Thursday, July 04, 2019

Fixing our Fifth Wheel

A little over two years ago, we bought a fifth wheel camper. It wasn’t expensive, it wasn’t new, and it certainly wasn’t perfect, but we managed to scrape all of our savings together and pay cash for it, so it’s ours.

Last winter, we got the nose and the roof fixed, which means I won’t get rained on in the middle of the night again this year. Awesome! We got it cheap because it had a wall missing in the back. We fixed that, too. The man did such a good job you can barely tell it needed to be repaired.

Then, came the wall border.

Unfortunately, the trailer came from the factory with a wall border along the wall at a height where you might see a chair rail in someone’s home. Do you think we could find a border to match?

No. Of course not.

Could we find a border that was even close?

No. Of course, we couldn’t.

Can we even find an easy-to-apply stick-on border? Do they even make that? They sure do! But do they make it in a design that I would like in the main room of my home away from home?
Nope. Unless, of course, I wanted Disney characters, hunting scenes, or something you’d find in a pub bathroom. Umm… no thanks.

Instead, we are compelled to purchase a pre-pasted wallpaper border and hang it ourselves.
Uh, oh.

After an exhaustive two days of deciding what our selection would be, we settled on an unobtrusive border with flowers and hummingbirds. It might match our curtains, or it might not. It’s difficult to tell when trying to hold the laptop up to the wall. Still, we liked it, so into the digital cart it went, and we waited. Ten days, we waited for the pretty hummingbird wallpaper border to arrive at our home.

Me: “The border is here!”

The man: “Great! Does it look as good as it did online?”

Me: “Yes.” Frowning. “I’m not sure this color is going to match the curtains, though.”

The man: “It’s too late now. We’ve already spent our budget on it.”

Me: “True.” Sigh.

The man: “What’s the matter now?”

Me: “I’m afraid to hang it.”

The man: “Why?” He looks at me as though I’ve lost my mind.

Actually, I think I lost it a while ago. I just haven’t given him the update.

Me: “Because I have this horrible feeling we’re going to be in here looking like Lucy and Ethel in that episode where they try to wallpaper Lucy’s bedroom and end up covering everything in wallpaper and glue.”

Does anyone remember seeing that old episode of I Love Lucy, where Lucy and Ethel hang the wallpaper in Lucy’s bedroom? If you haven’t, you should watch it. It might give you an idea of our first couple of attempts at hanging that damned border.

The man: “Who’s who?”

Me: “Well, it’s obvious that I’m Lucy.” I pointed to my hair. “Red hair. Duh.”

The man: “So I’m Ethel, huh?”

Me: “Well, you can’t be Ricky or Fred, neither of them would ever get up to this kind of mischief with Lucy. That’s strictly Ethel. Ethel.”

The man: “Well, if I’m Ethel, she’s going to do something right for a change.” He pulls out his tablet, taps on the screen for a few seconds and grins as he brings up a YouTube how-to video on hanging wallpaper border.

He’s so smart. He might drive me crazy with his tendency to over plan things sometimes, but for this project, his usually annoying habit really paid off.

We finished our border, and it looks great. Now I just need to finish making those curtains. I look at my daughter…

“Hey, Ethel!”

Thursday, June 20, 2019

New Release

The Zolon warriors are back in another humorous and sexy tale! Meet Charly's sister in this thrilling continuation in the Zolon Warriors Magic, New Mexico series.

She was purrfectly content until he came into her life.

Tabitha Campbell has lived mostbe of her life as a cat. For the last few years, she's been posing as her long-lost sister's pet. She's perfectly content being her sister's protector and avoiding having to deal with the headaches of being human. Life was going well until he showed up and ruined everything.

He was having the time of his life, tomcatting around until she came into his life.

Deno Brewerigeron, formerly of the faraway planet Zolon, has always been the happy-go-lucky twin. He was certain he would always be a raider since he loves women--all kinds of women--he refused to think about settling down with just one and evolving into a shapeshifting warrior until he met her.

Tabitha is at her wit's end. Her identity has been revealed, and she has a sexy alien shapeshifter from outer space who is trying to convince her that being normal is highly overrated. What's a girl to do when life suddenly no longer makes sense?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Author Spotlight: RONIN’S BONDMATE by Mardi Maxwell (M/F, steamy sci-fi romance)


Mardi Maxwell

Krystali enchantress Belle of the House of Arlyn stands accused of spying and has been banished from her community. The truth would exonerate her but she doesn’t dare tell it. As an enchantress she can provide for herself except when it comes to defense. For that she needs a worthy warrior.

Zarronian warrior Ronin Hughson recognized Belle as his mate the moment he saw her. Eager to bond, he approached her and was immediately put off by her spoiled behavior. After consulting with the starship’s doctor, he believes Krystali will produce a kinder mate for him. In the meantime, he feels drawn to protect the spoiled enchantress.

Belle makes sure he knows she doesn’t want him anywhere near her. Ronin makes sure she knows he’s the only warrior willing to protect her. Resigned to traveling together they try to ignore each other, but Ronin’s mating fever and Belle’s troubles set them up for a destiny they can’t avoid.

Ronin Hughson shoved his way through the crowd of hostile Krystali warriors and their enchantresses. With his pack hooked over his shoulder, and freedom just a meter away, he hesitated then moved another step closer to the exit. The battle beginning behind him was one he had every intention of missing. A rarity for a Zarronian warrior who spent his life fighting and searching for his mate.
Behind him, Bellya of the House of Arlyn, stood alone in the center of the room. Angry Krystalis surrounded her, determined to deliver the punishment she’d worked so long and hard to earn.
He told himself to keep going. Don’t look back. Don’t look at her. Don’t—damn, too late. His head swiveled as if he had no control over it.
She stood alone, surrounded but in no way defenseless. Still Zarronian warriors were taught to protect females and she was quite a sight. Tall and curvaceous with long dark wavy hair and soft brown eyes. Plump lips made for kissing and hips a warrior could hold onto during the most intense moments of passion.
Her chin was up and the expression on her face dared the crowd to do their worst. Although he abhorred her arrogance he couldn’t help but admire her bravado. He took another step toward freedom then with a curse he turned back. Honor forced him to stay because whether he liked it or not the blasted female was his mate!
The moment he’d seen her he’d known she was the one female in the universe who could save him. The joy, relief and excitement he’d felt had been overwhelming until he’d actually met her. She’d been rude and obnoxious and had treated him like saber cat scat.
He’d made allowances for her. Telling himself she was young and inexperienced. That they’d just gotten off to a bad start, and he needed to go slowly with her. Now, after spending more time with her, he knew she was the last female he wanted as a mate
He had six moon phases before the Zarronian mating fever blazed out of control and killed him. Bonding with Bellya would save him but he’d rather choose a warriors’ death in battle. Ironically, either choice would have him fighting for his life.
Disappointed that he’d finally met his mate and she was so wrong for him, he’d spoken to one of the starship’s doctors.  Borg Veeson had advised him to wait a while in case another Krystali female drew him to her. He’d traveled from one encampment to another, meeting hundreds of Krystali females. None had caught his attention, or raised his fever a single degree. Discouraged, he’d returned to Bellya’s village.
Now, looking around he wondered if one of the other Zarronian warriors would step forward to protect her. Most of them weren’t even paying attention to the proceedings. The few who were appeared to do so only out of curiosity.
Cursing them, he watched as the crowd closed in around her. She, of course, appeared bored and put out with the entire proceedings. An attitude that increased the tension in the room. It also increased the rage of the people around her who were ready for a bit of well-earned revenge.
Sighing, he moved to within a few meters of her and prepared himself to save her.
His movement drew her attention and for a moment their eyes met. Her eyes hardened as she gave him a disdainful get lost look then turned her back on him. He growled with anger and clenched his hands to keep from reaching out and pulling her over his knee so he could swat her delectable bottom

About the Author:

I have four siblings but I've always been the odd ball of the family. My parents used to tell people they had two sons, two daughters, and Mardi. lol I love looking at life from many points of view so that must be why I love the quirky and unique. I believe in UFOs, ghosts and that we have a space station on the dark side of the moon. 

When I read I like romance with BDSM, suspense, and lots of tears and laughter, as well as a happy ending. That's also what I write.

People ask what I do when I'm not writing. I'm just running around, living my life. I'm a terrible gardener (everything dies) but I refuse to give it up. I like to cook but only when I'm in the mood so most of the time its microwavable veggies and cold fruit with cheese. And don't forget that glass of wine during my evening Wine and Reading Hour. I love to travel, but then who doesn't, and I love just hanging out with family and friends

Where to find Mardi on the Internet:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Writer’s Block and how I deal with it.

Years ago, I rarely got writer’s block. I always knew what I wanted to write and how to write it. Lately however, I’ve been plagued with stress from many directions. I’ve had health issues, and schedule changes and things just don’t seem to mesh together the way they used to.

So… what did I do? I sat down and wrote up a plan, a strategy, if you will. What I want to get accomplished in a day. I want to write at least 1000 words a day. That isn’t impossible for me. I know this because I used to write 10,000 words a day quite regularly. I want to do certain things around my home, whether it’s dishes, laundry or just emptying the trash can in the kitchen. I need to work at the day job.

Unfortunately, I work an hour from my home and I carpool to save gas money and the three of us rarely have the same schedule so doing things at home are difficult on days I work. Sometimes, I’m away from my house 14 hours a day, which makes writing that much more difficult. I have a pad of paper I use during my breaks to write down fleeting thoughts and ideas. I carry a netbook or mini laptop to record those ideas after work, while I’m waiting for the others to finish up so we can head home.

I digress...or did I? Can you see how these things can cause a block? If not, and you’re still writing loads every day. More power to you. If you can, welcome to the club.

I’ve begun to treat writing a bit like a workout—a workout for the brain. All day long, I think about what if scenarios for the situations my characters are in. What if they did this, what if they did that?
What if Carrie wasn’t really the birth mother of the baby in her nursery, what if her baby was with another family, what if he had been kidnapped at birth because Carrie is the direct descendant of the ruler of a country, or a world and someone has stolen her child to lay claim to the child’s rightful kingdom? What if Carrie is a vampire, and her child something special, because its father is an angel or a demon, or a superhero?

Exercises such as the what if and why questions some authors practice are essential to their writing, to their world building. I use as many of these as I can. What are your characters motivations? If you can’t think of something to write. Think of these things and eventually, you’ll think yourself right out of that block.

Some authors--and I include myself in this--switch manuscripts when they run into a block. Sometimes, just keeping the words flowing, even if it’s not in the same story, can help you work through the corner you’ve written your characters into.  This can be a good tactic if you don’t have deadlines.

If that doesn’t work, ask yourself what are your characters thinking? Once you figure out what they’re thinking or doing, you should be able to move on. If you still can’t move on, give yourself an exercise. Write about your day, or something that upset you. Sometimes, just the act of writing about anything can get you back on track.

What if you have a deadline? It’s Wednesday and you have until Monday to finish your project. What do you do? Try sitting down and writing something, anything, that takes your characters to another place. Then go back and read it. Sometimes, you’ll find that while it might not fit exactly where you’ve written it, it will fit somewhere else in the story. Reread the last few chapters and try to remember what you were thinking as you wrote them. At one time, you had an idea of where you wanted to go or you wouldn’t have written it in the first place.

With luck, one of these exercises will get you writing again. If it doesn’t, sit down with your favorite treat and indulge in something you love. You’ll deserve it after all of that hard work.

Good Luck!

Until the next time, 


Or you could try these:

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Alpha Male

What is an alpha male?

To me, he's the kind of man who's easy to fall for--you know, the ones we just can resist. He's usually arrogant. He’s definitely physically strong and has a strength of character that can’t be beat—even if he’s a bit too dominant for our liking. Though sometimes, dominance is a good thing. Usually, all of an alpha male's exasperating characteristics grow on you after a while. Whether you like it or not.

Beneath his seemingly thick skin and--sometimes--even thicker head, he’s a man you can't help but fall in love with because he’s just a wonderful guy. He’s a hero in every sense of the word who excites you beyond anything you have ever felt before. His strength, coupled with his keen sense of right and wrong appeals to a lot of women like nothing else could.

What’s better is, he’s confident enough to be able to enjoy pursuing a strong, independent woman who can stand up to his more selfish, "it’s my way or the highway side". In fact, he sometimes wants a woman who'll stand up to him and tell him like it is. He wants a mate and a helpmeet who can, and will, be strong enough to face all of their problems head on with him.

Mostly, he wants the same things his woman wants. He wants to feel the magic of romance, just as she does. He wants to love and be loved. He needs her to balance his more aggressive side with her gentleness. Most of all, he wants a woman to hold, to love and to cherish as though she were the only woman in the world—a Juliette to his Romeo a queen to his king, a partner and a friend.

Until next time.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Gideon's Angel - Coming Soon to Extasy Books!

A while ago, I posted a character interview with Gideon Molfetta and Tara Tarolf on this blog. 

Their story has been a long time in coming. I apologize to readers who have been patiently waiting for another installment in this series. Just remember, the best way to get what you want is to write, message me on Facebook or Twitter and ask. It's that simple. I promise! 

So, this short, unedited excerpt of Gideon's Angel is for those of you who have been waiting for it these past few years. Thank you for writing and asking me to finish it. 

Gideon's Angel:

Frumpy and forty-something, Tara Tarolf, is a vampire slayer. After losing her husband to cancer, she devotes her life to making the streets safe for humans by hunting down rogue Cartuotey and bringing the hammer of justice down upon them. In her opinion, men were too much work. She already had one husband, she wasn't looking to add another man to her life. 

On the verge of committing suicide, Gideon Molfetta is everything she had ever dreamed of in a man. It was too bad he was on the verge of committing suicide to avoid becoming the most dreaded of his kind and she wasn't a guide. His kind mated with guides and Tara had no idea what her kind even was. Could she convince Gideon that his mate was worth waiting for, and would he ever tell her what it was he knew about her kind?


“So, as you can see,” I said, my hands still raised high above my head. “There’s really no reason to kill me.” Pausing, I peered through eerie silence at the man who still had the laser sight of his pistol trained on the base of my throat and sighed with relief. “It’s about damned time.” The words came out almost a snarl. Where did a common thug get such an expensive pistol?

Dropping my arms, I rolled my aching shoulders forward and back, trying to release the tension from holding my hands up over my head for so long. In the mood to be nasty, I had an incredible urge to kick the jerk in the crotch for preying on innocents the way he did. Instead, I stood glaring at him for a minute before I tossed the idea aside.

The guy stared off into space, his eyes unfocussed. Admittedly, it was the first time I had ever been proud of my dubious gift to talk someone into a mindless stupor. Still, it was better than killing the jerk.

The twenty-seven dollars in my wallet wasn’t worth dying—or killing—over. The man had no idea who he’d been dealing with. If the darkness was a thief’s best friend then it was my lover. I could hide from the world in the daytime. At night, I could practically disappear.

I scurried away from the idiot, grabbing his gun before I left. I didn’t need it but I didn’t want him descending on some unsuspecting mundane with it either. Since a mundane—also known as a person with no magical abilities—wouldn’t have any way to defend themselves like me, I figure it’s my duty to keep scum like that from preying on them if I can.  

It was a good thing a cold front came down from Canada earlier in the morning and I had been wearing gloves. Leaving my prints on the gun was out of the question, since it was about to make an unannounced appearance at the nearest police station.

I moved quickly out of my mugger’s line of sight, unsure of how long his stupor would last and whether or not he had another gun hidden on his filthy person. Buildings blurred by me as I ran through the dark streets looking for a cop.

Glancing back through the darkness I frowned. I had lulled him into that stupor, because I hadn’t wanted to hurt the jackass. I hadn’t accidentally killed anyone yet and I certainly didn’t want to start any time soon.

However, I wouldn’t go so far as saying I’ve never taken a life. In fact, I take lives on a fairly regular basis. But then, I’m a vampire hunter. Taking lives is kind of a prerequisite for the job. Not that I get a salary for it. Besides, killing a vampire wasn’t like killing a human was it? I mean…they’re dead already. Right?

For those of you who haven't already read books one through three, They're available at most retail e-book outlets. 

Look for: 

Book 1: Virgin's Blood My very first release. I hope to get a new cover soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

If I only had a nickel

Caution; This is a bit of a rant. Read at your own risk.

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me when's your new release or what are you working on now. I might be a rich woman. I love my readers and I'm glad they ask. It helps keep me motivated. 

If I had a nickel for every time I told myself that my books just aren't going to write themselves, I could pay my electric bill. If I don't make time to write, it's just not going to happen. So what if I don't vacuum the floor today or the others in the house have to fix their own dinner? I've been working. I've written five-thousand words today. That should count for something, right?

Balancing the day job, housework and the writing is not an easy thing. Yes, I have a day job. I'm not rich, and as long as internet trolls keep sharing my books on share sites, I'll never even be able to realize my dream of quitting the day job and writing full time. I don't need to be rich, but being able to pay all of my bills every month would be nice. I've yet to accomplish that--even with the day job.

Still, I digress. I meant to talk about finding time to write, not talk about how it's difficult to get motivated when you work your ass off every day and barely get paid for it because people share your work to countless others for free. Again, I digress...

Finding time... What if I give you an example of an average day around my house? I get up at 7:00 to get ready for work. I shower, wake up the guys and rush out to the kitchen to make something for breakfast. By the time breakfast is over, It's around 8:30 and time to take my meds. I take what pills I have to take, After that, I get my insulin out and psych myself up to stick myself three times with a needle. Some say it's easy. Not for me. Occasionally, it hurts like the dickens and that makes me hesitate every time.

After my injections and meds, it's time to make sure everyone else is ready to go. I make my coffee and gather my things together. Okay. Do I have my watch? Check. My glasses? Yep, wearing them. My phone? Check. My netbook for writing on the fly? Check. My notebook for writing on my breaks at work? Yes. Is everyone ready to go?

Finally, sometime between 8:45 and 9:00 we leave the house and get in our ten year-old van (I did mention I'm not rich, right?) and head to work. We carpool because our other car has been broken for over two years and after sinking over $2000 into it, we just couldn't afford to get it going again. The three of us head in to town and the guys drop me off at work at 10:00 am.

The guys go park and sleep or play on their phones in the van until it's time for them to start work, at 1:00. Three hours, they wait to start work and when I'm off at 7:00 I wait two and a half, to three hours for them to finish work. That's when I write.

In fact, it's 7:10 as I write this in the break room at the day job. Again, I do this because I'm not rich. Hell, I'm not even well off, though I'm sure someone out there believes I am. We'll leave work generally around 9:45 and get home about 10:45, we'll unwind for a few hours and usually hit the bed at about 1:00 am--sometimes a bit later.

Generally, I don't rant, I don't whine, and I don't like airing my problems in a public arena, but I'm a bit fed up with the way things keep going for us. Our roof needs replaced. It's only 13 years old. The electric has been out in about a quarter of my house for a few years now and the foundation is crumbling and falling in under the house.

Why don't you get it fixed, you might ask. Because I'm not rich. I'm not well off and I'm definitely not comfortable. I can tell you what I am, though. I'm tired. 

I'm tired of 12 hour days at the day job. I'm tired of my body aching because the docs say I shouldn't be working outside the home at all anymore and why don't I quit and write full time. Most of all, I'm tired of watching the love of my life age as he dreams of someday having a real retirement when it's beginning to appear as though we'll have to work for the rest of our lives. And I'm sick to death of getting Google alerts that tell me my newest releases are on a share site two days after they're released. I'm sick to death of not making enough money with my writing to even pay my medical bills, let alone have enough to live on after paying said bills.

Most of all,  I'm sick of going to share sites and seeing that my books have been downloaded 80,000 times EACH. I have over 100 e-books, Do the math.

Again, if I only had a nickel...