Hump Day Kick Start – Smoking Gun Edition

September 27, 2017

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.

This looks…final. Tell me about today’s prompt. Clearly the gun has just been discharged. Who or what did he shoot? His partner who betrayed him? A lover who turned out to be a traitor? A young hit that had to be eliminated to save the future world? Someone he loved who had been infected by a zombie? Is he remorseful? Just tired? Angry and bitter that he had to be the one to pull the trigger? Maybe he would have had it no other way.

What’s your take? I’d love to hear it. Or just caption the pic.


Link Of The Week For Purists!

September 26, 2017

Friday Fun Facts- Tea!

September 22, 2017

I love tea. I drink it hot and cold. My day is bookended by a hot, steaming mug of Tetley’s British Blend tea. Mmmmmm I’m sipping one right now.VictorianVioletsBoneChinaTeapot

But…did you know:

  1. Iced tea was invented at The 1904’s World’s Fair in St. Louis. It was so bloody hot, mugs of tea weren’t selling. Richard Blechynden decided to pour it over ice and BOOM, it was an instant success!
  2. Tea bags were invented by accident as well! In 1908, a salesman created small silk bags to give out samples of tea to customers. Some of them thought they were supposed to put the whole thing in the pot instead of emptying it out, like a metal diffuser. It worked so well, it became a thing.images (1)
  3. There are 4 major types of tea black, white, green, and oolong, but they all come from the same plant. It’s how the leaves are treated that make the difference.
  4. The art of reading tea leaves is called tasseography.
  5. There is a legend that tea was discovered, by accident again, by a chinese emperor. A leaf supposedly blew into his bowl of hot water and the rest is history. Hmm, urban legend?
  6. Another accident! Many people , like me, drink hot tea with milk. That practice was started because they used to pour milk into the delicate china cups to protect it from the boiling water. It’s no longer necessary, and they discovered it was yummy!
  7. For centuries, tea was only used as medicine. It took over 3000 years for it to become an everyday drink.pick-longjing-tea-768
  8. Black teas are made from fermented leaves that have been allowed to dry.
  9. Tea bags are good for about 6 months before they lose their flavor and quality.
  10. In Tibet, Butter Tea is served. It is made from black tea, yak butter, and salt.
  11. Tea is believed to have arrived in Europe, thanks to a Jesuit priest.He visited China in 1590 and was allowed to bring some of the plants home with him.
  12. The most expensive tea in the world is grown in the mountains of Ya’An in the Sichuan province of China. Workers fertilize the tea bushes using the waste from local pandas whose bodies take in only a small amount of nutrients from the food they eat. The tea costs the equivalent of around $200 for a small cup.ss-160826-twip-05_8cf6d4cb83758449fd400c7c3d71aa1f.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000

Hump Day Kick Start – Writing Prompt #17

September 20, 2017

Writing prompts to kick-start your muse.

 

Ooh…this could be romantic or ominous. The question is why has he been waiting for her? Has he been waiting for her reincarnation, the person, body and soul, that he couldn’t save long ago in hopes to hold her in his arms once again? Perhaps he has been waiting for her return so that he could finally destroy the woman who had killed his lover/wife/family once and for all. Could he be tasked with eliminating a bloodline? Protecting one? Maybe he was just waiting for her to finish getting ready so they could go to dinner.

Share your ideas and/or post your creations, even if it’s just a line or two. I’d love to hear them.


Link Of The Week- Survival

September 19, 2017

wilderness-survival-fireI’ve watched a show called The 100 for the last two weeks on Netflix. It’s a good show, but the characters are forced to survive in the wild. Some of the characters in my book do too! This is a good link for basic survival skills. Make sure you read through the questions and answers at the end- there’s a lot of good information there.wilderness-survival-guide-6

http://www.wikihow.com/Survive-in-the-Wild

That’s your basic set of skills. Do you want to be more like Macgyver? Well, here you go- these are sooooo cool!

http://www.skilledsurvival.com/survival-hacks/hqdefault


Link of the Week – Talk Like A Pirate

September 19, 2017

Ahoy, mates! For the past 22 years, September 19th marks International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Yes, there is such a thing. Read how it all started HERE.

How do you celebrate ITLAPD? Well, you can dress, talk and act like a pirate, of course. Anything from orderin’ around the scurvy landlubbers at work with the business end of yer cutlass to drinkin’ rum at lunch declarin’ it’s a pirate life for you to hangin’ out the driver’s window of yer vehicle hollerin’ “move yer aft end!” You can even change your Facebook language to English Pirate (just go to your settings to easily make the switch). Aye, me hearties, there’s tomfoolery to be had.

Need help with yer buccaneer vernacular? Check out this spot-on, cheeky how-to video in proper pirate jargon.

And to help commemorate such a fine day, below is an excerpt to THE LAIRD’S RECKONING released a few months ago.

Enjoy this sample, ya horn swogglin’ scurvy cur!

1726, Tradale Port, Isle of Skye, Scotland

“They’re coming!”

The panic in Sheena’s eyes matched Birk’s racing heart. Their breaths stirred the dust they had kicked up crouching behind the crates. Shouts carried down the alleys, drawing closer.

Sheena gripped his arms. “Go!” Her pleading command rushed out in a hoarse whisper. “Run, before they catch you.”

“Come with me.” It was a desperate attempt to keep Sheena by his side, a selfish one. But he was no fool. If the magistrate found out she helped him escape, his bonny lass would be imprisoned. He couldn’t protect her if he left her behind.

She shook her head, mahogany tresses slipping free from the knot at her crown. “I canna leave my father and Mallabroch Manor.” Gruff voices neared. Her eyes widened, begged. “Please, Birk. If ye are hanged, I’ll kill myself, I swear I will.”

He believed it. By the heavens, he loved his lass. Loved her more than anything this world had to offer. He’d give his life for her. But never would he allow her to give hers for him. Never. “I canna leave you.” He could hardly swallow, the lump of fear wedged tight in his throat. She was his air, the beat of his heart. He was terrified to be without her. Terrified and angry. Angry for the pain marring her beautiful effervescent smile. He swore whoever set him up, accused him of being a false coiner, would pay and pay dearly.

“Ye must go.” She grabbed his face with both hands. “Ye must. For me.”

The tears cresting in those moss green eyes, the tremble in her bottom lip, tore at his soul. What choice did he have? Sheena would not leave her father, her home. This he knew. Her love and loyalty for her da was fierce. Could he really expect her to leave Ramsay, the laird of Mallabroch, alone, as ill as he was? Would he be able to protect her any better on the lam? No. He had no choice. She was a mighty one. She’d be fine, if only he’d let her go. Let her go and run. Damn it, he never ran from anything. He tucked a wayward lock behind her ear. “For you,” he repeated.

A shaky smile accompanied her gusty breath of relief. “I love you, Birk.”

“And I you. More than the moon and stars.” He pressed a kiss to her mouth. “I will clear my name,” he vowed against her lips. “I will come back for you.”

Birk gripped the back of her neck and she deepened the kiss. For a moment, he lost himself with her. The accusations, the magistrate’s guard closing in, his damaged, jaded world faded into the light, musky, floral scent of heather and urgent caress of her lips.

“This way!” The strident shout broke the haze, yanking him back to the present.

“Promise me.” She choked on the words.

Footfalls pounded against the packed dirt.

He could take no more of her agony. Aye. He would see the man who framed him dead. “I promise, mo teine, my fire. I will return for you.”

“Back here! This way!”

Tears streamed down her creamy, flushed cheeks. She nodded once. Without a word, she spun to stand, ready to face the men chasing after him.

Birk took off at a run, dodging barrels and crates, cutting around the buildings on the leading edge the rest of the way through the town to the docks. Behind him, he heard her shrill scream. He pushed hard against the urge to hasten back to her. He had to believe she would be all right. She was a hellcat when provoked. Sheena would be fine. She had to be.

He jumped over a pile of ropes and looped through stacks of lumber. The stench of timber and pitch mixed with brine. Off to the left, a carpenter hammered, the thudding so familiar. Ahead, several stevedores unloaded cargo from a ship. Birk hadn’t thought beyond fleeing the cell which Sheena unlocked. He hadn’t thought to where he’d go. But Sheena had. He was to flee to the only place he’d known—his father’s shipyard. Now as he skidded to a stop in the middle of the yard, realization struck. He had trapped himself between the town and the men coming for him and the sea. Bloody hell. Aye, there was a boat waiting for him somewhere, but would he reach it in time?

Sheena’s plan. Take a skiff across the Sound of Sleat to the mainland. Find a horse in Mallabroch and disappear. It was his only option, though he would rather have her by his side. Running from all the injustices their young lives had suffered, together.

Birk slunk through the maze of planks, boxes, casks, and tools, weaving through the scaffolding beneath the hull of a brigantine. He set his sights to the end of the docks where fishermen cast out in their skiffs. Just as he cleared the last support beam, he came face to face with his father.

Bewilderment flashed across his haggard face but was soon replaced with a flare of venom.

Birk slid his gaze past his father to his cousin rounding the other side of the scaffolding and coming up short. Cam slowly took a step back, as if he hoped not to become entangled in a confrontation.

“Birk.” A sneer crooked his father’s mouth. “Let ye out, did they?” His tone belied he knew the better.

Shouts traveled through the shipyard. His pursuers were nearly upon him.

“Hmph.” The old man lifted his chin and sneered down his nose. “Suppose not.”

“I didna do it, Father.” Speaking truths, hell, speaking at all was lost on the man.

Since birth, Hugh Bane, laird of Creaganbroch Manor, the village of Tradale, and the surrounding lands, had shunned his youngest son—the weak, sickly child who wasn’t expected to live. But his mother refused to accept her little bairn could not grow happy and healthy. Through her love and nurturing, never leaving his side, Birk survived the infant months to become the favorite of her three sons. That didn’t change as he grew a few years older. Hugh had become resentful, claiming his wife mollycoddled Birk. He’d force Birk into harsh labor around the yard, harsher than he should have for a boy his age. This but angered his mother and many fights were waged over Birk. Until his mother fell ill with fever. Upon her final breaths, it wasn’t Hugh she called for, but Birk. And Birk had suffered for it ever since.

Except that he didn’t. He hadn’t let the old man get the better of him. Not after the last time he took a backhand across his face at the age of fifteen.

“Didna do it?” Hugh spat. “’Tis your fault I’ve buried James. Ye and your goddamned defiance.”

And there it was. The blame he’d been burdened with and the guilt that his father was right this time. But that was his cross to bear and he’d be damned to let the old man lay one more thing at his feet. He’d be damned to give him any such satisfaction.

A wicked grin crooked one side of Cam’s mouth. One day, Birk would bloody up that idiot’s face, the toady.

“I didna kill James.”

“Ye did, and ye sullied the Bane name with your thievery.” Hugh, quick as a viper, snatched Birk’s arm. “Cam.”

“Yes, uncle?”

His father’s expression hardened. “Alert the authorities in the yard,” he leaned within an inch of Birk’s face, his eyes darkened with hate, “we have the bastard here.”

Birk had never gotten along with his cousin, but something about the toothy grin splitting Cam’s face didn’t set right with him. ’Twas more than Birk facing certain death at the end of a rope. ’Twas something…triumphant. Cam spun on his heel toward the approaching men.

“May ye rot in hell,” Hugh spewed.

Birk wrenched his arm free and leaned in even further, a hair’s breadth from the man. “Ye first.”

If ye haven’t signed up FOR MY NEWSLETTER for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways, what are you waiting for? Escape into a world full of adventure, rum, fearless pirates, spirited wenches, and swoon-worthy, steamy romance with the Romancing the Pirate series.

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Fair winds and following seas, mates!

 

 


Friday Un-Fun Facts- Your Identity

September 15, 2017

If you haven’t heard about the HUGE Equifax breach which included personal information, like social security numbers, for almost half of the people in the United States, then you need to pay attention to these two items!Equifax-Data-Breach

 

  1. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/equifax-data-breach-beware-these-3-scams/url
  2. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2012/12/18/6-tips-to-protect-yourself-from-identity-theftmoney-down-the-drain