Friday, June 28, 2013

A Near Death Experience From Something Simply Resolved...If Only I'd Known

I started feeling bad on Tuesday night but I went to bed thinking it was the same old stuff...sciatica, severe lower back pain from an impinged nerve. Wednesday night I called a friend to see if she would take me to the hospital if I felt I needed to go. She said yes but I didn't call her until Wednesday morning at 10. She was there by 11 and had brought some pain medication and muscle relaxant from a previous fall. She didn't tell me she had the meds, instead she took one look at me and put me in the car and brought me to the emergency room. An hours or so later, I was being given an IV along with several kinds of drugs whose names I cannot remember. It seemed my magnesium level was dangerously low, my potassium level was 1.7, also a lethal number and had I avoided going to the hospital much longer I would have died.
What started as a simple urinary tract infection (we older gals get them more frequently as the bladder drops and don't empty completely) turned into a bladder infection, then moved into my kidneys and began to fester. This happened because the original antibiotic did not resolve the initial infection and allowed it to "move on up to the east side" if you will. I felt a lingering pressure after treatment but it went away quickly and left me no more the wiser.
So, for the want of a nail, the shoe was lost and for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the loss of a horse the battle was lost, for the loss of the battle, the kingdom was lost. The point being this: the original antibiotic was my nail and I know now with the symptoms I've read up on about low potassium, that I nearly lost my little kingdom, my life. I also know that I'd been sick for much longer than I ever imagined.
Potassium is a vital electrolyte that regulates water absorption into our cells. It's only one electrolyte chemical but it's a vital one and too  much or way too little can literally make your heart stop beating. All because I had a uti that was not resolved with antibiotics. So ladies, I tell you this...if you've been treated for a uti and you still feel a tingle or pressure after you've finished you medication, go back to your doctor and get a blood test to see if you've got a lingering infection. If you do, a simple urine culture will identify the nasty little bug so the doc can clear it up once and for all.
If you're sexually active, or an older woman who is having urinary incontinence issues because of that dropped bladder, you are at risk of the same thing happening to you. And the scary thing is, once it moved from bladder to kidney, you don't know you're sick until you spike a sudden fever after having back pain. Trickier for me because I have chronic lower back pain so it was nothing new to me.
Symptoms range from:
Dryness of skin - curse of older women
Muscle cramps - over exercising? statin medication like Lipitor?
Numbness and tingling - in my case d/t chronic back condition
Increase in urine output - just call me Polly Pissypants
Nausea - every time I turn on the news
Palpitation - just realized this was happening more frequently, even last night in the hospital
Weakness - had been more clumsy and stumbly than normal
Fatigue - yes, but that's part of not exercising or eating right and depression
Depression - mine seemed to worsen in the past few weeks
Dizziness - head rush anyone?
Low blood pressure - yeah but I'm meds to make it low
 Here's the more serious ones, which I also had:
Gastrointestinal Problem
Potassium maintains the level of fluids inside the digestive tract. When there is a lack of potassium in the body, large amounts of fluid from the food get absorbed into the intestines. As result, the intestinal contents harden up and their passage through the tract becomes difficult. This results in irregular bowel movements or constipation. Severe form of constipation often lead to abdominal cramps, bloating and lack of appetite. CHECK. I had not eaten much for days before I was admitted.

Irregular Heartbeat
As I learned, potassium sends electrical signals throughout the body. The brain controls contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the body through these signals. When this function get affected by low potassium in the body, then the heart muscles that regulate the heartbeat do not receive signals on time and fail to maintain the normal rhythm of its contraction and relaxation. In case, there is a severe deficiency of potassium, then it can lead to life-threatening condition like cardiac arrest when the heart stops beating. ALMOST CHECK The EKG they did in emergency showed I was tachy.

Muscle Damage
The effects of low potassium can be dangerous for the entire muscular system of the body. It fails to initiate a normal voluntary contraction of the muscles of the limbs during activities like standing, walking, lifting, etc. As a result, the muscles becomes so weak that the patient may find it difficult to stand or move their limbs around without any support. The skeletal muscles of the body may even suffer rupture and the condition is known as rhabdomyolysis. Serious form of untreated potassium deficiency can even lead to paralysis and the entire body becomes stiff. MISSED THIS ONE BECAUSE SOMEONE RECOGNIZED I WAS NOT THINKING CLEARLY AND GOT MY ASS TO THE HOSPITAL. I AM ALIVE BECAUSE OF THIS GOOD WOMAN FRIEND.
As women, we often put the needs of others before us. We're raised to be that way. So the medical profession often treats us as over reactive when we say something is wrong but they cant resolve the symptoms with male symptomology. Because, let's face it, ladies, if there's not a dick attached to it, it probably isn't a serious. So...BE PROACTIVE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH CUZ YOU CAN BET NO ONE ELSE WILL BE. UNLESS YOU HAPPEN TO BE GIFTED WITH THE SLIGHTLY WACKY, ALWAYS OUTRAGEOUS, AND DEEPLY CARING WOMEN IN YOUR LIVES AS I HAVE BEEN. THANK YOU VICKI AND DONNA FOR PUSHING ME TO ASK FOR HELP. THANK YOU SKYE FOR BEING THERE. THANK YOUR DITA FOR CHECKING ON THE HOUSE AND GATHERING THE SHIT I JUST CANT LIVE EVEN A WEEKEND WITHOUT. I LOVE YOU ALL AND I WILL BE YOUR KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR WHEN YOU NEED ME. I GOT YOUR BACKS.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

8 Sentence Sunday

Happy WeWriWa Sunday one and all. This next 8 takes place shortly after the last 8 sentences. Alice will learn her fate pretty soon now.

          “You will be pleased to know I’ve sent my man ahead to deliver the good news to Lord Selwyn.”
          She paled at that. So, she was not set on the marriage to Robert Selwyn. Perhaps it was just as well, for the man surely would not have her now. Not since she’d been in the hands of Welsh warriors and in the bed of Nicholas Warde. Surely, there would be hell to pay when Selwyn came to Gray Cross.
           “Do you feel up to it, my intention is to ride for Gray Cross this morn. Tis but four leagues from here.”
          “Whatever you think best,” she replied. “But I must tell you, I am not much of a horsewoman.”

And th-th-that's all folks. Now hop on over to read the other wonderful writers on the blog. You can find us

Sunday, May 19, 2013

8 Sentence Sunday...Alice's continuing adventures in the 13th century

Move ahead a bit, copied and pasted and left out the yadda yadda. She's trying to think on her feet and give him answers that can't be checked out.

Have you any idea where you were held or how you came to be in the water?”
           She looked down at her hands, twisted them in her lap. “No idea,” she insisted. “Though I believe I must have been running away. That would make sense. That somehow I slipped away and fell into the river?”
He gave her a nod. “Indeed, lady, it does make sense.”

Thanks for all your kind comments and the encouragement. I'm anticipating another 6 weeks - fingers crossed - for the first draft to be complete. Then the real work starts.

Keep on hoppin' at!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

8 Sentence Sunday

Honestly, I'm really enjoying writing this book but I'm hearing over and over again that there's not much of a market for time travel. I've given about 2 seconds thought to changing it, taking out the TT component but this thing is practically writing itself. I'd sure hate to put the hoo-doo on my mojo by changing it around when I've just figured out how this thing is going to end and how the legend of the black knight came into being. So, without further argument from the little devil on my left shoulder, I am continuing with The Black Knight of Gray Cross as it's come to me. And so, Alice's situation is becoming curiouser and curiouser...

She took a deep breath. “Alice. My name is Alice Talbot.”
His jaw dropped and he sat down heavily on the bench before the hearth. “God’s teeth, Lady Talbot, the entire country has been looking for you these many months.”
Alice shook her head, the impossibility of that statement rocking her. “I…that’s not possible. How can that be possible?”

Sunday, May 5, 2013

8 Sentence Sunday

Continuing where we left off, no secrets revealed yet but here's 8 more sentences from The Black Knight of Gray Cross:
The room was too chilly and she snuggled closer to the warmth of the large body lying next to her. With a contented sigh, she decided to give in to urge to go back to sleep. Until a thick arm curved around her and drew her closer into its embrace. Her eyes flew open and she found herself staring into a pair of blue eyes that rivaled the turquoise of the Caribbean Sea. With a shriek, she thrust away from him, moving so fast she tumbled off the end of the bed, hitting the floor with a resounding thud.

The brute sharing the bed with her offered up a lazy smile, then sat up, idly scratching his broad chest. “Good morrow, lass. Did you sleep well?”

Saturday, April 27, 2013

8 Sentence Sunday

First off, let me apologize for not posting last Sunday. My sister had back surgery and I had to help out. Not with the surgery...this is why syntax is so important...but in general. I'm happy to say she's doing better, though she's still hurting and will be for some time.

So, back to where we left off. Alice had just learned the man who rescued her is none other than Nicholas Warde, the Second Earl of Gray Cross.

“No,” she said, so softly that he could barely hear her. “It’s not possible.” Her eyes rolled back in her head and her knees gave way.

With a curse, Nicholas leaped toward her, catching her before she collapsed and fell into the fire.  What could possibly have caused her to faint at the very mention of his name. He had a good reputation, was known to be a fair man in all of his dealings, from the lowest of the low to those who thought themselves above him.
He took care of his town and the outlying dwellings, was even handed with his servants, serfs and freemen alike.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

8 Sentence Sunday

The continuing adventures of Alice and The Black Knight of Gray Cross whereby our heroine awakens to find herself centuries in the past and alone in a room with a strange man:

“Indeed, I must insist you tell me your name and explain your presence on my lands.”

Her mouth opened before she clamped it shut again, spine straightening in defiance. She glared at him for a moment.
“I asked you first.”
He laughed with delight and stood, caring not that water lapped over the edges to pool on the floor.

“Very well, wench, I shall tell you.” He stepped out of the tub, wrapping a towel around his waist. “I am Nicholas Warde, the Second Earl of Gray Cross.”

Saturday, April 6, 2013

8 Sentence Sunday and The Black Knight of Gray Cross

Welcome to the continuing adventures of Alice and the Black Knight of Gray Cross. The research involved in this wip has been fairly intense and I hope I have a clear enough understanding of the history involved to make sure it's as accurate as can be, given what's known of Welsh civil wars with England's Edward the First. In this 8 sentences, our hero and heroine meet for the first time:
“Do you know her, Nicholas?” Edmund’s horse plunged into the water and he reached out to grab the reins of his friend’s mount.

“Nay, I do not. Who would do such a thing? Why she can’t be much older than your sister, Edmund.”

Nicholas untangled the girl’s hair and bent to lift her out of the water, certain she must be dead. Until she opened her eyes. He uttered a startled shout and stumbled backward, drenching himself in the slow moving river.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Black Knight of Gray Cross

Happy Easter! This comes a few minutes past the 9 a.m. deadline but it's been a rough couple of days and I overslept. So, this continues the time travel storyline and Alice's adventures through the murder hole:

People always talked about one’s life flashing before them as they died but the images she was seeing were not her life. Could not be her life. There were men dressed in armor. Alien sounds assailed her, the clang of metal against metal, grunts, shouts of pain and anger, war cries that curdled the blood. Trumpets heralding victory. Then a man, tall and broad, dressed in black and cobalt blue. He appeared as if through a waterfall, indistinct yet no less a man. He paced the battlements of an ancient castle, sat at the head of a massive table.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Something New For Me...

A little time travel ditty I've been playing with called The Black Knight of Gray Cross:

“Adam, I’m here, round the back!”

There was thud and a cry of pain. Blast Adam and his drinking. But his head soon appeared over the edge of the murder hole.

“Alice,” he said with a surprised gasp. “You’ve fallen down a bloody hole.”
She would have laughed had the situation not been so dire but her grip slipped and suddenly she was falling, fully expecting to meet an awful death on the ancient cobbled river ramp.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Happy, Joy Joy = An Awesome Review

Woo hoo! Got a seriously awesome review from Sensual reads for my December release Almost Home, a contemporary western with a fiercely independent cowgirl and a romantic, hunky cowboy. This is my first full length novel. Didn't think I had it in me to get past the 45K point but managed to pull off 73K with this one and loved every minute of writing it.

Review: Almost Home by India Masters

All of her life Haley Kilpatrick wished that something would happen that would whisk her away from her lowlife father and lazy brother, finding out she has inherited a sizable ranch Haley has a chance of doing something just for herself. Neighbor Wyatt Brody thinks he has the best luck in the world, especially when he meets Haley, she is sassy, beautiful, and has no problem mincing words and all of that has Wyatt intrigued. Haley though has made it clear she doesn’t want a relationship, but Wyatt has a plan of subtly wooing her until she agrees. With a threat against all that Haley is looking to achieve happens, Wyatt is by her side and has no plans of leaving even if Haley puts up a fit of a fight to keep him safe.
I enjoyed this story immensely. I thought Haley was an intriguing heroine who has had a tough life and instead of letting people walk all over her has a spine and turns the tables. Wyatt is smooth and a romantic when it comes to Haley, I thought the way the author takes the time to allow the two to come together was beautiful and I couldn’t wait to read more. Excellent read.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

More from Beyond Redemption:

On the Colombian Ecuador border
Angelique cursed under her breath at the sound of small-arms fire as she tied off the last suture in the leg of the four-year-old boy lying on her exam table. The ongoing civil war and the war on drugs constantly spilled over the border as a steady stream of predators crossed from the neighboring Colombia. All were heavily armed and dangerous. They stopped at the field hospital the locals were calling Manos de Ayuda when one of them needed patching up. Angelique begrudged them every inch of 4-0 silk used to stitch their wounds.
Equally as bad were the mercenaries looking to make a profit off the backs of those less fortunate. Rough-looking men with rough behavior, which they often visited upon the women of village.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Friday Release...Yay!

The wonderful folks over at Beyond the Page Publishing have been releasing my backlist and the newest release is coming this Friday. Bound to You is a short story previously released through Cobblestone Press a couple of years ago, where it lingered in relative obscurity. Beyond the Page did an amazing cover for the book, which is the opening release of their new line, Secret Wishes. They're accepting submissions for the line...any length from 7-10k shorts through full length novels. It's all about fantasy fulfillment with the focus on the romance aspect. Here's a little teaser and the very elegant cover art.

“My coffee!” Hot coffee splattered on my sneakered feet.
“Coffee’s the least of your problems, princess.” The man’s voice rasped close to my ear as a strong arm banded my waist, yanking me off my feet. I was pulled into a nondescript cargo van. The door slid shut, and the vehicle sped away.
Ohshit, ohshit!
What did they say on that freaking episode of Oprah? Never let them take you to a secondary scene.


Saturday, March 9, 2013


Going backward to the very first 8 sentences of Beyond Redemption:

Paris, 2009

Janjaweed! They come!
Angelique Vernet bolted upright, looking wildly around the room, a scream lodged in her throat. “Fuck.” She muttered the curse as softly as possible so as not to wake her companion. Whoever he was. Arnaud something or other. She could never remember their names. He was just another in a line of pretty French boys meant to distract her from the nightmares.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Curioser and Curisor

So I checked novel rank this morning and my back list, re-released through Beyond the Page Publishing, is outselling my most current releases with Loose Id and Ellora's Cave. I find this odd, to be perfectly honest. Is it simply a price point issue or has my voice changed so much over time that I'm no longer reaching my audience. One of my author friends and I have been pondering what all this means and we've come to no conclusions whatsoever. Curiouser and Curiouser. But hey, here's the cover for Bound By You, the first in a new series open to submissions at Beyond the Page. Their cover art is AMAZING! If I'm lyin' I'm dyin'.

Am I right? Didn't I tell you? It's just...elegant is the only word I can think of to describe this girl's work. This one sells for 99 cents thru Beyond the Page.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Buy A Shotgun...Hilarity Abounds

Someone posted this on Facebook and I thought it was hysterical.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Yeah, yeah, it's 46 degrees and that's not cold to most folks who live up north. Hell, I spent 14 years in Ohio and when it was 46 in February, we were running around in jeans and long sleeved tee shirts. Down here, when it's in the 40's, we crank up the fireplaces and shiver. Freakin brrrrr....

Friday, March 1, 2013


With each step he took toward her, she took a step back. “You bet I did. I just killed a man to make sure you’re safe and made sure every man out there knows who you and your little friend belong to.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “I do not belong to you.”

He grinned, white teeth flashing in his tanned face. “Oh, you most certainly do, Angel, and people will expect me to take full advantage of that fact. Which I’ll be doing as frequently as I can.”
She curled her lip in disgust.

Working for an NGO in a war torn country is a dangerous occupation. All physician Angelique Vernet wants after a long day of saving lives and avoiding getting killed is a cold glass of Grey Goose vodka and a hot man in her bed. She gets both from Mitch Acosta, a hot-blooded Special Forces soldier who's always there in the nick of time, in her bed or on the battlefield.

But Acosta wants more from Angelique than she's willing to give. He'd rather she come to him peacefully but he's not above taking what he wants. In a battle of wills that takes them from Africa to South America, two strong-willed people will fight for one another until the bitter end.

Beyond the Page

So, I've been working with the amazing folks at Beyond the Page Publishing and I have to say I'm really enjoying it. BtP works with published authors to get their back list work out on the market again. So far, they have 3 of my back list books, two of which are already for sale with the various vendors, and one is pending release after the final cover art choice made. And I have to tell you, the woman doing the cover art is freaking AMAZING.

I wrote Nothing Left to Lose in 6 weeks while I was in the middle of my master's program. It was just one of those books that pretty much wrote itself...which was lucky because graduate school ain't no joke. It's the story of a young woman who plays a key role in an interstellar rebellion against a cruel tyrant. In order to insure the rebellion's success, she rescues the hero from a prison colony where he's awaiting execution by crucifixion. This is the first book in the Darkshadow series, the goal of which is to create a space opera using the main characters in the books...ala Firefly. I think it promises to be fun.

Forbidden Passions is set in the back country of Yellowstone National Park. It was originally titled Yellowstone Wild and was one of my best sellers. It's the story of a high school photography geek turned famous photographer, who works for an upscale travel magazine and is assigned to photograph the park, requiring her to return to the one place she's vowed never to return to...home. The heroes are twin brothers who tormented her in high school, fearful that she'd find out their shameful secret. Feeling guilty about the way they treated her, they vie for the job of taking her into the back country. Along with the majesty of the scenery, all three will discover that love can fill your heart with just as much beauty as a clear mountain lake.
I'm thrilled to be working with Beyond the Page Publishing to bring my back list stories to a new audience. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
And keep your eyes open for a new back list release that most will never have read. It's the first in a series of books and short stories based on the theme of Secret Wishes. These stories will be hot, erotic stories with a focus on BDSM romances and BtP has agreed to open the series to submissions to the public, so look for the guidelines that will be coming soon and come play with us! And I'll be uploading the cover as soon as the final decision has been made. I gotta tell ya, these covers are SEXY.
I'm off to write now. Blogging may be fun, but it doesn't feed the muse.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Today I Was A Lunatic

It's official. Today I was a lunatic and I blame it all on Yahoo. I woke to find my account locked. I don't know why but I did the whole password change thing and tried to log back in. Was my attempt successful? In the words of the late great John Belushi... Nooooo! (I said the same thing to my ex husband about 26 years ago but that's another story). I'm locked out and I have contracts stored in my email folders. I have advertising/promo stuff stored in email folders. Am I happy? Noooo...I upgraded to Messenger 11 and created a new account. Did my old information follow me like it's supposed to? Noooo...

Now, I'm normally a pretty laid back person. Not much rattles me but technology will get me going EVERY SINGLE TIME. Anyone see how blue the air got in one spot of Central Florida? That would have been me, dragging out every curse word in my vocabulary and a few really foul ones that I made up on the spur of the moment. You'd think I'd learn but again...Noooo...

I did manage to find a customer service 800 number for Yahoo - after I tried the help page. Can I just tell you now...don't bother with the help page if you're technologically impaired. It's an exercise in frustration and you'll be begging your friends for Xanax quicker than you can say...well, you don't wanna know what I was saying. So, the quest goes on and after being on hold for a while - because they were experiencing an unusually high call volume today (imagine that) a nice tech person found my old account and promised to email me with a reset password in about 10 minutes. Forty-five minutes later I'm on the phone with tech support again because, you guessed it, that slippery little email never arrived. After another period on hold, at which time I was able to wash the dishes and throw a load of laundry in the dryer, the second tech was able to help me. I guess the first tech, bless her heart, didn't get around to actually pressing send. And if you're a southern woman, you know what "bless her heart" really means.

So here I am, with my technologically impaired self, hoping I have done this right. It was a little iffy at first because I couldn't figure out why this thing didn't generate my blog. Uh, it's because I didn't type in a blogger address before I tried to pick a template. Read directions much, India? Apparently, I have just enough testosterone in my system to render me incapable of looking at the directions before I try to do something I have no clue how to do.

And here it is, my first's been one of those days. You know the a hellish nightmare with a hair stuck to it. But it's past midnight and I didn't murder anybody, so it turned out okay.