Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guest Blogger Cathryn Cade - Ever Gone After a Man?

Have you ever really gone after a man, one you just knew would make you blissfully happy?

Yeah, me neither. Wanted to desperately a time or two, but I am the Original Shy Girl. In my teens and twenties, the more I liked a guy, the less likely I was to be able to express it. If one of my crushes came to me, I floated a foot or two off the floor, but no way was I able to break out of my shell and go after him.

Which is why I had so much fun writing Hawaiian Heroes II; Rolling in the Deep. Not only is Daniel Ho'omalu a big, bad, dangerous moke, Claire Hunter is open and honest about her sexuality. She knows what she wants, and she wants this huge Hawaiian more than she's ever wanted any man.

Too bad for her-he has other ideas. I had so much fun pitting this stubborn, pugnacious, yet yearning pair against each other!

For more info on the book, visit http://store.samhainpublishing.com/cathryn-cade-pa-351.html

Here's a short excerpt to whet your interest. If you like what you read, leave a comment. I'll give away 5 FREE copies of the ebook to commenters here, in a random drawing.

"Daniel's hands settled on her shoulders, huge and hot and calloused. Her heart pounding, mouth dry, she turned in his grasp like a puppet. Looked up into his hard, dark face. Blinked at what she saw. Hiseyes held deep burning heat. The kind she'd been waiting to see-thought she'd never get to see.

"Your little outfit turns me on," he said. "I'd like to eat you up. Just like a pūpū. Got it?"

"Oh," she mumbled. "Th-thanks for clearing that up." Oh, God, she was going to dissolve in a puddle at his feet. Her insides were melting, and he'd barely even touched her.

He bent his head, inhaling as if he were sniffing her perfume, leaving her breathless. He was doing it again, bewildering her with his powerful sexuality.

"Does that turn you on, when I talk dirty?" he murmured.

All he had to do was breathe. "Maybe. What else you got?"

His eyes narrowed, and he reached around her to plant his hands on the post behind her, enclosing her in the circle of his mighty arms and chest. She could feel his heat, and a deep prickling-as if he had some kind of force field around him, a current between them. And she could smell him, that scent of the sea mixed with the hot, musky scent of healthy male. Her knees went weak.

"I'll show you what I got," he rumbled. "And then I'm gonna give you one and only one chance to run, wahine. And you better take it, or I'll have you, every way I can think of. Because I'm done fighting this."

Then he kissed her. Fast and hard, like he had before.

He nudged her mouth open and slid his tongue inside. The pressure of his kiss increased until he had her back against the pole, devouring her like a starving man, his tongue tangling with hers, their teeth banging. Oh, he tasted even better than she remembered. She wanted to kiss him for days.

His huge arms were shaking, as if he were fighting the urge to grab her. As if she wanted a chance to get away. She slapped her hands on his chest, hot and smooth under his tattoos, and ran them down over his abdomen, ridged and powerful, to his narrow waist. Wrapping her arms around him, she held on, digging her fingers into his back, into the hard cushion of muscle under his smooth skin. Her breasts flattened against his chest, she arched her hips, trying to get closer. Closer, hell. She wanted inside him.

He groaned, deep in his chest. Ripping his mouth from hers, he took a deep, shuddering breath and glared fiercely into her eyes.

"This is. Your. Last. Chance," he grated through clenched teeth, his breath gusting damply on her face. "I'm not-holding you."

"Does it feel like I want to get away?" she demanded breathlessly. "I won't break, Ho'omalu." "

Remember, leave a comment to be entered to win a FREE book.

Aloha,
Cathryn



Bio: I'm Cathryn Cade. I am blessed to live in Big Sky Country, Montana in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. My DH and I share our prairie property with various deer, antelope, elk and a golden retriever. We love to hike, boat, and visit the ghost towns that highlight the history of our home state. When I'm not fantasizing, er, writing, I can be found quilting, trying out a new recipe or spending way too much time chatting on the internet. I'd love to chat with you. Stop by and visit me at

http://www.cathryncade.com
http://twitter.com/CathrynCade
http://cathryncadesblog.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/cathryncade.author

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rumor has it...

Today's post is the first installment of yet another new feature we're introducing this month. It's an end of the month round-up of what we've been up to combined with a look ahead of what we've got going next month.

 First of all, we want to congratulate Kelly Jamieson. Her yummy menage,ONE WICKED NIGHT, was recently chosen as Book of the Month at Long and Short Erotic Reviews.

Kelly will also be taking part in the Scorching  Book Reviews BDSM Appreciation Event, which runs from  Aug 2nd through the 20th
  





Next up, in case you missed it, the first three books in Erin Nicholas' popular Bradford series have been re-released with pretty new covers (ooh! look: shiny!). Two new books were also released this past month, with the long-awaited sixth book due out later this year. Some of us may have heard rumors of yet another Bradford book being in the works as well...or, you know, spread rumors, if you really want to get specific. But, we're nothing if not discreet so...for now our lips are sealed.



More information about the series can be found on Erin's website.

Speaking of rumors, the word on Twitter is that Erin, Kelly, Meg and Syd have been working feverishly for several months on some mysterious project the details of which they're not quite ready to divulge.

However, those of you who follow their tweets might have already gotten a hint of what that's all about. *cough* wedding stories *cough*. But more on that next month.

Meg Benjamin may have other contract news to share next month...and perhaps maybe a cover for the newest addition to her Konigsburg series? We can only hope. By the way, that book, FEARLESS LOVE, is coming out October 9. Check HERE for updates.  


Meg's just back from RWA, and wanted to mention that she got to see presentations from Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips in a single two-hour period, which she describes as "quite an Experience".


Juniper Bell also has a new cover to shout about. This is for UNLEASHING THE RECEPTIONIST. The fourth installment in her very hot Receptionist series, it will be out on October 30. 

Her recent release, BEAUTIFUL OBSESSION is getting great reviews (yeah, we're shocked--not). The latest is a  4 1/2 star review from Romance Junkies  ("This is one wildly erotic read.") 


It also received  a 4 star review from The Romance Studio. http://theromancestudio.com/reviews/reviews/beautifulobsessionbell.htm


A few of the naughties could not be reached for comment. Kate Davies has spent most of the month moving, a process she describes as, "three trips back to the old house since we officially moved. Four trips to Goodwill, five trips to the dump, and we're still not done. On the bright side, I now get to live with my family full time for the first time since November." And Skylar Kade is back East visiting family. Hmm...wonder which of them is having the better time?


As seems to be usual for her, PG Forte will be spending most of August taking part in one blog hop/book tour or another, including the three listed below:


The "Orangeberry Summer Splash" kicks off August 1st and runs for the entire month. Details can be found here: http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/2012/05/orangeberry-summer-splash.html




Erin, Juniper, Kelly Meg and PG are also among the authors who will be featured on the "Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Summer Giveaway Hop" which runs from August 10th through the 21st.


http://www.mysecretromancebookreviews.com/2012/05/sweet-sexy-scorching-summer-giveaway.html?zx=35205b17111f54af




Then there's the "Love's a Beach"  blog hop, which runs for the August 17th - 19th weekend. Info for that isn't up yet, but when it is it will be available at:

http://justromance.me/

That's about it for us, this time around. What does August hold for you?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Recipes: Delicious Drinks

Cool off this summer with one of these tasty drinks.

SANGRIA


What you need:

1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1 750 ml bottle dry red wine
1/3 to ½ cup sugar (I use less so it’s not so sweet, but adjust to your taste)
Ice cubes
Orange slices
Lime slices

Directions:

In pitcher, stir together orange and lime juices, add wine and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and chill for 3-24 hours. Serve over ice and garnish with orange and lime slices.


Homemade Ice Cream...in a Bag! (The perfect ingredient for a delicious root beer float!)



What you need:


1/2 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 sandwich ziploc bags
1 gallon ziploc bags
3 cups crushed ice
1/3 cup rock salt


Directions:


Put first 3 ingredients in the smaller Ziplock bag and seal bag (Make sure it is tightly closed!). Put ice and rock salt in the larger bag and then add the filled small bag. Seal the large bag. Squeeze bag until ice cream is thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Remove small bag, unseal, and eat with spoon. No need to even dirty a bowl!


If you try out any of these recipes, be sure to let us know or send in a pic and we'll post it on the blog!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday 13: Fantasy Drinks at #RWA12

While only Juniper, Meg, and Skylar will be making appearances at and around RWA this year, all the Naughty Nine wish they could be there! If we were, this is who we'd love to have drinks with!

Who would be your choice?

  1. Vivian Arend (Kinsey Holley)
  2. Jennifer Bernard (Kinsey Holley and Kelly Jamieson)
  3. Mary Kay Andrews: I read and re-read Savannah Blues so many times! (Skylar Kade)
  4. Cherry Adair:  I think she's hilarious! (Kelly Jamieson)
  5. Tara Janzen: I would love to talk muscle cars and sexy
    alpha heroes with her! (Sydney Somers)
  6. Kate Pearce (Skylar Kade)
  7. Robin Rotham: 'cause I missed seeing her at RT (PG Forte)
  8. Lori Foster (Erin Nicholas)
  9. Eden Bradley (Skylar Kade) 
  10. Vivian Arend: that would be because she appreciates red wine, what did you think? (PG Forte)
  11. Suz Brockmann (Kate Davies)
  12. Anyone from OKRWA: they're a blast! (PG Forte)
  13. The Naughty Nine (all of us!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beautiful Bar Harbor


Master Chef and I traveled down to Maine last week to explore the popular east coast tourist spot. The place was packed and interesting to navigate with people crisscrossing the street at random, darting between the tons of shops and restaurants. I don't think I've ever come across so many lobster pounds/boils in one place, and being from Atlantic Canada that's saying something. Definitely a seafood lover's place.

During our camping trip we took a two hour cruise on a 4 masted, 150 foot long schooner, where I resisted the urge to throw Master Chef overboard for kicking my ass at mini golf. You'd think I hold grudges since the loss happened days before this, but in the end I controlled the impulse. I'm sure he thought of tossing me overboard at least once for beating him to the finish line when we raced go carts earlier in the week. He likes to mumble something about slowing down so I could catch up with him, but I think that's just to mask his surprise that I flew past him around the last corner.

After the sail, where I missed the only harbor seal appearance (when we were still at the dock no less) we took a drive up Cadallaic Mountain and the view up there is awesome! 




Since Master Chef and I are a wee bit competitive when it comes goofing around, so naturally we had to see who could build the biggest fire during our two nights of camping.

Yes, his fire was the slight more robust one on top, however, as I mentioned to Master Chef before he broke into a happy dance, the pic of his fire was taken right after he dropped a box on it and the flames greedily gobbled it up. I suspect he thinks I'm a sore loser for some reason. :)




One of the most interesting parts of the trip was coming home and discovering someone else had moved in while we were gone. Yes, that is a ground hog poking his head out to investigate Master Chef mowing the lawn. Any tips on getting rid of him?




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guest Blogger Nara Malone - Knowing People From the Inside Out

I wrote the following little bit for my husband. I’m sharing it here because it is the easiest way to give you a look through my eyes.

Knowing You

How do I know you? Let me count the ways.
I know you by height and width and shape
That negative space outline your body fills
I know you by the way your hair goes to springy curls in the rain
Misbehaving brown corkscrews shot with gold
And by the lilt your tongue gives certain vowels when you’re aroused
Or the rickety clack your tone takes when you’re annoyed
I know you by the company you keep
Ragged men with ragged souls
I know you by the places you haunt
Junkyards of lost causes that you find new uses for
I can’t wax poetic about a blue-eyed devil or patrician noses or chiseled jaws
But I know you on the inside
That when you walk through a door, I’ll feel like the sun is rising inside me
I know you are the only one who makes me feel an inner sun
And despite all the times a haircut or a new hat or a cold in your head
Tricks me into thinking I don’t know you
I believe that if one day we met on level ground
As spirits rather than bodies
I would know you
Because I know you from the inside out
I know you by heart

~Nara



I’m face blind, which means that while I see fine and without glasses, I can’t record a memory of facial features. I’ve always learned people from the inside out. My brain might not deliver an information file when I see a face, but I have a sense of people, a physical response to their presence. Some give me a warm feeling that makes me smile and others set my teeth on edge. I’ve met one or two that that turned my blood to ice. They are serving time in prison for murder.

Recent research backs up my sense of knowing people without my eyes. When a face blind subject looks at a photo of a friend or family member that she doesn’t recognize, her skin conductance (measure of emotional response) changes. I call that knowing someone by heart instead of by head. Which way would you rather be known?

I would rather be known by heart. I may be biased. It baffles me how important pictures are to everyone on the internet. We’ve leveled the playing field. It’s possible for everyone to be known and appreciated for the individual they are inside, but people seem to need those headshots before they know for sure if they like someone.

I was signing up for a class this weekend and my friend was leaning over my shoulder saying, “That teacher looks evil. You sure you want to do this?” I had fallen in love with the idea of taking the class when I read the first paragraph of his course introduction. I want to learn storytelling from the man who wrote that paragraph. It never occurred to me to look at the instructor’s headshot. What can you learn from a picture? I can’t learn much. Tell me what pictures tell you.

I laughed at an email this morning about the best writers' websites. The blogger was going on about how great the author pictures were. How friendly and likeable. It seemed to be his criteria for judging the quality of their product. Don’t you want authors with wild hair and wild eyes? Don’t you want that mad genius look? Sometimes I feel like an alien from another world. Does my face blindness make me see everything differently?

If you're intrigued by the idea of seeing with more than your eyes, or by face blindness, my newest novel contains a face blind character and her journey into learning to see with more that her eyes.

You can grab a copy here:

http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10117-blind-heat.aspx

You can catch me weekly blogging erotic poetry and flash fiction at www.NaraMalone.com

Or follow me on Twitter, @nara_malone , to keep up with what I’m writing and where I’m blogging. Hope to see you soon.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Doing #RWA12 like a local: your guide to Anaheim

While I'm not officially attending the RWA National conference this week, I will be lurking around the bar and making an appearance at the Passionate Ink party!

As a resident of the OC ("Orange County" for those outside of Southern California) I wanted to impart some knowledge about the area around the hotel!
  • For any essentials you may have forgotten, there's a Target about a mile away from the Marriott. Here are the directions: http://goo.gl/maps/6Ar8
  • You cannot come to Southern California without getting good Mexican food! I would recommend one of the following places:
    • Alertos, 0.5 miles away. Their burritos are so filling!: http://goo.gl/maps/kMxG
    • Picantes, 3 miles away. Get their carnitas tacos!: http://goo.gl/maps/hBmOG
  • At the Anaheim Garden Walk, you can eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp, Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, California Pizza Kitchen, McCormick & Schmicks (for the big spender), and more:  http://goo.gl/maps/pBXB
    • The UltraLuxe Theater, offering IMAX AND a 21+ side to the theater with comfier seats, a more intimate theater, a robust menu, and alcoholic beverages--served to your movie seat!: http://www.ultrastarmovies.com/theaters/ultraluxe-anaheim-cinemas-at-gardenwalk/
    •  LUSH: enough said!
    • G-Stage: like Forever 21, great for hip, trendy clothing. They have a great Plus Size section!
  • The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have home games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Friday game has fireworks afterwards! Here's the schedule.
  • The House of Blues Anaheim (at Downtown Disney) is featuring Dashboard Confessional (Thursday), Relient K (Saturday), and their weekly Gospel Brunch (Sunday). Here's the calendar.
  • Downtown Disney is a great place to catch a movie, eat, hear live music, and grab souvenirs. Parking is free for up to three hours (get your stub validated!). Heads up--this will be SWAMPED Friday and Saturday nights, so make reservations if you want to eat there on a weekend night. Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/UDpa
  • Souvenirs and 7-11: Right up the street is a 7-11 that sells Disney sway AND just behind it on Harbor is a kitschy souvenir shop. Get your Anaheim, California, and Disney souvenirs here--it's cheaper and less crowded! Walking directions: http://goo.gl/maps/Bdecw
  • Bookstores: There's a B&N five miles away, and a couple used book stores
    • Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/maps/NP4v
    • Bookman: http://goo.gl/maps/6KTcK
    • Booktown USA (be warned, the owner can be a grumpy old man): http://goo.gl/maps/7aie
    • Book Carnival: http://goo.gl/maps/PI3nL
  • Doughnuts: Blueberry Doughnuts have become a "thing" in SoCal, and lucky for you TWO of the best places to grab them are nearby!
    • Mel's: http://goo.gl/maps/I4QDQ
    • M & M Doughnuts: http://goo.gl/maps/tSG8B 
 Hope that helps! If you're looking for anything else in particular, leave your question in the comments!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

First Lines... and more!

 
 
 
 
 
 

Thanks to authors 
Olivia Brynn, Erin Nicholas and Nara Malone 
for loaning us their first lines yesterday!


Here’s more about these three awesome books!  Check them out!


Line #1“Maybe we should split up."

Olivia Brynn, from Flipped

 
Carter Hope would do just about anything for his best friend.  When Mario gets the bright idea to buy a POS house together to flip, Carter swears he's out of his mind.
Unfortunately, Mario Gutierrez is hard to resist.  After one weird conversation at a bar, and one meaningful look across their empty beer bottles, Carter isn't sure he's not the one flipping for his friend.
They're both tops, so to make this work, one will have to give in and roll over.  Carter will have to come to terms with his past before he can look to the future with his best friend. 
 
Buy Flipped here! 



Line #2The sexy redhead who’d just stepped into the bar had been wearing far fewer clothes the last time he’d seen her.

Erin Nicholas, from Just For Fun

There’s having fun… And then there’s falling in love.

The Bradfords, Book 4

It was a chance meeting, a spontaneous, hot moment, a never-to-be-repeated encounter. So when the gorgeous redhead he knows only as Sugar walks into the bar and heads straight for him, Doug “Dooley” Miller knows he’s in trouble. But he’s sure not going to mind.

She needs a date to some swanky something-or-other. He’s a fish-sticks-and-denim guy, but for a woman who’s not afraid to get naughty in an elevator, he can stand a couple days of smoked salmon and Armani. 

Morgan James admits she doesn’t really know Doug, but she needs him to keep her mind—and hands—off her ex. A man who, despite the fact he stole her ideas, she’s afraid could charm her into repeating her mistakes. Only Doug can make her forget the weasel exists. Besides, it’s just this one time.

What started as not even a one-night stand has Dooley feeling things that he’s never felt before.  And that’s outside of the bedroom.  Don’t even get him started on what’s happening between the sheets.  Why does he have a feeling that, as far as flings go, they’re doing something wrong?  Then again, if they’re falling in love, they might just be getting that right.

Warning: Contains a woman who knows what she wants, a man who knows what he doesn’t want, and a proposition that shows them both that they’ve never really wanted anything like this before.

Buy Just For Fun here!



Line #3A perfect blend of shadow and light rendered the snow leopard invisible as he crept sleek and silent through frosted woods.

  Nara Malone, from Blind Heat

A woman who can't remember. A shifter who refuses to be forgotten.

Allie is determined to build an ordinary life. To survive, she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.

Marcus is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know he’s a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night of passion spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian, won’t forget.

But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus discovers the source of her problem—face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. And he decides to use erotic rituals to teach her to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is Allie seeing past the man—and recognizing the beast within.


Buy Blind Heat here!

 

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Line Friday!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” 
 —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
 —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, 
thank you very much."
 – J.K. Rolwing, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997)


Welcome to
First Line Friday!


Here's how it works:

We'll post the first lines from three books, some written by us, some by author friends.

Then you will all be asked to vote for your favorite, without knowing who wrote it or what book it comes from-- until Saturday!

On Saturday, the lines along with their book cover, blurb and author will be listed so you can check them out! 

ALL voters, no matter who you choose or which line wins, will be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift certificate.

Easy and fun, for all of us!  We hope you'll play along!



And now, here's July's First Line Friday!

The lines:

1.  “Maybe we should split up."

2.  The sexy redhead who’d just stepped into the bar had been wearing far fewer clothes the last time he’d seen her.

3.  A perfect blend of shadow and light rendered the snow leopard invisible as he crept sleek and silent through frosted woods. 



Okay... make your choice!  List your favorite by number or by quoting the line in the comments!  All votes up until midnight will be counted.  And don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who wrote which line and how to check out the rest of the books!




Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday 13: First (romance) Loves

These are the books that started it all! Here are the first romance novels we read, quite possibly the reasons we're writing romance today!

1. Dream Man by Linda Howard (Meg Benjamin): I could go into all the aspects of my Linda Howard obsession, but this is how it started.

2. One of many doctor/nurse Harlequins by Betty Neal (Kelly Jamieson)
3. Separate Beds by LaVyrle Spencer (Erin Nicholas)
4. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer (PG Forte)
5. Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer (Juniper Bell)

6. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss (Kinsey Holley): I read this in 6th grade. And
more Woodiwiss through middle/high school.
7. Perfect by Judith McNaught (Sydney Somers)
8. Night Magic by Karen Robards (Sydnes Somers)

9. Aftershocks by Cathrine Coulter (Skylar Kade): "Borrowed" off my aunt's shelf--I still have it!
10. Pride of the Peacock by Victoria Holt (PG Forte)
11. So Speaks the Heart by Johanna Lindsey (Erin Nicholas)

12. After the Night by Linda Howard (Meg Benjamin)
13. Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (Kelly Jamieson)

BONUS: With a story!
14. Suz Brockmann in 2001 (Kate Davies): I saw that she had two books on the Top Ten Romances list put out by RWA that year, and was outraged at what I saw as ballot-stuffing by fans. So I read both of them to prove they didn't deserve to be on the list - and was totally schooled. They were both fantastic. (That also convinced me to give the genre another try, and the rest is history.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

YESTERDAY AND TODAY, Chapter One

The last time I posted here, I explained how I was working up the nerve to do a short, free serialized story. I'm still not sure I should be doing it right in front of everybody, but what the heck. Here's Chapter One of Yesterday and Today.


 
9 Jan 1806
“Jesus,” Tom breathed. “I’ve never seen a London mob so quiet.”
Mary slapped him lightly, absent mindedly.  “Watch your language. Gentlemen don’t talk like that in front of ladies.”
“Well, I’m not a gentleman, am I? Just an honest working class lad from Stepney, and I’m telling you I never would’ve known a London crowd could be so fuckin’ silent.”
The noise of the crowd had actually just returned to its customary level, as the funeral cortege moved on toward Ludgate Hill and St. Paul’s. Now they had to raise their voices to hear each other as they stood on the balcony of the elegant Charing Cross townhome.
“It’s Nelson.  The country’s never mourned anyone like they mourned him.”
Tom shrugged. “Yeah, but this...this is like Princess Diana.”
“Holy shit. Did you just compare Admiral Lord Nelson to Princess Diana?”
“No! I just meant…I never realized how popular he was. And ladies don’t say ‘holy shit.’”
“I’m not a lady, I’m an honest middle class lass from Las Vegas. You do know who Lord Nelson was, don’t you, Tom?”
He screwed up his face as if thinking very hard. “Let’s see…funny looking bloke at the top of the really big pillar in Trafalgar Square, right?”
He laughed as she sputtered in disbelief.
“Calm down, darling. I know who he was. Is. Was. He beat the frogs at Trafalgar.”
“Yes, he did. He died doing it. And thanks to that victory, Napoleon’s lost any chance of invading England. The English are rather grateful for that, so they’ve thrown him a five day state funeral. Honestly, Tom, we’ve been talking about this for months.”
“No, you’ve been talking about this for months. I’ve been building a wind farm in Northhamptonshire. If I’d known what was going to happen, I suppose I would’ve paid more attention in me history classes twenty years ago, yeah?”
Mary just shook her head with a smile. Hanging out with the brash RAF pilot always cheered her up.
“So what happens now?” he asked after a few minutes.
“Now they take him to St. Paul’s. The streets are so crowded that the front end of this procession reached—sorry, reaches—St. Paul’s before the funeral carriage left—leaves—shit…” He grinned again, and she rolled her eyes. “…the Admiralty building. There’s going to be a four hour service in the cathedral, and then they’ll put him in the crypt.” She gave Tom a sideways glance. “You’ve never been in St. Paul’s, have you?”
He tsked her with an air of wounded pride. “Darling, I’ll have you know my uncle had a fish and chips van on Ludgate Hill for twenty years.  Yes, I’ve been inside St. Paul’s. Never made it down to the crypt, though. That’s where they buried him, right?”
“Right. In the most amazing sarcophagus you’ve ever seen. It was originally built for Cardinal Wolsey. See, they mothballed it when he pissed off Henry VIII, and…” She stopped as Tom yawned, loud and wide and obviously. “Too much history geeking, huh?”
“Just a bit.”
He pushed himself away from the balcony railing and stretched. “All right. I think I'll leave you now. I’m meeting Smythe-Wooding at the Cheshire Cheese, if I can even get all the way over there in this crowd. We’re taking off in the morning.”
“Oh? Where you headed?”
“Dover.”
“What for?”
“Surfing.”
“Surfing. In the North Sea. In January.
He flashed his smartass grin. “California boys. Mad bastards, the lot of ‘em. But they have neoprene suits.”
“The suits weren’t confiscated?”
He shrugged. “Apparently no one’s come up with 19th century  uses for neoprene. Sure they will, some point.”
She shivered, and not just because, with sunset at three in the afternoon, it was freaking cold. Just thinking about what the North Sea would feel like made her teeth hurt.
“You lot are insane.”
He grinned again. “And where are you off to now?”
“I suppose I’ll fight my way back home for the evening.” Home was a townhouse not quite so grand as this one in the far reaches of Battersea. “And tomorrow I have to wake up early because the Captain and I are meeting with Mr. Pitt and the Prince Regent.”
He whistled. “Sorry to hear that, love. What about?”
She sighed. “We have to explain why we didn’t tell anyone Lord Nelson would die at Trafalgar.”



Click here for Chapter Two...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guest Blogger Candice Gilmer - Those Naughty Fairy Tales



Thanks to the Nine Naughty Novelists for letting me take over having me here, I appreciate it.

Hi, my name’s Candice, and I write romances, all across the board. My latest book, Rescuing Rapunzel, was inspired by reading the original Grimm’s fairy tales to my daughter—we would read one a night (most were pretty short) for a little bonding time, but mostly because I wanted her to know that the Disney versions weren’t the originals.

I remember clearly the night we read Rapunzel—we were sitting on my bed, lost in the short story, when I started to realize something.

Rapunzel was alone in her tower.

In the original story, Gothel would leave Rapunzel alone for weeks, sometimes months, in the tower. And in one of these treks where Gothel was gone for months at a time, a man found her there.

He wooed her.

Seduced her.

Married her.

And got her pregnant with his twin children…

All without her leaving the tower.

The details, of course, are left to the imagination, but still, my first thought was “Wow, what were they doing up there?” Because, really, Rapunzel wouldn’t even know what a man was. He’d have to tread carefully, so he didn’t scare her, then charm her, and later they’d have to have…

Well, you know. That thing that makes babies.

That’s an awful lot to be going on in that tower.

That tiny seed began to bloom as I started my own fairy tale, wondering exactly what they were doing up there in that tower for all that time.

I mean, I knew what they were doing—how could I not?

But the idea, the “what if” was there—what would it take for a man to woo a girl who’d never even laid eyes on a living, breathing man? How could he get her to trust him, to lower her hair so he could climb?

So when I wrote Rescuing Rapunzel, I kept that very much in mind—how would my hero, Nick von Hohburg, get Rapunzel, a girl he’d only seen from the tower window, to lower her hair and let him in? And what would it take to get her down?

Oh, and of course, what were they doing up there, all alone, un-chaperoned?

It certainly had the makings of a very interesting story, which of course, spawned the idea of doing not just one, but a trilogy of fairy tale retellings, this one being the first in the series. (Darn stories, they just get bigger and bigger…)

Here’s a short excerpt, with Nick and Rapunzel, in her tower:



Nick stood, adjusting his cloak around him. He stared at me for a moment, and his eyes were dark and deep.

I do not want you to go.

Nick walked across the room to the window, and glanced back at me. “Rapunzel?”

I leaped off the bed, hoping beyond hope he would not leave. “I…”

“I need your hair.”

My shoulders dropped and I took a few steps toward him, my hair uncoiling perfectly behind me. “Of course.” I reached down to grab part of the braid to start lowering the hair out the window.

Nick touched my hand. “Do you want me to come back, Rapunzel?” His hand was hot against mine, and goose bumps stood all over my body. His breath caressed my cheek and it was only then I realized how close I was to him. I twisted but only managed to bump into his hard chest. My heart raced.

When I met his gaze, I could feel the heat there. I licked my lips nervously. His eyes darted down, ever so slightly, and again, his stare felt like a physical caress over my skin.

“Yes,” I whispered. “Please come back.”

Nick smiled. “I will.”



Thanks for hanging out with me today. Do you have any favorite fairy tales?


Candice Gilmer leads a dangerous double life as a mommy and a writer. In between diaper changes and boo-boo healing, she writes stories usually to the tune of children’s television shows.

Growing up in the Midwest, Candice stays close to her family, especially the ones with basements when the tornadoes come around. She also works as a hairdresser, which she’s done for over fifteen years, and brings her laptop to work so she can write between clients.

When she’s not writing, styling hair and taking care of her family, she gets together with her girlfriends for gossip and coffee while her husband hunts ghosts with Wichita Paranormal Research Society. All in all, she stays very busy, but really, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Well, maybe a little less children’s television.

Website: http://candicegilmer.com

Blog: http://candicegilmer.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Candice-Gilmer/96543284794

Twitter: http://twitter.com/candicegilmer

Email: mailto:candice.gilmer@gmail.com

Internet Radio: http://www.ztalkradio.com, Dear Emmy, Saturday nights, 10pm-midnight, EST

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sleep and Me

I’m not an insomniac. Not really. Oh, there are times when I can’t sleep, usually when I’m upset about something, but it really has to be major to keep me awake. I usually drop off, and drop off early, say around ten.

And then I wake up, of course. Except that’s the problem here—when I wake up. Normally, I wake around five or so. But if I’m unlucky enough to wake earlier, like around four, my ability to go back to sleep depends on whether I happen to think of anything I need to be doing. Like updating my Web site or posting something on the blog or finishing the blurb I really should have written yesterday. At that point I may lie there for another twenty minutes or so, but there’s no way I’ll go back to sleep. I’ve got things to do, and things I’d much rather do than sleep.

I didn’t always have this problem, of course. I can remember as a teenager and then as a college student relishing the ability to sleep in, not getting up until nine or ten. Of course, I also didn’t go to bed until after midnight so I guess it all evens out.

I think my problem here is that I sometimes resent the need to sleep at all. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing. Yeah, I know, rest is important—yadda, yadda, yadda. But just think of all the things you could get done if you didn’t have to allow for that eight-hour stretch of unconsciousness. Sometimes I actually talk myself into sleeping by reminding myself that I’ll be up again soon enough. I’m just not a sleep fan, when you get down to it.

Now the thing that inspired this rant was reading a profile of Delores Del Rio, the silent film star who’s still considered one of the most beautiful women in movies (that’s her picture at the beginning of this post). Supposedly, Del Rio still looked like she was in her thirties when she was actually in her eighties. She claimed her secret was sleep—she slept at least nine hours a night, and sometimes up to sixteen. Do that, she said, and your skin will be like a baby’s.

But I can’t imagine doing that. Sixteen hours? That means you’d only be awake for eight. Take out, say, three hours for meals and you’re down to five. Then you’ve got errands, gym, library, etc., etc., etc. You could very easily end up with only an hour or so to actually get anything interesting done. And then you’d have to go to sleep again. 

Nope. Just nope. Bad enough I have to give up seven hours each night. Not giving up sixteen. So if anyone wonders why my skin isn’t like a baby’s, well, I guess that’s it.

So how do you feel about sleep? Drop off easily? Wake up nice and rested? And does anybody out there really sleep sixteen hours a night?
 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Recipes: Summer Sweetness


From Nine Naughty Novelist Erin Nicholas

My upcoming release, Just For Fun, definitely features some food. No surprise, as food is one of my favorite things. In the book, Morgan, our heroine, is a high-class, gourmet food type of girl. Now. But she grew up just like I did in a middle class home, with a working mom where we had typical family meals of lasagna (which was good), meatloaf (which wasn’t so good) and tuna casserole (which was, surprisingly, awesome). Morgan gets back to her roots when she meets Dooley (Doug) and his friends and family. In fact, the first time she meets his dad and best friend they make her chicken enchiladas. She brings over tuna casserole, the whole gang of friends shows up for lasagna one night… you get the idea.

But rather than give you any of those recipes, I decided to share one that’s a little... more fun! *G* Dooley and Morgan have a good time with a hot fudge sundae one night and while there are some fantastic hot fudge sauces out there (and really, how bad can hot fudge sauce possibly be?) my favorite was the homemade hot fudge sauce my grandma made. Now, I’m not sure how grandma would feel having her recipe linked to a fun, sexy, slightly naughty romance novel, but I’m sure she’d love to know that I was passing it around.
So here is my grandmother’s homemade hot fudge sauce (and thanks to my cousin for digging it out of her recipe box for me… I haven’t made it in a long time but now I’m not going to be able to resist!) Enjoy! :)

Heavenly Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients

  • ½ c. butter or margarine
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp salt 1 c. evaporated milk

Directions

1. Melt butter and chocolate together slowly over medium-low heat or over a double boiler.
2. Once melted, add sugar and salt.
3. Stir well.
4. Add milk Stir and cook over medium-low to medium heat until all the sugar is well dissolved.
5. Serve hot over ice cream Store in a quart jar in the refrigerator.
                                                                                             

Just for Fun

The Bradfords, Book 4

There’s having fun… and then there’s falling in love.

It was a chance meeting, a spontaneous, hot moment, a never-to-be-repeated encounter. So when the gorgeous redhead he knows only as Sugar walks into the bar and heads straight for him, Doug "Dooley" Miller knows he’s in trouble. But he’s sure not going to mind.

She needs a date to some swanky something-or-other. He’s a fish-sticks-and-denim guy, but for a woman who's not afraid to get naughty in an elevator, he can stand a couple days of smoked salmon and Armani. 

Morgan James admits she doesn’t really know Doug, but she needs him to keep her mind—and hands—off her ex. A man who, despite the fact he stole her ideas, she's afraid could charm her into repeating her mistakes. Only Doug can make her forget the weasel exists. Besides, it's just this one time.

What started as not even a one-night stand has Dooley feeling things that he’s never felt before.  And that’s outside of the bedroom.  Don’t even get him started on what’s happening between the sheets.  Why does he have a feeling that, as far as flings go, they’re doing something wrong?  Then again, if they’re falling in love, they might just be getting that right.

Warning: Contains a woman who knows what she wants, a man who knows what he doesn’t want, and a proposition that shows them both that they’ve never really wanted anything like this before.



You can pre-order Just For Fun here!


From guest author Jaycee Clark



Easy No Bake, Peanut Butter Pie 

 Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese 
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 
  • 1 cup peanut butter 
  • 1 cup milk  
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed  
  • 2 (9 inch) prepared Oreo pie crust. 

*The prepared chocolate pie crusts are best, though graham cracker pie crusts would work as well. 

Directions

1. Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
2. Spoon into two 9 inch pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm--this usually is a couple of hours of freezer time.
3. Garnish with chocolate chips, shaved chocolate, crushed butterfinger candies, oreos, or whatever you choose to toss on top. :)

Deadly Shadows

Shadows whisper and the words are deadly . . . 

A small, friendly Colorado town, nestled in the breathtaking Rockies, cloaks a malevolence, an evil that stalks women. Jesslyn Black, a writer, is content living her now-single, childless life. If she keeps to herself, she can’t get hurt. Haunted by the past, Jesslyn never again wants to experience the soul-shredding pain of losing loved ones.

 But a murder changes that.

Aiden Kinncaid is running from his own secret loss. As the CEO of Kinncaid Enterprises, he travels to this remote Colorado resort town to oversee the opening of the new Highland Hotel. Though he’s not interested in any kind of relationship, he finds himself drawn to this temperamental, brown-eyed beauty. And her rough-edged attitude is a challenge to him. But whether or not either sought a relationship—they’ve found one. Aiden wants to protect Jesslyn even if she claims she can take care of herself, and she finds she can’t stop thinking about Aiden, even when he annoys her. Will they get their second chance at love and life before the killer eliminates one problem he doesn’t need?

http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Shadows-Kinncaid-Brothers-ebook/dp/B005EJALBK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342139401&sr=8-1&keywords=deadly+shadows


About the Author 

Jaycee Clark has always loved reading and writing. Even at an early age, she penned stories and poems. Now she taps on a keyboard whenever she gets the chance creating villains with heroes and heroines to beat them. She traded her imaginary playmates for entire families that only exist within her mind until the keyboard brings them to life. You can learn more about Jaycee by visiting her website at www.jayceeclark.com where you can join her on twitter, facebook, and other social networks. Jaycee loves to hear from readers and you can email her at jaycee@jayceeclark.com.