Friday, April 29, 2011

TWRP Turns Five

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press turns five this week! And I have a new release coming out on June 3. Slightly Tarnished is my first historical romance, and it never would have happened without the fantastic editors at TWRP!

During the week long celebration (April 27th- May 1st) TWRP will be giving away more than $500.00 worth of prizes. So join my favorite publisher at the Wild Rose Press yahoo groups.

Or if you like walking on the wild side, join The Wilder Roses celebration at Wilder Roses is an adult content group for 18+)
For chances to win more than $500.00 worth of prizes, all you have to do is party with my publisher and fellow TWRP authors. Everyone who participates will be entered into the prize drawings. Non-stop fun from Wednesday, April 27 - Sunday, May 1st. Join the fun and help us celebrate 5 years in the garden.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

When is Easter Again?

Easter coincides with the vernal equinox. According to the New Testament, Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred about the same time as the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated  on the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Both those who believe in the Good Friday to Easter Sunday and the Wednesday to Saturday timeline for Christ's death and resurrection do not argue this point. But, because of the differing phases of the moon, Christians celebrated Easter at different times and by the end of the second century, some churches celebrated on Passover and others celebrated the following Sunday.

The year I was born, Easter was on April 17th. The year I got married, it fell on April 6th, the day after my birthday. Easter was March 30th the year my oldest was born and March 26th the year my youngest was born. And this year, it lands on April 24th, which to me, seems like the latest Easter I can remember.

Going to can show any calendar from any year to see when Easter fell in any given year. But  who sets the date for Easter and how do they decided? Why not celebrate on the day Christ was resurrected?

Well, for one thing, Christians, theologians, and scholars cannot agree on the day Christ was crucified or resurrected. Christians celebrate the Good Friday Crucifixion to Sunday morning resurrection timeline. But that's not three days and three nights.  And according to Mathew 12:39-40, Christ was in the earth for three days and three nights.
Matthew 12:  39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

So, then, how could Christ be crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday. The math doesn't add up. Then again, according to the Gregorian calendar, Sunday is the first day of the week and the sabbath falls on Saturday. And the Gregorian calendar is a continuation of the Julian calendar that started with the year Jesus was born. But most western religions who celebrate the birth and resurrection of Christ worship on Sunday. So, maybe that's why Christians cling to the Good Friday to Easter Sunday time line.
But according to some- -Christ was crucified between 9:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m. He was then placed in the grave. Although this isn't a full 24 hours, it counts as the first day and first night in the grave. Thursday and Friday are days two and three and Christ arose on Saturday, the day then recognized as the Sabbath.
So, why don't Christians follow this time line? And why do we celebrate on different days and even months?
How is Easter even determined?

Easter is determined by the equinox. Every year around March 21 and September 23, there is twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness. Day and night are equal. These two days are known as the vernal or spring equinox and the autumnal equinox.

In 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea established Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon and dependant upon the ececclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. But if the full moon falls on Sunday, Easter is delayed one week, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover.

So, if Easter is celebrated at different times of the month, does it really matter whether Christ died on a Friday and was ressurrected on Sunday. Or if he died on Wednesday and was ressurected on Saturday? What matters is that Christ was tortured, ridiculed, and crucified for our sins. He was buried in a tomb where he lay dead for three days before his ressurection on the third day. And because he died, we migh live and have eternal life.Believing and having faith is what counts.

In the words of Sturar Chase~  "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fool for Romance Contest Winner.

And The Winner Is ... Oh my goodness, I so meant to have the winners announced sooner. Thank you so much for your patience as I rounded up all the finalists' info and got the pot ready. :) Now, without further ado ... the Grand Prize Winner of the Kindle and awesome prize package containing the below-mentioned gifts from each participating author is ......

You can read the rest of the post at

Congratulations, Kay. And thanks to everyone who participated.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finding Photos for That Blog or Website

There's been much talk on the writer loops about using photos on blogs and trailers. I have two book trailers--although I'm having issues re-uploading my trailer for Out of the Darkness--you can see the trailer I created for Slightly Tarnished at
The photographs for both trailers came from multiple locations.  For my Out of the Darkness photo (hopefully to be re-posted to my website soon!) my brother used my personal photographs and some he had and he drew in the characters so they're kind of like avatars. Very cool. But I made the trailer for Slightly Tarnished. Luckily, I had my brother to give me advice.

For Slightly Tarnished, I used many of my own photographs or ones my daughter sent to me from Europe.Some of the London photographs I found in the public domain. And I also purchased photographs from and Jimmy Thomas' site . 

If you write romance and need a sexy cover or picture, Jimmy probably has the pic you need and he's resonably priced.
I purchased the music for both sites at Great soundtracks with "movie-like" themes.

But for scenic photos or pictures of the every day, check out my 100 % free photos on the facebook page I created specifically for photo sharing.

Feel free to use the pictures or share some of your own on my page. For photo sharing, you must own the rights to the photograph or have written permission to share them for the purpose stated. But the photos I've posted are there to use. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Cover & New Book Trailer

I've finally completed the book trailer for Slightly Tarnished, my British-set historical due out June 3, 2011.

And, I finally have a book cover for my American historical set in New York. No release date yet on Wholesale Husband, but I love the cover.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dog Tales and Backstory

Happy Friday.

Today, you'll find me over on Sandra Crowley's blog talking about my battle with breast cancer and my morgue experience. 

And I have Mary Campisi here with me talking about dog tales and backstory. So, sit back, grap a cup of coffee, and let Mary entertain you.

I had planned to write about April Fool’s Day but with a blanket of snow on the ground, it doesn’t feel like April, even for Ohio. The snow started yesterday afternoon as I furiously sprayed my half eaten tulips with Liquid Fence to combat the deer and rabbits who I’m sure enjoyed the top thirds of those tulips. This will be an ongoing battle from now until fall as I fight to protect my hydrangeas, lilies, hostas, petunias, cosmos and several other flowers. I won’t even get started on the Japanese beetles that will appear in a few months because that’s another story.

So, with snow on the ground, I lost interest in April Fool’s banter and decided to come up with another topic. I shrugged into my winter gear and headed into the snow with my dog, Cooper, for a three mile walk. It’s a morning ritual we’ve engaged in since his rescue 2 ½ years ago. We look forward to it for so many reasons; exercise, quiet, exploring, daydreaming, plotting and planning. Okay, Cooper only wants the exercise and the exploring which has on occasion included sniffing out an Eggo waffle from the bushes, scarfing up a half-eaten bagel with cream cheese and wolfing down a banana strewn on the tree lawn. His finds are true testimonials to the discarded breakfasts of kids on their way to the bus.

As we made our usual trek, I thought about topics and possibilities and then it hit me; I would write about backstory, but not in an instructional way. I would write about it using Cooper and his history as the model. He’s got quite a story, some known, some guessed at, some revealed in dribbles, but all heartbreaking and inspirational.

After we lost our black lab, Molly, one short week after her twelfth birthday, I mourned her for months. Her story is for another time – this one is about Cooper. After seven months, I was ready to open my heart to another dog, a rescue this time. Enter Cooper. I passed him over the first time I saw him on the lab rescue website. He didn’t look like much of a lab, his nose was too long, his tail looked chopped, and he was a boy. (I thought I wanted a girl.) After days of scouring the site, I called the head of the lab rescue association for direction and she suggested Cooper. She had done the intake on him when he first arrived in their facility and said he was intelligent and eager to please. Probably two or so years old. What they knew about him, (backstory) was that he’d been found wandering along the state route highway and the town drunk picked him up and took him to the lab rescue center. Most likely, he’d been dumped.

My husband and I decided to visit the foster home and take a look at Cooper. Talk about skinny. I mean ‘count your ribs’ skinny. He had fly bites behind his ears, and long, spindly legs and one silly little barbell squeaky toy with the paint half chipped off. (We pictured him wandering the roads, scrapping for food and shelter. The fly bites behind the ears made us wonder if he’d been left outside for long periods of time. Tied up?) When we saw him in person, we spotted the lab in him but there was something else too - pointer? He was such a pathetic little bugger, so uncertain and timid, nothing like Queen Molly had been. That’s when I truly realized Molly would never be replaced but there was room in our hearts to love another dog and that dog was Cooper.

So, here’s some interesting backstory we guessed at once Cooper moved in:

This dog can smell! – How else would he have sniffed out two dead mice in our basement…behind a stack of lumber? Yes, gross! Or run along the lawn in a zig zag pattern, nose to the ground, sniffing like a pig searching out truffles but most likely tracking voles?

This dog can jump! He stole 24 half frozen meatballs from a glass Pyrex on the countertop and didn’t move the Pyrex or leave a trace. A few months later, he stole a half a ham from the same Pyrex which was on top of the dryer in the laundry room, (put there as safekeeping for the next day graduation party, but I forgot to close the door.) Cooper got the ham and the Pyrex from the dryer and dragged them across the long kitchen floor, upending the Pyrex but not breaking it. Fortunately, we must have interrupted his shenanigans before he ate much of it. And no, we did not serve the remainder of the ham to guests

This dog can’t run a straight line. Cooper is fast, I mean really fast, especially when he’s retrieving a tennis ball. But when he’s running back to us, he’s almost sidestepping as he moves. My husband thinks he was once on a chain and learned how to run this way. I try not to think about it.

This dog has manners. Despite his sad background, Cooper’s foster mother taught him a few tricks that have served him well. He sits and waits for the hand command before eating, he can back up, roll over, creep, and if something lands on the floor, he will wait until I tell him it’s okay to eat. (I wish he would do this on his walks!)

This dog doesn’t like Birthdays. One month after we adopted Cooper, we celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday. When the candles came out and we sang Happy Birthday, Cooper ran in the other room and hid under the computer desk. We’ve had several birthdays since then and we’ve learned he doesn’t like the song Happy Birthday or candles/fire of any kind. I don’t light any scented candles in the house because it scares him and he runs off. No outside fire pits either. I would love to know what happened that frightened him so much. He also doesn’t like ‘Soft Little Kitty’ from The Big Bang Theory. He perked up one night and watched the TV, mesmerized by the sound. Other songs are okay, trust me, I’ve tried them out on him I think this one has to do with the fact that it sounds like a child singing and children also bother him. Crying children, loud voices, all worrisome to him.

This dog does not like engines. As much as Molly loved the UPS man, Cooper does not. It’s not the man or the vehicle that sends him in a tailspin; it’s the sound of the engine. Buses, UPS, Fed Ex, garbage trucks . . . Did he try to steal food from the garbage truck and get chased away?

This dog is still…a dog. I’ve had Cooper micro chipped like Jason Bourne. He has an orthopedic bed and a snuggle bed. He has an L.L. Bean monogrammed leash and collar. He eats sensitive stomach dog food and bite size apple turnover dog treats. And guess what? The other day we were on our walk and I noticed he had something in his mouth. I thought it was a pine cone. Uh,no, it was a partial head of a rabbit. I was not happy. Worse, too many times I’ve caught him in the wooded part of our backyard chomping away. I know he’s probably eating rabbit droppings! As my vet once asked me, “If Cooper were in the wild, would he choose organ meats or lean?”

This dog watches over us. When Cooper first arrived, he woke in the middle of the night and walked to my side of the bed and then my husband’s, just making sure we were there. He doesn’t do it as much anymore, but still, at least once a week, I hear him. I wonder what he’s thinking . . .

So what does this all mean? Cooper’s backstory was revealed to us a bit at a time. Rarely did anyone step up and tell us about him, because no one knows which leads to supposition on our part after evaluating and observing his responses and behavior in certain circumstances. Revealing backstory in writing is no different. Dump it all in the first chapter and the pace slows, the reader loses interest, and the intrigue slips away. But dole it out a bit at a time, through action or reaction and you’ve got a very interesting tale. Or in Cooper’s case, a dog tail…I mean tale.

Mary's Regency romance, A Taste of Seduction is now available.

A Taste of Seduction:
A young woman of noble blood, raised as a peasant girl

An orphaned stable boy, now grown and the surrogate son of a powerful earl – the same earl who just so happens to be the young woman’s father . . .

Meriel and Anthony have nothing in common – she runs barefoot and talks to animals, he won’t loosen his cravat unless the bedroom door is firmly closed. Meriel believes in love, hope, and happily ever after. Anthony believes in keeping a safe distance from anything resembling an emotion. They have nothing in common but an undeniable, burning desire for one another they can’t ignore or understand, and an ailing ‘father’ who will do anything to see them together. Unfortunately, there are others, who will stop at nothing, willing even to kill, to keep them apart.

Excerpt: "Thank you, Anthony," she said, a small smile lighting her face. "You’re very kind." She leaned over and planted a chaste kiss on his cheek.

Kind? He wondered if she would still think him kind if he told her that right now all he could think about was tasting her lips, touching her breasts, feeling her bare skin. Kind? Hardly.

He cleared his throat and met her gaze. He had to set her straight before she started imagining all sorts of other crazy things about him. "Kind? That’s not a term that’s usually associated with me."

She laughed, a tinkling sound that ran through his body like fire. "That’s because you want everyone to think you are some sort of cruel beast. You even had me fooled for a while." Her voice dipped to a low purr. "But you aren’t a beast, Anthony, not at all. No beast would eat my bread just so he wouldn’t hurt my feelings."

He frowned, hoping his scar stuck out white and ugly. "You should be afraid of me." Men twice her size couldn’t look him in the eye.

"How can I be afraid of you when you’ve got butter on the side of your mouth?" She reached out to brush it away with her forefinger. "And all over your lips," she murmured, tracing her finger over first his upper and then his lower lip.

Anthony caught her hand. She was playing a dangerous game and she didn’t even know it. He opened his mouth and flicked his tongue along the tip of her finger. He heard the small catch in her throat. His tongue traced another finger, and then another. Sweet Jesus, but he wanted her.

"Come to me, Meriel," he whispered, planting a kiss on the inside of her palm. "Let me taste you."

Readers can contact Mary at