Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Stranger than fiction


A few weeks ago I blogged about some of the strange things that had come up at work. That post, Wackadoodle Wednesday, highlighted a handful of the odd problems that come with being in property management. Well, I need to write a follow-up to that post, because things got even weirder.



Like this, only in a seniors only building.
We finally convinced one of our tenants that his eighty-plus-year-old neighbour was not running a brothel out of his apartment. That took a surprising amount of effort on our part, but the matter was eventually resolved. (After said tenant called the police and tried to convince THEM that there was a brothel situation going on. They didn't believe him, either.)





Now we're dealing with another tenant who seems to spend a great deal of time out on her balcony, watching her neighbours go about their lives. She also spends a significant amount of time watching the pool, because we've have multiple reports from her claiming that another tenant is doing handstands in said pool, while not wearing the bottom half of her bikini. So far, our poor managers have gone out to check on this selectively-dressed aquatic acrobat twice, and both times they've confirmed that yes, she's wearing both parts of the bikini. 

This leaves us with two possible scenarios:

1) The reporting tenant needs to up the prescription on her glasses.

2) Our hand-standing tenant is stripping off her bottoms, performing her acrobatics and then redressing while remaining underwater, thus avoiding detection.

I'm sure there are other possibilities, but I don't want to go too far down that particular rabbit hole, some things are best left unpondered.



Shown - A reason to rebel against "the man"
Due to a new city bylaw, all organic garbage (table scraps, veggie trimmings, pizza boxes etc) are now to be separated out and placed in special compost bins for pick up. As you can imagine this is not a wonderful idea for a high-rise apartment in the middle of summer, but the law is the law. 

When the tenants were informed of this change, some of them took it upon themselves to stage a garbage rebellion. The specially purchased "compost buckets" have been found in the halls, left in the stairwells, full and apparently awaiting the garbage fairy to come and take them away. (Or maybe they think the fruit flies will form swarms large enough to carry it off?) What none of them grasp is that this wasn't our company's idea. If they want to make a point, head to City Hall and leave the compost at their front door.

I'm hoping that this afternoon is quiet, giving me some much needed time to restore my faith in humanity.





















Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Conventions & carbs and why these two topics are related.

I am not a slender woman. Willowy is not a word anyone would use to describe me. I've come to accept that no amount of diet, exercise or voodoo is going to transform me into a size six, and most days I'm okay with that. My goal is to be healthier, not necessarily skinnier. 

Or that was the goal until I started booking conventions. Did I mention I'm going to be in Atlanta this August? *bounces and grins* I'll be going to Authors After Dark, as an attending author, no less. With swag and books and every intention of having an amazing time. 

Now that I've booked that flight,  it's all about reducing the curves. Why the change? Airline seats.

Oh sure, it looks spacious now...no people, drink carts or luggage!

I live on an island off the Canadian west coast. Unless I'm travelling to Vancouver or Seattle, there's only one mode of transportation that will get me to my destination in twenty-four hours or less: a plane. (Even then, the twenty-four-hour thing is iffy. I've seen a number of flights that take 24-36 hours, and the destination is in North America. If I can fly to England faster than I can get to New Orleans, something's screwy with the system.)

In the case of Authors After Dark, I will be travelling more than three thousand miles away. I leave at "it's still dark o'clock" and arrive in the evening. That means I'm going to be spending a great deal of time  with my curves crammed into an airline seat. When it comes to airplane real estate, inches count. Hell, every centimeter counts. (Yes, I just mixed metric and imperial measurements, My editor would lose her mind.)

With less than two months left before takeoff, I've found new motivation to reduce the carbs, up the exercise and pretend that chocolate doesn't exist. 

To that end, I've been exploring new recipes, and this one is a winner.



Eggplant Lasagna-style Casserole

Eggplant, fresh, 2 medium/large, unpeeled sliced 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick

1 lg can Tomato sauce or your favorite pasta sauce.

Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese or cottage cheese. (1 cup ish)

Shredded Parmesan Cheese (to taste, I tend to go light on this)

Shredded cheese (I cheat and use a bag of mixed cheeses, usually provolone, white cheddar and mozzarella)

1-2 lbs Lean ground meat. (chicken, turkey or beef, whatever your preference)

large slow cooker (6 1/2 quart)

**please note I have kept the measurements general, you can tweak this up or down as needed depending on how many people you’re feeding and if you love leftovers as much as I do.


Directions

Brown meat and set aside

spray cooker with pam olive oil

Add thin layer of sauce to bottom of slow cooker

First Layer: egg plant slices

Second Layer: Meat

Third Layer: Sauce

Fourth Layer:  ricotta/cottage cheese mixture (lightly sprinkle with shredded Italian cheese/parmesean cheese)

Repeat layers and finish with any remaining sauce and top with cheese.

cook for approx four  hours on low (depending on your slow
cooker)




Monday, June 8, 2015

Appearances, coming releases, and what I'm up to this summer




Is it really June already? How time flies.


With the year half over, I thought it was time to do a quick update on my plans for the rest of 2015 and what's coming up in 2016. 

I'm currently working on Wilde Blues - Book four of the Wilde Brothers series. This is Dave's story and I am hoping to have it to the publisher by the end of the month. 

Once Blues is finished, I'll be turning my attention to 3013: FATED. This one will bring readers back to Fort Saken on Earth to catch up with the characters from RENEGADE while telling Dane and Vance's story. 

For those of you who have been asking me when I will be writing more selkies, the answer, is, soon!  I've got the plot for book one in the Destiny Bay series already worked out, and I am looking forward to returning to the world of sexy shifters. This series will be set in northern Scotland, where the selkie myth was born. 


To keep my calendar full, I'm going to be traveling in the coming months.

I will be in New Orleans for the Midnight Gala October 9-11, 2015. It's going to be a great time hosted by authors Jenika Snow, Lacey Thorn, and all three 3013 writers, myself, Laurie Roma and Kali Argent, along with Catalina Harper.

April 7th-11th, 2016  I intend to be at The Novel Experience Event  in Atlanta, Georgia. (Registration pending.) 

May 6th and 7th of 2016 I will be at Romancing the Capital in Ottawa. This great event is hosted by Eve Langlais. 

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If you want to keep up with the lastest goings on, be part of contests and get sneak peeks at what I'm working on, come join my new Reader Group on Facebook, or you can sign up for my newsletter. (points to right side of blog) right over there.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Summoned And Bound - New Release Giveaway


SUMMONED AND BOUND


Two souls bound by fate. Two lovers enslaved by magic.

Vamir Halmar is the Commander of the last Company of Guardians. When a summoning spell targets the wrong man and drops Vamir into the enemy’s hands, he discovers his salvation in the form of a beautiful slave with quicksilver eyes and the heart of a warrior.

Torn from her family and home before she had grown into her powers, Gwyneth Annaren has spent most of her life as the unwilling servant to one of the most fearsome Magi. When Vamir is accidently summoned by her master, she finds herself face to face with a living reminder of the past she has forced herself to forget. The handsome guardian is as dangerous to her as he is compelling, tempting her to dream of freedom and an end to her loneliness.

Can they have a future together, or will the price of their freedom be paid in sacrifice and heartbreak?


Now Available at: Amazon  ARe   B&N  Kobo

* * * *

Summoned and Bound is now available for sale everywhere! To celebrate the release of my latest book 
I'm having a giveaway.


You can win a $20 Amazon Gift Card or a swag package that will include a signed copy of 3013: RENEGADE!



< a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 1, 2015

3013: CHAOS - New Release!


3013: CHAOS

The eighth book in this best selling sci-fi/futuristic series!

Katra Tesera is a female Dragon Warrior on a mission. Unsatisfied with the life her family wishes for her back on her home world, she seeks something more for her own future. When the opportunity to visit Earth arises, Katra is eager for the excitement and adventure of traveling the stars. She believes she is ready for whatever lies at the end of her journey, but nothing can prepare her for meeting her mate…the dark and dangerous Tarin warrior, Lord Jaden Tor.

Warlord Jaden Tor is a dedicated leader who is fighting a civil war to save his people. He has always known his path in life, but everything changes the moment he meets the dark-haired beauty with glowing silver eyes. Jaden wants to claim her for his own, however, there is more at stake than his own happiness… 

When legacies are challenged, and with Tartarus in turmoil, can Jaden and Katra find a way to be together, or will their love be shattered by the chaos that threatens everything around them?


EXCERPT


Once Katra and Jaden were alone together, he straightened to his full height and used his most lordly tone when he said, “Tartarus is my world, and my word is law. Once we land, you will obey.”



“Keep dreaming, Tarin.” Katra turned on her heels, and headed for the door. 

Dismissed. She’d just fucking dismissed him. No one had ever tried the like with Jaden before. His people knew better, and anyone else would have been too concerned of his formidable wrath to even consider it. 

Katra was ready for it when he grabbed her arm and spun her around so she was facing him again, but she hadn’t been prepared for what would happen when he touched her skin for the first time. Energy surged up her arm from where his hand touched her and sent such a strong jolt of lust racing through her system that it made her snarl. She had to fight back the need to throw herself at him and take what belonged to her.

Jaden’s expression was furious as he shoved his face close to hers. “You will obey,” he repeated in a snarl of his own. “Or I will keep your sweet ass confined to the human outpost. I won’t have you flying off on your own and getting into trouble.”

“I am a Dragon Warrior. I do not need your protection.”

He flung her arm away from him as if touching her had burned him. “You do need protection…from yourself. You think you’re invincible, but you can still be killed.”

“I am more than capable defending myself—”

“Your magic be damned!” Jaden raged. “What good will your magic do if someone cuts off your head? I will not have your death on my hands. Don’t push me on this, Katra.”

Perhaps that was the problem. She hadn’t pushed him enough to deal with what was between them. Well, that was going to change. Katra’s glowing eyes flared bright with challenge. Reaching up, she used both of her hands to shove him back a step, then watched his eyes go comically wide with shock. 

“Do you really think me so unskilled that I cannot defend myself without my magic? Maybe I should show you just how capable I am.” 

She went to push him again, but he gripped her wrists. Turning around, she caught him off guard when she used the momentum to flip him over her shoulder. She’d expected him to fall flat on his back, but he used his own agility to twist and land on his feet. The move impressed her.

Damn, she wanted him.

“What in thunder do you think you’re doing? I’m not going to fight you, female.”

“Aye, you are. Show me your strength, if you dare,” Katra taunted. She could see a battle light enter his dark eyes, and it aroused her. Wanting to goad him further, she raised one hand and gestured him forward with two fingers. “Come, warrior. Do not worry, I will not hurt you…too much.”

He came at her fast. It was as if a switch had been turned off inside of him, and she was seeing the real Jaden for the first time. The thought thrilled her, and she struggled to hold back a grin as she countered each move with precision and skill.

It took great effort not to use her magic, but she was determined to meet him on even ground. They fought for supremacy, but both of them were careful not to really hurt the other. It was like they were doing some strange sort of dance, moving and counter-moving without thought. The restraint they used made the fight more a kind of ferocious foreplay, each of them testing their opponent’s weaknesses, while marveling at the other’s strengths. 

Chairs and tables were overturned as they continued to fight. They moved around the room, leaving destruction in their wake. His heavy muscles made it difficult to match his sheer strength, but she was faster and more agile than he was. She ran at the wall and used it as a springboard to launch herself over his head as he pulverized a table that was in his way to get to her. 

Katra thought she had propelled herself far enough, but she underestimated Jaden’s determination. In one motion, he turned, grabbed her around the throat and spun her around, slamming her back against the wall. Instinct had her striking out, but she pulled her punch before she made contact so she didn’t take his head off. Still, she ended up clipping him as he jerked his head to the side, right into the path of her fist.

“Enough!” Jaden snarled.

Their gazes met and held, both of them breathing hard. A small trickle of blood appeared at the side of his mouth from where she’d hit him. Katra wanted to lean in and taste him, to take him inside her so they would always be connected, except she couldn’t move. Couldn’t look away from his stormy eyes. Aye, he was angry, but there was something else in his dark gaze. 

Passion.

BUY LINKS:


AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | ARe | SMASHWORDS



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Being a grown up is nothing like the brochure...



Dear younger self. I have news for you, and you're not going to like it. Ready? Here it is. 

Being an adult is nothing like what you think it's going to be.

Yes, you can stay up late, but by the time you hit your forties, sleep is a dear friend, one you're happy to spend time with. Oh sure, you'll occasionally miss your old friends, Wild Times and I Can't Believe I did That. There will be nights you even stay up late and revert to youth-like behaviour, but those times won't come often, and it will take you days to recover. Not hours. Days. And yes, you will start taking naps. I know, you can't believe that day will ever come, but it will. Trust me. 

It's true, you can have cereal for dinner and no one will judge you. You can even eat nothing but ice cream and waffles for a week if you want to. No parent will nag. No one will materialize at your side and hand you a carrot stick. But one day you'll find yourself standing in the chips aisle, reading the nutritional info on the side of that jumbo bag of Doritos, and you'll put the damn thing back on the shelf. Words like, sodium content, MSG, empty carbs, and trans fats will fill your head, and when you get to the till you will find you're big treat of the week isn't a pint of Hagen Daz, but a bowl of fresh blueberries (anti-oxidants) and a container of low-fat, all natural yogurt. 

When you're young, getting a letter or any kind of mail was an adventure. Later on, the mail is nothing more than a reminder that bills are coming due. I stepped into the elevator last night and started sorting through my mail. Two bills, a letter from my financial planner reminding me I need to come in and talk about insurance and retirement planning, and the strata meeting minutes from our annual general meeting earlier in the month. As I stared at this bounty of boring, I was struck with the realization that this was my life now. 

That car you always dreamed of having? The one that went from zero to "holy shit" in less than six seconds and would make you look glamorous and successful just being seen driving it? You're not going to own that car. You're going to end up driving something sensible, with good gas mileage and a turning radius that lets you parallel park like a champ. 

And if you think that just because you became an adult, that means your parents stop trying to parent you? It isn't going to happen. Instead of questions about the last time you brushed your teeth, you'll get queries on when you last had the oil changed in your car. The questions change, but the motivation never will. They're your parents, and they will continue their loving interference into your life until the day they die. Get used to it.

Being in charge of your own life sounds wonderful. You're finally in control, no one else to answer to, your destiny is your own. What it really means is that you have no one else to blame when you make mistakes, and you will make mistakes, lots of them. You will also have to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life, and there are no takebacks. Life is an adventure, but it comes with sleepless nights and a nightstand drawer that includes a bottle of antacids. 



Before you give up hope and go hide in your blanket fort, there's one more thing I need to tell you. It's going to be nothing like you are expected, but it's worth every struggle and challenge.

And give your parents a break about their weird need for naps. In twenty years, you'll understand.







Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's wack-a-doodle Wednesday...Yes, I'm making that a thing.

I must have missed the memo that went out proclaiming today Wack-a-doodle day. There had to be one because otherwise the crazy people of the world have managed to coordinate themselves to an alarming degree without help, and that's a damned unsettling idea.




I work for a property management firm, and you might think this gives me some protection from the crazy. You would be wrong. While it is rare for me to have direct contact with these escapees from reality, I'm often the victim of secondary exposure. This happens when the crazy ones make the various apartment managers so confounded and confuddled that they call the main office seeking clarification and/or crisis counselling.

In the past twenty-four hours I have had the dubious honour of being verbally accosted in two languages by an angry tenant who failed to understand that they had violated a clause in their lease and they were being given an opportunity to fix the issue before we took further measures. Instead of fixing the problem, they went on the warpath. First they yelled at the on-site manager, and when that didn't work, they called the office.

We were wrong to do this. I was a liar. I was a harasser of innocent people. We were going to be sued. When it was over I got to write up an incident report. A good time was had by all.

A few hours ago, the manager of that same building called me again. (it seems to be her week.) Now, one of the tenants has reported a possible brothel in the building. 

How do they know this? Why, it's obvious!  By spending vast amounts of time observing the security camera footage at the front door of the building, this tenant knows when someone arrives at the building, and then goes to the front door of their suite to spy through the peephole and determine if the new guest arrives at the neighbour's door. There are simply too many people visiting the elderly neighbour for the complainant's liking, thus, it must be a brothel. 

Did I mention that both the complainant and the accused are over eighty? Just mull that over for a bit, I'll wait for you to get over the giggles. 

And while we're on the subject of sex, I should mention that we opened the outdoor pool at that same building this past weekend. We've now got a betting pool on how many days it will be before we have to send the season's first "stop having public orgies in the pool, please" letter. This pool is in the centre of a courtyard, surrounded by apartments on all sides (half of which are for residents over the age of 50). It's about as private as highway intersection during rush hour and has nearly perfect acoustics, but that doesn't stop some tenants from giving a public performance a few times a year. 

Given the way this day is going, I'm going to bet that tomorrow we'll be penning that first "cease and desist" letter. 

The funny thing is, if I tried to put this stuff into my books, no one would believe this sort of thing really happens.