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I’ve been AWOL from this blog for way too long. I don’t have an excuse really, unless you count breaking my foot two days after my birthday, working pretty steadily on editing Whistling Woman, setting up the blog for same, trying to contribute to the two other blogs I’m a member of, and okay, I’ll be honest, quite a healthy dose of laziness.

The thing is, everything else has fallen by the wayside and that includes writing. I know, I know, broken foot and weeks of not being able to move around without crutches should equal at least one book, right? Not for me. I have been trying but I just couldn’t seem to get into anything. I have 30,000 words written on Sun Shadows and I’ve hit the mid-book slump that I always seem to hit. But that doesn’t worry me, it will work itself out in time as it usually does–fingers crossed–but I haven’t been able to get into anything else.

Until today, I’ve been doing a little research on cutting, vampires, specifically Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, and this morning I actually got about 2500 words written on the next book in my Apprentice Angel series. What did it? What finally broke the block? Composing an email to one of my publishers asking them to please heed the certified letters I sent them last September telling them I did not want to renew the contract on the first book, Unwilling Angel. The contract expired in November of last year and after sending the certified letters, I sort of forgot about it and assumed the book would be taken down when the contract expired. Oh sure, I knew it might take them some time to get it down but we’re nearing a year later and it’s still up there so…I’m writing an email and hoping the publisher will respond.

While I waited, I read through the second book in the series, Unruly Angel, which I finished last year and it sparked an interest in the third book, tentatively titled Unworldly Angel. I’ve known for quite a while what that one’s going to be about so I got off my lazy duff and finally started researching. Reading through all the info I could find about Dark Shadows got me interested in writing again.

Whew! Thanks Barnabas, you’re still the only vampire I ever loved!

Even though fall doesn’t officially start until Wednesday, here in western North Carolina, we’ve been getting a teasing glimpse of autumn with cooler temps at night and apple-scented breezes wafting our way from all the apple orchards in the area.  On Saturday, I spent the day canning apple jelly and of course, I used local apples.  So sweet and juicy.  Did you know that home-made apple jelly has a lovely pink tint to it instead of the fake goldish color of store-bought apple jelly?  So much prettier!

Got a couple of promotions to pass on…first, over at the Dames of Dialogue blog, author Loretta Wheeler is guest blogging and she’s talking about blow-up dolls.  Huh?  Yep, blow-up dolls and how she uses them to enhance her writing.  Funny post!  I guarantee you’ll have a smile on your face after you read it!

Next, my hero in Storm Shadows, Marcus Tassel, is guest blogging on Stacy Juba’s 25 Years Ago Today blog.  Marc talks about the second time he saw his heroine in his visions.  We’d both like to thank Stacy for hosting us on her wonderful blog!

And that’s it from me today.  Off to label my beautiful apple jelly and maybe sit outside on the porch swing for a while and enjoy this gorgeous weather.  Hope everyone has a fabulous fall!

Today is day 3 of my author spotlight on The Long and Short of It.  Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here?  Spotlights are not a good thing for a menopausal woman!  They bring on hotflashes which invaraiably leads to a mood swing and…well, trust me, you don’t want to be there for that!  Good thing you’re protected by the vastness of cyber-space!  Anyway, today I’m talking about what I do to beat writer’s block.  Hope you’ll join me–and if you do, please, bring a fan!

Also, over on the Dames of Dialogue blog, Claire Applewhite, author of Crazy For You, is in the spotlight.  Interesting and fun read.  I find it amusing that she seems to be going in the reverse direction of most romance authors.  She started out writing mystery but as she writes, she’s finding that romance often noses into her stories.  Usually, it’s the other way around with romance authors–or at least with the ones I know–they start out writing romance then move into mystery or some other genre.

I have a theory about why that happens, but that’s a post for another day!  Meanwhile, check out yours truly on the Long and Short of It and Claire Applewhite on the Dames of Dialogue.  Between the two, you’re sure to find something you like!

First up, Betty Dravis just put up a fascinating interview on the Dames of Dialogue blog with Dr. Linda Salvin who is a psychic with a radio show that just went national.  You don’t want to miss the her interesting story about her life and how she got to where she is today.  It had me saying “Wow!” in several places.

Second, I’ve put up with the “Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page?” messages every time I try to post a link or insert and image into a post for the last few weeks.  That seems to be fixed now but what’s up with the non-response when you click on “My Dashboards?”  That’s extremely irritating!  I haven’t had many issues with WordPress since I set this blog up years ago but this one’s getting under my skin.  Hope it’s fixed soon!

ETA:  And of course as soon as I posted this, the problem seems to have been fixed.  Grrr…and thanks WordPress!

Third, did you notice the new book cover over in my sidebar?  Storm Shadows has arrived!  Well, in e-book anyway.  It’s up on Fictionwise and to my surprise, it’s one of the books on their home page today.  I just checked and the Kindle version is up too.  Woo-hoo!  Time to do some Snoopy dances…

Except it’s very hard to be happy right now.  My father-in-law had another stroke last week, just when he was doing so well after the one he had on the day before Thanksgiving, and this time the doctors are saying they can’t do anything for him.  My sister-in-law, Jennifer, put up a moving post on the Caring Bridge site yesterday about saying good-bye to him.  I almost couldn’t read the whole thing because I was crying so hard but she wrote a loving and eloquent tribute to her dad.  Needless to say, family and friends are all praying hard for him.

Hilarious interview on the Dames of Dialogue today…with a dog!  Yep, that’s right, I said a dog.  But Bo isn’t just any dog, he blogs and he has a book out too.  Check it out and don’t forget to leave Bo a woof comment!

In other news, we’re two games into the baseball season and after two games, the Red Sox and Yankees are tied for first place in the AL East.  Fabulous game on Sunday night but last night…not so much.  Oh well, we still have 160 games to go and who knows how it will all turn out.  My prediction?  New York will be defending their title in the World Series.

Of course, I’ve been known to be wrong at times and yes, I’m probably only saying that because I’m superstitious.  I only know one thing for sure; baseball is finally back and I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

Here’s wishing all the teams good luck!

*especially the Red Sox!

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I posted anything here.  So much for that class on being a good blogger.  I guess my mind was otherwise occupied when the teacher talked about the importance of blogging at least once a week.  Oops and yikes!

Anyway, I have been busy.  Between weekend trips to Knoxville to help my mother-in-law move and see my father-in-law–who’s now walking again.  Yay!–I’ve been working on a short story for a free read promotion on Cata in April.  Based on the Cherokee legend of Atagahi, it’s about a female shape-shifter who gets shot and the hero takes her to the Enchanted Lake to heal her.  I finished it yesterday but it stilll needs some serious editing before I send it in.

I’ve also been getting my garden going–in between the rain and snow showers.  Yep, I said snow, it snowed here yesterday.  Again, yikes!  Thank goodness the plants in my garden seem to have survived but I’m fervently praying that’s the last snow I see for a while–like until December 24th!  So far, I’ve planted broccoli, lettuce, onions and a few herbs, all plants that can withstand cooler weather.  I’m hoping to get the carrot seeds out tomorrow before it starts to rain again.

Writing and gardening, two things I love to do so I figured I needed to balance that with something I don’t like at all…spring cleaning.  All I’ve got to say about that is…yuck!  I’d much rather be writing or gardening!

Okay, now on to the real reason I’m here–the Dames of Dialogue have a new interview up with author Dorothy Francis.  It’s a fascinating insight into the mind of a mystery writer so check it out and don’t forget to leave Dorothy a comment!

Having a bad day at work?  Why not take a page from author Mark Rosendorf’s book and put those bad days to work for you?

Find out how he did it and how it turned out on today’s Dames’ Dozen!

Interesting article up on the Dames of Dialogue today by Anne White, author of the Lake George Mystery series.  It’s all about those insane people who jump into a lake during the winter.  Brrrr!  Not for me, give me a hot shower any day.  I used to see this on the news when I lived up in Maine and I always thought the people who did it were just flat-out crazy but, you know what they say, to each his own…

Anyway, hop on over to the Dames of Dialogue blog and check it out–and don’t forget to leave a comment…if you can stop your teeth from chattering!

Amazing interview on the Dames of Dialogue today with author, animal communicator, and healer Nancy Kaiser.  Yep, that’s right I said animal communicator.  Nancy is like a real-life Dr. Dolittle and she tells us all about her wonderful ability plus a little about some of the animals she’s “talked” to and what they taught her.

She also talks about something I’ve believed in for a long time now–reincarnation–and why she believes in it too.

Fascinating and thought provoking!  If you’re an animal lover–or even if you’re not–check it out and don’t forget to leave a comment!

Yep, you read that right, depression can be your friend.  Why do I say that when everyone knows depression is extremely tough to deal with and sometimes can even prove to be lethal?  Because it was a bout of depression I suffered after being diagnosed with MS that finally made me get serious about writing.  My life hasn’t been the same since that happened and according to schuyler kaufman, the latest author interviewed on the Dames of Dialogue, it was depression after her divorce that got her writing too.

So, yes,depression can be your friend but chances are, if it is, you won’t understand that until long after your new pal has packed up and moved out of your life.  It’s sneaky that way.

Check out schuyler’s fascinating interview on the Dames of Dialogue blog and don’t forget to leave a comment!

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams