eye candy

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.)

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.

Vegemite

(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!

 

Next Monday Mr. Nina and I leave on a 10 day driving trip. So what could I do this week but honor 13 of my favorite roadtrip movies. Yes it’s true, most of them I saw in their original version at the theater. But I refuse to think I’m old … though did I mention Mr. Nina and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary while on the road? Really, I’m not old. (My new mantra.) Oh, and the pictures have nothing to do with the movies. I just thought it was time to post some man candy.

1. National Lampoons Family Vacation (1983)
Think this group would adopt me?

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Now this is one group I’d happily follow down the yellow brick road.

3. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Oh Mama, this is one bandit who speaks for himself!

4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
And here’s some pilots that can take me anywhere.

5. Easy Rider (1967)
Ummm … yeah, he would be.

6. Into the Wild (2007)
The country doesn’t look so lonely from this perspective.

7. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
I don’t know about a missing bike, but I’d like to know what’s missing under this guy’s kilt.

8. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (remake 1970)
(But a drink with him could make it alllll better.)

9. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
That’s MR. Sunshine to you!

10. Cannonball Run (1981)
A race with this guy in the car … count me in!

11. Thelma and Louise (1991)
No woman in her right mind would leave this guy behind!

12. Paper Moon (1973)
This guy could talk me into any con.

13. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003) 
And yes, I would go to the ends of the earth with these three!

It’s everywhere these days. The celebs do it on the red carpet. Your friendly bank teller isn’t immune and yes, right into the board room it’s becoming the new “thing”. I’m talking about SKIN. From cleavage to bellies, shoulders to butts … it’s hanging out everywhere.
Now, don’t think me a prude. I don’t want to go back to the time when even ladies showing ankles was improper, but I’m not sure how I feel about this new freedom. Young women especially don’t think anything of having the better part of their breasts exposed when they’re wearing tank tops. They lean over and whisper your ear … I mean where is your gaze supposed to go? It’s not like I don’t have the same equipment, but curiousity just draws my eye straight to the exposed cleavage … and I’M A WOMAN!

I feel for men these days. Breasts and bellies are sexual. Trust me. I know this. I write about it every day. Poor Mr. Nina came home from the office one day talking about a woman who sat across from him at a business meeting with a lot of cleavage hanging around. He had a hard time trying to figure out where to look. Another day a young lady turned and bent over to retrieve something from the file cabinet and her pants rode down low exposing her thong. He felt like a pervert and he hadn’t done anything wrong.

Which brings me to the whole UNDERwear issue. The key word being under. I’m not sure when bras became a fashion accessory, but that’s one thing that drives me insane. I hate it when my bra strap peeks out! When a young lady’s shirt is so tiny that her bra shows over the top or around the sides then it’s not really a top is it? But now it’s almost a fashion statement. I am happy that the whole “whale tail” trend of showing your thong over the top of your lowcut jeans waistband seems to be a forgotten fad. That one just squicked me out. We sat behind two young ladies at an honors gathering not so many years ago at the high school. Their pants came down so low they nearly had butt cleavage. And of course their cute little thongs (that matched their tops) curved up and around their hips. I was sitting with two DADS … and I was heartsick for them. I couldn’t help staring all night, I can’t imagine how they felt.

When I wear a top that shows a little cleavage and I see a man’s eyes wander south, I don’t react. What do I expect? I mean, let’s face it, aren’t we hoping for a little extra attention when we put on that sexy bra and low-cut shirt? Otherwise we wouldn’t wear them would we? Or am I way off base there?

I know some woman get offended when people drop their gaze to their cleavage. Why? Let’s face it, when a guy wears his jeans slung low on his hips … you look. Out of curousity. The eye naturally travels down his stomach to his … ah hem … fly. We can’t help it. But we’re lucky, we’re woman. Men consider this kind of attention an invitation or at the very least … a compliment.

I know this new trend is only going to continue. I’m just not really sure how I feel about it. So I’m throwing it out there. How do you feel when someone checks out your cleavage? Does it matter if it’s a man or a woman? And how does this whole new flesh-fest affect you?

This is the last of my author thirteens. I want to thank all the authors who stopped by the Block this summer to visit and share pictures and bios. I hope you all found some new authors to check out and new books to read. This week I didn’t have enough authors to fill out the thirteen, so some of my guys agreed to hang out and keep these wonderful women company…

1. Pam Champagne
Pam Champagne writes in a variety of genres, all spicy to hot. She lives in Maine with her husband, two dogs and two cats. She’s led a colorful life and incorporates her experiences into her stories.

2. Shelia Goss
Sheila is the national best-selling author of His Invisible Wife (July 2009), My Invisible HusbandRoses are thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum and the three book teen series: The Lip Gloss Chronicles.

Sheila

3. The guys and I don’t hang around the block alllll the time. We do take time for a little play…

4. Cris Anson
Cris writes really HOT contemporary stories about strong women and the sexy men who interrupt their lives. Her DANCE series for Ellora’s Cave keeps racking up 5-star reviews.

Cris

5. I just love my guys. Here’s one of them helping me do some brainstorming on a particularly difficult plot line …

6. Kelly Fitzpatrick
Kelly Fitzpatrick is a 2009 Golden Heart finalist and winner of the 2008 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, Mainstream catagory for her manuscript Pleasant Lake P.D. Writing for four years, she has recently contracted with Cerridwen for her 2008 Golden Rose contest winner in the Romantic Mystery Suspense category, Lily in Wonderland, due out as an eBook in the fall of 2009.

Kelly

7. I’m doing a little research for a new book and I’m looking at setting it in the west. How nice of him to do the whole “cowboy” routine for a little inspiration … 

8. Katriena Knights
Katriena has been writing since before she could read, and as a result has a difficult time differentiating between reality and fantasy. This makes her remarkably amusing at parties. Her latest paperback is My Cyber Valentine, the story of a boy, a girl, the Internet and a ferret.

Katriena

9. Just some quiet time in the pool house in between scenes …

10. Francesca Hawley
Francesca is a single forty-something lady who lives in central Iowa. She works as a librarian by day and writes erotic romance by night. Her Ellora’s Cave release, Protect and Defend, received a 4 1/2 star rating from Romantic Times Magazine and is available in both electronic and print formats. Her second EC e-book, Seeking Truth released in May 2009.

Francesca

11. Here’s one of the guys trying to cool off during the dog days of summer. I don’t know about you, but it sure isn’t cooling me off any …

12. Marcia James
Marcia writes hot, humorous romances and finaled in 11 contests before selling her comic romantic suspense, At Her Command, to Cerridwen Press.  In June 2009, her short story, “Rescue Me”, appeared in Tails of Love, a Berkley benefit anthology.  Marcia is an advertising copywriter/PR consultant, and she presents author promotion workshops.

Marcia

13. I don’t mean to work the guys so hard, but sometimes when I’m trying to find inspiration for writing I just plum tucker them out. Poor baby …

Since Easter is only days away. I couldn’t help but share some facts I discovered about candy. And of course I had to include pictures of um … candy. 

1. Americans spend $1.9 billion on Easter candy. (Halloween tops the chart at $2 billion.) (And some candy is free.)

2. Americans consume 16 billion jelly beans. If laid end to end it would circle the globe 3 times. (And sometimes three is enough.)

3. Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats. Monks baked them and gave them to the poor during Lent. (And here are some yummy buns.)

4. In 1953 it took 27 hours to create a marshmellow peep. Today it takes 6 minutes. (6 minutes … oh, a lot of candy can be enjoyed in 6 minutes!)

5. 90 million Easter bunnies are produced each year. (Hmmm, let me sit right and here and think about that.)

6. Pretzels were originally associated with Easter. The twists of a pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossed in prayer. (Now I lay me down to sleep…)

7. Adults prefer milk chocolate (65%) to dark chocolate (27%) (But really … won’t any candy do?)

8. As many as 4.2 million peeps can be made each day. (And if all candy were this delicious I wouldn’t make another peep.)

9. Jellybeans didn’t become an Easter treat until the 1930’s. (Who needs jelly beans when there’s candy this sweet.)

10. As you’ve noticed candy makers offer more and more Easter specific products. M&M first introduced their pastel candies in 1980. (All candy is pretty.)

11. During the Easter season, Americans purchase over 700 million peeps. (But by my count 6 is plenty.)

12. Candy is a relatively recent addition to the Easter tradition. Chocolate eggs were first made in Europe in the early 1800’s. (Well, once more … thank you for candy!)

13. In 2001 Americans consumed 7 billion pounds of Easter candy. (And sometimes we just drooled over it.)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today I’m part of the Valentine’s Candy Blog Tour through Liquid Silver Books! I hope you’ve been enjoying your tour through cyber land. And here’s the good news … I’m the last stop! You should have arrived from Jeanne Barrack’s blog. I hope you left a comment at each of the other nine blogs. Leave a comment here as well before midnight February 14 and you’ll be eligible to win an inbox full of ebooks!

I’d also like to help you enjoy Valentine’s Day. Because what’s a Valentine’s without cupid … 

or flowers …

 

some hearts skattered for your pleasure …

 

and some kisses …

Oh, and sheesh, I almost forgot the most important thing I’m supposed to offer today … the candy!

Oh, now did that satisfy your craving for candy? 

I’ve been so busy trying to finish up my latest story and skating around the internet trying to get some marketing things done. I haven’t had a spare minute to get anything ready for my man. How about sharing with me some of your favorite Valentine secrets/moments? It could be something you did for someone else or something romantic done for you. Come on … I want to hear it all! I’ll choose one of the stories to win a download of my most romantic book, The Healer’s Garden.

And I’ll announce both the grand prize winner and the winner of my download on Sunday morning!

If you’ve tripped on this and would like to participate on the whole tour. It all begins at the blog of Stephanie Adkins.

Enjoy your day!

Knock on the door and come on in! Do I have some candy and other treats for you!

Today, I’m coordinating my blog with several other Liquid Silver authors and offering you some real adult Halloween treats. We’re offering you “eye candy” and some wonderful ebooks.

Here’s my favorite candy to have with my morning coffee:

And then when I sit down for lunch I always enjoy a six pack with my sandwich:

Then I like to get some exercise in the afternoon and treat myself to more candy while I’m at it:

And after a hard day, I just like to settle in with a little candy to help me sleep better:

Sure I have a sweet tooth, but next to Dove chocolate, this is my favorite dessert! And I was happy to share those treats with you! Just leave me a comment and let me know when you like your candy best: in the morning, lunch, afternoon snack or in the evening.

I’ll be drawing one name at random from anyone who leaves me a comment before midnight Halloween night and they will win an e-copy of my futuristic erotic suspense novel, The Healer’s Garden.

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If you want to trick-or-treat with Liquid Silver authors you should have arrived from Savanna Kougar’s blog and after you comment you should trick-or-treat at Jeanne Barrack’s blog.

If you visit all 9 blogs and comment on each of them, you will be eligible to win the grand prize: A wonderful inbox full of Liquid Silver e-books.

Enjoy your candy today! (If you get lost and can’t find your way, come on back and I’ll point you in the right direction!)

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