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Whose Costume is the Best?

No, I’m not hosting a costume competition. Well, not exactly. I’m asking about your household. If you’re a mom, do you put more into your kid’s costumes thank yours? (assuming you dress up) Or are you the over-the-top costume-er in your house? No kids? Do you try and out-do your co-workers?

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (right) and Padawan O...

Qui-Gon is on the right

Personally, I love Halloween, and I almost always dress up some. I’ve got all kinds of costume stuff socked away – an old poodle skirt, a clown costume, Star Trek uniforms (TNG), and even an old piece of upholstery I used as a poncho when I went as Qui-Gon Jinn one year. (Apparently I look a lot like Liam Neeson.) Other years I tweak regular clothes I have – Add a pocket protector and I’m a nerd, a little black hat and I’m a chauffeur. This year I’m planning on going as a roadie – so all I need is a concert shirt and a roll of duct tape.

I suppose I work a little harder on my costume than my kids do. My son likes simple, store-bought costumes (he’s going as bacon again this year – yes, I said bacon). My daughter has started creating her own look, putting together clothes she has with some purchased accessories to make her costume. This year she’s going as phantom of the opera, combining a cape and mask with her own dressy shirt.

How about you? I know I’ve seen some amazing costumes out there, on both kids and adults. Who has the most elaborate costume at your house?

Comment to be entered to win your own treat!

All commenters will be entered to win an e-copy of my romantic suspense, Whirlwind. Be sure and check out the other authors handing out treats on the Romance Girls Gone Goblin Halloween blog hop! Open from Oct. 28-31. Click HERE or on the picture at the right to follow the hop.


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3D – Yes or No?

Paper glasses for viewing Anaglyphs.

Image via Wikipedia

The debate over 3D movies has been raging for a while, and I’ll admit, I’m not really a fan. For me, the “wow factor” of 3D isn’t worth the extra money most of the time (for a family of 4, it’s like buying an extra movie ticket). Given the choice, we watch in old-fashioned 2D.

On the other hand, I’ll also admit I LOVED seeing the 3D IMAX movie from the space shuttle at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (do not miss it if you’re in the area), but I’m not in a hurry to go out and watch the Lion King in 3D. Or buy a 3D TV. My son has a pocket video game that has 3D you can turn on and off, and while it’s pretty cool, he plays mostly in 2D. Somehow, watching the news in 3D isn’t really a draw for me, either.

So, am I behind the times? Am I missing out on “the next big thing” or is 3D TV like Sony BETA? Better, cooler, neater, but not what the market wants?

What do you think? Is there any movie or show you’d love to see in 3D?

Meet an Author Monday

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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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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Happy New Year!

an old post card

Image via Wikipedia

Can you believe the first decade of the new century is now over?  Yes, I know my age is showing, but just ten years ago we were all worried about the Millennium Bug, now we’re more concerned with the Millennium Trilogy.  My how time flies!

It’s only minutes away from midnight here in California, so it’s time to make those dreaded New Year’s resolutions.  I’m not one who usually formalizes such things – especially when I know I probably won’t keep most of my promises to myself, but maybe with your nagging prodding support I’ll do better this year. Don’t worry, this list won’t be long.

1. a classic: eat better and exercise more. This is an annual tradition, but, darn it, I’m going to do better this year!  I need to get back to playing golf with my dear hubby!

2. read more. A couple years ago I managed to read 50 books in one year – basically one a week.  Reading is fun, entertaining, and in the end makes me a better writer, so I’m pledging to read more.  To help me on this goal, I’ve joined the Romance Readers Reading Challenges group on  They’ve got all kinds of challenges to help motivate and keep my reading list fresh.  You’ll be seeing posts about my progress as I go.  The challenges I’ve entered so far are the 2011 A-Z Book Challenge (read one book that starts with each letter of the alphabet), the A-Z Author Challenge (Read an author who’s first or last name starts with each letter of the alphabet) and the Winter Challenge – Italian version (read books whose titles or author names start with I-N-V-E-R-N-O). Books can be used in more than one challenge.  To get started, here’s my list for the Winter Challenge:

Read-the-Season Winter Challenge
Duration: December 21, 2010 – March 19, 2011

0/8 Completed

I: How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown Does this count? If not, I might read Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong
N: Tribute by Nora Roberts
V: The Wedding Bargain by Victoria Alexander
E: Something by Janet Evanovich I think I’m on 7
R: The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
N: No One Heard Her Scream by Jordan Dane
O: Shades of Atlantis by Carol Oates

Italian Bonus: Inferno by Dante Alighieri

If you’d be interested in joining the group, check out Romance Readers Reading Challenges on

3. and this won’t be a surprise: write more. I have plans to work on at least one book in 2011, but I’m in an ambitious mood and will resolve to get two full manuscripts completed by the end of the year.  Please hold my hand (or kick me in the butt) to help me along this path.  I already have been invited to a yearly writing challenge – and plan on scoping that out tomorrow.

There’s a few more boring resolutions I’m making, but those are the top three.  What are you hoping for in 2011?  I hope the coming year brings you happiness and success!

Happy New Year!


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Countdown to Christmas

Rudolph has to hurry up, Christmas is coming s...

Is this really Rudolph?

What’s playing right now? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Mannheim Steamroller

Amongst all the decorating, music and shopping, one thing dominates my life right now: The Countdown.  Another form of a list, The Countdown encompasses a whole raft of things I need to do and deadlines I need to meet – and there’s not a partridge or a pear tree on it.  So {takes a deep breath} here it is:

9.  NINE days until Christmas. How many more presents do I need to buy? I’d better start planning my Christmas menu NOW.  If everything goes right, in NINE days I’ll be able to sit back and watch the wrapping paper fly with a cup of hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll.

8.  Christmas Eve is in EIGHT days. It’s our tradition for the kids to open one small gift that evening…man, ANOTHER present I need to buy!  Looking forward to the Christmas Eve service at church, though.  Wrapping, wrapping, wrapping…please, no shopping!

7.  Grocery shopping for Christmas happens SEVEN days from now. I just hope I’m not in line at FedEx for overnight delivery of a present I forgot!  This’ll be the “checking my list” twice day, for sure.  Probably will bake a pie or two; They’ll probably get eaten before Christmas day.

6.  Last music lessons for the kids are in SIX days.  It’s been a busy year for my kids, but an extremely successful one.  Make them a special dinner to celebrate the REAL start of vacation!  Make sure all the laundry gets done for trips planned after Christmas.

5.  FIVE more days until Whirlwind releases! YAY!  Announce winner of autographed copy.

Grumman LLV photographed in USA.

Image via Wikipedia

4.  The biggest mailing day of the year is in FOUR days – I’d better get my Christmas cards done!

3.  THREE days until the last “day of rest” before Christmas. Rest? If only.  Clean house (again) after all the partying.  Probably ought to start wrapping some presents, among other things.

2.  TWO days until the kids are out of school for Christmas vacation. I’d better finish up the shopping for them NOW!  Hosting another holiday potluck for just the girls, including my good friend, Killian McRae.  No kids, good friends, and wine.  Now that’s a present!

1.  ONE day until our monthly neighborhood dinner…at OUR house this year.  MUST CLEAN HOUSE! If you’re shipping by FedEx ground you have to get your shipments in on Friday to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

What’s on your holiday countdown?  I’m sure there’s a lot more I need to add to mine, and though it sounds hectic, it’s all part of the season.  Christmas is a big deal, and not just because of the presents.  It’s a celebration, and that makes all the preparation more fun than work.

That’s what’s missing from my lists…Peace and Love.  Two things I wish for you, too.

christmas eve service

Happy Holidays!

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