The Yarnspinners

News of anthologies by Kim Cox, Elizabeth Delisi, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper, Maureen McMahon, and Sheryl Hames Torres--The Yarnspinners!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Skinker, Slinker, Shrinker and King

My favourite cat, Sibyl, is a skinker. That’s right, skinker. Unlike our other three cats, she doesn’t stalk birds or rabbits or mice or rats. No, she spends her entire day with her nose firmly embedded in the dirt searching for skinks. I’m forever finding skink tails here and there – minus the skink. Sometimes we find the skink under the mat in the laundry – of course, by then, it’s too late. Today she brought one in, and as usual, let me know in no uncertain terms. “Mffflllrow!” The sound of a cat crying with a mouthful. She lets it go in the laundry and it promptly runs under the washer. Great! With some well-appreciated help from my daughter’s boyfriend, we managed to capture the poor thing and release it – still with tail intact. I have no idea what makes Sibyl a skinker. Her nose is forever dirty from snuffling in the dirt, so I have to clean it. But she seems very proud of her achievements, so I won't complain.

It never fails to amaze me how different one cat can be from another. They all have their own little personalities. Another weird thing about Sibyl is she hasn’t quite figured out that our labrador, Jasper, can’t feed her. She’ll come in and head-butt him continually to try to get him to get up and go to the refrigerator. He’s a bit worried about this, since our other cat, Percy, will come in and lick him as though cleaning him, then unexpectedly take a bite out of him. Sibyl’s sister, Piper, has her own little oddities. She's a slinker. She doesn’t like her head touched by anyone but my daughter and her boyfriend – her true owners. This despite the fact she’s lived with us for almost all her adult life. Once she went missing for over 9 days. We were sure she was gone for good – even had a small funeral service for her. Then one evening there she was, up on her perch looking for food. We still have no idea where she was for all that time, but aside from looking slightly skinnier, she’d come to no harm.

Jessica, our long-haired tabby, is a shrinker - overly skittish. If there’s the slightest sound while she’s on someone’s lap, she’s off like lightening; usually leaving welts and screams of pain behind.

Percy is the king of the house – though I’ve never seen him swipe at, bully or abuse any of the females. He must have some secret code that keeps them all subservient. But I do believe he teaches them bad habits. As a kitten, Percy brought in frogs and crickets and moths. He quickly advanced to mice, then rats and finally large rabbits. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find the remains of a cow in our living room one morning.

Daily I’m bemused by the foibles of all our felines. I don’t think I could ever live without a furry four-legged friend in my life.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Just My Day

Just my day to blog, so I'm chiming in officially before the stroke of midnight on my day. I noticed no one had posted our newly released anthology, so I posted it below. Not sure what to talk about. Maybe how much I love when daylight savings time ends.

That's just it, I love when it ends because of the extra hour of sleep. It's just for one night, but it seems it lasts until the time changes an hour ahead again. Dh didn't like it too much though. He had to work last night and instead of 12 hours, he had to work 13.

Another thing to talk about: I heard on the news the other morning about more women over the age of fifty starting a family. Can you imagine? I turned fifty this year and I'm glad that part of my life is over. Now I can spoil my grandson, keep him a couple of weeks at a time and send him home to terrorize his parents (evil grin).

One more thing: Dh and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary Wednesday. He was off that day and grilled steaks and the largest baked potato I ever saw. I ordered me a new laptop for a present and I'm getting him a tiller.

Rant: My laptop was supposed to get here Saturday. Around 7pm I called Fedex (who I usually love) and asked about it. They told me I could still get it and the driver was probably just running late. I usually always get deliveries before 5pm when it comes from Fedex. So, I called them back at 8:30pm and they said it could still get here. My son and his friend got here about 11pm and called them and they said I wouldn't get it until Tuesday.

What!!! Tuesday, why not Sunday or Monday. They did say if it was on the express truck it could possibly come on Sunday but not Monday. I still didn't get an answer as to why not Monday.

We talked to the Supervisor of all of the company today. They said as it turned out the truck never left on Saturday and they would find out why. They tried to get in touch with someone at their office here without any luck. So, it will still be Tuesday, but I get a refund for shipping costs.

The funny thing is, it's going to take longer to get to me from my local office than from Mobile, Alabama to the local office. My package was loaded on the truck for delivery at 7:45am Saturday morning but never made it to my house. We waited on it all day. I had someone here until I could get here. I jumped up from my chair every time I heard a car/truck go down the road. And the local office is closed on Monday and that's why it will be Tuesday.

Trying to keep it short tonight, though I may have failed. Have a great week everyone.


Now available at DiskUs Publishing .

Get Out Or Die By Kim Cox

Restless Spirit By Elizabeth Delisi

Believing In Dreams By Chris Grover

Aliens Among Us By Elaine Hopper

'Neath Hallowed Halls and Ivied Walls By Maureen McMahon

Enigma By Sheryl Hames Torres

Some of the best and brightest names in the e-publishing field gathered together for your Halloween frightful fun! In this thrilling anthology, spooky hauntings,time-travelling spirits, alien invasions and Satanic cults await! Then, there's a few recipes you can whip up in your kitchen for dessert!

Get Out Or Die By Kim Cox

Since the news of her first case, Lana Malloy's Private Investigating/Mediator business is booming. At one pro-bono job, Lana helps a widow communicate with her late husband and learns of a frightening new ability she wasn't aware she possessed-an ability that could give the spirit the upper hand if she's not careful. Lana struggles for control when she encounters the angry ghost who doesn't want to leave and who doesn't want the occupants of the house to stay. Will Lana be able to control the situation or will the ghost sense he can overtake her? Does she have other abilities she can rely on to save her?


Restless Spirit By Elizabeth Delisi

Laura St. Clair lost her eight-year-old son to a rare disease, and lost her desire to live along with him. When she tries to contact the spirit of her son with a Ouija board, she reaches something...but what? Can the entity she gets in touch with help her talk to her son, and if so, what will it expect from her in return?


Believing In Dreams By Chris Grover

Nicole James has always believed in dreams. So when she dreams about a house she's seen in an old photo and an elderly woman who seems to be expecting her, she has to check it out. Nicole knew her deceased mother was born in Quebec and that she had esp, but that was all she knew. Now, with her mom gone, Nicole is all alone, so when she discovers, St-Stephan des Pins, the name on the back of the photo is a small village in Quebec, she figures someone somewhere wants her to find her roots. She'd never really believed her mom's story about being all alone in the world with no brothers sisters or family of any kind, and this is the perfect opportunity for Nicole to find out.Within a few hours of arriving in St-Stephan, Nicole finds out everything she ever wanted to know about her mother and her family. But on her way back to the hotel, she hears someone say: "Now that you know about Maxine, just be content with the knowledge and leave it alone. That's not why you're here." Nicole looks around for the speaker, but there's no one there--just a gray and white tabby cat sitting on the hood of a car.


Aliens Among Us By Elaine Hopper

Heath Connelly isn't the hero type. He's one of the slow kids in his high school, most likely to be a loser than a winner. But when everybody in his town begins to act weird, even to molt and stop being human, Heath, his friend Justin who is also challenged, and a disabled and grisly old Viet Nam Vet, are the only people left uninfected by the unknown threat. It's up to them to save Heath's brother, their town, and maybe the world.


'Neath Hallowed Halls and Ivied Walls By Maureen McMahon

Stacey Christian and Peter Mansfield come together again to attend the funeral of their beloved Harvard history professor, Bertram Donelson. Stacey’s emotional stint as a reporter in Afghanistan, and Peter’s exhausting high-profile business takeover, make them even more vulnerable to the chemistry that’s always been between them.Little do they know their old Alma Mater holds an evil and deadly secret that will propel them into a whirlwind of ghostly, shocking and even deadly experiences. Will this adventure be enough to finally bring their love to fruition?


Enigma By Sheryl Hames Torres

When Brace Adams, Detective in the Macon, Georgia PD, stumbles upon blood-covered Amy Cassidy, he is convinced she is as much a victim as the dead man she's kneeling beside. Though he discovers she's "awakened" beside the mutilated body four other times, not knowing the victim, what happened or how she got there, it's not the lack of forensic evidence that convinces Brace of her innocence, but simple logic. Little blind girls don't qualify as your typical garden variety serial killers. When inexplicable and dangerous things start happening, it's Brace's job to not only prove that Amy's not causing them, but protect her as well. Can he solve the puzzle before becoming the next victim.

Sneaking In A Post

Today is not normally the day I post here, but gosh darn it, the last two weeks I've either been out of town or have just plain forgotten! So I thought I'd sneak one in.

First, do check out my webpage as I have FINALLY updated it: Fiction With Flair!. What do you think? Be gentle now, HTML and I don't get along together well. ;-)

Second, it's fall back time! I.e., turned the clocks back an hour last night, which means I have an extra hour to get things done today. Hmm, wonder if I'll catch up on all the work that's piled up the past couple of months? Hah.

Third, are you already planning for Christmas? If so, you're one of those, I mean, wonderful...people who plan ahead. If so, of course I'd recommend buying copies of books from my website as Christmas gifts. But other than that, what have you got in mind? Do you hand-make your gifts--like me with knitted items, or maybe something painted, baked, crafted with silk flowers and a glue gun? Do you give money or gift certificates, or do you prefer to choose a gift and wrap it? Do you ask the recipient for ideas, or just go shopping and wait for inspiration to strike?

And...what are your funniest Christmas gift disaster stories? Do share!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Planet Peril by Maureen McMahon

At the moment we’re experiencing the worst drought we’ve ever had. We’ve been short of rain for over ten years, but now it’s becoming an emergency situation. The reservoirs here in Victoria are less than a third full. We live in a country renown for its dry climate, but, until now, there’s always been water to sprinkle our gardens, wash our cars, shower, do laundry. In some areas they’re trying new recycling plants. These plants actually recycle sewage for drinking water. It sounds foul, but the end product has been tested over and over and no signs of any toxins or organisms are evident. It’s pristine. But it just goes to show how desperate the situation is.

Melbourne has a population of roughly 3.6 million people. Already the city is on stage two water restrictions. An expert has been quoted as saying by the year 2010 we will be out of water completely. What will happen to these 3.6 million people? And the other millions living in rural areas, like us?

We all take many things for granted. We take it for granted the sun will come up each morning, the moon will come out at night, the seasons will change. Man can’t change these things – at least not yet. However, we can change our planet drastically so people, animals and plants will suffer.

Treasure your water, your food, your shelter and be pro-active in saving our planet from a slow death. One day, if things don’t change, many of the things we take for granted will no longer exist.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Halloween Memoirs

I'm so so so so soooooooooooooooooooooo very bad. I'm just a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad girl.

It's been forever since I've posted here. I work waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay toooooooooo muuuuuuuuch! I have a day job and two other jobs, plus kids, a hubby, baseball mom...

I've slowed down this week due to a virus.

Anyway, onto more of the fun stuff.

October is a FUN month! Yeah! I mean really really really FUN! When we get the shivers and shooks and spooked out of our gourds and we LOVE it!

What are some of YOUR favorite Halloween memories?

I'm from the outskirts of Cincinnati where there's always a chill in the air (and occasionally snow on the ground) and beautiful changing leaves every Halloween. I grew up with the same kids who intermarried (yeah, one of the neighborhood punks had the nerve to marry my cousin! The worst one, the one that always called me "Boo Boo" as in my best friend was "Yogi Bear" and me as the little sidekick (or is that "hero support" nowadays?) got stuck with "Boo Boo") - and then we called him "Cindy") and most of those "kids - who are now in their 40's and 50's ) still live on that LONG road). I'm one of the few who moved away - blame dh, as I would have stayed there forever and ever and would run back now if given half the chance.

Anyway, I loved trick or treating door to door when the moon hung high in the sky, the toilet paper ghosts swayed in the brisk fall breeze, and the punky boys jumped out at us from the shadows to scare us to death. I loved weaving in and out of the spooky woods that framed our neighborhood. I loved being with my extended family, Cindy included - if anyone tells him, I will emphatically deny it and hunt you down!

It wasn't about the candy, although I wasn't about to give that back or not take it. It was the sheer fun, the wildness, the hint of evil which comparative to nowadays was so squeaky clean and wholesome.

The church apple-bobbing was okay and I think better in retrospect than at the time. I miss that, too. That old dilapidated house we held the parties in probably was really haunted, and truly about to tumble down on us. It's long gone now, except in my memory. That was at the end of our road. Those poor homeless ghosts probably moved into our woods and hang out there now.

Halloween sure seems tamer and less fun in South Florida than in Cincinnati. Maybe because I'm not the kid going door to door. Or perhaps at my church we have "Trunk or Treat" and go trunk to trunk in a well lit parking lot without any woods. Even when I take the kids door to door, there are no dark and spooky woods, and being Florida, no chill breezes, no colorful leaves, none of that spooktacular stuff Halloween is supposed to be made of.

Someone please get me a time machine and transport me back to those days, or almost as good, just whisk me back to Cincinnati, to the best place to Trick or Treat in the world.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Have you ever been in that place? The place where everything feels absolutely perfect? That's how our vacation was.

We left for the Smokies on the sixth of October and stayed in Maggie Valley for nearly a week. Granted it rained for a couple days, and I had the quintessential sinus cold from hell, but from beginning to end, it was perfect.

It had been nine years since we took our last real know...when you are able to go away somewhere...away from home without it having to do with dead or dying relatives or friends. Five years since we were able to go away for more than overnight. The kids were out of school for Fall Break. Mark took an entire week off.

Now to understand the significance of that you need to know that my darling husband works all the time. He's on call 24/7, literally 365 days a year, and has for 13 1/2 years. Yes, he's been called to work for some problem or other on birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and all other holidays. Plan is known as the 4-letter P-word around out house. We don't make them, and when we get cocky enough to try...they're almost always ruined by "the call."

But not this time. He left his pager home, programmed his phone not to take any work calls. He relaxed and had fun. It was an amazing sight to behold. Imagine, an entire week of husband smiles. We documented it.

Saturday we got up and decided it would be a great day to take Dusty to this skateboard park in Asheville he and his friends were having fits over. (Kimmy, honey, I wanted to come see you but I was feeling just this side of death and figured the last thing you'd want was my cold. LOL) The park was just as wonderful as he'd heard, and worlds different from any around here. Dusty spent several blissful hours on the verts, hills, bowls and rails while his daddy sat in the "bleachers" and watched, and Courtney and I dozed in the jeep. Occasionally, I'd wake up and watch the storm clouds scamper over the mountains. Two days later, Courtney went on a two-hour horseback ride up the mountain in Maggie Valley. If you're ever in Maggie Valley, Queen's Ranch is the place to go horseback riding. Everyone was great! It was the first time since Courtney'd been able to ride since before she became ill five years ago. I've never seen a smile so big. It was the final verification for her that she is truly well.

We took one trip over the pass to Gatlinburg to the most amazing bead shop, O2 Bead Experience, Inc. If you do any kind of jewelry making or beading, go see Glen. It's so worth the trip. And he mail's so much nicer to pick up the phone and talk to someone face to face than to order over the internet.

The rest of the time, we spent mostly "looking." Now, I live in Northeast Georgia...well at the foot of the foothills. Let me tell you, beautiful as it is here, there is NOTHING to compare with the real thing. There is magic in those mountains. I'll swear by it well after I die. You can feel it the second you's in the strength of the river, the quiet of the roads through the Parkway, the gentle wisdom in the faces of the residents who are never too busy to offer you a smile.

When we arrived, the hillsides were still mostly dressed in their summer greens with a sparse sprinkle here and there of fall jewels. After a day and a half of rain, the kaleidoscopic effect spread into the beginnings of a an amazing Autumn quilt with scarlets, golds, oranges splashed across a myriad of green shades. The view changed daily.

By mid-week, and despite all the clothes we'd packed, the kids' "special" jeans and t's needed washing. I and my pen and notebooks settled into this little room with two washers and two dryers. No chinzy Laundromat here, girls...I washed two loads of clothes on a dollar...and dried them on another dollar! Blue jeans! I digress...I settled into this little room on a comfortable vinyl lawn chair and stared out at the mountain. I came to the conclusion that I could never live there and hope to get anything done. I'd be so busy just WATCHING everything, my pen would never slide across the paper in any controlled way.

Vacation is over now. We came back to the same old house, the same old jobs and schools, the same old bills(and a few new ones) the same old problems(and a few new ones). But we're all a little more rested and a lot less stressed. The kids went back to school and Mark back to work on Monday, and I spent the day sorting all the information I collected for my next novel into some semblance of order. I'm still not over my sinus cold, but I'm better. Less tired, a LOT less stressed and oh so inspired. And it's nice to be home. Though I don't think I'm going to put up with waiting 9 years to go back, even if it's just for a weekend. The holidays, taxes and good old orthodontist visits are all coming up, but you know, something tells me, I might need to go back in the spring for more research. LOL

Hey, come to think of best friend is moving up there in a few months...

Until next week...peace and security.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Blogging Fears

You might ask, why would anyone fear to write in a blog? My main fear is: what if I don’t have anything to say? Which is the case most of the time for me. I can write fiction forever. Making stuff up is easy for me. But to write about something or someone I know comes very hard.

I remember when I first started writing seriously, and then began to put my stuff out there for publishers, contest, etc to read, a lot of friends and acquaintances would say, “Hey, you can write my story. It would be good because I’ve been through a lot of stuff.” Of course, I didn’t want to say, no one wants to read about you or your life, so I’d just say I write fiction.

Because actually, they’ve been a lot of interesting people who have been through a lot of interesting things that would probably make a good story. And even though I said I write fiction, it’s true. I do. And I have a hard time writing non-fiction such as a blog. I don’t even keep a journal which most writers do.

Also baring the soul is hard for me, even if it’s in a journal that no one will read but me. There are a few exceptions. Like if something is really bothering me, I can write about it. See my last two posts here. Probably about 4 weeks ago was my last. I want to write every week, but most of the time I can’t think of anything to write about or I do write it but never post it because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to turn out.

Another reason to fear blogging is what if I say too much about myself. If we’re really honest, we don’t want everyone, especially strangers, knowing too much about us. I know that just in conversation, I’ve regretted telling too much, not only about myself, but maybe about my family or people I work with. The what-ifs pop in my mind about what if they repeat what I said to others. And they probably will.

And the times I do blog is when something is weighing heavily on my mind. What if someone takes what I said and gets angry too, then goes out and does something terrible and it all started because I was ranting about something on a blog. Or what if it depresses them or makes them feel bad. I’m the type of person who will go out of my way not to make someone feel bad.

So anyway, if I don’t blog, most of the time it’s because I can’t think of anything to blog about and if I do and it’s something heavy, don’t take it to heart. It’s just my feelings at that point and time and once I’ve written it, I’ll probably never think about it again. Well, I shouldn’t say never. I will, but it won’t be as bad as it was at that time.

Good day, and happy thoughts to everyone.

Kim Cox
Suspicious Minds Available at Amber Quill Press
Enchanted Holidays Anthology - Haunted Hearts Coming in December from Cerridwen Press
Shivers and Screams, Visions and Dreams- Get Out or Die! - Coming in October from DiskUs Publishing

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Food, Food and more Food

Canadian Thanksgiving 2006 a.k.a. a 4-Day Pig-out:

Thanksgiving in Canada happens on the second Monday in October, and like most other Canadians, we always have our turkey or whatever on the Sunday, and then have the leftovers on the actual Day. But this year the eating started on Friday and continued right through to Monday.

It all started when one of the women I work with, the one who is in charge of our monthly office potluck lunches, picked last Friday, Oct.6 as the day to do it for this month, and suggested a harvesty/Thanksgivingy theme.

We had everything from chicken stew, sweet ‘n’ sour meatballs, foccaccia bread with savory spreads, quiche, salads, perogies, and finished off with chocolate amaretto cheesecake, apricot-pecan cookies and apple crisp, all helped along with 3 kinds of potato chips and a couple of bottles of wine.

By the time I got home, I figured I wouldn’t eat again until the next day. But dh wanted his dinner, so out came the pots and pans. Then our daughter called—she has a new boyfriend and could we switch Thanksgiving dinner from Sunday to Monday because it was his dad’s birthday and they were all going out. But don’t cook the lamb—the new boyfriend doesn’t like lamb. Can we have salmon instead? Oh sure, whatever you want, honey. But then dh got upset—we only have roast lamb on special occasions and he’d been so looking forward to it.

Me, I was still stuffed from the potluck lunch and the thought of having two big dinners two days running sounded like a whole lot too much to my mind. So, we agreed that I’d make roast leg of lamb on Saturday with all the trimmings—green beans, brussel sprouts, roast potatoes and gravy plus mint & apple sauce, plus a strawberry cream dessert. Sunday we’d eat leftover lamb, and then Monday I’d make a big salmon tail with all the trimmings which included a cauliflower and cheese casserole, potatoes and a pear, blue cheese & pecan salad followed by a 3-fruit crumble with rum and raisin ice cream.

Now, it’s Tuesday, I feel fat, bloated, and probably don’t need to eat again until next weekend, but dh needed his supper when I got in from work, and since he’d been slaving over a hot computer playing games all day, what could I say? I took off my coat and out came the pots and pans, again.

I wonder what would happen if women everywhere put their cooking spoons down and their feet up, and told their hungry families to get themselves the same thing my mom once told me—the old Depression Days standby, bread and pullit--meaning a slice of bread and whatever you can find in the cupboard to pull on to it.


Life's Ups and Downs by Maureen McMahon

It seems when things go right for very long, something comes along to knock them askew. We all want to have a happy, easy-going life with no crises or major problems, but life just isn’t like that. It’s easy to get into thinking God or the Universe or Fate just ‘has it in’ for us when these things come along to mess up our contentment. But it’s not true. Unexpected things happen – they’re part of life. We don’t like them, but we can be sure they’ll come along. It’s human nature to fall into routine …to find comfort from a known set of circumstances. When something unknown and unexpected disrupts our normal routine, we become unsure – we feel threatened or fearful. We lose our sense of security.

While it’s very difficult to retrain our natural responses, it’s sometimes helpful to consider these things when our life turns upside down:

1. Nothing is permanent. Whatever it is will change.
2. Life naturally goes in peaks and troughs – ups and downs. We can be certain there will be ups again if we can weather the downs.
3. It’s okay to be fearful – we’re human. But worry and fear won’t change the situation, so if we can find one hopeful thought and stick to it, we can carry that with us until things improve.
4. Adages are around for a very good reason – they’ve withstood the test of time. An adage here is: Time heals all wounds.
5. Remember the good times. There will be more if you can just be patient.

For everyone who’s going through a difficult time in their life, don’t despair. Life is precious even if it’s difficult. In time, this too will pass. You’re not alone.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Greetings from Sher via Liz!

There are days when I think my name should be Murphy. Days when everything is planned out, and LOOKS like it's going to go well. Then it doesn't.

For the last 9 years, the only time we've taken overnight trips there had to be a sick or dying or dead relatives. My husband's job requires him to be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That's right, you read correctly. Even Christmas. And he takes his job very seriously. But he works way too hard and gets way too little time off. Because they shut down all the operating systems of of all five plants to put in new equipment and tanks,--- guess who's in charge of all the electrical systems, running new and incorporating everything into the old systems? --- yep, you got it. Himself...and because of that..he's not had but one day off in over three weeks.

But now, today, we're supposed to be heading to the mountains. I managed to finish all my assignments by mid week. Cleared my calendar for next week. Bills are all paid. House clean, no dirty laundry, fridge cleaned out. Everything is washed, ironed and packed. The jeep is loaded and we're waiting for Courtney to finish her Science test at school and then we're good to go.

And I'm sitting here...thinking...why does my head hurt so? I've caught a cold. The first vacation in nine years and I have a cold. Come to think of it, our last vacation was to Savannah for some kind of street festival of food. Food was wonderful...turned cold as anything and I got pneumonia. LOL

Fun fun fun...