Friday, November 13, 2009

Class in Progress

Sugar Completed Puppy Obedience Class

Yep, she and I made it to all eight sessions. It was touch and go again, simply because Sugar has certain traits that could have worked against her graduating from this class, such as stubborness, lots of energy, a curiosity unmatched by many, and wanting to be the center of attention.

No dog was too small or too big for Sugar, she wanted to know them all. I compared her to the class clown, always vying for attention, and not paying attention to boot. But during those last two class sessions when Sugar actually began to sit, lay down, and stay in place, and when she did not touch the treat laid out in the aisles to the command "Leave it!" I knew. Sugar was going to make it through. And she did. She performed with the best of them, and proved that with persistence, perseverance, and lots of patience goals can be accomplished.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It has been touch and go so far with me and Sugar. I'm getting acquainted with her ways and in turn she's learning what to expect from me. It's a two way thing going on here. There are no winners or losers, just simply getting to know our limitations, our flaws, weaknesses as well as strengths and how far one can push the other.

Sugar is still in the puppy stages of development so I do give her some latitude. At the same time she needs to know her boundaries, and the fact that none of my shoes, sneakers, or sandals are any part of her own growing pile of chew toys.

Today we go to Petco to get more food and probably another chew toy or one that will be good for a game of pull and tug.

There are moments when I'm ready to load her into her carrier, plop it into the front seat of my car and head back to that puppy store telling them I must've not been in the right state of mind, and return her.

Those moments are more fleeting now. They only come when I find her discovering another electrical cord behind a sofa or chair, or dashing through the house with one of my sandals, or missing the poopie pad.

Yet she's someone to get up for in the mornings. Someone else to think about during the day and provide for her needs. I think of the long winter months ahead and surmise that Sugar's company is going to be a welcome plus in my life.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Where do writers get their ideas!

Everywhere! Anywhere! It can be a thought, a verse, a poem, an incident, or during a walk, a car ride, on an airplane in mid flight, on a boat, a cruise ship, or while doing dishes, or washing the bathroom floor, taking the dog out to do its thing, planting a garden, mowing the lawn, cleaning the garage, cleaning the basement, watching a program on TV or a movie on the silver screen.

Or it can happen while shopping in a grocery store.

That happened to me today when I stopped to pick up a few things like yogurt, coleslaw, rolls, and some milk. I spotted a man dressed in a black tank top and tan shorts. His jet black hair was worn short, but you could tell if he let it grow longer it would become thick and even unruly. He was tanned, the kind of tan that is earned not by sunbathing but by working outside. And he was very well built. So I'm guessing construction.

He glanced over at me. And I thought what a perfect specimen, and saw a character developing. I briefly returned the glance, and self-conscioudly slipped into another aisle, all the while peeking around the corner. He glanced again my way, and I pretended to be studying the contents on a can of cat food.

Finally, I knew I had to make my way to the cashier where he was now paying for his purchases. It's a small store and I had two choices. Get in the same line behind him, or go in the one at the right where a customer had a loaded cart.

I took a deep breath and placed my few items on the conveyor belt as he paid for his stuff, and then he left.

A brief moment in time. A lost opportunity.

Still, it triggered something inside my mind, and as I drove home I mentally heard a conversation going on between two women.

"I just met the sexiest man," Janette told her roommate Nicole as she lined up the cartons of yogurt on the refrigerator shelf. "I didn't actually meet him, I spotted him."

"Tell me where that was so I can see if there's more like him." Nicole laughed. "It's the middle of a Sunday afternoon. Where could you meet someone like that anyway?"

"Becker's Foods." Janette smiled, closing the door. "And I'm wondering if maybe he does his shopping there every Sunday afternoon."

"Wow, you're serious."

"Yes, and I'm going back next week to find out if my hunch is true."

So will Janette go back? Will she meet up with this dark handsome stranger? And will this dark handsome stranger present an opportunity for Janette to live out a few fantasies?

My mind is already working on those scenarios and I can't wait to find out what happens.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Helping the Economy!

I do my best to help this stagnant economy. At least I think I do. On a fixed income consisting of a pension and a SS check I am still out there making purchases.

And I do it in the local stores in my area. I go to Mandee's. I go to Job Lot. I'm often seen at WalMart. I go to either Price Chopper, Stop and Shop, or the IGA's.

I figure every little bit helps. We get the things we need, and these businesses stay in business and pay their employees.

This is pretty much what it takes to keep any economy going, stabilizing it to the point that jobs can be created. When that happens, then we've got more people going into the workforce that coming out and who in turn are able to do what I'm doing, which is helping a stagnant economy.

Except at times people like me on that fixed income might use a helping hand in terms of a break in the pricing of these goods and services.

I went to a local HealthTrax facility to see if I could join at a reasonable price that would not seriously jeopardize my budgeted monthly expenses and put it at risk.

This is a facility that once housed tennis courts and held local tennis matches. It is a facility that my late husband frequented quite often, playing in these matches, as well as playing in tournaments that built him a solid reputation as a tennis pro.

I think the match that he would always remember is the one he played during a yearly tournament called the Ralph Strong Tournament where he and his partner John played against Ralph Strong (84) and his partner (50's.)

Bob and John were still in their 30's. Both avid and capable players they ended up losing the match and afterward expressing the fact that Ralph was a very consistent player and very seldom missed the ball as it came over the net.

Although I myself never became a competitive player, I can still hit a forehand, backhand, and overhand and get the ball in the right spot.

Needless to say the faciilty held good memories until this past Tuesday when I decided to go and see what specials they had going. And they did have a special going, as well as an open house. My granddaughter accompanied me and was excited at the prospect of her grammie becoming a member. For an additional fee I would have been able to bring her during school vacations.

In an earlier post I think I related the fact I once belonged to Gold's and when my healthcare costs went up, I had to cut out that monthly expense of $37. In fact every year as my healthcare cost creep higher, I try to cut down on something else.

But with the way the economy is at this point, in the back of my mind I thought just maybe I could get a really good deal and pay less than the $37. But alas, instead the cost even paying ahead turned out to be $41 a month, so an increase. Fixed incomes don't really allow for these increases.

Still I thought maybe I could come home and mull it over, go over my budget figures, see what I might be able to make this work. I told the "salesperson" this. That day they were willing to waive a $30 fee if I signed up right then and there. She then tells me to wait a second while she checks with her boss to see if this was the best deal they can give me. She comes back and tells me that if I wait until Friday to give them an answer, then they would have to charge me the $30 fee. I'm thinking "hard ball tactics" which grates against my soul in a way that puts me immediately on the defense.

Do they not see that all this looks like is that I'm penalized for wanting to think this over rather than sign a contract for close to $600. Then they're telling me that some insurances will cover the whole costs. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn't although they are in some program called GlobalFit where a discount can be given anywhere from 10% to 60%. This I've been given, a whopping 10%. Still the monthly fee is $41.

Three days later the phone periodically rings and it is the health facility calling. I don't plan to answer and am looking into another facility where the rates are low, though they don't offer as much as this first one.

Still, for me it's a place to go where I can get fit and socialize. It doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles. And hopefully this one will fit into my tightening budget, because I'm sure with the way things are going in this nation, what with obesity dangerously on the rise, my healthcare costs will continue to soar and I will be paying that ER visit for someone who has not healthcare insurance, but loves and mindlessly indulges in all that fast food at McDonalds, Burger King, and Pizza Hut.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One week with Sugar

Yep, it's one week today and yes it has been a bit of an adjustment period for both of us. The beginning of the week I found myself asking, "What the heck was I thinking?" A puppy is work. Every morning instead of coming straight to the computer, I now go straight to the family room and clean out her pen. She sits there and looks up at me, then shakes, jumps, and when I open the door wants to be picked up right away. Reminds me of the days when I took care of babies. Not much difference.

This morning a week later I went through the same routine, as well as washed her with a Quick Bath pad, ensuring I covered everything, and then I brushed her as well. I let her loose and she followed me from room to room. So of course I had to shuffle through the house as I continued to clean out my office, taking more time and getting less done.

Then I looked at her at one point and something came over me. I need to appreciate these "puppy" moments because like with my babies, they are fleeting and you find yourself wondering where all the time went. Of course tears came to my eyes as I picked her up and gave her a kiss and lots of hugs, and a few treats.

Stay in the moment, enjoy the present, and the rest will take care of itself. That's pretty much what I'm learning to do with Sugar. One day she's not going to be able to run like she did this morning, and may simply stay in her spot watching the world go by.

Meantime, she can run like the wind, and enjoy her puppyhood with me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cleaning out my office today!

I finally took the plunge and am now starting to move things out, most of which are boxes of books that will eventually be shelved once I get the shelving installed in my office. But first I need to clear it out and to do that takes a bit of strategy on my part. I try to carry the boxes out and managed to do three until I felt a pain in my left lower back. Immediately I put the box down, and kept moving before everything froze up on me. I then took a long hot shower, applied some of the Tropicin cream and kept moving. I then carried small piles of books from a box in the office to the garage. It's the old "taking baby steps" trick that eventually gets the job done.

I found my mind can no longer work in a too clutter environment. There is organized clutter where I know where everything is. And there's the clutter that gets out of hand and is telling me, or practically shouting at me to do something.

And I pick this hot day in August to do it. The house is cool but the garage is up there with temps in the 90's. I give myself several days to get this stage completed. Then I'll wash the walls. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and look for the paint. I'm not sure what color...should it be striking like maybe a terracotta hue. Or more subdued and more in touch with what's on my living walls which is a stone gray color. I'm not sure. They have the small cans of paint you can bring home and try them out.

This room hasn't been touched in over 35 years so long over due. I still remember papering it with a striped blue, gray, and white paper. And I still remember the special blue rug, and blue checked bedspread. This was my older son's room. The last thing done to it actually was sandpapering the wood floor and putting a nice varnish on it. I remember that week my husband spent the time using a hand sander to do the job. Later that week he came with me to an RWA writers' conference in Natick, Ma. This was all during his school vacation, April 2002.

I had wanted someone to come in and do the sanding but you know how men can be when it comes to doing these types of projects. Why pay someone else when they can do it themselves.

It proved to be quite a project, with all that dust produced by the sander. The floor still looks pretty good and has held up over these last seven years.

Now I just have to get to moving out these boxes and make this the office that will help to inspire me to keep creating my stories.

It is late afternoon and still at this time somewhere inside me listens for his voice telling me he's home from school. Although during the summer months he would be coming up after giving a tennis lesson at the local golf club. And then we'd go out a grab a bite to eat. I'm sure this summer he would have all four grandkids on that tennis court teaching them everything he knew about the game.

Yes, life is pretty much taking baby steps and moving forward.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

What Gets on the News Today!

All writers come to know how difficult it can be to promote our stories. This is part of the overall plan when working as a writer whether in fiction or nonfiction. And for those of us who don't get the nice advances, it becomes that much more difficult especially in these hard economic times.

Now wouldn't it be great if we could get called to appear on talk shows or news broadcasts such as the Today Show? What a wonderful thing that would be if I called say the Today Show and asked them to do an interview of me, a virtually unknown writer. Here I could promote at least my contemporary romances and hopefully the erotic romances. Just how many people would this help? Besides the publishers I'm with, the spotlight would also focus on those behind the scenes such as my editors, the copy artists, those who maintain the websites, do the payrolls, etc.

Yet, I am sure if I call any of these talk shows or news broadcasts I will receive a flat sorry, but we can't fit you in, meaning they prefer someone more well known.

I watched the Today Show this morning and they had on as a guest the ten year old boy who stole his father's car and went for a joy ride! He said he didn't want to go to church.

Yes the boy is very cute, and all kids are at his age. Just look at my four grandkids here. And yes, he looked really cute jumping from that car as the police chased him. Yet, what I really saw was a possible "criminal" in the making. Harsh words yes. But the fact that he got to strut his stuff on the Today Show was in and of itself a pretty nice reward for behavior that should not be tolerated in any shape or form.

I do know my late husband would have been shaking his head in disbelief considering the students he had had to deal with over the years. And parents who would defend their kids behavior and call the administrators to do something about these teachers who try to make kids tow the mark.

All of my grandkids did very well in school during the past school year. All are now moving on to the next grade. One is in kindergarten, one is in first grade, the other is moving in to third grade, and the oldest is now a fifth grader.

The fifth grader wrote two stories, both of which have received recognition by her teachers, the school, and her peers. But if I were to call the Today Show and ask that they have my granddaughter on to tell about her accomplishments I would probably be turned down flat. She not only wrote these stories, she also took part in soccer, basketball, dance, and is now in rehearsals for a town production of Grease. She also brought home a report card of all A plusses. You can imagine how teary eyed I got seeing that she worked extra hard in math since last year she was getting B's. My late husband taught high school math and would have been doing the Snoopy dance all over the place (despite the fact he lacked some rhythm) knowing his grandkids work very hard in school. They are not out there taking their parents' cars and going off on any joy ride.

When I put on the news now all I hear is a lot of criticism of this, and complaints on that, and those who cause chaos in our society are recognized worldwide.

How about recognizing some of those who actually put their nose to the grindstone? Who live pretty ordinary lives yet strive to accomplish their goals.

I don't know about anyone else, but watching that little boy jump from the car, and race into the house had me thinking I was actually watching one of the crime shows on TV where the perpetrator is running from the cops and actually think he can get away with it.

This little boy should write a book about his experience as a fugitive. I'm sure he'll get on all the talk shows. Soon we'll have many more little boys and little girls following in his footsteps.

Why strive for A plusses when you can get to New York and on the Today Show because you decided to take a joy ride in your parents' car.

The Today Show can EMAIL me if they want me to bring my granddaughter who will be more than happy to talk about the two great stories she wrote. She may even put in a plug about her grandmother as well.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer vacations!

There's a lot to do on a summer vacation. Spend a day at the beach. Fly to a faraway place. Swim in a backyard pool. Take long walks in the woods, get nearer to nature. But still kids get bored and you have to get creative. Take that energy and put it to good use. That's what I did and in so doing I now have one of the spiffiest mailboxes on my street. Yep what can be regarded as work for some is a whole lot of fun for others.

Take a look!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jackson's Memorial Service

Yes, I was one of the millions who watched the entire broadcast yesterday of the memorial. Personally, I thought it was well done. Like one newscaster stated, there was a nice mix of speeches, eulogies, and songs. It was done in good taste.

I watched with mixed emotions; a great deal of sadness for the family. Jackson's songs will always be a part of my life because listening to them brings back many memories of several time periods, back to my early 20's, through the 30's, and beyond.

As one fan stated these songs whether we like it or not are part of the fabric of our being. When we hear them we are brought back to those times in our lives that we might or might not want to remember.

For me they bring back good times with my growing family, and good times with my late husband Bob. Whatever else happened in Michael Jackson's life lies outside of that emotional connection that I have with his music.

And I thank Mr. Jackson for providing me a gift of his songs. This is a gift that he gave the world.

Good and bad things will be said about him.

But nothing can take away the fact that through all of his songs he touched our hearts, uplifted our spirits, and put smiles on our faces.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


A faded wedding photograph
You and me in our first dance
Our eyes are closed
We're lost in one sweet embrace
Since those days the world has changed
But our love remains the same
God knows we've had our share of saving grace

And I'm proud of all the blessings
You have given me
The mountains we have climbed to get this far
You've learned to take the laughter with the tears
After all these years

You make it feel brand new
After the fires that we walked through
Against the odds we never lost our faith

In our house we've made our home
Where our children all have grown
Precious moments time cannot erase

Make a living up and down the gypsy highways
Seasons that we've had to share apart
Somehow in my heart I always keep you near me
After all these years

After all these years
You stood by me
The days and nights that I was gone
After all these years
You sacrificed, believed in me
And you stood strong
Cause with our love there's nothing left to fear
After all these years

After all these years
You stood by me
The days and nights that I was gone
After all these years
You've sacrificed, believed in me
And you stood strong
Cause with our love there's nothing left to fear
After all these years

In Memory of my late husband Bob Roy who passed on July 6, 2002.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


No More Secrets, No More Lies will be coming out at my new publisher THE WILD ROSE PRESS.

Until that happens, you can go check out their website to see the great reads this publisher offers.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Flag Cake for the Upcoming Fourth of July Holiday

Stormbound takes place during a July 4th weekend. After making this delicious dessert below you can sit down, relax and read my story.


RECIPE FOR FLAG CAKE - Prep time: 20 minutes

1 quart strawberries (4 cups), divided
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 package (8-serving size) or 2 packages (4-serving size each) JELLO-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
Ice cubes
1 cup cold water
1 package (12ounces) pound cake, cut into 10 slices
1-1/3 cups blueberries, divided
1 tub (8 ounces) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

SLICE 1 cup of strawberries. Halve remaining strawberries; set aside

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to cold water to measure 2 cups. Add to gelatin; stir until ice is melted. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites).

Meanwhil, line bottom of 13x9-inch dis with cake slices. Add sliced strawberries and 1 cup of the blueberries to thickened gelatin; stir gently. Spoon over cake slices.

REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Spread whipped topping over gelatin. Arrange strawberry halves on whipped topping for "stripes" of "flag." Arrange remaining 1/3 cup blueberries on whipped topping for "stars." Store in refrigerator.
Makes 18 servings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Little League and Soccer Season

This time of year holds many memories for me. Both of my sons were involved in Little League. I remember coming home from work and going straight to the baseball field to help out at the concession stand. I remember watching either from the bleachers or the stand my late husband out there coaching his team the Phillies. They were a brand new team and most of these players were inexperienced as far as playing the game.

My husband Bob loved to win. He was a very competitive person. He himself played tennis and was rated at a high level that enabled him to also coach and give lessons in that sport. His tennis team did go on to win a few championships for their school.

But when it came to baseball, yes he certainly loved to see his team win. Except I think that what was even more important to him was that every kid got the chance to play in the game. During the drafting period where coaches got together on the field to choose the players, my husband not only picked the best players for his team, but he picked those who would still need some work, and those who at first did appear to measure up to the rest of the players. For his team Bob picked the first girl to every play in the league. He also picked a young boy who was born with an undeveloped hand. These two were overlooked by other coaches, either that or simply ignored.

Bob felt every kid should have a chance to play in a sport if they wanted to play. The Phillies never went on to win any championship, but they did well and did win enough of their games during the six years that Bob coached that built confidence in the players that I'm sure carried through into their adulthood years later. (Most of these players are now into their late 30's, and maybe early 40's.)

This week one of my sons will be watching his daughter and his son play in soccer practices or games. I'll also go and watch when I can. My other son spends time on a baseball field watching his young son play T-Ball.

Each of them know it doesn't matter if you win or lose, what matters is you get to play in a sport that you want to play. No more. No Less.

Of course it's always a plus when the teams wins. Everyone involved in these sports is a champion and a winner.

I know Bob is looking down from Heaven on his sons and his grandchildren, and he's right there rooting for them every step of the way. Of course I do get sad wishing that he were there beside me instead on this side of life rather than in Heaven standing in that way he usually stands, with arms folded, and wearing his faded favorite jeans and his light blue knit shirt. How tickled he would be to see his grandkids involved in sport. His other granddaughter is a very good tennis player.

The little boy with the undeveloped hand inspired a story for which I am now finding a new publisher. It's a story that when it was available to the reading public before the publishers closed their doors, did receive excellent reviews and I was told this is a story that stays with the reader way after they finish the story.

I think that's what happens when we as writers write from snippets of our own lives because those snippets pretty much tell a story that most are familiar with and most have experienced.

This story titled No More Secrets, No More Lies reminds us to make memories with our kids because in turn they will then go on and make memories with their children, our grandchildren. And in the process these memories keep going through future generations.

Immune Boosting Smoothie


Children often don't feel like eating following a cold or illness. Their nutrition suffers and their immune system suffers. This accounts for the common occurrence of getting one infection after another. It's best to keep so well nourished that the nutritional reserves can withstand several days of poor eating. Drink this smoothie daily upon school entry in September, upon beginning daycare, upon exposure to a contagious illness, or when you or your child feels a cold coming on.

· 2 cups milk or soy or rice beverage

· 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

· 1 serving of a multinutrient supplement

· one frozen banana, cut up

· 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

· 1/2 cup each of your favorite fruit, frozen (e.g., organic strawberries, papaya, mango)

· 1 tbsp. flax oil or 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal (Because fiber steadies the absorption of carbohydrates and therefore contributes to a steadier blood sugar we suggest using rich sources of fiber, such as flaxseed meal (i.e., ground flax seeds, containing both the oil and fiber), although flax oil has a more palatable consistency than flaxseed meal. For additional fiber, if you don't mind an even grainier texture, add 1 tbsp. or more of oat bran.)

· 3 ounces tofu

· 10 mg. zinc

· 100 mcg. selenium

· 50-100 IU vitamin E

· 1 serving soy isolate powder (optional)

· 2 tbsp. peanut butter (optional)

Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve immediately after blending while the mixture still has a bubbly milkshake-like consistency.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Some of us have kids or grandkids who are "finicky" eaters. We want them to eat healthy but what if they simply refuse to eat certain foods. My five year old grandson has suffered ear infections, sore throats, etc almost since birth. Last year he had his tonsils removed. He had tubes put into his ears for drainage. He's had his adenoids removed. His tonsils were so swollen at one point he refused to eat any meat. You can't blame him. As a result he developed into a bit of a finicky eater.

He is improving as his parents are always trying to encourage him to eat good things, and are patient with him as well.

Last night he and his mom came over for a little while. I had made Portuguese Kale Soup and asked if he wanted to try some. His mom and I both had nofgreat expectations that he would eat it. So you can imagine our surprise when after finishing the first small bowl, he wanted another, and then another. Our eyes lit up because this soup is chocked full with nutritients.

I think it produces the right blends of vegetables and even fruit (tomatoes) that is quite appealing to every palate. I know I usually have a least two bowls of this stuff at a time.

Today I'm going out and getting more of these ingredients and making an extra big pot of it so that I can bring over a large container to both of my sons' houses. Hey, what are grandmother's for anyways? Even if I'm not Portuguese I love this soup. I do have a Portuguese friend who remembers his mom making this soup all the time. I guess you can say it's a memory maker as well.

I'm sharing the recipe here for those who may want to try it especially if they have little ones who are finicky eaters.


1 pound kale 2 tablespoons butter
1 pound small red potatoes 8 cups Basic Chicken Broth (I buy the fat
free canned chicken broth)
1 cup chopped onions Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3 pounds tomatoes (I buy the large canned either diced or crushed tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic
1 pound chorizo (or linguica) sausage (The linguica is not as spicy.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

1 Strip the kale leaves off their stems and cut diagonally into wide slices. Dice the potatoes. Chop the onions and carrots. Peel, seed, and chop the tomatoes. Mince the garlic. Prick the sausage and boil it in water for 5 to 10 minutes to release the fat; drain and cut it into 1/2-inch slices.

2. In a soup pot, heat the oild and butter together. Saute the oinion, carrots, and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce toa simmer, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. With a masher or the back of a cooking spoon, mash most of the potatoes against the side of the pot.

4. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add both the kale and the sausage slices, cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

And that's it!

This soup tastes great the next day and the next, if there's any left over.

And of course it'll taste great with freshly made bread.

Since I'm Italian, for an Italian touch, I add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese when serving.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Free Dental Clinic in my State

I was just listening to the news this morning. A free dental clinic was held here in my state. And the response was from what I saw overwhelming. They had to turn away over a thousand people. That is sad. Dental health is important to our overall health as poor dental health can cause problems or indicate there is a problem in other areas. For one heart problems. Another is poor nutrition, the inability to eat properly because of ill fitting dentures, or tooth loss.

I pay for my health care insurance. In fact I'm sure that come this July it will probably reach $500 a month for a single person, and since I live on a fixed income that is going to be an added struggle for me. Unless of course I sell more of my stories which will help defray the cost.

And I don't dare let the insurance lapse and try my darndest to get that monthly check into the mail and pay that monthly premium.

I recently had a root canal procedure which cost $1025 of which the insurance paid for $900. But actually what it comes down to is my handing over the monies to the insurance company who in turn hand over the monies to my dentist. The Explanation of Benefits was confusing at best. Dentist Submitted Fee was $1025. Allowable Contracted Fee $900. Amount not covered $125. Amount My Plan Pays $720. And the bottom line is I now owe $180. Maybe I should have this done at the ER because then I only have to pay a co-pay of $25. My last visit to the ER was close to $3,000. You can see how this can be confusing to anyone dealing with health insurance finance issues.

On the other hand, I know someone whose healthcare is through "socialized" healthcare. When she goes to her doctor, which can take weeks to set up an appointment, she feels she does not get as good a care as she would like. They will never schedule tests they feel are unnecessary. They will pooh pooh her aching ailments and write them off as either anxiety attacks, or just plain stress.

I feel when I go have a dental procedure done I do get very good care. This last root canal was made quite comfortable for me, and basically although I dread going to the dentist at every visit, I will continue to go to my dentist because of his professional manner and quality care.

Basically you get what you pay for and I feel since I'm the one paying, that I am getting good quality care. So far two of my doctors I've been with close to thirty years.

I do feel though everyone should have access to quality healthcare in this country. There really is no excuse not to. Considering the number of people who are in need of this, I don't see any reason why it can't be more affordable for them.

Healthy people make a healthy nation.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No More Secrets No More Lies

is temporarily unavailable due to the publisher closing its doors and now looking for a new home.

This is another story given four and five stars from reviewers. It should not be sitting in my hard drive unavailable to the reading public. I'm doing my best to find it a good home. One nice thing about epublished books they have a very long life span. And hopefully this story will re-emerge soon for those who love a great uplifting romance!

Marie Roy

Whoo! Whoo! Great Review for Stormbound!

Here's the link where you can read the entire review! They gave it 4 STARS!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


How can this be POSSIBLE some may ask? Do you not have a good healthcare provider.

Well, yes, I do have a healthcare provider.

I pay for this healthcare insurance straight out of my pocket every month.

I've been doing this ever since my husband died in 2002. Before that time I didn't have to pay as it was through the Board of Education and one the benefits of being an educator was having these premiums paid by them or through the state.

It seems strange though to have to pay now at a time in one's life when one can ill afford these high premiums that some Americans are faced with paying on a monthly basis.

When I first started to shell out these monies the premiums were $256 a month. Even then it was a bit of a struggle, but I am one to believe if I don't have coverage, then shit will hit the fan. For example since then I've found myself in the ER twice. One time because I required an angiogram it cost $5,000. The second time in the ER almost $3,000. Then again I've paid a whole lot more into the system than that over the last seven years so basically it wasn't anything that I got for free.

Since 2002 my premiums have risen to almost $475 a month. Now when you're living on a relatively fixed income that rise affects pretty much how I now live. I did have a gym membership at one time. I went faithfully. And all my numbers--cholesterol, blood pressure--were lower because of it.

Well, because of the rise in everything in this country, namely our taxes, insurances premiums for cars and homes, food, gas, heating oil, and of course those premiums for health care I gave up the gym membership.

Consequently, I know I'm not as healthy as I once was when I was taking part in a regular exercise program.

So I'm wondering now. Does our healthcare system that is currently in place really care about the health of the citizens of this country?

I'm not sure.

In fact I would say it could care less as long as the premiums keep rising and people like me support the system.

Something is wrong here.

Then again considering where we got ourselves because of irrational thinking and decisions that basically don't make sense on the parts of those that should be thinking rationally and making sound business decisions plus those who have been living beyond their means, it makes perfect sense that this country is going to feel the pinch of the economy for a very long time.

Meantime, I'll just continue to make my seven-day soups, buy only what I need, sell off my things on Ebay and, and live way below my means. Since the death of my husband in 2002 I've been doing just that, so doing it now is no big deal anymore.

But for those who have been taking things like "free health care" for granted, or feel they truly needed that third garage for a car they may seldom drive, or the huge house that has suddenly become the Albatross around their neck, then a rude awakening is still in the offering.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Lia Martin’s father Eliah Stewart summons her to Split Maple Ridge, Vermont, a place where years later still evokes memories of a dark love and an even darker betrayal. Knowing how his daughter feels about this place, Lia feels he would not have asked her to return unless for a good reason.

The name Eliah Stewart still grates hard against Sean McIntyre’s soul, reminding him of the painful humiliation he had once experienced on that unforgettable night. Years later he would tell others he felt safer fighting in Vietnam than in those Vermont backwoods.

When unforeseen circumstances throw Lia, Sean and Eliah together under one roof, despite the reopening of painful past emotional wounds, love still exists between Lia and Sean. But the question remains if this love will survive once all truths of what took place on that stormy summer night are exposed.

To Order: Treble Heart Books


Sydney Morgan, single mother, financial advisor, wants the best for her physically challenged son. Except when his biological father re-enters her life, she realizes the secrets and consequential lies she has forced her son to live may destroy not only his trust but also his love.

When Grant Sinclair brings Sydney Morgan back into his fold, he soon discovers her long held secret. Will this secret end up destroying the yet fragile emotions that still exist between them, as well as a possible future together as a family?

To Order: Forbidden Publications


A widow who can't celebrate Christmas at home; a doctor worried about losing another young patient. Together, trapped in a storm with a cast of unusual characters, these two find out what life is truly about and work on discovering the peace that has eluded them.

To Order: Aspen Mountain Press

Friday, January 30, 2009


I just finished my bowl of Cherios, and then consumed several Special Dark Hershey Miniatures. I don't normally eat chocolate first thing in the morning unless it's a cup of "hot chocolate." But I figure I'm off to the Town Hall to pay my property taxes. They're due February 1. Tomorrow which is a Saturday they have special hours as well for those who pay them just before the deadline.

This is one thing I've always made sure to do considering as an American it's "American to invest in America." And paying our taxes is one way to do this. Especially now in this economic climate where towns are hurting as much as everyone else. I don't want to contribute to the downslide that this country has been in since the real estate crash that pretty much became the catalyst for the demise of Wall Street.

No siree. This country's has got enough troubles without the likes of me contributing to those troubles.

Then again, I come from a "stock" of people who prided ourselves of the fact that we carry our own weight and we don't default on obligations.

Doing so can have long lasting repercussions.

So off I go to the Town Hall, wait in line with check in hand. I will smile at the Town Clerk who will take this check and mark me as a "paid" resident of this small New England town. I won't be put on any "delinquent" list. Or have anyone put a lien onto my house. Of course it mean for the next coming year as I've always done to live within my means. Budget my income. Do without some of the "unnecessary things" that had once been labeled a "definite must."

Belt tightening is in order for must of us.

Then again, I will allow in my budget monies to buy books/ebooks. I figure at least buying these will let me escape from this climate of unease and uncertainty. Heck, we all need a break from what is happening around us.

And where else can anyone find that so readily available than their nearest computer where they can download a book, have it right there at hand and ready to delve into.

Just click on the links below and go to any of my publishers' sites and you'll find more than enough to help you weather the latest storm(s) happening here in the good old USA.

And look for me there either as Marie A. Roy or Collette Thomas. (It will help me pay my property the next time I go to the tax office which will be on July 31, 2009--again just before the deadline:)

Aspen Mountain Press

Forbidden Publications

Noble Romance Publishing

Treble Heart Books

Thursday, January 29, 2009

January 2009 A Productive Month

I thought I'd take a moment to assess the start of 2009 in terms of where I am and where I'm going. Mainly I've used this blog to promote my books. Then I thought a blog should be used for more than that. It should be used for letting others know more about moi!

So that's what I'm going to do here. Like who the heck is Marie Roy anyway? What do we know about her besides what she writes. Okay, she got grandkids, and she's a widow, and she writes romance fiction.

And she's a twin!

I have to confess even at my age I'm still trying to figure out who I am and where I'm going. The fact of the matter is throughout my life so far I've worn a few hats; daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother. Also, I've donned the hats of administrative assistant, paralegal, office manager, and of course published writer.

Currently, I've put on the hat of "used book saleslady." And I will soon be doing some database development and managing the books in my basement that is now pretty much filled with boxes of these books.

Life does not get simpler as one heads toward that phase of life when seemingly it is supposed to slow down.

In fact I find myself speeding up on more than several occasions. Yet, I also find that I no longer feel as if I'm heading toward the state of "not doing much" when in fact I'm constantly doing something.

My friends calls me the hamster on its wheel because I keep turning and turning and turning.

And with the way the economy is heading today, I think it is good that we all keep ourselves involved, and maintain our focus on getting this economy going.

I've always been one for supporting my fellow man in terms of helping them be the best that they can be. And I think that is what each of us here in the good old USA should keep our focus on.

God helps those who help themselves. I found that out especially these last six years when I no longer could call hubby to come and fix the toilet, or put up a light fixture, or help me bring in the groceries. I actually spent an afternoon learning just how a toilet "insides" actually work. By doing so I alleviated the necessity for calling in a plumber. I fixed it myself...and the darn thing is still working (knock on wood.)

Also, over these last several weeks I've actually developed some good strong arms through having to heave boxes of books on top of one another as I sort through them. It so much like weightlifting, that each time I heave one on top of the other and stack them at just about my height, I gain more muscle weight. Who needs a gym?

But back to the concept of supporting each other, I feel especially in the publishing industry we need to help to this with each other in terms of our endeavors.

We need to form a strong alliance among ourselves whether we are published via epublishing or traditional publishing. And based on the 700 plus books that I've uploaded to I can fully say that I support the whole array of publishers. 700 comprises about 40 boxes. And I probably have that many and much more to go through.

I've always been a team player. I've found that in the past it's the team mentality concept that helps each team player achieve their goal(s). It's the team player mentality that unifies and strengthens whatever resolve exist within any community.

And hopefully this team player mentality will help President Obama succeed in making American once again a place with a strong and viable economy where each of its citizens can once again dream and aspire to reaching our/their goals.

Naturally I'm only a very small cog in this wheel of life, but I feel it is all the "cogs" that keep the wheels spinning.

Enough said. I'm going to go back downstairs to continue to categorize my books. The next eight boxes are filled with erotica and I'm going to have a great time going through those I'm sure. I know there are some great books there that I will eventually upload to In fact I've mentioned to my ERW (Erotic Romance Workshop Group) they will be the first to see a list that I'm going to also comprise of the books that I'll be putting up there.

So if you like to make a comment here on this recent blog, let us know if January was a "productive" month for you and what you did to make it productive?

Marie Roy
Appetite for Lust just released at Forbidden Publications.
Click here to Order