Friday, January 23

Louise Lyndon and Of Love and Vengeance

Join the Wranglers in welcoming Louise Lyndon to the round corral!

Details of any writing history;
I've been writing for as long as I've been able to pick up a pen! However, I didn't know that I wanted to be a novelist until I picked up a copy of Diana Gabaldon's first novel, Outlander. That's when the novelist writing bug really bit me! I've played around with many genres but have found my voice in historical romance set in Medieval England. My first release is Of Love and Vengeance, published by The Wild Rose Press. Of Love and Vengeance was previously called, The Promise, which won first prize in the Crested Butte Sandy Writing contest 2013.


Forced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her young nephew’s survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for the deaths of so many innocents. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves. But can Laila let Aymon die at the hands of the king once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?

Aymon caught a flicker of movement from a window on the second story. “I think we’re about to meet the welcome party.”
An arrow zoomed toward him and landed on the pommel of his saddle. A half an inch closer and he would no longer be able to sire children. As if in demonstration of his ability with the bow and arrow, the shooter fired again. This time directed toward Hugh. The second arrow too came within a half an inch of his friend’s manhood.

“You missed!” Aymon called toward the shooter.  He questioned his stupidity for mocking someone with such a good aim.

“You want me to show you how good an aim I really am?” a woman’s voice echoed out across the yard. 

“Bloody hell,” Hugh half cursed, half laughed. “Where does a woman learn to shoot like that?” 

Aymon was shocked and admittedly a little impressed a woman had such remarkable shooting skills. He could use such a sharp shooter on his side in battle. After all, it was better to have someone so skilled firing for you than at you. 

Aymon raised his black leather gloved hand in surrender. “No. I’m firmly attached to my balls, thank you very much.” 

“Who are you?” the shooter demanded. “And what do you want? There is nothing of value here for you to steal. Be on your way, man, and leave me in peace.” 

“Some would say a female is of value,” Aymon drawled sardonically. 

A second arrow lodged firmly on the pommel between his legs. 

“I do not give third chances. I’ll give you to the count of three to leave. Or else you will find an arrow straight through your heart.” 

Aymon’s warhorse whinnied, and he fought to control the beast whose temperament was as black as his coat. “Put down your weapon!” 


“We mean you no harm!” 


“I am Lord Aymon, and this is Lord Hugh. I’ve come to claim what is rightfully mine.” 


The two men looked at one another unsure what to “Should we storm the building and lay claim to what is yours?” 

Aymon shook his head. He dismounted but never took his eyes from the door to the manor. “She will soon make her appearance.”
Hugh, too, dismounted. “How can you be so sure?” 

Aymon looked at his friend. “We do not have arrows through our hearts.”
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Thursday, January 22

Diamond Days

 Liz mentioned Diamond Days on Monday and I've been thinking about it ever since. Maybe because I had a Diamond Day on Monday.

I had the day off as did my sister. We had talked about going to Astoria for the day but it was supposed to rain for part of the day. Which is okay, if you're staying at the beach, but not if you're just going for the day.

So, she called and said she had a dream that we'd gone to Multnomah Falls for lunch and taken the scenic route home. So, we made her dream come true.

Mom came with as well and we had a great lunch at the Multnomah Falls Lodge. We walked up to the first viewing area and took some pictures of the fall--the second highest year-around fall in the United States--learned that on the paper placemat at lunch. It was a little overcast and chilly, but all-in-all, a great day in the Pacific Northwest.

Then we took the old Pacific highway home--which I don't remember ever doing before--and saw some smaller waterfalls. And then we stopped at Vista House and looked over the Columbia River basin. And saw a peek of a rainbow promising us sunny skies.

On the way home, we stopped in at the Troutdale outlet mall and did a small dose of shopping which is about all Deb and I will tolerate. This is probably about the time Mom was wishing our other sister had been able to join us. They are the shoppers.

But it was a great day--a Diamond Day.

Thank you, Liz, for that expression. I'm striving for more diamonds than stones. Sometimes you have to mine through the rocks to find them and they might just be a partial carrot--but it's worth the hunt.

Tell me, what makes a diamond day for you?

Wednesday, January 21

Football and Squirrels and Flying Pigs?

For those of you living in cellars with no radio or television, it may have slipped past your notice that the Super Bowl is nearly upon us. Football with an oblong ball, muscly men wearing shoulder pads and helmets. A fair amount of swearing and Gatorade drenching. I love football, have for as long as I can remember.

Football plays double-duty in our house – we’re fans, but DH is also a broadcaster so in the fall on Friday nights he can be found broadcasting high school football games, talking to coaches and players and generally re-living his youth. Yeah, football plays a big part in our home in the fall.

I'll never forget taking bebe to her first professional game. RadioMan has been a Bengals fan (don’t laugh, he’s serious about his love of the Orange and Black…just ask any of the stress animals he’s destroyed over the years) forever,

As we were driving downtown Cincinnati we noticed a curious thing: pigs. Not your normal, small, pink, cute piglets. Ginormous, statuary painted in a way that might make some psychedelic 1960s refugees throw up in their coffees. And some of them had wings. I can only assume that those pigs, so horrified at their paint jobs, decided it was time to fly the coop. Unfortunately wings don’t react well to cement.  They’re still stuck there.

In all seriousness, the pigs are kind of cute. Except the one that reminded me of Darth Vader. That one I’m still trying to forget. So we asked a few people about the pigs. Why were they made? What is the connection between Cincinnati and pigs? What gives? Most people shrugged and went on their way. We gave up.

Then, after leaving the game we decided to go for ice cream. Graeter’s is a Cincinnati thing. It’s the
most awesomest ice cream. Ever. You will not convince me otherwise. The nearest Graeter’s to our hotel was in one of the suburbs…in which we were shocked to find strangely painted (and some with wings), ginormous squirrels. Pigs. Squirrels. We asked around again. No one knew.

I know cities commission these types of statues for various events. I get that. Our town, on Lake Erie, as lighthouses all over the place. That fits – city on the lake, lighthouses. I want to know the connection between these cities and squirrels and pigs, though…I mean, is Cincinnati know for its pigs?!?

So, readers, my question – what is the strangest city-statuary you’ve seen?

Tuesday, January 20

On Being a Writer...

I am writer. My friend/editor, Lani Diane Rich says I should say, “I am a great writer!” So I will say it, “I am a great writer!” I’m anxiously waiting for her to finish the read-through on the revised version of the new Women of Willow Bay book. I’m really hoping she’s going to say, “You are a great writer!” That kind of validation would be truly wondrous.

But being a writer makes me hyper-aware of everything I write, from blog posts to queries for my authors as I edit, from chats with my kids to comments on Facebook, from emails to a damn grocery list. Seriously! I’ve even been known to toss a grocery list that felt disorganized or untidy and begin again. It takes me ten times longer than the average person to send a simple text message because I always proofread and make sure it's punctuated correctly and I REFUSE to use those texting abbreviations like "C U LTR" or "THX" for thanks.  Just can't make myself do it. Is that normal? Am I the only writer who does this crazy stuff? Dear God, I hope not! That would mean my OCD is showing and then I’d have to own it.

Surprisingly, I’m not one of those writers who critiques everything I read–well, I try not to do that. I think it’s the copy editor in me who does that and only because, really, there is a better way to say whatever it is you’re trying to say. Here, just let me give it a little tweak… okay, now doesn’t that sound better? I knew you’d agree… <sigh>

Although I do believe that one rule every writer must follow is edit, edit, edit, I also know there is a point where you have to step away from the keyboard and simply pronounce the work finished. I did that last week. I typed “The End,” and I sent the manuscript to Lani and said, “I’m done.” But then just this morning after I got home from the pool, I found myself in it again, tweaking, changing a word, rereading… Husband came in and said, “Close that file. Do your editing gig. Just stop!” He was right, of course, so I’m letting it go… really, I’m letting it go…

Maybe I’ll just go make my grocery list…

Monday, January 19

Some days are diamonds, some days are stone

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don’t watch a lot of pro football. The Colts are the home team so I love them and Peyton Manning is the poster boy for Adopt-A-Hoosier, so I love him, but I still don’t watch.
          Today–it’s Sunday—I watched the tail end of the Seahawks vs. Packers game. Whoa! I didn’t have a dog in the show, but it was so exciting I almost stitched over my forefinger watching it! And then I watched the Colts vs. Patriots and it was hard not to cry for the home team that has worked so hard. They were blown out—severely—in the New England rain, but they got there. They got there. Whoa!
          I’ve been going to the gym. Life has the past few years, so exercising has been tough. I have an iffy hip and sciatica that makes walking—the only form of exercise I like—increasingly difficult. However, today I was trundling along on the treadmill to the tune of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Heroes Are My Weakness being read into my ear buds. My hip usually starts singing to me somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, so I try to go 20. Today, my hip must have been listening to the book, because I made it to 30! What was that I said up there? Whoa!
          Last week, my Harlequin Heartwarming editor called to offer on a book. The revisions will be extensive, the series wasn’t accepted, but whoa! I don’t have a release date, nor will the title probably stick, but just in case it does, keep an eye out for The Winter of Letting Go.
          Yup, I know I sound like a cheerleader—goes along with my Pollyanna persona and my word for the year: expand. Expand the thought processes, the understanding of the way things are, the appreciation. When I say, as everyone else on earth does these days, “It is what it is,” I need to remember to say “Whoa!” at the end of it. Because in there with the hard is the easy, with the bad is the good, with the blowout that ruins a day are the days when you win more than you lose. There are more diamonds than stones.
          I’ll take it.
          Have a great week. I hope you say Whoa! a dozen times. And say it--remember my cheerleader status--loud and proud.