Monthly Archives: March 2012

Today’s Special

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While this is an American movie, it is an indie film, and it’s about a different culture within America, so I’m counting it.

First get your Indian meal ready, this is some great India food porn. Samir takes over running his father’s Indian restaurant, Tandoori Palace. Doesn’t every city have a Tandoori Palace? In doing so, he works with an amazing Indian chief who embraces life. Samir learns more then how to cook wonderful Indian food, he comes to terms with his life, his parents, and what he really wants for his future.

This is a movie I could watch over and over again. It is sweet and funny, and the advice the cook Samir hires is this amazing guru live life to the fullest kind of guy.

This movie is fine for the whole family to watch, but probably won’t be interesting to younger children.

Remembering the Titanic with Marlene Dotterer

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Today I have my life opposite with us. I grew up in the Bay Area then moved to Tucson AZ where I became a Natural Child birth coach! As you’ll read from her bio we probably passed each other on the freeway!


Marlene Dotterer grew up as a desert rat in Tucson, Arizona. In 1990, she loaded her five children into the family station wagon, and drove north-west to the foggy San Francisco Bay Area. To stay warm, she tackled many enterprises, earning a degree in geology, working for a national laboratory, and running her own business as a personal chef. She’s a frustrated gardener, loves to cook, and teaches natural childbirth classes. She says she writes, “to silence the voices,” obsessed with the possibilities of other worlds and other times. She is married to The Best Husband in the World, and lives in Pleasant Hill, California.

1.If you were to write yourself into your book what kind of character would you be?

I’d be the slightly nutty old lady down the street.

That sounds like a lot of fun.

2.What is the geekiest thing about you?

Have you seen my science fiction library?

Can I borrow books? LOL!

3.Who is your arch nemesis?

Anybody who thinks they can tell me what to do.

I like it.


4.What mad ass survival skill do you have?

I can cook and I don’t mind it if all I have is a campfire. Just don’t ask me to identify any plants. Oh, and in a pinch, I could help deliver a baby.

I’ve gotten to help deliver a baby, it’s amazing!

5.What is the best advice you give, but hardly ever follow yourself?

Do your Kegels!

I’m doing some right now.

6.If your book was turned into a movie who you play your main characters?

Well… I think Colm Meany would be great as Sam, my physicist. Emma Stone would be perfect as Casey. But Thomas Andrews – I don’t know. Victor Garber played him in Titanic, but he’s too old for the part now, especially since Tom is 34 when we first meet him in my book. The real Thomas Andrews was a very handsome man, but I can’t think of any current actors of that age who look like him.

7.Why write about Titanic?

I was very young when I first heard about Titanic, and it always made me feel sad. But I wasn’t obsessed with it, even after James Cameron’s movie came out. But about five years ago, I became curious about Thomas Andrews, who was the ship’s designer He went down with the ship. What kind of man built ships like that? How did he get started? Who was he? So I started researching, and I had the strangest reaction. I was heartbroken at his death, as if he was a close relative, and I just found out he died. Weird, I know – but everything I read about him showed that he was kind, generous, and happy. That he loved life and he loved people. Everyone who knew him, loved him. I had to write the book to give him a second chance at life. It’s my tribute to him.

Strong emotional attachments past events make me wonder about past-lives.

8.You’re going on the Titanic Memorial Cruise in April. What is it?

This cruise is to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage. It includes the same number of passengers that were on Titanic (around 1300), and will have many experts who will provide lectures and exhibits about the ship. Many of the passengers are descendants of people who were on the original ship.

We’ll follow the same route Titanic took, except we plan on ending up in New York! On the night of April 14/15, we will be above the spot where Titanic now sits, and will have a memorial service out on deck at the time she sank, which was about 2:20 a.m.

I’m very excited about it, as are all of the passengers. We’re all getting to know each other through Facebook!

Also, I’ll be blogging about the cruise as much as possible while I’m on it. The BBC will be along, as well, so there may be an interview. Keep an eye on my blog for that, and for other “specials” I’ll be posting about leading up to the cruise.


That sounds amazing, I will be jealously following your updates.


9.Give us a super secret peek into what you’re working on next?

I’m working on Bridgebuilders, the second Time Travel Journals book. It’s got parallel universes, neutrinos bouncing around all over the place, a megalomaniac, a rebel alliance, a hot, young, high school teacher and the brilliant student who has a crush on him, which just may be reciprocated, but I’m keeping it clean…

Don’t keep it clean on my account- *naughty grin*. Seriously it sound like a great book.

10.What style of book do you secretly long to write, but are afraid to try and do.

Hey, if I want to do it, I’ll try it. Life is short.

Good for you!

11.As an author tells us three things that will mean success to you in your writing career.

A certain level of sales. Say selling thousands of a particular book over a one-year period. I don’t need to be the next Amanda Hocking, but I’d like to reach a decent number of people.

I’d like to qualify for membership in Science Fiction Writers of America. That requires traditional publishing, so I’m still working on that angle with some of my other books.

And third… this is the embarrassing one to admit: to be respected enough to be a panelist at Cons. I guess all this means that I want validation. I want people to like my books and if they like them, to let me know.

I am with you 100% on being invited to Cons. That is definitely on my list of success!

Marlene thank you so much for taking the time to join me on my blog.I can’t wait to read the posts of you’re cruise!
And for anyone else who wishes to follow Marlene’s exciting adventures, she can be found here-

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The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder

Imagine being there before the Titanic set sail.
Now imagine being there before she’s even built.

Sam Altair is a physicist living in Belfast, Ireland. He has spent his career researching time travel and now, in early 2006, he’s finally reached the point where he can send objects backwards through time. The only problem is, he doesn’t know where the objects go. They don’t show up in the past, and no one notices any changes to the present. Are they creating alternate time lines?

To collect more data, Sam tries a clandestine experiment in a public park, late at night. But the experiment goes horribly wrong when Casey Wilson, a student at the university, stumbles into his isolation field. Sam tries to rescue her, but instead, he and Casey are transported back to the year 1906. Stuck in the past, cut off from everyone and everything they know, Sam and Casey work together to help each other survive. Then Casey meets Thomas Andrews, the man who will shortly begin to build the most famous ship since Noah’s Ark. Should they warn him, changing the past and creating unknown consequences for the future? Or should they let him die?

The construction of White Star Line’s Olympic-class ships forms the backdrop for a passionate love affair between Tom and Casey, who must overcome the many differences inherent between an Edwardian Irish gentleman, and a member of America’s Generation Y. The fictional love affair grows alongside real lives from history: the Andrews family of Comber, Lord William Pirrie, Bruce Ismay, and the thousands of skilled men who built the remarkable ocean liners of the early twentieth century.

Buy at Amazon or Smashwords

Food!

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I love food, love it! And I wish I had the time to cook meals more often. I use to experiment with all kinds of dishes and spend all day in the kitchen cooking. Now every once in a while I make a pot of soup which can simmer while I’m at work until dinner time. However these guys take making food to a whole new level of crazy.

I can’t decide if I want to gag or try some of what they made. Maybe both.

Luck 7 meme

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Lucky Seven Meme
Okay I was tagged by Rhonda Hopkins and Lani Wendt Young and just last night Lesann Berry in the luck 7 meme.

The rules are:
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines ( sentences or paragraphs) and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 writers and let them know.
So here is my piece for book two of the Phoenix Child series- I don’t have a title yet. It’s raw- not even fixed from critique group yet- so no grammar comments please. 🙂

“It is you,” said a sweet voice as cool hand grabbed my arm.

I started to pull away until I recognized Braids. “Hello.”

“I can’t believe I found you. I hoped I would. My family wants to thank you for saving me. I’m Alanna by the way.” she said in one breath as she tugged me away from the crowd.

“Sapphire, and I really didn’t do all that much,” I said, walking with her. “There’s no need to do anything.”

“You obviously don’t know what you saved me from.” Alanna turned to look at me and stopped. Her hands dropped and I felt this muddled wave of emotion: embarrassment, excitement, and awe. “I’m sorry. Please, will you come with me?”

“Wait? What? You haven’t done anything wrong.” I was hoping for a normal teenage day, shopping, eating out, maybe noticing a cute boy here and there and then getting yelled at back at home. Do other people have crazy just pop up all the time or is it just me? Maybe attracting crazy is one of my phoenix gifts.

Seven MEME Questions have to be Answered as well…

1. What is your dream vacation? Hubby says my answer should be- Anything where I am pampered non-stop, which might be true. But if we are talking dreams, then a vacation that doesn’t end, I would love to be able to travel the world which would take a really long time.

2. Are you spontaneous? Or do you like to plan? I am not spontaneous at all. Any sudden changes upset me. I have gotten better my current job has given me no choice.

3. One thing you want to do, but don’t dare do? Anything spontaneous where I can’t be certain of the outcome. I love reading stories about people who sell all their crap and run off and live in South America or India or where ever had just trust in the Universe and have these amazing adventures. I want to be that person but I don’t know that I will ever be.

4. What’s your biggest phobia? Being out of control- not like I personally freak out, but being under the control of strangers or people who are cruel.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you want with you? (not including your laptop or family.) Real answer- a boat, cases of water, and ships captain because I don’t know how to sail. Fun answer- several cases of chocolate, a case of condoms, and a VERY good reason to need the condoms.

6. Name three blessings in your life. My family, esp. my husband he puts up with my crazy. My critique group, trust me you don’t want to be reading the first draft. And Kilian Metcalf, who has given so much of her time and energy into helping me get my books ready for the world.

7. What was your nickname in high school? Red- I have red hair it’s not that interesting.

8. If you could meet the President of the US what would you say to him? If you didn’t have to jump through all these hoops and get things passed through congress and such what would you like to change?

9. If you could be any literary character for a day, who would you be? Anita Blake- she gets to have lots of sex with lots of very beautiful men- I could work with that. She also get to be a bad ass and shoot things.

10. A favorite quote? “Its mind over matter, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.”

Okay now time to pick others. Eep, if you don;t want to play that’s fine but …

Myndi Shafer

Sonia G Medeiros

Elaine Charton

Patricia Yager Delagrange

Debra Kristi

August McLaughlin

Kilian Metcalf

And because it’s Monday we have to have some Music! Nina Zilli will represent Italy in this years Euroviosn Song Contest.

Living for Joy and Seizing the Joy in Living

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As many of you may know from previous posts, I tend to allow fear to rule far too much of what I do. The horror stories about traveling echo through my head drowning out the millions who travel with no problems at all, or even the ones who write about their amazing, beautiful experiences which changed their lives.

Why? Why do I do this? Why do I allow the 1 in 100,000 chance that something awful could happen stop me from enjoying life?

In my heart I am brave. In my dreams of the perfect future I travel all over the world with my family, and the thought fills me with such joy. And yet even crossing into Mexico to go to Rocky Point, which is all about tourists, scares me so much I want to throw up. Once I’m there, I’m okay, but the border crossing and driving down there cause all the bad stories to rush through my head.

Spice market in India


I want to feel the excitement of traveling and the joy of meeting new people and experiencing new things. I want to be prepared for the what ifs but not weighted down by them.

Of course being a writer ,I can take a simple what if and turn it into a Stephen King horror story, so that doesn’t help.

What do I do? How do I prepare for what could happen without making myself even more fearful? How do I keep in mind safety rules without getting so scared that I won’t leave my house? How do I soak in how amazing life is and experience all the joy I can without having a panic attack?

I’m hoping my “writing in gratitude” journal will help re-program my brain. I am also going to hunt down more videos like this one to remind me that yes there are risks in life, but the joy is so worth it.

Go ahead and pimp yourself

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It’s not often I decide that I have something writerly to share. Today, however is your lucky day 🙂 As I have gotten ready for the release of my book, I have offered to do interviews and asked other bloggers if I could be on their sites. I had many people offer to be let me be on their sites, but fewer asking to be interviewed or doing a guest blog. Why? I don’t bite.

I think people are afraid to put themselves out there, as if they are being judged for having the audacity to feel they are worthy of being on someone’s blog. I know I felt the same way.

This is silly. Not only do I get to learn more about someone, which could easily turn into a character in a book one day, I also get a blog post I don’t have to figure out on my own, and I have gotten at least one new follower for every interview I have done.

Yes, I want to help my fellow authors, and yes I am a blessed saint for doing so, but I also get a lot in return. So the next time some offers you a chance to be on the blog don’t be all shy and nervous, jump at the chance!

Now this part is just personal opinion, but I like interviews that help me get to know the author better.

I don’t want to know more about their process. I’m a writer I understand how it works.

Desperately type words to make word count.

Ignore that they’re crap and move onto the next chapter.

Read and edit finished book wondering what drugs you were taking at the time, patch it the best you can, offer to critique group and try not to cry as they tell you it needs to be re-written.

Throw a temper tantrum.

Rewrite the damn things, take back to group, more editing and revising, lather, rinse, repeat. I won’t get into publishing because that part can be even more of an emotional roller coaster.

Isn’t this how everyone writes?

To prepare for doing my interviews I sat down and thought of 30 questions. Okay, boy child and hubby helped. They’re odd, some have to do with books, some zombies, some food, whatever, but all of them help the reader get to know the guests as people better, which gives them the chance to feel connected to the reader.

When someone agrees to be interviewed by me, I send out the whole list and let them pick what they want to answer. If there are things they want to talk about which are not on the list, then they go ahead and make up questions for themselves.

See it’s not so hard, and it’s fun. As the host I read through them, troll the internet for picks to brighten everything up, and voila! a blog post.

Now for your Monday Music

ROW 80 check in

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I must admit I haven’t gotten much of anything done- with my internet down I only have access at work so not only is my time limited but my work computer is so old that it crashes when going on facebook and such, and of course all of my links are on my laptop.

I only write 2 days this week. A kind friend read my book and pointed out some mistakes, which I expected mistakes, but there are more then I’m comfortable with so I’m re-reading it out loud and giving it another edit. I will admit to a significant amount of pouting – which lost me a day of work. But while I am fixing it the percentage of mistakes per words count is low enough that I still get a solid A. LOL!

I did work on my class, and only have one more lesson to go- plus I found a class that teaches how to teach an online class, which I might take.

My voodoo class started, so far I’m not overly impressed, but I’m hoping it will improve.

So for next week, my goal is to read, edit, and send my book to the formatter. And to remind myself that perfection isn’t the goal, but improvement always is.

How did everyone else do???

British Awesomeness

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Wild Target Stars Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Martin Freeman, and Rupert Everett.

Oh, did you need more? Really? That cast and you just didn’t run out an get it? Odd that. Well okay. Bill Nighy plays a hitman who is devoted to his mother and extremely anal retentive. Emily Blunt is his target, whom not only can he not kill, but winds up protecting. Rupert Everett is our bad guy, and of course he’s wonderful. He hires Martin Freeman to kill them both. Rupert Grint is an innocent bystander who get sucked into all this mess.

It’s hysterical in that sarcastic laid-back British way. I laughed a lot. This is a movie I could easily watch more then once.

She-Hulk, Vampires, and Prudence MacLeod

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Today Prudence MacLeod joining me.

Prudence, tell us about yourself.

I am a self-styled spiritual seeker, dog trainer, official Reiki Master and Interior designer, who has turned her hand to writing. I am also an avid chess player, not a great one, but an avid one.
I have roamed far and wide for over sixty years in this realm, and I have seen much; some I wish I had not, and a great deal that I would love to see again. Some days I feel like Bilbo Baggins, for I have been there and come back again. No, I haven’t written a book about my wanderings, but much that I have experienced, observed, learned, surmised, or imagined, is woven into the tales I have written. I do hope you enjoy them.

1-How old were you when you fell in love with reading? Can you remember what book/ books it was that inspired you?

It is hard to say. I learned to read before I went to school. I have loved to read as long as I can remember.

I feel that way too.

2-What is your favorite guilty pleasure book? The one you’re embarrassed to let other people know you read. Come on you can tell us we’ll keep it a secret.

Ok, as long as you promise not to tell. I love She-Hulk comics and X-Men as well. There, are you happy now? Tee hee

I’ll have to check them out, thanks for sharing your secret.

3-I’m stealing this one from Rove. “Who would you turn gay for?”

Already done that. My partner K. We have been together sixteen years now. The girl is pure loving magic and all intellect.

Oh, that is so sweet.

4-When the zombie apocalypse comes what is going to be your weapon of choice?

Scottish Claymore, no question.

LOL- great weapon choice!

5-What do you think werewolf musk smells like?

Wet dog. I have four dogs who like to play in the rain. I’m sure I’ll recognize the scent.

Yuck- nothing sexy about that 🙂

6-What is your guilty pleasure reading genre? Come on I know you don’t just sit at home reading classic literature all the time.

Well, I’ve already confessed to comics. You can add sci-fi, fantasy, and erotic romance to the list.


Now it’s sounding like my bookshelf!

7-We all have favorite books, ones we nag our friends to read, buy our loved ones as gifts, and the biggy, the books we read over and over again. What books have you read more than twice?

As a child I loved the works of Edgar Rice Burrows and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve been known to sneak back for another go at a favorite.

I have Sherlock Holmes on my Kindle, I’ll have to move it up the to-be-read list.

8-What is a book your friends would be surprised to know you’ve read?

The Bible, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the Koran, The Canterbury Tales, Grey’s Anatomy, and I’m sure there are a few more surprises in my past somewhere.

Wow, that’s a lot of heavy reading!

9-Give us a super secret peek into what you’re working on next?

I’ve just published my latest work, a completely new take on vampires. This is my best writing so far and I am excited about it. I’m just about to start the sequel. Stay tuned for a shot at the werewolf thingy.

I adore vampires!! And werewolves, I’m going to see if you mention them smelling like wet dog!

10-As an author tells us three things that will mean success to you in your writing career.

One, when I can be the sole bread winner for my family; two, when I first get recognized on the street, and three, when my editor stops putting all those dang red marks all over my pages.

I’m with you 100% for number one, I’d be okay not being recognized, and seriously my grammar is so bad there is no way the red marks will ever go away!

Thank you so much for joining me today!

Thank you so much for having me here today, Alica, and an especial thank you for asking all the fun questions. I’ve had a blast.

To keep up with Prudence and make sure you know when her next book comes out follow her blog , facebook or find her at smashwords for a list of all her books.

For millions of years a rogue meteor hurtles through space towards Earth, glowing from the vast fields of radiation through which it has passed. A primitive human female gazes in wonder as the burning invader hurtles toward the ground, unaware of the great beast stalking her. All three meet in an instant. Flash forward to the present, yes, she is still here, she has always been here, stalking us, feeding off us, and so have those she has created.

Self analyzing for PTSD not doctor recommended.

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I spent yesterday in a six hour PTSD workshop, then last night at 2am one of the work kids woke up and it took 45min to get him back to sleep, so right now I’m tired, moody, and also analyzing myself for any signs of PTSD. I’m not sure if this blog will ever see the light of day; my editor usually protects me from making a total fool of myself on my blog.- If this is too much info, she’ll protect me from myself yet again.

One of the things the presenter talked about was people with PTSD aren’t afraid of what happened, they are afraid of what will happen in the future. This is an issue I have. Years ago hubby started his own business, and we discovered a fatal flaw in our marriage: both of us suck in money management. Things went badly, and I apparently have money/fear issues because I freaked out and became horribly depressed as we went through that period.

The experience was traumatic enough for me that even today I react to money issues. Going online to check the bank account makes my stomach tight, I breathe shallowly, and get light headed. It’s the not knowing, the what ifs that wreak havoc in my body.

One of my dreams of being a rich and famous author is having enough money that I pay someone else to manage it and I never have to see a bill or balance my bank account again. Sad isn’t it?

Hubby wonders if I’ll ever feel secure, even if I had a million dollars. I’m not sure, but I’m willing to have millions and give it a shot 🙂

Another thing the presenter talked about is that once you feel the trigger for your trauma begin, to take slow deep breaths and consciously change what you’re thinking. Create a ‘safe place’ or new reality.

So this is what I am going to try to do. Whenever I am about to deal with money issues I will take slow deep breaths and imagine myself on a tropical island relaxing in a hammock and a beautiful young man bringing me a drink. Of course I might never get around to doing the paperwork, but at least I’ll be happy and my cortisol levels will be lower. This is good, apparently.

Any advice on overcoming old ingrained trauma? Do you have something that still affects you?