Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Today's Tale About Dear Hubby!!

Hi Readers,

Remember those lovely, funny tales I shared with you about my deer hunter hubby during Thanksgiving? Well, I was sitting here thinking of some of the funny things he's done over the years we've shared...belive me, he's done plenty.

Now you'd have to be acquainted with my hubby to know him and that's really easy to do. He never meets a stranger and I swear to God, he can talk more and faster any woman I know.

He doesn't really care what the subject's about, as long as he gets to talk.

This particular time, we were on vacation. We'd been to Las Vegas and on our way back home. We were somewhere in Arizona. It was hot, dry, but I love the hot weather. And I love to stop at every souvenir gift shop along the way.

I'd sweet talked hubby into taking the next exit so I could check out the Native American Dolls, rugs, jewelry or whatever other interestings things I could find...

Well of course, man style, he didn't really want to look around, but he loves me, and I did, so he caved...

Anyway, we get out and walk into this little building and there sat two little boys, alone inside the very small shop...They looked to be about 10 and 12...very quiet, and I figured maybe just a little scared of two strangers...I tried to chat with them a little, but they were pretty unresponsive...except for watching every move we made, they had nothing to say.

Well, not one to admit defeat, or pass up an opportunity to talk, dear hubby doesn't take things like this lying down and he could drag words out of a corpse.

Out of the blue, he stopped browsing, turned to eye the wide-eyed little boys and says, "How come you boys aren't fishing?"

I turned and I know my mouth had to be gaping wide open. I glanced at the little boys and they were staring at dear hubby like they thought he was insane. The oldest boy said very solemnly, "Ain't no water, ain't no fish."

My hubby looked completely bamboozled by this. "No water, no fish?"

"Hon." I stepped up beside him, laughing. "We're in the middle of the desert...there's no fish here, no water, at least not right here."

"Oh. I forgot we're in the desert. I guess you boys can't go fishing."

Amazingly, those two kids came out from behind the counter and started chatting with hubby...about fishing, not fishing...etc...We spent a good hour there talking to them and even bought a rug...but I can still see the looks on their faces, their big and round when dh asked them why they weren't fishing...

You'd have had to be there and saw everyone's expressions to really appreciate this tale, but I hope you've enjoyed this cute and funny story a little...

Happy Reading,

Friday, December 25, 2009


Hi Readers,

Wonderful news this Christmas Day...My granddaughter Tabitha got engaged. She shared this exciting news with me this morning, and I'd like to this moment to share it with you and to welcome her fiance, Jordan into the family.

Tabitha also shared a picture of her engagment ring with me...
The couple haven't set a date yet, but are thinking about a fall wedding.

Congratulations, Tabitha and Jordan. May your future be bright and blessed always. Love, MiMi

Friday, December 18, 2009


Good Morning Readers,
Today I thought you might enjoy an excerpt from Playing For Keeps, book four in the Montana Men series coming soon from Moongypsy Press. This excerpt is Rated-R for language. If you're under 18, please leave this site and do not read excerpts....Thank you and Happy Holidays to all,

Jaydyn Chelcee/Tabitha Shay



He flinched when he felt the wet warmth trickle down his arm. He stifled a curse. Moving around had caused the knife wound to start bleeding again. Earlier, he’d packed the site with some four-by-four gauze pads he carried in a first aid kit under the seat, but the wound needed suturing, front and back.

Tired, Duel rubbed a hand down his face. At this rate, he was going to bleed to death. He had to get somewhere and get the injury sutured. First things first. In seconds, he’d taken care of watering the bushes and returned to the car.

“Who are you?” she asked immediately. “Or rather, what are you? Are you an assassin? Black ops? Secret agent? CIA?”


Her eyes bugged. “You’re going to kill me?”

“Probably. I’m thinking about it.” From the look on her face, she believed him. Duel snorted. “Look lady, I think you’re more apt to kill me, and damned near succeeded with that fucking butcher knife. Do you wanna pee or not? Otherwise, we’re outta here, and I’m not stopping again until the car needs fuel.”


“Yes, what?”

“I need to...you know, but not with these handcuffs on.”

“They aren’t coming off for any reason.”

“Then you’ll have to wipe me, I’m not drip drying.”

“Jesus Christ. All right. I’ll take off the friggin’ cuffs, but you try anything funny, I’ll knock your lights out again.”

She muttered something about the legitimacy of his birth. In spite of the headache settling between his eyes, Duel grinned and fished the key to the cuffs from his shirt pocket. He got back out of the car, circled the hood and opened her door. “Turn around and face me.” He guided her out of the car and helped her steady herself.

She shuddered when her bare feet hit the icy ground. “Ouch.”

“What’s wrong?”

“There’s something in my right foot.”


“I stepped on something in my back yard. A piece of glass, I suppose.”

“What happened to your shoes?” He unfastened the cuffs and pointed in the general area he wanted her to go.

She limped a short distance, paused, and hiked her straight skirt up past her knees. “Turn around.”

Duel folded his arms across his chest though it hurt like hell. “Huh-uh. I’m not turning my back on you even for a second.”

“What can I do?” she argued. “We’re in the middle of nowhere. I have no shoes, no coat. I’m not totally insane. And I cannot pee with you watching.”

He massaged his forehead. "You better make water and make it fast." Impatience threaded his voice. “I hear any other sound but running water coming out of you I’ll be on you like weeds in a flower bed.”

“Good grief, there are other bodily functions, you know, besides making water.”

“You know what I mean. I’m talking about escape noises, like running through the bushes, not―not―you know―explosive little gas noises.”

“You need to let me go. When my brother gets finished with you, you won’t have a strip of hide left on you.”

“Your brother? Lady, I’m shaking in my boots.”

“Do you have any idea who I am? Who my brother is?”

“Does this look like a face that cares? No, I don’t know who your brother is. And I don’t care who you or your brother are. Get your business done and stop stalling. No one is coming to rescue you.”

Flayme shivered. Goose bumps stood up on her arms. He was probably right. Her brother wouldn’t give her the time of day, let alone try to have her rescued. She eyed her captor’s broad shoulders as he reluctantly turned his back. She waited a moment to make certain he wasn’t going to make any sudden moves, then she slid the thong down far enough so she could pee. “I need tissue.”

“No. Are you finished?”

“Yes, but I told you, I’m not drip drying. That’s just…yucky.”

“Get your drawers up and come on. I’m tired. I wanna get a couple hours shut-eye before we hit the road again.”

“My drawers? Jesus. Give me some tissue or I’ll take out squatter’s rights right here all night and…and…drip-drip-drip.”

Duel muttered, took the few steps to the car and reached inside for several tissues. Dammit, he knew better than to let her out of his sight. The instant he reached inside the car he heard the gravel crunch under her feet. He came around and gave the dark a hard look. Yep. Sure enough, there she went, hobbling toward the edge of the woods like a damned one-legged spider.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Dear Readers,

Today, and once again DH and his friend Bill hit the woods in search of that almighty buck with all those points they're itching to shoot.

The thing is, they leave the house about 5 a.m. and I'm expecting them to be gone all day, after all, their hunting was torn up a day for Thanksgiving. But by golly, they were back home by eleven-thirty. Seems it was too windy to hunt. I guess when the wind's blowing, the deer don't travel, either that, or the mighty hunters bullets get blown off-target!

So, their theory was to let the wind settle and they'd go back to the woods about two-thirty. Again, they left anf again, they're back home hours before dark. Really, I think they just like to drive up and down the highway in orange vests and hats and pretend to hunt. It's a man thing...

Anyway, dh comes in and he's sooo upset. They didn't see a single deer.I'm thinking yeah, I know why, because the deer are too smart to commit vehicular suicide. THEY'RE IN THE WOODS!!!

Now I tell ya, dh is very upset, but not nearly as upset as Bill, who has started threatening to shoot the peanut butter off the trees to punish the deer for not jumping in front of a bullet for him...Of course, he claimed it's just so he can say he got to shoot his gun, but I know peanut butter abuse when I see it....Poor deer, poor trees, poor peanut butter!

Happy Hunting,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Dear Readers,

OMG!!! After sharing yesterday's deer hunting tales, I couldn't pass up yet another hysterical story to share with you today.

Remember Dear Hubby's hunting buddie? For the sake of privacy, we'll just call him Bill. Well I failed to mention Bill is also our neighbor who lives directly behind us in our little neighborhood. For the last three years, since we bought here and the neighbor did the same, well, these two hunters bonded over the backyard fence.

They've shared family history, holiday dinners, health troubles and personal problems daily for these three years. So now having some understanding of this great friendship, you comprehend just how close they are. It isn't a bit unusual for one of them to hop in their truck, dash to our local Wal-Mart and buy some kind of fishing or hunting gift for the other just for the hell of it.

So, a day or two before deer season opened, Bill brought home the "Bacon." He bought a contraption of sorts that only a male could understand or yearn for, and he generously bought two, so DH would have one.

It's camouflaged,a bit like a very tiny tent, totally enclosed except for a little opening big enough to poke one's head out and shoot at the poor unsuspecting deer.

Inside, it's just big enough for a chair. It rather reminded me of a small outhouse. Since in my opinion these two particular deer hunters are 'full of it' they need these little houses.

After yesterday's fiasco with the water, I think this tale tops it. Once they reached their happy hunting grounds,DH and Bill parted way and set their "portable potties" in the woods some distance apart.

However, before they enshrined themselves inside said out house', they each rubbed doe urine on their clothes. (Yes, folks, one can actually purchase this liquid gold off the hunting department shelves of you-know-where.

Anyhoo, here they are, all set up in their own little hunting place, surrounded by trees painted with peanut butter, and Bill is having a few quiet moments when he hears a noise outside his little home.

Bill pokes his head out the "window" and OMG!! There it is! The biggest buck he's ever seen, the one he's been waiting on for three days, and they're looking eyeball-to-eyeball!!

Now I'm certain both these male animals are very excited, but for two entirely different reasons. You just know with Bill wearing the doe's inviting, "Come and get me" fragrance all over his clothes that the big buck is anticipating a different kind of creature.

Bill is beside himself. Here's his chance to prove his manly prowess as the great white hunter. "The buck! The buck!" Sounds so much more riveting than,"The plane! The plane!"

Bill grabs his gun, sticks it out the "window" and pulls the trigger.

Nothing.Total silence.

The buck stares through the hole at him, (probably snickering) no doubt wondering where his sweet smelling doe ran off to.

Now I ask you, why would a mighty hunter go to all that trouble to set himself up in nice, warm, comfortable surroundings and fail to load his rifle?

Yes, folks, this a true tale of the buck that got away and lives to hunt for his "lady love" another day.

And no, so far the peanut butter hasn't done the trick, but now we know the doe urine works just fine. All you gotta do is remember to load your gun!!

Happy Hunting,

Monday, November 23, 2009


Good Morning Readers,

Today's topic is about deer hunters. I have nothing good or bad to say about deer hunters, other than my own personal experiences with Dear Hubby for the last thirty years or so. Personally, I love deer meat, when I can get it, because although DH loves to hunt, he rarely brings in the kill.

Every year, it's the same old sorry thing. Along about the first of Sept., he gets "itchy." Drives me insane, because, one, he only hunts during rifle season and it doesn't start where I live until the first Sat. of the week of Thanksgiving.

All the same, he starts talking about getting his hunting license, his tag, his gun ready, his bullet, because hey, he'll only need one for the kill. His orange hunting vest he'll have to find because God knows he can't remember where he put it from the year before. (Pssst. Damn good thing I hung it up in the closet just like I've done for the last...well by now, you know how many years.

Included in this long list, is getting his other supplies and food gathered. (He's like a bear preparing for winter hibernation and no matter how many times I say, "Hon, we'll take care of that closer to time.") Do ya think he listens? No way!

Along with gathering these yearly supplies, he's changing the oil in and gasing up the 4-wheeler, cause Lord knows these little jewels are sooo quiet, one can sneak right up on the poor unsuspecting deer.

I won't even begin to tell you the number of times he loads up said 4-wheeler and hauls his buns to the woods just so he can look for "Deer Sign." Because you know, where that deer is today, it'll certainly be there tomorrow, same time, same place.

He puts out corn. (Numerous sacks of corn)Waste of time and money. He did this one year and some other hunter took his spot he'd been preparing for weeks. Cracked me up when he came home griping about it.

The latest thing he's putting out to attract that big buck? Peanut butter! On the trees. OMG!!! I can't imagine how many trees he's painted with it. He came home last night from the deer woods telling me how he and his hunting buddie bought four jars of peanut butter and smeared it on the trees.

Again, I'm cracking up and told him all he'd attract with that was ants. But hey, that's okay cause he said the deer would just eat the ants too...

Is it just me or do the males of our species go just a little bit insane every year about this time? I see hundreds of campers, men in orange and all they're doing is driving up and down the highway a dozen damn times and I'm thinking, Aren't the deer in the woods?

I can think of better places I'd rather be at four a.m. than out in the cold, stealing through the woods, possibly getting mistaken for a deer and shot for my trouble.

This morning, however, topped it off for me...DH was getting ready to leave and in his hurry to dash out the front door, poured a glass of icewater on my keyboard.

Now there's nothing that sparks my temper any quicker than for anyone to stumble around in the dark at said four a.m. when I'm trying to sleep, and dumps water on my computer board.

Knowing how anal I am about my precious computer when I ask him what he's doing (Because I keep hearing this odd sound of him cleaning) he tells me he knocked over some quarters I have stacked on my desk. But this odd cleaning sound goes on and on and it's not like I have a big stack of quarters there.

Suspicion flares."What are you doing?" I ask.
"Oh, I spilled a little bit of water on your computer."

Let me tell you, my eyes popped open and out of bed I rolled because I know his little bit and my little bit are two entirely different numbers. It turns out to be the flippin' glass full of water. Big glass.

By now, I'm wide-awake. He's apologetic. I'm ticked. I have no clue what damage it will do to my computer, but right at the moment, my "V" keeps sticking and some of the keys seem to be getting harder to press down...

However, basically I'm a pacifist. I won't mistake him for a deer in my bedroom and plug DH with his single bullet.I'm nice. I tell him to go on hunting, but underneath it all, he KNOWS there won't be any supper cooked and waiting on him when he returns home later today.

Gee, I hope his hunting buddie doesn't fall asleep in the deer woods today the way he did yesterday and miss that big buck snacking on peanut butter!

Happy Hunting,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Facts About Me!!

Hi Readers,

Today I thought instead of asking a question, I'd fill in some facts about my family and me. Hope this isn't too boring...and yes, I'll answer any questions you leave in your comments...maybe.


My mother married when she was thirteen. I was born when she was fifteen.

For the first seven years of school, I attended a two room school house with two teachers. One teacher taught from first through fourth grade, and we were all in one room together. The other taught from fourth through eighth, same thing, all in one room.

I'm the eldest of nine kids. All of us are still living, except for one. I lost a brother when he was twenty in a car wreck. Two of my sisters have had heart attacks, both were in their early forties when it happened. Neither had a weight problem, but both smoked. I have a weight problem, I don't smoke, and knock on wood, I haven't had a heart attack...yet.

I married when I was seventeen, divorced when I was twenty-three, married again when I was twenty-five and have been married to that man for over thirty-four years, but if he keeps telling everyone I write about sex and it's about him and me, he might not make it another thirty-four years!

I'm the mother of five, four boys, one girl and the stepmother of two boys. When my ex-husband remarried, he married a woman with two boys and then he and his new wife had a boy. My poor daughter grew up with nine brothers who threatened every boy she dated that if she wasn't treated right and home on time...they'd be waiting. She didn't date much?

My family was nearly grown when I decided to go to nursing school.I'd always wanted to be a nurse, but I wanted to be an author more. While in nursing school, I wrote my first complete contemporary romance novel and the entire nursing class passed it around and read it--when we should have been studying for the next exam.Ha! That novel was published years later under the title, No Holds Barred, book two of the Montana Men series.

Fourteen years later my nursing career ended due to an accident and I returned to my first love: writing. I dusted off No Holds Barred, did some editing, changed the names of the characters and submitted it to my publisher. It has been one of my best sellers to date.

My life is full with family, friends, a good husband, and wonderful fans who love my books. Who could ask for more?

Well, I'd love to be on the New York Times best seller's list...yeah, I know, keep dreaming!

See you tomorrow!
Tabitha Shay
Labels: author, eternal press, family, friends, Futuristic romances, tabitha shay

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Hi Readers,

This kind of news isn't one a person gets to announce very often, but I'm so happy and thrilled to share with everyone the news that my daughter is expecting a little bundle of joy.

This news in itself isn't that big a deal. Right? But the other news to go along with this is the fact that her daughter is expecting as well. Too cool!

Now the major news!! Woo Hoo!!! They're both having their babies the first week of June.

Yes!! They're trying to make an old woman out of me, but I refuse to give in gracefully, although I'll be both a grandmother and great-grandmother at the same time.

As you will recall, the big addition to my family almost two years ago were my twin grandsons, Chance and Keiffer...

These days, babies in my family seem to arrive in twos...aren't I blessed???

No matter, babies are always a blessing and root out a place in our hearts and make it their home.

So please join me in welcoming into my family, two delightful bundles of joy due in the spring of 2010.


Friday, November 13, 2009


Good Morning Readers,
So sorry for the delay posting this lovely story by the talented romance author, Maggie Dove. Unfortunately, she and I ran into a few technical difficulties this morning, but better late than never. So please make welcome, Maggie Dove while she shares a part of her true life experiences with you in Bullfights and Burgers. Leave a wonderful comment so at the end of the day you have a chance to win an E-copy of Maggie's new book, the historical romance novel, Angel of Windward.Pssst! Her book has been at the top of the charts and was the number one best selling historical romance at Fictionwise, so you definitely want this book.

I was born in Cuba in 1954, five years before Fidel Castro's communist regime took over the island. In 1960, my family was forced to flee to the United States. Although I was brought up in Miami, it took me twenty years and a trip to Spain to realize that I was a "true American." During the first year of exile, my family lived in a vacation-like atmosphere. All of us believed that we would be returning to Cuba in a matter of months. We were certain that communism would not be allowed to exist only ninety miles from the United States. However, after the Bay Of Pigs invasion, we knew that we were here to stay.
When I was growing up, I was welcomed and treated as an equal by all of my American friends. I was raised on hamburgers and rice and beans. I spoke Spanish at home and English in school. I memorized the Star Spangled Banner and learned all about the Mayflower. I dressed up for Halloween and celebrated Thanksgiving. I even became a U.S. citizen; however when someone asked about my nationality, I always answered "Cuban."
In 1974, on my twentieth birthday, my sister and brother-in-law invited me to spend a year with them in Spain. My brother-in-law was the manager of an American company in Madrid. They had been living there for two years. I was thrilled. I would never return to Cuba, but here was my opportunity to see the land from where my ancestors had come. I decided not to spend my time studying in Spain. I wanted to travel all over the country and learn about its people. I spent time in San Sebastian and Barcelona. I went to Marbella during the summer and visited Pamplona (the town that Ernest Hemingway wrote about in The Sun Also Rises).I saw dozens of bullfights and enjoyed clapping the beat to the flamenco dances. I went to El Greco's home in Toledo, the El prado museum in Madrid and beautiful Aranquez. I was amazed by the Escorial, the exquisite monastery and palace built by Phillip II.
I found Spain to be a magnificent country with colorful customs and wonderful traditions; nevertheless, there was something missing. I encountered a very closed-minded society. One had to be born and bred in Spain to be considered worthwhile. I felt like an outsider. In order to be accepted, I wanted to explain that my grandfather had been a very famous writer and that his statue stood in one of their main promenades. I wanted to tell them that when my grandmother had visited Spain thirty years before, Franco had welcomed her to his home. Yet, I sensed it would be to no avail. Thus, the only real friends that I made were foreign students living in Madrid.
As time passed, I began to feel sorry for the Spaniards that I encountered. It was sad to meet people that could not appreciate anyone that was different. How predicatable and limited they all seemed. How fortunate I felt to have been raised in a place that combined all different cultures and molded them together to form a great country.
I realized the differences between the United States and Spain. In the United States, a person is judged by what one accomplishes and is respected for one's merits. In 1974, a person in Spain was judged by whether or not they carried a title.
During my last month in Spain, I had a very enlightening experience. I was late for a luncheon appointment and decided to take a taxicab to save time. The driver, noticing my Cuban-American accent, asked me where I was from. I told him that I came from the United States. "Oh, the imperialistic U.S.A.," he said flatly.
It took me awhile to answer him. I was so furious that I could not see straight. How dare this man insult my country? How ignorant of him to say such a thing!
I had never felt more American in my life. I looked at him and said, "Yes, how about those Yankees? How imperialistic of them to provide food and help to many countries that cannot appreciate it and are ungrateful enough to resent it!"
He immediately apologized and I was actually grateful to him. For the first time in my life, I knew who I was. I was a Spanish-speaking, Cuban-born, American-Yankee! A month late when I arrived at Miami International Airport, I knew I was really home.
It has been many years since my eventful trip to Spain. I know that there is a part of me that will always remain Cuban. It is a part that I hold very dear. It consists of my Spanish upbringing, my passion for "arroz con pollo," and my parents' memories of their stolen paradise. However, I also love pizza, burritos, bagels, sweet and sour pork and frankfurters. It is wonderful to live in a country where one can eat all this and still think one is consuming and American meal!

(I have returned to Spain since and have found it to be a much more open and congenial society than the one I encountered in 1974.)


Friday, November 6, 2009


NaNoWriMo seems to be getting bigger every year. Apparently, it's even made it into pop culture. For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. If you accept the challege, you join the legions of writers trying to write a 50,000 word novel by November 30th.

I'm not participating. I tried to in the past, but it didn't work out. I put up respectable numbers (28,000) but had to do so much revision that I might as well not have bothered.

The about page on the NaNoWriMo website says:
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create.

That's pretty much the opposite way I write. I believe in getting the chapter/scene/paragraph the best it can be before I move on. I don't like plowing through a novel if I know the previous scenes aren't strong. If you fix an earlier scene, it has impacts throughout the book.

Even then, my work needs to be proofread, critiqued, and edited before it's polished enough to let anyone read it. You can imagine what this process is like if you start with word-vomited crap. It's just not worth it.

The other aspect of NaNoWriMo is that it teaches writers to set goals and work toward them. Well, I don't really have deadlines so this isn't a problem. I find that I want to write everyday, especially if I think what I'm writing is good. I don't set a daily goal because I never know what my day will be like. I open my manuscript, read the last scene, continue where it left off, and stop when I draw a blank. I can usually crank out a few hundred words with this method.

But NaNoWriMo requires a lot more than a few hundred words five days a week. For each of the 30 days in November, you have to crank out 1667 words. Keep in mind there's Thanksgiving too. My average speed is 500 words every hour, mainly because I sit there and ponder each sentence, each character action. So to do 1667+ words daily, that's over 3 hours of writing. Between work, family stuff, and the dog that's damn hard to do. It's giving up everything that helps me relax - watching tv and reading a good book.

I feel like the basis of NaNoWriMo is misleading. "It's all about quantity, not quality." I think you'd be better off writing quality work from the start, and with practice, get faster and set goals. Even so, I wish all the participants good luck and happy writing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Person POV

I find it interesting the surge in First Person Narrative books lately. First person is when a story is told from the main character's perspective. I, me, we, are used frequently rather than he, she, them which is Third Person Narrative.

Not only has more books been published in First Person, but they have been hugely successful. Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series. Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson novels. Maria V. Synder's Poison Study trilogy. Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi.

You want more? From the USAToday Best Seller list:
Push by Sapphire
The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
The Lighning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Time Traveler's Wife (yes, both Clare and Henry are narrators, but the author identifies who is narrating at the beginning of each scene.)

I could go on, but I've made my point. There are a number of current best selling books that use First Person.

So what, right? Out of all the books out there, it would make sense for some to be written in First Person. Well, not exactly. There are numerous articles and writing advice that consistently say to use Third Person for creative writing. I won't list them all, but here's one. The general opinion is that writing in First Person is something that beginner writers do. Some literary agents refuse to consider it. There is nothing wrong with that; that is their choice. However, look at the best seller list again.

Personally I'm thrilled that First Person is getting so much success. It's darned easier to write than Third Person.
1. You place yourself in the head of a single character.
You totally submerge yourself in this other character. How does she see the world around her? How did her upbringing and events in the past affect her choices and personality? What does she think of other people? How does she perceive herself in the group dynamic?
First Person narrative is easier to do character development with because you know every thought the character has, without writing something corny like, that's enough television for today, she thought. First Person allows you to write, I've had way too much boob tube today. The character's personality and vernacular are allowed to shine.

2. Plot twists are easier.
I find the limiting view of First Person narrative to be not limiting at all. Readers often complain they are only getting one side of the story, the side the protagonist sees and what she can figure out. That's true of First Person. There will be a lot going on behind the scenes that the protagonist is not aware of. Then again, did Harry Potter know everything that was going on? So that argument is not true of Third Person either.
As a writer, I love the fact my protagonist only knows things from her perspective. That's more like real life. And I can throw twists into the story that she, and hopefully the reader weren't expecting. For example, your protagonist is skipping along living a happy life. She notices one of her friends, Matt, has been in a bad mood for a week, but she figures it was because he got in trouble for something at home. She totally wasn't expecting his bad mood was because she said she'd go to the dance with another guy. The clues that Matt is in love with her are subtle, but she (and the reader) miss them, until they go back and analyze the events up to that point.

3. Emotions are easier to portray.
Third Person narrative is tough when it comes to emotions. Let's use anger for example.
A boiling wave emanated from Annie. Her fingers shook at what Tim said to her.
Melodramatic, isn't it?

I wanted to kick his ass, and I thought about all the ways I could do it. Baseball bat, copper pipe, headbutt, spiked heel, etc. I wasn't in the mood to be picky.
Better, yes?

Maybe the creative writing experts are correct, and First Person is the mark of a beginner writer. Oh well. I find Third Person to be laboring, and who the heck wants to labor through a 90,000 word manuscript? Bring on the First Person, baby.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Women Only Parking

Seoul, South Korea has painted 5,000 parking spaces pink and designated them women only.


Since when did being a women become a handicap? The purpose behind these parking spaces is to increase happiness in women. South Korea is typically a male-driven society, and Seoul is putting $104 million dollars toward changing that image. Starting with parking spaces so high-heel wearing women don't have to walk far to work or to the mall.

No, I'm not kidding.

In addition to the parking spaces, the city is working toward finding women better jobs, building more restrooms, improving street lighting for safety, creating safer parks, and building more day care centers. Supposedly to relieve the worried stress about working and shopping.

I think it's curious that Seoul is doing all this under the slogan "Happy Women, Happy Seoul", and not because it's the right thing to do, creating safer parks and day cares for the families of the city. The women-only parking space is odd as hell, and just a little demeaning. I'm not versed in the fashion there, but I doubt women wear high heels everyday, all occasions. So to create parking spaces that are high-heel friendly is just dumb. The only justification I see for women-only spaces is in high crime areas. If you were trying to revitalize a section of the city by bringing in upscale stores, yeah I'd want my own parking space close to the store so I don't have to walk through the neighborhood.

You can imagine how this idea for "Happy Women, Happy Seoul" came about. The men in charge realized they must do something about the gender inequality. Maybe the womenfolk were getting restless or outside influences forced their hand. Whatever. So they sat in a room and thought about ways to improve the lives of women. Thus making them happier and making men's lives easier. Because if the little wifey is happy, the whole family is, right? When the idea for convenient parking was introduced, the men in charge thought it was fabulous idea. Those women and their insensible shoes needed to go shopping!

I guarantee you not one woman was consulted on the idea on how to improve gender inequality. Kinda says something about the greater mentality, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Starting a Novel

I was asked a question yesterday by someone wanting to write a novel. Where do I start?

For the sake of keeping this post short, let's not go into details on how your first step should be research, outlines, character sketches, synopses, plus creating subplots, internal conflict, and the entire details of the setting. Let's assume the question asker meant "what should my first scene be?"

A lot of resources will tell you to start where your story gets exciting. This website suggests starting with your hero in immediate danger. Or the "the discovery of the body, not the detective commuting to work or reading the morning newspaper."

This website gives the worst advice of all. "Unveil the back story to your novel by using flashbacks and narrative reminiscences in the first chapter."

But here's one that gets it right. "The first chapter should begin just before a pivotal event in your protagonist’s life."

"Begin just before" is the key phrase there. It's my opinion that you have to set up the normal life of the protagonist first, before you set things in motion. It's the only way the reader can understand why the pivotal event is so pivotal. Usually the normal life is unhappy in some way. After all, you can't have a happy ending without an unhappy beginning.

Let's jump into a few examples.

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone started with Harry living under the stairs at his aunt and uncle's house. He was entirely miserable, having to endure a trip to the zoo to celebrate his cousin's birthday. Then the pivotal event happened...an owl showed up with an invitation to a school.

If we were going to take the advice of the first website, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone would've started with the owl. We would've learned about Harry's home life through backstory and flashbacks. The problem with that is you have to pause the linear story to go back and give information. It would read like--Harry gets the invitation from the owl. It's really exciting for him because his life was so miserable. For example, there was this one time at the zoo...

It doesn't work as well. You have to stop all forward motion with the owl and put the reader's curiosity on hold. You also have the added problem of Show vs Tell working correctly. A good writer will SHOW Harry miserable, rather than saying he was.

Another example is the movie Speed. It doesn't start with everyone on the bus learning there is a bomb aboard. It starts with us learning that Annie lost her license, and with Jack responding to a threat in an elevator, plus how he interacts with his partner. So later when his partner dies, we understand the magnitude of his loss. We also understand why the bomb on the bus is personal for Jack.

Lord of the Rings starts in a happy, utopia called the shire. The unhappiness surrounding it is that Bilbo is losing his mind.

A Christmas Carol doesn't start with Scrooge being warned he'll be visited by ghosts. It starts with him at work, hating Christmas, treating people badly, and all around not a nice person.

The Matrix starts with Neo as a boring, unhappy computer programmer.

You'll always find exceptions to the rule. There are plenty of stories that begin with a man running for his life through an alley, or a woman being murdered. Watchmen started with a murder. Desperate Housewives started with a suicide. Pretty much every crime show on television starts with a body. But then again, we see those characters every week, and it isn't until the 4th or 5th episode do we want to learn more about their regular lives.

My advice is to know the genre you are writing in. Go to the library and get several of the most popular books currently out. Where do they start? Murder Mystery might start with a body. Historical fiction might start with a protagonist on a stroll through Victorian England. Fantasy most likely starts with a farm boy or bar maid.

For crap's sake don't copy these stories. All I'm saying is know if the genre typically starts with the pivotal moment, or right before. Does the farm boy perform his miserable chores for a drunkard father before the evil sorceror shows up?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vote For Colby!


My Colby is one of the 10 finalists in the Washington Post Howl-oween contest. The top 4 vote getters will win a prize. The prizes are gift certificates to doggie day cares and pet stores in the DC area. Please click here and cast your vote for Colby. He certainly deserves it, having to put up with me.

Let's hear it for Team Colby!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

They Must Not Buy Groceries Where I Do!

Hi Readers,
I knew the moment I posted something political on my blog site, I'd end up looking like an idiot...(See Below)As soon as I posted that, up pops a newsworthy statement telling all of America President Barack Obama has called on Congress to approve $250 payments to more than 50 million seniors to make up for no increase in Social Security next year. YES!!!...Hey, not all that much, but a little something is better than nothing, even though, yeah, I agree, it's mostly nothing. The Social Security Administration announced earlier today that there will be no cost of living increase next year. By law, increases are pegged to inflation, which has been negative this year.NEGATIVE???
WHAT THE F#&%???
Negative for whom???
They must not buy groceries where I buy mine. I don't know about you folks, but everytime I walk inside a super market, the new increased prices fairly jump off the shelves into my basket.Hell, I've stopped shopping at Wal/Mart and started buying all my groceries at the Dollar Store. I don't even buy fresh meat any more. I go buy the aisle and sniff it as I pass through on my way to the canned Spam, canned ham, canned tuna, canned chicken(I'm talking little cans here), canned Vienna sauages and potted meat. Oh, the variety of dishes I've learned to make with this crap!!! I feel blessed I can still afford these little cans, but without that senior citizen increase, I might have to go to berries and roots...Tabs

What's Wrong With This Govt.?

Hi Readers,
As a rule, I stay away from political issues on my blog. I'm a romance author.I like to blog about my books, my family, my pets and stay out of politics. But this morning's official announcement that there will be no raise in Jan. for our disabled and elderly, not only disgusts me with our current govt., but it makes me sick as well!
What the hell?
Our govt. can finance a war that's like the Energizer Bunny that just keeps going on and on. It can spend billions on a space station that only God knows why we need it up there in the first place. It can provide millions of the taxpayer's bucks to bail out banks, etc. It can provide all types of benefits for illegal aliens., and hell, what else am I missing?, but it can't give a fifty dollar a year raise to the disabled and retired of our country? What's wrong with this picture?
Huh...How many raises has Congress, the Senate and every other thing we now have in the White House been given the last year? How many trips do we, as tax payers, pay for, for these same elected officials to carry on their illicit affairs, candle-lit dinners, hotel rooms, air fares, trips overseas to meet with their illicit affair, another golf course...again, I ask, am I missing anything here? I'm trying hard not to.
No wonder people want to throw a Tea Party...I say Go For It!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

She's Still A Winner!!!

Hi All,
For those of you who are keeping up with my granddaughter Tabitha's competition for Miss Arkansas...unfortunately, she lost this past week competing against forty-eight other entrants, but this young lady is no loser. She held her own all the way and has every right to be proud, just as I'm proud of her. I've watched Tabs grow into the radiant, self-assured, beautiful woman she is today who will soon be graduating college and on her way to becoming a registered nurse who specializes in the care of critical newborns. It takes a special person to go into nursing and give so much of oneself. Best of luck in the future...Go, Tabitha!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Covey Award

I'm so happy my new release, Witch's Magic's book cover is up for the Covey Award for August. Scope out the link. And go vote for number 19...that is if you have other favorite. Thanks in advance...Tabs

The New Covey Awards

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Review for Witch's Magic

Seriously Reviewed posted what they think of Witch's Magic,

spell-binding tale of men, women, vamps, were's, demon's and witch's all rolled into one....

Check out the whole review!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Hi Readers,
I know all grandmothers are proud of their grandchildren...me too. This past week has been especially extra special for one of my granddaughters, and I can't resist sharing her accomplishment. She's the real Tabitha, the one I get my pen name from. Tabs entered and won the Miss Carroll County Beauty Pageant in Arkansas. Woo Hoo!!! She will now go to Little Rock in Oct. and compete for the title of Miss Arkansas. Whether she wins that competition or not, in my eyes, she's a winner and always has been. So congratulations, Tabby...I love you, very much.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interview with Saylym Winslow

Hey everyone...head on over to Eternal Press's blog for a great interview with Saylym Winslow, the protagonist of the much-beloved Witch's Brew. She comes back in the latest installment of the Winslow Witches series, Witch's Magic.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Count Down!

Hi Readers,
I don't know bout you, but I'm counting down the hours until Witch's Magic is released. Sept. 7, boy has that been a long time getting here, or what? I hope all of you who have been keeping up with the Winslow witches of Saylym series are as excited as I am with its upcoming release. Just to whet your appetite, I'm posting a teaser...WARNING:MOST LIKELY CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT.


She scraped his right nipple with a long fingernail. “So sexy,” she whispered. “I want to taste you.”
“Taste me, then. Do what you will.”
Oh, to feel her naked beneath his body, feel his cock push through the hot, velvety muscles of her feminine channel, each layer surrounding his aching shaft until he was buried deep within her honeyed sheath.
It wasn’t to be.
From the look on her face, she wasn’t here for him to sex her. No. The deadly intent in her eyes was easy to read. The ugly thing she held in her small hands looked ominous. Potentially lethal. Scary as hell!
His pulse jumped, pounded fiercely. Sweat dampened his face. This was it then. The end. “No!” The word slipped past his lips from deep within his undead body, a furious growl of denial that she would do this terrible thing to him.
His heart squeezed out the next painful beat.
“You said do what I will. I will this.”
You cannot do this!
I can. I will.
Terror clenched his muscles. Before where he’d been restless, now Valerian remained stone still, paralyzed as if he’d been bitten by a Shun-Rock Spider from his home world of Pi-Ram.
He knew what came next. The horror of it froze him as nothing else.
Then she committed the worst act of his nightmare, the one that sent chills down his icy flesh and solidified his already sluggish blood. She placed the sharp-tipped of wooden stake on his bare chest, directly over his heart. Her laughter was no longer happy or sweet, sunny or warm, but cold and cruel and ruthless. He saw no mercy in her lovely eyes, only merciless determination.
The needlepoint tip pierced his flesh. His mouth flew open with the shock of it. So sharp. So sharp! Valerian tried to scream, but no sound moved past his lips. The pain crushed, as if his chest was weighted with stone. His heart raced at such a high speed, he thought it might explode.
Frozen in a place somewhere between his world and hers, he couldn’t move. He couldn’t breathe. Held captive by the magnetic force of her cruel gaze, he watched the hammer swing down, felt the deadly stake pierce his chest and drive through his heart.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tab's is Guest Blogging

Check out Tab's post on vampires and her Winslow Witches series over at Kayden Mcleod's blog. Don't forget to leave a comment!

Harlequin Writing Contest

Harlequin Presents is hosting a Writing Competition for aspiring authors. The prize is fairly amazing...an editor for an entire year. That's huge. That's actual professional feedback on how to make your writing better so that it can be published. In my opinion, that's downright priceless. Here are the details:

The competition entry must consist of either the first chapter and synopsis of a Harlequin Presents or Modern Heat novel
• Please email your entry to writingcompetition@hmb.co.uk
• The WINNER receives an editor for a year
• TWO RUNNERS-UP will be given critiques of their first chapter entries and an editorial consultation
• The competition will close on November 2nd 2009 and the winner will be announced in December 2009 on I Heart Presents

Good luck contestants!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Suburban Demon Review

Amanda from Dark Divas awarded Suburban Demon with the highest rating, 5 divas! Here's what she had to say. Click here to read the original review.

Summary: Life sucks for Liz, a Repere demon from Philadelphia. Banished to the suburbs of South Jersey, she has to clean-up a clan of teenage, zit-faced vampires. If that isn’t bad enough, Max, demon-hater and rival vampire slayer, follows her pointed ears across the Delaware River just to torment her in her exile.

Max has a problem. The love of his life isn’t human. And her recent banishment only makes him think about her more. He finds himself paired with the sexy demon fighting to save horny, high school kids from sharp, vampire fangs.

Together, they stumble upon a heap of undead trouble. A master vampire created a super clan comprised of the oldest, most powerful vampires from Philly, Baltimore, and New York. Liz and Max, the newest vampire slayers in the suburbs, are the number one target.

My Review: I love when a kick ass Demon Vampire slayer and her human counterpart come together in whirlwind of naked bodies and death blows. Laura Herbertson’s action packed Urban Fantasy had me rooting for our heroes.

We first meet Liz trailing a bunch of teenage vamps through the suburban outskirts of South Jersey. While stationed behind a tree with the smell of overcooked rotating hot dogs permeating the air effectively cutting off her sense of where her little vamp kiddies went. She scans the area and we soon find that Max is right there with her, like he had been for the past year.

Of course, we know wherever you find the evil little blood sucking vamps they most likely are up to no good. Let’s face it, teen vamps with their teen hormones just can’t help themselves.(Yeah right) As Liz and Max successfully take down the group of teens, Liz with her empathy spares the only remaining vamp in hopes of finding his master and ending the reign of terror he has caused for this little community.

Closed in together for the night while waiting for the Master Vamp to show, Max makes it known that he wants Liz, always has, always will. With their little tryst in the bathroom leaving the room and myself steamy, we find our little vamp friend has escaped and it is up to them to find the vamp and take down the Master.

Let’s get the negative out of the way first; why oh why couldn’t this be longer Mrs. Herbertson? Why did you have to cut it off when everything was getting good? I found myself in a trance as I read this story and before I could even say wow, this is good, it was over, I felt lost. (*laugh’s*)

Okay, now on to what I like...EVERYTHING! I liked how she described the vamps “crumbling” as they were staked or beheaded, I liked the witty banter between Liz and Max and I absolutely adored her ability to show each character’s vulnerability. I liked the way she didn’t drag out each characters feelings, she made them determined to fit together no matter what.

Liz is a very strong Demon and in such, I was happy she played her that way, and I have to say I also loved the fact that she gave Liz almost a motherly quality. I can honestly say what a breath of fresh air it is to see a strong woman; demon or what have you demanding that she also have her turn at the action.

I liked that Max, an alpha in his own right, doesn’t use his abilities to hold Liz back, he knows that she is his equal and treats her as such. We see his feelings pour through his hard shell and consume him as he takes her against the sink of the hotel bathroom, and although he may choose the wrong use of words for what happens, you know he liked it and you know he would do it again.

All and all, I was very happy with this story, although it was short and I would have liked it to be longer, the length of the story was enough to weave a wonderful tale of a Demon and her warrior king!

Rated 5 Delightful Divas and a Recommended Read by Amanda

The Dreaded Synopsis

I told you I finished writing my young adult novel right? It's currently in the hands of my beta readers (aka family and critique partners). That doesn't mean I sit idly while I wait for their comments. Heck no. There are query letters to write, literary agents to research, similar authors to research, and I have to dedicate some time to worrying about getting published in this crappy economy. Maybe I should hold off a year...

Anyway, back to my point. Unlike my first novel, this time around I'm launching a precision attack on the publishing industry. Instead of querying every agent that handles the genre, I'm researching authors with similar novels, or authors whose careers I'd admire. Then I find out which literary agent represents them. I write a personalized query letter with a blurb about my book, the word count, some of my credentials, and how I admire their client and why my writing is similar to theirs. Notice I said similar, I'm not claiming to be the next Stephanie Meyer, nor a cross between Scott Westerfeld and Ally Carter. I mean, what the heck does that mean anyway?

I'm not going to post my query letter here, but I can tell you, it took me 4 tries to write it and it's darn good. I'm happy with it. I'm debating on mentioning the book I wrote is the first in a series. I probably should, in the sake of full disclosure.

Query letter done, several agents have been identified for my attack...now I look up their submission guidelines because agents are so busy that they look for reasons to toss out your work. I'd hate to be tossed out because I didn't follow the rules. Some agents require email queries, some snail mail, some require the first five pages, some need the first 30...and worst of all, some agents require a synopsis.

Welcome to my hell. A synopsis is usually a 1-3 page summary of your novel. The entire novel condensed into a few pages. Actually, it's really like 1 page. It's best to keep the synopsis short because agents have a limited amount of time, and if you are able to summarize a 74,000 novel into a single page, while keeping it consistent with the tone and voice of the book, that's the mark of a great writer. Brevity is the soul of wit, right?

Yeah. Query letters I can rock, but not synopses. Let me give you an example. This is my trying to condense The Sorceror's Stone into a single page.

Harry Potter is an orphan who has never had a birthday party or friends of any kind. The only life he's known is at the hands of his unloving aunt and uncle, who force him to live in the cupboard under the stairs. Harry's life is about to change when he receives an invitation to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards.

Well crap. Anyone reading this is going to wonder what Harry Potter has done to deserve an invitation to a school like that. I better include the part about the zoo.

Harry Potter is an orphan who has never had a birthday party or friends of any kind. The only life he's known is at the hands of his unloving aunt and uncle, who force him to live in the cupboard under the stairs. During his cousin's birthday trip to the zoo, Harry imagines the glass for the reptiles' cages disappearing. The next thing he knew, it came true!

Harry's life is about to change when he receives an invitation to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards.

And I've taken up WAY too much space summarizing the first scene in the book. I have the whole sorceror's stone plot to jam in here yet. To hell with it. I quit.

There is a plethora of advice out there on how to write a good synopsis. here, here, here, here, and here for starters. I've read them, and I've come to one conclusion: If you want a good synopsis, have someone else write it for you.

In the meantime, I unfortunately have to cancel the attack on the agents who require a synopsis. Either that or decide what would be more damaging- a badly written synopsis, or leaving out the synopsis entirely?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Barnes and Noble

You can now purchase Tabitha Shay and Jaydyn Chelcee books online at Barnes and Noble! Here are the direct links:

Witch's Brew, Book 1 Purchase Witch's Brew here. Saylym Winslow regains forgotten magical powers, but is determined to ignore them. No way is she a witch; magic brings nothing but trouble. But when Talon, Waken Prince and assassin of witches is assigned to terminate Saylym by stealing her soul, she discovers being a real, spell-casting witch is only the beginning of her problems. Talon is enchanted by Saylym's beauty and charm and refuses to do his duty. He is given a choice by the powerful Waken Guild: Handfast with the trouble making witch to keep her in line or they will send Drayke, the most ruthless waken assassin, to hunt her down. Sparks fly in this bewitching, sexy battle of the sexes--witch-style.

Witch's Heart, Book 2 Purchase Witch's Heart here . Journey into a world where magic rules and death is the penalty for mistakes--return to the kingdom of Ru-Noc, where witches, wizards, and warlocks dwell... Hannah Miller is starting over--new life, new location, and the grand opening of the Sugar 'N' Spice bakery with her best friend, Kirrah Walker. But Hannah soon discovers Sanctuary is not small town America. Trapped in a world of magic where humans are considered aliens--Hannah soon becomes the target of a waken assassin. The male witch, Sage, is sent to terminate Hannah, the impertinent human who has dared to enter their sacred realm. Sage usually complies with the guild's orders, but he faces this assignment with dread. He hasn't forgotten what took place at the Salem witch trials in 1692 and has vowed to avoid all mortals--until he sees Hannah for the first time.

Witch's Moon, book 3 Purchase Witch's Moon here. Ru-Noc: A magical world teetering on the edge of destruction. Excited about her first Beltane, the feisty and strong-willed Princess of Ru-Noc makes plans to find her ideal mate. But Princess Kali's world is turned upside down when finds herself whisked away and trapped in the mortal realm of vampires. Captain Koran T knows he's in serious trouble when the King of Ru-Noc orders him to kidnap Princess Kali. He's no different than any other male of his species at mating time, so the urge to breed Kali is strong. But Koran T has a dark secret of his own, one that could have him banished from the coven. Fall under the spell of a Witch's Moon--when dark forces gather to threaten the very existence of Ru-Noc--and Princess Kali and Captain Koran cross swords in a fierce battle only a witch can win!

In The Arms of Danger, book 1 Purchase In The Arms of Danger here. Every woman needs a little danger in her life, but what's perilous about a wildlife shoot in the beautiful Montana wilderness? Armed with only a camera, Lacey Weston treks through the rough terrain and captures more on film than she bargains for--the murder of another young woman. Fearing for her life, Lacey flees the scene and stumbles straight into the path of a man who strongly resembles the murderer. Sheriff Danger Blackstone, with his piercing gray eyes and rugged physique, could be the man in her undeveloped pictures. With no where else to run and hide, Lacey must decide if she dares to trust her life to the only person who can protect her--one whose apparent grudge against Anglo females makes him less than approachable--the very man she suspects of murder. In the Arms of Danger is a suspenseful, action-packed romance with hard-bodied cowboys and long, hot nights that gives a whole new meaning to the Wild West.

No Holds Barred, book 2 Purchase No Holds Barred here. Rimrock--Home of the Montana men and the women who tame them. Professional horse trainer Kaycee Spencer decides to relocate when she becomes the target of an insane stalker. She chooses remote Rimrock, Montana where no one can find her. Jace Remington, co-owner of the Dancing Star Ranch, refuses to allow women around his thoroughbreds--females are nothing but trouble with a capital 'T'--that is, until he meets Kaycee Spencer, a woman who crashes into his peaceful life with trouble close on her heels. Set against the backdrop of the rugged mountains of Montana, Kaycee and Jace discover that if they are going to survive the vicious serial killer stalking Kaycee, they will have to learn to trust each other. No Holds Barred, a roller-coaster ride of murder, romance, and the discovery that love just might conquer all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Colby!

Colby is one year old today. Birthdays are big in our house, so I decided to do something to celebrate. I decided to bake homemade dog biscuits. Actually, I've been thinking about it for a while because Milkbones are $3.50 a box.

recipeHere is the recipe I worked from. I printed it from this website where you can find loads other recipes for dog treats. I chose this one because my dog loves Milk-bones and because it seemed simple to do. I didn't have any whole wheat flour or powdered milk, so off to the store we went. After seeing the whole wheat flour was $5.69 for a small bag, my husband insisted the flour we had at home was fine. I didn't argue with him at the grocery store because we aren't white trash.

ingredientsThese were my ingredients and everything I used to make the dog biscuits, minus the wax paper and cookie sheet, obviously. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with a whole box of powdered milk; I guess I have to keep making dog biscuits until it's gone. Overall, these biscuits did not make that big of a mess.

adding flourThis is me, adding flour to the mixture until it forms a dough. It took longer than I wanted it to, so eventually I just dumped the rest of the flour in there. Kind of a mistake because it got a lot harder to stir. I had to use my hands after that. I think that yellowish color is from the margarine.

dough pile Here's my big honking pile of dough. The 1/2 cup measure is there to give you an idea of how large the dough mound is. I didn't have a rolling pin, so I beat the sucker flat with my fists and forearms. Not too flat, because the recipe calls for 1/2 inch thickness. In case you are wondering, yes, I did try a little piece of the dough. Not too bad actually.

cookie cutter Time for the cookie cutter! I bought this gem off the Cookie Cutter Shop. It's the 4 inch dog bone one. They had smaller but sold them at the same price as the large. It was $1.95 plus $2.95 shipping. It came nicely packaged a few days later. I wish the ends of the bone were more pronounced because I had a little difficulty lifting the cookie off the wax paper. I had to redo a few.

my helper This is my helper, the birthday boy. Colby is wondering why I'm bothering, when there are perfectly good Milkbones in the box on the other side of the room. He wouldn't mind if I took a break to fetch him one. When will these be done anyway?

cookie sheet Here they are, ready for the oven. I made a few milk balls because I had extra dough. I figured 50 minutes in the oven will cook them all the way through. I didn't know how far apart to space the bones; I'm not what you'd call an avid baker. This cookie sheet configuration turned out well though. You can see some of the bones are misshaped. I had some trouble removing them from the dough to the cookie sheet. The thicker the dough was, the easier the job became. I was tempted to take a toothpick and write Colby in each of the bones, but I wanted my husband to still respect me.

I baked them and let them cool for a few hours. The time had come for Colby testing. The biscuits weren't rock hard as I thought they'd be. I could push on them and make an indent. They also smelled strongly of butter to the point where I think the recipe might have called for too much margarine. They definitely reminded me of people biscuits by the color and the way they smelled. I guess I was expecting more Milkbone-like. Here is the video of Colby eating his first birthday biscuit.

I'm not sure if he realized it was food, not a toy. He eventually ate it, but it took him a few minutes of playing first. I didn't expect him to take us on a tour of the house, sorry about that. I'd say after all that work, the response was fun, but anti-climatic. I was expecting a mad devouring, but got a game of keep-away instead.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blurb for Witch's Magic

The official blurb has been posted to Tab's website, but you can check it out here!

Book Four in Tabitha Shay's
"Winslow Witches of Salem"

Witches, werewolves, and vampires--an un-precedented alliance between the species.

Prince of Darkness: The realm of Vampyre is on the brink of a devastating war. In order to save his covens from total annihilation and claim his right to be king, Prince Valerian Radu must find a mate immediately and breed her. However, convincing the feisty witch, Shasta LaVeau, she's First Bride material is a war in itself--Shasta has but one thought on her mind--drive a stake through his black heart!

Princess of Light: In Shasta's opinion, the only good vampire is a staked vampire. Half-witch, half-werewolf, she leaves the borders of Ru-Noc to save her best friend, Princess Kali, from the evil fangs of Valerian, only to fall under the hypnotic spell of the sexy vampire.

Witch's Magic--where four realms collide--and there can only be one winner!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Witch's Heart Review

What Erin O'Riordan, author of Beltane, had to say about Tab's second book in the Winslow Witches series, Witch's Heart.

Any book that starts off with the hero being bitten by a rattlesnake in a very private part is bound to keep the reader flipping pages. Tabitha Shay's second book in the Winslow Witches series keeps the pages flipping for many other reasons,too. Shay has created a world of magic and wonder, where witches, wizards werewolves and demons interact with talking animal familiars. Danger abounds in this world, and her villains are truly hideous creatures. Despite the dark, haunted atmosphere and the mission he's been given, warlock Sage (a hottie with lavender eyes) manages to fall in love with the woman he's supposed to be hunting.

Shay is the absolute mistress of sexual tension, writing scenes that ache with the unfulfilled desires of the characters, and then skillfully granting heroine, hero and reader fulfillment. The language is explicit, especially from frog-familiar Dinka, whose amphibian mind can't seem to stay out of the gutter. With Dinka, Shay injects an element of humor into the romance.

Although Witch's Heart stood alone just fine, and I haven't read the first book in the series, I'm hooked.

review by Erin O'Riordan, author of Beltane

Friday, July 17, 2009

Welcome, Hywela Lyn

Hi Readers,

I'm so pleased to have Hywela Lyn, the popular romance author, as my guest blogger this morning. I have no doubts you'll love the excerpts Ms. Lyn has chosen to share with us today.


Of Mists and mystical worlds

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today, Tabitha.

It's coming up to a month since 'Children Of The Mist' saw its release. (where does the time go?) I thought I'd talk a bit about how I came up with the concept of my 'misty planet'.

A misty day in Wales! The mist comes swirling across the mountains and gives the countryside an ethereal, mystical quality. The mountains themselves are almost hidden in thick cloud, and looking toward the sea, it is difficult to tell where the sky ends and the sea begins. One of the many things I love about my native Wales is the changing weather. One day it's scorching hot, then it will turn windy – and often we have the mist. It’s the variety that keeps it interesting – and the rain keeps it green. So when I go back there to visit my friends and family and get my 'fix' of Welsh air, I never mind if it rains, it all adds to the richness of the landscape.

The beautiful scenery and the ever-changing weather have provided me with the inspiration for many of my stories. My story in Book II of the 'Song Of The Muses' series, is set in 5th Century Wales and I had fun working the waterfalls and mountains that I love into the plot. Some years ago, I looked out over the mountains near my home in Wales and saw the mist rolling in – only it wasn't mist – it was snow. I incorporated the memory of that moment into a scene in my futuristic novel 'Starquest', although, being set on another planet, I changed the colour of the snow to pink – that's one of the things I love about writing futuristic and fantasy – I can 'play' around with natural forces.

There does have do be a rationale though, in this case, a tiny plant form that dispersed itself in the falling snow, thus changing the colour.

I turned back to scan the mountains, straining my eyes to try to find the Quest. The red sun cast an eerie pink glow over everything. At last, I picked out the ship, standing in the clearing beyond the forest, her hull catching the last dying rays of both suns.

The mist almost completely enveloped the mountains now and was rapidly sweeping down toward the forest. I noticed it was no longer white but pink and attributed the change in colour to the setting suns. Suddenly I felt a wave of unexpected homesickness sweep over me as I remembered there are still a few places left on Earth where one can watch the clouds turn rosy at sunset, without being poisoned by her polluted atmosphere

I don't know how long I stood there, staring at the mountains, but when I looked away, Dahll was standing beside me once more.

"Your thoughts were far away from this planet, I think," he said softly.

I nodded. "I was thinking of my own world," I told him. "In some ways Niflheim reminds me of Earth." I shivered and drew my cloak closer around me. While I'd been standing there, the air had grown noticeably colder. I turned for another look at the
Quest. I could no longer see her. In fact, the clouds of pink mist now completely obliterated the forest and the mountains. The sky had lost its colour and become a dull, metallic grey.

"That mist is getting closer," I told Dahll. "Perhaps we'd better find shelter before—" I stopped
as the true nature of those rolling pink clouds struck me.

"That's not mist," Dahll said, "it's snow!"

The planet where this scene is set is Niflheim, based on the land of ice and snow recounted in Norse legends. Niflheim is the main focus of my sequel to 'Starquest', 'Children Of The Mist'. It takes place a few years after Starquest finishes and concerns a secondary character in that story, Tamarith. I felt she deserved to have her own story and the more I researched the mythical Niflheim and its legends, the fonder I grew of it. I also learnt that my planet was a place of contrasts. Beauty and harmony in the more temperate areas, but also bleak, stark areas incapable of supporting life, dark, brooding mountains, filled with danger.

That is Niflheim, and ‘Children Of the Mist’is the story of its inhabitants overcome a danger never before encountered on their planet, aided by the hero and heroine of 'Starquest, and how two of its people faced the greatest danger of all – losing their hearts to each other.


Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love: Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own. Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities.

Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late? Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love? Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?


Guided by Tamarith, Vidarh stopped before the first and largest cave. He would need some form of illumination. From his pack he drew a torch, which he lit and wedged into a crack in the rock. Unsaddling the pony, he turned it loose. The animal, descended from stock genetically engineered to withstand the harsh conditions, and brought with the first settlers to Niflheim, was fit and hardy. It would have no problem foraging for itself until his return.

With a resolute set to his shoulders, Vidarh retrieved his torch and made his way into the cave. Just inside the mouth, he found a hollow behind a rock in which to hide the saddle and bridle. At least it would be safe and dry there, so long as no hungry rodent decided to nibble at it. He strapped on his pack, containing a change of clothing and a few personal items, and set off along a narrow passageway at the back of the cavern.

Tamarith directed him along the various twists and turns of the labyrinth. At first, the going was easy. The walls of rock gave off a soft, diffuse luminescence, augmenting the light from his torch. After walking for so long he began to think the tunnel he followed led nowhere, the luminosity grew stronger, and the passage opened out into a large amphitheatre. The light reflected back from the walls revealed seats, formed out of pale green stone, arranged in tiers forming a semi-circle. At one end was a pool, shimmering in the soft light. Multi- colored stalactites glistened like jewelled candelabra from the roof of the cave. At the far end was a high dais flanked on each side by another passage.

Vidarh paused for only a moment to take in the beauty around him. He was familiar with the Conference Chamber of the community of Gladsheim. His mind had been there many times but this was the first time he had physically entered the place.

Instructed to take the left fork, he progressed along the labyrinths, noting the downward slope of the passage. Occasionally, when he came to a branch in the tunnel, he would stop and listen to Tamarith's voice in his mind as it guided him along the right path.

You don't have far to go. I will keep sending you the directions. You should be near the river now.

Yes. I hear it up ahead.

Be careful. We had heavier than usual snowstorms last winter. With the coming of spring, the melting snow and ice has swelled the volume of water.

Vidarh made his way along the tunnel, partly guided by his telepathic link with Tamarith, and partly by his own senses. Eventually it widened out into a large cave, through which the underground river roared as it cut its way through the mountain. On the shingle of the boulder-strewn shore, several small boats bobbed against their moorings.

After ensuring his pack was securely fastened around his waist, he climbed into one, and lashed the torch to the prow. He cast off, and took up the paddle. The river bore the craft along at a tremendous rate and it needed all his skill and attention to save the craft from dashing against the rocks. He'd heard about the fabled river of Mimir, but this was not the tranquil stream of his imagination.

The walls still reflected a phosphorescent glow. Vidarh noticed several gigantic, human-like statues on the banks as he passed, but had no time to contemplate or admire them. Rounding a bend, he came upon a wall of water ahead, cascading from the roof in a fury of white froth. The torrent boiled and raced. He gritted his teeth as he headed into the maelstrom. There was no way he could control the boat's frantic motions as it heaved and bucked like an unbroken colt. He threw down the paddle, gripped the sides of the vessel, and sent a desperate message through the ether.

Tamarith, I'm in trouble. Please—send me images of your location, quickly. I need to know what it looks like where you are.

The raging current tossed the boat around with relentless fury. All Vidarh's attention focused on maintaining contact with Tamarith, and even his finely-tuned powers could not prevent the craft from capsizing. Gasping as he hit the icy flood, he struck out with his arms in desperation, and tried to keep the watery demons from pulling him under.


My first review for 'Children Of The Mist' is on the 'You Gotta Read' site, you can read it HERE

You can purchase 'Children Of The Mist, or any of my other books at The Wild Rose Press site, HERE

and please feel free to visit my Website and Blog. I love visitors!

Thanks again for letting me take over your Blog, Tabitha! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vote for Colby

Yes, once again I'm asking for your vote for my dog. I entered him in another contest. This time it's a video contest, and I submitted the clip of him learning to swim. I really want to win this time, so PLEASE leave a comment.

You can leave an anonymous comment, but in order for the vote to count, you have to sign some kind of username.

Voting ends July 25th so get a move on!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Witch's Moon Review

Another review this week by Seriously Reviewed!

Review: All I can really say is that Ms Shay has done it again! Crafting a spell-binding #3 to follow Witch's Heart #2, and Witch's Brew-the first in the series. Kali and Koran T are a fantastic couple who have denied the sexual attraction for about as long as they can. With to many laugh out loud scenes to name, and some really steamy, squirm in your seat scenes it is a great story I have no doubt will leave you wanting more.

With the series still going and the tale becoming more intoxicating as you go through it, I am sure you won't be able to stop at just one. Ms. Shay continues to stagger me with her ability to craft a story that ALWAYS delivers and leaves me giddy for the next.

I bow down to the great one. Ms. Shay, you are my hero!

Can't get any better than that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Book Cover For Witch's Magic

JUST IN! Here is the cover art for Tab's newest book, Witch's Magic. It is Book Four in the Winslow Witches series. The release date is September 7, 2009 so mark your calendars!

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Review for Witch's Brew

Seriously Reviewed posted a new review of Tab's first published book, Witch's Brew.

Review: Brisk, sexy and laugh till you pee! I found the hero, Talon to be super sexy. The heroine, Saylym to be feisty and funny. And the entire realm of Ru-Noc to be a captivating delight for the senses and the imagination. I have not laughed this hard in a long time. The bed in the story is a perfect example of some of the most creative imagination I have seem in a long time.

The bad guys in the story make it all the better. They are the kind you LOVE to hate. It thrills me to no end this series will continue. I have the first three, so you can expect to see the reviews for the other two very soon, but I have to say, Ms Shay has gotten a new fan just off the first one. I can't wait to see what happens in the next story.

The cover was very nice, no major editing issues. At $6.95 US for the pdf I think it is very well worth it. I have no doubt if you like love, magic and laughter, you will find this story a total delight.

Congrats, Ms Shay. Here is to many wonderful stories ahead!