Friday, August 29, 2008

Let your voice be heard

Voting isn't something that was ever talked about much in my house growing up. I'm not even sure if my mom did or does vote but if so, it isn't something she shared with me growing up so it's not something I really thought about much either. Not something I'm proud of, but true. This coming November at the age of twenty eight I'll cast my very first ballot. These past few years I've started to get involved with politics a lot more, I've taken a look around me, analyzed what I saw, discovered what I believe in and learned not only how important those beliefs are BUT the fact that if I don't do anything about them there's no point caring about them at all. I spent the first half of 2008 watching debates, listening to people speak, doing research on the internet, and learning to understand how the whole political process works. I know there is still so much more to be learned and I know I will work to learn because of the fact that I'm inspired. How special is that? To feel inspired to change, to learn, to make a difference instead of sitting around complaining about how things are. What right did I have to complain if I wasn't doing anything about it? 2008 is history making. Whether you're Democrat, Republican, or independent. Young or old, what's going on in the United States right now is new, different, INSPIRING. We have our first African American accept a nomination for president. We have a woman on a ticket for vise president. We have young people watching, learning, getting involved in ways that they haven't in the past. We have confirmed Republicans who plan to vote Democrat for the first time in some of their lives as well as Democrats who will vote Republican for the first time. Its amazing to me and I'm proud to be a part of it.

I was glued to the TV this past week soaking it all in, hanging on the words of a hope for the future. Soon, Republicans will have their convention and have the chance to do the same thing. How lucky are we to have the right to seek knowledge and find our inspiration, who we believe in, and then cast a ballot accordingly? I won't let that opportunity pass me by again. I'm excited to be a part of it, to actually have my say heard for the first time.

So, red or blue, young or old, rich or poor, don't silence your voice. Let it be heard. I plan to.

A Man in Uniform

I read something the other day about men in UNIFORMS. Don't you love a hot guy in uniform? I sure do. Funny thing though. I don't always think of the traditional cop or fireman or military guys when I think of the "look" a man wears....his "uniform". What's my personal favorite? I have no problem with traditional authority figures or the guys who dominate both the boardroom and the bedroom but my favorite uniform is a pair of worn jeans that fit "just right", a tee shirt, a battered cowboy hat that is worn tipped back just enough to allow a tumble of dark curls to splash across the forehead, accompanied of course by a rakish smile. Yep. I love a hot cowboy.

In my quest for the "uniform of choice", I've found some pretty damn yummy pics of men in uniforms. If your favorite isn't here, I apologize. Sigh. So many uniforms, so little time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a glimpse at my WIP

Here's a glimpse at Taking Chloe, my current WIP. I'm nearly done with it and thank goodnes too, because I have several other things on my plate. They're waiting for me...taunting me...driving me to drink! Okay, I'm being dramatic, but still I am very much ready to put this one to bed so I can get a start on my next story, Night Moves (that one's a menage ;-))


Sometimes love just needs a little nudge...

Merrick Vaughn couldn’t be happier. His business is jumping and his marriage to the love of his life is about as good as it can get. That is, until Chloe announces she wants to separate. At first, he’s too stunned to react, but when he realizes she’s dead serious he’s pushed into action. In a desperate bid to keep from losing the only woman he’s ever loved, Merrick proposes a deal. He’ll let her go, no questions asked, but first she’ll have to accompany him to Hawaii for a week long vacation where he’s in complete control...of her.

Chloe loves her husband and the last thing she wants is a divorce, but she can’t go on living with a man who spends his days and nights behind a desk. Sharing a house with a veritable stranger is tearing her apart. Taking a break to sort out her thoughts seems her only recourse. When Merrick offers a wicked proposition, she’s both intrigued and scared. Will a week in a tropical paradise bring them closer or will it be their ultimate undoing?

Warning: this story contains lots of steamy, explicit sex, anal sex, a touch of voyeurism, and the naughty use of ice cubes! BUT! You'll have to wait for the release to get all that. BWHAAAA!!

Unedited (Adult) Excerpt:

“You have the most wicked way of turning me inside out, baby.”

Chloe liked the sound of that. It told her she gave him something no other could. “I think that’s a mutual feeling, Merrick.”

He stretched out on his side next to her, his semi-hard cock pressing into her thigh. “But I’m not through with you. I want more. I’ll always want more from you, Chloe.”

She knew that couldn’t be true. The past several months proved he might want it to be true, but the reality was far different.

“Three months,” she bit out.

He’d propped his head on his hand and started to stroke a finger over her breasts and ribcage when her statement seemed to register. He froze.


“Three months since you last made love to me.”

His cheeks turned red. “No way it’s been three months. That’s not possible.”

She flung her arm over her eyes and muttered, “It is. Believe me, I counted.”

Merrick’s fingers wrapped around her wrist and tugged, forcing her to look at him. “You could have approached me. Desire between a husband and wife is a two-way street, Chloe.”

That was the wrong thing to say. She sat up and pointed a finger at his chest. “You think I didn’t try? Oh, I tried all right! Over and over. I even worried that you had someone else!”

Merrick cupped her jaw and frowned. “You can’t be serious. Baby, there’s only you. I swear on my life I’ve never even come close to cheating.”

“I know,” she admitted. “In my heart I knew you’d never cheat on me. Still, that left me with no explanation as to why you wouldn’t touch me. Why we hadn’t made love.” her voice broke and tears filled her eyes. “Why, Merrick?”

He swiped a tear away with his thumb. “I’m not making excuses, but I didn’t intentionally push you away. I’ve been consumed with the business. Making it something that would withstand the test of time is very important to me. I’m sorry that need overshadowed the most vital thing in my life, you.”

“I’m proud of your hard work, but that doesn’t explain this rift, Merrick.”

Merrick pulled her close and placed the gentlest of kisses to her lips. He lifted away a mere inch and murmured, “I have a lot of things to explain to you.” He kissed her cheek. “A helluva lot to make up for.” He laid back on the bed and brought her on top of him. “But right now I need to show you how much I’ve missed you. Give me tonight. Tomorrow I’ll tell you everything.”

He placed a chaste kiss to her lips and Chloe surrendered. “Tomorrow, Merrick. Promise me.”

“Tomorrow, baby, I promise.”

“Then quit messing around and kiss me like you mean it.”

He chuckled. “Yes, ma’am.”

Merrick cupped the back of her head and pulled her down for a bone-melting mating of lips. He crushed his mouth to hers and teased her lips apart, their tongues dueling. Chloe drifted on a sea of desire as Merrick took his time sucking on her tongue. His calloused palms skated up her back and held her close. She pushed her breasts against his chest and rubbed her hardened peaks back and forth. Merrick groaned into her mouth and ground his hips into the juncture between her thighs. She pulled away and sat atop him. Gazes locked, she positioned his cock and let him barely breach her entrance, torturing them both.

“Goddamn you’re tight. I’m burning up here, babe.”

Chloe’s thighs trembled. “I love the way you feel inside me. You’re so hard and strong.”

“And your so damn soft I want to sink into your sweet little pussy and never leave,” he growled. “Ride me, Chloe.”

“Yes,” she breathed out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I've been going through and reading all the Dark Hunter books by Sherrilyn Kenyon for the second (okay some third, fourth get the idea) time and again I'm amazed at her incredible ability to world-build. Its fascinating. I admire her and so many other authors for their ability to create a whole world where everything matches up book after book after book. How she can add one tiny detail in that you don't realize could even be important and then books later its actual a major detail in the series and you get that AH HA moment of clarity. Love that. When I look at how something seemingly so small can turn out to be something so much bigger five books later or how an author can know an entire series before hand, know exactly what to do in each book to get the series where it needs to go I'm enamored. Its a special talent and one that keeps me coming back again and again, rushing to the bookstore each time a new book is released.

Who are some of the author that amaze you with their ability to world-build book after book?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love

A reviewer recently said of Tempting Tess that it had too much sex. say??? Are you kiddin' say??? As someone who writes erotic romance this was a shocking pronouncement of my work. Most people know, right off the bat, when they buy an Ellora's Cave title, they will be getting a lot of sex. Baffling.

Now, granted, I was just a teensy miffed about what she had to say but I'm all over that now. This brings me to a question though. How much is too much? Should a book contain so much sex it leaves little room for plot? Should characterization be sacrificed on the altar of SEX, SEX and MORE SEX???

I don't think so. The book in question...the one with too much sex also had a plot and deep characterization because after all, sex without that is porn, in my view. Sex for the sake of sex, is meaningless physical manueverings that have no place in what women want. Let's face it, we want it all. We want emotion, caring, sensitivity, love and yes...a whole lotta sex. Nothing wrong with that. We're modern women who grab hold of what we want and make it work. Right?

Okay. Here's my big question. A LOT of the erotic romances out there are novella's or even shorter. They are quick reads, ultra hot, and though there is plot and characterization they are often THIN on those elements. So what should it be? Should we be writing longer books with less sex...albeit hotter than hell when it occurs and devote more time to our worldbuilding, plots and character development? Mmm. Maybe this is a dumb question. Maybe we prefer it short, fast and hot. I don't know. That's why I'm asking. What do you look for in your erotica, ladies? Is the heat level more important than the story so give it to you QUICK? Or do we want even more than that?

Give it to me straight!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Heroes and Hair

Does it matter to you what color hair your heroes have? Do you prefer one way or the other as you read? I'm reading Nauti Dreams and I'm realizing I love dark haired men. LOL Or maybe I just love Natches. yowza! This is such a good book. I love Lora Leigh's Alphas!
Besides that though, I've only dated one guy who had blond hair, all the others (including my husband) had dark hair. So, I guess I really do have a thing for those dark haired men.
So, what color hair do you prefer and why? And would you read a book if the hero was bald?
A few pictures to spark your mind. hehe!

The hunky blond. For some reason I always think of a playful, ornery sort of character. Sexy and fun, not overly serious.

The shaggy, dark haired hero with the intense eyes and just a hint of facial hair. A hot, slightly untamed hero.

The close cut, shaved look. Hard body, possibly military, a SEAL, brooding, serious, dominant.

Short hair, with bangs a little too long. Boy next door, but with a wild streak that's just begging to be tamed...or not! ;-)

Short black hair. Hard, powerful, mysterious...and way too much man to handle, but you're willing to give it a shot anyway. lol

So, which do you prefer? And no you cannot have them all. This ain't no buffet! LOL

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Give me pressure! Give me a deadline!

I've learned something about myself recently that I didn't know. It surprised me a little bit but hey, such is life, right? Anyway, I've realized that I work much better under pressure. This summer was crazy for me with writing deadlines. I had a novel due August 1, a short story due August 31, a 30k novella due September 1 and a 20k novella due October 1 (maybe I should say end of summer/fall). The thing with me is having all those things on my plate drove me crazy (in a good way). I was excited, knowing I had that many contracts, that I would have that many books released but I HATE to have things hanging over my head so much that the pressure of the deadlines looming makes me want to work even when I don't feel like it. I'm the type that has to be early on everything. I pile the pressure on myself to make sure I'm done before I need to be (my editor loves me, LOL). I had my novel done in June, the short and the first novella in July and the second in August. I gave myself a schedule of how much I needed to write each week, and a timeline of when I wanted to have those things done. The weight I put on my own shoulders is more than what my editor gives me. When I have a deadline I have a need to be done early. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Otherwise it seems I feel like taking my sweet time. After getting all my writing done I took about a week off. I have no deadlines, no responsibilities right now. My goal is to finish my first book to submit to NY before I have to start the third book in my Friday's at Luciano's series. Guess what?? I'm not writing nearly as much as I did the first half of the year. Without those deadlines I do only a page or two a day. I don't know why. I like the story, like the characters. I'm excited to write something for NY but without the pressure of a due date I'm dragging my butt about it. I'm not finding myself in a rush. Its kind of nice but its also kind of driving me crazy. I like that rush, the deadline, the goals of five pages a day that I HAVE to stick with. I've tried to give myself the same deadlines I did while writing my for my publisher but its like I know I don't have to stick with it so I'm not. FRUSTRATING! I mean, for current or future editors I think this is a good thing. They'll always know they'll get my books on time, hell they'll get the early but for myself its a little disheartening. I want to know I can give myself the same deadlines and I'll stick with them.

My friend assured me it wasn't just me. This little "problem" of mine can be related to tons of other aspects of life and maybe a lot of people are this way to. The house needs cleaned? It can wait a few hours but if you know someone is coming over, you get up and clean the house early, am I right? Please tell me I'm not alone is this (yes I'm begging :))

One last thing, my dear friend Tonya, Craft Goddess started her own crafting blog. She'll be blogging about all her crafting adventures, posting pictures, sharing ideas. Its a really neat blog! Be sure to check out Ribbon~Paper~Ink

Friday, August 22, 2008

Going Green-One More Time

Yeah, yeah, I know I've already blogged about "reading green" so excuse me for bringing this up again but we've had a lot of conversation lately about e-book readers on our brand new chat loop for Three Wicked Writers. Oh yeah...please sign up for it if you haven't already. Lots of very cool people hanging out at this loop.

Ahem Ahem...I digress (as I often do) LOL. The subject is ebook readers. Now, let me say first off that I got an ebookwise reader last Christmas and I simply love it. Not only is it relatively inexpensive (around $140) but it's roughly the size of a paperback book, lightweight, and it lights up. It's great to use when the family is watching tv together and you're sitting in the dark. My hubby loves to watch the crappiest stuff of tv. No kidding. He loves Ice Road Truckers, The Deadliest Catch, bass fishing (which is like watching the grass grow) and weird stuff like the Knife Show, where these redneck guys try to sell "bulk" quantity knives with names like RAMBO, THE TERMINATOR and DEATH BLADE. Gag me. Ooops. I digress again. Sorry, but his watching habits get my panties in a twist. Oh yeah...ebook readers.

Now a number of chatters mentioned the Sony and I have to admit, this looks really good. Apparently the print quality is excellent. It's a little pricier than what I have but I like the idea of going into my local Best Buy and being able to hold it in my hand, experiment a little. The machine, if you've pulled it up on-line, looks beautiful. I understand it also allows pdf (Adobe) files which is verrrry nice. Someone mentioned that her tax guy says it's a tax deduction since she uses it for promotion. She brings it to book signings and other public appearances and has excerpts (of her own work of chick) and lets people check it out if they are interested. Hmmm. I like this idea. Use it for promo and get a tax break.

Don't know much about the Kindle but from what I've seen, it would be GREAT for someone who wants a hand-held computer that will allow him/her to buy newspaper and magazine subscriptions plus books. It's still really pricey, I think. Does anyone out there have one? Can you tell us about it? This looks so good but I'd really like to know more.

Before I got my ebookwise reader, I had a HORRIBLE book buying habit. Do I hear any AMENS out there? Holy Cow! I was baaaaad. Now I spend far, far less, I can carry my entire library with me in my PURSE. What a super cool thing!

Soooo. Guess I just wanted to see what everyone else is using or thinking of buying. If you don't have a reader of any kind, may I make a teeny weeny suggestion? Christmas is right around the corner and Santa is listening.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trials and tribulations in life and writing

Lucy Monroe once said:
Believe in your voice and your stories and don't let anyone but your editor convince you to make changes that don't mesh with *your* heart. (Sometimes not even your editor.)”

I love that advice, don’t you? You can really apply it to life, not just writing. Damn, sometimes it’s so hard to know if you’re making the right choices with your writing. Knowing when to revise and when to put your foot down is not an easy thing. I think this sort of knowledge comes with experience. You learn and grow with each manuscript, but it’s easy to get caught in the ‘I’m better than you’ trap. On the other hand, putting your trust in a company is extremely difficult. The words we spin are hard earned and we don’t want to see them go to waste, do we? After all, there’s not a neon sign on a publisher’s website that says ‘I’m going to screw you out of every cent earned!’. It’d be nice though, huh? LOL

I’ve made some mistakes in the past. And I’ll certainly make more. I’ve put my work with poorly run companies and I’ve paid the price in blood, sweat and tears. The truth is, doing some research before you jump in with a publisher makes a big difference. In the end, however, it’s still going to come down to taking a risk. Risks are all part of any business though.

It helps if you know what you want. Keeping sight of your goals is a great way to stay on track and not fall into a place where you can’t dig yourself out. I have very specific goals myself. I know where I want to be in my career next year at this time. I know what I want to accomplish with my writing. I know what I consider a successful career. But my goals aren’t the same as the next writer. We all have our own ideas, our own plan. If you feel like you’re on a treadmill and getting nowhere fast, it’s because you lost sight. I’ve done this and just recently I realized it. What a frustrating moment that was! LOL Still, I’m awake now and back on track and things can only get better! I guess sometimes it just takes someone smacking us upside the head, doesn’t it? *g*

We all get so caught up and lose our focus. You don’t have to be an author to understand where I’m coming from here. Life can sometimes suck us dry if we let it. You spend so much time running errands, doing the chores, making sure everyone has what they need. Soon you’ve forgotten that you left out the most important part of the equation, you!

Don’t you get tired of feeling like the worker bee instead of the queen? That’s sort of how I’ve felt lately. I go the extra mile, do the little things, and then no one notices. Or worse, your extra efforts get taken for granted. It’s so frustrating, huh? Just once I want to be the damn queen! LOL

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Look at that cover!

As an author I wait on pins and needles to get covers for my books. Will I love it? Will I hate it? Will it jive with the story? Will it attract a readers eye? All those question jumble my brain until finally I click the inbox button and see a waiting email from my publisher. I nervously download the attachment and wait for the document to open. When the box pops up I get to exhale a sigh of relief. Another cover I love!

I've been lucky enough not to ever have a cover that I dislike. Lately, I've had even better luck because the cover artist for Parker Publishing is in my eyes the cover goddess. I feel so blessed with the gorgeous covers I've received because like it or not but covers can make you or break you. Of course the good writing is key but the cover is what will make readers pick up your book. A gorgeous cover stands out on the shelf or the website, it draws the readers eyes like moth to flame.

IMO if a reader doesn't know an authors name, the cover is the single thing that will make them pick up the book or skip it. A great title is key too, an interesting blurb but if the cover turns the reader off are they even going to pick up the book to read that blurb you struggled over? Probably not. Its so easy to say don't judge a book by its cover and maybe we don't judge the book because of it, maybe the reader picks up the book anyway reads the blurb and realizes that a really great story probably rests inside that cover but covers are the first impression. You know what they never have a second chance to make a first impression (I'm loaded with sayings today aren't I). That cover is a readers first impression.

So what brought this all up you ask? My cover goddess sent me some of the most AMAZING covers this week. I'm sharing a couple of them with you today. The Lotus Blossom Chronicles contains my novella, The Art of Love and Unexpected Mr. Right is book two in the Fridays at Luciano's series. I'm blowing my head up a bit over here but aren't they gorgeous? Squee! I couldn't be happier.

What kind of covers attract you? If you don't know an author is the cover what draws your attention to a new book?

Oh, and one last really fun bit of news. We're having a Wild and Wicked Pajama Party tonight at Night Owl Romance. After a fun discussion on her personal blog Regina realized that a lot of times the West Coasters miss out on the chats because of the times. We decided to remedy that. Join the Three Wicked Writers along with Cindy Spencer Pape and Anny Cook for a night of HOT excerpts, great conversations and whatever else we decide to pull out of our pajama sleeves tonight from 10:00 PM - 1:00 AM Eastern time (7-10 PM Pacific). We'll see your there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quick! Check! Is it Dead Yet???

Hmm. Sounds like a line from a sci-fi story where the hero/heroine shoots a laser beam at an alien creature, doesn't it? I'm actually wondering these days about which genres seem to be on the wane.

Lately, I've read some commentary about the sales of historicals being slow. This makes me sad but I keep telling myself this has happened before. Since my first foray into romance with The Flame and The Flower, I've loved historicals. Loved them so much, I spent decade in research and writing regency set historicals. I adore them and have Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Lisa Kleypas, Catherine Coulter, and Jayne Ann Krentz (w/a Amanda Quick) to thank for their inspiration. Like lots of genres, popularity ebbs and flows but I would sure hate to see these genres die out.

This makes me wonder if it isn't up to writers to reinvent and manipulate these well loved genres. Maybe we should start experimenting and finding ways to add interest to repeated themes involving the eras of arranged marriages, rogues, rakes, libertines, and debutantes experiencing their "coming out". My first published novel was a regency historical. Granted, it was waaaay too hot to be considered traditional in any way and on September 16, Resplendence Publishing will release Made for Mischief an erotic regency. After reading that historicals are slowing down, I'm a little alarmed and anxious to see how it is received. I DID push the envelope with this one by making it erotic and there are lots of erotic romance lovers out there. Maybe they will WANT a little history with their erotica?

Lately, I write more contemporary stories but my love of historical work remains. The melding of real history, the beauty of the era, along with the sheer romance is really hard to beat in my book.

Lots of work available melds sci-fi with romance, history with romance, and horror with romance. Is that what keeps our romance selections fresh and new? I don't know but it seems to me that authors are forever trying to find new and inventive ways in which to present their stories. This is a good thing. Why not mix adventure with lust or neat futuristic weapons with passion?

What genres do you see as slow or dying? Did you once love a genre but then quickly fall "out of love" with it? What can authors do to keep readers coming back for more?

Monday, August 18, 2008

The girl in the window

The picture above: Willian (10 yrs.), Dani (9 yrs.) and their mom and dad, Diane and Bernie Lierow. They're a humble bunch. Mom cleans houses and Dad remodels houses. They're a loving American family. But I consider Diane and Bernie angels.

I'm just now hearing about the story where a sweet little girl was kept in a closet. Her mother literally kept the little girl you see in the picture in a closet. When authorities found her (2005), she was 8 yrs. old and wore diapers. She couldn't speak and seemed completely unresponsive. The home she'd been living in was filthy in the extreme. Roaches, dirty diapers, human excrement on the floor and smeared on the walls. The girl's hair was filled with lice and she was what they call 'feral'. She'd never been outside. Never knew human contact. Didn't wear clothes. She slept on a moldy mattress. She didn't seem to...see through her eyes. No real emotion, other than fear and anger. Her world was basically all about survival. She weighted 46 pounds at 8 yrs old. She'd never been on a swing, never ate ice cream. Didn't understand pain. When they put an IV in her, she didn't respond, not even a little. This broke my heart. As I read the article all I could think to do was hug my daughters.

If you read about Dani's life you'll learn the whole story. I'm not going to go into huge amounts of detail here. I'm not going to try to figure out why a mother would do this to her own child, low I.Q. or not. I'm not going to debate whether she should be slapped with mere probation or thrown in prison the rest of her life. I have my own opinion on that one.

What I do want to do is applaud and recognize Dani's new parents, Diane and Bernie (seen in the picture above). They took this, pardon the expression, savage, child into their homes and their hearts. Dani never knew love, but thanks to a kind, average American couple she does now. I thank God for people like the Lierows. They make me realize that this world may be filled with some pretty awful people, but there's also good.

Dani can now look at people and let herself be held. She can chew meat, not just gum it like a baby does. She can swim. She's grown a foot and her weight has doubled. She’s tall and blond and knows her own name. She has a big brother who loves her. The room she sleeps in now is pink and cheerful and has a window. If she wants to look outside, all she has to do is raise her arms and her very loving daddy is right there. Thanks to a kind unassuming family like the Lierows, Dani has a chance of living a happy life.

There's people like Diane and Bernie everywhere. Maybe you're one of them. Maybe you've been touched by the kindness of a stranger at some point in your own life. If you have, however small, I'd love to hear about it! We can't dwell on the horrors of Dani's first eight years, the damage has already been done, but we can be grateful her next eight won't be the same.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Memories and melodies

A couple nights ago my DH was flipping through the channels when I happened to catch a flash of a face I'd grown up with. It wasn't someone I know personally but in some ways I feel like I do. You see he's my mom's all time favorite singer and every time I hear one of his older songs I'm automatically transported back to my childhood. I quickly as my husband to go back down. I see the "shit" look on his face. I think he thought he got away with it but he didn't. After surfing down a few channels, there he is, a much, much younger Bob Dylan.

LOVE this man's older music. Every time I hear Mr. Tambourine man its a Saturday morning when my single mom is off from work. We're blasting the music through our little apartment while cleaning. Blowin' in the Wind we're taking one of our mountain drives exploring Durango Colorado, or Hurricane I'm thinking of injustices and talking about the story of a boxer with my mom.

Music is so special that way. I love the way the beat of a song, the flow of lyrics can spark a memory from your past. I can't listen to Bob Dylan without memories of hanging with my mom, of when she a little lighter, of when she liked to have more fun.

Is there any music that sparks memories for you? Transports you through time? Another one for me is All My Life by KC and JoJo. My husband proposed to me while we listened to that song so it will also forever be engraved into my mind.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Baby Beauty Queens and Other Weirdness

Been thinking about commonly held beauty standards and about how truly warped and weird our world is sometimes. Earlier in the week, everyone was talking about the opening ceremonies in the Olympics and the moment when the pretty little Chinese girl sang for everyone. Later, we all learn that she was lip-synching because the voice really belonged to another little girl who wasn't considered quite pretty enough to represent her country.

Okay, I don't know about you guys but this completely pissed me off. We're talking about a seven year old girl who is told...hey, your voice is great but you just aren't pretty enough so we're gonna steal your voice and stick it on this other little girl, who unlike YOU, is pretty. Oh PUL-LEEEZ. When are people gonna grow the hell up and see what is right in front of them. The value of a person doesn't rest on pretty or ugly or average. Skin color is irrelevant and so is financial worth.

The whole episode over the little girls makes me think of all those "baby beauty pageants". Now I hope I don't tick any0ne off when I say I think they are reprehensible. Sticking layers of fake hair, fake eyelashes and $1500 dresses on a six year old is beyond ridiculous. Fans of the practice say it teaches their daughters self-esteem. I don't buy it for a minute. Many of us have daughters and I hope we're teaching them to value things like brains, wit, compassion and kindness. These are the kinds of things I look for in a friend and pray I have instilled in my own daughter. Encouraging talent and good grooming is fine and dandy. I have no problem with that. But turning a perfectly adorable and normal six year old into a little "mini me" is beyond ridiculous.

Thanks for letting me rant. Just had to get this off my chest. :-) Ah...I feel soooo much better now!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

cold love scenes

Well, I'm going to get bitchy here today. Look out! LOL Sometimes you just have to speak your mind, know what I mean?

:::you've been warned:::

So, I've been reading this book. It's been good so far. Three authors in one. I love those. It's like a nice little helping, ya know? Sometimes you don't want to read something big and heavy. Sometimes you just want a hot little story to get you through the day.
This is such a book...until the final story. This author (who shall remain nameless) can't write a love scene to save her ass. I know, harsh. But it's true. I'm sitting here reading and realizing that I'm actually skimming the love scenes. LOL When was the last time that happened?! Never! It's a first for me to actually be so bored with the sex that I'm literally yawning as I turn the pages. How annoying!

The worst part for me, as an author I tend to look up to most NY authors. They've been down the road of rejection and came out with contract in hand, smiling all the way to the bank. I aspire to get published with a NY publisher some day. But as I'm reading this cheesy, supposedly scorching love scene I'm wondering which editor was in rush and needed an author to fill a spot.

I don't know which annoys me more. The fact that she's probably raking in the money, considering the other two authors in this anthology rocked my freaking socks off, or the fact that this probably won't be her last book with this gigantic company. I mean, really?!

Has that ever happened to you? Felt somewhat let down, shocked, even downright pissed when you read a crappy story? That’s it? That's what I'm supposed to aspire to? Who are you kidding with this drivel?

The thing is, she's not new to writing. This isn't her first time out of the gate. I expected more from this seasoned pro, I really did.

And, no, don't ask me, because I won't say names. Not even in private! I'm not trying to ruin anyone, just voicing my opinion as an author and a reader.

Well, there is one good thing to report. I have a hot little Lora Leigh book in my greedy hands. That should put the sparkle back in my eyes! Yay!

NOT hot and bothered

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I'm going to talk about something I find very fascinating and that's dreams. I've always been into dreams. Its amazing the things our minds come up with while we're sleeping. My sister reads books that tell you what dreams mean though I haven't done that yet if I ever come up for air long enough I think I will. I don't remember my dreams very often but when I do they're always really vivid and nine times out of ten if I wake up during the dream it continues when I got back to sleep. Weird but true.

When I was a kid I used to have a reoccurring dream that the only people left in the world were me, my sister, and my mom. Everything was dark and those gargoyle looking things from The Wizard of Oz were chasing us. Crazy huh? I haven't had it for years but that dream kept me awake many nights when I was younger. I haven't had it for years. Actually probably since I moved out to live on my own...funny I didn't realize that until right now. I wonder if that has any relevance?

Before I got pregnant with my first daughter I had a dream about driving in the car and singing at the top of my lungs with a toddler who rode in the backseat in the car seat. In the dream the little girl and I were laughing and singing while driving down the rode. I'd completely forgotten about the dream until one time, years later my daughter and I were driving in the car, Gwen Stefani was on, I was singing and she chimed in, singing at the top of her lungs with me. As soon as it happened the dream hit me, flashed into my mind like I'd just had it. I know the dream was about my daughter. At the time I had it I had no idea but I truly believe that now.

Do you have any reoccurring dreams? Are your dreams vivid? Do you forget them easily or are you like my husband who swears he never dreams because he never remembers them?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do You Believe?

I've always believed there are unexplainable things in the world, in the universe. Things we don't understand. Maybe it figures into why I love to read paranormal stuff but it fascinates me to think of other worlds and mysterious peoples who can do extraordinary things.

Over the years, I've become addicted to shows like A Haunting and Ghosthunters. There are others out there and I'll watch them too, if I stumble across them while channel surfing. Odd that I don't really care for horror stories or movies but I can't stop watching this stuff and thinking...what if? Stories about the hieroglyphyics on Egyptian pyramids, the faery fields of Ireland keep me spellbound but I've never actually HAD a paranormal experience.

My daughter and I took at trip to Lubbock, Texas this weekend to see my son who has a house there with two other guys. His roommates were off visiting family and he entertained us with a fun few days of Olympics-watching, catching up and dining out. Since the other guys were gone, we split up the bedrooms and everything was cool in the sleeping department. My daughter slept in one of the guys' vacated rooms. The next morning we were hanging out, drinking coffee and my son and I noticed she was really quiet. I asked her how she slept and she looked down then up and very seriously said. "Not very well." She shook her head a little and said. "I heard laughing. I heard a girl laughing." She was serious, deadly serious and went on to say..."I bumped my elbow on the wall and I heard her." My daughter said she sounded very young and then she heard the laugher again some time later. My son's eyes went round and he said, I can't believe it. I just can't believe it. He went on to tell us that his roommate said his room was haunted and he often hears a young girl giggling. The other guys always laughed it off, thinking it was just his imagination but now he believes. My daughter is a very serious natured girl and wouldn't make something like this up. Needless to say, we didn't sleep very well the following night although I believe this spirit is young, playful, and means no harm. Still, it was pretty creepy.

Do you have a ghost story to tell? A real life experience that some might find unbelievable? I'd be interested to hear it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Those nasty phobias

Hi, my name is Anne Rainey and I’m afflicted with the following phobias:
Arachnophobia - Fear of spiders.
Altophobia - Fear of heights.
Apiphobia - Fear of bees.

Okay, I hear the first step is admitting it. Now what? LOL
Let’s get serious. I really, truly have a fear of spiders. I freak out when I see one, and I can’t get close enough to kill them, so we buy spray. I can kill them that way, because I don’t have to actually touch them. Let me tell you one of the worst times in my life, when my phobia held me in its grasp.
Back when I was in high school still, I was at home by myself. It was in the evening, not sure where everyone was, it was unusual for me to be at home alone actually. Anyway, there I was munching on some cheese puffs and watching t.v. when something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. I turned and looked. Something on the floor moved. I froze as I saw what it was. A spider. And not some baby thing either. This was like a spider on steroids or something. I freaked and jumped from the couch to the coffee table. I stood on that coffee table for (this is not an exaggeration) hours. I shook with fear as I tossed things at the spider. I couldn’t bring myself to actually step onto the floor and walk over and kill it. I just couldn't.
Anyway, there I was, on the coffee table, my legs aching, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. Finally, my brother came home. He looked at me, I pointed to the spider, he stepped on it and rolled his eyes, then went to his room. I could finally breathed again. Although I couldn't sleep that night for fear of more spiders.
I never told my family that I’d stood on that coffee table for literally hours, frozen by my own irrational fear. I was embarrassed and I knew they’d laugh it off. That’s the thing about a phobia. You know it’s irrational, but that doesn’t make it any less real. I wish I could overcome it. I wish it didn’t sound so crazy. I wish I could be like those people who scoop up a spider and set it outside. Uh-uh, no way. Not in this lifetime. It’ll never happen. The very idea makes my skin crawl.

Now my fear of bees and heights isn’t quite as bad. I think because there are ways to avoid those. But it’s a physical condition, none the less. If I get up on a chair to change a light bulb, someone has to hold onto my legs, because I get dizzy. My feet will start to ache too. Soon, I’ll feel myself begin to sway. It’s a few feet of the ground! Nothing is going to happen a few feet off the ground! But try telling me that while I’m up on that chair.

I’m grateful I’m not afraid of more things. I’m not Monk, after all. But, it’s still frustrating to feel out of control over your own feelings.

Now, what’s your fear? Crowded places, germs, needles, closed in spaces...? And what was the worst moment in your life when your fear held you in its grasp? Have you conquered your fear? If so how?

And for an interesting list of fears, check out this link:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The eyes have it!

This fella has the look. Couldn't you just drown in those sinfully dark chocolate eyes?
Hope you're all having a wonderful, lazy Sunday!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Oops they did it AGAIN

Okay I'm not going to get political in this blog and choose sides or anything like that. I'm also not going to pretend people who aren't in politics don't do the same exact thing it just isn't under the microscope so we don't all read about it on practically a daily basis. That said I do want to talk about Senator John Edwards becoming yet another person in power who thinks they're above getting caught so they decide to cheat on their spouse. This is getting really, really old for me. We find yet another politician who lies and tries to make themselves look like they are the pinnacle of a what people should be, honest, loyal, caring but really they're deceiving one of the people who should be able to depend on them the most. If they don't have enough honestly and loyalty in them to be true to their spouse or children where does that leave us? If you lie to your kids and the person you pledged your love to how am I, one of a million people in the world who you don't know from Adam, supposed to trust a thing you say?

I'll tell you what I think it is: power and control. People can't seem to handle it. I KNOW not all people are this way but it seems more and more often you give someone a position of power or control and it immediately inflates their heads making them believe they're somehow invincible and that the standards held to the rest of us don't apply to them. I mean, do they think they're so much better that they're not going to get caught? They're going to run for president, or whatever office they want and no one is going to dig and dig into their lives until they discover any and everything they've done wrong? Or are they just so damn good that they think it doesn't matter? That they can do anything because of who they are? Its getting really old. I'm not saying these people have to be perfect angels but come on, have not only a little self respect but respect for your loved ones and for the rest of us out here who may have believed in you, or voted for you or whatever the situation may be.

How can we trust anyone? This really upset me today. I liked him, respected him and now my heart breaks for his wife. I know it was two years ago and she's obviously forgiven him but she deserved better. Everyone deserves better than we're getting today with people who are supposed to be out there to make this world a better place. If they can hurt people they love this much then there's no hope for the rest of us.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Adventures in Book Buying

Now ya'll know I love my e-book reader. It's the closest thing to my heart and I adore it but my daughter is another story altogether. She and I, like many of you have been waiting for Acheron to come out and, though I understand it's available in e-book format, she wanted a copy "to hold in her hand". We live in Texas and got some rain from Hurricane/Tropical storm Eduardo. Yay on THAT bit of good luck because this is a dry, dusty place. Anyway, we headed out in the rain the other day to get our copy of Acheron.

Let me say this about the town where I's verrrrry conservative. Lots of churches and the three colleges here are all private and church affiliated. It's a cliquey little town that features extremes. We have extreme "cowboys". Yep. The real deal, lots of petroleum industry (oil field) workers and lots of very religious college students and professors. It's a weird mix. One of the largest bookstores in town features row upon row of religion based books and two tiny rows of romance. It's a scary situation, let me assure you. Now, I have nothing against religion but I want my ROMANCE. Let me mention too, that this is also a town that features stories about the witchery and sorcery of Harry Potter and should the books be banned from our schools. You get the drift.

Despite all that, I figured this store would carry Acheron so we went inside and couldn't find it anywhere. Finally, I went for help and an elderly fellow at the "search and find" counter offered to help but the minute I said the name of the book, his eyes went BIG. He laughed and said he'd look it up but he didn't have to. Said the entire order sold out in about 30 minutes. What kind of book IS this? He asked. Daughter and I laughed and said it was a paranormal romance. He seemed shocked about that and then he said, we're getting a shipment next week but they've all been sold already.

We left the store completely shocked. Daughter looks at me wide-eyed and said....MOM, there are DARK HUNTER fans here. In ABILENE!!!! I can't believe it. I had to laugh but shake my head at the same time. Figured there would be a few fans of the popular series but nothing like this. Wow, does Sherrilyn Kenyon really compete with Harry Potter here in this little burg? Looks like. The man at the bookstore said there had been a line and this was crazy too. Daughter and I started to talk about how cool it would've been to stand in line with "closet" paranormal readers. You know, chat it up, talk about the characters. That kind of stuff.

In the end, we found our copy at Wal Mart where we were headed anyway. The book section there isn't all that hot so it was a nice surprise. Groceries and a bestseller all in one fell swoop. Did anyone else pick up a copy and find lines? We were wondering about that and if the rush to buy was just here. How many times have you stood in line and what kind of book would compell you to do it? I'll confess, I've stood with my kids in a couple of Harry Potter midnight release deals and it was kind of fun. As a writer and a reader, my heart melts at the knowledge my kids love reading as much as I do.

So what author/book would you stand in line for?

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Do you have them?

I'm sort of an oddball, I don't have any piercings. I tried to get pierced ears once, years ago, never worked out. After that it just didn't seem like a big deal to me and my husband gets to save a lot by not having to buy me earrings for birthdays. LOL Saving money makes him a happy camper. ;-) But piercings seem very popular these days. I've never had to face the decision of my daughters wanting any piercings other than the usual ear piercings. Truthfully, I'm not sure how I'd react. I think I'd be okay, within reason. After all, once the piercings are there, then they’ll be asking for fifty different holes to be filled, right? I don't make that kind of money! LOL

Also, how are you with piercings on the opposite sex? Again, I never faced this as my husband doesn't have any piercings. I used to think it was sexy to see a guy with a pierced ear, but now there's all sorts of body piercings. For some reason the only male with piercings I can think of is Z from Ward's BDB series. LOL Yeah, I sort of did a turn around when I read his book. Suddenly I saw body piercings in a whole new light. But then Z makes everything sexy. LOL Nipple piercings on guys...hmm, it's sort of hot, right?

What about books? Have you read a lot of books where the men are pierced? What was your take on it? Hot or Not? Oh, and give me some titles, I'm looking for more big strong heroes with nipple piercings! LOL

And while I’m at it here, if any of your fine ladies have a hunky picture handy that you want to share—specifically a hunk with piercings—be my guest! I tried to find one, but came up short. Bummer, right?


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

a quick note!

My first ever vampire romance is now out!


I can't put it down!

I had a plan going into Tuesday. As everyone knows I've been on edge waiting for Acheron. My day went just as planned. Woke up, threw dinner in the crock pot so dinner would cook itself, dressed the kiddos, and headed to Wal Mart for my book. Once I picked it up we went straight to the park so my kiddos could have some fresh air. Can anyone guess what I did??? Read! Besides taking breaks to play with my kids, do snacks, lunch, read a few books to my four year old (she's so cute because she loves books to. She'll copy me and lay on the opposite couch with her book and tell stories to herself. LOVE it) and other mommy stuff all I did was read! No laundry, no vacuuming, no writing. My day was full of Acheron and my kids. The amazing this is even though I've spent hours reading and I'm halfway done I still have to force myself to put it down. My eyes are tired but I don't care. I'm enthralled with Ash and his story. Its sad, but its so important to see where he comes from.

Anyway, the point of my blog today, even though I'm having a heck of a time getting to it, isn't so much Ash but those books that you CAN'T put down. You know what I mean, those books that you get and read in one sitting, unable to pry the thing from your hands. Love the feeling of a book connecting with me so much.

So, what books have you read recently that you just couldn't put down?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tattoos and Taboos

Well, I don't actually have a damn thing against tattoos but I thought this guy was yummy, so here we go! LOL. I actually once thought tattoos were kinda gross. Just shows how much times have changed and yes, we usually change with them.

My ideas of male and female beauty have changed too and I believe that's a good thing. Don't know if I'm just getting older or folk are just more accepting in our society these days. We're more color-blind (thank GOD) and look at differences in people as a good thing not something to be avoided. Okay...down off my soapbox now but this actually ties into my little theory.

Lately, I've learned a valuable lesson and that is to say...never say never. I NEVER in a million-gazillion years thought I'd write erotic romance. Now, my stuff has always been hot but never the kind of stuff that'll have you breaking out in a sweat or steam rolling from you ears like I write these days. Back before I started on this journey, I had some rules and looking back, I have to shake my head and roll my eyes. Yeeeaaaah. What was I smokin'? The more erotic romance I wrote (and read) the raunchier I got and that's a fact.

If you read romance and yes, I KNOW you do, what are no-no's in your book? These days the absolute guarantee of a rejection is pretty much standard with most respected pubs. They don't do rape or other violence against women, bestiality, and other ICKY things. That's the norm. Lately, male/male romances have gained in popularity. I have a gay male friend who writes gay romances and he's an exception writer but I've never actually read a totally m/m story. Many of the m/m titles today are written by heterosexual women. Have nothing against that and I'm not a homophobe by any stretch but I wouldn't feel comfortable writing such a story. Why? Because I know zilch about it. Nada. I'm a firm believer in anyone's freedom to read and write what they choose but I'm a moron about gay sex. I know tab A goes into Slot B and that's pretty much it. I can't begin to know what prejudices and troubles follow a gay couple and how they deal with the social issues/injustices of the day.

Well, I'm back to that never say never thing again but I just don't see me ever writing m/m romance unless there's a whooooole lotta research in my future.

A real turn off to me is heavy duty bdsm. I'm talking the chains and whips and other things that make me think.....OOOWWWWWW. I'm not a big fan of pain and stuff that involves blood and masochism bothers me. Aside from that I'm fairly open to interesting sexual scenes and I'm certainly not adverse to my hero whipping a couple of ties out of a drawer and doing a little bit of tie me up, tie me down but, to me, that's not the same thing as this Master/Slave stuff. I know it's supposed to be a game but it just sees a little much to me.

What turns you totally off in current fiction and what really lights you up like a Christmas Tree? Hmmm. Don't have to stick with the sexual aspect of things here. See? I'm broad minded and like to hear all views. Hate books about Doctors? Dislike stories about tornados in Kansas and little dogs named TOTO? We all have our little things? I've told you mine so now tell me yours.
What is taboo in your book?

Monday, August 4, 2008

I want to be swept away!

That's what I want when I read a book or see a movie. I want to be swept away. I don't care how unrealistic the plot, if you can suck me into your world, then I'm your slave for life.

I saw the movie "Journey to the Center of the Earth" recently and I loved it. The 3-D effects made it even more fun to watch. I love action adventure movies. Indiana Jones, The Mummy, Pirates of the Caribbean...those are the types of movies I don't mind spending my money on. The dark theater, a big ol’ bucket of popcorn and that huge screen and surround sound. I get completely swept up every single time and it's great.

Same with books. I love it when an author can take me into her world and make me forget everything. No matter where I'm at, no matter what's troubling me, I can pick up that book and sink myself into the pages and become a part of it. Like in Christine Feehan's Ghostwalker series or Shannon McKenna's McCloud series, I totally leave my cares behind and suddenly I become the heroine, dodging bullets and kissing dangerous men.

I've been a loner most of my life. I grew up with brothers, which means I may as well have been an only child. I spent a lot of time alone. Add a shy personality to that scenario and you have a dreamer. Someone who uses books or movies as a means of escape. My friends were the characters on the screen and between the covers of books. Is it any wonder that I became a writer?

What author sucks you into his/her world each time you pick up another of their books? Do you find yourself almost sad when you finish it, knowing you'll have to wait 6 months, maybe a year before you can become a kickass heroine with a psychopath on her tail?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sassy Sunday and HOT COWBOYS

Well, aren't we just being laid back as heck around here on this Sunday morning!?!?! That's the way it SHOULD be in my opinion.

Anne was on vacation with her family this week and I'm happy to report she had a great time. It's always good to get away with hubby and kids where there are no interruptions, phones, surprise visits. You know how that is. Never a moment just to "connect". Hmm. We might need to do some of that good stuff too, come to think of it.

In honor of our "chilled out" day, I'm going to gab a bit about my upcoming release. In November, The Wild Rose Press will release the PRINT anthology Wild Wayback Nights. This will include hot cowboy stories by Cindy Spencer Pape, Sylvie Kaye, Judith Rochelle and myself (Rita Thedford). What do you think of the cover? We just got it a little while ago and um...yeah, I drooled all over the damn keyboard. Pretty smoking hot, I think. Anyway, I'll give ya'll a date when I know for sure about it.

My story Hot Night at the Blue Bug Saloon was the first of the Wayback Texas stories and several have released since then and I can't tell you how much fun it was to first of all, write the story of Nash Logan and Gina Ballew, but to be involved in the building of the town.

Here's an excerpt of Hot Night at the Blue Bug Saloon.

“Well? Have you picked one out, Gina?” Patti-Pie Murphy licked a clump of salt from the rim of her margarita glass and grinned. “Good crop tonight.”
A response wasn’t needed because Lyssa Callahan spoke up as she signaled the waitress for another round. “Leave the woman alone. She’s sworn off men, and hell, I don’t blame her.”
Patti-Pie shook her blonde head. “You can’t swear off men forever, sugar. You have to forget about what happened last year. There are more fish in the sea than Cole Thomas.”
Patti was an optimistic, blue-eyed blonde, always sunshine bright. Gina loved her dearly, but right now Patti was just plain irritating.
“Don’t mention Cole to me. It’s over and done with.” Gina ran the side of her thumb down a gouge in the worn oak table and tried not to scowl. “You sound like Mama. He made his choice and it wasn’t me. I’m just happy I found out he was a horn-dog before the wedding. Bastard! I’m only here for the dancing and to keep you two out of trouble.”
Her best friends since high school laughed and she knew the reason why. Of the three of them, she was the one most likely to have trouble tattooed on her butt. It followed her like a bad habit and her brief engagement had proven to be just another notch on her bad-decisions-belt. She wasn’t doing that again. Nope. She was a changed woman.
“Ooh, look at that one, girls.” Patti nodded toward a long, rangy cowboy in a pristine white Stetson. “He’s yummy.”
“Wannabe, Patti. You always pick the wannabe cowboys,” Lyssa said, shaking her head. Lyssa was a curvy, brunette who had a no-nonsense outlook that Gina admired, but Lyssa gave the ever-optimistic Patti fits.
“Ah, what’s wrong with him? He’s cute. Kinda.”
The wannabe cowboy all starched up in his brand new jeans had tourist stamped all over him. He looked their way and Patti gasped in delight. But he wasn’t looking at Patti. He was looking straight at Gina.
Uh-uh. No way.
“That’s not fair,” Patti moaned. “They always pick you, Gina.”
“Hey! That’s not true. They do not.”
Lyssa shook her head and leaned back as the waitress set down fresh drinks. “Yeah, honey, they do. That’s why I hang out with you. Don’t really like you all that much but the attention is nice. You’re a man-magnet. Face it. Get over it.”
“Ha. Ha.” Gina snorted, took a sip of her beer, and leaned forward in her chair to prop her elbows on the littered table. “I’ve sworn ‘em off. Every last one of them. I wouldn’t be here tonight if you guys hadn’t forced me.”
Her friends laughed knowing it hadn’t really taken all that much convincing. She loved Thursday nights at The Blue Bug and it wasn’t a huge secret. They had the best dance floor in town and live music for the last few hours of the evening.
Wannabe Cowboy strutted toward their table, slipping and sliding through the crowds at the perimeter of the dance floor. In the dim lighting, his pale complexion fairly announced that his profession kept him indoors most days. He wasn’t a real cowboy. Just pretending.
“Oh my God,” Patti gasped. “Here he comes. I’m gonna pee my pants!” Anticipation lit her face.
Gina rolled her eyes and shared a grin with Lyssa.
“Settle down, Mary Sunshine,” Lyssa said.
“Howdy, ladies.” The man was okay looking but not Gina’s type. He gave her a look and held out a hand to her. Patti looked crushed. “Care to dance?”
Gina shook her head. “Uh-uh. Sorry, I’m sitting this one out.”
Disappointment flashed in his eyes but it didn’t last long. He glanced down at Patti-Pie, who shivered like a puppy. “How about you? Wanna dance?”
“Yeah. That’d be good.”
The breathless response had him smiling so he took Patti’s hand and led her to the dance floor.
Lyssa took a sip of her rum and Diet Coke and gave her a considering look. “See what I mean? Man magnet. That’s why we keep you around.”
“I mean it, hon. You’ve got all those gobs of black hair, long legs, and big boobs. Man magnet.”
Gina moaned. “I feel so used.”
Lyssa laughed then went serious. “Really, Gina, you’ve gotta shake off this funk you’ve been in. Ever since you caught Cole plowing another woman’s field you’ve avoided men. You’re twenty-five years old and it’s just not normal to completely ignore your healthy libido.”
“My libido can go to hell. If I’m so hot, why am I sitting here and not dancing?”
Her friend gave a telling glance toward the dance floor and arched her brow as a smiling, animated Patti-Pie boot-scooted by with her “pretend” cowboy. “It’s your choice.”
When Lyssa leaned back and gave her best school teacher expression, she knew a lecture was coming. “I see it like this. You’re like a big old mean bull named Intimidator.
Gina groaned.
“Now every hot cowboy worth his salt wants to ride Intimidator into the bed sheets…um…dirt. But they all know this bull is a scary creature. They want to give old Intimidator a ride but they’re afraid of getting bucked to their asses in the dust. See? That’s you. Intimidator.”
Gina wanted to argue with Lyssa’s assessment but she couldn’t. Men had always been just a little terrified of her. It would take a truly confident man to approach her and she knew it.
Suddenly, she’d had enough. Damn it, she wanted to dance and out of all these hot guys, only one had approached her.
It was time to pull out all the stops and take what she wanted. Narrowing her eyes, she lounged back in her chair and sent her gaze skimming across the room. Man, there were some downright gorgeous guys here tonight.
Suddenly she stilled. Every nerve in her body started to twitch as lust dug through her belly like a pair of steel spurs. Leaning against the bar at the far side of the room was the sex god of every ride ‘em cowboy fantasy she’d ever had.
He was looking straight at her!

Tall and lean, the man was roughly handsome with those broad shoulders and slim hips. Yum-my! A battered black cowboy hat was worn low over his forehead but she caught a glimpse of chestnut hair spilling across his brow. The jeans he wore looked worn and touchable and his black western cut shirt settled against his muscular chest like a dream. Gina wanted to grip the front of that shirt. One swift yank would have those tiny pearl snaps giving way like a slow sexy song.
Lifting a long neck bottle of beer to full sculpted lips, he took a quick sip, while keeping eye contact and then lowered the bottle to dangle loosely from a big, bronzed hand.
Gina swallowed. Oh, yeah. A real rough and ready cowboy.
“Go get him, sex goddess!” Lyssa whispered. “He’s primed, ready and willing to tackle the Intimidator. Ask him. Hell, you’re a modern woman. Take what you want.”
“You are the devil whispering in my ear. Damn you to hell! Go home, Satan, get thee gone.”
Lyssa laughed as Gina knew she would. Her friend settled a hand on hers and leaned close. Her smiled turned wicked. “Dare you.”
Bolstering her courage, Gina stood and scowled down at Lyssa. “Done. You buy the next round!”
When she turned into the crowd, it was like a parting of the Red Sea. Was Lyssa right? Was she really the Intimidator? Every eye seemed to take her in from top to toe and she suddenly wondered if the little blue t-shirt she wore flashed too much skin between its hem and the low slung waist of her jeans. Women’s eyes narrowed. Male glances took her in with a look of awestruck wonder.
“Holy shit!”
“Hey there, honey. Wanna dance?”
“Lookee there.”
Gina wanted to cringe as she waded through the throng but she held her head high, zig-zagging through the clusters of partiers. The cowboy still watched her and she focused, zeroed in on him, as she moved forward. Men were thick at the bar and she could see their hazy reflections in the mirror hanging just behind the busy bartenders manning the place. No more than six paces away someone grabbed her butt.
Spinning around, she felt her long hair fly out then settle around her shoulders. “Hey!”
The drunken toad who actually looked like a toad grinned as his sidekicks hooted.
“Do it again, buddy, and you’ll lose that arm.”
A low, deep voice from behind her caused heat to shoot through her blood. She stiffened.
The butt-grabber’s eyes went wide as he looked over Gina’s shoulder. “Hey, now. I’m just funnin’.”
“Take it off to someone who’s interested,” he said. “You’re not in this lady’s league.”
“’Spose you’re in her league?” Toad backed away a little as he got mouthy.
“Maybe. Maybe not. That’s up to her. Now get your ass on outta here, fella. Scoot.”
Toad scooted and disappeared into the crowd.
Gina spun around to greet her rescuer.
Holy cow! He looked even better up close.
He had Jack Daniels eyes. Whiskey colored, hot, and aged to perfection. A man, not a boy. Dark lashes framed those penetrating eyes and Gina felt her breath catch in her throat. He had a tiny bump on the bridge of his great looking nose. Probably broke it when he was thrown from the back of a mean bull that might’ve been named Intimidator. She wanted to reach out and run her finger over that attractive bump. In an attempt to hide the quick flash of desire, she faked an air of bravado. “Good to see chivalry isn’t dead, cowboy.”
“Not where I come from.” He lifted a hand and one of the bartenders sidled up. “A drink for the lady.”
Gina placed her order and moved closer to the bar. “Thanks. So where you from?”
He shrugged as he paid the bartender for her drink. “South of here but I move around a lot.”
“Guess you’re in town for the rodeo. Are you entered?”
“Man of few words, too.”
A smile twitched at those scrumptious lips. “Usually.” She noted the brackets around the sides of his mouth, the faint laugh lines at the corners of his eyes. He lived in the sun and he either scowled fiercely or smiled frequently. Hard to tell which.
Fierce, she decided. He was a fierce man but capable of laughter. The most appealing man she’d ever met.
Gina went silent as his scent stole her tongue. Man, he smelled good. Subtle with just a hint of something clean and citrusy. Tart enough to make her mouth water. She took a sip of her beer to hide her reaction.
One dance, she vowed. Only one. This temporary man was dangerous to her state of mind. Why had she listened to Lyssa and given in to temptation this way? She swallowed and forced herself to meet his penetrating gaze.
“This your first time here? Wayback’s pretty small. I’d remember you.”
“Yeah. Nash Logan.”
“Gina Ballew. Welcome to Wayback.”Mustering her courage, she tilted her chin and held out a hand to two hundred pounds of trouble.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hot excerpt for a hot Saturday

Good morning! Today I'm sharing an ADULT excerpt of book two in the Friday's at Luciano's series, Unexpected Mr. Right. This one will be released January 2009. Hope you enjoy Nico....

Nico carried her to the bedroom. Setting her on her feet he didn’t waste any time undressing her. He didn’t want to give her the chance to change her mind. It would kill him. He pulled her robe completely off her shoulders and let it drop to the floor. Her nightgown followed seconds later. She stood in front of him in pink g-string panties and nothing else. “Damn woman, you’re going to be the death of me.”
He couldn’t stop staring at her, soaking her in from her cute, red painted toenails to her frazzled hair. Delicious. Her skin a smooth, milk chocolate that smelled of lavender, begged to be touched. Her rounded breasts were pert, with hard pebbled nipples. Damn he wanted to taste them. And he would. First he needed the dark curls he saw beneath her pink panties uncovered. And he needed her to do it.
That would be her final concession. He had to know this is what she really wanted. That she desired him and wanted to proceed to the next level as much as he did. “Take off your panties.” The urgent scratch in his voice didn’t surprise him.
“Do it, Tabby. I want to watch you ease that sexy scrap of cloth down those long legs. I need to know this is really what you want. No regrets.” She looked apprehensive at first but the looked quickly turned into one of excitement, eagerness. Hooking her matching, red painted fingernails in the strap on the side of her panties she began to lower them.
Hell fucking yeah.
Her slender waist bent and she lowered the g-string down her legs. When she reached her feet she stepped out one foot at a time before straightening to stand beautifully naked in front of him. “Cosi Caldo, cosi bella. Li Voglio.” Nico eased her back on her plush bed. When her head rested on the pillows he started to kiss her. It was a short, demanding kiss before he moved down to her neck, kissing the hallow spot at the base of her throat.
“What…what does that mean?” she asked breathlessly, running her hands through his hair.
“So hot, so beautiful,” he lowered his hand to cup her mound. “I want you.”
“I want you too.” The verbal admission almost sent him over the edge. He teetered there the whole time, but that, hearing those words almost did him in.
Nico rested his body between her thighs. “I don’t know where to begin,” he admitted. “I want to taste every inch of you, Tabby. How do I decide?”
She sighed, a sexy sigh as her eyes drifted closed as if waiting for him to decide. Nico kissed her lips, “eeny,” her left breast, “meeny,” her right, “miney,” then he eased down her body until his mouth was inches from her core. He lowered his head and licked. “ Mo. ” Damn she tasted good, wet and sweet. This is where he needed to be. He had to start here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

C'mon! Make me LAUGH!

Years ago, after a really bad rough patch in my life, I promised myself I'd try to have at least one good laugh every day...for the rest of my life. Now you might think that's a pretty damn tall order but you'd be surprised.

Figured out something awhile back. There are negative and positive forces in the universe. Sometimes those negatives will bite you in the ass when least expected but, if you look hard enough you can find just as many positives lying around to counteract the bad junk. fight of the boogie man, I hang with people would are full of positive energy and people who make me laugh. Honestly, what's more positive that laughter?

Yesterday Kelley talked about those "comfort reads" we all seem to have. The well-thumbed, practically-memorized book that just makes you sigh. But what about the stuff that brings us all what we truly need from time to time? Fun. Laughs.

Okay, I'll freely admit, I have a huge stash of favorite funny ladies, among them Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennie Cruisie, and the wonderful Sandra Hill. I'll say right off the bat that Sandra Hill has me falling-on-the-floor laughing with every new book. She makes me laugh until I cry, I holler, I stomp my feet. Everything about her humor appeals to me. If you aren't familiar with her work, she writes about time traveling Vikings, time traveling Viking SEALS...yeah SEALS and red-hot Cajuns. She also has some historicals that I've re-read so often they are falling apart. There was a scene in The Blue Viking that I'll never forget. This story was about a Viking who was so damn good looking that he was an ass most of the time. Well, he insulted a little witch who got so pissed, she turned him BLUE. (Anny Cook would love this Years later, he comes back to find her so she can reverse the spell. Trouble is the heroine isn't really a very talented witch. Everything she does gets screwed up. In one particular scene (and I'll never forget it), there is a huge roasted pig on a trestle table and she brags to the group of rowdy Vikings that she is talented enough to make the PIG RISE. The men form a circle as she begins the chant. The pig doesn't rise but the MEN DO!!! Or at least a part of them does. Something about that scene had me hooting and my family thought I'd lost my mind.

So who writes the drop dead funniest stuff you've ever read? Does Janet's Stephanie Plum (or her Grandma) keep you in stitches? Do you like the quirky humor of Catherine Coulter? Or is the satisfyingly sweet and silly stuff of SEP more to your tastes?