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31.5.08

In LA for the BookExpo America

Bumper to bumper traffic, tourists, heat, smog, buildings and beaches - LA is everything you expect and probably a bit more.

I'm in LA for the BookExpo, a huge convention for publishers and booksellers to come together, and here are a couple of my favorite things so far:

Zoltar, the mechanical fortune teller on Santa Monica Pier.
The gas station lady who called me "baby."
Spicy chicken from Chinatown.
The fake trash I saw at the set of ER on the Warner Bros tour.
Tons of people to watch. Everywhere.
Stories hiding around every corner.

I just about always use my traveling as a basis for a new story. The view from the Hollywood Hills is fantastic. Especially at night, with the stars overhead. I bet the ground is a bit prickly...maybe not. Do I need to go check it out before sending a couple there? Don't think so. The Hollywood Hunk -- it could work. Stay tuned.

29.5.08

Seduction Of The Senses - Taste

Seduction Of The Senses - Taste

For those of you who missed the first and second in my Seduction Of The Senses Series, I’m not going to repeat the introduction, but instead give you the links to the previous posts:

First Installment – The Sense Of Touch http://totalebound.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

Second Installment – The Sense Of Sight
http://totalebound.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html

This month we will be exploring The Sense Of Taste:

Evening was rapidly approaching by the time they got around to riding the double Ferris Wheel which stalled with them on top, the position giving them a panoramic view of the fairgrounds. Taking in the multi-colored lights adorning the rides and booths, the music, and the festive atmosphere, Mara settled back in her seat with sigh of contentment.

“Having a good time?” J.T. asked.

For the first time, Mara realized that J.T.’s arm, which had been resting across the back of the seat, was now wrapped protectively around her shoulders. Considering the distance between them and the ground, it wasn’t the brightest thing she’d ever done, but Mara turned slightly in her seat and looked up at him. “I’ve never enjoyed myself more,” she answered honestly. She wanted the kiss she’d longed for since last night. Her hand slid up his chest and her tongue snaked out to moisten her lips in an invitation she hoped J.T. wouldn’t resist. She held her breath as he brought his lips down to hers and sighed with pleasure at the initial contact.

Her soft, responsive lips tasted of cherry slush and cotton candy, and were more potent than a fine Scotch whiskey that went immediately to J.T.’s head and fired his blood. And just as he’d suspected, one taste of her would never be enough.

We have unfortunately become a society of people who rush through meals and eat on the run without even tasting the food we eat. Working full time and writing I’m probably more guilty than most. Living alone, sometimes cooking and eating seem to be a waste of valuable time or I get busy and often forget to eat altogether.

Be honest and really think about my next questions. Do you eat to live, or live to eat? What was the last thing you had to eat? Do you even remember what it tasted like? Did you grab something to eat out of habit, to fill time? I suspect that if we took the time to slow down and pay attention to the taste and flavors of the food we eat, we’d probably eat less but enjoy it more.

Exercise 1: Either prepare your favorite meal or go out to your favorite restaurant. If you stay at home, go all out with wine and candlelight, maybe soft music in the background. Slow down and take the time to enjoy your food. Pay attention to the taste of what you are eating. What does it really taste like? Is there an after taste? Can you taste various flavors or spices on your tongue? If it’s spicy, is the heat immediate or the kind that creeps up on you?


Exercise 2: You’re going to like this one – Chocolate! I’m sure we’ve all read the recent reports regarding the health benefits of dark chocolate. Some experts even believe the benefits outweigh the extra calories – especially if eaten in moderation. Just to name a few:

* Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.

* Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
* Chocolate stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure

* Chocolate contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant.

* Chocolate contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants

Some cultures actually consider chocolate to be an aphrodisiac. Don’t know about you, but I’ll take chocolate over oysters any day. It has also been said that good chocolate has the same chemical reaction on the body a having sex. So lets think about this a minute. Eating chocolate and having sex = double the pleasure, with the added benefit of the calories burned by having sex cancelling out the calories in the chocolate. Makes perfect sense to me.

So now let’s get back to the exercise - the pleasure of tasting that chocolate. Feel the chocolate in your mouth. Good chocolate should literally "melt in your mouth." Chocolate melts at about 97 degrees. While melting the chocolate should feel rich and luscious in your mouth. You should not need to chew good chocolate at all, just let the flavors release on their own. Examine the texture of the chocolate -- it can vary from smooth to grainy. Good chocolate has a rich, velvety texture. Poor quality chocolate feels waxy or greasy. Taste it. Pay attention to the flavors that just pop into your head. Spend time being aware of how the flavors change over time as the chocolate continues to melt and coat more of your tongue.

Does chocolate really act as an aphrodisiac? Who knows? Who cares? What more does a person need than a mood elevating, stimulating, pleasurable, not to mention, great tasting, experience?

Exercise 3: Anyone read the book 9 ½ Weeks or see the movie? Remember the scene where Mickey Rourke was feeding a blindfolded Kim Basinger from the refrigerator? This exercise is definitely requires a partner. You can make it as clinical as you like to explore and heighten your sense of taste, or as sexually adventurous as you like.

The tongue is highly erotic, in kisses, against your skin, or used to bring about incredible orgasms. Have you ever paid attention to the feel of your partners skin against your tongue. Is there a taste? We think of the pleasure another’s tongue can bring us without even realizing the pleasure we give from utilizing our own.

Each person is to select various foods and drinks keeping them secret from their partner. Take turns feeding each other the food you’ve chosen while blindfolded. Can you quickly identify what you are fed by taste alone? What about the shape or texture against your tongue. What does it taste like? Is it pleasant or unpleasant? Does the taste give you a sense of pleasure. Note: Be nice. Don’t deliberately feed your partner something you know they dislike. Definitely a quick way to spoil the mood.

Feel free to post a comment and let us know what foods you think would be ideal for use in sexual foreplay? Chocolate covered strawberries? A banana dipped in chocolate?

Anyone besides me have a sudden craving for chocolate?

Until the 30th of next month when we explore the sense of smell – enjoy the simple pleasures. With the price of gas, who can afford anything else?

Kay Wilde

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

I recently went to an “Art in the Park” day and found the most wonderful photograph. For those authors among us, you know how a single picture can create a whole story in your mind. The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is truly the case for at least this writer. In fact, I’m sure all of us, whether writers or readers, can relate to seeing a picture that instantly reminds us of some forgotten memory or adventure from our childhood.

I have a small picture on a note card with an old fashioned girl’s bike, wicker basket on the front, leaning against a piece of fence at a beach. There’s white sand, tall grasses and the ocean off in the distance. I’m in the process of writing a story prompted by that picture. As yet, I’m not sure why the woman rode her bike to the beach that particular day or what she does. My hero finds it parked there, on his private beach, when he returns home from work one night. And thus starts a story of unknown elements and combustible passion. Personally I can’t wait to see what happens when these two meet!

But that’s not the photograph I wanted to tell you about. The picture I bought, by Beth Ridenour of Lawrence, KS (www.artfulpath.com, beth@artfulpath.com) is of a white coffee cup full of crayolas – every color imaginable. The tips are up, and while it appears some have been used, they are still relatively new. (Remember that box of crayons you got for the first day of school, and how the first time you used them, you laid them out on your desk, all the tips nice and new, all pointing the same direction? And remember how mad/frustrated/upset you were the first time one of the tips snapped clear off?) So all this was running through my head when I saw the photo. And yet, that wasn’t why I bought it.

I asked my married daughter what she noticed about the picture. She said, “It’s crayons.”

She didn’t see what I saw. Just to the left of center in that cupful of crayons, a single green crayon was upside down. That’s me, I thought, the different one in the pack; the unique one. The one who doesn’t want to follow the same path as others; who wants to do something that makes me stand out from the crowd.

That single, distinctive crayon represents so many diverse things in my life. Taking an uncommon path; making a change to a completely different career; writing something so out of the ordinary it stretches my imagination and makes me look in new directions. It marks a difference in my way of thinking, feeling, reacting.

Here’s a little exercise to see how many crayons you would fit in a coffee cup and which ones, if any, are upside down. Make a list of all the titles you could be labeled with – like daughter, sister, mother, weaver, author, golfer, etc. This can include anything you are or do, or like to do, hobby or job. Some of us will be a box of 8, 16, or 24 crayons and others might even end up being the one we all envied in school – the box of 64 with the built in sharpener! Did you even realize there were so many different colors to your life? Are some of them more used than others? Which is the one that you would turn upside down – the one that sets you apart, or the one that you feel is more important than any other crayon that is you?

As an author, I portray the world my characters live in, all the emotions they feel and things they do, with words. Words are my crayons. I have numerous shades of each color, because not all passion is torrid, not all facial expressions are smiles, and my characters do not always just walk. The more colors I can use, the more vivid the picture I can give my readers. I think one of the reasons I love writing romance is because the passion and “aliveness” of it are just like the colors I love – reds, blues, yellows, oranges. Using brilliant, vibrant words make my writing come alive and resonate.

The glorious wonder of both words and colors is that there are enough different shades to satisfy everyone. Whether you like romance, comedy, murder/mystery or fantasy; whether you write it or read it, enjoy the opportunity to color your world with words.

Color me happy!
Bobbie Russell
http://authorbobbierussell.tripod.com

28.5.08

Dakota Rebel is kickin' it old school

I have been in a dark place lately. That lonely, horrible place where you can't write. No, not prison. Just in my head, alone with characters that held me hostage. They wouldn't let me type their stories. Honest. So I picked up a pen and a notebook and started writing. After a two month haitus from the written word I find myself randomly scribbling on scrap paper every chance I get.



Granted, we all do this. But most of us will scribble a line or an idea. Just writing it down so we don't forget before firing up the computer. Well not this girl, not with this book. Nope, the whole thing seems to be demanding that it be written in long hand. And I am humoring the muse...for now. Eventually the f*er will have to be typed, unless Michele wants me to mail her an envelope full of mismatched pages in colorful, large and small printed, hand written pages. Which if you're up for it Michele, I have quite a bit done already. :)


My biggest problem so far is that I am not writing in order. I didn't sit down with my notebook and start at the beginning. No, I started about a quarter of the way in. Then I jumped back and wrote the scene leading up to that scene, then the scene leading to that one. And now, I am writing the scene that happens after the first sex scene between the main characters. Yeah, I haven't actually written the sex scene yet. Nope there is just a plain white page seperating the sections with "INSERT F*CK SCENE HERE" boldly scrawled across it in hot pink pen. I am a fun girl.

That is the actual notebook I am using. It is tan suede and since I have been using it everywhere I go it is filthy. Not the yummy kind of filthy, the words inside are not dirty, just the outside. It has only been a couple of weeks, but the suede is worn smooth and the edges are black with God knows what. But it is mine. It is a hard copy testament to the fact that I am a real writer. I can force my muse to cooperate, I just have to be willing to give a little. Of course, we all know that comprimise is key to any relationship. Why should my marriage to my muse be any different?

XoXoXo
Dakota Rebel

27.5.08

Totally Excited!

I’d like to congratulate the new releases at Total E-Bound which came out yesterday. Please check them out!

Carol Lynne Campus Cravings: A Biker’s Vow
Desiree Holt Beg Me!
Lyn Cash Big O

Congratulations Ladies!

I am totally excited that Total E-Bound has contracted three of my stories.

The first one, Vampire’s Captive, is due out in the Heatwave Anthology in July.

“ It’s Sierra Wolfe’s second time around wedding day but the groom failed to show up. Dejected, she strolls out onto the old Carnival Pier only to find her ex-husband following her. He wants to console her but can a vampire who has made one mistake, prevent himself from making another?

Brett Wolfe divorced Sierra in the hope she would be happier with a mortal man. Watching a melancholy Sierra in her wispy wedding gown on the pier, he regrets his decision and wants her back . . . But can old circumstances be made new between a vampire and his captive heart?”

And here’s a short excerpt (unedited) from Chapter 1:

The moon bathed the ocean and the dilapidated carnival on the pier with its silvery glow and cast the forlorn woman in her long wedding gown in breathy, expectant shadows. Brett's guilt washed over him for the hundredth time since seeing his ex-wife step out of her fancy, expensive heels and without giving them a backward glance, stroll dejectedly onto the beach, her shoulders slumped and her back hunched forward. He’d wondered for a year, five months, two days, and five and a half hour (give or take a couple of minutes) if he'd done the right thing in divorcing Sierra. He was an eternal vampire and she was a mortal, although a devastatingly lovely mortal with sleek dark hair that swept her waist and an innocent, beguiling expression that lured jaded, hardened men from their complacency about the fair sex. And yet the man she loved hadn't even bothered to make it to the altar today, had left her standing in the annex holding a wilting bouquet of pale pink roses and baby's breath and a heart that had been hurt far too many times. Brett didn't believe in God but tossed a short prayer into the air asking that Sierra forgive him for what he was about to do.

He spoke her name softly, like a dry leaf scudding along the sidewalk. "Sierra."

She didn't jump as he expected. She merely turned to gaze at him over her shoulder, then without a spark of recognition, returned to her survey of the pounding waves and the invisible horizon darkness had obliterated. He knew he shouldn't have come, should have stayed away from her, but how could he when she felt betrayed, as if her whole world had collapsed? First him and then this man she thought she could spend the rest of her life with.

He took a deep breath, seized her wrist, and spun her around to face him. "Look at me."

She was exquisite in the off-the-shoulder gown. Bare neck, bare shoulders. She blinked several times. "What do you want Brett?" she asked in resignation.

He heard the unspoken accusation, wanted to take her in his arms and make her forever promises but the tears rolling down her cheeks one by lonely one, stopped him.

She frowned. "So? You're not often left speechless. A man who must have a great deal of experience with all types of women. Why did you come?" Under the jeweled bodice, her breast rose and fell. Anger simmered near the surface, waiting with eager tentacles for the wrong words to leap into life.

Brett didn't want her to be alone. Or ashamed at being left at the altar, which was partly his fault. If he hadn't divorced her, would she be happier with him? "I wanted to see if you're okay." Now that was lame but the best he could do.

"Really?" She would have turned away but he grabbed her other wrist and held her at a distance in case she decided to fight him and perhaps knee him in the groin. He didn't want the night to end before it began.

How could he tell her he'd made a mistake? She was in the throes of rejection and this wasn't a good time to mention his deepest regrets. "I want to be your friend."

"Why? So you can jilt me like Ade did? Or better yet, divorce me after you promised me the moon?" Sierra laughed at that, a high-pitched nervous laugh. "Promise the moon and you know what you end up with? Broken promises and a hurt that sinks so deep, you can never get rid of it." She kicked sand towards him with her bare foot attached to a slim, shapely ankle that got his heartbeat racing with desire.

He'd come partly to console her, partly to get her back into his bed. He missed her warm presence, the laughter of delight and the sensuous woman usually hidden under clothes that didn't do her perfection justice. Breasts small and firm to fit beneath his palms, a tiny waist, and thighs as soft as spun silk but as strong as steel during their passionate encounters. "If I admit I'm a sleazeball, will you forgive me and give me another chance?"

Her nostrils flared. She squinted her eyes shut as if thinking, flashed them open and asked, "For what?" Bitterness enveloped the words. Her eyes met his, questioning, determined not to be hurt again and yet hurting at a fathomless depth he could only imagine.

Then the truth kicked him in the nuts with a womphh. She still loved him, had never stopped loving him. The gaping chasm of loneliness tore at him. The only women he'd ever loved and he'd pushed her away, alienated her, perhaps forever. He could try to persuade her with every method he knew but once her mind was made up, he knew from experience, it was almost impossible to change it. Almost.

***

The second, Shotgun Bride, is the first in a historical western series set in 1870s Missouri, titled Ride Shotgun! Due out in August!

“Life in a small town brothel has been difficult for beautiful Emma Brewster. When she sets out on a stagecoach for her new life in Kansas City, she rides away from the only man who treated her with respect. But Branson has other ideas and is only too willing to teach her a lesson about leaving him behind . .”

A teaser (unedited) from Chapter 1:

Missouri 1874

"Careful for your step, Ms. Brewster."

Emma lifted her silk skirts with one hand and set the other in the stagecoach driver's bulky paw. This was the beginning of a new life, she thought with a mixture of enthusiasm and fear. She guessed he probably knew who she was but she didn't care as she tipped her head back and gave him a wide smile. It was the first time in eight years she'd actually smiled at a man without offering sex in the brothel where she'd spent that time.

Her heart sang as he returned her smile with a careful gruff upturn of his chapped lips. "Are you sure you're up to this trip, Miss?" he asked solicitously. "Them Indians ain't no white man's friend."

Emma settled herself facing forward on the hard, damask covered seat and regally spread her dark mauve skirts about her. She was no longer beholden to any man. She was free. "I'm not afraid of anyone," she said, eying the driver with a full gaze.

"Right," he muttered, giving her the distinct impression she didn't know what exactly she was getting herself into. "We're off then."

Moments later, the vividly painted stagecoach lurched forward and Emma was off to her new life. The interior sported delicate gold trim and outside the coach was painted a vivid red with bright yellow trim. On the door was a delicate hand painted landscape. The sun cast short early afternoon shadows on the narrow dirt streets but no one waved farewell although a young boy ran alongside hollering and whooping. The wheels rattled and dust billowed under the hooves of the four horses pulling the vehicle. In Kansas City, with her savings Emma vowed she would go into business as a respectable seamstress. She'd be able to hold her head up high and look friend or foe straight in the eye.

She couldn't say she would miss anyone in the brothel. Not that anyone had mistreated her but she'd had her share of drunken louts groping her body. Only one of the dozens of men had caught her fancy, and briefly, a few minutes at most, she imagined herself in love with the tall, dark stranger who'd bestowed flowers, small trinkets and fancy chocolates on her. Branson had never treated her with anything but respect, had never drank to excess or presented himself as uncouth or foulmouthed. He'd been a rare gentleman, the kind of man a woman, a well-bred one, could easily love. If the woman believed in love and hadn't had a past. Emma didn't pride herself on servicing the needs of the miners in the small town but she'd done what she had to do after she'd been kicked out, at seventeen, from the orphanage she'd barely survived in. If there was a thing called love in the world, it hadn't made its appearance in hers.

The coach left the small town behind and jolted into the desert-like country. Tall reeds waved rhythmically in the breeze. Black-eyes Susans dotted the edge of the dirt road. Dust rose from the dry ground enveloping everything, including Emma in her silk gown. However, she didn't regret wearing the finery one bit. She was a lady and would act every bit like one.

Her thoughts returned to Branson. She hadn't told him she was leaving, had never even discussed the possibility with him. She hadn't felt the need and she supposed, was reluctant to tell him anything personal about herself when he shared nothing about who he was. She'd heard, from another one of the brothel women, that he was on the make, but Mel hadn't been able to tell her more than that. Emma guessed that like herself, many in the small town stayed only as long as they made a buck, and when the marshal went after them, or the going got rough, they left without warning.

Branson didn't strike her as the kind of man who fled the law. She remembered gazing into his eyes one night, and finding herself holding her breath. The man was strikingly handsome. And big in all the right places. She was tiny compared to him, with a slim waist and small breasts, easy enough for him to "palm her delicate beauties", he'd told her once with a wicked twinkle in his eyes. When he strolled into a room, he owned it with a presence that dominated everything and everyone around him.

That day, he caught her watching him as he purportedly slept after what had been an unusually demanding sexual escapade. She reached out with a forefinger to touch his lower lip and as her flesh met his, his eyes flashed open.

"Show me your pussy," he demanded as she guiltily jerked her hand away from his face. For a rapidly vanishing moment, she yearned for the comfort and companionship of a man in her life. A man who wasn't quite the reliable, old shoe type but who wanted the fun and joy inherent in her concept of marriage. A child or two, a man who cared not only about her body but her mind, and a big, drooling dog.

He didn't seem to notice her flushed cheeks or hand yanking up the white bedsheet up over her breasts. "Why?" she asked stupidly. Love and marriage weren't for her, she reminded herself disgustedly. She'd been raised in an orphanage where the even the semblance of love was as impossible as grabbing a shining rainbow in her fist.

With a lightning movement, he sat up, rolled her on her back and pulled the sheet away. "You're not ashamed of what you've got, are you?" he rasped.

She shook her head from side to side. Usually his voice was low and gravelly but once or twice in the last year he'd visited her, twice a week and paid for the whole night, he spoke with a gruffness that surprised her. What was he thinking when his voice changed like that? His eyes, a piercing blue, didn't change. Only his voice. His breathing stayed soft and even.

"Good. There's nothing for you to be ashamed about. Now show me your pussy."

"I love it when you talk dirty," she murmured, closing her eyes and spreading her thighs. He was the only one of her clients she let talk dirty and for some reason, his hoarse voice and the barely uttered commands aroused her in a way no one had.

***

And the third, due out in November, is the second in the Ride Shotgun! series, Wanted!

“Maddy Haynes is the sheriff of small town Plains Junction, Missouri. This is her town where vigilantes, outlaws and criminal types aren’t welcome. Yet when one handsome outlaw rides back into her town, the sparks fly between them once again. Now how is she supposed to uphold the law?

Jeb McIntyre has a reason for everything he does, including taunting the lady sheriff. He’s on the Most Wanted list but on Maddy’s list, he’s listed twice. On her list of criminals to slap in jail, and on her short list of men to bed.”

An excerpt (unedited) to tease you:

Plains Junction, Missouri, 1874

Maddy Haynes rode through the one street town, keeping an eye out for any man, be he lean, mean or just ornery, who spelled trouble. Plains Junction was her town. The brothel above the saloon was quiet at this hour, the women having entertained their customers for the night, gone to bed for the day. Across the street, John's Mercantile was open for business as was the small post office with grizzly haired Gotch puttering around behind the counter.

The mid-morning sun hovered behind her, warming her back through the light brown leather vest and cotton shirt. Some folks in the town had a problem with a lady sheriff but she'd always sworn a woman could do exactly what a man did. Often better. She'd had no trouble keeping the law she was sworn to uphold. Courtesy of a father who had wanted a son but got a daughter, she'd learned to ride and handle a gun by the age of fourteen better than most grown men did. The Plains Junction people generally liked her although the men often cursed her behind her back for lording it over them.

Maddy kept riding, enjoying the slight breeze toy with her collar and in under her shirt against her hot bare skin. Mid-July and the heat was already more oppressive than in the nearby foundry. Maddy didn't like the heat much. It reminded her of Jeb McIntryre, the only outlaw she hadn't been able to lock up behind bars, as he deserved.

She cantered past the Plains Junctions bank, debating whether to look in on the young clerk and the early customers. A deep, very masculine voice interrupted her orderly thoughts.

"Hey Maddy."

As her horse snorted, she spun around in the saddle desperately searching for the owner of the voice. He didn't belong in this town. Or if he did, he belonged in her jail, locked in and throw away the key.

Unbelievably, she'd missed him as she rode along, buried in her thoughts. She'd missed seeing Jeb McIntyre, the most wanted man on her list of fugitives. The shadows had been so long, and her eyes unaccustomed to the dark, sheltered places under the rickety balcony of the bank, she'd missed him!

She reined in her horse with some difficulty. The beast apparently didn't like McIntyre any more than she did, although she admitted reluctantly that that hadn't always been the case.

"Don't bother getting off your horse, Maddy," he said, his voice holding a threat the same way a man held a gun to the head of another man. "You know I won't stick around long and I'd be gone before you could even holler 'sheriff'."

Maddy blinked several times. How could she have missed him leaning against the wooden post as casually as if he belonged there? In her town? The man, if he hadn't been the most wanted, would have made her want a night or two in his bed. Dark brown hair caught up in a ponytail with a leather band, haunting coffee-colored eyes, a sensuous mouth she'd kissed with erotic pleasure, and tall, muscular frame, dressed in black. He wore his hat tipped over his face but he couldn't hide his too male arrogance.

That's why she'd missed him. He'd been dressed to blend with the shadows. Maddy imagined his naked body pressing hers into the quilt-covered bed in her room. His rough hands scoring rivets of desire over her swollen breasts. His tongue rasping trails of molten fire up and down the tender skin of her inner thighs. She had to stop these erotic thoughts that had no hope of going anywhere.

***
Thank you for stopping by during my day at Hitting the Hot Spot!

Aurora Rose Lynn
Romance Is Only a Fantasy Away

26.5.08

Gratitude


Last Thursday, devastating tornadoes ripped through parts of northern Colorado, my home state.


I have friends and colleagues in the area. One colleague lost everything he and his family owns.


Amazingly, despite the fact this bizarre tornado left a 35 mile swath of destruction, only one life was lost. (And don't get me wrong, one is too many.)


Today, the special man in my life, Curtis, and and I took a drive through the area.


I nearly cried when I saw the day care center. It was in ruins. Fortunately, however, the quick thinking adults managed to get their precious charges across the street to the bank, where they rode out the storm in the vault. All the windows in the bank were boarded up after the wind blew out the glass.


It was poignant to see a child's toy, twisted and abandoned, along the side of the road.


But as we drove through Windsor, we saw amazing sight after amazing sight.


Newly raised flags flapping in the breeze.


Volunteer groups preparing dinner, to be served at 5:30.


A house with its entire side shredded off, exposing kitchen cabinets. Another home gaping open to reveal its couches and chairs. A bright red X painted on a house, letting others know it had been condemned. A leveled gazeebo. Downed power lines.


And people smiling.


Church groups dressed in bright yellow t-shirts, picking up rakes and hauling trash. And, believe it or not, some even smiling.


Differences were put aside as neighbor helped neighbor, as stranger helped stranger.


The golden eaglets, still in their nest, survived the storm. Pelicans sunned themselves.


And life went on.


It will take weeks, maybe months, until northern Colorado returns to normal. But what I took away from today's experience was a profound sense of gratitude. I'm grateful the sun still comes up. And that life goes on. I'm grateful for the resilience of the human spirit.


I'm grateful to have witnessed the very best the human spirit has to offer.


And tonight, I'm going to let those I love know how grateful I am for them...


Sierra


25.5.08

What Tomorrow Brings...

What tomorrow brings will be memories for me...of my dad. Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the United States. A time when we pay tribute to all those who serve and have served their country in the armed forces.

My dad was a aoft-spoken, quiet kind of guy. LOL - he always let my mom do the talking because she had lots to say. He was kind of hard to figure out, you never knew what he was thinking. But I did know this about my dad: he loved his country and he served it proudly.

I found out a lot about his military service after he passed away and my sister and I decided to sponsor a 'wall of honor' in a local park near us. My dad started out as a Marine, then joined the National Guard then served in the Army, where he continued his miliary service until he retired in the late 1960's. He fought in WWII and the Korean conflict. On June 14th, these 'walls of honor' will be unveiled . On that wall will be my father's name, along with countless other names of all those who served their country proudly.

But tomorrow, Memorial Day, is when I will pay tribute to him. I'll think about the mysterty that always surrounded him - perhaps he harbored unpleasant memories of war. Sometimes, those memories would come out in what I call fits and starts - bits of thought he'd recall, particularly about the Korean conflict. I'll think about how he always stayed quietly in the background of our family and how I wish he was here today.

Sometimes, I'm just like my dad. There's some mystery that surrounds me, too, for I'm a romance writer. My dad would make the perfect romantic hero. There's always something about a man in uniform. I could model a hero after my dad - give that fictional character the quiet strength my father harbored.

Tomorrow brings memories and a new way to pay tribute to my dad. I'll keep his memory alive in my writing...where he'll live forever in words.

Catherine Chernow
www.CatherineChernow.com

24.5.08

Do I have what it takes to be a Diva?

I'm competing in The Romance Studio Diva contest...so far, it's been an interesting mix of anonymous talent versus popularity contest. However, I'm really not sure I have what it takes to be a diva.

According to Dictionary.com a Diva is a distinguished female singer or a prima donna.

Well, I definitely can't sing as is well attested by my children in the car. A great song comes on and I open my mouth. My teenager slumps in her seat so that she is no longer visible to passing motorists and my preschoolers howl "M-O-M" from the backseat. I'm reduced to singing in the car when I'm alone (not very often).

So, how about Prima Donna? Again according to dictionary.com, a prima donna is a temperamental person; a person who takes adulation and privileged treatment as a right and reacts with petulance to criticism or inconvenience.

Snort, I wish. I can be a bit temperamental when someone interrupts my writing sessions or gets me up at the butt crack of dawn (most days as I have two preschoolers who haven't learned the fine art of sleeping in yet), but my three-year-old takes the cake for temper tantrums. I gave up competing with him months ago.

As for adulation and priviliged treatment, well, I'm a mom. The only priviliged treatment I've had in a while is a long uninterrupted shower in my own personal paradise (my husband drew the most incredible mural on my shower wall for Mother's Day) and I'm still thrilled to bits to get a good review for my books or the occasional fan letter. I must admit, I do have dreams where I show up for a book signing and find the line wrapped around the building...twice. Or being contacted by a Hollywood studio to begin negotiations to turn one of my little stories into something for the big screen.

But until then. . .(you saw that coming, right?) -- If you get a chance, pop on over to The Romance Studio on Monday and vote for Ericka Scott! Help me release that inner Diva (believe me, I need all the help I can get!)

And to sweeten the deal:

The Scott Family's Apple Gringo Recipe
(apple pie that won't heat up your house)

Ingredients:
Flour tortillas
Apple Pie Filling (heated)
Cinnamon: Sugar mixed in equal quantities (I usually do a 1/2 cup each)
Shredded Cheddar cheese


Deep fry flour tortillas until light brown and crisp
spoon on a couple of tablespoons of warm apple pie filling and spread to the edges
sprinkle with cinnamon:sugar mixture
top with shredded cheese

Enjoy!

23.5.08

Taking Control

My latest TEB novella is called Taking Control. I fell in love with the hero in this one, and hope you will, too!

Jennifer Steele is plagued by memories of a violent crime. Desperate to pull herself together, she's dealt another blow when her boss hires a new employee for her bank branch. It's Jen's job to do the hiring, and she'd never have chosen a man so handsome-- and arrogant.

T.K. Knight is a striking part Native American who seems more at home on a ranch than in an office. Jen's not completely sure of his motives, but can't resist his charm or the pure lust that takes over whenever he's around.

When Jen discovers T.K. might not have been placed in her office by chance, their already heated situation gets even hotter. The truth can be hard to face, but Jen finds she has to take control of the past, to make way for the future.

Excerpt (Jen and T.K have just finished a Taekwondo class together):

People from the next class warmed up on the mat. It was a busy school, and she liked the bustle and activity. She grabbed her gym bag from the floor and glanced at the row of closed doors. One was open. “Looks like only one dressing room is available. Are you in a hurry, or—”

T.K. lifted his bag and shoved her ahead of him into the small cubicle. He slapped on the lights and closed the door, locking it. “We can share,” he whispered.

Without a thought, Jen dropped her bag and melted into T.K.’s arms. He pressed her against the wall, and their mouths came together. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she parted her lips for the kiss she’d been waiting for.

“Mmm,” he moaned, his tongue delving into her mouth.

“Mmm hmm,” she agreed, tongue batting against his. She moved it around, found his straight teeth and traced them.

He crushed her body against his. Their uniforms were thin, and his bulging erection felt huge, virtually burning her leg.

Her free leg wrapped behind him, pulling his body closer. With another soft moan, he shifted his hips so they pressed into her core.

“Yes,” she hissed, thrusting her pelvis at him.

He tugged the band from her hair, releasing her ponytail. One hand sifted through the long strands, and he wrapped his fingers around them.

“Turnabout is fair play,” she murmured, releasing his hair from the ponytail holder. It fell to his shoulders in straight, silky lengths. “I like this.”

He panted for breath. “You’re so beautiful. But the walls here are thin. Maybe we should move this party elsewhere.”

“Listen.” Jen held a hand up. The dressing room door next to them slammed. She heard two voices become quieter as other students left. In the distance, an instructor called the next class to order. “It’s pretty private in here. The late class just started. I think we have some time.”

He smiled, looking her over. “If you say so. I can’t decide where to begin.”

Jen reached a hand between them and tugged her belt off. Her uniform top loosened then opened.

“Good idea.” He dropped his mouth to her breast, sucking through the thin, lacy fabric of her bra.

“It fastens in front,” she told him, arching her back.

“Thank God.” He fumbled with the clasp, setting her breasts free. “Much better. And beautiful, just like I knew they would be.”

“Ugh!” Jen pressed his head to her breast. “You talk too much.”

“Bossy.” He clucked his tongue, mouth pressed against her skin. “Better be careful. I might bite.”

“Please do!” Her pussy creamed with desire at his soft chuckle.

“Okay, Ms. Steele. I see how it is. You like it a little rough, do you?” One of his hands breached the elastic waistband of her uniform and slid inside.

Feelings and emotions flooded her senses. She couldn’t answer. When his hand slipped inside her panties, she froze.

Copyright ( C ) 2008 Jamie Hill


Taking Control will be available in June from Total e-Bound Publishing

* ~ *

Now, just for fun--from my friend Jude Mason: 45 sayings that should be on buttons:
1. Well, this day was a total waste of make-up.
2. Make yourself at home! Clean my kitchen.
3. Who are these kids and why are they calling me Mom?
4. Don't bother me. I'm living happily ever after.
5. Do I look like a freakin' people person?
6. This isn't an office-It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
7. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
8. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
9. You! Off my planet!
10. Therapy is expensive, poppin' bubble wrap is cheap! You choose.
11. Practice random acts of intelligence & senseless acts of self-control.
12. Bottomless pit of needs & wants.
13. I like cats, too. Let's exchange recipes.
14. Friendly checkout clerk. Thanks for keeping me that way!
15. If I want to hear the pitter patter of little feet, I'll put shoes on my cat.
16. Does your train of thought have a caboose?
17. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
18. I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 30 years.
19. A PBS mind in an MTV world.
20. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
21. Whisper my favorite words: "I'll buy it for you."
22. Better living through denial.
23. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
24. Suburbia: where they tear out the trees & then name streets after them.
25. Adult child of alien invaders.
26. Do they ever shut up on your planet?
27. I'm just working here till a good fast-food job opens up.
28. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
29. Stress is when you wake up screaming & you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet.
30. Here I am! Now what are your other two wishes?
31. Back off! You're standing in my aura.
32. I can't remember if I'm the good twin or the evil one.
33. How many times do I have to flush before you go away?
34. I just want revenge. Is that so wrong?
35. I work 40 hours a week to be this poor.
36. You say I'm a bitch like it's a bad thing.
37. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #2?
38. Not all men are annoying. Some are dead.
39. Chaos, panic, & disorder - my work here is done.
40. Ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
41. I plead contemporary insanity.
42. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
43. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
44. Meandering to a different drummer.
45. I'm not tense, just terribly, terribly alert.

Have a lovely weekend!

~ Jamie
www.jamiehill.biz

20.5.08

I (heart) Booth...er...David Boreanaz

Hi everyone,

It is my day toblog here at the TEB Hot Spot. Yes, I do not have a book out yet with TEB, but it is coming. I am very excited about it! NECTAR OF THE GODS should have a cover very soon. The release date is September, I believe.

Anyway, I am still thinking about last night. I am a big BONES and HOUSE fan and the season finales were on. I love love love David Boreanaz. Funny thing is, I grew up watching his dad, weatherman Dave Roberts, on WPVI TV in Philadelphia on a daily basis. (That is after the death of the original weatherman, Jim O Brien, in 1983 from a horrible skydiving accident when his parachute failed to open. Yes, I remember when that happened.) Obviously, it adds an extra wow factor to me that I grew up in the general vicinity of hunk-a-licious David Boreanaz.

Okay, so I sat down to watch my dose of David on BONES and curious to see what happened since he got shot by a looney woman stalker. They were off to his funeral. I startled my husband (who was getting the kids out of the shower) when I yelled, "WHAT?!? They killed him off?! WFT!! I'll never watch this stupid show again!"

SPOILER ALERT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


He isn't dead. The FBI set it up so he could catch some criminal who would only show up at Booth's funeral. Slick, slick writers. They are lucky, I was going to boycott the show in about 2 minutes.


One bummer though. I really liked the character of Zack. He won't be back on the show after this season. I can't believe they made him Gormogon's apprentice. he killed and hid bones in the Jeffersonian...and stole canine teeth to make some sort of demented set of dentures for Gormogon. Ugh...why couldn't they have just killed him off rather than taint his character for the previous episodes?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

So what does David Boreanaz have to do with this post? Not much, I just was still upset over those damn writers of BONES scaring me. And to have an excuse to post a picture of him here. Not only is he a hunk, he seems to have a great sense of humor, which, to me, is much more attractive.

And today I got my income tax refund...I think I am going out to get a BONES DVD set.

19.5.08

In praise of the male chest














I'm not going to even try to choose my favorite man part. But the chest is certainly one of the most amazing parts.




I definitely try to include as much chest imagery and chest touching, kissing, licking, you name it in my books. Some women don't like chest hair, but personally, I love it. Either way, ladies, would we want to live without the male chest? Let me know what you think!








17.5.08

In Praise of Nerds

Since I joined the romance authors community, I've heard a lot about alpha heroes. It's critically important, I've been led to believe, that the protagonist in an erotic romance be tall, beautiful and buff. Rugged but handsome features, broad shoulders, chiseled pectorals, powerful, muscular thighs that naturally invite musings about what lies sheltered between them - attributes like these apparently constitute the romance ideal. Our hero should also be physically strong, courageous, and generally the dominant type, though some sensitivity or a shameful secret will not be taken amiss.

Well, I don't completely buy it. I mean, a nice bod and a pretty face are not to be sneezed at. But they're not enough. Call me perverse (many people have), but I find intelligence to be the most essential aspect of a sexy hero. Furthermore, I'm willing to accept less than stellar physical qualities if my hero is a clever, imaginative, horny genius who can figure out how to get himself and his heroine out of sticky situations, and who's smart enough to understand what will truly turn her on.

I admit it. I've got a thing for nerds. When The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was popular, I had the hots for skinny, intense Ilya Kuryakin, not the dashing alpha guy Napoleon Solo. I was hopelessly in love with Mr. Spock. (After all, think about making love while in the throes of a Vulcan mind-meld.) Near the top of my sexy, romantic movie list is "Earth Girls are Easy", featuring awkward, geeky Jeff Goldblum as a brilliant alien. A more recent example of a romantic nerd is Clive Owen's short, unshaven, and amazingly ingenious character in the bank robbery thriller "Inside Man".


It's fairly easy to understand why I feel this way. Growing up, I was the egghead, the bookworm, the too-smart girl whom everyone made fun of. The only guys who could deal with me were the ones who were at least as smart as I was. They weren't on the football squad; they weren't voted Best Looking or Most Popular. But they had that something that could start my motors. It was intoxicating, yes, arousing, to have a conversation with some of these guys, especially when I got out of high school and into college. We understood each other, and I began to discover that despite their definite nerdish qualities, they were enthusiastic and innovative when it came to sex.

Actually, research has shown that in defiance of their public image as socially challenged losers, nerds are more successful than the general population in finding mates, staying with them, and producing children. Of course, that is not necessarily going to endear them to romance readers, but it's something to consider!

Not all the heroes that I create are nerds, but many have some nerdish qualities. Mark, in Incognito, is barely average height and wears glasses; he's a college professor who specializes in Charles Dickens. He also has an outrageous sexual imagination and is willing to try pretty much anything. The character of Rick in my upcoming novel Ruby's Rules is an even better example. He's short, wiry, a bit rumpled, with a droopy, disreputable-looking mustache. He's also a brilliant engineer and a wily strategist who matches every one of protagonist Ruby's maneuvers as they compete for a critical business deal. In my recently published short story, "Body Electric", the male protagonist is a far cry from the alpha hero. He's overweight and unkempt, arrogant and rude. However, he's charismatic enough to fascinate the lovely and susceptible heroine.

He didn't look like an engineer. He smiled and postured and gestured expansively as if reciting poetry or making a speech. Half a dozen females surrounded him, hanging on his every word. Periodically the little knot of women (which actually included crusty old Margaret Evans) would burst into self-conscious laughter. Dean Evans would look around nervously, then return her attentive gaze to towering shaggy-haired orator in their midst, as if he were a combination of Tom Cruise and Mahatma Ghandi.


[From "Body Electric", in Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Cleis 2008]

Readers who have sampled my first TEB release, Raw Silk, might protest that Gregory Marshall is the archetypal alpha male. He's over six feet tall, with a powerful body, long black hair, mysterious tattoos and hypnotic blue eyes. Plus he's a seasoned dominant with a deep understanding of bondage and discipline. I'll admit that Gregory is not a nerd. However, his keen intelligence is one of his most important characteristics. He is smart enough to see through Kate's mask of self-sufficient assertiveness to the submissive desires hiding beneath. (And of course software developer Kate is sort of a female nerd, although she is also ravishingly beautiful.)

It's possible that I'm truly deviant, the only reader/writer who believes that intelligence is an unparalleled aphrodisiac. But I'll take a guy who's brilliant over a guy who's gorgeous any day. Alpha heroes are all well and good, but they do have a tendency to be predictable.

Am I all alone here? Or are there other readers who are set to boiling by an appealing egghead? Leave a comment and let me know!

15.5.08

Why E-books?

There are a lot of reasons to love E-books.

· No trees are harvested in order to create them.

· They take up only virtual space as opposed to real space so I’m sure they must help with the Feng Shui in people’s homes so that’s gotta be a good thing.

· You can load them by the dozens onto E readers, computers, palm pilots and other electronic media and carry them all instead of one or two paperbacks or hardcovers at a time.

· On the average, they’re considerably cheaper than bound books.

· No fuel is needed to transport the raw materials to the paper mills and printing presses and the finished product to stores.

· No chemicals are used to produce the ink and glue to print and bind the books.


Recently, another proof of E-book superiority has occurred to me. Most writers are voracious readers – I’m no exception. Like everybody else, the gas prices are killing my finances, and at four dollars a gallon, it’s really cutting into book buying budget. By reading E-books, I don’t have to waste gas by leaving my home to get a new book. I can browse endlessly online and pick out the prefect read.

So do your part to save the environment and your finances. Read E-books!

14.5.08

Creature Feature

So my friend Lori writes shape-shifter stories about hell-hounds (an animal she invented so that's even more fun). She posted an article about shape-shifting the other day--she mentioned one of my stories which is why I was particularly interested. Ever since I read that entry and that blog--a whole blog devoted to shape-shifters?-- I've been walking around with creatures in my mind. Not plots, not characters. Creatures. I've been trying to distill what part of each animal might fit a story and what makes it a possible hero/heroine type. What animal characteristics would travel along with the being when it takes its human form?

I think that it's the interaction and conflict of the human and animal parts of the shape-shifter that I enjoy. Who needs tons of internal conflict in a story if you've got a wolf constantly trying to get out?

I can't figure out any other appeal, and I enjoy those stories. Emphasis on the word stories. Encountering a real lion or wolf (or whatever carnivore you want...ever notice there aren't a lot of prey in the list of shape-shifters?) with anything other than the urge to run as fast as possible or with any sort of interest in sexuality. . . no, thanks. Yeah, I suppose the idea of encapsulating the wild part of the animal, minus the stench, is intriguing..

All sorts of critters have been anthropomorphized and turned into heroes and heroines. I read a story years ago about a hero rooster (and there's Chicken Run, of course). Brian Jacques has dozens of books about field mice warriors. And there's Watership Down, Wind in the Willows...I can think of dozens of titles (almost all for kids. Hmm)

All those stories have humans parading in animal bodies. I like it when the animals get dressed in human bodies every now and then.

It's the effect of the animal on the human form--and the other way around--that I like. Can't get that unless you have some shifting going on.

Brit Party Anthology Contest!!

The Brits are having a party.
But who's invited?




Brit Party


Celebrate the release of Total-E-Bound's new anthology Brit Party with our "The Brits are having a party. But who's invited?"contest.


Total-E-Bound is celebrating the release of Brit Party, a sizzling anthology of stories celebrating polyamorous encounters. Some tales feature three lovers, some four, some, perhaps, more. The possibilities are mind-boggling! You can win a free copy of Brit Party! Tell us who's coming to each author's party. On June 15th, we'll randomly choose two winners from all correct entries. The first prize winner will receive the print version of the book, while the runner up will get the eBook version. Good luck!


To enter this contest - CLICK HERE!


12.5.08

Why women’s erotic fiction freaks men out!

My hero-at- home and I have just had a very nice long week-end in the French sunshine. We stayed in a large Gite just south of Amiens. We went with three other couples, all of whom we have known for over twenty years. Our children grew up together and now most have left the family nests. There was the usual eating of too much rich food and drinking red wine but unlike the rest of the party, and as I am a self-confessed obsessive when it comes to my writing, I took my laptop.

The couples we shared this languid interlude with have watched me struggle to perfect my writing through the tortuous road to publication. Two of the women have read everything I’ve written, even the very old stuff that’s still on my computer. The other one doesn’t read license plates so I’m not offended.

However, they have all commented on the hot nature of the love scenes and now I am with TEB, who exclusively publish Erotic Fiction the secret is out. Shock, horror! My books have scenes with descriptive sex in them. I graphically explain how men and women, look, touch, kiss and pleasure each other, in different ways and in different places.

The men of the group seemed fixated on the very concept of a woman of a certain age and with three grown children thinking about sex let alone writing about it. Their brains struggled with the concept so hard that you could almost smell the burning.

‘So you write porn then,’ one said. I explained slowly, so they could keep up, that all my books were romances and centred the love between a man and a woman. Through my stories my hero and heroine’s love for each other grows as they make love. I also added that I hoped that was the same for them in their lifelong relationship. A couple of my women friends gave me a dubious look at that comment.

Another one asked, ‘so do you use words like penis and vagina,’ I replied that those words were a little clinical for a love story fired with physical need and desire, so as I write historicals I would probably write cock or cleft, as they were more in keeping with the time period.

‘In fact,’ I said, ‘There are some wonderful old English words to describe the sexual anatomy, like tallywag for a penis and a hairy ring for a vagina.’ Stillness hovered over the camembert as they digested the answer.

‘So it's just a lot of people rolling about in bed then?’ I smiled sweetly and painstakingly explained that actually all my stories are minutely researched and there was almost as much adventure in them as hot sex.

‘With all the sex in them Erotic books can’t be very moral.’
‘Actually, my books are very moral,’ I said. ‘Right always wins and the villain always gets his or her comeuppance.’

‘So you must think about sex all the time,’ said another , looking enviously over at my hero-at-home.

‘If only,’ was his comment.

I almost gave up at this point.

‘Look,’ I said, ‘you know the film What Women Want with Mel Gibson?’
The women nodded and sighed while the men looked baffled.

‘Well,’ I continued. ‘Mel’s character had the ability to hear women’s thoughts.’
‘Cor, that would be a help,' said one rather brave male of the group. ‘It would give us a fighting chance, wouldn’t it lads.’

There were Neanderthal grunts of brotherly accord from men who still couldn’t fathom why a new set of saucepans wouldn’t be welcomed as a birthday present.

‘Well,’ I replied. ‘ If you want to know what women really want, read a couple of Erotic stories written by a women for women. It’s the ultimate expression of Women’s lib. Writers of erotic fiction in all its forms, celebrate the wonderful gift of sex by sharing their own fantasies and preference as lived out through our heroines.’

Needless to say my books - that’s to say women’s sexuality - came up again, and each time it was the men of the party who initiated the conversation. After repeating myself several more time I suddenly realised why the men were so fascinated. It was because they had a symbiotic relationship with the whole concept of women writing about sex.

On the one hand, as any woman reading this will know, men are absolutely obsessed with sex and erotic fiction gives them the hope that women are too.

On the other side their very core as an object of desire is threatened by the sizable proportions and stamina of most erotic heroes, and is that what we - womankind -want?

But that’s where they miss the whole point. I don’t write erotic fiction, I write Romantic Erotic fiction. Women want romance and not just sex. That is what women love about erotic fiction and men don’t understand. It’s a world of difference but, as they say in France, Viva la difference!

Love Ellie

11.5.08

Mother's Day with Ann Cory




Happy Mother’s Day!

This has become a somewhat bittersweet day for me. I lost my mom two years ago and the pain is still very real. It’s tough for me to see all the balloons, flowers, cards, and sayings about moms. Going to the store is out of the question for me – but I know at some point it will get better. At the same time I am a mom and my son and hubby make it a special day. So far I know I’m getting a yummy brunch and fancy dinner made, so I’m excited. While part of me wants to stay in bed with the covers over my head, I also want to celebrate a day I’m so very proud to be a part of.

Now that my son is older he doesn’t make me presents at school – and I have to admit that I kind of miss those. While I will always love anything he gives me – and to be honest a hug and a homemade card are more than enough for me – I have some favorites from Mother’s Day Past. My five favorites are:

1) A handprint with all his favorite things written on it
2) A ceramic…I want to say monster with a huge mouth painted all purple and green. It’s perfect for holding small things inside
3) A vase made out of a bottle and decorated in blue tissue paper – it’s really quite pretty and looks beautiful on my bookshelf in my office
4) A picture frame decorated with sparklies and butterflies – which are always the perfect thing for me
5) A windchime made up of all sorts of objects that I’ll treasure forever

I feel lucky because I feel celebrated every day. And I celebrate each day because I love being a mom. I look back fondly at all the memories I shared with my mom, and know that it’s because of her that I have such a great relationship with my son. She will always be in my heart. To all the mothers out there – I hope you feel celebrated too!

~Ann Cory

Brit Party Anthology

Yikes! I'm late today. Since I have a new book coming on Monday, I'd like to tell you about it. I'm part of an anthology with a group of spectacular authors...Ashley Ladd, Dakota Rebel, Desiree Holt, Lacey Thorn and Lisabet Sarai. What a group! The anthology, Brit Party, focuses on menage relationships and from what I've seen, the stories are burning hot.

Here's a peek:

'Maggie's Menage' by Lacey Thorn
Maggie had spent a lifetime trying to win the love and affection of her father, but nothing seemed to work. Now he was asking her to seduce and marry one of two men that he had selected for her...for the good of the family name and company. But Maggie has other plans. Plans that will leave both men thinking of her as something other than a wife, and leave her father's plans for marriage in ashes.

Alex and Patrick were there to investigate Dom Houston and through the carelessness of his assistant managed to get in to see the man himself. But it was the blonde haired beauty that commanded their attention from the get go. And when she arrived at their hotel room later in the day, neither was willing to walk away. If Maggie wanted a ménage then they were more than willing to give it to her.

But for two of them it would be more than they could have ever imagined.

'Best Mates' by Ashley Ladd
Lovers Alec Russert and Kevin Cosby feel horrible for their best mate, Jennica Chapman, when her current beau dumps her. And yet, they're glad he's out of her life.

Unfortunately, thirty-six year old Jennica thought this was her last chance to have a baby, and she's much more upset about this than losing the boyfriend. As Alec is feeling his biological clock also, he suggests to Kevin that they help her out of her predicament.

But, they're the ones in for a shock when Jennica tells them they may be too tame for her sexual likes. It turns out that Jennica is a submissive and she loves to be bound and spanked by her master. The shock wears off quickly when Alec and Kevin decide that Jennica will like two Dom masters much better than one.

Soon they realise their best mate really is their best mate, and that she's always owned their hearts.

'The Wager' by Dakota Rebel
Menage-a-Trios with a twist, and a vampire bite.

A weekly game of billiards between a couple becomes interesting when the stakes get raised to include a pair of friends in the payoff.

Sadie and Will are vampires who have a wager based on a weekly billiards game they play. Their stakes are always sexual and this week will be no different. But for this week's wager they decide to include a couple of their friends, Dave and Tony, in the payoff. If Will wins, he gets to watch Sadie have sex with their friends while he watches and gives instructions as to what he wants to see. But if Sadie wins, she wants to instruct their friends on what to do to Will.

The the game begin!

'Four Play' by Desiree Holt
How many is too many, or is it not enough?

She loved the ménage that her lover Michael Collins had introduced her to, but now here they were, spending a week at Duncan MacLaughlin's cottage in Scotland and Holly Martin wasn't sure she was ready for the surprise he promised her.

No details, just a wide grin. The surprise turned out to be Jim Grainger, a friend of Michael and Duncan's, who was as much into a foursome as the other men. With all that testosterone flowing around her, and three very gorgeous and sexy men to play games with, Holly suddenly realises she loves a sexy numbers game.

'Monsoon Fever' by Lisabet Sarai
Divine temptation lies in wait in an ancient and mysterious land.

In their first years together, Priscilla and Jonathan enjoyed a marriage based as much on physical passion as on love. However, the travails of business and the tribulations of the Great War have taken their toll. When Jon's father dies in faraway India, the couple travels to the father's isolated Assamese tea plantation to settle his affairs. Far from the bustle and distraction of London, left alone to endure the monsoon rains while Jon struggles to complete the final harvest, Priscilla realises how much she misses Jon's touch.

Anil Kumar arrives with business documents for Jon to examine. The charismatic native enchants both Priscilla and Jon with his god-like beauty and charm. In separate incidents, each of them succumbs to Anil's lustful attentions. Will the illicit desires excited by the handsome Indian be the final stroke that destroys their marriage? Or the route to saving it?

'Boy Toys' by Brynn Paulin
Dana's job title is scientist not babysitter. She's irritated when her boss slates her to accompany department bad boys, Christopher and Jason, to a meeting in London on her weekend off. Since her job transfer to England, she's hidden her attraction to the much younger men. Unfortunately, the attraction seems to be growing every day and every night she fantasises about them. Three days virtually alone with them will be no fantasy and might instead be an embarrassing disaster. But...

Jason and Christopher have had their eyes on Dana since she joined their department. Through a little finagling they've arranged for her to be part of this trip. They're sure her project is a spot on compliment to theirs and her presence will be an ideal addition to their bed. Now all they have to do is convince her that the bad boys will make her perfect boy toys. Forever.

Join the party and check out the fun on Monday, May 12!

9.5.08

Some Charming and Not So Charming Stuff

About Utterly Charming Stuff



Hello everyone…

I suppose, when I post, it would be pertinent to elucidate (oooh, big word) about erotica, but I felt like blogging something else. We’re all here because we generally agree it’s okay to read and publish this genre, so here’s a different subject altogether.

As the title of this blog insinuates, I’d like to pontificate (yeah, I learned me another even bigger word) on things I find charming…and wish there were more of.

For example:

Have you been to the movies lately? I’ve just watched some of the most pleasant cinemagraphic efforts; really they made me think and respond intellectually as well as emotionally.

If you haven’t watched it, Mrs. Palfrey at the Clairmont is a most wonderfully, clever story. It’s about an elderly woman who takes up life in a London residential hotel and is befriended by a young writer. The movie’s attraction lies in the fact that an elderly lady and someone several generations her junior can actually have a great deal in common. I won’t spoil this flick for those of you who haven’t seen it. For writers, this is a must-see!!!

Now, here’s another really charming movie you might want to watch… Miss Potter. This is supposedly the early life story of famed children’s author, Beatrix Potter. (Incidentally, she went on to be quite a conservationist.) If you get a chance to watch either/both the above movies − and I very much hope you do − perhaps you’ll understand about the charismatic quality of which I speak. There’re not a lot of high-cost special effects or gun-toting villains, but these movies speak to a higher side of human nature. Know what I mean?

I wasn’t a Jane Austen fan until I watched the latest version of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Mathew MacFadyen. This is also quite engaging. I especially liked the scene where Mr. Darcy walks through the meadow at sunup…WOW! Play, rewind, play, rewind, etc. The sex in this story is there though the characters never really touch until the end; and even then the sex is only insinuated. No, I don’t have anything against ‘gettin’ jiggy with it’ ya’ll. But sometimes…just sometimes…I don’t think every single frickin’ thing has to be spelled out, punctuated and described in living color.



Some more charming stuff:

If you’re in the mood for something the kids will love (and for anyone who’s young at heart), try Fairytale: A True Story. This is a loose biographical movie about the children who were supposed to have taken pictures of fairies in Cottingley, Yorkshire. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle announced this amazing photographic wonder in The Strand magazine and later wrote a book entitled The Coming of the Fairies (proving his open-minded genius in the process). The movie makes you ask ‘what if’.


Even the movie Contact (with Jody Foster) had message that causes reflection. As Carl Sagan said, “If there’s no life out there…what a huge waste of space.” I find that statement simple and yet exceedingly profound.



And finally, here’s one more thing I found utterly charming.

These engineers were trying to be funny, but their video is actually quite insightful. They had to use their brains to make this up and I think it came out quite well. They deserve some kind of award, in my opinion. Take a look….some sentient beings being entertaining…..

An Engineer's Guide to Cats:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHXBL6bzAR4


I guess the point of this blog was….we are more than our genitalia…we are capable of producing quite amusing, profound and wonderful works of art. We so often fail to live up to that potential. Lately it seems that everyone around me is sinking to the lowest common denominator (check the local papers to see what I’m talking about). When that happens to you (if it does sometimes happen), go find one of these more uplifting works. Shut the door, turn off the phone and just let the characters speak to you. Hell, go outside and look up at the night sky and ponder your absolute worth! We’re more than a bundle of nerve endings squirming in a Petri dish. We are humans…hear us roar! And THAT is utterly charming!!!Hell


Till next time,

Candace Sams (aka C.S. Chatterly)
Candace Sams (aka C.S. Chatterly)
~ Where Fantasies Embrace Legend ~
www.candacesams.com
www.cschatterly.com
www.authorsden.com/candacesams
http://theromancestudio.com/fm/sams.htm
www.vampire-vixens.com
www.nightwatchbooks.com
www.talesoftheorder.com
www.police-writers.com

P.S. I don’t know why I’m throwing this in…it’s anything ‘but’ charming, but it ‘did’ piss me off.

I was posting on a loop recently and was referring to the need for erotica authors to sort of reel things in a bit when attending conferences. (Now, don’t come unglued before you hear me out…the reason for my opinion is as follows):

There was an incident at a large conference a couple of years back where some individual (a hotel guest) complained to the hotel staff/conference personnel about a gay promotional cover and its accompanying web address…that author ended up being censored – forced to pull her promotional information from the conference’s promotional alley (where all authors of all genres display their promo items).

Now….no official representing the conference or from any erotica publishing firm; no erotica authors or their ilk ‘seems’ to have defended this woman while she was at the conference…she ‘still’ had to pull her promo items (and only hers it seems) so they wouldn’t offend any ‘other’ hotel guests. All this led me to make the suggestion that these same conference staffers might consider putting the authors’ promotional paraphernalia in a separate room, where hotel guests, their children and any insecure individuals wouldn’t have to look at the erotica book covers, etc., as they walk by. Granted, I believe in rights to display your book covers….I don’t agree with someone’s kid seeing them if they aren’t appropriate for a child to view. I will defend to the death, your right to write, read whatever you please…but I have to draw the line at forcing my work on someone who dislikes it or on any child! Remember folks, the way to garner respect is to act like you deserve it; consider others around you, be professional and you might… just might, mind you….get them to at lease listen to your view. No one ever got anywhere by trying to cram something down some else’s throat. You can’t force people to like a subject that, for whatever reason, is repugnant to them. It’s the old carrots vs. sticks theory….

But if you act professional, the most any naysayers can articulate is that they don’t like what you write! See?

At any rate, the next of these conferences is to be held in Orlando, FL, next year (some of you already know the one I’m talking about).

Now, regardless of your stance on where to put the promo items, I had to point out to some folks on a group loop that there could be legal repercussions for displaying items in a place that could garner even more trouble from hotel guests, visitors, etc. This conference will be held in a Florida hotel, at about the same time spring break will be celebrated in that state/area. There’re bound to be kids around. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any kid looking at my promo items. Even my paranormal novels, written as Candace Sams, are geared to those at least fifteen and up – and there’s no erotica at all in those titles. Besides all this, those hotel guests that take away all the items promo items probably don’t intend to buy any of the books; they just want the freebies. My promo stuff at any conference is for the readers who attend the conference, not the lookey-loos who wander about looking for stuff to later throw away.

At any rate…my idea to house the promo items in a ‘separate’ room got shot down. Conference personnel insist that everyone who brings erotica to the conference must make their promo material PG 13 (and what is that if not censoring) and, of course, they ‘know’ this new set of rules will still offend no one! Yeah, right…and what exactly is PG 13? What it is to you may not be appropriate for someone else or their kid to see while walking about on a vacation, in a swank hotel near Disney World. But I digress…….

I spoke with a local police Sergeant in the conference area and he assures me that they ‘can’ act on complaints from hotel guests. He also told me there could be civil litigation; the hotel could be held responsible as well as the author about whom any complaints may be lodged. When I mentioned this on the group loop, the police were referred to as ‘Gestapo-like’. And this is where I got angry and why I’m writing all this.

I’m sure the party who used this term was trying to be witty…..in some sad, sad way (I don’t know that she’s old enough to know what that organization was about, but isn’t it ‘convenient’ to throw a nasty term around in reference to an entire group of individuals. Especially if you’d like to make ‘your’ point)? I guess she wouldn’t mind if people say she writes ‘filthy pornography’ instead of erotica?

I can assure you – in the most ardent terms I know without using any nasty adverbs – that I don’t appreciate even the remote insinuation that any police agency is ‘Gestapo-like’. And if the party who said that is reading this blog and doesn’t like my having mentioned what she said….go call a cop!

Please look at the very last line of my signature addresses (above). I’m sure the person using this rather hateful, Nazi terminology didn’t actually mean to include me in that group; and that’s the bad part about labeling people. She doesn’t know anything about me nor does she know anything about my life, but feels perfectly free to toss about that kind of moniker…carelessly!!! I put up with it on the loop; I said nothing. I suspect that had I referred to her as an ‘insidious peddler of filth’ she’d go thermo-nuclear. But that’s the nature of people who call others names or even remotely reference such hateful terminology to embody an entire group. And in using the term…she called ‘me’ ‘Gestapo-like’. What else am I to infer? I was a cop for many, many years. My only reason for mentioning that the police ‘could’ be called in if a hotel guest complained about promotional items was to mitigate a possible legal or civil situation. I see no harm at all in at least considering putting promo items in a separate room where kids can’t view it.

Having said this, are all cops good? NO! I worked with some who never should have been hired into that occupation. Are they all bad? NO! Not any more than all erotica authors are distributors of sick porn! See, it works both ways…you want to throw a name; you should be prepared to catch one back. However the woman meant the term when she used it….it’s not funny, cute or remotely appropriate to inflict that shadow on any group of individuals unless they ‘are’ members of that organization or ‘were’. Some cops are Jewish…they wouldn’t take it kindly. I can assure you, they wouldn’t remotely like having the term associated with them at all. So…don’t like my former profession; that’s okay. Not all folks like what I do even now. Call me anything you want…but for the love of Christ almighty, please don’t remotely- for any reason whatsoever- call me or any of the good cops I worked with as ‘Gestapo-like’. Please, for the love of Mary and all that’s Holy, don’t think we have anything to do with Nazis. These aren’t terms any one should use so blithely. I have to assume she meant it in the harshest way; why would anyone even say such a thing about a group of individuals (referencing ‘another’ group who murdered randomly) unless she meant it? It’s not like calling the cops ‘the fuzz’ or ‘the heat’ or ‘pigs’ or even ‘morons’. Hell, I’ve been called things I can’t spell and that’s the truth. But she indiscriminately referred to people she didn’t know - and have never met - as savages! Butchers of the worst sort! She pulled out a term that, to me, is hideously intolerable. And that responsibility lies with her. Ironically, people who do things like this are usually the most likely to whine like two-year-olds for police protection when they need it; spitting on the police after having done so.

I’m a firm believer in other justice in this world. By that, I mean that what goes around comes around. Pagans and Wiccans believe that even mentioning that you wish for a bad thing to happen is to give that dreadful thought credence, strength and life. I can only guess at the results from labeling some unknown men and women as ‘Gestapo-like’ (however cute she thought she was being). I can only wonder at the results of so carelessly using that term and, in so doing, diminishing the real horror cause by actual Nazis. If this woman thinks the Orlando police are or remotely could be ‘Gestapo-like’, I pray to God she never really meets any group who are of that ilk. I wouldn’t wish that horror on anyone.

Call me any damned thing you want….please don’t ever remotely refer to me or my behavior as a cop as Gestapo-like! To so blithely throw that term around, as I stated, is to minimize the absolute horror that millions of people suffered at the hands of the Gestapo and their minions. And it defines me and other good cops as sub-human. No one has to like the law enforcement profession, but 99% of them are there to help; they believe in what they do. They wouldn’t show up at a hotel to confiscate promo items unless some ‘citizen’ made a complaint. They have to act when called; they have no choice; that’s what they get paid to do. And yeah, they even defend women who like to call them names! And all this came about because I dared to ‘suggest’ that the promo alley be put in a separate room where kids couldn’t be inflicted with erotica promotional goods.

Okay…I’m done bitchin!!!! I’ll try not to ever get this volatile again …email me if you’d like to…you can go to my website to get my email address….