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Monday, November 30, 2009

History Day.......

History Day!! Winston Churchill was born (prematurely), on this day in 1874. He became a soldier, the British Prime Minister and an author. He also was the first man to be made an honorary U.S. citizen by an act of congress in 1963.

Churchill's stirring speeches and absolute refusal to make peace with a rampaging Hitler were crucial to maintaining British resistance in WWII.

And in a personal observation...this man had SOLID know.

1875, A.J. Ehrrichson of Akron, OH patented the oat crushing machine. (thank God!)

1887, the first softball game was played INDOORS in Chicago, Il., using a broomstick for a bat and a boxing glove for a ball.

1940, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married--setting the stage for one of the funniest TV shows EVER.

1968, Diana Ross and the Supremes hit #1 with LOVE CHILD...(come on, you know you're singing it now!)

1994, Nearly 1000 passengers and crew fled the cruise ship ACHILLE LAURO, after it caught fire off the coast of Somalia. The ship sank two days later. This was the SAME ship that had been hijacked by Palestinians in October 1985. (man, talk about your bad luck ships!!)

Okay, let's hear it......what've you guys got??

Oh, and hope your Thanksgiving was FABULOUS!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

History Day...

History Day! Okay, the picture on the left is a little off, but YOU try to find a picture of the first Jukebox! That's right, the first Nickle in the Slot jukebox was born on this day in 1889 in the Palais Royale saloon in San Francisco! It took in $1000 in its first six months! (And that's when a buck was really a buck!)
1835, the horseshoe manufacturing machine was patented by Henry Burden of Troy, NY. (Troy, unfortunately, could not see the future--cars.)

1903, Enrico Caruso famous Italian tenor made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC

1936, LIFE magazine was born--Great pictures in that magazine.

1938, Bob Hope recorded what would become his theme song--THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

1958, Ronald and Nancy Reagan appear together in the GE theatre production of A TURKEY FOR THE PRESIDENT.....(prescient? you make the call.)

1998, Wall Street Journal announced "States agree to $206 billion Tobacco Deal" ..the money was to be paid by the tobacco industry to help 46 states cover costs of treating people with tobacco related illnesses. (Isn't that like fining Twinkies and making them pay for diet programs? Or ooh. Fining shoemakers and making them pay for bunion cushions? Oh, never mind. That's just me. Rambling.)

Okay you guys, what've you got for me??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guest Blogger, Karen Fenech

Hi Everyone! I've got a guest in the house today, so I hope you all come out of the woodwork and make her welcome! She wrote a terrific book (that I gave her a quote for) and she's a sweetie, too! So go buy GONE and meanwhile, say hi to Karen!

Thank you Maureen for having me here today. In addition to hosting me at her blog, Maureen very kindly read my latest novel GONE and provided a quote for the book. I have long enjoyed and admired Maureen's work and I was thrilled to receive a quote from her.

Five years ago, when I made the decision to write full time, my choice of writing--romantic suspense fiction, where the plot involves a crime-- understandably raised a few eyebrows among family and friends and brought forth questions of how I was going to write characters who solved crimes and/or committed them when I was neither in law enforcement nor operating outside the law.

In GONE, my latest novel, my protagonists are FBI agents and that life of danger and intrigue is about as far as you can get from my everyday life with my husband and daughter, living in our house in the 'burbs.

GONE is the story of FBI Special Agent Clare Marshall who is searching for the sister she was separated from in childhood, when their mother tried to kill them. After twenty-four years, Clare tracks her sister to a small town in South Carolina. But when she goes there, she learns her sister is missing and someone from the town is responsible for her disappearance. Enter fellow FBI Special Agent Jake Sutton, the estranged love of Clare's life. Jake offers to help with the search, but he has an agenda of his own.

When I started thinking about writing GONE, the only thing I appeared to have in common with Clare was that we were both female. Again, I'm not in law enforcement. And my mom is alive and well and has never tried to kill me. The love of my life and I are not estranged--in fact as I'm writing this, he's fixing a leaky faucet. Oh, and I don't have a sister.

But the truth is, apart from Clare's work, which I was able to research, she and I are not altogether unalike. At the core, there's something of me inside Clare.

Like Clare, I have a Never Give Up mentality. How else would I have chosen to make writing my career? =) And, like Clare, I'm an all or nothing person. There's no dissembling, or settling for half measures. Not settling has often led me to paths of most resistance, also like Clare.

Here's an excerpt from GONE

Clare left the nursing facility and stepped into bright sunlight. She shielded her eyes with the back of one hand and with the other, reached into the purse dangling from her shoulder, digging for sunglasses. A man was walking across the parking lot toward her. A trick of the light, he looked like...


She hadn't realized she'd spoken his name aloud until she'd heard it.

He was close enough to have heard as well, though he didn't speak. His eyes, narrowed against the sun, fixed on her with an intensity she remembered all too well.

Too late to pretend she hadn't seen him. It wasn't too late to walk away, though. She wanted to walk away, really wanted to and because she did, she forced herself to stay put and meet his gaze.

Jake now stood in front of her, blocking the sunlight. Clare lowered her hand. His chin was at her eye level. He hadn't shaved. Black beard shadowed his jaws, made his tanned skin look darker.

The last time she'd seen him, from the other side of her bed, he'd looked a little pale. Tired from working too hard. Tired from going ten rounds with her. That was three years ago. He didn't look to be suffering from sleepless nights anymore. He looked rested and fit. The blue T-shirt he wore over jeans showed his hard, tough body. Was he still with the bureau? If so, by his casual attire, he wasn't working today.

"I could say the obvious, 'small world'," Jake said.

It had been big enough for her a moment ago. But in response, she said only, "Must be."

In the awkward silence, a group of women in hospital uniforms dashed by, causing a slight breeze that smelled strongly of spicy perfume.

Jake cleared his throat. "Don't tell me the Bureau's sent you to make sure I'm not lazing my days away fishing?" He said it with a smile, an obvious attempt at lightness.

Clare didn't return the smile. "You're assigned to the Columbia office?" she asked.

"Resident office in Farley, actually."

That surprised her. After they'd stopped seeing each other, Jake had put in for a transfer out of the New York office. They'd been members of the same squad for a time and had been paired off. Working together after things ended had strained them both. Jake was very good at what he did and had earned the commendations to prove it. He could have aimed a lot higher than Farley. She couldn't understand why he hadn't.

She didn't know where he'd gone. Didn't want to know. But she would never have imagined him choosing Farley. He was a city boy. He must have been desperate to put distance between them to accept this post.

"Just me, one other agent and an admin assistant," Jake went on. "How about you? What brings you to our fair town?"

When she'd known him, she'd never mentioned Katie. On the nights he'd stayed at her apartment, she'd stored her cork board and files on her sister in a closet. She had no reason to not tell him about Katie at this time. Her being in Farley and the reason for it was likely climbing the town grapevine at lightning speed. But why tell him about Katie now, when she hadn't before?

"Vacation," she said simply.

He heard the lie. The humor in Jake's gaze vanished and in an instant, his eyes went razor sharp. "I recall you had a preference for sand and surf," he said.

No doubt he was referring to the one brief getaway they'd taken together--a spur of the moment jaunt following a particularly grueling assignment. They'd both been wound tight. He'd asked her where she'd like to go.

White sand beach. A pounding surf. No one else around for miles.

Her words returned to her. The next morning she'd awakened and found he'd packed her suitcase and had found the perfect place for them to go. She didn't care for the reminder of how perfect it had been between them once.

"Not this time," she said. "Goodbye, Jake."

Before he could say anything further, Clare walked away from him.

Do you find that you take the path of least resistance or most resistance? I'd love you to share your stories. As a token of my gratitude at being here with all of you, I'll be drawing a name from one of the commenters to win a $20 gift card to Amazon.

Wishing you lots of great books to read,

Monday, November 16, 2009

History Day.....

History Day!
Okay, you don't often see snow in the desert... global warming? climate change? Nope. 1958, snow hit Tucson AZ, startling all those golfers...Yep, weird weather just happens. Relax people!

In other news...

1875, Dentist William Bonwill of Philadelphia, PA was granted a patent for his dental mallet, used to pound gold fillings into cavities! YIKES

1901, Henry Fournier, became the first auto racer to drive more than a mile a minute!! Look out for that speed demon!!

1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the Union/

1932, the Palace theatre in New York closed its doors to Vaudeville

1960, Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) died at the age of 59 of a heart attack

1970, Anne Murray received a gold record for SNOWBIRD.

1986, Gerber started selling babyfood in plastic jars instead of glass.

That's what I about you?

and tomorrow, come back to read a guest blog by writer
Karen Fenech!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guest Blogger on Tuesday....

Hey you guys! Drop by on Tuesday to visit with guest blogger, Karen Fenech
She's got a new book called GONE that I think you'll love. Great suspense, terrific writing and Karen herself?? Completely great. So come on back and talk to her about the book or writing or whatever it is you want to say to a writer!!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

History Schmistory......

No History Day today.

I'm on deadline.
Yes, that woman on the left could be ME.
We have reached THAT part of the book.
It's all going well, I swear. (If my editor is reading this, GREAT BOOK, HONEST!)
and it is. Really. I'm just a tiny bit frustrated right now. I'm sure it'll pass......... ahooooooooommmmmm

Monday, November 02, 2009

History Day.....

Under the heading don't believe what you see in the paper.....On this day in 1948, Harry Truman went to bed thinking he'd lost the Presidential election to Thomas Dewey. The numbers looked so bad that the Chicago Daily Tribune made a guess as to who would win. They guessed wrong. Truman woke up the next morning to find the headlines congratulating Dewey, but Truman was the President. Ah, journalism. Makes your heart sing, doesn't it??

And in other news........

1889, North AND South Dakota were admitted to the Union.

1931, the DuPont company of Wilmington Delaware announced the first synthetic rubber. It was called DuPrene

1968, Stevie Wonder's song FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE went on sale

1974, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rose to #1 in the US with the album SO FAR. (Some great songs on that one! Like Wooden Ships, Ohio, Woodstock and Suite Judy Blue Eyes)

1976, Jimmy Carter was elected President of the US. The first President from the Deep South since 1844

1978 Lee Iaccoca was hired as President of Chrysler. Ten months later, he was Chairman

And that's what I've got.......Let's hear from you guys! Or are you all on Twitter now???