Friday Favorites

TGIF! I have to say, I really do love blogging on Fridays here at Magical Musings.

Friday Favorites at MM

Today I want to hear about some of your favorite things. To give you a little reward for sticking with me and answering some questions, I will give away one digital book from one of the Magical Musings authors (up to a $10.00 value) via Amazon! To enter, just answer any of the questions below. I will draw the winner on Sunday evening!

What is your favorite book genre? For me it would be a tie between romantic suspense and contemporary romance.

Do you have a favorite book couple? Mine would probably be Trevor and Cassandra Bauer from the Countermeasure Series by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey. I don’t know what it is about them but I have loved them from the beginning of the series.

Do you have a favorite heroine from a book? This is tough for me, but I would say pretty much any heroine of Misty Evans. In my opinion, she just knows how to write kicka** heroines.

Do you have a favorite hero from a book? Absolutely. Conrad Flynn from Operation Sheba by Misty Evans. I don’t even know how to explain it but all heroes are compared to him when I read other books.

Do you have a favorite plot from a book? Where the story is just so different than anything you have read? This one is harder. I read a lot of great books. Probably the one that sticks with me as the most fascinating is Darcy Daniel’s Playing The Part.

Any other favorites in the book world you think we should talk about?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

5 Southernisms Every Non-Southerner Must Know by Kelsey Browning

Please welcome author Kelsey Browning to the blog today! She and Nancy Naigle coauthor The Granny Series and the second book in the series, Fit To Be Tied released on October 21, 2014. Kelsey is here today to tell to us about Southernisms.

Kelsey Browning - Headshot

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I love, love, love my gals from Illinois—Amy Remus, Adrienne Giordano, Tracey Devlyn, and several others. And one of the reasons I love them so much is because they love my Texas accent and they let me teach them a new Southern phrase now and again.

One reason Nancy and I enjoy writing The Granny Series so much is because we get to let those Southern-gals phrases fly left and right. Our editor, Deb Nemeth, helps nurture and protect our “delicious humor and wonderful Southern expressions.”

Of the four main over-fifty female characters in our newest release in The Granny Series, Fit to Be Tied, three hail from Southern states. Lil from Georgia. Maggie from Virginia. And Abby Ruth from Texas. (Sheriff Teague Castro is also a Texas native.) So in order to enjoy these ladies to their fullest, non-Southerners might appreciate a brush-up on how to speak Southern. And, by the way, all definitions and curse worse henceforth should be attributed to me. Nancy is guilt-free.

Bless your heart. Yeah, this is a gimme, but if I didn’t include it, someone would call me on it.

Definition: Bless your heart is one of those multi-use Southern phases.

Used in a sentence: “Bless Tommy Ray’s little pea-picking heart.”

Translation: Tommy Ray’s done something ass-stupid again, and ain’t nobody gonna ever be able to beat the smart into that boy.

Used in a sentence upon news that a friend’s father has died: “Bless her heart.”

Translation: I’m feel so bad for Franny. But I wonder if there’ll be fried chicken after the funeral?

Fit to Be TiedDon’t have a pot to piss in. This is a favorite of mine. Just so visual.

Definition: It means the person is broke, desolate, and shit outta luck.

Used in a sentence: “That Glenda Ray, her daddy’s done left and now they don’t have a pot to piss in.”

Translation: Things in Glenda Ray’s house are gonna be tough for a while.

Shit outta luck. Also referred to as SOL.

Definition: In a bad spot, some times because of your own less-that-bright decision.

Used in a sentence: “You spent all your lunch money on video games? Well, son, you’re just SOL.”

Translation: You’d better steal some saltines out of the cabinet because I’m not giving you more lunch money this week.

Ugly. No, it’s not what you think (although there are plenty of backhanded insults for that).

Definition: This ugly means ill-behaved.

Used in a sentence: “Josey Ray, don’t you be ugly to your mama or else you won’t be going to the picture show.”

Translation: If you don’t stop sassing your mama, I will lock you in your room until you’re thirty.

Six ways to Sunday.

Definition: All different kinds of ways or in a particularly forceful manner.

Used in a sentence: “If you don’t put my Blue Bell Rocky Road ice cream back in the freezer this minute, I’m gonna knock you six ways to Sunday.”

Translation: The butt-whupping may be physical or verbal. Whatever I decide, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

If this small taste of Southernisms has whetted your appetite for more, be sure to check out In For a Penny and Fit to Be Tied in The Granny Series. You may see a few of these, some other favorites, and a few that Nan and I make up ourselves!

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite Southern phrases (And yes, we’re likely to snatch it up and put it in a book. ;-))

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged | 17 Comments

Holiday Spirit (with giveaway)

giftsMisty wrote a post yesterday about the joys of autumn and how winter is almost upon the US. In Australia, it’s the other way around, spring has sprung and we’re edging toward summer, but no matter which way round your seasons are, one thing is clear, the holidays are coming up.

I’ve been asked to participate in three different year-end contests or giveaways in the last week, and that’s definitely a sign of the festive season.

Giving is the one part of the too-commercial holiday season that I like.

But with everyone organising giveaways and festive season contests, do you think it’s too much? Do most of them get overwhelmed and lost in the crowd, or is it in line with the spirit of generosity we feel at this time of year?

To get into the holiday spirit myself, I’m offering e-books from my The Dark Forest Series (The Golden Apple and The Silver Pear) as well as Entranced: A Halloween Box Set (to get into the swing of the holidays) to one commenter, to be announced on Friday.

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 6 Comments

Fall is here!

Congratulations to Anita…you’re the winner of the $10 gift card! I’ve sent you an email. :)

Fall…what a lovely time of year. If only winter wasn’t just around the corner.

I’m trying to enjoy any day the temp reaches 55 or over. Where I live, that can be a challenge in October.

October is a special month for me. My hubby’s birthday is this month, I found out I was pregnant in October seventeen years ago (it wasn’t until mid-November that I learned it was with twins). I love Halloween – the candy, the costumes, the ever present hint of the supernatural. Apples to make pies and applesauce. Hot cider. Pumpkins and squash and Indian corn. Oh, my!

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What do you love about October? The cool, crisp air? Pulling out warm sweaters? The leaves changing color? Digging into a good book? One lucky commenter will win a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N (your choice!).

Posted in Misty's Posts | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

What Would You Do?

As I write this, I have a cold and I’m not at my best, so I’m stealing an idea from a writer friend, Elle J Rossi. On her Facebook page, she asked an improv question last Friday: “You’re standing in the middle of your living room. You need a weapon and you need it NOW! What do you grab?”

There were a lot of great answers. I said, “A bronze candlestick holder, about ten inches tall.” Actually, I just measured it, and my candlestick is six inches tall, but I have a pair, and I would use both as weapons.

Mary Hughes said, “Cat. Many pointy ends.” The one problem I can foresee with this is that first you have to catch the cat.

Another mutual friend, Morganne MacDonald, who is a Kung Fu weapons expert, said, “Tonfa, sai, bo, tecchu, kama, a sword, a sgian dubh, a pen….they’re all in my living room.”

I love that answer! I sometimes have a pen in my living room – but not the others. Darn. One of the replies was from someone who said he had five handguns in his living room, “always at arms length.”

I might have a character in a future book have something like that. Obviously, you can learn a lot about people by their answers. (I’ve learned that Mary’s cat is much more docile than mine!) So in the interest of learning more about you, if you were in this situation, what would you grab?

Posted in Edie's Posts | 10 Comments

Cats, cats and more cats

It’s been a melancholic week for me after having to put one of my beloved felines to sleep. All week I’ve been cheering myself up by looking at images online from various catmemes to clothing with cats on it and wait for it… cat clothing stores.

Yeah, see I rarely buy myself anything but I’d be down for purchasing a few of these items.  This first one is from a clothing store catering to cat fashions called www.nipandbones.com. You can see this one here. Isn’t she pretty! lol.

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But as Halloween is around the corner – how about a costume to make your cat feel right at home? This one is available for purchase here.

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And for the cat that’s going out and needs a touch of style…consider this wonderful outfit. It’s available here.

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And of course equal outfits for both! This lovely little outfit is available here.

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Or for the well dressed cat, how about an accessory package? This one is available here.

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Doesn’t she look adorable! Not. lol. These clothing items are actually for sale which if you click the links you’ll see for yourself!!

I’ve had cats for the better part of the last 30 years – lost many and losing every one hurts. But the good thing is that each and every time I knew I’d been blessed to have them in my life for how ever long I had them. But I never… ever… dressed them up like this! Now I’m eyeing my golden Persian Pheonix and realize that there is something I could do that would make me smile – forever!

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This wonderful fashion statement is available HERE. Just in case anyone else needs a smile today! :)  Would you buy something like this for your pet?

Posted in Dale's Posts | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Guest post: Historical author Stephanie Thornton

Final Tiger Queens CoverThey say to write what you know, which is pretty sound advice, unless you happen to be writing about the 13th century wife and daughters of Genghis Khan.

Then you pretty much have to improvise.

For both of my prior novels, The Secret History and Daughter of the Gods, I had the benefit of being able to travel to Turkey and Egypt for research, but a series of unfortunate events (and a strained pocketbook) meant that I had to write The Tiger Queens without a trip to Mongolia. Lacking a time machine (or a TARDIS), most of my research came from my trusty old friends: books.

My quest began when I stumbled upon Jack Weatherford’s fabulous volumes Genghis Khan: The Making of the Modern World and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, the former being up for grabs on a freebie table in my high school’s teacher lounge, and the second which I found a week later in Costco. I’d never heard of Genghis Khan’s powerful first wife, Borte, or his many daughters and daughters-in-law, but I soon discovered that they were fierce as tigers and tougher than nails. (They’d have to be after hanging around Genghis Khan!)

But there was still the problem of how to get those tricky historical details, the ones no historical writer thinks about when they start writing but that quickly become all-encompassing. What kinds of boots did the Mongols wear? What did they eat and drink? How did they build their tents so they didn’t freeze in the winter?

Fortunately for me, the stars aligned and I discovered Louisa Waugh’s memoir Hearing Birds Fly, which provided all sorts of answers, plus I discovered that one of my students had been to Mongolia for an exchange trip. Between the two of them, plus other fun sources like Marco Polo’s Travels, I found out everything I needed to know about Genghis Khan’s world.

Also, for the record, Mongols wore felt boots with the toes turned up so as not to accidentally kick the Earth Mother; they ate a LOT of horse meat, sometimes slipped raw under their saddles and tenderized while they rode; and to this day they have an ingenious system of pounding wool until it’s flat, then rolling it and dragging it behind their horses until it can be shaped into the yurts we’re all familiar with. Also, their tents would have been terribly smoky from the dung fires used for heating and cooking… Great details for writing, but nothing I necessarily want to experience firsthand!

About the Author: Stephanie Thornton is the author of The Secret History, Daughter of the Gods, and The Tiger Queens. She is also a history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Kindle version of Stephanie’s The Secret History, I’d love to hear about the things you find interesting but wouldn’t like to experience first hand. I’d go first and say I’d love to take a look at Renaissance Europe, but not so keen on the lack of hygiene and flush toilets :)

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Posts | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

5 Places to Travel to Feed Your Muse

Author, writer or reader, we all feel dry sometimes. Here are 5 places to find rejuvenation.

photo credit: Rob Unreall via photopin cc

photo credit: Rob Unreall via photopin cc

  1. London. There are 2 Alpha ++ cities in the entire world, according to Wikipedia. London and New York are both hubs in the global economy. Studded with restaurants, theaters, and libraries, and blessed with an amazing public transport system, London has centuries of history, learning, and arts to feed your mind and soul. Edie Ramer has just visited, ask her about her favorites. I personally enjoyed Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the London Eye, the BBC, St. Paul’s, and All Flutes.
  2. Your basement or attic. Whichever one gives you less guilt. lol. As an adult these are places we shove taxes and yet to be unpacked moving boxes. But as a child, ah, these are mysterious places full of old, forgotten treasures. So try this. stick your head in your attic or take a short trip to the basement and close your eyes. Breathe in the scent and let it take you back to those days of mystery and adventure.
    photo credit: Brian Auer via photopin cc
    photo credit: Brian Auer via photopin cc
  3. The Grand Canyon. This is one of the places I have yet to go. I’ve heard it’s one of the few that lives up to expectation. Almost 300 miles long. Breathtaking scenery and nearly 2 billion years of geological goodies. The Colorado River. Mule rides. Some of the cleanest air in the US. Condors. How cool is that? I love visiting the Badlands so I hope to get here one day.
  4. 1999augA museum, travelogue lecture, iMax theater, observatory, conservatory, concert, park…? The important thing here is go someplace bigger (or smaller) than yourself, where you’ll see or hear something brand-new. Keep your phone in your pocket or purse and your eyes and ears open.
  5. Books. You don’t have to travel physically to refresh yourself. Treat yourself to a day reading, or just an hour. Move to a different room, pick a comfy chair or indulge in a warm scented bath. Have a selection of books to suit your whims. Biography, romance, history, fantasy, science or science fiction, just pick up a book and do your mind and heart a new world of good. (If you haven’t yet, why not pick up Entranced: A Halloween Box Set for just $0.99? :) )

What’s your favorite way to refresh yourself?

Let’s get to know each other!

In these first months as a Magical Musings blogger, I’m sharing my 10 favorite things and hope to hear about yours. This is #5 Travel/Books (Travel for the mind and soul.) Please check out the latest from Edie Ramer, Dale Mayer, Michelle Diener, Liz Kreger and myself.

Holiday Feast from NY Times, USA Today and bestselling, award-winning authors offers nine exciting stories of romance and mystery, paranormal and contemporary, magical and mystical, ranging in lengths from novellas to short page-turning stories.

Escape to worlds featuring a vampire in love with a human, a powerful telekinetic, a secret lover, a spirit seer, a master magician, a wizard prince, a paranormal ass-kicker, and more.

$0.99 LIMITED TIME AmazonB&NMACL Smashwords

Also at: ikAReaukbuk

Posted in Mary's Posts | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Her Accidental Boyfriend Anniversary + Giveaway

HABFinalCoverToday is the one year anniversary of my novel, Her Accidental Boyfriend! This book holds a special place in my heart and so I thought I’d share a little excerpt from Shane and Kagan’s story with you today…

What was she doing? Danger, Kagan Owens! Flirting with Shane when her fortitude was already caught in his too-likeable presence like a bear’s paw in honey meant trouble deeper than the sea.

“Kay?” he said when she hadn’t continued.

“Nothing.” She popped to her feet. “So what’s this surprise you have for me? It must be something really big since you’ve got nothing on you.” She stretched her neck in a gesture to look around him.

He took hold of her waist, brought her close. She loved that he liked to touch her, that he couldn’t seem to help himself. It was foolish, but true. His muscled chest brushed her soft one and her legs went a little limp. Good thing he held her.

“I’m going to discover that nothing before this week is over,” he said, his voice husky.

Oh my. Zings of pleasure wove a maze through her body. You should go for it, Charlotte had said. And more and more Kagan could see the value of benefits to their friendship. For one, it would ease the growing ache between her legs whenever he stood near. For two, she hadn’t had sex in way too long and who better to help her get back in the game than the sexiest guy she’d ever met? And third, if they really wanted to sell this relationship, the afterglow she was sure would flare like the North Star for days ought to do the trick.

“Umm…” Her brain cells had taken a vacation.

“You are damn cute when you’re flustered, Jelly Belly.”

She twisted out of his arms. “You’re infuriating.”

“And good-looking.”

“Maddening.”

“Hot.” He smirked.

Oh my God. How was it he could be so full of himself and humble at the same time? His teasing voice wiped out any ego.

“The surprise?” she asked, hands on her hips.

***

To celebrate this fun October day, I’m giving away a digital copy of any of my books – winner’s choice. OR a digital copy of any of my Magical Musings pals’ books. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite jelly belly jellybean flavor (I love Shane’s nickname for Kagan) and you’ll be entered. I’ll post the winner’s name in the comments on Friday.

I also want to mention that this month I’m on a quest to try new things. I’m posting my adventures on my personal blog and also giving away a $25 gift card. Details can be found HERE.

Happy October!

Posted in Giveaway, Robin's Posts | 23 Comments

Entranced Release Party!

On Tuesday, October 14, you’re invited to the Facebook release party for Entranced: A Halloween Box Set, along with Mary Hughes, Michelle Diener, Dale Mayer, Liz Kreger and Edie Ramer – all Magical Musings’ authors – plus Lori Handeland, Nancy Haddock, Elle J Rossi, and Leigh Morgan. It’s going to be a blast! Lots of giveaways. Lots of fun. The hours are from 3:30pm – 7:30pm in EDT. The box set is 99 cents everywhere – down from $5.99!

Even if you can’t go, check out the great stories!
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Holiday Feast from NY Times, USA Today and bestselling, award-winning authors. Nine exciting stories of romance and mystery, paranormal and contemporary, magical and mystical, ranging in lengths from novellas to short page-turning stories.

Escape to worlds featuring a vampire in love with a human, a powerful telekinetic, a secret lover, a spirit seer, a master magician, a wizard prince, a paranormal ass-kicker, and more.

When Midnight Comes — Lori Handeland
Visit the streets of 19th century New York in a novella based on the legend of the Jack O Lantern. Newly dead Jack Keegan may be doomed to wander the earth forever with only a lantern to light his way unless he atones for the sins of a lifetime. His love for Lucia Casale may be the only thing that can save him.

Midday Masquerade — Leigh Morgan
Can a mask help two lost and lonely people release their inner desires and find love strong enough to vanquish an ancient family curse?

Sian’s Solution — Dale Mayer
Sometimes the depth of love is only understood when it is lost forever… When a vampire discovers the human man she loves has been captured and hung in a blood farm, she goes against her own kind and risks everything to save him.

Breaking Out — Michelle Diener
Imprisoned in a secret facility, powerful telekinetic Kelli Barrack and two other ‘special’ inmates grab a chance to escape, only to confront their worst nightmares on the outside.

The Halloween Prince — Edie Ramer
A sudden storm, a broken van, and a ghost dog take widowed Sarah Lowtower to a cabin in the Wisconsin countryside and an intriguing man who becomes her secret lover. But when he becomes the Halloween Prince, everything changes.

Medium Rare — Nancy Haddock
The ghosts of St. Augustine are spooked, and spirit seer Colleen Cotton must team with a by-the-book paranormal investigator to save them all, or risk losing her own great grandfather’s spirit forever.

Feel the Magic — Liz Kreger
Jenna Carmichael is harnessing the magic of the full moon on All Hallow’s Night in a tricky transformation to earn her Master level, when the past comes back to haunt her.

Masked Attraction — Mary Hughes
Daniel Light loved Zoe Blackwood when he was a gangly dork. Now a powerful wizard prince, a masked ball gives Daniel a new chance to woo her. Coming between them is an ancient parchment with a deadly prophecy.

Midnight Masque — Elle J Rossi
Bar owner and paranormal ass-kicker, Josie Hawk, stresses over her vampire lover meeting her vampire-hunting father, while at her stars-of-country-music masquerade, supernatural forces escalate to code red. If she doesn’t unmask the insidious evil, the party could turn into a mass funeral.

Amazon | AmazonUK | iBooks | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

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