Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Teaser Tuesday - Can you guess?

Man, I almost forgot to post your teaser for today and I'm barely squeaking in under the wire. So, I thought I'd make it fun. I'm not going to name the teaser. Can anyone tell me which book this is from? And there's someone else mentioned in this scene, someone who has his own book coming out soon? Can anyone tell me who that is and what his book is going to be and when it is coming out? :)

Here's the teaser:

Leaving Savannah alone in her bedroom had been one of the more difficult tasks Leiandros had set for himself, perhaps even the most difficult task to date. He wasn’t going to make love to her when she was suffering from exhaustion and jet lag. He would not allow her the out that she hadn’t been in her right mind when she finally gave her body to him.

Besides, there was something he needed to do.

Picking up the phone, he dialed a well-used number. It answered on the second ring. “Hawk here.”

“Leiandros Kiriakis. I need some information.”

“Person or company?”

“Person. Savannah Kiriakis of Atlanta, Georgia.”

“Isn’t she your cousin’s widow?”

Leiandros leaned against the edge of the desk. “Yes.”

“I see.”

“I doubt it.”

“What do you want to know?”

“Everything. I want to know who she sees. If there’s a man in her life. She claims she’s recently graduated from university. I want verification of the claim. But most of all, I want to know about her financial situation. She’s been getting ten thousand American dollars a month in allowance, but she doesn’t dress like it. According to her daughter, they live in a modest house. I want to know where that money is going and why she thinks she won’t need it a few months from now.”

“Is that all?” Hawk asked with more than a little sarcasm tingeing his uptown London accent. (An accent he did not always have...)

“I suppose you want the information yesterday.”

“Yes.” Leiandros didn’t explain why. He didn’t have to. He paid Hawk well to find information and rarely shared his motive for wanting it with the private investigator.

“Lucky for you it’s afternoon in the states. My contacts there shouldn’t have any problem tracking down this information for you.”


“Do you want it in a phone call or fax when I get it?”

“Fax. There could be pictures.” He was thinking of the possibility that Savannah was seeing a man.

He’d taken that for granted considering how she had behaved while still married to Dion, but after the way she’d exploded like a roman candle in his arms tonight, he had to wonder if her social life had been as active as he’d imagined.

“Right.” Hawk hung up.

Leiandros put the phone down as well before going to his own room to take a cold shower and go over the details of his plan. It had to be airtight. After what he had shared with Savannah on the terrace, he was even more determined to bind her to him in marriage and establish her in his bed.He would never let go of her again.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mystery Monday - Guest Blogger: Drama Queen

Hello everyone! Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to chat with you guys! Life has been getting more and more busy. It’s been absolutely crazy here. I decided it’s time to cool down and get my life back in order. I believe everyone deserves a little “me time.” Yet, for some of us that can be really hard to do because we place ourselves near to the bottom of our priority list and don’t take care of ourselves. I realized with little baby steps I can take care of myself. My first step...going to the gym.

Now it may sound simple, “Go to the gym once a day, five times a week,” but it’s not always that easy. Often times I found myself in “crunch-time” trying to fit it into my schedule with school, home, and friends. It was really hard to push myself to go to the gym because I had so much going on. I quickly got discouraged. But my spirits were lifted again when my good friend, whose nickname is Strawberry Shortcake, agreed to be my workout buddy. Together we encouraged each other to schedule time for the gym, push our bodies to the fullest workout, and make healthy eating choices.

We became so excited about our new lifestyle that we started shopping at Vitamin World and drinking protein shakes. Call me crazy, but I think they taste fabulous! In addition, we were found browsing the active-wear section in clothing stores and buying cute new gym outfits. Haha, one of my best friends jokingly made the comment, “Ew. You’re turning into one of those gym people,” but I’m happy about it! Not only is my body healthier but I have so much more energy and a positive attitude.

I know going to the gym isn’t the only change I have to make but I do believe it’s a step in the right direction. So here’s cheers to a healthy body!

Drama Queen

What are some changes you want to make?

Answer and be automatically entered in a chance to win a free “Pamper Yourself” goody bag, including bath soaps, candle, and lotions.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Serials - Jake, Bella & ?

Cowboys & Mercenaries
(c) 2008 Lucy Monroe

Jake swore six ways from Sunday as he pedalled the spindly ten-speed bike. He damn well was not going to accept a challenge bet from his sneaky bastard brother-in-law again.

When he got back to the ranch, he was going to make any kind of betting impossible because he was going to drown Wolf in the creek. Even if it was summer and there was only about six inches of water in it. Of course that might upset Bella some. She was fond of her ex-mercenary half-brother. Heaven alone knew why.

Well, okay, when he wasn't luring Jake into bets that left him riding a bike he'd paid a couple hundred dollars for that was worth maybe thirty on the long road that led from town to his ranch, Wolf wasn't such a bad guy. Lise certainly seemed to think he was something special. As did his baby son, little Joshua Jr. JJ was sure a doll. Hard to believe he was the offspring of such a devious SOB.

Jake smiled to himself. No one was here to see it, so he could admit he more than appreciated his brother-in-law's intelligence and cunning.

Jake was a cowboy from the top of his black Steston to the bottom of his handmade boots. He rode horses. He drove a dually truck that scared the hell out of smaller cars. He did not ride bikes. Not even Harleys, but for sure not dilapidated ten speeds with balding tires and questionable brakes.

However, the bike was a better option that walking the whole way back to the ranch. His backside was gonna be sore though. A bike sit hit a man in places a well-worn saddle didn't.


Lise laughed outloud when she saw her brother riding up to the ranch on the bike. Oh man, her husband was in so much trouble. It was a good thing to two men were so well matched, but Lise thought she might want to warn Bella to get the breakables out of the way.

Lise and Joshua's baby boy toddled out onto the porch. "Mama."

Just one word, but she had no problem knowing what it meant. JJ had started walking at seven months, but speaking was coming more slowly. With Joshua for a father, that wasn't a surprise.

The man gave definition to the word monosyllabic most days. It didn't matter, she loved him more than her own life and he'd proven he loved her more than his.

Life was good.

She picked her son up, but his attention was firmly on his uncle, who had dropped the bike and was standing there looking like a man ready to commit murder.

"Daddy!" Genevieve went hurtling down the stairs and landed against her daddy's legs with all the enthusiasm of a rambunctious toddler.

All of Jake's ill humor melted away like ice in the summer heat of Texas. He swung his daughter into his arms and kissed her cheeks, blowing raspberries in her neck and making her screech.

Bella came out onto the porch.

Lise grinned at her. "Good tactics. I think he just might refrain from killing my husband."

"Those two are more like brothers than in-laws."

"You think?"

"I think if we don't stop these betting challenges between them, they aren't going to have to pound each other into the dirt. The stupid bets are going to do it for them. I doubt Jake has ridden a bike since he was a kid."

"I'm sure you're right."

"His thighs are going to be so sore."

"An excuse for a lower body massage?"

Bella hummed with thought. "Now, that has potential."

Lise agreed, wondering how soon her own little darling would sleep tonight.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Freaky Friday - Something Fun

I'm going to be interviewed on Internet Radio at 7 p.m. EST today. I hope some of you will get a chance to listen. I'll be on the In Depth You show hosted by Corey Burkes. You can listen here:

And if you want to call in, email me for the phone number. :) It sure would be nice to hear some "familiar" voices during the show. I'm not nervous. Of course I'm not. . . ::wink::

P.S. If you missed the interview, you can listen here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thinking Thursdays - Branding Gone Awry

We authors are told we need to brand ourselves. You know, have our stationary match our website, match our business cards and all of it with some clever tagline that will sell lots and lots of books. Or, so that is the idea.

I think honestly that our books brand us, but that's just me. I'm not dismissing the usefulness of a clever tagline, just saying that readers will buy books and more books because they liked the ones they read before.

And sometimes this branding thing can really mess you up. Take for instance, this logo created for a British government agency. Okay, not only was the logo and frankly their spokeperson's response incredibly funny, I found it mind boggling that they paid the equivalent of $28,000 for three letters that look very much like Arial font put together. I'm sure glad Cissy at Writerspace didn't charge me that kind of change when she designed my new website header/logo. You know?

Do you have a favorite logo, or one that you consider just as big a wanker as the one in the article above? I know I got some flack for my "Not Your Grandmother's Romance" tagline I used to use. (Which I no longer do and will never, ever again - I promise! LOL)

And, tell me...if you were going to create a tagline for Lucy Monroe (it's always funny to write about myself in third person), what would it be?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wild Wed ~ A New Contest

My 20th Anniversary with Hubcap is coming up and our plans to fly to Vegas and take in a week's worth of shows have been scotched by his vertigo. We're trying to decide what to do to commemorate this milestone and are open to suggestions. The truth is, just being together is the important thing. I'm so in love with this guy, but if you all can help me think of something that would make him feel as special as he is, I'd be super happy!

If I use your suggestion, you'll get a signed book of choice, but no matter what - everyone's comments will be entered to win a Romance gift pack! So, even if I don't end up using any of your suggestions (and I can't imagine that), there will still be a winner. :)

So, share your suggestions or your favorite romantic memory or your favorite romantic scene from a movie.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Teaser Tuesday - Current WIP

Technically...it's still Tuesday and here's your teaser from my current WIP. :)

The Sicilian's Love Child
(c) Lucy Monroe
Will be released Spring/Summer '09.

Faith finished the third form of a pregnant woman she had done in as many days. She hadn’t done women enceinte since the loss of her baby in the accident that had killed Taylish and any chance Faith would ever have at a family.

Or so she had believed.

Her clay spattered hand pressed over her still flat stomach, a sense of awe and wonder infusing her. It had taken her four years and fertility counseling for her to become viably pregnant the first time

Her first actual pregnancy had occurred a mere two months after she married Taylish at the age of eighteen. They’d been ecstatic when the home pregnancy test showed positive, only to be cast into a pit of despair short weeks later when the ectopic pregnancy had come close to killing her. And of course, there had been no hope of saving the baby with a tubal pregnancy.

Her near death had not stopped her and Tay from trying again. They both wanted children with a deep desperation only those who had no family could appreciate. After a year of trying with no results they’d sought medical help. Tests had revealed that she’d been left with only one working ovary in the aftermath of her ectopic pregnancy.

The fertility specialist she and Tay had sought out had informed them that the single working ovary significantly decreased their chances at getting pregnant. However, she gave them a regime to follow that would hopefully result in conception. It had been grueling and resulted in an already passionless sex life turning flat out clinical.

But it had worked. When the test strip had turned blue, she’d felt like it was the greatest blessing of her life. This time she’d felt like it was a full on miracle.

Tino was careful to use condoms every time. The number of chances they’d taken by waiting to put the condom on until after some play and the single time one had broken (Tino had changed where he bought his condoms after that) could be counted on one hand. With fingers left over.

However, one of those times of delayed sheathing had occurred two and a half months ago.

With only one working ovary, her menstrual cycles were on an eratic two-month schedule. She hadn’t paid any attention when her sporadic period was later than even normal. It wasn’t the first time. Pregnancy had never even crossed her mind. Not when her breasts had grown excessively tender. She’d put it up to PMS. Not when the smell of bacon made her nauseous. She wasn’t a huge meat eater anyway.

Not when she got tired in the afternoons. After all, most Sicilian businesses were closed for a couple of hours mid-day so people could rest. Maybe she was just taking on the habits of her adopted home. She hadn’t even clued in she might be pregnant when she burst out crying over a broken glass one morning when she’d been preparing a heavier breakfast than usual. She’d been craving eggs.

The shoe hadn’t even dropped when she made her fourth trip to the bathroom before lunchtime one day. She’d made an appointment to see her doctor to test for a suspected bladder infection, only to be stunned with the news she was carrying Tino’s child.

She pressed against her hard tummy with a reverent hand. All the symptoms of pregnancy now carried special significance for her. She, a woman who’d had every chance at family she’d ever had ripped from her by death, was expecting. It was almost impossible to believe she’d been so blind to the possibility, but with her fertility problems, Faith had assumed there wasn’t even a remote chance she could or would ever get pregnant again.

Yet, according to the test her doctor had run, she was. She was.

Oh, man.

She hugged herself while looking down at the faceless pregnant figure she’d been working on. The incredible awe and joy she felt at the prospect of having a baby – Tino’s baby – could be seen in every line of the figure whose arms were raised above her head in an unmistakable gesture of celebration. Faith turned to look at the first woman she’d done after finding out she was pregnant.

That figure showed the fear that laced her joy. This woman had a face and her expression was one of trepidation. Her hand rested protectively on her slightly protruding stomach. Faith had done the woman as a native African. Clinging to one side of her traditional dress was another small child, not so thin it was starving, but clearly at risk. The two figures were standing on a base that had been created to look like dry grass.

It was a moving statue, bringing tears to her own eyes. Which wasn’t exactly something new. The one place Faith allowed herself to express her inner pain, the feelings of aloneness that she accepted but had never quite learned to live with, was her art. While some pieces were filled with joy and peace, others evoked the kind of emotion few people liked to talk about.

Despite that – or maybe because of it – her art sold well, commanding a high price for each piece. Or at least each one she allowed to leave her workshop. The pregnant woman she’d done yesterday wasn’t going anywhere but back into a lump of clay. It was too jumbled a piece. No single emotional connotation strong enough to override the others.

Some work was like that. She accepted it as the cost of her process. She’d spent the entire day on that statue, but not late into the night like she had on the first one. Part of it was probably the fact that Tino had called her.

He rarely called her, except to set up assignations. Even when he traveled out of country and was gone for a week, or more – she did not hear from him. But he had called yesterday. For no other reason she could discern other than to talk. Weird.

Really, really.

But good. Any loosening of his strictly sex relationship rule was a blessing. Especially now.
But still. Odd.

She wasn’t sure when she was going to tell him about the baby. She had no doubts she would do so, but wanted to time it right.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mystery Monday - Guest Blogger Kate Walker

First of all, I have to send a great big thank you to Lucy for inviting me here to guest blog this week. And that's on top of an earlier great big thank you that I owe her from a couple of years back. From 2004 to be precise, because that was when Lucy wrote me a wonderful, complimentary quote to go with the publication of the first edition of my 'how to write romance' book - Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.

Way back then, Lucy was one of the first to know about the 12 Point Guide - or, as it was then, the 12 Point Plan because I'd run the 12 Point Workshop with her RWA chapter. That was one of the on-line workshops that helped me polish the original workshop and turn it into the larger, more detailed, 12 Point Guide that ended up being published in book form in 2004. And that was when Lucy, bless her, was kind enough to give me this wonderful quote - "Kate Walker's 12 Point Plan for writing romance is truly fantastic. Not only is Kate a strong storyteller and very successful romance author, but she is a natural teacher and puts the elements of good writing in terms that will click with anyone reading her book. If you are serious about pursuing a career in romantic fiction, I can't recommend Kate's plan highly enough."

Thank you, Lucy! I'm still smiling and blushing when I read that, even several years later. And I'm sure that your endorsement helped the book's success since then.

And now I have to thank you again for inviting me on here to blog about the brand-new, published today, second edition of the 12 Point Guide. I'm really thrilled to be able to say that this second edition is being published and I've been working hard to make it even bigger and better than the first one.

Why did I want to write a second edition?

Well, first there's the obvious reason - the fact that the first edition sold out. That meant that no one can get a copy any more, unless they found one second-hand. Even Amazon doesn't have any used copies available.

Well - they do - if you want a. A copy sent from Lebanon. I think that's Lebanon NY b. A used copy for £60-82 - £60-82!!!! c. A 'like new' copy for £67 - 40 I think not! And no way am I claiming that my book is worth 6 - nearly 7 times what it originally cost. Then there was the fact that some of the information in the original edition needed updating - for example, there were the names of some lines - Mills and Boon 'Tender Romance' was back to being just Mills & Boon Romance. And Silhouette Romance had merged with that line to be Harlequin Romance. Then there was the Modern Extra line which is now selling as Modern Heat.

Nothing stays exactly the same in romance publishing for very long. And that includes the focus of the different lines; there are changes in the guidelines and the things that editors are looking for in submissions. So obviously it was time to plan a second edition.

But I also decided that if I was going to bring out a second edition, it was going to be an improved and expanded new edition as well as a revised one. I know a lot about writing romance but there are some things that only the authors who write for specific lines really know about.
And so I decided that the best way to make the book even more helpful would be to include advice from the horses' mouths so to speak. Only I didn't call it that - I called this new section From The Authors' Desks. I sent out questionnaires to lots of my wonderful friends who write romance for many different lines - and 21 of them answered. Sadly, Lucy herself was rushed off her feet at that time - I'd have loved her to contribute.

But I'm thrilled to be able to say that the new edition is not only revised and updated, it also has this 40+ pages extra with advice and tips from 21 currently published authors. Authors like Michelle Reid, Anne McAllister, Sandra Marton in Presents, Liz Fielding, Natasha Oakley, in Romance, Trish Wylie and Julie Cohen in Modern Heat (Trish in Romance too!) - and Kate Hardy in Mod Heat and Medicals - along with Gill Sanderson and Margaret McDonagh. And in Historicals there's Nicola Cornick and Michelle Styles. . .and that's only as a taster. There's also Holly Jacobs from Harlequin Everlasting - er - Superromance (see there's another of those lines that came and went) and Yvonne Lindsay from Desire. Hopefully, whatever line you're aiming for you'll find something to help you there.

And it won't cost you £ 67-00 - I promise!

No, this new expanded edition will be exactly the same price as the first edition - that's £10.99.
From tomorrow - the actual publication date- I will be holding a special launch party on my blog (http://kate-walker.blogspot.com/) with many of the authors who contributed to the From the Authors' Desks section joining me in the celebrations - and many of them are offering prizes too. So don't miss out on that. And I'll be answering questions in the Writers' Q&A as well. So I hope I'll see you here.

Oh -and as I've been asked for these details again - here's what you need if you want to order the 12 PGTWR 2.

The details you'll need are:
12-Point Guide to Writing Romance(Studymates Writers Guides)
By Kate Walker 2Rev Ed edition Pub April 8th
RRP: £10.99
Publisher: Studymates Ltd
ISBN: 978-1842851319

In America you should be able to order it from Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters/Indigo - just tell them to order it through Transatlantic Publishers (http://www.transatlanticpub.com/)

But if you want a chance to be one of the very first people to own a signed copy of this brand new edition, then I also have promised Lucy that I'll give her two copies to give out as prizes. One will be for her writing class and Lucy will pick a winner from there when I can get my hands on the new edition and send it to her. If you join her classes, then she'll let you know how you can win that. The other one I'm offering as a prize here on this blog.

I don't know if you've ever visited my web site (http://www.kate-walker.com/) then you'll know that the way I pick the winners for my contests is that I don't pick them - my cat Sid does! I put all the names on pieces of paper with a cat treat on the top of each one, and the first one that Sid picks is the winner. So Sid will be picking a winner for me for this prize - and I'll throw in a signed copy of one of my Presents books and a special Kate Walker bookbag as well. All you have to do is to post in the comment s section - tell me about your writing, what lines you're aiming for - or why you'd like to win the 12 Point Guide - I'd love to hear from you. And so would Sid - the more answers we get, the more cat treats he has to eat his way through!

And if you're wanting to be a writer, you might find my Q&A on my blog will be useful.

And Lucy - thanks again for letting me join you on your blog. I'll see you very soon at RWA.

Kate Walker

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Guest Blogger - Anne Rainey

Tomboys are girls too!

I want to thank Lucy for having me here to guest blog. It’s always such a thrill to have a chance to talk to readers.

Now, let’s get personal. :) I never knew calling someone a tomboy was an insult until my youngest daughter pointed it out to me one day. Kids are so much smarter than adults, aren’t they? I hadn’t given it much thought really. It’s how we describe a girl who doesn’t go for the skirts and heels. She plays sports and hates makeup. But, when my daughter asked me, “Mom, why do people say I’m a tomboy? I’m not a boy, I’m a girl.” It stopped me as nothing else could. I’d used that word to describe her so many times in the past, but the look on her face crushed me. I’d insulted her without realizing it. I’d inadvertently threatened her femininity. Even at a young age, girls want to feel feminine. I never knew she felt less feminine than her very girly sister until she talked to me that day.

I stopped calling her tomboy and made every attempt to express to her how beautiful I think she is. That was a few years ago. Lately she’s started to wear a little makeup and begun to use a straightening iron every morning before school. She’s still not a girly girl, but her confidence has improved and it shows.

My latest release with eRed Sage Publishing, Forbidden Fruit, sprung to life because of this conversation with my daughter. I wanted to show the world that even the girls who play sports and hate wearing skirts want to feel pretty.

My heroine Ava Sweet has a feisty nature and an inner vulnerability that drew me. Her outer strength and need to prove herself is so like my daughter. As I wrote this spicy, emotional tale I badly wanted to see Ava’s transformation. At the same time, I wanted to see her get the guy of her dreams whether she wore a skirt or not! And when the hero Luke McGiffin gets a load of Ava all dolled up, he’s ready to fight his way through the pack of men suddenly vying for her attention to get to her. When he catches her, it’s nothing short of explosive! But which Ava Sweet is he attracted to? The skirt and heels Ava or the jeans and t-shirt Ava?

You’ll have to read the story to find out. Ornery, aren’t I?

Now for a question. I love asking readers questions! LOL! Have you ever felt less feminine because of a label—no matter how innocent the label—placed on you? What would you say to people who think beauty is described in terms of heels, a skirt and measured at 36/26/36?

Post your answers in the comments section for a chance to win a free download of “Forbidden Fruit”.

Hugs and Happy Reading!
Anne Rainey
Touching Lace--out now--4 stars, Romantic Times
Forbidden Fruit--out now--FAR Recommended Read!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Confessions Sunday :)

Okay, maybe not confessions so much as just plain old storytellin'. But here's the deal. We had a GREAT vacation and I have yet to post additional pictures (I will get to it, I promise)! But when we got home, both my hubby and one our exchange students had a run in with Vertigo. No, not the Jimmy Stewart movie, the dizzy disease. It was mild at first, but still I knew you all wouldn't begrudge me focusing mostly on them and doing my writing - something had to give and online stuff was it. Family has to come first, right? And the way I gather people to me, living in my house, I've got a big one. LOL

Besides which, I got Jury duty and they wouldn't let me postpone. I didn't get picked as a Juror, I never do, but I had to be there just in case. Sigh...

Anyway, Hoon Mo overcame his vertigo after only a couple of days, but Hubcap's only got worse and worse and worse... Until one day, he was totally laid up in bed. I asked him if he wanted to go to urgent care (he'd already been to the doctor and the meds prescribed made the vertigo beyond debilitating). He said no. I said, "Hm..."

But I was committed to taking my niece and nephew to watch my other nephew's track meet, so I went rushing down the stairs in flip-flops (they were orange which means they were cute, but they were dangerous - it was not one of my more intelligent moments, you know?) and fell. Down the stairs with a crash, bang, boom and blood curdling screech.

Now, you know Hubcap was totally laid up, because he didn't come running. Everyone else did, though. And thankfully, got me to the Emergency Room, where I was diagnosed with a severe sprain. The doctors and nurses kept repeating how a sprain can be worse than a break for pain and I'm pretty sure that was to make me feel better about the shock shakes I was having and my utterly pathetic attempt to control how much it freaking HURT. :)

So, you all should have been there to see me crawling in the front door (I couldn't figure out how to make it up the steps otherwise) and then bump-thumping up the stairs to our room on my behind. I am too short to do a single bump per step and had to lift with my undamaged foot then scoot back, then lift again, etc. I got quite the workout every time I went up and down the stairs, let me tell you.

Anyway, back to that night...I got up the stairs, crawled to the bed (I still wasn't hot at going vertical) and was uber concerned for Hubcap. He just was not getting better. He was so dizzy, he had to pee into a water bottle rather than go to the bathroom and he was throwing up. Not good. So, I made an executive decision. It was his turn for Emergency. Only he couldn't stand - not even if my son carried him. We had to call 911. The ambulence came and so did the firetruck. It was a good thing, because it took six of them to carry him down the stairs on this handled sheet thingy...to the gurney. They had to give him an I.V. first with antinausea meds because he threw up horribly just from being rolled onto the handled sheet thingy.

They gave him Valium and more antinausea meds in the ER (he was there for HOURS) and when he got home, he literally crashed on the couch downstairs. Face first, fell down. He only made it into the house with the help of M2B and our new Live-In. Both are tiny compared to him, but my son was sleeping and I wasn't able to get myself standing, much less someone else.

The good news was that since it was a sprain, I should be walking in a week and able to remove the brace in 3 or 4 days. Well, not in my universe. LOL First, no way could I take off the brace for at least a week and second, I got an infection in my foot (apparently common when you bend your foot a way it's really not supposed to go and fluids get released that aren't supposed to be) and I'm still recovering from that. Can you say, "Ouch?" I mean really, this infection thing hurts as bad/worse than the sprain. Crazy.

But I'm back to say, hey and promise not to disappear again, well as long as I don't break anything or you know have anything else really weird happen.

So, um, Hubcap's gotten better, but it took a long time. He's still taking the Valium on and off and hasn't been able to spend an entire day at work, but he's a trooper for sure.

Just to let you know what else is going on right now, M2B is showing finally. She's so cute! DQ is getting courted by several colleges because her national test scores were so high. My darling son is doing great some days and struggling with depression on others. It's so hard to be a teenager. And chemical imbalances don't help anybody. One of our exchange students moved out (he is 19) with some roommates into an apartment. Our part-time housekeeper/office helper and full-time friend has agreed to a live-in arrangement, but that means tons of moving and reorganizing. Which she is helping with, thank goodness. LOL My mom is doing well, but my sister who had breast cancer has lumps in her lymph nodes, so we're all praying for further healing.

Lots of other family and adopted family stuff going on, but it's just life...like you all have. Sometimes it's harder than other times, but it's always a gift. :)

Hugs and blessings,