Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shout Out Time

Time for one of my favorite kinds of posts: the shout out! This time, it's a big shout-out to my Southern Magic chaptermate, Naima Simone, for her first sale to Ellora's Cave!

Her book, Sweet Ultimatum, is tentatively scheduled for publication later this year. Visit Naima's website: for more information.

Way to go, Naima!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oh, Yum

Davidoff's Cool Water cologne for men has inked a new deal with Josh Holloway of LOST, ensuring that we get a few more lovely shots of Josh and his pretty, pretty self gracing the pages of magazines in the foreseeable future.

Be sure to click the link because there are nice, big, oh-so-yummy pictures besides this one.
Josh Holloway's character on LOST, James "Sawyer" Ford (more recently known as Jim LeFleur in his 1970s life), is an interesting, complex guy. A family tragedy (his parents' murder/suicide) turned into a boy's quest to find the con man who tempted his mother away and led to his father's homicidal act. But in the process, James became "Sawyer," the conman he wanted to destroy.
Manipulative, larcenous and driven by a thirst for revenge and his own self-loathing hidden behind the veneer of ruthless disdain for anyone else, the Sawyer who crashlanded with the others on the island was a sarcastic, selfish and disruptive force of nature. His schemes to preserve his own life and comfort at the expense of everybody else turned him into a villain early in the series. But as we learned more about his background through his flashbacks, and more about his inner life through his occasional moments of connections with the other survivors, we began to witness a gradual but significant change in the character. I would go so far as to say that in this past season, Sawyer became a true hero.
It'll be interesting to see if his heroism was purely a circumstance of the bizarre situation they were in or if maybe he can sustain the growth for the final season of LOST.
On a personal note, I used Josh Holloway as the inspiration for the character Maddox Heller in my third book, FORBIDDEN TOUCH. Clearly, as you can see from the book cover photo, the art department did not take my description of Maddox as having sandy blond shoulder-length hair into consideration at all.
Oh well, can't complain too much. The FORBIDDEN TOUCH cover is still one of my favorites. It's my first (and so far, only) cover with the heroine on it, and what's funny is, though they got the hero completely wrong, despite my detailed descriptions of him, they got the heroine, Iris Browning, perfectly right, even though I barely gave them anything to go on, since I hadn't really "cast" her with an actress or a model as I had with Maddox.
Don't forget, even though Forbidden Touch has been off most bookshelves for a while, you can still buy it as an ebook at Harlequin online.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Not Your Grandma's Bodice Ripper Anymore

Interesting article on the social stigma of reading/writing romance and how the genre is making breakthroughs in some surprising places. (h/t Wayne Jordan)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Accidental Potatoes

Have I mentioned that we have a small worm farm? My mother, my niece and I love to fish with live bait for shellcrackers and bluegills, among other things, and red worms are the go-to bait for these feisty little sunfish. However, we found that often, when we were done fishing, we had as much as a whole box of worms left over.

A box of worms can cost as much as a dollar or more, so it seemed a waste to just pour them out in the ground once we were finished fishing, and we knew they didn't thrive in the small cardboard boxes, so I decided to look up worm farming on the internet to see if it was something we could do at home.

Sure enough it's very easy to raise your own redworms. You just need good soil, a large container, a sunny but temperate area to put your container of soil and worms, and table scraps like potato peels, fruit peels and cores (don't use citrus--it makes the soil too acid), and other vegetable scraps like the woody ends of asparagus or the wilted outer leaves of lettuce or cabbage.

So we started our worm farm, adding new additions to the gene pool for a while when we'd have leftover worms from fishing. And now, we have a big flat plastic container full of worms and dirt.

You need to change out the dirt now and then, but that's also a plus, really, because the worm castings in the old dirt are a fantastic natural fertilizer for plants. We changed the dirt early in the spring and then used the discarded dirt to use in planting our vegetables for the summer. Yeah, there were a few red worms left in the old dirt; hard to get them all. But that's good, too, because redworms do the same thing in the plants that they do in soil naturally--eat the leaves that fall off and excrete a natural fertilizer.

What we found, to our surprise, however, was that there was something else in the soil besides the worms and their castings. There was apparently a piece of red potato with an eye still in it, because one of our planters that we hadn't planted anything in yet suddenly began sprouting a potato plant. It's big, lush and responding beautifully to nothing but occasional watering. A couple of weeks ago, it bloomed, and today, I harvested the first four baby red potatoes from the accidental potato plant. We're going to have them either for lunch or dinner.

We're thinking about planting potatoes on purpose next year. They seem to thrive in our climate and being in the container rather than the ground doesn't seem to faze them.