Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Scales Tipped!

WOW! Maybe I should go away more often. Not only do I get a fabulous writer (Trish Milburn) to sub for me and post beautiful piccies, but TWO of my Bandita Buddies have SOLD in the past two weeks!

The always witty and wonderful Kate Carlisle inked a three book deal with NAL for a cozy mystery series. Hop over to the Bandit Blog today to read her very inspiring "Call" story! I especially love how Kate talks about one phone call changing EVERYTHING, because that is exactly how I felt.

Kate's sale left the Banditas evenly split at 10 sold and 10 AYUs, but not for long. Hyperion made phenomenally hard-working (not to mention extremely nice) Kirsten Scott an offer no writer would refuse for the first two books in her new young adult series! But I will let her tell all the details in a few days. Just keep checking Romance Bandits blog, but remember, you heard it here first!As for me, I made my next baby-step down the road to publication, I signed my very first publishing contract today!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dream vacations

By Trish Milburn, guest blogger

Here I am again, high-jacking Aunty Cindy's blog while she's out plying the blue waters of the Caribbean. Actually, her trip got me to thinking about vacations. There's probably not a one of us who wouldn't go on vacation at the drop of a hat if money wasn't an option. So that's my question to you today -- if you didn't have to worry about the money, what would be your dream vacation?

For me, it would be a huge, extended driving tour of the United States and Canada -- including the trek along the remote Alcan Highway to Alaska. That's a stretch of the highway in winter below, the section between Fort Nelson, British Colombia and Watson Lake, Yukon.

There is so much I've not seen and other places I've visited but had to rush through because of limited vacation time and funds. I'd love to be able to take the trip at a leisurely pace, taking months to see it all. One of my big goals is to visit all the U.S. national parks, so I'd definitely make visits to all of those along the way. One of the parks I've not visited yet is the Grand Canyon, a place that's awe-inspiring in pictures but which I understand can't be done justice with mere photographs.

One of the parks I've been to more than once, but always for too little time, is Yellowstone National Park. My sister worked there for a year, and I've visited three times now. I envy my sister's time there, time in which she could explore the first national park established in this country. It's one of my favorite places, and I'd love to have at least a month of staying inside the park at the hotels at Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake so I could explore some new facet of the park every day. That's Grand Prismatic Spring below. It's huge! I'm not sure you can see them in this picture, but there are a few tiny people on that boardwalk to give this picture perspective.

And being a writer, I could do a fun travelogue blog along the way, complete with photos. Now, if one of those Powerball tickets would just pan out.

So, let me hear about your dream vacations! And while you're in a good mood dreaming about vacations to wonderful locales, take a moment to zip over to the Romantic Times site where my manuscript, OUT OF SIGHT, is a finalist in the American Title competition -- a writing competition modeled on American Idol. I'd appreciate your vote very much.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Yep, Aunty Cindy is out cruising the bright blue sea while some of us are here slaving away over revisions. Sigh. :)

Let's see, what kind of mischief can I get into while she's gone and I have access to her blog? Hmm, a cabana boy review? 101 Ways to Embarrass Your Friends? A virtual toilet papering of the blog in honor of Halloween?

Okay, I'll be good and just remind everyone that voting in the American Title contest begins tomorrow at and I'd be very happy to receive your vote. My manuscript, Out of Sight, is one I believe readers would enjoy if I'm fortunate enough to have it find its way to bookstore shelves.

I'll be back here on Saturday, Oct. 20, to post something vastly more entertaining. Wow, I better thing of something before then, huh? :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

While I'm Away...

...yes, I'm off again.

ARGH, me hearties! This time I'll be gone for a few days sailing the ocean blue in search of Cap'n Jack and Will Turner.

But never fear, just so none of you will feel lonely my Bandita Buddy and FABULOUS writer, Trish Milburn will be dropping by with a post or two. Trish is a finalist in the Romantic Times American Title IV contest, kind of like American Idol for writers (told ya she was FABULOUS)! I'll let her share all the fun details with you!


Monday, October 8, 2007

To Revise Or Not To Revise

...That is one of the issues I posted about today on the Bandit Blog. I've been listening to Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block on books on tape and wanted to share some of his opinions on revisions.
Hop on over and take a look, especially in the comments as readers and writers share best and worst writing advice. And of course, you're always welcome to leave a comment here!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Going Ape On Gibraltar

We'd been in Spain and Portugal for ten days. We had prepared ourselves for the cold wet weather, it was February after all. But we had not expected the lack of heat and hot water in several of the pensiones where we'd stayed. The morning we rolled up to the border crossing to enter Gibraltar, I was cold, hungry and homesick.

When the guard in the crossing booth asked for our passports in his precise English accent, I almost jumped out of the car and kissed him. Then we drove a few hundred yards down the road and on my right I saw a Safeway grocery store and knew I was in Heaven!

After we hung out in the quaint downtown for awhile, we got on the tram to take us to the lofty heights of The Rock. The views were truly spectacular and we were awed by the formations inside the limestone caves. Since it was a beautiful clear day, we opted to walk part of the way back down and found ourselves at the only other tram stop on the mountainside. This spot was also the favorite hang-out for a large group of the famous Gibraltar apes, which are rather large tailless monkeys. And the males have quite impressive teeth.

While waiting for the tram to arrive we watched some of the moms with their babies and a few larger youngsters playing along the stone wall designed to keep us humans on the path. I took a couple more pictures of the harbor, and the apes. In spite of signs in several languages warning NOT to feed or tease the apes, some people waiting with us started offering them cookies. Meanwhile, DH took the camera and directed me to stand over near the wall so he could get some shots of me with the apes in the background. Only they didn't STAY in the background.

As I stood smiling and oblivious, a half-grown "teen" ape made a big leap toward my shoulder. I saw him just as he made contact. I screamed, jumped and pushed him away. I think he may have yelped too as he bounced onto the pavement, then leaped back over the wall. The DH was doubled over laughing, and yes, he got one picture but it was blurry because both the ape and I were moving QUICKLY! VERY QUICKLY! DH still claims that the fastest he's ever seen me move.

Fortunately, the tram arrived a couple of minutes later. Once we were safely back within the confines of Safeway and I'd consumed a Cadbury chocolate bar, I was able to laugh about my misadventure with a young, and maybe amorous (or at least hungry) ape.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

8 Random Things

I was tagged by my Bandita Buddy, sexy, sassy Blaze author Tawny Weber.

Here are the rules:
Players offer eight random habits/facts about themselves.
If you’re tagged, write your own blog about your eight things and post these rules.
At the end of your blog post, choose someone to tag (supposed to be eight but however many you can do is fine, no tag police will come get you) (Whew! I was worried about the tag police!) - and list their names.

1. My name (Loucinda) was a compromise between my parents. My mother wanted to name me Cynthia and my father wanted to name me Lucille.

2. I named my son after a character in Mary Stewart's novel The Moonspinners.

I was diagnosed with tuberculosis when I was two years old. Luckily the disease went inactive when I was four and has never recurred. However, I still test positive on TB skin tests and therefore, I’m not allowed to donate blood.

4. I'm Irish on both sides of my family tree. My mother's family supposedly came from Cork (or maybe they just sailed from Cork, hard to say) in the 1830s. My father's family most likely came from Antrim or Donegal, probably during the potato famine.

5. I developed my affinity for dark chocolate while I was in college and worked in a candy store.

6. My mother claimed I was left-handed from the day I was born. In fact, I can successfully do two things right-handed: cut with scissors (I didn't see a pair of left-handed scissors until I was 11) and, knit (my mother taught me "her way.")

7. I once had a secretary named Eric.

8. I dreamed the title of my soon-to-be-published (That felt GREAT to type!) novel Death in the Fens, and I also dreamed the ending of my GH finalist manuscript Jewels of the Madonna.

I'm tagging my Bandita Buddies Kate, Caren and Jo-Mama. Also tag to my BFF Whit and my pal Piowapuff. If you don't want to list your 8 things on your blog/MySpace you are welcome to post them here in the comments.