Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Future love by Summer Devon

I needed a break. The weather here has been dreadful, just like November, dark, dreary, and cold. Rain pounding off the roof - and there was no escape, except into another world.

So I opened Summer's book, 'Future Love', and was transported.

It's a deceptively simple tale. Man from the future goes back in time and meets a contemporary woman - they fall in love. But it's a complex story that had me laughing, sighing, and reading 'til the wee hours to find out what happened next. It made me think a little of Kurt Vonnegut's 'Welcome to the Monkey House', because in the future, sex is suppressed. So our future stud, Collins, has never made love before. He thinks it's an aberation to make love - chemicals control hormones and everyone is smooth and hairless, and sexless. But he is sent back by accident by a group of future terrorists. And this is where the story has it's extra depth. There is suspense and action as well as love because the terrorists are out to get him, and he has a mission to accomplish.

Candy, the heroine, is a nice modern girl. In the beginning I was prepared not to like her, because she shows a certain lack of judgement when she invites the strange man into her house; but hey, it's fiction, and besides, the heroine is not a push-over. She's got a great personality and she's a genuinely caring person. She behaves like a normal person, which is refreshing in a romance book. I really get to like her, and I LOVE how she teaches Collins a thing or two about sex. :-)

Collins is a great hero. I think I fell in love with him myself. As an extra bonus, Summer writes some of the steamiest love scenes I've read in ages!

So if you want a book that will brighten a gray day, warm your heart (and the rest of you) make you smile and fall in love, get Summer Devon's 'Future Love'. You can buy it HERE. from Ellora's Cave.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hey Mikey, she likes me!

Mrs. Giggles reviewed 'My Fair Pixie' and gave it a Great review.
You can read the whole thing HERE, but here is the end quote which I will now tattoo on my left shoulder...

"...I have to hand it to author Samantha Winston - My Fair Pixie is splendorous laugh-a-minute affair that is so naughty all over the place and so unexpectedly tender at other places. This is simply fabulous fun from start to finish. Love it, love it, love it!"

Rating: 92

Well, actually, I'm really pleased she liked it. She has reviewed another book of mine a few years ago and didn't like it - but you know what they say - no publicity is bad publicity. (Or do they say something else?) At any rate, doing a little happy dance in the rain here (well, until Mrs. Giggles reviews another book and gives it a 02, lol. You know, life is short, so I will dance to a good review while I can!)

First Lines by the dozen & a dilemma

A dozen first lines from my erotic books:

1: Princess Shari gave a very unladylike curse as her private spaceship, the SS Marissa, hit a zone of turbulence due to a small, magnetic storm.
(The Frog Prince from Planet Marecage - Ellora's Cave)

2: The centaur was dreaming again.
(Paradise Earth II Revelations - Changeling Press)

3: He had blond hair, bleached almost white by salt water, and turquoise chips for eyes.
(Virtual Murder - Loose Id)

4: The nurse in charge of freezing my molecules inserted a glowing needle into my arm and had
me count backwards from ten.
(Angels on Crusade - Cerridwen Press)

5: The Scottish landscape rolled by.
(Battle's bride - Loose Id)

6: Steele heard a steady thumping first.
(Time Tracker - Loose Id)

7: “Your bath is ready, my lord.”
(Diamina - Ellora's Cave)

8: Darla Rooderville stared at her best friend in disbelief.
(Darla's Valentine - Simon and Schuster or Ellora's Cave)

9: The dangerous part was next.
(Renegade Aquarius - Ellora's Cave)

10:Agony unlike anything he’d ever felt tore through his body.
(Llewellyn's Song - Ellora's Cave)

11: Mitch stared at his huge cock.
(The Phallus from Dallas - Ellora's Cave)

12: What does a five hundred year old, incredibly cultured male vampire want?
(My Fair Pixie - Ellora's Cave)

The dilemma:

I was thinking of getting business cards for Calderwood. I want to stress the fact that e-books don't pollute. No trees are killed, no fuel is burned transporting the books, no chemical inks are used...but if I order business cards made from paper and shipped from the US, I'm polluting.

I thought I'd send these virtual business cards to the Calderwood authors so they can use them in their e-mails or print them out themselves. What do you think?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stormy weather

After a hot and muggy week, the storms have moved in.
Time to get to my TBR pile, starting with Summer Devon's book. (Review next week!)
Also in line are two Terry Pratchett novels: Soul Music and The Truth, and a Colin Bateman novel: Turbulent Priests.
So think of me curled up in my chair (or reading on my computer) while the clouds darken the sky and sheets of rain pour off my roof. The trees are wet and shiny, the flowers have shredded like crepe paper, and the dogs sit next to the door and sigh loudly, wet paw marks showing that they've been outside this morning. Last night the electricity went off twice, but came back on before we had time to find the matches to light our candles. Bright puddles greeted me when I went outside to take the garbage out this morning, and my yellow roses have lost their fragile petals to the driving rain.
But I bet it makes all the seeds I planted grow!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New hat day.

Today I bought a new hat. It's a summer tradition with me, and since the weather has been so warm I bought it early. I had to go to the doctor for my yearly check-up, and since I was early, I parked by the church and took a stroll through the town of Montfort L'Amaury. Go check out the link, there are some nice pictures of the village, which dates back to the Middle Ages. As I was walking through the town, I saw a small shop with hats in the window. I went in, and fell in love with this one.
I've bought a new hat every year since I can remember. It can be straw, or cloth, or a cap, or whatever. Last year's hat was a floppy red cloth hat. The year before it was an even floppier pink hat made with woven yarn, and the year before that, it was a straw hat with a green ribbon.
This year, I found a hat with a buckle on it. It's a beige hat, which is nice because it 'goes' with everything. (Ever the fashion victim here...)

My new hat is chic.
Rusty and Auguste like it.
Here is a great site:
It's the plan for the church in Montfort, showing the stained glass windows in detail, if you click on the names of the windows, and then on the small icons, you get some lovely pictures of the windows, which were made in the 13th and 14th centuries. (The church and village are classified as historical monuments).

Is there something that you do that marks the begining of summer?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Garden day

Yesterday, I took the clippers out and started to trip the forsythia bush in the front lawn. It had gotten so big it was taking over the small space. My husband ended up cutting it ALL back, now there is just a stump. It will grow back, never fear - and it will be a nice, tame bush for a couple years.
But I ended up weeding, raking, planting and trimming. I itched all night with bug bites and nettle stings. Here is a picture of the space where the tree was, and the stump with a boar's skull on it (very Lord of the Flies). (Or redneck - whatever.)

But after the flowers I planted grow, this will be a mass of bright colors (I made sure to add marigolds to the seed mix - if nothing else grows, they will, lol.)

Then today, I started to mow the lawn in the back, and since I can't start something and not finish, I finished the whole lawn, then weedwhacked, trimmed, weeded, and cut the nettles under the fig tree. Now I am again covered with nettle rash and bug bites, and looking forward to another night tossing and turning...and itching. But doesn't the garden look nice?

Monday, May 21, 2007


I took my son to the airport yesterday. He was supposed to be leaving with Tony - who lives next to us and who wanted to go to the US this summer. But Tony's passport was expired, so we ended up trying to figure out how soon he would be able to get a new passport, how to change his ticket, and all those fun things you do when a wrench gets thrown into the machine.
Passport - The US only accepts machine readable passports now, so Tony needs to get a new passport. It takes two weeks.
Plane Ticket - He has to pay a 100 euro penalty in order to change the date. I hope he can get a flexible date, because the passport can take longer than 2 weeks.
My daughter and I are going to the states on June 22, and I checked our passports. They are fine.
I missed my plane once. (overslept)
Twice I arrived very, very late, and the plane was held up while I dashed to the gate.
Once the plane was already on the runway, and they stopped it and let me get on. (At a small airport)
Once the radio wasn't working and everyone had to get off and get on a new plane.
Once the brakes didn't work, and we had to wait in the airport while they got fixed - and they we watched as they took off and landed our plane three times in a row.
Once we had an emergency landing. We ditched the fuel, turned around to land back at the ariport we'd just left, and there were eight fire trucks driving along the runway as we landed.
Once we had a bomb scare and everyone was taken off the plane by policemen with machine guns and dogs, and we stood on the tarmac a distance from the plane while the police emptied the baggage and the dogs sniffed everything.
Once I was in a brand new plane. It was for a short flight from Paris to London. I was reading a newspaper, and it said that the plane I was in had been taken off the long distance lines because it did unexpected barrel rolls. I asked the stewardess if that was true, and she said "Yes, so don't unfasten your seatbelt."
Ha ha.
Once I met a man in the plane, and somehow he found out it was my birthday. (I think it was when I was filling out the custom's form with my passport.) He asked the stewardess to get me a peice of cake with a candle and a glass of champagne while I slept. When I woke up, she brought it to me. I was really touched.
The man was from Brazil. I didn't speak Portugese and he ddin't speak English. We had some trouble communicating, but this is what I found out. He was coming to Paris because his son had been killed in an accident. His son had been working on a construction site in Paris. I knew a Brazilian woman who lived in Paris, so I called her when I got to the airport and I took a taxi with the man to her house. She took care of him during the time he was in Paris. She took him to the Brazilian embassy and helped him get everything organized. She made sure he was never alone. Before he left, we had dinner together and he gave me a good luck charm.
I still have it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Goodbye Miss Snark!

It looks like an icon will be hanging up her stilettos. Miss Snark has announced she's stopping her blog.
Aspiring writers everywhere will miss her wry comments, Snarkisms, Snarklings, and Killer Yapp. (And George Clooney. Whatever else you can say about Miss Snark - she has good taste in men!)
I'll miss the cocking of the clue gun, but I suppose that if you go through the archives, she's probably answered every question there is about finding an agent. She will leave the blog up, so the archives will be available (thank you, Miss Snark!)
I like the fact that she managed to remain anonymous in the small workd of publishing. (How did she manage that?) I think she might have had secret agent training...
And I loved the contests (so many talented people read her blog) and I found new friends in the comment section (waving to Bernita, Orion, and many, many more.)
I will miss checking on the 'nitwit of the day', and hearing about Killer Yapp.
I can't imagine anyone taking her place!
Goodbye Miss Snark!

The social butterfly

The social butterfly flutters from party to party, wings flashing, bright colors alluring, but insubstantial and ultimately short lived.
I can understand the short lived part. After three days with three dinners, two lunches, a play, and a party, I'm feeling decidedly run down. The butterfly's colors have faded, she can hardly move her wings. And I drank a bit too much wine last night, so this butterfly is looking for some Alka Seltzer as well.
I'm not a social butterfly by nature. But I do have fun at parties and I love having friends over for lunch and dinner. I really do love stopping in for a cup of tea and chatting with my neighbors. But it takes a lot out of me. Last night was lovely. I met interesting people at a famous writer's house (Jeanne Champion) and listened while Ms. Champion read passages from her latest book She gave me a copy, so my TBR pile has just grown another inch.
Yesterday afternoon I had a wonderful 'girls' lunch with Andrea, Corinne, and Anne Marie. I made crab quiche and salad, and Corinne bought her famous cheesecake. And before that, I had a dinner in Paris, a party in a nearby village, a family lunch, and my daughter was in a play!
Tomorrow I'm taking my son to the airport. His visit is already over. It was a whirlwind of lunches and dinners, and already it seems like a dream. I wanted to sit down and talk to him, and hardly got time to do that. I suppose today we'll have some time. (I hope). Social butterflies must make terrible mothers.
I am going to take my wings off, fold them, and put them away.
And find some Alka Selter.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thinking Blog!

My blog was chosen by Rosie as a thinking blog!

(Sung to the tune of 'Mine eyes have seen the Glory...')

My blog has had the honor of being chosen by Rosie

It's now officially official that my blog is thinkerly

I'm thrilled amazed delighted and quite pleased she thought of me,

Truth is I'm not that smart!


The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote. Here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog.
(Optional, what do you mean, optional?)

So here are my five blogs:

Chez Flo (chroniqeuses sans tabou!) A very interesting blog by my friend Flo, who loves to chat about politics, movies, and things happening in France and the rest of the world. (plus it's in French, so it really makes me think as I have to read slower and translate it, lol)
Kate R (I think we were twins separated at birth, but that's not why I picked her.) She's just cool and always has something interesting to say.)
Doug - if Doug doesn't make you think, (and laugh) then nobody can. :-)

Rhian has such a cool life and meets such cool people, that I wish I could switch places with her for a couple days (weeks, years, lol!)
John Nez - artist, illustrator, and all around nice guy.
And I could easily go on and on, and post all the blogs I have linked on my side, because they all make me think, laugh, and wish they were my neighbors so I could drop by for a cup of tea and a long chat.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The tortured hero

Bernita's got a blog post about the tortured hero. (and also about the 'Big Secret' often used in the heroine's past, which often, as Bernita so succintly puts it, turns out to be bathos.
(Love that word, lol.)
December chimed in saying she loved the tortured hero, and I have to admit, that to a certain extent, so do I. (Heathcliff, anyone?) However, there are tortures and tortures, and Bernita is right when she says she'd like to see more heros with a problem past who turned out to be perfectly normal. Hallelujah! I have been thinking the same thing.

I was thinking that because my daughter is in seventh grade. (12) Age of rampant hormones and trying to learn all about algebra and human relations at once. Suddenly words like prostitute are heard at the dinner table, as questions come from left field. What is the difference between a prostute and a whore and a bitch? my daughter wanted to know today at lunch. Turns out several boys in her class have started calling all the girls whores. My first reaction is anger - who called my daughter a whore? I will knock his new teeth out. Then I realize the kid is 12, like my daughter, and probably is having the same sort of identity crisis and vocabulary crisis to go along with it. And all these kids come home with tragic looks on their faces. "Mom, so and so did (said) this to me!" And it's a Drama each evening, and each day they start anew. High drama in the junior high. I admire the teachers who have to navigate the teens through this difficult period.
And the drama often reminds me of the tortured heros and neurotic heroines I sometimes come across in books. The hero who can't stop insulting women. The heroine for whom every set back means a torrent of tears. I think it's because romance heros and heroines tend to be young.
Sometimes, as with my daughter, I wish they would grow up though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Husband!

Stef in 1980, in Holland.
Yes, it's my husband's birthday. He's one year older, one year better (as I like to think) and one year younger (as Andrea's brother Pablo says. Smooches to Pablo!
We met at the polo club. I watched him play the first weekend, but didn't get to meet him. He broke his arm the next week, and so I got talk to him. Well, sort of talk. My French was limited to 'left, right, and fall down'. His English was what he'd picked up in highschool. (Actually not so bad. And we didn't fight for YEARS - I'd start shouting in English, and he'd look at me and say, Doing de doing de doing." His imitation of a mad American. )
My sister was visiting me, so she was out chaperon for about a month. Stef told me later he tried everything to ditch the sister - but nothing worked, lol. Finally, in desperation, he asked me to visit him in Deauville where he was playing polo. He got his cousin Florence to drive me. I brought my friend with me (Andie MacDowell), and we spent three weeks in Deauville, in freezing cold weather. August in Deauville, and we didn't take off our jackets!

We've been together since 1979, and I'm still crazy about my guy.
Happy Birthday Stef!

Andie, Stef, and me at the polo field in Deauville. It was cold that month!

Stef and me in Florida in 1980.

Stef with our daughter at the cross country course this year.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fish out of Water

I got an e-mail the other day from a girl I knew in junior high school. We were in the same class for a couple years when we lived in St. Thomas. We were good friends for the short time we knew each other. Her house was so incredible it left a lasting impression on me. I used it for a setting in one of my short stories - The Devil in Me. I mentioned this when I wrote back to her, and she asked to read the story, so I sent her the link.
She sent me back a letter saying, " I miss that island understanding. I still feel like a fish out of water here in the States. Though the last time I went to St. Thomas ('98 for 4 weeks on vacation) it didn't feel like home anymore either. "

It got me thinking. I always feel like a fish out of water, no matter where I am. I never felt like I belonged in St. Thomas (or I'd still be there) or in the States, or even in Europe. I love it here, and I am perfectly happy no matter where I am (Village Idiots 'R Us) but I definitely feel like a fish out of water. I'm happy, and I feel content to be wherever I am, but no matter where I am, I have the impression that I'm a blue guppy in a bowl of goldfish.

I was about to write back to her that I was sure Everyone felt that way. But I'm suddenly not so sure. My neighbor brought my dogs back this morning (they got out of the garden and happily accompanied him on his rounds at the farm. He let them follow him, then brought them back. Auguste and Rusty were thrilled. A walk! A new friend!) I asked him if he ever thought of living anywhere else but here, and he looked at me like I was a...fish flopping on the bank of a pond, and shook his head. "Nope."

So maybe my friend and I are the only ones who feel that we are fish out of water, no matter where we are. What about you? Do you sometimes feel like you're a fish out of water? Or are you, like my neighbor, comfortable in your environment?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Allergies again

It must have been from working in the garden. I was Overcome by my allergies. I had an earache, a stuffed head, my eyes stung, I kept sneezing, I was miserable.
The funny thing is, I don't remember having allergies as a kid. Then again, I was always sick with a sore throat or earache, and according to my doctor here, it could have been allergies. When I lived in St. Thomas, there wasn't the same sort of pollen, so I never noticed. The worst was when I was in Argentina one spring. I had terrible allergies and spent most nights chugging down cough medicine, thinking it was bronchitis.
Now I know what it is, (I have the most common of allergies - grass pollen and tree pollen.) and I have my miracle pills. They take away the sneezing, the earache, the sore throat, the runny eyes and nose. Amazing. They also make me feel as if I should be sleeping, or if I AM sleeping, and all this is a slightly fuzzy dream.
I am wondering if I can get any work done today. Yesterday I had to drive my daughter around, and I was terrified I'd fall asleep at the wheel. I fell asleep at nine last night, and dragged myself out of bed at ten this morning (it's a weekend, I can do this, lol.) But I feel like I'm underwater. My head is both clear and yet fuzzy. The allergy pills are probably too strong and I should get some....*snore* ...............
..........*huh?* Oh, where was I?
Yes, new allergy medicine.
That's how I feel. I can keep an idea in my head for about two minutes. It's very frustrating.
And I keep yawning.
OK - time for some More Coffee (Have you sever seen anyone with coffee tremors who kept falling asleep?)

I also got a request for a full from my query and sent off the wrong manuscript. (not entirely wrong - I sent off an earlier version when I had the corrected and perfect version ready. This will teach me to keep all my versions in the same folder.) I debated about writing back to the agent and explaining, and then thought, what the hell, it's only a slightly less perfect version. And then my mind skipped to other things.
I'm beginning to think that these pills aren't so bad after all. They don't let me worry.
I can't concentrate enough to worry.
Anyhow, if the agent I sent the full to is reading this blog, please be advised that there is a slightly better version available, where for example, I got rid of that silly typo in the second chapter that made my hero's dog glow instead of growl.

My mother reads my blog. She called me from the US to tell me I've misplaced another modifier.
Hat's off to whoever spots it!
I won't correct it. Yes it makes me look like a ditz - but it's funny.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My garden is stunning

Well, my husband and I have been working in the garden for two days now. My nails are ruined, my hands tingle from nettle rash, I have black spots on my pants from the lawnmower, and grease from cleaning the barbecue (I know, who cleans a barbecue? All I could think of as I scrubbed was, 'Andrea will be so proud of me!' Aren't you Andrea? hee hee!)

I ripped out weeds and transplanted plants, replanted plants, weeded some more, tore up miles of ivy, chopped ivy stems (Die plant, DIE!!) and mowed and weedwhacked and did all that great stuff that exhausts you - especially since you know that in about a week you have to start All Over Again.
Why does grass have to grow? I was thinking seriously about green cement today.
How nice.

On the left is a bare wall. It was like the wall facing it - covered with ivy. We removed it. Now we have to do the other side. Ivy is pretty, but it has a bad habit of not knowing when to stop. If we let it, it will take over the world. There is a rabbit hutch under the ivy just behind my flower bed. It's a little brick hut, and very cute, but you can't see it any more.

And what happens when you finish working on the garden? You go inside, lol. Well, it was getting very hot and buggy and the grass and nettles were in our clothes and itching. So we didn't hang out in the garden going 'ohhhh!'

We do, however. Here are some pictures of my sister, my daughter, and I hanging out in the garden on a summer night.

Oh wait, that's Versailles!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tag! You're it!

Erin tagged me!
Da Rulez:
1.Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight things about 'Moi'!

1. I'm a Leo - that says it all.

2. I'm also the Chinese sign of the Rat. Talk about a shock to the Leo, lol. The rat part of me keeps my feet on the ground. The Leo part of me snobs the rat. They always bicker.

3. Leo likes loud music and parties, rat hates noise and fuss. Luckily Leo sits on rat when we go out, and we usually have a great time. Rat sulks.

4. The Leo in me insists that the house be clean at all times. The Leo also insists I get a maid. The rat in me just passed out. Thrift is the rat's middle name.

5. I clean my own house. The Leo in me wails 'At least wear gloves so you don't ruin your manicure!' The rat snears.

6. The Leo in me loves jewelry. The rat in me hocks it whenever we need rent money. I bought two pearl neckaces for 15$ each. The Leo in me was horrified. Only 15$? They must be fakes. I hocked them for 60$. The rat in me sang all the way home. Leo sulked.

7. One of my cashmere sweaters got a hole in it. "Throw it out!" cried Leo. "Wear it to gym," said the rat. I wear it to my gym class. Leo is secretly thrilled.

8. Leos and rats both like good food. They seem to agree that chocolate is next to Nirvana. At least they got Something right!

I tag:
Wyn, Doug, Kate R., John Nez, Bernita, December, Lyn Cash, & Seeley!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

8th of May

Armistice Day. It's a national holiday here.

This morning it rained, but it's lovely and sunny out now. My daughter is playing with Auguste, who has a favorite toy. (An eviscerated soccer ball) He runs after it, grabs it, then tries to sneak it into the house. He's not very good at sneaking. One method is to run as fast as he can (with his short stumpy legs he doesn't go very fast!) and try to rush into his dog crate. But the door is too small for the soccer ball, and he always gets stuck, which gives us a chance to swoop in and grab it. (And throw it back outside.)

Here is Auguste running into the kitchen. You can see the hallway where my son leaves his running shoes, and where my daughter tossed her rollerblades and backpack. The blue bed is the dog's bed in the kitchen fireplace. Can you spot the picture of my husband and me on our wedding day?

My daughter throws the ball back into the garden - Auguste is ready to go get it!

Here's the photo of Stef and I on our wedding day!

Monday, May 07, 2007

President Sarko!

Well, we have a new president. He's a member of the last president's political group, so I'm surprised at all the articles starting with 'France Swings to the right!' It's true that the UMP is a conservative party inasmuch as it's opposed to the Socialist party, which comprises most of the 'left'. The UMP is a new party, created by Jacques Chirac, so most of his actions will remain in place. I can't see Sarkozy doing much to change things, but I can make a few predictions.
His first move will probably be lowering taxes, starting with those of 'big businesses' and helping the wealthy. This will spark resentment and make any other changes he has in mind more difficult. His next move will be to try and appease the youth of France - (over 75% of the 25 and younger voted for Segolin Royal because of her platform on new jobs.) He will probably make some sort of law about the working contracts, which give experience (but not jobs) to young job seekers. What he will need to do is abolish them completely, but I doubt he will. The universities will be watching him closely, as they have demanded more independence, and he has promised to give it to them.
He will try to break up the strong French unions. In that, he will fail. He will also try to install what he calls a 'minimum service' law, to insure service during strikes (he's already afraid of the strikes to come.) But unless he mobilizes the military, like they do in the US, he won't get far.
He will raise the cost of alcohol and cigarettes to pay for his tax cuts.
He will try to raise the price of diesal, will fail, and will raise the price of gas. He will say it's to help combat global warming, which is one of his rallying cries.
He will scuttle the 35 hour work week, and will probably make a wage freeze. My husband says he will not send troops to Iraq, but I can predict he'll send one of our warships over to the Gulf to 'help out'.
He's a very smart guy, and I can't stand him, but I'm willing to wait and see. France needs a financial makeover in order to open the market so that the young can get jobs. Unfortunately, Sarko will not help there. France's institutions are frozen by cronyism, and the rich help the rich, while the public sector is completely overblown and rusted shut. No one can get in or out.
We have a great educational system and wonderful healthcare, and I doubt that will change. But it might be harder for immigrants to get jobs, the young will get more and more dissatisfied, and there will be a few years of 'thin cow', as the French like to say.
But maybe a thin cow will be more lively and stronger than the fat cow we have right now.
So what are a few strikes?
Good Luck Sarko!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Glass Box Game!


Click on the link above. It will take you to a small video showing a big glass box perched on a pillar in Clichy, Paris.
I found this on Verilion's blog. (she lives in Paris! Quite a co-inkydinky, as my friend Patty likes to say!)

Anyhow, here is the game.

What would you do if you came upon the box?

(I would climb in it, and start shouting, "Beam me up, Scotty!!")

What would YOU do?

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I was over at Kate R's blog after reading her comment over here.
She has an interesting interview up with a best selling author.
The best selling author is telling Kate that her success is owed to LUCK and to BRANDING.
All sorts of images came to mind.
- A hefty cowgirl being singled out of the pack, tossed to the ground and branded with a red-hot iron. 'Romance Best Seller!' - Right on her plump rear.
- A woman wrapped in shiny cellophane, with heart-shaped pink labels advertising romance stuck in strategic places, a bright smile firmly pasted on pink lips. (not too much lipstick - we said romance, not erotica.)
- Betty Crocker. (All right, silly, I know, but whenever I think of branding I think of Betty Crocker. This time she's not holding a cookbook, she's holding a romance book, and she's wearing rhinestone festooned glasses.)

After the images came to mind, my mind (in typical Sam fashion) rebelled. I've always been a good girl striving desperately for a 'bad girl' image, lol. What? Branded? And you can't express any opinions? And you must be careful not to project any other image except that of your books??

(Already I'm starting to feel schizophrenic - I write erotica, mainstream, and YA fiction, science fiction, high fantasy, contemporary, urban fantasy, historical and paranormal...what on earth kind of brand would I get? I'm guessing it won't be pink and heart-shaped.)

I have strong opinions about things. I'm also open minded and can be swayed by a good argument. I love a good argument. But that's not the point of this blog. You can't really have a good argument on a blog - you can only post your opinions, get misunderstood, get into hot water, and decide it's better to stick with recipes by Betty Crocker.
But the best selling author did have a point when she insisted on having a good image. I just suppose that the last thing I want (sorry) is to be branded as a romance writer. It's too limited for me. For one thing, I do many things better than writing romance, and other things are more important to me.
I put so many things before my writing that it would really bother me to be branded. Think of me as one of those old steamer suitcases which has traveled all over the world, and has stickers in all sizes, shapes and colors from everywhere, in different languages, all over it. That's more like it.

As for the LUCK part - well, that's out of my hands, isn't it?

Kate R. has told me that while I'm mentioning her blog, I better mention her Flipping Contest - so here it is: (click HERE) Now run along and enter her flipping contest!
It sounds pretty easy - just ask her for any of her books (except Taming Him, which I've already read Anyhow) and then post a review of it on your blog. (Good, bad, or whatever.) I like Kate's writing, so this is a contest I will actually Enjoy, lol.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Proposal

It's a cloudy day - maybe I'll be able to get some writing done.
I have a confession. When it's sunny and the weather is lovely, I have to be outside. Or if not outside, doing something active. It's like I'm solar powered - the sun comes out and I move!
The house is spring-cleaned - all except for the kitchen. I've saved it for last, and will take it apart this weekend (when hubby is not around to see the mess, lol.) The garden is mowed, the flowers blooming, the birds singing...So I suppose I should be sitting down and finishing the two books I have to finish. And today it's cloudy, so I will try and work on them.

I sent another query out. I haven't heard back from anyone on any of my queries. I've sent out partials and fulls - but no news. Yesterday I sent a query directly to an editor who told me to go ahead and query her with a proposal, so I sent off 'In the Cards'. We'll see what happens!

What is a proposal?
It's what it sounds like. It's getting down on your knee, looking imporingly at the one you covet, and saying 'Here I am - do you want me?'
In the book world, it's usually comprised of a synopsis, a chapter by chapter outline, and the first three chapters (more or less) of the book. I sent off a 'blurb' synopsis (with hook) and a detailed synopsis with the beginning, middle, and end plotted out to show what would happen, when, and why. I sent the first five chapters, because they're short, and they end in a logical place.
Hopefully, the editor will like the proposal and tell me to go ahead and finish it. She'll either offer to buy it outright, or wait until it's finished. But at least it will give me the push I need to sit down and finish the story! It's all in my head. Now I have to sit and type!!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More on BookMooch

So far I've had a good BookMooch experience. I sent six books and got five. Since I wasn't sure about postage, I refused to send to the US (expensive) but I did accept a book mooch from England, and later regretted it as it cost 6$ to send a book worth 7$. Live and learn! So I changed my profile to say I couldn't send outside France. Hopefully lots of French moochers will find my profile and mooch, so I can get some more books!
I just mooched 4 Terry Pratchett books - (I LOVE his Discworld series). I mooched a Colin Bateman, a Jennie Crusie, a Stephanie Bond, a Janet Evanovitch, (funny!) and a Dick Francis and an Ian Rankin (mystery books).
So Book Mooch has been a great experience so far.
Daisy mae just wrote and said she stumbled on a BookMooch scammer though. A guy listed bunches of books, mooched a bunch of books, then took his listing off and vanished. Bad Moocher, Bad!
I am going to clean up my bookcase in my bedroom, and my kids' bookcases, and will have a lot of new books to list. I'm sorry I don't ship to the US - it's just not worth it - might as well just buy the book from a used books bookstore. :-(
I saw a couple of my books floating around on BookMooch - that was fun. And Clean Reads had the drawing for Horse Passages - I'll have a drawing too when I get to the US this summer - I have a bunch of books to giveaway, so stay tuned for my July Giveaways!
OK - off to the gym!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Day!

Happy May 1st!

It's a holiday here, so hubby is working, lol. He got up early to head to the club where he has lessons, a practice game, and a dinner to go to. Last night we were out late - we had dinner in Paris. It was fun. We dropped off our daughter at her grandmother's aparment, along with a bag of take-out Chinese food for their dinner. Then we went to an Italian restaurant called 'Chez Livio', a nice Italian place that serves great food (I had a plate of lemony marinated green beans with mozzarella to start, and a small pizza with smoked ham and fresh rockette. (Pizza con parme y rucola) - and two coffees because I was falling asleep, I'm afraid. It was a business dinner with my husband and his polo team. Guess what they talked about all night long?

But it was nice to get out of the countryside. Paris at night is magical - I'm thinking of writing an urban fantasy with a Parisian setting - sort of like my zombie series. It could be a lot of fun to research too - I'd have to visit the catacombs and such. :-)

It's another gorgeous day. I ran out and picked a bouquet this morning - I grabbed the last Peonie, some iris, and a branch from our white lilac tree. I put it in the kitchen next to Seymou'r fishbowl. (There is Seymour, our Black Moor goldfish.) He's learned to come up to the surface when we show him the fish food box. I'd like to get him a bigger aquarium though. Behind it is one of my acrylic paintings I did at the race track. It's the parade ring, with the horses getting ready to go out on the track. And behind the bouquet, you can see part of my son's Chinese water color of bamboo, and in the front is the little clay horse my daughter made in school!

Today I have two English lessons, and I'm hoping to get some reading done for Calderwood Books. Our slush pile is building up again and we have two full manuscripts to evaluate as well as two full rewrites to look over. Our editor has six books on her plate right now, and we're slowly finding our limits as far as how much we can manage at once! Luckily, we love to read!