Happy New Year!!!!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

May everyone have a Happy and Safe New Year!!! Maddie and Carol


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Maddie here as Carol's been so-o-o-o busy with parties, work and the holiday season. We've just returned from visiting Carol's sister and brother-in-law in Montgomery, Alabama. Carol's nephew also drove down from Cincinnati for Xmas. We had a grand time despite the fact that Carol's sister kept her two cats under wraps for the entire visit. I would have liked a nice chase or two. Because the weather was yucky for a good part of the time, I didn't get to visit the park to chase the ducks like I did last year. However, I got a nifty water fountain for Xmas along with several yummy treats. Of course, Carol had me wear this 'necklace'. Sigh. What a pup has to do to make her human smile. I hope everyone had a very Merry! Maddie.

Xmas preparation

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

For some reason, I'm really running behind on Xmas preparations this year. This past weekend I did decorate the outside of the house. I'm starting to 'step' back the decorations. Last year I almost fell off a ladder while trying to wrap lights around a palm tree so this year's motto was if I couldn't reach by tippy-toes, it didn't get lights. However, I'm pleased with the results. Last night I ordered my calendars with photos from Vermont so fingers crossed that the calendars will come out great. Then I also ordered Xmas photo cards and picked them up today. I'm letting everyone have a sneak peek as the photo I used is posted below. I'm taking a break from the Xmas tonight to work on my contest entries for SHADOW LINES; t'is the season for the contests for published authors with 2006 releases. :) Carol


Thursday, November 30, 2006

My bad. I keep forgetting to post that I'll be signing SHADOW LINES this Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Here's the information. :) Carol
December 2, Saturday, 2:00-4:00 pm, “A Novelist’s Romantic Journey,” Books-A-Million, 3825 West Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442, 954 725-7536, in association with the Florida Romance Writers. Discussion & Signing with authors Nancy J. Cohen, Karen Kendall, Aleka Nakis, Carol Stephenson, and Prudy Taylor Board.

More Vermont

Ahhh, the last day of November and no HURRICANES!!!!!!!!! T'is the end of hurricane season and I'm celebrating with another peaceful scene from Vermont. :) Carol


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Off and on I research the family tree. The recent news of a missing WWII submarine being found brought to mind my dad's father. Dad didn't talk much about him; Mom indicated that my paternal grandfather was a tough man. I rather suspect he was a bit of a wanderer, unable to find his place in life.

Frank Carney Stephenson enlisted in WWI, met my grandmother in England and brought her back as a bride. The depression was not kind as they eeked out an existence onn a farm in Ohio. When WWII came along, my grandfather tried to enlist again and when he wasn't accepted, enlisted in the Merchant Marines and worked as a fireman. On June 5, 1944, he was aboard the SS PILLORY, a coal burning Panamanian flag freighter, when it was torpedoed by the German U-539 while en route from San Juan P.R. to Guayanilla, P.R. Grandad was among the men immediately killed in the explosions. As the injured were taken to Puerto Rico, I've run a search off the cemetery where American soldiers are buried to no avail. I'm assuming that Grandad's body either was never recovered or he was buried at sea. During my research, I did find this nice online tribute to him:

World War II Honoree


:) Carol

Those Writing Urges

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Today I sent off to my agent my legal suspense proposal 'The Hartbreak Kid' for Silhouette's Romantic Suspense line. Here's hoping that my new editor loves it, and I'll find a new home with the folding of Bombshell. However, I'm skipping with glee as I've had an idea burning a hole in my gullet for Silhouette's Nocturne line. In fact, the prologue bubbled forth this past Sunday and the first chapter is demanding to be written. After a nap, I curled up this afternoon to work on the research I've compiled. I love the thrill of writing when it's hot and furious, and I seem to be on that roller coaster ride at the moment. I learned a long time ago to go with the flow so my plans to plant impatiens tomorrow may be put on the back burner, depending on how the writing goes or how swept up in the research I get. I hope everyone had a great Turkey Day and have survived Black Friday! :) Carol

The Fountain

Friday, November 24, 2006

I'm a big Rachel Weitz and Hugh Jackman fan, but I'm scratching my head over their movie 'The Fountain.' I came close to walking out at one point, but since going to the movies is so expensive any more, I stuck it out. I gathered the theme was something about the inevitability of death, but sheez, a bit of illumination here and there would have been nice. And the ending???? If anyone ever figures it out, let me know. I'll curl up with The Mummy and X-Men. :) Carol

Casino Royale!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Woohoo!!!!! What a great weekend. First I saw the FABULOUS new James Bond movie, Casino Royale. I've been a Daniel Craig fan since I saw him in Tomb Raider and knew he could pull off being James Bond...and boy, does he! This movie goes back to its Sean Connery roots of being raw and edgy. The men are going to be initially disappointed as the babe-fest intro has been dispensed with, but they should be won over by the action scenes. The movie is very light on gadgets. This Bond is a man who uses whatever is available around him in the manner of MacGver to chase, escape and kill. For the women, hubba hubba on the ocean scene of Craig emerging from the water. This movie is about the making of James Bond and it delivers. I can't wait for the next two that Craig has signed on for.

The second wonderful thing was my Buckeyes winning against Michigan. When you grow up in Columbus, OH, let me tell you. Everything stops for that game. I cooked up a batch of chilli, sat back and cheered my team onto victory. Maddie loved doing the victory dance with me. :) Carol

Bombshell Wall of Pride

Monday, November 6, 2006

With the pending demise of Bombshell, I would like to shout to the world the accomplishments of the Bombards at bombshellauthors.com. :) Carol

: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller
MEDUSA PROJECT: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller; Reviewers’ Choice Award finalist

: CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award; RT Reviewer's Choice Nominee
PARALLEL LIES: RT Reviewer's Choice Nominee

: CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Nominee

: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller
SURVIVAL: 2006 CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Award for Bombshell

: 2006 RITA, Best First Book

: Waldenbooks Best Seller; Winner, Long Contemporary, Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie contest
EXCLUSIVE: CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Nominee

: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller

: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller, RITA finalist for Best Romantic Suspense; The Beacon Award of Excellence, Romantic Suspense Finalist; Holt Medallion Award Finalist, Mainstream/Single Title
WAR GAMES, BOOK #2, DOUBLE VISION: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller List, CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Award, Blether Silver Medallion Award
BULLETPROOF PRINCESS (IT Girls series #6): Reviewers’ Choice Award Finalist

: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller, RT Top Pick

: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller

: RT Top Pick, RT Reviewer's Choice Nominee

: Waldenbooks’ Best Seller

: Winner, 2006 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Romantic Suspense Series; 3rd Place, Romantic Suspense, 2005 RIO Award of Excellence; Honorable Mention, Romantic Suspense, 2006 Wisconsin Romance Writers' The WriteTouch contest; 4th Place, Long Contemporary, 2006 Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie contest

: 2005 RITA, Best Novel With Strong Romantic Elements; CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Award for Bombshell; 2005 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Bombshell; 2005 All About Romance Best Series Novel Award
CONTACT (Athena Force): Waldenbooks’ Best Seller

Scenes from Vermont

Thursday, November 2, 2006

I love the quaint, picturesque town of Bennington. One of my fav spots is the cemetary at the First Church where British and American soldiers killed during the battles of the Revolutionary War are buried together. The cemetary overlooks a gorgeous swath of countryside and is so peaceful - a fitting resting place. Carol

And now back to more Vermont colors

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

(But Maddie was sooooo adorable in her Halloween t-shirt last night!) :) Carol


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Maddie here. Bummer. Carol got me this cool orange T-shirt with a bat on the back. I was going to get to help her pass out candy this year. You know, greet the kids with a woof and wag of the tail. Maybe even plant a sloopy kiss here and there. But bands of rain moved across our area this afternoon, lasting until early evening. We only had a few kids. Now Carol has a ton of candy to haul into the office, and I didn't get to show...er...help out much at all. But Carol promises that I can help her next year. Until then, the orange T-shirt goes back into my drawer.

And more colors!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Before bringing you this gorgeous interlude, I'm thrilled that COURTING DANGER placed third in the long contemporary category of the Maggies this past weekend! Thank you, Georgia Romance Writers and all those who judged! :) Carol

The Colors

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You may be thinking, "Hmm, Carol, but where are the fabulous fall colors you saw in Vermont?" And my answer... :) Carol

Anniversary: Hurricane Wilma

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Today marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma. Thank God for El Nino as it's blown apart all the tropical depressions that formed this year. While hurricane season officially ends 11/30, with the cold waves sweeping down over the south now, it appears highly unlikely that a hurricane will form [knocking on wood as I type ]. My section of Florida really needed a break. We had 3 hurricanes in 13 months, and there were still homes with blue tarps when Wilma hit. In my neighborhood all the blue tarps are gone and the rapping sound of hammers has dissipated. When I'm on the road for my job, I'm also seeing fewer and fewer tarps. People are still living in temporary housing, but with the next season not until 6/07, maybe we can all get back on our feet. Here's to another 30 days of peace and quiet. :) Carol

The End of Pool Season

Monday, October 23, 2006

My neck of Florida is getting its first cold wave of the season. Temperatures are supposed to drop by 20 degrees. Yet when I got home from work tonight, the breeze was just getting a nip to it. After I took Maddie for a walk, I made a dash for the pool. The water was brisk as opposed to pleasant, but I swam my normal laps. Although I have solar heating, under the best of conditions, it can only heat the water about 10 degrees, and the solar system hasn't been the same since Hurricane Wilma. So with the cold wave, I figured I've had my last evening swim for the season. With the solar, my 'pool' season runs from April through end of October for sure, but anything beyond that is always questionable. Since I love swimming at night as it relaxes me, I'll miss my laps. However, the upside is tonight I got to open the windows to let in the fresh air for the first time since May. It feels so good! :) Carol

Manchester, VT Courthouse

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Built in 1822 the Manchester Courthouse stands across the street from the Equinox Hotel. I loved the play of light on its gold dome. In the mornings we would open our window in our attic room [I mean that literally. We got out from the elevator on the 3rd floor, went up stairs, opened the door to another steep flight of stairs to get to our room]. Then we would hang out to look at the sunrise light illuminating the church and courthouse. This is a sunset shot. :) Carol

Mt. Equinox

Friday, October 20, 2006

Of course, the Equinox Hotel takes its name from Mt. Equinox. Take about tight curves to drive up the mountain... There are several lookout points along the way, and it got progressively colder as we neared the top. Then at the summit...brrrrrrr!!! There's an abandoned hotel and no wonder. Once it's dark, it would be impossible to navigate the road. The area is owned/run by a group of monks whose monastery can be seen from one overlook. My friends and roomies Kathy and Diane are pictured freezing their bums off at the top. :) Carol

Equinox Hotel

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Our group stayed at the Equinox Hotel in Manchester. The hotel has strong Orvis connections as one brother began the sports clothing store and the other brother this hotel. 3 Presidents have stayed at this place and it reportedly has a few ghosts, though I saw none. While the rooms are small and lack many of the conveniences we come to associate with the hotel chains, the staff was fantastic. The hotel does boast a quaint tavern, and my friends did rave about the spa facilities. :) Carol


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

High on our 'to do' list for the Manchester area in Vermont was touring Hildene, the estate of Robert Todd Lincoln, who was Abraham Lincoln's only child to grow to old age. On a visit to the Equinox Hotel [where I stayed] with his mother, Robert fell in love with the area and bought land next to a friend's place. Robert lived there until his death and the property went through a series of his children and grandchildren. However, the line of the direct descendants ceased with the death of the last owner in ~1975 and became a historic landmark due to local preservation efforts. Lots of cool and interesting historical items in the house, but my personal fav was the case with one of three surviving black hats worn by Abe himself. Gave me chills! :) Carol


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

As part of the foliage tour my group took, we visited an alpaca farm. Believe it or not, an alpaca costs about $20,000. and the value of the animal isn't its coat. You also have to have 2 alpacas as they don't do well solo. They were curious, running up when we entered the pen, but didn't like sudden movements. The alpacas especially were drawn to the children in the group. Now I didn't know they could spit, but thankfully they didn't while we were in the pen. Thanks to my friend Marge Smith, here's some info on the critters: "Not all alpacas spit, but all are capable. While occasionally the projectile contains only air and a little saliva, the alpaca often bring up and project regurgitated stomach contents...
Spitting is mostly reserved for other alpacas, not for humans, but sometimes a human gets in the line of fire. If an alpaca is extremely displeased at a human, that person may well become covered in smelly, green goo...
For alpacas, spitting results in what is called "sour mouth." Sour mouth is characterized by a loose-hanging lower lip and a gaping mouth. This is caused by the stomach acids and unpleasant taste of the contents as they pass out of the mouth.
Some alpacas will spit when looked at, others will never spit — their personalities are all so individualized that there is no hard and fast rule about them in terms of social behavior." :) Carol


Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm back from Vermont and loved, loved, loved the state and the people. It was my second trip there and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I've got scads of photos but I'll start with the high point: The British School of Falconry located in Manchester, Vermont. I got to work with a Harris hawk called 'Sky'. She was a sweetie and weighed less than a pound and a half. We got to toss the hawks into the air [that's to allow them to find a draft of air to fly on] and then summon them back to roost on our hands. I had a blast and of course picked up a book on falconry. :) Carol

Beauty Day

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Maddie here. Saturday was my beauty day. Carol took me in and the groomer brushed my teeth, trimmed my nails, gave me an oatmeal bath [I have itchy skin] and then finished off the day with a haircut. However, the groomer had to add one last detail...she put orange Halloween bows in my hair. You would have thought I looked like a million dollars the way Carol made mushy noises when she first saw me. After we shared an Arby's roast beef sandwich as our Saturday treat, she just had to take me out in the front yard and take a million pictures of me. I'm not sure her getting a digital SLR camera was such a good thing. Now she can take all the pictures she wants because she knows she can go through and delete those she doesn't like. Still, all in all, I'm looking good and I smell nice and clean. Carol's taken to giving me extra snuggling. It's a tough job, but if someone gets her hugs, it's going to be me. Later, Maddie padding off in search of Carol


Thursday, October 5, 2006

As the week draws to a close, I'm getting psyched for my trip to Vermont next week!! The extended forecast indicates temperatures from mid-30's to high 50's. Unreal. And...best of all the fall colors are peaking early. It should be over 50% color next week. On my first and last visit to Vermont a few years ago the colors were only 30%. The hotel I'm staying for the Florida Bar Family Law divison retreat/seminar gives falconry course so I'm signed up. It should be good research for a heroine I have in mind for a new book. Of course, as the day job is frenetic, I'll end up packing last minute but I will not forget a scarf and gloves. I won't repeat the same mistake when I went to Italy and a Siberian cold wave swept the country; I ended up with pneumonia. :) Carol

The Great George Strait

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

I wasn't always a fan, but in the 1990's when I discovered the joy of country music, I discovered George Strait. This week The Man celebrated his 53rd no. 1 hit. Two and a half decades earlier, he scored his first number one was in 1982. In fact, he has scored more Number One songs than any other single artist in history and has sold over 62 million records in the meantime amassing 28 platinum or multi-platinum discs –more than any other country artist. I can't think of any other singer who has accomplished this. Some may still be recording and occasionally climbing the charts, I don't think anyone has done it by staying true to his initial 'genre' of music. From start to finish, he has stayed true to Western swing. Phenomenal. That's about 3 generations of listeners with whom he has struck a chord. Remarkable record, remarkable singer. You go, George!!!! I'll be listening. :) Carol

Switching gears: rave

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Okay, switching gears. I was thrilled to see a reader's review posted about Shadow Lines on eharlequin. Thank you Cady for being such a great supporter of my books!!! I'm working hard on coming up with another legal series for the new Silhouette Romantic Suspense line. :) Carol http://community.eharlequin.com/webx?14@281.PbiqaTioV13.8@.4a837210

More ranting: Another form of cowardice

Since I seem to still be in rant mode...I came home to hear another form of cowardice: the hit-and-run political spew message on my answering machine. I've been getting messages for weeks from this non-party but political group. They spray sensationalism and then at the tail end there's this low mutter that sounds like 'americanvoices.org'. Yet when I went to the website, I found this very worthy organization dedicated to the preservation of American music. So I'm being ambushed by a group that is too cowardly to leave a legitimate name or phone number for me to contact them, tell them that they're full of crap and to stuff it and to leave me alone... That if they continue to disturb the sanctity of my home, I will start contributing to a candidate I've wouldn't have considered giving money to just because this group is comprised of cowards and sensationalists. I know better to expect that the 'do not disturb' law can be extended to politics , but I think the law should require these a**holes to provide contact information and if asked to, are required to take your phone number off their calling list. I'd even go with an exception for candidates and the political parties so long as a contact number is included in the message so you can call and complain. But for the non-party political organizations, eat sh*t and die for invading my privacy. And for the organization mascarading under the name of the poor legitimate, exemplary organization 'American Voices', shame on you. Cowards. You are the worse kind of distortion of free speech: too afraid to hear back from someone who disagrees with you. Carol

I have to believe in hell...

Monday, October 2, 2006

or else there would be no justice in this world for cowards such as the Amish or Colorado shooters. We're supposed to take care of our young. Yet these bloody cowards walked into schools with loaded guns, separated out helpless young girls, and in the Amish case tied them up before killing them. Then, these men took the easy way out and killed themselves, not even giving society the chance to drag them to the nearest tree and hang them. They'd better be roasting in hell at this very moment. Carol

Spanish Flu Update

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gotta love the timing of my book coming out and this update on the Spanish flu research. :) Carol http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15044065/


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I avoid 'serial' TV shows like the plague. Those progressive shows where you have to watch every episode to know what's going on with any clarity. However, I got snared by Heroes on Monday night. What an intriguing show and premise. I don't know if the show can keep the quality up, but what a great opening. Shades of X-Men minus the cartoon factor. :) Carol

Hollywood Land

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I had ambivalent feelings after seeing 'Hollywoodland'. I thought Adrien Brody and Diane Lane were both terrific. However, the director slanted the evidence/rumors toward his conclusion [or at least suggested conclusion] that George Reeves committed suicide. I'm sorry, but I can't get past the fact that the ex-fiance and her friends waited 45 MINUTES after the gunshot to call the police. Hello. Let me think what these people could have been doing for 45 MINUTES. Trying to revive the former Superman? Nope. How about getting their story put together? Yep. My money's on the ex-fiance as the guilty one. Then the director make a big point of saint cards being found in the actor's bedroom but never offered up his own theory. When a movie wastes precious screen time on information, you expect at least a hypothesis. Because there was a slant, I couldn't tell how true the implication was that the kids' idolation didn't matter to George. I hope that's not true. I was one of those kids glued to the TV to watch every episode of Superman. George's TV Superman was one of my earliest heroes, and I hope if in life because of his depression and issues George took no pride/comfort in all the children's idolation that he can now. Whatever went wrong or never went right with his life, every week for several years, George Reeves was Superman and brought me thrills and wonderment. Carol


Monday, September 25, 2006

Maddie here. Let me tell you. Carol had a bad dream last night, tossing and turning. I finally had to get off the bed to get a good night's sleep. Anyway, when she woke up, she hugged me tight. For months now in our area of Florida, thieves have been stealing people's generators. Carol dreamed that someone stealing her generator broke into the house and hurt me. I gave her a good slurpy kiss to let her know I was fine. However, when she left this morning, she kept the hurricane shutters that secure the back of the house shut and locked. Normally, she opens them so I can look out during the day. Well, when she got home tonight and took me on a walk, we saw police cars all over the place. The house across the street two doors down had been broken into and the place tossed. The neighbor had arrived home to find her front door ajar and had the presence of mind to call the police. When we finished our walk, Carol gave me another hug. I have to tell you, Carol is one smart pup to listen to her premonition. :) Maddie

Sick, sick, sick

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tonight's news had the gruesome story of 3 teens breaking into an elderly woman's home, trashing it and then putting her kitten into the oven and burning it to death. What was this poor woman's offense against these teens? She told them to stay off her property. Thank God a neighbor saw them leaving the house. The boys were captured and are in jail. 3 Jeffrey Daumers in the making. If they can do such a heinous act against a helpless kitten, what next? What if the woman had come home while they were still inside the house? After having taken that first step of killing, what would they had done to her? Sick, sick, sick. And how could there be redemption for someone that inhumane? If I were on the jury, my vote would be to first stick the lot of them in a hologram giving them the sensation of being inside a heated oven and then throw them in a jail cell and lose the key. Sorry, but I have neither sympathy nor hope for someone so evil. Sigh, Carol holding her own cats tight tonight

Birds are for the dogs

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Maddie here. Carol's all excited. Can you imagine this? She's leaving ME to take a foliage trip to Vermont in October along with a bunch of attorneys. Then she learned that the hotel they'll be staying at offers a falconry class, and she will get to work with birds and dogs. I had to remind her that she already has a top-notch bird dog...ME. When we visited her sister and BIL this past Xmas in Montgomery, AL, we went to a beautiful park where they had geese and ducks. I got to chase my first flock of birds and could the humans keep up with me? Heck no. I showed them speed. Check out the photo below. Carol isn't going to find any better bird dog than me. Maddie

Great Weekend

Monday, September 18, 2006

I had a great weekend! I had dinner with Cindy Dees both Friday and Saturday nights along with other people from the Florida Romance Writers. Then Saturday I attended the day-long workshop Cindy presented to the chapter. As part of the presentation she had us complete worksheets. I decided to work on my current Work in Progress and lo and behold I figured out my heroine's motivation. Wonderful time, wonderful people. :) Carol

Reviews for Shadow Lines

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm so grateful. I now have two '5' star reviews posted on Barnes & Noble by top-notch reviewers. I'm also aware of several other sterling reviews plus the postive '4' from RT. The insightful comments by all the reviewers have sent me reeling. When you read a review and you know the reader got it, it's both gratifying and humbling. I'm sighing with pure joy. :) Carol

Cindy! Cindy! Cindy Dees!

I'm so psyched. I'll get to see my Madonna Key co-creator Cindy Dees tomorrow night. On Saturday she's putting on a day long workshop for my writing chapter Florida Romance Writers. The stories, the knowledge, the fun... What a perfect weekend I have ahead! :) Carol


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One item of interest that I came across while researching Languedoc, France and the Cathars concerned the language, called 'Occitan'. The language of the Troubadours, Occitan was the first literary language and still exists today. For example, the word 'key' is 'clau' in Occitan.

Here is the link to the Song of the Cathar Wars that is in Occitan:

The Cathars: Cathar Castles: Béziers


:) Carol

Dancing with the Celebrities

The men far exceed the women so far this year. Although Tucker has a cute personality, he was a lousy dancer. However, Jerry is the worse [I have to admit, I can't stand the man stemming from the days of his being city councilman/mayor of Cincinnati; he is the prime example of once a jerk, always a jerk] and should go but he probably has a big enough audience to get by. The big surprise of the night was Emmett Smith and Mario simply smouldered. The women so far are forgettable, but then again they had the fox trout to start off with. Maybe they'll relax with a better dance next week. :) Carol

United States Dance Sport Championships

Monday, September 11, 2006

I got to watch the USDS Championships held in Hollywood, FL this past Saturday. My group was fortunate to have a ringside table. Talk about up close. You could really appreciate the footwork. The events that night were the finals in Mambo [pro], Latin [both amateur and pro] and Smooth [both amateur and pro]. I never saw so many sequins and rhinestones in one room at the same time! It's physically demanding. The dancers went through 3 rounds of eliminations, performing 4-5 dances each round. Judges included Mary from So You Think You Can Dance and from that same show in the audience was choreographer Shane. The people watching was phenomenal. I had a great time and the evening was a perfect warm-up for Dancing with the Celebrities' new season. :) Carol

My book!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Woohoo!!!!! Today I received my author's copies of SHADOW LINES. I love, love how it looks! I'm so proud to have been a part of this continuity. And I'm so grateful that so far the reviews have been very positive. There's nothing like holding your book in your own hands. :) Carol

Steve Irwin

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

While I was deeply saddened by the freak accident that took Steve Irwin's life, I draw comfort from knowing that he died while doing what he loves most: exploring the wonders of nature. I watched a brightly colored bird at my feeder yesterday and could hear his voice saying, "Crikey, that a pretty one!" Also, while I think most of us...if we think about our death...would prefer something painless along the lines of passing away in our sleep, I did think about dying what I love doing most. For me, that would be writing. The problem is I would want to finish the book so I would be ticked off about being interrupted...not a particularly restful way to go. So Crocodile Hunter, be at peace. Crikey, you gave us years of wildlife enlightenment. Carol

SHADOW LINES is up on eharlequin!

Friday, September 1, 2006

I'm so excited. SHADOW LINES is now available to buy on eharlequin! They posted an excerpt as well...the opening scene of the book. I'm still loving the cover as well. What a great way to begin the Labor Day weekend. Everyone have a great but safe holiday! :) Carol http://store.eharlequin.com/t10_view_series.jhtml?CATID=80135&PRIM_MONTH=1

Justice-a crushing disappointment

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The discussion around my law firm's cooler this morning was the disappointing TV show Justice that aired last night. Now, I normally love Jerry Bruckheimer, but the blatant trial errors now makes me wonder how loose a hand his company's taken with other shows/movies. He knows adventure but this...

I'm only a workers' compensation insurance defense attorney, but it's basic Direct Examination 101 that you don't get to lead your own expert witness. The fact that the Justice defense team did just that was totally ridiculous...and no objection from the D.A.? Come on! About the only time you get to lead your own witness is he has unexpectedly turned hostile. Then you need to get a ruling from the judge before you leap gleefully into leading the witness. What's a leading question? One that requires only a 'yes' or 'no' answer. Leading question: You examine the dead body, correct? The answer can be only 'yes', 'no'...or God forbid, 'I don't know'. Instead of the TV attorney telling the expert what his findings were...the proper question should have been, "What are your findings?" An open-ended question allowing the witness to discuss his conclusions. Now if you've properly prepared your witness, the witness should know generally how to answer the question asked...what you want him/her to cover.

I was so hopeful about this show, but I won't watch it again. I'm going to try out the James Wood show coming out --Sharks-- because I love his work, but I'm not holding out much hope that it will be an improvement over Justice. Carol

Ernesto, a non-event

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Maddie here. Although I huddle close to Carol last night when the wind would howl [had to make sure she was okay, you know], Ernesto turned out to be only gusts of wind and bands of rain. Carol's so industrious that she already has taken down the shutters and set the yard to rights. However, Carol can't figure out why some people are soooo mad at the weather service for Ernesto turning into a dud. Did they want the storm to be a bad one causing property damage and power outages? Both Carol and I are relieved that Ernesto packed no punch and we have power. Carol can continue microwaving my doggie food to take off the refrigerate chill that I don't like. [Shih Tsu's are fussy about these type of things, such as cold food]. Uh oh, Carol's heading to the kitchen to make dinner for us. Later, Maddie

The Marvels of Modern Radar

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fortunately, it's looking like Ernesto is just a rainmaker. Even as I write, the first bands are moving over my area of South Florida. My feet ache and I'm exhausted from waiting in lines and preparing the house, but I'm relieved we dodged a bullet. With many roofs still wearing blue tarps, we needed a break from hurricanes. But how wonderful it is to click on my local station's website and watch the radar. I can see not only the intensity of the weather but how the size. Instead of wondering if the current stretch of bad weather is never going to end, you know that in another 10-15 minutes, it will pass. Great for determining best chances to take the dog out safely. Here, check it out. :) Carol


Monday, August 28, 2006

Tonight when I got home from work I put up my hurricane shutters as Ernesto is chugging toward my section of Florida. Tomorrow I'm going to get up early to try to buy gas for the generator and pick up milk. The gas lines were horrendous all day long and many stations have run dry already. The tankers are giving priority to the Keys so that people can evacuate , but that means our stations are running out. Some stations are receiving supplies tonight so that's why I'll make the rounds early. People who don't live in hurricane zones don't know/understand the long, long lines. Cars circle the blocks around gas stations; people wait in lines stretching down the aisles in the stores. Most of the home supply stores now allow only so many people in at a time in order to regulate the crush. Once a hurricane watch goes up, it is a race against time to get the necessary supplies before the storm hits. Normally, we have more advance warning but Ernest changed course unexpectedly so it's crunch time. I can hardly wait until November and for this hurricane season to be over. Carol

Madonna Key Cover #5 is up

Friday, August 25, 2006

The cover of Hidden Sanctuary, Madonna Key #5, is up on Barnes and Noble and continues the look that appeared on Dark Revelations and my book, SHADOW LINES. This time the 'magic' or light comes from the necklace the heroine is wearing. Wow, only two more covers to undergo the big reveal. Reviews so far have been terrific for SHADOW LINES, and I'm holding my breath for the remaining ones to come. I had a scare about my eye today [bleeding], but my optometrist assured me the eye was okay. However, I figure it's a warning sign to not push myself like I do and plan to rest it over the weekend. Hard for me to do, since I'll work on the laptop while watching TV...or read a book while watching TV...or...you get the picture. I will work on the new book for Silhouette Romantic Suspense that I've begun since my old line is no more. As always, I'm excited to discover this new group of characters. Happy weekend! :) Carol

Countdown to Cindy Dees Workshop

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm so psyched. Today I mailed off my check for Florida Romance Writers' Super Saturday. It will be an all day workshop on 9/16/06 put on by none other than my fellow Madonna Key cohort Cindy Dees. The stories she tells of her service in the Air Force are alone worth the price of attending her workshop, but she's such a fabulous writer. If anyone is interested in attending, the application and information can be found under the tab 'workshops' at the chapter's website:

http://www.frwriters.org Below is the MK group shot from RT in Daytona Beach. Cindy's on the left along with Lorna Tedder, myself and Evelyn Vaughn. :)Carol

Nice chat with my editor

Monday, August 21, 2006

I had a good chat with my editor today. She's a sweetie and it was comforting to speak with her after having Bombshell pulled from underneath me last week. My editor's stoked about a new series I proposed so slowly I'm drifting back into writing. I did relax over the weekend, taking lovely naps. However, I also picked up a few books from the line I'm targeting and indulged in a little reading. I have to admit, though, I ended up returning to my tried and true Nora Robert's books. I always loved the MacKade Brothers series so I read bad boy Rafe cover to cover. So things are good. I promised myself a decent break to recover from my last book, but one week from writing and my fingers are twitching. Below is a picture of my critique partner Linda Conrad and myself at the Harlequin party at RWA in Atlanta. We were are the Ritz Carlton with the theme 'Putting on the Ritz'. I did a Fred Astaire. :) Carol

WHEEE!!!!!!! BENJY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Well, after a not so great week, a bright note. My man Benjy won So You Think You Can Dance! I'm so thrilled. I would love to see him in the movies at some point. What a great performer. :) Carol

The End of Bombshell

Even though I suspected the writing was on the wall for this wonderful line, it was still a stomach punch on Monday [8/14] to get the news that Harlequin was ceasing its publication after January 2007. This particularly hurt when I had just about killed myself to get COURTING DISASTER turned in by my deadline...Monday, 8/14. The one bright note is HQ is reverting the rights to my primary characters in the Courting series so I can market them elsewhere, and my wonderful agent sprang into immediate action on Monday to do so. Much has been written about the failure of HQ to market this line correctly so I won't beat a dead horse. The marketing sucked 10-year-old rotten eggs. But first and foremost, I'm a storyteller. Where one line ceases, another begins or exists. While I was out of town for my day job, I came up with another legal concept for the newly emerging Silhouette Romantic Suspense line so we'll see if that flies. If it doesn't, I have a thousand other ideas. I'll keep writing because I cannot 'not' write. :) Carol

Update on Carol

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Maddie here. My human Carol is in a state of complete collapse. She had a 8/14 deadline and mailed off her completed book yesterday. Good girl. She always meets her deadlines. I gave her an extra lick for a job well done. However, she can't rest too long as she has to turn in a revised proposal by 9/1 so she'll be diving back into writing by mid-week. Today she did take time to give me another swimming lesson. She heard about dogs accidentally getting in pools and then not being to find their way out so she takes me to different areas of the pool and lets me swim to the steps. As a lion dog, I don't really care for the swimming or the bath part afterwards, but I know she loves me and is doing these lessons for my own good. Bark at you later. Carol's heating up pizza and I want to make sure I get my fair share. Maddie

Our Generation's Definition of Cowardness...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Al Qaeda. Wusses who don't have a molecule of moral decency; hell would probably spit them out as being even too despicable for the devil. The old-fashioned punishment of drawing and quartering would be too good for them. Since they like airplanes so much, I think taking them up as high as a jet can go and then pushing them out without a parachute would be lovely. Carol

Maggie Finalist!!!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

I got the call tonight from Georgia Romance Writers that COURTING DANGER is a Maggie finalist in the long contemporary category. This contest is always special to me as it was my first win as an unpublished writer. I won the inaugural Maggie in Paranormal, Futuristic in 1996. That win led to my landing my super agent Roberta Brown. Speaking of which...here is a shot of Roberta and me at the RWA conference in Atlanta. :) Carol

Carol's Tuna Noodle Casserole

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hi, Maddie here. Poor Carol. She wanted to make a tuna noodle casserole last night. Apparently, her mother used to make a yummy one and Carol wanted to try her hand. She bought all the ingredients and had the recipe out on the counter. However, Carol's cleaning angel, who doesn't like anything out on the counter, put everything away. Carol couldn't find the recipe and cleaning angel is out of state on vacation. Never say die is Carol's motto. She tried to recreate the recipe from memory, guessing out the ingredients and proportions. Smart pup. The casserole wasn't a disaster; I quite enjoyed it. In fact, the casserole improves with age. On reheat it was even better tonight; I had seconds . Oh, yes. Carol did eat her share in case you're thinking she gave me the entire dish. I can't wait until her next cooking adventure. Later. Carol's program 'So You Think You Can Dance' is about to start. May the paws be with you, Maddie.

Treasure Hunter

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Okay, guilty secret. I've gotten hooked on this reality show. I'm going to have to watch myself as that now makes about 4 reality programs. Not good. But so far the teams eliminated have been the ones I wanted to see go. And I howled when Air Force found the artifact first last night. Talk about justice. I haven't liked the other teams ganging up on them. One of the Air Force members is a boy scout by nature and for the others to pick that good characteristic apart doesn't speak well for them. However, please, if there's more justice to be had, the Fogels will go next. One just wants to smack the daughter silly and all that screeching...sigh. Carol

Still no cover

Friday, July 14, 2006

My stomach's in knots. The Harlequin art department decided to change the Madonna Key covers at 2 books into the series...thus no continuity in covers. I was hoping to have my cover in time for the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta and was thrilled to hear that the Intimate Moments authors with October releases got their covers on Monday. So I waited with bated breath all week long, checking my email fifty bizillion times. No cover. With only 1 1/2 weeks to conference, it's not looking good. And why one line's October covers were distributed and not others is beyond me. So totally nerve wracking as to what the artists did/are doing as I had thought the first 2 covers were striking. Now I'll also have to scramble to get prints made of the cover if it comes out before the conference...or not if it's really suck-o. Since they are sticking with at least a monochromatic look, I'm praying for at least a nifty color like red or orange or even silver. Given the fact that my book entails a Spanish flu outbreak, I can't see them doing a fashion color like pink but who knows what idea lurks in the art department's mind. I'm going to go nuts worrying about something I have no control over. sigh, Carol


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Woohoo, Benjy and Donyelle!!!!! They can headline a Broadway musical any day!!! My friend Marcia King-Gamble was chatting tonight so I was participating in that at the same time I watched the dancing. Never let it be said that I can't multi-task. However, I'm up against deadline so back to the keyboard. :) Carol

Dennis Anniversary

Sunday, July 9, 2006

One takes the hurricane season in mile markers. We're at the first anniversary of Dennis striking Florida. While we still have ~4 1/2 months to go until the end of the season, so far we've only had tropical storm Alberto. Fingers are crossed that the ocean and Caribbean remain quiet. I think the entire Gulf region could stand a break. And since these storms typically move up the eastern seaboard, dumping rain, I'm sure the northeast could stand a break from rain as well. Carol

Pirates, Connery and stuff

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Maddie here as Carol's munching on her dinner. She left me alone ...on a weekend no less...to go see Pirates II. But Carol's cleaning angel came today and while she was busy [while Carol's not a dirty pup, she is a messy pup, constantly leaving puddles of paper everywhere!], I slipped out the cat's door and had a grand adventure outside.

Carol said she's ambivalent about Pirates II. Loved the 3 main characters, great special effects and loads of action...but no resolution of a single thread...whatever that means. It wasn't a stand alone movie, simply Part I of a two-part episode. It left her dissatisfied because she didn't think it fair play to the movie goers. The first movie gave the sense of being resolved but did leave enough hooks that you knew there would be further adventures. Pirates II simply was a further adventure that didn't actually end.

I'm sending a puppy hug to Connery. His human is Doranna Durgin, one of Carol's fellow Bombshell authors. He's got allergies and not feeling well. I hope he's soon up and about clowning around as good as ever. :) Maddie


Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Woohoo, Benji!!!! Another stellar night. Thank goodness Dmitry got a partner who has a little bit more personality...whether they'll get a chance to work together longer and meld more like the other couples, we'll have to wait to see. Jessica and Jaymz lost any possibility of my vote in future rounds by being cry babies tonight. And I really don't like this 'krump' dancing. Bleh. No grace or beauty; nor is it fun to watch. I hope that's the last of the 'krump' for this season. :) Carol

Limitation on fireworks

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

I admit that I don't understand why people risk life and limb to set off their own fireworks rather than going to a park to watch a show. I can stand in my own front yard and see the city's display going on. However, what I do mind is the endless setting off of fireworks. I walked Maddie earlier than usual and then took her out again at 8:15 p.m. right before I knew the noise would really get bad. Well, it's been bad for two straight hours with no quiet in sight. My poor animals have been glued to my side, and I rather suspect I will have to deal with a few messes in the morning. It's also hard to sleep with noise and I know there are a number of elderly in the neighborhood who usually go to bed early. I would dearly love to for the law makers to place a limit on the time fireworks can be set off, no later than 11 p.m. and preferably 10 p.m. It makes no sense to keep setting them off all night long, and it shows a total lack of consideration for one neighbors. If I can pinpoint a few miscreants' houses tomorrow, I'll make sure Maddie takes her revenge by whizzing and pooping on their yards [and yes, I'm normally considerate and do the poop baggies]. Carol

Happy, Safe 4th of July

I hope everyone has a great day but please be safe. Everyone with pets...please get them inside and give them an extra cuddle. There are maniacs shooting off fireworks without regard to another's property or peace of mind. And to our military and their families, thank you for all you do.

New Orleans Writers' Conference

Monday, July 3, 2006

NYT best seller Heather Graham is one of the founders of my local RWA chapter, Florida Romance Writers. She also has a heart of gold. Heather's putting together a writer's conference in New Orleans to help with bringing much needed money into the area. Here is a web link about the conference, which gives a little more information. You can also download a registration form - go to_www.theoriginalheathergraham.com_ (http://www.theoriginalheathergraham.com/) . :) Carol

The Devil Wore Prada

Friday, June 30, 2006

I had my beauty appointment today. As I predicted, while I was getting the full salon treatment, Carol went off to see 'The Devil Wore Prada'. When she picked me up, she said she enjoyed it but never could figure out what the 'Prada' part was. You see, Carol doesn't know one designer from another. However, Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway were totally decked out and were perfect casting. The audience was almost entirely women with only 3-4 coerced...er...brave men. Definitely a chick flick, according to Carol. Funny, I thought the movie was supposed to be about the fashion industry, not chickens. Anyway, here's a shot of me hard at work by Carol's laptop. I think I'm the height of fashion with my pink bandana, don't you think? :) Maddie

Beauty Day

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Maddie here. Carol's taking tomorrow off to make a three-day weekend. Something about a book deadline. Me, I was hoping for an extra walk here and there and what humans call quality play time. But oh no. Tonight Carol tells me she's made my beauty day appointment tomorrow. After I get a bath, the groomer cuts my hair, clips my nails and brushes my teeth. I think it's a bit much, but Carol always makes such a production over how pretty I look that I put up with it. The only thing I can't understand is why she has to give such a major brushing the night before. I give her a few nips to make her think I resent it, but when she's done, I stay in her lap for an extra itch behind the ears. You gotta take the good with the not so pleasant, I guess. Of course, I think Carol's going to play hooky from her writing and go see Superman while I'm getting beautified. You have to admit, the girl knows how to juggle her time.

:) Maddie

A Cat Leash Law?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Carol here as Maddie would be in favor of this item. I just heard on the news that a few communities around here are considering leash laws for all pets...including cats. Now, there has got to be more important items to be placed on commissioners' agenda...property usage, hurricane preparation, road construction...to name a few.

But putting a cat on a leash? They have got to be kidding. Obviously these people have never even seen a cat let alone own one. If you've ever seen the movie Cats and Dogs, it sounds like some diabolical, cartoonish plot by dogs against cats.

Unbelievable. These government officials have too much useless time on their hands. They need to get a regular job and a life. Perhaps they should volunteer for a day at one of the local cat rescue organizations around here. They might learn something about cats...or not.

Sigh, Carol


Carol and I are going to leave the play-by-play of tonight's competition to our pal Karmela Johnson [karmelajohnson.com] on her blog. However, we both really liked that Cuban rumba. Carol had to get up and dance a bit with me. I don't quite understand her enthusiasm, but I do my best, getting up on my hind legs and doing a bit of hopping. Gotta keep the girl happy!


Shameless Plug for Cover Contest

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

There's a cover contest going on with my Courting Danger up for best cover. Here are the links for you to check out and vote!!!



:) Carol Stephenson

A Tale of Two Fathers

Monday, June 26, 2006

Approximately 2 years ago there was a tragic incident when a teenager was shot and killed by a police officer during an evening function at a school. Who knows what really happened that night. I've always suspected it was a pyramiding of one stupid action upon another by all those involved. However, when the father of the teenager announced he was bringing a $7 million lawsuit against the county, lo and behold, out of the woodwork crawled another man claiming to be the real father. After all the legal wrangling [making the attorneys very happy campers], the DNA results were finally announced today that apparently substantiate the woodwork man's claim.

Of course, he's never spent a dime on supporting the kid. He simply got the mother pregnant and disappeared into that woodwork for years, not even emerging after the mother died.

But fear not that his motive could be possibly greed! He's only stepping forward now to make sure the dead teen's siblings get some money and a foundation is established in his dead son's name. Such altruism.

Right...... What a shame we don't have any bridges for sale here in South Florida. But wait a minute! We still may have some swamp land...

IMHO, of course. Carol


Thursday, June 22, 2006

I was relieved to see Joy get the boot tonight. I wasn't sure I could stand much more of watching her lackluster performances. However, I was hoping that Heidi's partner would also get the boot as I think she deserves a better partner; I would have liked to have seen her paired with Dimitri. Unfortunately, poor Dimitri got another raw deal with his new partner. I can only hope that he can help Alek show better.

:) Carol


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Okay, my clear frontrunner to win So You Think You Can Dance is Benjy. While I wanted to root for a woman this year to take the ultimate prize, Benjy's skill as a dancer and his personality is a wonder to watch and enjoy. I think he would even get me to like the krump.


So You Think You Can Dance

My replacement show for American Idol so far is this one. However, for someone raised on tap and ballet, I am befuddled by all the supposed styles. Tonight there was a krump dance, whatever the heck that is. And the explanation made no sense and there didn't seem to be a real difference from some of the so-called other styles. If I were an alien, visiting earth here and there, I would have to wonder at the changes from the stunningly gorgeous Viennese waltz to flap dance to swing to disco to hip hop. I kinda wish the waltz would come back in style.

I know. I'm dated.

:) Carol Stephenson

Summer Reruns-a new opportunity

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I never can afford to get hooked on one of those continuity series where you have to watch each episode to fully understand what's going on. My main TV commitment is American Idol as I love watching the tryouts with all the bad singers. This past year I also discovered Bones and caught several episodes with the quirky lead. She's a major cerebral Bombshell heroine.

However, during the summer I do get to pick up a show here and there. Right now the Fox station is running a double-feature of House, and I'm appreciating the grouchy lead character. His 'good' days make me look terrific at my worst. Strange kind of a feel good show.

:) Carol Stephenson

The Ugly and The Good

Sunday, June 18, 2006

We had a news story this past week that demonstrated the ugly...to almost downright evil...and the good of humanity.

A retired couple in Boynton Beach borrowed money in order to buy a generator because the wife has heart trouble and needs oxygen to live. The husband chained and bolted the generator to the ground. However, while he took his wife to a doctor's appointment, persons unknown stole the generator. Now since the thing was bolted down, these pond scum-sucking slime buckets must have scoped out the house beforehand in order to have the right equipment. They had to have known it was a poor, older couple, essentially helpless. They should have wanted to protect this couple.

Instead, they victimized the helpless. May these cretins burn in ever lasting hell. A life sentence in prison would be too easy. Me, I would tie them to a stake in a middle of a Cat 3 or higher hurricane and let them take their chances.

However, there was reaffirmation of good still exists. A man who, I believe, is a locksmith heard the news and bought the couple a new generator and helped them secure it so hopefully the cretins can't steal it again.

So a standing ovation to the good samaritan. Carol Stephenson

Hurricane Tip

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I had an early hurricane drill practice on Thursday night. A transformer blew with an awful noise at 9 pm and my neighborhood had no power. I ran to the gas station and filled a five gallon jug. There's nothing like in the pitch dark dragging out a generator, rigging it, and then filling the tank...I got a good portion of the gas spilled on me. Then also rigging the house with cords in the dark was so much fun. But I had limited power and a fan...the most important thing as heat index was bad...until the power came on early the next morning or.

However, one hurricane tip I just read really was a lifesaver that night. My cleaning angel had put away my kitchen flashlight and I couldn't find it in the dark so I ran outside where I have solar-powered stake path lights, grabbed one and used it as a flashlight. I then placed them all around the house acting as night lights.

So... 1) Remember to pull up those solar-powered stake lights before a hurricane because they could become flying missiles but store them inside the house where they can provide light when the power goes out. 2) Remember to put them out again during the day in order that they become recharged by the sun.

:) Carol Stephenson

AA's are done. Shadow Lines is finis!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Today I faxed my author alterations [AA's] for SHADOW LINES to my editor. Now it's on to the printing presses and hopefully by early September I'll be holding the book in my hands. Last night I received a copy of the first Madonna Key book, LOST CALLING. I'd seen the cover on line but in person...it's great! I love the flash and the image of the Madonna on the spine. By this time in July I should have the jpeg of my cover and will get to see what color they used.

But now it's on to writing my next legal thriller. :) Carol Stephenson

Shadow Lines Excerpt

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

In celebration of the launch of Madonna Key online prequel, my web meister and I've been working on revamping my welcome page [Yeah, I know. About time, huh?] We're adding a page for an excerpt of SHADOW LINES: http://carolstephenson.com/slexcerpt.html . I hope you enjoy it! :) Carol Stephenson

Fallen Idols-the Madonna Key prequel

Monday, June 5, 2006

I'm so psyched. In a few more hours, the Madonna Key prequel, Fallen Idols, by Jenna Mills will debut on eharlequin. Before we know it, the first book will be out. I'm posting the links that hopefully will take people to the prequel. Jenna is a beautiful writer so I know we're all going to enjoy this adventure. :) Carol Stephenson http://community.eharlequin.com/webx?13@836.uSz6ahFpQb8.2@.4a83adb9/2

eHarlequin.com Community - Special Event Online Read: False Idols by Jenna Mills (SBS)--June 6


Sunday, June 4, 2006

We've had a thunder boomer threatening most of the afternoon. Given the almost weekly occurrence of people being struck with lightning, one can't really go out but at the same time, the storm cell isn't moving. I've spent the weekend doing more hurricane prep work [cleaning out the freezer and starting bags of ice], writing, and watching Harry Potter movies. Maddie's tired out from supervising and has contented herself with loads of snoozes. I'm excited that the Madonna Key prequel, FALLEN IDOLS, by Jenna Mills will be up on eharlequin tomorrow. In just little over a month, the first book will be out and I should have my cover by mid-July. In keeping with the photo scanning project, below is my fav picture of my mother as a young girl. :) Carol Stephenson

Hurricane Project

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

One of my hurricane preparation projects is to preserve the family photographs. I'm the keeper, but if I ever have to evacuate, it would be hard to transport them. By the time I load the cats, the bird, Maddie, their food and myself, there's not going to be a lot of room in the car. I have been working on consolidating the photos into slender acrylic albums rather than those bulky ones, but there's still a lot. So now I'm in the process of scanning them, which is tedious. I'm scanning a night here and a night there when I'm too exhausted to write. Once I have them all scanned then I'll burn them onto CD's and send a set to my sister for safekeeping. I'll also make a set for myself. As to the albums, I'm going to put them in those gigantic ziplock bags. Here's a shot of my Dad in his WWII uniform. He wrote 'love and kisses' to Mom on the photo. Yes, I need to preserve these photos. :) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Journal Entry

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

One of Carol's very nice friends got me a sun visor for our anniversary party. Now I personally prefer yummies as gifts. However, Carol is my property and there are times I need to humor her friends. Gotta keep up the ol' dog-human relationship, you know? So I model my new necklaces and other outfits during the party, but Carol's permanently glued to her camera. This weekend she just had to take me outside to model the sun visor while she took a few pictures. I really couldn't make up my mind which profile was the best. Carol's a smart pup, though. She made this collage of several angles. Gotta go roust the girl to take me out. :) Maddie

Hurricane Season countdown

Monday, May 29, 2006

Many of us in Florida have been using the sales tax-free period on hurricane supplies to begin preliminary preparation. On Saturday I uncovered my generator, only to discover it had flat tires. After inflating the tires, I checked the oil and then put the generator through a test run. It ran like a very noisy dream. I've already have my water and batteries and began working on the food supplies. I almost have my cat food tub filled; I work on their supplies first as they won't touch human food like Maddie. However, I also have Maddie's food tub started as well as my own. I bought shelf-stabled milk. For the next few weeks I plan to buy a few hurricane groceries each time I shop. That way should the hurricane cone descend upon my neck of Florida once more, all I'll have to do is to fight the crowds for the perishable items. Hopefully, the Atlantic Ocean will remain as serene and beautiful as this shot I took from my hotel room of the Daytona Beach pier. :) Carol Stephenson

Daytona Beach's Movie Complex

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Next to the Hilton at Daytona Beach is a shopping mall/movie theatre complex. Handy dandy for Starbucks, ice cream, margaritas and of course souvenirs for the tourist. However, it was even more convenient for escaping to a movie. On Friday night at the RT convention my friend Evelyn Vaughn and I skipped the main party and went to see the DaVinci Code. Despite the critics, I enjoyed it. It took me a while to get used to Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon [I still think it was a miscasting of the role], but Paul Bettany rocked in his role. I have never been able to get past the first chapter or so of anything written by Dan Brown; his writing simply doesn't do it for me although his concepts are intriquing. So I finally got to see the 'whole' story. I particularly liked seeing Rosslyn Chapel and the Templar Church. The picture below is the outside of the complex. :) Carol Stephenson


Saturday, May 27, 2006

What a perfect way to start off the Memorial Weekend...seeing X Men III. Hunka, hunka Hugh Jackman and the rest of the gang. Kelley Grammer is a kick. There are some surprises, but I suspect that if the box office is good, Last Stand won't be the last X Men. It may be with the crew of actors who have been in the first trilogy; however, there is room for a new set. They'll have to search hard though for someone with Hugh's panache. :) Carol Stephenson

Daytona Beach

In the early 1900's, on the weekends people would drive their cars along the beach in Daytona. Thankfully, the general traffic is no longer allowed. While I was at RT, every morning I would go for a walk along the beach before convention activities began. It was a nice way to fill the artistic well. :) Carol Stephenson

The RT Cover Models

Friday, May 26, 2006

Okay, fair is fair. RT has the cover models attend all the functions plus engage in promo such as play volleyball every morning. Now, it was quite obvious most of the models weren't ace players. Grab a group of guys along any Florida beach and they probably could beat the models. However, they made for good photo ops. :) Carol Stephenson

Forget Those RT Cover Models

Thursday, May 25, 2006

One of the interesting sidelights at RT are the cover models. While there's a lot of hubbub and events featuring these models, I found an even more memorable sight while walking along the beach in Daytona. Early Friday morning I happened to be walking at the same time that the lifeguards did a work-out. :) Carol Stephenson


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Woohoo!!!!! Taylor was my pick from his first audition for American Idol. Alabama is celebrating tonight!!!! And...it was wonderful to see Clay Aiken again. :) Carol Stephenson

Madonna Key

Of course at RT one of my biggest thrills was hanging out with my fellow Madonna Key authors, Evelyn Vaughn, Cindy Dees and Lorna Tedder. Cindy's cover is up on Amazon and it's smashing. I can hardly wait to see mine but the earliest will be mid-July. Here's a photo of the Madonna Key gang at RT. :) Carol Stephenson

Taylor, Taylor, Taylor

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Okay, I admit. I'm an American Idol junkie. I got hooked second season during the bad auditions stage and have watched it since then. This year I went for Taylor during auditions and have been his fan throughout the entire season. Taylor rocked tonight and now I'm in redialing mode trying to get through to vote for him. But if nothing else...Taylor, Taylor, Taylor! :) Carol Stephenson

RT: my critique group

I had such a ball at RT because of my critique partners Marcia King-Gamble, Linda Conrad and Sandy Madden. I never cease to learn from them, and they made my birthday so special. I didn't get a shot of all of us together, but here is one of Sandy and Marcia with me in the center. :) Carol Stephenson


Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm still recovering from RT, but I had a blast and got to be with so many great friends. Here's a picture of me with one of the greatest Bombshell fans in the world, Karmela Johnson. :) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's and my Anniversary Party

Sunday, May 7, 2006

I had a hectic week as I was supposed to have a trial on Thursday. Fortunately, it settled but then I rolled straight into a book signing on Saturday. Then today was the anniversay bash I threw for Maddie and me. Maddie got lots of yummy gifts, but she wasn't quite sure about this new 'necklace' collar they're making for dogs. We're both exhausted but had a great time. :) Carol Stephenson

David Copperfield update

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

David Copperfield outwits robbers! Following his shows on Sunday, he went with 2 of his assistants to City Place. On their way back to their tour bus, a car with 4 men pulled up, two of them armed. They demanded the trio's possessions and the 2 assistants turned over their purses, money, etc. David pulled out his pants pockets, showing there was nothing in them. He pulled a slight of hand with his money and the crooks fell for it!!!!! They had no idea who they were robbing. The police were able to track the license plate number and captured the thieves. WTG, David!!!!!!!! :) Carol Stephenson

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence!!!

Woohoo!!!!! Today I was notified that COURTING DANGER won the category of romantic suspense series in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence!!!!!! :) Carol Stephenson doing a Snoopy dance of joy

Write Touch finalist!!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

I had to put on the mileage today, driving up north to Port St. Lucie to depose a claimant. The deposition lasted so long [claimant couldn't answer the simplest of questions; every answer had to be long and drawn out] that I hit the going home traffic. When I finally arrived home, I had a message that Courting Danger is a finalist in Romantic Suspense for the Wisconsin Romance Writers' The Write Touch contest.

Yes! Nice end to a long day. :) Carol Stephenson

The Great Magician

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tonight I escaped by going to see the David Copperfield show. I last saw his show at least 5 years ago. This show had more 'fluff' with a long video opening and then a middle video, but David still thrills and delights the audience. I personally prefer the simple slight of hand tricks, but his big special effect illusions were also spectacular. My fav was the live duck doing periodic entrances, waddling across the stage until it was time for his special trick. :) Carol Stephenson

A nomination for the Darwin Award

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Last night I heard an enormous bang as I was watching American Idol. I went outside but the sky was clear...meaning no thunder clap. Houses around me had lights, but I figured it had to be a transformer blowing. Later on, I watched the evening news and learned a house probably ten miles away had exploded. Someone's home video showed this burning rubble with arcs of fire and popping noises. Today we learned that the authorities suspect an illegal fireworks operation. In the rubble they did find a dead person and others are missing. All this for few bucks these illegal firewords could have brought the people involved in the operation. Meanwhile, other people's doors, windows, glassware, etc. were damaged/destroyed for blocks around, running to thousands in damages. I nominate the genuises behind this operation for the Darwin Award. Their idiocy cost them their lives plus disrupted the lives of all who live in the neighborhood...not to mention the grief of their loved ones that they've left behind. Carol Stephenson

Happy Easter from Maddie and Me!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Remembering Dad

Monday, April 10, 2006

My Dad passed away three years ago. Although the passage of time has helped to ease the pain, the ache of loss still remains. As Dad loved to garden, I always clip a few flowers and foliage from the yard and take it to the grave. Today the 'bouquet' was Ixora and Shrimp Plant clippings. I hadn't taken Maddie before so today she accompanied me. I introduced her to Mom and Dad, and told them about her. We never had much luck in finding a dog that fit in well with our famiy so I wish they could have known Maddie; they both would have loved her. The rain stopped long enough so we could have a nice visit. Carol Stephenson


Sunday, April 9, 2006

I was sick to my stomach when I heard about the tornadoes striking Tennessee. I went to high school in the small town Dickson and then attended Vanderbilt University. I'm hoping the families/friends I knew are all right. My high school reunion was last October when Hurricane Wilma slammed into Florida so I didn't make it. A terrific classmate sent me the materials from the reunion plus photos so I could experience the event second-hand. So my thoughts and prayers are with the folks of Tennessee and I wish a speedy recovery. Carol Stephenson

Today's Workshop

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Today I had super fun presenting a workshop on contests along with Rhonda Pollero aka Kelsey Roberts to the Florida Romance Writers. The chapter is busy readying plans for the 2007 Fun in the Sun Conference. Plus our Super Saturday this coming September will feature the very special Cindy Dees, who I've had the pleasure working on the Madonna Key series. It was a great meeting with a nice blend of new faces and long time members. Our chapter will have a great showing at the RT conference as well, with a number of our published authors doing workshops. Season may be almost over for Southern Florida, but FRW is proceeding full speed ahead. :) Carol Stephenson

Yo, Benjamin Franklin!

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

According to the movie National Treasure, Ben Franklin is responsible for daylight savings time. If so, shame on him! Now mind you, I've always been a big admirer; he's one of my fav Revolutionary War figures. However, Ben, you've done me wrong! My body simply can't handle springing foward and losing an hour. I get so little sleep with juggling a day job and writing that any upset in my routine is devastating. It will take me a month to adjust but for the first week I'm absolutely miserable. I was going to begin writing my next contracted legal thriller this week but have opted to research a proposal instead. I'm going to need coffee and M&M's to make it through to the weekend. :) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Graduation

Sunday, April 2, 2006

I'm proud to say that Maddie graduated today from Beginner's Obedience and on her certificate the instructor wrote 'most improved'. Attached is her graduation picture. :) Carol Stephenson, proud mommy

What is it about M&M's?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What is it about M&M's that they are such comfort food? Or such inspirational food? When one is searching for that right word, that illuminating point of characterization, that perfect hook ending, there's the handful of M&M's to help. When one is tired or nervous, there's the snack bag of M&M's to crunch away one's worries. When M&M's were created, they were made for the writer. You can keep fingerpecking as you chump on a mouthful. You don't have to lose your muse as you reach out and grab another handful. When M&M's were created, they were made for a writer. A chocolate heaven and haven. :) Carol Stephenson

3rd place RIO!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Woohoo! The Reviewers International Organization's balloting was quick. The winner list is up and Courting Danger placed 3rd in Romantic Suspense! http://www.rio-reviewers.com/rae/rae2005.html My humble thank you to all the reviewers who read my book and accorded it such a great honor. :) Carol Stephenson

Taking a break

Saturday, March 25, 2006

After meeting my last deadline, I decided to take a 2-week writing break. Yesterday I even used a vacation day. I researched an idea for a new book, napped, researched, napped, ordered in a pizza and watched a movie. It was lovely. I didn't go anywhere, I just enjoyed my house, being with my dog and chilling. Sometimes you just go to recharge the batteries. :) Carol Stephenson

Florida's Universal Center Has Changed

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Seasonal changes in Florida are marked by subtle variations in the plants. We watch the passage of spring into summer by the flowering trees: first the yellow bursts of the Golden Rod, followed by feathery purple of the Jacaranda and then the glorious red of the Royal Poinciana. Rather than winter vs. summer, we have dry vs. wet seasons. Snowbird vs. Non-Snowbirds. Humid vs. dry. But now we seemed to have lost our seasons. Everything's now marked by the hurricanes. We watch the approach of June 1st with a cautious eye. For the ocean temperatures are already 77 degrees and Australia just got plummeled by a cat 5 cyclone. We measure the passage of time from the end of the season by how many blue tarps still remain and the pounding of new roofs being installed. Right now our weather is tourist perfect other than being in the midst of a drought. But as the snowbirds head north after Easter, we'll begin our hurricane preparation. Still, I'm looking forward to our vibrant flowering trees. :) Carol Stephenson

Double Nod for RIO

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Reviewers International Organization gives out annual award now called the 'RIO'. Reviewers from Canada, UK, USA, Australia, etc. compile a list of nominations for the members to vote on. I just got the word that my book COURTING DANGER is a double finalist for both Long Contemporary and Romantic Suspense!!!!!!!! I was even more stoked when I received the list and saw my name on the same list for Romantic Suspense as Janet Evanovich and Suzanne Brockmann, two of my idols!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm doing a Snoopy happy dance this weekend!

:) Carol Stephenson

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Woohoo!!!! I got the call today that Courting Danger is a finalist in the series romantic suspense category of the 2006 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest presented by the Southern Magic Romance Writers. I'm so psyched! :) Carol Stephenson

Renn-Fest: Mudd Bowl

Monday, March 6, 2006

One of the more...interesting audience participation events at Renn-Fest was the Mudd Bowl. The actual story is a faint rendition of Beowolf, but the 3 actors all end up in a mud pit. Any audience member sitting close to the stage is almost guaranteed to get mud splattered on them. The kids loved it. However, just because one sits far from the stage doesn't mean he/she is safe. One of the actors goes out into the audience at one point. In the photo below he makes like he's going to drop a mud ball on someone's head. He actually ended up taking the man's sunglasses and putting them on before returning the pair. Yuck!

:) Carol Stephenson


Saturday, March 4, 2006

I went to my first Renn-Fest today. What a unique experience. I couldn't believe how entire families came in full costumes. I particularly enjoyed the sword fights and jousting. I have to say, I also had some of the best fish and chips since I went to school in England. Below is a picture of the show 'To The Hilt'.

:) Carol Stephenson

My agent

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Thank God for my agent. She's always there for me with her calming influence. Getting through the revisions has been a struggle for me this time, and I hit one change that I couldn't see my way around. Exhausted and frustrated, I called Roberta tonight and she started asking questions. As I answered, we discussed the pro's and con's of various solutions. As I tossed out my thoughts, they began to coalesce and suddenly the answer was there. The creative block was no more.

So revisions, here I come again.

:) Carol Stephenson

2006 Winter Olympics

Monday, February 27, 2006

I love the Olympics; I'm the ultimate unabashed fan. Back in the days when they telecasted the entire event, I would sit glued to the TV watching every athlete compete.

Of course, now I can't, constrained by what the network selects to broadcast and my own schedule. Still, I managed to catch quite a bit of this year's Winter Olympics. I thrilled to the scenery as I love Italy so much. I yearned to return and once more absorb it all, the food, the culture, the scenery. I anguished with the fallen. If ever there was a woman who defined skating for the past decade, it's Michelle Kwan. I saw her perform live when she was a teenager. I grieve for her disappointment but her years of beautiful skating surpasses a gold medal.

I ignored the irritating, boorish such as Bode Miller. I only hope he gets his public and private act together before his picture appears on another magazine. I absolutely loved the snowboard events!!!! Extreme to the max and entertaining to boot.

I was so happy that speed skater Apollo Ono skated a perfect 500 and got his gold medal. His dedication and love of his sport was simply inspiring.

However I have to admit: I'm glad the Olympics are over. I'm exhausted from staying up to 11:30 every night watching the events. I need a 2-year break until the Summer Olympics in China. But, when 2010 rolls around and the Olympics are in Vancouver, once more I'll be glued to the set, watching these kids who have worked so hard and dedicated their lives to their dream compete. It doesn't matter whether they medaled; it's all about that they tried.

To all the 2006 Olympians across the world, thanks for the glorious competition!

:) Carol Stephenson


Saturday, February 25, 2006

I probably shouldn't be writing about this today. At the start of the new year, I had resolved to start cooking more. I have been watching FoodNetwork to learn basics and bit by bit, stocking my kitchen. And I have to say, I've been cooking two new recipes per week. However, with the stress of revisions, reading Rita books and all the deadlines on my plate, I'm going to opt out of cooking this week and get ready-made meals.

However, I have been fascinated with all the kinds of salt. Now I'm a Morton's girl, growing up with the blue container in our kitchen. I still have Morton's on hand. However, I've learned that some chefs use kosher salt, others sea salt. So now I have both on hand for recipes. So far I haven't developed the refined taste buds to tell the difference, but supposedly the type of salt you use does impact on the flavor of the meal.

Once upon a time table salt was table salt. Go figure.

:) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Training

Monday, February 20, 2006

Take one little 3-yr-old Shih Tsu plus an owner who hasn't had a dog since she was a kid and what do you get? A headache for the poor PetSmart instructor who has the dynamic duo in her Basic Training Course.

A week ago Sunday was Maddie's first class. The instructor believes in click-&-treat training so she was going around from dog to dog to show us how to do a simple command. Most of the dogs in Maddie's class are puppies longing to be molded and did whatever the instructor wanted.

Marvelous, you say? Ha. The instructor got to Maddie and Maddie did sit for her. When the instructor gave Maddie her treat, Maddie promptly spit it out onto the floor.


This past Sunday we didn't fare much better. Maddie is too distracted and excited to behave during the class. She's also barking and growling at the other dogs...when she's little Miss Friendly Neighbor to all the dogs in our hood. The instructor thinks she's feeling threatened being in a confined space so I'm going to get to class early and walk Maddie around the outside of the training area, hoping to get her acclimated.

My little angel.

:) Carol Stephenson

King Tut

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I saw the King Tut exhibition in Fort Lauderdale today. I got chills from simply standing in front of 3000-yr-old artifacts. The intricate craftmanship was astonishing. I saw the exhibition when it last toured 26 years ago in Chicago, but I think I appreciated it more this time. However, what truly amazed me were the items made of wood--how decorative they were and how they managed to survive in that temple. Unbelievable.

:) Carol Stephenson

Revision ripples

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'm coming up for a tiny gulp of air. I've been busy slaying revisions on SHADOW LINES. Since some of the revisions went to characterization, there's a ripple effect throughout the entire manuscript. If I made this change about the heroine Eve's relationship with her sister in chapter one, would she be saying/doing the same thing in chapter five? You have to sit back and think about nearly every line. Often another change has to be made and then more ripple effects.

I'll be happy when I hit 'The End' as there can be no changes to those words.

:) Carol Stephenson

The Danger Within Your Neighborhood

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

The other night I was walking Maddie and ran into a neighbor who also owns a Shih Tsu. We chit-chatted as our dogs said 'hi'. The neighbur mentioned a house down the block that recently sold would be up for sale again. The woman living there was a sexual predator living within in yards of a small private school.

Now I live in a nice residential neighborhood where kids play together in the streets and the retirees putter about in their yards. Knowing a predator had moved in among us sent a chill down my spine. Then I learned that the State of Florida now made it possible to do a residential search:

Florida Sexual Offender/Predator Neighborhood Search


When I ran a search of my address, I discovered 10 registered predators living within a mile. Frightening. Hopefully, other states have this program as we need to protect our kids.

Know thy neighbor has a whole new meaning.

Carol Stephenson

Extreme Makeover

Monday, February 6, 2006

If ever there was a feel good story...

In 2003 the East Boynton Beach Little League won the US title but lost in the World championship to Japan, with that memorable picture of all the kids racing out in to field to give thanks to the Buddha statue. However, last year Hurricane Wilma absolutely destroyed the East Boynton Beach Little League's field.

In the course of 4 days, Extreme Makeover with the help of 300 volunteers, some coming as far as Oklahoma, has rebuilt the field. The results are supposed to revealed on Wednesday. Some of the new features are supposed to be hurricane-proofed.


:) Carol Stephenson

It's Revision Time!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm going to be scarce as I've received my revision notes on Shadow Lines. My editor wants to see two of my fav scenes cut, but it will give me a few more pages to play up the Cathar aspect. I'm doing some intense research to flesh out an idea about ley lines around Rennes-le-Chateau and tying the ley lines to the Madonna priestesses who are the center of the Madonna Key continuity. I also need to beef up my heroine's empathic and retrocognitive abilities. Fortunately, there's the research playground known as the internet.

:) Carol Stephenson

Today's Critique Meeting

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The YaYa critiquing sisterhood met today. Even though only 3 of us could make it, as usual it was special. We had brunch at a hotel that was mid-point for driving and then critiqued in the lounge area. I got to read the opening of book 5 of Linda Conrad's Night Guardians series. Her lyrical descriptions are to die for as a writer. I really like the single mom with a young son heroine in this book. Her readers are in for a real treat.

Marcia King Gamble's playing with a possible mainstream and has created a fascinating career for her heroine. With Marcia's gift for smart, sassy heroines, this book should be a winner.

My submission was the first 2 chapters of Courting Death, Nicole Sterling's story. I was thrilled that the chapters passed critique with flying colors. One thing that I'm learning about writing the first person point of view is how difficult it is to make each heroine's voice distinctive. As this heroine has to struggle with her mother's Alzheimer condition, it is a particularly tough story for me to write.

Good day, great friends. I couldn't find any better way to spend a Saturday.

:) Carol Stephenson

DaDa Restaurant

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Many older homes in Delray Beach have been converted into interesting shops and restaurants. One such jewel is DaDa, a pub/restaurant nestled in a 1924 two-story house. The eats are phenomenal and the atmosphere warm and friendly. Yet, more important is how the restaurant's owners/managers integrate their business into the fabric of the city.

The first time I went there was a Wednesday, which is dog's day...literally...for patrons are encouraged to bring their dogs. The restaurant even has special bowls that the staff will fill with water to serve the dogs. The Wednesday night I was there a portion of the proceeds was going to animal Katrina victims.

Tonight we gathered together to celebrate a friend's birthday. In front was a brightly painted sculpture of a horse. The restaurant paid a fee to have the honor of displaying the horse. In a few months the sculpture will be auctioned. The proceeds are to benefit the Boys and Girls Organization.

Good for DaDa. Imagine, a restaurant with a civic heart. Here's the link: Dada Restaurant

If you're ever in the neighborhood, drop in. Not only will you get great food, you never know what cause the restaurant will be supporting.

:) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Beauty Day

Monday, January 16, 2006

You know that you're far gone as a pet owner when your dog gets priority when it comes to beauty days. Case in point, my hair's long due for a trip to my hairdresser but no-o-o. When I managed to find the time to make a call, it was to my pet groomer. And Maddie looked so pretty tonight. The purple ribbon lasted all of 15 minutes when we got home, but I managed to snap a few pictures before the image came undone. But she stills smells beautiful.

:) Carol Stephenson

Taking back the yard

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Although I clean up the yard after Hurricane Wilma, I didn't do anything about replanting or making it pretty again. I first had a book deadline, then all the holiday/Xmas gatherings and then finally with the New Year, the flu. Since I'm hosting critique this coming weekend, I figured it was time to whip the yard into shape. Then the cold wave hit with a wicked wind on Saturday. With my still having vestiges of the flu, I didn't work outside for long. However, while it was still cold today, there wasn't any wind so I hit the yard running. I managed to finish the front yard, replanted the border with my neighbor's yard and then cleaned up the back view in case the weather's nice enough next weekend so we can sit out on the patio.

I'm not a great landscaping artist, but my Dad loved to garden so I'm trying to maintain the tradition.

Below is the January picture from the annual calendar of my photographs that I give as a Xmas present. This shot is of Virginia City from the graveyard overlooking the preserved Western town.

:) Carol Stephenson


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This past weekend I promised myself I would take it easy as I'd been sick with the flu for a week. My version of taking it easy ended up with preparing and taking to the post office a total of 6 contest entries for my book Courting Danger on Saturday. Then on Sunday I tackled my yard...or what remains of it post Hurricane Wilma...and planted flowers. I did spend both Saturday and Sunday afternoon watching football.

Then tonight I pledged to take it easy and watch mind-numbing People's Choice Awards. But then I saw the storage drawer unit I bought last week to help with my gift wrapping reorganization project so I filled it. Then during TV commercials I finished storing away my outdoor Xmas decorations.

Just can't do it. I can't sit still and not do at least two things at once. If I'm watching TV, I have to be working on a project, whether answering email, reading or organizing. Sitting still and doing nothing for the simple pleasure of doing nothing has eluded me all my life.

My picture of the day is a shot of the ornate mailboxes in Montgomery. Many homes have these lovely metal stands.

:) Carol Stephenson