Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays!


I'd like to wish everyone a very merry and fruitful holiday season! As a gift to you, your friends and your family, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch ebook will be FREE on Christmas day and the day after.

Blog Tour Winner

Congrats Molly on winning the Forged Tour prize pack!

We had over 300 entrants to the giveaway - thank you to all those that participated, the tour was a total success because of you!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tour Giveaway Winners Announced SOON!

While we wait for the numbers, compilers and general decision making on who won the Forged Blog Tour Giveaway prize pack, I  have a The Legend of Lady MacLaoch-esque video for you.

This, my friends, is the proper (pronounced pro-pah!) way to drink whiskey, or what I like to term: drinking whiskey like a boss. Sláinte!




Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week in Review - Last Days of the Forged Tour

For those of you who were like me and were comatose this entire weekend with turkey in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, here's the recap of this week's tour:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday - Free EBook

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!! As a special treat we've got The Legend of Lady MacLaoch on ebook for FREE today and tomorrow via Amazon!

Click here to download.


The beauty of this (compared to the epic sock sale that's currently happening at our Portland Fred Meyer's) is that there's enough copies for everyone! So tell your friends by sharing via the links below. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

She's a Beaut!

Oh my gosh!! It's sunny in Portland!! So rare is this that I must blog about it, a short but satisfying post of sunlight, sun rays and general vitamin D lusciousness. ENJOY!!

Shown above: the ever elusive Portland sun. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NaNoWriMo...what?


NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is upon us again, bringing with it writers everywhere

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Tour Continues!

Stop by the Girl Who Reads blog today as she hosts me for her Writer Wednesday post. We dive into the Plotter vs Pantser styles once more and explore whether or not once a Pantser one is always a Pantser?



Monday, October 29, 2012

Aftermath


Source: owned.com via Becky on Pinterest


This is how the launch party Friday ended up. . . I'll be taking the next few days to recover . . .

But while I'm here, here are a few highlights from the release last week:
  • 4,000 + people downloaded Forged
  • 4 & 5 star reviews are rollin' in (WOOT!!!)
  • Hit #10 on Amazon's bestseller list for Romantic Suspense 
  • Meet some kickass new peeps on Facebook!!
This photo (below) is the only in-focus picture from the night. Yes, that is me in the middle getting a light ass slapping, which, in the light of the way 50 Shades of Grey is changing our perceptions on what people actually like to read about, it seems only appropriate to post it, since it's what you actually want to see.  ;0)



Me and my stylin' crew.


Cheers, and thanks to everyone who made Forged a possibility. 

PS - Don't forget, the blog tour starts up again on Nov. 1st!

[edit] a friend shared a picture from her camera, so, this blog can be classy again.



Monday, October 22, 2012

Forged Has . . . ARRIVED

Official Forged Blog Tour starts today!! Check out the blogs that are participating here. Be sure to stop by each one as we've got an awesome-sauce prize bag to win!! 



And as a super surprise, it's FREE on the Kindle aaaaaaaaaall week. Get you're FREE copy of Forged on your Kindle today: 



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Word to the Stock

Wordstock is here again!! The festival of words and wordsmiths! Acres of acres of books, authors and sex toys!
Say what?!
Yup, The Portland Mercury reports that this year Wordstock will
"...include an adults-only "Red Chair District," with erotica writers and publishers, sex toy purveyors She Bop, and dramatic readings of missed connections ads...."
And not to mention loads and loads of books, authors talking about books, people discussing books, and a general atmosphere of literary orgasm.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

LIVE! and in Print!

Well folks, the long journey to the physical paperback of Forged has arrived! Yesterday at 3p the UPS guy rolled up to the house as I bolted down the steps and into his truck. Five seconds and a wad of torn cardboard later, I held it in my hands, fanned my face with its pages and had a heart-pounding moment as I verified that it indeed had all its page numbers, chapters, and dedications that it should. And it does!!

I am now pleased to announce that Forged has o-fficially arrived, and once the other million copies that I ordered show up, pre-release copies will start making appearances in mailboxes. And as the little girl on pintrest says, "Ermegerd!!!" I'm so excited! :0D

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Welcome to All Things Forged

Yay!! Forged is on its way, and to celebrate we've changed the blog layout to be more, well, Forged. :0)

We've got some great stuff planned for this release, giveaways, kickass blog tour, and trivia. So stay tuned, we'll have something new every week until release day. WOOT!!

Access Denied??

There are times in the life of an indie author that aren't so glamorous. The days when the Cristal gets boring or you get stranded on your yacht in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You know?
No?
Yeah, me neither.
But, when that happens, I'll be sure to blog about it.

No, it's the little things that can be unglamorous.

Friday, September 14, 2012

MacLaoch Goodness


Welcome to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch post! Peruse the selection of topics below to learn a little more about the novel its characters, whisky and the beautiful Isle of Skye. I'll be adding new material to this page regularly so be sure to check back often!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's baaaaack!

It's done come back now. The second round of edits to Forged that is. Just hot off the editor's desk and onto mine. Which means goodbye, for now.

I'm in the rapid down-spiral of transforming this hunk of text into an honest to goodness book, which means a lot of eye-breaking formatting work and rapid mousing. But the beauty of it all? I can't wait for it to be wrapped up and bound, to sit up all pretty like on a shelf and look back at me and say: "Care for another gander of page 169 and that epic duct tape scene? Hmmmmm??"

"Yes, let's."



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday: Hope

As you can see from yesterday's post I spent a relaxing weekend at a beautiful lake secluded in the mountains. The beauty of being secluded is that I have time to reflect, time to pontificate on all things. And you know what I was thinking? The Legend of Lady MacLaoch 2.

Yes, in the middle of Doug Fir trees the second book came to me. Writing furiously I met several new characters that I'll introduce to you such as relatives that Cole didn't realize she'd had, a little old woman who reads tea leaves, a handsome undergraduate researcher and a woman from London that Rowan shouldn't have forgotten about...

Anyway, little teaser on what I'll be doing this winter. Writing you the sequel to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. :0)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ah....summertime!

Just got back from an amazing weekend in central Oregon on a lake called Suttle, and subtle it is not. ;0)
Growing up in Hawai'i we'd always get catalogs and magazines that showed mainlanders at lakes in the summer time. It's the quintesential picture of happy people drinking lemonade in the shade as the sun beats down on the clear blue of the lake water near by. LL Bean is full of summer time photos of people canoeing or swimming in these picturesque country lakes. After decades of looking at them I

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spread the Good Word: Free

Great news! We have another e-book giveaway scheduled (I've sort of become addicted to them I'll admit) for this Labor Day weekend.

This coming Sunday and Monday (9/2-9/3) The Legend of Lady MacLaoch e-book will be FREE on amazon.com.



Be sure to share with your family and friends who've yet to read it!

In other news, did you know that Friday will be a blue moon? Time to do all those things that only happen once in a blue moon. I have a feeling the ER is going to be packed that day...


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Forged Goodreads Giveaway

I just posted the Goodreads giveaway button here on the sidebar -------------------->

As of this very second it still has not been "approved by Goodreads staff" so you may have to hold your horses for the next couple hours while they verify I am who I say I am and that it truly is a real paperback giveaway and not some schmuck trying to push imported chocolate bunnies.

While you wait for the Goodreads giveaway for Forged to go live, would you like to read the first four chapters? Hmm? Hmm??

Okay, here ya go: *sounds of women squealing*

Monday, August 20, 2012

Words from the great beyond . . .

And I'm back.

I just realized that in five days it would have been a month since my last posting. O. M. G.
Why, you ask? Publishing, I say.
For those of you who don't know, I just recently updated the release date for Forged.



And man oh man, do I hope we can nail it! *bites fingernails*

More later!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday


Welcome to MacLaoch Wednesdays! Peruse the selection of topics below to learn a little more about The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, its characters, whisky and the beautiful Isle of Skye. I'll be adding new material to this page regularly so be sure to check back often!



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday


Welcome to MacLaoch Wednesdays! Peruse the selection of topics below to learn a little more about The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, its characters, whisky and the beautiful Isle of Skye. I'll be adding new material to this page regularly so be sure to check back often!



Monday, July 16, 2012

Muff It

To demonstrate today's point, would this quip be as funny without the word shit? Source: Pintrest


Today's poetry Monday has been interrupted by better programing. :0)  I'd like to explore the use of profanity - do many people really notice it?

As The Legend of Lady MacLaoch gains popularity I’m starting to find (along with all the awesome 5-star reviews!!) that a handful of readers comment on the use of the f-word in the book. Strangely enough I note that Rowan on the first page uses it but for the life of me I can’t remember where else. Which is interesting since, I WROTE it. :0)

This brings me to the dilemma of Forged. Forged is currently in the midst of being edited and well, there is a fuckload ton of swearing in it. Specifically by the main character who is a dark brooding fellow who doesn’t give a shit hoot about what people think about him thus doesn’t mind doling out the curses like candy at Christmas time. Even my editor wrote in the margins halfway through “There is a lot of cursing in this …" With this in mind and the sprinkling of reviewers who noticed the f-word in Legend, do I tone down my ways or say fuck-it "to hell with it!" and keep the book how it was written?

The reason I ask is this, in my home growing up (mom you might want to not read this next part…) I grew up learning the basics of swearing before I hit preschool. There is one such incident that is burned into my mind that makes me quite confident on knowing this fact. I was in preschool on the playground slide when the class bully came over and grabbed my dress as I came down. Whether or not he intended to pull me off the slide, yank my dress, or tear it like he did I’ll never know. But, I do know that I went nutty and chased him down, which at first he thought was funny until I opened my mouth. As I chased him like a wild banshee hollering a string of epithets about his person and parents I was caught, scolded and put in timeout, while he was handed a tissue and pat on the back.

So with the early and everyday use of cursing in my life I’m no longer sure of what is “socially acceptable” levels of profanity. There is of course the school of thought that cursing should be kept to a minimum, like for the moments where the hammer meets your finger instead of the intended nail head. And my aunt who was raised quite proper advises no profanity ever. “The term ‘badass’ … might this word instead be replaced with ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’?” Taking that advice though seems a lot like obeying the speed limit: it’s the law but in real life who does that 100% of the time? (read: NO ONE).

But, I wonder, is there a middle ground in all this? Can a character have a foul mouth and still be endearing? It happens in movies and excessively in the HBO series Deadwood, why not in books? And has it been done before?

Anyone know of a good book with an endearing character that swears a lot?
Help a girl out and put it in the comment box below. In the mean time let me leave you with a little George Carlin. 


George Carlin: Seven Dirty Words





Wednesday, July 11, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesdays


Welcome to MacLaoch Wednesdays! Peruse the selection of topics below to learn a little more about The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, its characters, whisky and the beautiful Isle of Skye. I'll be adding new material to this page regularly so be sure to check back often!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On Blog Radio

 
So yesterday was pure awesome, not only was it my first time on the radio but it was the first time I got to say "take your pants off" to a worldwide audience. Which for me ranks up there for Most Excellent.


Here's the show for those who missed it:




Also because, Ali is so awesome, she's giving away a free copy of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch!! Check out the giveaway here.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Chat with me TONIGHT!!



Tonight we hit the radio waves with Ali Talks at 8pm EST. Rumor has it there will an autographed copy of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch given away!!!

I'm told that this will be an open "live" chat so whip on by, I'll be taking questions allllll night. Or at least for the first 45 minutes. ;0)

Here's the link! Click here.

Also be sure to check out Ali's blog here.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!!



Happy Independence Day!!
Here at our house to celebrate the 4th we are hosting our first annual Potato Salad Contest. Winner takes home this trophy:

Potato Salad Trophy will be MINE!! Muwahahaha!!


While I'm sure many of the salads that will be brought today will be good - I have to say that (prepare for bias...) mine will be the best! A savory combination of old fashioned russets with salty dill pickle, chives, celery, egg and the secret ingredient. Bacon. Mmmmm!

Have a great fourth everyone no matter where you are today - have fun and be safe!



Monday, July 2, 2012

Poetry Monday

Credit: Timeless Images Studio's Esty store.
Our poem today was recommended to me by a good friend and compatriot - she knows much more than I do about poetry and writing.

Without further ado, Pablo Neruda's The Queen:


I have named you queen.
There are taller than you, taller.
There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.

When you go through the streets
No one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
At the carpet of red gold
That you tread as you pass,
The nonexistent carpet.

And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.

Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
Listen to me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where for art thou Becky?

Hellllloooooo!!! Here I am! Missed MacLaoch Wednesday's yesterday?? It'll be back next week and will be getting a new look, stay tuned for those changes next week.

Just wanted to put in a little blurb on what we're doing over here at Becky Banks Writing Headquarters. We're busy prepping The Legend of Lady MacLaoch for it's surprise giveaway on July 4th. We had loads of fun giving it away for its 1 year birthday back in May and decided to do it again for Independence Day on appropriately, MacLaoch Wednesday. :0)

Also in the news, the first round of edits on Forged are due back shortly meaning that by early next week we'll have a date for when you can get it in your hot little hands. It also means that I'll be receiving MASSIVE edits and will be drinking excessively to cope with all the red marks on its pages.

While the Forged manuscript is off being edited for your reading pleasure I've been writing like mad on the next book. Its been an interesting experience because unlike my other two novels this one isn't a pantser. I'm not - for some odd reason - writing it by the seat of my pants, I've outlined and created character profiles ... Which obviously means I'm deathly ill and need to have my head examined. Or it means that this planned spy-romance series will have more complexity than anything else I've written? Or, I've put my grown-up pants on and am finally writing a real book. ;0)

That's it for now, and those following the tomato plant saga we have just a few more blossoms but no actual fruit . . . I blame the weather. Not the fact that I've stuffed a tomato plant into a sack and hung it upside down. No, definitely couldn't be that.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Poetry Monday - Eye Candy Edition


Candy for the eyes as we explore our feelings. No, JUST our feelings.

Today we have the second of the two poems we unearthed from my parents move (read last week's post here).


1971
I could write
Or talk of how I feel,
But is it real?

Can you tell
Or do you know
What I can't say
And may never show?

You can talk
Or write of how you feel,
But do you?

Say it!
Scream it!
Rhyme it!
Dream it!

Love me!
Then it's real.

Ahhhh to be loved and to be told we are loved - this is one of the biggest reason why romance novels are so fabulous. The leading male characters are quite verbose on their love for the heroine and rather explicit in the details of what he's gonna do to her to show her that love. Usually she squeals and runs away or grins devilishly and agrees to play hide the sausage - much to his astonishment since he thought she was a virgin.

I was just reading through the last bit of Legend (in the infamous cabin scene) and realized that Rowan isn't as verbose as I thought he was in that scene for example here's one of my favorite blurbs. It's right after Rowan realizes that Cole is the only one who can break the curse and to do that they must hand-tie: 
 “Handfasting is ancient, Cole—it’s no doubt what Lady MacLaoch and her Minory would have done if they’d lived,” he said, and stood.
My heart tripped over itself as he slowly walked around the coffee table, coming for me,  as he spoke. “It’ll bind ye to me, and me to ye. We must be sure tha’ is what Lady MacLaoch wants. Are ye sure this is it what she wants?” he asked; then, as he got closer,  “Is it what ye want?”
Would I want to bind myself to him forever?
“How do I answer that?” I asked, feeling as though a freight train would be easier to face down than the laird of the MacLaochs and the heavy discussion between us.
Rowan out for a swim in the loch... :0)
Rowan came to stand in front of me. “If I know ye, Cole, as I feel I do, ye need to answer it with this”—he gently laid his fingertips just above my left breast, covering my heart—“then with this.” His fingers trailed up to and along the side of my neck, caressed  my ear before cupping the side of my head. His thumb brushed my temple. “Because this one is crying out for ye to be rational, yet love is anything but.”
My heart caught in my throat as his eyes looked directly into me and saw everything. “They are in direct opposition in their opinions,” I admitted.
Lightning flashed outside as the pitter-patter of fat water droplets pelted the side of the
lodge.
“But what does your heart say?”
“That I would be a fool to walk away from you,” I said. My insides went into pleasant knots and my breath became erratic. “God, what are you doing to me?”
“Nothing that ye aren’t doing to me,” he said, sliding his fingers into my hair . . .

And in real life it seems things up end up more like this:




By the way, if you like all these images, check out my pin board called "Um, Yes Please" and "Funny" on my Pintrest page. Click here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday

Rowan on a leisurely stroll through Castle Laoch. . . 

Two weeks ago I recieved a lovely email from a woman who was doing 16th century Scottish reenactments here in the US. She was thoroughly enjoying The Legend of Lady MacLaoch but had one thing she wanted to point out regarding chiefs and chieftains, something she felt was incorrectly represented in the book. I.e. - Rowan is the MacLaoch Clan's chief, not necessarily it's chieftain.

The chief of a clan as you would assume is the overarching leader of the clan, or as wikipedia (aka - the all knowing master of the universe) says:

"The clan chief is the representative of [the clan's] founder, and represents the clan as well. In the Scottish clan system, the term chief denotes a greater chief than that of a chieftain. In consequence, branch chiefs (heads of branches of a clan) are designated chieftains.[2]"

Modern chief? Check his feathers, if he has 3 he's a chief.
So with the clan chief being the head honcho and the chieftain being his sidekick (or as some websites refer, he can also be the son of the chief) it's assumed that one cannot be both. After logging it in the edits and revisions document I have going for The Legend of Lady MacLaoch it occurred to me that while this discovery still denotes some edits to be made within the book it does not affect who Rowan is. 

Gerard looking chieftain-like. Or chief?
The MacLaoch clan while they have members across the world and have a clan gathering every few years the official personnel who are elected to this intimate clan are few. For instance while a large functioning clan of the 1700's (prior to them being disbanded) would have had a clan chief they would also have had chieftains to oversee large sections of the clan lands and its people. Like the woman who contacted me said, it is much like a president/CEO of a company and his vice president. The president oversees the entire company's functions while the VP focuses on their designated division. However, in small companies - especially startups - it is common to have the president be the head of the company as well as acting vice president and even project manager and sometimes receptionist. The fictional MacLaoch clan, having suffered badly through the disbanding of the clans and the land clearings of the 1800's were reduced to their present day situation of one chief, one chieftain, and one laird, all one Rowan MacLaoch. Rowan wears many hats and while the book is written with no difference called out between chief and chieftain for the reader, it is safe to assume he is one and both. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Poetry Monday!

Mom circa 1970's
 Today we have a special guest poet: my Mom.

Recently, after 26 years of living in our childhood home, my parents moved and unearthed some really great stuff. Anyone who has moved knows that the longer you are in one place the more moving becomes an archaeological dig. Like discovering love poems from the '60's and '70s. The great (read: scandalous!) part about it? They are NOT all about my dad. :0)

Here's the first of the unearthed (and sharable [ha-ha]) poems that my mom wrote - this would be late '60s.

Brown Eyes
Brown dancing eyes
Moving, thinking
Maybe he's here somewhere?

Hope not, hope so
Changing we are changing.
Mine are visible and known
His are hidden unknown.

Moving thinking
Brown familiar eyes
Glancing my way
Set my heart and soul dancing.

Moving forward
He's moving forward
I am moving east
He is moving west

My God stop this moment
Stop my feet from moving
Keep the light from changing.

Brown smiling eyes
Throbbing pulse
Did he even know it was me?
Did those brown dancing eyes even care?


It reminds me of the first time you have a crush on someone - does he like you? Do you like him more than he likes you? The hoping that he shows up to that party you're invited to, and the excitement associated with it all.

Do you remember all of your old flames? Or just ONE in particular?

Suprisingly this actually reminds me of the brown eyed poem I wrote about our childhood dog Mocha. Startlingly familiar actually, except for the throbbing pulse part. ;0)

Check in next week for the second poem!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday HIJACKED!

Fun image no? :0) This is work by Kassandra


Today we're hijacking MacLaoch Wednesdays to butt in with the new book, Forged. I'm going through withdrawls right now as I gave it to the editing team last week Friday. I find myself listless and rummaging around the house and the neighborhoods looking for trouble - which come to find out the latter is full of kids off from school doing exactly what I'm doing - so what am I going to do about it? WRITE.

Before I jump into writing the next book - yes the NEXT, and it's called Regan Manning who is a kick ass spy who comes from a troubled past and falls in love with an unsuspecting FBI agent - I need to write about the fits I've been having over the current cover for Forged. Forged is a spunky, dark, humorous, high octane thriller and the current cover is too ... too ... I don't know what - literary?? It currently exudes a very deep assistance but very PLAIN.

See?


It's cool in it's own reflected light sort of way, and will pack a wallop to the unsuspecting reader - because they think "Oh, what a lovely plain book." *she reads the first chapter* "Oh my goodness what strong language!" 

So with a bee in my bonnet I whipped up this DRAFT cover. Ideally I would love to do a big cover reveal but the last cover was like: here ya go, here's a plain white peice of paper with the word forged on it then I folded it in half when the ink was still wet for a cool affect. Cool huh?     No.

Ready? You sure? Ready? Okay, here's the super duper crazy rough draft, as in that photo probably won't be the real photo used. (Oh and do you like that photo? Go check out the artist's website - Kassandra creates pure eccentric awesome: click here) While the photo probably won't be used it does gives you the general idea of where we're going with it. Lead Peer Reviewer Annie of The Small Book Blog loves it - right Annie?? *nervously bites fingernails that are too short from all the biting to really bite at*


DRAFT cover for Forged... this version is growing on me. :0)

Thoughts?




Monday, June 11, 2012

Poetry Monday: Love as Old as Time

4,000 year old love poem. Photo credit: via


Literally.

A love that is as old as time, the above tablet is a 4,000 year old love poem. Some may remember a while back in 2006 this poem got unearthed from the bowels of the Istanbul Museum of the Ancient Orient and went on display as a centerpiece for their Valentine's Day celebration. And what a centerpiece.

The above tablet translates to:

Poem recited by the annual brides of King Shu-Sin 
Translated by Samuel Noah Kramer (via)

    Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
    Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
    Lion, dear to my heart,
    Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.

    You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
    Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber,
    You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
    Lion, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber.

    Bridegroom, let me caress you,
    My precious caress is more savory than honey,
    In the bedchamber, honey-filled,
    Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,
    Lion, let me caress you,
    My precious caress is more savory than honey.

    Bridegroom, you have taken your pleasure of me,
    Tell my mother, she will give you delicacies,
    My father, he will give you gifts.

    Your spirit, I know where to cheer your spirit,
    Bridegroom, sleep in our house until dawn,
    Your heart, I know where to gladden your heart,
    Lion, sleep in our house until dawn.

    You, because you love me,
    Give me pray of your caresses,
    My lord god, my lord protector,
    My Shu-Sin, who gladdens Enlil’s heart,
    Give my pray of your caresses.

    Your place goodly as honey, pray lay (your) hand on it,
    Bring (your) hand over like a gishban-garment,
    Cup (your) hand over it like a gishban-sikin-garment.


Supposedly every year the King would ensure his region's fertility by making love to the Goddess Inanna's (the goddess of fertility and sexual love) priestesses. There was as one article I read put it, "a Mardi Gras sort of festival" would take place a week before to celebrate this goddess. At the culmination of the ceremonies the King would make love the priestess after plying her with gifts and affection and she, reading him the poem.

As one article I read said:
"The passion, scholars say, was ritual--part of a Mesopotamian festival of fertility and power called Sacred Marriage. Every new year (for the Sumerians, around the spring equinox), the Sumerian king "married" the Sumerian goddess of love and war, Inanna (Babylonian Ishtar), to renew the land's fertility and affirm his own potency. In Summer, or several days, the king's people got the Sumerian equivalent of Mardi Gras. At the festival's peak, the king got Inanna's high priestess, playing the part of Inanna. Woed by his offerings, the priestess would accept the king into her bed, with a poem addressed to him. This one, addressed to the Sumerian king Shu-Sin, is the oldest love poem we know..." via

I think the beauty of this poem is that it shows as humans, love and passion span centuries and millenia. It is the one beautiful constant in our nature.  :0)

Thoughts?





Wednesday, June 6, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday: Nicole Baker

Nudes picking peaches. Image via
Today let's dive into the Baker family. The Legend of Lady MacLaoch's theme of surprise family bloodlines is based, in part, on my own experience with it. Similar to Nicole's (Cole) experience, my own grandfather one afternoon while we were all gathered around, was telling us about our great aunt so-and-so and mentioned casually that by blood we are not Banks'. Like the Bakers (close in name too...) that announcement came as a shock. We are an obnoxious, opinionated and charming bunch that take being Banks' seriously. It's a trait and such a strong one that my husband can go through all my relatives that he knows and figure out which side of the family tree they're on by their behavior. :0) And we like it like that. Unlike the Bakers the majority of the younger Banks' have found that being from another bloodline is intriguing and are researching our genealogy. Since I'm not one for research I chose make-believe and wrote a book about it. :0)

Cole Baker is from South Carolina  (I actually slip up a lot and say Georgia, which makes me wonder if I judged her character wrong, then I remember I'm the writer and she must do as I say, and I say she's from South Carolina, dammit. But I digress...) and based loosely on a very good friend of mine who was raised in the South. Other aspects of her character are derived from my upbringing. My grandmother's family are from Louisiana and as a proper lady tasked with my upbringing those roots (blended with Hawaiiana) are deeply ingrained in me. Such as the phrase, "Becky? Act like a lady, get your elbows off the table and for Christ sakes sit up straight!" For those of you who've read the book you know right where that went in. :0)

Cole's family owns and operates a peach orchard in South Carolina, of which I took creative liberties and made the peach trees taller than the average variety so that she can have a very erotic moment with a clan chieftain in those fields. What was printed has an extended version. Earlier this year my good friend over at Lady Reader's Bookstuff posted one of the scenes that had gotten deleted when it went to editing, and I leave you now with thoughts of luscious summer warmed peaches and hot naked men. Ha-ha!!

*caution explicit material*



Monday, June 4, 2012

Poetry Monday: Tomato!

La Tomatina in Spain - an epic tomato food fight!


Happy Monday!!

Today we have an update on my upside down tomato, how is it doing, I know you've all been wondering. :0)

But first a tomato poem by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (NeftalĂ­ Ricardo Reyes Basoalto):


Ode to Tomatoes
(translated by Margaret Sayers Peden)

The street

filled with tomatoes

midday,

summer,

light is

halved

like

a

tomato,

its juice

runs

through the streets.

In December,

unabated,

the tomato

invades

the kitchen,

it enters at lunchtime,

takes

its ease

on countertops,

among glasses,

butter dishes,

blue saltcellars.

It sheds

its own light,

benign majesty.

Unfortunately, we must

murder it:

the knife

sinks

into living flesh,

red

viscera,

a cool

sun,

profound,

inexhaustible,

populates the salads

of Chile,

happily, it is wed

to the clear onion,

and to celebrate the union

we

pour

oil,

essential

child of the olive,

on to its halved hemispheres,

pepper

adds

its fragrance,

salt, its magnetism;

it is the wedding

of the day,

parsley

hoists

its flag,

potatoes

bubble vigorously,

the aroma

of the roast

knocks
at the door,

it’s time!

come on!

and, on

the table, at the midpoint

of summer,

the tomato,

star of earth,

recurrent

and fertile

star,

displays

its convolutions,

its canals,

its remarkable amplitude

and abundance,

no pit,

no husk,

no leaves or thorns,

the tomato offers

its gift

of fiery color

and cool completeness.


Mmm-mm tomatoes! I can almost taste 'em. 

For those who remember the upside down tomato saga we have an update! 

After planting the upside down tomato and questioning my scientific intelligence I called my father to get the reality check on the type of fertilizer I'd put in the potting soil. My father you see is a commercial vegetable grower . . . after I first described what I'd actually done with the plant, "You planted it upside down?" he asked. 
"Yes."
"Oh."
I said that I put manure in the soil I got this, "Steer manure? Oh, that's good stuff."
"Yay! So my tomato will give me loads of fruit?"
"No."
"What?"

Remember the N-P-K on fertilizers? It stands for Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium. Each of those aids in part of the plant growth and can be remembered like this: Up - Down - All around. N is for leaves (up), P is for roots (down), and K is for all around plant health, like fruiting. 

Basically I just dumped a bunch of leaf incentive on my tomato, which if it were in the ground would be no big deal because soil has much more micronutrients in it than potting soil. *sigh* Though while I did just give it loads of poop, the tomato is doing excellent. As you can see from the photos below we have flowers (that have yet to open in most cases) and the plant has doubled in size! 

Since it is June now and it'll take anywhere from 60 to a million days to get mature fruit we're looking a a tomato filled August, or September, or October . . . I think I'll start researching green tomato recipes. 

May 6th - look at that sun! It, like the organization of the hose behind it, has disappeared. 


Today - look at it go!



First of the blooms. Aaaaaalmost there.


Most blossoms have yet to open like this.

The other blossoms look like this. Just kidding, it is its neighbor Mr.Foxglove. :0)




Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday



In the aftermath of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch's first birthday - sweeping up confetti, popped balloons, frosting smears and spilt champagne I realize that this Sunday had been a day of firsts. TLoLM first birthday, first Amazon promo, first time that 3,000 people met TLoLM in a 24 hour period, and the first time The Legend of Lady MacLaoch has seen a best sellers list. As in ranked #12 on Amazon's bestsellers list. . . OMG!!!!!!

Yes, Sunday The Legend of Lady MacLaoch climbed up the rankings and ended the day at #12. And for those of you who are savvy with Amazon ranking you're wondering what categories because 50 Shades of Dumb has been sitting its fat ass at #1, 2, 3 for the last decade - whoops, did I say that?? - so here's the category: Romance>Historical. We flirted with the Top 100 list (this is ALL of Amazon's promo books, think hundreds of thousands) at #131.

Anyway, it was a fun little adventure and is pure awesome to have so many new readers!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday The Legend of Lady MacLaoch!



As you saw on Wednesday's post, today is the day that The Legend of Lady MacLaoch was birthed into the literary world. It's amazing that it has been a whole year since Rowan and Cole ran away with our hearts and adventurous spirits. A year since Kelly and his pops got what they deserved. A full year since "the cabin scene" made women across the US grin with glee and say, "Finally!!" And in this last year we've seen it awarded with 5-star reviews over and over again, including winning the prestigious "Top Pick" award from Night Owl Reviews.

As a special treat to mark the one year anniversary of its debut I'm gifting The Legend of Lady MacLaoch to you to share with your friends.


Today only (May 27th), The Legend of Lady MacLaoch ebook is free from Amazon.


Happy 1st birthday to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch and thank you to all the loyal readers who've made it a special one!