Fall is my favorite time of the year. Here is why:
1. Hot tea. I don’t really enjoy drinking tea when it’s hot out, but crisp fall air makes it perfect.
2. Baking. I like to bake. But heating up the apartment by having the stove on sucks, so I don’t do it in the summer.
3. Knitting. It’s so cozy to have a project in progress in your lap when it’s chilly.
4. Apples. They actually aren’t my favorite fruit, but a sweet, juicy apple is nice in the fall. Plus, you can make apple pie, apple spice scones, apple crisp, and drink hot apple cider.
5. The colors. Here in North Dakota we don’t have many trees, but if I drive east for 30 minutes, I can see the trees of Minnesota in vivid color.
6. The first snow fall. We’re expecting at least three inches tomorrow. Sigh. On Monday I had the air conditioning on.
7. Chili. It’s a great dinner for cool fall evenings.
8. The Northern Lights Quilters Guild Annual Quilt Show and raffle. I don’t quilt, but I love looking at the hundreds of quilts the guild puts on display.
9. The kids are back in school. My mom used to put the flag out of the first day of school. She said it should be a national holiday.
10. TV watching. I don’t watch much TV in the summer because that darn air conditioner is so loud.
11. Good sleeping weather.
12. Hot bubble baths.
13. Holiday season. Halloween!
Do you like fall?
I haven’t had a real cold in almost two years. I have asthma and sinus troubles so even a mild cold can go bad very quickly for me. This started on Monday afternoon and it has already escalated past the usual misery. Here are 13 things I’m dealing with right now:
1. Headache. Enough said, right?
2. Tiredness. We’re on overtime at work and I really want the money. Yesterday I worked from 6:30am to 5:23 pm. Considering how lousy I feel right now, that may have been a mistake. I may have to kiss any overtime on the check good-bye cuz if I feel like this tomorrow I’m staying home.
3. Plugged nose. Either it’s swollen shut on the inside or it’s running like a faucet.
4. Raw skin between my nose and upper lip from constantly blowing. The last time this happened to me I was 8 years old. I’d forgotten how unpleasant it is.
5. Coughing. Deep, barking coughs that hurt both my chest and my head.
6. Can’t sleep. See #3 and #5, which results in #2.
7. Aches. My arms feel like over-ripe tomatoes. You know, where the only thing holding them together is the skin, and if you poke it, the tomato might burst and the insides will ooze all over. Even my finger joints hurt.
8. Burning in my chest. Every breath that is even slightly deep hurts and results in a coughing fit.
9. Sneezing. This isn’t unusual for me. I sneeze all the time anyway because of my allergy to dust.
10. Watery eyes. See #9 above.
11. Piles of wadded up kleenex overflowing every wastebasket in my vicinity.
12. Temperature. It’s a little over 100 F right now.
13. Uncertain appetite. One minute I’m starving, the next nothing appeals to me.
On Monday afternoon, this might have been a summer cold. I strongly suspect we’ve raced right past that. I think it’s the flu. This may push the goal for Eddie’s Prize further out. Gosh darn it.
On or around March 25, I’ll be posting the .pdf version of my free read Sherry’s Wolf here on my blog. It will go up on Smashwords at that same time, and from there it will go to other online bookstores. It will be a free read, but Amazon requires a price of at least $0.99 to post a book there. They will price match the lowest price, but that might take a while so I won’t upload to Amazon until later in April. The smart thing would be to get it from Smashwords or here on my blog. I hate the idea of people paying even $0.99 for something that should be free, especially something that I want to be a thank you to my readers.
Here are 13 paragraphs from Sherry’s Wolf. Enjoy!
Stag settled into one of the hard wooden chairs beneath the window. Taye joined him, still holding his book. “My mate,” Stag answered gloomily. “She wants me to wait until summer to kiss her again.”
Taye’s brows rose. “You kissed her?”
“Last night.” Heat poured through his body when he remembered the feel of her tongue playing with his. “I went too far and now she’s running scared.”
Taye ran a thumb over the spine of his battered paperback. “Did she like your kiss?” he asked carefully.
Stag was sure of that. She held onto his wrist in a grip so strong she’d used it to lift her mouth closer to him. And she hadn’t stopped him sooner, even though she said she should have. Most telling of all had been her scent. It had been heavy with desire. Yeah, she liked kissing him. It was only the memory of a dead husband that made her stop.
“She liked it. I think she liked it too much. She told me to go back to the Clan until Christmas. She’s scared, Taye. She said I scared her.”
Taye was kind enough to not remark on the shame that flooded Stag. The sharp scent of it was strong in the air. He held up his book. “Same thing happened to Dante when he was courting Lady Amber.”
Taye waved the book. “Dante the pirate fell in love with the Governor’s daughter but he couldn’t have her, see, because she was a lady and he was scum. So he kidnapped her and took her on his ship and set sail. He teased her with kisses every day until she fell so deeply in love that she agreed to marry him. And they lived happily ever after.”
Stag eyed the faded cover of the book. The title scrolled over the top of the page in fancy letters: The Black Dragon’s Woman. A kneeling woman, whose strange dress was falling off her shoulders, clung to the leg of a bare-chested man. The woman had her head tilted back, staring up at the man in doe-eyed adoration. The man had one fist clenched on the rail of a ship, staring out to sea like he didn’t even notice he had a woman kneeling in front of him. They were apparently caught in a strong wind, since their hair and clothes streamed behind them.
“No offense, Taye, but that picture is disgusting. I don’t ever want to see Sherry kneeling in front of me.”
Taye’s smile was dreamy. “There’s things a woman can do on her knees in front of a man …” He cleared his throat. “The thing is, Dante took his woman away from everyone else. In his cabin they were alone and no one interrupted them. They didn’t have any distractions while they fell in love.”
“Taye, that’s just a book. It’s not real. And, um, what does a woman do on her knees …? No, don’t answer that!”
For Thursday 13 this week I thought I’d write about where I go when I’m online. Most of these are a no-brainer for my witing friends. Others may surprise you.
1. www.facebook.com Duh. Facebook. I spend way too much time there.
2. www.allaboutromance.com A romance site. I really like reading their reviews and the forums.
3. http://omgthatdress.tumblr.com/ A blog that is almost exclusively pictures of vintage (AND OLDER) clothing. I spend HOURS drooling over the dresses from the 1800s.
4. www.goodreads.com A fun place to troll for new reading material.
5. www.romancedivas.com Yep, my fave place to go for writing help and companionship.
6.http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/ The blog of a very well known and clever knitter, spinner and writer.
7. http://www.istok.net/church-brocade/ When I want really spiffy fabric to make a medieval (specifically, byzantine) dress, this is where I go. It’s gorgeous stuff, but since it runs from $40.00 to over $300.00/meter I mostly window shop.
8. www.northshield.org The web home of my SCA kingdom
9. www.ravelry.com A marvelous and addicting fiber arts site
10. http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/ I am a huge baseball geek. Actually, a Twins geek. Last year sucked for them, but spring training is starting and it’ll be better.
11. http://www.archaeologica.org/NewsPage.htm A collection of news stories about archeological interest posted daily. There are a ton of great ideas for historical romance stories in these articles.
12. http://www.baenebooks.com/c-1-free-library.aspx Baen books has over 100 books that you can download free in the format of your choice. These are full length sci-fi & fantasy books, by best selling authors like Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, David Weber, Jaqueline Carey and lots more.
13. http://thepioneerwoman.com/ Entertaining site with lots of stuff by I mostly go for the recipes.
There. Now, where do you go when you’re online?
What are the most popular search terms that showed up on my website’s admin panel on Wednesday Feb 8?
Wolf Tracker by Maddy Barone
italy 16th century formal wear
author maddie barone
order of the pelican kingdom of northshield
facts fargo nd
how to make a fabric knitting bag
hip length hair
what happens if my novel is sold
tudor dress styles
Weird, huh? What sorts of things show up on your website’s admin panel?
The winter here in North Dakota has been amazingly mild until today. We’ve had only a few inches of snow, temperatures have been consistently 20-30 degrees above average, it’s been sunny and it’s gotten below zero only once. I wonder if this is like to live in the south?
However, that came to a screeching halt today, when the high was -2 F and the wind was blowing strongly. It will be the same or colder tomorrow, with the windchill expected to be -45 to -50. When it gets cold like this I think of comfort food. Something warm and filling and nummy.
1. Mashed potatoes.
2. Home made beef stew.
3. Dad’s Favorite. Eggs, sliced potatoes, green peppers, bacon all mixed together in the pan.
4. Super Soup. My family’s recipe for minestrone soup.
5. Hot chocolate with whipped cream.
6. French toast made into a ham and swiss sandwich.
7. Mostaccioli. With lots of chicken in the sauce.
8. Bread hot from the over slathered with butter and honey.
9. Chicken and Stars soup.
10. Chicken potpie.
12. Roast in the crockpot with potatoes and carrots.
13. Beef and Barley soup.
When it’s cold what do you like to eat?
I am currently working on two stories: Eddie’s Prize, Book 4 in the After the Crash series, and the short story about Jumping Stag and Sherry. I plan to release this as a free read in February. That means I need to pick up the pace and WRITE!! Here are the first two paragraphs as a teaser. I thought I had 13 sentences here, but I think it’s actually 14. Oops.
What are you working on these days?
Sherry was so lovely. Jumping Stag of the Wolf Clan paused in the hallway outside the big room of the Plane Women’s House to let his eyes soak in the beauty of his mate. He hadn’t seen her in nearly four weeks, since the day after he had made human wedding vows to her averted face and hunched shoulder. Those vows had meant nothing to her. For him, they had merely put into words what she was to him: the woman his wolf had chosen to be his mate, the woman he ached to share a bed with, the woman he would die to protect.
The sunlit room was empty but for Sherry. She sat before one of the wood stoves with the cane he had carved for her leaning against her chair, long slender fingers busy with knitting needles and wool. He should go in and greet her, but he remained in the hall, watching her hungrily. Her face was defined by high cheekbones that flowed to a perfectly shaped mouth and an elegant jaw. Even if she had not been his mate he would think her beautiful. She was still far too thin, though. In the Times Before slender women had been considered the most beautiful. Stag couldn’t imagine why. Sherry was beautiful like this, but with a little more weight to soften her narrow frame she would be even more beautiful.
Here are some of the characters from my upcoming release, Wolf Tracker. Some are major characters, others are very minor secondary characters.
1. Dan Stensrud, known as Tracker. Hero. Son of Emma Two Birds, nephew of Muddy Wolf, a member of the Wolf Clan of the Lakota who prefers solitude. Too restless to ever stay in one place long, he rides over the prairies of Nebraska and the Dakotas. He’d like a wife, but no woman could keep up with him on the trail, and he can’t live in a town.
2. Tami Casper. Heroine. Survivor. Refuses to be a victim and struggles to regain her self confidence after finding safety at Taye’s den. And after her experiences with the men in Greasy Butte Tami can’t imagine any husband being acceptable no matter how much pressure is put on her to marry.
3. Rose Turner. A teenaged crash survivor who has made a place for herself at Taye’s den and swears she doesn’t want Sky for a mate.
4. Connie Mondale. The only surviving member of the crashed plane’s crew, leader of the Plane Women. She has no intention of allowing a husband to be foisted on her until a certain wolf changes her mind.
5. He Eats Jelly, known as Jelly. Fourteen year old wolf in Taye’s den. As the youngest member of the pack he is saddled with the worst chores.
6. Sherry Rowe. Plane crash survivor who rejects the wolf who has chosen her for his mate.
7. Richard Dickinson. Well to do rancher who visits the Plane Women frequently in hopes of securing a wife.
8. Father John. Priest at Grand Island’s St Mary’s Basilica.
9. Des. Taye’s Beta wolf. He seems sleepy, placid and slow moving until someone annoys the woman his wolf loves.
10. Renee Mathis. A plane crash survivor who was a chef at a posh St Paul restaurant, she takes cooking with primative equipment as a challenge. The wolf who has chosen her as his mate is proud of her culinary skills.
11. Neal Overdahl. A respected young man engaged to be married to Taye’s favorite little cousin.
12. Faron Paulson. One of Kearney’s civic leaders, he has finally found a woman to marry.
13. Kills Bears. Emma Two Bird’s second husband. Tracker respects and loves his stepfather, who gives him some very good advice.
There! A few people you’ll meet in Wolf Tracker.