Thursday, December 8, 2016

BUT FOR THE LOVE OF CAMELS

                        A TRUE HOLIDAY TALE              

               My dog Max could have worked for Santa Claus. He had a pair of fuzzy antlers with jingle bells, loved Christmas, and adored people. Max would drool at the sight of us decorating the tree. We loved fresh trees and so did he. He never had an accident; never confused it with being outside, but always perused the branches for any soft ornaments he could grab. 
              Once the tree was decorated and the tree skirt in place, he would lay under the lights and take a nap. That's great for a toy breed, but Max was a seventy pound Humane Society special. He was so cute I didn't stop him.  
           Max loved to get presents and opened his own gifts but he wouldn't stop there. If you had a present on your lap, you were in danger of having the wrapping shredded and ribbon pulled. We loved him, so we let him have fun. We had fun just watching him. Seeing a trend here?
            When he was one, he and a good friend named Ron stayed home while my husband and I went into work for a few hours. Ron was a carpenter who did many projects for us. He was crazy about Max so I left thinking "What could possibly go wrong?"
           I came home first. Ron had already left. Once inside the house, I went over to check the tree for water. I placed a low table next to the tree to display my mother's nativity scene. The manger setting was old; it came from Italy and she received it from her mother. The figures were in paper- mache and hand painted. Of course some of the paint had come off the faces, but I treasured it nonetheless. When I glanced down at the nativity, something was missing. I did a quick mental inventory. Two camels, original to the set, weren't there. How could that be? I looked on the floor. I found bits and pieces of the dark brown substance used for the camels all around the table.
           Ron, I thought."That Ron must have knocked them over. How could he? Those belonged to my Mom and my grandmother." I was so upset, I picked up the phone and called him. Did I ever give him an earful?  I remember yelling into the phone..."How could you do that? You weren't even working near the tree. You know how much I treasured that set. That was my mother's." I was in tears, but Ron was patient and didn't respond in kind. He asked one leading question. "Have you seen Maxwell?"
            "Max. No. He's nowhere to be found." I picked up a large piece of the broken camel and tiptoed into the bedroom. There he was hiding or trying to hide on my husband's side of the bed. He only hid like this when he knew he did something wrong.               I held what was left of one of my treasured camels and called out to him."Max, did you do this?" He put his head in his paws and rubbed his eyes. Yep. Mystery solved. He must have tried to get them, but luckily knocked them over in the process.
         Of course I was upset about my mother's camels, but I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose. He probably was looking for a new toy (he loved to play) and I left the low hanging fruit. My fault. I sat on the bed and called him over. I showed him the piece again and said"bad." He understood; but I said 'bad" because he could have ingested the substance or choked and I could have found him in a very different condition. Max was more important than any camel or decoration. He was my "furry ball of love" as my neighbors described him. I called him over and hugged and kissed him content he was safe and okay.  
             Besides, Christmas was two days away and I knew he'd be in good enough shape to hide under the dining room table poised at my friend Jim's seat. Max loved Jim and Jim was a soft touch. "No people food" would be my mantra, but somehow I know Max got a taste of turkey or a bit of sweet potato from Jim. If I could wish upon a star, I would wish they both could be with us at dinner this year, that I could remind them of the "rules",but they both have passed on. I lost Max last June at 14 1/2 and Jim a few years ago. 
          As I decorate and plan for the holiday, of course I think of my furry elf and how much fun we had. I miss him more than ever, but I have many cherished memories of his love, his mischief, and our
fun I'll always treasure. 
          Remember. Cherish your loved ones. Tell them how much you care and how important they are to you. Your time together is as "fragile "as my camels. Don't let anything or anyone  make you forget that. 
      
               I wish you all the happiest of holidays and best wishes for 2017.

                         Mariah Lynne
                   ROMANCE THAT TRANSCENDS TIME
         Please watch my SHADOWS ACROSS TIME VIDEO on www.MariahLynne.com                  

    Please watch my SHADOWS ACROSS TIME video on www.MariahLynne.com

Thursday, December 1, 2016

KANDY KANE


WELCOME TO THE HIGHWAY CAFE BLOG TOUR -              Dec. 5th, 6th and 7th

Holiday Greeting,
Merry Christmas. Hope all your wishes come true. I know first hand Santa’s waiting to make that happen. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kandy Kane and I’m an elf in Santa’s North Pole workshop. I know what you’re thinking a girl elf? Well we do exist and even work harder than the boys.
My job is a dream making all the candy for your stockings…chocolates…mints…canes…jelly rings…yum.  Of course I have the help of twenty other girls. We love our work, maybe a little too much, because we have to watch our waistlines and stop tasting our treats.
When we work, we all love to listen to Jingle Bell Rock. It’s happy, lively, and its peppy pace makes us sing while we dip the cherries in chocolate or pour chocolate into Santa molds.
 I make candy canes. Just by my name, I bet you guessed that’s my specialty but my favorite snack is Christmas sugar cookies and hot chocolate. They add just the right amount of variety to my diet. I'm very sweet. 
I've made a lot of friends here. I'm a secret Santa this year for my buddy Pinky. That's Dr. Pinky Twinkleton, Santa's vet. She watches out for all the animals at the North Pole, but keeps an extra watchful eye on Santa's reindeer especially this time of year. I made some delicious candy apples for her and put apples on carrot sticks for all of Santa's team. After Christmas, Pinky takes Santa's reindeer team to Alaska for a vacation to rest from their all night ride and refresh themselves at The Reindeer Spa.


Holiday recipe.  EASY BUT DELICIOUS MANDARIN ORANGE CUPCAKES
HOLIDAY RECIPE  

Since I make candy from scratch all year, I like really simple recipes. All you need is:
1 box white cake mix
Add ingredients listed on box (egg whites, butter, etc.
1 can mandarin oranges in juice –add for liquid instead of milk or water
Stir with mixer until ingredients are thoroughly mixed
Pour into cupcake trays and bake at 350 degrees
Frost with vanilla frosting   



While you munch on one of my cupcakes, I’d like to introduce you to Mariah Lynne’s newest book:
SHADOWS ACROSS TIME

Imagine being kidnapped and transported back in time to a 16th century French castle.
Danielle deForet, a beautiful rare antiques dealer, is tricked into completing an appraisal on a rare French piece, when to her surprise its owner casts a spell sending them both back to 1559. Danielle learns she is the crucial link for a royal spell and finds herself guarded by a handsome knight, Aidan. They soon fall in love, and he plans a risky escape.
Georgina, once a seer, now a mannequin in Danielle’s shop, was turned to wood by that same wizard. Her body stilled, her mind sharp, she is the lovers’ only hope to escape. If she intervenes, and the wizard finds out, he will stop at nothing to make his spell succeed, even if it means destroying Georgina, Danielle, and Aidan.

Tagline: How far would you go for love?


BUY LINKhttps://www.MariahLynne.com


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

HOW A WIZARD CHANGED MY LIFE .......Danielle deForet

Meet Danielle de Foret of SHADOWS ACROSS TIME

Moderator: Danielle I have many questions for you. You are a most interesting woman. First of all, where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood?


Thank you for this interview. My name is Danielle deForet. I never thought love would come my way again after my fiancé, Josh, died serving his country. My heart was filled with uncontrollable grief; in order to cope, I buried myself in my work.
I was born and raised in Naples Florida. My father died when I was young. My mother became the main breadwinner and opened a small antique shop one block from the trendy shopping and eating area of Fifth Avenue.
My father gone, my mother and grandmother became my rocks doting on me while giving me love, confidence, and all the attention they could.

Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing?

When I was twelve, my Grandma gave me a most beautiful doll house, a replica of Chenonceau Castle in the Loire Valley of France. It’s one of the most romantic castles in Europe with a river running beneath it. She told me on many an occasion that our ancestors were from that castle and we were of royal lineage. As a child, even as an adult, I found this hard to assimilate, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I listened to all her stories.
     When Mom retired she gave me her shop. I was an art-history major in college and jumped on her offer. I was twenty –eight and wanted to expand her inventory to more pricey, rare, and historical antiques. I moved the store to Fifth Avenue and my clientele grew to include very wealthy patrons.

What's going on in your life right now?


Everything was beyond wonderful until that day when a very peculiar customer came into my store.

He was dressed oddly and had a very rare and old piece for me to appraise. It was summer and business had slowed down. I was greedy anxious to oblige.
As I completed my appraisal, its owner, a wizard, cast a spell whisking us both back to 1559 and the home of my ancestors, Chenonceau Castle.
I was kept a prisoner, a royal prisoner, the wizard indicating I was a princess. What kind of princess is kept under lock and key? What does this horrible man want from me?


Is there someone special in your life?

How did you meet?


It’s during this awful time that I met the love of my life, a handsome knight in the service of his queen. His name was Aidan and he was stationed as my guard from the first moment I arrived. He was brave with piercing eyes that held me captive. The only time we met occurred when he delivered my meals or was sent to deliver messages. We made the most of our time together and fell in love even though we were from different times and places.
We both knew we wanted to stay together for the rest of our lives planning to leave the castle together in a risky escape. I would have gambled everything I had to be with him. He would have done the same for me including risking death if he was caught helping a royal prisoner escape.
     We had assistance from those outside the castle grounds but would their help be enough?
Georgina one of my most unique purchases was a mannequin dressed like a gypsy. Unbeknownst to me, she had been turned to wood by that same wizard hundreds of years before. Her body stiff: her mind and powers sharp, she pledged to do anything to help us, but warned us if she failed, the wizard would destroy all three of us.


AUTHOR BIO

Ever dream of traveling through time? Mariah Lynne does. She writes stories that take her readers along on exciting journeys. Travel to distant times and beautiful places with strong willed independent heroines whose memorable tales will entertain with twisted plots that dabble in the paranormal. SHADOWS ACROSS TIME fits that description to a T as do her previous works THE LOVE GYPSY and THE DUCHESS’NECKLACE.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah lives on a beautiful Florida Gulf Coast island. Before writing fiction, she wrote weekly entertainment columns for two island newspapers. Because she adores where she lives, Southwest Florida takes center stage in her stories.


She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Southwest Florida Romance Writers who recently published an anthology: “From Florida With Love: Sunsets and Happy Endings.” Mariah’s short story “Love At First Flight” is included. Her cozy mystery Claws For Justice was published in a mystery anthology featuring cats “Nine Deadly Lives”. “The Kaine Mutiny”, a fun look at matchmaking is included in Sunrise and Stormy Skies out now in print and e-book. summer. THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE is scheduled to be released in print and e-book in early 2017.
When she is not writing, Mariah enjoys swimming, travelling, and spending time with her husband and dolphin hunting dog, Max. To learn more about Mariah visit her at:

Twitter:@mariahlynne1
E-mail:mariahlynneauthor@yahoo.com
Follow me on facebook:
 https://www.facebook.com/pages/MariahLynne/295721153858612


BLURB:
 Imagine being kidnapped and transported back in time to a 16th century French castle.
Danielle deForet, a beautiful rare antiques dealer, is tricked into completing an appraisal on a rare French piece, when to her surprise its owner casts a spell sending them both back to 1559. Danielle learns she is the crucial link for a royal spell and finds herself guarded by a handsome knight, Aidan. They soon fall in love, and he plans a risky escape.
Georgina, once a seer, now a mannequin in Danielle’s shop, was turned to wood by that same wizard. Her body stilled, her mind sharp, she is the lovers’ only hope to escape. If she intervenes, and the wizard finds out, he will stop at nothing to make his spell succeed, even if it means destroying Georgina, Danielle, and Aidan.

EXCERPT:
 Aidan looked deep into my eyes. “You are unlike any woman I have ever met. I loved your strength and beauty the first day I lay eyes on you. Every time we meet, those feelings intensify. I no longer care about my fate—only of being with you.”
His gaze said it all. I leaned in and gently kissed him again. This time he was eager to return my advances. Our lips locked in a long passionate kiss. He deepened the kiss before moving his lips down my neck.
Aidan took a sudden step back. “This is quite improper. Forgive me your highness. I must come to my senses. You are of royal blood while I a commoner.”
I took his hand and squeezed it. “Aidan, Alasdair kidnapped me. I am as common as you.”
He listened, surprised at my comment. “How can that be? He says you are a future queen.”
I held his other hand wrapping his arm around my waist. “Trust me. I am telling you the truth. Please, I need to feel your strong arms around me for comfort.”
When he held me again, I melted in his arms. His muscular hands were gentle as they caressed my body. He kissed me, devouring my lips in his. For some reason, I felt the urge to show him my true feelings. I was scared not as I was of Alasdair, but afraid of being abandoned by love again. I haven’t been able to open my heart completely to a man since I lost Josh. Aidan’s feelings were as shaky as mine because he pushed me away again even though his eyes were filled with desire.
“I apologize for my boldness, Danielle. I mean no disrespect. I loved you the first day in Alasdair’s workshop. I admired how brave you were to stand up to that powerful wizard. You looked beautiful. Your golden hair glistened in the filtered sunlight coming through the small window. I knew my feelings would be considered treasonous, but not knowing how much time we will share together, I want to show you how I feel with every beat of my heart.”
His eyes glazed over with passion. I believed that with every beat of mine, he would risk everything to save me. I had fought falling in love for years, fearing I would be left with a broken heart again. However, for some reason I couldn’t explain, I wanted to hold him close to me.

Love at first sight? I don’t know what happened to me, but my feelings were too strong to ignore. Deciding to give love a chance, I leaned in kissing his nose before moving my kisses down to his lips again.

Sunday, February 14, 2016



                 FEBRUARY IS FOR LOVERS 


             Love is in the air. Valentines, flowers, and heart shaped candy. It's a new year, a new beginning, and a renewed recognition of what's most important to us. As my wise mother always told me; health and love.
            I am lucky to have a loving and caring husband, and a fourteen year old dog named Max who that many years ago was my Valentine gift. Both surround my world with humor, encouragement, and loads of love.                
      I took Max out for his walk this morning and he met up with the gorgeous Golden Girls, two sister Golden Doodles who are infatuated with him. One came close and gave him a lick.
The other waited patiently for her turn. Of course, he loved it.
His tail wagged a mile a minute.
      Max and the Golden Girls prove that we don't have to be carbon copies to fall in love. My father was an immigrant and my mother born here. Different talents, their love lasted a lifetime. I am a disorganized creative type, while my husband is organized and very good in business and sales, but in how we treat others and giving back to our small community we agree. 
      In SHADOWS ACROSS TIME, two lovers from different periods in history, who speak different languages, and have different customs meet under extreme duress and fall in love.
Their love is tested by a wizard out to destroy them in order to keep favor with his queen and by an impossible and dangerous escape where they must trust their fate to total strangers. 
This month, show your significant other how much you care. Your Valentine's love should not be reserved for one day, one month, or one year, but forever.

Mariah Lynne
www.MariahLynne.com
SHADOWS ACROSS TIME               

Friday, December 18, 2015






THE CHRISTMAS DOLL

One Christmas, a long time ago, I was a little girl who loved her dolls. I had clothes for them, accessories, and some even had their own little beds in my room. I always thought every little girl had a doll. Never dreamed anything different.
It was the Sunday before Christmas and my father took me to church service after Sunday School to see a special choir of children from an orphanage in Rome. They were in the US to visit and perform at several churches along the East Coast.
Some of the families like mine volunteered to take a child home for dinner. The week before, my mother asked to see  a photo of the young lady because she wanted to buy some clothes for her to take home. When I looked at the photo, I saw a skinny eight year named Marianna. We were the same age and the same height. We both had dark curly hair and dark brown eyes. Except for where and how we lived, and the fact that I was chubby, we could have been sisters.
I was excited to have Marianna come for dinner and happy that my mother bought her clothes. After we ate Sunday lunch, I took her into my bedroom to see and play with my toys. Her eyes grew huge and began to tear up. I understood a little Italian enough to get the just of a conversation. She walked over to my window bench where my dolls "lived" and picked one up and hugged it.
The doll named Anna was one of my favorites. Dressed in a pink and white gingham dress, she had blonde hair I could comb. Marianna hugged Anna and refused to let her go. She said she never had a doll before, let alone one as "bella" as this one.
Well I was not a happy camper. I yelled at her, "Let let Anna go. That doll is mine." She refused and asked me to please give Anna to her. That made me more upset. Enough so my father heard me and came in to see what was wrong.
I told him about Anna and how she was not going anywhere. He walked over to Marianna and had her give him the doll. He then said in Italian that he knew I would be happy to give it to her. After all, I had so much...a good home, loving parents, and many other dolls. He handed it back to her and she hugged him like he just gave her the world.
I watched in silence thinking I never realized how lucky I was. I too went over and hugged Marianna. She taught me a a most important lesson about giving and love I will never forget. This holiday season we should all care about those less fortunate and try to help in whatever manner we can.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season. I hope you spend it with family and friends.

Mariah


SHADOWS ACROSS TIME




















Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Oh What A Knight

Ever daydream about being kidnapped? You’re swept away by a total stranger to a romantic place, leaving behind those dirty dishes, your new puppy throwing up on your best decorative rug, and the insurmountable to-do list. Where would you like to be taken?
France? Paris, perhaps? Chenonceau Castle has always been my dream. About ten years ago, after watching an episode of the Travel Channel featuring three castles in the Loire Valley, Chambord, Cheverny, and Chenonceau, I was hooked. My husband entered the family room reading a newspaper when I pointed to the TV. “We’re going there.” And so we did. All three royal residences were magnificent, but there was something extra special about Chenonceau. 
Perhaps it was the imposing gray white structure with blue turreted roofs, or the rose colored bedroom with its canopied bed and carved fireplace, maybe it was the manicured gardens, or best yet how the waters of the River Cher flowed underneath the castle. The “Chambre de Secrets”, rumored to be Catherine de Medici’s secret hiding place for poisons, true or not, peaked my writer’s imagination.
In my newest novel, SHADOWS ACROSS TIME, my strong-willed heroine, present day antique dealer Danielle deForet, is tricked into completing an appraisal on a rare French piece, when her client, a sinister wizard, whisks her back to 16th century France and you guessed it, Chenonceau. Danielle is held captive in a room resembling the rose bedroom awaiting her dismal fate as a crucial link in a spell for the queen. The wizard selects a brave young knight, Sir Aidan, to guard her. A most handsome knight, Aidan and Danielle soon fall in love and he plans a risky escape.
Chenonceau is known as the “Chateau de Dames”, because three strong women contributed to its longevity. Built in 1513 by Katherine Briconnet, King Henry II purchased it after her death from her son and gifted the castle to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. (Why is it always the mistress?) She added the arched bridge that crossed the river as well as the gardens that still surround the structure. To her misfortune, she made the castle so beautiful that when the king died, Catherine de Medici, his widow with the alleged poison room, desired to own the chateau forcing Diane out. Madame Dupin later protected Chenonceau from being destroyed during the French Revolution. With all these formidable women in mind, I knew Danielle had to be just as strong and just as resolute if she hoped to foil the powerful wizard’s plan.
My heroine is beautiful, smart, and determined. The more I imagined her story, the more I knew Chenonceau was the perfect backdrop. I visualized Danielle traveling up the exterior staircase, visiting the opulent throne room, and meeting the wizard in a fictionalized version of the poison room. She was brave as she walked in disguise eager to escape off the arched bridge to meet her lover on horseback. Their swashbuckling adventure, the journey of their lives through the thick forests to be sheltered by resisters, begins here.
Now, it’s your turn.  Danielle, and Aidan, along with a sinister wizard and cunning gypsy seer await your visit to Chenonceau in SHADOWS ACROSS TIME available in print and e-book.
Romance That Transcends Time



Sunday, October 18, 2015

Halloween With Frankenstein

HALLOWEEN WITH FRANKENSTEIN

                           (copyright 2015 Mariah Lynne)
            
Halloween! That special day when a frog can become a prince and I, a shy sixth grader donning a pink sparkly tulle gown and tiara, caught the eye of the cutest boy in my class. One year later, it was a different man who stole my heart! Our first adventure trick or treating alone, my friends and I wanted to visit the more affluent part of town. We convinced ourselves that the elegant homes with manicured lawns gave away the best candy. One such home, decorated to the hilt, peaked our curiosity. The more spider webs, Halloween wreaths, and witches’ broomsticks we saw, the more excited we became! We quickly juggled around the candy in our bag to make more room before walking up to the front door and ringing the bell.
Spooky music greeted us through a speaker near the front door as if on queue. Plastic spiders shot down from the front door- frame. We stood there looking at each other wondering what would happen next. The large wooden door creaked opened slowly, very slowly. We gasped! Standing in front of us was a tall thin man. He was so tall we were eye to eye with his belt buckle. As our eyes shot upwards, we recognized him as Frankenstein. Dressed in a tuxedo and carrying a large oval silver bowl, he bent down to welcome us in a low deep voice.
 “Greetings, my little trick or treaters. You may each reach in the bowl and take as much as you can in one handful. Remember I’m watching, so no tricks.”
 Well, who on earth would want to trick that guy! He leaned down a little more putting the bowl where we could see its contents. My eyes popped! It was filled with hundreds of brand new pennies. All shiny, they glistened all the brighter in the subdued lighting of the entryway. I took a deep breath, opened my chubby hand as wide as I could and grabbed as many of those magical coins as would fit. My excited friends did the same. What a magical night! To this day, my memory of Frankenstein is as vivid as that night. Imagine how much time and effort a family I didn’t know put into making my Halloween so extraordinary!
            Fast forward forty years. I now live and work on a beautiful Florida Gulf Coast island. No chill in the air, no falling leaves but our islanders celebrate Halloween in a big way. At the time, I owned a video store on the island. About eighteen years ago, some standing water and pesky mosquitoes caused the county to cancel trick or treating! How could they do that? I understood it was for everyone’s safety, but I saw a lot of disappointed little faces coming into my store after the news. With that magical memory of Frankenstein still in my heart, I along with some friends rolled up our sleeves and transformed my store into a Howling Halloween Haunting for kids of all ages on the island. We constructed a big black tent out of extra huge lawn bags in which one of my friends, an amateur magician, performed. Kids were greeted at the entrance by one of my adult customers dressed like the Wicked Witch, green face and all. There were gooey spider webs and scary movie standees like Freddy Kruger. Domino’s who occupied the building next door delivered pizza throughout the party. The manager, another friend, made a special appearance as the Noid. I bought tons of candy and apples. We had games, photos and costume judging for six great hours of Halloween fun. The kids had a blast. They wore their newest costumes and their parents came as well. I have since sold my business but occasionally run into those kids now all grown up. They always tell me how magical that Halloween was for them. Maybe in some small way, I was able to pass the spirit and love I felt on my memorable Halloween with Frankenstein forward!

Mariah Lynne
NINE DEADLY LIVES: An Anthology of Feline Fiction

Released in time for Halloween reading