The internet radio show went well…for me, after I called in on the phone. However, Elaine reported some problems with the sound, and several of my friends and fans who dropped by said they were unable to hear the show, especially during my allotted time <sigh>. Even I had trouble signing on to hear the other authors prior to me. It kept kicking me off and yes, losing sound when I did have a connection.
Elaine has hinted they may get some new computer equipment, so here's hoping. I will be back on later in their schedule, when she focuses on a show geared to the paranormal. Also, I understand the show is archived, if anyone has the urge, or time, to listen to it at www.trianglevarietyradio.com.
Two reasons I brought this up: One, of course, is to explain the problems for people who took the time to drop by, as well as to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Elaine has asked to pass on her apologies and assurance they are working on things. Two is that on the show Elaine mentioned seeing my new covers on All Romance and did rave about them! So if you haven't taken a gander: Montana Surrender: http://tiny.cc/xf39dw. Bittersweet Promises: http://tiny.cc/zb39dw. Angela didn't get to hear the praise, darn it. She had something going on that prevented her from getting home in time. However, she indicated she's going to listen to the archive. Hope she does, so she can hear Elaine's cover rave! Oh, pooh. I decided to test my skills and see if I could put the covers on the blog. Yep, I did it! Happy gazing!.
Montana Surrender and Bittersweet Promises are also available just about everywhere e-books are sold, so you can get a copy for Kindles, Nooks, etc. I believe Angela is still working on getting the romance web site updated with the url's and covers, but if you click on the books, it will take you to the Amazon site with the new covers. For Nook, you can go to the Barnes and Noble site. For other formats, I distribute also through Smashwords. The romance site is http://www.tranamaesimmons.com.
As to the paranormal end of my pursuits, I may have mentioned that I keep an on-going list of ghostly events on my computer. A lot of those pertain to what goes on here in my haunted house. When preparing the one I have for you today, I noticed I'd skipped a short but interesting item.
On April 23, after we returned from our extended Ohio trip, I finally started unpacking. In one suitcase, I found a small jar of rubber bands! The jar was perhaps a half-pint size, filled with those nice wide rubber bands that work for so many things. I had no idea where they came from nor had I ever seen them before. So I called my sister-in-law, Ellen, to see if she had put the jar in our luggage. Sometimes she will gift us with things she feels we might need or use, but normally she does tell us when she passes on the gift. She answered 'nope', she didn't know a thing about any rubber bands. I still have no idea where they came from, but I've already used a couple from the jar, now residing in one of my desk drawers. Did whoever soaked Aunt Belle's clothes in her suitcase stick the jar in my suitcase? I have no idea, but I've continued to mention this to anyone who might possibly have done it and receive denials.
Then on May 22, the incident I thought might truly interest my blog readers happened. I was cleaning out cat litter boxes late in the evening, after darkness had already fallen. I carried one bag of yuck to the front door, opened the storm door, then set the bag on the step, waiting to take it out to the garbage can the next morning. But I sniffed and smelled smoke! At first I thought wood was burning close by, and feared my house or a neighbor's might be on fire. Then I reconsidered and thought it might be cigarette smoke. The odor shifted back and forth from that wood-burning smell to the cigarette one a couple times as I stood there. I went back into our bedroom to tell my husband, Barney. He didn't seem to think a possible fire was more important than his TV show, so I shrugged and said something like, "Well, I guess we'll know if the house catches fire." Other wives will understand that, and perhaps some men, also. <smiley face>
He sighed and told me to look next door and see if WT was BBQ'ing. I told him 9 p.m. was bit late to BBQ, but I opened the window, looked at the privacy fence next door, sniffed, but couldn't smell any smoke. Closing the window, I said I would go get my sister Annie and we would look around, since I didn't want to wander around outside alone that time of night.
Annie joined me, and as soon as we exited the front door, she, also, smelled the smoke. By then, the cigarette odor dominated. She agreed it almost seemed like someone had been smoking on our front porch. We walked to the south edge of the porch, but the odor wasn't there. Walked across toward the north edge and caught it as we passed in front of the door, but nothing at that edge of the porch.
"Why would anyone be smoking out here?" my sister asked. "And who could it be? Think Barney's sneaking smokes again?" This was a valid concern, since my husband had smoked from the time he was a small child, and even after a COPD diagnosis, it took me two years to be fairly certain he had quit those nasty things.
"Donno, but he better not be," I told my sister. "And I can't understand it, either. Why would someone walk all the way up here to our porch from the street to smoke?"
The street is at least ten yards from our porch, and there is no reason a person couldn't stroll down it and enjoy their cigarette, should he/she want to. If they smoked on the porch, why didn't they knock and let us know they were there? Our doorbell doesn't work, but there's a sign beside it, indicating that. The porch light goes on as soon as darkness falls, clearly illuminating the sign, which also says to KNOCK HARD.
Annie and I sat on the porch for at least five minutes. The wind was blowing, although not as hard as it had been earlier in the day. Still, I had to tuck tendrils of hair behind my ears a few times, so it gusted enough to cleanse smoke form the air. But when we started back in the house, the cigarette odor still lingered quite strongly at the steps directly in front of the storm door. I'd venture to say the area covered was four feet wide and six feet long, contained in only that pocket.
We went on inside, out of the smoke smell. It was gone the next morning when I went to feed the rescue cats on the porch. The reason I considered this might be a paranormal incident is due to the numerous unexplained odors we encounter in our investigations. There were far too many questions in my mind about this. I couldn't believe someone had wandered up and smoked in front of my door, left, and that the cigarette odor lingered for a good ten minutes or more in the pocket area there, despite the blowing wind. If it resulted from a living person, anyway. But…
Weird things tend to happen when you live in a haunted house! I started to wonder whether or not ghosts could get lung cancer, but naw. They're already dead.
Go have a gander at my books. I'm going back to writing some new ones for you to enjoy.
Boo! T. M.