Regan's Books

Regan's Books
Reads From Regan Taylor

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vampires -- Design your own and fall in love!

It's time to GET YOUR VAMPIRE ON! Today begins Susan Blexrud's three-day event at Love Romances Book Club (link follows). Your challenge is to design a vampire employing FIVE vampire characteristics. Each day's prize is a download of one of her four fang titles, and the grand prize is a print copy of DCL's fabulous anthology, Seven Sins. Will your vampire have a reflection? Will he/she cavort in daylight or only at night? Will respiratory allergies keep your vamp confined to a coffin? HAVE FUN!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Check out the Latest from my Friend Marilee Brothers!

I love historical romances and dashing knights.  Her newest release, CASTLE LADYSLIPPER is due out this week with Awe-struck (

When a chavinistic knight lands in a castle full of women, somebody has to change . . .

Soldier of fortune, Garrick of Hawkwood, is ill prepared for the women of Castle Ladyslipper, especially its hostile mistress, Emma d'Arcy. Garrick is haunted by the spirit of Emma's great-great grandmother, Rose, the person responsible for the curse plaguing Emma and her female relatives. Though clearly at odds, Emma and Garrick cannot deny the sultry heat rising between them. Liberally laced with humor, Castle Ladyslipper resonates with a timeless theme; love can flourish even when sown in the rocky soil of misunderstanding.

You can find out more about Marilee at:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Comfort of a Small Town

I've mentioned before I live in a city of 55,000 people but we are, still, very much a small town. We have some of the "city" type stuff happen, like a shooting this week at a local grocery store, and the big name banks and a few of the big name stores, but for the most part, we're still very much like your basic small town.

I used to bank with one of the big banks. They it started to buy up other banks and I became a number. So back in the late 90's I went to one of the local banks. Just one branch, here in town. They now have 6, but it's been slow, controlled growth. They know every customer by first name, remember the names of even my cats. They have coffee and fresh baked cookies at the entry every day and always a pleasant word.

I ran out of deposit tickets so I went in to see if I could get some blank ones. I'd heard that the big name bank across the street charges for even blank ones; we won't get into printing out extra checks. So I asked for a couple of blank ones and the teller didn't just hand over a few; she printed up 20 with my name and account information -- free of charge. It's a small thing, but it's part of what makes living in a city that retains it's small town feeling, that makes it a really great place to live. I wouldn't trade my "small town" for anything.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Netiquette and Plain Good Manners Revisited - Common Sense, Common Courtesy

This isn't really writing related, but it's been brewing for me for the past few weeks. I suppose it's all the hubbub of the holidays and that desperation that seems to grow between Thanksgiving and New Years. The days don't mean a whole lot to me personally. Mostly I look forward to them because they generally mean days off with pay. That said, I do respect the excitment most people have for those days. However, it seems to me that that time period brings out the "me-ism" in people. Add to that the world of social networking and 140 characters to talk about our lives, I think we've lost touch with people. Used to be you looked for a 500-1000 page book because you could sit with the characters and become involved in their lives a bit longer. Today's world has moved to shorts and novellas, in and out, to accommodate the limited quality time we have to enjoy ourselves. And by "ourselves" I mean enjoyment in general and in specific, enjoying our own selves and time.

So what set me off (this) time? Not just the pokes, prodes and constant invites on Facebook, although they add to it. No, it's someone angling for a lawsuit and a personal pity party in a very public forum.

Back in oh, I guess September, this person appeared on my radar. What caught my attention was she didn't see the problem in not paying her rent for the month and when, in the last week of the month her landlord/roommate told her to pay or go away, the renter very publically lamented how mean the landlord was. Hmmm, you move into a place, you agree to pay X number of dollars rent and then you don't pay and it's someone else's fault? Wow. Interesting concept. Of course the landlord was psycho for wanting the rent paid -- so said the renter. Oh, yeah, she has a job, but was having money problems and more disabilities than I've ever seen one person have. (I was a rehab therapist/counselor for several years, I'm familiar with how debilitating disabilities can be).

She suggested that if all her facebook friends sent her but $2 she could pay her rent for months on end. People sent money.

Well she moved out and away from the landlord who was psychotic because she wanted the rent paid. Renter found the perfect place to live. Life was good. Then a roommate moved out.

Then we had Thanksgiving and serious depression moved in because she was all alone. Interestingly, here in San Francisco, several venues (like Glide Memorial Church) had to turn volunteers away because so many people decided to give their time to help those less fortunate. Volunteer time was limited to 2 hour blocks. But you still got to spend time with people, give something back to the community and maybe make a difference just by smiling at some other person. I guess where she lives there aren't volunteer opportunities, I don't know, I didn't ask.

Apparently she was all alone on Christmas too and that plunged her even deeper into depression and suddenly she wants, excuse me, needs, a service animal. Now here's where I get into the common sense, common courtesy thing.

I am a landlord. I rent a room, bathroom and other amenities in my house. I realize people have life changing events. As a landlord I care about two things: pay your rent on time and leave the place in as decent a shape as you found it. I'm not your mother, your sister, your best friend, your therapist or any other personal relationship that cares. I rent the space and expect payments to be made on time.

When I rent the space I ask very particular questions. As a still licensed, although not practicing therapist, I don't want to share living space with someone who has a boatload of emotional problems. There is a reason I took down my shingle and went back to work as a legal secretary. So I ask about the renter's emotional health. I ask if they have allergies -- I do have 3 cats, one is a long haired persian and the other two have medium length hair. They are indoor so they poop in the house. If that offends someone, they don't want to live with me -- I'm not going to start letting the cats, especially the feral one, out so accommodate someone else's sensitive nose. If you know it moving in, you accept that's life. I insure they can pay the rent -- yes, I do job verification. But people can have money from other sources so as long as they can verify that paying the rent on time teach month isn't a problem.

I don't smoke, I'm allergic to it. No smokers -- and I've had two people move in who assured me they didn't smoke and then, when I saw (and smelled) them smoking out front they "clarified" they don't smoke in the house. I still smell it -- no smokers means no smokers.

There are other things that I do ask to make sure my lifestyle isn't going to have to change all that much to accommodate someone else in my living space. Someone "suddenly" developing the need for a companion animal isn't going to work with my cats -- there is a reason I do month-to-month with 30 days written notice.

So this person up above, the renter, decided she wants a cat...and is labeling it a service animal because that's not the same thing as a "pet". A pet is a choice; a service animal is necessary to maintain health and/or a quality of life. She didn't have an animal when she moved in, she didn't express she might need one. This just came up after having to spend Christmas day alone, talking to several therapists on the hotline throughout the day.

Instead of sitting down and chatting with the landlord about it, she's coming in with both barrells, threatening the ADA, suicide attempts, and lawsuits. She wrote this long piece about her various disailbities and how she would die, just die, if she doesn't get her way.

As a landlord, that wouldn't fly with me. There are criteria to be met in obtaining a service animal. They are trained a certain way. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for animal adoption. Last summer when Molly died I was going to adopt one cat, Bogie, as a companion for Mel (the persian). When I went to pick up Bogie, Missy insisted she lived with me, her bags were packed and she was ready to go. "No" wasn't an option, so they both came home with me. I like to say I have an oreo cookie at all times because Mel is white and Bogie and Missy are black. Get it? Oreo cookie! I wish all homeless and rescue animals could have good homes. Believe me, I would adopt more if Mel would tolerate having more -- and I almost did bring home Mollie, a black kitty born a few days after my Molly died.

BUT, I don't go for playing the system and relying on a disability to get what you want. She wants a pet; she's calling it something else to get what she wants. And offensive to me is using her disaiblities to get what she wants. And if she doesn't, she will sue.

If I were her landlord, I'd be looking at that 30 day written notice to leave. End of discussion. Like I said, as a landlord I care about two things: paying your rent on time and leaving the premises the way you found them. I don't care about your emotional state. (Cold, I know, but I don't) and if you start to tell me you are feeling suicidal because you aren't getting your way, I sure don't want you around to carry out your threat. (Even colder, huh? But the thing is, based on my experience as a therapist, if you are going to do it, you don't advertise it. When you publically state it -- for all the world to see on Facebook, chances are you want the attention).

But all this person's drama just brings me back to common sense and common courtesy. We get so wrapped up in our own desires, wants, needs, we sometimes forget, too often forget, that the other people in the equation also have feelings, needs, desires and wants.

Now, about the Facebook thing.....there are any number of us who wish we could say "block all invitations" because you don't just get the invitation, you also get hammered with updates and reminders. If you write someone to please not send them you get a message back that they just can't be bothered sending the invites to someone who might actually be able to or interested in attending. It's easier to just send it to everyone on your list and not care that they aren't interested. And boy, do people get defensive when you ask "please, don't invite me anymore." and explain why.

Well, as a writer, these are all characteristics that can (and will) show up in a character at some point or other.