Please Welcome Ella Quinn to Friendship Friday

US ARMY LOGO

US Army logo

Author, Ella Quinn

Ella Quinn is one of my favorite people whom I’ve never met in person. She is a fellow veteran–although Ella chose the US Army, while I chose the USN. That link, shared service, has been the foundation for a friendship that has lasted more than ten years. In addition to being one of my favorite people, she is a talented author and a fascinating person. But I’ll let her tell you about herself, so you’ll see how fascinating she is. Please welcome, Ella Quinn.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: I had several lives before deciding to be a writer. I dropped out of college and to tend bar and play in a rock band. Enlisted in the Army for five years. Got out and went back to college. After getting an MS in International Relations, I attended law school and went back in the Army for several years. I’ve lived all over the world and now reside in the Caribbean. About a year and a half ago, I decided to write Regency romances. I have an agent and am currently on submission, but not yet published.

Please share with us your current project (does not need to be a writing project) I’m writing my 6th book which is the second of my second series. It’s about a very politically conservative, priggish, young marquis who falls in love with a reformer who is the daughter of a country baronet.

1. Please answer at least five of the following questions.  Your answers may be but do not need to be ‘true.’  I highly recommend using no names or changing names to protect both the innocent and yourself.

2. What’s the color of your toothbrush? Blue and white, because I could find a different color.

3. What cd is in your cd-player right now? It’s a Beautiful Day.

4. How much do you use ketchup? (1 – not at all, 5 – on all foods) 1

5. Are you a “dogperson” or a “catperson”? Both. I have a Great Dane and a Chartreux cat I picked up in Belgium after our old cat died. Americans were not allowed to adopt from the pound.

6. What’s the meaning of life? Love.

7. What’s the model of your mobile phone? I have an iPhone.

8. What time do you normally go to bed on a working day? 10:00 PM

9. What is the most distant place you’ve visited (from your home)? Home is wherever I am.

10. In scale from 1-5, how afraid of dark are you? 1

11. The person you would never want to meet? Georgette Heyer.

12. How much cash do you have on you? $7.00 and 50 Euros.

13. What’s a word that rhymes with TEST? Best

14. What shirt are you wearing? Tank top.

15. What do you label yourself as? I don’t.

16. Name the brand of shoes you’ve recently worn. Teva flip-flops.

17. Bright room or dark room? Bright

18. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.

19. Where is your nearest 7-11? Probably about 1500 miles away.

20. What’s a saying you say a lot? Spit in one hand and wish in the other, see which one gets full faster.

21. Who told you they loved you last? My husband.

22. Last furry thing you touched? The dog.

23. Favorite age you’ve been so far? The age I am now.

24. What is your current desktop picture? Palm trees and water.

25. What was the last thing you said to someone? Actually talking to a person? I love you.

26. If you had to choose between a millions bucks and being able to fly, which would you choose? The million bucks.

27. What is your favorite cheese? Smoked Gouda.

28. What’s the longest you’ve gone without taking a bath? I was in the Army in the woods for a week.

29. What is your best physical attribute? (Then, you can dare the person to show you their best physical attribute.) My smile.

30. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? Austria. The ski lifts are open.

31. Upon arrival to the aforementioned location, you get off the plane and discover another hundred-dollar bill. Cripes! Now that you are in the new location, where are you gonna go to spend that? Lift tickets.

32. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says. Man! What are you gonna say about that? Even if you don’t drink booze there’s something you can figure out… so what’s it gonna be? Châteauneuf-du-Pape

33. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there? I’m going to Regency England to study the culture.

34. What is your favorite expletive? Shit.

35. Your house is on fire! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno? My laptop.

36. The Angel Of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel Of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour? Make love to my husband.

37. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what’s even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What’s it gonna be? Wiggle my nose like Samantha.

38. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under age. Check it out. You have been eternally banned from every single bar in the world except for ONE. Which one is it gonna be? That’s hard. Either The bistro in the bistro on the corner of Avenue de la Motte Picquet  and Avenue Bosquet in the 7th arrondissement Paris or La Chevre d’Or in Eze, France.

39. The Celestial Gates Of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn’t think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? My mother.

So Nice Sunday–Veterans

Veterans, military, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Air men, Rank, Rate, rating, duty, duty station, sacrifice, thanksI’ve written about Veterans and Active Duty Service men and women in this blob before.  Veterans Day offers another to tell my sisters and brothers in arms how truly grateful I am for their valor, sacrifice and service.  In my view there is no greater calling than to sacrifice for others, and every US service man and woman does that on a daily basis.  Frontline or support, five star or e-1, Seal, Mechanic, Disbursing Clerk et cetera–duty station, rank, rating do not matter, every individual soldier, sailor, airman and marine is essential to the USA’s defense and stability.  The sacrifices–long absences from home and family, personal injury, life and death, and more, all are given with very little received in return.  I cannot say thank you loudly or often enough.  Join me on this day.  Leave a comment of thanks.

Please welcome Kristi Knight to Friendship Friday

My friend Kristi Knight is the author of scintillating romances.  I love her books, so I’m thrilled to have her on the blog this week.  I’ve asked Kristi to tell us a little bit about herself and her latest release.  After that, she’ll run the weird question gauntlet, so make sure you scroll down.  Who knows, if you meet Kristi, you may be the only one who knows her toothbrush secret.  Now, here’s Kristi.

Romance, Author, Kristi Knight, Friend, Rue Allyn, Novel, book, writer

Author, Kristi Knight

Hi, everyone! I’m Kristina. I’m a Midwestern girl, married to The Best Husband Evah for the past 13 years; we have a daughter (she’s 4 and is the Queen Bee most days). I write contemporary romances about finding acceptance and home – because I think we all deserve those things.  If you want to know more about me and my books please visit me on facebook, or read this short bio.  Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police – no, she wasn’t a trouble-maker she was a journalist. When the opportunity to write what she wanted – business and family/parenting articles – and to focus more energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes articles for magazines and such by day and writes romance novels with spice by night and during any toddler-free, five minute break she has. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Happily ever after.Saint, Devilish, Deal, Mexico, Romance, Novel, Book, Writer, Friend, Kristie Knight, Rue Allyn

My latest release The Saint’s Devilish Dealis a contemporary, reunion romance set in Puerto Vallarta – one of my favorite places in the world. Saint and Esme have a past they need to deal with to begin building the present they both want. And there’s sex.

Esmerelda Quinn has been looking for a place to belong since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young. The closest thing to home has always been Aunt Constance’s villa in Puerto Vallarta, so after a string of dead-end hotellier jobs, she’s coming home to run the villa.

Santiago Cruz has called the villa home for as long as he can remember. In between surfing events, Constance has always had a room for him. Color him surprised when Constance decides to retire – and leaves a joint interest in the villa to both Santiago and Esme.

Esme isn’t thrilled to share ownership of the villa with the the youngest Cruz brother – especially when she learns Santiago’s brother has been after the villa for years. But Santiago has grown up while she’s been away at school and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall.

This book is too yummy for words.  If you want a copy click here: Amazon, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble.

Kristi’s Answers to Some Weird Questions

1. What’s the color of your toothbrush? – It’s purple with automatic pulsating action. My teeth love it…but it’s almost time for a new one. Who knows what the next color will be.

2. Are you left or right eyed? – Left. Which is weird because I’m right-handed.

3. What cd is in your cd-player right now? – I just searched my house. We’re officially CD-Player-Less. I did find about 12 boxes of CDs in my husband’s closet, though. If it counts, my iPod is playing Lady Antebellum.

4. What does a light year mean? – a year in which my pants size goes down. J

5. What’s the meaning of life? – Good friends, good food, good books, good experiences.

So Nice Sunday

I really enjoy a good historical (book, movie, tv show), it doesn’t much matter as long as the writing is good.  One of the best, AMC’s Hell On Wheels, is my weekly guilty pleasure.  Tonight’s season finale did not disappoint.  We lost a number of major characters, and I was left wondering what would come next.  So nice that I get to enjoy this show.  So frustrating that I have months to wait before I can see more.  I wish I could show you a picture, but those are copyrighted, so here’s a link to the show’s website http://www.amctv.com/shows/hell-on-wheels in case you’d like more information.  Please leave me a note and let me know what was ‘So Nice’ about your Sunday.

Friendship Friday

My friends are very important to me, and most of them are interesting, entertaining, smart people.  So what better way to celebrate my friendships than by sharing them with all of my readers.  Watch this space every Friday for a post from one of my friends.  The first post is scheduled for next week, Oct. 12, 2012 and comes from my good author friend Patricia Rasey.  I don’t know her topic yet, but whatever it is, I’m certain Pat will be entertaining.  Hope to see you here this coming Friday.

Watch out Wednesday

BinocularsIs there hope for people like me, who can write thousands of words for a novel but draw complete blanks when looking at a blog screen.  Our Social Media Guru, Lisa Pietsch says yes.  For those who are blog challenged she recommends an editorial calendar, i.e. assigning yourself specific topic for specific days.  The calendar can take any shape that suits the blogger, and while I fully expect to take note of many holidays, I’ve decided to make the effort to note specific days of the week.  So today is ‘Watch out, Wednesday.’  A day designated for writing about things to watch out for.  For example, I fully intend to watch the Presidential debate tonight.  I’m specifically watching out to see which of the candidates can impress me with his oratory and logical skills.  I want a president who can communicate clearly and reason well.  I’ll also watch out for clues regarding each candidate’s motivation.  Does he really have the interests of the whole country at heart, or is he simply blowing smoke.  I realize that the debate may not be the best venue for discovering what I want to know.  However, I don’t have many options.  Leave a comment and let me know what you’re watching out for.  Oh yes, please check back soon, if you want to know what else is on my editorial calendar.

Social Media & Me

My track record with social media is hit and miss.  I get so involved writing books that I often forget to tweet and post for days on end.  Not a good thing, because all my cyber friends will think I don’t love or care about them.  I do care, so I want to change my habits.  Step one in making that change is to take Lisa Pietsch’s terrific course 4 Weeks to Social Media Rock Stardom.   Class has started but you can still register during the first week.  Here’s the link. http://lisapietsch.com/2012/09/25/october-online-course-4-weeks-to-social-media-rock-stardom .  Check back over the next few weeks and see how I’m doing.  You can also keep up with my efforts on FB, Twitter and Goodreads. (I’ll add other media as we cover them in class.)

So Nice Sunday and All Summer Long (After My Before Post)

Love these small Black-Eyed Susan variants

Love these small Black-Eyed Susan variants

Scorching heat and unbearable humidity, and what did I decide to do?  Start my garden.  Yup, I made that idiotic decision knowing the   weather would wilt not only flowers but my energy.  However, the temps did not sap my resolve.  Digging the bed; filling the pots; lugging the dirt, rocks, water; laying the weed prevention cloth, and shoveling more dirt took me more than two weeks, but I have my reward.  Just look at these pics.

Left side of the deck

Daylilies on the corner and Black-Eyed Susans climbing the stairs.

Looking at the deck from the right side.

Looking at the deck from the right side.

The infamous flower bed Gorgeous Daylilly

Flowers, Finally!

We have lived in this house for roughly 10 months and in that time have re-modeled about half of the interior (still waiting on the other half).  So other than putting up holiday decorations we’ve had little time or money to do anything to the outside.  Two weeks ago that all changed.  We resurfaced the deck (which really needs replacing but resurfacing fit the budget better).  We dug the deck furniture out of storage.  The grill is still in the garage, but we’ll add that as soon as the flower pots are positioned and filled. 

Finally I’ll have flowers.  Not as many as I want, but this is a start.  I love flowers, even though I’m not a gardener.  When I plant, I use very hardy plants that will survive despite my neglect.  Because we live near the woods, I use plants that are not deer friendly.  The Day Lilies that I’ll plant tomorrow morning are sturdy and propagate easily.  By summer’s end, I’ll be able to split the bulbs and transplant into other parts of what I hope will become a bright vibrant garden.  Here are a few ‘before’ pics.

Flowers and pots before planting

All the materials needed to pot my pretty day lilies.

My plans include two birch trees to frame the deck and provide a little shade; a hedge of lilacs at the lot line between our house and the neighbors (no more ugly garbage cans in view). Daffodils and Day Lilies in pots and along the bottom of the deck. Lavender at the corner of the deck near the stair rail. Irises to border the far side of the deck where there’s part sun, part shade. Some variety of coreopsis to border the walk leading to the side stairs. Eventually I’ll put in a forsythia hedge on the side of the yard near the garage. Around in front of the house which is very shady I hope to grow Lily of the Valley and some other shade friendly varieties. Finishing this garden will take years simply because I don’t have time or money to do it all at once. The result should be worth the wait. Best of all, tomorrow I start putting the plans in action.

A closer view of the pre-potting mess

A closer view of the pre-potting mess

 Leave a comment, please. Tell me about your garden or yard. I love discovering how others use their outdoor spaces. If you don’t have a yard or garden, share an adventure you had in the out of doors. Come back in a day or two. I’ll post the after pictures.Thanks

The deck from the other side

The other side with the mess out of view

The deck and mess from a distance

Thrills & Chills

Deadly ObsessionDeadly Obsession by Patricia A. Rasey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No author tortures characters as well as Patricia Rasey. That she does so with chilling plots and breath-stealing prose only proves Ms. Rasey is a master of the thriller genre. In Love You to Pieces Rasey’s skills are on full display. Only a master could shape a tale of a suicidal hero and forbidden love into a page turning thriller. Dressed in details of the Vampyre counter-culture Love You to Pieces transforms a small Ohio town into a fear-ridden community where murder, sexual deviance, and betrayal lurk to trap the innocent reader in a compelling and frightening world.

View all my reviews