Tag Archives: Friday

Are you a member of the SCA Society for creative Anachronism? Have you ever been to Pennsic War?

Are you a member of the SCA Society for creative Anachronism? Have you ever been to Pennsic War?


English: Society for Creative Anachronism part...

English: Society for Creative Anachronism participants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve never heard of the Society for Creative Anachronism, it’s…. well, hard to explain. Lots of people come together for a medieval-fest and turn a building, or a huge area, back in time. Think Renaissance Faire on steroids. But in these events they won’t even let you in without proper garb.

And you don’t just get to watch. With training, you become part of the world.

I went to an event once over twenty years ago, and it was quite a treat. It had a big enough impact on me that I still think about it, and I’ve decided to feature a SCA event, the Pennsic War, in one of my novels.


Kingdom of Northshield court in the Society fo...

Kingdom of Northshield court in the Society for Creative Anachronism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s my problem. I’ve never been to Pennsic War. I am trying to imagine what Cooper’s Lake park in PA looks like when 10,000 (yes, that’s ten-thousand) people from around the world converge on that one campground, to watch and take part as the East Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom meet for a week of tournament and good times. Think Olympics, Medieval style.

Heavy combat, fencing, crossbows. Oh! I get tingles just thinking about it!

English: Melee fighting in the Society for Cre...

English: Melee fighting in the Society for Creative Anachronism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thing is, I can imagine what a campground of people in Medieval garb looks like, but anything I can come up with would just be a really good guess.


So I’m wondering. Have you been to Pennsic War? Or maybe another smaller war-like event?

Here are my questions.

  1. Does combat start on Friday, or is that just revelry like the opening ceremonies and the good stuff starts on Saturday?
  2. Do most people stay at the campground?
  3. Are there ever any non-SCA campers there? Are they freaked out?
  4. What is it like back at the campground? Do people stay garbed and “in character” for the whole week or two weeks?
  5. Do combatants get hurt?
  6. Fencing competition: Do girls fight girls and guys fight guys, or can a championship match be a guy and a girl? (Sorry that was a spoiler)
  7. From the event I went to, I imagine the rivalry feigned and in good fun. But is that still true? Any side-duels that might not exactly “follow the safety rules”?
  8. Anything you can give me would be helpful. I want this to be authentic, and do the event justice as the catalyst to send my heroine on her journey.

Oh! Do you have pictures? More pictures will be helpful.

And, as a side note, if any SCA member would like to read the SCA excerpt when I’m done to make sure I “got it” I would be eternally grateful.


(Yeah, that was probably lame. I’m sure I spelled that wrong.)

Find out more about this cool organization here: http://www.sca.org/




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Please don’t send me to the slush pile! I’ve been good!

A temporary goodbye to the Little Blue Lady from Mars

PKO_Alien 3 0003387You are going to shove me into your hard drive and never look at me again.

No, I’m not!

I promise!

Alien Smile CloseBut I’m a rehabilitated alien! 

I made cookies last week and everything!

It’s not that.  Your interviews have been great. Hundreds of people have clicked on over to read them. I’ve gotten a great response—even when you’ve been abrasive, which is a bit odd.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Then what’s the problem?


Time is the problem.

Did you know it takes a few hours to do one of those interviews?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Ha!  You’re not doing anything.  I’m doing all the work. 

You’re just whining and complaining in the background.

Yes, but as much as I love you,

there is a little work involved in bringing you to life.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So?


Well, I’ve got writing to do, you know.  I’m starting the sequel to Last Winter Red this weekend, and I have three books out to query now, and Fire in the Woods will be going to query in a few weeks.

Alien Huh CloseThey are more important than me?

Hmm. At the moment, yes, they are.  But listen, I promise to set up an interview for you at least once a month.  Twice once I get a little more acclimated to my new schedule, okay?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387[Sigh]

I guess I really don’t have a choice, do I?



PKO_Alien 3 0003387I’ll miss you.


I’ll miss you too.

But I’ll see you in a few weeks, I promise.


Alien SmileOkay. 

How about for the last Free Friday for a while, we give away a copy of “Make Believe”.

Great!  That would be awesome.

You know, the reviews for my story Last Winter Red in this anthology have been “off the charts crazy” good!  And several people have asked about more from the Last Winter Red world.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, I’m happy for you, but not happy that writing the sequel means I have to go back into the hard drive.

Hey, I will keep my promise.

I even have an awesome author all lined up for April.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387All Right. 


Make Believe

Please bid the Little Blue Lady goodbye for a few weeks, and everyone commenting below will be in the running for an ebook copy (your choice of format) of the “Make Believe” anthology including my story LAST WINTER RED.



The Little Blue Lady From Mars © Jennifer M. Eaton.

JenniFer_Eaton Sparkle__F

It’s Free Friday! #free An autographed print copy of Crisis of Identity by Denise Moncrief


Yay!  It’s Freebee Fridays time!

First of all, Congrats to last week’s winner: J.K.Ford

You’ve received a free copy of “Torn” by Keri Neal.

If you’d like to find out more about Kerri Neal check out her blog kerineal.com/author or check her out on Twitter twitter.com/@authorkerineal or Facebook facebook.com/authorkerineal


Alien Zig Zag

PKO_Alien 3 0003387I’m tired.


Why are you tired?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387I stayed up late last night watching a movie.


Well at least you were having fun.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387It was not fun!  It was horrible. 

Such a sad story! What a Tragedy!

What was it about?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387This mother trying to save her baby from a serial killer.

  It was horrible!

What was it called?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Alien.


[Presses her lips together] I’m… not going to go there.  So, are you ready for the interview?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Yes. Maybe it will cheer me up.

Let the stupid author in.

Oh, this isn’t going to go well…

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So, who are you

and what do you want?


I’m Denise Moncrief and I’m just a writer who wants to sell a few books.

Is that too much to ask?


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Piff!  We’ll see.

Why do you think your book is good enough?

Because…because… sheesh, because I wrote it.

That’s why.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Vain little sucker isn’t she? 

Okay Miss Hoity Toity…

Why would anyone want to read it?

Why wouldn’t they?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Because you’re a hoity toity pink clad…


Hey!  Be nice! 

You don’t know anything about her!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387She reminds me of Sigourney Weaver.  That brown hair… those beady eyes… I don’t like Sigourney Weaver anymore.  She’s mean to poor alien mothers just trying to protect their babies.

But this isn’t Sigourney Weaver.


PKO_Alien 3 0003387I don’t care!


Please give her a chance.


PKO_Alien 3 0003387All right. 

Tell me what your stupid book is about.

I’m so glad you asked! Tess Copeland is an operator. Her motto? Necessity is the mother of a good a con. When Hurricane Irving slams into the Texas Gulf coast, Tess seizes the opportunity to escape her past by hijacking a dead woman’s life, but Shelby Coleman’s was the wrong identity to steal. And the cop that trails her? He’s a U.S. Marshall with the Fugitive Task Force for the northern district of Illinois. Tess left Chicago because the criminal justice system gave her no choice. Now she’s on the run from ghosts of misdeeds past—both hers and Shelby’s.

Enter Trevor Smith, a pseudo-cowboy from Houston, Texas, with good looks, a quick tongue, and testosterone poisoning. Will Tess succumb to his questionable charms and become his damsel in distress? She doesn’t have to faint at his feet—she’s capable of handling just about anything. But will she choose to let Trevor be the man? When Tess kidnaps her niece, her life changes. She must make some hard decisions. Does she trust the lawman that promises her redemption, or does she trust the cowboy that promises her nothing but himself?

Alien Huh CloseIs that supposed to sound even remotely interesting to me?  I just got back from Texas, and it was nothing like that.  It was far more interesting. Stupid book.

Stupid Alien.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Who are you calling stupid?


You, Stupid.  And Sigourney Weaver rules.

That was another stupid alien who deserved everything it got!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387What?  How dare you!

[Fumbles through drawer]  Hey!  Who took my ray gun!


That would be me.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Where is it?


Would you believe it’s out getting cleaned? 

It was a little dirty from the last book you disintegrated with it.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, I need to disintegrate another stupid book

– and the stupid author too!

How about you just get rid of he book by giving it away?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Never!


But maybe there’s a reason she’s stupid…

I mean… ergh… Umm… 

PKO_Alien 3 0003387You mean maybe she was hit by a stupid ray?


Stupid ray? Is there such thing?


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Yes.


Well, then, yes,

maybe she was hit by a stupid ray.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Hey Moncrief…

Were you hit with a stupid ray or something?

No, I don’t think so. But then, the memory erasing serum faded most of the 1990s for me.

You know what? 

If they hit her with a stupid ray, maybe she was being bad?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh! 

Did you try to take over the world?

I can’t talk about that. National security and everything, you understand. (That’s part of the reason they gave me the memory erasing serum.) There are things I remember, and things I’d rather forget.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So there is a possibility you are a comrade of world domination, but you just don’t remember! Are you sure you are from this planet?  Have you ever had the odd sensation of floating in a black void with sparkling stars?

Don’t you think these questions are getting a little…personal?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Hmmm. 

I’m not sure what to do with this one.

On the off chance she’s stupid for a reason, how about we give away a copy of her book?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387That’s a stupid reason

to give away a book.

Stupid reason for a stupid person?


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh, okay.

We’ll give away the stupid book.


Hey, Denise… I don’t really think you’re stupid


I know 🙂


There you have it!  Comment below, and try to make poor Denise feel better after all that.

If you’d like to find out more about Denise Moncrief and her books, click on over to  http://www.denisemoncrief.blogspot.com/

The Little Blue Lady From Mars © Jennifer M. Eaton.

#FreeFriday Win a #Free Ebook “Mona Lisa’s Room” and “A Taste of Chocolate” by Vonnie Davis


Yay!  It’s Freebee Fridays time!

First of all,

Congrats to last week’s winner:

You’ve received a free copy of “Trust and Betrayal” by Dani-Lyn Alexander.

If you’d like to find out more about Dani-Lyn, hop on over to her website http://www.danilynalexander.com/


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Ok, I will admit I like the pretty blue shirts,

but I just can’t understand this half-headed man stuff!

He’s not half-headed.  It’s symbolic.  It’s so you can make him look like the man of your dreams.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh!  I think I understand, but I still think it’s creepy.

Please, no half-headed covers this week.


Nope!  This week Romance writer extraordinaire Vonnie Davis is here! 

PKO_Alien 3 0003387What’s so great about her?

She’s just great.

Trust me.  You’ll love her!

Alien SmileOkay, happy face time.  Hello.

Oh, you look like a pleasant lady.

Come on in and have a seat.

Ha!  Dani-Lyn told me you had blue hair.  I thought she meant you were old.

Is that your real hair? It’s so long and luxurious! 

Alien SmileWell, yes, it is my own hair.

I’m so glad you like it.  Most Earthlings can’t see the subtle highlights.

.Wow, this is getting a little deep.

Dani-Lyn warned you about the little fire last week, huh?


Quiet Eaton, I’m working the alien here.

Alien SmileWell, Let’s get down to business nice author lady.  Tell me a little about yourself.


I’m known to my closest friends simply as “V”.


Alien SmileOh!  Like the TV Series about aliens?

Umm, no, like “Vonnie”


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh.

I never saw that show.

It’s not a show… You know what, never mind.

I’m a choco-holic and caffeine addict. And I want to write the kind of books readers can’t put down, storylines they think about when they’re away from it and characters they want to revisit again and again.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So, do you?

 No, not yet, but hope
springs eternal for this old broad.


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Old broad?

How old are you?


You can’t ask her that?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Why not?

It’s rude!


PKO_Alien 3 0003387You Earthlings are so odd!  Okay Vonnie err… “V” Why is your book good enough that I would want to take time away from plotting to destroy your meager little world?

Oh, hon, ask my hero. He’s the one who woke me up at night if I wrote a scene he didn’t like. He’d act it out over and over, and then look at me and growl, “Now do you see why that crap you wrote won’t work?” I was greatly sleep-deprived during the writing of this romantic suspense.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Wakes you up in the middle of the night?

It sounds like he has a Martian appetite.

If that makes you happy, then yes! 

He definitely has a Martian appetite.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Okay, I’m still with you,

but why would I want to read this?

If you’ve ever dreamed of running through the streets of Paris from terrorists while wearing a thong and stilettos, or karate kicking two men in a bookstore while wearing said stilettos, or being arrested as a prostitute merely because you’d misspoken to an undercover policeman with your poor French or painting the shoreline of the Normandy coast while a handsome French government agent sunbathed next to you, then this is the book for you.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Do I even look remotely like a woman who’s dreamed of these things?

Well, I’ve heard you blue haired ladies have a wild side.


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Yes, but I dream about blowing things up.

I want a book with explosions!

Then this is the book for you! In the opening scene my heroine unwittingly foils a terrorist’s bombing attempt in the Louvre. To retaliate, members of The Red Hand bomb several cafés in Paris.


Alien SmileYes!  Finally an author who isn’t afraid to express their explosive tendencies!

Now I am interested.

Tell me more!

Alyson Moore is still reeling from her recent divorce. Finding your husband in the shower with another man tends to destroy your feminine identity. At her sister’s insistence, she travels to Paris, something she’s always wanted to do. Within two days of her arrival to the City of Light, she is put into the protective custody of a French agent, ten years younger than she. They are both pursued by the terrorists in almost non-stop adrenaline packed action. Things soon heat up between them, but more importantly, Alyson finds out she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Alien Huh CloseThere we go with the robotic response again.

Why do all you authors do that?

 It’s a human tendency. 

You have to cut us lower species a break. It sounds good though, right?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387You said there was an explosion, right?



Right in the beginning

Alien SmileThen yes!

It does sound good!

Does that mean you’ll let me give a copy away? 


Alien SmileYes!  As a matter of fact, you can give two books away!


I can also throw in a copy of “A Taste of Chocolate!”

Alien SmileWonderful!

So we will have two winners this week!

What a great idea!



Let’s get rocking!  If anyone would like to win a free copy of

“Mona Lisa’s Room” or “A Taste of Chocolate”

leave a comment below. We will choose a winner on Monday. Thanks Vonnie, and great job winning over the Little Blue Lady from Mars!

Whew!  That was exciting. 

Thank you so much for having me!

If you’d like to find out more about Vonnie Davis and her books, hop on over to http://vonniedavis.com/Home_Page.html



The Little Blue Lady From Mars © Jennifer M. Eaton.

#Free #ebooks FOR EVERYONE! “A Hint of Frost” by Hailey Edwards #freestuff


Yay!  It’s Freebee Fridays time!

First of all, congrats to last week’s winner Jamie Ayers

You’ve won a free copy of THE ROMANCE NOVEL BOOK CLUB by Kastil Evenshade in PDF format.

If you’d like to find out more about Kastil and the gads of books she’s had published, hop on over to http://kastil.wordpress.com/

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Last week we had half-naked and half-headed men.  What are you going to do to me this week?

Oh, you are going to love this one. 

This week Hailey Edwards is coming over! 

Alien Huh CloseWho?


Come on!  Wake up and smell the Fantasy.  She’s awesome!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387You think everyone is awesome.

Do you say nice things about me too when I’m not listening?

Umm, yeah, sure I do!  🙂  Trust me.  You’re going to love this one.  Invite her in.  Remember to smile.

Alien SmileAlrighty Fantasy Lady.  Come on in and sit for a spell.  Oh!  Sorry about that ray gun.  I have a blog to take over later.

Okay.  Comfy? Why do you look scared?  So… Who are you and what do you want?

I’m Hailey, and—at this moment—I want a caramel frappe.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh!  I actually like those.

How Yummy!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Psst, Jennifer, we like the same drink!


That’s good.  You’re building rapport. 

Keep going!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Okay… Ms. Edwards… What makes you think you book is good enough to read?  I don’t get this Fantasy stuff.

I won’t say it’s good enough, but it’s different.

Sometimes that makes all the difference.

Alien SmileYes!  Like Blue hair!  Very vogue.

Does anyone have silver faces and beautiful blue hair like me?

Sorry, no.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387No blue hair?

Then why would anyone want to read it?

Why would anyone want to eat chocolate?

It’s pleasurable.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387It’s pleasurable!

That means that lots of things explode!

I’m afraid not.

A few people were decapitated, though.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387That’s a little harsh.  I’ve never decapitated anyone, but I did tie up the curly haired chic that runs this blog once.  That was fun.

Thanks for the reminder. 

I still have burn marks from the ropes. 

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Okay, so other than decapitation what’s your book about?


Frost is the story of Lourdes and Rhys, who enter into an arranged marriage for the sake of their clans.

Each has something the other wants, and in the process of getting it, they fall in love.

Aided in no small part by fangs, silk, and liberal doses of venom.

Alien Huh CloseDo you know you are the first author on here that hasn’t answered that question like they were reading off the back of their book?  Kudos too you!

Well, thanks.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387You’re right, Jennifer.

I like this one so far.

Me Too! 

Keep interviewing. 

Alien SmileMs. Edwards, Have you ever exploded anything?

I wanted to try the Mentos and Diet Coke geyser because it looked cool.


Alien SmileOh!  I tried that once!  Don’t do it in Jennifer M. Eaton’s living room though.  She gets mad. Have you ever tried to take over the world?

 I thought about it, but it seemed to take more effort than it was worth. I mean, why not take over an island in the Caribbean instead?

Alien SmileWell, I hadn’t thought of that.  I like islands.  They’re pretty.  So, tell me, Have you ever painted your hair blue?

Painted, no. Speckled it, yes. When painting my daughter’s bedroom ceiling with a sky mural.

Alien SmileOh!  How wonderful!  Blue is a great color!

I do believe we have bonded!


Does that mean I can give away a copy of my book?

Alien SmileYes!  As a matter of fact, I think we should give away MANY MANY copies of your book!




Alien SmileI am going to electro-bolt over to Amazon dot com right now and explode their servers.  Yes!  That will make all copies of “A Hint of Frost” Free until they get a chance to fix it!

Umm, wait…

Too late she’s already gone. 

She’ll make good on that, too. She’s very, umm, tenacious.

If you’d like to get s free copy of A Hint of Frost zip over to Amazon right away before they get their servers up and running.  It’ll be free until their tech crew gets there, or they catch the Little Blue Lady for Mars. Hurry!

Catapult me to Amazon for a free ebook copy of “A Hint of Frost”

Thanks for having me… I think. 

Someone call Amazon and tell them to keep a lookout for a miniature silver woman with blue hair!

Thanks for being a good sport, Hailey!

If you’d like to find out more about Hailey Edwards and her books, hop on over to http://haileyedwards.net/

#FreeFridays Giveaway! #Win a #free copy of “HUSH, LITTLE BABY” Everyone loves #freestuff and #freebooks!

Yay!  It’s Free Friday!

First of all, congratulations to last week’s winner. Celestine Nudana chose my anthology “For the Love of Christmas” as her title.

Enjoy, Celestine!


Now this week, we are happy to have….

PKO_Alien 1 0003414


Jennifer13Umm, no.  Actually we have Deborah M. Piccurelli here today.  She’s an author.

No!  You will interview me!

Jennifer13No no no!  Not this time.  You don’t have a book to give away.

Alien Huh Close

Huh?  Since when do you need to give away abook to get on here?

Jennifer13It’s new.  This is Freebee Friday.  I’ll interview someone, and then give away their book.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387

For nothing?

Yeah.  Pretty much.

Well, what fun is that?

It’s great fun, if you win.

Alien PKO_0003410

Hmmm.  Can I interview her?  I’ll be good.  I promise.

I don’t know.


Jennifer13Ergh.  Okay, but BE NICE.

This is a very nice author with a nice, wholesome book.  Pretend to be a good girl. Okay?


Alien SmileYay! Okay, here is my very first interview!

Cheer me on, Earthlings!


Alien Zig ZagAlien Zig ZagAlien Zig Zag

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So, who are you and what do you want?

Like Jennifer said, my name is Deborah M. Piccurelli and I am an author who writes about controversial issues. My goal is to help stop heinous acts performed by evil people. I plan to give a portion of the proceeds from every book published from here on out, to a charity that works against them. It is one way for me to contribute to Kingdom work.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Why do you think your book is good enough to talk about with someone as great as me?

Because it’s for a worthy cause, and I put my whole heart and soul into it.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh!  I know about putting heart and soul into things… Like taking over the world!  Is this about taking over the world?

No. Sorry.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387No? Then why would anyone want to read it?

It has unique characters, a unique story, and it contains humor, romance, and suspense.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, I guess those things can be fun, too.

So, entice me.  What’s it about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Investigative journalist, Amber Blake, is a little person bent on payback for the death of her average-sized twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband, Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting. As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor’s romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story . . . but nothing prepares her for what’s behind a mysterious door in his office.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Wow.  That sounds really really deep!  Are you sure she doesn’t blow him up at the end?  Because that would be a great ending.

No.  Sorry, no explosions.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Are you sure?  Would you consider writing one in?



PKO_Alien 3 0003387Come on!  I have to get at least one explosion story out of you.  Have you ever fantasized about exploding things?

Not really. 

Am I boring?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Do you really want me to answer that?


Jennifer13Hey!  You said you would be nice!!!!!

Not everyone wants to explode things!  This sounds like a great, really tense story!  What an interesting and kinda Creepy premise.

Thank you, Jennifer.


Jennifer13Okay, Deborah, let’s give her a taste of your writing.  That should win her over. 

Oh!  I know! Describe your favorite dessert to her.

Right now, I’m thinking of Olive Garden’s Lemon Cake. The lemon custard filling is smooth and silky on my tongue, almost melting away as it passes through the mouth and down the throat. The taste is simultaneously slightly tart/slightly sweet. The delicate layer cake that sandwich’s the filling is light and airy. It, too, seems to melt on the tongue, and the discreet vanilla flavor comes together with the fine sugar powder that’s sprinkled over top of the cake to create a quick burst of sweetness before it’s swallowed, and then it’s gone . . . until you fork up the next morsel.

Alien Huh PKO_0003376Okay okay!  You win!  Is there an Olive Garden I haven’t exploded yet?

Yes!  Here it is!

Now, how does one use one of these map things…

Jennifer13Okay, Deborah, quick, while she’s distracted, what are you giving away this week?


I must say this has been a truly DIFFERENT experience.  I’m giving away a copy of my book, Hush, Little Baby or if the winner prefers, a .pdf version.

Jennifer13Awesomesauce!  Thanks for stopping by, and I’m really sorry for the Little Blue Lady.

Okay guys, comment below for a chance to win Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli in your choice of paperback or PDF.  If you want to know more about Deborah, Check out her web site here.

Don’t forget to comment!  A random winner will be chosen on Monday.



Hurricane update and Flash Fiction Friday on Wednesday: Heart Stomping

Note:  Thanks for all the well wishes about hurricane Sandy.  We suffered mild damage in the form of a bad installation of a brand new sliding glass door.  It actually rained inside the door and outside.  I wish I thought of taking video, but all we could do was attack it with towels.  We got off quite lucky compared to the devastation not too far away.  Thanks for your prayers and good wishes.

Now, without further ado…Five minutes on the clock.  Go!

Melanie’s cold hand did little to soften the trampling beat of her heart.  The bark of the tree behind her scraped her skin through her thin cotton t-shirt.  Still, she struggled to become one with it … to hide.

A branch snapped in the darkness, stealing her breath. Immobilized, she squinted into the brush.  Where had the sound come from? Silence played with her mind, and she imagined the tree’s limbs growing, clutching clawing, and a breath behind her. But that’s impossible!

A shriek penetrated the night, and she pushed from the tree.  Her shirt caught and ripped, the sound a quick zip in the night as she darted into the darkness.

Happy Halloween!

T.G.I. Friday’s Restaurant: Shame on you. A.K.A. Have you ever found something in your food that wasn’t supposed to be there?

Thursday was the first day of school for my three boys.  My husband decided it would be fun to celebrate by bringing the family out to dinner.  We don’t often go to T.G.I. Friday’s because there are other restaurants closer.  Well, now we have a new reason not to go there.

Okay, I’m not going to say there was a rat on my plate or anything.  This isn’t a gruesome story.  Rather, it is a testimonial on lack of customer service at T.G.I Friday’s.

While enjoying my dinner, I took a stab of my vegetable medley (which was zucchini and yellow squash with a few red peppers) and I spied something odd-colored mixed in with my veggies.

I picked up a sizable date-tag.  It looked a lot like a price tag you see sometimes in a store, only larger.

Okay, so someone made a mistake.  No biggie.  I’m not the kind of person to create a scene.  My husband said I should say something, so when the waitress came over I said “You should ask the people in the kitchen to be more careful.”

She said she would tell the manager, and she took the tag away.  I should have taken a picture of it as evidence.

My kids, at that point, started dreaming about free dessert.  I didn’t really want that.  The more I thought about it though; there was ink on that tag.  Did any come off into my food?

Now, let’s talk about customer service… Again, I didn’t necessarily want anything free.  I wanted them to be careful.  After all, I’m not dumping $85 for a meal to have trash on my plate, right?

We waited, finished our meals, got the check, paid and left.


We never saw a manager.  No one apologized. (Not even the waitress).

I left thinking, Huh? My husband asked if I wanted him so say something.  I thought… no, the price of the meal was not worth getting everyone’s blood pressure up.  I figured I can do something better.

Sorry T.G.I. Friday’s… despite the mistake, you had a chance to shine.  A simple stroll out of the manager’s office and an “I’m sorry” would have made me a happy, understanding customer.

Instead, I am writing an article about my experience, tagging it, and shooting it off to 650 or so people.  And now we’re gonna chat about it.

Bag press stinks, doesn’t it?

So, I am sure there are much worse stories out there.  Bring it on!

What have you found on your plate at a restaurant that was not supposed to be there?

What kind of bad customer service have you experienced that made you not want to go back?

(This should be an interesting conversation)

Flash Fiction Friday on Wednesday – Flight

Setting the timer for five minutes.  Topic:  Flight.  Go.

Flight.  Simple.  Clean.  Emotional. 

I spread my wings and open myself to the wind.  The sky pulls me up, gathering me within, taking me to heights most only dream of.  I flap my delicate yellow wings, directing myself, soaring above the houses and gardens.  The gardens—the wonderful flowers.

The breeze abates, and I glide downward … settling, nuzzling into the heart of a red-pedaled saucer.  Its nectar—sweet and simple—nourishes me, makes me thankful for all that is good in my life.


Flight.  Simple.  Clean.  I spy a yellow butterfly sitting on a red flower.  I swoop down, and snatch it from its perch.  It crunches in my beak.

Sweet, simple.  It nourishes me, makes me thankful for all that is good in my life.

Into the sky I soar.

Time:  Four minutes, sans cleaning up typographical errors.

I think that one will fall into the “poetry” category. Dunno.

I think we need to slow things down… just a little

I just got through a ten-week experiment.  I decided to try out blogging every day.

I did this for two reasons.  #1 to see if I could do it, and #2 to increase readership.

What I found was an initial spike in average views per day, then a lull that made me wonder if daily blogging had become annoying to people.  But then Boom! A spike again, along with added followers.

I’m not really sure what the magic formula is.

In general, I’m not crazy about people who blog every day.  Why?  Because most people run out of interesting things to say.

I did learn that I DIDN’T seem to run out of things to say.  I guess that’s a good thing.  My problem is time.

I suppose if I just dropped words on the page without the graphics I would be able to keep up.  But how boring is that?  I like the graphics and interactive-look of the blog.  But BOY!  Does that take time!  I’ve also found that I am getting lazier and lazier on the graphics.  Sometimes, I am just too dern tired and want to just get it done.

So, I’m stopping my little experiment.  Before this, I used to blog on Mondays and Fridays, but it seems looking at the numbers that most of you read on Monday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Monday is usually my big topic night…. First Gold Mine Manuscript, then Writing to a Deadline, and now Road to Publication… and I have a few great topics all lined up.

I might keep Monday for “Series Topics” if everyone’s into it.

So, tell me… what days are good for you?  Which days would you like to see post from me?

What’s a good night for “tuning in” to a weekly blog series?

If I can wrangle in the Monomaniacal Middle Grade Reviewer regularly, (Which looks pretty plausible right now) how often and on which days would you like to see a review from a kid’s perspective?

At any rate, if you stop by one day and see yesterday’s post, don’t fret.  I’ll be back the next day.  Once in a while though, I need some R & R.

How many times during a week do you think is “just right” for a blogger to post?