Black Moon Rising

FREE Romance Sampler Book
Unlike the CCR song, Bad Moon Rising, you probably won't see the Black Moon Rising which actually takes place tonight, but only in the Western Hemisphere.

In the Eastern Hemisphere, the new moon doesn’t occur until after midnight which will make it appear on Oct. 1 thus being the first new moon of October instead of the second one of September. There will be one visible there on Oct. 30 I think.

Haven't heard of a Black Moon before? I hadn't either.

I wondered if it was just another name for the Blue Moon we all know about, hence the saying: Once in a Blue Moon. But it's not.

(Psst. Blue Moon Sizzlers is a free book of novel excerpts to which I contributed a few years ago. Click the link to grab your copy.)

Let's Clarify

A Blue Moon happens when there are 2 full moons in a calendar month.

A Black Moon happens when there are 2 New Moons in a month.

A quick brush-up on astronomy is needed.

What is a month? A unit of time, used with calendars, which is approximately as long as it takes for the moon to revolve around the Earth.

What are the phases of the moon? The moon is a sphere that travels once around the Earth every 29.5 days. As it travels, it's illuminated from varying angles by the sun. There are names for the various angles or phases that can be observed. Here's another explanation with diagram of the phases of the moon.

New Moon (sometimes called the Dark Moon) -- not visible to observers
Waxing Crescent
First Quarter or Half Moon
Waxing Gibbous
Full Moon -- we can see the entire illuminated portion of the moon.
Waning Gibbous
Third Quarter or Half Moon -- the illuminated part we see is opposite of the First Quarter viewing
Waning Crescent 
New Moon -- cycle starts over

Back to the Black Moon

At new moon, the moon is between the Earth and sun. The side of the moon facing our planet receives no direct sunlight. It's only illuminated by dim sunlight reflected from the Earth. As the moon moves around the Earth, the side we see is gradually more illuminated by direct sunlight.

The lunar calendar is almost exactly like our calendar year. We usually have 1 full moon and 1 new moon each month. Anytime a second anything occurs, it's an oddity that ends up with its own name and usually a bunch of folklore and superstitions arise about it.

Although it sounds sinister, a Black Moon doesn't have any strange power. It's not even as rare as one might think. The last one was in March 2014, and next year there will be one in August.

Takeaway Truth

Best use of this knowledge? A trivia game? If you're a writer, of course, the best use is as a jumping off point for your imagination. I can think of all kinds of premises revolving around a Black Moon event. I call dibs!

Romance Readers Are Hopeful Romantics

Why do some people feel compelled to judge a person based on reading choice?

We who write and read romance are, sadly, accustomed to having our intelligence, maturity, and even our grasp on reality questioned because of what we read and/or write.

We are told we write about unrealistic people in unrealistic situations—as if writing about a man and woman seeking love in a committed relationship was something that happens only in an alternate reality, in other words, in science fiction.

If that were true, then there would be no long-term happy marriages. I have one of those. Thirty-eight years and counting. Just about all of my friends—especially those who write romance—have that kind of relationship too.

Snobbery Rears Its Ugly Head

For many years, reading romance in the summer—the eagerly embraced guilty pleasure of beach reads—seemed to be accepted by those who looked down on the romance genre albeit with condescending amusement. Not any more.

You'll find many websites that define the "beach read" as a "trashy, throw-away novel, frequently of the romance genre, that people take to the beach." Yes, I read that on a website.

Isn’t it heartwarming to read that the books we love to read and write are considered throw-away trash?

I love what Sandra Cisneros said: "I never feel guilty about reading any kind of book. Books are medicine, each one a specific prescription for whatever ails us."

Why Read Romance?

I read romance and write it because I believe that true love can be had in this crazy world. Sure, it's not easy to make a relationship work. It requires work and commitment and the willingness to make that investment in a relationship.

I read romance, not because it's fantasy, but because I believe in the power of love. In most popular novels of every genre, wrongs will be righted, good will prevail over evil, and love usually triumphs against all odds--regardless of genre.

All of this is particularly true of romance novels. Romance readers are not hopeless romantics but hopeful romantics. Always hopeful that love will prevail in this crazy, war-racked world of ours where there's so much hate that fills the headlines.

Takeaway Truth

Never be ashamed of your reading taste. Love is empowering. At the end of life, love is the only thing that remains. I've sat a death vigil, and I know that in that last breath of life, the dying person wants only to whisper words of love to those who remain.

Review: A Baby for New Year's by Susan R. Hughes

Since I’ve read romance novels by Susan R. Hughes before, I eagerly accepted an Advanced Reading Copy of A Baby For New Year’s, now on pre-order for only 99cents.

(By the way, this novel has “guest appearances” by Paige and Ryan who found their happily ever after in her previous novel A Baby For Christmas. (Free if you are a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber but only 99cents if you're not.)  It’s always a treat to see characters you met in a previous book return to show that they’re still happy.)

Blurb: A Baby for New Year's

After an emotionally destructive marriage, Meg has settled into a quiet life as a single mother. When her pregnant teenage niece arrives at her door, seeking shelter, Meg finds herself caught in a family drama between the girl's parents.

She hasn't seen her estranged sister Kelly or her former brother-in-law Evan in years, but she’s never forgotten her secret crush on Evan when they were teenagers. Single again, he reawakens Meg’s feelings for him.

As the New Year brings complications she never anticipated, will Meg listen to her heart and take a chance on love?

My Review

With A Baby For New Year’s, Hughes has come into her own as an author of heartwarming romances with flawed characters who try to do the right thing even though that complicates their lives.

It’s nice to see a heroine like Meg who is a single mother, trying to set a good example for her children. She is the kind of woman we all want to be: a good mother, daughter, and sister–even though Meg’s sister makes the reader want to shake some sense into her. It’s almost a universal law that a good, compassionate woman has someone in her life who gives her never-ending grief.

Meg avoids taking the self-indulgent path and yielding to her desire because she knows the hurt that may cause others. Yet, she is not perfect. She’s living life on her own terms, or so she thinks. Only when she falls in love does she realize how events from her previous marriage affect her attitudes and behaviors.

Meg always strives to do the right thing. In a world where people seem more prone to living life without thought of the consequences to others, that is enormously appealing. Her story tugs the heartstrings and takes the reader on an emotional journey as she battles her own demons and comes to terms with her own past.

Takeaway Truth

If you love Women’s Fiction with romantic elements, you’ll love A Baby For New Year’s. It is, in a word, wonderful.

Love Christmas Excerpt by Denise Devine

I'm pleased to welcome another of my Authors Billboard friends, Denise Devine to SlingWords.

Denise is giving up a sneak peek at her novella that will be in the 2016 Love, Christmas Romance Collection, available NOW for pre-order.

So This is Christmas
by Denise Devine

Chapter 1

Monday, December 10th

Winter in Minnesota didn’t rate high on my list of seasons, but I couldn’t imagine spending Christmas anywhere else. The pristine snow, the crisp, fresh air and the rainbow-colored lights decorating snow-covered roofs reminded me of a Hallmark movie. I loved shopping at the Mall of America for gifts and watching the Holidazzle electric light parade in downtown Minneapolis, but my favorite event always happened on the second weekend in December. That’s when I met up with my best friends for three days of good wine, more food than we could ever eat and lots and lots of laughter. We’d grown up in the same northeast Minneapolis neighborhood—Ellie, Jeanette, Ginny, Sarah and me—and through the years, were inseparable until our careers took us in different directions. Now that we’d hit our mid-thirties, it had become more difficult than ever to schedule a “girls only” weekend, but we’d made it a priority.

We always spent the weekend at Ellie Stone’s family cabin in Breezy Point, Minnesota. Frankly, I didn’t know why they called it a cabin. The multi-level monstrosity had six bedrooms, four baths, a den, two kitchens and two living rooms. In the lower kitchen, the Stone family cooked all their meals. The upper kitchen, the one with the beautiful view of Gull Lake, they used to stock all their booze.

I decided to drive up to Breezy Point a few days early this year. Ellie’s family had always considered me “one of the bunch” and had no problem with my coming up ahead of time. I needed to take a break from my photography business, something I hadn’t allowed myself to do for a long time. Lately, though, I’d begun to question the price of success. I had a thriving business, but the toll it placed on my life was slowly burning me out. The thought of spending four days alone in that big house with nothing to do but sip wine in front of a crackling fire would be good for me; it would also force me to give some serious thought to the dismal state of my love life.

I arrived at the house around noon. Driving up the snow-covered alley, I pulled into the back and parked in the driveway in front of the tuck-under garage. Thankfully, someone had cleared away the snow and shoveled the sidewalks. I slid out of the car and drew in a deep breath of fresh air, taking a much-needed stretch from the two-hour drive from Minneapolis. Even though the sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky, the temperature hovered around twenty degrees. Anxious to get out of the cold, I grabbed my bag and the tote containing my four-week-old kitten and bounded up the cement stairway. The Stone family always hid a spare key under the planter next to the back door. I let myself in through the screen porch to the lower level kitchen and living room.

The tote with my sleeping kitten fit on the seat of the rocking chair. The rest of my gear landed on the sofa in front of the fireplace before I dumped my coat and made my way to the bathroom. I turned on the water in the tub and stripped down to my undergarments. A nice hot bath sounded like the perfect way to kick off my vacation.

Suddenly, a loud thumping noise echoed from inside a room across the hallway. My heart slammed into overdrive as a frightening thought raced through my head.

Is there someone else in this house?

No time to get dressed—I grabbed the fuzzy robe hanging on the back of the door and wrapped it around myself then peeked through a narrow crack in the opening. I didn’t see anyone in the living room but finding the immediate area empty didn’t bolster my courage. I needed to call 9-1-1 and my phone lay tucked in my purse across the room.

Now what do I do? No way can I lock myself in here and hope the intruder just goes away.

My brilliant, lightning fast mind said, “Get the phone. Run. Now.”

Slowly, I opened the door and crept out, hoping the rushing water from the bathtub faucet made enough noise to mask my footsteps. I scurried over to my purse and snatched the phone then made a beeline back to the bathroom. Got the door open and almost made it inside when a large hand gripped my shoulder.

“A-h-h-h-h-h!” The shrill scream shot out of me so fast I hardly knew I’d opened my mouth. My body shuddered and the phone went flying as the strong hand pivoted me, bringing me face to face with my aggressor.

My breath caught in my throat as the fear gripping me transformed into jaw-clenching anger.

“Christopher Stone! You scared me half to death! What are you doing sneaking around the house?”

I hadn’t spoken to him since twelfth grade, but the gap in time did nothing to cool my foaming-at-the-mouth resentment of the kid who’d spent the entirety of his youth teasing me.

Ellie’s twin brother stood before me wearing nothing but a pair of skin-tight jeans, barely zipped with the top snap gaping open. I’d seen him wearing less at the beach, but even his favorite chino shorts had never looked this good on him. Before I knew it, my gaze quickly traveled from his slim waist to the width of his broad shoulders and smooth, muscular chest. Embarrassed by my obvious curiosity, I looked away. This body did not match the scrawny kid I used to wrangle with growing up. When did all this happen? I mean, I knew most ball players worked out to gain strength and boost their power to hit a baseball for a living. I’d watched Chris on television and on the big screen at the ballpark, but I never imagined him looking this good up close…

He didn’t seem to care about his half-naked appearance as he yawned and ran a hand through his tousled dark hair. “I wasn’t sneaking around,” he said in a smooth, deep voice. “I was sleeping. You woke me up.”

I glared at him to mask the sudden flutter in my stomach. “Are you—are you alone?”

“W-h-a-a-a…of course, I’m alone.”

I stared boldly into his deep blue eyes. “What are you doing here?”

He shrugged. “What I always do when I need to get away from the crowds—I crash. What are you doing here?”

“This weekend is our annual Christmas get-together,” I said matter-of-factly and raised one brow to let him know he’d better crash somewhere else.

He frowned. “Aren’t you a little early? It’s only Monday.”

“No, I volunteered to do the housecleaning and put up the decorations so the place would look great when the girls arrive,” I said lying through my teeth. He didn’t need to know my real plans.

“Okay, great.” He sounded amused as he leaned over and picked up my phone. “I thought for a minute there you were trying to get rid of me.”

My patience wore thin. “Look, Chris, you’re going to be in the way. Don’t you have to get back to the cities to get ready for a hot date with your girlfriend or something?” Whoever she is this week…

He didn’t rise to the bait, but I noticed a muscle twitch in his cheek, as though the whole “date” situation didn’t set well with him. It didn’t surprise me considering the high-profile women he chased—Hollywood starlets, models and pop singers—Queen Bee Central. He changed girlfriends with the same frequency most men took their shirts to the laundry. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but just the same…

“Tell you what, I’ll stay in my room while you vacuum and do whatever it is you need to do.” His eyes flashed when I shook my head. “What’s your problem?”

“It’s not what, it’s who.” I took my phone from his hand. “I’m not in the mood to spend the next four days dodging a guy who likes to play practical jokes on me. You know, like throwing water balloons, unscrewing the top off the salt and pepper shakers, flipping my glass of soda upside down on the table, hiding a whoopee cushion under a blanket on my chair,” and his crowning achievement, “putting a live snake down my shirt?”

He burst out laughing. “Are you still mad about that? I did those things when we were kids.”

The fact that he still thought them funny still made me mad and I didn’t trust him one bit. “Yes,” I said in my snippiest voice, “and I’m soooo not in the mood for any of your antics this week.”

“I’ll be good.” He held up both hands. “I won’t cause an ounce of trouble. I promise.” His gaze suddenly dropped to the front of my body and his eyes widened. “Uh, but I can’t say the same for you.”

I looked down and found my robe gaping open, my pink with black polka dot Victoria’s Secret undies in full view. “A-h-h-h-h-h!” My scream this time had more to do with frustration than fright. I jerked my robe shut and stormed into the bathroom, determined not to give my childhood nemesis the satisfaction of seeing my face turn crimson like he had so often in the past.

His triumphant laughter propelled me all the way.

About Denise Devine

Denise Devine is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes sweet romantic comedy and inspirational romance. She is currently writing two series, Forever Yours (Inspirational) and Counting Your Blessings (Christmas romantic comedy). You can visit her at

Takeaway Truth

2016 Love, Christmas Romance Collection promises to be an amazing holiday-themed romance collection. This box set will be available for only 99cents for a limited time so order yours today.

Love Christmas Excerpt by Patricia Rosemoor

New York Times bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor shares an excerpt from her novella that will be in the Love, Christmas Romance Collection.

A Note from Patricia Rosemoor

The song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the middle of the Cold War.

Now Christmas is just around the corner, and Shelley and Jake are in a cold war of their own…

Excerpt, Do You Hear What I Hear?

A Detective Shelley Caldwell “Hot Christmas” Novella

by Patricia Rosemoor

Chapter One

Four days before Christmas

Sleet hit Chicago like an icy whip early this afternoon, the Christmas gift that just kept giving. I love snowy Christmases, but getting pelted in the face with icy needles was sheer misery, reminding me of my current relationship with my live-in love, Jake DeAtley.

Putting him out of mind so that I could concentrate on the job, I carefully negotiated the ice-laden pavement and took a quick look at the Uniforms in charge of crowd control, the EMT guy at the body and the gathering spectator herd outside the yellow tape taking their damn selfies with the dead guy behind them.

“Nice one for the holidays.” Detective Mike Norelli shook his grizzled head. “Great last minute Christmas cards.” He glanced back at me. “C’mon, Caldwell, let’s get this over with. I actually got a hot date tonight.”

“Right,” I muttered, wondering what kind of a woman would go for the sarcastic cop. “I should rush to the scene and kill myself, too.”

Norelli snorted as he ducked under the Crime Scene tape. “That’s what you get for wearing killer boots.”

I wasn’t a fashionista like my twin sister Silke, but I had my moments. These knee length suede boots with high heels I’d seen in Westbrook’s windows had done me in. Or would do me in, I thought as I slid toward the dead man in the middle of the street. I regained control just in time to prevent myself from tripping over him.

“There’s the reason he’s dead,” Norelli groused, pointing to the tree on his other side. “Too into the Christmas spirit to get out of the way of traffic.”

“Nobody’s ever accused you of having too much spirit.”

But some kind of spirit was making my hackles rise. Sorrow…mourning…despair. A faint whisper in my mind froze me where I stood. This psychic thing had started between Silke and me when we were little kids and had grown into our being able to talk to each other without actually speaking. Now Jake and I could read each other’s minds, as well. Too bad I couldn’t change his when it came to Christmas. Whatever was going on here at the scene hit me in the gut. I took a good look through the gathered crowd but saw no one in tears or appearing distraught. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was on the edge, no matter how much I wanted to believe otherwise. I recognized woo-woo the instant it hit me.

“So did someone really run him down on purpose?” I asked the EMT, who was kneeling by the body.

“Don’t know for sure.” He got to his feet. He pointed to a small knot of teenagers behind him. “Those girls witnessed it. At least one of them picked up footage on her phone.”

“I’ll go talk to them,” Norelli grunted.

He left me staring down at the poor middle-aged dead guy spread out next to a gorgeous pine tree unlike any I’d ever seen before. There was something magical about it, because just looking at it warmed me inside. I steeled myself against showing any emotion, though, because there was nothing positive about his death. I didn’t want anyone to think I didn’t have the proper respect. Poor guy probably had been bringing the Christmas tree home for his wife and kids. Oh, Lord, I hoped I wasn’t the one who’d have to share the bad news with his family. Worst part of the job.

“The county medical examiner’s van is on his way to take him to the morgue,” the EMT told me. “Ah, crud, I forgot to call Streets and Sanitation to remove the tree.”

They would not only remove the beautiful Christmas tree, they would destroy it, run it through their grinder to make mulch. Something kept me from wanting that to happen, at least not while it was still alive. The van to take the body away was already pulling up to the crime scene.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “You take care of the victim. I’ll take care of the tree.”

And then I would have to deal with Jake when I brought it home.


“I thought we agreed on no Christmas tree,” Jake said the moment he laid eyes on it.

He wore nothing but an angry expression, the black diamond in his right ear and a towel low around his hips. I swallowed hard and tried not to admire what I couldn’t have. Not an early riser unless a little something erotic was involved—and there had been none of that in my reality since I’d insisted on decorating my half of the apartment for the holiday—he’d been dead asleep when I’d left for work that morning. Not literally dead, despite the vampire blood he’d inherited from his mother.

Sarge and Cadet were already circling the tree, no doubt wondering how long it would be before they could climb it.

“No!” I said a little too harshly. Sarge fell back on his haunches, his expression hurt and disbelieving, and scaredy cat Cadet ran behind the couch.

“I’m waiting for your supposed explanation.”

“I caught another woo-woo case. Really bad vibes.”

Jake rolled his eyes. “That’s your explanation for bringing home a Christmas tree against your sworn promise?”

“I’m telling you, there was something weird going on. I felt it right away.” Of course that’s not why I’d saved the tree from the chipper. “All right, then if you don’t believe me, don’t think of it as a Christmas tree. Think of it as a beautiful mountain pine that didn’t deserve to be destroyed while it was still alive. It’s just here temporarily to make the apartment smell nice.”

“Right. Justify it all, why don’t you?”

“I didn’t do this to hurt you, Jake. I won’t even decorate it. I promise.”

His dark gaze cut through the room, half of which was already decorated with boughs of holly and strings of lights and candles everywhere. I’d set out bowls of ornaments, most of which I’d bought one at a time, each with special meaning for me. Plus there were those from Silke’s and my childhood. “Santa” (Dad) had always brought a few for each of us along with our other presents.

“By the way,” Jake added, “that ‘not a Christmas tree’ is on my side of the room.”

The barren side.

Grunting, I tried lifting the tree to appease him, but I swore it had gotten heavier every time I moved it. Or maybe I just needed the meal I’d never gotten around to eating. “I suppose you wouldn’t consider helping me.”

In answer, he crossed his arms over his bared chest and raised one dark eyebrow.

My heart fluttering despite the tension between us, I did the best I could, dragging it, inching it along, finally leaning it against the wall next to the couch. At least I didn’t have to go down to the storage area and find the stand. I’d brought it up with the rest of my decorations, also with no help from Jake. How the heck was I supposed to lift such a heavy tree into the stand myself?

Jake and I stared at each other for a moment, and I swore I read regret in his expression before he turned away.

“I’ll be in the shower,” he growled as he made for the bathroom.

Normally, that would have included an invitation to join him.

What exactly did he regret? For disappointing me? Or because he couldn’t shake the memories of a horrific childhood when none of his Christmases had been anything to celebrate?

The mother who’d loved him as best she could had been pregnant with Jake when she’d been turned by a vampire against her will. Amazing that he’d turned out pretty normal other than having tremendous speed, strength and hearing. And an appetite for very rare, very bloody beef—couldn’t forget that one. From what he’d told me, he’d been as normal a kid as was possible, but his mother’s uncontrollable urge to feed on human blood came even before his needs at times. Definitely before Christmas. So after he’d spent holiday after holiday alone, no one to take him to Christmas services at midnight, no one to read him a Christmas story or to sing a Christmas carol with him, he’d given up celebrating, both religious and secular.

But now that we had found each other, had fallen in love, had bought a condo and moved in together, I’d convinced myself he would be open to something with such meaning for me. Until our Dad had died on the job, he’d made every Christmas special for Silke and me. I honored his memory every holiday. I’d told Jake that. I’d hoped that he would at least try to celebrate with me.

I’d been wrong.

And too stubborn to let it go.

So I’d come up with a compromise. “My half” of every room in our new condo would be decorated as I wanted. Same with “his half.” I’d thought that maybe, just maybe, he would loosen up a bit. Instead, while he’d agreed I could hang my lights and set out my candles and ornaments on my side, the biting part of the bargain was that there was to be no Christmas tree. I had reluctantly agreed.

Now this.

Saddened, I ran a hand along a branch of pine needles and it struck me again even harder.


I stood there for a moment staring at the branches, trying to discern exactly what was going on. The depth of feeling didn’t let up until I let go. And then I realized I hadn’t gotten the woo-woo from someone in the crowd earlier.

I’d gotten it from the tree itself.

About Patricia Rosemoor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor has had 98 novels with 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. All but two of her Patricia Rosemoor novels are romantic suspense or romantic thrillers. She also writes a less pulse-pounding combination of romance and suspense with a dash of humor with a partner as Lynn Patrick.

Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Takeaway Truth

The Love, Christmas Romance Collection will be available in a few short weeks.

Eye of the Pharaoh by Nancy Fraser

Eye of the Pharaoh, an Egyptian-themed time travel with paranormal elements, by Nancy Fraser is in the SlingWords Spotlight today for the Cover Reveal.

Nancy has a a Rafflecopter giveaway too so be sure and enter.

Eye of the Pharaoh will be released October 19 from Soul Mates Publishing.

Will an unexpected trip to 1920s Egypt be their downfall or, will an ancient guardian keep them safe?

About Eye of the Pharaoh

Publicist Teri Hunter has her hands full promoting Professor Joshua Cain and his new non-fiction book, The Pharaoh’s Mummy. She’s not convinced it’s even possible to turn this absent-minded, modern-day, Indiana Jones into a best-selling author.

Dr. Cain’s PhDs in archaeology and art history have prepared him for almost anything on the lecture circuit and among ancient ruins. He’s just not sure about a book tour...or the sexy publicist sent to monitor his every professional move.

When an odd request falls in their laps while in New Orleans, Josh and Teri find themselves transported to 1920’s Egypt where they must resolve an ancient curse in order to be sent home. Will the dangers facing them hinder their success and threaten their very lives? Or will help from an ancient guardian keep them on-track and safe?

Excerpt, Eye of the Pharoah
by Nancy Fraser

Wake up. Kick ass. Repeat.

Teri Hunter mouthed the motivational phrase she’d chosen for her personal mantra as she stepped across the threshold into the dark and musty storeroom.

A dim light shone from a glass-enclosed workroom in the far corner. Taking a tentative step forward, she faltered when the floorboards creaked beneath her feet. Something fast and furry brushed against her ankle. A shiver ran down her back, yet she fought the urge to retreat.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

This was obviously today’s obstacle. Were it not for her professional commitments and intricately organized schedule, she’d have no doubt bolted for the door and returned to the safety and illumination of the main building.

‘Sorry, but the storage area doesn’t have overhead lighting. Preservation of the antiquities. You understand.’ The dean’s words echoed in her head. To make matters worse, what little outside light there was had become nearly non-existent due to an impending thunderstorm.

Drawing a deep breath, she took a second step and then a third, winding her way past a half-dozen crates, some open, some not. To her left she heard a rustling of paper; to her right the distinct sound of footsteps.

Her apprehension grew, the hair on her forearms stood at attention. She’d barely made it halfway across the room before bumping into something large and solid. Reaching out, she laid her hand against the oversized object. Slowly, she raised her head and came face to face with the painted mask of an Egyptian noble. The chipped finish gave the death mask a deranged look.

“You come here often, big boy?”

Fun Fact from Nancy Fraser

The idea for Eye of the Pharaoh came about following a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago. For the longest time afterward, I couldn’t get the images of ancient Egypt out of my head. Then, out of the blue, I received a gift from a relative who had passed...a gorgeous necklace fashioned like an Egyptian collar. The late relative had no way of knowing about my recent fascination with Egypt so I took it as a sign. There was obviously a story inside me begging to come out.

About Nancy Fraser

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy will release her 25th book in early 2017. She is currently working on her next Rock and Roll novella and two other equally exciting projects.
Books are MAGICAL!!

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Find Nancy Online

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Amazon Author Page

Takeaway Truth

Mark your calendar for October 19, the release date for Eye of the Pharoah.

Spotlight On Alpha Beta Omega: A Shifter Box Set

The SlingWords Spotlight is shining on Alpha Beta Omega: A Shifter Box Set.

About Alpha Beta Omega

From today’s hottest USA Today and national bestselling authors comes a collection of 10 novellas, featuring hot alpha, beta, and omega shifters.

If you like tigers, bears, wolves, and more you’ll love this box set. Each story is either a first in a series or a stand-alone novella. AND it’s only on sale for a limited time so be sure to grab Alpha Beta Omega while it’s available.

Be sure and visit the Alpha Beta Omega Facebook Page.

Authors and Titles of Alpha Beta Omega

A Tiger’s Claim by Lia Davis, Bestselling Romance Author
Romance. Suspense. Heat

As the Alpha’s only daughter Shayna Andrews has always been treated like a rare gem, protected like royalty, and she’s suffocating. Her longing to be independent has driven her to sneak out one evening after dinner. After relishing in being able to run free without an escort, she finds herself face-to-face with the enemy, miles from home, and nearly loses her life until a lone wolf comes to her aid. But when he discovers she wears the enemy’s brand, things will go from bad to worse.

The Scarlett Legacy by K.N. Lee
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

Wizards. Shifters. Sexy mobsters with magic. The arrival of Avalon Prince brings a century-old feud to a dangerous climax. Scottish Old-World magic, mixed with a dangerous obsession with Evie and a sinister plot for revenge threatens to bring the Scarlett family to its demise.

Tiger Time by Marissa Dobson
Where love is a Magical Thing

Tabitha Leigh has no idea her mundane life is about to change or that danger stalks her every step. Now as the Queen of the Tigers with a bounty on her head, she must embrace her future and her mate. If she doesn’t, it will mean the end of everything she’s come to know and never realized she needed.
Reading ROCKS!!

Healer’s Fate by Beth Caudill
Discover Love on Faraway Worlds

Corliss Rumdone’s the healer of her werewolf clan, destined to save lives and live in the shadows. He's the alpha's son, destined to mate to cement his status at the top of the pack. What happens when he chooses her instead?

Bearly Smitten (The Alpha’s Bride Book 1) by Misha Carver

When bear shifter Jed Barton’s keynote speaker engagement and his role as pack alpha require him to have a wife, he does what any other tycoon would do – he hires one – the last thing he wanted to do was fall in love with her.

Reluctant Revenge - Under the Demon’s Skin by Xandra James
My Bed. My rules. Your Pleasure

Demon-hybrid Nash is hungry for revenge. Promising to protect the daughter of his sworn enemy, he's torn between his duty as an Alpha Enforcer and his desire to avenge his murdered fiancée. Can Nash forgive the past? Or will losing Sienna be the only way to heal his dark heart?

Feral - A Many Lives Story by Laxmi Hariharan
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

He was her destination. She just didn't know it. When Maya leaves Luke to go in search of her blood family, nothing prepares her for the secrets she uncovers about herself. An intense, shifter romance, set in a Bombay of the future.

The Beta’s Mate by Bethany Shaw

Nina’s tired of the lies and disappearances. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, but fate has other ideas. Now if she could only get in touch with her soon-to-be ex. Logan hates that his wife filed for divorce, even though everyone tells him it’s for the best. He’s the beta of the pack—second in command—and she’s human. When he discovers he’s going to be a father, he’ll do anything to keep Nina and the baby safe. But will she let him back in when she finds out he’s been lying to her for years about turning into a giant wolf?

Night Falls by Nicole Morgan
Bringing Passion to Life

When Paul, the leader of the Racinitine Pack crosses paths with Kinzey, a tencacious reporter, he knows he’s in trouble. Not only can he see the fire in her, but he can feel it as well. When Kinzey gets too close to his secrets, it may change the only way of life his pack has ever known.

Wounds to Bear (Heart of The Bear Book One) by Lily Marie
Writing steamy romance – one sexy scene at a time

A wounded shifter, and a beautiful, curvy woman. Two hearts, with one goal – to save the children taken by an old enemy. Roman Black’s past has finally caught up with him – and he isn’t the only one paying for his mistakes. Dr. Jenna Morgan is running from her own past – and hopes to find her place in the small town of Pine Heart. When a wounded bear shows up at her door, she discovers that the rumors about this small town are true, and that one of those shifters is bleeding all over her front porch. She treats him, and learns that he was shot protecting a group of shifter and human kids – who are now being held by an old enemy bent on revenge.

Add Alpha Beta Omega to Your Library

This box set is available for a limited time at the low price of 99cents at: Amazon Kindle * iBooks * Barnes & Noble * Kobo.

Takeaway Truth

If you like paranormal and heroes who are "different," then grab this collection before it goes away.

What You Miss When Kids Grow Up

Back to school time was always a delight for me. I loved shopping for school supplies--especially Crayon® boxes.

I love the distinctive smell of those pieces of colored wax. I don’t know how Craola® infuses that aroma in its products, but one sniff and I’m carried back to my school days and to my kids’ school days.

Smell Triggers Memories

There are moments when I am overcome with emotion and wish my kids were little again so we could all sit at the kitchen table and draw pictures or open a coloring book and create a masterpiece.

Today there are all kinds of “bells and whistle” Crayons. Markers of every description. Magic Crayons that only work on special surfaces. (If they’d had those when my youngest was a toddler, it would have saved several sets of sheets. More about that later.) Multicultural Crayons, triangular Crayons, Studio Design Crayons, and so many more. I’m a purist. I like the original ones best because they’re the ones with that smell.

Bed Linen Designs by My Crayon-Wielding Daughter

Many of you know that my daughter Adina Mayo is an artist. What you may not know is that her first artistic efforts were drawing designs on the sheets in her bed with a purple crayon. As she explained to me, the purple flowers she drew looked better than the pink flowers on the sheets. She was about 2 1/2 years old at the time--and was supposed to be taking a nap.

Now she creates designs for Adina's Spoonflower Shop. The designs can be used for fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap. She also is a fabulous graphic artist who designs book covers for authors. She designed all of my book covers.

My Duh Moment

When she was in 5th grade, she brought me the shavings from her Crayon sharpener and spread them out on a piece of paper and asked me to tell her what I saw. I looked at the colorful fragments and said I didn’t see anything, but that all the shavings together were pretty. She nodded, looked at me, and said, “That’s because it’s art.”

In that moment, I knew she had some special aesthetic sense.

Takeaway Truth

Wow.  I miss those days. I may have to get the Crayon bucket out and a couple of tissues. Enjoy your children while they're young. It really is true that time flies too swiftly.

Love Christmas Excerpt by Dani Haviland

You'll be pleased with today's post. I have another Sneak Peek at the Love, Christmas Romance Collection coming soon.

Please welcome Dani Haviland who is here to share the first chapter of Little Drummer Boy, her novella that will be in the Love, Christmas Romance Collection.

About Dani Haviland

Formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, Dani Haviland is recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.

I'll have pre-order information about this stunning Christmas romance box set very soon. Look for it here on SlingWords.

Little Drummer Boy
Unedited Chapter 1

by Dani Haviland


Scout cringed as the branch broke under his foot, its disintegration echoing in the narrow walls of the ravine. If his father had been with him, maybe he’d have cuffed his ears, or even worse, subjected him to that angry White Man scowl.

But his father wasn’t here.


He’d make do by himself as he had in the past. He huffed as realization hit. His life had been so much simpler without a father. When had their roles been reversed? He shrugged a shoulder and a faint smile crept in. Ever since he’d met him, three years ago. The smile grew and he allowed a small chuckle to escape. Yes, his first ten years of life had been so much easier, living with just his mother and grandmother in their Cherokee village. Finding his ‘real’ father was almost an accident, but whether Sky Walker—the man the White Men called Ian Kincaid—was a nuisance or not, he was still kin. And he’d watch out for him.

When he was around.

And not on another vengeance quest.

But no matter what, he needed to find food and a way to make money, but not in that order.

He clutched his rumbling stomach. “Quiet, or we’ll never get that rabbit.”

The sand-colored critter sniffed the air, then hopped through the knee-high grass, making his own trail, his white cotton tail taunting a silent farewell. Dinner almost got away, but the youthful hunter’s bolo toss was quick and accurate.

“No matter how dire the circumstances, there always seems to be enough rabbits to feed a traveler.”


“I canna stay with ye any longer,” he said as he kicked dirt over the dying embers of his campfire. “If I do, I’ll wind up as mean and ornery as ye. I can hunt and fish to feed myself, and trap and sell furs to save a few coins. Ye see, I have a wife now. Even if she’s young and stayin’ with her parents until she finishes school, Jenny is still my wife. Ye see, we married the Indian way, claimin’ each other as husband and wife two years past. I want to buy us a piece of land and a few starter critters, build a house, plant a garden and maybe some fruit trees. I don’t want to be like ye. I want to be settled, have a family that lives in a house, with glass windows maybe—not out in the wind and rain, watchin’ out fer snakes and bears and all those enemies ye’re always makin’.”

Scout—the youth called Wee Ian by his father—tugged at the strap securing his bundle of blanket, pan, and corn meal, and then stood up again, searching the horizon for signs of his father. Or anyone else.

“Weel, that’s what I’d say to ye if ye were here, but yer gone again.” He shook his head in disgust. “What did someone say or do to make ye angry this time…”

Takeaway Truth

Look for Love, Christmas coming soon.

In Memory: September 11, 2001

It's one of those days that you will always remember what you were doing when you heard the news.

We will never forget.

Takeaway Truth

God bless America.

Joyce Henderson Writing Contest for Unpublished Manuscripts

The Joyce Henderson Writing Contest, sponsored by Southwest Florida Romance Writers, is now open.


Submit first 20 pages of an unpublished manuscript featuring romantic elements and a 1-page, single-spaced, unjudged synopsis.

Deadline: October 9, 2016.

Categories and Judges

Contemporary (including Women’s Fiction)
Editor: Sue Grimshaw, Penguin Random House
Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates

Editor: Lee Lawless, Tor/Forge Publishing
Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency

Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy
Editor: Georgia Woods, Hartwood Publishing
Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency

Young Adult
Editor: Mary Altman, Sourcebooks
Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary Agency

Romantic Suspense
Editor: Junessa Viloria, Penguin Random House
Agent: Jessica Waterson, Dijkstra Agency

Editor: Susan Brower, Gilead Publishing
Agent: Julie Gwinn, The Seymour Agency


• Unpublished authors
• Traditional or self-published authors who have not published in the category they’re entering within past 5 years
• Entries must be the author’s original work that has not been published or contracted to be published.
• Entrants need not be members of RWA.
• All English-language entries are welcome.

Takeaway Truth

This is a well-known contest. For more information, please visit Joyce Henderson Contest and/or Southwest Florida Romance Writers.

Love Christmas Excerpt by Alicia Street @AliciaStreet1 #mgtab

Bestselling author Alicia Street is here to share her Chapter 1 of O Christmas Tree with us today.

This novella is part of the Love Christmas Romance Collection coming very soon to an ebook seller near you!

Note from Alicia

What’s your favorite Christmas carol?

That was the question we posed in our Fresh Fiction contest. More than 700 people shared their choices with us, and from that we chose 20 lucky winners to give us the titles for our holiday novellas and the books will be dedicated to them in our Love, Christmas Collection.

My winner, Jackie Wisherd, chose O Christmas Tree, one of my very favorite carols!

Every week we’re featuring the first chapter of a novella in the collection. So here is a Sneak Peek at . . .

O Christmas Tree
by Alicia Street

A Holiday Luv Romance

Piper’s breath caught when Cody Campbell walked in the door of Catalyst, her soon-to-open cat cafe in the sleepy town of North Cove. His virile presence overwhelmed the room, and as she steadied herself she wondered if he had this effect on females wherever he went. When she’d first seen him working at the Christmas tree farm he’d struck her as one of those tragic heroes from legends—powerful and wild, with a wounded past. She’d chalked that impression up to her artsy imagination, until she later heard more about him from Reece and discovered it wasn’t so far from the truth.

Piper lifted the aging tabby that was curled up in her lap and set him on a high bookshelf where he liked to hang out and survey the younger feline residents playing or lounging on the carpet, tables, and benches below.

“Piper Cadence, right?”

She immediately liked his smooth deep voice. It fit her storybook hero perfectly. Piper nodded and walked toward him, telling her wobbly knees that his rep as a carpenter and the fact that Reece said he needed extra work were the reasons she’d hired Cody to build the maze of sleep cubbies for the cats. It had nothing to do with those desolate blue eyes in his magnificent face. Or the fantasies she had no business entertaining.

Shifting a large cardboard box to one arm, he held out a hand. “Cody Campbell.”

“Piper Ca—oh, you just said that. Um, nice to, uh, meet you.” What was wrong with her? At least he didn’t laugh, although his sultry silence unnerved her just as much.

She reached out and his large hand, calloused and warm, enveloped hers. Piper could swear an electrical spark shot through her at his touch, but when she glanced up to see if he noticed it, a mewing sound distracted her. It was coming from the cardboard box with holes poked in it that now rested on his shoulder. “Is that—?”

“A box of kittens.” His tone turned apologetic. “I hope you have room for five more.” He set the box on the floor and opened the folded lid. A squeaky chorus erupted.

Piper couldn’t suppress her giggle as she picked up one of the tiny gray-and-white fur balls. She expected the cuteness overload of kittens to ease the awkwardness between them, but Cody didn’t smile at the kittens. Instead his intense gaze remained on Piper.

Those haunted eyes of his studying her sent a jittery tremor through her. Was he merely curious? Could it be…? No, she wouldn’t delude herself into thinking a guy as hot as Cody would be attracted to someone as plain and simple as herself. Sure, she’d made a point of wearing her sleekest jeans and a flattering sweater today, even conditioned her mousey brown hair and let it fall to her shoulders instead of tying it into her usual ponytail. But Piper knew she was no beauty.

“Where did you find them?” she asked.

“In one of the outbuildings on my parents’ farm.”

“They’re awfully young, probably not past weaning.”

Suddenly a young girl came storming into the shop. She had the painfully thin long-limbed body of an adolescent. And striking blue eyes similar to Cody’s.

“Are those my kittens?” Her pitch heightened when she peered into the box. “Why did you bring them here?”

Cody turned to her. “Grandpa said he was going to get rid of them, and you know that wouldn’t mean giving them to a shelter.”

“You could’ve told me. I would’ve hidden them from Grandpa.”

“Now, Clari, you know that won’t work.” Cody ran a hand through his dark shaggy hair, looking like a baffled father.

Piper knew that Cody had lost his wife and son three years ago, and she could imagine how difficult it would be for a man like him to handle a teenage daughter.

He placed a surprisingly gentle hand on the girl’s shoulder, but she shook him off. “You can’t just take them away from the mother cat. She’s going to be frantic looking for her babies.”

“I didn’t see a mother cat. I thought—”

“No, you didn’t think at all,” she shrieked at him. “You never do. No wonder Uncle Dylan calls you a loser.”

A wince of pain flashed across Cody’s face, only to be masked a split second later.

Piper’s heart clenched and she stood up, saying, “Why don’t you go find their mother and bring her here?”

The girl looked around, her mouth in a grim pout. “But you have all these other cats here. The mama gets fierce when any cat gets near her babies. And I’ve heard the males will hurt the kittens.”

“I can put them in a private room upstairs. I planned on rooms for isolating problem cats or separating any that didn’t get along.”

Cody gave Piper a grateful smile that softened his sharp features—and brought a surge of heat to her cheeks that no doubt turned her face pink. She ducked his gaze and extended her hand to the girl. “My name is Piper, by the way.”

“Clarissa,” the girl said, accepting a brief handshake. “Will I be able to visit them?”

“Of course,” Piper said. “In fact, I could use a volunteer to help with the cats.”

“Sounds like a great idea to me,” Cody said.

Clarissa shrugged. “I can walk here from school, but then I’ll need a ride home, and you’ll be at the Christmas tree farm most days.”

“I’ve also got to come here to build the cat hutches,” he said. “We’ll work it out.”

Clarissa looked around again. “I don’t get what kind of place this is. The sign outside says cat cafe, but it seems more like a shelter.”

Piper nodded. “It’s both. People can buy drinks and snacks in the cafe and they have the option of carrying them into the cat lounge to enjoy some feline company.”

The girl actually broke into a small grin. “That’s kind of cool.”

“So do we have a deal?”

“Okay.” Clarissa stepped toward the door. “Let’s go, Dad.”

Piper sensed the heat of his gaze again and tried to keep her composure. “Thanks,” he said. “We were supposed to talk about the job you wanted me to—”

“No rush. Besides, right now I’ve got to prep a room upstairs for these little fur balls.”

“Let me carry them up for you.” Cody reached for the box.

She swatted his hand away. “I’m all right. Go find the mother cat before it gets dark.”

The memory of a time when she was too weak to carry a box like this reminded Piper that she had no business dreaming about possibilities with this man. No, she was just glad to be able to help out a guy and his daughter. That’s all this was about and all it ever could be.

But she also remembered that special Christmas when everything seemed possible. And as Cody turned and waved to her from the door, she could almost begin to believe it.

Takeaway Truth

Pre-orders start soon on Love Christmas. The entire collection will cost only 99cents for a limited time. I'll post the buy links as soon as they are available.

Use Computers Without Wrecking Your Body

Back aching? Muscles in spasm?
Just about everyone works at a computer it seems. If you've been doing it for a long time, chances are your body feels as if it's twisted into a pretzel.

I've been writing at a computer for almost 30 years, and I have the muscles spasms to prove it. When I was younger, I could ignore the pain from hours at the computer because I knew that the pain would go away after my workout the next day.

Not so any more. I pulled the trapezius  muscles in both sides of my shoulders 3 years ago when I moved. It took more than a year to rehab from that. Ever since, I have to take great care not to inflame the nerves back there.

Here are some basic ergonomic "rules" to adopt so you can work without wrecking your body.
  1. Take a 5 minute stretch break every hour.
  2. Adjust drapes or blinds to make sure no glare is causing you to squint or give you headaches.
  3. Make sure the monitor isn't opposite a window so there's no glare or reflection on it.
  4. Adjust the position of your monitor so it's 18"-20" from your eyes with the top third of the screen viewable at eye level.
  5. Tilt your keyboard slightly so your hands line up with your elbows--not bent at the wrist--and your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle with your body.
  6. The mouse should be as close as possible to the typing keys or on a mouse keyboard slightly above the keyboard and in front of you, never to the right or left where you're reaching for it and putting a strain on your shoulders. (This is the hardest to set up. Reaching for the mouse kills my shoulders now.)
  7. Knees should be at 90 degree angle to your body--not with your thighs slanting down or up.
  8. Knees should also be 2-3" away from the edge of the chair. 
  9. Feet should be flat on the floor in front of you or on a footrest.
  10. You should sit straight in the chair with proper support of your lumbar.  
Takeaway Truth

Don't be like me--beset with a multitude of aches and pains. Learn to work ergonomically at the computer. Your body will thank you.

Purveyor of Romantic Comedy

As a purveyor of Romantic Comedy, I'm here to confess: I frequently need a good laugh! Sometimes, Life is just damned hard.

I've been writing Last Christmas, a new romantic comedy for the Love Christmas Box Set, but I've thrown away as many scenes as I've written. Why? Well, a romantic comedy should be funny, not grim. This year, I've had a lot of grim which doesn't create the proper mood.

That's when I knew it was time to immerse myself in humor. When I want to write funny, I watch funny movies, comedians in performance, and YouTube videos.

20 Christmas Romance Novellas Coming Soon!
I read funny stuff too. Lots of it about any subject matter. So I started looking through my vast humor collection which I've accumulated over the years.

I thought I'd share one with you. I don't know who first wrote these "Laws." They've floated around the Internet for years. I think they'll give you a laugh too.


Since it's the first day of September, let's start with a Giveaway. Tell me what your solution is to lift your mood when you're cranky. Leave a comment with your email address to be entered in a drawing for a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card. (If the winner selected by random draw is outside the Continental U.S., the prize will be a digital gift card tailored to your country.) Entries accepted until Sept. 10. Prize to be awarded Sept. 24--after I turn in my work-in-progress. Winner notified by email.

Universal Laws of Life

1. Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch. And you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity
Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Course Changing
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

5. Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

6. Law of Results
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

7. Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

8. Law of Coffee
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

9. Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

10. Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

11. Law of Wardrobe
If the clothes you are trying on are really cute, they won't fit.

12. Law of Commercial Marketing
As soon as you find a product that you really like, the manufacturers will cease production.

More Humor

If you'd like to laugh some more, try my September sale book, Cinderella Blue, available at Amazon Kindle and other ebook sellers.

Cinderella Blue is reduced from $3.99 to 99 cents through September 15.

In Cinderella Blue, love means never having to say, "You're under arrest."

Too bad, because Detective Andrea Luft--Andie to her friends--loves those 3 little words--especially when she's saying them to a "bad guy" who SO deserves it. Like the thief stealing designer wedding gowns from San Antonio bridal boutiques.

Andie is an undercover bride about to make an arrest when Detective Bruce Benton barges onto the scene. The suspect escapes, and, as a reward for this screw-up, Benton and Andie are paired together as partners to close the case.

On the surface, this mismatched duo appear to have only one thing in common: their tendency to annoy each other. Underneath though, desire sizzles. Is it just a matter of time before these two commitment-phobic cops yield to the inevitable?

Takeaway Truth

Hope you grab Cinderella Blue while it's on sale.

Oh, and remember to leave your comment with your email address to be entered in the Giveaway for the Amazon Gift Card.