eye candy

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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I love summer and though the calendar says it’s over, the weather in New England continues to stay hot. And I love it! All that steamy heat means shirts must come off! *fans face* What better way to cool off those hot bodies than with a little cooling water? So, with the help of a google search of wet, sexy men … I bring you 13 pieces of delectable eye candy. And as if their hot bodies weren’t sizzling enough … well I threw them all in a little bit of water for you. And because I think I should … I’ll share with you few water/rain facts. (Aren’t I nice making this a science lesson and all?)

1. Roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water. And roughly 95% of women think it looks better on the outside.

(Jake Gyllenhaal)

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Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it … I’m a beach bunny. Ya know, like a snow bunny, only warmer and in a lot less clothes. 😀 And it’s really hard for me to watch the summer winding down. (And just like every year I’m wondering … where the heck did it go???)

Yep, I grew up on the coast of Maine. I worshiped the sun so much that I never lost my tan lines in the winter. Seriously. I didn’t know until I went off to college and didn’t have quite as much time in the sun, that a white bikini in the shower wasn’t normal. LOL! (Of course back then I was too young and stupid to worry about the ozone layer and skin cancer. *eyeroll* Foolish youth.)

Those hours lounging on a towel shaped my romantic fantasies. There is nothing sexier to me than a man without a shirt, a pair of jeans and bare feet. The bare feet are a must. And if he was sitting around the bonfire at the river, laughing and hanging (and maybe doing a little flirting), well I was in definite lust.

I learned to sail on the ocean and snorkel it’s waters. I got my first kiss at the beach. (Probably shouldn’t mention it was during a game of spin the bottle. Yeah, pretend I didn’t say that.) Held hands for the first time walking along the sandy shore in the blue wash of a full moon. And yep, after I met Mr. Nina … a little nookie a time or two in the privacy of the dunes.

I’ve enjoyed sunsets and starry nights. The soft brush of an ocean breeze and the crisp bite of the ocean waves. The ocean is the most romantic place I’ve experienced. It’s no wonder the smell of salty air makes my heart go all squishy.

I’ve set a couple of my books at the ocean, the scents and sights always an integral part of my stories. My sexy romantic suspense novel, Deceive Her With Desire (book #2 of the Dangerous Affairs Series“) takes place on the Maine coast. Please enjoy this excerpt:

Cautious, and working to keep his jangled nerves from pumping his legs in a dead run, Ayden strolled to the shelter of the dinghy. The noise grew louder. Ayden realized he wasn’t moving away from the sound. He was aimed right toward it. What a fool. It was a beautiful fall night. No doubt lovers were using the upended craft for a little private party of their own.

Turning on his heel, he started to walk away, when the noise came again. It wasn’t the moan of sexual pleasure. It was the keening sound of sadness. Someone was crying. And from the quiet hiccupping, it was female.

Ayden shot a longing look over his shoulder, debating between the refuge of the path and the complications under the boat.

Chivalry won out and he stepped warily around the bow.

The redhead sat on the wooden slats, her bare feet digging restlessly in the sand, her face cupped in her hands. Between shuddering breaths, she sputtered angrily into her bent knees, but her tears and her fingers kept the words from him.

“Uh-hmm.” He cleared his throat, not knowing how else to get her attention.

“Holy shit…” She tried to jump to her feet, but banged her head on the iron rigging attached to the upside of the boat and fell back down. “Crap!” Her hand flew to her head.

“I’m sorry, you okay?” Ayden reached for her, but she shook him off.

“I’m fine.”

She looked up at him. Even in the pale light, he could see the sadness in her eyes.

“Actually, I’m not all right.” She pushed herself up, ducking her head away from the oarlock. She brushed the sand off her ass. “You scared the living shit out of me.”

Biting back a smile, Ayden watched her glistening tears turn to fury. That he could handle. An angry woman was one hundred times easier to placate than a despondent one.

“Again, I apologize.” He held his hand out as a peace offering. “I’m Austin Schaeffer.” How easily that name slipped off his tongue.

“Deirdre Tilling,” She shook the hand he offered.

Her grip was surprisingly firm. Ayden liked the touch of her palm against his skin. Not all soft and pliant, but callused and rough. He wondered how it would feel running up his back.

She was a beautiful woman. Her breasts swelled enticingly just above the bodice of her dress. Her long, muscular legs that he’d admired in the great room, started somewhere around her neck. No wonder Jameson had been seducing this lovely creature.

Jameson. Right. He mentally shook his head. Focus, Ayden. Tonight was about gathering information, not sexual conquests. But then again, there was that two birds and one stone thing.

So what about you? Do you have fond memories of the ocean? or perhaps another spot makes your romantic knees go weak? Tell me about it.


WELCOME! I’m so happy you found your way here. This weekend, over 40 authors are offering fun, and prizes and lots of sexy spring love in our “Fool for Love” blog hop. If you’ve stumbled upon my blog without finding your way to the “bus”, then click HERE to join in all the fun and see what fun other authors are offering.

Since writers are always looking for the hero that will grab a reader by the heart, I’m wondering what romance hero tugs at your heartstrings every time …

1. Cowboys are one of my favorite heroes. Just a few weeks ago one of those sexy men walked into my dreams and decided perhaps I should write a series set out west. Who doesn’t like a sexy man in a hat and chaps and a reeeeaally slow smile and eyes just for you?

2. And who can resist a man in (or out) of uniform? Like say … a fireman? My vampire firefighter, Reese Colton in SHADOWS OF FIRE is one of those sexy men you want showing up at your house, but not when he’s on duty … maybe just a social call?

Buff FiremanXSmall

3. Oh, yeah … why choose one hero when two can be so much naughtier! I’ve never written a book with twin heroes … but seriously … why not?

4. *sigh* That durn horse of mine is always running off and the neighbor is such a hero for bringing him back. I’m a lucky gal! (Actually, I call that good training!)

5. My favorite hero is that alpha male with soft gooey center only the heroine sees, like Cole Takoda in my SHIFTING BONDS series. This wolf shifter is both the police chief and the keeper of the heroines heart … what more could a woman want? Tattoos are just a nice perk.

6. And this guy is so bad … you know he’s going to be really goooood! That scars tells me he’s wounded and ready for some healing. He reminds me of Dallas Sawyer, the futuristic FBI agent in my sexy ménage A TOUCH OF LILLY
Dallas
7. When I’m feeling down, I would love to have a musician to sing to me. Damon Corey in BLIND HER WITH BLISS is a concert pianist who pays the bills as a bad boy shock jock. *sigh* Yeah, that’s a lethal combination!
BL Couple
8. And when you’ve had enough of the city, a hero like Nicholas Gradin from DIVINE DECEPTION will take you for a ride on his motorcycle through the vineyards of New York to forget all your troubles.
NicholasXSmall

9. Puh-lease, you didn’t think one of my badboy heroes wouldn’t be wearing a kilt? Have you ever visited my blog?
scottish kilt guys

10. I grew up on the coast of Maine. I love the beach. And a man bare foot and bare chested in just jeans walking at the beach … oh yeah, it makes my knees weak every time! Rainmaker, the FBI agent in my novel IN HIS EYES spends a lot of time hunting down a serial killer on the beach.
paul_logan_01

11. And then there’s a hero like Jonathon Brierton in MAID FOR MASTER, the real estate magnate who will push you to limits you didn’t think you’d enjoy … 😉
Bondage women

12. What fun is a romance without a hero who makes himself comfortable while he’s waiting for his woman to come home?
a man's place is in the kitchen

Now get out the Windex and paper towels and clean off the monitor and your keyboard. I only offer the eye candy and prizes, you need to clean the drool up off your own chin! LOL!

So what type of romance hero is your can’t-resist-must-read-because-he-makes-your-knees-weak-and-your-heart-race-and-make-you-seek-out-your-man-must-buy-the-book hero? Curious writers want to know.

**** THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED ****
Anyone commenting on this post between now and SUNDAY, APRIL 6 at 4pm EST will be eligible to win a gift pack of goodies including a signed copy of DANGEROUS AFFAIRS. One winner will be chosen at random from the commenters on this post. Thanks so much for visiting! (Shipping to US residents only. An international winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card in lieu of prizes.)

This week before all Hallow’s Eve I wanted to share with you some interesting facts about Halloween. (And don’t mind the sexiness … the guys just haven’t been around for awhile and thought they’d just hang around and visit.)

1. Halloween’s roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their “Druid” religion, November 1st was New Year’s on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st, and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night. (That’s one heck of a party! And after a night like that … it’s the morning after that would bring the walking dead!)

2. The first Halloween celebration in America took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921. (I’m thinking they danced around a bon fire and made sure this guy was around to make sure it all stayed safe.)

3. Druids wore masks on Samhain to protect themselves from goblins, ghosts and evil spirits because it was believed the dead walked the earth. (And I’m thinking a little blindfold on Halloween might be juuuust enough.)

4. Vampire bats are real and they do drink blood. They live in Central and South America and feed on cattle, swine, and horses. Whether there are real human vampires depends on who you talk to. (And if there are vampires and they looked like Alex O’Lauglin … I’d happily let them take a bite out of me!)

5. Halloween’s colors are black and orange. To Pagans, orange represents strength, valor and energy. Black absorbed and banished evil. Non-Pagans viewed orange as the color of autumn and harvest; black as signs of death and malevolence. (Sometimes all you need is black and white.)

6. The original Jack-o-Lanterns were mangel-wurzels, large yellowish beets. According to legend, Jack was a mean spirited Irishman who outsmarted the devil. When Jack died, he was denied entrance to both Heaven and hell. The devil threw him a lump of coal to guide Jack on his eternal earthly journey and he put it in a mangel-wurzel.(Tht’s right sweetie, stay close, I won’t let you get lost in the dark.)

7. In an early form of trick-or-treating, Celts costumed as spirits are believed to have gone from house to house engaging in silly acts in exchange for food and drink. (I wonder what sort of acts this guy is up to?)

8. 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags. (Maybe we should bind his hands to be sure he’s a good boy. 😉 )

9. Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending. Consumers will spend over $2.5 Billion during Halloween. That’s a whole lot of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods. (Pshaw… it’s the margarita mix and salt! Yee Haw!)

10. A man in Rhode Island broke the pumpkin record this year, growing a gourd that weighed 2009 pounds! He smashed the former record of 1818 pounds grown by a couple in Quebec, Canada in 2011. (Yeah, yeah, whatever … how about handling this guy?)

11. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces – enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end. (How about I wrap myself around this man candy just once?)

12. “Witch” comes from the Saxon word meaning “Wicca” which means wise one. Witches were thought to be wise enough to predict the future. (I’d just like this guy to work his magic on me!)

13. The world’s fastest time to carve a pumpkin recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records was 54.72 seconds by Stephen Clarke of the US. (Sorry, Stephen, there’s not one woman walking this earth that thinks 54 seconds is a good time!)

NOTE: No Ouji boards were harmed in the writing of this blog.

Since some of us haven’t seen the yellow orb in the sky for several days and many of you have had too much of it, I thought it would be fun to give you 13 facts about the sun. I added some pictures … I hope you can suffer through them.

1. The surface of the Sun, called the photosphere, is at a temperature of about 5800 K. (But a swim with this guy will certainly cool things off.)

2. The Sun is personified in many mythologies: the Greeks called it Helios and the Romans called it Sol. (And I just call this heavenly.)

3. The Sun’s magnetic field is very strong (by terrestrial standards) and very complicated. Its magnetosphere extends well beyond Pluto. (But can it hold a candle to this guy?)

4. The Sun is by far the largest object in the solar system. It contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System. (I don’t know, this guy seems to be taking up juuuust the right amount of space.)

5.  In addition to heat and light, the Sun also emits a low density stream of charged particles (mostly electrons and protons) known as the solar wind. (But he certainly looks like he could protect me from that big, bad wind.)

6. The solar wind has large effects on the tails of comets and even has measurable effects on the trajectories of spacecraft. (And this guy has a measurable effect on my heartrate.)

7. Sunspots are “cool” regions, only 3800 K. They look dark only by comparison with the surrounding regions. (And a little swim with this honey would certainly “cool” me off.)

8. The Sun is, at present, about 70% hydrogen and 28% helium by mass everything else “metals” amounts to less than 2%. This changes slowly over time as the Sun converts hydrogen to helium in its core. (Yeah, yeah, whatever, show me the man candy.)

9. A small region known as the chromosphere lies above the photosphere. (And the region above a man’s hips is known as “the lickable zone”.)

10. The highly rarefied region above the chromosphere, called the corona, extends millions of kilometers into space but is visible only during a total solar eclipse. (And man candy this fine is only visible in the summer.)

11. The solar wind and the much higher energy particles ejected by solar flares can have dramatic effects on the Earth ranging from power line surges to radio interference to the beautiful northern lights. (… to beautiful bodies.)

12. The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. (But still shines brightly on young studs.)

13. The outer layers of the Sun exhibit different rotations,  at the equator the surface rotates once every 25.4 days; near the poles it’s as much as 36 days. (I’d like to take a spin with him…)

I’m actually recycling one of my favorite posts from last year. Not only because it got a lot of reaction and started some great discussions, but because I just don’t have the energy to pull something new and exciting from the well today. The Pierce house has been thrown a major curve ball and we’re kind of reeling from the impact not sure what’s going to happen next. Add to the fact that I’m trying to push through the edits of the third book in the Tilling Passions series and I’m just a little overwhelmed. Don’t worry, I’ll be back on my feet by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, please enjoy the post and all my Friday eye candy!

Okay I’m going to admit it. I LOVE the male torso. There is nothing sexier than those deep ridges accenting a sculpted abdomen. Can’t you just imagine running your hands over all the warm skin or better yet…licking along every rise and fall?

No?

Well maybe it’s just me and maybe it’s because I’ve become rather fanatical about the male torso since I started writing. (That’s my excuse. Actually I grew up on a beach and my fondness for the shirtless male came at a very young age…but I digress.) In my stories I don’t have the luxury of a picture to show the detail. It’s the description that drops the reader into the arms of my hunky heroes. The words that create the visual stimulus that makes a reader sigh with satisfaction. I know you’re thinking “well DUH, way to state the obvious Nina”.

But here’s my confession as I’ve gotten older it seems I’m moving farther in age from those really hunky young guys that totally make me drool. But I’m okay with that. It seems though many around me aren’t. Some get squicked out with the whole “he’s too young for me” thing. Well, yeah, that’s true. But I’m not talking about sleeping with the guy, just admiring him. Beauty is ageless in my opinion. And a great work of art whether it’s a brand new painting or a classic by Renoir should be enjoyed at any age.

I do have the added curiosity of REALLY looking at men (and women) now to see the subtle nuances of an alluring body. It gets kind of boring (for me and the reader) to paint every man or woman with the same broad brush strokes of the cliched descriptions. It’s the newness, the fresh angle that keeps the words flowing for me and (hopefully) the pages turning for the reader. So I stare and I admire.

That’s just how I see it. It has nothing to do with the young man’s age or whether it’s appropriate for me to be with him. It’s about the beauty of the package. (Okay … now YOU need to get your mind out of his pants and back to his chest.) I meant the WHOLE package. Is it really so wrong to outwordly admire someone who is the same age as your children? Or am I way off base here?

I’d love to know how you see it. And while we’re at it … what part of the anatomy catches your attention?

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Welcome one and all. This weekend I’m doing something a little bit different. I’m participating in a blog hop with all kinds of authors offering all kinds of prizes. If you happened upon my blog first, please do start HERE and join in on the fun to be eligible to win a Kindle 4!

Since this is a Halloween blog tour, I can’t resist sharing some candy …

I have no doubt this tooshie is popular on our hop today. But isn’t he worth another look?

Ah hem, okay, back to our regularly scheduled tour … Participants were offered the opportunity to “roll” a scene generator and challenged to use the words offered in one scene. Of course working it into a Halloween theme gets me extra points. (I totally made that up! *vbg*) But here are my characters: VETERINARIAN, DEMON, BOUNTY HUNTER and I somehow I had to incorporate the personality traits SMUG, OBSESSIVE, SHIFTY and it all had to take place in a SALON. LOL! I’m always up for a good challenge. Leave me a comment to know what you think and you’ll be entered to win a set of my romance trading cards(which you can check out HERE) and an ebook of BLIND HER WITH BLISS, the first book in my Tilling Passions series.

Please enjoy my story …

I slammed into the salon, the cheery bells announcing my arrival.

The day had dawned way too early after a night that had ended way too late. But calves didn’t arrive at the convenience of veterinarians. It felt like I’d no sooner fallen exhausted into bed when the alarm screamed at me to begin another day at my practice. I’d started my morning under a cold spray of water from a water heater my landlord had yet to fix. Add the burned toast and grinds in my watery coffee and I’d barely been coherent enough to change the flat tire I’d no doubt acquired at Old Man Corey’s farm the previous night.

“What the hell, Delanie Shepherd? You look like something one of your horses trampled. And I wouldn’t call a flannel shirt and jeans much of a costume.” My best friend, Peggy sauntered out of the back room, the sexy demon costume hugging her curves, reminding me I’d forgotten to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters who would be knocking at my door tonight.

“Don’t give me a hard time. I’ve had a crappy morning and I’m already running late. I told you I’d pick up little Oliver on my way to the office.”

“Of course I remembered. I’ve got my little guy. We’ve done some special bonding this morning commiserating about his surgery.” Peggy was obsessive about her ten cats. As responsible as she was, she always felt neutering was cruel form of toruture. “Why don’t you give me thirty minutes to work at trying to give that hair of yours a little style and maybe find you a sexy doctor’s costume you can wear for the day?”

The bell over the door rang.

“No time this morning. I’ve got shots to give and testicles to remove. Busy. Busy.”

“Ouch! I’m glad I’m not one of your patients.”

A low groan rumbled in my chest. That toe-curling Irish accent could belong to only one man. So not who I wanted to run into after I’d barely gotten two hours of sleep. But I pasted on my best I don’t care smile and turned to find Heath McTabbit in all his six-foot-something-mouth-watering glory standing there in a Hans Solo getup. The Bounty Hunter costume made the local pediatrician appear even more dangerous. The smile he flashed seemed to reach down and grab the pit of my stomach, pulling it into a hot lump in my throat.

“Are you emasculating all males you come across today or targeting specific ones?” he asked.

“Only males with shifty eyes who have no control over the libidos.” I shot back.

“Dr. Heath,” Peggy cried. “I’m so glad you could stop by this morning to pick up our basket of goodies for the children’s party this afternoon. Let me get that for you.” Peggy disappeared into the back room.

I rolled my eyes at my dear friend’s obvious attempt at matchmaking. Happily married, Peggy hated that I hadn’t found my Prince Charming. “I think Peggy’s arranging more than hair today.”

Heath stepped closer to me, the heat of his body buffeting me through the thin flannel of my shirt. The fresh scent of his cologne assaulted my nose, making my knees go weak. “I for one am glad she did. You seem to avoid me every time we’re in the same room.”

I backed up, only to find he’d trapped me between the free standing hair dryer and the wall of his body. My heart hammered in my chest and I suspected by the way his gaze dropped to my throat that he could see how he affected me. “That’s not true. I do not avoid you. I’m just…a busy woman.” A lie. There was something about my younger brother’s best friend that I found unsettling. Heath McTabbit never missed an opportunity to single me out at parties. But our five year age difference made me feel awkward and uncomfortable. In our small town, I had no desire to be the grist for the rumor mill that never stopped.

He toyed with my hair, his mesmerizing blue eyes raking my face. “Prove it. Find some sexy costume and join me at the Halloween dance tonight.”

“Heath…” I dragged his name over my tongue, trying to make my lips form the word no even as my head screamed yes.

“Stop worrying about other people, Delanie. Don’t think what’s right. Think about this.” His mouth came down hard on mine, not some soft exploration, but a full on assault that had my eyes falling shut and overwhelming me with the dizzying softness of his lips. He tasted and nipped before slowly easing back enough to talk, his breath feathering over my swollen mouth. “Say yes, Delanie.”

My lids fluttered open, my mind overwhelmed by his heat. His taste. His smell. “Yes, Delanie.”

The smug smile lighting his face, stole what little breath I had left. “Then it’s a date,” he said dangerously quiet in that Irish brogue that promised wicked tricks and sinful treats.

Peggy’s squeeing brought me back down to reality. “Well it’s about time you two figured this thing out.” She held up a basket of cookies and the cat carrier.

Peggy may have been wearing the demon costume, but when Heath winked, I was sure I’d just made a date with the devil.
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Enjoy the rest of your blog tour!

****  CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNERS  ****

Julia Barrett
(Blind Her With Bliss and Romance Trading Cards)

Donna
(A set of Romance Trading Cards)

****  CONGRATULATIONS TO BLOG HOP PRIZE WINNERS  ****

DJ – Grand Prize of the Kindle
Jessica Sutton – Winner of my “Bonded Souls”

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYONE WHO JOINED IN THE FUN!

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