Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Sunday, June 30, 2013

being an individual

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.   e.e. cummings


This is equally true or perhaps even more true for creative people where publising houses, galleries want more of what they have already sold. That makes sense. They are operating a business.  The creative person can turn to operating a business also-- duplicate what is already out there. It can be tempting.

As a creative person sees other writers/painters/sculptors/photographers being more successful in sales, or getting nicer reviews-- or any reviews, one of the hardest things is to not want to do what they do. Cummings nailed the problem, but it doesn't make it easier.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Predictability or manipulation?

In the midst of the ranch's fox chronicles, I've been trying to think about my books-- the ones already out and those yet to be published. My thought right now is that the first Arizona historical will come out the end of July. It's mostly then because we have a trip planned for the middle of July; and I want to be around when the book is published. I also hope to bring this one out as a paperback which takes more advance planning.

This week I came across an interesting article for writers. Ginger Simpson mentioned it in the MOA, and I thought it was worthy of linking here.


What she writes about is an issue which I think most writers debate with themselves. My exploration of predictability and unpredictability in writing follows:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What have I learned?

For one thing--

you never stop learning. You'd think at some point you'd get it all but you never do. It's the one thing about life. Unless you purpose to shut yourself off from new information, refuse to assimilate anything you didn't learn at 13, you will never learn it all-- and that not even for those people who go out of their way to be perpetual school students.


never try to outguess a fox. I swear the fox family has literally driven me nuts not to mention at times depressed as I try to do what will be good for them but us also. Never works. Where that story is heading is beyond me and this is why I never liked Disney animal movies. An animal always died to work up the teary audience. Caring for wild animals is asking for a Disney movie in your own backyard.

trying to outguess readers is about the same. I had some time between starting the new book, research, and having a kind of health issue, so I tried reading other people's romances. This is something I don't do very often for obvious reasons-- not wanting to be influenced. What I read was top of the line. Why do readers want the same plots regurgitated with new settings and characters over and over? They want 'surprises' but predictable and often manipulated surprises? I've decided the secret to this knowing is beyond me like with the foxes and I should just understand people read what they need. I write what I need and maybe that isn't going to be the same but it is what it is. So maybe I've learned something there... maybe not.

doing videos has a big drawback if information can change. Back up to the fox story. For my other blog I did a two several videos intended to tell the story of the foxes as it was to date. Before I could ever use the videos, the story changed and (see above) in a not good way. When you write something, you just change the words before the due date. when you video tape it, there is only one thing to do-- delete. A major drawback to videos. Maybe I should stick to making them for the books.

Finally I thought this was interesting as this lady (who has quite a few videos on YouTube) took viewers through her home and studio to show her work. Neat-- a studio tour


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sky Daughter discussion

Working on learning to use the webcam or a camera to discuss the energy behind a book has been an experience to say the least. What I am working to get across is not the plot, but more why the book was written. There always is something that goes beyond they fell in love.

So with Sky Daughter, a contemporary romance, I discussed a few of those energies in this video.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Scent of Roses-- blog hop




The purpose of this blog hop is to promote award winning author Charlene Raddon’s latest release, The Scent of Roses, as well as the work of each of the participating bloggers. Be sure to read to the end of this page so you don’t miss out on the grand prize. Visit each blog and comment to qualify for the individual giveaways, and the big prize.

Charlene Raddon has been writing historical romance novels for over thirty years. Her work has won several awards and much well-deserved praise. Here is what she has to say about her newest release.
 

Any day when a new book is released is exciting for the author. I’m thrilled to announce that my eBook, The Scent of Roses, is now available.



The Scent of Roses is a sequel to my last eBook, To Have And To Hold, but stands alone and does not need to be read in order to be enjoyed. Whip Kincaid, from The Scent of Roses, is the half-brother of Buck Maddux from To Have and To Hold. Whip also has a twin, Cale, who readers met in Buck’s story, which gives me an excuse to write a third book for this series. 


The added touch of paranormal elements made The Scent of Roses a fun story to write. Who doesn’t enjoy haunted houses with hidden passageways? When I first moved to Utah, I lived in this house. No, there weren’t any secret passageways, but in every other way, my description of the old house is accurate. The third element new in this book is the subject of polygamy.


Rosalyn Delaney came to Whisky Ridge, Arizona expecting to receive aid from her estranged husband, Josiah Bullock, in escaping the crazed leader of a polygamist cult determined to have her. She’s broke and has nowhere else to go. But Josiah is dead, murdered the very evening of her arrival. The town is in uproar, searching for the suspected killer, Josiah’s business partner, Whip Kincaid. Rosalyn also learns that Josiah has taken a second wife. 


Whip is innocent but to prove that, he needs to stay out of jail. He hides in secret passageways in the old house he and Josiah shared. Smythely, the elderly butler who came with the house, is the only other person aware of the passageways. Lurking between spiderwebbed walls and using the abundance of peepholes provided allows Whip to keep up with what’s going on. Sneaking out at night allows him to investigate. He’s particularly interested in Rosalyn Delaney, and for more than one reason. Besides being attracted to her, he’s sure she knows something about the murder.


But does she? Is she safe at Rose House? Will she be safe from Whip Kincaid?

I hope you enjoyed this peek into The Scent of Roses. Find it here, at Amazon.com

BE SURE TO LEAVE A COMMENT WITH CONTACT INFORMATION. AT THE END OF THE HOP, A NAME WILL BE DRAWN FROM THOSE WHO VISITED AND COMMENTED AT EVERY BLOG. PRIZE IS A $45 GIFT CARD FOR AMAZON OR B&N, WINNER’S CHOICE. Other bloggers are also offering giveaways so make sure you hit them all.

**********************************

 As part of this blog hop, there is the option of other giveaways to commenters. Mine, at Rain Trueax, will be my contemporary, romantic western-- From Here to There,  the story of a woman with a dream and a man without one. It is a love story of two couples, Montana, and the ranching way of life. If you wish a chance in the random drawing (your choice Kindle, ePub or PDF), be sure to comment here or on her blog and leave contact information.

LIST OF ORIGINAL PARTICIPATING BLOGS

May 31,  http://www.heartoffiction.blogspot.com/  giveaway
May 31  http://www.hurricanereads.blogspot.com
June 1  http://www.charleneraddon.blogspot.com - Official blog tour for Kat Flannery (not part of PUB/PM blog hop)
June 2, http://authortammieclarkegibbs.blogspot.com/   giveaway
June 3  http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/     giveaway
June 4  http://writingdreams.net/          giveaway
June 5  http://ciaragold.blogspot.com/  giveaway
June 7, http://peggylhenderson.blogspot.com/  giveaway
June 8, http://alisonhenderson.blogspot.com /    giveaway
June 9, http://www.pamelaforeman.com/  giveaway
June 10 http://annettedrake.com/annettes-blog/
June 11, http://elizabethdelisi.blogspot.com/  giveaway
June 12, http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com/ giveaway
June 14 http://www.wittyonlineeditor.com  giveaway
June 15  http://blog.cathymansell.com/   giveaway
June 16, www.katerobbinsauthor.comgiveaway
June 17 http://tinafosterspageturner.blogspot.com/  giveaway
June 19   http://lynhorner.blogspot.com/   giveaway
June 21  http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com/  giveaway
June 22, http://www.raintrueax.blogspot.com   giveaway

June 23, http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com  giveaway


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

From Here to There

With the promotion for Charlene Raddon's new book Saturday and my eBook set for a give away to one commenter, I thought I'd repost From Here to There's trailer.




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A giveaway

This week I am participating in a blog hop with a guest writer, Charlene Raddon, who on Saturday here, the 22nd, will be promoting her newest book, Scent of Roses. Be sure and come back Saturday to read what her newest book is about; then go to her site where my book, From Here to There, will be featured. Comment either here or at Charlene Raddon (where she is also sponsoring a giveaway) and one random commenter will win From Here to There in a PDF or an eBook format--their choice.

Does that sound confusing enough? Well since I am new to blog hops, that won't be surprising to me. I am doing the best I can to get it across how it works... I think... The point that matters is one eBook copy of From Here to There will be free to someone selected randomly from the commenters-- leave contact info in your comment. I think I got that right.

The following video discusses the energy behind From Here to There.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Yaquina Head June 14th


The Oregon Coast June 14th-- always an inspiration especially the lighthouse at Yaquina Head because of the life those old light keepers had. Even though this one is quite close to Newport, it was resupplied by boat. They led an isolated life as well as a very important one for early shipping. With ships often not far offshore, it was all too easy to crash into rocks without these steady beacons at night or in a fog. There were no nights off.

Years before them, the Native Americans lived on the headland where they had sheltered coves in the rock as well as plentiful food supplies from the sea, hunting, and roots to dig. Their archaeological evidence was left behind.

Friday the harbor seals were basking on the rocks below but photographing them was tough with their whiteness against the dark rocks. The murres were all over the rocks with no interest in fishing for themselves or performing acrobatics. I did see a few swimming and one eating something but without a better telephoto, it's guesswork what-- orange colored; so maybe a starfish?
 


Some years back it was as though I saw two imaginary people. They were the light keepers; and whether it was from a dream or the energy they left behind, I cannot say. I did a quick digital sketch. This would be looking south toward the lighthouse from the beach.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

True West



Whenever I was in Tucson, I'd head for the used book store and pick up some copies of True West. I didn't subscribe because I was already taking a couple of other magazines. Finally I realized I was no longer reading my art magazines and the old photos alone in this magazine would make it worthwhile getting.

So the first issue came and I'm pleased. It is light fare. Some are fun. Some new tweaks on old stories. A few have been extensively researched like one on the Bloody Siege at Milk Creek in Montana where the Meeker Massacre is more widely known and this story not so much. If you haven't seen the magazine and have a love of Western history and entertainment, you might check it out.


Some of the stories were ones I knew but some are about characters new to me. An example would be a story on Dave Mather as it asked the question if he broke the law or served it-- and where did he actually end his life. As a writer, I find it interesting to learn these tidbits about the real people who lived in the West during the years I have based my own stories. 



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Solitude and the Writer

Lately my creative life appears to be revolving around the camera in one way or another. I have put off starting the next book. This was not so much because I don't know where it's going-- as it's evolving in my head quite nicely. It's more because I am not sure I have a big enough block of time to do more than get the first chapter laid out. Sometimes that works and sometimes it creates a mixed energy that can be avoided by just waiting until the time is here.

Long time friends were here on Sunday. Diane Widler Wenzel was beginning the largest plein air painting she's done in ten years. She took on even more of a challenge when she chose to videotape the process to share how such a painting evolves. She set herself up down by the creek.


The reflections in a summer creek are fantastic with so many colorful places where you can hardly tell the reflection from reality. A polarizing lens helps to capture it with the camera. I am thinking sometime I will put together a slideshow of the reflections I've taken through the years and seasons.


As Diane got her painting laid out. I relaxed out in the new yard area and contemplated life and art. No, I didn't. I petted the cats and more or less took a day off-- other than fixing everyone a lunch-- as the guys worked on a (broken-- don't ask how that happened) ATV, cleaned out a barn, and stuffed a wool bag. Me, I just enjoyed listening to the birds and staring up at a beautiful blue sky as some clouds floated past. That cats approved my choice.


On the week-end, I bought a new Logitech webcam. It has wide angle as an option. They all take adjusting the color, contrast, gain, exposure, etc. as light changes. I am hopeful with it I will get less obvious pixilation and sharper images as I continue to learn to talk about my books, the writing process, or whatever comes to mind. It's still a challenge but rewarding too.

Besides discussing each of my books, I also have recorded a few on topics like sexuality in the novel, techniques in doing a video, video potential as another communication medium, etc etc.

My weeks ahead will grow increasing chaotic which may break my posting rhythm here and on Rainy Day Thoughts. We are loading the first of our winter supply of hay. Farm Boss does that work as when bales weigh 800 lbs., I sure am not going to be out helping stack them. It is purely a job for a tractor.

The busy times over the next few weeks will all be enjoyable with more grandkid time as well as Farm Boss's 70th birthday. I am enjoying the season, the family activities that are sandwiched into the ranch jobs, and the wonders of living on a creek during the summer. It's wonderful right now as a deer wandered through and Farm Boss scared the fox as he surprised him hunting by the old harness shed.

I made this video to play with the webcam and discuss something I think  does matter to the writer. Thinking more on those kinds of topics is on my mind--

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It is or is not of value?

Instead of working on the new book, weeding the garden, going for another walk, what am I doing??? Working on the business of creating videos that might sell ideas. Like what the .....!  It's funny in a way as at one time I thought of such videos as a waste of people's time-- to watch or make. Never say never fits today.

When I saw the first book trailers where writers discussed their work, I liked them a lot. Especially this was true if they were sharing their working environment or the energy of a place that inspired their work. Along with that I have watched TED talks where various topics were discussed by experts from a podium, and I began to think more about the possible value of learning to do discussion videos for my ideas and work.

As I started, I had no idea where I would be taking it. I've been learning as I go and sharing that process here. Just as I think I have one angle figured out, another crops up.

What I still do not know is if this media, for ordinary people, is a way to interest or inspire others. I do know one thing. When you are almost 70, it's kind of neat to find a new challenge, a new direction that challenges you. I like it that something I didn't see as mattering begins to tweak my mind with the question-- does it?

Of course, in the meantime the weeds are taking over the garden which is not going to get any photographs or video time-- unless it gets a whole lot more photogenic. I think I need a fairy godmother who has an interest in gardening ;)


Thursday, June 6, 2013

the video discussion downside

Creating discussion videos has been teaching me a lot.-- some of which I have not much liked. For instance one side of my face looks like a whole different woman than the other side. When I talk, it changes everything for the dimensions of my features. Watching myself talk is something I have always disliked-- so that's not new. I don't mind the sound of my voice on the video as much as expected. If I could just pose and have an audio say the words, that'd be the ticket.

When doing these videos, I have been surprised how easily I can goof up the words. I don't work from a script. I have several ideas that I decide are the crux, but it's amazing how many ways I can goof that up. Do one. Goof it up. Delete. Do another. Watch it for a bit and decide it's not working. Delete. That means I am looking at me a LOT of times before I finally get it right. I can begin to understand why people decide a goof doesn't matter and just keep on talking.

The big deals for me have turned out to be dialogue and lighting. Lighting matters more at almost 70 than it might've ten or twenty years ago. But you work with what you have and ten years ago I wasn't even thinking of publishing my books or doing a blog of any sort.

Why would I do videos if basically I don't like how it makes me feel about me?

I think it's one more way to communicate particularly to a culture that has gone very visual with television and computers. People learn many different ways and not all will get something through reading. For those who are visual and verbal, these kind of videos could be better ways to communicate a truth of any sort.

For me it's a truth about my writing and creativity but for others it could be the environment, love of animals or even politics. Whether this will really work to sell books or anything else, I have no idea. I am though going to give it a try... if I can stand myself long enough.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

finding and loving someone


Sometimes I think romance, two people ever finding each other in this big world, is an almost mystical thing. How do we explain something like this:


Some say reality is different than fantasy-- sure it is-- until you listen to people talk about how they met and then you see the hand of fate so often.

Of course, romance isn't the end of the game. We fall in love and then life happens, we get busy, involved with the business of surviving in the world.
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
That's the essence to find that romance which goes beyond. Romance novels aren't all that unrealistic. They end though before the real work begins :)

The creek is lush with green. The wood ducks have raised their ducklings, whether the raccoons and beaver have done likewise, we don't know-- can't have a wildlife cam everywhere. It is a wonderful time though these weeks before the Solstice.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Chronicles of the fox

With a busy week-end, I am just going to share here the blog I posted in my other blog. It's the ongoing story of us and the foxes, without the happy ending as of yet that I like to see in romance books I write and read. We have to work hard to give ourselves happy endings where it comes to wildlife-- and of course, no such story is ever really over.

*******************

When our story begins, the humans are clueless as to what is going on-- not unusual for humans. The story will take place on two levels with two families.


April 2012 and I saw a fox in our deck garden. It's a fenced yard and I thought how wondrous as it sat and sunned itself, almost seeming to take a nap. I felt both thrilled and amazed that the wild had invaded our groomed space. It acted almost as though it was its own backyard... Keep that thought in mind.

We left the farm here not long after the sighting as we had work to do in Tucson on our house there. We were gone a month or so. When we came back, we began to be concerned that something had died in our solarium which is a small room off the house that was a porch we had enclosed. When the smell went away, we forgot about the problem... for awhile.

We pick our story back up in spring of 2013 when we finally had what we felt was a secure outside enclosure for our cats. It was with the goal of keeping them in the deck yard with enough space for them to feel they were having a wilds experience but not so much that they could get out to the gravel road while pursuing a frog, bird, mouse, etc. and end up killed by a passing vehicle.

With spring I began to think I wanted another space enclosed-- what most would call the front yard as it is toward the road but we have a rather confusing home arrangement where what is the front door never gets used by anybody-- people come in through the backdoor to the utility room or through the french door leading to our deck. It's a farm though where driveways relate more to farm use than people.

Farm Boss set out to make that yard secure and about the time he was finishing it, when we set up a picnic table there, a cat door and encouraged our cats to use it, we had also begun to see a pair of foxes. They weren't frightened. They watched us as though we were the intruders. Keep that thought in mind.

When the pair appeared again in the supposedly 'safe' cat yard, Farm Boss set about making the fence higher and more secure. Didn't work. Foxes were still there and we were glad we had the new frontyard that we thought of as a backyard for the cats as although foxes don't choose fights with grown cats, these were obviously trained killers and one of our cats, Blackie, feels a responsibility to guard the property seeming to know no fear.

It was when Farm Boss watched one of the foxes, outside the fenced enclosure climb into a magnolia, get a bird out of it,take it to the orchard to kill and then... leap over our secure fence to bring it into the enclosed front/backyard, now to be known as deck yard. Why would a fox take its prey into a people enclosed yard to eat it?

The fox showed up one day right outside the new fenced garden and both the cat and it stared at each other. Pepper was wise enough to slam through the cat door at a fast run which is why I knew what was going on. I yelled at the fox. It looked at me with curiosity. I then picked up a rock and loosely tossed it over the fence hoping it would scare it off. It ran to it to see what it was. Clearly some humans had been feeding it. Finally I used the hose and when it got sprayed, it left but didn't run far.

Those two experiences pretty much told us something was going on here that we didn't want. Shortly after we found out what it was when Farm Boss put a live trap near where we now believed they were living in the narrow crawlspace under our solarium. The next morning a fox was in it. Farm Boss poked a stick back in the space he had thought too small for any fox to get into and heard a growl.

So here we were with the illusion we were building a higher fence to keep the foxes out and protect our cats... except the foxes were determined to get in because this was their home. That garden was theirs too. The safety of our cats had been an illusion.

We knew foxes mate in winter or early spring. The odds now were that this pair had pups in the crawlspace under our solarium.   We did some online research and found from the time the pups were born, it takes two months to become grown enough to be on their own. It's not hard to understand why the parents chose where they did. It's dry, secure and last year with us gone, it was quiet. Foxes are wonderful hunters and predators but also prey for the bigger predators. We have a safe area-- especially when we weren't there.

It's kind of neat to think you share your living space with a family of foxes, and there was a momentary thought, fleeting, that if we could fence our cats securely away from them they could stay. No, that's crazy. Not only do foxes potentially carry rabies, but they are wild things. They need to be afraid of humans who can endanger them.

New plan. Let the trapped fox go out by the old, downed barn with the admonition that it'd be a great spot for a den. Since they have been here, the rodent population has been way down. Yes, they kill birds but only to eat, not for fun. We would love them to stay but not under the solarium with putrifying smells in that room as they don't eat every bite of what they kill.

When Farm Boss got ready to release the trapped fox, which he thinks was the male, he had  a careless moment and got bit through the wire and his leather gloves. Fortunately a graze more than a deep bite, and it healed fine. It is a reminder that they will attack when feeling threatened.

Trying to find out exactly what was going on, we set up our wildlife camera with a view to their exit door from the crawlspace. Got some great pictures and the possibility that the mother took her babies elsewhere-- to a securer life or so she hopes. Wildlife cams that flash at night are obviously not regarded as friendly and since the trapping in the cage, the foxes have been more wary of us.

I feel sorry for predators as their life is not an easy one. These little foxes are awesome predators as you can see if you look at the slideshow below. They are also so cute, but my priority is my cats. The foxes have to stop denning up under our home, but whether they already have, we will give them a reprieve of two months  to raise those pups if they are still here-- darling pups and I so relate to the struggle these animals face.

In the meantime-- are we deluding ourselves that we can make this less attractive near our home where they have been dry, warm and felt safe from bobcats, coyotes, cougar and bears? Keeping out an animal that can jump and climb as well as they can is not easy. Having been fed by other humans makes it even harder.

The story might be over... or maybe not.