Thursday, December 27, 2012

Not free but almost

Kiss My Ectoplasm and Dancin' in the Dark are up for a mere .99 apiece on Barnes and Noble for NOOK right now.  Amazon for Kindle is taking a bit longer but probably by tomorrow, these prices will apply also.

Much to my regret, one of the characters in Dancin' in the Dark, based on a lovely friend of mine, passed away just before Christmas.  I know she was delighted to be immortalized in a book and I was more than glad to include her.  She is one of the two ladies working in the pharmacy where Carly's virgin friend Bridget goes to buy prophylactics. 

For a direct line to B&N and Amazon, you can use the link at the top of this page under "works".

Go with  God, Debbie!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Too sad to create

Because of the recent tragedy in Newtown CN, I've been very contemplative.  This is the season of love and friendship, of charity and peace.
Well, not this year.

I cannot think of anything positive to say about the youngsters whose lives were cut short by someone who didn't know them, didn't care about them, just wanted to kill.  I don't know him, or his mother or his brother or father.  I do know that somewhere along the line, this kid got bent and no one was able to straighten him out.  Now, because of him, twenty six people are dead.

Twenty six souls gone in an instant.
This isn't wartime.  This isn't a natural disaster, something that no one could predict but could sort of accept as one of those things.
This was cold-blooded murder.

My whole head can't seem to get around this.  I can look at the pictures of these babies and weep.  I can listen to the stories of the heroism of the principal and teachers, substitute and classroom aide and feel dread.  So many lives wasted it hurts my heart.

So forgive me if I don't blather on about ridiculous holiday things for a few days.  As much as I wish I could overcome my sadness, I just can't. Perhaps when all the little bodies are interred, I will find some closure, but for now, I can't.

And I cannot imagine how the parents of these babies will feel for the rest of their time on earth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On the other hand

There is nothing like this amount of sand there now.  But there are seagulls.  This one sat on our deck for hours, crying to be fed.

New picture!!! You choose!

Okay, this is the very end of Long Beach Island.  See that rise on the right hand side?

It isn't there any more.

I have no photos of Seaside Heights, Lavalette, Point Pleasant or Ortley Beach.  There are plenty on the internet.  This photo is mine.

Crazy time

Trying to get a new picture up on the website, make it a tribute to my beloved Jersey shore!!!

I have the picture, now I gotta have the webpage changed, and that I cannot do by myself.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post Thanksgiving Post

A guy on Sunday Morning spoke about what he was thankful for. His wife is fighting off breast cancer, his son was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma of some kind, his father and uncle and some other relative all still alive after cancer. He commented on the fact that every year since 1990 (I think he said) the death rate for cancer has gone down 1%. Not 10%, just 1%.
This is thanks to the modern detection, the modern doesn't seem like much, but to me in particular, it is fabulous.
Yes, I wish it could be 10%. Hell, I wish it could be 100%. That would suit me just fine.

***In a future world, you go to the doctor, he slides a tricorder over you and says,"Oh, my, you have a cancer in your.... Here, let me take care of that for you." And he pushes a button on some sort of electronic screwdriver, points it at your cancer spot and "poof!" the cancer is gone.***

Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Yesterday I was talking with Sandy in Vegas about how I had found a photo of her cousin Sue who passed away years ago from cancer. She may have been twenty, maybe not even. She had melanoma that had gone through her entire body via warts. She had asked her doctor about some black warts on her neck and the doc told her "nothing to worry about". Six months later, she went to another doctor who told her she had about six months to live.

That's not saying much for doctors back then...let me think, it must be over 37 years ago because when my husband, who knew Sue, first came back to New Jersey, he asked about her and was stunned to learn she had died, and that was 1975, so it may even be 40 years since Sue actually passed.
My father who worked in a chemical plant, died of cancer in 1985. He had lymphoma and had some vague chemotherapy as they knew how bad it was already.
Most of the people who lived on my home street in Middlesex, NJ passed from cancer that could not be cured.

That got me thinking about the recent death of someone in my high school graduating class. I decided to make a list of all those classmates that I knew had died and came up with 8. There may be more, but these are the ones I knew through their obituaries.
I did some quick math and found this to be 5%. We're all in our mid-sixties now. There were a lot of good years left in all of them.

I am most grateful for still being alive. There are still things I have to do, still places I'd love to go, still people I'd like to meet. With this sword hanging over my head, I hope I get to do lots of the list.

Think about it for yourself. One minute, you're fine, the next minute, there's something eating away at you inside and you might not know it until it starts to hurt. Get a yearly check up. Visit your doctor and ask about the risks, tell him or her about every little pimple or lump or pain.

Take care of yourself. Hug your loved ones. Make peace with enemies. Fight for the greater good.
Support cancer research any way you can.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Pies are done, turkey brining, potatoes riced and awaiting mashing, cauliflower cooked--ready for the cheese stuff, stuffing getting the turkey wing treatment for tomorrow.  There's more, always more.

But none of the above is as important as my family and friends, for whom I am eternally grateful.  Even though I complain about my immediates, they're truly wonderful, and as for my friends, no one could ask for better than I have.

I don't often get mushy about my gratitude, only this one big day of the year do I go public.

Thank you all. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

What's NOOK?

Kiss My Ectoplasm, Dancin' in the Dark and Dead Dreams are now up on Barnes and Noble for NOOK.  If you were unable to download the books and you really wanted to, and you didn't have a Kindle but you have a Nook, well, now's your chance!

Just type in the title and go there.   I can't quite figure out how to link to them yet and they're all separate. 

My two paperback books, Glory Days and Kisses to Go, are also available for NOOK! 

If you like ghosts, psychics, The Big Bang Theory (KME's hero is a physicist and a little weird), stories about England, misunderstood people with psychic talent, spies and betrayers, you'll enjoy Kiss My Ectoplasm.  If you think you may be psychic, there are some tips in there as to how to control your abilities.

I ought to post some of my previous work on the paranormal here.  It is available in my livejournal, which you can find through the archives by clicking on the link on the right hand side of this entry.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

.99 book on Kindle Wednesday and Thursday

As I promised two weeks ago, but had that nasty hurricane disrupt my plans, I am offering Kiss My Ectoplasm for a mere ninety nine cents for Wednesday and Thursday, November 14th and 15th.

Here's a little teaser:

“Go away, Hunter.”

Eyes twinkling with mischief, he leaned against her side. “Had enough, witchy woman? Ready to give in?”

The pressure that had been building throughout the last tumultuous hours finally blew. Gwen stood and resisted the urge to smack his handsome face. She did unleash a verbal barrage meant to send him running in the opposite direction.

“You know, for a supposedly smart man, Dr. Phillips, you are incredibly dense. I’d say on a scale of one to stupid, you’re a seven.”

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Sandy blew in, stayed a long time, hit my beloved Jersey shore hard and ruined it.  Our family got power back this morning after an entire week without but luckily we had use of a generator part time.
We're safe, but I'm afraid the promised lower price on Kiss My Ectoplasm didn't come about for my birthday because we had no way of getting online.

Next week, if you care to wait.  Today, follow this link to see inside Kiss My Ectoplasm.

If you can help the people who suffered much more than we did during the hurricane, please do.  Ask the Red Cross or Salvation Army where you can donate or help.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My new book, Kiss My Ectoplasm, is up on Amazon for Kindle right now!
Gee, that was fast.  The girls only set it up late yesterday afternoon, before the hurricane wipes out our electricity.

You can view it and read a couple of chapters here:

Do you like ghosts?  Do you like the idea of a psychic teaching a snotty physicist a thing or two about the supernatural?  Do you like ghosts that are still "living" in the 1920s?
If you do, check out Kiss My Ectoplasm.

In fact, I do believe this calls for a website change.  Hang on, I don't know if I can do it.  My illustrator is still asleep!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The girls managed to put Kiss My Ectoplasm up on Amazon for Kindle today.  Due to horrific weather forecast, they decided that it ought to go up before the hurricane wipes out power in New Jersey and the entire East Coast.

Amazon will take some time to get it up and the price is higher than I said it would be, but I promise it will be only .99 on Halloween and my birthday, November 1st.

If I can figure out how to do it, that is.  Sure, I can do it.  I did it for Dancin' in the Dark once before.
So, look for it, friends and readers!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Time is running out for the girls to put Kiss My Ectoplasm up on Amazon for Kindle.
I intend to offer it for two glorious days, my favorite days--Halloween and the next day, my birthday--for a mere ninety nine cents.  (.99)

But, there is still some more work to be getting those pesky front pages in and getting links on the chapter page.
However, I'm gonna try to get the whole book cover up here now.

Wait...I have to get some help.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Actors and characters

 A good friend recently wrote who she would cast were a movie to be made of her latest book.
I remember she asked me about three weeks ago who I thought could be in a movie, should it be bought and made and I came up with some names, but it was difficult because I don't keep up with movie and tv show stars.
Like, duh!
When I get my hair done every three months or so, the stylist hands me a copy of People or US or there's another one, I think, but it hasn't made a big impression on me. I flip through the pages and wonder...who the hell are these people?

So, okay, I guess I'm kind of stuck back in the Sam Elliot days, or even further back in time, to the Jimmy Stewart and Gregory Peck days.  Katherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Myrna Loy and Ginger Rodgers.  Hell, throw in Roy and Trigger and Dale and that's probably as far as I can go when it comes to casting people.

Oh, sure, I know there are other stars.  William Shatner, John Ritter, Sandra Bullock...and the woman who starred on Everybody Loves Raymond, Gosh I do not know her name. Patricia something?

So, folks, were I to try to cast anybody in my favorite story of mine, I have absolutely no idea who I would pick.  I'd love to get Sam Elliot do something just so I could listen to his voice.  Most of the other actors I recognize are, well, dead.  My fault in that I watch too much onTurner Classic Movies, I guess.

The sequel I am currently working on for Dead Dreams, tentative title Dead Meat, well, I have to come up with someone with sandy hair, broad shoulders, looking good in jeans and a sports jacket, who can off vampires without compunction.  Right off the bat, I can't name anybody. As for the female star, blank blank blank.

But, I have a ghost story almost ready to go up on Amazon.  There are ghost people and live people.  The ghosts I guess could be older actors while the living have to be, well, early thirties is too old.

Anybody with any ideas, feel free to comment.  Then, when the book sells to a movie maker, I'll have a cast list ready.  And it better be better than the totally wrong casting in a certain Jersey girl's terrific book series that I love because they got every single character wrong but Lula and Vinnie the bail bondsman.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Truth vs. fiction

Some of you may not know that I have been ill for quite some time.  Better now, but for a few years I was in pretty bad shape and am just now trying to get my feet on the ground and carry on.
I had cancer once, got over it, got it again somewhere else, got over that, but then I broke both my legs and still haven't quite gotten over that.
In between all this garbage (and it has been garbage, putting me way off my scheduled life) I did some writing, most of it pretty awful. I sent nothing out (a sin, yes, but true to my usual modus operendi) so nothing happened.

I can't even remember when I wrote Chatty Hooters.  It must have been some time inbetween the first and second cancer.  Using my one trip to England as reference, I wrote a ghost story that involved the living, too.  It is a good, solid story and I intend to put it up on Amazon for Kindle before Halloween because, well, who doesn't like a good ghost story?

Now to get to why I'm writing this blog.

When I first wrote the story, I invented the British Institute of Paranormal (or Psychic) Studies for my female character to represent.  I thought it was terribly clever, making up that acronym.  Very clever indeed.  So, I sort of tried to publicize my genius by posting that I had been selected as the sole American member of the prestigious institution (which did not exist).    Honestly, I was just joking around, many people knew I was involved with a ghost story wip.  Lots of people knew this.

Unfortunately, some people did not know and wrote back congratulations on this same loop.  I felt awful!  I didn't want my friends thinking I was a liar...I don't lie, I make up stories.
So, I had to confess that I was joking.  That there was no such B.I.P.S. and that I certainly didn't quailfy for membership if it DID exist.

Eventually, I changed the title of Chatty Hooters to Kiss My Ectoplasm.
Hopefully, it will be available before Halloween for everyone!

I'm still sort of ashamed, though.  But really, I didn't mean to trick anybody.  And I did confess to the intended joke....
Publicity isn't always done right.  Ya gotta be careful!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Writing is easier for some people than it is for others.  There are people who can naturally tell a story, it just slips from their lips in order and we laugh with them or cry with them, but whatever it is that they have, this magic ability, we are enrapt and cannot turn away from what they are telling us.  These people are just great story tellers!

But there is something, ingrained perhaps, or something they have picked up along the way that aids them in what they do.  Maybe they read constantly.  Maybe they watched people on television who could capture the crowd—certain stand up comedians come to mind—and they learned from these folks.  The story, related with expression and great timing, keeps our attention through the ups and downs to the very end.  We laugh at appropriate times, we cry if necessary, we feel triumph when the speaker finishes the tale.  We’ve been involved through some magic talent of theirs so that we are not listening to the story, we’re a part of the story.

There are rules to telling a good story.  They’ve been broken down by several learned people, Joseph Campbell in his Hero of a Thousand Faces and Christopher Vogler who took directly from Campbell.  Each outlined the steps of the storyline, based on myths but applicable to any century’s stories, like yours, like mine.  The journey.  What the hero must pass through and accomplish to reach the good ending where his quest is fulfilled and he has done his job and accomplished what he or she set out to do.  Vogler listed 12 steps.  I don’t remember all of them, but then, I sort of use the steps naturally.

First, there is the call to adventure.  Okay, it could be hard (win a war) or relatively na├»ve and easy, like delivering a summons to a rich guy who has bodyguards and everybody else who has tried to serve this guy has failed miserably.  The character knows it’s difficult and probably impossible, so he/she hesitates and tries to put it off on someone else. They refuse to go, knowing in advance that they will fail.  Then something happens to force the character’s movement…gun to his head, loss of job to her if she doesn’t , or something far more dire…if you don’t do it, your family will suffer.  So the character goes.

Along the way to somewhere impossible, they gather allies and a mentor.  The mentor knows the way or knows how to accomplish the mission (holds a key to getting into that office or getting into Bin  Laden’s compound) and even might possess a magic weapon (or key or code word) to allow our hero or heroine access.  It isn’t easy, the road there is nearly impossible and impassible, fraught with danger at every turn, several times the h/h faces danger and death but manages to squeeze through.  Often there are consequences and the allies don’t make it…you can’t kill off your h/h, but members of the band might die…think LOTR where some of the fiercest die so that the others may go on.  Such devotion…red shirts on Star Trek who are nameless but give their all for the cause.

Okay, we’ve gone there, we’ve lost friends, now we are into the compound/office and think we might have smooth going until suddenly, the bad guy or giant or dragon or watchman or worse yet, the antagonist, the impossible guy, appears, fully armed and we must confront him, the danger, the enemy, the boss.  We use our wits, we use our magic weapons, somehow, we manage to defeat the villain and get what we want.  But, looking at what it cost us, sometimes an arm or a leg or a friend, and we wonder whether it was worth it.

We bring the magic elixir home to those who need it.  The plans are with our generals, the stolen jewels are back with the queen, the bad guy is either dead or in jail or somewhere where he/she cannot hurt anyone ever again.  We present the goods to whoever needed them and people rejoice and we are heroes.  We get the girl/guy/job/retirement/recognition and our story is over, unless it is a series and we get sent somewhere else to do the same thing only in a different time and place.

This is the hero’s journey.  This is the story, done.  These elements are usually always present, though the order might be changed and the dangers on and on, but these elements must be observed for the story to be worthwhile.  Even literary fiction has most of these elements while the ending might not be Happily Ever After, just because real life is not always that way at the end of a journey.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Baby Doll

Turner Classic Movies ran Baby Doll last week.  It stars a very young Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach and Karl Malden.  This is a famous flick, probably condemned by the Catholic Church and would probably have been given an X rating had there been those kind of ratings back when it was made, somewhere in the mid-50s.

Essential plot was that this old guy marries a young girl and promises not to have carnal knowledge of her until she turns 20.  I only saw the very end, maybe the last seven minutes, but from the wild look on Karl Malden's face, I guess he was her husband and perhaps had killed somebody or attempted to kill somebody the night before his wife's 20th.

Eli Wallach, looking as evil as only he can look, with dark hair and mustache, seems to have run afoul of both Baby Doll and her husband.  He finds her with a scraped leg on the side of a road or field as she has been running away from her husband who is now in the cop car.  He runs away from the authorities at the front of the house and Karl Malden, saying he will come back for her.

So, knowing no more than the above about this movie, I can see that there's plenty to upset a mid-50s viewer or titillate that same viewer.  You see Karl Malden being carted away by the authorities and just as he leaves the front of the house, you hear a big old clock inside chime midnight.  His wife is now 20 and he can't have his husbandly way with her because he is going to jail for sure.

Here's what I took away from the movie, though.  The very last line. 
Baby Doll goes up on the porch of her large house and there's an elderly woman sitting there with a suitcase at her feet.  She beckons the old woman inside.  The woman asks,  "What are we going to do?"
Baby Doll flutters her eyelashes and says,  "We got nothin' to do but wait for tomorrow and see if we're remembered or forgotten."

I will have more to say about this.  Much more.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A scene from Hell

Got a story idea while in the shower yesterday morning.
It will be a sequel to Dead Dreams.

One ofthe best scenes ever for a vampire/unvampire story yet.  I am willing to be it is completely new and unused.

Stay tuned.

Jim sensed their presence long before he heard the click click of toenails on the rough macadam surface. It echoed through the canyons of containers lined up on the crowded Charleston dock. Soon enough, he heard the panting.
Low to the ground. They hadn't transformed. Perhaps allowing the dockworkers to think they were a local feral pack aided them in their rounds. Perhaps they changed into what their inner selves decided. Big and black-furred for the alpha male, smaller yet equally as vicious lesser males who actually did the killing.
Either way, there were about six of them. He'd caught them in human form but once, at the local watering hole.
They were the rough around the edges bad boys. Now they were the wild pack of vampire hounds.
Either way, he had to figure out a way to kill the entire pack in one fell swoop.

Therein lay the problem as Jim saw it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I've been away. 
I'm now back, looking at a ton of unpacking, laundry from nowhere and problems.

We visited Charleston, SC, which is a real trip.  We spent a week at the NC shore.  We visited with my brother in Georgia where we had fun but encountered a scorpion in the shower.

Saw where FDR died.  Very sad.  But I got to ride one of those motorized seats which made my day.  There were times when my leg gave out and I just could not make it.  The old war wound is a killer.

But I did work on stories that will be out in the coming year.  Mysteries and love stories and tales of Old Russia.  All really interesting and, now of course, superbly written!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Seeing ghosts

When someone asked me how to "see" a ghost, I had to think about it.
You either see it or you don't.
It is either there or it isn't.

But that doesn't help.
Remember, ghosts need to borrow your energy in order to materialize.
Unless they save up energy somehow, if it doesn't dissipate or can be stored in ghostly batteries, they aren't good for more than a few seconds where you can actually see them.

The signs that there might be a ghost nearby...or a spirit wanting to take your energy...are unusual cold spots in a room and if you are sensitive, the raising of gooseflesh on your arms or neck. (This can be because of the cold or because of the energy transfer.)

Actually, there are electromagnetics involved and EMF meters can and will measure the electromagnetic fields. Drop in temperature, a draft in a room without windows or outside openings will also indicate a spirit trying to manifest itself. You don't lose anything much, just a bit of energy and you really have plenty more than a spirit can take. They seem to be limited, however, in what they can siphon from a living being. They certainly cannot drain someone's energy completely. Maybe in Hollywood, not real life. Or death, as it may be.
Infrared cameras can also detect heat differences in a room, which will sometimes outline a form of a spirit in blues and light greens that can't be seen with the naked eye.

Now, as for seeing a spirit, that's tricky. Providing one is in the right place at the right time, and sensitive enough to feel the presence of a ghostly being, it will happen. For those individuals who are not "sensitive" or are so anxious to find a ghost they give off strong, negative energies, it won't happen. The negative vibes will chase the spirit away. Fear won't, but anger and depression will.

Something's a little weird

Perhaps I have forgotten how to post here, but I've tried six times to put up an excerpt from Dead Dreams and not been able to.

What's going on?

Excerpt from Dead Dreams

Someone in the room had indulged in garlic, forcing him to leave.
           So, transformed into his canine shape, he skulked through the twisting streets of Fell's Point. Sniffing, wandering, halfway hoping to find some new, fascinating scent to trail.
From this low vantage point, he had no true idea where he went, even though he had traced these paths many times. His vampire senses attuned to everything, exaggerated senses even superior to those of the animal whose shape he wore now.

           He passed over standing wisps of fog, breaking through with satisfaction while thinking with the canine brain. Taras the beautiful!

           Taras the vampire king.

           Taras the great black dog with fangs and claws.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And now for something completely different

Since I am endeavoring to get a ghost story up somewhere, I found it rather strange that while looking through some hitherto unviewed photos of a family memorial, these orbs appeared.  Now, there have been two recent deaths in the family and I wondered whether these orbs might have been an attempt by one or the other spirits to contact us.
Ghosts are able to do some things accredited to them, not others.  I will eventually post a blog about their powers, but not now.  This just got me started because my husband, who is not sensitive to these things, was the first to spot the orbs in several of the photos.
This is not our house but there were orbs in photos of quite a few of the rooms, not focusing on any one individual.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Coming soon!

My venture into the world of novellas for ninety nine cents has almost completed.  The story has been sent to Amazon for Kindle and we're waiting for it to go up.

Let me tell you, this story has taken a long time to get up. Thanks to my friend and fellow writer Aggie in Massachusetts, it is formatted beautifully.  (We still haven't been able to help Dancin' in the Dark that way.)  Thanks to Karyn my wonderful artist/opera singing daughter for a lovely changed cover on which she spent hours and hours.  Thanks to Elyse, the computer whiz and geoscientist for getting the version submitted to Amazon. has to be changed.  The initial price has to be changed immediately and the author, who is decidedly NOT my lovely daughter Karyn, has got to be changed.  She does write, but she didn't write this.

See if you can spot what was changed in the cover from here.

Of course my name is on it!  But the picture won't show it.  The change does appear.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fact vs. Fantasy

We writers dream of danger and put it into our works.  We murder innocent fictional victims left and right, sometimes for a reason, sometimes for no reason at all
Last night in Aurora, Colorado, someone walked into a movie theater, tossed a smoke grenade and drew a machine type weapon and sprayed the audience during the midnight showing of a Batman movie.

According to this morning's news, at least 12 people are dead and some 50 wounded, though these figures are probably not accurate.

Makes you, as a writer, wonder--do I have too much violence in my stories?  Are the movie scripts we create full of unnecessary blood and gore?  How would what I write or create possibly affect the reader or viewer?

My heart goes out to the innocents in Aurora, the young people, the few children who were there and the adults who will have this memory for the rest of their lives. 
My advice--perhaps, to those in Aurora and its surroundings--think twice before you blithely send your kids off to the movies that are full of violence.  To those who were counseling.
God bless you all.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The story isn't like the usual paranormal story.  The hero is a real flesh and blood man and the heroine is a flesh and blood woman. It's what comes between them that might be just a little ripe....

More later.  I hope to have this up by the end of the month, but I could not resist posting Karyn's fantastic cover!  The kid is a genius.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

There may be a tendency to think of our forefathers as rich white landowners who didn't really believe in equality for both sexes and races, who were pretty radical when it came to bringing down the monarchy in our bit of land.  They didn't like to pay taxes for things they thought we deserved for free, or at least, that we had a hand in what those rulers overseas decided for us.  They didn't think we were all stupid, just most of us.
This is real.  This is history.
Most of them didn't believe in the Christian god as anything more than the Creator, if that.
They liked owning land.  They might not have been able to had they lived in the Mother Country.

But you have to hand it to them, those forefathers of ours.
They sure did come up with some nifty ideas about government in 1776 that still make sense and hold true today.  They did it again in 1789 with their Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Can you name another country that has been this stable, has realized such great potential and kept pretty much to their laws without violent revolution in all this time?

I'm sure there may be some, but I happen to like the one I live in.
All the above statements about our forefathers is historically accurate.  They were not saints--oh, Ben Franklin was a poster child for wild living--but he was a brilliant mind and outside of the turkey thing, he did all right for us.  Tom Jefferson was a genius but a bit of an introvert.  George Washington was brash and full of himself but turned out to do the right thing most of the time.  Anybody else?  Hamilton was a pirate.  Adams had trouble getting along with his playmates.  But they overcame these foibles to leave us with a pretty great country.

~~Waving flag here~~

History is behind us.  We live for today, but are mindful of the past with its triumphs and mistakes, in order to keep on keepin' on.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

You must know that I absolutely dote on Godzilla.  I have no idea where this weather forecaster came from, but I think I'm in love.

Please watch all the way through!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The truth about vampires

Dead Dreams, my novella, is going up on Amazon soon.  I am basing all my vampire knowledge on the following, after much research.

Let’s not quibble here.  I'm not going to debunk anything, I'm not going to complain about modern writers wreaking havoc with the mythos of vampires.  What I will do is tell you all how to dispatch a vampire, so that if you should ever come into contact with one, you know how to deal with it.

Yes, there are ways to get rid of a vampire.

First of all, a vampire cannot cross your threshold without first getting your permission to do so.  Though, if the vampire is particularly sly, it can coerce you or trick you into saying something that will sound like permission, and that’s all it needs.

“Are you going to stand there all night?” is tacit permission.  You gotta be really careful because they are expert at twisting your words around.

Wearing garlic chains around your person will certainly chase away the vampires, however, you’re gonna look a little strange.  Might I suggest those garlic pills that are supposed to help with cholesterol?   They work.  It is the sulfur and sulfites in the garlic, both plant and processed, that vampires cannot stand.  Back in the old days in Transylvania, the folks grew garlic and ate it regularly.  They knew it worked, so always try to keep some on hand, or at least eat Italian frequently.

Salt will also repel a vampire.  Should you spread salt (it doesn’t have to be iodized necessarily) in a two inch thick path around yourself, no vampire can cross through that.

Face it: they’re rotting away slowly.  You all know what salt can do to a garden slug…it works on vampires just as easily.  In a pinch, just spilling enough salt on your porch will work, but at the least sign of humidity, the salt will dissolve and salt water doesn’t work nearly as well.

Religious artifacts such as crosses, saint medallions, Bibles, holy water…yes, they will work to repel and even shock vampires, but there’s a proviso here.  One must truly believe in the power of the word, or the symbol of the cross or even Star of David.  If you just carry a crucifix on your person but do not believe, well, it means the same to the vampire who is after you and you’ll be steak tartare shortly. 

Killing a vampire involves a bit more effort on your part.  The time honored method of dispatch is simply driving a stake from hawthorn, aspen, ash or white thorn directly through the vampire’s heart will stop them.  There is a stage two to this, however, that is far too often neglected.  The head must then be separated from the body and buried separately.  They do not disappear in a puff of smoke or shower of sparkles.  The body will remain, so you have to get rid of that, too.  If buried, the body and head must be buried separately lest with the power remaining in the head, the vampire reattach itself.  Make sure the body is positioned chest down in the grave.  Burying the body under a waterfall, since vampires cannot cross running water, will do the job nicely.  Burying the head at a crossroads works well.  Setting both body and head on fire and making sure it is totally turned to ash works sufficiently.

Oh, yeah.  Vampires are incredibly strong.  They can travel on moonbeams, though that is questionable in this day with the pollution in the air. They have the strength of twenty mortal men and can change into canine shape or big bat-creatures.    Using these powers, they can cross running water, but it takes a lot out of them.  They do not reflect in mirrors but you can get a good snapshot of one using a digital camera as it does not involve a glass mirror.  They do not cast shadows, either.  They do not breathe.  They have no loyalty to anyone, not even those that sire them.  They need human blood to sustain them, no other kind, as the particular hemoglobin is what they need to exist.  While they can merely drink without siring another vampire, they can drain the individual of all blood with their lust for nourishment.  They must drink regularly…no dieting.  They do not eat flesh nor can they ingest any type of food or drink.

Vampires are not necessarily good-looking.  Their supposed hypnotic influence over victims is pure Hollywood since back when most vampire movies were being made, the sexual allure they reputedly have over weaker mortals could not be portrayed.

Stay safe.  Eat garlic, carry salt in your pockets at all times, avoid talking to strangers, don’t go out alone at night and never, ever invite a vampire into your house.
copyright 2012 Irene Peterson

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Do you want to dance?

Taken from Dancin' in the Dark--

“Dancing in the dark...” with strings and full orchestra and no vocalist...just lovely music and Dennis.

“I hope you can keep up, little girl.” He stepped into the rhythm as he pulled her close, so close she felt every hard plane of his magnificent body. His arms held her tight as his legs moved. Elegant. She fell into the music, led by him, the way real people danced, the way it was supposed to be, only close, so close she could actually feel his heart beating.

He smelled like English Leather. He moved with power. Grace. Like a lion. Like a pro. Together they covered the dance floor with such ease, moving as one being, so close, so very close, so thrillingly close Carly found herself transported. Somewhere else, not the garish Italian-American hall, but maybe a movie set. Maybe even in a different time.

And it was pure magic. Sensual as they slid along each other’s bodies, as his hand moved up her naked back so lightly, so powerfully, so tenderly she made no protest, no thought other than that she wanted to dance like this forever. In his arms. No missteps. No stumbles. He led, she followed, just the way it should be.

The floor emptied quietly. People stole to their seats, watching the dancers, smiles on their faces that Carly could see as they passed by in a whirl.


Pure magic.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Harvey, the Invisible pooka

Having majored in English and History, I had to read a great deal.  From medieval drivel to stuff from very long dead poets, to Shakespeare and Milton, then over to American writers.  Took me hours every day to go through all the reading I had to do, leaving little time for pleasure reads.
Then, one day in an American lit class, I got to read Harvey.  Even better, I saw the movie with Jimmy Stewart.  In my opinion, it is the quintessential play with the quintessential actor and, or course, the quintessential pooka, Harvey.
Now, to my utter delight, this:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mother's Day Tribute

At last, a tribute to me!  Karyn, who also did the cover for Dancin' in the Dark, made this in honor of me.  Some of the sections are a  little obscure to the general public, but I think all can benefit from what she thinks of me as her mother.

Elyse who does not draw, chose a card for me that suggested the benefits of spinning around on my butt...there's a lovely Labrador Retriever on the cover, so you get what that means.

They both want a dog.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!  Live long and prosper in the light of your childrens' eyes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just because

Carroll Shelby passed away this Thursday.  He was one of the great men of auto racing and producing.  He created the Cobra and the Shelby Mustang.
I don't know why this is important to me, but it is.  With all the celebrities in this world, this quiet man deserved accolades though few people outside the automobile world recognized him.

I think he was very cool.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Guest Blog Over at Nathan's

Today I'm guest blogging over at Nathan Rudy's blog. 
This isn't your normal how to write or be published type blog, it's about my favorite movie star--Godzilla--and how the monster changed the world.

Nathan was kind enough to host can view it here:

If you know me at all, you know that I have a penchant for the unusual, but while I like reading and watching television shows about UFOs, Aliens, geology and other educational subjects, my very favorite movie to watch is one featuring a Japanese movie monster. I love the rubber suits, the fake cities they get to destroy, the little kids who know the monsters better than their parents and all grown-ups.  I get a real kick out of the military that is so ineffective it hurts and the different ways a monster can be resurrected.

But this blog is semi-serious.  It isn't every day you come face to face with a monster...or is it?

I do not know how long Nathan's blog will be up, but if it should be covered over, you can always go to the little calendar he has on the side and click on May 9, 2012 and I'll be there.  (I have the oddest feeling I've misspelled calendar.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Magnificent sight

Don't know if this will work, but I'm gonna try.  I'm crazy for the space program, always have been.

One of the most incredible sights ever. We stood on our back deck, watching the skies for the plane but they flew over the water, not over land, to get to NYC.
Still brought tears to my eyes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Murder in Atlantic City and Asbury Park

Here's a little bit of Dancin' in the Dark to whet one's appetite:

Carly stumbled out of the cop shop into the dark. How long had she been gone? The hours of questions, the probing, the stink of bodies, that awful...she stopped there, knowing full well that if she remembered too much, she’d vomit.

            Oh, God!

Her father hadn’t ever told her this might happen. Being scrutinized, recorded, asked the same things over and over like a, he’d never thought to mention that.

Shivers overtook her and she clutched her leather jacket closed.

Please, Flo, please send Eli or Strap to get me!

All around her, Atlantic City bustled and hustled. Hookers strolled brazenly down the side street...she could see them from this bench. Cars stopped, the girls got in.

She’d been sitting outside the cop shop long enough to have seen five pick-ups already. Must be a good night for a fast fuck.

Absently, Carly switched a quarter from one pocket to the other, noting that she was running out of coins. This penance had cost her heavily while being interrogated all afternoon.

And then, she was allowed to go. Swell. She was hours from home without her own vehicle. It would take someone a long time to reach her.

So she sat, eyes open and wary, outside the police building in Atlantic City, waiting to be picked up by a least that was different from the girls on the side street.

Funny, it didn’t exactly feel all that different any more. Just how different was she from the hookers?

The sleaze factor played heavily on her mind as she sat there. Watching. Waiting for redemption or at least a ride home.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weapons of destruction

I've seen lots of terrible weapons used in video games, in movies, read about them in books.  For instance, there was the glave in this one was a three bladed round knife the hero used to kill off some ogre or something.  There are the laser swords in Star Wars.  Poisons, gases, bullets, garrottes, fire, numerous horrendous cannons and missiles.

Okay, they're all pretty awful and deadly when used correctly.  But I thought of a super weapon for someone to use in my new story, Dancin' in the Dark.

A toilet seat.

Try to get your mind around that, folks!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Back in the real world

As usual, after a conference, I'm charged up and rarin' to write.  I have to send out ms. of In Deep, my paranormal fantasy about Loch Ness, to three people.  Those I spoke to about it were wonderfully kind and enthusiastic.  So, wish me luck!

I had post cards of Dancin' in the Dark made up and, in an inspired act, stapled small bags of Swedish Fish candy to the back.  Put these on the goodie table on a seashore type tray and found that they were gone in about an hour!  If the people who took the postcards buy the book, I'll be delighted!  If they only enjoy the candy, well, okay, but they should still try out the book! 

The Liberty States Fiction Writers conference was truly a fun learning experience.  When it comes time to sign up again next year, I will post here to let everyone know.  If you love to write and love to read and want to get better at writing, have an opportunity to meet face to face with editors and agents and just have fun in an atmosphere geared to writing and publishing, join us!  It is well worth the trip to New Jersey just for the day!

Thank you to all who made it possible.  Special hugs to Caridad, Rayna, Gail, Shelley, Carolyn, MJ, Jon Gibbs, Michele, Penny, Linda, know how you are, you're all beautiful!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meet me!

The Liberty States Fiction Writers conference is this Saturday at the Renaissance hotel in Woodbridge, NJ on Rt. 1.  There is a free, open to the public book fair from 5:30-7:00, full of your favorite authors.

I'll be there, not signing this year as it is difficult to sign a book that exists in cyberspace, but I intend to be signing next year.

Stop by if you get a chance and seek me out...just ask anybody where I am.  I'll be looking for you!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Attention all you Spring Breakers!

I guess I'm feeling like I should do something to honor my daughter's dead fish today.  It was a good fish, lasted three years and it was quite pretty.  Near broke her heart to flush it.

And I know it is Spring Break!  With all the free time you're going to have over the next two weeks or month or so, why not download a copy of Dancin' in the Dark?  For a limited time, I'm offering it at the special low price of $2.99, just so you can enjoy reading Carly's story while on the beach or other warm place.  I've found that if you use the FREE READING APP at the top of the book page, you don't have to have a Kindle to read the book.  It can go directly to your computer, iPad, phone or other electronic device.

Just stop by here:

Remind me to tell you what happened with Tyler Hetherington sometime.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The benefits of living in New Jersey

Not only do we have lots of wonderful diners in New Jersey, we also have this thing called "the shore".
Smack up against the Atlantic, we have this great shoreline that is nearly 100% sandy beaches.  In the summer, they're jam packed with people, sloshing about in the waves, riding their surfboards and belly boards, tanning themselves golden brown like biscuits and cooling off in the green waters.

Sometimes, it is just the idea of the shore that makes me happy.  When I was in my teens, I actually used to use Coppertone suntan lotion as a moisturizer.  I'd go to sleep smelling as if I were ready to put down my towel and loll in the sunshine.

Jersey guys know about the wonders of the shore, too.  I used to find some very handsome guys on the boardwalk at either Seaside Heights or Point Pleasant.  Wildwood was too far for us to drive back then, and there were all those tolls, but it has a great boardwalk too.  People from Philly tended to go there, while people from north and central Jersey did Seaside and the Point.  (As pointed out by Stephanie Plum in one of her misadventures, yes, that was how the shore points were divided.)

It's beautiful, even in winter when the ocean is grey and the waves seem to pound the beaches harshly, taking it out on the sand because nobody is playing on it.  Maybe the ocean is lonesome, can't wait for summer.  I will never know.

I will say that some of the most fabulous times of my life were spent "down the shore".  That's a Jerseyism.  Nobody else in the world says that that way.

I'm proud to be from New Jersey.
I'm thankful to friends who led me there this weekend.  I learned so much.  But I hope I contributed something worthwhile, too.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Two blogs, another one of mine, visual aids

I've been so lucky the past couple of weeks to be hosted on two different blogs, writing about writing and Carly's story in Dancin' in the Dark. It isn't always easy coming up with different things to say...oh, no, wait.  I do it all the time.  What isn't easy is finding a good, safe direction for all these words building up pin my brain. 
Check out Joanna Aislinn's blog today:

Then go to Rosemary Battista's blog at:  Where I share a recipe for Dead Guy's cookies.

Then, just today, I posted something in response to what I didn't bother saying in the previous blogs...about my own personal trials.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Introduction to Carly Snow

Here's a sample of Carly's state of mind at the beginning of the book.  What beautiful young woman fresh out of university, able to speak five languages, and quite full of herself, wouldn't feel that way?

     Throwing on a sweatshirt over her soiled shirt, Carly started unpacking her books, placing them with care onto the built-in shelves Liz had forced John to install.  He’d probably thrown a little fit over the pretense, but caved after one smile from his wife.  That funny little weirdness gurgled up inside her when she let the mental image form must be that special love thing those two had that excluded everybody else in the world.

     Weirdness aside, no matter how she felt in her gut, she knew she wouldn’t mind having that love thing going for her.

     Hell, she’d been to Europe.  She’d visited castles and palaces and galleries and museums, spoken with the natives, eaten exotic food, learned more in the months abroad than she had in all four years of college.  But she’d come back just as untouched as when she’d left.



Books thudded back into the box. 

     She leaned against the wall, overcome with a sense of longing and--something--she couldn’t quite put into words.

     It wasn’t because nobody had wanted her.  She’d turned down lots of men, good-looking guys, rich guys, not so rich guys, musicians, computer geeks, geniuses--whatever was on the menu for the day. 

     Too Catholic, she figured.  That’s what she got for hanging around nuns most of her life.  And Father Mike.  And her father, though he was not a shining example of restraint, he was an example of the opposite kind.  What not to do concerning the opposite sex.

     She laughed out loud.  “Oh, Daddy, you must have been something else!  A studmeister.  And look where it got you.”

     It had gotten him her.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Carly!

In honor of Carly Snow's Valentine's Day birthday, Dancin' in the Dark is going on sale over at Amazon for Kindle for .99, two days only, Monday and Tuesday, February 13th and 14th.

Yes, Carly was born in Philadelphia in a convent home for inconveniently pregnant unmarried daughters of the very wealthy.  She's been raised in the convent by nuns and kicked out at 16 when the funds which kept her from being adopted ceased coming .  It was snowing that Valentine's day.  The only thing her mother gave her was her first name...the nuns handled the rest.

Now she's found her birth father and a huge loving family, graduated from college, toured Europe and come back to Asbury Park to work in her father's PI business.
She thinks she can handle everything.
Sort of.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dancin' in the Dark is up!

Wow!  After a long hard trip, Carly's story is finally up for sale on Amazon as of this morning.
Gotta get somebody to help me put links and stuff from here, but if you love the Jersey shore, if you liked Glory Days and Bourbon John, if you wondered what happened to his daughter, you'll love Dancin' in the Dark.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Into the second decade of the 21st century

Okay, this is my new website.
It's a work in progress, to be sure, as the stuff from my old website has to be revamped and put up here, but at least I can actually post new stuff up here! Without benefit of outside help!!!

The big news is that I'm going to put Carly's story up on Amazon.  I do not exactly know how to do this, but with a huge help from my friends, it may be up within the next couple of months.

Carly is Bourbon John Preshin's newly found daughter.  Only it's six years after Glory Days and Carly is all grown up.  She's even been trusted to take over Preshin Investigations (in the office ONLY) while John and his wife Liz (the redhead with the knife) are in California to testify against her ex.  Carly feels very sophisticated after her college graduation and trip to Europe...she thinks she can handle anything, even go out in the field.

Her first day on the job, she meets the scruffy new kitchen help from the restaurant downstairs and is not impressed.  Sure, he's a wounded veteran just home from Iraq, but he rubs her the wrong way.  Then she meets the gorgeous lawyer who wants to hire her father to locate some people.  Of course, she can handle the job by herself...the guy is so cool and rich and seems to like her.  Besides, she needs a date for her best friend's wedding and wouldn't he be perfect?

Eight Popular Misconceptions

As time rolls down the bumpy path to middle age and you find that your kids only want you around as a chauffeur and your husband wants to come home, take off his work clothes and slip into a sexy sweat suit, you may, just may, find yourself with time on your hands. All those books you’ve been reading while “waiting” in waiting rooms, while settling into good seats an hour before the concert starts so you won’t have to walk miles to your car in the school parking lot, and perhaps, if you are lucky, in the bathroom while holding the blow-dryer in one hand and the paperback in the other, have been calling to you. And now, with some actual “time” on your hands, you decide that what your sixth grade teacher told you must be true. You can write well, at least as good as the author of that last book you read.
So, why don’t you set up the portable or switch on the computer and try to write a book?
You’ve always been pretty good with words. You’ve read through the romance selection at the library and you’ve borrowed books from all your friends. Maybe you even took some writing courses at college or night school. An idea has been banging around in your brain for some time now and it would make a really good book.
So you write it. It takes you a long time, at least four months. The more you write, the better the story gets and you start talking about it with your friends and anyone who will listen. They like the story as you tell it. No one but your mother wants to read it, but she loves every word.
You finish your masterpiece and you find the name of a publisher in the Writer’s Market in the library and you ship it off with the SASE the book told you to enclose. You’re all set. In a few weeks you’ll be famous, the money will pour in and you’ll be sitting across from Matt Lauer, impressing him with your wit.
For at least two months, you’re riding high on this fantasy until the day you find your SASE stuffed into your mailbox with a terse note of rejection clipped to it.
Time to reassess.
First misconception: You know how to write because you think you know how to write. Maybe to some people it comes as naturally as puberty, but these writers are the exception. Writing takes work. Writing well takes very hard work and practice.
Second: Every word you write is golden. There is no need to rewrite anything, just check for typos. The first thing out of your brain is exactly how it should be. Not so.
The first thing on paper or the screen is simply a way to start writing the story. It gets better when you take things apart and play with the words until it sounds crafted, not regurgitated. You need to flesh out the skeleton with care, not leave those bare bones with no meat on them.
Third: Any editor will be stunned by your natural ability and want to buy your book immediately. Wrong. Maybe on a good day the editor will pick up your unsolicited manuscript, get past the first sentence and want to continue reading. After the first three paragraphs, if it hasn’t bored her to tears, she might go on to the hook of the first chapter, but after that, it better be pretty darned magnificent for her to continue.
Fourth: You’re going to sit back and get rich. Uh-uh. If you get past the editor with this baby, and she manages to sell it to her boss and you do rewrites and they print the thing in two years, you might get between three and five thousand dollars for it. You’d make more money working at a convenience store with the possible benefit of learning another language to boot! There are exceptions, but, wow, they’re mighty few and far between.
Fifth: All it takes is one book. You only need to be a one hit wonder and you’ll be famous and retire from your day job and still make the rounds of the morning shows talking about your book and your life and how it has changed. This is pure fantasy. Get real.
Sixth: The second book will be easier. It will sell immediately, the editor will love your mere proposal and beg you to finish the story. Only you can write it, only you can come up with the right combination of characters and plot that will make it different from any other book on the shelf. No, again. There are only so many plots, so many twists, so many wacky characters or serious ones that somebody else hasn’t come up with before. Your story may remind someone else of something they just read and the editor will reject it. You keep trying to come up with original ideas but someone else already seems to have used it. Your voice has to be special, very special.
Seven: Fame lasts forever. Here’s the truth. Fame lasts only as long as it takes you to write and publish another book.
Eight: It’s easy to get published. It’s easy to fly if you’re Superman.