Never Break the Heart of Jaguar Princess
Book 3 in The Jaguar Princess Rules YA series is out now! Juli hasn’t been this happy in a long time. She’s dating the guy of her dreams and he’s teaching her to embrace her jaguar side. She’s making more friends than she’s ever had before. But not everything is perfect, and she can’t blame her latest problems on the Track Pack. Actually, those bullies are suffering too—and it might be Juli’s fault. And when her heart is broken…well, things are going to get a lot rougher for everyone involved. http://tinyurl.com/kakjtzx
Never Ambush a Jaguar Princess
The sequel is out! Ambushing a jaguar princess is no easy task. But one—or more—shapeshifters in Onca Lake seems willing to take it on. Will Juli survive? If she does, paybacks could prove permanent…even deadly. Never Ambush a Jaguar Princess (2nd book in the YA series The Jaguar Princess Rules by T. Lynn Odom). http://tinyurl.com/nq6uelw
Never Pick on a Jaguar Princess
Strange freckles, swiftly growing fingernails, frightening dreams that come true…fifteen year-old Juli Perry has bigger problems than the four girls who’ve set out to make her life miserable. She’s just learned she’s a shapeshifter—and not any old shapeshifter. She’s a jaguar princess. What that means, she isn’t sure. But even before Juli knows what she is, she and the Track Pack discover that picking on her can be dangerous…possibly even deadly.
I published this under my maiden name - T. Lynn Odom - and it's for young adult in Kindle only! Get it today at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EMJYURE
Suspense, action and romance...
Sorrow’s Point, Texas is under attack. Robberies, drug trafficking, a suspicious fire…for local cop Joshua Dawson, the only thing missing in this assault on his coastal hometown is a hurricane. But it is September—the month for vicious storms—so he’s not betting against one.
Ronnie Clarke never broke a law in her life…until the day she kidnapped two month-old Danny. But it was the only way to save the baby from the nut-case cult that wants to sell him to the head of a Mexican drug cartel. So she hides with him in quiet little Sorrow's Point.
But Sorrow's Point isn't as quiet as she hoped. The bad guys are closing in. Joshua Dawson is asking too many questions about her and Danny…personal questions that she would love to answer. But he’s a cop and she’s a kidnapper. So, to protect Danny from the evil pursuing him, she must withhold the truth from this man who insists on always doing the right thing. Joshua, however, is determined to uncover her secrets.
Murderous drug runners, a wildfire in the Texas desert and the President's runaway daughter…Game Warden Shannon Walker didn't sign up for any of this. Add a sexy Secret Service Agent, unexpected betrayal and a desperate escape into the desert, and the border becomes hotter than Shannon can handle.
Ebook available at:
Wait Until Moonrise -- the book of my heart -- is in now live at http://www.amazon.com/Wait-Until-Moonrise-ebook/dp/B0085XSO3O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338047060&sr=8-1#_
It's available only in ebook on Amazon right now so that Amazon Prime members can borrow it.
Unseen. Unheard. Untouched. Welshman Nicholas Pierce is cursed to endure a lonely eternity surrounded by the living residents of Beaumarith Castle. But two hundred-plus years into his hellish existence, Bria Leighton arrives…and she can see him! Can he convince her that he’s real—not a ghost—and that she is the one true love who can save him…before the sorceress who cursed him destroys Bria, too?
This paranormal romance won the 2003 Emily Award for best paranormal romance, and it has placed on other writing contests too. It's a special book that I hope you'll read and enjoy...happy reading!
romantic suspense, romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, western romance, sexy, sensual, young adult, Teri Thackston, T. Lynn Odom, T.Lynn Odom, TLynn Odom, Texas, New York, Teton, Kindle, Nook, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ellora's Cave, Blush, Cerridwen Press, Onca Lake, shapeshifter, shapeshifters, shape shifter, shape shifters
There's been much hoopla recently about the Confederate flag (actually the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia). It is a symbol of racism on one hand, of freedom on the other. Some are repulsed by it, others inspired. Some believe it should be removed from public view, others believe it is a symbol of free-speech. To be honest, most people don't actually care one way or the other. And those are the dangerous people—but that’s another topic for another day.
I am at least a fourth-generation Texan but I have ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil War. To my knowledge, none of my ancestors owned plantations or slaves--I pray they didn't. For me the Confederate flag has never been about white supremacy but about pride of heritage. Not a heritage of slavery but a heritage of courage and independence just as the American flag is.
Should the Confederate flag be removed from the State House in South Carolina? That's for the people of South Carolina to decide. It is not a decision for anyone in the Federal Government to make. And isn’t that the real gist of the issue? How much say the Federal Government should have over what happens within the borders of each State is what sparked the Civil War in the first place. Yes, the issue at the time was the right of States to continue slavery, a heinous institution that I'm proud to say we ended. But the over-arching battle for State sovereignty continues today.
Let's be clear on one thing: the United States of America came into being as a group of separate Colonies that were intended to remain autonomous States (yes, with a capital ‘S’). If you didn't like what was happening in one State, you could vote with your feet and move to a place that better suited your beliefs...well, if you were white. Blacks didn't have that right, and a lot of blood was shed on both sides in order to give them that right and many other rights. So in the end, the Civil War was a good thing and it ended in the way that it should have ended.
But everyone must remember that the men and women who fought and bled and died on both sides were Americans. Most of the Southerners who fought for the Confederacy did not own slaves. Most of them weren't fighting to support plantation owners. Most of them were fighting because their homes were physically under attack. And many of them became local heroes in places where their great-grandchildren still live. I guess my point in this writing is to ask that we respect each other's history, that we remember it.
Six flags flew over Texas during its glorious history. One was the Confederate flag. Should we yank it down? How do we explain that empty flagpole to new generations? Where is the history? One thing I know is that burying history is never a good idea.
But more than just a flag is at stake. A statue of Jefferson Davis might be removed from the University of Texas grounds because it offends some people. Some folks in Maryland are demanding that a statue of Robert E. Lee be removed. What about all the other statues of Southern heroes that populate the South—statues of men who gave their all with courage and a sense of self-sacrifice? If we take them down, if we remove our history and our heritage from sight, we are opening a door that could lead to places we don't want to go. Will we eventually have to remove every cross from every church to avoid offending Muslims or atheists? Will the Alamo become an offensive symbol to our growing population of Mexican-Americans?
Just because a person is offended by something doesn't make that thing offensive. Some people see the Confederate flag as a symbol of freedom, as a reminder of the courage of an ancestor who fought for what he believed in, as a sign of individualism and a willingness to sacrifice everything.
Maybe it is time to retire the Confederate flag. I’m torn on the issue. But in the end, the flag is what you see in it. If it offends you, speak your mind but don't be surprised when someone who isn't offended speaks his or her mind, too. And really, we should all be speaking but without yelling at or insulting each other. Respect each others' opinion. Respect each others' heritage. Discuss--don't rant and accuse. Listen--don't assume that everyone else feels as you do. Get along. Have some respect.
The rights of the States have been eroded over the years, beginning with the Civil War and carrying through each decade since that time. The change in the way we elect Senators exacerbated the issue. And from the looks of things, the rights of the States to determine how they will operate is still under attack.
But all that voting with the feet resulted in an intermingling of huge chunks of the population. And instead of assimilating into the local culture, movements began to change those local cultures. It’s happened state by state (lower-case ‘s’ nowadays), and it’s happening to the country as a whole. Do we want to become some boring homogeneous country where the only things that are different are the landscapes?
Procrastination can become a way of life. Stop putting things off. Pick the thing you least want to do and just get it done. The weight that comes off your shoulders will be such a relief that you will feel the urge to do other things. Organize that cluttered corner in your garage and you may find yourself cleaning out the whole space. That big report that’s sitting in your to-do queue? Draft it. Getting part of it done may spur you to finish it. That new book that just won’t gel in your mind…pick one element such as a character name or a setting and write it down. Words will start to flow.
Today I wrote this blog. What will you do tomorrow?
Do you ever feel an urge to do a specific thing even though logic and past experience tell you it might not be smart? But you follow the urge and do the thing anyway?
Well, I saw a guy doing patch work on my next-door neighbor’s driveway yesterday, and I thought it would be nice if he came over and gave me an estimate on fixing a bad spot in our concrete. Sure enough, about noon, he knocked on the door and started giving me his sales pitch. Now, I don’t usually answer the door to anyone I don’t know. But my adult children were home, so I felt safe enough. Besides, I’d put it out there in the ether, hadn’t I?
He was a real talkative guy, looked non-threatening (hey, I live in the big city), and he seemed to know what he was talking about. He offered to fix a buckled spot in our driveway for $250.00, then talked himself down to $200.00. Hey, I thought his first offer was a good deal but he didn’t give me a chance to accept it.
Here’s where logic and past experience reared their heads. He asked me for sixty bucks to buy the concrete, then he’d return in a couple of hours to do the job. He wanted to grab lunch and wash his truck before the concrete dust from the previous job did any damage. I hesitated to hand over cash to this guy I didn’t know, but he kept talking and before long I knew a good part of his life’s story—which was very interesting and certainly made me feel better about mine.
He seemed honest, I needed the driveway fixed, his story was entertaining, and that price was a good one—provided he wasn’t a fast talker who really planned to skip out with my sixty bucks. I felt that urge to trust him—and hubby was working so he wasn’t around to talk me out of it. So I handed over the cash. Regret began to seep in as his old truck disappeared around the corner, and I found myself watching for his return for the next couple of hours. Had I been taken by one of those gypsy repairmen? I knew he’d done actual work next door, but that patch job was nowhere near as big as mine, and I figured the one-hundred degree temperature of the afternoon was enough to convince anyone to take the sixty bucks and run.
But something kept telling me I’d done the right thing…that even if the guy was a con man, his old truck told me that he needed the sixty bucks more than I did. Not that we have money to spare—we might even be late with our next credit card payment for the first time in years—but I try to look for that silver lining whenever I can. And if being ripped off for sixty bucks was the price to pay to help someone who really needed it (yes, I know he could have just been a criminal), then so be it.
Well, I won’t lie. I was relieved when his old truck backed into my driveway and he got right to work without even knocking on the door. As soon as my son told me the guy was here, I went outside to greet him. His truck bed was full of bags of concrete and he was already breaking up the old buckled driveway. We chatted a minute then I let him get to work. Two hours later, he was done. Thirty minutes after that—yes, he had more stories to tell—I handed him the $140.00 I owed him, plus another fifty. (I’d begun to suspect he was living in his truck with his pet cat.) He hugged me, blessed me, told a few more stories, then promised to come back this morning to haul off the old chunks of concrete (the dump had closed by then).
By mid-morning today, I thought he’d changed his mind about coming back to haul off the old concrete chunks. So hubby and number-one son used some of the big chunks to make a path in part of our front yard, while I used some of the smaller ones to ring the gardenia shrub. Before we finished, the concrete guy showed up. He thanked us for leaving him with so few chunks to haul away, loaded his truck and then swept the driveway pretty clean—telling stories all the while. This time, hubby enjoyed the entertainment, too. And the concrete guy gave us some tips on how to repair some of the other cracks in the driveway on the cheap. He even quoted us a great price to do it for us and left us his number in case we decide to use him again. We also learned that he was living in his truck most nights but he used the extra fifty I gave him yesterday to get an air conditioned motel room for him and his cat. I felt good, hubby felt good…so did the concrete guy and his cat. And my driveway was fixed.
Moral of the story—trust that little urge that goes against logic and experience now and then. It might be right on, and you might just feel a little better about the world and the people in it.
Are Romance Novels Getting Sexier?
I read an article*** today which suggested that due to the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, romance novels will most likely become sexier. Now I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey, so I can’t address its level of sexiness. But I have read A LOT of romance novels, and I can tell you that there have been some pretty sexy books out there for a long time. Maybe the term ‘sexy’ has different definitions for different readers.
My own books run the gamut of semi-sweet—meaning no overt sexual scenes (Onslaught)—to what I consider pretty sexy (To the Rescue). My good friend Christie Craig writes pretty hot humorous romantic suspense (see her Divorced, Desperate and Delicious series) while other romance novelists push that sexy envelope even further. Even as far back as the nineteen-eighties, you could find romance novels that contained fairly explicit love scenes—although most were written in flowery prose.
It’s funny really to read that one book is prompting some kind of writing revolution now when romance novels have been pigeon-holed as ‘porn for housewives’ for decades. Romance novels at their most basic are about love. Some stories need to include sexual content in order to support the plot and characters, while other stories do not. What each writer prefers to write—and each reader prefers to read—is a matter of personal taste. How about you? What level of sexiness do you prefer when reading any novel? Keep in mind that even non-romance novels such as mystery, fantasy, and science fiction can contain elements of romance even if they aren’t shelved in that section of the book store.
A Banana Popsicle Day
On this day of another historic blizzard in the northeast, I feel doubly-blessed to live in SE Texas. Now summers can be brutal here but you can’t beat our weather from November through April. Today, as the dogs laze on sun-warmed grass, a breeze drifts through the 66 degree air and I spend a few minutes trimming the invasive wild ivy that died in December before it begins to sprout buds again—which the sweet gum trees are already doing—I remember a similar day when I was about seven years old.
Crepe myrtles bloomed in various colors along the sidewalks of my neighborhood. The breeze blew through our small town, carrying scents of surrounding farmland with it. My sisters and I used to buy popsicles from the ice cream man who cruised down our street every pretty day. My favorite was the banana flavored. (I’ll wager that back then the banana flavoring wasn’t artificial.) Those popsicles were sweet and cold and left me with delightfully sticky fingers, as well as enough sugary fuel to get me through the afternoon.
Today the scent of the breeze promises wildflowers soon, to be watered by the rain that’s headed our way over the weekend. But for now the sun is shining bright and the weeds are calling my name, but I’m headed for the freezer to see if there are any banana popsicles lurking behind packages of frozen broccoli and chicken chunks.
Stay warm and safe, everyone in the northeast. If you can manage it, close your eyes for a moment and imagine a warm breeze. Before you know it, this blizzard will be in the history books and you’ll be on your way to your own beautiful spring and summer. Come the end of April when the heat builds and humidity rises in SE Texas, I’ll be envying you.
My most vivid memory of Halloween comes from my middle childhood time in Alief, Texas – before the quiet rural community became the busy International District of Houston that it is today. Back then, Alief was small and surrounded by farmland and prairie, but the school district was already becoming recognized as one of the best in the state. Country kids, small town grade schoolers and suburban transplants…we all loved our neighborhood, and we made the most of Halloween.
That year I remember the night seemed extra dark, and a chill wind tiptoed in from the north. I went trick-or-treating with my sisters, Dad walking along the sidewalk with us, cigarette in hand, chatting with other fathers he met along the way. He would wait in patient amusement as his four girls tentatively approached each eerily decorated house—only the ones with the porch lights on, of course.
One house that I particularly remembered was what we called a Spanish style ranch house that had the front door on the side of the house, inside a long courtyard that was surrounded by a high brick wall. An iron gate stood open into the courtyard and the porch light blazed. But something about that brick wall made all four of us hesitate. Would Dad be able to see us through the gate opening? The door was farther away than the doors on any other houses—could Dad reach us in time if someone inside grabbed one of us? Not that that ever happened, right?
As the oldest, I held the hand of my youngest sister, and walked hesitantly through the gate and up the walkway toward the door. My heart pounded and I felt my littlest sister’s hand grow damp. Or was that my hand? My other two sisters huddled close behind me, both of them gripping the skirt of my gypsy costume. “Let’s go back,” one of them whispered. I glanced over my shoulder. Yep, I could still see Dad standing on the sidewalk. He lifted one hand in a “go on” gesture.
Facing forward again, I led my sisters onward. I knocked on the door and all four of us weakly called out, “Trick-or-treat!” My heart pounded harder as we waited for that door to open, not knowing what might leap out at us…or if we would be faced with a dark empty opening with who-knew-what lurking in the shadows. Never go inside.
All three of my sisters pressed up against me, pushing me off-balance. The door fell open. For an instant, only darkness then…brilliant light flashed and a nice looking lady with “Mom” written all over her offered us a bowl of candy. Relieved, we dived in, called out our thank-yous and ran back to Dad.
Other children ran everywhere through the dark streets, squealing and laughing, each one dressed in some elaborate homemade costume or a store-bought one complete with a plastic mask. Plastic pumpkin buckets or grocery sacks adorned with construction paper black cats in hand, we all hurried on about our important business of gathering Tootsie-Rolls, fruit-colored suckers and Kool-Aid Straws for the coming winter months. Believe me, we got enough such loot to last for months. More import than the candy, though, were the memories. Happy Halloween!
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