Category Archives: Just Chat

The Butterscotch Martini Girls Book Blab: Hilarious Cooking Disasters

Join The Butterscotch Martini Girls at our weekly Book Blab! This week we are talking about hilarious cooking disasters.

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100th Anniversary of ASU’s Marching Band by Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan

Tina ASU band  This was from my Freshman year at Arizona State University, back in 1986 – EEP!!

Damn, has it really been that long? yep! I’ve only gone back for 2 Homecomings since I graduated in December of 1990. Marched the Alumni block in the halftime show and played in the stands. Every time it was great to see old friends and yell “Go Devils” and play the Fight Song – Maroon and Gold until I lost my voice…LOL!

I’m looking forward to that again…well, most of it. Due to the brain blowout – the neurologist nixed me marching. Too much chance of a concussion from the half a brain that’s floating around up there getting beat up from all that marching. I also need to be careful not to play too loud. Puts pressure on the whole sinus cavity which the healing brain might not like. THAT one will be tough for me because the idea in marching band – especially on an instrument like clarinet is to play LOUD most of the time…LOL…

AND, I just downloaded the music and did a quick EEP! I need to get with my sister ASAP and get my marching clarinet. My niece just started band and she’s using it until she gets her own. But my sister said I’m good to borrow it back for Homecoming weekend, and Megan can take my sister’s wooden one to school.

I can sit here and hum and finger through the music, but I need to get the clarinet in hand – AND go get some reeds, a lyre and a flip folder for the music… and practice!

I’m sure the lady who lives above us will be pissy! She gets her panties in a twist when Jon plays his acoustic guitar down here, I’m sure she’ll LOVE a clarinet – especially in the high register…snerk!

Even though I won’t be as confident playing as I was 25 years ago, I’m still really excited!

I’ve resigned myself that people might not recognize me or remember me, and I might not recognize or remember some of them. After all – this is the 100th anniversary of the marching band – which means people from the last 100 years will be coming back for band! Hey – it could happen! We could have a 118 year old tuba player show up and rock the band!! Don’t underestimate the bandies!

The ASUSDMB changed all of our lives! I was a music major, but most people in band weren’t. Those people were all so dear to me for the 5 years I was in band before graduating and moving away! Now I find myself doing a bit of memory lane walking tonight…  Here’s a few pics that are on my hard drive…I’m tempted to go scan even more…

 

Tina ASU band banquet

Here’s Paul Patterson and I at the end of season Band Banquet in 1986!!

 

Tina college hijinx

Wow!  We all look so freaking young!!  From left to right…  Scott Burgener – aka Burgenbooger, Christy, Scott Hexum, Me (Tina Hatcher, aka Hatchbitch) per Burgenbooger…lol, Bill Gallimore & Kathy Hunt!  This was one of our late night undercover missions to do something to Paul Patterson’s primer-painted car…We saran wrapped it, covered it in sprinkles and cherries!

I can’t find the pic of us covering his car entirely int those mini post it notes!!  That was classic 🙂 We really do love you, Paul! We just loved messing with that car 🙂

Tina college recital

And finally….here’s me at my Senior Clarinet recital in December of 1990… Damn, check out that 90’s hair and the cheesy dress…snicker 🙂

Enough memories for one night!

Here’s me now…this was at Benihana’s with my hubby Jon for our 12th wedding anniversary this past March.  I might look different, but I’m still ready and willing to raise some hell!

Bring on the ASUSDMB! (That stands for Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band!!)

 

12th Anniversary Dinner

And here’s my snarky mini me, Darian. Well, almost a mini me – he plays trumpet!  You know those trumpet players…snerk! But seriously – he’s an awesome kid! (And if you follow that link to his FB – NO! I did NOT give him that middle name, Abbadon!  He’s got a perfectly good middle name – Ryan, but insists on the other one because it annoys me…LOL!)

Tina & D graduation

 

So here’s hoping that after 25 years, people still recognize this snarky ex band director who has put her dirty mind to good use as a smut writer for the safety of herself and others 🙂

Tina

The Grand Hotel – Great fun even if you don’t like ghosts!

jeromerestaurantI’ve visited the Grand Hotel for a number of years. It’s known to be haunted and I can attest to that. I’ve smelled cigarette smoke in the hall when there is no one on the floor or above and below it. I started visiting with my local writer’s group. For a couple of years a group of writers would go up for a Haunted Retreat and focus on writing. I continued to go every year after even if it was to have lunch or dinner at the Asylum Restaurant.

The restaurant alone is a good reason to visit. The best time to go is during October when they decorate the place. They fill the room with every manner of Halloween decoration and the waiters and waitresses all dress up for the entire month of October. If you do go, try their butternut squash. It’s the best I’ve ever jeromesouptasted! What’s also great about visiting in October is that the weather is perfect and you can sit out on the patio. And if you’re a writer, you can open your laptop and write for a bit. I’ve done it a couple of times when the place wasn’t so crowded. The view is also amazing on the patio. You can see the valley below and Sedona’s red rock in the distance.

If you want to hear more about the hauntings at the hotel you can visit my own website for more details.

Portland’s Ghost Tour – What fun!

Ghost Tour Parking LotI posted over on my site about Old Town Pizza restaurant in Portland and Nina the ghost. I’ve always enjoyed going to haunted places. I took a tour with my daughter. I wanted to learn about some of Portland’s history but I wanted to drag my daughter with me. She doesn’t like historical tours so I found the next best thing. A ghost tour! I learned so much about Portland’s history and how unsuspecting men were kidnapped and forced to become sailors and sail to Shanghai.

The parking lot here was taken above the Shanghai tunnels. I had no idea about the notorious history of Portland until my first trip. During our ghost tour they gave us EMF detectors. They went off a number of times, but strangely it was this parking lot that had the most activity. Then at the end of the tour we went down into some of the tunnels. Talk about creepy! The tour guide showed us a couple of pictures from some of people who had taken the tour. A number of orbs and a faint, ghostly image of a woman showed up in the pictures. I think my daughter is hooked! lol

Along with the tour during my visit, I dropped by Powell’s Bookstore,  the largest bookstore in the US. It was amazing! Four floors of books and more than a full block. The store became so large they had to expand to another block. If you love to read and if you’re in Portland, drop by the store if you can. But I warn you, an hour isn’t going to be near long enough to look around. I would have been there the entire day if my daughter hadn’t dragged me away. For more information about Powell’s you can visit there site. Also if you’re in Portland and want to try something different, try a ghost tour or one of Portland’s Walking Tours.

Also, if you want to read about my visit at Old Town Pizza and Nina the ghost you can visit my web site.

 

 

One new writer’s hilarious “process” for writing sex scenes! @tinagerow

My Obsession Cover

I was contacted by a self-professed newbie writer who had just read my latest release, My Obsession, and wanted to know how the heck I wrote those sex scenes and kept track of who was doing what to who, when, while making it hot, romantic, sexy and keeping the emotional connection going, and making their dialogue sound so natural.

Whew! I was just relieved that I did all that stuff. I mean, I always try to. But it’s definitely not “plug and play” so to speak. Wow, that was a REALLY bad descriptor….snicker.

Anyway, I told her I was willing to chat a little, but that I didn’t have time for a longer discussion since I’m on a deadline. I told her that one of the places I teach online classes for regularly had already expressed interest in me teaching my “Writing Love Scenes” class again in 2016 and I would be announcing it on my FB page, twitter etc once I knew a date.

So then we chatted a bit and she told me how frustrated she was with writing the sex scenes, but that she just didn’t want to write sweet, since it was so far outside her personality. So I asked what her process was. (And yes, she gave me permission to use this as a blog post! LOL)

She said she starts out with a diagram and two paper dolls… Yep – you read that right! She cuts out two paper dolls – a guy (usually a little taller and less curvy) and a girl. Hell, I was impressed that she could do that! I can barely draw a circle or a straight line, let alone draw and cut out something that resembles two humans!!

I asked why she didn’t just use Barbies or something if she thought visualizing would help her. She said because they were her daughter’s toys and she couldn’t in good conscience use her them for this purpose. Not to mention she would feel like a pervert if she BOUGHT them for that purpose!

Anyway, she takes the paper dolls and tries to “script” things. And she watches porn flicks on her phone (so her hubby doesn’t catch her and think she’s creepy) to see what THEY do…you know…for tips and tricks!!

Once she has the basic scripting – (F) – R leg over (M) L shoulder, (F) – R arm flung wide on top of pillow (super soft high grade thread count sheets) etc….. Then she tries to decide at which point the big “O” should happen in the scene. And she marks that with a large O, circled with RED So she can AIM for it!

Then she goes back in and inserts dialogue – “Come on, you big stud, do me NOW!” and stuff like that.

That’s when she goes back in and fleshes out the scene to actually smooth the actions into the dialogue. After all of that she goes back in and adds stuff like the feel of the super soft sheets, the aroma of his man musk, the taste of his “emissions” (her word, not mine).

Then she lets her husband and her best friend read them so she can get feedback. But she keeps getting discouraged when they both laugh and tell her it’s the most hilarious thing they’ve ever read.

I’m glad we were chatting online so I didn’t make her even more discouraged with MY laughing! But I did give her some high level tips like NOT using porn of any type as a template or any kind of inspiration, and cutting down on purple prose. But also to read a LOT of books with hot sex scenes in them to see how other people do it (so to speak) while she gets the hang of writing them.

She said she’ll keep an eye out for my class but was excited that I had finally given her the secret to why her husband and best friend were most likely laughing rather than raving.

She was also impressed with me telling her that if her sex scenes didn’t turn HER on then the reader wouldn’t be turned on when they read them. She told me that a lightbulb came on for her when she heard that because all she felt was frustration when she was writing hers.

We had chatted enough and exchanged some fun banter after that when I told her she’s not alone. LOTS of newbie writers struggle with writing sex scenes. Hell – there are veteran writers out there who struggle with them! It’s tough to juggle all those things (yes, I DID almost type balls…snicker). But after all that, she did tell me I could use this for a blog. She said if it helped even one other writer feel better about writing the damned sex scenes, then it would be worth cringing when SHE read it!

So that’s my fun story to relate for the day, and I hope she feels better with the few tips I was able to share and I hope none of you hurt yourselves laughing while imagining this!! It still cracks me up!!

Tina

4Cats of Christmas@tinagerow@britblaise

ChristmasTree2014

It may not be the most beautiful tree I’ve ever had, but this one means more to me than all of those others…

 

 

 

 

We haven’t had a Christmas Tree up since 2008. In October 2009 we lost Jon’s 23-year-old kitty Katie…

Katie

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty was left by himself and started mooning around the house, missing his buddy, Katie…

 

 

So we went to the pound and fell in love with our black beauty, Nox (the Goddess of the night)

Nox April 2014.5yo

Nox was only 4 months old when we got her in December 2009, and even though she was pretty skittish because she came from a house with several crawling children, she was a normal kitten and liked to explore and climb whenever possible. So we didn’t think a Christmas tree with all its temptations would be a good thing with a 4 month old kitten in the house.

Then in November 2010 I had my brain blowout, and our house was foreclosed on in December so we moved into an apartment.  No tree that year.

And for all of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know that we lost our sweet Rusty in October of this year.

Choc Affaire 2008001

 

 

 

 

 

This time it was Nox’s turn to be lonely and moon around the house without Rusty. She had never been a lone cat in her entire life. And she wandered the house looking for Rusty even though she came and bumped noses with him as he passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

So Rocky came to live with us…our resident small pony…er….Maine Coon.

16.5 pounds of long-haired, purring sweetness…

Rocky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, my guys knew how much I’ve missed having a Christmas tree and decorating for Christmas so on my birthday last week they decided to pull out our artificial tree, do basic decorations and see how the cats handled it.

Armed with the spray bottle I got Rocky to stop trying to chew on the branches and Nox to stop chewing on the bows of the presents under the tree….  After a few days we added more ornaments and they’re still doing fine with it. No broken ornaments and only a few mushed presents – although nothing breakable from just this:

RockyUnderTree

 

 

 

Rocky likes to lie on the smaller presents under the tree. He’s adorable and he’s not really hurting anything so we just let him stay there and look cute 🙂

As for me, I’m still writing. Getting my kink on daily and trying to finish up this current WIP.  Darian just finished finals for this semester and Jon is getting some shows done before he starts vacation next week…

Thank you for joining me for the 4 Cats of Christmas!!  And I hope all of you have terrific holiday seasons, no matter which ones/what you celebrate!

Tina

Déjà vu or Premonition? – by Tia Dani

Lately we have been experiencing déjà vu concerning one of our books.

If you have been following the news this past year there’s been a particular issue covered which was of interest to us (yes, there has been a ton of events happening but we wanted to discuss only one).

We’re talking about the outbreak of undrinkable water around the United States. For example, in January 2014, West Virginia was forced to deal with contamination of one of their rivers. Nine counties’ drinking water began to smell like licorice. Investigation eventually discovered a potential toxicity of Crude HCHM primarily composed of a chemical name 4-methylcyclohexand methanol had leaked from a coal company’s old storage tank into West Virginia’s Elk River, rolling down to many towns drinking systems.

Symptoms of ingesting this chemical through water soon gave way to various ailments such as stomachs, rashes, and other ailments. In time over 300,000 people were forced to go without tap water for three days.

Now, in August, we hear of cities around Lake Erie experiencing a water pollution problem as well. This time a major city, Toledo, Ohio, and parts of SE Michigan (over 500,000 people) were affected. Not only from their drinking water, but for bathing and cooking. The suspected cause…a blue-green algae growing in the usually warm Lake Erie and fed by high amounts of microcystin, a cyanotoxin. It came from excess farming runoff (nitrogen and phosphorus) and eventually drained into the lake.

When the incident happened in West Virginia, we thought…Oh, wow! How ironic…but now with Michigan and Ohio having problems, it really brought home how poignant our book Color of Dreams was turning out to be. One of the major themes in the book is about water pollution and how, if not checked, could affect people downriver who relied on waterways supplying their drinking water.

Color of Dreams revolves a young woman who is determined to stop a corporation from secretly dumping a pollutant into a river that feeds into a major water source. One stumbling block is the hero (and a former sweetheart) who recently came to work for the corporation.

Though the story also involves the premises of spiritual protection of our earth, the message to our readers was to show how important we as humans must protect our planet.

There is also another reason as to why we are so intrigued over this incident. More and more we are discovering that often our stories are premonition driven. We can’t say why or how it happens but we now believe it will eventually become clear.

Right now Color of Dreams is on sale at Breathless Press for $2.50. (50% off)

http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=13&products_id=417

Tia Dani

http://www.tiadani.com