I haven’t always hated December. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure as a kid I met it with new mittens and eager anticipation. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve decided I’ve come to dread this month of the year. Hands down. Least. Favorite. Month. Let me count the ways …

1. The fact that the days are shorter and shorter and even after the Winter Solstice, there aren’t enough days left in the month to see an appreciable difference in the sunset. And turning on all the lights at 3 pm is just plain depressing.

2. Winter arrives. ‘Nuf said.

3. Junk food EVERYWHERE! I know this should be a good thing, but I just don’t have the willpower to say “no”. It taunts me until I capitulate and enjoy its sinful calories.
 
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IMG_4077I do think it’s important every once in awhile to take stock of one’s life. To really look at what’s going on. Sometimes it’s to re-evaluate and make adjustments to the course of my life. But this week I just want to share some of the things I’m truly grateful for.

1. The hubster – He drives me insane. He makes me laugh. He leaves his laundry laying around. He understands my needs like no one else on earth. He’s me best friend and I love him with all my heart.
 
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Wow, it seems romance chat is hitting the airwaves hard and I’m loving it! Unfortunately not always with a positive twist … which I’ve never understood. Here’s my view. If a book has characters working on a relationship (and who isn’t?) then it can fall into the romance genre. They’re likely trying to save the world, bring down the bad guy or save a man/woman from themselves, but still … it’s romance. Not every romance is a Harlequin category. But I think that’s what readers are thinking when they say they don’t like romance.

Just the other day I was chatting with a guy who was surprised to realize romance was so much more than English Lords seducing the naive virgin Countess in hopes of stealing her land. He went so far as to say that perhaps romance writers actually seem to love men and may actually be advocating for wonderfully naughty things to be done to them.
 
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You can never have too many sexy men posted on a blog … especially when they’re wearing kilts. Enjoy ladies. 😉

1. The origin of the kilt is hotly debated … somewhere around the 16 or 1700’s depending on who you believe. But there’s no doubt woman are celebrating its introduction to the world!

 
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frustrationI know. I know. In the nine years since starting this blog I’ve never been this inconsistent posting. But really, every time I think I’m getting my feet on the ground, life knocks them right out from under me and straight on my @$$ !

A little over five years ago, Mr. Nina lost his job at a hospital in northern Maine where he’d worked for 22 years. No problem. I had really been wanting to move for a very long time. I was tired of living in the willy-wags in the middle of nowhere, where the most excitement came from my weekly trip to Wally-world for grocery shopping and social time (because everyone was shopping)!
 
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vietnam-memorialI’ve never been to war. I watch it from the comfort of my kitchen usually while I’m cooking dinner from a well-stocked refrigerator.

I’ve never carried a gun. But my heart aches for those who carry one every day, knowing it could be the only thing that saves their life or that of a fellow soldier.

I’ve never said goodbye to someone I love, fearing I may never see them again. But I’ve watched flag-draped caskets arrive back on US soil, where mothers and fathers grieve the loss of a child.

I’ve never had to be separated from someone who is my whole world while they fight for a freedom I get to appreciate every day. But I’ve known brave families who get down on their knees every night and pray for the day they can hold their husband/daddy/wife/mommy in their arms again.
 
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I’ve just passed my 10th anniversary. Oh, not of my marriage. 10 years ago this past June I broke my chalk and picked up a keyboard. Yep — I became a fulltime writer. And it’s amazing to me how things have changed in my life.

The first year it was me and the computer. Simple. I got up I figured out where my story was going and I wrote. Family members were my beta readers. They read. They critiqued. I adjusted. What a simple life of writing. And one that made me very happy.
 
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Yes I’m an author. I love writing books. It’s what I do. But as I’ve said over and over and over again, being a writer also means I am the publisher and the marketing department for my books.

It still eludes me exactly what makes a best seller in this market. It’s not only a great cover and catchy blurb. Not just wonderfully well-written story and great reviews. It’s not social media and guest blogs. You know how I know that? Because none of that is working for me. Been there. Done that. Have the bruises to prove it.

So I’m trying something again. I’m giving away one of books for FREE. That’s right, “BLIND HER WITH BLISS” is now free on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KoboAll Romance Ebooks, and iTunes  How long will I keep it free? I’m not sure.
 
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Okay, I know I’m a romance writer and I write about kissing all the time. But really, if you read any of my descriptions (like many romance authors) there are a lot of generalities in the description of kissing. But the one that I’ve been reading a lot is the … “wow, he was a wonderful kisser.”

Seriously? What the heck does that mean?

Nina’s confession #573 I’ve kissed like 4 guys in my life. The first one was in 6th grade when I was caught behind the trees on the playground and got sent to the principal’s office. My first French kiss was with a summer fling with a young man from Canada. Yeah, that always kind of cracked me up. Then there’s Mr. Nina. We kissed when I was 14 and well … we were both too young and inexperienced to know what we were doing. Thirty-some-odd years later our kissing is really nice. Sweet and gentle or flirty and quite naughty. But we’ve grown used to each other. It’s comfortable.

I know there’s an art to kissing. You can find research all over the Internet with advice–mostly for teens. But I’m sure this is something single adults must discuss … don’t they?

I mean there has got to be all kinds of kissing techniques … isn’t there?

Mr. Nina is usually pretty understanding about my forays into research for my books. But even he wouldn’t be that understanding if I decided to do some personal research into different techniques men use for kissing. So that means I need to turn to you all! What makes a really good kisser (and I mean of either sex)? Soft lips? A gentle tongue? Oh, I really want to ask some graphic questions, but I already sense those snickers from all of you.

Just consider this like scientific research for me. I’d really like to know what you consider a really nice kiss. It could be sweet or hot or just comforting. Tell me about it. I’m dying of curiousity.

circuitsI’ve been at this crazy business of writing for awhile now. As you know by now, it didn’t start out as a hobby for me… I jumped in with both feet. Put all my pens in one container and started.

Easy… nope.

Worth it… oh yeah!

Often the first question asked of a writer… “Where do the stories come from?”

For a long time I couldn’t answer that question. Mostly because I felt silly telling people that I simply wrote romances I’d like to read. It wasn’t the book of my dreams or a story that had been nagging me to be told. It just was…
 
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