Posted by Joan Kayse Oct 13 2013, 1:51 am in budgets, cats, coupons, Joan Kayse, saving money
Battan down the hatches, kittehs! Lock the doors! Man the barricades. You! You BB’s there! You visitors! Get down! Go toward the moat, move in a zigzag pattern! We’re under attack by the enemy!
I know, kind of a melodramatic opening (the scene was FANTASTIC in my mind though). But yes…my budget is attacking me.
It wasn’t a purely sneak attack. I had clues. I had plans. But then reality stormed the bastion of my LaLa land and bang. Re-evaluation.
I’ve had to take a good, hard look at things. Trim, and snip. Flip and Flop. Strategize and count my eggs….try to resuscitate the cracked ones
I’ve got everything on course and feeling good about it. But one part I could use advice about: Bargain Shopping.
Specifically grocery shopping. I don’t have a huge monthly bill but admit to rarely comparing prices and buying a lot of pre-made things that cost more. I use the occasional coupon but wonder about comparison. Kroger vs. Walmart? Store brand vs. name brand? Family Dollar for tissue? Worth the trip?
Is there an APP for that?
Any good meal plans out there, something that can be trimmed to one or two servings or in the words of Shelby in “Steel Magnolias” something that “freezes beautifully.”
How do you all figure out the best prices? Coupon sites you can recommend. Dates you can have a girl and her two hungry baby cats over for dinner? Tell me the secrets to your budget
Posted by Joan Kayse Aug 31 2013, 12:47 am in gladiators, Historical Fiction, historical romance, Joan Kayse, kindle, Kobo, Nook, rome
Couldn’t pass up the cliché But yes, all our loyal fans and BB’s. Today is the OFFICIAL launch of the third in my Roman historical fiction series, BARBARIAN’S SOUL!!!
But we have to proceed cautiously. No trumpet blasts, no cymbals, no flutes….a very quiet tossing of rose petals. Why, you ask? Because Bran, the hero of BARBARIAN’S SOUL has bad nerves….so bad that they can throw him into defense mode and the cabana boys can’t take that again. Even the seasoned gladiators give him wide berth.
He’s not a bad guy, not in the least,but sold into the arena as a gladiator, forced to kill for the pleasure of the mob has done a number on his soul. He despises Rome and all it stands far. He wants out…now. Only that small kernel of honor holds him back, first to insure his sister’s safety, then to care for three orphaned children. He’s close to accomplishing his goal but then…..things go awry:
A shudder of knowing swept through him. Working in the garden? The girl who looked out of place. The girl in the street. Gods, he should have paid better attention to the warnings. Bran pushed past Paulin and headed for the jeweler’s house.
Servants scrambled out of the way as Bran strode toward the garden. He pushed aside the thought of how the real thief might suffer for the crime. It was a choice they—no, he thought grimly, she—had made. That it had been an ignorant one was not his concern. What was of import to him, was keeping his money.
He bypassed the store room with its open door and walked straight to the cluster of bushes where he’d noticed the girl. Bending down, he reached beneath the shrub and pulled out a handful of wilted flowers. He searched the surrounding dirt, his gaze snagging on the delicate imprint of a foot.
It did not take a hunter’s skill to discern a trail and follow it to the rear of the store room building. There the crushed grass and snapped twigs beneath the lone window revealed where the thief had hidden. Raising his head, he had a clear view of the storeroom.
“What is the meaning of this?” demanded Paulin hurrying to his side, Strabo and Menw in his wake.
“What other entrances are here?”
“What difference does that make?”
Bran leveled a hard glare at the Roman then turned his back on him. He barely registered the bluster coming from Paulin as he circled the bush and found a trail of flattened grass. There was no distinct pattern of steps which indicated the thief had abandoned stealth for a swift escape. His gaze followed the path to an overturned basket wedged against the back garden wall. The basket was still wobbling.
Bran sprinted to the wall, hoisted himself up on the flat top with his arms and looked down into a pair of startled amethyst eyes.
For a moment he felt as stunned as she looked. The memory of her beauty was nothing compared to the face that looked up at him now. It was symmetrical like the facets of a well cut jewel, with high cheekbones, a straight nose and a sharp little chin raised in defiance. Her complexion was soft and unblemished, an olive tone the perfect complement to the wisps of ebony curls that escaped the thick plait hanging down her back. Brows of the same color arched delicately over her eyes, the surprise he’d seen in them moments ago replaced by wariness, the emotions seeming to enhance the violet shade with sparks of light.
But it was her mouth that held his attention. Generous, full, rose tinted lips that needed kissing and the desire to do just that slammed into his gut. That need spiked and his breath caught when she bit the bottom one and tugged on it with small, white teeth before…she stuck her tongue out at him.
Anger evaporated Bran’s lust at the utter gall of the little witch. He set his jaw against the urge to roar his outrage. Instead, he narrowed his eyes and held her gaze, daring her to move as he climbed onto the top of the wall.
As he lifted one leg over the edge, the girl stumbled backwards and dropped the tattered woolen bag in her hands. The sack opened, spilling the silver and amethyst jewelry into the dirt at her feet.
Bran raised his other leg, took his time. Where would she go? She was outmatched and trapped, boxed in by Rome’s endless stone buildings. The mounting look of horror on her delicate features gave him perverse satisfaction. He was not someone to be mocked as many of his opponents in the arena had discovered—just before they’d died at the end of his blade. And he did not take well to being robbed of his money or being accused of a crime he had not committed. That Paulin’s suspicions would have landed on him solely because he was a barbarian did not matter—the girl would pay the price.
He was sitting on the ledge now. One small leap and he would be towering over the girl. A slow, satisfied smile curved his lips as his intense perusal caused her breathing to increase. For a split moment, his gaze drifted to her breasts, pressed snug against the worn wool of her tunic, the full, rounded mounds rising with each anxious breath. A fleeting thought went through his mind that they would fill his cupped hands.
Then his vision caught up with his fantasies.
The girl had taken advantage of his momentary distraction and was frantically scooping up the jewelry into her sack. Bran let out his battle cry and leapt to the ground. The girl spared him one, wide-eyed look before she sprinted off down the street, running like a red deer set in a hunter’s sights.
Will Adria’s bold decision lead to her end or……her heart’s desire?
It’s so satisfying bringing the last of my trio to the readers. These guys have been with me a long while. Still, there were other clansmen captured along with Bran and all three heroes DO have children…hmmmm
Demetrius and Lucien have broken out the sangria the Goddess donated…..1200 BCE…a good year. We have Tim Tams, corn dogs, and dormouse dip. What offering do you bring to honor the heroes of Rome?
In celebration of this momentous occasion I’m offering a complete print set of the series to one lucky commenter.
Let the festivities begin!
*Sign up for my quarterly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/DgJPf
Posted by Joan Kayse Aug 13 2013, 12:15 am in booksigning, fair food, Joan Kayse, Summer Fun
I couldn’t really decide on a single topic for today’s post so thought I’d offer a potpourri of observations and reports about how my summer has gone so far.
The highlight, of course, was attending RWA’s National Conference in Atlanta. 5 spectacular days with my Bandits and many BB’s. Enjoyed rooming with Susan and Caren (Shhh…what happens in room 2511, STAYS in room 2511). Spent quality time with Suz and Jeanne and Christie and tried to catch the ships passing in the night (Tawny, Beth, Anna S. Trish, Kate, Donna and Nancy). Lots of great workshops, standard lunch chicken and exciting awards ceremony where I got to cheer on two finalists from Louisville.
One of the most exciting moments came when I participated in my first booksigning! RWA hosted a Indie booksigning on Thursday afternoon. It was a thrill to see the beautiful covers of my books draw someone’s attention. My cover artist, Lyndsey Lewellen is brilliant. Many people were intrigued and eager to read a historical set in a non-traditional time setting. I handed out all of my books. Was touched when PJ and Andrea from the Romance Dish came by, my roomies who gave me the fangirl treatment and BB Louisa who actually asked to have her picture taken with me! My first fan pic!
Yes, had fun and learned and have completed some of my homework (Suz Ferrell is a stern taskmaster). I’m launching a newsletter this month. Go to my website at www.joankayse.com and sign up to receive the latest news on the upcoming release of BARBARIAN’S SOUL , the Romans and other writing projects.
Babies. Another fun happening was the opportunity I had to babysit my goddaughter’s little girl. A is adorable and while it only lasted an hour, she has my heart firmly in her little hand. Amazing to be listening to Mom instructions from the same little girl I used to cuddle. To see a 10 mo. old push on a cell phone screen with her finger…like she KNOWS how to use it (I had her add a couple of APPS for me :0). The toys are even new and updated. A ring of plastic keys? It now has a fob with buttons on it that make car opening beeps! But there is still hope. For all the advanced playthings she had, she opted to play with the straw in my drink….just like my kitties.
Corn. I bring this up because this time of year here in Kentucky is harvesting time for yummy things like corn. Went to a local family farm/restaurant named Huber’s today. Bought homegrown tomatoes and ate and bought the sweetest white corn. YUM. There’s nothing like it. I even bought a zucchini…..not sure what to do with it, but since I’m trying to eat better…will do something. If all else fails, I’ll roll it in butter.
The State Fair. It starts this week and I can already hear the corndogs calling…er, I mean the healthy zucchini. I’m really excited. I have tickets to go see the Duck Dynasty cast! Have NO clue what they will do but “Hey, Jack!” Uncle Si will be there….with squirrel corn dogs
That’s it for now. I’ve got lots more rambling thoughts but don’t want to hog the blog. What about you? What fun things have you all been up to?
Posted by Joan Kayse Jul 13 2013, 12:39 am in cats, Dreams, Joan Kayse, Romance
No, it was NOT during the last Lair party that got out of hand. Ahem, that was a giraffe and the vet says he’ll be just fine…just a little case of whiplash.
Nope, I thought I’d talk a bit about dreams. I am a vivid dreamer. I dream in color, I feel sensation, emotions. I OFTEN remember what I dream and some of it can be pretty weird. Oh sure, I experience the usual ones: naked, can’t find clothes. Most often that version is I’m shoeless going into work at the hospital, or looking through my closet and finding favorite clothes from my childhood.
I have the loose teeth one that seems to go on forever. It’s like I’m sprouting tons of teeth only to spit! I have a recurring tornado one since we had one when I was in 10th grade. And yes, since I became Cricket and Grayson’s Mom I have a LOT of cat/kitten dreams. If I kept every cat I’d rescued in those dreams? Sheesh, I’d really be a Crazy Cat Lady!
And then there is that one, wonderful dream involving Keith Urban. In that one…….
I wish I were one of those writers who dreams about her stories. Sigh, what I wouldn’t give to have my Irish warriors show up. Instead? I get one where Regis Philbin is my long lost grandfather!
So what about you? Do you dream? What is the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
A random dreamer will win a Kindle or Nook download of THE PATRICIAN’S FORTUNE.
Posted by Joan Kayse Jul 6 2013, 12:47 am in food, Joan Kayse, romance bandits, Summertime
So, it’s pretty obvious in the years since we started the blog that people like to talk about food. The topic came to mind as I write this on the 4th of July….a day celebrating not only America’s independence, but great cookouts and the foods that say in one mouthful– SUMMER!
So here are my top 5:
1. Ice cream. Not just any old pre-formed Eskimo pie but hand dipped in a cone. My favorite flavor is chocolate chip. I’ve recently discovered a little Mom and Pop place less than a mile from my house that has THE best! My taste buds are leaping but my thighs…not so much.
2. Hot dogs. I don’t care what goes into them (and please, I don’t need to know) but there is nothing like a grilled, juicy hot dog on a bun. I’m a plain kind of gal so the most I might put on it would be a slice of cheese. Since it’s a monsoon around here today, I’ll be hitting up the Sonic for my holiday dinner.
3. Potato or macaroni salad. Man, my Mom made THE best! I can replicate the macaroni salad but the potato salad eludes me by THIS much! I can eat bowls of either….another challenge for my hips.
4. Corn on the Cob. I have been craving, sweet, white corn on the cob, slathered in butter, salt and pepper. Messy as all get out to eat but so worth it. Summer wouldn’t be the same without it.
5. BLT’s. The reason I included this is a good BLT will only rank with summer ripe tomatoes. NOTHING compares to homegrown, beefsteak tomatoes layered with bacon, lettuce and ALWAYS Miracle Whip. No, mayonnaise will NOT do. Again, a juicy summer delight but that’s why you can eat it outside over a paper plate….and then run through the sprinkler to clean off
What about you all? What foods say summertime to you? What is your favorite?
Posted by Christina Brooke Jul 3 2013, 12:02 am in A Perfect Distraction, Anna Campbell, Anna Sugden, Barbarian's Soul, Caren Crane, Christina Brooke, Donna MacMeans, Donna Richards, In a Heartbeat, Joan Kayse, Kick Start, London's Last True Scoundrel, Midnight's Wild Passion, Nancy Northcott, Renegade
Hellooo Banditas and Buddies! I’m so pleased to announce that LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL is out and my unrepentant bad boy the Earl of Davenport is unleashed upon the public.
If you are a friend of mine on facebook, you might have noticed I’ve been posting quotes from this book periodically. You might be able to tell I had a LOT of fun writing the battle of the sexes interplay between my straitlaced, no nonsense heroine and my charming rogue. Here’s the blurb:
LONDON’S ULTIMATE BAD BOY…
Physically reckless, irrepressibly roguish and poised on the brink of ruin, Jonathon Westruther, Earl of Davenport, returns from the dead only to throw himself into dissipation. Until he meets his worst nightmare: a straitlaced former schoolteacher he can’t get out of his head. He resolves to seduce the delightful Miss Hilary deVere by fair means or foul. But when his past returns to endanger Hilary, he must protect her at all costs…
MEETS ENGLAND’S MOST PROPER MISS
Dismissed from her post at a ladies’ academy because of prejudice against her uncouth family, Hilary will do anything to avoid going back to live with her loutish brothers. She longs for a London season to show the world a deVere can behave with utmost decorum and find a respectable husband. Everything about Lord Davenport appalls her but desperation makes strange bedfellows. To get to London, Hilary strikes a bargain with the devilish Davenport, confident that she’s immune to his charm. But as she discovers surprising depths beneath his rakish surface, this infamous scoundrel becomes more temptation than even the most proper lady can withstand…
You can read excerpts here.
Today there’s a serious theme to our release party. We’re talking about pants.
Some of you may know that the hero on my cover (modeled by His Hotness, Paul Marron) couldn’t quite decide what colour pants to wear. At first he tried buff. Unfortunately, my publisher thought he looked like he was IN the buff and sent the cover back to the drawing board.
Then they tried pale blue. Ahem. Let’s just say The Author didn’t think the colour accurately reflected her hero’s um, personality. Although I must say, if it works for Daniel Craig…
We ended with a good compromise in dark brown.
So in honour of my hero’s pants, and the most satisfying way he manages to fill them out, I asked the Banditas (many of whom are self-confessed “pantsers”) for pants quotes from their books. I was delighted with the response:
This is from Caren Crane’s KICK START, where the heroine, Linda, and her soon-to-be younger man love interest, Jack, have shown up for the first day of class and Linda is ruminating on apparel:
Today, he wore jeans with holes in both knees and a concert t-shirt from ten years ago. He looked a bit too old for such youthful fashion bravado. Of course, today I wore jeans older than my college-age son, and a tight pink t-shirt that didn’t quite meet my waistband, so I couldn’t throw stones.
And a tssssmokin’ excerpt from Joan Kayse’s BARBARIAN’S SOUL: They are confronting each other in the house’s bath. She’s in the water and he is coming in….
Bran gave no response, only watched her, his features blank save for those green eyes which glittered with a dark emotion she could not define. Her instinct to flee from danger flared hotter. Still holding her gaze, he lifted his left hand and pulled the string at his hip. The piece of linen dropped to the floor.
Love this fun offering from a contemporary romance our Donna MacMeans wrote as Donna Richards, IN A HEARTBEAT. Donna says, “my heroine, Angela, is walking her dog off-leash in a section of a woods that she thinks is empty. Her dog, Oreo, races again and she hears a human cry of alarm.
“What in the– Oreo!”
Angela’s foot caught in the low branch of a bush, propelling her forward, head first into a blur of flannel.
She landed face down in a strange man’s crotch.
“Don’t move!” A strained voice, forced and breathless, warned. Taut denim brushed the humiliating heat of her cheeks. She breathed the deep, musky scent of the man’s most intimate parts. Oreo would be proud, she thought with a shudder.
Antonia is certainly a take charge woman in this tidbit from Anna Campbell’s MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION: “Take off your trousers,” Antonia said in a voice harsh with control. She expected Ranelaw to object to her commands. But he immediately rose from the bed, tugging off his shoes with more haste than grace before shedding his trousers.
From Anna Sugden: “Here’s an excerpt from A PERFECT DISTRACTION. (Christina: Can’t wait for this book!) This is the first time our heroine, Maggie, sees Jake ‘Bad Boy’ Badoletti .
Square-jawed and rugged, with piercing, ice-blue eyes and a crooked grin. He was clearly a warrior of the ice, but his broken nose and scars somehow added to his appeal and made him more intriguing. Unlike the hulking bodies of the thick-necks, Jake had the firm, solid lines of an athlete in peak condition. Lean, corded muscle shaped the snug-fitting black shirt and faded jeans. Exciting and enticing, he brimmed with charm and hints of danger.
From Nancy Northcott’s fabulous RENEGADE:
Suddenly conscious that she wore only bandages and his shirt, Val crouched beside Dare. His glance skimmed her bare legs, and the heat in it made her breath hitch.
He grinned despite the shivers he was probably trying to hide. “I like the new take on combat gear.”
“Your pants would’ve made the wrong fashion statement. Besides, I was in a hurry.”
Don’t forget to go out right now and buy Nancy’s new book, GUARDIAN!
And from LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL:
He really ought to take his wet shirt off, she thought, then blushed as the desire rose in her to see those wondrously muscled shoulders again. This time, not covered in plaster dust. This time, slathered in golden licks of firelight.
His evening trousers were mostly dry. Of course, thinking of his trousers led to thinking of his buttocks, and the tester bed upstairs, and all that pink–
What about you? What sort of pants do you like best on a hero? Do you have a favourite part of a book or movie that involves pants or a wardrobe malfunction? (I’m thinking granny pants in Bridget Jones’ Diary) Who do you think fills out a pair of pants nicely? I’m giving away a signed copy of LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL to one lucky reader today!
Posted by Joan Kayse Jun 13 2013, 12:31 am in Growing Old, historical romance, Joan Kayse, reality
You’ll have to do the math yourself cause I’m not telling. (Ok, a hint….I recently reached the speed limit of inter-city highways :0)
This topic came to mind after I ran into the mother of a elementary school friend. Her first question was “Are you still working?”
Um, yeah because my Prince Charming with the American Express hasn’t arrived yet….his flight must be delayed.
Amazingly, I get this question a lot. Do these people who’ve known me most of my life think I’m that old that I can say adios to the DDJ?
Do they think I’ve met the minimum retirement age? Do I LOOK like I have? That can’t be cause I’m still working on the seventh stage of age acceptance…..
It boggles my mind to be the age I am. Gratitude abounds, of course, but how can I be this old when in my mind and spirit, it was only days ago that I got out of high school…then nursing school. Surely it was only last week that I bought my first house? Went on my first trip to Ireland?
I’ve stayed out of the sun and never smoked, so wrinkles aren’t rampant….pfft…how silly to think a 25 yo has wrinkles… :0
I use creams and lotions and try to watch my diet. I use a SMARTPHONE for God’s sake! That makes me young, right? And I know how to use Google. I can talk the talk “Wassup?”
I stepped out of my comfort zone and am currently stylin’ lavender nail polish on my toes!
Of course, I’m still working!!!
I’ve become very adept at utilizing my delusional skills against point blank evidence. June 4th marked the (gulp) 34th year working at the hospital. For SOME reason, patients often ask me how long I’ve been there (at least they accept that I’m STILL working). On that day I told a room of people of the anniversary. They ooh’d and ahh’d and asked how I would celebrate.
Celebrate? With a couple of aspirin and a stiff drink!
I actually CAN ignore the numerical evidence and have accepted some aspects…achy joints (had those since my 30′s). Accepted a knee replacement NOT because of advanced chronology but 34 years of scrambling up and down concrete floors. That would give a toddler pause. I have successfully dodged the AARP membership cards and only grit my teeth a little when my age group check box on a survey has dropped…again!
But then something happens. I go to have my annual eye exam and am given a new test. “What’s that for?” I ask in my youthful naievte. “Checking for cataracts ma’m”
WHAT??!!!!!! See this hair? It’s blonde, not gray (enhanced, I’ll give ya that). See these cool shoes? They aren’t orthopaedic shoes. Ok, ok…they’re not heels either, but still.
It boggles my mind, the mind that still feels as vibrant as the day Pomp and Circumstance played in the auditorium. At heart, most of us can’t believe we are of the age we are.
When I was doing clinical work for my BSN degree, I worked at a nursing home. One of the elderly residents, lost in the abyss of demntia, repeatedly rolled up to the nurses and asked in a plaintive voice “Where is my mother?” Heart rending to say the least. After multiple gentle distractions, the nurse finally said “Mildred. Do you know how old you are? 88.”
The woman’s face contorted and she wailed “88?!!!!!”
See, even in the recesses of Mildred’s mind, she was not the age she was. Go Mildred!
What about you? Are the signs of maturity creeping up on you? Did they creep up on you? What was your reaction? What is one thing you do to bolster your youthfulness?
Work? What’s that? Pass me a stuffed bunny!
Posted by Joan Kayse May 5 2013, 12:21 am in Derby, historical romance, horses, Joan Kayse, Romance
Be calm people…..not here in The Lair although Goddess knows we have some great ones.
You go first. No YOU go first…
NOTE: Would all BB’s please check the Lost and Found closet on your next visit…it’s overflowing and giving Paolo fits. We also found some “interesting” items….Helen? Are you missing a cricket bat painted with Sven’s face? PJ….girl….is the chocolate fondue pot with glitter dipping sticks yours? And who Bedazzled this riding crop?
No, I’m talking right now, in River City aka Louisville. As I write this, a long shot won the Lilies for the Fillies, the Kentucky Oaks. It was preceded by a parade of breast cancer survivors, one of which is my dear BFF. It’s known as “Derby for Louisvillians” because really? The main event is taken up by rich and famous and out of towners.
Don’t I look posh, darling?
Now, I love the races, go a couple of times a year. Yes, I bet on horses based on their names. Today alone, two drew my attention Kittens Dumplings and Admiral Kitten and dang….one called Fear the Kitten ALMOST got to be in the big race tomorrow!!!
The majority of our city folks don’t go through the root deep traditional or the over blown hoohaha of the actual event. But you always know that it’s Derby week:
1. Expressway signs start changing. Traffic cones delivered to exit ramps. Banners at the local strip clubs “Welcome” Derby visitors.
2. Wednesday is Steamboat race. Exaggerated hoopla with “shenanigans” built-in.
3. Pegasus Parade. Tried to watch it on TV only to come to the realization that parades aren’t parades anymore! The bands, the floats, the celebrities on cars all stop to perform for the camera! I’ve noticed this at the Macy’s day parade too. It’s a parade people! Move along, move along!
Also, on this day, you start noticing private jets flying into the airport. By tomorrow, a huge tarmac will be wing to wing with Lears. Among the well heeled are sheiks…very into racing. Sounds like a Harlequin “The Sheik’s Lost Horse Trainer’s Secret Baby”
4. The Goodyear Blimp arrives. This year, painted as a minion from Despicable Me? Next year, expect a Romance Bandits one
5. Right now a local society couple are having their annual bash to benefit Diabetes. It’s held at their modest mansion in the center of a historically posh neighborhood. Celebrities come, locals in formal wear. Several years ago I was among the onlookers. My friend and had a good view from the rear. It was amusing watching glamorous ladies try to use a Porto Potty in full gowns
So most years I’m a bit blasé about all of it. But this year, my friend and I decided we’d go down to Waterfront Park to the Chow Wagon. Nice area right along the Ohio River. It was a nice day, their were ducks and loads of people watching. Ok, I admit it. We went cause I saw a sign on a newscast for “Giant Corn Dogs”. :0 Didn’t realize they’d cost $10!
Here are some pics from our big party day…
So, I tried to get into the spirit. Had almost made it too. Until we went to leave and I got a Derby surprise. Here’s my imitation of Olympian McKayla Maroney
What about you all? Does your community have any annual festivities?
Posted by Joan Kayse Apr 13 2013, 12:47 am in birthdays, historival romance, Joan Kayse, The Patrician, The Patrician's Fortune
So, who is this mystery girl and why is she wearing a tiara?
It’s ME! Because today is my birthday….oh, yes it iiiisss…
Yep, (mumbles) years ago, my mama gave birth to a Joanie! First born, spoiled, endowed with many wonderful gifts from her wonderful parents, destined to cure the ill and injured and to fulfill her dream of writing for publication! Showered with gifts, (red check stuffed elephant with vinyl ears, Rebecca the doll soon covered with bandaids, Make up vanity, a REAL stereo) I’ve had great birthdays.
The celebrations are a bit more subdued now…spread out as schedules with friends are hard to match up. While I’ve given myself some great presents (trip to DISNEYWORLD *hint, hint* Susan. I mean KY is between Minnesota and Florida..just sayin’) I’ve received many from friends. This years?
1. Flowerpots and dirt. These are per my request ffrom my brother along with dinner at my favorite steak house. It came THIS close to being the adoption fee for a new kitty….but decided I needed to wait on that.
2. One friend is taking me shopping….for new silverware. She and I BOTH noticed while she came to help out during my knee surgery that I only owned 4 forks??? WHO stole my forks?
3. Hugs and snuggles from my baby cats. Though raw tuna is a poor breakfast in bed..shhhh don’t tell them! It’s the thought that counts!
4. The Bandits. And all our BB’s. How lucky is this birthday girl to have so many great friends? Who put up with her?
These are great gifts of course, but I’d love some others. Given that we live in a world of imagination, what birthday presents would you send? A hundred downloads of THE PATRICIAN’S FORTUNE?
If ANY are half naked men…I want them fresh and not over handled
Grab some cake, toot your horn and throw that confetti! It’s my birthday, oh, yes it iiiissss….
Posted by Joan Kayse Mar 13 2013, 12:05 am in ancient rome. The Patrician, historical romance, Joan Kayse, romance bandits, rome, suspense, The Patrician's Fortune
Or rather, in the villa.
That’s right! Today is launch day for the second book in my Patrician series, Damon’s story: THE PATRICIAN’S FORTUNE!
Grab a sangria, a goblet of wine, the gladiator or cabana boy of your choice and recline upon the Roman couches and join me in celebrating.
Damon Primax, spy to a Roman senator has held my heart for a long while. I didn’t even know he existed until in the midst of writing THE PATRICIAN, he strolled in and dang near stole the show! He is clever, wry, self-deprecating, a man forged from life’s experiences with a secret yearning for more than he feels he deserves. He doesn’t believe in luck, most of his having been bad until Julia Manulus’ enters his life. And then…..
Here, try the snail canapes Paolo made. (HINT: It’s really chicken salad) and enjoy an excerpt:
Julia paced in front of her father’s favorite sedan chair, kicking the hem of her ochre stola out of the way with each agitated turn. What was taking Kaj so long? Had the criminal balked at the preparations? If he objected to the simple matter of a bath, what would his reaction be to her proposal?
She paused mid-turn, twisted her ring. He might refuse, call her mad. Julia rolled her eyes and resumed her pacing. Of course he would agree. Live or die, the choice was simple.
Oh, this was ridiculous. She was used to handling matters of importance and used to making important decisions. Her household functioned smoothly because her servants and family trusted her. She had never failed them and she would not begin now.
It would be a simple matter of establishing from the very start with the ruffian that she was the mistress and demanded obedience and compliance. He was a common criminal while Julia was the daughter of a noble Roman house. There was nothing more to it.
Then why was her stomach tied in knots?
Footsteps echoed along the corridor, slowing as they approached the door. Julia sat in her father’s chair, arranged the folds of her tunic and lifted her chin. This meeting would be brief, long enough for him to grovel at her feet, express his gratitude for his rescue and listen docilely to his role in her plan.
Kaj entered first, the fierce look on his face sending fresh waves of uncertainty crashing through her. He must have had a difficult time getting the man’s cooperation. Criminals were violent, crude and void of moral standards. She twisted her ring. She hadn’t considered that the man might not be ethical.
Julia pushed the doubts away. The decision had been made and she would not back away from it. Stubborn is what her father would call her and she supposed it was true though she preferred determined. Either way she took after Octavian in such matters and that was a point of pride.
Kaj bit out an unintelligible order over his shoulder. Julia took a deep breath and focused on the door determined to keep her revulsion concealed. Instead, her breath caught in her throat.
The man who strode into the room bore no resemblance to the beaten, debased creature of seven nights past. He was the most striking male she’d ever seen. He reminded her of a sculpture she’d once admired of the war god Mars. His nose was straight, adding to the aristocratic features of his face with its firm chin, squared jaw and full, sensual mouth.
His hair, the shade of nutmeg now that the grime had been washed away, had been trimmed, chopped off in a ragged line just below the nape of his neck. Combined with the long layers that brushed across his eyes, it gave him a tousled look as though he had just arisen from a long night’s sleep—or bed play.
She took a steadying breath and continued her visual inspection. He could stand to gain some weight, though in truth the leanness of his frame added to the sleek hard lines of his body. A warrior’s physique on a criminal? A tremor of unease flared within her.
At Kaj’s barked command he halted. Legs braced apart, broad shoulders pulled back he looked like a general on the verge of battle. It wasn’t difficult to imagine him dressed in armor, sword at the ready.
With effort, she banished the image from her mind and concentrated. Criminals were not supposed to be heart-stoppingly handsome. Julia searched his features for some flaw, some outward sign of his corrupt nature. Her heart tumbled in her chest when he turned and pinned her with a glittering, silver gaze.
Julia fought not to squirm under his intense scrutiny, watched as he scanned her in a leisurely fashion. She felt the rush of heat to her cheeks when his gaze lingered on her breasts. The corner of his mouth lifted into a crooked smile.
“Goddess. At last we meet.”
Sigh…..Oops, sorry (makes mad dash for slipping Sangria glass) I went to my “happy place”.
So celebrate with me! Bring your usual snacks, grab a drink and let’s party!
One commenter will gain “fortune” and win a download of THE PATRICIAN’S FORTUNE!