Sunday, November 30, 2008

I LOVE MY FAMILY and cherish every moment I get to spend with them. Dad and I spent a couple days at my daughter's place where the rest of the family joined us for a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner. We had stuffed turkey, spiral ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, fruit salad and three different kinds of pie. And don't forget the eggnog! Everything was so nice and we took some family pictures which I'll share with you later.

Dad decided to fly back to NC after Thanksgiving to spend the Christmas holiday with my sister. I'm kind of glad he did that because sometimes Lois feels left out. Plus, I know he was getting lonely here being alone on the days that I had to work. My hubby happens to be gone as well, which didn't help matters. Dad needs to be around people.

Alivia, my two-year-old granddaughter came home with me for a couple days because the kids had to go back to work and her day care was closed. She was the perfect angel. We had countless tea parties, read and re-read several books, and cuddled on the sofa to watch The Polar Express. She napped like a good girl and didn't give me any trouble. Then her parents came to pick her up and my little angel turned into a little devil. Why is it that children always act up when in their parent's presence?

I just watched her and smiled.

This is my last day before returning to work tomorrow. I've had five days off which is a lot for me. But today was my day. I slept in, stayed in my jammies, drank coffee and watched sci-fi. Shoot, the last two days my TV hasn't been off the Nick channel! LOL

I've found that as I get older I enjoy my alone time. In fact I need it. I think we all do. But would I pass it up for a chance to spend it with the people I love? Absolutely!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Great Weekend for Reading

Hi all! Hope you enjoyed your holiday celebration. Now that the eating is behind us, and the shopping (for those of you who were brave enough to go out on Black Friday!), what better entertainment could we find than to settle in with a good read? Or two? Or three?

The following is an excerpt from Finally, This Season, my English Tea Rose short story. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Saturday!

The blurb:

Alexandra can’t think of anything more annoying than being told she must choose a husband, and soon, but that’s exactly what’s happened. Her father has decided she’s of an age where marriage is appropriate—necessary, even—and has decreed she will choose her own husband this Season or he will do the choosing for her. What is a proper young woman to do in circumstances such as these? That is precisely what Alexandra is contemplating as she takes a walk in the park, and accidentally kicks a stone at a handsome stranger.

An excerpt:

Alexandra Parkington kicked random stones into the greenery beside the red-cobbled walk with the toe of a shiny black side-button shoe. The mildly violent action gave her some measure of relief from the vexing issues in her mind—although not enough.
Not nearly enough. There was no way to avoid the inevitable. Perhaps she’d have to give in and…
Accept it? Never, not while a breath remained in her, not so long as she possessed the wits to run, not even if all the powers of Heaven and—
“I say, have you some valid reason for this assault, or are you simply using me for target practice?” The words caught Alexandra unawares, and she stopped short, her sapphire blue skirts rustling as they swirled around her ankles.
The gentleman who stood before her bent to rub his shin, giving her a satisfying, albeit brief, look at his thick black curls and wide shoulders. When he straightened, she saw that his features matched his voice. Boyish good looks, dazzling smile and a sturdy physique comprised the man whom she’d had the unfortunate bad taste to mark with a stone. The offending rock lay on the ground between them, equal distance between Alexandra’s skirt and his polished shoes.
“A poor choice of weaponry on your part, if your intention was to kill me. But if it were merely to maim, then this was an excellent selection.” He pushed the stone forward a scant inch with his toe before bending to retrieve it. Tossing it into the air, and then catching it, he smiled. “So, which was it? Death or disarming? Because I assure you, Miss, I am completely disarmed by your charm, if not your projectile.”

To buy Finally, This Season clickhere .

Friday, November 28, 2008

Now what?

So we've made it through the holiday food fest. Lived past Uncle's off-color jokes. The squabbling over whose apple pie recipe is the best. The after-dinner football marathon. We've even survived the whole clean-up process which, in our house at least, includes nearly every pot, pan and appliance in the place.

Now that Thanksgiving, with its Macy's Day Parade and abundance of family, food and fun is behind us, what's left?

You guessed it. Black Friday. The day where millions flock to stores, wrangle for parking spots and sleep on their feet in the pre-dawn chilliness, waiting for their chance to shop at a discount. Ah, the thrill! The excitement! The ... sheer lunacy of it all!

Do you storm the shops on Black Friday?

Me? No, I don't. I'm not that brave!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Goodbye dear friend

First off Happy Thanksgiving to you all - all I want is a slice of pumpkin pie, so please do not forget me.

Goodbye dear friend - well that is how I feel today. When my son visited our town he was amazed to see that we still have a Woolies (Woolworths). I remember there was one in New Rochelle when I lived there, but my son told me they had gone from the States and how lucky we were to still have one.

Well today they have gone into liquidation and it is so sad. Woolies is part of my life and growing up, just as much as those American movies I loved. Living in a deprived area, Woolies was the jewel in the crown. Sitting on the corner of our main street, how us young girls loved to go there on a Saturday afternoon. It was all part of our routine. I remember the huge square, glass topped display cabinets, what a wealth of super goods they had. Outdoor girl cosmetics, tiny, plastic enclosed lipsticks, face power, the tiny phials of Californian Poppy perfume. How we loved the smell.

As well as shiny metal buckets, and pristine looking mops and brushes, there were other secrets - nylon stockingss, lying in neat piles, some black, most with a shaped heel and a seam, how we longed to be old enough to wear them and to struggle getting our seams straight.

Some of the girls that worked there we knew from school. They were ever so smart, we thought, in their red brown uniforms with the beige collar. One girl who had been, to me, a heroine at school, (I thought her more beautiful than Betty Grable) was a supervisor, she walked around the store in flat ballerina shoes, a metal belt holding bunches of keys rattling down from her waist. Oh, yes it was bliss.

Woolies in Fleetwood is much brighter and more like a supermarket, but it still sells its pristine buckets and brushes, toys and well designed children's clothes. Where will I go for video tapes now? As you are preparing to leave, the best of all - buckets of sweets - pick and mix - ah, what will I do for my Christmas candy now?

Don't tell me times change - there should always be a Woolies, if only to remind me of happy days.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I love this holiday devoted to gratitude and wanted to share a quote from Melody Beattie. "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today; and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A sweet story I wanted to share

Anyone who has pets will really like this. You'll like it even if you don't and you may even decide you need one!Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky.' Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy.
Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.

Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this fact , she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom.

Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed. When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love.

Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure. every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget....the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards They are the ones that care for us.If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours! Live simply. Love seriously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends:)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Getting set for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the way families gather close, bound by shared love and history. One of my favorite parts of the holiday happens after the meal has been eaten and the dishes cleared. We sit around the long table talking and laughing. Invariably the conversation shifts to a "Do you remember when...?" mode and we reminisce about days gone by.

Every family has a history. I love to hear about other people's family stories. As a writer I'm lucky enough to be able to create families, and histories for them. And I'm fortunate that I can put my characters in my favorite spots in history.

Proclamations, a short American Rose story I wrote a few years ago, combines my love of history, romance and Thanksgiving. It's a sweet story, and shows that while not every Thanksgiving was easy, they are all memorable in some way.

Click TWRP- Proclamations to find the story.

Here's the blurb:

The War Between the States has been raging for two long years. In Virginia in 1863 Jolene Crane misses her fiance, Nate, more than words can say. Every moment that she's not busy taking care of household chores or working at the hospital, she's consumed by her longing for the man who holds her heart.

When Abraham Lincoln signs a proclamation declaring the fourth Thursday in November a day to be celebrated joyfully and thankfully, Jolene is determined not to celebrate the day. After all, what has she got to be thankful for? And the only proclamations that come to mind have all to do with the losses they've suffered and little to do with celebrating.

But when a new wave of soldiers arrives at the hospital on the day before the holiday, Jolene just may find that she does, in fact, have something to celebrate.

And a short excerpt:

Virginia, 1863

The breeze held a chill as it touched her cheek.Shivering, Jolene Crane pulled the knitted cotton shawl closer around her shoulders as she rocked more vigorously on the front porch. Twilight deepened, the violet hues of the late October skyline pulling every house on the lane beneath its cloak.

If they were lucky the night sky would remain dark,free of the glare of distant gunfire. That had been the case for the past fortnight and every person in town hoped the silence would continue.
But she wasn’t thinking about any of that. No, she had different things on her mind, things of a more personal nature. Things that were more important to her than battles, gunfire, and food shortages. More important,even, than the threat that the war brought to the very existence of the only life she’d ever known.

Oh Nate, where are you tonight? What are you doing?

Where is the Army of the Potomac camped right now? If I knew the answers to those questions I’d find a way to come to you. To see you with my own eyes and to bring you home. I’d hide you in the root cellar or out in the barn—I don’t care anymore about who wins this rotten war. I just want you back here with me. Two years is such a long time to miss someone.

How much more can I bear?

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope it's filled with laughter and love. And I hope you make a few memories that will become part of your family's history!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mixed up

Well I had it all wrong. I was going to write about Thanksgiving after wishing you all a happy one, and to beg for some Pumpkin Pie, but I see that is not till next week. There was me believing it was the third Thursday in the month, now I am totally confused!

SO, what can I write about, up to my neck in galleys, what else is new? Cold, windy weather, but I am getting out and about. I am completely uninspired since my original blog has had to go on the back boiler. It just goes to show how that little devil confusion, coming into our lives, can strangle the muse.

Ah well - better luck next time.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Frost on the Strawberries

It's cold here in Florida -- 41 this morning. Many people our wearing holiday sweaters even though it's a tad early. We seldom get weather this cold in November but it is kind of fun to get out the sweathers and blankets we use so rarely.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dad's Here for the Holidays!

Never, never, never go pick someone up at the airport without calling first to make sure their flight is arriving on time. You'd think I know better. Hubby always gives me all the pertinent information and I call before I leave the house. Did I call before leaving to pick up my dad on Friday? Nooooo! I just took off, stopping to gas up, get a little cash at the bank, and a sweet ice tea at McDonald's before heading for the toll road.

I have no one to blame for what happened after that. Dad's flight was supposed to come in at 3:20 so I timed it just right, giving him a good half hour to get to his luggage and meet me at the curb. So...from 3:45 to almost 5:00 I drove circles around the darn airport! His flight ended up being delayed in Atlanta because of the weather.

By my 14th trip past the Delta arrival area I was so numb that when he finally made it to the curb I drove right past him. He literally ran out to the car to stop me. I would have parked but have you ever been to the airport? It's a maze of roads and signs and traffic is going so fast you can't read and maneuver your car in time to make any changes.

Then I felt bad for dad because I could see his day had taken a toll on him. His short flight from North Carolina turned into an all day affair. He said they were forced to sit in the airplane in Atlanta for an hour and a half because of the storms. They weren't allowed to get off because they were already on the run way. Bad news for a chain smoker. He hadn't eaten all day either.

He's here now though and making himself right at home. My sci-fi Saturday turned into gardening crap, home makeover shows and football:) But I survived! It's nice having him here.

Hope ya'll had a great weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sandswept, Coming Soon!

I've got to admit I'm completely jazzed about the idea of the second story in my Chincoteague Island Mystery Series, Sandswept, releasing in just a few weeks. I love writing about the Eastern Shore and Chincoteague, so Sniffing Sand and Sandswept are very close to my heart.

Wanted to share the cover and blurb with you.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Oh, don't forget that I'm holding a new contest every week in November. All you've got to do to be entered is comment on my blog. Tomorrow I'll give away three books...have you stopped in and left a comment yet? I hope you have, or are planning to! I love having visitors. :)


Everyone has a secret. One they hide. Or one they run from—fast andhard, without stopping to consider the consequences of that mad dashfor sanity.

Kelley Garrett? She’s got a secret. A big one. She’s hoping to shakeits grip but even someplace as peaceful as Chincoteague Island may notbe able to shelter her.

Then again, who knows? Maybe it will. That’s a chance Kelley’s willingto gamble on—with her lif

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's Happening?

My lovely restful holiday in Scotland is long gone. I am ready for another now. I am up to my ears in edits. Have I said before I could never be an editor, I do not have that fine, critical eye for details. I can read an MS over and over and still not pick up errors. The trouble is I get carried away with the story. However, I have found another hat that suits. That is helping new writers make their MS better. Not the technical side, heaven forbid I would tell someone else about their grammar when mine is not that great! But I can tell a new writer how to pace and plot and make their novel more saleable.

I tried this in the summer and found I liked it very much. Also had very positive feedback from the new writers on my advice. I mean you have to bring skills to this too, this MS is someone's pride and joy and you don't want size 11's stomping all over it. Perhaps it is because I have been there and done that, but I do know it is working - so if you have a friend who needs help think of me. I am only an e mail away and I am told my rates are very reasonable.

There you go - my blog today has turned into a promo...

Back to the edits!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Quick Hello

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. But I'm back with a new computer and some good news. On November 2 the American Association of University Women asked me to be the speaker at their annual Book and Author Luncheon.

I don't enjoy public speaking but I wrote a speech and practiced and practiced. I gave it with no major mishaps and sold 61 books. Those were the books in my guest room closet. So now I have room in the closet and some seed money for my new novel, Men of Paradise, being released on April 29th next year.

Some not so good news is that I had surgery last week but am weaning off the pain med and stitches come out next week. So hopefully I'll be back to full activities next week

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Baby!

Well, I did it! Went to the humane society after work last Wednesday. I went there with an agenda. I wanted an adult black cat, male and neutered. I was determined to adopt an adult because no one seems to want them, they all want kittens. So what did I do? I came home with a female kitten. But that's only because the four adult cats they had up for adoption didn't appeal to me.

Ebony, who I renamed Jezebel, is solid black with gold eyes and spayed so at least she's half of what I wanted. I couldn't help it! I fell in love with her. And she looked so pitiful all alone in her cage. She'd only been brought in a couple hours before I showed up and she was so scared. I just couldn't leave her. I couldn't!

I was lucky, too, because the woman who brought her in just happened to work at the place and she was able to give me Jezebel's whole history. She got all teary eyed when I told her I wanted the little black kitten and I assured her she was going to a good home.

Here's a couple pictures of her. She has a very sweet disposition. She purrs all the time! I'm keeping her in the spare bathroom during the days when I'm at work. She and Woofy have already bonded but Gin Gin is still unsure of her. I want to take precautions until I know everyone is happy.

It's funny but I held her for about an hour Wednesday night after we got home and they were all very curious of each other. However, Jezebel looked so comical hissing and showing her tiny teeth at Woofy. All he wanted to do was play.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Exciting news!

No, not really. Just wanted to write the words. Why? Because I was just sitting here, going over my to-do list for the day when I realized a lot of the things on my list, I hesitate to use the word boring (just not a favorite word of mine) so I'll say dull. Definitely not exciting. Some items are downright tedious.

And you thought I lived such an exciting life, didn't you? Now the truth is out; I definitely do not live a jet-setting, whirlwind existence.


No, I'm not complaining. We all have days where we've got laundry to do, floors to mop and carrots to harvest. Yes, that's precisely what I've got in store for today. If I have time this afternoon I'm going to try a new recipe for fig cookies--but that's only if I've finished my household bits and pieces. I think I should. I hope I will. But, as we all know, one can never tell about these things. I've been known to leave a table undusted, a floor unswept. Haven't we all?

So that's my Friday plan. Chores first. Baking second. Then, if there's any time left in the day, I'll work on my NaNo novel. I've got my characters right where I want them so I don't dare leave them on their own for too long. Who knows what mischief they'll get up to if I don't keep herding them in the right direction? I shudder to think about it!

What's on your agenda for the day? Anything you'd care to share?

Whatever you do, wherever you are, I hope your day is a good one. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I had a lovely time in Scotland. We actually had snow - snow in October? Generally unheard of, but it was beautiful. Fortunately it did not linger in town but was there on the hills, it was beautiful snow too, so white and crisp and sparkling in the sun.

Hope you enjoy seeing these photos. The photo of the River Tay is at Birnham, those lovers of Shakespeare will recall how Birnham wood features in Macbeth.


Monday, November 3, 2008

First Review in for "WICKED DESIRE"!

And I'm thrilled! Below is some of what Dark Angel Reviews had to say. You can read the complete review at:

...Tory Richards weaves a compelling tale of love lost and found between a woman who has every reason to fear men and their emotions and a man whose heart has been too terribly burnt.

Maggie and Matt could have walked away from their encounters...Fortunately for both of them Ms. Richards writes them as strong characters who have the good sense to recognize the possibilities of love and eventually act on them to form a relationship.

...the course of true love never runs smoothly and many unforeseen circumstances and people interfere. Eventually though love wins out and multiplies Maggie and Matt's joy in life.

Reviewed by Frost

VOTE on Tuesday!