Holiday

In celebration of Halloween, I’ve decided to devote the next three Wednesdays to all things spookie and mysterious. This week’s topic … HORROR!

Now, as a disclaimer I’m going to tell you, I’m not really a fan of reading or watching horror. I’ve read Stephen King, but only those that were more psychological rather than outright horror. I’m just not into all that blood and gore. However, I can watch classic Hitchcock, television and movies. I think it has to do with the fact that his horror happens off screen. No severed heads rolling across the screen or bloody limbs hanging in the trees.*shiver* Seriously, I can’t stand that stuff.

Of course I had to look at the science behind actually choosing to expose ourselves to something that frightens us. It turns out research has shown we’re hardwired to enjoy the hunt, the thrill of the unknown. There’s a rush of endorphines, the body’s natural pain killer, flooding our brain when we become frightened. The fight or flight response is triggered, increasing our heartrate, dilating our eyes and tensing our muscles.

When we realize there truly is no threat, the life-saving reactions of our bodies become a pleasurable adrenaline rush. Hence the thrill of the fear.

This also translates over to high-risk activities like skydiving, white-water rafting and bungee jumping. See, these things I enjoy. When I participate in these activities I’m left with memories that don’t haunt my dreams or wake me in the night.

Horror movies on the other hand … yeeeeah, those visuals live with me long after the movie is over. I watched a B-rated horror movie when I was a teen that I knew would scare the bejeebers out of me. (cheap tickets, dark theater, new boyfriend … you get the picture) Anyway, I’ve forgotten very little of that movie. I remember how each and every person died when the door to hell was opened at a vacation home of some college kids. Of course the hero and heroine managed to fall into the depths of hell, stab the devil with a very large cross which he threw out of the gates of hell which they in turn used to seal the door shut again saving the world from the clutches of satan. I saw this movie over 30 years ago and remember huge chunks of the gore. If I want horror (which I wouldn’t), I’d just replay a few those scenes (which I don’t).

The only horror type movie that I watched every year even though I knew it would scare me for weeks was an odd version of Frankenstein. Definitely a more romantic version of the original. It was a mini-series and included a wife and everything. It ran for three or four years and it must have been shown around Halloween. I wish I knew the name of it because I just loved that movie and I wonder if I would enjoy it as much as an adult.

Okay, so I’ve rambled enough. What about you? Do you enjoy horror movies and/or books? Any favorites you can recommend for my other visitors … because you know I’m not watching them. LOL!

I couldn’t do an update this week without telling everyone how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful mom. She raised 5 children (each of us a year apart … you do the math … FIVE teenagers! And she survived!) She’s been wonderful as I’ve become a mom. She hangs back until we ask for advice and then gently shares her wisdom. Mom lives far away from me and though we don’t talk on the phone very often, I think about her every day.

But 27 years ago when I married Mr. Nina another wonderful mom came into my life. I’m so fortunate to have someone else who loves me unconditionally, supports and encourages. I truly am doubly blessed.

I’m not going to be with either of my moms today. But they are in my thoughts and prayers. If you’re a mom … Happy Mother’s Day. And I wish for all of you the special love of a mom.

Now, onto the good news this week …

Sizzling Hot Books reviewed BLIND LOVE. Michelle had this to say …

Blind Love was a hot and sweet story. I enjoyed seeing a woman not holding back her feelings of discontent with her family and how she went for what she wanted … a book to go back to when you are in a sentimental mood, but with hotness thrown in.

And Miz Love Loves Books gave BLIND LOVE 5 STARS and Miz Terious had this to say…

Ms. Pierce has penned a wonderful mystery with twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. The chemisty between Julie and Damon is smoking with sex scenes that will have you squirming in your seat. It doesn’t get much better than this. Intrique, family dynamics, hot sex and a true happy ending. I’ll be looking for the second book in what promises to be a great series.

And quite out of the blue I received an awesome 4 STAR review for DIVINE DECEPTION from Night Owl Romance. And Pauline had this to say …

Each and every character in this story was well developed and added to the plot. The emotions in this story are extensive and run the gamut from sorrow, guilt, anger, joy and hatred. The location itself is almost a character and Ms. Pierce brings it to life, I could almost smell the dirt and taste the wine. This author is one of my must-reads and this story showcases the talent that put her there.

How about an EXCERPT:
Having Nick present while she visited with Joseph wasn’t really in her plans. Frankie had tried to talk Nick into taking the motorcycle to the hospital later in the morning but Margaret had come running down the granite steps swinging a picnic basket as Frankie was climbing into the truck. She handed it to Nick with two quick kisses on his cheeks and stood watching as he climbed into the passenger side of the cab and they pulled from the driveway.

Now they were headed into town, the midmorning sun hanging in an azure sky, its rays dancing on Seneca Lake. Normally Frankie would have loved a day like this but the cab seemed claustrophobic with Nick Gradin’s surly attitude sitting between them.

“It’s not my fault you didn’t know who I was,” she said quietly.

Turning to her, he cocked a skeptical eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest.

“You knew your father had a stepdaughter.”

“And a child bride,” Nick remarked coldly. “I expected my stepsister to have pigtails and braces. Not…” His hand motioned up and down her torso.

“Well, you didn’t seem to mind the package yesterday.”

“Yesterday I thought you were Joseph’s assistant.”

“Funny, yesterday I thought you were a womanizing pig of a manwhore.” She shot him a patronizing smile. “Guess one of us was right.”

He frowned. “If you’ll recall, I wasn’t the one who came on to you in the field.”

“As I recall, it was you who was ready for action in the wine cellar.”

“I was simply reading the signals you were sending out.”

“Then you have a faulty GPS.”

“My wiring is just fine thank you.”

“I suppose you think it is, with all the woman you have tumbling into your posh Philadelphia bed.”

“Now what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Oh, as if you don’t know.”

“I have no idea what you’re…oh, this is stupid. Pull over here.” Nick motioned to a dirt road that led to a small alcove near the lake.

She’d been parking there once in high school.

“I’m not going to see Joseph until we clear this up and can at least be civil to each other,” he said.

Frankie acquiesced. He was right. It wouldn’t do Joseph any good to have them bickering in front of him. She turned the truck into the trees, their pumpkin and gold leaves floating passively on the gentle breeze. They bumped down the dirt tracks, the center lane overgrown with the dried weeds of summer. Frankie felt as if she was entering the lion’s mouth. Anger surrounded Nick like the cloud of dust trailing behind them. She had no idea why he was so pissed when she’d only spoken the truth.

Shoving the truck in park and shutting off the engine, Frankie stared out over the lake. Its cobalt surface rippled at the gentle touch of the fall breeze. Maybe this was the perfect place to help Nick see things her way. Though she hadn’t exactly started the conversation off in the right direction, maybe she could try again. “I think—”

As if he hadn’t heard her, Nick got out and slammed the door. Pacing in front of the truck, he pulled at his bottom lip, an angry scowl furrowing his brows. What the hell was his problem? Frankie got out and stalked after him. “For someone who wants to talk, you’re damn rude, you know that, Gradin?”

He grabbed her and pressed her against the front of truck, the solid planes of his chest trapping her. “I don’t know what my father told you about me but I do not—I repeat, do not—have a rotating door on my bedroom. There is no harem of beauties waiting for me in Philly. When I choose to sleep with a woman I like there to be a little chemistry between me and the lady.” His mouth came down hungrily on hers, his taste already familiar. When his tongue ran the seam of her lips, she had no choice but to open to his assault. Fisting his hand in her hair, Nick controlled the breath-stealing tempo while his other hand surrounded her breast, squeezing the sensitive flesh. Warm shocks of want shot straight to her pussy. Frankie’s hands seized the soft chambray of his shirt, her heart racing in her ears. Nick broke from her as abruptly as he began. “And there’s no denying our chemistry, Francesca.”

I’ve really been thinking about this topic a lot these days. It’s been everywhere; on the news, discussed on the talk shows, debated on forums and trended on twitter. And it just seemed appropriate posting it today when we’re celebating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. I’m talking about the concept of printing new copies of classic literature to make it politically correct.

Wai…what?

Now, before anyone takes me to task. No, I’m not African-American. No, no one has belittled me because of the color of my skin. No, I’ve never lived in the south and I’ve never felt the sting of hatred because I didn’t “fit in”. So there are a lot of things about this that I “may” not understand. But here’s where I’m coming from…

History is history. Lord knows, the United States has it’s fair share of nastiness in the dank corners of our closets. Growing and changing is hard. People are afraid of redefining the staus quo and act rashly or lash out, often times treating each other horribly. It isn’t pretty. As a matter of fact, it’s downright mean.

Mark Twain penned a little story Huckleberry Fin. The story takes place between 1835 and 1845 when slavery was a reality in our nation. Many say Twain was actually making a statement about racial segregation and prejudism. Others argue that the black character, Jim, was a Sambo-like character, but that hasn’t inflamed the masses as much as Twain’s use of the “N” word in his story. Some publishers are talking about removing the “N” word in the manuscript and replacing it with “slave”.

I know this would make the story less offensive to many, but in fact, it would also be altering a piece of classic literature. Do we really want to go down that road? Perhaps we want to change “The Diary of Anne Frank” so she actually went to jail instead of suffering the horrors of a concentration camp. Do we want people who write about the 9/11 horrors to make sure they’re politically correct and not mention that Islamic extremists attacked our country?

We can’t change history. It is what it is. I don’t think literature should be altered to reflect the correctness of modern times. Literature is as much a part of the climate its written in as any other historical recording. Changing the wording of stories won’t alter the facts of human history. But that’s just how I see it. I’m curious how you feel about this whole discussion.

(**NOTE** My blog tour begins today. Please check HERE to keep up with me this week.

It is so hard to believe we’re shutting down 2010. I have to admit (like most people) time seems to speed up as I age. Years fly by before I even seem to get my feet on the ground. But this year I started taking a minute or two each night and looking back over the day and enjoying the high moments. That way when another month rolls around and I wonder where it went I can assure myself I enjoyed every day of it. So I can tell you 2010 was a great year!

I do need to take a little bit of time and think about what I’d like to accomplish in 2011. But before I do that, I’d like to take some time and thank all of my readers and the authors who have supported and encouraged me this year.

Without readers, there is no reason to pull my muse off the beach and get her to work. No reward for banging my head on the keyboard when my characters aren’t behaving themselves. There just wouldn’t be any fun bleeding words onto the page if I didn’t know at the end of it there were people looking forward to another Nina Pierce story. Thank you.

The internet is such a wonderful tool. It has allowed me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful authors who have become friends. There are too many to list, but I hope you know who you are. When the words won’t come or the plot doesn’t quite work, there is nothing like another author to help through those tough times.

I’m taking the week off from blogging between Christmas and New Year’s. I’ll be spending the time with Mr. Nina at his apartment in Rhode Island.. (If you missed it, we’re in the middle of transitioning from Maine to RI.) And I’m just going to enjoy being with my man. I hope you also have a wonderful holiday shared with family and friends.

I’m planning on all kinds of things for 2011, more interviews and contests and just me rambling about this crazy journey. I hope you’ll continue to stop by and share it with me!

For all of you celebrating Thanksgiving … I wish you the company of friends, the love of family and plenty of wine to make the eyerolling events a a fuzzy memory! LOL! Enjoy!

And a quick note to our troops overseas … you have my gratitude and empathy. Blessings to you all for a safe return into the arms of those you love!

Cue scary music and creeking doors …

Yep, it’s that time of year when people turn down the lights, grab a big bowl of popcorn and sit down to watch their favorite things that go bump in the night in a horror movie marathon. Okay, so NOT me! I have such a vivid imagination I don’t need more images floating in my brain. I’m all about carving pumpkins and eating candy. You know … the quiet, non-scary kind of stuff.

This weekend I know some of you are following our traditional Halloween blog tour. And in the spirit of the season I’ve got some wonderful guys all dolled up for the holiday. Mmmm….

If you’ve stumbled here and would like to know what I’m talking about please start HERE. Jump on the tour bus and follow it through the links to the end … There are all kinds of prizes to be won. Contest runs 7 am EDT Oct 29 through 5 pm EDT OCT 31.

For those of you stopping here to enjoy a little eye candy I’m having my own contest.

My futuristic erotic suspense story “Healer’s Garden” is available in PRINT and has just finalled in the Eppies. w00t! w00t! on both accounts. Leave a comment here sharing with me your favorite Halloween memory. I’ll choose the best story and mail you a signed copy of “Healer’s Garden”. (**NOTE: Shipping to US and Canadian residents only. An international winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.) Comments posted from 7 am EDT Oct 29 through midnight Oct 31 will be eligible.

And to start you off I’ll share my favorite memory …

When I was a kid we lived in the “center” of a country town. The last street light from the four way intersection just up the road was at the foot of our very looooong driveway. We had a telephone pole about half way up the drive. My dad loves Halloween. This particular year he rigged a long length of piping from the front porch to the telephone pole where he’d hung a whispy piece of plastic on a string.

That night, the brave few who ventured up our driveway were scared by the haunting moan (may father’s manical laugh through the pipe) of the “ghost” that mysteriously floated up from the brush on the side of the drive. It was really not a nice trick, but ZOMG … it was hysterical. Needless to say we didn’t give away any candy that year except to our friends (whom we had warned).

It’s a great memory. I think because I was so impressed with my dad’s ingenuity.

And here’s one last halloween costume for you to enjoy before you go on your merry way…

Welcome all Independence Day blog hoppers. I hope you’re having a wonderful time touring around to author’s blogs and getting an eye FULL of sexy men.

If you happened to stumble over here and are interested in participating to win a whole bunch of wonderful prizes START HERE and check out all the authors participating and a list of some of the prizes you could win.

I know summer officially started a couple of weeks ago, but this weekend really is one of those party/beach/parade/family weekends that everyone in the United States seems to celebrate. And on that note, I do have to take a moment and thank all the men and women serving overseas. Your sacrifices and those of your families is immensely appreciated by so many.

I live a long way from my family so this weekend I’m hanging at the lake with some very dear friends. We’ll be barbequeing and drinking beer and doing a little kayaking. And since I absolutely LOVE fireworks, Mr. Nina and I will be planting our butts on a blanket on the edge of a potato field and enjoying the show. I have a feeling this guy won’t be there…

I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. I’m always glad to have new visitors. Leave me a comment and let me know what your plans are for this holiday. If you’re not from the states I’d love to hear how you enjoy your down time. I pick one commenter at random to win an ebook copy of my firefighter vampire story “Shadows of Fire” found in the Hearts Afire-May anthology.

I love Valentine’s Day, but not for all the usual reasons … I didn’t have anything significant like an engagement or wedding or a birth happen on that day. Nor am I really big into the way it’s become commercialized with all the cards and flowers and going out to dinner sort of thing. Nope, none of those reasons are why I love Valentine’s.

I just happen to love romance. 

Ya know, the mushy, gushy, fall all over yourself, just HAVE to be with that person kind of romance. I’m a sucker for a romantic movie … Ever After, Maid in Manhatten, Failure to Launch, Officer and a Gentleman, 13 going on 30, Pretty Woman, Seventeen Again, The Ugly Truth, Knight’s Tale, oh, I could go on and on with the movies in my collection, but I think you get the idea. Nothing makes my day more than the woman finding the man of her dreams like say, oh, I don’t know, this guy …

Oh, Mama, you sooooo know he’s going to be the alpha male and take charge of alllllll your needs! But sometimes that’s not the man you’re looking for. Perhaps someone in our true fantasy, like, oh, an angel?

Or perhaps that shape shifter with the tribal tattoos?

They’re all making me drool! Because the truth is, I could fall in love with any of them! It’s why I write romance. These men with the need to fulfill their destiny and find their one true love make me sigh every time! My newest hero, Brenimyn (Healer’s Garden, Ellora’s Cave) is the one hero I can’t get enough of. He’s sweet and patient and absolutely in love with the one woman he can’t live without, Jahara. Here is straight out of the waterfall …

Yum!

So for me, Valentine’s isn’t about the candy or the flowers or the special dinner (though I never turn those things down *g*). It’s all about the romance. This year, Mr. Nina and I aren’t going to be together on Valentine’s Day and I’m a little bummed. But he totally made my day when he told me he couldn’t sleep without me in the bed next to him … yep, I almost melted.

I’m a sucker for romance.

If you’re visiting this weekend for the Valentine’s blog tour (which runs Friday, Feb 12- Sunday, Feb 14), don’t forget to leave a comment here to be eligible for the grand prize. Over 40 authors are participating. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out start here http://booknibbles.com/blogtour/.

I’m also giving away a Valentine’s gift to one lucky commenter on this blog. Let me know what’s your favorite (or least favorite) part of Valentine’s Day. On Sunday, Feb 14 I’ll pick one commenter who will win a prize pack of goodies. (Check back Monday, Feb 15 for the announcement of the winner.)

I hope you all have the Valentine’s Day you’re dreaming of! And enjoy the tour!!! (**Please note*** to comment on this post scroll back up to top of blog.)

So the little ghost, goblins and vampires will be showing up at the doorstep in a couple of days. When my children were little we lived in a wonderful neighborhood where everyone made Halloween night a social event. We had so much fun. We’ve moved into a new home and the evening has become a quiet night at home with very few trick-or-treaters showing up at the door. Which is just fine with me now that the kids are all out of the house. In honor of the holiday this week’s list is thirteen interesting facts about All Hallow’s Eve …

1. Pumpkins are fruits not vegetables.

2. Fifty-one percent of all American adults believe in ghosts. Nine percent of Americans claim to have been in the presence of a ghost during their lifetime.

3. It’s illegal to sell a haunted house in New York without informing the buyer.

4. The word witch comes from the Saxon word Wicca, which means “wise one.”

5. In France, more than 30,000 werewolf cases were tried between 1520 and 1630.

6. Phasmophobia” is the fear of ghosts.

7. According to superstition, you will see your future spouse over your left shoulder in the mirror at midnight on Halloween.

8. Ninety-nine percent of pumpkins sold in the U.S. are used to make jack-o’-lanterns.

9. According to studies, the smell of pumpkin pie is the most arousing to women, followed by lavender, cucumbers, baby powder and Good & Plenty candy.

10. Americans consume about 20 million pounds of candy corn each year.

11. There is a poisonous mushroom called a jack-o’-lantern. These mushrooms are a bright orange-yellow in color and on rainy nights they appears to glow in the dark.

12. Pennsylvania was the first colony to legalize witchcraft.

13. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,469 pounds. It was weighed in on October 1, 2005 at the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh-Off.

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