Sunday, July 31, 2011


Another Sunday, another six sentences! Again, we're taking our six from I.O.U. SEX, the story of three women who track down their high school boyfriends to give them the sex they never allowed years before. In this scene, Kiki has rendezvoused with her old boyfriend Greg (who's now a televangelist), but things aren't going exactly as she'd envisioned.


  Kiki crawled onto the bed like a tigress stalking its prey, leaned against Greg, and slid her hand up his thigh. "First let's see what you've got," she growled. She felt Greg stiffen. When her hand reached higher, she realized the stiffness was in his spine and not where she'd hoped.


     Greg grasped Kiki's shoulders, then her hands, and shoved her onto her back, pinning her arms over her head. "Submit," he hissed.

To return to the Six Sentence Sunday list and read six sentences from a plethora of talented writers, click here: Six Sentence Sunday. Thank you, Sarah Brookes, for hosting. 

Photo source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


And the heat here in Texas goes on.....and on.....and on! Can you believe this number? I took this photo today, but I could have taken it for the past 30+ days. You see, Mother Nature has been playing havoc with her heat surprises here in North Texas for the past month. I can assure you that although this sign said +108 degrees F., the heat index was much, much higher. And remember, if you have an outside temperature of +108 degrees, then the temperature inside a car is about +140 degrees or more. Yikes!

This all started here in the Lone Star State back near the end of June/early July when I flew to visit my friend and co-author, Sandy, who lives in Washington State. We were about to do our first "book signing". Hooray!

When I left Dallas Love Field to fly the friendly skies, it was 103 in the shade in Dallas. But while I was in the Pacific Northwest, it was cool and wonderful, and I completely forgot about the heat back home. Only once while I was there did the temperature reach eighty degrees, and those folks up there actually thought that was hot. Little did they know what "hot" really meant.

When I flew out of Seattle to head back home, the early morning temperature was a lovely 51 degrees, and I was wearing a jacket. However, when I got back to my old stomping grounds, the jacket went back into my closet, and it may never see the light of day again. I fully expect these +100 degree temps to be around for a l-o-n-g time to come. After all, it isn't even August yet!

~ Miss Pickles (alias Sandra) who is melting as the heat goes on.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


     We're delighted to announce that the winner of an eBook copy of I.O.U. SEX is "shadowestr." Thank you to everyone who took the time to read our blog tour post, and an especially warm thank you to those who added their comments and entered our contest. We sincerely appreciate your interest.
     Be on the lookout for future blog tours -- with more chances to win.

XXXOOO from Sandy and Sandra.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Thank you to everyone for stopping by to read our six sentences every week. And a big thank you to Sarah for hosting! This week we're again posting Six Sentences from I.O.U. SEX. In this scene, Kiki's wearing red stilettos, purchased especially for her seduction of Greg. 

     Kiki gasped, surprised that Greg's touch aroused her, and took a deep breath.
     Maybe I should try to relax and see if this can't be fun. At least I'll go home with an orgasm.
     She stepped out of the dress and slipped her foot out of one of her shoes, ready to get into bed and under the sheets.
     Greg's voice sounded shaky but insistent when he spoke. "Leave the shoes on."

6 Sentence Sunday is the creation of Sara Brookes. To read contributions from other writers or to join in the fun, click on this link: Six Sentence Sunday

Sunday, July 17, 2011



We've traveled around the U.S. and seen a bit of the world – together and separately - and there are many spots that we each will never forget. Here's a tour of just a few of those treasured places.

Portomarin, Galicia Region of Spain
Over 1,000 years ago, pilgrims began walking the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) across Spain. It's mentioned in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales! In the Middle Ages, criminals were sometimes allowed to walk the route as penance for their crimes. Those who successfully completed the journey received a certificate issued by the Cathedral in Santiago. This document served as a get-out-of-Purgatory-free card to sinners who returned home with this evidence of their feat. Villages also sometimes sent emissaries to the Santiago Cathedral to pray for rain or for relief from plague. The Camino is a popular pilgrimage to this day.
Sandy N: Along with my daughter-in-law and her mom, I walked for three weeks and covered the segment of the Camino Francés route from León to Santiago de Compostelo. I was 59 years old at the time, so I'm pretty proud of that accomplishment. Staying in hostels, eating local food, drinking local wine, meeting a variety of people from a variety of nations - my walk on the Camino was an experience I'll treasure always.
Sandra A: And I got to live vicariously through Sandy as she called and sent emails to let me know how her aching feet felt during her amazing feat!

Estes Park Aerial Tramway
Prospect Mountain

Known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is located in north central Colorado. The first people to visit the area, Native Americans, hunted in this valley during the summers; John Estes and his family founded a cattle ranch here beginning in 1859. Surrounded by nationally protected lands and by mountain peaks ranging in elevation from 8,500 to over 14,000 feet, the valley's beauty has drawn visitors since the late 1800s. This picture shows the tramway that takes visitors to the top of Prospect Mountain, overlooking the town. 
Sandra A: Estes Park was my honeymoon destination back in the dark ages. Now my daughter lives in Colorado, so I often get to take a side trip to this beautiful treasure. I'd live there if I could!
Sandy N: Sandra and I took this gondola ride together in 2005. I love the entire state of Colorado! The mountains are breathtakingly beautiful, the ski slopes are awesome, and the people are friendly every place I've been. Estes Park is located among some of the most gorgeous scenery I've seen anywhere.

Back in the mid-1600s Louis XIV moved his government to Versailles and expanded it into one of the largest palaces in the world. The opulent palace later became the home of Marie Antoinette, and to this day it remains a treasure to the French people. The palace, furnishings, and gardens are among the most beautiful in the world.
Sandra A: Having visited Versailles, I can unequivocally state that it is a treasure to behold. The gardens are breathtaking, and I wouldn't mind being the queen who lived in the rooms that were gilded with gold.
Sandy N: Although I have been to France, I have never been to Paris. A visit to Versailles is near the top on my list of places to see.

Mount Rainier National Park
Paradise Area

At 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is the fifth highest peak and tallest volcano in the contiguous United States. The Paradise area of the park (at 5,420 feet) receives an average of 680 inches of snowfall every year. That's nearly 57 feet! We've both experienced The Mountain (as Washingtonians call it), and two of our characters from I.O.U. SEX walk its hiking trails.
Sandy N: I live in the Pacific Northwest, and Mount Rainier is a vista I never tire of enjoying. During our rainy winters, it sometimes hides for weeks at a time, but when The Mountain is out, the majestic peak dominates the landscape.
Sandra A: On one of my visits to Washington State, Sandy and I drove to Paradise on Mount Rainier. I can certainly see how it earned its name!

We hope you've enjoyed visiting a few of our treasured places. As a thank you, we're giving away a free download of I.O.U. SEX from Smashwords. (Even if you don't own a Kindle, the book can be downloaded to your computer, iPad, Nook, etc.) Just post a comment below, giving the name of your treasured travel spot and include your email address (for notification in case you win). We'll put your name in the pot for the drawing on July 26.  

To continue your quest for treasure, check out the next blog. No telling what gems you will find here:

Here's more info about the Treasure Quest blog tour.


1)  HAVE FUN!!!


3)  THIS TOUR STARTS:  Monday, July 18, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
      THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, July 25, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
      Winners will be drawn and posted July 26th! *** 




***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of  win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***


         This week's Six Sentence Sunday entry is again from I.O.U. SEX, the story of three friends who make a pact to find their high school boyfriends (years after graduation) to give them the sex the women vetoed back then.
         In this scene, Kiki has agreed to meet her ex-boyfriend Greg in a hotel suite. Greg is a televangelist, and the suite is kept by his ministry. Kiki's curious about Greg and what goes on in this room. It doesn't take long for her to find out.

Red Heart Paper Doilies Royal Lace - 6" - 18Pack
Moving closer, Greg reached behind her and lowered the zipper down the back of her dress. He eased it off her shoulders and let it slide to the floor, revealing a lacy red bra and matching thong underneath. 
Greg whistled. “Honey, you’re enough to make a man forget the Seventh Commandment.” He stroked her breasts through the lace.

         Kiki gasped, surprised that his touch aroused her, and then took a deep breath.

For more Six Sentence Sunday snippets (or to add your own), click on this link: Six Sentence Sunday. Thank you, Sara Brookes, for hosting.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Romance Novels Addictive?

Some of you might be interested in my essay on the dangers of reading romance novels, posted a couple of days ago on the Boomers and Books blog. I'd love some feedback!

Here's the link: Romance Novels Addictive?

One thing that troubles me is that the "experts" present this as being a widespread concern -- almost an epidemic! Do you know anyone who suffers from this affliction? 

Sandy N.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Make it News

Every week I receive a newsletter from Angela Hoy at WritersWeekly. Today's issue includes an article about approaching news releases from a different angle. I hope all you writers find this as interesting as I did.
~ Sandy N.

Press Releases Are Boring - News is Not 
By Angela Hoy

     Just about every journalist and periodical editor has received countless press releases by email, fax and mail. While at we don't publish press releases, and never have, we are still inundated with them on a daily basis for everything ranging from publishing services to insurance for the self-employed. But, we get far more "new book release" press releases than anything else. And, let me tell you, even though I'm an avid book reader and buy several books each month, it is very rare that I receive a new book press release that keeps me interested past the first sentence.
     The biggest mistake you can make is to begin the title of your new book press release with "New Book", or "Just Released", or some other boring line like that. Since the proliferation of self-publishing companies, there are now so many new books released each day that nobody really cares anymore.
     What you absolutely MUST do to get the press and the public interested is to make your press release a news story. And, news stories, good ones anyway, don't simply announce new books that have come on the market. They make the book or the author today's news.
Let's use a real book as an example. author Melanie Bowden wrote Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me? True Stories of New Motherhood. Her book includes stories from women whose post-partum experiences were far from ideal. Rather than distributing a press release that just mentions her book is available, she could, instead, create a news story based on recent headlines involving post-partum depression.
     She doesn't need to rely on the headlines to get attention, however. Melanie could make her own news story and use any or several of the women in her book as subjects for that news story. From colic, to unexpected c-sections, to breastfeeding problems, Melanie could create a variety of press releases that would be of interest to publications serving women and parents.
     When you write an "article" that is, in essence, promoting your book, it is a press release. When you make that press release an article, the press is much more apt to grab your story and run with it. You've not only given their readers a great story (and only a tiny, subtle marketing blurb), but you've also made a journalist's job much easier that day! They won't need to rewrite what you've written, and may only need to make a few changes, or none at all. What more could a journalist (and a hopeful author) want?!
     Okay, let's look at another book. What's Your Anger Type was written by Peter Sacco, Ph.D. It teaches people how to learn to identify, control and modify their anger immediately. He could attempt to get press when violent acts make national headlines, when the perpetrators were, obviously, angry at someone or about someting before acting. When you're an expert in a certain area, as Peter is, it's not only easy to get press for a new book (provided your press release is a newsy article), but you may also be added to the journalists' experts database where they can call on you for future interviews when news stories require that type of expert.
     When releasing fiction, you can almost always think of a newsy slant, not only concerning the book, but also about you, the author. Perhaps comments you've already received from readers might give you some help? Cheryl Hagedorn, author of PARK RIDGE: A Senior Center Murder, could start her press release with something like this:
"Readers Object to Author's Use of Banana as Murder Weapon" (Click HERE for more information if you're curious.)"
     If you just can't think of anything, you can send out a fictitious news release/article that teases readers. For example, for the book Olsegon: Wolfwood Forest & Massacre Island, author Bill Boudreau's press release could begin with something like this:
Fictional Town of Olsegon Stunned - Location of Missing 14-Month-Old Boy Revealed
Coming up with these types of hooks is actually quite fun! If you're having a hard time finding a newsy slant to your book or about yourself, ask people who have read your book if they have any ideas. And, of course, don't discount your fellow writers! I can imagine a flurry of creativity if an author were seeking this type of help on the WritersWeekly Freelance Forum.
Always remember: Press releases are boring. News is not.

Angela Hoy is the co-owner of and is the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
This article may be printed/redistributed freely as long as the entire article and bio are included.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


We're once again contributing six sentences from our novel I.O.U. SEX. It's the story of three women who make a pact to track down their old high school steadies to pay them back for the sex they never gave them. Prior to this scene, Kiki has learned that her former boyfriend is now a minister who preaches against homosexuality, and she's appalled by his message. She has discovered he will be speaking at a fundraising event, and she is determined to talk to him face to face. Here's what she encounters.

Kiki stood on tiptoe to see a man with bright pink hair shaking his fists above his head. A conga line snaked behind him, dancing through the crush of protestors. Soon more people joined the mix, pumping their placards up and down to the rhythm, marching behind their leader. Some thumped plastic buckets, drumming their outrage in a staccato beat while others blew whistles or tooted kazoos, creating a cacophony of noise.
            When a TV van arrived, the crew’s bright lights brought the protestors’ signs into sharp focus—Ban Homophobia, GLBT Power, We’re God’s Children Too. The whole scene reminded Kiki of the 1960s, but those signs had read—Make Love, Not War and Hell No, We Won’t Go

6 Sentence Sunday is the creation of Sara Brookes. To read contributions from other writers or to join in the fun, click on this link: Six Sentence Sunday

Friday, July 8, 2011


Want to read a free sample of I.O.U. SEX? It's easy. Click on this link to the Smashwords website: Free Sample. Then scroll down to "Online Reading - View Sample." Click on that and the first chapter will come up.

We hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


This week we're including another six sentences from I.O.U. SEX. In this scene, June is remembering a weekend when her boyfriend from Texas drove all the way to Berkeley to visit her at UC. This took place in the mid-1960s.  

When he went inside the motel office to register, June waited in the darkened car, alone with her thoughts. Without Denny by her side, doubts and fears flashed through her mind as quickly as the blinking neon vacancy sign outside the car window. She thought of the other college co-eds who had surely been to this motel before her—maybe even girls from her dorm—and wondered whether they'd shared her misgivings. In late night confessionals, some of her dorm-mates had laughed at her naïveté, calling her old fashioned, amused by her good-girl ways. They shocked her with their drinking, cussing, and smoking; and their open attitudes towards sex left her wondering if she was the only virgin left in California. Though she'd moved to the most liberal college in America, she'd brought her Texas values with her.

6 Sentence Sunday is the creation of Sara Brookes. To read contributions from other writers or to join in the fun, click on this link: Six Sentence Sunday