Monday, November 30, 2009

Poll Results: Dark Hair, Clean Shaven, and Very Alpha

Thanks to everyone who voted on my poll regarding how they liked to "see" their heroes. This will give me some idea what to consider for future characters.

To whit:
0% Blond
66% Dark-haired
33% Hair color doesn't matter

58% Very Alpha
50% More Beta, more caring

8% With a beard
25% With a Day's Growth
66% Clean shaven
16% Facial hair doesn't matter

25% With chest hair
25% Without chest hair
41% Chest hair doesn't matter

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deadlines


Do you find you write better if there's a deadline hanging over your head? Or would you rather work without one?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's a Book Signing! Come By And Say "Hi!"

Think Christmas!
Give your friend/mother/sister/co-worker
a personally autographed book for a present!

The Book Basket
913 Main
Bastrop, TX
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Black Friday!

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A History Lesson: The Great Depression

Even if you're not that "turned on" by history, you have to check out these color and black and white photos from the 1930s and 40s of life during the Great Depression, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Not only are they jaw-dropping and awe inspiring, but they will give you a whole new perception of life in that era.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Check Your Mental Acuity

Below are 9 simple questions. They're straight questions, with straight answers. No tricks. See how many you can answer before looking at the answers.

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backwards?

3. Of all the vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every years. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine. It hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters "dw", and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter "S".

***************************************
ANSWERS:

1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends -- Boxing.

2. The North American landmark constantly moving backwards -- Niagara Falls. (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)

3. The only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons -- Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside -- Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stem.

6. Three English words beginning with "dw" -- dwarf, dwell, and dwindle.

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar -- period, coma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh -- lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with "S" -- shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, and stilts.

How well did you do?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Right Now You Can Get EENIE MEENIE at 45% Off!


But HURRY! This is a limited time offer!



Now you can get the best selling horror short by Gail Smith (Linda Mooney w/a) here at Fictionwise for 45% Off!


Something lives in the big black plastic garbage bag. Something that isn't human. Something that depends on the goodwill of others to provide it with food. Fortunately, it's not particular if its meal is dead, long dead... or alive.

What to Wear When Your Wife Has a "Honey-Do" List

Okay. Look again. Closely.
That's sooome couch. ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

School Employees as per Jeff Foxworthy

You might be a school employee... if you believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin salt lick.

You might be a school employee... if you want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work 8 to 3:30, and have summers off."

You might be a school employee... if it is difficult to name your own child because there's no name you can come up with that doesn't bring high blood pressure as it is uttered.

You might be a school employee... if you can tell it's a full moon, or if it's going to rain, snow, hail, ANYTHING! Without ever looking outside.

You might be a school employee... if you believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."

You might be a school employee... if when out in public you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior.

You might be a school employee... if you have no social life between August and June.

You might be a school employee... if you think people should have a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

You might be a school employee... if you wonder how some parents MANAGED to reproduce.

You might be a school employee... if you laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the "lounge".

You might be a school employee... if you encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling, and are willing to donate the U-HAUL boxes should they decide to move out of the district.

You might be a school employee... if you think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

You might be a school employee... if you can't imagine how the ACLU could think that covering your students' chairs with Velcro, and then requiring uniforms made out of the corresponding Velcro, could ever be misunderstood by the public.

You might be a school employee... if meeting a child's parent instantly answers this question: "Why is this kid like this?"

You might be a school employee... if you choose a mammogram over a parent conference.

You might be a school employee... if you think someone should invent antibacterial pencils and crayons... and desks and chairs, for that matter!

You might be a school employee... if the words "I have college debt for this?" has ever come out of your mouth.

You might be a school employee... if you know how many days, minutes, and seconds are left in the school year!

(Thanks to Skyler!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Contract, yes. Book, not yet. A Question

The other night a fellow author and friend told me she was using the NaNoWriMo to finish a novel she owed her publisher. Said novel was already contracted and due to her editor before the end of November.

There are publishers out there who actually CONTRACT a book before it's written? Yes, hers is part of a series, but when I was working on book three of the Thunder trilogy, I knew I needed to have it in by a certain time so that the edits/cover/etc. could be done in a reasonable and timely fashion, but it had NOT be contracted. Not until it was finished.

How is it possible for one to "pitch an idea" to a pub for an unwritten book/story/idea/plot, and get a CONTRACT?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oreo Cows

Once upon a time, when I was up in central east Texas visiting a friend, we passed by a large meadow on our way to Canton and the town's monthly market days. One look at the unusual-looking cows grazing, and I asked her, "What are those?"

"Oreo cows."

"What?"


They're actually called Belted Galloways. And thanks to http://i1.trekearth.com/ here's a bit more about these very strange-looking bovine.

Galloway cattle are an ancient breed that originated in the rugged hill country of southwestern Scotland. They are related to the Angus which was developed in northeastern Scotland. While the Angus was selected for rapid growth on better feed, the Galloway was selected for its ability to thrive on poor forage in a cold wet climate. They were first imported to the States in the 1850s. Galloways are poled and medium in size, cows weighing between 1000 to 1500 pounds.

Black is the most common color in the breed with red and dun also found. White Galloways occur more rarely. Along with their black points (eyes, ears, nose, feet, teats) they are sometimes roan or speckled. Belted Galloways originated within the Galloway breed but are generally registered with a separate association. The Galloway is rare in North America but is increasing in numbers globally with an estimated population of about 10,000. Galloway cattle stand out for their forage efficiency, hardiness, maternal qualities, and excellence of beef. Galloways impart outstanding vigor to crossbred offspring.

Hmm...looks like the one in the forefront has double stuff.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Many is One Billion?


A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no one walked on the earth on two feet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beauty in Nature

Icebergs in the Antarctic area sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different conditions.

Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with melt water and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form.

When an iceberg falls into the sea, a layer of salty seawater can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe.

Brown, black, and yellow lines are caused by sediment picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the sea.





Antarctica Frozen Wave Pics

The water froze the instant the wave broke through the ice. That's what it is like in Antarctica where it is the coldest weather in decades. Water freezes the instant it comes in contact with the air. The temperature of the water is already some degrees below freezing.

Look at how the wave froze in mid-air!








(Thank you to Mary Casey for these photos.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The History of Aprons

I don't think our kids today know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses, and they used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. Or she would husk ears of corn on the porch, and bring the corn into the kitchen to dump into the sink to rinse before cooking.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees, or pecans that needed shelling.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes. In the meantime, the memory of it can be a good history lesson for those who have no idea how the apron played a part in our lives.

Remember: Grandma used to set her hot baked apples pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

People would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron but love.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Check Out My New Poll! How Do You Prefer Your Heroes?

How do you prefer your heroes?

Please take a minute and mark your answers on my newest poll. Note you may click multiple answers to questions regarding:

* hair color
* facial hair
* body hair
* and attitude/personality

Thanks!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A History Lesson

Did you know this?

It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on old war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the problem. The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square-based pyramid, with one ball on the top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.

Thus a supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem--how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling out from under the others.

The solution was a metal plate with sixteen round indentations called, for reasons unknown, a monkey. But if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make them out of brass--hence, brass monkeys.

Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey.

Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. And all this time you thought that was just a vulgar expression, didn't you?

(Thanks to Diana and her Aunt Rhonda.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Livin' the Good Life

The car pictured is a Mercedes Maybach.
Notice the reclining rear seats and the electrostatic sunroof. The sunroof turns from opaque to crystal clear depending on the passengers' preference.






No. I have no idea how much it costs. I'm too afraid to ask.

(Thanks to Candace for the pictures.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Superior Fire Department Toy Drive

Superior Fire Department Toy Drive

::: Permission to Forward to anyone you can think of ;-):::
(From Cat Brown, Operator Romance Junkies)

I am here in hopes of helping Todd get toy donations for the Superior Fire Department again this year. :-)

We live in a small old mining town, population three thousand. My husband who helps me with all things RJ runs the local fire department in town. It's a low income town and there are a lot of kids here that don't get much for Christmas. Weeks before Christmas the fire department decorates one of the fire trucks with thousands of holiday lights, fire personnel and yours truly spend weeks wrapping every toy brought in with festive Christmas paper. On Christmas Eve Santa and Ms. Claus ride in back of the fire truck and, with Christmas music blaring, the fire truck weaves its way up and down every street in town. The sirens blare every few minutes and as kids hear it they scramble out of their houses. The truck stops and Santa gives each child a toy. The drive itself takes seven hours. It’s a big production and one that the fire department takes great pride in.

A few years ago I got involved in the toy drive. With the help of the Romance Community the Fire Dept has been able to give a toy to every child in town for 3 years straight. The toys are not expensive – small stuffed animals and 1-4 dollar toys, but it doesn’t take a lot to make it a magical night for the kids in town, especially when Santa is delivering the toys personally.

I know it’s been a bad year for everyone, but I am really hoping we can raise enough toys again this year. Last year we barely brought in enough, but we did it! ;-)

If anyone is interested in sending in some toys it would be VERY MUCH appreciated by both the fire department and the kids in town ;-)

I really want to thank everyone who has contributed over the years. I go on the drive every year with Todd and I can’t describe adequately how incredible the whole experience is. It chokes me up every year watching kids with huge grins on their faces, clutching tight to the toy Santa has given them.

You can check out photos of the Santa Drive –

http://superiorfiredept.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=348

If you would like to donate toys or gift cards you can do so by sending them into:

Superior Fire Dept Toy Drive
C/O Superior Fire Department
236 Golf Course Rd
Superior, AZ 85173


The Department is not set up to take Paypal. So anyone who would like to contribute via Paypal can send their donations into Romance Junkies and I will forward the donations onto the Fire Dept. RJ pal info is - info is webmaster@chaosdesigns.net

Cat Brown AKA Chaoscat
(Chaos - It's not just a lifestyle, it's a state of mind)
Owner/Operator Romance Junkies
http://www.romancejunkies.com/

(Note from Linda: If each person who reads this blog sends in ONE TOY, their Christmas will be made! :D)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

PASSION OF THUNDER is WCPT's #1 Best Seller for the Month!

What's more, here's the entire Top Ten list for November.
Check out numbers 5 and 6!

This Month's Top Ten
1. PASSION OF THUNDER by Linda Mooney
2. SAVAGE PURSUIT by Marquis & Bayer
3. THE ONE NIGHTER by Shauna Hart
4. DANGEROUS LIAISONS MEGABOOK by Honey Jans
5. MY STRENGTH MY POWER MY LOVE by Linda Mooney
6. LORD OF THUNDER by Linda Mooney
7. DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH by Peggy Hunter
8. ANIMAL INSTINCT by Paige Tyler
9. DEN OF DESIRE by Shauna Hart
10. OLYMPIANS: ARCADIAN NIGHTS by Susan M. Sailors

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Con...and Back, Conclusion

Sunday morning, another nifty breakfast and more books than I could shake a stick at are given away. I gotta mention that every time we sat down at a table for a meal, the centerpieces alone were worthy of an hour's discussion (hey, when you have Halloween on the horizon, you never know what you'll find next to your upside-down coffee cup! Fake vampire teeth, anyone?)

As I had a plane to catch in NJ, I had to forego the last panel discussions, and high-tailed it back to the airport, dropped off my rental car, and then made my way to the ticket counter to check my bags. Got into the security line... uhh... sort of. The elevator going UPSTAIRS to the security line had a line! My flight was due to start boarding in 45 min., so I cheated. I took the elevator up to the second floor, but then discovered there were TWO separate areas where security was checking bags. I was escorted to one area, which immediately blossomed into a nice, noisy swarm of people, whom security divided into TWO MORE lines. BOTH lines looped around the airport terminal, around large marble columns, past bathrooms, through tiny corridors, and finally to the velvet rope, where security AGAIN divided us up (for reasons I have yet to fathom.) Suffice it to say, I missed my flight, but I did get a helluva lot of my in-flight book read while waiting.

Okay. Over to Customer Service where I discovered there's another flight out in 3 hrs. I'm put on stand-by, along with the 33 other people who missed the same flight back to Houston. One lady is going beserk because her dog was on the first flight, and who'll take care of Mimi when it lands?

I was #4 on the stand-by list. The next flight out took 5 of us. I had the MIDDLE seat but I didn't care. I was heading home, and I slept most of the way, anyway.

I felt somewhat refreshed when we landed. I found my luggage without too much trouble, considering the Houston Bush airport is under major construction in the baggage pickup area. Took the shuttle to the parking lot where I'd stashed my little life-saving car, and started for home. Traffic was sparse, and the flow was easy. I stopped once to refuel the car and me, and made it back home safe and sound.

By the way, there's still bits of grass stuck in the undercarriage of my car.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Con...and Back, Part 4

Saturday morning was a quick Continental breakfast, followed by panel discussions. These started out with intros of each person on the panel, followed by Q and As from the audience. I am always appreciative of authors who get up in front of a crowd of strangers and allow their readers to nit-pick about a particular book.

After lunch came the book signing. The book store, per se, had been open since registration, allowing con goers to peruse and buy at will. This was their chance to get the authors to personally autograph them. I had brought MY STRENGTH, LORD OF THUNDER, and PASSION OF THUNDER to the book store, and that's what I was seeing come across my table -- until one person handed me a copy of RUNNER'S MOON: JEBARAL. I choked up and almost lost it. It's one thing to buy a book at a con and have the author sign it. It's a whole 'nother thing to find out that a reader had gone to all the trouble to pack a different book and bring it with them.

To that reader, I don't remember your name. Please forgive me. But thank you! And know that your simple gesture meant the world to me. In fact, it practically made my whole con-going experience!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Con...and Back, Part 3

Friday morning I went sightseeing. If you've ever wanted to live in a Norman Rockwell painting, where the streets are lined with trees covered in rich shades of orange, gold, and red, then the villages of Airmont, Suffern, and all those little places like that which are nestled at the foot of the small mountain range in that part of New York/New Jersey is where you want to be.

I stopped at a small nursery/market that had transformed itself into a sort of Halloween fairground. This kind of place evoked so many wistful memories for me, I couldn't pass up stopping and checking it out.

I was even blown away by the bins of apples, Indian corn, pumpkins, and other fresh produce.

Friday afternoon was check-in time at the con. That night was a mixer.
I read palms. So late Friday night I participated in a little "dabbling", surrounded by three other fantastic authors with "seeing" abilities. It was fun, it was intriguing, and I had a pounding headache when we were done (a one-hour event stretched into 2+ hours), but it was incredible!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's a Book Signing! Come By And Say "Hi!"

Kyle Market Days
(in conjuction with the El Dia de Los Muertos Festival)
Kyle, TX
I 35, between Austin and San Antonio
9 am to 2 pm

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Con...and Back, Part 2

To continue...

I landed at the Newark Airport after flying over Manhattan. It'll probably be the closest I'll ever get to New York City.

Got my rental, and off I went to find Suffern. But the trees and the foliage were too breathtaking not to stop and notice. I come from south Texas where the weather hardly turns cold enough to make the leaves change. It was dark by the time I reached the hotel in Suffern, but already I was loving the cool weather and fantastic scenery.



It's Thursday, and I have most of Friday to go sightseeing before registration begins. It's my first writers con as a participant and writer. And I'm scared to death.