem? I bet you can hazard a guess. I embraced my pantser tendencies and was left with over a year of frustration as a result. I would work the plot one way, only to discover my conflict fell apart. I’d go in a different direction, just to find my characters fell flat. I put it in a drawer and wrote another book, Addicted, which released this past August. It wasn’t until I was asked to participate in an anthology based on Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” that the story finally came together in a way that made sense. Maybe it was the music connection, who knows. I have to say, though, that I have learned many valuable lessons from this experience. Like it is imperative to have a synopsis before you begin to write a book.

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