• San Antonio


    There are loads of cowboy romances on the market and my perception is that they’re hugely popular. Wanting to see what all the talk was about, I persuaded Terry to take me to Texas for a brief anniversary vacation before Thanksgiving. Last year was Italy, but this year I wanted to stay stateside and buy cowboy boots and string ties.

    We stayed right on the Riverwalk, which we walked several times. MEH. Wasn’t terribly impressed. Mostly generic restaurants, nothing outstanding. I feel badly about saying that because the area could use the tourism. Very economically depressed downtown. Our tours of the Alamo and missions were educational and entertaining. But, once again, both were in the middle of blighted neighborhoods. Sad. A news commentary on TV while were we there substantiated the large percentage of poverty in the downtown area.

    Villa Finale
    Villa Finale
    CUT! Costume and the Cinema
    CUT! Costume and the Cinema

    We really enjoyed the historical section. A couple of beautiful and walkable streets. We went inside Steves Homestead and Villa Finale for a tour, and both guides were friendly and knowledgeable. Afterwards, we walked over to Gunther House, a 19th century mill museum, for lunch. Enjoyed the ambience and the food lots.

    My favorite part of the tour was the McNay Museum. We caught a wonderful movie costume exhibit there. Pix of the apparel was allowed. Breathtaking stitchery and fabric. I just stood and gawked at the gowns.

    After San Antonio, we went to Fort Worth, where we stayed in the old stockyards. Twice daily, “cowboys” on horseback drive a few heads of cattle through town for the sake of visiting tourists and photo ops. Sigh. I felt sorry for the cows.

    Real cow - Real cowboy?
    Real cow – Real cowboy?

    And that’s as close to a cowboy as we came. I did come home from the trip with string ties. Cowboy boots, too, the ornamental kind for Christmas tree hanging.

  • What doesn’t kill us makes us hurt

    ferns in the shaded garden
    ferns in the shaded garden

    After spending two days shoveling cow manure into some of the gardens, I wanted to share a few pictures. We stopped after two days of slavish shoveling and weeding, not because we ran out of gardens. The work didn’t end because we were too exhausted to move, though we were hurtin’. The real reason the haulin’ ended was because we realized the truckload of cow poo wouldn’t be nearly enough for the task at hand. Thank goodness we have plenty of compost to substitute for manure in the remaining beds. Here on out, we ration the stuff.

    That grayish hairy plant emerging from the soil after winter domancy is a fern. Cinamon Stick, I think. We have lots of ferns here. Very Victorian.

  • Arnold Arboretum

    Ever have a day when you say to yourself, right at the beginning, I’m about to have a splendid time?

    Today was just such a day.

    The shadows have changed. Woolly bear caterpillars, a precursor of fall, are wiggling through the grass. And conscious that winter lurks right around the corner here in New England, I found the bright sun and pleasant 80 degree temps all the more precious as we set out for the hour drive to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain for the annual plant sale.

    We arrived at the huge wrought iron entrance gate about thirty minutes early. A good thing too, because crowds of bargain-seeking gardeners already roamed the grounds. Lucky to get a spot at all, we didn’t complain about the parking space, located about a half-mile distance from the sales area. No hardship taking an early morning stroll that took us past beautiful ponds lined with ornamental grasses, and specimen trees and bushes, all handily labeled.

    Halfway to my destination, I stalled to admire a spectacular and fragrant Clerodendrum trichotomun (Harlequin Glorybower). While sniffing the pinky-white blossoms, I managed to accidentally on purpose sneak a few of the startling blue drupes into DH’s pocket. He looked at me cross-eyed, but he’ll thank my larceny later when we plant the seeds in the ground.

    Inside the sales area gate, we collected our member’s coupon for two free plants , the description booklet with corresponding plant numbers, and then joined the L-O-N-G line awaiting the 10:00 admittance. Good vibes electrified the air, and little wonder, what with choice and unusual seedlings ranging in price from a low $6 to $10.

    Shortly thereafter, the guard motioned us ahead and we stormed the tables.

    Picture the annual designer wedding gown sale at Filene’s basement. Now amp up that sort of anticipatory pandemonium by several degrees. Because, let’s face the facts, sweet brides-to-be have nothing on cagey gardeners out to get their greedy hands on all they can carry. I was in manure heaven.

    Having practiced my campaign ahead of time, I went into the fray, elbows out, warding off attacks from both sides, a no-holds barred, every plant enthusiast for him/herself, merciless tactic.

    According to the terms of our discussed strategy, when our mostly filled plastic carrier trays became too cumbersome to carry when weaving in and out of the crowd, DH left me to guard our selections while he went off alone on reconnaissance to scout down additional plants.

    As soon as I took my hand off one of the carriers to scratch my poison ivy outbreak, people lunged for the unprotected plants. After battling off one feisty octogenarian, I thereafter ignored my itchy blisters and kept my attention front and center. Plant sale gardeners are the most aggressive of the species.

    Despite it all, we left with 16 choice seedlings.

    Now, these are small plants. I’ll never live long enough to see some of them mature.

    It doesn’t matter.

    Like the beginning of a splendid day, it’s the promise that counts not the fulfillment.

    See below for the common names of the plants I purchased. If anybody would like a description email me privately.

    (1) Chinese Fringetree

    (2) Oyama Magnolia-

    (3) Chinese Redbud

    (4) Smoketree

    (5) Carol Mackie Daphne

    (6) Enkianthus Campanulatus ‘Showy Lantern’

    (7) ‘Claudie’ Hydrangea (2)

    (8) White Mulberry

    (9) Cheerful Giant Azalea

    (10)Late Lilac ‘Charles Hepburn’

    (11)Striped Sedge ‘Evergold’

    (12)Mounding Grass ‘Albo-striata’

    (13)Harlequin Glorybower

    (14)Hydrangea ‘Quick Fire’

    (15) Mountain Laurel ‘Kaleidoscope’


  • Authorial Inspiration In My Own Backyard

    In answer to the question: Where do I come up with my story ideas?

    Pretty-boy model types don’t do it for me. Naughty nudies of males posing seductively for the camera lens leave me cold. Narcissistic and neurotic actors only make me wince. But real-live outdoorsy working guys? Yep, my fantasy life kicks into over-drive.

    I had a 90 foot crane in my yard today, a claw, and several related logging trucks. Oh, and six brawny guys there to take down 8 monster trees. Needless to say, my fingers never touched the keypad.
    This does not mean I wasn’t working. The fact is, I was working feverishly.

    Look for an erotic romance featuring hard-hat wearing, chain saw wielding, lumberjacks in the near future.



    Without going into specific details–

    So as not to misrepresent myself or my book, I feel the need to reiterate the disclaimer from my previous TOUCH ME blog.

    Please gentle readers . . . and gentle reviewers . . . do not read TOUCH ME. If BDSM elements offend or shock you, by all means, give this book wide berth. Gentle readers . . . and gentle reviewers . . . please beware that the book contains explicit language and highly charged sexual scenes. Since the hero suffers from PTSD, the mood contains a pervasive threat of violence. If this distresses you, please stay away.

    In TOUCH ME, I don’t give lip service to the term BDSM; I use certain hardcore BDSM elements to tell a love story.

    No apology–simply a warning.

    Please see the synopsis below from the Loose Id publication site. This product description more than amply warns off readers . . . and reviewers . . . with gentle sensibilities.

    Louisa Trent’s Touch Me
    Genre: Paranormal; BDSM
    Length: Novel

    Two present day lovers relive the parallel–and ambiguous–sexual conflict of two lovers from the past…

    When docent witch Catherine Covington uses her psychic powers to save the life of CIA operative John ‘Hawk’ Adams, she does so atgreat personal risk to herselfThrough her complete and total sexual submission to the dominant and disturbed John, Catherine finally reconciles what is to be a witch with what it means to be a woman. Only then does Catherine understand the visions that have plagued her concerning the captivity of her 17th century ancestor, Euphremia Prim, at the brutal hands of Hawk, a Wampanoag warrior . . . and John’s distant relative.

    A beautiful witch in sexual bondage. A beleaguered warrior carnally enthralled. Centuries of recriminations and lust explode when two lovers confront a past wrong…because even in the realm of darkness love will hold dominion. Publisher’s Note: This book is an edited and expanded version of the previously released book by the same name.

  • Happy Easter

    Two of my bunnies are already home to the hutch for the holiday; this afternoon, the third is due in with his girl bunny pal.

    Looks like this Easter Sunday is a dress rehearsal for another glorious spring production. The sudden warmth in N.E. raised the green curtain on my lawn. While an orchestra of daffodils tune up their yellow trumpets, a score of purple and white tulips wait to enter center stage. Flowering dogwood, cherry, and pear trees, all jazzed up to put on their show, hover ornamentally in the background. And the lilacs! Still tiny buds yet, but by the second act, they’ll strut their stuff too. I sit in the audience, camera in hand, impatiently waiting for the performance to begin.

    Everything is okies-dokies in my little world. I hope everything is fine in your little world too.

  • Getting the good word out

    I strongly believe quality books deserve to be read, especially the hard to find older ones, so today I’m giving another personal recommendation.

    Theresa Weir

    The author avoids clichés, handles story lines in an original way, has a clear and concise voice, often deals with difficult yet meaningful subject matters, depicts wonderfully imperfect characters, and infuses a much appreciated sense of reality in her romances. I absolutely love her books. She’s unique.

    Please see the following link at AARR for three reviews: BAD KARMA,SOME KIND OF MAGIC, and COOL SHADE. http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/searchReviews.pl

    Her books can also be found at Amazon:

    It’s my understanding that Theresa Weir no longer writes romances. A pity. The romance market needs authors of her high caliber.

    Currently, the author writes suspense novels under the name “Anne Frasier”.

  • I survived another vacation

    Back to reality–thank God! Even washing ten days worth of dirty clothes is a pleasure.

    I have now been to Disneyland once, Disney World five times, and I am NOT going back again until I have grandchildren. I am all queued out. We stayed at Port Orleans, within the Disney World complex, and from the moment we arrived in Orlando, there were prescribed lines for everything–buses, boats, bathrooms, meals and, of course, the rides.

    As to the meals–Disney food within the Park is both pricey and mediocre, and we were grateful to find a table to rest our weary bones while eating. We did enjoy the (Boma) African buffet in the Animal Kingdom Lodge (need reservations) and the savanna view of the animals after dining. Best stick to beer and wine at the Disney hotels and restaurants–the cocktails have all the alcoholic content of Kool-aid

    As to the rides–the Fast Passes really do eliminate the waits on the more popular rides. My fave ride was Soarin’. Because DH is a child at heart, we went on everything–sometimes, Lord help me, more than once.

    Because I am NOT a child at heart, we also managed to squeeze in Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba (loved, loved, loved the performance) and three movies:

    (1) FAILURE TO LAUNCH–considering the fine cast, horribly disappointing. Rather than genuinely explore the issues presented, namely empty nest syndrome and adult children living at home, the movie was relentlessly trite and formulaic.

    (2)INSIDE MAN–thoroughly enjoyed Spike Lee’s latest creation. The all-star cast gave fine performances and the plot was intense (you will guess certain elements, but so what?) with some moments of comic relief.

    (3) LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN–considering the neat plot, I didn’t care for this film at all. Too many distractingly surreal and self-conscious elements (stilted and unnatural dialogue, in particular) took me out of the film; the “artsy” style just got in the way of good, solid storytelling. And why all the blood and gore and horrific images? Completely unnecessary!

    While DH was at his conference, I did manage to complete my first round of revisions on SOME ROUGH EDGE SMOOTHIN’. This week, I’ll do some additional polishing and call it a wrap.


    The erotic paranormal re-releases 4/4. I’ll get the first chapter up at the site this evening. Gentle reader, please be forewarned–the contents are explicit. I pull no punches in this book.

    Here’s the working SYNOPSIS:

    Two present day lovers relive the parallel . . . and ambiguous . . . sexual conflict of two past lovers.

    When docent witch Catherine Covington uses her psychic powers to save the life of CIA operative John ‘Hawk’ Adams, she does so at great personal risk to herself. Through her complete and total sexual submission to the dominant and disturbed John, Catherine finally reconciles what is to be a witch with what it means to be a woman. Only then does Catherine understand the visions that have plagued her concerning the captivity of her 17th century ancestor, Euphremia Prim, at the brutal hands of Hawk, a Wampanoag warrior . . . and John’s distant relative.

    Here’s the BLURB:

    A beautiful witch in sexual bondage.

    A beleaguered warrior carnally enthralled.

    Centuries of recriminations and lust explode when two lovers confront a past wrong.

    …because even in the realm of darkness love will hold dominion…

    I hope you enjoy the book!


    P.S. GEEZ! This oversight just goes to prove how bad I am at promo!! I forgot to mention that TOUCH ME releases with Loose Id–www.loose-id.com. The book has been available for almost two weeks, and now I think to include the name of the publisher. Shakes head.