Winner!!!

Thank you all for sharing your stories and comments yesterday. The random winner is…..

 

Pansy Petal! I’ll be in touch shortly to get your address.

 

In other news….my mom texted me last night in a way that makes me think that there is a mannequin head traveling in my direction today… I shall keep you all posted as I’m sure you’re all anxious to hear about this.

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Well, I’m a weirdo! But we already knew that.

As you all know, I’m a little strange. But hey, who isn’t?

We just made our way through the Holiday Gauntlet lined with crazy family members and staunch traditions. To offer a little comic relief to everyone who survived, I am going to share with you all a little bit about some of MY crazy family traditions. Well, just one.

When I turned 30, my sweet parents threw me a huge party. They drove in from out of state, decorated my house and pulled out all the stops. The theme: Rose’s Favorite Things. Sitting on  the cake table was a green trifle bowl with a new cluster of wax grapes. To drink we had one of those bottles of sparkling grape juice to go with:

hedgehog-cake

Yes, that is a cake shaped like a hedgehog!

And finally, when I went to the kitchen, I was terrified when I saw:

j

I wasn’t sure what was the gift, the fake head or giving my heart a jumpstart. My mom explained that the head was because I like hair styles and this was a “practice head” that cosmetology students use to practice styling on. Since I’m  not in the market for a new career, I just nodded as the prefect idea for this head came to mind.

“Don’t you like it?” my mom asked.

“Of course. I love it! And I know just what I’m going to do with it.”

A few weeks later, I was packing up my dad’s Father’s Day gift and sending my mom something I’d found at a flea market. There was a little extra room in the box….so in went the head!

I can only imagine the surprise on their little faces when they opened that box and pulled back the tissue paper!

This is the picture they sent me when she arrived.

This is the picture they sent me when she arrived.

From then, the game was on! This head has gone back and forth between us.

They gave me a box of old DVDs they didn’t want…and what else did I find in the box?

j-in-dvds

When my kids went to ride in the car with them during another visit, I put the head in one of their backpacks and asked them to very quietly (no giggling!) slip it into the floorboard of their rig.

It was all well and good until they went to look for something and found it before they drove off and when I went out to the porch to say goodbye, I saw this:

j-by-bottle-tree

This head has gone back in forth hidden in bundles of clothes. Hidden behind objects in the bed of a pickup truck. And what I’d consider the most daring of all, if I do say so myself, involved getting some help from a source outside the family!

After my parents’ last visit, I got up early and drove down to their hotel, then carried that head inside the hotel in my jean jacket as if I were smuggling a watermelon out of a farmer’s market. Anxious of what the clerk’s reaction would be upon seeing me remove a head from under my coat, I carefully approached the counter and asked if I could leave something for one of their guests. She agreed and asked if I wanted it brought up to them? I said, “Nah. Just when they come to check out give it to them.”

She said that’d be fine. Taking a deep breath as I reached into my jacket, I said, “Please don’t panic when you see this.” I set the head on the counter and we both dissolved into a fit of giggles.

I quickly explained the story behind the head and scribbled out a note to my parents.

A little later, I received a text:

If you look close, you can see where I wrote "enjoy" on their note!

If you look close, you can see where I wrote “enjoy” on their note!

The “gift” as the hotel referred to it had been delivered!

 

 

Now that you all know about MY weird traditions, I want to hear about yours! Weird or normal, I want to hear them all! I have a mystery box to send the winner! (I promise, there will NOT be a head in it. 😀 )

 

And the award goes to…

On Tuesday on Facebook I held my own vote. And the results are in.

In the question of:

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With 68% of the vote…BOOTS!

In the life-changing matter of:

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By a landslide of 89%—Pie (I didn’t vote, but I was with the two others who chose cake!)

Now, for the second hardest question of the day:

hotdog-question

A little background on this, by the dictionary’s definition, yes, a hotdog is considered a type of sandwich. However, the wiener council (which I didn’t even know existed until recently) says NO! A hotdog is so much more than a sandwich.

In our poll–exactly 66.7% said…NO!!!! The Wiener Council will love that. 😀

Now for the MOST important question of the day:

1

 

The winner was…a TIE between the two most opposite heroes I’ve written: Gateway and Alex. So then it came time for a tie breaker, and the official winner is..

benjamin-collinsduke-of-gateway

Congratulations to him he and his swell head will continue to reign as my most beloved hero–

And my crown? 

Crown? What crown?

Don’t I get a crown for winning? 

No.

I should.

No, you should go away.

Go away? Is that any way to treat your most beloved hero?

*sighs* Ladies, it appears as if he cannot be stopped, so please welcome Benjamin Collins, Duke of Gateway to the stage to make a speech.

Make a speech?

Yes, you want to be seen or shall we say heard–so you can make a speech. Go on then. Here’s your microphone. untitled-design

And a podium?

I doubt you’d even use it if you had one.

Likely not. All right. *clears throat and taps on the microphone* Hear ye, hear ye! 

–Benjamin, please stop being self-important.

GATEWAY: *turns to me, lips pursed* You brought my wife here?

ROSE: Yes, I thought it was the only way to keep a handle on you. *waves Madison over to sit next to me* Now, as you were saying?

GATEWAY *deep sigh* I might get in trouble for this later, but truly how often does one get to accept such an award?

MADISON: Benjamin.

GATEWAY: Yes, my love?

MADISON: Behave yourself.

GATEWAY: I will. *winks* Ladies, Gents and anyone else in listening distance–

ROSE: You do know this is an acceptance speech?

GATEWAY; Yes, I just want to make sure they’re listening. *turns back to his microphone* Ladies, I want to thank you all for your votes, support and loving me–

MADISON: Loving you? Should you really be thanking other women for loving you?

GATEWAY: They can love me all they want, but I still love you. Only you. Now can I finish this? Rose needs to go make dinner.

ROSE: Make dinner? It’s barely 12:30– If you think you’re going to talk THAT long, you’re-

GATEWAY: It won’t take that long if you two would stop interrupting me.

ROSE: You have two minutes to say your piece.

GATEWAY:  *smirks* Well, ladies, it could all be summed up with three words: I beat Andrew–who, by the way, didn’t get a single vote. No, my closest completion was Alex! But I shall refrain from being so childish.

MADISON: *mutters under her breath* That’ll be a first.

GATEWAY: Pardon, did you say something?

MADISON: *waves him off* Nothing. Are you done?

GATEWAY: No, I think my two minutes should restart.

ROSE: No, I think you’re done. You’ve thanked your loyal readers and gloated that you beat Andrew.

GATEWAY: I didn’t gloat! Gloating would have been, I beat Andrew. I beat Andrew. I beat Andrew. I beat Andrew. I didn’t do that.

ROSE: You practically did. Now, thank you for your time–

GATEWAY: Ladies, I am so humbled to have the honor to have been awarded such a high honor. I know I’m hard to love, but I thank you all for loving me.

MADISON: Perfect, Benjamin, let’s go before you choke on your own tongue.

GATEWAY: Wait, isn’t there a prize?

ROSE: No. Are you six?

GATEWAY: *frowns* No, but even winners at award shows get statuettes…

ROSE: Here.

4

GATEWAY: Well, that’s nice, but you know the olympians get medals…

ROSE: Okay..

3

ROSE: Better?

GATEWAY: Hmmm. What about a trophy?

ROSE: Is a statuette wearing a medal not enough?

GATEWAY: No, I think a trophy is in order, too.

ROSE: …

3

ROSE: Satisfied?

GATEWAY: No….

benjamin-collinsduke-of-gatewaymost-beloved-hero-2016-2

GATEWAY: There, that’s better.

ROSE: What did you write on that?

GATEWAY: Madison, love, are you ready to go?

ROSE: You’re impossible.

GATEWAY: That’s why I’m the favorite.

 

I’m so glad he has a woman who can manage him. On behalf of the Duke of Incorrigible and myself, I want to thank everyone who participated in the polls. Gateway was one of my favorites right from the start. I just love him and I’m so touched to so many others did, too.

If you didn’t get a chance to cast a vote and would like to add your voice to the comments below, I have two more highly important matters that need to be decided but we ran out of time on Tuesday.

First…

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And…

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Feel free to cast your vote in the comments!

REPOST: Character Interview with Madison, heroine from To Win His Wayward Wife

It’s Monday again, which means I’m back with another character interview, this time I’m going to talk to Madison, the heroine from my upcoming novel, To Win His Wayward Wife. Except this time, instead of making her climb into the rickety time traveling carriage and bringing her to the year 2011, I’ve borrowed an old DeLorean I saw these two chaps playing with and went back in time to July 1813, the night of the infamous ball in the last scene of Liberty for Paul to be exact.

Good evening, Madison.

What are you doing here?

I’ve come to see you! Now that you’re engaged and all.

Why him? Of all people on the planet, why him?

You’ll see.

I doubt it. I learned my lesson in love a long time ago. You’re going to be hard pressed to find a way to make me fall in love with that vile being.

So you agree you’ll be falling in love?

I’d like to think not. But I know this a romance so technically there has to be a happily-ever-after thrown in there.

Not necessarily. It just has to have an optimistic ending. Perhaps I’ll see the folly of this match and let you each live happily –ever-after in separate residences.

Oh, could you? I would be forever grateful.

We’ll see. But who knows, perhaps one day you’ll come to care for him and not want to be in separate residences.

Not likely.

No, not likely. But you never know. What’s so bad about him, anyway?

You cannot possibly be serious.

 I was. But I’ll let the matter drop. Just so you know, I could have picked a far worse man for you. There was at least one other man in attendance tonight who could have made a worse husband.

Please don’t remind me.

All right. I won’t. I need to return to the present before Andrew accidentally pushes the wrong button in that car and goes in my stead.

Perhaps we can chat a bit longer, then.

I see your ploy. You’re trying to distract me so Andrew can change your story for you. Sorry, but that won’t be happening.

It was worth a try. All right, then. Go back to the future and spin your tales. Just remember, like every other writer, your happiness depends on mine, so perhaps you could change your mind—

Don’t count on it. Your fate has been sealed.

Character Interview with Derek Westward, hero in Her Devilish Marquess

Good morning! Today, I have the honor of interviewing a very special guest, Derek Westward, the Marquess of Dodsworth who is the hero in Ruth Ann Nordin’s book Her Devilish Marquess!

So without any further ado!
Good morning, my lord. thank you for joining us today. I hear you’re not shy…and well, neither am I, so tell us, what do you wear to work every day? Hmm…. I sense something peculiar in this question. Are you coming onto me? Next thing I know, you’ll be asking me what I look like naked. Shame on you, Rose Gordon! I will not be seduced by your seductive question.
Hey now! Shame on YOU, it’s not as if I asked what you wear to bed. *cocks head to the side* Now that it’s been mentioned… *holds hand up* Never mind that. It’s probably best we don’t know what you wear to bed. But if you’d like to tell our readers what you wear swimming, I’m sure they’d be delighted. Another clothing question carefully disguised to find out what I look like without a shirt on? Very clever, Rose. All right, I’ll satisfy your raging hormones with a teaser. I have a wonderfully muscular chest for a titled gentleman from the Regency era. I acquired this well-toned physique by chopping wood and bringing it to the doorsteps of the lower-middle class. This isn’t an idle boast. I’ll have you know one of my scandalous acts took place a year ago when I threw off my shirt in the middle of a ball and decried the hypocrisy of the Ton. Several ladies have privately confided in Ruth that they often think of me when they’re with their husbands. Maybe you can do the same when you’re with your husband tonight, Rose. I know it’s not the same as being with me, but I’m afraid I can’t leave Danette to be with you. Your imagination will have to suffice.
Good heaven’s you sure are shameless to accuse me of such! *wags fingers* What is your best quality? Another sly one, Rose. I can detect your interest in me. I suppose if I told you my sense of humor is my best quality, that might attract you?
*Shakes head* All right, you caught me! Perhaps I’ll abandon my hope if you tell me what about your largest flaw?  Flaw? I don’t know what this word means. Please explain.
I would, but you wouldn’t believe it… Describe your perfect date. Rose, you have to stop flirting with me. Seriously, this won’t get you anywhere.
Her Devilish Marquess*purses lips* Sir, despite your delusions, I have no desire to pursue any sort of relationship with you. Again, see the flaw question! Let’s focus on the interview, shall we? If you could relive one part of your story over and over and over again, which would it be? Why? The wedding night. Or any other night when I’m intimately engaged with the lovely Marchioness of Dodsworth. Being in my bed is my favorite pastime.
Good grief. I don’t even want to go there. Least favorite part? The end. I know I’ll show up in other books, but it’s not the same as being the hero.
I can see that. If someone said something unkind about your heroine, Miss Danette Everson, what would you do to him/her? I know a lot of people’s secrets. It came from the years of being a doctor. I’d remind them of some scandalous secret they have and warn them if they don’t keep quiet, something unpleasant might show up in the Tittletattle.
What is your favorite thing about Danette? That she accepts me as I am, and considering my tendency to speak my mind when I should keep my mouth shut, that’s a very important trait in a lady.
Describe Danette without the words: beautiful or sweet? I believe Ruth made her raven-haired, but I keep seeing her as a redhead because she’s got a lot of passion. Ruth also seems to think she’s boring since she reads books and watches people at balls, but that little spitfire has a delightful sense of humor. Hmm… Is spitfire a term they would have used in the Regency time period? Oh well. It doesn’t matter. I can’t do worse than the author when it comes to botching up historical authenticity.
If you had to choose between facing Danette after you’ve been ungentlemanly or a starved lion on the prowl, which would you choose? Easy. The lion. No gentleman wants to upset his wife. There’s little chance he could get into her bed.
All right, all right, enough of that. Let’s talk about the good stuff: your authoress! Oa scale of 1-10 how would you rate the author’s accuracy in describing you? You’ve heard of Ruth Ann Nordin, right? Just look at her reviews. You’ll see her historical accuracy is a 1. Though on some days I think maybe she should get a 2 simply because no one in her Regencies are riding around in cars. So maybe a 2.
Pardon my saying so, my lord, however, Ms. Nordin is a very dear friend of mine and that was most unkind! I’d demand you apologize at once, but since I know you won’t, I’ll take up for her and say that I’ve received several “1s” but only because a zero wasn’t an option! *grins* All right, as nicely as you can, tell us if you could switch places with the author for a day and send her into your book and write about her doing anything time period and/or location specific, what would you have her do? I would plop her a Jane Austen novel so she’d finally get the language and customs of the time period right. I mean, would it kill her to do a little research?
I’d ask who you think is smarter, you or her, but— Me. I can see this interview is a mere formality. You’re trying to decide whether or not you want to snag me and keep me for yourself. Asking questions like what I wear and my wonderful qualities are.
Yep, you got me, and to cinch the deal, tell me, what’s Mrs. Nordin’s biggest secret? (Does she wear her pajamas to write? Does she tap her fingers on the edge of the table when thinking? Does she dress up in a pink tutu and twirl around the living room every time she finishes a book or a really good scene? Come on, spill it!) Oh goodness! If she wore a pink tutu and twirled around, we’d all go blind. Trust me, you don’t want to see Ruth unless she’s fully dressed. Let’s see… What would Ruth’s biggest secret be? Okay, I think I got it. When she writes books, she listens to songs to help inspire her, and when she’s listening to these songs, she pretends she’s singing them. She even comes up with these elaborate videos for them in her mind. If she were to try those dance moves in real life, she’d fall flat on her butt, or on her face, because she has absolutely no coordination at all. And as for singing? I’ve heard her sing, and all I can say is bring in the earplugs. There’s a reason her family turns up the radio or TV when she sings.
Sir, I think we’re done here! Ruth, come chat with me a bit. *pats a spot on my green and gold settee* Was Derek as charmingly difficult while writing the book as he was for the interview? He was charming until I read what he thinks of me. Now I’m thinking I might have to punish him in a future book for shedding me in such an unfair light. I’ve come a long way in getting better with my historical stuff together. Granted, I’m not perfect,
You go, girl! If you need some help, let me know. Is this book a standalone or part of a series? This is Book 2 in the Marriage by Arrangement Series. (And if Derek doesn’t want me to give him grief in Book 3, he better be nicer to me.)
I anxiously await to see what you have in store for him! 😀 Why don’t you tell us a little about you: Okay, it’s true that I like to pretend I’m the one singing songs I listen to, and I have awesome videos to go along with them in my head. But—and this is important—I would never make a You Tube video and show the world just how awful my singing and dancing are. I stick with writing, and I think I deserve some kudos for that. I wish my characters would learn to appreciate me a little more instead of complaining all the time.

If you’d like to know more about Ruth, go visit her online—her blog is fantastic!
Blog: https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ruth.a.nordin
And of course, if you’d like to read more about Derek and his antics, his book, Her Devilish Marquess can be found here: (And yes, despite his thinking I’m coming onto him, I’ve reserved my copy!)

Amazon or if you’d prefer a different format, Ruth has them all linked her Book Launch Page: https://booklaunch.io/ruthannnordin/herdevilishmarquess

 

(All answers to interview questions were provided by the very talented Ruth Ann Noridn. She is a great lady and an awesome storyteller!)

Didja Know? #6 How about some irony?!

I know it’s the weekend which means some of you will be doing some ironing, but take a break for a few minutes to read about some irony:

  1. There is only one city in all of the United States simply named: Beach. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it’s in North Dakota a landlocked state that probably couldn’t be any further from the ocean!
  2. Michigan has a town named Hell. Hell, Michigan made national news in the winter of 1995-1996 when it froze…
  3. Thailand means “land of the free”.
  4. It only snows approximately 2″ per year on Antartica.
  5. The first hurricane given a male name was in 1979–it’s name: Bob. (Sounds like my husband)
  6. Rhode Island is considered the Vampire Capitol of the United States
  7. Oregon has the shortest river in the United States (world?)–D River a total of 121 feet!
  8. Yakutsk, Russia has the worst weather on the planet. On average the temperature falls to -84F and in the summer can get up 102F.
  9. The only active diamond mine is in…Arkansas.
  10. State with the most shoreline…OKLAHOMA! (As a bonus, they also have the most tornadoes per square mile.)

New Release…and a Pre-Order!!!

It feels likes it’s been FOREVER (and I promise I still have not forgotten Simon’s story–he nags me every night from the back of my mind to get on with it!)

In the meantime, I have a new story that came out today as part of the Duke of Danby Christmas Anthology. My story Mistletoe & Michaelmas is found in the book The Duke’s  Christmas Greeting.

Amazon  B&N  Kobo Apple

Mistletoe & Michaelmas ~ The last thing Daphne Cavanaugh wants to do is marry—well, perhaps not the last thing, but it’s certainly not at the top of her list, especially if it’s only to get her out of her guardian’s hair…

Aaron Lentz has faith in marriage—for other people, that is. Having been betrayed and made a fool once before, he has no inclination to walk down the aisle…

But perhaps a sprig of mistletoe, a dash of fate and a shameless, meddling family (even in the form of an ancient duke), Michaelmas, 1816 might bring about a future they never expected.

This book is part of a three-book, nine-novella Christmas collection. You can see the other books here:

Amazon B&N Kobo

Mistletoe & Michaelmas is connected to and features the hero and heroine (Gareth and Jane) from my last novella, The Perfect Lady Worthe

The last thing Jane Cavanaugh would ever expect is to be married—she is an invalid, after all—but that doesn’t mean she can’t help with her sister’s husband hunt! (Even if it is with a wee bit of reluctance.)

The last thing Gareth, Lord Worthe would ever want to do is to fall in love with his closest friend’s younger sister.

But fate just might have something else in store for these two…

Amazon B&N Kobo

And finally….

In case you haven’t heard the news, I was one of the 45 crazy authors who got together to do something that’s never been done before: a 50 book series, covering each of the 50 United States. My state is South Carolina and on this Thanksgiving (Nov. 26th), Jessie (my heroine) and I will be thankful for its release!

Tired of living under her father’s iron thumb of control Jessie Wilcox decides to do the unthinkable: run away to Montana as a mail-order bride. The only obstacle in her way: the one hundred miles between her home in Williamsburg County and the train depot in Charleston.

Joel Cunningham is in utter disbelief when the girl he once loved beyond reason is on his front porch asking him to disobey her father’s wishes and drive her to Charleston. Logic and reason scream no; his lips, however, say yes.

Will the one hundred miles ahead of them be enough to overcome the five years of painful regrets or will Jessie follow her dream for a new life in Montana?

*** This book is available for pre-order aAmazon and will be enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited for 90 days.