Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toledo Talks - Blood Moon and Thunderstorms

Toledo Cats
I know I shouldn't complain about rain in April. It is necessary for the plants to grow. However, I am glad we had a few dry days so I could plant my broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi on Sunday. Thankfully, they are cold-hardy, so they won't be bothered by our frosty morning.

Khrou-ach and Sassafras battle
In honor of the rainy days of April, we are participating in the Rainy Day Reads blog hop. All you have to do is subscribe to our monthly newsletter and you will be entered to win a free signed paperback copy of Rips in the Weave and The Desert Rose. These novellas go together because they are both about how my Aunt Delilah drug my Mama into a battle with Khrou-ach, the God of Storms. Everyone who subscribes to the newsletter will also receive a free coupon for a Rips in the Weave ebook, plus a pdf pre-release chapter from our upcoming release Striking Angels as soon as it's ready for other eyes to see.
I'm also glad the skies cleared off last night so we could get a glimpse of the lunar eclipse and that beautiful blood moon. I think even Regan was impressed by the way Mars shone red to the upper right of it. Unfortunately, Hanover didn't set up his professional photography equipment, so we only have the snapshot Mary took to share with you.
Blood Moon - April 15th
I hope you got to see it for yourself. It was worth it, even though I'm a little groggy this morning.

Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to fill out the subscriber form to win your prize and visit all the other blogs on the hop. 

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Scramble - Angels in Hell's Kitchen

Mary O'Malley
Good morning, everyone. I hope you had a good week. We're in need of some decompression here in the Dime Store Novel world. Most of us have been hard at work getting ready for some exciting announcements. Regan, on the other hand, is convinced that Hanover pranked her on April Fool's Day. He denies it, but she won't leave it alone. So that hasn't helped one bit.

Here's the solution to last week's scramble. The quote is from From the Gator's Mouth, the urban fantasy novella that tells the story of Hanover Fists' birth.

She watched  his eyes widen as his boat moved back away from him. “Now children, it is not nice to play with your food,” Agatha giggled softly.

abto - boat
glegigd  - giggled
ildcenhr - children
odfo - food
lypa  - play
chwedat  - watched

This week's scramble is from Angels in Hell's Kitchen, the urban fantasy novella that begins my father's story. 

O'Malley watched the late night __________ dribbling in, their eyes half closed. As they caught sight of O’Malley in the __________   shirt, their eyes __________. Most __________, but one __________ his eyes with worry.


Solve the scramble by filling out the form and receive a coupon for Angels in Hell's Kitchen. Any ebook format is available.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Toledo Talks - Companion Gardening

Nothing says springtime like gardening. I didn't start any seeds this year, so today I visited our local nursery and bought my winter-hardy vegetable plants -- kale, broccoli, chard, cabbage, and kohlrabi. I love fresh greens, so I tend to plant a lot of them. My plan was to go home and plant them before dinner.

Unfortunately, before I got home, it started to rain. So my planting plans were put on hold. Instead, I sat down and sketched out some rough plans of where I'd plant this year. Choosing the right companion groupings is important, not only for natural pest control, but also because some plants affect the flavor of other plants. For example, planting kohlrabi stunts the growth of tomato plants. Tomatoes stunt the growth of carrots. Basil makes tomatoes taste better -- as if most tomatoes don't taste good enough on their own.

It's a big puzzle and I should have asked Hanover to help me with it. He loves puzzles. But he was busy calming Regan down about some foolish monkey thing he did to her. I'm sure she'll fill you in on all that later. So here is the plan I came up with. It's not perfect and I'm sure I'll modify it some as I start planting. It also doesn't show the herbs and flowers. I like to intermingle them with the vegetables in a more natural way. There is nothing like the smell of fresh basil to perk you up when you're weeding the tomatoes or checking the squash for squash bug eggs.

Are you planting a garden this year? I'd love to hear what you do to help it thrive.

Here's some more information about companion gardening.
Golden Harvest Organics
An In-Depth Companion Planting Guide

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Scramble - From the Gator's Mouth

Happy Sunday (albeit a bit late in the day). Sorry...the sun is out and I had things to take care of this morning. I have a feeling something strange is going to be taking place soon. Hanover's been on edge for over a week -- something to do with Regan and some silly monkey. I guess we'll know soon enough. Until then it's just business as usual.

Here's the solution to last week's scramble:

A whorl of white and silver fell across her forehead and she let it hang there. “Yes, but no. We could give his soul a fairy body, or even a goblin’s, but that wouldn’t be fair to him. He’s lived a mortal life. I think he’d miss it."

irfay - fairy
sulo -soul
rlmtao  - mortal
horwl  - whorl
erilvs  -silver
dorehefa - forehead

This week's scramble is a quote from From the Gator's Mouth, the book that tells the story of how Hanover Fist was born.

She ____________ his eyes widen as his __________ moved back away from him. “Now __________, it is not nice to __________ with your __________,” Agatha __________ softly.


Solve the scramble by filling out the form and receive a coupon for From the Gator's Mouth. Any ebook format is available.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Regan Rants - L'Wren Scott RIP

Regan Worth
You know what I hate? I hate when I wake up in the afternoon and find out someone I really admire has gone to another realm and can't come back. Case in point - L'Wren Scott. 

Now I don't stick with specific designers and I never have. But some of her fashions were brilliant. take this dress, for example. I would look stupendous in this dress. Not that I ever wore it....or had anywhere to wear it to, or the figure to wear it, but it is fab. Look at how the neckline plunges and accentuates the hips.  It's a dress a girl can really show off. Sure, so Toledo's curves would fit this dress better than mine -- but it would look okay on me too.

This dress, on the other hand, is so Mary O'Malley. I mean, it is seriously spinster-librarian, with the bow in front and the cute little white collar. You couldn't even wear lipstick with that dress *whispers* and Mary doesn't wear lipstick...not a dash. 

So yes, this dress is perfect for my friend Mary. I wouldn't wear it in a million years, but Mary would feel right at home in it. The black would offset her red hair too...although she rarely wears black. She seems to prefer pale colors. Wrong...just totally wrong for her complexion.

Now this dress, on the other hand, is totally me. It fits my slender shape...so curves are not my strongest point. And I have always loved beads and a bit of jagged -- fringe -- whatever. I don't like the straight-laced stuff. Give me a little zip...a little zag.. a little edge. This is a dress I could totally see myself wearing when I'm having a good time and showing just enough leg to be mysterious.

You were a talented lady, L'Wren Scott. You were young and beautiful and you understood the shape of a woman -- all of us. You had a spark for designing something for every personality. The world will miss your talent. Rest in Peace, brilliant lady. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Toledo Talks - Working the Soil

Toledo Cats
Maybe the snow still covers the ground in some places, but down here in New Orleans, I can smell the soil. It calls me and makes me want to dig my hands into it and feel the worms squirm out from between my fingers. My family has always worked the soil.

Mama kept a garden, even after we moved to town. Each spring, I helped her plant herbs and flowers. She would tell me their purpose. Mama barely ever planted anything without a purpose. It's how she grew up. Of course, Mama could always find a purpose for just about any plant. Why would the Great Mother have put them here with no purpose?

Yes, I smell Mama in the springtime. But I also smell my Uncle Jesse. While Mama planted small gardens with her hands, Jesse planted fields of sugar cane. He would work all morning and come in for dinner around noon, glistening with sweat and grinning ear to ear. "The ground's good this year," he'd say. "We're gonna get ourselves a good crop of cane sugar." His eyes would glisten and by the time I was older, I knew cane sugar meant rum and rum meant sales...especially to Grumwald. But when I was younger, I was content to sneak into the fields and listen to him sing. Jesse's voice was so deep and wonderful. It transported me to other worlds...worlds I had not been to and neither had he....worlds he had learned of from the stories told by his father...my grandfather...who I never met.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Scramble - The Desert Rose + All Things Irish Blog Hop

Welcome to the Sunday Scramble! This week, we're happy to be part of the Leaping Leprechauns and Frolicking Fairies: All Things Irish blog tour. Thank you to Candace's Book Blog and Gin's Book Notes for hosting this blog hop.

Last week's scramble was from High Rollers, which is on sale for $1.99 until midnight tonight Mountain Time. Here's the solution:

As Regan stepped into the casino, the first thing she saw was her own reflection smiling from jagged mirror shards arranged haphazardly to look like stalactites

ardhazlyhap - haphazardly
niligsm - smiling
romirr - mirror
lacstaestit - stalactites
sincao - casino

This week's scramble is from The Desert Rose, the sequel to Rips in the Weave. Hint: You can get a still get a free copy of Rips in the Weave by visiting Toledo's post below and filling out the form.

In keeping with the theme of the blog hop, this quote is about fairies. That's a hint.

A __________ of white and __________ fell across her __________ and she let it hang there. “Yes, but no. We could give his __________ a __________ body, or even a goblin’s, but that wouldn’t be fair to him. He’s lived a ____________ life. I think he’d miss it."


Good luck!
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