Sharon Schulze

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Location: New England, United States

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy 16th Birthday, Samantha!

Today Samantha, my lovely assistant (aka my mini-dachshund buddy/four-legged daughter) turns 16! It's a venerable age for a pup, especially one who had several health issues in the last few years. Fortunately she's got a great vet who figured out what was causing a lot of the problems, and she's doing very well. She's gone a bit gray, put on a little weight and lost her left eye to glaucoma 1-1/2 years ago, but she wears her years well. She still romps around, galloping in slow motion and tossing her squeaky toys through the air, and enjoys chewing out the squirrels that haunt our bird feeders.

Tonight she'll open her gifts--assorted doggy treats--and have a great time tearing off the tissue paper wrappings.

She's a great companion and member of our family, and we're very fortunate to still have her in our lives. So happy birthday, Sammy--may you have many more.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is for you, Susan :-)

After staying away far too long from my own blog, I'm jumping back into it. I've been blogging pretty regularly at
To Be Read, but I'll be blogging here as well.

Off to clear out the cobwebs!

From the PASIC Blog To Be Read

The Big Tease

As Carly Simon said, “Anticipation . . . is keepin’ me waiting.” So much in life is one big tease, thank goodness! Isn’t it wonderful to have things to look forward to?

We had some unseasonably warm and beautiful weather here in the Northeast last week, culminating in a gorgeous weekend (I think we hit 75 degrees F). I tried to enjoy it as much as possible, because I knew it wouldn’t last–way too spring-like for mid-March. This morning we were back to temps around freezing, much more normal weather for around here, if there is such a thing as normal weather in New England.

It was fantastic, but it was also a big tease! After working in my garden on Saturday in a sleeveless top and cropped pants, I’m back to jeans and a long-sleeved corduroy shirt today. My dog, who has been enjoying the toasty sunny spot in front of my slider, is once again recoiling back into the house when I open the door for her to go outside. Mother Nature dangled the carrot, whetting our appetites for warm spring weather.

It was great while it lasted, and it certainly ramped up our anticipation for the end of winter!

There are a lot of big teases in life. The excitement as the day approaches to leave on vacation, or for a birthday or holiday celebration, is definitely a big tease, one based on past enjoyment of the place or event. Savoring the anticipation is a huge part of the experience.

Writers are masters of the big tease, especially romance writers. How and when will the hero and heroine get together? Escalating sexual tension . . . will they or won’t they? Will they defeat the villian(s)? How will they do it? Will any of those intriguing secondary characters get their own books?

A couple of books I’ve read recently, books I really enjoyed, had teaser chapters in the back. Woo-hoo, secondary characters getting their own books! I should know better, but I always read the teasers–and then I’m antsy to read the next book. It’s a big tease, all right, and one that does exactly what it’s supposed to . . . it’s great PR, and a great gift for fans.

Fortunately for me, because I’m so behind in attacking Mount To-Be-Read, the teaser I read at the end of Alexis Morgan’s Dark Warrior Unbroken happened to be for Defeat the Darkness, her new book (which I had just bought). I didn’t have to wait! Of course, that didn’t work for the excerpt I read at the end of Defeat the Darkness, so I’ll just have to wait until Dark Warrior Untamed comes out. The big tease worked .

I’ve got a lot of great books in Mount To-Be-Read, and I’m planning to read every excerpt I run across. There are worse things in life than to have more great books to look forward to!