Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tropical Depression Nicole

Water. Lots of water everywhere. Flood watches. Tornado watches. And rain. Unremitting rain today. Fortunately, there isn't much wind.

That being the case, my plans are to stay indoors and work on revisions (which was my plan yesterday but that didn't quite work out). Some days the brain just refuses to work.

Now that might have been because I was waiting to hear from my daughter who was busy having a baby. I'm happy to report that Simeon Christopher, all 7 lbs 5 oz. of him, arrived at 4:38 pm EST, healthy and well. This is my fourth grandchild and Simeon evens the numbers--two girls and two boys.

Let's see...there's not a lot else to report at Chez Anny. What about you? What's up where you are?


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I haz a happy!

I'm soooo excited. I've just signed a contract with Passion in Print for my manuscript, Phantom's Rest! Very, very happy!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday, Monday

Cold and rainy this AM. We were warned there will be no water from 10 AM to 4 PM. What a day. Whether you're going outside the home to work or staying in, somehow Monday mornings are pukeable. Rainy Monday mornings are more so--unless you're sleeping in.

Hmmmm. Maybe I'll just go back to bed!

What are your plans?


Friday, September 24, 2010

Good morning???

I am not a morning person. I can be...if necessary. I have the past. But not now. The house hunk leaps out of bed at the crack of dawn (read 7 AM!) and cheerfully announces, "It's time to get up!"


This morning it's gray and foggy, though later it's supposed to be in the mid-nineties and sunny. I have a few things to do today.

I was offered a contract for my latest book. I'll need to read the contract and take care of that sometime today. When that's all squared away, I'll let y'all know. Verrrry excited about it!

And it's Friday! End of the week with only a week and half until RomantiCon! So much to do. Clothes, presentations, packing...

But for now? I'd really just like to go back to sleep--because you know? I'm really not a morning person. Really.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Some women go to the beauty shop to have their hair colored. For a vast number of us, that's beyond the capacity of our wallets so we color or perm our hair at home, reserving those rare trips to a professional for our haircuts instead.

At my house, we don't even do that. Instead we entrust our precious head of hair to the nearest family member with a pair of scissors. If that happens to be the seven year old, things could get lively.

I used to color my own hair, but age creeps up on all of us. After several tumbles resulting in damage to the shoulder joints, I can't hold my arms up long enough to color my hair so the house hunk pitches in. And since I have a problem with mirrors, he also does the chin waxing.

Next week all the last minute preparations for RomantiCon will also include the aforementioned hair coloring and chin waxing so this is just a head's up. If you don't recognize me, it's not your eyesight gone bad. You'll just have to check the nametag.

Anny Cook. That's me!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Some people are primarily pessimists, always seeing life through a dark glass. Others are optimists, always expecting the best outcome from every turn in the road. A little pessimism is good. It prevents the unwary from falling victim to scams and predators. But too much pessimism makes for a very negative life.

Optimists tend to be cheerful and calm. After all, they're expecting good things...right?

As with all things, too much of a good thing can be destructive or dangerous. When my son jumped off the six foot wall in front of our house, his unwavering faith that he would be all right didn't prevent him from breaking most of the bones in his feet. That's where a little bit of healthy pessimism would have come in handy.

With all things in life balance is the key.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Next month--October 7-11--I'll be attending RomantiCon in Akron, Ohio. All sorts of things are planned, including dress-up dinners. This year the theme is 1920s. Now since I'm roughly shaped like that fellow up there in the picture, you can imagine what I would look like in a flapper dress...It doesn't quite compute, ya know?

Last year the theme was the 1960s. Think mini-skirts and go-go boots. I went as a hippie. It was much safer. But three women showed up in the identical dress. That's the difficulty with ordering off the internet costume pages.

When you think of the 1920s, of course, the flapper is the first image that comes to mind. But flappers were actually a very small percentage of the population. So I've gone in search of the other 1920s woman. They wore drop waist dresses. And Marijane heels. And cloche hats. Or big picture hats. That's more my style.

If you'd like more information on RomantiCon, just click on the word. It will take you to the RomantiCon registration page. Cindy Spencer Pape and I will be giving a workshop on Creative World Building. There will be a book-signing on Sunday. If you're going to be in the area, please come and see us!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Revision Monday

Well. Phantom's Rest has sat on the back burner simmering for the last two weeks. Now it's time to begin the final revisions and polishing. If I'm not around much, you can figure I'm in the revision cave slashing right and left with my red pen.

This is my least favorite part of writing, but I'm determined to send off my very best writing so what must be done...

See y'all tomorrow!


Friday, September 17, 2010


There are a lot of important birthdays in life. Your first. Your twenty-first. Your fiftieth. But the defining year is thirteen. That's when you cross from child to teenager and become a young woman or young man.

Thirteen years ago today, I was standing in a hospital room, holding my daughter's hand, waiting for my first grandchild to be born. The years have passed swiftly, oh so swiftly.

Now she is a young lady with all the dreams and plans of a young lady. Life veers from ecstatic to despair. One moment she plays Barbie dolls with her little sister. Then next she's posing for that special boy.

What do I wish and pray for her on this day? That all her mistakes will be small ones. That all her judgments will be sound. That she will learn from every wrong turn. That she will dance like there's no tomorrow. That she will sing with all her heart. And love with all her soul.

Happy Birthday, T.

Love, Nanna

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Have you ever heard that smiling changes your overall mood? It does! And ever since Rodney here tried it out, he can’t seem to stop! No matter what the weather is like, no matter how many chores he has on his to-do list, he just smiles his way through the day. ~~Acting Like Animals

So, tell me... are you smiling??? Then my work is done. Have a great day.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Can I Keep It?

One of the realities of life when you have kids is their longing to acquire pets. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters... the list is endless. In this day of pampered pets, it's hard to envision a time when the dog was not allowed in the house. The cat was an outside cat. And no one even considered taking either one to the vet. People could hardly afford a doctor for themselves--let alone an animal.

When one of my puppies was hit by a car, my father borrowed a gun and put it down. That was harsh pragmatic reality. Veterinarians were few and far between and primarily dealt with farm animals.

Under those conditions, acquiring a pet takes on an completely different aura of responsibility. So the day my eleven-year-old son showed up with a tiny kitten, claiming it followed him home, I was less than enthusiastic about his new acquisition. In the two years before then we'd lost a number of pets. And as much as some people rationalize that losing a pet will teach children about death, I'm not sold on that, either.

After some discussion, the kitten was banished to the grape arbor as all the kids banded together to hide it from their dad who'd declared No More Pets!

Of course, we immediately had several days of extremely hot weather, topped off with violent thunderstorms. So each afternoon, someone would feel sorry for the kitten and bring it inside the house where it was dry--and air-conditioned. And inevitably, the house hunk came home early from work one day and discovered the kitten curled up on the end of the couch.

Up to this point, you may have noticed that said kitten didn't have a name. When the hunk picked up the kitten, intent on ejecting her from the house, she snuggled up close to his chest and purred. He fought the good fight. Really, he did. Maybe for five minutes or so. And then he said, "If we're going to keep her, she needs a name. And she can't go outside because I'm tired of burying pets. She'll be an indoor cat!"

That's how Pattie the traveling cat came to live with us. When we were transferred from Houston to New York state, she stayed behind in a kennel until we were settled. Then in one day, she traveled on a plane, a train, a bus, and finally a car to our new home. By then, she was one whacked out kitty.

Pattie lived with us for seventeen years. Inevitably, one day she slipped out an open door to explore the great outdoors. Since she didn't move as fast as when she was younger, she lost the race she had with a car driving down our street. After seventeen years, she was a member of the family. We all felt her loss keenly. But we have some fond memories of the kitten who followed my son home.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alpheli Solution

When Danamara Higgins is attacked by a vampire, her life turns upside down. Vampire Bootcamp class seems to be the answer to her prayers. In her wildest dreams, she doesn’t consider meeting not just one, but two hunky vampires who take her—in the car, in the shower, in the living room, in the hot tub, in hand—as they teach her everything she’ll need to know about her new vampire life.

For centuries, Pierre has loved and pursued Julian with no success. After a hostile takeover of Julian’s financial assets, Pierre is positive Julian will have nowhere else to turn. Julian, though, chooses to teach the Vampire Bootcamp class rather than surrender to Pierre on unequal terms. When one of Julian’s students approaches him for help identifying her sire, Julian is stunned that she is his alpheli—an extremely rare mate whose blood will allow him to subsist on real food. What will that mean to his love-hate relationship with Pierre?

There are just one or two problems. Danamara is descended from Pierre’s bloodline. And she’s on someone’s hit list. Julian and Pierre find unexpected erotic rewards and eternal love when they join together in a brutal war to protect their alpheli’s life.

Coming October 20th from Resplendence Publishing!

Reminder! Monthly chat at Love Romances Cafe tonight at 7PM EST. For the link, check the upper right corner!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Piggs and Wolves

Heh. This picture reminds me of all the "new" versions that are popping up of old stories and fairytales. Hmmm. This one could be a western shifter romance with werewolves trying to wrest the Pigg widows' land from them. I can just imagine all sorts of exciting scenes between the three Widow Piggs and their wolfie men.

What do you suppose will happen? Will the wolves prevail? Will the ladies hold out against the virile wolves? Or will they all find true love when they unite to fight against some other predator?

That's the fun of "re-writing" an old story. You can provide the ending of your choosing. What is a story you would like to rewrite?


Friday, September 10, 2010

Undue influence

A couple years ago, a book I'd waited for with much anticipation was released. Anxious to find out all about the story, I broke my cardinal rule. I read a review.

Then I read a second review.

And a third.

Pretty soon I found myself searching out everything I could find about the book because I just couldn't believe what I was reading.

Everyone hated the the book. Everyone.

Disappointed (and broke) I put off buying the book. Why spend money I couldn't really afford on a book I would be disappointed with?

Two days ago while at the library, I found a copy of the book and on a whim, I checked it out. I just finished the book. I absolutely LOVED it. And for two years I denied myself the pleasure of reading it based on opinions of total strangers.

I am angry with myself and for good reason. I allowed other people undue influence over my reading choices. Never again. The only good thing about this entire experience is this: Book TWO will be released next month. How providential is that???

In the meantime, I'm both encouraged and discouraged by my experience. I'm discouraged because no doubt there are people who have given my books a pass because of negative reviews. That makes me feel sick.

On the other hand...maybe after a couple years, potential readers will forget any negative reviews they've read and will try my books. That's encouraging. Very encouraging.

And finally--I received this note from a reader today and I truly needed the encouragement!

"Just wanted to tell you that the Mystic Valley Series is the best series I have ever read. I am so excited that there is another one coming out soon. I hope it isn't the last. :)"

Thank you so much for your kind words, Diane!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life storms...

Over the years, I've observed the changes in family groups when disaster strikes. Everyone will be picking and scratching at each other, belly-achin' over every minor irritation and then--in the midst of chaos, they all pull together, offering comfort and support.

At our house, we're in the midst of a life change. Everyone is pulling together, making sure things are taken care of, doing more than their share. It's a temporary change, but for the duration, everyone will pitch in.

I'm proud of my family and their ability to set everything aside for each other. I have heard tales of other families who don't operate this way and that makes me sad.

But all families can use that extra little nudge when things are tough. So if any of y'all have time for an extra prayer or good thoughts, that would be appreciated. And thanks in advance.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Over the loooong weekend I decided to rearrange my office. As usual, the simplest plan bloomed into a chaotic mess.

My idea was to clear the stuff from one short section of wall so I could hang a bulletin board. Of course, that led to rearranging how my desk was situated...which led to something else that had to be moved. Pretty soon, half of the stuff in the office was sitting in the living room. Previously rigidly organized stacks of books, notebooks and papers are now jumbled messes. And the computer is sitting in it's component parts on any available flat surfaces.

I was coughing up a storm from the dust we raised. And we'd decided to cover the carpet with rubber matting to cut down on the dust--and help my asthma. And this meant? More furniture had to be moved to the living room.

At this point, the dog indicated her urgent need to go outside. I took a break, walked around with the dog and with her business finished, we headed back to the apartment. Near the front door, I tripped on a crack on the sidewalk, landing on my hands and knees.

Damage report: Scraped knees, right elbow, left wrist and hand, busted lip, twisted right knee and ankle. I sat there on the ground, wondering how I was going to get up. All the body parts I would use were bleeding or bruised. After a while I clambered to my feet (and that was not pretty) and went inside.

I cleaned up the scrapes, took some pain meds and went back to the chaos in my room. As the day wore on, my wrist complained loud and clear every time I moved it. Eventually, I gave in and went to have it x-rayed. According to the doctor, it's not broken.

So I still have a room with piles of notebooks and papers to sort. A new (longer) internet cable has to be run from the other side of our apartment so I can have internet access. And I have to find my hair brush.

How can a hair brush disappear? Don't ask.

And I think I threw out the kitty litter scooper by mistake.

Time for coffee.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blue Paradise

Look what I have! The cover for book five of the Mystic Valley series, Blue Paradise. I don't have a release date yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I do. In the meantime, enjoy the eye-candy!

Happy Labor Day!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Love

What is it about Friday? Here in the states, we're looking forward to a three day weekend celebrating Labor Day. If you're planning to travel, be safe. If you're staring down Hurricane Earl's throat, get the heck out of the way! Be well, be safe! Talk to y'all later!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Ahhhh, this brought back memories. The week Sputnik was sent to space, our teachers introduced us to this drill. I don't remember exactly how old I was. Eight? Nine?

It created all sorts of problems for the girls as we wore dresses and skirts to school. And boys (being boys) tried to look up our skirts while we were crouched on the floor.

I wonder what things from this era will amuse our descendants. Will they look at our antique cell phones and microwaves and shake their heads in dismay. Didn't they know that stuff will cause cancer?

Life is funny, isn't it?