Archive for the 'books' Category



Monday morning, and time to kick off the Summer Splash Blog Hop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the picture to start hopping. Win e-readers, gift cards, e-books!

Three people who comment here will win an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of the upcoming fantasy romance novella “Mother Nature & Father Time.”

Advertisements

Dogs Days of Summer on the Farm

We’ve definitely hit the dog days of summer here on the farm, with temperatures over 100 degrees every day. And to celebrate, there’s a new dog in residence. Meet Amber, my new foster! Sorry about the bad red phone pic. Don’t know why it does that when I take pics inside.

 Amber is a five-month-old yellow lab pup. She was about to be euthanized at a local shelter because she had a minor URI (upper respiratory infection). Nothing serious at all…and yet it almost cost her life. Luckily for her, the great team at Humane Society of Flower Mound wouldn’t let that happen! Her rescue was truly a team effort as I couldn’t make it down to Fort Worth that day, and her time was up. But a call for volunteers was put out, and we quickly had people ready to pick her up in Ft. Worth, take her straight to the vet in Flower Mound (an hour away). Wait for to have her little cough checked out by the vet and get a few antibiotics onboard, meet with the (also voluteered to come in) HSFM team to get her all checked in and entered into our database, microchipped, vaccinated, treated for fleas, etc., then drive her to Denton (30 minutes away) where I picked her up. She is doing great, and I’m sure she’ll be available for adoption soon (just as soon as we clear up that little cough). She is very sweet, a little timid but coming out of her shell quickly. She loves other dogs, is unphased by cats. She’s going to make someone a great pet!

With the dog situation all taken care of, I had time to take a little ride on the yella horse this morning before it got too hot. He is doing terrific, becoming a really solid riding horse. Afterward I gave him a bath and fitted him with his new UV protective mask. Paladin has two blue eyes, one of them with no dark pigment around it at all, which makes him susceptible to horrible sunburn in the summer, and even cancer in the long run if not protected. This one is called a bug eye mask. The portion of the eyes is semi-formed to puff out so it won’t irritate his eyes.

 Of course as soon as I turned him outside, he rolled, undoing the bath work and mashing in the supposed molded bug eyes.

I’m now taking bets how long it will be before he rips the whole thing off and stomps it in the dirt!

On tap for the rest of the day, writing, writing, writing, and a little reading. I’m copyediting for a woman out east who has written a wonderful memoir. Guess I haven’t mentioned that last year I enrolled in the Copyediting Certificate Program at University of California – San Diego. It’s an 18-month course, and I’m in my last semester. I graduate in August! I’ve already started taking on some freelance editing clients. Look for the debut of my new website spelling it all out in the next few weeks.

Have a great day, all.

News from the Farm

I have a peep!

Do you see it? He/she looks so much like Mom that he/she is tough to pick out. Yes, I don’t know if it’s a he or a she. It’s nearly impossible to tell with chickens until they’re several weeks old. Fingers crossed for a hen, though!

Meanwhile another of my hens has gone broody, and the two silly broody blue girls seem to have worked out a joint custody agreement. They share the little nestbox 24 hours a day and snatch unhatched eggs from each other.

I’m a little worried about mommas and baby with the heat wave expected this week. High temperatures could get to as much as 105 a couple of days. The mommas aren’t getting up from their nest to drink or eat very much, and the baby is going to need water soon, too.

It’ll be a tough few days for the horses, too. I’m glad I’ll be home all week to check on their water (obsessively) and hose them off if they seem too hot. I’ve replaced the fans that weren’t working in the barn and I can always bring them in during the worst part of the day if needed. The barn is well insulated. Generally it’s much cooler in there than out in the sun.

Good news on the foster dog front! I’ve been taking care of a big black lab named Blaze. I took him in from a local shelter that had a fire (hence the name) and needed to move some dogs out quickly. He is really a lovable big lug. He fit in nicely with my pack and was just easy to have around, so I wasn’t all that anxious to see him go. Wouldn’t you know, he got adopted at his first adopt-a-pet? He went to a great home with a really nice lady, though, and some canine brothers and sister to play with, so I know it’s a good thing. But I was sad when I got home and realized he’d been here such a short time that I hadn’t even taken a picture of him.

I’ll take a short break to dote on my dogs, but eventually a set of sad eyes and needy face will call to me and I’ll do it all over again. Why, when their are so many hundreds of thousands of homeless animals out there that saving one at a time can’t possibly make a dent? The answer is found in my favorite quote.

Saving one dog won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one dog.  –Author unknown

Have a good life, Blaze buddy!

Life with dogs…and cats, horses, donkeys, and chickens!

The best thing about living on a farm is that it’s never boring. There’s always something to to–usually a long list of things.

The night before last, my search and rescue dog, Boogie, had an allergic reaction to something (I think). In the middle of the night he started scratching and biting at himself frantically. All. Night. Long. Neither of us got any sleep. In the morning, I checked him over with a flea comb, but found none. Gave him a bath just in case, but he’s on Advantage II and has never had a problem with fleas. I haven’t changed his food and to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t gotten into anything. I have no idea what caused it, but it got so bad that he chewed a small bald spot on his tail and both of his ears swelled and got hematomas. I checked his ears–no infection, no mites. Cleaned them just in case. Finally I went out and got some Benadryl for him. Within an hour he was no longer scratching. Now he’s in bed sleeping off the drugs.

As I went to feed my German shepherd dog last night, I realized I had run out of the special enzymes that must be put on her food (she has a serious condition called EPI, long story). Never fear…I keep a stash in a little baggie in the kitchen just for emergencies. I reordered the enzymes for her. That stash should last until the new package arrived. So if you’re ever in my house and find a baggie of white powder in my kitchen cabinet…it’s not what you think it is.

Down in the barn, one of my hens has gone broody. That means she’s actually sitting on a clutch of eggs to make them hatch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ignored her for a few days. That was a bad idea. Because when I finally picked her up, I found 16 eggs under her! Hmmm. I’d thought a baby chick or two would be cute. 16? Not so much. Oh well, out here in the boonies there’s always people that’ll take chicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll notice I’ve taken a pen and marked the ones she’s sitting on. Now I have to lift her up twice every day and make sure she hasn’t stolen any more! You’ll also notice that most of those eggs are not hers…as evidence by the different sizes and colors.

Meanwhile out in the pasture, my miniature donkey, Mo, has gotten fat as a full tick on all this spring grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve cut him off from the feed to keep him from exploding. Unfortunately, he shares the pasture with two mares. He has now perfected the technique of walking under their feeders, hunching his back, and knocking the feeders off the fence. He then runs off the paint mare and eats all her food. He might only be 28″ tall, but there’s a reason I call him “Mighty Mo.”

Ah, life with animals…

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Healthy Eating Idea #3

It’s no secret that I’ve packed on a few pounds these last few years, a victim of middle age and the butt-in-chair lifestyle of a writer. Thankfully, I’ve recently been shedding them back off with some careful eating. I’ve dropped 22 lbs. and I’m still rolling strong!

One of my strategies for losing weight is to take every opportunity to trim a few extra calories off of my favorite meals (instead of giving up those favorites). I like tacos. I mean, who doesn’t? But those corn taco shells add a lot of extra calories for not much nutritional value. So as I was thinking up way to have tacos without breaking the weight bank and a way to use up some romaine lettuce in the fridge without having to eat another salad, a light bulb popped on (in my mind, not the fridge. That one was already on as I stood there contemplating while all the cold air escaped).

Taco boats. Yep, I was going to make taco boats.

I’m still a vegetarian, so I opted for a portabello mushroom sauteed in taco seasoning filling, and kept the toppings light–some salsa, a slice of avocado, a few black olives, a small crumble of queso fresco; however, this idea will work fine with whatever you like to use as a main taco filling. But I saved over 100 calories by forgoing the corn taco shell in favor of a romaine lettuce boat. I was going to put lettuce on the taco anyway, so why not use it as the containment vessel?

Here’s what I did: I sliced a stem of romaine lettuce in half lengthwise. Then by hand I peeled out the innermost leaves (putting them back in the bag for use in a salad another time). The remaining lettuce was a perfect little boat. I put my portabello filling in, layered on my toppings, and it was done! 

It turned out so great that I devoured it. I did some quick calorie calculations and determined that with my vegetarian filling (I’ve since also done this with a taco-seasoned black bean mix and a Spanish rice mix) I could have TWO taco boats for less calories than I would ingest with just one taco in a shell.

So give it a try. It’s a perfect summer dish: cool, crisp and pretty.

How do you go about trimming a few extra calories from your diet to achieve your weight goals? Or to maintain your weight for those lucky enough to be in a healthy range?

And hey, don’t forget my psychological suspense/thriller/horror short story (plus a bonus inspirational short story) is now available on Amazon for just 99 cents. Jump to the book page by clicking on the cover below.

A new release!

I’m known in some parts as a romance girl–I read romance, write romance, and promote romance fiction, and I’m proud of it. But I’m also more than romance. I love mysteries and thrillers and horror and science fiction, among other things. So I’m happy to announce that this year I’ll be stretching my..er…pen into several different genres. To kick things off, I’d like to show you my new release, out today in Kindle format. Don’t worry if you don’t have a kindle. You can get a free reading app for your PC, Mac, Smartphone, or tablet (or just read it online using the Kindle cloud reader without downloading any software) by clicking here.

So without further ado, here is my new release, Of Heaven and Hell.

Explore the light and the dark side of faith in two new short stories from national bestselling, award-winning author Vickie Taylor.

At only 15 pages, it’s a short–but intense–read. And hey, it’s only 99 cents! You can buy it by clicking on the cover image above.

I hope you enjoy this first departure from my romance roots. Please let me know what you think by leaving a review on Amazon.com.

Meet Uber-cool author Marsha A. Moore!

Hey ya’ll, I’ve got a treat for you today: I’d like to turn you on to a cool author I’ve discovered, Marsha A. Moore. Marsha writes awesome books that include…wait for it…DRAGONS!

I love dragons as much as I love gargoyles, unicorns, and all things mystical and magical. So without further ado here is Marsha and her dragon world. Buy her book for your Kindle for just 99 cents by clicking on the cover!

 

Dragons of the Enchanted Bookstore Legends by Marsha A. Moore

Since I have a dragon on the cover of Seeking a Scribe, you’d expect those magical creatures to play a major role. Dragon lovers will not be disappointed. I love dragons and have included many types, ages, and sizes. I’d like to share a brief description of the most common ones in this first legend.

Like all fantasies, the battle between good and evil is a key theme. The dragons in my fantasy world of Dragonspeir are either members of the good Alliance, governed by the golden Imperial Dragon and his High Council, or the Dark Realm, led by the Black Dragon.

Alliance Dragons:

Gold dragons are born leaders, being lawful, just and good. Their intelligence exceeds the other types, and their wisdom is sought after. Being good-natured, they help those who are kind and fair. The Imperial Leader helps train and guide my heroine, Lyra, along her quest. Golds are the most powerful and largest in size. The breath weapon of gold dragons is a cone of fire. Although they are cautious about entering a fight and dislike killing, once engaged, they will pour their entire being into the battle.

Physically, gold dragons are spectacular. Two prominent horns point backwards along their heads. The most obvious feature is probably the tentacle whiskers that sprout from the bottom of the gold dragon’s jaw, giving the appearance of a sort of beard in both males and females.

Like his father before him, the present Imperial Dragon will serve the Alliance until either he dies or steps down.  Similar to most golds, he keeps his Alliance headquarters in a grand network of caves set in the rock plateau. His overlooks the Steppe of Ora, the wide plain which divides good and evil in Dragonspeir. His lair includes an elaborate gathering hall, a vast library, guest quarters, and his own personal chambers with cases of magical instruments and a glass-walled observatory to consult the stars. As one of the four Alliance Guardians, his area of expertise is magic powered by the air element, including mystical astronomy studies of the skies.

Blue dragons are the sentries to the Imperial Dragon. They love spending hours soaring and are excellent trackers. Squadrons of them patrol the Alliance. They are lawful and obedient, with strong moral character.

They are a brilliant cobalt blue, bearing a single horn. Their eyes are smooth and glossy, without pupils, which makes for an hypnotic appearance.

Although slightly smaller than golds, they are quicker to strike in battles with their lightning bolt breath.

Bronze dragons are duty-bound and honorable to a fault. Physically, the bronze dragon is quite fierce in appearance, despite its good nature. While most of its body is a reflective copper color, the wings are often tipped with green.

There are two breath weapons these dragons employ. They either use a bolt of lightning or a repulsion gas, which is so putrid that it forces everything away. Always in line with the Alliance, the bronze dragon is a deadly combatant, roasting enemies with bursts of lightning or ripping them open with its clawed forelegs.

Good thing for Lyra, the bronze dragon named Yasqu, who she raised from a hatchling, hasn’t learned about repulsion gas yet!

Dark Realm Dragons:

Black dragons, like the leader of the Dark Realm, always seek to lair in deep dark caves. Although small, they are vile, evil-tempered, and abusive. Their hearts are as dark as their slimy scales. They are obsessed with death and take comfort in the sickening-sweet aroma of drowned, rotting carcasses. The Black Dragon leader prefers his drake servants leave the prey they bring him in pools within his personal cave. The victims float for days or weeks before he eats them.

The dark leader, like all black dragons, is grim and skeletal. His eyes lie deep in their sockets between two great horns that curve forward and down. The flesh of his face is partially deteriorated or burnt from his acidic drool.  His method of attack is spitting caustic acid. My heroine and hero, Lyra and Cullen, learn too well what that feels like!

As allies to the Black Dragon, green dragons live alone in dense forests. Although short dragons, they have nasty, belligerent tempers. They delight in torturing their captives. The head of a green is covered in hornlets. They reek of chlorine since their chosen breath weapon is hurling clouds of toxic chlorine gas.

Numerous types of drakes are the soldiers and scouts of the Dark Realm. Fire and magma drakes attack with burning flames, while the evil ice drakes freeze victims with contact.

This was only a quick summary of many of the evil and good dragons in my Enchanted Bookstore Legends. There are others I enjoy just as much, like the little three-foot long pseudodragon, Noba, who is the wizard’s familiar to Cullen Drake, the Imperial Sorcerer of the Alliance. Read more about Noba and all the dragons in Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One.

All about Marsha 

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!


Available Now!

western romance novel boxed set

7 men as tough as the West. 7 women ready to Cowboy Up

Available Now!

Psychological Suspense short story with a bonus inspirational short story included

Coming Soon from Vickie Taylor

Fantasy Romance Novella

What am I reading today?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker - Just started, but I'm intrigued so far!

Last five books read:

TEXAS GOTHIC - Rosemary Clement-Moore - Awesome! Great fun and spooktastic at the same time!

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - Ransom Riggs - Really creative idea. Enjoyed it very much!

BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS - D.D. Scott - Very enjoyable, fun book!

THE GOOD DAUGHTER - Diana Layne - Awesome! Get it now!

GOT YOUR NUMBER - Stephanie Bond - Fun little mystery!

What’s on my TBR List?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker

Reader’s Guide to E-publishing

Find your next e-book here!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 500 other followers

Advertisements