eye candy

I want to thank all the participants of the blog hop LABOR DAY tour. I hope everyone enjoyed their visits and found some new authors along the way. The official contest closed at NOON EDT and I know I will be getting the complete list of winners as soon as our fearless leader Alanna Coca recovers from her family bbq (you know how those westerners love their beer … ahhhhh, just kidding Alanna.) Actually, LOTS of people toured from beginning to end and she’s got A LOT of prizes to sort out. Good luck to everyone.

Until then I’ll pick a winner from all the commenters on my blog. Drum roll please … And the winner of an ebook is …

CATHY M.

Congratulations Cathy!

Now for my OTHER really big news! I’m so excited about this and can not wait until the middle of this week when the UPS Drive shows up with my PRINT copies of HEALER’S GARDEN. Yep, you read that right … Healer’s Garden is now available in print!
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Isn’t it beautiful! Watch for announcements for a contest to win a copy of the book. In the meantime please enjoy this EXCERPT

The sound from the crowd rolled up from the grass. The noise engulfed him like a thunderous storm. He had never delivered the words with such enthusiasm and confidence. Putting his arm around Jahara, he was showered with the strength flowing from her. He kissed her passionately, barely able to control the impulse to run his hands down her body and feel her respond to his touch. She melted into him and he held her until the noise diminished, satisfied in the minimal contact.

Knowing the next step would be the hardest, he hugged Jahara close to him. Her body tensed. She understood what was coming. “Most honorable friends.” He raised the book, waiting for the din to subside. “The time has come. We have waited and now it will begin.” Pausing a heartbeat, Brenimyn let the suspense hang in the air. “Men, no longer will we submit to the domination of the female gender.” The breeders whooped and raised their fists. “No more will we be treated as animals good only for increasing the female population.” Some men jumped to their feet. “We will no longer accept that we are not worthy of gifts and education.” Even with the amplifier, Brenimyn had to shout to be heard over the celebrating crowd.

“Women, you will no longer be forced to procreate for the sake of continuing humankind. Mating will be a choice, one’s body freely given to another for the sake of love, not obligation for reproduction.” Everyone was on their feet. “The time has come to stop ripping your children from your womb and your hearts.” He watched the pregnant women cradle their swollen stomachs. “We have waited long enough, the time is now.”

He let the crowd have their moment before lifting the book to silence them. The crowd settled back into the grass. The murmurs of approval still rippled over them like a pebble dropped in water.

“The prophecy says two great warriors, a woman and a man, shall join together to ready an army for a monumental battle. It will not be fought with weapons as our ancestors had done, but with intellect and cunning. This war will oppose all common beliefs and bring about a new world order where men and women, as equals, shall reign.” Jahara went slack in his arms. She braced her hand on his chest, her gaze flicking wildly about the people below. Holding her quivering body, Brenimyn knew only his arm kept her from collapsing. This was a burden anyone would find difficult to shoulder.

“Many visionaries have confirmed the prophecy. As you know, from a young age, I understood I would be chosen to begin the fight. I accepted the responsibility many years ago and have prepared the way, waiting anxiously for the woman who would stand at my side.” The crowd stilled, holding a collective breath, already knowing the words he would speak. Unsure of her reaction, Brenimyn looked down at Jahara. He watched her transformation in rapt fascination.

Stepping away from him, she stood with her feet planted, pulling herself up tall. She filled her lungs, her bare breasts held high. The dark triangle of her womanhood was visible through the gossamer fabric of her breeches billowing in the breeze. She looked so feminine. Yet, under the lifted chin and unpretentious set of her mouth, he could see the fierce warrior the visionaries had promised. She held her arms casually at her side, not at her hips in defiance as many would.

So it’s another long weekend and one that brings the unofficial close of summer. Boo! It amazes me how many people love autumn. Probably because it means cooler temperatures. But for me it’s just the precursor to winter. A very long, very cold season in Maine. Summer could go on until Halloween if it were up to me … but its not. LOL!

But I doubt that’s why you stopped by. I suspect you’re here as part of the LABOR DAY BLOG TOUR. This tour runs from Friday, Sept 3 to Monday Sept 6. There are 27 authors and a TON of prize giveaways to those who visit all the blogs. In addition some authors (like me) are offering individual contests on their blogs.

I think I’ll give away an ebook of any of my books to one person who comments this weekend on my blog between now and 4 pm EDT Monday, Sept 6. But of course, I should give you something to comment on. Hmmm, what shall it be? What shall it be? Well, perhaps, if you don’t mind, I’ll post some pictures of hard working men and you can let me know who you think works the hardest. I know it’s a lot to ask, but just bear with me…

Perhaps it’s the construction worker …

or the cowboy …

or a fireman …

but I shouldn’t leave out the business man …

I just don’t know. Seems to me all these hard working guys ought to have a little break from the drudgery of their jobs. Let me see what I can do! In the meantime … you all enjoy the rest of your tour.

And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about you can start HERE and enjoy alllll the posts and be entered in the giveaway!

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.)

I travelled to visit family for the holiday and now I’m headed out to California for a convention–this time for Mr. Nina. I really wanted to get ahead of things and pre-post some blogs. But it soooo didn’t happen. I can’t say it’s because I’ve been busy. You know those days when you feel like you haven’t gotten anything done despite the fact that you never stopped moving? Yeah, well I’ve been having weeks like that recently.

I’m hoping this trip will refocus my brain and get me back on track. At the very least I’m hoping there might be a little time to do some research on the beach with this guy …

This week I was searching for something and I couldn’t find it … anywhere. Which got me to thinking of all the things that you need when you NEED them. When there’s no substitute to replace that object. And just because I’m so happy to have my blog back online, I’ve invited a few of my favorite guys to join in this Thursday’s fun. 

1. Paperclips/Staples – When you need to put papers together to file nothing else works and when you’re out of both of these it’s enough to send an anal retentive person over the edge. (But I’m sure this cowboy could wrangle me back under control.)

2. Plunger – C’mon, you need an explanation? (This wet guy can help plumb my pipes any time.)

3. Pen/Pencil – Try to get someone’s phone number without a writing instrument … yeeeeah, so not going to happen. (And I’d hate the opportunity to give this guy my phone number, email and every password I use.)

4. Elastic – The rest of the world calls them rubber bands. For someone who likes to organize things, this is another essential that doesn’t have a replacement. (I’m sure this cowboy could find some interesting ways to use those rubber bands.)

5. Books – Nothing drives more insane than getting to the doctor’s office/vet/dentist/kid pick-up and finding I have nothing to entertain myself. Leaving the house with a book is as essential as wearing a bra. (Though I’d certainly put down the book and spend a little time with this guy.)

6. Tape – Try wrapping a birthday present without it … nuf said. (On second thought, who needs tape when you can be wrapped in someone this fine.)

7. Matches – When you need them you need them. Whether it’s lighting a candle, the gas stove or the fireplace unless you’ve got flint and a piece of metal … it ain’t happening. (And I’d hate to be without matches when this hunk asks for a light.)

8. Paper – When you’ve got to send something out, whether it’s a confirmation letter or the insurance info, there’s nothing in the house to replace this. (Also … refer to #3) (Umm … what was I talking about?)

9. Nail file – I have brittle nails. The corners often snap or crack. Without the emery board they’d be a jagged mess. (And since I’d like to drag my nails down this guy’s chest, I’d hate for them not to be trimmed.)

10. Computer – A couple times my computer has contracted the equivalent of the H1N1 and had to go to the computer hospital. *gulp* Those are very long days where my hands were tied. (Though this young thing could certainly help me pass the time.)  

11. Phone – I didn’t really appreciate this little gadget until one of my kids lost their cell phone. Ack!! I couldn’t reach them while they were on a road trip. It drove me insane. (Of course I’ve certainly got this guy’s number.)

12. Change – Please tell me I’m not the only one who searches under the seats and in the cup holders and in the bottom of my purse so I can get a little something/something from the fast food drive thru! (Oh, yeah, now that’s a whopper!)


13. Glasses/Contacts – Blind=Nina so without my spectacles I’m dead in the water. No television, no reading and definitely no computer work. (And here’s a vision I’d certainly hate to miss.)

This week’s thirteen are some of the signs we saw on our trip (rounded out with a couple from the internet). Of course since it was an erotic conference we WERE in a certain frame of mind so some of them seemed even funnier given the “theme”.

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1. The best tavern I’ve ever been to bar none

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2. Okay nothing great, but I thought it was cute

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3. Yay! The hotel where Romanticon was held. Wonderful place

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4. I really think they should have called it Quality Screw and Bolt
(but no doubt it was avoided on purpose)

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5. This was just down the street from the hotel

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6. This came immediately after the screw company on the road
(Frankly, I think it should have come before)

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7. Would the pepper spray be used before or after the fireworks?

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8. It’s just a sign you see A LOT when you travel with me

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9. Just the opposite of what a gal wants

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10. The hotel where we spent our last night on vacation
Fond memories. Fond memories

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11. After 9 days away I was really happy to see this sign

12. This is not a sign we saw on our trip, but I think it’s hysterical.

13. Just another sign I found on the internet to round out the Thursday list

And since it’s Thursday I wouldn’t want to disappoint you and leave you without a little eye candy. So one more time here are the cavemen of Romanticon 2009 …

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Chapter 2–

Friday afternoon I went to my first workshop on “researching and writing male/male” presented by Kaenar Langford, Samanatha Kane, Jory Strong. It was all amazing information, but I’d be lying if I said that Kaenar’s description of her research field trip wasn’t the highlight. Kaenar got to tour a male only spa in Canada. Though it was closed the day she went, her description of the smells and sensual areas of the spa had me clenching my thighs and shifting in my chair. The woman sure knows how to paint a vivid picture with her words. I also spent part of the afternoon meeting and visiting with authors I’ve only known online.

Friday night we donned our hippie attire and headed for the Psychodelic Soiree. The cavemen entertained us with a dance.

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And then we we rocked to some awsome old rock ‘n roll music. I’m sure I’ll be showing my age when I say I sang along with the music (but so did most of the people at my table). And don’t worry … it was loud enough so no one heard my off-key rendition. Then Austen Powers and his fembots hosted a dance contest. The final three got to dance with the cover models. Sadly, I wasn’t one of the lucky gals.

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(Samantha Kane, “Austen” & Mari Freeman)

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(Author Ruby Storm and cover model Rodney)

We had a ball. I fell into bed exhausted and the alarm sounded waaay too early on Saturday. I grabbed my bag of goodies and Mr. Nina grabbed his golf clubs and we headed out in opposite directions. I spent the morning in a workshop about promo material. Again, this was a reader driven workshop. We got to hear all about what readers love to get and what things don’t really do much for them. One reader said she felt the promo material was a gift from the author. That really warmed my heart. I spent the rest of the morning at author mania which was an informal gathering of authors and readers. It was so much fun.

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(Authors Marianne Stephenson and Joanna Waugh and EC Reader Dottie)

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Author Teri Thackston and Nina

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Author Tilly Greene and readers

I was invited to attend a luncheon with my first editor at EC, Helen Woodall. Helen came to Romanticon all the way from Australia. She wanted to share some of her homeland with her authors. So we all sat down to sandwiches of vegemite. Helen explained how to prepare the bread (like you do toast in the morning, so I put butter on mine). But spreading the vegemite from the bright yellow tubes took special instruction. You need to spread a VERY THIN layer of the brown goo over your buttered bread. Before we could eat Helen had us sing the vegemite song. Which was very funny. And the vegemite? Well, let’s just say the very salty brown goo is an acquired taste. Helen soothed it all over by sharing Tim Tams with us. Yummy chocolate covered cookies in all kinds of flavors. She also gave us all a “save the frogs” wrist band and a cute koala bear that clipped to our name tags. It was really fun.

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(We’re not sure about these yellow tubes of vegemite)

I spent the afternoon at another reader panel about BDSM books and visiting with more readers. Let me just tell you, an author never gets tired of hearing “I love your books.” It makes me smiley all over. I also got a chance to talk with several aspiring authors and it was an absolute joy sharing our journeys. Here are more pics from Romanticon…

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(Publisher Raelene Gorlinski and authors Lynn LaFleur and Regina Carlysle)

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(EC reader/book reviewer and Nina) 

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I met Mr. Nina for a quick bite to eat. He found the coolest tavern nearby. A neighborhood bar with the regular’s mugs hanging around the circular bar and an antique bike horn they honked whenever they get a good tip. We thought we had plenty of time to snag a beer and a burger and enjoy the wonderful atomsphere but it turned out I didn’t. The wonderful waitress rushed Mr. Nina’s order so he could take it out. I have no doubt that tavern will be landing in one of my books some day. I rushed back to the hotel and put on my sexy duds and headed out for an appreciation dinner. The cavemen were patient enough to let me slip in and get another picture with them

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before they entertained us with another dance. (I’ll tell you, all this cover model flesh was the most tedious part of the weekend–NOT!)

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(Cavemen dance for Jeania)

EC then honored each new 2009 author with a “rising star” award. And since the microphone wasn’t working I did try to snag Lee Pearce’s trophy as well as mine. She managed to wave me off and I waited patiently for my own. The cute little star is sitting on a special place on my desk. EC then awarded several “superstar awards” for categories such as “most innovative dinner scene”, “most erotic emails”, “hottest heroes who love heroes”, and “I want that sex toy catalog” to name a few.

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The night ended with lots of laughter and some hanging out in the bar. Come back on Friday for the final chapter of Romanticon 2009.

**NOTE – A quick thanks to all the other authors who attended Romanticon and were generous enough to share their photos. I’ve copied so many I’m no longer sure which are mine and which ones belong to others. Thanks again everyone!

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