Leonard Nimoy–aka Spock–Has Passed

Leonard Nimoy as SpockI couldn’t let the passing of Leonard Nimoy, at age 83, go by without a mention of this wonderful actor, who also seemed to be a nice human being. He was one of my childhood idols, or rather, Spock was. Yes, Captain Kirk was sexy and glib and swashbuckling even, but Spock had brains, mystery, height, and a dry wit.

For an overview of his life, go here to CNN.

I’m sure it will be said all over the Internet and the world, but Nimoy did, indeed, live long and prosper. And he brought that inspiringly simple or simply inspiring phrase into our lives where it will remain, along with “that is illogical” and “fascinating.” The TV series, the movies, and the actor’s portrayal of the Vulcan science officer have all withstood the test of time. I’m certain Star Trek will continue to entertain and provide thought-provoking discussions for generations to come.

Farewell, Mr. Spock.


Love Historicals Valentine’s Day Hop and Giveaway

Love HIstoricals Valentine Logo At last–it’s the big day for love and lovers! If you’re here, then you’re probably taking part in our Love Historicals Valentine’s Day Hop and Giveaway. And you’re looking for the information you need to enter to win the grand prize of $100 Amazon gift card. Good luck!

(Note: At the end of this post, you’ll find the links to the rest of the stops on this blog hop.) If you leave a comment telling me the most romantic words you have ever heard (perhaps “Darling, I’ll vacuum the entire house”), I’ll enter you in my giveaway to win the Prequel to the Defiant Hearts series, An Intriguing Proposition.

An Improper Situation by Sydney Jane BailyI’ve been asked to give the most romantic scene in my featured novel for this Valentine hop, An Improper Situation. That’s a tough one, but here goes, and, of course, it contains the answer you’re looking for, the hero’s name:

Charlotte heard the door knocker and Gerald’s footsteps in the hall, and she put down her book on the parlor table. However, preparing herself for an unexpected late-night visitor and suddenly seeing Reed, without a coat, his hair soaking wet, standing in the doorway was another matter.

There was no preparation for the feeling that started deep inside her, for the quickening pace of her heartbeat.

What on earth was she waiting for? This man wanted to marry her! She stood up and nearly leaped into his arms.

Gerald discreetly bowed out, closing the door behind him.

“Reed, what is it? You look as if . . .,” she trailed off, unable to say what his expression meant for she’d never seen it before, not on Reed’s face nor on any man’s. “Has something happened?”

“Charlotte,” he cut in, closing the space between them and taking her in his arms, mindless of the damp state of his clothes. He dropped a kiss on her parted lips, “Won’t you marry the man who loves you most in this world?”

She was thunderstruck. “You love me?” Her voice was little more than a whisper.

He looked equally shocked at her words. He’d finally guessed at the problem but couldn’t believe that was all there was to it. Still, here was his proof that she hadn’t known how he felt. “Of course I love you.”

“You never said it,” she told him, sagging with relief and feeling she would disgrace herself any minute by outright weeping. He loved her. She could marry him. She sniffed loudly.

He pressed her close against him, understanding finally that the only obstruction had been his inability to recognize and speak the love he felt. Charlotte had let him into her heart and then waited bravely, even refusing his proposal. And he’d nearly let a shadowy memory stand like a giant in his path.

“I didn’t think I needed to say it,” he murmured, taking her face in his hands. “In truth, I resisted saying it, thinking I could save a small part of myself from being completely in your power. It hasn’t worked. But I honestly didn’t realize that was why you were refusing my proposal. I thought I stated my case from all angles.”

“Like a lawyer!” she exclaimed, pushing away from his chest and searching for a handkerchief in her sleeve.

“But I am a lawyer,” he said exasperatedly, handing her a linen square from his own soggy pocket. She took it, dabbing at her eyes before scrunching it tightly under white knuckles.

“But I am a writer, and I deal in words, and I need to have them spelled out for me—precisely,” she added, sniffing again. “I was beginning to think you could never love me because of Celia.”

Reed looked surprised. “You’re a smarter woman than I deserve.” Then he lifted her chin, looking directly at her, his cobalt eyes ablaze with dark emotions. “Let me be precise. Charlotte Sanborn, I love you with all my heart.”

She felt a tear slip down her cheek. “And I’ll need to hear those words a lot, not just once,” she told him feeling a lump in her throat.

He smiled at her tears and her sniffles, and he pulled her to him again. “Is this my independent lady writer, brought to crying by a few words?”

“Not just any words, Reed, the words I’ve waited all my life to hear.”

He sobered, gazing down into her glittering green eyes. “The words I’ve waited all my life to say,” he assured her. “And I’ll tell you often, I love you.”

She reached up and kissed him. It was a long moment later when he lifted his head.

“Not that I wouldn’t mind hearing them myself,” he added, the hint of a smile on his lips.

She beamed at him, feeling the bliss of being encircled in his arms and for the first time knowing she was also surrounded by his love. “I love you Reed Malloy, and yes, I will marry you.”

Being Loved Is Not Supreme Happiness!

hearts iconI’m over at Patricia Preston’s blog today discussing loving and being loved as this overblown holiday of hearts approaches. When you are in the thick of warm and rosy passion, what a great day is Valentine’s Day! When you’re not, when you’re on the outskirts of a relationship, it’s not so hot. Especially when the Valentine’s decor went up in the middle of January so that by now, two weeks into February, you are seeing red and not in a good way. In any case, whether you are buying a huge red card or shredding an ex-lover’s shirts as you drink a glass of red wine by yourself, think happy thoughts.

My post for Patricia is about supreme happiness, with help from Victor Hugo and Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. Don’t worry, nothing too heavy. And it’s good to know your happiness does NOT depend on being loved by someone. Good God, what an awful giving away of your power if it did. No, I think your happiness depends on opening your heart and loving in any way, shape, or form. Love your dog (I do), your cat (I do), your children (usually . . . okay, honestly, that’s forever and unconditional), your chocolate bar (also forever and unconditional), and feel blessed to have any other heart-warming, heart-expanding relationships you have with people, pets, and food. It’s all good, as they say. It all adds to your happiness.

Jumping off my saintly soapbox now and hoping I, too, will receive a big heart-shaped box of chocolates this year. But if I don’t, I’ll buy my own the day after Valentine’s Day for two-thirds the price. Now that’s supreme happiness!

Patricia Preston Blog

Valentine’s Day Is Coming and So Is the LH Hop

Click the Love Historicals Valentine logo to see our charmingly romantic little video made by our own Love Historicals author, Nancy Morse.

Love HIstoricals Valentine Logo

The LH Hop is on Valentine’s Day (of course), and will feature a grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card, as well as small gifts from each of the participating authors. Hope to see you then.


Writing Skills Matter–Go Figure!

Grammarly is a site that offers an outstanding, automated grammar checker (it’s like having your very own superb proofreading elf, though I still recommend you hire a professional editor and proofreader before publishing anything).

Grammarly recently surveyed about 450 freelance professionals. Surprise! Writing well matters. Employers rated the freelancers, then folks at Grammarly checked the writing skills of the freelancers. They found those rated highest by the employers were also those who wrote well. Perhaps not surprisingly, IT and programming professionals as well as finance management professionals had the most mistakes in their writing.

Here is the handy-dandy infogram that spells it all out for you. Spells! Get it? (Click on it if you can’t read it clearly, then use the magnifying glass that magically appears to zoom in closer, ok?)

Grammarly infogram

So listen up, kiddos. If you want to be successful in a majority of fields and want to get paid the big bucks, then you need to do more than post an emoticon on Facebook or pack a fistful of hashtags into a tweet. You need to write good. I mean, of course, well. Write well and the world will beat a path to your door and shower you with hundred dollar bills. Or something like that.

And now for my favorite comic strip and a writer who did not write well but decided he wrote good anyway. (Jefferson Smith’s cartoon archive available here.)

Jefferson Smith comic

Copyright Jefferson Smith, 2014