So are you a traditional Hook fan?

P – As a Romance writer P has to be for Pirates

P for Pirate Romance
P for Pirate Romance

Why are pirates so popular in romantic fiction? In reality he would make the worse boyfriend or husband but somehow many fantasize taming this ultimate bad boy. To be that woman he passionately loves above all else, gives up his ways. Well the ones she wants him to give up anyway.

Pirates have been around as long as humans have kept histories. If there is a wealthy establishment to rob from and  freedom to be had pirates will be on a ship. For romance, the pirates might have stolen the …uh hearts of maidens heavily in the 90s.

1989 A Pirate's Pleasure. Heather Graham
1989 A Pirate’s Pleasure. Heather Graham

The first pirate I remember falling hard  for was James Malory in Johanna Lindsey’s, A Gentle Rogue

First Pirate love. A Gentle Rogue, Johanna Lindsey. 1990
First Pirate love. A Gentle Rogue, Johanna Lindsey. 1990

Yes that is Fabio.

Not really how I see James, but in the 90s you couldn’t avoid the long haired broad chested model.

Lindsay made a living with the Mallory men and women.

A Pirates Love Johanna Lindsey 1996
A Pirates Love Johanna Lindsey 1996

 

Promised to a Rogue
Promised to a Rogue
Stormy Persuasion-2008 Johanna Lindsey
Stormy Persuasion-2008
Johanna Lindsey

My favorite might be the one where Lindsay turned the tables and put the heroine as the pirate and what does she do? Tie him to the mast. LOL

The pirate is a lady in the 2008 Captive of my Desire by  Johanna Lindsay
The pirate is a lady in the 2008 Captive of my Desire by Johanna Lindsay

You might be wondering why Lindsey’s pirates have shirts, but none of them are buttoned. The lady pirate took the shirt off of her man before she tied him to the mast. The other guys are smart enough to protect their shoulders from the sun, but leave them open so the salty breeze can cool their hot skin. Makes sense, right?

So from novels, movies started changing the way we look at pirates…well, maybe Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow has a great deal to do with that…

Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pirates of the Caribbean.

My new favorite pirate is Captain Hook in Once Upon A Time. The pirate can be the hero!

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook.  Once Upon A Time
Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook.
Once Upon A Time
Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook.  Once Upon A Time
Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook.
Once Upon A Time
Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook.  Once Upon A Time
Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook.
Once Upon A Time

The twist is Pan is the bad guy…really bad. 0

Peter Pan and Captain Hook - Who is really the bad guy?
Peter Pan and Captain Hook – Who is really the bad guy?
How about Dustin Hoffman's Captain Hook?
How about Dustin Hoffman’s Captain Hook?
So are you a traditional Hook fan?
So are you a traditional Hook fan?

Soon a new pirate movie will be hitting theaters, the untold story of how Captain Hook came to be…Hugh Jackman…Yes, my all  Hugh Jackman will be Blackbeard. Do you remember a while back when he was sporting a weird beard and bald head? It was for this role. 

Captian Blackbeard Hugh Jackman in Pan
Captain Blackbeard Hugh Jackman in Pan

So I think I have spent enough time thinking about pirates…do you like them or do you prefer another type of hero…cowboy, rich businessman, guy next door, athlete,  doctor, fire fighter, lawman, soldier…so many to pick from. What about twisting old stories upside down? Do you appreciate the creativity or want things to stay the same…DON”T MESS WITH MY HEROES!

Port A on Texas shoreline. From the Sand Castle balcony

O – Oh what a story. Overcoming dyslexia

When my oldest daughter was born I would tell her alphabet stories. I was inspired by Graeme Base’s illustrated book  Animalia.

Animalia by Graeme Base
Animalia by Graeme Base

As she started school the teachers worried that she wasn’t learning as fast as she should. They suggested that I read to her.  I explained I did read to her, every night, during the day, we even made up stories based on alliteration from the time she was born.

If she was having a hard time learning sounds and letters they wanted to blamed it on her environment (aka mom and dad’s fault).

To say the least, frustration would knot my stomach. From Kinder on the second grade I heard the same thing – “You need to read to her more. She needs to see you reading.” Really? I read all the time..some in my family might even say too much. My husband read. He loved reading to the kids. I knew something else was wrong.  Finally we took her to a sociologist and neurologist husband/wife team. They changed her life in school. At that point she was too young to be diagnosed with dyslexia, but as it turned out she was severely dyslexia. We did discover that if we tied movement into the learning processes she did better. Having her move her finger in the air as she blended sounds, shooting a basketball as she went over her spelling list made it happen for her.

Unfortunately movement is frowned upon in school especially elementary. Especially when a teach doesn’t “believe” that dyslexia is a real thing and says she is just being lazy. That was a rough year.

I don’t know if it made it easier or harder that learning came without effort to her younger sister and brothers. One of my favorite memories is her reading to our youngest on his bedroom floor. She could read his picture books out loud without fear of being judged.

School years of struggling and working hard were ahead of her. Once she got in middle school and high school she did start enjoying school more. I think it was because of the sports and all the walking between classes. Secondary gave her more freedom and socializing opportunities. She wasn’t “pulled” out of class. She still had to work twice as hard as my other kids  but she loved school and was always a favorite with her teachers. I think because they saw how hard she worked. She has prevailed and is getting closer to finishing college.

my crazy navarro kids - truthfuly they might get that from the Guinther side.
My crazy Navarro kids – truthfully they might get that from the Guinther side.

We tell all of our kids to keep moving forward, failure is just a sign that you are trying and working, don’t let it stop you. Every path is different and as long as you are working toward those goals you are progressing.Can you guess which one she if of our four in this picture?

There are many ways dyslexia manifest it self and some people just don’t understand how letters, made of of lines and shapes came move on people. If images shift on you can you imagine trying to figure out the difference between b, d, p, q? It has nothing to do with intelligence it is about decoding abstract symbols.

In college I discovered I had what is called dysgraphia. I could always read really well and fast, but I could not spell to save my life. One reason I waiting until I was forty before believing I could sell a story I wrote. Author’s like Jodi Thomas encouraged me.

I’m sharing one of our O stories:  On the Ocean:

Ocean view at Port Aransas on the Texas shoreline. From the Sandcastle Condominiums
Ocean view at Port Aransas on the Texas shoreline. From the Sandcastle Condominiums

One overcast day an ocelot obviously hiding in the oat grass observed an Old English Sheepdog playing opossum next to the ocean. Offshore an odd sight was taking place. An octopus was overtaking an orca over the waves. The dog’s ordinary owner from Oklahoma  was obsessing over the original and outstanding opera singer who originated from Oregon. He ordered two dozen orchids and gave her a standing ovation. She fell head-over-hills in love.

What other O words can you think of?

Entry ways of New Orleans shops are interesting in themselves.

New Orleans – A Romantic City of History and Cemeteries

N - New Orleans
N – New Orleans

I love romance and traveling. With a long list of places I want to walk through and explore, I get excited when I get to mark one off. As a writer I want touch, smell, hear and experience the character of each place, the unique weaving of history and culture that can only be savored first hand. New Orleans was one of those places.

New Orleans Bourbon Street
New Orleans Bourbon Street

Well, maybe not so much the smelling — but if you stay away from Bourbon Street in the wee morning hours before they power wash the uh.. evidence away, you’ll be fine)

I was surprised how much I loved this city. I’m not a party kind of girl and when I thought of New Orleans I thought Bourbon Street and Madi Gras.

We stayed in the French Quarter and there is so much to do that doesn’t involve Bourbon Street that we spent hours walking around and of course you have to have a midnight snack at Cafe Du Monde.

Beignets and Hot Coco at Cafe Du Monde
Midnight snack: Beignets and Hot Coco at Cafe Du Monde

Shops, restaurants, bars art galleries are all nested together in the French Quarter. Neat little areas that can get over looked are all over the place.

New Orleans French Quarter
New Orleans French Quarter

You don’t even have to go in most of the buildings to enjoy the art work.

Art in New Orleans
Art in New Orleans

Art in New Orleans. A hint of Mardis Gra in a peaceful moment
Art in New Orleans. A hint of Mardis Gra in a peaceful moment. This is begging to be written as a scene.
Art in New Orleans - The passion of the dance.
Art in New Orleans – The passion of the dance.

You can't be in New Orleans and not visit George Rodrigue's Blue Dog
You can’t be in New Orleans and not visit George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog
You can't be in New Orleans and not visit George Rodrigue's Blue Dog
You can’t be in New Orleans and not visit George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog

There is enough in the French Quarter to make great memories, but how can you go to New Orleans and not explore the cemeteries? We walked to Canal Street and hopped on a Ttolley.

Canal Street where the street cars meet the edge of the French Quarter
Canal Street where the street cars meet the edge of the French Quarter

If you like more traditional shopping Canal Street (on the edge of the French Quarter and Downtown is full of shops.

We took the trolley to the Garden District and walked through the historical cemeteries. It’s like going through a museum. Which we did also. New Orleans has so much to offer we plan on going back.

It is worth staying in the French Quarter though…it is like stepping into another world.

Lafayette Cemetery No 1 - Garden District 1
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 – Garden District 1
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 - Garden District 1
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 – Garden District 1
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 - Garden District 1
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 – Garden District 1
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 - Garden District 1
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 – Garden District 1

Opposite of the trollies on the other edge of the French Quarts is the Mississippi River. It is worth the ride on the paddle boat as live music plays. (Skip the over priced dinner. Really,) As you head back to dock, the sun is setting over New Orleans – it’s beautiful.

Paddle Boat on the Missisippi
The Natchez- a Paddle Boat on the Mississippi
Paddle Boat on the Missisippi
Paddle Boat on the Mississippi
Downtown from the paddle boat
Downtown from the paddle boat
What is more romantic then being married in a Kilt on the beach. Logan and Liege Kensing. They just needed a horse.

K – Kissing in a Kilt

K for Kissing in a Kilt
K for Kissing in a Kilt

There are some things just made for the romance genre.  One of them is men in kilts.

You don’t want to read words from me when you could be looking at pictures.

A man in a Kilt on a Horse! What more do you want?
A man in a Kilt on a Horse! What more do you want? Jamie from Outlander
Kissing Jamie from Outlander
Kissing Jamie from Outlander

Kissing Jamie from Outlander
Kissing Jamie from Outlander
Kissing Jamie from Outlander
Kissing Jamie from Outlander

So Jamie is the rage right now, but we have been in love with the idea of Scotland and the kilt for a long time.

Sean Connery
Sean Connery
Kevin McKidd
Kevin McKidd
Celtica - Pipes Rock
Celtica – Pipes Rock

I even have a cousin that was married on the beach in a kilt. It was his idea and his lovely bride went along with it of course.

What is more romantic then being married in a Kilt on the beach. Logan and Liege Kensing. They just needed a horse.
What is more romantic then being married in a Kilt on the beach. Logan and Liege Kensing. They just needed a horse.
Married in a Kilt on the beach. Logan and Liege Kensing
Married in a Kilt on the beach. Logan and Liege Kensing

So am I alone in the kilt obsession? I really hope one of my kids want a kilt in thier wedding…and horses…and a great location by a river or on a beach.

Do you have a fantasy that is safe to share?

Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess Dancing with the Stars

I – Inspiration What kind of hero are you inspired by?

I Inspiration
I – Inspiration

I write in a genre that is called inspirational. I take messed up people and help them through a journey of self discovery and of course love.  I do wright romance after all. I love a hero that carries scars inside and out. Sometimes a real life hero comes to my attention and I’m captivated by their strength and fearlessness.

When I was younger I would always wonder what if…what if I lost both of my parents…what if I was in an accident and lost my ability to walk…what if I lost my eyesight…my journal was full of stories about other people that had survived horrible events and I wondered if I would have the courage and faith to stay strong. Was my faith real are just an act I could use in good times?

I think that is why I love writing stories of people overcoming huge obstacle and finding their own happy ending. I like having that kind of control. (LOL just ask Fred)

There is one TV show I watch now, Dancing with the Stars. If you follow me on Faceboock you have seen the video of Veteran Noah Galloway dancing to American Solider.  He lost his left arm and leg in an explosion. I think his story is breathtaking and if I wrote it as a fictional inspirational romance, people would not believe it.

You have to watch the video. #noexcuses.

So do you have excuses for not doing  things you should be doing?

Confession time. I am living out many of my dreams but I need to move more…I need to take better care of my phyical health. Oh, I have plenty of excuses…I’m busy….I’m tired…I sit in the car for almost two hours a day…I have a deadline…I don’t have time.  OK people no more excuses.

So what are you avoiding, where are you using excuses?

Horse - the first love for many a girl

H – Horse. If I were Queen every little girl would get a pony!

H for Horse or Hugh?
H for Horse or Hugh?

I think most little girls at one point in their life would have picked horses over any prince charming. Why do we love horses or at least the idea of have a horse.

I have to say  some of my best friends growing up were horses: Smokey, Mitzi, Pancho, Marya, Jet Set Lena and Tank are just of few of the horse that gave me the honor of riding with them. I also played with Barbie’s horse and she rode with the Lone Ranger, yes I owned Silver. I have several model horses and poster of horses.

“He’s of the color of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger…. he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.”
William Shakespeare, Henry V

Horse - the first love for many a girl
Horse – the first love for many a girl

Horse are secondary character in most of my stories. I was blessed to be raised by a mother that loved horses. We always had them in our life. Her grandfather was a farmer and horse trainer for the Army.

It runs strong in our family. The pictures are my cousin Audrey.

Horses with  Audrey
Horses with Audrey

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ”
William Shakespeare, Henry V

Happy Trails on Horse back
Happy Trails on Horse back

“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom”
Helen Thompson

The best day is on horseback
The best day is on horseback

Oh and just because I can here is Hugh on a horse.

Hugh Jackmen on a horse
Hugh Jackman on a horse

Have you owned a horse or wish you did? As a child did you play with toy horse?

True Beauty is Ageless

G – Go, Girl, GO!

As I get closer to 50 I find myself more willing to take risk to achieve my dreams.  I also don’t find the term GIRL offensive.

G Go Girl GO A to Z Challenge
G Go Girl GO A to Z Challenge

Little girls face life with a fearless attitude. They dance as if they are the princess, they dream of being horse trainers, doctors, mothers and queens. They play with dolls or trucks, but they are in control of their world. They will wear red cowboy boots and pink tutus with pride.

Somewhere along the way the world tells her she is not good enough, she has to fit in, she has to be this or that. Not too much… not too little…just right, but she doesn’t know what that means. So she starts looking outside of herself. Maybe by the time she is 50 she can be that little girl again that twirls with joy and laughs from her gut.

There is something stunning about a women in her full confidence of who she is and in that she builds others up and knows risking for love is always worth it.

I was a little irritated when I was doing some fast research and goggled women over 50 – I got hair styles, fashion and staying sexy.  UGH…When I looked up men over 50 I got what they are working on in their careers and how long they’d been married. The men did not have a single suggestion on how they should wear their hair or a list of clothes they should or should not wear.

“She has been marinated in life experience. She is at the peak of her influence and power. She is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of life, despite failures and false starts.” – Gail Sheehy, author of Passages

Great things about Women over 50.

Here are some women that came to mind.

One of my favorites is Helen Mirren. Here she is having fun with Jimmy

Then you have the wonderful Diane Keaton – I think she has just become stunning.

Fred serves the fish.

F – Fish Fry and Funnel Cake with Fred and the Family

A to Z Blogging Challenge F
A to Z Blogging Challenge F

I write stories of people stumbling through life and finding the things that make it all worthwhile: love, faith and hope. For me that also means family. Some of my people have large, crazy, overwhelming families, others are trying to gather some sort of family around them where there was none. For one of the characters I’m currently working with, he has three rescues dogs, he thinks he is just fine without people.

One thing everyone loves even the dogs is a Fish Fry!

At times dogs can make for the best family members. Pure Love
At times dogs can make for the best family members. Pure Love
At times dogs can make for the best family members
At times dogs can make for the best family members. Pure Love

With family comes family events. Yes, my stories always have some big family event. Holiday traditions are great to show off the worse and best!

So this Easter my sisters and I got together for a fabulous fish fry!  It was beyond delicious with a little Red fish, speckle trout and cat fish. Of course anytime you deep fry something it tends to work well for the taste buds. A few hand rolled hush puppies (in the south there is always a dog hanging out and acting if you haven’t feed them in three days)  You have to start with some good corn meal to coat the fish.

Ready to fry - Dip in milk, roll on Cornmeal, touch of flour mixed with sea-salt, ground pepper, onion powder and paprika.
Ready to fry – Dip in milk, roll on Cornmeal, touch of flour mixed with sea-salt, ground pepper, onion powder and paprika.

Got to make sure the oil is hot but not too hot.  You have to taste it before serving to make sure it is right.

Getting the deep fryer ready for the fish.
Getting the deep fryer ready for the fish.

Ready to Eat!!

Fred serves the fish.
Fred serves the fish.
Men cooking is always a little sexy
Men cooking is always a little sexy
Jackson likes the fish!
Jackson likes the fish!

If you have another fryer you can finish the fry fiesta with funnel cake. BUT you have to have clean oil!

Fishy Funnel Cake is not tasty

Funnel Cake- A favorite food
Funnel Cake- A favorite food

What is your favorite family tradition? Do y’all have a go to recipe that feeds everyone?

Cascarones - Egg shells filled with confetti

E – Easter Eggs Real or Plastic?

A to Z blogging Challenge E
A to Z blogging Challenge E

Spring time brings renewal and rebirth – which makes it a perfect time to celebrate The Gift of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ. He has risen and beaten death for us, even though we don’t deserve the gift is ours.

He has Risen!
He has Risen!

One of my favorite tradition for Easter is the Easter Egg Hunt.

Easter Egg Hunt in the Texas Hill Country
Easter Egg Hunt in the Texas Hill Country

Every year we decorate and stuff eggs. Some years it seems we run out of time and it is easier to stuff the plastics ones – or if your really uhm out of time – you can buy the already stuffed one.

Other years we dye more eggs than we know what to do with.DSC_1236

Great Grandma Olene Guinther and Katrina Decorating eggs in 1993
Great Grandma Olene Guinther and Katrina Decorating eggs in 1993

So which do you prefer… Plastic or Real?

Real or Plastic
Real or Plastic

The real ones are so personal and fun to decorate. You can actually eat them if you don’t leave them out too long or lose the in the yard.  You find them as you mow…eek!

The plastic ones are practical and if you lose it …well it’s plastic. And now they come in funky shapes – I’m not sure if I like these. Kids love them…but I  shy away from mass market products. I love the creative side of decorating your own egg.  I do tend to be more on the artisan side even thought we don’t always have the time for it..

jurassic-dinosaur-easter-eggs-filled-with-jelly-beans-
jurassic-dinosaur-easter-eggs-filled-with-jelly-beans-
Cascarones
Cascarones

There one other type of egg we have here in South Texas – Cascarones!  These are fun and messy!

Attack with a confetti filled egg..
Attack with a confetti filled egg..
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
Cascarones - Egg shells filled with confetti
Cascarones – Egg shells filled with confetti

To learn how to make you own Cascarones – read this blog…make your own cascarons

So which do you use – are do yo not even mess with eggs?

D for Dancing with Delight!

A to Z Blog Challenge D
A to Z Blog Challenge D

I love dancing. When my kids were little we would have dance offs in the living room. Now when I’m alone I will turn up the music and pretend I’m graceful and athletic. You should see how high I leap and how my hips move. Unfortunately my superpower is shy and disappears when others are around.

This is probably why I’m in love with Dancing with the Stars. It’s the only TV show I make time for each week. (In order to write you have to give up something) I become the dancer. I love the story of heartache and romance that dance tells…the emotions that dance creates.

Here are some of my favorite moments. You can tell yours if I missed it… I’m sure I missed many.

Amber just put it all out there – Not the classic dancer body but she used it and owned that dance floor

Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars
Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars
Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars
Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars

Could not have a favorite without my childhood crush Donny Osmond and Kym. He should have been my over fifty list.

donny osmond and kym johnson
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson Dancing with the Stars
donny-osmond-01-2009-09-21
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson Dancing with the Stars
donny-osmond-Kym Johnson jpg
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson Dancing with the Stars

I loved watching JR Martinez! Just so talented and inspirational.

JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars
JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars
JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars
JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars

Speaking of inspirational…what about Amy, double amputee, below the knees. The beauty, grace and strength were amazing. I do think Derek’s partners have an advantage because of his choreography.

DEREK HOUGH, AMY PURDY

Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS
Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS
Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS
Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS

Some times I’m just totally inspired by the beauty of the human body and how it can tell a story through movement – that is what dance is all about.

Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Kellie & Derek on Dancing with the Stars
Kellie and Derek – This is one of my all time favorite dances on DWTS.

kellie-pickler-and-derek-hough-image10

Someone else that stuck with me and is in the over fifty group is Mel B

Mel B and Maks - power
Mel B and Maks – power
Mel B and Maks - power
Mel B and Maks – power

This season there is another dancer that has blown me away, Noah Galloway. You just have to watch. Yes, he is missing his left arm and leg.

Noah dwts Noah-Galloway-and-Sharna-Burgess- Noah-Galloway-and-Sharna-Burgess-2

Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess DWTS
Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess DWTS

Noah-Sharna-8001

So go dance people!!! What is your favorite dance? Do you dance all the time or only in private?