Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is it gravy or sauce?

My brother stopped by this morning and gave me a copy of Gravy Wars: South Philly Foods, Feuds & Attytudes by Lorraine Ranalli. The title is not misspelled and it captures the essence of Philadelphia. The book is full of Italian traditions, superstitions and delicious recipes – gravy, meatballs, pizzelles...

It's available at Amazon.

I’m not Italian but I grew up in South Philly and no matter what your ancestry may be, the stories are bound to bring back memories of your own family and holidays past.

Lorraine does answer the age-old question “Is it gravy or sauce?” You have to read the book to find out. Does anyone outside of South Philly refer to tomato sauce as gravy? Whatever you call it, this book took us on a trip back in time and brought back all sorts of pleasurable memories and some bittersweet ones as well.

There’s something about welcoming in a new year that makes me nostalgic. Rather than ring out the old, I prefer to remember times past while I bring in the new.

Happy New Year!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays! - a cappella

Deck The Halls - a cappella Christmas multitrack (Julien Neel - trudbol) Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

A New Year's date with The Weekend Novelist

Have you made your New Year’s resolution yet?

I have and it’s all about an unfinished, barely started manuscript.

Way back in April of this year I embarked on a project with Delilah Devlin, Elle James and the other wonderful ladies at Rose’s Colored Glasses. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the group, it’s a place where writers can learn about writing, receive one-on-one assistance understanding the basics of writing or join group workshops to learn the different elements of creating a saleable manuscript.

Our goal was to work through the book, The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray and Bret Norris.

“A Dynamic 52-week program to help you produce a novel …
One weekend at a time.”

I didn’t get very far - intro and skeleton sketch – before I found myself falling behind. Fortunately for me, everyone else did too. We all agreed to put off the project until next year. Time flies and here it is, almost next year and we’re gearing up again. I’m really excited. I still have the bare bones plot in my head and the notes from April. This time I have every intention of sticking with it. It’s my New Year’s resolution for 2011. I’ll be posting my progress meter and updates to keep me on the straight and narrow. Stop back and give me push every now and then...

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Friday, December 17, 2010

The Wolves of Colusa Mountain invade Black Wolf Gorge


I think my guests are here. Welcome Calisa Lewis and friends. Come in. The coffee's on and there's bottled water for your pack.

What a lovely room you have here Gale. Thank you for inviting us in. Mmm and our fave brandy fudge goes great with your coffee.

Glad you could make it. Yum, I feel the calories settling already. Oops, sorry. My guys are a little territorial. There will be no pissing contest today boys. Take it outside. Let me get you a mug Calisa and we can chat.

I’ll begin by introducing myselves. (Have I mentioned I also have multiple personalities? I hear that happens a lot with pre-published authors trying to discover who they want to be in the publishing world. My hopes are for a well rounded author to merge from the many people inside me!) I’m Calisa Lewis, and I’m a writer. That should cover it. No? Well we hang out at our own blog here,, we’re also on Twitter/CalisaMS, and Facebook/Calisa Selfridge. We write about small town love, usually-but not always- cowboys. Always contemporary.

I’ve never suffered writer’s block, unless I can count the hours I’ve spent trying (and usually failing) to come up with an intelligent topic for my blog. I blog only once every week or two for a reason. So when Gale asked me to come here and blog, of course, I jumped at the idea. Why not? I obviously love to torture people, namely myself, or I wouldn’t be a writer! And, guess what? I still don’t have a solid clue what to say. So, I’ve decided to regale you all with song… Nooo, not really! Sheesh.

Much as I'd love to hear you sing, I really want to hear about your wolves.

 I love my cowboys, but I have a paranormal series in the works. These also veer from my usual sweet/spicy-ish romances in that they are really not nice men. They don’t talk nice, and they don’t act nice. Typical bad boys?

Sure, if typical grew teeth and bit the heroine to gain that sexual euphoric high necessary to claim their true life mate!

Definitely my kind of guys.

These are about a Cherokee Indian tribe cursed by the medicine man, or Kutani, back in the 1800’s. Vsigli cursed all males of the mountain, while protecting his pure bloodline. (Here you need to understand that bloodlines of the Cherokee people flows through the females, rather than the males.) For decades his female descendants only throw more females. But the men of the mountain become wolves when they reach the age of adulthood, of accountability. Now, this age varies because not all men come to this point in their lives at the same age. Mental growth varies and so does accountability.

Many Kutani women have come and gone through Vsigli’s lineage. Somewhere along the line these women began to try to undo the curse. Their efforts have only altered it through the years so that when my stories begin the heroes can change at will, or shift, to wolves. They live ‘normal’ lives.

I love the premise. You put a whole different spin on the shape-shifter story.

In book one, Logan, meets Beth. They discover along the way that she’s a descendant of Vsigli. She’s not allowed on the mountain. They have to overcome this obstacle to find love and forever happiness. Her greatest obstacle is Logan’s brother, or rather his influence over Logan. John will not sway from the original law that NO KUTANI are allowed on Colusa, so Beth must go. Both Logan and his inner wolf have chosen Beth for their mate- and as we all know, wolves mate for life. And when she becomes pregnant, her ancestor offers a solution through visions.

John has his comeuppance in book two, when he meets Silver. He wants to run away when he finds out that she, too, is a descendant of Vsigli. He doesn’t want to explain that the desire he has for Silver comes from a much deeper source than mere human love. John wants to reject the woman his inner wolf has claimed as his life mate. He has reconciled his strong beliefs in the heritage he grew up relying on, used it to make sense of the hated, forced imprisonment on the mountain. If offered the opportunity, John would never shift again.

Youngest brother Bank meets Kaleenah who has no connection to the mountain, or does she? His inner wolf denies Kaleenah as its mate, though Bank wants her desperately. He’s forced to convince the geneticist that he isn’t what she thinks he is. But it’s against Colusa law to ‘tell’ anyone about them, so Bank must find a way to show her. A scientist, and not one to believe in ‘ghost stories’, Kaleenah is convinced that she can ‘cure’ the man she’s fallen in love with. When she learns that she is one of the Kutani, and there is no human cure because of ‘her kind’, she runs. How can she face Bank when she’s responsible for his hell, his family’s hell?

I hope to bring these couples to you soon. So let me know here, would you read these? Would you like to hear about Tanner, Cody, Sam, Kato, or any of the other cursed wolves? Should I allow the curse to be broken?

Sounds like you have the makings of great series. I can't wait to read more.

Thank you again for letting me come and share my brave heroines and their Wolves of Colusa Mountain, Gale. It’s their first public appearance, so be kind and they promise not to bite too hard.

Thanks so much for sharing your stories. Please let us know when we can expect more. Sounds too quiet out there. I think we better check on our packs...

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MATING CALL is leading off the Winter Heat Week Grand Giveaway at Fire Pages!!

Zee invited me to lead off her Winter Heat Week Grand Giveaway! And I’m thrilled to be part of the fun and in the good company of so many great authors.

Enter at Zee's Fire Pages:

Zee is reviewing 11 Books in 10 Days by 9 Authors, starting with her review of MATING CALL, plus an interview and a sneak peek at an upcoming release.

The contest will run from Wednesday, December 15th through Thursday, December 24th.

If you leave a comment for all 11 reviews, you’ll be entered into the GRAND GIVEAWAY!

What will you win?

Books and lots of them!

Every author has agreed to give away a copy of one or more of their novels that Zee will be reviewing.

My contribution is a paperback copy of MATING CALL, bookmark, pen and notepad.

Put a shortcut on your desktop and visit often for more chances to win.

Good Luck!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

My Morning with Rachael Ray

Anyone watch the Rachael Ray show? I have to admit I never turn the TV on until 6:30 pm when TMZ comes on. This morning as I sat in the hospital waiting room while my husband had his stress test I got to see what I’ve been missing.

I settled in, took out my new Blackberry and checked email. When I saw all the work coming in I got agita and put it away. I had three hours to kill and a loaded Kindle in my bag. Perfect. I was just getting into a good romance when someone came in and turned on the TV. Urgh!

At first I could tune it out, but then Rachael came on and it was like fingernails on a chalkboard. Does anyone else find her voice annoying? Or is it just me? I read the same paragraph three times and then locked myself in the bathroom. This worked only until someone needed to use it. The next time I reached my limit I took a walk down the hall. I didn’t want to go too far because I was there in case they needed me.

Finally the last person left the waiting room and I turned the sound down on the TV. Five minutes later my husband came walking out, ready to leave. Gee, time passes fast when you’re having fun. Of course my husband thinks I’m nuts. He loves Rachael. I’m just glad to be back home where it’s quiet…

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Friday, December 10, 2010


On January 1, 2011 Silver Publishing will be releasing their 100th book. To celebrated they’re giving away a Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology to one lucky winner. The contest will run from December 10, 2010 until January 1, 2011.

Enter here:

Believe me it’s a great prize. I already own a Kindle and I love it. And when you stop by to enter the contest, take a look at all the great books they offer – including mine of course.

SILENT KNIGHTS also available at Amazon:

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

**** 4 Stars for MATING CALL ****

I was thrilled to open the January 2011 issue of my favorite magazine, RT BOOK REVIEWS, and find a 4 Star review for MATING CALL. If you don't aready get the magazine delivered, give yourself a subscription for Christmas. I guarantee you won't be sorry. Besides over 200 reviews you'll find great articles, interviews, and giveaways for readers and writers. 

Genre: E-book, Paranormal, Erotic Romance

**** RT Rating

Stanley’s second book about the shapeshifters of Black Wolf Gorge is hot enough to shoot sparks from the pages. It goes a little bit beyond in a unique twist on the mating habits of shapeshifters. The independent heroine will appeal to readers; the men, however, might elicit a slightly darker reaction, as they capture and then confine Sable in order to study her. Readers who like to go outside the box will get a fiery, emotional story.

Wolf shapeshifter Sable is captured by twin brothers Jude and Jonas Outlaw and her double nature is all that keeps her alive, as these two brothers hate anything even remotely involving wolves. But Sable intrigues and attracts both brothers, drawing them into fiery ménage and claiming both as mates. When Sable gets pregnant by both men, the three of them will have to make their family work despite society’s disapproval. (SIRENPUBLISHING.COM, dl $5.99)
Reviewed By: Sabrina Cooper

Thanks for letting me share!

MATING CALL is available at Amazon:

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Can you hear me yet?

You know me and electronic toys – the easier the better. I hate the learning curve involved whenever I have to buy a new model, but when your ten year-old granddaughter has a better phone than you, it’s time to upgrade.

My husband and I had been thinking about it but couldn’t decide what we wanted. When hubby found a deal that got us 2 phones for $0.01 each we couldn’t pass it up. And they were flip phones, a style we were used to because we both had been using the Motorola Razr. It’s not easy to find a flip-style smartphone so the Blackberry Style for Sprint seemed the perfect fit. Even so I dreaded the thought of setting up a new phone, especially one with all the bells and whistles.

The phones were ordered through Amazon Wireless, gray for hubby, purple for me. They came the other day and I was intimidated right off the bat when my husband downloaded a 600 page manual. I ignored the telephone book and used the small Get-Started book that came with the phone. We got off to bad start when my husband couldn’t find the pin number we needed to activate service but a phone call to Sprint took care of the problem.

Here it is, 3.8 by 2.4 and it has a full QWERTY keyboard. It comes with an 8 GB memory card, but you can upgrade. The plastic body is glossy in front and slightly textured in back. Headphones included. It’s got the Blackberry 6 OS. There’s no touch screen and the trackpad takes a little getting used to – it’s slippery. I still overshoot my mark once in awhile.

It’s a Blackberry so I guess it’s geared toward business use. I didn’t find a lot of ringtones and games – ones that worked anyway. I downloaded a bejeweled type game and when I tried to play, it blanked out my screen. I looked at that white expanse and panicked. Nothing I did got me back to my home screen. Hubby came to the rescue. He took the battery out and reinserted it and everything went back to normal. Needless to say I deleted the game. The ringtones from my old phone worked on the new, so I was happy.

Email, Facebook and Twitter were extremely easy to set up. The screen is a bit small for surfing but I haven’t done web browsing yet so I’ll probably get used to it. I haven’t tried the camera or listened to music yet. Hey give me a break, I couldn’t play with the phone all day. I had to do some work too.

Only two cons so far. The keyboard is a bit flat compared to my old Razr. And the selection of ring tones and games could be better. I think that will be rectified in the future. So far I’m loving my new phone.

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