• COWBOYS, CATTLE, and CUTTHROATS* PORTENCE* BLISS* SOLACE* A COWBOY'S FATE* VICTORIAN DREAM* SPECIAL DELIVERY* IRON HEART* LADY GALLANT* THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE* FATE OF THE SILVER MOON......click cover to buy (image by Svetlana Petrova)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Goat Coat Fashion Show

 Winter is coming! 
  Beanie Baby and Belle, my two Nigerian Dwarf goats, look so cute and "fashion forward" in their new coats. 
     These were made to order by 
              Diana at the goatcoatshop.com  
It wasn't easy to find coats to fit 
around their adorable big bellies. 
                                            
          I think the donkeys might be a little jealous. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Victorian Dream FREE KindleUnlimited--only $0.99 to buy.

                                         
                                                            print length 368 
         Will he find the murderer, but lose his heart?
   For a spicy romance with a bit of mystery, and some new twists on the old tropes, get comfy and curl up with a Victorian Dream.  Free at Amazon 

      1851 England & America.
          Trelayne St.Christopher, a cosseted young English woman, dreams of falling madly in love, just like the daring women in her purloined novels. Now faced with adult responsibilities for the first time in her life, she leaps at the opportunity to manage her father's shipping business. But when Trelayne ignores her prophetic nightmares in favor of passionate daydreams, her best laid plans go dangerously awry.
     Emotionally scarred by the death of his wife, Yankee sea captain Walker Garrison bans romance from his personal manifest, shipbuilding is his only passion. The transatlantic partnership between Walker and Trelayne's father seems a grand idea until her parents are critically injured and one of Walker's crew turns up dead. On the trail of the man responsible, Walker sets sail for England. But, after meeting his new partner's daughter, protecting Trelayne and not falling in love with her may prove impossible.
                               

Excerpt: (at the Crystal Palace)
    To her surprise, Walker tightened his grip on her elbow and urged her off the
walkway and into the shadows. She felt light headed, and her cheeks grew warm with the unstoppable heat caused by his intense perusal. 
   “That’s some hat you’re sporting,” he said.
    His unexpected comment took her off guard, leaving her confused. “You don’t like my new hat?”
   “I didn’t say I didn’t like it, just that it was really something.”

  “That’s a bit vague. Something can mean good or bad.”
   He canted his head and studied her more thoroughly. “It’s unique, I’ll give you that.” He flicked a finger at the bright bow and scarlet ribbons cascading down one side of the creation. “And unexpected.”
  “Do you like surprises?” she ventured.
  “Not generally,” he admitted. “But I do like discovering new things, taking my time, savoring each revelation, wondering what will come next.
Capturing her left hand, he toyed with the buttons on her glove. Entranced, she waited restlessly, conjuring naughty images of what he might try to discover next. One by one, he slipped the buttons free, splaying open the soft leather. Cool air slipped beneath the material as he rolled down the top, exposing her skin.
   The pulse in her wrist jump beneath the pressure of his fingers. Raising her hand to his mouth, he whispered something, but she couldn’t catch the words, only the feel of his breath on her bare skin. He lowered her hand, and little by little peeled the kid leather away, turning it inside out, sliding the softness over her knuckles, down her fingers, off the tips. She wished he would undress the rest of her just as completely and slowly—oh so slowly, one little piece of clothing following another.
   “Your fingers are cold, Trelayne,” he said, cozying her bare hand between his strong warm ones. “But I’ll wager there’s fire in your heart.”
   Speechless, she strangled the moan threatening to escape her. There was fire in more than just her heart, and it was near to burning out of control. Was it proper for a woman to ravish a man? For that was exactly what she wished to do.
   A hint of smile lingered on his mouth, but his eyes darkened, and there was nothing humorous about the way his gaze made her feel.
   She wished to speak, but words escaped her. Rarely at a loss as to what to do or say, she tried to recall what she’d been taught in deportment about keeping up lively conversation and witty dialogue. Nothing came to mind to cover a situation in which her body ruled her mind. All she could think about was what it would be like to kiss this man, make love to this man, be naked beside this man. There was definitely a fire in her heart.
   “Fires can be dangerous,” she murmured.
   “Yes,” he agreed. “Especially the ones that burn long and slow and incredibly hot.”
   Illustrations from the books she read in secret seared across her mind—scandalous, wonderful imaginings.
   He leaned in closer. She swore he was about to kiss her, could feel his breath and the tiniest tickle of his mustache as his mouth hovered oh so near her lips. Then he straightened, his expression one of confusion, even consternation. He looked like a man delirious with fever, just come to his senses.
   “We should find the others,” he suggested, releasing her from the spell she was under. 
    It was the last thing she wanted. Couldn’t he tell, didn’t he know? 
   “Out of all the wonders here tonight,” he reassured, “spending time with you is what I shall remember most.”
            Readers who enjoyed Victorian Dream
                                  also enjoyed 
                                Lady Gallant  
                                             print length 368 pages, rated spicy    
   Disowned by her father and still mourning the death of her fiancé, Josephine Posey joins Florence Nightingale’s brigade of nurses bound for the Black Sea. Thousands of British soldiers desperately await these angels of mercy and a new life awaits Josie. Amidst the chaos of death and despair, she finds a spark of hope, lighting the flame once more inside her soul.
    In search of the truth, Garrick Allen, one of Britain’s first war correspondents also journeys to the Crimean Peninsula. To him the soldiers seem all but abandoned by Queen and country, and as he smokes his cheroots and makes friends with a bottle, he writes his bold but honest dispatches for The Times.  Not wanting anything more than to finish his job and go home, Garrick is blind-sided by a nurse with attitude who offers him a new slant on life and a reason to love.

        Amazon kindle     The Wild Rose Press $2.99   
                    Barnes and Noble $2.99
                        

Friday, September 28, 2018

NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research

                   
    NCAR The National Center for Atmospheric Research is a remarkable institution that monitors, investigates, and tracts the weather effecting our daily lives. It is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
                 Image result for images of NCAR in boulder
Housed in a beautiful building designed by I. M. Pei,
 one of the greatest living member of the modernist generation of architects, the NCAR sits nestled in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado. 
       we got to play with a cloud and make microbursts.
     One of my favorite things was the ice core representation. By trapping gases, dust, and other materials, some ice core data from Antarctica provides information about climate more than 700,000 years in the past, a period which spans eight ice age cycles!
                      Image result for image of ice core at NCAR
    NCAR does research for NOAA. the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. 
        NOAA predicts changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, and works to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.
      
          
   One of my favorite things was the ice core representation. By trapping gases, dust, and other materials, some ice core data from Antarctica provides information about climate more than 700,000 years in the past, a period which spans eight ice age cycles!
                                    
    My other favorite things was this big blue globe filled with liquid. When spun around it showed current patterns. I really wanted one of those!
                    Image result for image of ncar 
     After our guided tour, we had a picnic lunch on the surrounding outdoor area which also includes a quarter mile trail for hiking. What a view, what a great afternoon. 
                    For more info visit NCAR












Monday, September 17, 2018

Mary Tharp cartographer and path finder.

 I find maps to be fascinating, and the older ones are such a wonderful time capsule of history. Mary Tharp  loved maps, and created them for a vast area she never saw. 

     A path-breaking American geologist and oceanographic cartographer Tharp's work revealed the presence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, leading scientist into accepting the apparently radical theories of plate tectonics and continental drift.
    "This is how they looked 250 million years ago. I had a blank canvas to fill with extraordinary possibilities, a fascinating jigsaw puzzle to piece together," Tharp said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime — a once-in-the-history-of-the-world —opportunity for anyone, but especially for a woman in the 1940s." 

     Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, her mother was an instructor in German and Latin; her father made soil classification maps for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She graduated from Ohio University, and later received a masters degree in petroleum geology at a time when women obtained fewer than 4% of all earth sciences doctorates.  


   She worked with Bruce Heezen for 18 years. Barred from working aboard the research ship Vema because she was a woman, Mary drew the maps based on Heezen's bathyemtric data. In 1965 she was able to join the crew on a data-collection expidition. 


         It took years for her contributions to be recognized. In 1998 she was honored by the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division, and the following year, she was recognized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 
      In 2001 she was honored by her home institution with the Lamont-Doherty Heritage Award. Today, a fellowship at Lamont-Doherty to promote women in science through the ADVANCE program bearing her name.

    Thank you Mary Tharp for following your dream, changing scientific beliefs, and going where few women had gone before.





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Banned in Boston


     In 1878 the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice was formed. For a $5 dollar contribution, anyone could belong. 

One of it's first attacks on literature was against Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. First published in 1855. It was deemed obscene,’ ‘too sensual,’ and ‘shocking’ because of its frank portrayal of sexuality and some felt its obvious homoerotic overtones.  Pressure from the Society caused Whitman's publisher to forgo reprinting the updated edition in 1881. 

The city’s Watch and Ward Society was a puritanical group of private citizens active from 1878 to the 1920s. It made Boston a target of scorn and – unintentionally – heightened interest in the books and plays it banned.

     Beginning in 1902, the Watch and Ward Society’s Secretary, J. Franklin Chase, a humorless Methodist minister, single-handedly censored dozens of books. 

  And by the 1920s, the Society had censored hundreds of books and plays. It forced the Boston Public Library to keep banned books in locked rooms.         

    The Society  had an agreement with police, all complaints about indecent books were sent directly to the Society. If the Society thought the book was indecent, it notified Boston booksellers that they had three days to remove the book from their shelves or they could be arrested on obscenity charges. 
  Booksellers so feared the group that they refused to sell books on its list. Those who did were arrested, charged and fined. Plays deemed racy were performed in a sanitized Boston version.

  Many now celebrated works were included in the ban. Here are a few. 

Slaughter House 5/Kurt Vonnegut
Desire Under the Elms/Eugene O'Neill.
God's Little Acre 1933/ Erskine Caldwell
Memoirs of Fanny Hill 1748/ John Cleland 
Elmer Gantry 1926/ Sinclair Lewis in 1926
Manhattan Transfer 1927/ John Dos Passos 
Lady Chatterley's Lover/1929 D. H. Lawrence 
Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (1944)
The Sun Also Rises & A Farewell to Arms/ 
                     Earnest Hemmingway
  
      And of course films were also on the hit list 
I Am Curious (Yellow) by Vilgot Sjöman (1967)  
(I remember sneaking into the theater to see this with my girlfriends.) 

Caligula by Tinto Brass (1979)

                Even songs became targets.
Wake Up Little Susie by The Everly Brothers 1957
Beans in My Ears by the Serendipity Singers/1964
(a protest song indicating adults were not listening to children. banned because kids were actually putting beans in their ears!)

The Warren Court (1953–69) expanded civil liberties and in Memoirs v. Massachusetts and other cases curtailed the ability of municipalities to regulate the content of literature, plays, and movies.
The last major literary censorship battle in the U.S. was fought over Naked Lunch, which was banned in Boston in 1965.  Eventually the Watch and Ward Society changed its name to the New England Citizens Crime Commission, and made its main emphasis against gambling and drugs and far less on media.

Would your book have been BANNED IN BOSTON?



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

COWBOYS, CATTLE, & CUTTHROATS cover reveal.

                         Coming soon at
                       The Wild Rose Press

      Both seek retribution, neither is looking for love.   

Ochessa is heartbroken when she finds her brother fatally wounded. His dying words are about a childhood puzzle box, missing legal documents, and a drifter named Nicodemus Breedlove. Ochessa vows to find Will’s murderer—and the man Will described.

No stranger to trouble, Nic's only concerns are his Stetson, his mule Sadie, and a long awaited chance at retribution. After gaining Ochessa’s trust, and taking the job she offers, life gets more complicated.  

Back on the ranch in Colorado, Ochessa works as hard as any man. Then Nick tempts her into playing even harder as a woman—both are overwhelmed by their growing love for one another. 

 Weathering a stampede, a gully washer, and a pack of outlaws, they locate the killer. As Nic’s quest for justice, and Ochessa’s vendetta for Will playout, bullets fly...

       Not everybody’s gonna make it out alive. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dastardly Scorpions that glow in the dark.

                                Image result for images scorpion
    As if scorpions aren't horrifying enough...they glow.
                      Image result for pictures of glowing scorpions
Sounds like an element used by an evil villain in a Sci/Fi book! But you don't have to travel to outer-space to see them, they're crawling around right here in the USA. 

 All you need are nerves of steel and a black light. 
                          Image result for scorpions glowing under black light
Imagine a "herd" of these coming at you in the dead of night. 

When UV light hits these creepy crawlies (including moonlight) it is converted by proteins in their exoskeletons into light of a blue hue, which is visible to the human eye.

    Some theories bandied about as to why this happens are: glowing might help scorpions find each other (their earth-tone coloring makes them otherwise difficult to spot in the desert), or they do it to dazzle prey, or the light conversion effect could act as a sunscreen. 

   Upon experimental investigation, however, none of these hypotheses hold up to scrutiny, leading some arachnologists to speculate that scorpion fluorescence has no function at all. Perhaps, they say, it's just a random act of evolution.
Image result for images professor carl kloock But "oh contraire". California State University arachnologist Carl Kloock thinks otherwise. 
    "Based on UV light levels, it may determine whether or not they should come to the surface to look for prey. Scorpions are nocturnal creatures. They abhor the heat and evaporative effects of sunlight, and it turns out they specifically avoid UV light, even that of the moon. If they are well fed they tend to be less active on a full moon."


     In 2010, Carl Kloock overexposed scorpions to UV light to use up the fluorescing chemicals in their skin (which break down as they glow). Kloock found that scorpions that could still glow stuck to a sheltered area, while the others spent more time in the open unable to sense the light.
                          Image result for doug gaffin
   Inspired by Kloock’s work, Professor Doug Gaffin decided to see just how scorpions would behave under differently colored light. The results supported the idea that they’re using their glow to respond more strongly to UV over and above what they can detect with their retinas. 
                        

   Gaffin thinks the scorpion’s entire body, from the stinging tail to the crushing pincers, collects UV light from the environment and convert it into blue-green wavelengths. These signals could even pass to the brain via clusters of nerves that are spread throughout the animal’s body. If this idea pans out, it means that a scorpion’s glow could increase the surface area of its eyes by a thousand times. The entire scorpion would effectively be one big eye.  Back to the sci/fi theory.
                             Image result for images big scary eye

More testing is being done by both Professors Kloock and Gaffin. Until then keep that black light handy so you can see these the scary little monsters coming.
                        Image result for images scorpion monster

                 Thank you Kim for the blog-post idea.