Sunday, August 23, 2009

93 and still going!

My mother celebrated her 93rd birthday on August 20. She may not be in the best of health but she's still kicking...not quite as high as she once did but how high can one kick at 93?

Last year she celebrated her birthday at her home where she lived by herself since my father passed away on January 1, 1996 at the age of 76. This year she celebrated her birthday in the nursing home where she now lives since she is no longer able to totally care for herself and run a household.

It totally amazes me thinking about the changes my mother has seen over her lifetime. It boggles my mind to even think about being 93 years old.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Susan Elizabeth Phillips - A Video Letter

What's not to like about romance author Susan Elizabeth Phillips? You just gotta love her! She writes fabulous books. She is a New York Times Bestselling Author. She has won more awards than I can count including being inducted into Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame in 2001. She is funny. She is witty.

And she has video taped a letter to her fans. What a marvelous thing to do! I liked it so well that I am sharing it with my readers as well!

A Video Letter from Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Frequently Asked Questions - from Susan Elizabeth Phillips website.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips Facebook Page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Margie Kennon Tovrea (aka Kristie Leigh Maguire) Presents Autographed Book to Governor of U.S. Virgin Islands John P. deJongh, Jr.

Margie Kennon Tovrea (aka Kristie Leigh Maguire) Presents Autographed Book to Governor of U.S. Virgin Islands John P. deJongh, Jr.

Margie Kennon Tovrea (aka Kristie Leigh Maguire) presented an autographed copy of her book, From the Far Side of the Sun: A Friendship That Spanned the Distance, to Governor John P. deJongh, Jr. (U.S. Virgin Islands) at the 1st Annual Pool Party Mixer held at the the Estate Carlton Condos on the West End of St. Croix on Sunday August 9, 2009.

Frederiksted, St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands) – August 11, 2009

The residents, management, and Board of Directors of the Estate Carlton Condominiums were delighted to have Governor John P. deJongh, Jr. and Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis fly over from St. Thomas to be the guests of honor at their 1st Annual Pool Party Mixer which was held on Sunday August 9, 2009. Many other Island residents who have ties to the condominium complex joined with the residents of Carlton Condos in welcoming the Governor and Lt. Governor to St. Croix and to the party. The sunny skies and tropical trade winds added just the right touch of zest to the delicious food that the residents of the condos contributed to the occasion.

Margie Kennon Tovrea (aka Kristie Leigh Maguire), the “resident published author” at Carlton Condos, presented Governor deJongh, Jr. with an autographed copy of her book, From the Far Side of the Sun: A Friendship That Spanned the Distance. Ms. Tovrea chose this book, out of the six books she has published, to present to the Governor because it is her memoirs book of her expatriate days which began on St. Croix back in the early 1990s when her husband accepted an assignment to Hess Oil Refinery (now HOVENSA). Ms. Tovrea considers St. Croix as the beginning of her expatriate days even though it is U.S. Territory because it was her first experience of living outside the Continental United States.

From the Far Side of the Sun: A Friendship That Spanned the Distance is published by Star Publish LLC and is available online at From the Far Side of the Sun includes many pictures of Ms. Tovrea’s globetrotting days, and is the re-release of her book Emails from the Edge: The Life of an Expatriate Wife which did not include pictures. Ms. Tovrea, writing romance under the name of Kristie Leigh Maguire, is also the author of Affairs of the Heart: Desert Heat and Cabin Fever (Collector’s Edition), Desert Heat, Cabin Fever, and No Lady and Her Tramp which she co-authored with Mark Haeuser. She has also contributed to several anthologies.

Affairs of the Heart was a Number One novel in sensual romance at Desert Heat was voted Romance of the Year and Kristie Leigh Maguire was voted Best Up and Coming Author of the Year by the Affaire de Coeur Magazine Reader/Writer Poll. Cabin Fever and No Lady and Her Tramp placed in the Top Ten at the Preditors & Editors Poll.

Visit Kristie Leigh Maguire online at

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Are writers sane?

Here is an interesting blog post from Borders SciFi Babel Clash.

Are writers sane?

by Karen Miller

So here’s my first post to Babel Clash, and my thanks go to Morgan from Borders and Alex from Orbit for throwing me in the deep — I mean, kindly inviting me to join in the fun. Also, while I’m thanking people, I’d like to thank Borders customers who have so generously bought my books!

And to kick off my tenure here at the Clash, I have some thoughts on that perennial question: Are writers sane?

And my answer is: No.

Writing is one of the most insane occupations around. I rank it right up there with acting. And since I’ve done both, I feel confident in that assertion.

So, why is it that writers’ elevators don’t got all the way to the top?

Well, for a start, our job requires us to sit by ourselves for extended periods of time, in isolation, getting up close and personal with people who don’t really exist. It requires us to have deep and meaningful conversations with them. It demands that we get so involved and so attached to these people we made up in the first place that when something awful happens to them we have to get terribly, terribly upset about it. Even though it never actually happened at all. And anyway, we did it to them.

Read the complete article: Are writers sane? by Karen Miller

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Christina Dodd's Storm of Visions

Today I received a newsletter from Christina Dodd announcing that her novel Storm of Visions was on the shelves.

Order STORM OF VISIONS and book two, STORM OF SHADOWS, from, and you'll receive a five percent discount!

Christina included a free excerpt of Storm of Visions in her newsletter which I am passing on to my readers.

Caleb leaned, shirtless, against the kitchen counter and watched as Jacqueline cleaned the cut she'd put into his ribs with her scissors. It was jagged, it hurt like hell — and he felt a solid sense of pride in her accomplishment. He'd taught her to fight like that, and no man alive had ever done a better job of spitting him.

Of course, no man alive distracted him like a half-naked Jacqueline. After sex on the bathroom floor and sex on the lumpy mattress, she had showered — no sex in the shower, she had locked the bathroom door and wedged the towel cabinet behind it — and donned faded plaid pajama bottoms and a clean, baggy, short sleeved t-shirt. He supposed that was her na├»ve way of saying Hands off. Instead she looked sweet and clean, and smelled of soap and Jacqueline.

"You need stitches," she said for the dozenth time.

And for the dozenth time, he replied, "The scissors are new and clean, my tetanus shot is up to date, and I can get antibiotics in New York City. Just put a butterfly bandage on it. Then start packing."

She dabbed the paper towels into the basin of warm water, then wiped the area around the wound. She didn't look up, didn't respond.

His gaze shifted to fingerless leather gloves she wore. They were well-made, almost the color of her skin, and supple enough to move as she moved. "You didn't used to wear gloves all the time. Why wear them at all?"

"You heard me today at the winery. It's a combination of style and protection."

"Protection?" He mocked her openly. "From the corkscrew, you mean."

This Jacqueline was wiser than the teenager he'd known, less likely to rise to the bait, more inclined to take her time in answering him — or not answer him at all. "How did you find me?" she asked.

He laughed sharply, and winced at the pain. "We never lost you." He had tracked her for the two years of her exile.

She picked up the scissors.

Although perhaps he could have been more tactful about saying so. He tensed, prepared to fend off another attack.

She glanced up and saw him watching warily. "Don't worry. I'm not going to stab you again."

2009 Press Release (from Christina Dodd's Website Press Room)

From Reader To New York Times Bestseller

Readers become writers, and Christina Dodd has always been a reader. As she was growing up, she read everything, but discovered, because she likes humor, that she liked romance best. In romance, the relationship between one man and one woman holds center stage, and that’s always good for a laugh.

A woman wants things like world peace, a clean house, and a deep and meaningful relationship based on mutual understanding and love. A man wants things like a Craftsman router with attachments, undisputed control of the TV remote, and a red Corvette which will miraculously make his bald spot disappear.

So while Dodd was working as a draftsman, she would read during the lunch hour, go back to work to design a sawmill, and plot the conclusion of the story in her mind. The book never ended like that, and she liked her endings better. When her first daughter was born, she told her husband she was going to quit work and write a book. It was a good time to start a new career, because how much trouble could one little infant be?

Quite a bit, it seemed. It took ten years, two children and three completed manuscripts before her first novel, CANDLE IN THE WINDOW, was published.

In the eighteen years since, her novels have been translated into twenty languages, featured by Doubleday Book Club, recorded on Books on Tape for the Blind, won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA Awards as well as Borders Books Awards for outstanding sales, and been called the year’s best by Library Journal. Dodd is a regular on the New York Times Bestseller List and has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle (11/18/05, # 13 Down: Romance Novelist named Christina.) Publishers Weekly praises her style that "showcases Dodd’s easy, addictive charm and steamy storytelling."

Dodd’s new releases for 2009 include DANGER IN A RED DRESS (3/09, four weeks on the New York Times), as well as STORM OF VISIONS (8/09) and STORM OF
SHADOWS (9/09), the first two books in her new paranormal series, the Chosen
Ones. Also in 2009, in July, her classic historical, MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH will
be re-released, and in October, TROUBLE IN HIGH HEELS and TONGUE IN CHIC will be re-released as DANGEROUS LADIES.

Dodd is married to a man with all his hair and no Corvette, but many Craftsman tools.

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Need more books?

Here is a great site that I ran across. It's called Suvudu Free Book Library. You can download FREE full length ebooks in multiple formats, including Kindle format. I just happen to love free ... AND good books ... and I bet you do too!

Here is what Suvudu has to say:

Welcome to the Suvudu Free Book Library. We know it can be hard to navigate the countless fantasy and science fiction series out there and figure out which ones are right for you. Well, we're here to make those tough decisions a bit easier on you. With the Suvudu Free Book Library, you can read the first book in some of our most acclaimed series absolutely free! We're kicking off the library with five full-length novels for you to sample, but we'll be adding new titles on a regular basis, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you're the first to find out what our newest free offerings are!

Enough of the intro -- start downloading, and start reading!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Open Letter To Clean House

Dear Clean House,

First off, I would like to commend you for helping the messy, hoarding, dirty-dish-leaving, non-clothes-folding masses lead neater, more sanitary lives. It is a very good deed you are doing.

That being said, I would like to make one thing clear:

Romance Novels Are Not Trash

Really, I promise. See, Romance Novels are things we like to call "books." You may have heard of them?

And, last time I checked, "books" are generally considered to be possessions--even prized ones on occasion. Just like those vinyl records that you not only let the other person keep but even built shelves for!

Read the complete article at Avon Romance Blog.