Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Enjoying Nature's Gift...

I'm so grateful that I live deep in the woods. Enjoy a few pictures of the beauty that greeted me this morning.  



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Adventures...

I couldn't resist sharing some pictures of my family's annual cookie and craft day. Sharing a day of love, laughter and a few mishaps is the best Christmas present I get every year. May you all be as blessed as I am. 

Ah come on. Don't leave. We'll let you play too!
Of course we're being NICE!
They assigned me the green dough.  They didn't tell me I'd be stained green  until it wore off.
I'm not stupid. I know about green food coloring.
Ok. It's loaded. Is the safety off?
Look. All you do is click it like this.
No. That's not how it works. Here. Let me do it.
I've got this. Watch!
There. I fixed it again. Now, watch this!
I don't think anything is coming out.
It's easier to use a cookie cutter, Mom.
We'll let mom fool with the cookie shooter. We'll do ours this way. which one do I want to decorate?
Ok. I've got all the ribbon and glue ready. Are y'all gonna make some ornaments or not?
Mine is gonna be great.
Sometimes you have to approach these crafts at just the right angle.
The Master Dragon Goddess at work.
Her creation. Sir Christmasticus Hollymund Joyten

May you all enjoy good health, bubbling laughter and the joy of being loved!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

His last request...

Don't bury me 'neath

The cold dark ground

Imprisoned in a box.

Release me with

A roaring blaze.

Burn through my earthly locks.

Then climb atop

The highest cliff.

Turn and face the sea.

Close your eyes.

Feel the kiss of the wind.

Know that it is me. 

Stories come to me in bits of dialogue. My hero sensed his fate and scribbled this last request to the one he held dear. But if my hero dies, the story ends. Or does it? Maybe death is just the beginning…

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Power of Words...

 Please join me in welcoming the very talented Andrea Downing. She’s discussing a very powerful subject.


I just returned home from two conferences, back to back, where I finally met a great many fellow authors with whom I had only previously corresponded.  In some cases, they had been nothing more than the words in an email, since looking at every author's FB page or web site proved too time consuming. Yet friendships had been made via the power of 
; unlike potential lovers, it never proved necessary to see a person's appearance in order to like them (not in the Facebook sense!) and want to continue corresponding with them.  Big, small, dark, light, no matter the size of their nose or ears, if a friendship had been made via the correspondence, it continued in person with a connection that could not be broken.  We know that words are powerful.  We know that words have swayed voters, manipulated nations and seduced the opposite sex or reduced them to tears. So why shouldn't words make good old-fashioned friendships that last?

Yet language is not an easy art to learn.  On the news tonight, there was a feature about a seven-year-old musical prodigy who rivals Mozart.  After listening to the interview I realized that we often hear of child geniuses who excel in music or paint like Da Vinci yet never do we hear—to my knowledge—of a child who writes like Shakespeare or is, at some tender age, the next Dickens, Austen or Twain.  My own daughter spat out, "Thank you Mommy and Daddy for the delicious Chinese meal" at the ripe old age of two yet never went on at five to write anything that rivaled a Bronte.  So what is it about the art of language that takes years to master?

Experience is the attribute that comes to mind.  Vocabulary is nothing more than learning the notes and their permutations but experience teaches us how to charm or how to hurt, how to dispute and argue, how to persuade or convert, how to lie, deny and invent.  Ah:  invent!  Experience goes hand in hand with IMAGINATION.

The experience of studying, learning, reading and life itself feeds our imagination so that we eventually can tell stories and write.  And whether it's an email that is telling some person whom you've never met the minutiae of your day in humorous detail, or laying out for the unknown reader the glories of an historical figure or a make-believe character, language and writing remain our main connection to each other.  Yes, even in this digital cyber age, we are still connecting via language.

While John Lennon once said, “When you're drowning you don't think, I would be incredibly pleased if someone would notice I'm drowning and come and rescue me. You just scream,”  I’d like to think that the man who wrote ‘Imagine’ and ‘Give Peace a Chance’ was highly aware of the power of words.  While his scream might be a reaction, it would be words that expressed what he felt about the possibility of drowning. Just as I felt the connection with my fellow authors whom I had never met, but it was words that finally connected us. 


When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

He watched as she sat on a stool and pulled first one boot, then the other off and kicked them aside, then she stood and put her leg on the stool to roll down her stockings one by one.

He marveled at her wantonness, her lack of propriety. “Alex, stop,” he said, laying his hand on hers. “Stop. You know…”

But he was lost; she took his face in her hands and pulled him to her, kissing him so any resistance he had had was now shattered. His heart was beating faster at the sweetness of her mouth, the softness of her tongue, the lack of air as they sought each other. His hands moved over her feeling the outline of her body, knowing its curves, its gentleness, its yielding. “Are you sure?” he asked at last.

“I want you so much, Jesse, I want you so much, I’m not waiting three years. And if…if anything happens, so what? We’ll get married, that’ll be it.”

“Yes, but Alex, you can’t…I mean it’d be a shotgun wedding, it’s not how—”

“Shh.” She put her finger to his mouth and then turned for him to unhook her gown. He ran his hands gently down her exposed back, feeling each scar, then kissed her neck.

“You have nothing on under...”

“It’s how the gown is made. Monsieur Worth builds the undergarments into the gown.” Her voice was at barely a whisper, a tremor showing her nerves. She turned and still held the gown up to her, then, looking at Jesse, let it drop to the floor.

Andrea Downing emigrated to the UK from New York in order to do her Masters Degree.  She ended up marrying, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore and often trades the canyons of New York for the open spaces of the west—and writes incessantly.

Discover more about Andrea here:

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Has Marilyn Baron crossed over to the DARK side?

Halloween is creeping up on us. So beware. The Halloween holiday is a perfect time to celebrate my latest release, “Dead Mix.” My writing does not usually trend toward the dark side. In fact, I’ve had three short stories about angels (A Choir of Angels, Follow an Angel and The Stand-in Bridegroom) published by TWB Press and my publisher calls me the Angel Whisperer. He even created a special Angel Whisperer video for me, which you can view on his site. So what’s happened? Am I disillusioned? Depressed? Focused on death? Not really. A little devilishness has surfaced from my subconscious. And I kind of like it. Spooky…

In my new e-short story, Dead Mix,, the devil goes down to Georgia. Roswell, Georgia, and more specifically, The Lion’s Den music store. Enter at your own risk. The proprietor there, Devlin Burns, specializes in mixing music to die for...on CDs that are guaranteed to knock you dead by the final note. As the citizens of Roswell go missing, one man, Daniel Craig, ventures into town on the hunt for lost souls, a search that will change his life, forever.

In romance, a HEA ending is required and Dead Mix is no exception. The hero and heroine do get their happy ending. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But the road to (well you know) is not paved with good intentions and the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. By that I mean you don’t really know who you’re dealing with in Dead Mix, a higher power or a bottom feeder. But don’t worry. Dead Mix has my trademark humor, surprise ending, and yes, a happy ending, after all.  I hope you’ll give Dead Mix a spin.

On a recent trip to Colorado, I was definitely in devil-mode, staying up all night, dreaming up my next short story, “The Files That Death Forgot,” which has not yet been published. I already have an angel trilogy—and bad things come in threes—so I feel sure I will complete my Angels & Demons cycle with a third dark short story.

In “Under the Moon Gate,” my latest novel, a romantic thriller set in modern day and WW II Bermuda, which will be released from The Wild Rose Press in spring of 2013, one of my central characters wrestles with his very dark side and has to decide if he’ll give up his mission for love.

What about you? Does your dark side come out when you write?  Or only when the moon is full?

Georgia Author Marilyn Baron, a public relations consultant in Atlanta, writes humorous women’s fiction, humorous paranormal short stories and romantic suspense. Marilyn’s short stories “A Choir of Angels,” “Follow an Angel,” “The Stand-in Bridegroom,” and “Dead Mix,” can be found at TWB Press at

Her women’s fiction, The Edger, coauthored with her sister, Sharon Goldman, is available at Barnes & Noble and Smashwords links at RT Book Reviews gave The Edger a 4/12-star rating in their September 2012 issue.  The Edger also received first place in the Suspense Romance category of the 2010 Ignite the Flame Contest, sponsored by the Central Ohio Fiction Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America. Her next book, “Under the Moon Gate,” a romantic thriller set in contemporary and WW II Bermuda, will be released from The Wild Rose Press in spring 2013.

She blogs at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales at

Her novel Sixth Sense finaled in the Georgia Romance Writers 2012 Unpublished Maggie Award for Excellence in the Paranormal/Fantasy Romance category. Marilyn is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America and Marketing For Romance Writers.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another peek for a Sunday treat!

Faolan scrubbed his hands against the evening stubble of his chin.  “This is insanity!” he groaned.   His self-control ebbed away like the tides from the pull of the moon.  This golden-eyed seductress that had landed in his midst had to be some sort of trap.  He reeled and shook his fist in Maxwell’s face, just inches from his friend’s nose.  “Bed her?  Do ye really think by lying with the woman I’ll be able to get her out of my mind?”

Maxwell followed close behind Faolan as soon as he jerked back around to renew his pacing.  “Think about it, Faolan.  Ye’ve been attracted to fair maids before and once ye tasted them, ye easily set them aside.  It’s the wolf in ye, man!  Your thrill is in the hunt.  Ye always want what ye have yet to catch.”

At Maxwell’s observation, Faolan pulled up short.  He whirled back around where he found himself once more nose to nose with his adamant friend.  “Ye actually think if I relent and lie with Ciara and assert my rights as her husband; ye actually think I’ll be able to put her aside and go on with my life as though I never met her?”

With a shrug of his shoulders, Maxwell tossed his hands in the air.  “It’s either lie with the woman or don’t lie with the woman.  Which is it going to be?  So far, ye havena bedded the lass and ye already know ye’re miserable.  In my mind, ‘tis time to test the other option to see if it brings ye any better results.”

“I will kill ye if this doesna work,” Faolan growled, yanking open the door leading down from the battlements.

The Highlander’s Fury – available now from these places:

Friday, October 5, 2012

The dark side of a child's prayer...

Monsters don’t just live in closets. Or in the movies. Or under the bed. Sometimes they look just like you and me. They even trick other unsuspecting adults into believing they’re wonderful people.

When these monsters prey on their children, they scar the child forever. They even distort something as simple as a child’s bedtime prayer into something dark and filled with desperation.

Now I lay me down to sleep:

If I stay real still with my eyes closed tight, maybe they’ll leave me alone for just a little longer. I wish my blanket hadn’t slipped away but I don’t dare pull it back over my shoulders. If they hear me move, they’ll know I’m awake.

I hear him. His steps sound heavy. He’s bringing the bucket of water and ice. It splashes on the floor as my bedroom door bangs open. I squeeze my eyes tighter shut. I can’t move. There’s no place to hide and it will only make him worse. The cold water makes me gasp. It hurts but not as bad as the sharp ice.

“Get out of bed,” he shouts. “We have to cut wood today. You’re going to help and you’re going to like it.” He whacks the bucket against the door facing as I slide across the wet floor. “Get this mess cleaned up before you come to the kitchen and don’t even think about telling your grandparents. They already know how lazy you are.”

I can’t wait for Monday. I get to go back to school.

I pray the Lord my soul to keep:

My parents said I was the worst thing that ever happened to them, the biggest disappointment of their lives. God won’t want my soul. I’m not good enough.

If I die before I wake:

Sometimes I think it would be better to die. At least that way, they can’t get me anymore. But the preacher said when we die; we all meet up in Heaven. They’re mean to me. I don’t want to see them when we’re all dead. The preacher’s eternity sounds like a long time for them to treat me bad.

I pray the Lord my soul to take:

No. I don’t want the Lord to take my soul. He can take them and just leave me someplace else. I’d rather be alone.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Energy rising...

As the veil thins and magic fills the air, my soul renews and my spirit soars. Welcome back, lovely Fall. I've missed your crisp cool days and the colors you bring to my world.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Two Become One

Bless this pair of hearts so true.
Make their troubles rare and few.
Keep love and laughter in their days.
Grant them joy in every way.
What once was two join as one.
Together eternal.
Never undone.

September 22, 2012, our family will gain a very wonderful young man. Soul mates and true love aren't just in romance novels. ;-)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The dialogue of planning a wedding…

Next month, my oldest daughter marries the man of her dreams. He proposed to her last December. Since then, some very interesting bits of conversation have surfaced while we’ve traveled (survived) the path of planning for the big day. By the way, this child of mine is by nature the very detail oriented, almost obsessive compulsive organizer of all things. Yes. Wedding planning has propelled her strategizing to frightening new heights.

Conversation between just engaged future son-in-law (FSIL) and his mother:

FSIL: *bragging voice* “I don’t have to worry about her turning into some sort of bridezilla, Mom. You know how level-headed she is. Everything will be fine.”

FSIL’s Mom: *knowing smile toward her poor deluded son* “Whatever you say, dear. I just don’t think you realize how important this day is in a girl’s life. It’s a day they all dream about.”

Three days later FSIL calls his mom, whispering into the phone while hiding in a safe place.

FSIL: *panicked whisper* “Mom. We have wedding books. Lots of them.”

FSIL’s Mom: *stifled giggle* “Really?”

FSIL: “And binders. And magazines. And a folder with dates. And an appointment with a wedding planner.”

FSIL’s Mom: “That’s nice, honey.” *knowing chortle*

Conversation between daughter (Bride-to-Be or B2B) and her younger sister (Matron of Honor or MoH) and me (Me) during the FIRST wedding party dress fittings. (Yes. There is never just one fitting.):

B2B: *determined, chiding tone* “If you don’t suck it in, I’ll never get it zipped.”

MoH: *teeth clenched about to kill her sister tone* “It’s my freakin’ rib case. If I suck in more air, it’ll just get bigger!”

B2B: *exasperated huff* “Then blow it out and don’t breathe any more ‘til I tell you.”

MoH: No reply. Just looks at me in the mirror with a “you better do something or I’m going to be an only child” glare.

Me: “Maybe we need to try a different style?”

They didn’t kill each other and here’s an iPhone shot of the lovely Matron of Honor.
Granddaughter is going to be a junior bride’s maid. As long as she got to twirl in front of all the “magic mirrors” as she called them, she was happy.

Conversation between daughter (B2B) and hubby (Father-of-the-bride or FOB):

B2B: *threatening I-have-been-pushed too far tone* “You are NOT wearing your kilt to my wedding!”

FOB: *amused that he’s miffed his daughter tone* “Why not?”

B2B: “It clashes with my colors.”

Me: I don’t say a word, just give Hubby the “look” signaling I have heard enough of him pestering B2B.

FOB: *resigned tone* “Fine. I’ll wear the damn tux.” *brighter tone* “But I’m wearing my kilt to the rehearsal dinner and the reception!”

B2B: *knows she doomed so dismisses him with a wave* “Fine.”

Conversation between B2B and myself.

B2B: *strained patient tone she always uses when she’s ready to launch into a lecture* “Mom. Have you found your dress yet?”

Me: *Living with hubby for thirty-three has ruined me. I can’t resist teasing her just a bit.* “I’ve decided I’m wearing nothing but my pearls.”

B2B: No reply just a stony stare.

Here’s the dress SHE picked out for me since I’m only an expert on jeans.

Conversation between B2B, MoH and myself in the shoe store.

B2B to me: “Here. These shoes will look great.”

Me: “I don’t want any heels. I’ll break my neck.”

B2B: “You can’t wear flats with that dress. Try these on.”

Me: “They hurt my feet.”

B2B: “Can you walk in them?”

Me: *sullen tone* “Yes.”

B2B: “Just wear them to the wedding and for a little while at the reception.”

MoH: “I like them.”

Me to MoH: “The wicked things are yours after September 22nd.”

MoH: “Sweet!”

Here’s the wicked shoes AND the comfortable pair I’ll be changing into once I’m given permission.

Most recent conversation (text messages) between myself and bridezilla…er…B2B:

Me: “How many days?”

B2B: “35.”

Me: “Holy crap!”

B2B: “I know! I’m about to hit ultimate freakout.”

Me: “Yes. We know.”

**Disclaimer: Bride-to-be is normally a very patient, loving soul. We all look forward to a return to her usual fun-loving personality once “demon planning bridezilla” is successfully exorcised on September 22nd