Monthly Archives: July 2011

Prayers for a Hero

Soldiers from Alpha Company, 1-18 Infantry Bat...

Our soldiers face danger every day (Image via Wikipedia)

Derek McConnell comes from a family of patriots, and made plans early on to enlist in the army. He didn’t balk when he was told he was shipping out to Afghanistan, and he, like all the volunteers in the US military, made the sacrifice to leave his family and fight for his country.

Unfortunately, last week Derek stepped on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and suffered life-altering injuries. While the specifics of Derek’s injuries aren’t public, I think “life-altering” says enough. Derek’s bravery will continue to be tested as he fights to recover.

Personally, I thank God for those who are strong enough to put their lives on the line for their country. I know I’m not. But I also take those brave soldiers for granted. I know several veterans who’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq and who came home healthy and strong. It’s easy to forget how great the danger we’re asking these young men and women to face is. And yet, people like Derek continue to sign up to fight and protect me every day.

Please send your thoughts and prayers to Derek–and his family–and all the servicemen in harm’s way. You can find out more about Derek’s new fight to get home and recover on a facebook page set up for him:

Thank you, Derek, for your patriotism and bravery. Get well soon!


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On Deck for the Cure

You may have heard I’ve recently returned from an Alaskan Cruise. We saw whales, glaciers, and lots of trees, and ate…a LOT! There were all kinds of activities on the ship and excursions on land for our whole family. One activity surprised me, though.  On Deck for the Cure.

A 5k at Sea

Princess Cruises, along with their partner lines, has joined forces with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise funds to fight breast cancer. Every sailing, on every ship, a 5k walk is held. A donation is required to participate, and everyone gets a cool ball cap to wear:

Now, you might be asking, “5k on a boat?” It’s not hard, at least when the ship is this big:

8 times around the ship was all it took. And having porpoises and whales cheering us on was way cool!

Want another fun way to help find a cure? Check out the Summer Lovin’ Anthologies available from Omnific Publishing. Thirteen authors, two volumes, one awesome cause. Proceeds go to Save the Ta-tas.  Click the banner to find out more:



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A Very Special Dedication

pink ribbon

Image via Wikipedia

My friend and author, Lisa Sanchez, is celebrating the move to her author blog, and has invited me to guest post on her site today as part of her Sizzlin’ Summer Author Extravaganza. She and I are both contributors to the Summer Lovin’ Anthology:Heat Wave, and that got me thinking.

Contributing to the Summer Lovin’ Anthologies has been a lot of fun. But there’s a very serious side to the project, namely raising money to stamp out cancer. When I submitted my story, I thought about who I might dedicate the story to, and one person immediately came to mind. Someone I love, and whose strength continues to awe me.

To find out who, please head over to Lisa’s blog at

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Time for Some Summer Lovin’!

The Summer Lovin’ Anthologies are now available! Click on the banner to get yours – they’ll only be available until September 30th. But enough of that – how about an excerpt from my contribution?  From the short paranormal romance, Concessions, meet Lindsey and her beau, Clyde (AKA Devon):

Shoving the extra ketchup under the counter, I went back to my catalog. Snowmen, fir trees, and angels—three things you can’t find in Vegas, no matter what time of year it is. “Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays” one T-shirt read…now that’s more like it. Candy, the prostitute who worked the corner across the street, would enjoy that.

“I like that one better.” A black fingernail tapped the picture below.

“HOLY ****!” I screamed, sending soda cups and lids flying.

“Sorry. A little jumpy today, Lindsey?”

My vision pulsed red as my heart scrambled to flood my system with adrenaline. “Damn it, Clyde, as if your looks aren’t enough to give me a coronary.” The one thing I couldn’t figure out was why the customers we did get dressed like the living dead. I thought they were supposed to haunt the night, not the afternoon.

“I can’t help it you never hear me coming. I guess I should get a bell for my collar.” He ran a long, pale finger along the edge of his spiked neckwear. Clyde took the Goth look to a new extreme, his sharpened canines sparkling in the neon glow as he graced me with a rare smile.

“Then the mice’ll be safe.” Sighing, I stooped down and collected the now-trashed cups.

Stomping his combat boots loudly on the thin carpet, Clyde came around the counter. While I fumbled with the paper and plastic, he deftly stacked the lids like they’d just come out of the box. He started to set them by the soda machine, but I stopped him.

“We have to toss those. Health code, you know.”

“Oh, right. Sorry again. Jack won’t be mad, will he?” One of the few regulars, Clyde came in every day, watching the same movies over and over. I’d never asked him about that—I probably didn’t want to know.

“Nah. Don’t worry about it. **** happens.” I dumped the last load into the trash and punched the intercom behind me. “Jack, keep an eye on the counter. I have to go get some more cups, okay?”

The figure in the glass booth across the lobby threw a hand in the air.

“Can I help you carry something?” Clyde asked.

I did a double take. “Sure.”

He followed me silently to the stairs.

“Are you okay, Clyde?” I thought his vocabulary was limited to “Hot Tamales” and “thank you.”

“I’m fine, why?”

I opened the door at the top, walked past the projectors feeding the two lonely screens, and invited him into the dark storeroom with my finger on my lips. As door the closed, I flicked on the bare light bulb and squinted at him.

“You’ve never talked to me before. What’s up?”

His midnight eyes were traced in heavy matching liner. Black pearls in a velvet purse. Straight, jet-black bangs fell across his forehead, begging to be brushed aside to reveal his meticulously groomed ebony eyebrows. His hair was the only thing that wasn’t characteristic of the death-loving crowd. No spikes or vibrant colors interrupted the soft wave that framed his stark features and ended in an unbroken line at his chin.

The caverns in his cheeks became dimples as another smile creased his equally black lips. “Honestly? I talk to you every day, Lindsey.”

His eyes held mine, paralyzing me. His pupils seemed to open like umbrellas, enveloping me in night.

“You do not,” I breathed, unable to blink but seeing nothing.

“Yes, I do.” His husky voice wafted over me like fog. “Every day. Remember?”

I swayed in his arms, lost in his gaze.

“Remember,” he repeated—no, commanded.

In the darkness his word became smoke, swirling around me, beckoning me. Every day…remember…

What do you think? To read more, you’ll need to pick up a copy of the Summer Lovin’ Anthology: Heat Wave. Read the romance, Save the Ta-tas!

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American Independence Day

U.S. Declaration of Independence ratified by t...

Image via Wikipedia

Happy 4th of July! Today is the day Americans celebrate their independence. Why the 4th? It’s the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, cutting ties with the British and King George III.  Maybe you recognize these words?

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence

This document branded all who signed it as traitors, but led to the creation of the United States of America (almost 12 years later). I have to ask myself if I was in that situation, if I’d be willing to sign such a document. Below this section is a long list of grievances against the King, something that is designed to draw a reaction – and not a positive one. Could I sign something so inflammatory that would surely bring war and suffering to my friends and family? I don’t know.

I know I do thank all those who did have the strength to sign this document. And while it led to the freedom and independence I enjoy today, I wish everyone peace and joy today. To life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

Meet an Author Monday

The blog hop has moved to Lisa Sanchez’s fabulous author page. Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

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