Posted by Jeanne Adams Nov 22 2016, 12:08 am in Anna Campbell, Anna Markland, Barbara Devlin, Catherine Kean, Elizabeth Rose, Hildie McQueen, Jeanne Adams, Joan Kayse, Jordan K Rose, Kathryn le Veque, Lana Williams, Meara Platt, Sandy Blair, Suzanne Ferrell, Tina DeSalvo, Under The Kissing Bough
Hey everyone!! Happy (early) Thanksgiving! You need something to take the pressure off and help you get through Thanksgiving with your family.
Really. You do.
How about 15 FABULOUS, fun, happy tales of love under the Mistletoe? Mischief, reunions, magick, and happily ever afters abound in these fifteen gems from authors in all genres.
Need a historical taste of love under the kissing bough?
That would be regency from Barbara Devlin’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me; medieval from Kathryn le Veque’s Upon a Midnight Dream, Catherine Kean’s One Knight’s Kiss, Anna Markland’s Unkissable Knight, and Elizabeth Rose’s Destiny’s Kiss and Meara Platt‘s If You Loved Me; mail-order brides from Hildie McQueen’s Christina, A Bride for Christmas; Victorian in frequent Lair Guest Sandy Blair’s Tartan Bows and Mistletoe; Regency from our own Bandita, Anna Campbell’s Mistletoe and the Major!
For spirited tales of love, adventure and magick, you’ll want my contemporary paranormal A Yule to Remember and Jordan K Rose’s Her Vampire Protector, and for a little Historical paranormal fun, there’s Lana William’s Dancing Under the Mistletoe and our own Joan Kayse’s An Irish Gift.
For a contemporary romp with wonderful fun try Tina DeSalvo with Hunt for Christmas and our own Suz Ferrell returns to her town of Westen with Close to Santa’s Heart.
There’s nothing more fun at this time of year than the magic of love! I’m so excited about this set. I’ve read several of the stories and I can tell you they are captivating, LOL funny in some places, joyful, poignant, and perfect.
I know you’ll enjoy them as much as I have.
So….I’m giving away 5 copies of Under the Kissing Bough to commenters today!! Just tell me…
What’s your FAVORITE mistletoe story? Did you steal a kiss? See Mama kissing Santa Claus?
If you don’t have a favorite mistletoe story from your own life, let’s talk carols!! What’s your abso-favo Christmas/Holiday tunes? Mine are the Hannukah Song, O Holy Night, O Come, O Come Emanuel, Adeste Fideles in Latin, It caem Upon a Midnight Clear….so many favorites! Tell me yours!!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Mar 22 2016, 11:40 pm in Anna Sugden, Charming the Professor, Death Under Glass, Jeanne Adams, Joan Kayse, RITA contest, Susan Sey, Suzanne Ferrell, Trish Milburn
Can you feel the anticipation?
This Friday, March 25th, Romance Writers of America will announce the finalists for the various RITA and Golden Heart categories. Every author on this blog knows how it feels to be a Golden Heart finalist (Ahhh…those were the days!) as it was through the Golden Heart contest that we all met. However, the RITAs, the peer-judged contest for published Romance, is a step above as the entire book is judged and the competition is fierce.
So that’s what I’d like to talk about today. The RITA contest and the quest for the golden statue on the left. How it all works and which of us are in the running this year. I’m scattering the bandita books entered throughout the post. Be sure to look for your favorites. If you click on the title, it should take you straight to Amazon for purchase 🙂 .
Everything starts in October of the preceding year. That’s when the entry process begins. Registration opens promptly at 9:00 am central time and there’s a mad crush to get one’s book entered. You see, the contest can only accomodate 2,000 entries. Everyone with a book that has a copyright date of 2015 is eligible to enter. This is the only opportunity to enter the RITA contest, as a 2015 book can’t be entered in a later year. Self-published titles as well as traditionally published titles are eligible to enter one of 11 different categories. Those are Short Contemporary Romance, Mid-length Contemporary Romance, Long Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance Long, Historical Romance Short, Inspirational Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance novella, Romantic Suspense, and Young Adult Romance
This year, I’ve entered my New Orleans time-travel, Charming the Professor, in the Paranormal category. In the past, I’ve had books in the historical categories so this is a bit of a first for me.
The next step is to turn in five printed books (no ebooks are accepted) so that five published author judges can read the work. An author can not judge a book entered into a category they’ve entered themselves, so it’s possible that one is assigned a judge that is not a fan of your particular genre. Hopefully, the book is strong enough to win them over. A cone of silence surrounds the books one is assigned to read. A judge can’t divulge the titles or the authors so no one knows who is reading what.
Jeanne Adams entered her novella Death Under Glass in Capitol Danger. A connected series of novellas by banditas Suzanne Ferrell, Nancy Northcott and bandita friend JD Tyler.
Each of the five judges is allowed to give a score from 1.0 to 10.0 (with 10.0 being the highest). Currently, no guidelines are given on how to judge the works. Each judge makes up their own system, but, in general, if the book is excellent, it will receive all high scores. Currently, the top score and the lowest score are dropped, so only the three median scores count. In 2014, I about cried when my one 10.0 score was tossed out for The Whisky Laird’s Bed but as the top scores are tossed out on all books, the work must be excellant to more than one judge. In addition, each judge must answer two questions: Does the story contain a central love story? Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optomistic? if the story receives three negatives responses to either question, the book is disqualified.
Taking a turn from her normal thrilling romantic suspense books, Suzanne Ferrell has entered Turner’s Vision in Long Historical.
The scores must be turned into RWA by Early March where they tabulate the scores. The top 4% become finalists. However, no category can have fewer than four finalists, and no category can have more than 10 finalists. That means that in the popular categories, those scores have to be super high, while there’s some leeway in the less popular categories. This pool of the top 4% make up the finalists that will be announced this Friday. Truly being a finalist is a distinct honor as being the best of the best, but this is not the end of the contest.
Trish Milburn has three books in this year’s RITAs. All are entered in Contemporary Romance- Short The Doctor’s Cowboy, Her Cowboy Groom, and The Heart of a Cowboy Those are some great looking cowboys!
Which is a good thing as a great cover is important in winning a judge’s favor.
After the finalists are announced, a panel of judges takes over. All the finalists books in a category are read and scored in ordinal order: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The books winning the 1st designation are a highly guarded secret and isn’t unveiled until the big ceremony in July.
Susan Sey has entered Time for Trouble in Long Contemporary. Love this cover as well 🙂
I’ll tell you all right here that my dream is to win the golden statue, but I’d really be content with the finalist’s flag. You see, at the Literacy Signing on the Wednesday before the official start of the July convention, this year in San Diego, all the finalist get a red flag. I’ve been lucky enough to sit by RITA finalist during the signing (Sarah MacLean, and Sally MacKenzie – lovely, lovely ladies) and the line of people wanting to purchase their books is always long. Being a RITA finalist is truly a distinct honor that follows you everywhere in your writing career.
Joan Kayse has entered her Irish Fantasy, Ruarc: Bound by Stone in the Paranormal category.
Finally, the Saturday night award ceremony arrives. There’s numerous parties before the actual ceremony. The ceremony offers the chance to dress up in sequins and glitter. The award presenters are often the winners from the previous year. Nora Roberts always presents the RITA statue to the winner of the Best First Book category. We’re talking major drum rolls while the presenter opens the envelope and announces THE WINNER IS…
Man, I hope it’s one of us. One really cool thing, as a member of the RWA board, I get to call the finalists and let them know that their book was chosen as one of top 4% of all the books entered in their category. Not a small feat, but an excellent feeling. Cross your fingers for us. Let’s not forget:
Anna Sugden has entered A Perfect Catch in Contemporary…but I’m not sure what length. Anna?
My question to you: If you were a RITA judge, what quality would you look for in a finalist?
Posted by Joan Kayse Feb 13 2015, 12:22 am in Joan Kayse, Paranormal romane, romance bandits
Well, I think it’s pretty fitting that my blog day lands on Friday the 13th. It fit perfectly into the theme for this last post.
I am so damn lucky.
Yes, it was a choice to join up with a handful of 2006 GH finalist to build The Lair. I’ve learned a LOT from these ladies about a LOT of stuff…including but not limited to, writing, Indie publishing, networking, the wonder that is Costco 🙂 and loads of other things. Lucky for me we’ll still be together on FB, twitter and other venues. I also had a great opportunity to host some special guests over the years. I suspect it was to keep me from stalking them, but I know you added them to your TBR pile.
The luckiest part though? Was meeting all of the BB’s. I mean to tell you, you all are my friends. You are my readers and you are the BEST cheerleaders a girl could ask for as I took the step to Indie pub my Romans. Oh sure, you bought my books and yes…that’s great as I am career focused as an author (Please God let me be able to go part time as a nurse :0) BUT, more importantly, you liked my stories. THAT matters to me because I love writing stories. Must be the Irish in me 🙂
Here is a photo album from the past eight years:
I know I’ll see ya’ll on FB, Twitter as I launch my new paranormal series. I need the energy and time from blogging as I have 9 books to tell the Leithprachaun clan’s story. To help celebrate, one lucky BB will win a Kindle copy of Ruarc: Bound in Stone on it’s publication (expected by St. Patrick’s Day). Now, I’ll be at work all day today (sigh) but will be able to read comments. Know this….I love you, each and every one!
Posted by Joan Kayse Dec 13 2014, 12:54 am in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Christmas, classic christmas movies, Gifts, Joan Kayse, romance bandits
Just like George Bailey, I thought we’d take a trip back to Christmas’ past in the Bandit time machine. Come closer….gaze with me into the crystal ball. See what we were up to in 2008:
We’ve been very busy here in The Lair getting ready for the holidays. Demetrius cut down the Christmas tree with his gladius and Lucien has been stringing popcorn which has taken longer than we anticipated as he eats two bowls of the stuff for every one that makes it on the string! The GR was in charge of ornaments, flapping up to the boughs to place each ornament just so….which also took extra long as he kept getting distracted by all the shiny balls. The hockey hunks solved that by replacinbroken ones with pucks!
Marcus keeps shaking the packages while Sven insists that today is NOT the first day of Bandit Christmas but Lucia day….a tradition from his home country where it is believed man and beast require extra nourishment……..Stop! Boys! Stay away from the cookies!!!
Yes, we are steeped in tradition, steeped in good will, steeped in eggnogg…..Oh, wait! That’s just Anna C. and AC (squints at shoes sticking out from beneath the table) maybe….Suz???
Tawny, Jo stop standing under the mistletoe winking at the glads….no…no. ack! Jeanne! Stop shaking the packages! No, there is not C4 in the green one…no! Really! Don’t. Shake. It.
Oh, wonderful. Anna S. just breezed in from England with a huge bowl of wassel….like we NEED more alcohol…and now she’s taking down the mistletoe and chasing the hockey guys around!
What? Yes, yes Donna that corset is very pretty in green and red. Oh, my…it lights up…and in the most interesting places. Look, Susan and Kate have just arrived from the cave…..nice Elf hats girls. Do ya’ll hear that? What is that carol Nancy, Caren and Christie are singing? “Deck the Halls with SuperHero Figures”…no, I think the words are…
Stop! Stop! Kirsten, honey really I don’t think doughnuts will hold up as a wreath..the glaze don’t you know. Ah, Christine…just in time….I need help with….what have you got on your head? A candle wreath? You say you’re name is Lucia??? Sven! Sven…come back here and finish the wreath! Beth, Trish….step away from the long, weapon like package KJ just put under the tree…um, don’t put it close to that green package!
Now, excuse me….Cassondra is putting TRUCK NUTS in the stockings!!!!
This party is getting out of control and we haven’t even served the cake…er, pie…er, cake.
(Collapses against reindeer) Never mind. Let’s get on with the Christmas trivia.
**Wow, that was so much fun! Remembering those early days in The Lair. Fond memories of our Bandits who are trailing other paths. Memories of fun with the young cock….er…GOLDEN Rooster! Yeah, that’s the ticket. He’s kind of creaky in the wishbone nowadays. A lot of wonderful BB’s and more characters than you can shake a cock..er, a chicken, er a magical shillelagh
at. I’ll need all of you to get us through the day. I’ll be at work and will only be able to pop in now and again. So once you answer these Christmas trivia questions, post one of your own. Grab some eggnog and let’s do it!
“Naughty, naughty, ooo…nice…”
1. What do the carolers in the song “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” insist they be given?
2. Who wins the decorating contest in “A Charlie Brown Christmas?”
3. Where did the Grinch steal Christmas?
4. When a Ukrainian finds a spider web in their Christmas tree, what does it signify?
5. Who was the first ghost to appear to Ebenezzer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol?”
6. What Christmas song was introduced in the movie “Holiday Inn”?
7. What non-traditonal Christmas movie sports the character Oogie Boogie?
8. What actor won an Academy award playing Santa Clause?
9. What branch of the American military is associated with Toys for Tots?
10. What did Carol Brady lose that jeopardized the Brady’s Christmas celebration?
Posted by Joan Kayse Oct 13 2014, 12:30 am in irish dancing, Irish music, Joan Kayse, mythology, paranormal romance
“This just doesn’t seem right.”
The three BB’s spared him a glance over their shoulders as they dragged Paolo by the wrist down the fifth hall from the left. Crazy women, Paolo grumbled to himself. Didn’t they know The Lair was like one of those magical mazes? You could be in here for years before you find the right portal. Cassondra had insisted on that layer of protection and it was only by the grace of Suz who liked her margharita’s fresh and frozen that all the cabana boys and gladiators had GPS bands on their wrists.
“We have to see what’s going on,” replied the lead BB.
Paolo screwed up his face. They’d managed to keep their faces in shadow or profile, so he hadn’t been able to decide who they were. One had the tone of a school teacher and a definite Iowa accent. He wanted to test that theory but had refrained from shouting “Butter Sculpture Cow” in case he was wrong. Another one was without a doubt an Aussie. She kept calling him a little “joey” and the scent of Tim Tam’s and Lindt chocolate candy swirled around her like an exotic perfume. His stomach growled.
The third? Well, he wasn’t certain, but he’d caught a glimpse of her sweater redolent with pretty kitty pictures. He gave her wide berth as she seemed the more determined one.
But, they could all be Avatars. BB’s were sneaky like that.
“Here,” said the Aussie. “I think it’s this one.”
They’d stopped in front of a large oaken door, similar to the one they’d just eavesdropped at. Paolo was shuffled in front of them.
“Touch it,” commanded the teacher in her best ‘you’ll get detention if you don’t’ voice.
“Why me?” he stammered. I mean this might be the correct one. After all, there was Irish music drifting from behind it, but the doors in The Lair were tricky. It could just as well be one rigged by the RS girls, Jeanne or Nancy. He did NOT want to go BOOM.
“Do it” the three said in unison.
Paolo licked his dry lips, closed his eyes and spread his palm on the wood. The shimmer came in brilliant, rainbow colors. Despite himself, he leaned forward to take in the scene.
“Himself will just have to deal with it.” The woman on the stool raised up from adjusting the strings on her hard shoes and pushed her thick fall of hair out of her face. “Now I’ll start from the third beat.”
“Ye’ll start with taking a longer break,” replied a petite girl with short, spiked hair. She was brushing out Shannon’s dancing dress, a gift from the Leithprachaun High King. He’d tried to say that it was from his brother, Brady but Shannon knew that to be a lie. Brady was determined that she not participate in this competition.
She sucked in a shaky breath. But she had no choice, did she? It was dance. Dance and win to gain Brady all he’d ever wanted.
To save his life.
And her own, if truth be told. She’d be a broken soul, more broken than she’d before meeting Brady Sullivan. Crippled by an auto accident, her dancing career gone, her hopes for happiness shattered into a thousand pieces, the sexy, dark man had pulled her from the abyss. That he ended up being a magical, Irish warrior0 only added to the wonder of it all. And the danger.
“I don’t like it, Shan. Yer not back to 100% ” Siobahan, her assistant and friend shook out the dress. Royal purple shot through with platinum threads, it would mold to Shannon’s body like a second skin save for the flared skirt. The cape was intricately embroidered with the same adding in peacock blue, forest green and gold. The designs were ancient, Patric had said, and would provide protection. Shannon swallowed. She’d be needing it.
She stood and went through the steps, biting back the grimace the pain from her injured leg caused. Brady’s sister had tried to heal it and it was better but would it be enough?
“Maybe a simpler dance?” suggested Siobahan. “A slip jig or a reel?”
Shannon hopped and skipped, her arms straight as arrows. “The requirement is The Dance of the Faire King. I don’t have a choice.”
Siobahan grumbled. “Only the devil himself would ask for something so advanced, with ye in the condition yer in,”
Aye, well. It was the devil who’d put her, put them in this position. “I’ll be fine. I’ll…”
The opposite door flung open, framing Brady like a fierce warrior of old. Siobahan gasped as Patric, Killian and three other of Brady’s Leithprachaun brothers popped in to flank him. Dressed in bracs and tunics they all held weapons. Her gaze flicked to Bridget who’d promised to keep her brother indisposed. She shrugged and gripped her scian tight in her fist.
“Shannon O’Malley,” Brady said in a firm voice. “Ye’ll not be facing this alone.”
The door went solid.
“Holy, shite,” the teacher BB said. “What’s going to happen?”
“Who are those other luscious men?” asked the Aussie said, popping a Red Velvet Tim Tam in her mouth.
Paolo, shaken by the intensity of the scene, shook his head. “It must be a new series by Joanie T. I think I saw something on the Lair Bulletin board. Guardian Isle series?
“When?” demanded the cat lady. “When will we find out?”
The voice came from a shrouded figure, cross-legged and floating three feet off the ground. “The clock is ticking and the stories must be told.
Wow, this is a LOT to take in. Have you figured out who the inquisitive BB’s are? What do you look for in a warrior? Can you dance? Irish dance? (Looking at Susan). Tell us what intrigues you about this glimpse into a brand new world.
Will it be saved?
Posted by Joan Kayse Oct 12 2014, 12:20 am in Ireland, irish dancing, Irish trad music, Joan Kayse, mythology, paranormal romance, romance bandits
“What the?” Paolo put a hand to his chest. He breathed out a sigh of relief at the three BB’s who had snuck up on him. “Oh, sorry. Ya’ll startled me. Can I get you a refreshing beverage?” It was after curfew. Nobody was supposed to still be in The Lair. Those gladiators would have some explaining to do. Not that he was brave enough to do it. He focused back on the BB’s ” No? What was I doing listening at the door? What door? There are lots of doors in The Lair.”
“Shite on a stick!”
Paolo gave a nervous laugh. “You’re right. That was pretty loud considering it was, ah…behind a door. Accent? Oh, there might have been a bit of an accent, I wasn’t really paying any attention.”
The BB’s took a step toward him. Paolo swallowed at their determined expressions. Gladiators v BB’s? Both were forces to be reckoned with. “Ok, ok. It’s a new door, put in by Joanie T. Saw her directing several construction workers in putting in more than a few. You know those Banditas…they’re pretty secretive when they have new projects. But this one, THIS one is intriguing! Whoever’s in there had been going at before I started eavesdropping…er, I mean it caught my attention.”
“Of all the blithering edjits.”
Paolo raised a brow. sent a sideways look to the ladies. “Care to join me?”
The BB’s exchanged looks then grinned. Paolo shuffled out of their way then joined them in a gasp. “Wow,” they said in unison. The door had shimmered into a clear window. “Ssshh…” said Paolo. Let’s listen.”
“The blasted, infuriating woman!” Brady Sullivan fumed as he paced before his brother’s huge stone fireplace. “The stubborn, willful…”
“…beautiful, smart…” added another man lounging in an overstuffed chair. The man favored Brady–black hair, blue eyes the pulsating blue of a Star Wars light saber. Neither were built like bouncers but there lay the advantage when an enemy underestimated the strength and power of a Leithprachaun warrior.
“Aye,” replied Brady, throwing his hands up in the air. “and sexy. Don’t be forgetting sexy.”
The other man smiled. “Never, brother.”
Brady pulled up and sent a menacing glare to his brother. He might be High King of their clan, but he was a major pain in the arse. “Patric, ye’ll be watching what ye say about my woman.”
Patric’s lips curved into a knowing smile.
Brady ran his hands through his hair. “Ah, shite.”
“Now don’t be riling up the boyo, Patric. Ye know he’s on the edge.”
Brady opened his mouth to dispute his other brother, Killian’s observation. But the plain truth of the matter was, he was right. Everything in him was trembling like a bowl of gelatin: his legs, his hands, his thoughts.
“Aye, yer right. I concede it. Shannon’s my woman. Mine.” To protect, to cherish, to love. To die for. “That’s why I can’t be letting her do it.”
Patric sipped on a tumbler of Jemeson’s. “Ye’ve no say in the matter.” Patric raised his hand cutting off Brady’s protest. “Tis the only way. Ye need yer treasure. We need yer treasure…”
“Don’t say it…” warned Brady.
Patric ignored him. “The world needs yer treasure.”
Brady sank into a chair. “And I need her. Ah, shite. Tis a fine mess.”
Patric poured another drink, handed it to Brady. “She’s yer cailin. She chose to do this, to make this sacrifice. Ye can’t deny her that.”
Brady downed the whiskey in one gulp. “Feck if I can’t. I’ll….”
He never finished the sentence but slumped in the chair. Patric waved a hand to keep the glass from shattering on the oak floor. He nodded to the woman standing behind Brady, her hands still glowing from the sedation spell. “Will he be out long, Bridget?”
Bridget nodded grimly. “Long enough…I hope.” She raised crystal blue eyes to her brother. “Will it work out then?”
Patric’s glass filled with amber liquid. “It has to sister. It has to.”
Paolo’s heart thumped in his chest as the door went to oak. Leithprachauns? High King? That was the guy who was hanging out in the barroom just last week. What was going on? What does the world have to do with it? Somebody needs to know about this. If danger’s been brought into The Lair, the Bandits need to know.
“Slow down cabana boy,” one of the BB’s said, “You’re not going anywhere.”
Paolo stared at her. Man, these BB’s were perceptive. “But we have protocols.”
“No protocols for this,” said another. “There are two sides to every story. We need to find this Shannon.”
“But nothing.” The third one grabbed him by the collar. “Show us those other doors.”
Wow, some shenanigans going on and poor Paolo’s in the middle. Who are the mysterious BB’s? Is it one of YOU? Tell us how you managed to break in. What kind of mission is Brady worried about? Give us your best guess.
Tune in tomorrow for She Said…
Posted by Joan Kayse Apr 13 2014, 1:03 am in birthday, Joan Kayse, The Patrician Series
Ok, ok….I’ll get it over with. Today is my birthday.
And I’m stunned.
I look at the year of my birth, calculate the time, divide by days, carry the 2 and dang gone it! How did I get to be the age of my mother??
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am blessed in SO many ways, not just chronologically. But it’s impossible for my mind (my increasingly FORGETFUL mind) to wrap around the age of …I’ll say it. I’ll say it….56!
Wha…wha…gotta stop doing that cause yanno…fractured hips.
In the mirror I see lines and wrinkles. The veins on my hands sometimes raise up (thin skin). I won’t have it! I’ll use every cream, serum, treatment at my disposal! Oh, sure lots of “younger people” get knee replacements and I haven’t graduated to the weekly pill containers…yet but I did have to recently upgrade to an AM/PM one!
And the things that fly out of my mouth (No dentures whew). But things like “Back in the day” or “Nowadays” or “You young people.” Good Lord.
Then you find yourself talking with a friend about the best way to sleep “orthopaedic-ly” to minimize aches, creaks and leg pain. Holy BenGay Batman.
I just can’t correlate what I see in the mirror when inside me…inside me is still this little “whippersnapper.”
Now off to take my cholesterol medicine so I can have birthday cake with my prunes :0
What about you? What was a defining moment when you realized you’d reached an age that surprised you?
PS AARP stop finding me!
Posted by Joan Kayse Mar 13 2014, 12:22 am in Ireland, Irish, Joan Kayse, paranormal romance, St Patrick's Day, travel
I miss my homeland.
What, you might say? You miss Kentucky? The States? Your favorite McDonald’s and Diet Coke?
Nope, I’m talking about the land of 3/4 of my ancestors….Eire. Ireland. The Emerald Isle. My heart.
It’s been six years since my last visit. SIX YEARS! That is way too long, inexcusable considering I spent the first 2/3 of my life not even imagining I would ever visit. The budget is being cruel and alas, it will be a while yet before I return.
But I yearn for my ancestral home.
My first visit started out in a stunned state. We de-barked at Shannon Airport to a cold, cloudy, dreary landscape and I could only think “I spent thousands of dollars for THIS?”
Then we left the airport. Dear. God. In. Heaven. It was as if the spirit of the isle reached into my heart and soul and hugged me. As corny as it sounds, I knew I was home. It only got better from there. So here are some of the things I have been missing:
1. The earth. The sky. The rivers. The coast. The rocks. The birds. The flora, the fauna. The sheep. The sun as it breaks out over stone wall lined pastures after a soft rain. There is a richness to sol’s rays there that does NOT exist anywhere else. And the lakes! Blue is to bland a word to describe the beauty of the water. I’m not a hiker by nature but I tell you walking in the woods there? I knew…just KNEW that if I sat on a log I would become one with the earth. Ahem…I also firmly believed that if I looked under the right rhododendron bush, I’d find the King of the Fae 😀
2. The Irish spirit. Ya gotta admire a people so resilient. They meet their challenges and either beat the crap out of them or dance around them. The honor those who have gone before them, respect those who suffered and then thumb their noses at the cause. Every meal includes the potato in some form or fashion and one particular eatery in Killarney…seriously…served potaotes FIVE ways! Roasted, mashed, chips, boiled, added to pasta.
3. The history. Yeah, in the States you have to go through park gateways to see a lot of our infant past. In Ireland, you drive down the highway and past castles, cemeteries hundreds of years old, thatched cottages that invaders missed (Ha!). It’s just part of life there. Part of who and what the people, the land are. All of it right next door to a McDonald’s that serves the apple pie crusted in sugar with REAL clotted cream!
4. The people. Especially the musicians who play in the pubs. These people are transformed as they play ballads, jigs reels. They connect with another sphere of life as they play the fiddle, the bodrhan (my fav), pipes even spoons. I was only feet away watching an older guy play spoons with his eyes closed as he felt the life of the song. Oh and of course the black-haired, blue-eyed stone mason I oogled…er, watched at work on the Ring of Kerry. Momentous time that lead to the premise of my upcoming paranormal Guardian Isle series.
I could go on and on. While I can’t quite make it back right now, I always have the promise that, just like it has for an eternity, home will always be there for me.
What about you? Have you experienced anything similar in your travels? Have you been to Ireland and what do you miss?
Posted by Joan Kayse Mar 2 2014, 12:12 pm in historical romance, Joan Kayse, roman fiction, The Patrician Series
Happy March! Well, I’m trying to be happy about it. As per usual Kentucky weather, we’ve had wisps of spring dangled in front of us and then bam! 8 in. of snow tonight. I’ll be knitting little sock hats for the robins, while my historical romances conquer the world.
Ok, well conquer in the metaphorical sense. I’ve had a wonderful debut into Indie publishing with my Roman set historicals. I’m proud to be offering stories outside the stereotypical Roman fiction plots involving lions eating Christians and gladiators. There was so much more to the era than the obvious symbols. Everyday people being impacted by the larger Empire but still trying to live and find a happy life…and a love that endures…amid the chaos.
Thanks to you, the readers, my three Patrician series books have consistently been in the top 100 on Amazon for Ancient world romance! The Patrician and Barbarian’s Soul achieved bestseller status and man, did we celebrate! Pickled dour mouse anyone? 😀 No, chocolate was involved.
Within the next month I will release a boxed set out and hope shortly thereafter to have a connected novella out featuring the son of Jared and Bryna.
And then I’ll be taking a sharp turn to the left. My goal for 2014 is release of the first two of a paranormal series based on an alternate Irish Mythology. I’m VERY excited about this project, the first in a nine book connected arc. I hope you will be too.
After that? Well….there are more children among the Romans who grow up and….at least two other of Bran and Bryna’s clansmen who are unaccounted for. What happened to them? Hmmmmm….I wonder.
Now in honor of the new series I give you an old-fashioned Irish blessing:
“May the road rise up to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine warm upon your face And the rain fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand”
Posted by Joan Kayse Feb 13 2014, 2:15 am in animal rescue, cats, Dogs, Joan Kayse, service animals, The Patrician Series, Valentine's Day
It started at a traffic light.
Naw….not “true love”. Nope, Prince Charming hasn’t found me yet, so I doubt he’d find his way to a cross walk 😀
I’m talking about the idea for this post. I watched a young, visually impaired young lady traverse the busy street with her guide dog. Sure, I’ve seen lots and lots of animals helping out those with difficulties (heck, even saw a GREAT DANE a few days later) but it reminded me not only of the love so many of us hold for animals, but the special bond…the love and devotion these guardians have with their helpers.
So the seeing eye dog has been around a long time. Dogs trained to guide their peeps around daily life. All with commands and the help of a working harness. I know the rule is not to pet or talk to the dog like…um…a dog while they are on duty but man I just want to ruff their little faces and say “good job!”
Service animals have expanded SO much. There are now dogs trained to alert deaf people to sounds such as smoke alarms, doorbells etc. Therapy animals who help with detection of illness crisis i.e. imminent seizures or sugar drops. The role of animals has blossomed in the treatment and healing of thousands of veterans suffering from PTSD and children with autism. Autism results for some have provided increased focus, socialization and general increase in contentment.
Common dog breeds according to the Google are Golden Retrievers, Collie, Labrador, German Shepherd though most sites emphasized it was more temperament than breed that led to a helper dog. A main key is training from a young age.
And it’s not only dogs, thankyouverymuch, but many cats have proved to be there for us when we need them. While there is some debate about the trainability of cats for specific efforts (Grayson! Did you just snicker at the word “training”? Hmmm?) there is no doubt that they are attuned to their guardians and their needs. Numerous instances are cited of behavior change when somebody is about to have a seizure etc. Their purring is known to lower blood pressure, decrease cortisol levels, anxiety.
The kittehs. They know. Last August I took a spill at work, slammed my head on concrete, gashed my forehead. I was allright…even drove myself home but I didn’t need to feel alone. Once I settled in my chair I immediately had Grayson on my CHEST staring over his shoulder at me and Cricket about an inch from my face. I’m still working on teaching them to call 911 if I ever need it (they keep licking the tuna off the numbers) but it was very soothing for me and mitigated the effects of the concussion I convinced the doctors I didn’t have 😀
So dogs and cats and also miniature horses who fall under the same ADA guidelines as service dogs (they pull wheelchairs) are geared to give us a hand. Oh! And monkeys! Capuchin monkeys are being trained to help quadriplegics.
So this Valentine’s Day love the one you’re with and love the one who is there for you–kibble and all.
What about you? Do you have a service animal that helps you out? Know somebody who does? How does your pet help you in life? (Anybody got a Husky helping them out in the snow?)