Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More than the End of the Road

Chill wind whipped in our faces as we rounded the corner. Though we walked against the wind, we weren't in a hurry. We wanted to savor and enjoy the experience awaiting us.

As we neared the arena blinking neon lights, street musicians playing on every corner and alleyway, tour buses pushing motorists out of the way, exhaust fumes filling the night air; downtown Nashville might have passed for Mainstreet in the Hollywood hills. It was surreal, but put this night into perspective.

People hurried past or shuffled alongside us, a few strutted their stuff decked out in leather, miniskirts and boots, long hair or in their favorite pair of jeans; all for an evening out that we'd never forget.

Expectations ran high as we stood in the cold shade of concrete and glass. We barely felt the hard surface beneath our shoes. The ache in our legs, the chill seeping through our clothes, numbness settling into our hands and feet was all a part of this one night we shared together.

After what seemed like hours, but was only a short forty minute wait, the doors opened and we moved in one long wave into the arena that signaled the night had begun.

Lookin' back on the first time I heard one of his songs, barely old enough to know what 'night moves' were, I wanted that clear throaty voice, so unique and poignant, to be calling my name, to show me what it meant to become a woman.

He recorded about the ordinary; hard work, laborers doing a job for measly wages, the gritty and lowly; streetwalkers and their patrons, and dreamers; the ones who won't quit, but must overcome surmountable odds just to make. That was/is his specialty.

After the cover band finished, and a short break, the moment we all waited for had arrived. Arena lights lowered and the stage lit up. My thoughts took a trip down memory lane. I'd listened and danced and sang along with this icon of American rock and roll since I was nine (I'm 43). His lyrics of American culture, a way of life, mostly hard times, but overcoming, has stayed with me all these years.

I have my favorites, Turn the Page, Against the Wind, We've Got Tonight, and Roll Me Away, but it wasn't until my son became a fan with the song, Old Time Rock and Roll, that I realized Bob Seger was a classic.

For two short hours, we were entertained. But it was more than that. He invited us in. He shared his heart and soul with us, and we drank it in. All of lucky, sharing a common thread with this man.

Seeing Bob Seger on stage will be one of the greatest moments of my life. I probably won't ever see him in concert again. He says this is his last tour. He's retiring from the road.

But I think not. It became clear, as I looked around the audience; yes, mostly I saw people my parents' age and mine. But my son, who is a fan, stood beside me, men and women in their early twenties and families with their teens surrounded us.

Bob Seger isn't finished. Whether or not he tours again or records another song. He was making music long before I was born, and he's left a legacy that will continue on.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Making the best of Monday

I love spring. It's not only a rebirth of the world, where buds reappear on trees, the grass greens up, and the days become longer.

It is my favorite time to purchase fresh foods. I love to begin eating lighter, healthier (somewhat). I am by no means a food purist. I enjoy things like cheese, mayonnaise, chips too well.

But, this time of year I fill my food basket with items like spinach and broccoli and vine ripened tomatoes and zucchini squash. Living in a small town, I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh vidalia onions with green tops. But, was disappointed the grocer didn't have any fresh herbs.

I'm a little under the weather, so writing today has been sporadic, but, I've filled my day by cooking. It relaxes me, and when the muse hits, I stop, write, then go back to cooking.

But, with our own fresh eggs and my newly purchased zucchini, I was able to make zucchini pie. The fragrant aroma of basil is coming from the kitchen.

And, I'm snacking on a somewhat healthier version of spinach dip. I used fresh spinach, garlic and green onions as the main ingredients. (It's not totally healthy because I don't use low fat mayo or sour cream). And the only yogurt in the house is Noosa brand, honey or raspberry.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekend Writing Warriors - #1 3/29/2015

I am excited to be a part of a group of talented writers. Wewriwa is a blog hop. When I found this, I noticed several authors that I've read their works. It was quite thrilling to be put in this company.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt and please stop by wewriwa and view other author's works. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

It was difficult to decide what to post. I mainly write romantic suspense, with erotic sex scenes. Erotica isn't the focus, but I don't believe in just thinking about sex. That's not the way the real world works, so why should my books.

Anyway, I've been toying with a paranormal romance. It involves a vibrant woman at fifty whose older husband has just died. The local shapeshifter caught her scent months ago as his fated mate. He's been biding his time, but now that the way is clear, he's ready for her to come to him.

This story came about from a friend's experience. She's fifty-three and her husband is sixty-four. The husband has type II diabetes and refuses to keep it under control. His kidney's are under a lot of burden, and she just knows his health is a ticking time bomb.

As of now, this wip is a romance. There may be scenes of a sexual nature, but that isn't the purpose here. It's a rebirth of sorts, that there is still life when death is close at hand.
It doesn't have a title, and the names of the characters are sure to change.
In this scene Judi, our female lead is returning home after months of sitting by her husband's bed at the hospital.

The car took the sharp curve a little too fast and Judi eased her foot of the gas slightly. It wouldn’t do to have an accident after everything she’d been through. She’d been up for days, but now it was over.
Sadness filled the vehicle like an old friend, but just beyond her reach was relief. It would take some time getting used to, but he wasn’t in pain any longer. And for that she was grateful.
Gazing past the windshield, she peered into the inky blackness. She’d miscalculated.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Storyboard Saturday

I am sure many of you are wondering who the heck is Aine Blaze. I am an author. We authors spend our time inside our heads and by the end of the day, we hope we've produced something worthwhile to the reader. I've written three books, soon to be published.

But there is so much more to me than that. I try not to offend others, but I'm far from politically correct. My favorite foods are chocolate and raspberries. Coffee is a must for me. Cheese of any type is on my top ten list. And my healthiest indulgence is Noosa yogurt.

In this blog I hope my audience will get to know me as well as my writing.

Here's a wip, my 3rd book, which once completed I'll be publishing all three books. This excerpt isn't from a series. It's a stand alone and oddly, I wrote this story first before completing my other two works of fiction.

This romance is between horse racing heiress Cassie and Irish horse breeder,Justin. Years ago they were lovers, but her single-minded focus on becoming the best horse racer in the business drove him away. He's back only because someone's jealous of Cassie's success.

It was the culmination of one problem after another that made her do it. It was the only explanation Cassandra Tierney had for a momentary lapse of sanity. Well, the only explanation she dared consider.
She tamped down on the truth hovering at the edges of her mind. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Leaning on the cool door, she silently berated the desperate act.
Maybe he didn’t see it. It’s been three months. It’s just like him to ignore me. Maybe it didn’t make it into the envelope. “Yeah, that’s it. I took it out often enough it could have fallen under the desk or behind the couch.” Lifting her head, she felt a little better. Even though she was lying to herself.  
She was falling apart, waiting for him to appear. And, now he’s all I can think about.   
If that wasn’t enough to make her anxious, on the other side of the door, several hundred people mingled in the cool dawn mist awaiting her arrival as if she was a queen or something. Please, I’m just a twenty seven year old horse breeder.
Yet, it was all about appearances.
She hated keeping up appearances. She had been trained by the best. Etiquette and debutante classes, dance and piano. She learned the art of conversation; how to walk and dress like a beauty contestant. If her mother had insisted she learn embroidery or knitting, Cassie would have believed they lived in Victorian Era England.
 And, I hated every minute of it.
As often as possible, she snuck away, hiding in the barn, working with the hands, and riding into the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains to get away from that obligation.
It wasn’t until she became sole owner of Briar Ridge, and star of thoroughbred racing that she called upon those silly lessons “girls of her station,” as her mother used to say, had to go through.
Well, not exactly sole owner.
That vast training slipped through her fingers like sand. She couldn’t make herself open the door; bringing her face to face with the people on the other side.
When is it going to end? I’m just tired, that’s all. Tired from the preparations for the charity event. “Tired of the sabotage,” Cassie barked out, angrily. Her shoulders slumped. “So tired of dealing with all of it, alone.”
No, no, no.
She was always confident. Always fearless. She would handle Briar’s problems just like every obstacle in her life. This time was no different.
But it is.
Cassie squelched the urge to lift her head and bang it against the door until she was either unconscious or had knocked some sense into it. I should have asked Rae to help. She’s better at organizing parties than I am anyway. I couldn’t with him out there. He’s watching.
Hurt, angry, and tired, she inhaled deeply, exhaling slowly, hoping it calmed her. It didn’t. Why should it. It’s only been seven months and still we haven’t found one single piece of evidence to tell us who he is.
Sabotage had plagued Briar Ridge since spring, and he’d struck again last night. Well, the dead colt was a casualty of the criminal’s tampering with feed from months ago.
Why? That question hounded her waking and sleeping hours until she was sick. She knew being at the top of her profession put a target on her back. But to take it this far? Did I inadvertently hurt someone by my success? His face loomed. She couldn’t think about that right now.
Squaring her shoulders, she pulled herself together. I refuse to let the bastard think he’s gotten to me.
But he has.
     He’d made her feel… inadequate. Something no one else had ever done; not even him. Slumping further, Cassie wanted to forego the image she’d built, the one thrust upon her by her parents untimely death; crawl back into bed, and hide under the covers until it was all over. But it wasn’t a luxury she had. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Freaked out Friday - Hamburgers

Human Nature. We're a strange and crazy lot, the human race. We cry at sappy movies. We root for the underdog. And sadly, we shut out those who are different. What does that have to do with today's post? It's time to get our freak on for hamburgers.

We all have our passions. And Hamburgers is mine. As a small child, I could barely talk, I remember standing beside my grandfather on the seat of his truck as he drove us to either Krystal or Shoneys, chanting, Hamburger, Pa. He didn't deny my passion.

I usually reserve the weekend to indulge. I go for the juicier and cheesier the better the hamburger is. I like pickles and lettuce. Sometimes a tomato and bacon for sure.

Image result for thick bacon cheeseburgersBut the pattie is the most important. It has to be thick at least 1/4 lb and preferably 1/3 pound. I use a combo of ground sirloin and chuck, then add a little olive oil. And I prefer grassfed beef, fillers or hormones. Yes, quality does make a difference in the meatier taste.

The seasonings should enhance, but not overpower. I like a little Montreal steak seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic and Worcestershire.

Toppings are important. Again, cheese is key. I like medium cheddar and colby jack the best. But sharp cheddar, hoop cheese, provolone, and swiss also work. No American cheese unless it's velveeta and nice and thick oozing over the sides.

Image result for thick bacon cheeseburgersBacon should be thick and can be enhanced when cooking. I like pepper bacon, barbecue bacon and even sweet/sour bacon. I make mine with a combo of brown sugar and mustard.

Pickles are the last must have topping. Crisp dills are perfect. But if I'm eating a barbecue bacon burger then I use my homemade sweet, hot pickles. If you want the recipe just email me and I'll shoot it out to you. Image result for thick bacon cheeseburgers

Because I make such thick patties, and pile on the toppings, I don't normally eat fries. It's not that I don't like them, but they fill me up too fast and then I'm left with half a hamburger.

Onion rings are my preferred side choice, but again, I've usually overdone it with the hamburger, I only have room to eat one burger.

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wacky Wednesday

Hello all. Welcome to my blog. I am a new author, with several works in progress. In the coming months I'll be publishing those titles as close together as possible. So check back often for previews and dates.

I thought I'd begin my blog with a little trivia that kind of goes with the theme of my first novel. Horse Racing with a little romantic twist.

Across the board: is a betting term for win, place, or show. In romance novels, it can mean several things, but my favorite would be from a bdsm novel, "climb up on the table and lay across the board face down. I'm going to strap you down and redden that pretty..." Well, you get the idea.

All Out: is another betting term that means the horse is trying at the best of his ability. In gay romance it might mean coming out of the closet, or more erotic romance, the slut can let it all hang out.

Backed: In horse race betting this means a horse that has a lot of bets placed on it. My favorite, and which most romance novels try to add, but is never tiring is-- He took a step toward her, she backed up, her eye darting, trying to find a way to escape. The corners of his mouth lifted, his eye blazed with triumph as he advanced. Her back hit the wall. There was no escape from his sensual onslaught...

Beeswax: UK slang term for betting tax. My imagination conjures up a bdsm dungeon, candle light flickering throughout the room, he's standing over his sub, candle held high, a patchwork of colors adorns the flushed, oiled skin of the sub desperately trying not to writhe in exquisite agony.

Boxed: This is to be trapped between two horse. Personally, I can think of better things to be trapped in between, two men, a man and a wall or table or bed.

I hope you enjoyed the sample.

Boxer Briefs & Boots

Hello, everyone. The last few years have been difficult. With the death of my husband came many responsibilities. Some I was ready for. Many...