Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blue Moon for New Year's

Or is it? I did some poking around and thought I’d share what I found.

There are several vastly different definitions of a blue moon. The current, most common one is that of the second full moon to occur within a month, which is what tomorrow’s is. The last time this happened was in 1990. The next of this type of blue moon is August 31, 2012.

Previously, a blue moon was a seasonal event referring to the third full moon of a season in which four occurred. This happens only once every 2.7 years. Each season usually has an early, mid and late full moon. Calling the “extra” moon something else is an adjustment to keep things on track. What we call blue moon has other names that vary with locale and culture and are often descriptive in nature such as harvest moon, snow moon, egg moon, and growing moon. The next blue moon according to this definition is November 21, 2010.

Another, more literal meaning for blue moon is atmospheric. It doesn’t only apply to full moons but any time the moon actually appears unusually bluish in color. It’s caused when the air contains larger than normal particles. These particles, about a millionth of a meter in size, diffract the light, scattering the red leaving the blue light rays to be the only ones seen. The particles are smoke or dust from things such as volcanic eruptions or major forest fires.

There’s a very lengthy definition for blue moon with a lot of religious explanation about the betrayer moon and calculating Lent and Easter but I don’t think I’ll get into that.

I did find an interesting folklore tidbit that I really like. It’s said that when there is a full blue moon, the seasonal variety, the moon has a face and will talk to those in its light. For some reason that makes me smile.

So there you have it. Perfectly clear. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Writer Stuff

I know. Two days in a row. Can you stand it! You ready? Here goes...

Whisper and Sigh releases the 29th from Ellora's Cave!

Blurb -

She’s had enough of her stagnant life, can’t take another day, so she walks out, destination unknown. She didn’t know what to expect…but it wasn’t the unrestrained reaction to the mysterious man who suddenly appears on the beach beside her.

He’s been waiting for his one true love all his life. When she finally arrives, he can’t resist their overwhelming chemistry. One touch leads to another and the expression on her face as she comes is more beautiful than he ever imagined.

If they can keep their hands to themselves long enough to exchange names, they can get started on the rest of their lives—together.

Hmm, guess where the idea for this one came from. Now if only I knew which beach I was meant to head for I'd be all set. Yeah, don't you wish life really worked the way it does in books sometimes?

Click here to read an excerpt.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Writer Stuff

Bunches of stuff today!

I’m rekindled. Yeah, I know. Not a word but I like it. Linked and Hot Rush are now available in Kindle form.

Linked – Blurb

Tori Banks has been having nightmares of the same two murderers for years. When she hears the latest one reported on the radio she has to question whether all the others really happened too. Can she trust the tall, dark and handsome detective who makes her forget all about cold blooded killers and think deliciously naughty thoughts to believe her?

Detective Guy Breauchard is skeptical to say the least when he sets out to meet a woman who supposedly sees serial killers in her sleep. Needless to say he gets the surprise of his life when he discovers the sexiest female he’s ever encountered really is psychically linked to the pair. Now all he has to do is quit fucking her senseless long enough to catch the killers so he can concentrate on convincing her that they belong together forever.

Hot Rush – Blurb

Rick Jensen is working undercover to bust up the largest drug distribution in the city’s recent history. Everything is going as planned until the hottest redhead he’s ever seen comes storming into the warehouse. Now if only he can stop thinking with his cock long enough to save her luscious ass and convince her that love at first sight really does exist.

Being sentimental has always been Casey Carmichael’s downfall. But this time her impulsiveness lands her right in the middle of a full contingent of heavily armed drug dealers. When one of them tosses her over his shoulder and carries her up to the office the last thing she expects is out of control sex with the undercover cop trying to protect her.

Also, Deal of a Lifetime is now available in print. So there are no more excuses for anyone not to read it. Hmm, I suppose that should include my mother. I haven’t horrified her lately so I think I’ll send her a copy.

One more thing. Heather of Night Owl Romance gave Controlled Desires a 4.5/5 which makes it a reviewer’s top pick. “Ms. Huffert has penned a beautiful erotic story, whose characters and storyline will have readers hearts pounding. Her characters are witty, intelligent, believable and intriguing. The storyline in funny, charming, captivating and really, really hot.” Click here to read the full review. Thank you Heather!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Did You Know?

What we now know as candy canes originated as simple white stick candy. No one knows exactly when they came into being but their use as a Yule tree decoration was widespread in Europe by the mid-17th century.

The distinctive hook shape is credited to the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1670, supposedly to represent the shepherd’s crook though it also made it much easier to hang them on the branches. The candies were taken off decorated trees and handed out to children during long nativity services.

The first documented usage of candy canes in America was in 1847 at the home of August Imgard, a German immigrant in Wooster, Ohio. He used them as decorations to entertain his nieces and nephews.

Stripes were added sometime around 1900 going by Christmas cards. Cards prior to then show them as all white, after then with stripes. Peppermint and wintergreen flavors became popular around that time as well.

Personally I prefer the straight peppermint sticks. I actually have a good Christmas memory about them. Some years my grandmother would show up with them and lemons. She’d roll the lemons on the table to loosen the juice as she put it and then poke a hole in the rind to insert the cane. The lemon juice would dissolve some of the candy and it became a straw.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Life Sentence

Winter chill seeps through me
Encasing my heart in an impenetrable vault of ice
No pretty words or grand gestures, a capable auger
Tis the season of death
For me, no more springtimes remain
My hopes, my dreams fell like burnished leaves
Whisked away by gale force winds
Coming to rest beneath unseen trees
Even if I still cared enough to search they’d never be found
My friends once flickered like fireflies on a hot summer’s eve
But they too disappeared with the first frost
My joy, the flower petals of my life, wilted brown and brittle, rotted to dusty nothing
The cold lodged within radiates from my frozen husk holding all semblance of life at bay
My seasons have passed
I am eternally in the bleakness of deep winter

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whatcha Mean, I Can't?

When I was maybe ten my grandmother taught me to knit. I made a very basic scarf and then right to a multicolor, multi-needle ski sweater because I liked it and decided I wanted one. I was told it was too advanced for me. Six months later it got cold and I wore my personally crafted sweater. After that I made various other things and then for reasons I don’t really remember, quit knitting.

A little while ago I was chatting with a friend. One thing led to another and now I’m knitting a sweater. An Aran knit, fisherman’s sweater with lots of different cable patterns. Never tried them before but I remember how to knit and purl so why not? Again, I was told it was too difficult, especially considering I haven’t picked up a set of needled in at least 25 years.

Yeah, like that’s going to stop me. I went yarn shopping and had an absolute blast. Found the most gorgeous feeling and looking llama wool but it needed to be ordered because they didn’t have enough of the color I wanted. That’s okay. I took the pattern book home with me and taught myself how to do the cable patterns. My fingers feel a bit awkward but it really wasn’t that big a deal. The yarn came in and the sweater is in progress. It’s very involved so I’m sure it will take months but I’ll post a pic when I’m finished.

Speaking of things I had no clue how to do but didn’t let stop me, I got a great review for Controlled Desires from Seriously Reviewed. “…this erotica delivered 100% in the erotic end. What more can you ask for in an Exotica title. In the end the relationship issues were resolved between h/h and I was left feeling emotionally (and otherwise :) satisfied.” Thank you! If you’d like to read the whole thing, click here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A White Christmas

Unheard of for roughly the last twenty years around here. But we had maybe eight inches yesterday, less than the predicted fourteen. Damn good this too since part of the cutbacks in Reading included the guys who used to plow.

So deep snow in December, not plowed. Open trenches big enough to swallow half of Howie where they were redoing the corner curbs which are now filled with snow. They’re lightly barricaded at the moment but you know that won’t last until spring.

Gonna be an interesting winter.

Friday, December 18, 2009


My great friend and wonderful author, Regina Carlysle, has a new book out today. Edge of Nowhere, the latest in her High Plains Shifters series. Not familiar with it? Shame on you! It's downright yummy so go read already. You won't be sorry you did. I'm having a terrible time deciding which hero is my favorite. Once you read all of the books, please let me know which yours is but I'm warning you. It won't be an easy choice.

Click here to buy.


Book 4 in the High Plains Shifters series.

From the moment Cactus Mackey rescues Sara Farmer from outlaw wolves, he knows she belongs to him—and he’s more than ready to mess up some sheets with the sassy female. But she has secrets and wants to run. Infuriating woman! He might have to tie her to his bed but he’s not about to give up until she belongs to him, body and soul.

As danger chases her, Sara knows it’s a huge mistake to fall head over heels for the sexy lycan cowboy from Wolf Creek Ranch. A single touch from this shockingly seductive man melts her like butter under the hot Texas sun, and has her yearning for impossible things. The man is big trouble to her heart and running may no longer be an option.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I've Been Kindled!

I was playing on Amazon yesterday and stopped by my page to make sure it was still there only to discover it grew. Deal of a Lifetime and Drake’s Rules are now available as Kindle editions. I knew they were coming, just not when. How cool is that!

Deal of a Lifetime blurb –

Annette thought she had the perfect solution to prevent what was meant to be a pleasant anniversary celebration from deteriorating into a never-ending lecture from her older sister on the sub-standard status of her entire life. Inventing a fictitious boyfriend, reportedly detained in an unavoidable, albeit imaginary business meeting, seemed like a harmless fib if telling it would ensure a festive evening. She even had a plan to cover his exit from her life later on.

Rich’s estranged wife had gone too far this time and he’d had enough. He had no clue what setting him up as another woman’s date for an evening of drinks, dinner, and theater with the woman’s family was supposed to accomplish but he was determined to find out. When his new better half didn’t so much as blink at his unexpected arrival he decided right then and there that he wasn’t letting her out of his sight. He’d play his role of escort to the hilt to get to the bottom of it even if he had to tie her to the bed and seduce the answers out of her once the other couple said goodnight.

Drake’s Rules blurb –

Megan Lewis has been alone ever since a bad experience in college left her afraid to trust her instincts about men. When she comes home from her morning bike ride to find her neighbor’s young daughter alone in the hallway, the last thing she expects is overwhelming surge of desire she feels the moment her panicked neighbor joins them.

When Professor Drake Edwards loses his wife and son in a horrible accident he moves his daughter to a new town for a fresh start. He has no intention of getting involved with anyone. But when he finds his neighbor, Megan, watching over his daughter, his body has plans of its own. Can his heart and mind overcome the guilt he feels?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Confused

I know I’ve mentioned it before but with what I’m going to say today, this bears repeating. Reading is broke. Seriously tapped out as in laying off essential personnel like police and firefighters. As in begging the state to put the city on a special program for busted locations. As in needing a specialized financial management firm to help get us out of this mess that’s been created over the past several years. It’s really that bad if not worse.

Okay, I’m sure you get the picture. There are some events this week that I simply don’t understand. One I heard on the radio and the other I’ve witnessed in my neighborhood. The first – In one particular section of the city it is now illegal to park on a space on your property that is unpaved. Nope, gravel’s no longer good enough. The area is a low income, semi-secluded area. Only one street in and one street out and nothing but housing in the whole sector. Yeah, I know it may not be aesthetically pleasing but there’s not enough street parking for the number of people who live there. No one other than those who live there and visiting friends ever see it so who cares? I get that it’s a money making scheme to fine these folks up to $100 each time they’re caught parked in there yards but one, they can’t afford to pay the tickets and two, the city has started cutting back the police force. Do we really want our remaining officers stuck writing tickets that are likely never to be paid rather than patrolling the rest of the city?

The second questionable activity I noticed is the continuation of having handicapped curbs on each corner. Perhaps they’re necessary but I don’t see it in these economic times. Every block has at least one alley that makes it possible for someone in a wheelchair to access the street. Personally I’d rather keep a few firefighters on duty than spare someone the inconvenience of going half a block out of their way. Also, I’d like to see the study that justifies the expense of digging up and redoing every corner of every intersection within the city.

Just doesn’t make sense to me to waste this much money on such things right now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My electric alarm clock is running fast. It’s gaining about fifteen minutes a day. But only sometimes. Makes it kinda hard to know what time it really is and when I absolutely have to get up.

I’ve had wind up and battery operated clock both go fluky like this but never and electric one before. And what’s really weird is that it just started speeding up without anything else happening like it being dropped on its head one too many times.

I wonder if it might be me. My cell phone has started shutting off and back on randomly as well. The other day at work I attempted to make a copy and the copier shut down. And last week I set off a car alarm just by walking by without even touching the car. Interesting, no?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Don't Get It

The whole Christmas thing that is. Surprising really, considering I grew up average middle class in a two parent household.

I was talking to a friend the other day. Circumstances caused him to lose his Christmases. I wanted to be empathetic and I was but only to a certain extent. Can’t really identify with something I’ve never had. It made it very difficult to understand what he’s going through and that made me sad.

I watch all those sappy holiday movies with morbid fascination, trying to absorb what the fuss is about but that really doesn’t work. You wouldn’t believe how foreign they are to me. I’ve often wondered if there might be someone who could explain it all, help me understand but I think I need to ask questions and I have no idea where to start.

Usually I go into hiding this time of year so I can ignore the whole thing. I can feel myself slipping into invisibility as I write this. I should want to stop that but honestly, I don’t. Not sure why exactly but it hurts too much to stay “out there” and for some reason this year feels worse than others.

Just wanted to let you know since I’m likely to be scarce for a bit. I’m okay and I’ll be back for real after it’s all over. Have a happy holiday season, whatever that may be.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Fact

It takes only as long as you need to cross the threshold when leaving work for a few days off to get into vacation mode. Getting back into work mode afterwards, however, is an entirely different matter. I felt like this poor little penguin, staring out, wanting to escape all day. Fortunately, there’s only one more work day to go this week. By Monday I should be better.

I hate the word “drawer”. Say it a few times. See what I mean? It’s awkward and needs to go. Now what to replace it with?

Back tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll be less resistant to being functional by then.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ho Hum

Is it true that on a statue the number of raised hooves signifies how often the rider was wounded in battle? When I went wandering the other day I came across this statue. I was being amazed by the detail on the horse’s face when this gentleman stopped and imparted that little tidbit. Interesting if it’s true. Kinda clever if it’s not since it was a great conversation starter.

I’m back now. Into the holding pattern that is my life. Can you sense the discontent radiating from me? Yeah, gonna have to do something about that one of these days. Probably sooner rather than later in order to keep my head from exploding. I’ll have to let you know what I come up with.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yep, I'm Away!

Poor little guy! Waddled right over to pose for me.


Ice with flowers? Pretty but something's confused here.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Do you remember M, the unexpected delight of a woman I bumped into a while back? I saw her again yesterday and walked away with the same sense of peace and tranquility as the first time I encountered her.

We had the most amazing, aimless conversation. I suspect one of the reasons I enjoy her so much is because she makes me think. And she's not afraid to have an opinion though she has a way of putting things that would rarely offend anyone. In fact, I doubt some people would even realize she's disagreed with them and put them in their place until later, once they've had a chance to mull things over. That's a true talent and one few possess.

Anyway, I had fun, wandered off calmer than when we said hello and carrying a little Christmas token. A bag of coal, real coal, believe it or not. Hahaha, she must have guessed I'll never make it to the nice list. But can you imagine anyone just happening to have that with them all tied up in a nifty little package with a bow, just in case they come across someone appropriate? Damn cool, if you ask me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh For Pete's Sake

“Tips, secrets, tools and advice for new and veteran Farmville players. How to get started, how to level up, how to build the best possible farm — and how to enjoy yourself in Facebook’s fastest growing game.”

That’s the teaser for Michael Carney’s book, Tips, Tools & Secrets for Mastering Farmville. For those of you who may not know what Farmville is it’s a farming game that is available on Facebook. Admittedly, it’s damn silly and addictive as hell but it's also entertaining and relaxing. Basically you start with a small plot of land, plow it, plant and harvest crops – scheduled by hours to maturity, collect various commodities from assorted animals. You have neighbors who you can exchange gifts with as well as sharing fertilizing duties. When one of them does well you can click a link to share in their wealth as they can with yours.

Harmless fun. Or it should be. There is absolutely no reason to ever invest a penny in “learning” how to master this game. Getting started? You click an icon. Level up? Do the crop thing and earn points. Each crop is assigned a different number of points. If you want to advance faster you plant the items with higher values. Plant the crops that earn the most coins to gather wealth and increase the size of your farm as well as add buildings and such to it. Rearrange your plot on a whim to suit your mood. Not rocket science here folks. On-line farming where all you really have to do is pay attention to the time in order to not let any crops spoil.

How to enjoy yourself? You need a book on that one, you’re too sad to live. If you’re so worried about building the "best possible farm" that you have to go out and spend your hard earned money on a book, again, you’re too sad to live. Send me your cash. I’ll put it to good use. It’s a damn game. Play it and “master” it through trial and error if mastering it means all that much to you. Do that all by yourself instead of being lazy and cheating by taking the easy out. It’s supposed to be fun, not a chore, not a competition. There are no “real” prizes awarded other than the ribbons built into the game itself for achieving certain feats.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hot Holiday Ideas

I found you a whole bunch of stuff I think you may just have to have. If not for yourself, then your significant other.

1. An ax from the Best Made Company. Yes, that’s right. An ax. As in something with which to chop down a tree. But this is no ordinary ax. No this one doubles as a piece of artwork. Each ax has an intricately designed, hand-painted handle. They come in a range of prices, $250 - $550, which is no more than you’d pay for a decent chainsaw.

2. A ping –pong paddle from Brodmann Blades. Weird looking double paddle gizmo that resembles a fireplace bellows in appearance. They’ve gotten mixed reviews so I’m not sure if you really want to invest the $100 to have one, especially since they are not competition approved.

3. A PS Rasken Bench from Ikea. Believe it or not, this bench is made of REAL wood! You may want to spend your $100 on it instead of the ping-pong paddle. It’s very simple in design, three boards – the seat board has slots for the leg boards to slip into so there’s no screws required for assembly. Can’t get any easier than that.

4. An instant camera from Fujifilm. Basically an update version of the old Polaroids. Neat looking and not outrageous at $96. So why am I including it? Because the photo editor of GQ, where I found all these delights, is quoted in the magazine as saying this about them – “They’re like a girl with a reputation – fast, fun, easy.”

5. A Meehan Bar Rollup from Moore & Giles. For $150 you can have a leather and waxed canvas pouch filled with various stirrers, ice picks and muddlers. Great for the traveling bartender on your list. Hmm, ice picks. No, wait. That’s a different blog. Sorry.

6. And last, but not least, a bladeless fan from Dyson. This gadget “amplifies” the air, creating a gentle breeze sensation rather than chopping and buffeting it, as regular bladed fans do. For the low, low price of $330.

Well, there you have it. If you need any additional gift ideas let me know. I’m sure I can find more for you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A New Magazine

I read a Hooters magazine today. Did you know Hooters even had a magazine? I didn’t. It was as expected.

A section with how much various locales earned for assorted charities, NBA predictions, football nonsense, an article on why Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame which I actually agreed with. I’m far from a baseball person but even I saw him play. He was an active player for 23 years. Would’ve been kinda difficult to miss him in all that time.

The ads weren’t much of a surprise either but I did learn that Jeremiah Weed makes Sweet Tea Vodka. They recommend mixing it with lemonade. Hmm, might need to try that.

And then of course there was the photo section. Silliest damn thing too. It was taken in Aspen. In the snow. In bikinis. Only I had to search for the article, yes, there was one, to determine if they were wearing bikinis or underwear. Some of the combinations, I honestly couldn’t tell. What really disappointed me was that they never gave credit to the boots which were super cute. Now I want a pair and don’t know what variety they are. Fortunately one of the fashionistas I know identified them as a Victoria’s Secret item. (Hey, I’ll bet the underwear/swimsuits are too.) Yeah, I know. The boots aren’t the point of the pictures. But I want some!

And now those of you who know me well are shaking your heads and wondering why since there’s little chance that I’d ever wear furry boots such as these. Way to hot for me to even consider but damn they’re cute.

In writer news, Chaos received a most excellent review from Melinda at Night Owl Romance. 5 hearts and a reviewers top pick. "Barbara Huffert has woven gangs, tornadoes and two strong willed people together. You will be left in awe." Click here to read the full review.