The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

September 15, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – A new release – excerpt

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 2:45 pm
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Waves of Pleasure

Yes, I am going to be giving you teasers from WAVES OF PLEASURE for the next few days.  Have a new novel released is definitely a favorite thing for any author.

Today’s excerpt is from the opening of chapter one.  Enjoy!

Drew dove naked into the ocean, unconcerned about the lack of a lifeguard. In early June the water on the Jersey Shore was still brisk from the winter’s chill, but he didn’t care. The water finally hinted at summer and he had been waiting to feel the embrace of the waves since he came back in March. He probably wouldn’t be able to stay in it long, but even a short swim would be worth it.

He loved the salty coldness on his skin and reveled in the slightly illegal swim. Not only was it two in the morning, but if he remembered correctly, skinny dipping was against some ordinance. Somehow, when he was in the ocean he had no worries and any problems he did think about seemed small and insignificant. Maybe when he was back on his financial feet he would start saving for a houseboat so he could eventually leave land behind for good and live on the water. Or at least live closer to the ocean—just not in this area. He had lots of college friends who liked the West Coast. He could go out there.

As he floated and allowed himself to dream of an unanchored life, he felt something brush against him. He didn’t think too much of it, assuming it was part of the undercurrent, but when it happened again and it felt like a stroke from his foot to his waist, he dropped into the water and came up treading.

“Hello? Anyone there?” Spinning around, Drew stared into the shadows, trying to discern shapes. The beach had been deserted when he arrived, but it didn’t mean that someone hadn’t come by after him. When there was no answer but the waves breaking on the shore, he stretched out on his back and resumed his swim.

The caress happened again a moment later, this time gently sweeping over his chest and directly to his cock, where it lingered for a breath before disappearing again. He knew it couldn’t be a wave. The placement seemed too deliberate. But lifting his head he still saw no one. He felt beneath the water but didn’t discover anything. He’d always found swimming naked to be arousing, but this was different. If he didn’t feel the Atlantic around him, he would have sworn he’d been stroked by a woman.

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August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Staples

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 1:17 pm
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That was easy

Are all writers office supply junkies?  I suppose there are only rare instances of “all”, but I know a lot who are.  I go in to Staples as though it were a toy store.  From the little things I can always afford – like my favorite pens or colored paperclips – to the things I drool over – like *enormous* computer screens and high end laptops – I adore going in there and spending time. My kids know, once mommy’s at Staples, we’re going to be in there a while.

I sit at the desks they have set up and imagine my dream writing room.  I trail a finger over bookcases and picture them lining the walls of my office and filled, in part, with books I have written.  I page through organizers in the fervent hope that one day I will find one that magically organizes me forever (oh, admit it – you hope it’s out there too).  I take in the colors of pens and markers, thinking of the things I could create with them. I breathe in the leather of computer bags.  It’s a sensory heaven.

It's in here somewhere

“Did you find everything you needed?” they ask me at the check out.  If I’ve only bought what I came in for, it’s a miracle.  Usually, I’ve found what I needed and WAY too much more.  I’ve whittled my basket down to what I can a) make work on the day’s budget and b) what I cannot pass up.  So the answer is yes, I found what I needed and a whole lot more that I simply wanted.

What’s the store you can’t get out of?

July 20, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings – IMDb

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 2:01 pm
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I love movies.  I love trivia.  I love trailers and silly movie quotes. And I have a head for remembering information that does me almost no good unless I am playing Jeopardy on Facebook.  So what is my regular go-to website – www.imdb.com .  It’s a terrific site and has improved over the years.  It’s easy to navigate and there’s lots of information on each page.

I discovered the sight about twelve years ago when a local movie theater linked to it when you clicked on a movie poster for more information. Boy, do they have information.  I can click links on titles, directors and actors for hours.  I love being able to look up the details of a movie, even discovering the uncredited actors (thank you accounting/payroll department for your wonderful records).  I can see lists of nominees and winners for awards for every year.  I can find the soundtrack songs even if a soundtrack wasn’t released (Especially good for the recent film The Sorcerer’s Apprentice which has some beautiful songs). Not to mention goofs, continuity issues, and the best quotes pulled out and ready to use in conversation.

When we’re doing that “Oh damn, what was he in?” “Who did he play?” “Wasn’t she also in…?” we run to IMDb.

For those moments when you’re watching reruns and the bit part actors who were “nobodies” then and not billed in the beginning, but you’re pretty sure it’s you-know-who, you can just type in a few words and *poof*, yup, you did recognize them.  It was particularly usefull after the recent SyFy (hate that spellig) channel Fourth of July Twilight Zone marathon.  In any given episode there are several actors who look so familiar, but you can’t place them.  Click click click – oh that’s his name?  What else have we seen him in?  It’s great fun.

If they ever charge per click… I’m gonna go broke – or have to curb my addiction.

And what does this have to do with writing?  Where do you think I am when I’m procrastinating 🙂

 

May 19, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – My new Droid 2

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 7:52 pm
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Okay… I admit I’d been looking forward to getting an android based phone and having apps to play with.  Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, because I’m amazed at the time that disappears while playing “Words With Friends”.  That said, I am really enjoying having this new technology.

I never thought I’d check my emails on my phone, especially since I’m a work from home writer and mom, but I admit that when I’m out (and now that it’s baseball season, I’m out a lot of nights) it’s nice to be able to review them, delete the junk, and have only the important ones waiting for me when I get home.

I chose the Droid 2 over the Droid X because of the keyboard, since I am terrible at tapping out txts and search information (and also because even though the screen on the X rocks, it feels HUGE in my hand).  I still love the keyboard, but I am more in love with SWYPE, a great technology that allows me to slide my fingers over the keys without picking them up to spell out words.  Sure some things come out funny and I have to redo them, but over all it takes a lot less time.

I particularly enjoy the Nook app.  It’s great to be able to read if I’m caught on an unexpected line or somewhere without a book.  I love the way the pages turn.  I think the color Nook will be my next technology purchase.

Oh… and I immediately searched and learned how to turn off autocorrect.  Some of the errors I’ve read?  Shudder!

I paid next to nothing for the phone thanks to the plans with  www.letstalk.comand also got terrific prices on my accessories (purple swirl faceplate, screen cover, car charger, and nonbluetooth headset for a total of $35 including shipping) at www.cellularoutfitter.com .

So, do you have a new piece of techology you love?

May 5, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – In praise of naps

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 1:09 pm
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Doesn't it look wonderful!

I admit it – I love to nap.

I should live in a country where they do the siesta thing, because I dont mind waking up early to get things done or staying up late for a variety of reasons, but come 1:00 or so in the afternoon, what I most crave is a good book and my bed.  Two hours later or so, I am ready to go.

Acording to Health Central- some of the most notable figures in history are known to

Shh... I'm busy

have been consummate nap-takers, including Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci and John F. Kennedy. What’s more, recent research is providing evidence that a well-timed afternoon nap may be the best way to combat sleepiness, improve work performance, and overcome the late day grogginess commonly known as the “midday dip.”

Personally, since the birth of my kids (and, yes I must admit, subsequent weight gain) I haven’t slept well at night and napping definitely helps me get through the day – and stay up until my husband gets home, which is typically after 9pm. I love that feeling of snuggling under the covers knowing that I am going to get a few solid hours of sleep.  Sometimes waking up is challenging, but as long as I have something specific planned, I’m good to go.

So if you can’t reach me in the afternoon, chances are I’m catching a few z’s.  What do you do during the day to rejuvenate?

May 4, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Kimball’s Ice Cream

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 4:31 pm
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We all scream...

While the weather doesn’t seem to be consistently warm – or even sunny – here in New England, we are still hoping to have our ice-cream-for-dinner night soon.  One of the few things that hasn’t been taken over by one or two big chains is the local ice cream stand.  Yes, there is still Baskin Robbins and on the east coast Stone Cold Creamery is very very good, but there is nothing like that place where you know your favorite flavor will be available in a size you dreamed of ever since you were a kid.

For my family that place is Kimball Farm in Westford MA (they have four locations total).  Their portions are so large

It's worth the wait!

that having anything to eat before hand is just silly (and perhaps even insulting).  Opened first in 1939 and still family owned and run, Kimball’s is synonymous around here with great ice cream and a fun night out.  Over time, the Westford location has grown to include more things to do then eat.  There has been a country store attached to the ice cream stand for years along with a farm with animals.  Now it also includes mini golf, bumper boats, a driving range, an arcade and batting cages.  We plan to go early to enjoy the ice cream and then stay to play. 

What can be better – ice cream, supporting a local business and a night out with the whole family.  One of the true joys of summer.

What are you favorite local escapes?

April 28, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Bookstores

Can you look at your bookshelf and remember where you bought the books?  Do you know how you came across the one you’re reading now?  Do you have a great memory of an unexpected discovery?  Then you probably love bookstores as much as I do.

The doom and gloom of the headlines with regards to bookstores is everywhere.  Borders recently closed many stores (and more may be happening), the independent bookstores are almost extinct, and ebook readers are on the rise to the point where this week Barnes and Noble announced their first ebook signing event.  Yes, that’s right – Sandra Boynton will be *signing* her Going to Bed Book using a new app on the B&N color Nook (which I admit to coveting/craving).

But I have to say – I love spending time in a bookstore.  I love wandering the stacks.  I love standing in a section I don’t normally check out, just to see what’s there.  I love when a bookstore has places to sit, whether in a cafe or within the stacksa peace of heaven, so I can be surrounded by the books, pretending I have my own library. I love having a gift card that means I can try something totally new and/or not usually in my budget.  And don’t get me started on the periodical section.  SO much to read and learn. 

What will happen to impulse purchases of something you didnt – couldn’t – plan?  What about the amazing writer you discovered because her book was on the shelf above your current favorite?  How will you find those gems?  What about the non-fiction book that was better suited to you which you found next to the one you came in to buy?

Because the only way to enjoy these things is at a brick and morter bookstore, I am continuing to hope these stores stay around for a long time to come.  Yes, they have to go with the flow of new technology, but they should never completely give up on the sheer pleasure many of us get from the process of looking for a book. 

It’s almost as good as the reading part.

What’s your favorite bookstore? And… if you want to see some of the most interesting bookstores in the world, click here.

April 25, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompts – It’s gone

I am back home in my writing studio and as hard as it is to get going after over five hours of driving and arriving home after midnight, I’m glad. It feels good to get back into my routine and have my favorite things around me.

Which brings me to my prompt for today:  What if something you enjoyed…disappeared from the world, or at least from your world.  Would you journey to find it?  Would you look for a substitute?  Would you hord your stash?

Hope this triggers something for you.  Me – I’m gonna hold my coffee mug a little tighter.

Have a great week!

April 21, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Chocolate

Dive in!

Yes, it has to be said… chocolate is wonderful.  Proof of ongoing goodness in the world.  Okay, maybe that’s a little strong, but have you ever noticed countries that are known for producing great chocolates are relatively peaceful?  Seriously – when was the last time Belguim or Switzerland tried to start something?

You can’t be mad when you’re eating chocolate.  Hot chocolate has wonderful calming effects.  And as a gift, it is something I always appeciate *and* thoroughly enjoy.

My heroines frequently have a weakness for chocolate in either one or all of its forms.  We’re supposed to write what we know, aren’t we?  I keep a stash of wrapped dark chocolate pieces in my writing room.  It’s my treat to myself and the better the quality the less I eat in a serving.

And if all it’s feel good properties weren’t enough to recommend it, scientists have found that chocolate is actually GOOD FOR US! (I would have been happy to help with that research).  According to an article I found: Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

Good for blood pressure and endorphins.  More antioxidants than strawberries!!  Don’t you love it?

So in this season of chocolate rabbits and other goodies, go ahead and guiltlessly enjoy!

April 13, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – A real stationery store

Filed under: Uncategorized — authorrachelkenley @ 3:05 pm
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Like many writers, I love office supplies.  Going into Staples makes my heart beat faster. It’s like when my sons go into sporting good stores.  I know what I’m there to buy, but I want to look at everything and I’m almost always keeping a mental list of what I would pick up if I had an unlimited budget.  When I get to the front with my purchases and they ask “Did you find everything you wanted?” I always want to say”Yes, and way too much more.”

As wonderful as these big superstores are, however, they have been the end of the smaller mom & pop stationery stores that I remember from when I was a kid.  There is one that I know remains, The Quill and Press in Acton MA.  Here great pens and papers are side by side with cards, high end stationery, and the best colors of file folders available individually.  Half the store is traditional office supplies, the other is part card store part card store.  And then downstairs is artists supplies.  It’s a paper heaven.

A view inside

Yes, I go to staples a lot – it’s more convenient and generally has better prices.  But when I want to spend an hour or so really browsing – touching, holding and imagining – then places like The Quill and Press are a true haven.

  • Hours: Mon – Fri, 9am – 7pm; Sat, 9am – 5pm; Sun, noon – 5:30pm
  • Handicap Accessible: Shop is wheel chair accessible
  • Founding Date: 1970
  • Payments accepted: American Express, Cash, Debit Card, Discover, MasterCard, Personal Check, Visa
  • Products: gifts, party goods, pens, art supplies, frames, rubber stamps, inks, unique stationery and cards.
  • Services: Gift certificates, Gift wrapping, Shipping
  • ATM: No
  • Public restrooms: Yes
  • Parking: Free lot
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