Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 is going out on a quiet note for me as I fell sick last night. I had been at a function earlier in the week where someone was sicker than a dog so naturally I had to catch the bug. While I don't plan to stay up to watch the new year in, I do plan on mixing my OJ with champagne.

2005 was a very good year for me so I'll say adieu to it with thankfulness. I got to work with a fabulous group of authors on the Madonna Key continuity. I have great friends and critique partners. I have a fabulous agent who always knows the right thing to say to me when I get nerves about how a book is going.

2006 promises to be another good year as I'm gainfully employed as a writer with 2 new legal thrillers to write. Then there's the day job that keeps the roof over the house.

But this year also brought into the void in life left by the death of my parents my dog Maddie. I hadn't had a dog since I was a kid, didn't know if I would like having one after years of being a cat person, but someone abandoned this lovable bundle of energy and she's mine now.

Together we'll ring out the old and ring in the new.


:) Carol Stephenson

Montgomery Capitol of Alabama

Friday, December 30, 2005

Here's a shot of the Capitol from the steps of the Archives building. :) Carol Stephenson

A Town Without Christmas Lights

Many things surprised me about Montgomery. My misconceptions began on my approach via US231. Somehow I had this idea in my head that Montgomery's terrain would be flat given its history of cotton plantations. Instead I drove through a beautiful landscape of the rolling foothills from the Appalachians.

Then there was the temperature. Cold although nothing like Ohio; it was more like Tennessee's jacket weather.

The town's population is around 300,000 and there are gorgeous mansions everywhere, sitting on land carved out of plantations. If you buy a home, you get an abstract that discusses the entire history of the property. For example, my sister's abstract contains the divorce decree of the prior owners of the area.

But do you think this city with so much southern charm would light up for Christmas? Not! It's like there's an ordinance dictating that all home owners hang discreet wreaths in every window and maybe, just maybe drape a string of white lights in the front. We drove everywhere trying to enjoy lit Xmas decorations, but we found so few. The one small house decorated to the nines had cars and people lined up everywhere; no wonder. It was the only Xmas show in town.

When I attended the University of Leeds in Leeds, England, the coal miners went on strike, resulting in power being rationed. However, during the Xmas holidays, homeowners found a way to decorate and light up their hoouses.

On my return trip to Florida I laughed my head off when I reached Ft. Pierce. The moment the sun set, homes all along the turnpike lit up.

Go figure why Montgomery abstains when it otherwise has so much to offer.

:) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Sweater

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm back home and recovering from a 12-hr drive to/from Montgomery, AL, visiting my sister for the Xmas holidays. I'll have more comments about Montgomery, but it definitely was cooler there so I bought a sweater for my dog Madde. I also broke down and finally got myself a digital camera so hopefully I can upload more pictures. I hope everyone had a very Merry.

:) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Beauty Day

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Since my family hasn't seen Maddie yet, she had her beauty appointment today: nails clipped, teeth brushed, bathed and trimmed. She's all fresh smelling and beau-ti-ful. She even got a new Xmas bandana with a snowman and snowflakes. Maddie loves to ride in a car; she's going to need that enthusiasm as we're in for a 11-hr road trip this week. Her sweater, bows and play things are packed. I even got her a stocking with a dog on it.

Yep, she's spoiled and she's worth every bit of it.

:) Carol Stephenson

Jenna Mills to do prequel

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Madonna Key authors got the fantastic news today that book #6 author Jenna Mills will write the prequel for Madonna Key. The prequel will run in June 2006 on eharlequin and will set up many of the continuity's questions. Jenna is a brilliant, lyrical storyteller, having written for Silhouette Intimate Moments and Signature Selects. The reader will be in for quite a treat!

:) Carol Stephenson

Chapter meeting/Narnia

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's always nice to go to the Florida Romance Writers' holiday party. Every one is psyched and ready to be motivated to pursue their writing. Their enthusiasm always reminds me how much I love being a writer.

Then today I saw Chronicles of Narnia and was blown away. The movie reminded me of how much I love being a storyteller. To create a landscape of good and evil where good always prevails.

:) Carol Stephenson

Madonna Key board on eharlequin.com

Monday, December 5, 2005

With the holidays I need another 24 hours in the day. However, I wanted to let everyone know that there is now a Madonna Key board on eharlequin.com where the authors will be discussing this exciting continuity. The links are:

eHarlequin.com Community - THE MADONNA KEY New 7-book miniseries


I was fascinated by a program on the History Channel last night about Decoding the DaVinci Code. The slant appeared to be geared toward debunking the book's theories, but the program had a nice segment about the Cathars, who will be figuring in my upcoming book SHADOW LINES.

:) Carol Stephenson