Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In the Beginning

The first lines of a novel have to do so much -- set the tone, hook the reader and begin the story. I've started an informal survey and looked at about 20 contemporary books to decide who does it best.

For the me the winner was Jodi Picoult's Second Glance with this opening: Ron Wakeman succeeded the first time he killed himself, but not the second or third.

Isn't that fantastic and don't you just wonder how long it took her to write that sentence.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This is a picture of the Aron Spelling Manson up for grabs at a mere $150 million. It got me to thinking that if the person who can afford this estate has that kind of money, then what kind of money do they really have? What would I do if I had $150 million at my disposal?

Though the Manson is absolutely beautiful, I can't help but wonder, why would anyone need that kind of space and expense? Why do folks with money need bigger and better or more of everything? It makes a statement. I'm wealthy, I'm powerful, I've made it in life. Nothing wrong with that. They earned it.

But, if I had $150 million in my pocket, after sharing it with my family I'd buy a small log home on a hilltop somewhere, overlooking mountains and rivers and the untamed beauty untouched by man. Where I could look out a window and see deer grazing and bear pole dancing. Just me and mother nature soaking in the peace and quiet:)

I'm at an age where I'm simplifying my life and downsizing. Keeping it easy and manageable for me. Less stressful and less work.

What would you do with $150 million?

Friday, March 27, 2009

March Showers?

Around here spring is all about getting outside, clearing away limbs and leaves and uncovering the flowers growing in the spring gardens. It's a time when we cheer at the Robins' return, chase flocks of turkeys toward the meadows where any mess they leave behind won't find its way to our shoes and peer into the forest with hopes of seeing mother fox.

Too, we hope for showers after sundown. Not snow showers, heaven forbid! But rain...here we hope for rain. Why? I want the grass to turn green. I want the brown, dismal days of early spring to give way to lush, green growing moments. I look forward to the road outside our house being washed clean, the winter sand sloughed clear from the road's edge.

Yes, I hope for rain. My father always told me "rain brings happiness" and, you know, I think he's right. I know I smile when I roll over in the night, and hear raindrops falling on our roof.

What about you? Have you and springtime wishes? Me...I'm hoping the March showers roll right on over into April showers because you know what that means, don't you?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Going to the Pictures

On Tuesday my husband surprised me by saying. "Would you like to go to the pictures this afternoon?" WHAT? Now believe me when I tell you, he has not been to the pictures for about twenty five years. How come he wanted to go now, of course he didn't know but felt it was something he would like to do.

I checked out what was on at the new cinema about three miles from where we live. I gave him the list and he selected "Young Victoria." The cinema is one of those very smart affairs with about six small screens, holding about 150 clients. He was amazed at the food that you could buy before you went in. Last time he went there was a glass booth and a lady sold packets of candy and little else.

Did he enjoy the experience? Will he go again? No he won't be going again. Absolutely not he assures me. Film no good then? No, the opposite in fact, he loved the film, as did I. A wonderful trek through British history and a different view of the longest reigning Monarch Britain has ever had. No, the problem was the sound. Way too loud! The trailers were the worst offenders, they blasted us out of our seats. As it was we had to put our fingers in our ears. The film itself was not too bad sound wise until the music played, same thing again, finger's up in our ears.

Now hear this (no pun intended) neither of us are on the right side of sixty, but does that mean that the younger element are suffering from hearing loss? (Since I imagine the majority of customers will be much younger than us - judging by the films they make these days!!) or are they so used to having their hearing blasted by their music that they have to have multi-sound all the time. If that is true, it can only get worse, because when they are sixty they are going to need it three times as loud as it is now.

Will I go again? Oh most certainly...I see Russell Crowe has a new film coming out...


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Here it is ladies!

The cover I've been anxiously waiting for. The book comes out on April 15th with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Molly Courtright, the same artist who designed the book cover to "The Senator's Daughter" designed it. I love her work! She's easy to work with and does wonders with your suggestions.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yay! It's Here!

Finally, the first day of spring. Yesterday morning we woke to a snow-covered landscape. Ugh! But today, we're back to feeling hopeful that the flowers are on the way!
Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

I love this time of year. The season of rebirth. The hedgerows are littered with daffodils - many trees are in bud, the lovely "pussy" willow has yellow flowers that turn into furry buds eventually. Everything is fresh and green.

Spring always bring new hope and in these miserable times, don't we just need that precious hope. Let us hope that things will get better. Spring offers a promise, let's hope that promise is kept.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My friend and fellow WCP author Jeannine Van Eperen sent me this beautiful poem that I wanted to share.

Irish Blessing by an unknown author

“May the blessing of light be on you,light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you and warm your heart till it glows,
Like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come
and warm himself at it, as well as the friend.
And may the light shine out of the eyes of you, like a candle set in the windows of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you - the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers mayspring up, And shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the great rains be on you,that they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there many a shining pool, and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you - the great round earth;
May you ever have a kindly greeting for people you pass as you are going along the roads.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Senior Dress Code

Many of us over 50, WAY over 50, or on the way to 50 are quite confused about how we should present ourselves. We're unsure about the kind of image we are projecting and whether or not we are correct as we try to conform to current fashion.

In spite of what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided:

1. A nose ring and bifocals
2. Spiked hair and bald spots
3. A pierced tongue and dentures
4. Miniskirts and support hose
5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads
6. Speedo's and cellulite
7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor
9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
10. Pierced nipples that hang below the waist
11. Bikinis and liver spots.
12. Short shorts and varicose veins.
13. Inline skates and a walker..

And the ultimate 'Bad Taste' in fashion for the older folks...

14. Thongs and Depends.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scary Day?

Happy Friday the 13th! You know, it feels like I have said that before--pretty recently, too. What's up with all the scary Fridays this year? Hmm?

Does scary Friday scare you? Are you the superstitious sort?

Me? No, I'm not at all superstitious. Not. At. All. Nope, no superstition here. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Really. I mean, everyone turns counter-clockwise when they retrieve the newspaper from their front stoop, don't they? And no one goes without rubbing their nose when they come to a red light. Right? Of course, there isn't a soul alive who doesn't recite "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" when the streetlights come on...everyone knows that...don't they?

See? Not in the least superstitious!

Hope you have a wonderful Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

No Blog Today

I am sorry I am not able to blog today. I have galleys to do and have lost a whole day!

Cheerio for now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mr. Tech Man

That's what my hubby is calling himself these days. He thinks after a crash course in computer lessons and a half hour of my time every evening that he's now an expert. LOL I laugh when watching him because he does the same stupid things I did when I was first learning. I've heard him swear several times, "I'm running out of the pad," as he runs the mouse over it.

He's so funny. He wants to know everything. He's not content to learn how to do it. He wants to understand how he can do it. Since a lot of it takes place in cybor space somewhere after you hit the send button, try and explain that! "Where does it go? How does it get there?" That's what's driving me crazy.

I can't tell you how many times he's cried, "Don't leave me!" When he's in the middle of learning something new and I make a small move that leads him to think I'm leaving. Half the problem is he's learning on an ancient computer, by today's standards. And he isn't exactly the most patient man in the world.

It's like teaching an old dog new tricks!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Review!

A few days ago I read a new review for my latest release, Sandswept: A Chincoteague Island Mystery. Naturally, I'm completely thrilled!
From Long and Short Romance Reviews, part of the review:
"...The story captivates the reader from the very beginning with a masterful use of back story to open the chapters. This allows the reader to crawl into Kelly’s mind and absorb the central problem she is dealing with. Our hearts literally wrench with emotions as we rise and fall through her self healing. Rich descriptions of the island, its small town quarks, and the desolation that surrounds the Eastern Shore heighten the senses as you read. Mrs. Leone throws one or two red herrings to the reader keeping you on the edge your seat until at last the true villain is revealed and we cheer for that happily ever after ending.
Applause, applause for this sweet sensual tale, pick up this book from Whiskey Creek Press and take it with you on those dark and stormy nights when you need a good tale to cuddle up to the one you love. Kudos, Ms. Leone, for a well written story."
The full review can be found here.
Thanks Bluebell and LASR!
What a great way to begin March!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Are you doing anything special? Around here we'll just be happy that the temperature will be higher than freezing...hopefully some of this snow will melt so we can get on with finding spring!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Into each life a little rain must fall...

As readers of this blog will know, I was looking forward to flying out to Florida at the end of this week. Unfortunately, I have had to cancel due to my husband being ill. I was totally devastated, and as a writer I am ashamed to say, words to describe how I felt fail me. I was so looking forward to hugging my family.
Ah well, good things follow bad, you just have to believe that. I received a lovely review for Spanish Lies, and also saw it was the No. 2 best seller at Whiskey Creek Press.A little ray of sunshine on a dark, dark day.

"Review - Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com - 5 stars.

,Ginny was not happy when Luis came back into her life. It had been seven years since they had seen each other, and held each other in their arms. He wanted her to return to Spain, but the mere thought brought her pain. Nevertheless, she does return and secrets are revealed.

Margaret Blake offers readers a spine-tingling mystery. It is so obvious that Ginny and Luis have never stopped loving each other, but both have strong pride. Isabella was fun to dislike. Mrs Blake kept me on the edge of my seat as I eagerly turned the pages anticipating what would happen next."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Week Two Reading

The flu felled our entire family. We are on week two and though still sneezing, coughing etc. we feel better. In fact we feel able to read again. What do you read when you're sick? I think your tastes change and you want something softer and lighter.

My husband selected a Sister Carol O'Marie book called Murder at the Monks Table. In these novels Sister Mary Helen will solve murders faster than the police. And I selected Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince to read.

Hopefully by next week we will have reduced our kleenex consumption and be reading something harder edged. I hope so and hope you stay well.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention

Well, I'm gearing up for the RT Convention in April. I know I still have some time but I want to be good and ready when April 21st arrives. No last minute headaches or stress. I want to thoroughly enjoy myself that week. I'm really looking forward to the workshops I've selected and meeting people I've met over the internet the last few years.

What am I doing to prepare? Lots of promotional items for one. I've had professional post cards bookmarks, magnets and some key chains made. I get to bring 3 titles of my books for the autographing event so I'm thinking of "THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER", "WICKED DESIRE" and "IT'S ALL IN THE JEANS". With the release date of "THE COWBOY WAY" on April 15th I'm not sure an order will arrive in time.

I've heard the spot each author gets in promotion lane isn't very big so I'm thinking of a way to showcase the items I'm bringing. What do ya'll think of one of those see through plastic letter stands? Gee, I wish I knew what the official name was. You mostly see these on desks and it has 3-4 separate slots. I figured that way each item will be visible and it will be stacked in layers while taking up little space.

If you have any ideas that might help me please share. Each day closer I get more excited. This is for me!