MJ Monday: MJ’s Manuscript-Besieged by the Moon

Phoebe was silent for another couple of blocks. “I heard all the lycanthropes in the area were gone.”

“Most of them,” Parker said. “There was a purge.”

He would never forget the stench of rotting bodies. Never be able to unsee the corpse of a child who’d tried to hide in the same bush Parker puked on. He was an EMT. Those sights and smells shouldn’t have bothered him. But they had. They would have upset anyone with a soul.

“A few survived. Because Ethan mated with Selena, our alpha sent a contingent here to help with . . . the aftermath.”

“Of a massacre?” Her voice cracked.

“I said purge.” He noted the vampires that had guarded the corner of Oak and Ash Streets hadn’t returned, thank the Ancient Ones.

“Purge. Massacre. Slaughter. It’s semantics.” Phoebe stared out the window.

“But I said purged. Ethnic cleansing.” Parker pulled to the curb in front of Ethan’s funky orange house.

“So it’s still going on.” She spoke softly, almost as if to herself.

“It’s still going on.”

MJ’s Musing: Book Bingo-Aye! Scotland!

I think the Book Bingo square I filled in first was AYE! SCOTLAND! I do love me a good Scottish historical romance. Julie Garwood, IMHO, is the best (The BrideThe Wedding), but I’ve already read those (dozens of times), so I couldn’t cheat and use them again. My friend and critique partner Gayle Callen has written Scottish historical romances, which I also love. Again: been there, can’t repeat for bingo.

There was one I hadn’t read on my Kindle. I could kill two birds with one stone: clear a title off my reader and fill in a square. The McKinnon’s Bride was just the title.

It wasn’t a bad book, but having read the best the subgenre has to offer leaves me particular in my expectations. Because I have read scores of Scottish historicals, I am jaded. I am thrilled when I find something fresh. I did not find anything new in this story.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Music–Loreena McKennitt

I discovered Loreena McKennitt back in the olden days when I hung out on various writers forums. I fell in love. She has an ethereal voice. Her music is haunting. She composes many of her own pieces, and is heavily influenced by both Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. I have most of her earlier CDs. My favorite is The Book of Secrets, which has her stunning version of “The Highwayman”, a poem by Alfred Noyes.  I frequently use her “Sacred Shabbat,” an instrumental, for meditation.

I own two of her seasonal releases: “A Winter Garden” and “To Drive the Winter Cold Away”.  In a world where raucous Christmas music hits the airwaves November 1, these two CDs are islands of serenity. There are only so many versions of “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” a woman can take.

Loreena McKennitt is a good antidote to the madness of the season.

MJ’S Musing: Cat in the Car

I like to drive, but I also don’t mind being a passenger–if I can have a window seat. Being short, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in the middle of the back seat. As a cranky old lady, I now reserve the right to a window seat.

I love to observe. Sometimes I see the craziest things. Recently, my besties and I were on the interstate, heading home from a wonderfully productive long writing weekend, when I saw a car with California plates.  But that’s not what caught my eye. The cat did. She was sprawled on the dashboard of the car in all  her gray and white glory. She seemed to be basking in the sun. She was not a small cat. I was surprised the driver could see around kitty kitty.

As is the way on the interstate, we passed the car, the car passed us, and so it went for miles. Sometimes the cat was on the lap of the passenger, who was reclined all the way back in his seat. Other times, the cat was draped around the driver’s neck like a fur stole. A couple of times, the cat used the rear window ledge as her napping spot.

Of course the California Cat Car occupants and I smiled and waved to each other as we tootled down the highway.

What struck me was how comfortable the cat seemed in the car. A dog, yes. But I’ve never met a cat who took a car ride calmly. Maybe there is something to a laid-back California lifestyle.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Movies-While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, and other recognizable faces star in this rom-com.

Many people do not consider this a Christmas movie. The controversy isn’t as well-known as the Die Hard debate, but it does exist.

“Just because it takes place  between Christmas and New Year doesn’t make it a Christmas movie,” I’ve heard. That would be correct.  It’s the plot that defines the genre, and this plot is fully-loaded.

Lucy, our heroine, is alone. She gets stuck working all the holidays because she has no family. Her stated goal is she wants to see the world, but her longing is for family.  She has a crush on a commuter she each day while she works in a toll booth. When she witnesses him being mugged on Christmas Day, her life changes. Through a series of funny misunderstandings, Lucy ends up enmeshed in the lives of the commuter’s family while he’s in a coma, and falls in love.

The ending is a Christmas miracle, because Lucy gets everything she wants.