Diana Belchase

Boston: Be Not Afraid

By Diana Belchase

Boston.

The city’s name used to conjure up such happy images.  Following the 1776 patriotic trail as a child.

An extended weekend as teenager with my mother – buying craft stamps at Faneuil Hall that are still in the original plastic packaging, too precious in memory for me to ever use.  Strolling the cobbled streets as a newlywed with my husband.

While, not from Boston, in a way I’ve grown up there.

Now, like the date, 9/11, Boston and the marathon will have different meanings.  It seems our lives are dotted with words and events that now mean something else.  Oklahoma City.  The Atlanta Olympics.  Places and events of joy, now shadowed by anger, tragedy, and sadness.

Terrorists think they scored a victory on Monday – but they’re wrong.

We Americans are a different breed.  We still talk about the atrocities that incited war two hundred years ago because these were the catalysts that formed our nation, defined us as a people, and motivated us to higher…
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No Giraffe at National Zoo; Should there be a Giraffe in Your Book?

By Diana Belchase

This weekend, spring arrived and my husband and I decided to ramble.  The sun shone, the flowers were starting to bloom, and birds twittered like eager children.

First, we discovered a new Dim Sum restaurant.  There is something wonderful about Dim Sum.  Noisy carts roll around the restaurant floor.  The treats are always the same, but you go back to old favorites because each bite is exquisite perfection.

We stumbled on the zoo while exploring the roads that led through Rock Creek Park.  I love this time of year – the trees are no longer grimly forbidding; they begin to bud out, with limbs cloaked in a green or burgundy haze.  Bikers, joggers, and families come out to bask in the warmth.  When we saw the zoo entrance we thought, what a lovely day to spend with the animals.

The first exhibit contained a Lion, his regal ombre brown mane contrasted against the sinewy golden hues of his coat.  He expressed his displeasure by emitting a loud,…
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A New Rose in the Literary Garden: Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin is absolutely delightful.  She writes the way she lives — deeply and passionately.  In today’s video she talks about her life as a Southern Woman, her mother’s beauty shop, her roses, and her wonderful new book:  The Wisdom of Hair.  As Kim says, “As women we believe, if we can change our hair, we can change our lives.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Kim Boykin cover

Kim understands the special relationship between a woman and her stylist so much, that she’s giving away THREE SETS OF BOOKS!  Each one contains a book for the reader, and another to give to her (or his) stylist!  Answer the question in a comment below in order to be entered to win.  

Here is a link to the book trailer:  The Wisdom of Hair or find out more about Kim’s book here.

So, what do you think? …
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The Farmer’s Daughter Grows Up

Capitol at night from Newseum roof By Diana Belchase

I’ve got to admit it, I’m addicted to old movies.  There is something wonderful about the clear black and white images, the language, and the “America is a great nation” plots that hooks me every time.  Lately, my favorite has become The Farmer’s Daughter. 

The plot is simple (SPOILER alert):  a young woman from the country loses her money in the big city and takes a job as maid in the home of a renowned political family.  Her innate intelligence and kindness wins everyone’s heart, including that of the single, extremely handsome congressman.  She goes to college at night and is by nature a political devotee herself – so when they clash over a candidate the young congressman sets out to endorse, she ultimately ends up running for Congress herself.

The film was made in 1947.

Sounds pretty preposterous, right?  A woman running for Congress back then?  So, I did some research. …
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Our Valentine Gift to you…A Collection of Heroes

 

Hero Collection

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the Mermaids have assembled a hearty and handsome collection of heroes for all our fishy friends. Here at the lagoon, we celebrate diversity in writing, living and loving, something I was so pleased to see come through in this real life and fictional collection.  We hope you enjoy.

From Alethea

Alethea Valentine

In high school, I had a poster from the movie Sidekicks on my ceiling (among many others). I used to dream that Jonathan Brandis and I were great friends. When he committed suicide in 2003, I was wracked with irrational guilt. Maybe if I had written to him, or even attempted to reach out…maybe nothing. Maybe not. I’ll never know.

But as authors, we have the power to…
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Our Wonderful Cathy Maxwell (VIDEO)

Posted by Diana Belchase

What can I say about Cathy Maxwell?  Funny, of course.  Intelligent, without a doubt.  A bestselling author whose work is the kind you just cannot put down — oh yes!

But more than that is Cathy as a mentor and friend to so many young authors everywhere.  So much in fact that at her local writer’s chapter retreat a segment called Maxwell’s Maxims is a cherished way to wrap up a weekend.  Even more inspiring, Cathy’s been named the keynote speaker for the 2013 RWA’s meeting in Atlanta, the largest writer’s meeting in the U.S.

In other words, Cathy Maxwell is one of a kind.

She sat down to do this hysterical, lovely interview, and to remind everyone about the signs of ovarian cancer.  She’ll also be giving away copies of her book, The Scottish Witch, ScottishWitch_230to FIVE lucky commentators  (if comments don’t…
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What is Under that Kilt?

Posted by Diana Belchase

Today, we’re pondering an age-old question:  What is under that kilt?  <G>  And who better to answer it than my guest, Willa Blair, best-selling and award-winning author of Highland Healer.  Her novel is the first in a series set in the 16th century Highlands, when the old ways and old talents still shaped events.

Willa says she always wished she had several psi talents, such as reading her husband’s mind, cleaning house by simply thinking about it, and flying.  But alas, no.  So she endows her characters with special talents and lives vicariously through them.  Check at the end of this post to see how you can win a free copy of Highland Healer. Diana:  Thanks for being here Willa!

Willa: It’s great being back to splash around in the mermaid pond.

Have you ever wondered:

– why you never see a Scotsman shining his boots? 

– or wearing patent leather shoes?

– why there’s no men’s Scottish gymnastic team?

 Just what does a Scotsman wear under…
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Four Time Rita Nominee, Diane Farr!

It’s my pleasure to interview Diane Farr, four time Rita Award Nominee, YA and Regency Romance Author of eleven books!  She’s not only a fantastic author, but she is also a proponent of the arts and works for the California Arts Council.  Her Wicked Cool/Scary Cool paranormal YA series is among my favorites, following the adventures of a seventeen-year-old spell spinner named Zara and of course, with so many awards, I need not tell anyone how wonderful her Regencies are.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my video interview with Diane Farr!

Thanks so much for coming today Diane!

In honor of Diane’s newest release, Scary Cool, We’d love to know what makes you love a romance hero? Is your ideal the good guy who always has your back?  Or is the edgy, dangerous kind of guy, like Lance in Scary Cool, more your type?  Let us know!  One lucky commenter will win an e-copy of the first book in the Spell Spinner’s series, Wicked…
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Rescuing the Too Stupid to Live Heroine: an Interview with Candice Gilmer

Candice Gilmer leads a dangerous double life as a mommy and a writer. In between diaper changes and boo-boo healing, she writes stories — usually to the tune of children’s television shows.

Living in the Midwest, Candice stays close to her family, especially the ones with basements when the tornadoes come around. The author of seven romance novels, she’s worked as a hairdresser for over fifteen years, and brings her laptop to work so she can write between clients.

All in all, she stays very busy, but really, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Well,” she says, “maybe a little less children’s television.”

Please help me welcome, Candice Gilmer!

Diana:  I love Rescuing Rapunzel!  What prompted you to write it? 

Candice: Rescuing Rapunzel started out, of all things, as a challenge by my daughter. After reading the original Grimm’s fairy tales, she informed me I…
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Popcorn with Spiders

It’s been a hard week as I write this.

We’ve had days of blackouts, no water (wells don’t pump without electric), and 105 degree weather.  The food in my fridge and freezer is gone, my bathrooms smell, and the grocery stores still are pretty bare.

To cope, I’ve been hanging out at the movie theaters, enjoying the chill, living on popcorn and bad chicken fingers, and getting angry.  This time it has nothing to do with my power company.  What on earth is going on with Hollywood?  Why are so many films “remakes?”  It is bad enough when you redo a nearly perfect film like Total Recall from 1990, or even more horrifically, Back to the Future from 1985 – a mere blink of an eye for me.   But Spiderman?  Yes, the new movie is better, but why rehash a film that came out just a few years ago?

Did Tobey Maguire somehow damage the franchise, making it…
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