Tuesday, February 28, 2012
What Would Cimil Do?
For some, writing is a natural talent. Not for me. In fact, I’m known in many circles as the “Typo Queen” (bet you’ll even find plenty here.) I have to work hard at keeping those commas in check. But that’s the reason I love the craft so much. It’s my personal “mental yoga” and allows me to shut off that horrible little chatter-brain and decompress.
I won’t bore you with any further pontification on the subject. (I mean, who really cares why authors write? Just write something frigging awesome that I’m going to love! Make me laugh! Make my cry. Make me fall in love with a really hot, hot man! That’s what truly matters.)
So, instead of discussing the Wonderful World of Me and writing, I thought it would be fun to play a little game with my favorite character. I like to call it “What Would Cimil Do?” For those of you who don’t know her, she is the Mayan Goddess of the Underworld in my Accidentally Yours Series.
What Would Cimil Do?
1. Cimil is driving 100 MPH down the highway, weaving between the fast lane and the shoulder in her pink convertible Caddy during rush hour. The Monkee’s, Daydream Believer is blasting on the radio. She suddenly spots a Garage Sale sign to the right, just off the side access road.
What would Cimil do?
A. Keep driving. (She could care less about a garage sale.)
B. Begin to slow down and carefully make her way to the off ramp where she’ll turn around and safely make her way back to the garage sale. (She really loves a good bargain, but safety comes first.)
C. Make a hard right turn, cutting off a semi and fifteen passenger cars, leaving behind a massive pileup, before she plows through the guardrails and lands on the access road where she’ll follow the garage sale signs and end up planted in the neighbor’s front yard.
Cimil absolutely cannot resist a good bargain! And despite the fact that the gods are hardwired to protect humans and that Cimil has the gift of sight (she can see all possible outcomes of the future), she finds it hard to stay focused on her role.
In this case, there was a late 80s model of an original Suzanne Somers Thigh Master at that garage sale (Cimil has a collection.) Can’t ever have too many Thigh Masters, after all. In addition, the semi that just crashed was loaded with tainted milk, and the horrible man driving was an avid fan of dog fighting. He won’t ever be driving again, but he will be her next punch-boy at the annual Underworld Hoedown. The other drivers walked away with only minor injuries, and the pink Caddy…well, no pain, no gain!
All in a good day’s work! If you ask her.
I invite you to play more rounds of “What Would Cimil Do?” during my Virtual Blog Tour, where Cimil will confront topics such as:
* Blackmailing men for sex…Is it right or wrong?
* Bugs. Why are they so scary?
* Should all colors other than pink be banned?
Happy Garage Sale Hunting!
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff is hysterical. This is the first in her Accidentally Yours series. Can't wait for more.
You will love Emma and the arrogant god she can't see. She does not dare let people find out she has a relationship with someone she only knows through dialogue in her thoughts. Her friends and family will think she is bonkers.
But when he calls her into the heart of the Mayan jungle to free him from some ancient ruins, with a promise to finally leave her alone after that, she finds that he is not only real, (and gorgeous) but about to further turn her world upside down.
Her desire to have a normal life, without some voice bothering her, may be a futile desire. Because desire is the word. This ruthless warrior-god is the most amazing male she has ever seen or imagined.
Emma is in big trouble. She realizes that her god is as dangerous as the other crazy gods, including my total favorite, wild and crazy Cimil. You are going to love Cimil and laugh out loud at her antics. Is she going to help Emma with the evil that has been unleashed into the world, the terrifying Uchben, or is she only going to make things worse?
Monday, February 27, 2012
In Love’s Own Time
Call it faith, kismet, fate, karma or just luck, I like to believe there’s some plan for our lives. I want to think we’re born with some basic framework, a few skills or talents to equip us for a particular path in life. Whether we choose it ourselves to work toward karma or a deity lays the groundwork isn’t important. An old proverb I happen to like says we must know where we’ve been before we can see where we’re going. I believe the course of our life is very flexible and we can make decisions which change directions and make differences in what might have been.
The question of a life plan leads to the often heated debate whether writers are born or made. I’ve watched some wild quarrels erupt on internet sites on the topic and my personal views fall in the middle somewhere. But I believe I was born to become a writer, to tell stories and tales, to use words in a way to touch others. I look back over my life thus far and it seems to me, knowing it better than anyone else, each step of the way was another building block toward a writing career. I may have been born with a flair for words, some gift for writing but I’m also the first to admit I’ve worked hard to hone the skill, to improve the talent. Any musician will confess how much practice is required to master an instrument and to maintain a level of expertise. The same applies to writing. No one and I repeat no one is such an outstanding writer he or she doesn’t need practice, to continue learning, and to face editing.
In writing In Love’s Own Time I drew on my own background, growing up in a vintage house in a small city filled with history. My grandparents were my earliest caregivers because both my parents worked and so I spent most of my waking hours in their company until I began school. Their home, although not as old as my own, offered its’ own peek into the past. I listened to their stories and grew up believing the past was almost close enough to touch. It’s no wonder I embraced the idea of time travel or speculated how amazing it would be if it were possible. In Love’s Own Time isn’t my first time travel romance and given my interest in the possibility it could be real I doubt it will be my last.
Although I call it my time travel/contemporary/historical/paranormal/fantasy romance, the novel demonstrates a little of what I’ve speculated. There’s a framework to every life and as we build it, we make choices. I’m no carpenter but I know when building a house, changes can be made as it’s constructed which alter the end result. So can our decisions. In my novel, Lillian makes decisions which impact her life and change it forever. With stubborn will and a strong love for Howard, she manages to shift the course of his life as well.
Curious? You can always read the novel to get all the details!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Plus Sized Costume
I got the opportunity to review a costume for myself and since I'm a bigger lady I went to the Plus Sized Costume section on WholeSale Costume Club. I loved the process of picking a costume because I had so many awesome choices. After a lot of searching and indecision I finally picked a Saloon Girl Costume. It's a little sexy but not too revealing.
Once my decision was made I ordered it and it came in very quickly, considering that I'm in Canada it usually takes anything shipped 4 to 6 weeks to come in but the costume only took 2 weeks!
It was brought right to my door and when I opened it the costume was perfectly packed.
I took all the pieces out of the package and looked it over. Every piece was in perfect condition, there was no loose threads, the crinoline was nice a puffy and no loose ribbons. The material was exactly as described on the site. Not only was the costume in perfect condition it was a perfect fit to.
I'm all set come Halloween! See for yourself!
So....On a Scale of 1 to 10 how would I rate this costume???
A 10!!!! I love it and I think I look like I'm suppose to LOL
I highly recommend that you visit their site, just click the links above or "LIKE" their Facebook Page:
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Victoria Jones was a lousy liar. Not that the sensible bookkeeper was accustomed to lying--or anything else that would have disrupted her safe, dull existence. But her world took a terrifying turn when her twin brother, Alex, an agent for T-FLAC, the elite antiterrorist task force, went missing.
Now she'll do anything to find him...lie, cheat, even subject herself to the predatory advances of Alex's T-FLAC partner, Marc Savin, if it will help get her brother home safe.
But trusting the sexy, brooding operative might just be the risk of a lifetime.
The Mercenary is back, and better than ever!
Torie (Victoria) has lost her twin brother to a terrorist group in a very dangerous country. She goes to this place pretending to be a tourist and bites off more then she can chew. She’s assaulted and makes it out alive. She goes to find her brother’s best friend for help and he brings her back to the danger that surrounds her brother. She’s terrified and he’s surely. Will they come out of it alive??? MUST READ!
I really like the characters in this book, they have real personalities and the way each of them reacts to any given situation is believable. Victoria is scared shitless of everything around her but overcomes her fear in the sight of danger. Marc is a brooding and very Alfa male, sometimes I wanted to knock him upside the head but liked him just the same. Though he was a cranky man he had some redeeming qualities.
I love a lot of action in a story and this one was filled with it. I am really enjoying the suspense of this series, I never know where the characters are going to end up or how they’ll fight their way oput of each mess. I am looking forward to the next book.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
She was looking for adventure.
Marnie Wright has seen more than her fair share of testosterone. Growing up with four overly protective brothers was one thing. Now a mountain man named Jake Dolan has invaded a peaceful day of soul-searching at her grandmother's secluded cabin. Sure, she was trespassing on his private property, but did he have to pull a gun on her? There's more to this longhaired soldier of fortune who calls himself the Tin Man, but she's not sure she wants to stick around to find out what. Then he stashes her in his secret lair--an underground techno-fantasy complete with security monitors and an arsenal--and Marnie realizes the guy is military, top secret military. He's also got the most beautiful mouth she's ever seen.
He could get her killed.
Marnie is a quirky but courageous young woman who goes to stay at her deceased Grandmother's home which is a cabin in the woods. The cabin was not in good condition but Marnie wanted time alone to come to grips with her life and make decisions towards life changes.
Jake is a grumpy soldier who is still licking his wounds out in hide-a-way in the woods. He's expecting trouble but never expected it to come with a little blonde torpedo who turns his life into a whirlwind.
I really enjoyed this book. It's packed with action, adventure, spunk and great dialogue between the characters.
I loved Marnie, she's full of spunk and always has lots to say. She had me laughing throughout the book and worrying how she would fair everything that happened as well. Though Jake acted like the grumpy old troll who lived under the bridge I liked him to because as your read you get to know him for the person he really is under all that gruff. It also helped that he is seriously hot.
If your like me and you love a great action/romance novel then ya got to read this one! The best part of it all though is that it's a series and there many more books like it to read!!! Be sure to add it to your must read list!
Saturday, February 18, 2012
All Genevieve Luzon wants is to be loved by one man, a seemingly impossible task in New-New York City at the start of the twenty second century. Sure, she can buy sex as easily as order a pizza on a Friday night, but finding a forever kind of love among her self-centered peers is no easy feat for the unemployed off-world vacation coordinator. When an old friend offers her the position of secret shopper to test out the male prostitutes, Gen can’t think of a good reason to refuse. Hell, if she can’t find Mr. Right, she might as well try on a sampler of Mr. Right Nows.
Yet the perks of her new position don’t compare to the strange attraction she has, not for one of the prostitutes, but a candle that seems to warm places of her she never knew existed. When a man appears out of the flame, Gen is sure she's found the one. Rhys is an empath, made a slave by the Illustra Corporation and he’s everything Gen could ever want. Except available. Because Rhys is on a mission. One that might claim his life. He must try to free his people, consequences be damned. Now, Gen must choose between turning her back on the only man she’s ever loved and the monumental task he has set for himself. Should she risk her life fighting a war hidden from polite society against those who wish to control us all?
Is love really worth fighting for?
What would sex be like if you feel what the other person was feeling, or manipulate their reactions? It’s a scary but tantalizing thought and Gen is about to find out.
In the future, everything regarding sex has changed. Disease is a distant memory and unfortunately true lasting love may soon be a memory too. Now prostitution is legal and the fulfillment of your every desire is just a phone call away. Genevieve aka Gen knows that true love is not a myth. She sees it every day in the eyes of her grandparents. But love has to take a back burner in life when you are unemployed and floundering.
Rhys is an empath, kidnapped from his home world. He is a prisoner with only escape and rescue on his mind. He is enthralled by Gen. She is a human who feeds his needs and makes him stronger. Unfortunately, he can’t allow his feelings for her to derail his mission, to save his people.
Gen is tricked into a night of pleasure by her best friend. Her experience from her hired lover is lack luster and takes matters into her own hands. She files a complaint and is now a secret shopper for the same company and must critique the male employees on their performances. She jumps right into her new job after a bit of soul searching. It’s not until she meets “Marshal” that things change for her. He shows her pleasure she never knew existed.
Rhys gives Gen spectacular ecstasy, sometimes without even touching her. She is able to bring him to life with her passion alone. Together they experience pleasure that neither knew was possible. When the truth is revealed, Gen must decide what to do. Can this average unemployed girl help Rhys save his people?
No Limits is great work of science fiction. Set in the future, Ms. McCormick has developed a fascinating experience. Her imagination is remarkable; her world building is exciting and her aliens original. At the heart of this story is everlasting love. Though this novel may be rich in sci-fi, it is the romance that grabs you. The secondary characters are a blast and just as enjoyable to read as Rhys and Gen. No Limits is a complete package.
I personally have never read a book like this and I’m glad that I didn’t pass up on this new experience. Ms. McCormick has captured my imagination and I hope there is another installment. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for her work and if this story is continued, I will gladly get in line to read it.
Thanks for reading - Toni
He Hungers For Her Body. . .
Zer is no angel--well, not anymore. He's explored every flavor of sin imaginable, drinking in the pleasures of humanity. But now he must find the woman who carries his salvation in her very blood. . .a woman like Nessa St. James.
And Her Soul
And Her Soul
Nessa has considered the bargain the Fallen offer. Anything she wants in exchange for accepting Zer's bond? No way. Not her. Not when she finds out about the mind-blowing ritual involved, and the marks of surrender that will ink her skin. But with a serial killer to stop and centuries of experience on his side, this is one job Zer's going to nail.
I knew dark angels were bad, but I had no idea!
Zer is the leader of the Fallen and he will redeem his fellow angels, no matter what he needs to do. Finally, things are looking up for the Fallen and he is determined to ensure that he and his brethren will be back where they belong, in heaven. One human woman is not going to get in his way. He is bigger and stronger and she will do what he says.
Nessa St. James is a brilliant woman who has no idea what she is in store for. All she wants to do is continue her research on the mysterious thirtieth tribe, but that has now been taken away from her. Suddenly her world is filled with danger, death and angels. She is being forced into a world she has no desire to be part of and Zer will regret the day he kidnapped her.
Time is running out for the Fallen. They are weakening and they need their soul mates to earn their wings back. For centuries they have searched for these women, but as time progressed and no soul mates were found, the Fallen started to believe that this option for redemption was a lie concocted by the archangel Michael. Now that a soul mate has been discovered, it is a race to find other women that can save the Fallen. Nessa very well may hold the key to their salvation. Too bad she has no desire to become involved.
Anne Marsh’s take on fallen angels is just wonderful. She has taken an old tale and put a whole new spin on things. The Fallen were wrongly accused and cased out. Now they are living life to the fullest, waiting for the right time to seek their revenge; if time and madness don’t take them down first.
Let me just say, even though His Dark Bond is about angels, there are no religious connotations. I’m not sure how Ms. Marsh does it, but she does. The Fallen are bad boys to the core, but she has an ability to make them loveable, ok that might just be pushing it a bit, likeable.
At first glance, these men are pure evil. They have turned their corner of Russia into their own and they rule with an iron fist. Guns, murder, and lust are all theirs and they own it. It’s not until you are allowed into their secret world that you can comprehend their reasons and see that things are not always as they appear. But make no mistake, they don’t care what you think of them and they will do anything to get their wings back.
Zer feels he is not worthy of redemption and will sacrifice Nessa to one of his brothers. No matter how he feels about her. Nessa will not go down without a fight and Zer has misinterpreted the wrong woman. Their power play was fun to read. I was completely drawn into this fascinating corner of Russia.
Ms. Marsh has filled this novel with amazing action sequences and steamy sexual tension. Even though I found some faults with the probability at the end, I enjoyed the book as a whole. She has written a wonder new universe and I can’t wait to see what is next for these delightfully evil angels.
Thanks for reading!! - Toni
Friday, February 17, 2012
Breathless ebook is FREE this weekend only. (starts at
“Breathless is a truly captivating read. The characters are
impossible to forget.” VampireRomanceBooks.com
“Breathless is a book you will fall in love with and want to
read over and over again.” ~ Bite This! Vampire Book Blog
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Title: The Unwilling Bride
Author: Candy Ann Little
Publisher: Kingdom Kastle Publishing, Inc.
Length: 107,000 Words
Sub-Genres: Historical, Inspirational/Christian
AVAILABLE AT: Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/The-Unwilling-Bride-ebook/dp/B004LLJ1RW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328732374&sr=8-1
BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFjmES8CB9g
Set amid political unrest in 1789, Caitlin Gallagher finds herself in an arranged marriage. She hates the idea of marriage and loathes the man that is now her husband. With all the turmoil in her life, she starts to doubt her faith. Can Caitlin find faith in God and love in the arms of her enemy? Dillon Cade’s quiet life is turned upside-down when he agrees to marry a young maiden to protect her. As he uses his newspaper to fight President Adams’ sedition acts and help Thomas Jefferson get elected, he must now also deal with an unwilling bride. Can Dillon tolerate her behaviour long enough to win her trust?
The clip clopping of horses’ hooves alerted Caitlin to someone coming up the drive. She dropped the leather bag over the balcony. It hit the ground with a dull thud. Hiking up her skirt to a length far too improper, she held it over one arm and straddled the railing. After both feet were firmly planted on the other side of the banister, she extended her arms trying to grasp the branch of the oak tree that tauntingly stretched before her.
Not quite able to reach the branch, she decided to make a jump for it. Mustering all of her determination she leapt into the air, grabbing hold of the large bough with both arms. She dangled precariously, trying to swing her feet up to the branch, however the long skirt wrapped around her ankles making the task difficult. The rough bark cut through her thin overcoat, scratching the soft skin on her arms and making the process of holding on even harder. Looking down and realizing the height from which she dangled gave her the resolve to grip even tighter, no matter how much it hurt.
Finally swinging a leg up high enough to reach the branch, she twisted her small torso around until she sat perched upon the limb like a bird. Cautiously standing up, she lifted her skirt once again. “This foolish thing is in my way.” She tucked the front hem into the sash around her waist. “There, that should hold it.” She needed both hands free to descend the tree. Tentatively placing a foot on the limb below, she carefully progressed through the coloured leaves on her path to freedom.
She’d just passed the middle of the tree when her slipper skidded, making her lose balance and topple. A scream pierced the air as she fell. The branches reached out, grabbing at her clothes and entangling her hair, but did nothing to stop her plunge downward. Squeezing her eyes shut, she prepared for the impact of the hard ground, but instead felt the softness of a body.
Someone grabbed her around the waist tumbling with her and easing the collision. Caitlin lay on the ground, breathless and unable to move. Her heart raced wildly while her entire body throbbed. I can’t be dead, she thought. I hurt too much. Opening her eyes she found her older brother frowning at her. His short brown hair stood up in spikes, and grass clung to the side of his face.
“Brogan.” She squealed with relief. “I’m so glad to see you.”
“What do you think you’re doing?” He scolded and stood up.
“I…was…umm…climbing a tree.” Her legs still felt wobbly, she didn’t dare try to get up.
“You could have been killed.”
“I’ve watched you climb that tree lots of times.” She didn’t like him taking that parental tone.
“I do not have skirts and slippery shoes.”
“I almost made it.”
“Almost! You could have been seriously hurt, or even killed. Honestly, Caitlin do you have any sense in that head of yours?”
“I have all the sense I need.” She rose from the ground, pulling her skirt down. “And do not lecture me.”
“Then perhaps you will listen to Father.”
“Brogan, no!” She pulled at his arm. “You cannot tell him or Mama.”
“Then tell me what you were doing.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest, staring.
Caitlin had no choice but to throw herself on his mercy, “Running away.” She plucked some leaves out of her hair.
“Trying to throw a rub in the way?”
“So what if I’m spoiling everyone’s plans. No one cares about spoiling my life.” She pouted. “And what are you doing over here anyway?”
“Keeping an eye on you. I knew you would try something foolish.”
“’Tis no more foolish than getting married.”
“Caitlin, marriage is not that unfavorable. Why must you be so dramatic?”
“I’m dramatic?” She glared at him. “’Tis easy for you to say, you are still unattached. How would you feel if Mama and Papa made you get married?”
“I can assure you I would not be pulling dangerous stunts.”
“’Twas my last resort.” Her quivering lip informed Brogan of the forthcoming tears.
“Now, Caitlin, do not be upset.”
“Will you help me?” She pleaded. “I can hide in the rattler and you can make an excuse to leave. Then you can drop me off outside of town.” Her heart felt light once again as a new plan dawned. “If I do not get away now I will never be free again.”
“Where will you go?”
“Anywhere away from here.”
“How do you plan on supporting yourself?”
“I will find a job,” she said irritably. “Why does everyone insist that I cannot care for myself?”
“Because you can’t,” he stated matter-of-factly. “And pulling a dangerous stunt without thinking about the consequences is proof of your immaturity.”
“I’m immature! Why you scatter-witted nincompoop. I knew the risks and accepted them in order to gain my freedom. Just like Dwayne did.”
“Our older brother willingly gave his life for the fight of Ireland. I have risked my own life several times in the pursuit of freedom, but you cannot pull dangerous stunts, just to get your own way. ‘Tis not the same thing.” He sighed, “You are too head strong for your own good. Take my advice and for once in your life just go along with the plans.”
“Would you advise Ireland to stop fighting and go along with England?”
“Nay. Only you, my dear sister.”
“Why do I get such counsel?”
“’Twill save all involved a lot of headaches.” He plucked a twig from her tangled curls. “Now, go get your bags and I’ll distract Mother and Father so you can sneak back into the house.”
“And if I refuse?” She challenged, not ready to give up yet.
“Please, Caitlin, trust me on this.”
“Why?” She crossed her arms. “Everyone keeps talking about trust, but no one will explain a thing.”
“You will be apprised of all the factors in due time.”
“You know more than you’re telling me.” She crossed her arms.
“I must abide by our parent’s wishes, even if I don’t agree with them.”
“Will you promise to tell me what you can?”
“I’m sorry, Cate. It has to come from Father. Now, be quick and get in the house. Dillon is here for dinner and you need to dress.”
The sun stood high in the sky warming the fragrant air that swirled around the occupants in the garden. The tinkling of water from a large fountain spouting crystal liquid into a small pool served as the backdrop for the couple. The red, gold, and yellow color scheme of autumn further complemented the choice of cream satin for the bride.
She stiffly smiled as they went through the ritual, reciting the sacred words and praying. When it came time for the ring, she slipped her glove off and gasped when Dillon slid the huge diamond on her third finger. After a few words of instruction the preacher pronounced them man and wife and told Dillon to kiss his bride.
Caitlin felt the heat from his body as he stepped closer, placing an arm around her waist. A smile played upon his lips, “Are you ready, my sweet?”
“Make haste and get it over with,” she groaned. The corners of her mouth turned down, but her head obediently tilted up. She closed her eyes bracing for the kiss, however both were unprepared for the spark that charged between them when their lips met. Caitlin’s eyes flew open and she would have backed away if the steel arms around her waist hadn’t tightened, keeping her anchored to that spot. He kissed her tenderly at first, gently moving his mouth above her own, producing sensations that were overwhelming and exciting. A soft moan escaped as her mouth responded to his lips.
The gnawing in the pit of Dillon’s stomach grew like wildfire causing his desire to quickly burn out of control. He deepened the kiss forcing Caitlin’s mouth open and greedily tasted the treasures inside. His kind, gentle lips turned fierce with longing and passion. Pulling her soft body even closer against his hard muscled chest produced emotions that rampaged through his soul, tormenting his body.
Caitlin hesitantly complied at first, but soon found her own hunger quietly abiding behind the reluctant facade. She wound her arms around his neck inching as close as possible. All other feelings fled leaving behind a craving that only his touch would quench. Eventually, confusion emerged from somewhere deep in the crevice of her heart, reminding her that Dillon was her enemy.
Managing to find some strength in her feeble limbs, she pushed at his rock hard chest breaking the mysterious spell they’d fallen under. A shaky hand flew to her mouth touching the warm wetness left behind. She was thankful he didn’t immediately withdraw his hands from her waist or she’d have toppled over. His kiss seemed to suck the strength from her body and mind. She felt a little embarrassed. Having never been kissed like that before, she didn’t know if her reaction had been appropriate.
Dillon vaguely heard the crowd cheering as his senses slowly returned. Remembering they were still in front of their wedding guests, he wondered what they thought of such a passionate display. He’d only meant to give her a little kiss to seal the vows. How had it turned into an ardent demonstration of emotion?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Candy-Ann Little grew up in a small town in Ohio, but now resides in Michigan with her husband and two teenage kids. She is a substitute for paraprofessionals and teacher assistants in the public schools, mostly working with the autistic program and kids with learning disabilities.
She also enjoys helping with church activities. Her favorite things to do besides writing is reading, cooking and baking.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Please help me Welcome Author Shanon Grey!!!
She has written us a wonderful story for Valentine's Day!
Thank you so much Shanon!
A RUTHORFORD VALENTINE
by Shanon Grey
It’s February and all thoughts turn to love. As it does all over, so it does in the quaint southern town of Ruthorford, Georgia, with one exception. In Ruthorford, the descendants are hoping for a match-mate connection that will result on a “blended” offspring. To encourage this, the townsfolk of Ruthorford hold an annual Valentine Day’s Dance out at the Davis farm, on the outskirts of Ruthorford. Everyone who is a descendant of the original Native Americans that surround and protect Ruthorford or the descendants of the Scots that came to settle and form the town is invited.
Not everyone will “match,” but generally one or two will find their mate and, hopefully, that union will produce a blend, who in turn will match with another blend and that couple will be trained as Gatekeepers. This is the story of one such Valentine’s Day Dance and how things are not always as they seem.
“Okay,” Brenda, the town’s long-lived postmistress, said, as she pulled the large box of invitations through the open grill, “is that everyone?”
“Of course it is,” Miss Alice intoned, sniffing indignantly. “I’ve been doing this for…forever,” she said careful never to give away her age.”
Brenda let the smile broaden as she flipped through the invitations, not looking up. She lifted one. “The Hamiltons? They never come.”
“I won’t be leaving anyone out. Just because they don’t come doesn’t mean they don’t deserve an invitation.” Alice stated firmly. No one knew for sure why, but the Hamiltons had broken away from the town, moving the farthest out. They married outside as well. It wouldn’t be long before they were all gone. Nevertheless, as one of the first Scottish families chosen by the Native Americans to settle in Ruthorford, they deserved the respect as such and an invitation went out.
The same with the Merciers. They came from a Canadian tribe and settled with the tribe surrounding the town. They also didn’t attend, which was just as well, since the longstanding
feud with the Hamiltons generally disrupted into a brawl whenever they attended the same functions. Brenda just shook her head and stamped the envelopes.
She gave a little smile. Miss Alice might be sending out the invitations but Brenda had managed to get on the decorating committee and she’d seen the huge barn transformed into a red, pink, white and silver fantasy. Of course, Abbott Bed and Breakfast was catering the affair and Brenda had managed to “taste test” several of Teresa’s creations. No one would go hungry, that’s for sure. They’d nixed the idea of a live band this year since so many of the young men where away at college. Even if they made it home for the party, they’d arrive late with little time to practice. Rowe Davis and Kateri Chance were in charge of music. They were young enough to be able to make sure everyone got something they liked.
Across town, Alice’s sister, Grace, was not making much headway with her visiting goddaughter.
“Aunt Gracie,” Alexanne, moaned, her voice pleading, “I really don’t want to go to that dance.”
“Now, Alex,” Miss Grace used her nickname, “it would mean so much to Miss Alice. She worked so hard on the invitations. Grace reached over and gave a loving tug to the sable brown hair that flowed about Alex’s shoulders. She hadn’t seen her since she was eleven and now, at twenty, she was stunning. “Teresa sure could use the help.”
Her light green eyes sparkled as she turned to her godmother. “I’m not sure what the emergency was—that it was all so important that I come now. It’s a good thing I’m on winter break.”
Miss Grace just smiled.
The crowd flowed out of the open barn doors of the transformed barn. The heavy rhythm poured from perfectly placed speakers, letting the music flood the entire area. Almost everyone was dancing. If they weren’t dancing, they were eating. Laughter drifted outside along with the music.
Grant Hamilton made his way through the throng. He’d just arrived that afternoon from Scotland. Having finished med school, he’d gone over to Scotland as a graduation present before starting his residency. Even though he’d never attended one of the Ruthorford functions, tonight he found himself delivering the Scottish pastries he’d sent ahead, per the request of Teresa
Abbott, owner of the Abbott Bed and Breakfast. He figured he could drop them off and be gone before he ran into a Mercier and they ruined the party.
He headed straight to the table, keeping his blue eyes forward, trying not to draw attention. Teresa saw him, gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, and ruffled his windswept blond hair, twisting away before he could hand her the box. “Take that on down to the end of the table for me, will you?” She turned him and gave him a gentle push toward the end of the long table. Ten feet of an already laden buffet table left little room to place the box. He moved a couple of plates around and lowered the box.
“Don’t you dare set that box down!” A heavily accented female voice came at him from the side.
He jerked the box back up and turned toward the voice. His response to the beauty in front of him was so visceral he almost dropped the box. Thick brown hair swept her face, a fringe of bangs offsetting the pale green of her eyes. Her lips were full and she tugged at her lower lip with perfect white teeth as she reached to catch the box.
Her hands closed over his at the same time her gaze lifted to meet his. A current coursed back and forth between them. Their eyes locked.
“Hey, Alex!” A young man came up and put his arm around her waist. “You haven’t danced with me yet.”
She gave Grant a quiet smile and turned, “I would love to dance with you, Jimmy.”
Her French accent washed over Grant like warm cognac, setting fire to his nerves.
Out of nowhere, Miss Grace appeared at his elbow. “Let’s put that right here,” she said, taking the box from his hands and setting it in the exact same spot he’d aimed for in the first place. “Now, would you offer an old lady a dance?”
“I’ll love to,” he flashed his blue eyes at her and followed her to the floor.
She let his arm slip around her and hit him with a flurry of questions--about his family, school, and Scotland--barely giving him a breath in between. She was also leading, or rather pushing, him around the floor. He stumbled slightly and bumped into a warm body.
The contact sent a spark through his back. An apology was on the tip of his tongue, when Grace stepped around him. “Jimmy. Just the man I was looking for. Will you excuse us a moment. Alex, Grant. Grant, Alex. Well…dance with her,” she said and pushed the two together.
His hands slid around her as though they were meant to encircle her waist. The curves of her body melted into his as if welcoming him home after a long absence. The current ran from one to the other and back, pulsing—until two hearts began to beat as one.
Grace directed Jimmy out to the parking lot on some trumped up errand and stopped next to Teresa. She turned and watched as the two young people swayed to the music, oblivious to the world around them.
“There’s going to be some upset families tonight.” Teresa nodded toward the couple and smiled.
Grace let her old green eyes close in a slow blink, opening them to the spiking blended aura surrounding the couple. She smiled at Teresa. “We do what we can.”
Please visit Shanon Grey at http://www.shanongrey.com/ and on FB at http://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey?sk=wall
Monday, February 13, 2012
Self-doubt shuts down an angel!
So you think you’re the only one who experiences self-doubt on occasion, who second guesses your expertise and capabilities? Let me introduce you to someone who knows all too well the dangers of allowing self-doubt to rule your life. Raphael, Brethren Savior.
Raphael has been riddled with guilt and self-doubt ever since he failed to heal Seraphiel, his Warrior brother, and Emma Livingston, the Great Savior Mother. He has allowed it free reign over his life and is now suffering the consequences. He can no longer heal! His powers are blocked!
Self-doubt is a master manipulator to be sure. It skews our perceptions so that all aspects of our lives have a negative vibe to them. Common phrases pop up like, “I can’t do anything right!” “I’ll never reach my goal!” “All this work is a waste of time!” “No one likes what I do anyway!” “What good am I?” “I suck!” Once these nasty, parasitic creatures imbed themselves in our psyche, they are damned hard to get rid of.
No matter how many family members or friends tell you you’re great and that you matter to them, no matter how many great reviews or accolades your work gets, because of self-doubt you will push that positive energy aside and be compelled to dwell on the negative.
The only cure for this affliction? It must come from within. The battle is within. You started it, and only you can end it. With positivity and optimism, determination and fortitude, and the courage to acknowledge even the smallest of successes into your life.
Raphael is taught this painful lesson, but can he do it? Can he wage war against his own guilt and self-doubt and win? You’ll have to read RELIC to find out! It releases January 27th from Decadent Publishing!
What I can tell you? It is a scene worthy of the big screen.
As for you, here’s a little something, a poem, I return to often as a reminder of how I can fight the self-doubting parasites:
Every Day I Fight A War Every day I fight a war against my enemy, Self-Doubt My weapon of choice The claymore of words Used to slash and burn its killing fields My shield
My army of friends and family Providing a near-impenetrable wall
My victories are many Yet self-doubt lingers on Its crops, too many to annihilate completely Its cells regenerating, dividing at too great a speed An invading virus with no real cure Only symptomatic Band-Aids
It’s a war of words I wage today My sentries stand vigilant against the onslaught Of vicious barbs and cruel taunts I stand noble and strong Hurling perspective and optimism In the face of my toxic foe
Today, I wear a tentative smile For I have won But tomorrow looms on the horizon Another chance for self-doubt To worm its way into my fortress I shall stand ready at the ramparts With my sword and shield And my grace
©Deena Remiel, 2010.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Be my Texas Valentine
In Texas, Valentine’s Day is for restless hearts, brave second chances, and passions rekindled. New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, and DeWanna Pace tempt you with four delicious treats…
Out on these rugged plains, love never comes easy. And four daring ladies will do whatever it takes to capture the hearts of four irresistibly sweet-talking Texans… When a quiet foreman comes to the aid of a mystery lady, they’ll find that this perfect starlit night is made for courtin’.... A determined heiress gambles high to reclaim the rancher she’s never stopped wanting…. When a spirited lady and a go-getter mayor compete for their town’s future, it’s two dreams for a lifetime…. And to attract a lonely doctor’s attention, a shy young woman needs courage—and two unlikely matchmakers…
I want to start off this review by saying that I adore cowboys and love stories, so I was really looking forward to reading this book.
The first story in the book was "The Valentine's Curse" Ranch hand Brody has been working hard and has also been excluded from other ranch hands in any activities that go on at the ranch. Brody seems so lonely. The wife of the ranch's owner took a liking to the lonely ranch hand and ordered him to be at the dance she had put togther. He needed to sit and entertain the lady they called "The Widow" who is supposedly cursed.
I'll stop there otherwise I may giveaway part of the story.
I felt quite heartbroken for Brody and the way he was treated by those he worked with. He is the type of hero you want to cuddle and give your love to because you know he just has not gotten enough kindness in his life. Valerie is the cursed widow and has been through so much as well, I had great sympathy for her. This story bring so much emotion to the reader, I really enjoyed it.
Next is: Cupid's Arrow
Rue Anne a newly engaged lady has been manipulated by someone to be kept away from the man she truly loves. Logan Cutter is that man and he's completely heartbroken over losing his Rue Anne to another man.
I liked the storyline, there were twists and turns and some crazy old sisters who kept things interesting. I also liked that the story moved along quickly and didn't leave you guessing for to long.
Loving Miss Laurell
This was not my favourite story of them all, I began it and it was unfortunately quite uninteresting.
Hunter is a Hunky Ranch Owner who is trying to bring the Rail road into their town. He and the men of the Town need to raise some money so they came up with a plan to host a Box Dinner and Dance. Much to the women of the town's surprise. Of course, the women couldn't let the men outdo them. They all competed to make the most money for the town and if the women won they would get a town library instead of a rail road track.
The story is alright but I prefer more action, mystery or passion in my stories. This story just left me wanting.
The last story of all is " Sweet Talk"
The sweet talking that's expected in this story is certainly not the kind of sweet talking that happens in this story. It begins a little slow but turns out to be a real romance comedy. Noah is a Hot Country Doctor who's a workaholic and JoEmma is a wheelchair ridden sweetheart.
I loved these characters, they were lovely in spirit and humour. I truly enjoyed their story.
I hope will will take the time to read this book. I am so ready for Valentines Day thanks to this wonderful book. "Be My Texas Valentine" is a perfect Romantic Read for Valentines Day.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Some people spend their whole lives looking for the right partner. Nate Schaper found his in high school. In the eight months since their cautious flirting became a real, honest, tell-the-parents relationship, Nate and Adam have been inseparable. Even when local kids take their homophobia to brutal levels, Nate is undaunted. He and Adam are rock solid. Two parts of a whole. Yin and yang.
But when Adam graduates and takes an Off-Broadway job in New York—at Nate’s insistence—that certainty begins to flicker. Nate starts a blog to vent his frustrations and becomes the center of a school controversy, drawing ire and support in equal amounts. But it is the attention of a new boy who is looking for more than guidance that forces him to confront who and what he really wants.
J.H. Trumble’s debut, DON’T LET ME GO, is a witty, beautifully written novel that is both a sweet story of love and long-distance relationships, and a timely discourse about bullying, bigotry, and hate in high schools.
All I can say is WOW!! Awakening, discovery, tenderness, heartbreak, betrayal; I could go on and on. This is an amazing novel of first and only love.
Nate is a young man who is at a cross roads. He knows he is dependent on his boyfriend, but he also knows he must let Adam go so that he can fulfill his dreams. Even if it means that they will be separated for months and by countless miles. It tears his young heart apart. Adam has only been in his life for a short time, but without Adam, Noah just wouldn’t be.
This is Nate’s story. His past, present and future as told with the confines of this book. It is told in his voice, be it as a young and immature teenager or as man that is wise and strong beyond his years. To be able to experience this with him is a gift.
This is a love story that speaks to anyone who has ever met the other half of their heart or has experienced a long distance relationship. Nate is crushed when Adam leaves for NYC. All his insecurities and jealousies come to play, and truthfully even though Adam is an innocent bystander he does little to alleviate Nate’s feelings. This lack of communication and trust during a long distant relationship can happen between any couple and has. Matters of the heart do not know gender, race or sexual orientation. This story has nothing to do with them being lovers, it has to do with them being human beings with emotions and the games that the mind plays when we are alone and in need of our loved one.
Don’t Let Me Go is told in a unique and well thought out fashion. Flashbacks to the past are wonderfully written to flow flawlessly with the present, giving you an amazing insight into Nate and Adam’s relationship. Though Nate seems childish at times, his feelings are warranted. He has a tragic past and is still raw from the experience. I felt his heartache and his triumphs.
Ms. Trumble’s exceptional writing entranced me and I couldn’t put the book down. Her portrayal of first love and all the pain and anguish that same sex couples go through is spellbinding. The injustice is poignant. Her depiction of how ugly bigotry and hatred can be was perfect. I was enraged during the story, but was also awed and filled with wonder.
Don’t Let Me Go is just simply an extraordinary story that shouldn’t be missed. I can’t praise it enough. Bravo and well done!
Thanks for reading - Toni
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
She'll find him a bride if it's the last thing she does.
And it very well might be. Evangeline may be powerfully persuasive in her way, but convincing the notoriously wild Highland king Lachlan MacLeod to strengthen his alliances with a strategic marriage seems to be asking the impossible. Stubborn and proud, Lachlan seems determined to go against her will, even if it means endangering the people he's sworn to protect and the enchanted isle that has already seen so much discord.
Yet the battle-scarred Highlander cannot ignore his sultry advisor for long. When his mentor is kidnapped, forcing him to ride into combat alongside the beautiful Evangeline, he must choose between her safety and his own independence. It's a choice he makes in an instant. . .but once wed to the woman he could not resist, he'll soon find that his heart is in even greater danger than his kingdom. . .
Praise for Debbie Mazzuca and Lord of the Isles
"Delightful. A wonderful debut!" --Hannah Howell
"Mazzuca weaves Fairy magic, Scottish highlanders and time travel into a delightful adventure of love that's meant to be!" --Melissa Mayhue
Masculine highlanders, gorgeous fae and mind numbing passion, OH MY!!! What more can a girl want? King of the Isles is a roller coaster ride with non-stop action and sexual tension at its best. So hold onto your flying horse, it’s going to be a wild ride!
Lachlan MacLeod has lived a very hard life. He was born with the mark of the fae. From the moment of his birth his father hated and despised him. This cruel pattern has continued on into his adulthood. Continuous tragedies have hardened him and he is just fine with that. If he can’t feel then how can he be hurt yet again?
The most important thing to Evangeline is the protection and safety of the Fae of the Enchanted Isles. She has incessantly had to prove herself. Her mother once attempted to destroy the fae and Evangeline has paid for it unjustly ever since. Now she must protect them from an uncaring half-blood king. She will do anything she needs to do, to ensure her goal, even marry man she can’t seem to comprehend.
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