Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Teasing you with my Temptress!

I cannot believe how quickly June is zooming by! In less than three weeks my next book, TEMPTRESS IN TRAINING, will hit the shelves. Woo hoo! I'm so excited to introduce Sophie Darshaw to readers. At last!

Sophie is the poor, long lost cousin we heard about but never met in MISTRESS BY MISTAKE. In the opening chapters of DAMSEL IN DISGUISE she makes a brief appearance, but then mysteriously disappears. Finally now we can find out what the gal has been up to. And who she's been up to it with!

To tease you just a bit, here's a little excerpt:

“Lord Lindley, please,” she began, moving toward him, then stopping just out of arms reach. “You cannot take him. Not now.”
“You don’t know what he’s done, Miss Darshaw.”
“But I know what will happen if he does not see a doctor right away.”
“He’s wounded; nothing more. He’ll survive.”
“But the blood . . . please, have some compassion.”
She was so earnest it was all he could do to deny her. Her helpless, desperate eyes searched his. His resolve returned, however, as soon as he recalled another pair of helpless, desperate eyes that had begged him for rescue. Rescue he could not give. Those eyes had shut and never opened again and Lindley had finally caught the man responsible for it. Damn it, but Lindley couldn’t let himself be weak now. Four souls left in the cold ground of his family plot needed justice. They would get it.
“My compassion is buried with my family, back in Kent,” he informed her.
She must have recognized the icy reality of this on his face. She took a step backward, away from him. The glow from the lamp hanging near the doorway spilled out into the yard where they stood. The warm light played against the heavy shadows, making her eyes seem endlessly deep and her skin endlessly tempting. Emotion only allowed her to draw short, halting breaths. Her worn gown pulled against those unignorable curves. Hellfire, why couldn’t he forget just for these moments how beautiful the girl was?
“Maybe you can’t feel compassion, but surely you can feel something,” she said, swallowed, and gave the tiniest hint of a smile. “You are, after all, a man.”
Oh, he felt something, indeed. “My feelings are hardly your concern, Miss Darshaw. Go back inside and say farewell.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let Your Flag Fly

Today is Flag Day here in the US. I had to go online and look it up when my daughter said, "Flag Day? What's that?"

Here's what I found. In 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution adopting the flag. You know, the original Stars and Stripes with the stars in a circle instead of all jammed into off-set rows because they had a lot fewer states to recognize back then. But apparently Flag Day wasn't much of a big deal to most people.

It sounds like throughout the 1800's various towns and communities celebrated the anniversary of the flag's adoption in a variety of ways, but it sounds like it was kind of sporatic. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson was the first one to give it national attention by signing a proclamation that officially made today, June 14, Flag Day. It wasn't until August of 1949 that politicians gave it full attention by passing an Act of Congress to establish it.

But why? What's the big deal about a flag? I thought I'd better look that up, too.
I found some conflicting stuff. I found references to stars representing the 13 original colonies, but also representing the heavens and the Divine intervention that brought our nation into being, as well as the Divine call on the people themselves to be something special. The stripes can represent rays from the sun, beaming down on the land to produce prosperity and enlightenment, or they could have something to do with the Biblical reference to Christ's "stripes", or wounds that rescue us from sin. The red could be a nod to the bloodshed of war, and probably means victory through suffering or hardship while the white is likely purity and freedom. The blue represents the heavens, and maybe justice and perseverance.

Basically, everyone has some opinion as to what the flag stands for, and it's all pretty good stuff. None of the references I found indicated that blue stood for Greed or white meant Dirty Politics while red stripes remind us of our Trillion Dollar National Debt. No, that's not why we fly our flags.

We choose to see the American flag as something better. It is a symbol of our hopes and our dreams, not our failures and our shortcomings. We proudly fly our flags in honor of great men and women who have sacrificed and done noble things, not for those who cheat and steal. The flag stands for military personnel, civilians, lawmakers, homemakers, first responders, the elderly, and school children who all do their part to uphold freedom, equality, kindness, creativity, independence, excellence, and justice for all. Yes, that should be all of us. The flag represents what all of us could be.

So, now I can explain to my daughter what Flag Day is. It is a day we honor this simple piece of fabric as a symbol for some really big ideas. Some great ideas. Sure, maybe we screw up as a nation from time to time, but it doesn't mean we quit trying. Today is a good day to forgive ourselves for past failings and let ourselves think nobler thoughts for tomorrow.

We can do better. We can be better. We can live up to this symbol, this representation of some really awesome stuff. After all, it's our symbol. We made it. It's what we truly want to be.