Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Just wanted to share...both Francesca Hawley and Protect and Defend have official homes on the new Ellora's Cave web site. To visit my author page, click here. To visit my upcoming release Protect and Defend, click here.
36 days until release - January 7, 2009!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.
Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I heard about this video on Keith Olbermann and had to go see it for myself. It's a lot of fun...and Ron Howard is hotter than I thought!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The hunt is hosted by Michelle Pillow and Mandy M. Roth on their Web site. So how do you play? First, visit the Web site to get started.
1. Copy entire list of questions provided on the site.
2. Search the author websites at the link provided.
3. *Send ALL Answers (please number them accordingly, it's not necessary to email the entire table), Name, Email and Mailing Address to:
4. Contest open the Month of October 2008 All entries due by November 1, 2008 12 AM EST.
Prizes: Winners will be drawn at random and notified of which prize they won within the first few weeks of November. Watch the Raven Blog for the official winners list.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
On the left is my target from the pistol shoot. We were told to aim for the chest and try to get our shots within the square. Five of the eight are within that square and three are damn close. I was thrilled. And yes there are five inside - that hole in the upper right has a little hole just below and to the left.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
So the theory here is that as the subject/suspect escalates his/her behavior then the force used by the officer to meet that threat must match or exceed it. The sooner a subject is under control the better, but sometimes you walk into a situation that is already in the red zone where deadly force is required.
The discussion of this was really intriguing. We started out with discussion and watched some video tape scenarios - and these were actual incidents which involved police officers. In at least one, the officer lost his life as a result of what transpired, so it's very sobering to realize that one wrong choice could result in a death, either of the suspect or the officer.
They showed us two different kinds - the kind with some room (like these on the left) and hinged cuffs which will exert even more control with a struggling bad guy. Dang, these were hard to manipulate. I have little hands so getting the cuffs oriented correctly in my hands in order to slap them on someone's wrist was a bit of a challenge. I don't think I ever really got the hang of this but it was interesting.
We started with a "compliant" perp. Then moved on to passive resistant where the person is holding their hands in tight to prevent the officers from putting cuffs on them. In order to get someone to give up their hands, police use pressure points on the face and head. I volunteered for this just to find out what it was like. There's a point just along the jaw, below the ear, and one under the nose. The Lieutenant started with my jaw. On me, it didn't work. He moved to my ear - still no dice. It was the spot under the nose that got to me, but I held out for awhile. I must have a high threshold of pain.
After that we discussed the use of the night stick. Officers start with a collapsible baton before they qualify for the one you see TV beat cops wearing. This is what we used. First the Lieutenant demonstrated on a volunteer.
I thought to myself. Oh, okay, I can do this. I ended up as the second one in line. Frankly, I think everyone else took a step or two back so I ended up second but...oh well. So the first up was one of the men in the class. THEN they drop the bombshell - you have to yell at the volunteer perp to tell him to drop.
I'm thinking... Oh crap and visualizing that plump, black lady cop from the Police Academy movies. You know, the one with the whispery, prissy voice until she gets scared or pissed? I decide, well girl, you better use your SCA Herald's voice. I know how to shout, I just usually don't do it in front of people cause it makes me nervous.
The police officer who volunteered to get "whupped" had a big thick pad covering him, so he was perfectly safe. In fact, he said he barely felt anything as we were hitting him. I watch the first guy up. He yells and connects with the approximate leg location pretty well. As I'm watching, I process mentally and realize this is just a rap shot to the leg. You hold the baton up above the shoulder, a bit like a baseball bat but use only on hand. Then you hold your opposite hand in front as protection - just as if I were holding a shield in my hand. Then you whip the weapon around and aim for the outside of the thigh.
I yelled loud, "Get down." Brought the baton around and down. I nailed it pretty good. I did it twice and I enjoyed every minute of it. I finally get why SCA fighter's enjoy fighting - I just don't want to take a shot in return. Ever.
So tonight was pretty fun. Next week...guns. Watch out world, Francesca's got a gun!
Friday, September 19, 2008
My pirate name is:
Dread Pirate Bonney
Like the famous Dread Pirate Roberts, you have a keen head for how to make a profit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Well, I'm trying again. This year the local police force WILL be holding the Citizens' Police Academy and I'm enrolled. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I'm going to learn police procedure and I think I might get to shoot a gun. Whoa. We'll see.
I'm definitely looking forward to the experience. Tonight is the first class. I'll report back tomorrow to let you know how it goes! I'm sure it will be far more organized than the movie version - I have confidence in our local officers. ;-)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
On Saturday, I spent the day in the Middle Ages. Time travel was not involved, I simply drove to an SCA event being held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (aka Deodar).
I haven't been real active in the SCA for a few years, but when the knight (now King) in the picture above, won Crown Tournament this year I decided it was time to start playing again. Yes, he's cute but why else was I so inspired? Well, he was the first King I remember well after I joined the SCA slightly more than ten years ago. You always remember your first King and Queen with the greatest fondness, or so I am told, and it's definitely been true for me. Through the years I have grown better acquainted with him and have always find him to be a genuinely good guy and very gracious.
The other cool thing about Saturday is that I saw SO many people I've known and been friends with through the years that I was reminded why I had joined in the first place. It felt good to get hugs from friends and to know they had missed seeing me. So for now, they are stuck with me again. I'll do my best to get to events when I can and support the Kingdom I love and the Crown I respect.
To check out a local SCA group near you, visit http://www.sca.org then click on the link to the right that says, "Find your local group." I look forward to seeing you at an event soon!
Monday, September 8, 2008
One week and counting then yes, I get a vacation. Or in my case a "staycation." I'm not financially set enough to go anywhere, but my plan is to stay home, sleep in, and write...write...write.
I have a ton of ideas and I'm rarin' to go. So keep your fingers crossed that the stars align and I have a great week of writing!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Diarmid has bad guys to catch, but one look at the voluptuous writer has him wanting to catch her instead. His shapeshifter blood recognizes his True Mate and he wants her naked body arching beneath his. Now. But with a cold-blooded serial killer on the loose, Diarmid has one shot at his future and he will not fail. Because this time, the killer wants Mikaela.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Why is it always during the luncheon after a funeral where people dig out the camera and take pictures. Going through scrapbooks, I have more family group shots taken after funerals than any other kind of occasion.
It was good to see my own cousins, their wives and kids and my aunt. But I have a question...when did eulogies become more about a church than about the life of the deceased? Did I miss that change in trend somewhere? At both the funeral in April and the memorial service in July, the focus of the eulogy, if you can call it that, was on religious message instead of the life of my uncle. Now, I've rationalized that this may be because my uncle was a minister. So a minister's life is going to be about the church and religion. However, his wife and kids were barely mentioned at either service. It just struck me as a little weird. But, to each their own. We all choose to be remembered in our own way.
This kind of thing makes me think about my own life and how I'd like to be remembered. Who might show up for my funeral...if any body. Stuff like that. Morbid. I think I'm turning into my family. Next thing you know, I'll buy a burial plot, lay out my stone, have my name inscribed, and to top it off-have my picture taken with the stone. If I do, just shoot me. Please?
Saturday, July 5, 2008
So what did we do? Well, we walked past Grandma's house. Why is this a big deal pilgrimage?
Up until I was 12 or so we went to Gowrie every year and stayed at Grandma's house. We would watch the parade and celebrate the 4th. In the park in town, there was always a carnival. The American Legion sold beefburgers and amazing baked goods as a fundraiser and we swam at the pool. That evening we always attended the fireworks display in town too. As kids, we rode all the rides and at night, we could look out the upper story windows as we laid in bed and see the lights from the rides. It was great.
Well, we didn't relive all our childhood memories, but quite a few of them bubbled to the surface. I dragged myself out of bed early enough to get to Gowrie in time for the parade. Not only that, but I...yes, little ole me...secured us prime acreage for seating right along the parade route. The parade was pretty cool. The American Legion rolls out the flags of all the veterans who have passed away. We have at least three very important flags on those floats. Our grandfather, father and great uncle. I saw my dad's flad, which was pretty cool and sad at the same time.
The whole thing was quintessential small town. Two jets did a flyover to signal the start of the parade. Then we all stood as the colorguard went by, respectful silence for the flags of the fallen vets, kids running for candy, and everyone cheering for the motorcycles as they leaped off a ramp and did wheelies. I have to admit, there was a HUGE wait in the middle of the parade because the motorcycles held everything up, but they were worth it. They were good!
After the parade, we wandered into the park to look around. The line for the Legion booth was VERY long (yep, they still do their fundraiser - even after...oh LOTS of years). So we took a walk downtown to see if any restaurants were open there. A food booth or two. The Methodist church was doing a food fundraiser. We continued our amble through town and by the time we came back, all their chicken was gone so we ended up back in the park anyway.
We hit up the Legion booth. My sister was not impressed with the food, but the beefburgers tasted the same to me and I enjoyed them. Sadly, the baked goods were not as good as I remembered. Tasty, but not melt in your mouth, to die for good, they way they used to be. Of course back when I was a kid, most of the legion wives were just in off the farm and baked as a semi-civilized form of domestic combat. Nowadays, we cook out of a box. It's just not the same.
Then we went out to the cemetary to visit the graves of our mom and dad. My sister and I had a conversation. She said she hadn't been back to Gowrie for awhile because she didn't know anyone...at least not anyone alive. We both found that we knew far more people in the cemetary than we did when mixing with the populace in the park. It's just plain weird to wander a cemetary, point at a gravestone and say things like, "Oh I remember him/her. Didn't they do X?" etc. Maybe it's a sign of advancing age. Or maybe we should have visited more often.
Needless to say, it was an entertaining trip down memory lane. More on Tuesday.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
To help the victims of Iowa's 2008 floods, go to this article about how the American Red Cross is aiding disaster victims. To find information about contributing to damaged libraries, visit the State Library of Iowa Web site.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Visit Publisher's Weekly. There is a great article titled The New E-in Erotica. Very well written and pleasingly balanced. No salacious silliness, just interesting fact. Yaaaay Publisher's Weekly.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Then came the task of dragging the mower up hills and over grass and around bushes and through gates that wouldn't open. But I succeeded. I mowed. I conquered my lawn. Tomorrow I visit the chiropractor. Maybe my lawn conquered me, after all.
Monday, May 5, 2008
I've been active in the SCA (Society for Creative Anacronism) since 1997. I live and play in the Kingdom of Calontir. I've enjoyed most of my experiences and I'm really happy to have made so many wonderful friends.
Recently, I'd kind of retired from active participation. I had a lot of things going on in my life and I'd focused on my writing. I still listened to gossip to keep up with the news, but didn't really travel to events unless they were close.
However an event called Crown Tournament happened over the weekend. Calontir celebrated it's 50th Crown Tourney since becoming a Kingdom and there were 25 couples (combatants and consorts) who were part of things. Fitting indeed. I knew and knew of several of the individuals who were fighting and so I was rooting for them, though I'm sure anyone of the others would have done a wonderful job.
The man who won Crown is someone I know and respect. Heaven help em all, cause I'll be coming out of my retirement a little to attend more events while he is Prince and then King. The really neat thing for me is that he was Prince/King during my first year in the SCA. Ya think it's a sign? I'm gonna take it as one.
Graf Luther Amossfaust & Mistress Maerwynn of Holme,
Calontir's newest Prince & Princess.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Thirteen things I love about spring!
1. Opening all the windows to enjoy the warm breezes.
2. The grass starts turning green.
3. No More Coats!
4. The days grow longer.
5. The weather grows warmer.
6. Sitting outside with the sun shining down on you.
7. Driving around town with the sun roof open and the radio blaring.
8. The sense of renewal as the earth starts to emerge from winter.
10. Flowers bloom and smell wonderful!
13. Grilling out!
Happy May Day everyone!!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
For today, I want to share a recipe that I consider comfort food in a major way. My Grandma Ruby (Dad's mom) was a phenomenal cook. A virtuoso (or is that virtuosa) in the kitchen. Here is one of her best recipes for a crispy sugar cookie.
NOTE: If you've never flattened cookies before, I find a glass (an actual GLASS cup works best - doesn't stick). I run the glass over the bowl of dough then sugar the bottom of the glass. I press a cookie flat, then resugar. You can use colored sugars, flavored sugars or whatever makes you happy. I recommend cinnamon sugar - tasty.
Word of warning. I find the biggest trick to getting cookies baked and shared with others is my desire to eat the uncooked cookie dough. It is so delish! Enjoy these cookies - baked or raw. Either way, it's a good thing. ;-)
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The song is, I Wanna Be a Rock Star.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Write about a wedding during which a bride or groom changes their mind.
"Where is Lori?"
Damia looked at their mother and rolled her eyes. Lori had tried to tell mother last night she didn't want this dynastic handfasting but when Carol Raven doesn't wish to hear bad news... Well, ignorance is bliss.
"You know as well as I do mother, she didn't want this. She told you and told you. But you wouldn't let her out of it."
Carol looked her up and down. "You wouldn't have."
"But I wasn't given the option. Was I?"
Damia glanced toward the altar where Trevor Falcon paced. Periodically, he glanced over at his mother who was actually biting her spectacular claws. Anyone who went to the expense of having her nails manicured really should chew on something else when they were nervous...like the furniture.
With a sigh, Damia settled into one of the chairs near the beautifully ornamented altar. For some reason the Falcons were adamant that one of their own must commit to a Raven. Today. She didn't know what the issue was, but if the scowl on Trev's face was any indication, it was big. The Goddess knew she would have accepted Trev in an instant but he'd taken one look at Lori and decided she was the one. Men were such idiots.
"You know where she is. I'm sure of it."
She jumped,looking from her clenched hands to Trev's angry amber eyes. "I don't."
"She's your sister. You must have some idea."
"Why aren't you grilling my mother?"
"Because she wouldn't know a clue if it walked up and introduced itself."
"Well really!" Carol hissed. "And you would? She's been your fiancee for three months. Surely you've had at least one conversation. Didn't you realize she was unhappy?"
Trev tightened his jaw so hard, Damia expected to hear his teeth grind. Why on heaven or earth he wanted to marry into their clan she had no idea, but she was glad his attention moved away from her.
"No, Carol. I did not." He turned to look at his mother, raising his eyebrows. She shrugged, nodded her head in Damia's direction. He sighed, then reluctantly nodded. He turned to Damia. "You'll have to do."
"I need a mate and you're it. If we can't find your sister, it's your duty to fulfill this contract."
"Now wait just a minute buster..."
He grabbed her hand, dragging her to the altar and the High Priest standing there. "We're ready."
The High Priest frowned at Trev then turned gravely to Damia. "Are you willing to complete this handfasting ceremony in your sister's absence?"
"As her proxy, you mean?"
"No, as the bride."
Damia's jaw dropped, turning to look up at Trev. "You're joking right?"
"I'm not joking, Damia."
"This is no laughing matter."
"I'm well aware of that, Trev. Why me? Just wait for Lori to come back and make up with her."
"I need a Raven bride before sundown and you're the only marriagable Raven woman here so I'll marry you."
"This is insane."
"The contract specifies a Raven bride. It doesn't name Lori."
"But you picked Lori."
"Now, I'm picking you."
"Trev, you are such a jerk."
"I know. We only need to stay handfasted for a year and a day."
"I can stay here?"
"No, we must live together. It's...required."
"It just is." He finally met her gaze, running his large hand through his thick black hair. "Look, I'm sorry. But I have to do this."
"Live together? Is that all?"
He looked away. "If that's all you want."
"It is. I'm not going to be your substitute for Lori." She laughed bitterly. "Goddess knows I bear no resemblance to her."
Lori was tall, willowy and blond. Gorgeous. The worst part was that not only was her sister a beauty on the outside, but on the inside too. Sensitive. Sweet. Damia had never been able to compete on any level.
"No, you don't look like her and I'm not asking you to be her."
Damia met his gaze again. She had to be the stupidest woman on the planet, but at least the Ravens and the Falcons lived in different cities. Different states. She could do this. She should. She'd just gotten "downsized" at work and she hadn't told her mother yet. Now she wouldn't have to.
"All right. For a year and a day. No more. And we have separate bedrooms."
Damia's lips twisted. Yeah, he was probably thrilled about that particular condition. But no way was she going to be a duty screw. She turned to face the High Priest and held out her hand.
"Okay, tie us up and get this thing done."