Friday, August 31, 2012

Romancing the Hop!

Welcome to starr words and Romancing the Hop!

There's a ton of blogs to visit during this hop and each one you visit is offering a prize of some sort. And when you leave a comment, you'll be entered for our grand prizes. Yep, each comment equals a chance to win:
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Large Swag Pack
And from the comments here on starr words, I'll be drawing for a $10.00 Amazon gift card!
The linky with all the participating blogs is at the end of this post. Have fun and good luck!

And now, my favorite thing about romance...

Really? I have to pick a favorite? Shall I take a writer's easy way out? I love romance because I get to write romance and discover a happy ever after ending. (Okay, sometimes it's a happy for now ending, but that works, too.) No matter what trials and tribulations my characters face, whether personal insecurities, relationship woes or the villain set to destroy everything in his path, I know, somehow, my story people will prevail. Love will prevail. And isn't that what it's all about? (The Hokey Pokey comes a close second.)

Here's an excerpt from By Keltic Design, the first book of The Double Keltic Triad. Along with one of those destruction minded villains, Jaye and Allyn both face their fair share of internal issues. In this excerpt, Allyn's fears come to the forefront. Jaye discovers he's 13 years younger than she is.

He rocked back on his heels and took her hands in his when they slid from his shoulders to his chest. Holding her fingers over his heart, he kept his eyes tightly closed. Allyn tipped her head to one side and looked past him to the wall where her awards hung. Glaring in the spotlight of her fear was the certificate he had asked about earlier. The reason he knew how much older she was. Panicked, she struggled to move away.

“Don’t.” Allyn froze at the soft word. Jaye’s hands gripped hers more tightly. Easing closer, she tried to read the emotions behind his closed eyelids. It was minutes, hours, or heartbeats later when Jaye opened his eyes and smiled tentatively, looking so like a hopeful little boy she couldn’t restrain a smile in return.

The moon’s reflection glistened in his eyes when Jaye turned his face to the window. She knew the decision had been made.

Expecting nothing more than good-bye, she held her breath. She was prepared. Although she tried again to slip her hands from his, he held them firmly for a moment before he let them go. Her palms flattened against his chest just over his racing heart and tried to imprint the feel of him into her memory, storing it away before he left her.

His voice remained rough and husky even after Jaye cleared his throat. “If we were in a movie this would be where I carry you off to the bedroom.”

Allyn didn’t understand; she couldn’t have heard him correctly. She must have given him a strange look for he stepped back, disappointment filling his face and dulling his eyes. Allyn took a deep breath and an even bigger chance. “That would be foolish.”

Despondent, the faint hope still lighting his face faded and his shoulders slumped. Allyn thought her heart would break. Stepping close to lay one hand on his shoulder, she leaned into him, pressing her breasts against his arm. The soft stubble on his cheek tickled her lips as she brought them close to his ear. “I can walk.”

Thanks again for stopping by starr words! Don't forget to leave a comment. And hop on to these other blogs. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Call Me--Maybe, It's College Football Season

I love musical parodies/remixes. Just look back on some of my older posts.

Today, in honor of college football, the Big 10 (which actually has 12 teams, but who's counting) and of course my home state and alma mater UNL, here's the Big 10 mascots and Carley Rae with "Call Me Maybe". Enjoy!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gotta Dance

Okay, maybe not with feet that never seem to know which way they're going, but today I will say
Happy 100th Birthday


Gene Kelly!

Without a doubt, this man is one of my favorite dancers, but even more than his creativity in choreography, directing, acting and yes, dancing, I can't resist the sparkle in his eyes and the joy of his smile. I'm so drawn to people who sparkle.

And then--I would be amiss if I didn't mention a benefit of the dancing--great man thighs!  Sigh. (If you want to get to the good part and those oh, so sexy thighs--skip ahead to the 4 minute mark)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Beach Blast and the OK Cafe

One of my favorite home town restaurants closed the end of June after 8 decades of feeding railroad workers, farmers, and city folk. For many the cafe was a Sunday dinner tradition. My Mom and Grampa ate there many times during the week as well.
I'm so glad I honored the home cooking of the OK Cafe in Birds Do It! 
My favorites included the hot beef sandwich and their crispy fried chicken. Yep, home cookin' at its best!

Here's an excerpt showing Birdie's first time at the cafe...

From the only booth available at the rear of the small restaurant, Birdie was able to take in the full impact of the décor. Train related signs covered the walls, glass lanterns and antiques filled shelves over the service area. But most amazing was the model train that periodically circled the room on tracks placed near the ceiling. Feeling almost sorry for the engine pulling a long string of cars, each advertising a different area business, Birdie chuckled.

“This place is wonderful. I can’t believe I didn’t even know it was here.”

Garr barely glanced up from his menu. “Food’s good, too.” He tossed the plastic covered pages to the table. “Don’t know why I bother to look, I know what I’m having.”

Birdie glanced at the Sunday dinner specials. “Um, I guess I do, too, unless I change my mind before the waitress gets here.” Nervous about being there with Garr and Rachelle, Birdie didn’t think she could eat very much—even though she had skipped breakfast. A salad and the stuffed baked potato would be about right. And it shouldn’t be too messy; she was good at dropping food all over herself.

Full of banter for Garr and Rachelle, the waitress arrived to take their orders. A knot formed in Birdie’s stomach but she ignored it. She refused to dignify the uncomfortable emotion by naming it.
She fiddled with a napkin from the black, metal dispenser while she waited for the waitress to leave.

“So, you come here often?”

Startled eyes met hers. Garr chuckled. “Great line.”

Oh, God, that sounded like a pickup line from a bad movie. She glanced away quickly and stared out the clear windows lining the front of the restaurant.

Letting his fingers linger just a moment too long, Garr reached over the table and touched her hand. She was so cute when she got flustered—faint pink drew a soft line across her cheeks. He took a deep breath and leaned back in the booth, letting his arm rest around Rachelle’s shoulders. That should keep him grounded.

“This is one of our favorite places, isn’t it, squirt?”

Rachelle nodded, reached for her glass of soda and blew bubbles with the straw until Garr tapped her shoulder and she stopped. An innocent smile graced her young face.

Garr turned his attention back to Birdie. A strange look filled her eyes as she watched Rachelle. It was a look of recognition; as if she met someone she hadn’t seen in years. Confused, he studied her, and waited until her gray-blue eyes returned to him. He smiled to offer comfort for something he didn’t understand. Yet.

“Originally this restaurant operated right next to the railroad tracks, actually not too far from here. This location is much larger than the first OK Café.”

Smoothing the wrinkles in her forehead, Birdie’s eyebrows rose. “Larger?”

“Yep. There they catered to the railroad workers and the locals who dared to try the shabby place. My grandparents used to take me there. Now, well, you can see the results of a good reputation, excellent food...”

The waitress appeared with their meals. Birdie’s eyes widened at the size of the overstuffed potato set before her.

“And adequate portions.” Garr chuckled.

“Good thing nothing comes with this besides the salad. I can’t eat all this.”

“It’s good, you may be surprised.” Garr turned to his meal, cut a bite of roast from the pile on his plate, and placed it next to Birdie’s potato. “Try this. They have some of the best beef in town.”

Trying to swallow the dry lump in her throat, Birdie watched Garr and his daughter a few moments while they happily attacked their meals. She looked at the roast resting so innocently on her plate and glanced at Garr from under her lashes. He watched her.

Birdie picked up her mug. She needed to get a life. She’d been around birds too long. She glanced again at the offered bite. Feeding the female was a typical male mating behavior. Humans didn’t do the same thing... did they?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a summer fun stretchy bracelet and earring set! I'll draw the winner after the Beach Book Blast--so on Sunday. :)

Enjoy the rest of the summer and some great books!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's a Blast!

A Beach Book Blast that is!
Authors from the WG2E and Beach Book Blast Blog are pleased you've joined us for the BBB Summer Launch Event!

AUGUST 15-18

If you click on the Summer Launch Event Books tab at the top of the blog, you'll see all the wonderful books we've released this summer, some with special pricing just for the event. Plus, a few of us are offering corresponding giveaways at our individual blogs, so make sure to check for the blog links after each book blurb.

We're excited to share our new books with you and would also love to have you party with us at our Facebook Release Party on Thursday Aug. 16th. Friend us on FB and then join us Thursday for some chatting, fun and even more prizes.

Now for the super fun part...want to know what the "& More!" on the above BBB graphic entails...? Not counting the FB party prizes, here's what we're giving away with the event!
GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire
 Bonus Rafflecopter Prizes:
1. Lost In Italy ebook, by Stacey Joy Netzel
2. Deadly Addiction ebook, by Kristine Cayne
3. Snow Dance ebook, by Alicia Street and Roy Street
4. $25.00 Amazon gift certificate from Lily Silver
5. Apocalypstick ebook, by Greg Carrico
6. Signed cover flat of Apocalypstick from Greg Carrico
7. $25.00 Red Lobster gift certificate from Janice Lane Palko
8. Jade O’Reilly and the Ice Queen ebook, by Tamara Ward
9. $10.00 Barnes and Noble gift card from Stacey Joy Netzel
10. ebook 3 pack by Liz Jasper: Underdead, Underdead in Denial,
     and Crimson in the Very Wrong Fairy Tale 
11. Everything to Lose ebook, by Natalie G. Owens
12. The Scent of Lies ebook (Kindle), by Debra Burroughs
13. One of the Bandit Creek series ebooks, winner’s choice,
     from Sheila Seabrook
14. Signed print copy of Playing for Keeps and a Set of Romance
     Trading Cards, by Liz Matis
15. Lovers and Other Strangers Series Boxed Set: The Boston Stories,
     by L.C. Giroux

Including the individual author giveaway,
that's over 24 prizes you could win!

Now for the most important question...
"How do I enter?"

Head on over to the Beach Book Blast. On the right hand side of the page is a rafflecopter! Do that rafflecopter thing and you're entered for our Grand and other prizes!

And, come back to starrwords on Thursday (August 16th) for a chance to win a handmade stretchy bracelet and earring set. The perfect accessories for reading your Beach Blast Books!

Discover a new author at the Beach Blast!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I love to laugh...

How many of these great laughs do you recognize?  Which laugh is your favorite?

I know a good share of them but I don't think I can pick a favorite. It changes each time I watch this!

Enjoy...and have a good laugh.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Little Clouds

You don't need to paint to take these creative words to heart!

Now, go create YOUR worlds!