Evocative Orchids

Welcome to Mash-Up Monday!

I love flowers, especially ones that remind me of Guam, of home. Flowers like the rich hues of pink and purple and yellow bougainvilleas, and the uber-fragrant plumerias. But since plumerias and bougainvilleas are hard to grow in the Pacific Northwest (and since I have a self-proclaimed death thumbIMAG1415 as opposed to a green thumb), I don’t see much of these tropical beauties at all.

Orchids, however, are a bit different. These puppies can be found potted at the grocery store. The. Grocery. Store.

Not that I have an orchid anywhere in my home (note the death thumb reference above), but each time I see one, I’m transported to Guam. (Which is kinda weird since I don’t remember seeing much of these growing up!)

I feel the warm breezes like a soft caress while laying on the beach or by the pool. . ..I see the sun kissing wannabe-tanned bodies. . ..I hear the soft lapping of warm ocean water, and hard-working people taking life nice and easy for a change. . ..

As for the evenings? Well, let’s just say the evenings are best spent viewing the sunset with a special someone, a bottle of bubbly, and . . . playing out your best imagination. . .. 😉

Do you have a flower that brings you back to some place special? Please share!

Have an awesome week,

Puntan Dos Amantes (Two Lovers Point)

Welcome to Travel Bug Tuesday!

As a child growing up on Guam, I loved hearing the local legends. My writer-brain  must’ve been developing even then, because I found the story of Puntan Dos Amantes (Two Lovers Point) the most fascinating.

The story’s pretty simple: Boy meets Girl. Boy loses Girl to Spanish Dude. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGirl says, “What the . . .. Hell, no.” Then she takes off with Boy while being chased by Spanish Dude and Girl’s dad. The two lovers run through the jungle and over hills, dodging the mob of peeps as they try to get away. But when they got to the edge of the cliff . . .. Well, you can probably guess what happened. But if you want the full story, you can find it here.

On my last trip to Guam, I visited Two Lovers Point. The weather was perfectly warm, with a slight breeze coming off the Pacific. The sun shone as tour buses brought in Japanese visitors. And I was there with Mr. A. We stood at the observation point and stared out at the ocean, a vast expanse of blue that stretched until it met the sky. There was a moment when I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to have to choose between living the life you want, or not living at all. Could I do what the two lovers bravely chose to do? The legend does make one wonder!

If you’re ever fortunate enough to visit Guam, do check out Two Lovers Point. It’s an island must-see!

Happy travels,


There She Goes

Welcome to Mash-Up Monday, where I pretty much toss in stuff that doesn’t fit into the other four days that I blog. 🙂

Niece 2’s gone.

Gone as in, one day a few weeks ago, before the butt-crack of dawn, I hauled her to the airport to put her on a plane. In spite of my trepidation and flat-out anxiety over her getting lost somewhere between here and Guam (did you know that kids aren’t IMAG1468 escorted on planes anymore?), she was completely focused on getting back to sunshine and warm beaches and island food.

Yep. This kid of mine, who I’d hauled to school the past year, and sometimes brought home at the end of the day, who totally messed with my CrossFit schedule so I could take her to tumbling class or a Petanque match or Cheer squad practice, left. And without a look back. I kid you not. . ..

The house has been strangely quiet ever since. Eerily so. Gone was the pop music blaring out of her computer or the house speakers, gone was the singing at the top of her lungs, and gone were those moments when I’d wander into a room and find her quietly reading like a total angel. It amazes me how much impact a kid can have on life – most of it good, all of it enriching. And while I brood over how she left, I give thanks in the knowledge that by Thursday she’ll be home again.

And that’s probably about the time I’ll miss the peace and quiet of these past few weeks. . ..

Happy Monday,


Wordy Wednesday: Thanksgiving Pie!

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday!

Yeah, there’s probably not such a thing, but I figured I failed miserably at Wordless Wednesday – couldn’t seem to NOT type anything. Some of you might not be surprised. But I digress. . ..

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to start a day early because, really, I was born on Guam and the island’s on the other side of the date line where it truly IS Thanksgiving, and friends and family there are eating pie P1150611while I have this perfectly lovely one sitting in the fridge all lonely, so in my ever-generous nature I decided I should help them celebrate. Good of me, huh? 🙂 (Right about now English teachers throughout the world are giving me “the look” – my mom included!)

So this morning I raise my fork to all of you and give thanks for the many blessings heaped upon my life. And may you, too, take this special time of year to reflect on all that is good in your world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eating pie,

Wordless Wednesday: Bikini Weather

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! (Although I’ve pretty much given up on the “wordless” part.)

My last post was, admittedly, an old one I’d done about my mom, this being her birth month and all.  So it got me to thinking about Guam – the island where I grew up.  I remember seemingly endless days of sunshine and warm tropical breezes whispering through the palm trees. . .. Total bikini weather!


Can you feel it now?  🙂

So, writer peeps, what scene or story idea does this photo inspire in your muse?  Please share!

Happy writing,


Once upon a time, this girl met this guy in college where, during their first conversation, they debated the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  After they learned to appreciate the other’s point of view (even though, technically, the girl was right), they fell madly in love, and eight years later got married on a South Pacific island by a priest from New York City.  It’s been twenty-one years, and they’re still married.

I swear it’s all true!

I look back on all this and sometimes shake my head in wonder.  We’re two completely different personalities from two completely different worlds – Hubmeister’s all East Coast logic, and I, frankly, am not.  (Hello!  I grew up on Guam!)

Don’t get me wrong.  I think logic’s fine, but I also think that sometimes you just gotta do stuff like buy that cute pair of teal, leopard print pumps because not only are they adorable, and make your legs look a mile long, but they’re also ON SALE!  Personally, the sale part seems logical to me.  Unfortunately, Hubmeister rolls his eyes.  (Like it really matters.)  Ahem.  But I digress. . ..

As a romance writer, it’s my responsibility to create a hero and a heroine so perfectly matched by the end of the book that readers think, “Well, duh!  Of course they belong together.”  But what, exactly, does that mean?  They both enjoy exotic vacations?  Neither one of them likes disco music?  Or perhaps their idea of the perfect evening involves a hot tub. . . a bottle of champagne. . . and . . . well, use your imagination!  🙂

My take is this: a perfectly matched relationship causes both the hero and the heroine to bring out the best in each other – particularly when times are rough. (‘Cause, gee, isn’t it easy to be your best when life is all champagne and dark chocolates?)  It’s the kind of relationship where each is willing to fight for what’s best for them as a couple, not just for what’s best individually.  And it’s the kind of relationship that neither can easily walk away from when both recognize they’re stronger individually because they’re together.

Twenty-one years ago, Hubmeister promised me three things if I married him:

1.  We would never own a station wagon;

2.  Life with him would never be boring;

3.  He would always love me.

He’s kept those promises, and I honestly believe this incredible man brings out the best in who I am – including the teal pumps, of course!  So are we perfectly matched?  Ask me in another twenty-one years. 😉

What’s your idea of the perfect hero/heroine?

– Melia

Dude! Ohmigod! Sooo Gross!

After graduating high school on the Pacific island of Guam, Niece left the warm tropical sunshine and gorgeous beaches a couple of years ago to come live with us. I’d like to say it’s because we’re really kewl and she knew our influence would have a positive impact on her life, but the reality is we’re cheap rent while she prepares to attend nursing school.

To go from childless to a nineteen-year-old continues to be a mind-boggling adjustment for us, even now. (That’s putting it mildly!) For instance, recently she’d barged in on a private moment Hubby and I were sharing in the kitchen. Her response sparked the title for this post. Needless to say, it killed the moment, and we were forced apart.

Me And My Man

Which begs the question: why is it that teens find it acceptable when their peers participate in some questionable public displays of affection while their parents (or pseudo-parents, in our case) are chastised in the privacy of our homes? Really? Do they not know how they got here in the first place? Do they not realize the amount of energy it took to create them? (Just because it was fun doesn’t make it any less physically demanding. Just sayin’!) And then there’s the whole pressure to keep them alive until they reach adulthood and can finally leave. (Although I do understand some of them do come back – yikes!)

One FaceBook friend posted that her husband, who’d been away on a business trip for the week, was returning home that evening, and that she had a special reunion planned. There were no details, nothing the least bit graphic, yet her son threatened to “unfriend” her, citing his belief that she was “gross.” Sigh.

There’s nothing wrong with a physically and emotionally healthy relationship between two people committed to each other. And what a beautiful example those moments are for kids to view what commitment looks like.

But, really, commitment is more than that, too. It’s making sure Niece catches the bus on time and taking her to school if she doesn’t. It’s folding laundry, scooping out the catbox, and taking out the trash each night. It’s making sure my water glass is filled before we go to bed because I’m too exhausted to notice. It’s holding my hand while we fall asleep, and kissing me on the temple until I wake up when the alarm goes off and I don’t hear it right away. (Wow. Hubby does a lot. Must find a way to thank the man!) And, yes, it’s stealing a kiss in the kitchen when we’re alone.

See, this is the stuff we romance writers strive for in our stories, no matter if we write sweets or erotica. In our books, it takes a lot to earn a happily-ever-after, and maintaining that takes an equal amount of work and commitment to the relationship. Personally, it’s way better than a screaming match between two people any day!

What’s the sweetest moment you’ve ever remembered your parents (or other influential adults in your life) sharing? Did you blurt out a version of, “Dude! Ohmigod! Sooo gross!” at the sight? Tell!