Category Archives: Blogging

Blog Tour Day Five: FOODIE FRIDAY – Why British Food Doesn't Suck

Today I am guest-blogging about food. About food in Great Britain. About delicious, fabulous food in the British Isles, and no, it doesn’t suck. Don’t believe me? Go read!

Lorraine Bartlett: FOODIE FRIDAY – Why British Food Doesn’t Suck


May 5: The Word Wenches  How Research Gave Me the Home I Didn’t Want and the World I Needed
May 6: Get Lost in a Story  Welcome Patricia Burroughs Q&A
Mary Robinette Kowal: My Favorite Bit: Patricia Burroughs
May 7:  Suzanne Johnson: Q-and-A With Patricia Burroughs and Win a GC
May 8:  Celluloid Blonde Of [redacted] and Aubergine
Magical Words:  Of Adders and Writing Process
Fury Triad: Of Adders and Rattlesnakes
May 9: Lorraine Bartlett: FOODIE FRIDAY – Why British Food Doesn’t Suck

And because this is what it’s all about, don’t forget that you can buy my book. Really. You can. I won’t stop you.

 This Crumbling Pageant, is  available all sorts of places.

Amazon Kindle    Amazon Trade Paperback

BN-Nook    BN Trade Paperback

Kobo   iBooks

Hardcover links coming soon!

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Book Pooks Wrote, Books, Fantasy, Food, The Fury Triad, This Crumbling Pageant

Yogurt, Canada and Tennessee Walking Horses, ftw!

When I was asked by Tule Publishing to host a leg on CJ Carmichael’s blog tour for her new book, Good Together, I thought, hey, why the heck not? Especially since this gives me the opportunity to meet new writers, readers, and ask nosy questions!

Yes, in order to visit planetpooks, CJ had to answer a couple of nosy questions, and one that allowed her to redeem herself if necessary, and talk about her book [which is a special .99 sale on Amazon for the next three days]. Let’s see how it went:

1) CJ, what is always in your refrigerator?


CJ Carmichael has published over 35 novels and has twice been nominated for a RITA award. She likes to write stories about romance, family and intrigue, usually in small town or rural settings. When it’s time to take a break from the computer, she heads to the Rocky Mountains near her home in Calgary where she lives with her partner Michael and their cat, Penny. If you’d like to learn more about her books, check out her website:

One thing I try to keep in my fridge is plain low-fat yogurt. It isn’t easy though.Since Mike retired he often does the shopping and whenever I put plain low-fat yogurt on the shopping list, Mike groans. He does his best. But he’s come home with: vanilla yogurt, sweetened yogurt, artifically sweetened yogurt…and only rarely, plain, low-fat yogurt. It’s not totally his fault. Even I have trouble finding the stuff in the sea of yogurt products. It seems to be a conspiracy in the dairy industry. Let’s make it really hard to find this product!

2) What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?

My most embarrassing moment as a writer? Well, I am really mortified when factual errors crop into my stories. Many years ago I wrote about my characters traveling over the big Confederation bridge that connects Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia. The only problem was–the bridge connects to New Brunswick, not Nova Scotia. Given that they are different provinces in Canada this was a pretty big error!

3) What’s the favorite thing you learned writing GOOD TOGETHER?

Every book I write requires research of some sort or another. For Good Together, Mike and I visited a Tennessee Walking Horse outfit by Big Arm Montana. I loved seeing the horses in action and getting a tour from Rick Weis–a true expert on the breed. His barn was lined with blue and red ribbons!


Now, about her book, Good Together.


The Carrigans of The Circle C Novels
By C. J.Carmichael

Mattie, the eldest of Marietta’s Carrigan girls, married rodeo cowboy, Wes Bishop, right out of high school and raised twin daughters. A happy life, she thought, but now that she’s in her late thirties and their daughters have left for college, her husband has become strangely distant.

Then one night Wes comes home late from a rodeo—with a stranger’s key in his pocket. He won’t talk, but she knows something is wrong.

When her worst fears are confirmed, the hits keep coming. It seems her husband is determined to destroy everything she loves in this world. Thankfully she still has her sisters, and her home on The Circle C Ranch. But more and more she thinks, not of her roots in Marietta, but of her kind, dependable neighbour, Nat Diamond. Over the years Nat has been a constant in her life, but only as a friend. Is it possible the two of them could become more? But if Nat really does have romantic feelings for her—as she suspects—why does he keep pulling away?

Is there something he needs to tell her?

As I said, Good Together is available at a bargain .99 price right now, so check it out!


Filed under Blog Hop, Blogging, Books

If Attacked — Fight Back! [BftP]

A new feature: BftP (Blast from the Past). This was originally published September 26, 2006, on the original planetpooks.wordpress blog. Since much of my history didn’t forward properly (which I am sure was due to my own ineptitude) you have to go back to find the oldest posts. But I’ve decided that some are worth repeating. Let’s start here:


This was originally published September 26, 2006, on the original planetpooks.wordpress blog.

If you’re a woman who cycles or runs or hikes — if you love a woman who cycles or runs or hikes — I hope you’ll remember this tomorrow.

If you’re a woman.

If you love a woman.

I hope you remember this tomorrow.

When we were camping at Rocky Mountain National Park this summer, we had to take precautions against black bears. Possibly because of the drought conditions, bears have become a danger. This is our first trip (out of five or six) where it was an issue.

As I stood outside the latrine (not to be confused with the actual restroom with toilets and running water a bit farther up the road) waiting for someone to come out, I read the warning sign, which ended:


Perhaps you recall hearing advice such as, “Play dead.”

In Bill Bryson’s fabulous A Walk in the Woods he explains that actually nobody knows what really works with bears. In fact, if a bear wants to eat you, chances are nothing works. But maybe the experts at Rocky Mountain National Park know more these days than was known when Bryson wrote his book.

But that’s not what was on my mind when I read that sign. When I read that sign, I thought:

“Like Jenny.”

I never knew Jenny. I’d never heard of Jenny, until someone on Team Estrogen posted that a woman cyclist was missing in Atlanta. Hours passed … her body was found. Worst fears were realized.

But as I read the reports and felt sorrow and rage for a woman I didn’t know, I also felt a surge of pride.

Police say she fought her attacker every step of the way.

And they caught him, because she fought back.

”(Michael Ledford) went to the Dallas Police Department around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, bleeding profusely from a wound in his genital area, according to investigators. Police say Ledford claimed he was negotiating with a prostitute for sex when she bit him on his genitals.”

Go, Jenny. Go, Jenny, go. I hope when you were fighting, biting, clawing, kicking — I hope you heard a chorus of voices giving you strength, roaring in your ears, your blood — the voices of strong women who went before you and will follow in your footsteps and fight like hell. I hope you felt a surge of power, of strength, of rage.

I hope you weren’t afraid. I hope you didn’t feel alone.

The story doesn’t quite end there. The women on Team Estrogen wanted to do something to honor Jennifer, to honor someone we didn’t know. We knew there would be a memorial ride. We thought about riding wherever we lived, in our own private rides. We thought about taking pictures of us, riding, and sending them to her family from all over the world.

And someone came up with the idea of t-shirts.

Her family was consulted to find out which charity would be appropriate for donations and for proceeds from the sale of t-shirts. Family members showed up on the boards at Team Estrogen. They were grateful, enthusiastic, helpful.

The t-shirt was designed, and the number of people who wanted them was overwhelming.

Susan Otcenas, who owns Team Estrogen, the best place on earth to buy women’s cycling gear, offered to take over. Her shop did all the shipping and paid all the postage and made a sizeable donation, as well. Last I heard, Jenny’s family had ordered 89 t-shirts to wear to Jenny’s memorial ride tomorrow. The bike clubs in Atlanta ordered t-shirts. And the women on Team Estrogen ordered them. They sold out.

I hope you see one tomorrow. Or several. But even if you don’t, wherever you are tomorrow — whether you’re riding, walking, hiking, running, shopping, driving, eating, playing — remember Jenny.


And remember what her t-shirt says.

A woman should never be afraid to ride alone.

Take back the trail.

Fight back.


Added today, 3-4-13.

Something my husband taught me, by teaching my sons when they were young: It doesn’t matter if you win the fight. It matters that he never wants to fight you again.

Think about it. If attacked, don’t think about the fact that you’re smaller, weaker, older. Think about the fact that you are going to hurt them, too. Whatever it takes. They will not walk away from you unscathed.  That difference in attitude may make the difference in how the fight ends for you, as well.


Filed under Bicycles, Blast from the Past, Blogging

Blog Hop and WWW Wednesday (12-12-12)

My WWW Wednesday entry is at the bottom of this post, for those who are more interested in what I’m reading than what I’m writing.

I was invited to join in this blog hop by WP Admirer, whose post is here.  Thanks, Sarah! This is my first-ever blog hop!

The questions:

1) What is the title of your book?


2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

My muse had madcap heroines from the 20s/30s on her mind, I’m afraid, even though I was writing about a world firmly set in the (then) contemporary 90s. Before I knew it, speakeasies and flappers and romances of Christmases past were occupying my mind and the life of Paisley Vandermeir.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Louise Brooks

Romance. It was meant to be a romantic comedy, and it definitely has those elements, but it ended up having a bittersweet poignancy as well, as Paisley deals with the death, bequests and scandals of her great-aunt.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Louise Brooks is the obvious choice, but alas, she is dead.

Jennifer Lawrence

So I’d go for Jennifer Lawrence, whose spin in Silver Linings Playbook is spot on perfect and has the kind of tough vulnerability (compounded by being downright weird) that I see in Paisley, even though the characters are very different from one another.

Also, even though she’s much too young, I definitely can see Susan Sarandon as the fiercely independent Aunt Isadora [aka Auntie Mame on acid]. I wrote a screen adaptation of this book in which Aunt Izzy comes back as a ghost and haunts Paisley in an attempt to make her do things she wants done. That was more fun than a bag of monkeys.

As for Chris–I don’t know. He just needs to be able to look charmingly befuddled, as if he doesn’t know what just hit him, splendid in a tux, and also be willing to fight like hell for love when he finds it.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

“All she needed was a safe little scandal, and he seemed as safe as they come. Oops.”

6) Was your book self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by an agent in its print format. The digital edition available now was published by Book View Café. I’m currently looking for an agent who specializes in my current areas of writing interest, science fiction and fantasy.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Probably three months, though that was once I sold the proposal. Creating the idea, characters, proposal–that all takes more time than I can usually calculate because some of these things live in my head for years before I actually put them down on paper.

8) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The fashion! Aunt Izzy left a magnificent couture wardrobe behind, and Paisley is having to let go of it one memory at a time.  I am not a fashionista, but I had so much fun researching this book!

And I had fun with this blog hop. Thanks, Sarah/WP Admirer for inviting me!

I’m tagging these terrific writers, all of whom have tales to tell!

Jeffrey A. Carver
Katharine Eliska “Cat” Kimbriel
Pati Nagle
Steven Harper Piziks
Deborah J. Ross

Now for WWW Wednesday. Again, this meme is from shouldbereading:


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?

I’m listening to The Twelve Clues of Christmas (A Royal Spyness Mystery) by Rhys Bowen. Yes, it’s set in the 30s. Do you detect a trend? It’s the newest book in a series of mysteries set between the wars in England. “Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey…” Lots and lots of fun.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Khepera Rising, by Nerine Dorman. Horror… fantasy… not sure which it’s considered but it’s graphic, brutal, compelling, and I liked it a lot. Set in South Africa, and the first book I’ve read about that nation that wasn’t political. Nerine says, “Khepera Rising is my first novel, a tale following the doings of Cape Town-based black magician James Edward Guillaume. Themes in this work include drug abuse, religious intolerance, violence, magic, alternative cultures and sexuality.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I can never answer this question!

What about you? What have you been reading lately?  Put the link to your WWW Wednesday entry in comments, or just tell me!



Filed under Blog Hop, Blogging, Book Pooks Wrote, Book View Cafe, Books, Out of Paisley's Closet Contest, Reading, Romance, Scandalous, Writers, Writing, Writing Process, WWW Wednesday

Things I Love Friday

First thing I love today, Friday: Titling this entry “Things I Love Friday,” which makes me sound like I might be organized or have structure or a plan for my blog or something.

Second thing I love today, Friday. OhMahFreakinGee, I found the best urban homesteading blog. Ever. Okay, I know I told you to sign up for my blog through email (and it’s not too late, it’s there in the sidebar, seriously, do it!) but today, Friday, I’m telling you, GO SIGN UP FOR THIS WOMAN’S BLOG.  First, read her about everything page.  Bad Mama Genny rocks. How hard does she rock? Well, maybe it’s just the mood I’m in this morning? But she describes it as:

Like a mommy blog. Except I’m not a mommy. And it’s about extreme DIY and homesteading. And food, food, food. And gardening in fishnets. And moonshine makin’. And the fine mess I’ve gotten us into this time. So not at all like a mommy blog. Ok, you know what, just read the damn blog.

She had me at fishnets and misfits and green hair and– just read the damn blog.

Third thing I love today, Friday. Persephone Books in London. Okay, I’m not at all certain I would love the books themselves because they are all dove grey. I am not a grey woman. [Can I get more shallow than that? I’m sure I can. But a row of dove grey books does not inspire me as a build my library.] However, they really do look cool. And here is the best thing about them ever (besides the fact that they are published in England and we all know how I feel about that):

“Persephone Books reprints neglected classics by C20th (mostly women) writers. Each one in our collection of 96 books is intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written, and most are ideal presents or a good choice for reading groups. Persephone prints mainly neglected fiction and non-fiction by women, for women and about women. The titles are chosen to appeal to busy women who rarely have time to spend in ever-larger bookshops and who would like to have access to a list of books designed to be neither too literary nor too commercial. The books are guaranteed to be readable, thought-provoking and impossible to forget. We sell mainly through mail order, through selected shops and we have our own shop.”  But they also have beautiful fabric endpapers and bookmarks; each title has its own design. They sound lovely, with so much attention to detail.  I may have to buy one, just to see. has the Persephone Classics in paperback but if I decide I want one, I may bite the bullet and get hardcover.

Fourth thing I love today, Friday.  The webcams at Sennen Cove. Anytime I want, I can look and see what the weather and the sea looked like today at that place I’d love to be. Sometimes the images can be pretty darned amazing.


Fifth thing I love today, Friday. Dogs.

Of course I love dogs everyday, all day and all night.

I just love dogs.

What do you love today, Friday?



Filed under Blogging, Book Covers, Books, Building My Library, England