Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

to moms everywhere

Mom on a toy horse

Mom on a toy horse

Once upon a time, I decided that for Mother’s Day, I would dredge up some amusing story about my mother to share with everyone (including her.)  Something that would bring laughter, and maybe a few tears.  But as I combed my brain for all the funny moments that would be appropriate (as in wouldn’t get me in big trouble with Mom) I came to the realization that there are just far too many stories to tell.  I decided it might be fun to just mash them together and pull out a few special moments from my childhood.  And then I decided I’d repost it every year and add just one more to the list.

So here goes…

Dear Mom,

Thank you for teaching me why it is bad to put a cat into the washing machine. (Especially when it is full of hot soapy water and cloth diapers.)

Thank you for putting the marshmallow peeps and black jelly beans in my Easter basket every year to keep me from eating too much candy! And thank you for eating all of the candy I didn’t like so it didn’t go to waste.

Thank you for learning how to sew so you could make my clothes for me when I was little.  And thank you for using the rick rack trim because it still makes me laugh to say "rick rack."

Thank you for cutting my hair when I was little.  And thank you for taking pictures of me with the terrible haircuts so I can prove how bad they really were. (And oh my God! They were bad!)

Thank you for always making my birthday a special day all on its own, even though it falls just a few days after Christmas.

Thank you for never making me eat liver and onions even though it was your favorite.

Thank you for watching the Wizard of Oz with me every year, even though you were afraid of the wicked witch.

Thank you for letting me believe in Santa Claus long past the age most kids did. And then letting me help you keep the secret from my younger sister so I could pretend for just a few more years.

Thank you for eating the pickles in my McDonald’s hamburgers because you knew I didn't like them, even though you didn't like them either.

Thank you for teaching me how to bandage a wound using toilet paper and scotch tape. (I still use this invaluable method to this day.)

Thank you for knowing how to bake everything from scratch even though you don’t like to cook.

Thank you for making sure I had the best Halloween costume every year. And thank you for teaching me that sometimes the best costume is the one you made from scratch.

Thank you for teaching me that it’s okay to like younger men.

Thank you for teaching me that you don’t have to be a good dancer to have a whole lot of fun doing it. (Same goes for karaoke…but thank you for not giving me your singing genes.)

Thank you for going to karaoke with me, and thank you for getting up there to sing just so we could laugh at your singing.

Thank you for making sure I knew at a very young age that it was ok to draw pictures of my parents, but only if they were wearing clothes.

Thank you for introducing me to the music of Elvis Presley and the Jackson 5.

Thank you for letting me make my own mistakes sometimes, even though you could have stopped me.

Thank you for teaching me how to back up the car. (Oh wait, never mind, that was Dad.)

Thank you for showing me that it’s perfectly ok to send your eggs back (in a restaurant) until they get them right. Even if they never really get them right.

Thank you for telling the very best dirty jokes.

Thank you for cheating at board games to remind us that life isn’t always fair.

Thank you for being a nurse so I have someone to call at two in the morning when I think something is terribly wrong with me, and thank you for telling me it’s probably just gas.

Thank you for knowing how to draw blood so you could tell the nurses how to do it when it was my turn to have blood taken.

Thank you for being strong enough to survive the things that would have killed weaker people.  And thank you for flipping the bird at us while you were on a ventilator so we could find some humor in a scary situation.

Thank you for teaching me that being a good mother doesn't always mean being a perfect mother, and some mistakes can be happy accidents.

Thank you for making sure I knew all the best dirty jokes.

To all you mothers out there…have a Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

wee wee wee, all the way home

Okay, before you say anything, I know I'm a failure. I bailed on the A-Z challenge before I even reached G. And my excuse is weak, so I'm not even going to throw it out there. But I'm back with a farm update. And what an update it is too! 

We've talked about our impending spring pigs for months now. We went to pick them out a month ago, way before they were even weaned, and planned out our trip to pick them up weeks in advance. We had the dog crate at the ready and the electric fencing was up and tested.

Then when the day of the trip arrived, we were forced to throw down tarps in the back of the Kia and load them into the car sans crate (it was just an inch too wide to cram it into the back.) But hey, no problem, right? Where there's a will, there's a way. And nothing was going to come between us and our little piglets.

Piggies in the Kia Soul

Piggies in the Kia Soul

Famous last words...

When we finally got them home and unloaded them from the car, all our careful planning went to shit. 

It was like a fairy tale gone wrong. Or a twisted Disney news headline. "Three little pigs vanish into the woods, never to be seen again." Okay, so they were seen. And seen again. They were just behind our pasture. But let's just say, capturing wayward piglets is about as easy as training a mastiff puppy not to drool. And if you've ever read my blog, you know mastiffs are champion droolers. So trust me when I say piglets are impossible to catch. 

My husband was inconsolable. And not just because we'd forked over a nice chunk of cash for said piggies just that afternoon, though there was that. But it was also the plans for the future that disappeared right along with their curled up tails. 

Fast forward to this afternoon...

Piggies from Heaven

Piggies from Heaven

My neighbor messaged me to say he'd seen our piggies, so I quickly dispatched the hubby and one of the girls for a reconnaissance mission. I told them not to come back without the pigs! Maybe I didn't say those exact words, but I did say to hurry. So off they went, armed with a tarp and a bag of bread. 

An hour later, they returned, pigless. Those slippery little bacon babies had gotten away . Hubby was dejected and sad. And very possibly covered in poison ivy, again. But he vowed to set a trap the next day.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

No trap would be set, because no sooner had we settled in to watch TV this evening when hubby spied three little pigs peering through our gate. They'd wandered right up and strolled on through. (So that's a total exaggeration, we had to corral them toward the open gate, but it was oddly simple given the prior experiences.) 

Lola and the piggies

Lola and the piggies

And so my happy ending includes three frolicking, well fed little piggies playing tag with the mastiff puppy in my back yard. I can't wait to see where this leads to...

Until the next time... I'll be feeding pigs again!



 

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

f is for fun

Okay, my A-Z challenge post today is a bit of a stretch. But sex is fun, right? If you're doing it right that is. Or reading it. And today, I have a brand new release. A fun read. An erotic romance. Diamond Duplicity. And let's face it... f is for other things too (insert winky face here.)

Passion hotter than stolen diamonds 

Lucy Matthews can’t believe her crazy luck. While she’s on a date with Mr. Wrong, her evening tilts from merely unfortunate to downright surreal when his attempt to sneak them into a club lands them in the middle of a diamond heist. 


When gorgeous Max Callaghan discovers a hot and disheveled Lucy clutching his bag of diamonds at the crime scene, he brands her with a fiery kiss. His gang wants her dead, so Max rescues her by claiming her as his girlfriend. Lucy soon realizes with sudden, pulse-pounding clarity that she needs Max for another reason entirely, but their passionate ruse might not survive the intense pressure of a high-stakes mob war. 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

d is for demon and e is for earthbound angels

Remind me to never sign up for an A-Z challenge again. Not because it isn't a worthy challenge, but because I'm a slacker at heart and I can't seem to keep up. But nevertheless, here I am again. Today's post is brought to you by Elizabeth Corrigan and her delicious demon, Bedlam from the newly released Raising Chaos. 

 

Author Elizabeth Corrigan

Author Elizabeth Corrigan

So I was struggling to come up with a guest post topic for Erica, because I wanted it to be something that properly reflected our relationship. And then I remembered the initial thing we had in common: The letter E. 

Okay, really, I was like “OMG, Erica, I need a guest post topic!” And she said, “Well, alphabet challenge. Your day is E.” And I said, “E? E is my very favorite letter!”

Not really, but sometimes I exaggerate.

By all accounts, E should be my very favorite letter, as it starts my name and all. There’s even scientific research to back it up. Studies have shown that people prefer the letters in their own name to other letters, and the first letter tends to be their very favorite. It’s part of a phenomenon called “implicit egotism,” which describes the fact that people tend to prefer places and things with the same name as them. Like, there are a disproportionate number of Virginias in Virginia and Pauls in St. Paul. I confess, I myself have always had a hankering to live in Elizabeth, NJ, but thus far I have avoided the urge. Something about having a job in Maryland. (Though my friend Mary lives in NJ. I wonder if there’s a connection.) I was looking this up on Wikipedia, and I discovered there is also an effect that people tend to consider their initial letters to be more oriented toward their gender, as in, I should consider E to be a feminine letter. I’m not sure if that’s true.

Honestly, though, I’m not sure that E is my favorite letter. I mean, it’s nice and all, but liking it conflicts with my need for distinctiveness. Basically, I prefer to be as unique as possible. And E is the most common letter. I mean, people go to special effort to write things without the letter E in them. (Which makes me now wish I’d found a way to write this entire tribute to the letter E without using the letter E. But that would be too meta for a Monday.) I’m more partial to the Z in my name. And the B, though that’s implicit egotism, too. My family calls me Betsy.

But clearly I love the letter E enough to name my series after it: Earthbound Angels. And all my angel and demon characters at least have E’s in their names, because they all end in EL. I had been aware that angel names tended to end this way, but it wasn’t until I did research for my series that I learned why. Apparently “El” was a word for God in Aramaic, so the angels all had God in their name. Gabriel, for example, means strong man of God. I found out my name followed this same pattern, but put the “El” at the beginning. For fun, I decided to flip around my name for one of my angels. Siren’s real name is Zabethiel, which means oath of God.

Erica told me to be entertaining in my post. (E for entertaining!) And I worry I have actually been more educational. (E for educational!) But hopefully I have been at least a little of each. (E for each!) Thanks to Erica and the letter E for having me!

Thanks for coming by Elizabeth! And also, thanks for leaving us with the excerpt (another awesome E word!) from the new book (we love those!) And let's not forget the prizes (Elizabeth has an awesome giveway for us today too!) So, keep reading to the bottom, that's where we hid the good stuff!

To buy this book : 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

c is for, um, lots of stuff?

As promised, today we'll learn about the letter C.

Why do I feel like some sort of other dimensional Sesame Street character? Don't answer that. Ahem... I can think of so many words that start with C. Like cookies. And cake. Candy and chocolate. Cream (filled donuts)... cupcakes... crepes... complex carbohydrates galore. Perhaps I shouldn't blog on an empty stomach. Especially when the hubby took the car (worked in another C word) to go to the office and I'm stuck here without a way to go out. But you'd think I'd have lots of things to eat, right?

Sure, because living on a farm gives me access to LOTS of C words. Including chickens and coops, cupolas and cocks (don't look at me like that. I'm talking about roosters, not erotic romance. We'll save that for another day.) And if it was B day, I could bake. Who am I kidding? I'm not going to bake.

But I'm still hungry, so back to C... carrots and celery, cucumbers and (swiss) chard. Cheese... and crackers! Holy crap. My stomach is really growling now. I wish I had some chips. I might have a box of cereal. I might even have to branch into other letters of the alphabet. I have so many choices. (See what I did there?) 

Okay, so maybe this A-Z challenge (oh, another good one) wasn't so hard after all. What was I complaining about? (I'm good, you can't deny it.) 

But now I'm so hungry I could eat a whole cow. So I'm outta here. Catch you later!

Until the next time...

I'll be on to D

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

a is for adventure, b is for bravery

"Join the A-Z blog challenge," they told me. "I'll be fun," they promised. "Prepare your posts in advance," they said. 

Did they have any idea who they were talking to? I rarely join in, and I almost never prepare posts in advance. I'm a spur of the moment... fly by the seat of my pants, kinda girl. An adventurer. 

Okay... I couldn't keep a straight face when typing that. I'm not an adventurer. Not. At. All. I mean, I'll write about all sorts of exciting things, but as far as jumping into the face of danger, you can forget it. But I do love a challenge. And the A-Z challenge seemed like a good idea at the time. Of course, I'm a day late and a blog short, as they say. I was supposed to start  yesterday. Consider my lack of post as my April Fools' Day prank. 

And now? This is my first A-Z post. So what shall I write about? Not adventure... we've already established my lack of bravery. Unless you consider wandering into dangerous pig pens and hanging out with vicious poultry as a measure of bravery. In which case, I should get a medal of honor... instead of just poop on the bottom of my shoes. 

So there you have it. My first post of the challenge. Not too exciting, I'm afraid. But A is just the beginning. And B... well, B is just a bonus. So next we're on to C. I think I could get myself into all kinds of trouble with a letter like that!

Until the next time...

I'll be working my way through the alphabet.

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

2014 reader's choice awards

I had planned to write a fun little post today, telling you all about my most recent quest for Girl Scout cookies, but then something marvelous happened. Something I just couldn't ignore. Not even for a box of Thin Mints. And that's big, people. HUGE!

Suddenly Sorceress has been nominated for Big Al's Books and Pals (Winner of Best Review Site in the 2013 Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards) 2014 Reader's Choice Awards in the category of Paranormal Romance. 

So yeah... Paranormal Romance of the Year would be a major coup. And totally awesome on so many levels. So I figured, hey, maybe my 3Fs (friends, family, fans) would help me get there by voting for me. And you can even win a few prizes just for voting. How cool is that? The voting is only open for ten days (starting today) so please don't delay. And I'll be sure to keep you posted. If we win we'll be celebrating. Who knows, we might even score some Thin Mints while we wait.

Here's the link... Big Al's Books and Pals 2014 Reader's Choice Awards.

And thanks for voting!

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

old and new

Wow am I behind on updating the news. If you hadn't heard, Suddenly Sorceress is now available. Click the Books link for the page with all the details. That's old news... in new news, Craving Caine will be released sometime this spring! I'll be sure to update this time around.

In the meantime, go pick up a copy of Suddenly Sorceress and discover some magic.

Ciao for now.

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

brother can you spare a thin mint?

We're just twelve hours away from March and for the second year in a row, I haven’t seen a single Girl Scout selling cookies. Oh, I know they’re out there. I’ve seen the Facebook posts from my friends, happily gorging themselves on Thin Mints. I’ve seen the Internet Memes showing smiling cookie sellers set up in front of a medical marijuana shop. And yet in my neck of the woods, the Girl Scouts have gone underground like…like a groundhog hiding from a news crew.

I know my internal clock hasn’t reset itself. I’ve seen the first signs of spring. The snow has melted. The daffodils are blooming. But the cookies are nowhere in sight. And me? I can’t ditch the unshakeable craving for a line of Thin Mints, fresh from the freezer. And yes, I’m dying to do line after line until my breath has the permanent hint of mint. (Has anyone wondered if maybe THIS is how Cooper got his minty breath? Just putting that thought out there.)

I can almost hear the familiar crackle of the clear wrapping as I tear it open with my teeth, and the snap of the first cookie as I bite into the cool, minty goodness. Just thinking about it starts the tingle at the tip of my fingers as I long to rip open a brand new box. I’m having heart palpitations at the mere memory of the taste.

I went trolling for cookies just the other day. I keep checking the local shops, hoping I’ll find a random Girl Scout I can stalk, I mean follow home, I mean…ask. Right. I’ll ask them if they can hook me up with my cookie fix. Or at least direct me to an addiction counselor. I knew I had a thing for chocolate, but since when does a picture of a cookie send a person into withdrawal? The addiction is real people…real, I tell you! 

Ok…I need to get a handle on this. I’ve done an internet search to see if they’re selling cookies in my area, and I’ve come up blank. And I know I can order them from Amazon, but at ten dollars a box, I’d have to skip something else this month. Like groceries. Or my car payment. And my husband is hiding my debit card until they take down the order option. He knows.

And so do I. You don’t have to say anything. I can feel an intervention coming, and I haven’t even touched my first cookie.

It’s going to be a long spring.

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

happy birthday mr. president

*Back by popular demand*

I'm baking a cake in honor of Mr. Lincoln's birthday. Everyone deserves cake on their birthday...even an imaginary dead president living...err...not-living in a haunted farmhouse in the mountains.

No, not a dick cake..not even a real cake for that matter...because after yesterday's attack of heart burn, I'm grounded from the kitchen. But it's not my fault! There should be an alarm that goes off when all the water boils out of the pan. It should whistle like an old fashioned tea kettle or something. They weren't kidding when they said heart attacks were the silent killers. I didn't hear a damn thing as my Pure Romance gel heart burned into a pink pile of ash.

Not. One. Single. Thing.

Pink should make a sound...shouldn't it? Pigs are pink. They make a sound. Maybe my imaginary cake will have pink frosting. I think Lincoln was a fan of pink.

lincoln13.JPG

In fact, I'm sure he was. It's a little known fact that Lincoln was the first president in favor of extending the vote to women. He knew women found him sexy, (he was 6'4", need I say more?) and women rock the vote. He even grew his beard in response to a rumor that women would urge their husband's to vote for him with his sexy beard. Oh yeah...Abe was digging the pink, alright.

So, Mr. Lincoln is going to karaoke with me tonight, where we're having an early Valentine's Day party (with lots and lots of pink) and I'll try out some new tunes for him. We'll give his hat some attention, and maybe even coax him into slipping me a few fives...his huge head is splashed across the front of the five dollar bill, you know. Heck, I'll take a nice roll of his shiny new pennies for that matter. I hear there's a big sale in honor of his birthday too. And who can resist a good sale?

So Happy Birthday to my imaginary dead president. We're gonna party like it's 1865 (but we'll steer clear of the theater...ok?)

Until the next time...I'll be doing my best Marilyn Monroe impression as I sing to Mr. Lincoln.

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

I believe in Santa Claus

I happened across an airing of Miracle on 34th Street a few days ago and it brought up the subject of Santa Claus. I’ve participated in many a lively debate on the subject over the years, and the classic movie put a lovely point on the topic for me.

Santa's_Arrival.jpg

The debate with my friends was about at what age children should be told the truth about Santa. And if Santa is even relevant in this day and age. 

I believed in Santa Claus as a child. 

It is one of the strongest, most vivid memories I have from childhood. In fact, if I think back, I could probably recall at least one present from each year I believed. Santa Claus is quite simply the definition of the “magic” of childhood. I think I knew the truth long before it was confirmed, but I didn’t want to stop believing, so I held on for as long as I could. I was almost twelve when I finally had the indisputable proof. But because my younger sister still believed, I was able to hold on to the magic for a few more years through her. 

And that is what it is all about for me. The magic. It is something every child should feel and every adult wishes they could recapture. 

Finding out there is no Santa Claus is the first official step away from childhood. And it’s a steep step that most of us spend the rest of our lives trying to back track. At least a little. Even if it’s just once a year. 

While my children were little, because of their belief in Santa Claus, my house was again filled with the magic of Christmas. It wasn’t quite the same as when I was a child, but it is the closest I have ever come to that wonderment from my childhood. 

It certainly doesn’t stop me from trying to recapture it each year. I still watch the classic Christmas specials like Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown. I immerse myself in the twinkling lights, Christmas carols, and frosted cookies until my memories swirl around me like a tornado of snowflakes on Christmas Eve and Santa Claus becomes real again. 

When my children asked me, so many years ago, if Santa was real, I told them that Santa was as real as we believed he was. I still consider this to be the truth. 

Christmas is the one time of year when believing in magic is not just for children… because Santa real if you believe.

And I believe in Santa Claus.

Until the next time…I’ll be hanging my stocking by the chimney with care.

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Cue the music...

I have a tree!

My tree

My tree

And not just a tree. I have a decorated tree. (And no it’s not the same one I left up until Thanksgiving.) It’s a new tree. A fresh cut tree. With lights and ornaments. I even have a wreath on the door. And a few assorted decorations scattered around the house. Even a few jingle bells hanging from the antlers on the wall. Why not? It’s Christmas!

I mailed Christmas cards! Did you catch that? I. Mailed. Cards. Me! Crazy, I know. I’ve made history, and it’s not even the middle of the month yet.

But let’s face it, my December will be crazy busy. Thanks in part to my new book (Suddenly Sorceress) coming out later this month… and all the excitement that brings. And of course, all the kids will be home for the holidays, so I have to decorate as if it’s the North Pole. And let’s not forget the birthdays (mine, and the hubby,) plus our anniversary, and we can’t forget the Christmas parties.

Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

But thanks to Amazon and the UPS guy, I’m almost done with my shopping. Though, I fear my neighbors suspect I’m having a thing with the not-so-hunky delivery guy. He’s been here almost every day…dodging barking turkeys and bird poop.

Now, I have a sudden urge to decorate and bake. I might even paint something. Well…maybe not paint. But I’m definitely going to hang wreaths on all the windows, and some lights on the porch.

And yes…a little more shopping. I have so many to shop for this Christmas. I’m making a list and checking it twice. Gotta figure out who’s naughty…who’s nice.

And for my readers? Well…I have a few surprises in my stockings for you too! But you’ll have to wait for the day after Christmas.

Until the next time…I’ll be covered in flour!

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

close call

Today's post is a book promo for a dear friend of mine. Her new book was just released! It's a cross between Bridget Jones and the Vagina Monologues.  

Check it out!

Close Call.jpg

Blurb:

Twenty-two year-old Jemma can’t seem to get her life in order. Her track record with men stinks, she constantly worries about getting fat and ending up a spinster at thirty. And to top it off, she has to be a bridesmaid at her most-hated cousin’s wedding. She feels like her life is over, until Doris decides to help out. Who’s Doris? Doris is Jemma’s vagina, and she thinks more of Jemma than her own brain does. Doris is on a mission to save Jemma from herself, but is the task too much for one vagina to handle?

About the author:

Eloise March is a woman who laughs at her own jokes, swears way too much and breaks any new diet by lunchtime on the day she starts. She believes in women’s equality, and all equality for that matter, and hopes the things she writes touch people in a positive way, and make them think about how they can create a better society for themselves and others.

In her spare time, she enjoys living as her alter ego, Dionne Lister — a suspense and YA fantasy author who is way too embarrassed to talk about vaginas. She likes spending time as Dionne because Dionne has an awesome family, wonderful friends and a cat called Lily, oh, and she has great hair.

If you’re looking for Eloise, or any information about future books in the Doris & Jemma Vadgeventure series, you can visit Dionne’s website, where Eloise has been lucky enough to get her own page http://www.dionnelisterwriter.com. If you’re looking for a chat, you can find Ms March on Twitter.

Links to the book: Amazon and Smashwords

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

talking turkey

Wow...has it been a week since I last posted a blog? I seriously need to get out of my funk and get back to blogging. But it's been a crazy year. I have a book coming out on the day after Christmas, so I have lots to do before then. My first task has been tackling the dreaded Christmas cards. And in a crazy twist of fate, for the first time in over a decade, I may actually mail them. I'll have to send out a mass message letting people know I didn't die. (I once stated if people started getting Christmas cards from me, it was surely my estate, after having found my stash of never-mailed cards and my final will stating they should send those suckers out.) I'll just say it now...rumors of my death are probably gross exaggerations.

As far as my Thanksgiving, it was a darn good one. I started my morning with a bit of television nostalgia.  A friend posted a clip from WKRP in Cincinnati, one of my favorite shows from back in the day. It was the Thanksgiving episode where the fictitious radio station did a “turkey drop” releasing dozens of turkeys from an airplane.  Of course, the punch line was, turkeys can’t fly. 

But I happen to know turkeys can fly, though perhaps not when dropped from a plane, but they certainly can fly from one side of my fence to the other. Even if they can't figure out how to get back once they do. And they can most definitely fly from one side of the highway to the other.  My sister once totaled her car hitting a turkey. She didn’t even try to avoid it. My mother had always told her not to swerve for birds; they will get out of the way at the last minute. 

For the record, that rule does NOT apply to turkeys. Turkeys will NOT get out of the way at the last minute.  They will dent the hood, then the roof of your car, shattering your windshield on the way. For a bird, they do a great imitation of a deer when you hit them.  I guess it’s a little like driving fifty-five miles per hour down the highway and having someone toss a bowling ball into your path.  At least that’s what my husband said when he finished laughing at the story of my sister and the turkey.

20131128_145138.jpg

When it comes to turkey facts, my husband is full of them.  Out of the blue yesterday, he mentioned the statistics of how many people blow themselves up while attempting to deep fry a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Apparently, you can’t deep fry a frozen turkey.  Who knew? Hubby did.  Obviously, as a native of New York State, I have never even considered deep frying my turkey. I'm pretty sure it's not a "Yankee" tradition. And for the record, I've also never cooked it with the bag of innards still inside the bird.  But with my track record in the kitchen, it’s a wonder I haven’t done worse.  Then again, I suppose there isn't much worse than sending a turkey into space on the tail of a deep fryer.

As for us, we had a fairly uneventful Thanksgiving. Well, after the actual execution of poor Carter A. Turkey--this year's dinner. For his part, he was delicious. And cooked the old fashioned way…in the oven. Operation: "Raising turkeys" has been a complete success. Now onto "Making Christmas." Wish me luck!

Until the next time…I’ll be recovering from the food coma!

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

squirrels in the attic

No, Squirrels in the Attic isn't a new rock band (though, feel free to steal that name if you're an up and coming band without a name.) Though, I will say, my squirrels are quite musical, rolling acorns from one end of the house to the other in the ceiling above me. And not just musical, but cute, too. But all things considered, I'd rather they stayed in the trees and pilfered seeds from the bird feeders rather than trying to snatch dog food from my pantry. 

I guess it's just one more bonus of living on the old haunted farm. 

Another bonus would be fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. Yes, you heard me right. We're actually going to eat one of our prized turkeys. The high-tech redneck hubby named the two toms Clarence and Carter, and apparently, we're going to "Get Carter" for turkey day. I've already started compensating by tossing him extra bread treats. And no, I'm not trying to "pre-stuff" the bird. He loves bread and a dying man should get a last meal, right? For poor Carter, it's a whole week's worth of last meals. I had a whole loaf of bread going stale, so I've just started tossing bits to him each day. I guess this year, I'll be thankful for Carter and the gang for my wonderful meal.

And I'll be extra thankful if we can find the point of entry for the damn squirrels. They've made a mess of the pantry, and even convinced the cat to spend more time inside this week...hunting them. Kitty Bartholomew (known as Bart the mighty jungle cat these days) has been parked outside the pantry door, waiting to nab the little vagrants as they scurry down the walls to snatch loose dog food that's managed to end up here and there. And make no mistake about it, the cat is merely doing his job. There's not fun in this for him. He doesn't toy with the furry creatures. He kills and leaves the body behind. He's a soldier. 

Okay, it might just be a little fun for him. He definitely seems to enjoy the hunt. And I say, let nature take it's course. May the top of the food chain win! And may my bowl of holiday mixed nuts remain untouched. 

Until the next time...I'll be preparing for a feast.

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

caulk is cheap

Well, so much for fall...it would seem winter is upon us again. So as the temperatures dipped below freezing, I had this brilliant idea to caulk all the windows and doors to stop the seemingly infinite air leaks around the haunted farmstead. I turned to my trusty "painter's kit" and pulled out three tubes of caulk, perfect for the task. 

Let me say this...caulk may be cheap, but it sure doesn't last forever. My stash of never opened caulk apparently expired circa 2004. It was as hard as a rock and completely useless. So much for brilliant ideas and stocking up!

Off we went to the local big box store for a few more tubes. 

We spent a few dollars and several hours plugging up the holes around the windows, doors, and floors. I won't say it's "warm" yet. But at least it doesn't feel like we live in a barn anymore.

The next thing will be getting the gas company in here to run gas lines so we can ditch the electric heat pump for a good old fashioned gas furnace. I'll warm it up in here if it's the last thing I do!

Ok, I may be exaggerating, but I'm definitely all for getting warm. We've already had nights in the low teens and it's still November. I'm terrified to think how cold it could get in the dead of winter.

There's only so much hot chocolate in the world, you know.

Until the next time...I'll be stocking up on a few more electric blankets.

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

shaping up to be a banner year

As you well know, 2013 has been a stellar year for me. My first full length novel, To Katie With Love was released at the end of April and my second book, Suddenly Sorceress was contracted with the same publisher for release in 2014. What could possibly top that?

Ok, so winning the lottery, getting a movie deal, or finding the secret of eternal youth might come close, but since I didn't get any of those things, I'll start with what DID happen.

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

Suddenly Sorceress is getting an early release!  

That's right! It's not coming out for Valentine's Day as planned, it's coming out closer to the first of the year. And I for one, couldn't be happier.  

In fact, I've been so happy, I pulled out an old manuscript and started blowing off the years of dust. I'm polishing this yet-to-be-named romantic thriller for hopeful publication. Some might say I've gone mad, but hey, we all go a little mad sometimes, right?  

So there you have it! I'm preparing for the coming release of a new book and the upcoming blog tour that inevitably goes along with it. That means I'm back to doing interviews and guest posts like a crazy person. That and getting my house ready for a slew of guests for the holiday season. I could seriously use a little of Ivie McKie's witchcraft to get stuff done. Then again, maybe not. I sorta like my husband the way he is.  

For a sneak peek at Suddenly Sorceress, read chapter one HERE

Until the next time...I'll be brushing up on my guest post skills.  

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

countdown to turkey day

It’s that time of the year again. No, not NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) though, it is that time too. But not for me. I’m abstaining from NaNo this year. Too much pressure after a grueling month of edits. No, I’m referring to the countdown to Thanksgiving.

First of all, let’s define Thanksgiving. It means to give thanks, right? It’s a day to remember what we’re thankful for in our lives, and to honor it. To surround ourselves with family, love, and football? Wait just a minute. When did football become a part of Thanksgiving? This is what the spare TV is for. And headphones. But I digress…

Me, I’m thankful for my family, and for love, and for the internet, and all that good stuff. But let’s face it, isn’t Thanksgiving about turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes? Pie and hot rolls… and more pie? I’m not knocking the whole “giving thanks” thing. I want to give thanks. But I want the food too.

There’s just a few weeks to go before I need have everything in order the yearly feast. And so far, I have nothing. Not even a list of what I need. Hubby and I haven’t even come to an agreement about who lives or dies.

Put down the phone. No need to call in the authorities, I’m not planning an execution. Well, not a human one anyway. And for the record, I’m not the one planning to kill anyone, or anything. I want to buy my turkey already dead, like everyone else does. I don’t want to knock off one of my little farm babies as a sacrifice to the Thanksgiving gods, or whatever. But the hubby? Oh, he has something evil up his sleeve, and I’m on a mission to stop him.

But is it one of our precious few remaining turkeys with his neck on the chopping block? Or the other rooster we just discovered we had? The rooster I was convinced was a hen until he let loose with a loud “cock-a-doodle-do” this weekend. Sometimes, I feel as if I’m trapped in a Looney Toons episode. Is it turkey season or rooster season?

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a traditionalist. I want turkey. That’s it. No ducks, no rabbits, no Bambi. But the husband? He likes to experiment. And that usually means trouble. Especially when I’m trying to save the resident turkeys. They need to live long enough to reproduce. We need a whole flock of those crazy plumped up birds roaming the yard.

So my mission, if I choose to accept it, is to not only make a grocery list of what we need for Thanksgiving, but also to keep my husband occupied long enough for the turkeys to be taken off the table, both figuratively and literally. Unfortunately, that task will be more difficult than it sounds. But I never back away from a challenge…unless it involves dancing…or waxing…or jumping out of a plane…ok, I run from lots of challenges but I won’t run from this one. Listen up, Tom, I’ve got your back.

Until the next time…I’ll be shopping for a pre-dead turkey and the trimmings!

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

this is halloween

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Go ahead, let me have it. I know I've been horrible about blogging lately. But the edits for Suddenly Sorceress are kicking my ass. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. And in a fun twist, that book is set during Halloween.

And speaking of Halloween... It's just a half hour til dark and I’m sitting in front of the television watching a marathon of my all-time favorite Halloween movies, starting with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

This is the first time all day I really felt as if it was Halloween…and now it’s almost over. How is this even possible?

I got up this morning and completely forgot what day it was. I was out running errands and ran into no less than three strangely dressed people before I realized they weren’t crazy…just in costume. I’m still asking myself how I managed to make it through the entire day without my usual holiday cheer. Everyone knows I love Halloween. For years, the neighborhood children have referred to my house as the “scary” house thanks to my creative Halloween displays. But this year, I live on a farm and the turkeys have zero respect for scary decorations. The minute they pooped on my pumpkin, my heart wasn’t in it. My life-size skeleton is all alone on the front porch. I didn’t even put the heads on stakes in the yard.

To make matters worse, like last year, we won’t get a single trick or treater tonight. Not one. Not even my own children, all of which have flown the nest. But did that stop me from buying candy? Oh, hell no. I live in fear of the angry mob of children with stakes and torches storming my sidewalk if I didn’t buy candy. (You just never know when they'll show up shouting, "Trick or Treat!")

Of course, then I had to buy candy to replace the candy I ate. (The same candy I bought to replace the candy I ate before that.) I’ve eaten so much candy in the past two weeks, if my blood was tested it would probably be pure chocolate.

But surely a lack of trick or treaters couldn’t be the reason for my uncharacteristic gloom on my favorite holiday…could it?

Well, once again, I have no kids at home. You’d think I’d be used to it after the past few kidless years, but I just never am. And as much as the dogs would love to eat candy, they’re not much for the costumes. Believe me…I tried.

And my husband? Getting him into a costume would be harder than dressing Indiana Jones, the Mastiff in a cowardly lion suit and taking him around the neighborhood to knock on doors. (This was my Halloween fantasy from last year that failed miserably.)

So what does a girl do when her favorite holiday falls flatter than a souffle in a thunderstorm?

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She grabs a few last pieces of chocolate and a glass of red wine and parks herself in front of the TV to watch Halloween of the past. It wasn’t what I had in mind, but it beats crying in my candy bowl. And what the Hell…this just means my boycott of the Christmas stores is over.

Until the next time…I’ll be shopping for Christmas!

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

chow lives

Yes, it's true. Henry Chow lives...just not here.  

I spotted our former cat as he crossed the neighbor's yard yesterday. I called out to him, and he stopped and turned to me. He even acknowledged me in that way cats have. Meaning he seemed to blink a few times before walking away. It was as if he was telling me, "Chow don't live there anymore." But he certainly lives somewhere. He looked fat and happy. 

And speaking of living arrangement... 

The high-tech redneck hubby had the week off and his stay-cation started with the demolition of the old chicken coops. Then, with cold weather moving into the North Georgia Mountains, the rest of the week was devoted to building a new (better) coop.  

It's not quite up to my standards (in other words, I wouldn't live there) but our chickens will be living in style! That is, if we could convince them to move in. Chickens are weird. Beautiful new house ready for occupancy and they prefer their broken down perch. We had to catch them all (in the dark, I might add) and shove them into their new house. 

This was another moment film crews would have eaten up. Thankfully, we don't have a film crew. I sprained my ankle, we broke the "broken down perch" and we weren't able to outsmart the youngest rooster. But we did manage to get most of the chickens into their new house for the night. And just in time too, as temperatures dipped below freezing.  

Tonight, I left them to their own devices. If they want to be cold, so be it. I'm not chasing chickens in the dark with a bum ankle.  

I guess if you build it, they just might not come after all. 

Oh well...we'll convince them eventually. I'll wager the first snow fall of the year will drive our chickens into their toasty warm house.  Until then, I guess we'll have to keep nudging them in that direction. One of these days, I'll have my front porch back.

Until the next time...I'll be icing my ankle. 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.