2015 Reader's Choice Awards

Well, it's that time of year again. Time for the Big Al's Book's and Pals Reader's Choice Awards. And I'm honored to say Craving Caine has been Nominated in the Romance category. Now all I need is your vote. And you can win great prizes just for voting! All you have to do is go to Big Al's Books and Pals 2015 Reader's Choice Awards, and login to the giveaway window using Facebook or your email address then open the Romance category drop-down to vote for Craving Caine. See? Easy! 

And if you haven't read it yet, you're in luck! On March 23rd you can get Craving Caine for $.99 on Amazon. Click the cover to buy. 

And good luck with the giveaway!

Posted on March 20, 2015 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

indiana jones and the bloat of doom

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know that I nearly lost my beloved English Mastiff Indiana Jones from bloat with gastric torsion last week. But thanks to my paranoid fixation with the condition, I knew exactly what was happening to him and badgered my husband until he helped me load Indy into the car and drive him to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. We’ve been told our prompt action is what saved him.

Oh, and the ridiculously expensive surgery wherein Indy lost his spleen, but not his life.

Indy survived the multi-hour procedure, and when the vet came out to tell me how well he did, he said they were bringing Indy out of the anesthesia, and he’d be able to walk to the car so we could transport him to the regular vet (since the ER closes during the daylight hours.)

Now, I’ve had this dog since he was ten weeks old. And I know how much he likes to sleep. And despite my warning that Mastiffs are notoriously sensitive to all forms of anesthesia and sedation, they truly believed he’d wake up quickly like all the other dogs they’d done this surgery on.

Right. Not so much.

Two hours after the vet told me they were removing Indy from the deep sleep, he was still out cold. They finally extubated him to breathe on his own, but he refused to wake up. (Since my boy had survived the surgery, I felt good enough to gloat, just a little.) I reminded the vet that I’d warned him about the sedation/anesthesia. And he just made that grumbly sound doctors make. Another hour later, he conceded that maybe… just maybe, mind you… I knew what I was talking about. But since the ER closed several hours earlier, we had no choice but to transport an unconscious dog. In the back of my Kia.

Did I mention my dog weighs 180lbs? And he was totally and completely unconscious.

So they rolled him out of the back on the shiny steel gurney, wrapped in a lovely floral comforter so he wouldn’t get cold since we’d had major snowstorm just the day before, and snoring like a freaking chainsaw. (Best sound ever, after the scare we had.)  It took four people to load him into the back of my car. We had to back the Kia Soul practically into the ER lobby so they could roll the gurney up to the hatchback and then lift the sleeping giant ever-so-carefully from one flat surface to the next.

But um, Indy was too long to go in sideways. So the vet climbed into the back of my car (with the empty McDonald’s bags from breakfast that morning and the loose hay that had escaped the bail we’d loaded the day before) and eased Indy in, while his tech and my husband worked to pivot the dog’s large body into the space. Then we were off to the regular animal hospital to unload him like a special delivery package.

A few miles down the road and we’d arrived at our destination (they were awaiting our arrival) and they wheeled out a small steel cart about half the size of the ER’s gurney.

Have you ever tried to put a Thanksgiving turkey on a butter dish? Yeah… that.

But four more people later, we managed to get Indy situated at the vet for his overnight stay. Where, I might add, he slept for twenty-four more hours—at least twenty more hours than I slept.

Next time, I’ll tell you what happened when he came home and yours truly had to play Florence Barkingale. 

If you'd like to donate to Indy's vet fund, please click here. And thank you! :)

Posted on March 9, 2015 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

polarity in motion (a guest post)

Please welcome fellow Red Adept Publishing author, Brenda Vicars. In honor of Brenda's new book, Polarity in Motion, she tackles a hot topic on my blog today. 

My friend Ann and I met for coffee the day I received the proof copy of POLARITY IN MOTION. Naturally, I had the book in my purse, and before our lattes hit the table, I proudly whipped out my first published novel. 

“Oh,” Ann said with a surprised expression as she took in the cover. “The boy and girl are uh…interracial?”  She made this statement sound like a question, and she flipped the book over to read the back cover.  I stayed silent, sipped, and gave her time to read the blurb, which, by the way, says nothing about race.

After she finished reading, she seemed off balance, as if unsure how to ask her unspoken question: Why an interracial couple?  The next half hour we probed the reason that question is asked, and why it’s hard to answer.

We talked about our own children and how the stories they love are full of characters who, like our kids, are white. It’s easy to keep our adolescents supplied with a rich flow of books—coming of age, mystery, romance, and science fiction. But when I was a public high school English teacher, I found myself entrusted with classrooms full of diverse students.  And when I took my classes to the library, most of the choices on the shelves were about white young adults.  How were my students to feel connected to literature when their race was virtually omitted from novels?  And what message did the omission send?

So why did I include an interracial couple in Polarity in Motion?  Because lots of students come from mixed race families, and lots of teens are or will be in interracial relationships. Thankfully, young adult literature is expanding, and diversity is more frequently represented.  But we still have a long way to go.

“You know,” Ann said as we left the coffee shop. “If the two hands on the cover had both been white, I wouldn’t have said, ‘The boy and girl are uh…both white?’”

 

Buy links and Rafflecopter below.

 

Posted on February 16, 2015 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

book spotlight - fallen angels of karnataka

The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-3 Enjoy Happy Geek Media’s debut virtual tour of The Fallen Angels of Karnataka[/caption] The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1

The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-2The Fallen Angels of Karnataka by:

Hans M. Hirschi

Published by:

Yaree AB

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, LGBT, Social Awareness, Literary, Travel

264 pages

Release Date: September 15, 2014

The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1 In an isolated mountain town in Norway, Haakon dreams of traveling the world, pursuing adventure, seeing great cities, finding love. His very first trip to London with friends from university offers much promise, yet soon after tragedy strikes. Still young, and mourning the loss of his lover, Haakon is not ready to give up on his dream, so when a rich Englishman offers him the chance to join him on a tour of the world, Haakon takes it, daring to believe that his dream is finally coming true...but at what price? The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel filled with adventure, life's hard-learned lessons, loss, despicable evil, and finally, love and redemption. See what others are saying about The Fallen Angels of Karnataka on the author's media page here. The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1 The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1 The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-7

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The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is discounted to $5.99 right now, so grab a copy. The novel will not disappoint!

The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1 The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka Follow the tour schedule here The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1 The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-4 [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="268"]author-hans-hirschi Author Hans M. Hirschi[/caption]

Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years.

A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.

The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.

A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”

Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union, the Writers’ Center in Sweden and serves as chair of the Swedish Federation of Self- & Independent Publishers.

The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-Tour The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1 The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-6 The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-1 Good luck and happy reading and winning! Tour Hosted by... Happy-Geek-Media
Posted on December 10, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

book spotlight - the next day

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]The-Next-Day-Tour-Banner Enjoy Happy Geek Media's Debut of The Next Day[/caption] The-Next-Day-divider The-Next-Day-About-the-Book [caption id="" align="alignright" width="420"]The-Next-Day-Book-stack Author Milt Mays The Next Day[/caption]

The Next Day by: Milt Mays

Genres: Thriller, Paranormal, sci-fi

395 Pages

Release date: November 10, 2014

***** Top secret bio-warfare after 9/11 changes an American geneticist and an Iraqi jihadist into the next evolution of man, one evil and one good, and their end game will decide the fate of the human race. Alex Smith, an adventure seeking American geneticist, remembers 9/11 with crystal clarity. A girlfriend was incinerated at the Twin Towers at the same time he was infected by a lethal virus he genetically modified in an illegal, U.S. bio-warfare facility in the Amazon jungle. Then he changes, physically and psychologically, into a creature he hates and must learn to control before he loses his work, his new love, and his life and country. Jabril El Fahd’s Iraqi mother, a nurse, dies in his arms, killed by the American embargo. His dreams of being a doctor are consumed in the fires of revenge and hate. He becomes a jihadist, Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man, and comes up with a plan to not just cripple, but destroy the United States. Infecting himself with a deadly virus to wipe out the American infidels, he changes into a monstrous creature he loves, and becomes more powerful with every hateful and lustful thought. Nothing stands in his way. Nothing except Alex. The-Next-Day-divider

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ONLY ON AMAZON FOR NOW

The-Next-Day-Follow-the-Tour Nov 24 Like a Bump on a Blog Kick-off post

Nov 25th Work Money Fun Spotlight

Nov 26th Unorthodox Blog Spotlight

Nov 28th Erica Lucke Dean Spotlight

Dec 1st John Lindholm Spotlight & Excerpt

Dec 2nd Ciara Ballintyne Spotlight

Dec 3rd Homeless Chronicles in Tampa Spotlight/Possible review

Dec 4th Publishing Push Spotlight

Dec 5th Write as Raine Spotlight & 5 Facts

Dec 8th John Lindholm Review

Dec 9th Terri's Little Haven Spotlight

Dec 10th Becca Hamilton Books Spotlight

Dec 11th McClellan Books Spotlight

Dec 12th KP's Book Nook Review

Dec 15th Fever of a Lava Mama Spotlight

Dec 16th Chrystan's Thoughts Review

Dec 17th Desafio in the City Spotlight & Excerpt

Dec 18th Momma D Saves Spotlight/Review

Dec 19th eBookBuilders Spotlight

Dec 19th Like a Bump on a Blog Review

Dec 22nd Happy Geek Media Spotlight Q&A

The-Next-Day-divider The-Next-Day-about-the-author [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240"]Author Milt Mays Author Milt Mays[/caption]

Milt grew up in Colorado, then spent most of his adult life as a Navy doctor. After graduating from the Naval Academy and medical school, he traveled all over the world with the Navy, the Marines, and a Navy Security Group, finally coming back to rest in Colorado. He’s worked as a fly fishing guide and currently is a primary care doctor for the VA.

Other published works by Milt include the novels The Guide and Dan’s War and the short stories “Thanksgiving with Riley” and “The Dry-Land Farmer.” He lives with his wife in Colorado.

Visit his website to find out more about him.

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Posted on November 28, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

they call her crazy

Cowboy Kelly.jpg

Okay, I know you're probably wondering where the hell I've been lately. Well, I've been busy. I know, that's a horrible excuse, but it also happens to be true. I'm working on blog posts for the holiday season, so hopefully, I won't get sidetracked again. As for today, we have an extra special guest on the blog. Today's guest is Kelly Stone Gamble, author of They Call Me Crazy. And Kelly's going to tell us how she recently saved a cat...

I recently left the lights of Las Vegas and moved to Idabel, Oklahoma. It's a completely different world, I'd like to say it's slower and calmer, but it isn't. It's just different. It's also very similar to the setting in my novel, They Call Me Crazy, so it's been a very inspirational place to be in while I write the second book. However, it's been a while since I have lived in the country.

I live at the Salt Creek Lodge, a boutique-ish hunting lodge on the outskirts of town. I have a beautiful one bedroom suite, aptly named 'The Birdhouse' and a pet cardinal that pecks on my window in the morning. My backyard is 1800 acres of wooded land with trails for the ATV's that the lodge rents out. In the morning, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. At night, it can be very creepy.

Last night, I sat on the back porch looking for Bigfoot and in the distance, heard a cat screech. I am a lover of all animals, and I could tell by the sounds that this cat was definitely hurt. I knew the chances of me finding it in the dark, in the woods, were slim, but the longer I listened to his cries, I knew I had to do something.

As I said, this is a hunting lodge, which means there are big animals in the woods. Deer. Wild Boar. Probably a bear or two. There are also smaller creatures that are just as dangerous, or at least mean enough that I don't necessarily want to come in contact with them. A month ago I saw a tarantula that was the size of a Chihuahua. And did I mention the rattlesnakes?

But the cat was crying so loudly, I thought I was going to cry myself. So I grabbed my flashlight and a roll of duct tape (my weapon of choice: duct tape) and headed out into the dark. Of course by the time I got back outside, a light fog had settled over the ground making it look like a Friday the 13th movie set.  And I was following the screams of a cat.

I don't know if there are mountain lions in the woods, I'm not even sure if they live in this area, but I hoped the loud screeching wasn't a hurt monster kitty. Duct tape can fix a lot of things, but even I'm not crazy enough to duct tape a mountain lion. I saw little eyes as I walked toward the trails---an armadillo? a possum? Probably a skunk.

But I kept walking, on a mission to save a hurt cat.

As I walked through the woods, the black trees seemed to envelop me and each branch became a hand, grabbing me, trying to pull me into the darkness. But I trekked on, the sounds getting louder and more desperate.

A hoot owl startled me and I backed up too quickly and fell over a tangle of dying limbs only to find myself in a small clearing, face to face with the dying cat. But it wasn't a cat.

It was actually two cats

And they weren't dying.                                    

Yes, it's been a long time since I've lived in the country.

OMG! You don't have to tell the president of "team naughty" what those cats were doing. Yikes! Talk about your kitty porn. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly. Sheesh, they don't call her crazy for nothing!

If you haven't gotten your copy of Kelly's new book yet, what are you waiting for?

Available on Amazon as well as other retailers.

 

 

Posted on November 18, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

listen up!

Claire Ashby.jpg

Today's blog is courtesy of Claire Ashby, author of When You Make It Home, a new release from Red Adept Publishing. 


I remember the first time my first boyfriend ever criticized me. We were sixteen, cruising around in my ’76 Ford Granada. A Jane’s Addiction song came on the radio, so I cranked the volume all the way up and started singing.

There I was, singing like my life depended on it, next to my first love. The sky was brilliant, sunny and crowded with fluffy suspended clouds. Surely it was spring, warm, but not too warm. My love turned to me, smiling and said, “I hate it when you sing.”

After that day I didn’t sing around anyone again for a really long time. After all, he was right. I was a terrible singer. Why should I punish those around me with my voice? I reconciled myself to keep it to the shower or when driving alone.

When I began dating future hubs, we discovered that we cherished all the same music. We’d hang out and cook together, listening to tunes. Future hubs got into his music, singing and dancing. Sometimes I’d softly sing along, too, only if I wasn’t standing too close to him.

About a month after we met, we went on a road trip to check out a college band. On the drive future hubs popped in a Weezer CD and started wailing along. I joined him, but in my special soundless mouthing-the-words-sing-a-long. He suddenly turned to me, smiling and said, “Sing it like you mean it.”

I said, “Trust me, you don’t want to hear me sing.”

He said, “Trust me, I do.”

It felt like a dare. Thankfully, cars today have louder speakers than my old ’76 Granada. I leaned over, cranked up the volume and put all my heart into singing that song. Future hubs joined in, his eyes crinkling at the sides while he laughed, cringing.

“That was awesome,” he said when the song ended.

At that moment, I knew there was something different about future hubs from every other guy I’d ever dated. He loved watching me let go and enjoy myself. So we sang the rest of the way to that college bar, and when we got there I did something else I never did around other people. I danced. If there is one thing I’m worse at than singing, it’s dancing. But future hubs and I danced all night.

When you find that special someone, you don’t have to hide your imperfections. That’s my favorite part in romance novels—that moment when someone says: Trust me, I want to know you.

When You Make It Home is available on Amazon 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22383783-when-you-make-it-home

 

Author page on Red Adept:  http://redadeptpublishing.com/claire-ashby/



Posted on September 8, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

Stranger in a Strange Land

Today's blog is courtesy of Traci Borum, author of Painting the Moon, a new release from Red Adept Publishing. 


When I’m brainstorming ideas for novels, I don’t usually love the research process like a lot of other authors do.  Research can be so tedious and flat sometimes.  But Painting the Moon was different.  Aside from looking up the basics online—the locations, the weather, the history, the music and TV references, the lingo and slang—I also relied on some old memories of my own.

I’m a native Texan, y’all, and the only time I’ve visited England was with my grandmother when I was seventeen, over twenty-five years ago.  I remember soaking up all the culture and history, walking through towering cathedrals and grand castles with secret passageways, visiting The Bard’s home and Jane Austen’s old stomping grounds.  I remember being captivated by everything—the double-decker buses, the hard-to-understand British accents, the petite stone walls outlining a patchwork countryside, the ragged coastlines, and even the unexpected things we’d find right outside our hotel windows (a huge chalk sketch of The Beatles on the sidewalk outside London; a festival of hot air balloons right outside Bath).   

Painting-the-Moon-800 Cover reveal and Promotional.jpg

            But I also remember how much of an alien I was sometimes during that trip.  Like when I would order “iced tea” at a restaurant and receive confused looks from waitresses who had no idea why I would ever want to put cubes of ice in my tea, how horrifying!  (But that’s the only way we drink it, here in the South.  And we like our tea sweet—very, very sweet).  I remember learning to use things like the “loo” instead of the bathroom or the “lift“ instead of the elevator.  Then there was the time I nearly fried my grandmother’s super-fine hair, as I tried to help her curl it before we left on a tour.  I apparently didn’t have the proper adaptor—which dawned on me when her hair actually started to smoke!  Alien, indeed.

            All in all, though, it was a memorable, incredible trip that stayed with me for years.  And eventually, I revisited those memories to call up vivid details of tastes and scents and views for a novel I was writing, set in a little Cotswold village.  I also leaned heavily on what it felt like to be a stranger in a strange land.  My main character, Noelle, is an American who winds up in England, and, like me when I was seventeen, she’s shy at first, unsure of herself, out of place.  A foreigner.  But eventually, she settles in, gets comfortable, and forms friendships that make her eventually feel like a true “villager.”

            I guess it was easy, writing this character, researching this setting—imagining myself in England, not just as a tourist, but as someone comfortable with the culture.  Someone who enjoys her tea hot, instead of iced.


Get your copy of Painting the Moon today!


Here are the links where the book is available:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Painting-Moon-Chilton-Crosse-Book-ebook/dp/B00KUXT4HC/#

Barnes & Noble:   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/painting-the-moon-traci-borum/1119698950

Kobo: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Traci_Borum_Painting_the_Moon?id=RHnCAwAAQBAJ

Google Play:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/painting-the-moon


You can also visit Traci on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22383955-painting-the-moon?ac=1

Or her author page:  http://redadeptpublishing.com/traci-borum/  

 

Posted on August 8, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

armadillo couch potato

Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind... you're rushing into the house to get out of the rain, arms filled with grocery bags, and your phone starts ringing. It's your mother with an emergency. Though, the word "emergency" is often a stretch. One woman's emergency is another woman's armadillo couch potato. 

Okay... I'll explain.

Mom was desperate to reach my sister, but she doesn't have Skype. I have Skype, so I was her only hope. And the reason she needed me to reach my sister via Skype was because my sister had abandoned her cell phone on the table when she fled the kitchen, flew up the stairs as if her hair was on fire, and locked herself in her second story bedroom. Why, you ask?

Because there was an armadillo running around her living room.

Now, admittedly, I've had my share of weird animal run-ins... from attack pigs to finding dead turkeys in my bed (I'll tell you that one later)... but never have I had the pleasure of discovering an armadillo in my living room. My sister freaked out and hid from the "prehistoric" creature (her words, not mine) wreaking havoc in her house. She called our mom's cell phone via Skype and asked her to send help. Of course, Mom couldn't call her back to arrange a rescue because she doesn't have Skype. 

When help finally arrived, my sister had to dangle from her bedroom window to give directions on how to break into the house, since all the doors were locked. In retrospect, she should have just told him to use the same entrance the armadillo did. The doggy door. And let me just toss in that this is precisely why I don't have a doggy door. An opening big enough for my dog to squeeze through would invite just about anything to come in with him.

Anyway...

My sister called me a few hours later to tell me the armadillo took a shit on her sofa. That was the only evidence he'd been there at all. I guess he decided to watch some TV while he was in the house. I mean, if I'm an armadillo, and I get the chance to hang out in someone's air conditioned house unfettered for an entire afternoon, I'm going to catch up on Animal Planet. 

And I thought I had problems. So much for having a few squirrels in the attic. My sister wins this round. But don't count me out yet. I have pigs again. And where there are pigs, there are stories to share. Just be patient. I can feel one coming soon.

Until the next time... I'll be washing the dead turkey vibes out of my sheets.

Posted on June 3, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

prison toilet paper

Now that I've got your attention, I should probably come clean with the fact that I've never actually been to prison. Like at all. Not even to visit. I mean, I've seen prison movies. Like The Rock. Or The Shawkshank Redemption. The closest I've gotten to an actual jail cell was on a school field trip. Even that was just a two-cell county jail, and no one was "home" at the time. But I feel as if I know all about prison toilet paper. Or gas station toilet paper. Space shuttle toilet paper. Biodegradable camping toilet paper. Take your pick, but trust me when I say you won't like it. Seriously, there's a reason why even desperate people don't steal the toilet paper from a truck stop restroom. 

Imagine if you will, fine grit sandpaper sliced whisper thin, rolled up in off-white sheets, packaged in plain wrapping, and marketed to men. I guess I'm on the universe's proverbial shit list because my hubby bought a damn case of it while I was out of town. He clearly didn't read the fine print (neither did I, but I'm guessing it says things like: Shreds on contact. No matter how much you use, your fingers WILL go through the entire wad. Every. Single. Time. Doubles as tracing paper. Even the dog will turn her muzzle up at this stuff. Leaves red marks on sensitive skin. Especially noses.) Did I mention I have a case of it? And a cold. So now I have a shiny red nose worthy of a reindeer. I'm trying to come up with other uses for it. Like. Like. Yeah, I got nothing.

But it's the weekend, and I'm resourceful, so don't count me out yet. I may just score a jumbo package of the good stuff and stash it where hubby can't find it. You know, the same place I stash the tampons and stuff. He never looks in there. 

Until the next time, 

I'll be planning covert TP ops.

Posted on May 30, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

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!

 

Posted on May 11, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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!



 

 

Posted on May 6, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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. 

Posted on April 9, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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

Posted on April 7, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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

Posted on April 4, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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.

Posted on April 2, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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!

 

Posted on March 2, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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.

Posted on March 2, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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.

Posted on February 28, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, 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.

Posted on February 12, 2014 .
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.