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Lucy’s #SixSentence Sunday: What Andri Needs

14 Oct

I’m back from my trip, lots to tell, but first…

For this week’s Six Sentence Sunday post, I’ve taken a snippet from Finding Refuge.

Travis Holt and Andromeda Miller both know they have too much baggage in their lives to risk a new relationship, yet the attraction pulling them together can’t be denied. When a discussion on their first date makes Andri recognize she needs to let loose and enjoy herself for a change, she decides Travis is the man for the job. Poor guy, how can he resist?

He swallowed, his voice rough when he spoke. “What do you need, Andromeda?”

She refused to stop and think. “Right this second? Travis, I need you to kiss me.”

Travis’s logic raised its head for a split second, but she dropped her hand to his chest, her lips parted slightly as she drew a breath, and all that mattered was giving her what she wanted. 

You’ll find Travis and Andri’s story at:  Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Smashwords

4.5 Blue Ribbons. “Beautifully written, with heart-wrenching emotions and real life problems, this is a wonderful story of two people struggling to find their way to forgiveness and happiness.” –Romance Junkies Reviews

Check out more Six Sentence fun at: Six Sentence Sunday

That place where a great marching band and pop culture collide

25 Sep

Okay, today’s post has nothing to do with anything, save that I find the subject enormously entertaining. I just stumbled upon a video of Ohio University’s marching band performing Gangnam Style for a halftime show. LOVE this! I can’t help it, that song just makes me giggle, and seeing a great marching band turn in a fabulous performance doubles the fun! Have a look…

Now…on the off chance that you are not familiar with the original, Gangnam Style is a song by a South Korean musician by the name of Psy. One look at the video, and you’ll know why his song grabbed pop culture by the throat and refuses to let go.

Hope this strangely catchy tune infuses your day with some delight!

 

Lucy’s Friday Friends: Mia Downing

21 Sep

I’m starting a new theme: Friday Friends. Once a week (or every other week, if I get lazy um, too busy), I’ll bring one of my friends over and introduce them to you. This will be a chance for my beloved blog visitors to get to know other authors and interesting people I know. Leave a comment with your email addy because I’ll be drawing a name for the winner’s choice of one of my guest’s ebooks!

Today, Mia Downing is visiting. Mia and I have known each other for ages…since before the turn of the century! Wow, that sort of makes me feel old to say such a thing. Anyway, Mia’s suddenly exploded into publishing, with three releases out so far this year and more to come. She’s a naughty erotic romance writer, so her books are far hotter than mine, but don’t let the hot and heavy sex fool you. Her books are romances, through and through, and her heroes and heroines deal with some pretty serious issues and difficulties along the way to their Happily Ever After.

Okay, let’s get started with the interview, Mia. You’re now on the hot seat! What have you done while scribbling away in your garret, waiting for the publishing gods to smile upon you?

Mia: I have been a caterer, deli/convenience store clerk (Best. Job. Ever!) chef, lab animal tech, home health aide, worked at a garden center for a summer, a Riding instructor for able-bodied and disabled clients, and mom.

What amazing skills or talents do you possess besides writing?

Mia: My most lucrative talent is decorative painting. I’ve done glass, wood, tin and murals. My nonsense skills are making balloon animals, face painting and juggling. I’m a poor juggler but I rock the face painting. I’m so/so with balloons. I do make a mean sword and an excellent horse and when I had my little booklet, I could make a whole herd of things.

I always wanted to learn to make balloon animals! Speaking of which, what is your favorite animal?

Mia: Horse, but that’s really boring, so I’ll say the Three-toed Sloth. They are so ugly they are ADORABLE. They only hit the ground once a week to defecate. They won’t do it from the trees because when the plop hits the ground, the wild beasts will know its location and eat it. Other than that, they don’t do much but sit around. Wikipedia says they are good swimmers. It would be an easy pet to have because you don’t have to walk it or clean the litter box but once a week.

Okay, I can see the appeal of a sloth…What’s your dream vacation spot?

Mia: Uh. Alaska in winter. I have lupus, so the sunshine makes me physically ill, inside and out. That means most dream vacation spots are hazardous. But if I could go in the sunshine, I would go on a horseback riding vacation across Ireland. I would go to Egypt and see the pyramids (wanted to be an Egyptologist in 4th grade.)

I always worry about your health, my friend. Since extravagant vacations are out, if you could spend a day doing just what you wanted, what would you choose?

Mia: Lunch with friends, writing, reading. Doing that today! I’m a fairly simple girl.

I think I know the answer to this, but what is your favorite movie?

Mia: My absolute favorite movie is Pretty Woman. It’s the ultimate trashy romance.

Yep, not a surprise there. In romance, readers and writers tend to enjoy man candy.  Who are your favorite yummies?

Mia: Daniel Villa reminds me of Chase (Lucy’s note: one of Mia’s heroes), so we’ll go with him. And the usual suspects. Jared Leto for the great voice and body. Ian Somerhalder for just existing. Nathan Fillion for the sexy hot Canadian factor.

Oh, yeah. That list works for me! Your latest novel is Ripped, a M/M romance. What inspired you?

Mia: Ripped was supposed to be a short, fun m/m for the Boys of Summer series. I like conflict, and one of the heroes, Gavin, has a bit of baggage, which wasn’t revealed to me until I got to a certain shower scene. He’s a child of an alcoholic, and he suffers a lot of guilt and pain from that past. This wasn’t a direction I really wanted to go, seeing I am also a child of an alcoholic, and some of Gavin’s issues were my issues. But I considered it a way to purge, so I wrote it. The story is in no way autobiographical, and I think Gavin had the harder road to travel.

Two interesting things I discovered while writing Ripped. One was how I still have a very strong concept of ‘safe,’ meaning safe havens, safe people, safe jobs. When your home isn’t a safe place as a child, you tend to create these pockets of safe in your life. I had a huge upheaval of safe places this summer when I lost a job of 12 years due to sale of the company, and that was hard.

The other interesting thing was that Erik, Gavin’s best friend since preschool, never knew the extent of Gavin’s suffering. I have a friend I’ve had since I was ten, and she verified that no, I don’t talk about that aspect of my life. She knew my dad yelled, but she never knew why I practically lived at her (safer) home.

That breaks my heart, Mia, but what your past generated in Ripped is pretty amazing. What’s coming up next?

Mia: As far as releases: Spy Games: Lethal Limits, book 2 in the series, is out in late fall. If you’re not a fan of series, you should consider reading this one. Each book stands alone, and you can jump right in wherever.

Ooooh, that’s Jake and Tia’s book. That one is going to be fabulous, but, before you go, let’s give everyone a taste of the first book in the series.

Mia: Yes, Ma’am!

Spy Games: Trained for Seduction

Emma Walters didn’t choose to be a spy, but when her crazy father was caught selling bombs to the wrong people, she was given a choice–become a spy or rot in jail. Her exciting new life as agent Kate Wells becomes more so when she discovers her new boss is the agent–undercover and investigating her father at the time–who took her to third base. Emma is already half in love with the dark and dangerous Chase Sanders. Kate wants nothing more than for him to finish what he started, but he’s the devil incarnate. And one doesn’t make deals or fall in love with the devil.

If someone had told Chase he’d fall in love with a certain virgin when he was on his last mission, he would have shot them dead, sniper style. She was nothing more than collateral damage, damn it. But watching the sexy new spy morph into a bombshell killing machine is too much to bear. So when the powers that be command him to train her in the art of seduction for her first–and possibly last–mission, he’s scared witless. Making love to Kate means preparing her for sex with another man.

Somehow, Chase has to find a way to get Kate in–and out–of her mission without dying. And without falling in love.

Excerpt:

“I guess it’s time for…you know. Dinner’s over.”

Chase frowned, and for once Kate could see the wheels turning behind his brown eyes. “How about I make you a deal?”

“A deal with the devil is never productive.” He grinned, and she sighed. “Tell me.”

“We have all weekend, and I’m a very compassionate, very patient man. What you lack in your life is control. I’m going to give you control over when we make love. It’s your call. I will wait patiently until you can’t resist my charms any longer.”

Control. She liked that idea, because he was right. The only things that were keeping her from jumping him now were the facts that she had to be here and she was scared as hell. If this were a date, she’d still be scared as hell, but she’d be more than willing to make the leap. “What happens if we make it to Sunday night and it hasn’t happened?”

“Then we have a problem. But I have faith in my seduction skills. It didn’t take much to get you hot for me before. I don’t need until Sunday night.”

“Ego, Chase, ego,” she whispered. But that offer took an incredible amount of stress from her, and she heaved a sigh of relief. “So how will you continue charming me?”

“Well, we have dishes to do, and since you cleaned your plate, I promised you a movie.”

“I’d like that. I haven’t really watched much in the past year.”

“Neither have I. So we’ll make popcorn, and sit on the couch, and if you’re a very good girl, I’ll let you hold my hand.”

She thought of his hand in hers, those long fingers caressing hers. She bit her lip. A deal with the devil was definitely not a good thing. “And if I’m a bad girl?”

The ego returned, and he smiled a devilish smile. “Then we won’t need to worry about Sunday.”

You can pick up Spy Games: Trained for Seduction at The Wilder Roses or Amazon.

Here’s the blurb for Ripped:

Lifeguard/artist Gavin White has been holding the ripped shreds of his life together by the seams. Facing the anniversary of his sister’s death, he fights the dark call of dependency and is at the edge of succumbing when his best friend since preschool returns to his life. Handsome geek-turned-hunk, Erik Clarke, wasn’t afraid to come out and had been bold enough to kiss Gavin the last time they were together. Damn that kiss. Gavin wants more. So much more, but he was never brave enough to tell Erik his dreams. With his future hanging by a tattered thread, Gavin must trade one temptation for another or risk ripping his life apart.

Pick up Ripped at The Wilder Roses or Amazon.

Thanks for being here, Mia! Readers, remember to leave a comment with your email addy. I’ll be drawing a name and giving away your choice of one of Mia’s ebooks! You can follow/contact Mia here:

Blog: http://www.miadowning.blogspot.com  Twitter: @miadowning007

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Facebook

Hero Hop and My Favorite Romance Hero Traits

27 Jul

A Hero Hop had to come with some sort of eye candy. And, really, look at those gorgeous eyes!

The Hero Hop is underway! Welcome to our five day celebration of yummy heroes. Join me and over a hundred other authors and bloggers as we share our favorite things about heroes, romance, and men in general. If the heroic goodness isn’t enough motivation to hit all the sites on the hop, check this out: Every stop on the hop is doing a giveaway. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card! Even better, there are THREE Grand Prizes to be awarded at the end of the hop, and every blog you stop and comment on gives you an entry in the drawing. You can enter over 100 times! Grand prizes are: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, a $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card, and a massive Swag Pack, full of books and other goodies.

I love a good romance hero. It takes a lot for a character to turn into an actual hero in my eyes, and we’re not talking a gorgeous face, a sculpted physique, excessive riches, and a lot of–how can I put this delicately?–talent and stamina. Don’t get me wrong, those traits are nice touches on the finished package, but it’s what’s inside a male character that turns him into a romance hero. The heart and soul are the parts that really matter.

My favorite romance heroes, the ones I fall in love with reading–from the fiercest Alpha to the sweetest Beta to the most difficult Gamma–all have four traits in common. They are:

  1. A sense of humor. I’m a huge fan of wry wit and a bit of self-deprecating humor.
  2. A sense of honor. Okay, sometimes that honor is a little twisted in a Gamma, but they all have a code they try to live by. Even if they make occasional missteps, they try to do the right thing and be good men.
  3. The ability to learn and grow. The only thing better than a heroine who grows and develops into a fuller, richer person over the course of a book is a hero who does so. I love watching a hero come to an understanding of his personal failings or flaws and take steps to improve.
  4. A willingness to love. Yes, this applies to those heroes who start out Unwilling. Refer to trait #3, the ability to learn and grow. To me, there’s nothing sexier than an intelligent, funny, genuine man who’s willing to let go and love someone with every fiber of his being.

What’s a trait you love to find in a romance hero?

Remember to leave your email address when you comment for entry into my giveaway and the grand prize drawings. Click here to Continue on the Hop!

Catching Up

25 Jul

Time for another catching up post. At some point soon, I hope to find my rhythm again and get back to posting three times a week, but I need things to return to school-year-normal. Summertime-normal is always a madhouse around here. For now, here are a few random thoughts to bring me current…

The Helvetican and I went to see Dark Knight Rises last night. He picked it apart afterward, as is his nature. No, it wasn’t a perfect film, but I’m much more willing to suspend disbelief and just go with the world the moviemakers have constructed, overlooking bits of unreality in order to enjoy the created world as a whole. And it worked for me. I enjoyed the little twists, the touches like Scarecrow having an appearance, the overall darkness of everything falling apart with redemption well earned. Seeing what a toll being a superhero takes on a person was brilliant, and Christian Bale played it so well. Loved Bane (OMG, Tom Hardy put on some serious muscle for that!). Loooooved this take on Catwoman, now one of my favorite antiheroes EVER. Anne Hathaway was purrrrfect. (I know, lame, couldn’t resist.) And Blake, what a strong character. Great development through the film and a nice setup for him. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has grown into such a fine actor. I really enjoy watching his work.

Ok, enough of the fangirl moment.

The car is still in the shop, one week after it decided to die. Why? Because the darn thing won’t replicate the problem for diagnosis. It started up fine for the mechanic all through the next day until the final time he tried, then it failed to start. That was Friday. First thing Monday, he had the car on the equipment, ready to find out what the problem was…and spent all day Monday without being able to make it fail. Started perfectly every time. The check engine light had cleared itself and no code was in the memory, so we’ve got nothing to go on. Yesterday was a holiday here (Pioneer Day) so, naturally, the shop was closed. The plan today is to run the car hard, on the platform where they can simulate driving without going on the road, with lots of turning off and back on again. If it performs all day properly, we’ll all chalk it up to some weird thing that cleared itself out. I mean, what else can you do? If the car says it is fine, and it behaves fine, it must be fine, right? If there truly is a problem, I can only pray that it shows itself while hooked up to the equipment that will tell us what the problem really is. Cross your fingers for me, okay? Being down to one car is not fun, but I’d hate to get the other car back, only to have it strand us somewhere again.

The Trio, enjoying their new room.

Finally, I don’t think I ever mentioned the latest happenings with the bunnies. Our grand old lady, Brownie, passed away a while back. She was nine and amazed us all every day that she kept going. The Princess, the Helvetican, and I were all there with her at the last, so she was loved up to the end. She was buried between the two mates she had outlived. Her current mate, Smokey, moped around and grew very cranky. We knew he was a lonely bunny, but combining him with the remaining bonded couple didn’t seem like a good option. After all, the boys had their share of fights in the common bunny yard. We ditched both of the bunny condo cages, and gated off an otherwise useless alcove downstairs by the heater/water heater closet. I haven’t measured, but it’s a good 50 square feet or so. Plenty of room for three bunnies. It was a neutral space for all of them, no one had previous claim to it. They tussled a bit, establishing warren ranks, but only the first day. The three have lived in harmony ever since, and the two boys are best friends, while Miss Chelsea is the queen of all she surveys. So, no more lonely bunnies! It was a bit of a change for the Princess, though. It’s the first time in nine years that she didn’t have a bunny living in her bedroom. She had a hard time sleeping for a while because of the quiet.

Writing-wise, I’m working toward a magazine deadline this week, and doing programs for a local theater company production. I’m trying to scribble some fiction here and there where I can, but this may be a lost week. I should add some counters so you can see where I’m at on the books in progress. I’m also trying to clear out some nagging items-that-need-doing around the house before August 1. I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo in August, trying to put out at least 50k words. That should be fun, working around our temporary exchange student who will be here for ten days next month. More on that later.

Have a great Wednesday! Be sure to pop in Friday when the Hero Hop starts!

Ups and Downs: A new review and more car trouble

19 Jul

I’m doing a happy dance this morning. Romance Junkies gave Finding Refuge 4.5 Blue Ribbons! The reviewer called it “Beautifully written, with heart-wrenching emotions and real life problems”. Have a look:  http://romancejunkiesreviews.com/artman/publish/contemporary/Finding_Refuge.shtml

It really helps boost my outlook on the day, given that the car died last night. Really, car? Did I need this? No, I did not. I think the biggest problem is that we took the car to the dealer when it was needing a tuneup because our usual, beloved mechanic was going to be more expensive. We’ve since taken the car back into the dealer TWICE to try to fix a problem they should have fixed the first time. The dealer didn’t end up being less expensive then, did it? I have a feeling that whatever is wrong with the car now is probably related to something the dealer did (or, likely, didn’t do), but I’m not making that mistake again. Even though the dealer might fix it for free, I’d rather pay our mechanic and know that it will finally be done right.

There are two conclusions to take away from this tale. One: A lower price when dealing with car repairs may very well come back to bite you in the backside and cost you more in time and irritation as well as cash in the long run. Two: Old proverbs exist for a reason. In this case, it’s the one about the car dealer being the worst place to get your car fixed.

Onward and upward! Keep your fingers crossed for me that the car repair won’t be horrendously expensive, okay?

Life is a whirlwind

17 Jul

Wow, I missed updating yesterday. Whoops! Life has been more full of hectic than usual the last couple of days. Sadly, nothing exciting to report, just a buzz of activity that threw my schedule off.

So…The Summer Fun Webhunt organized by Night Owl Reviews ended on Sunday. The list of winners overall is HUGE. Check it out at http://romance.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Pages/summerfundetails.aspx. You’ll have to scroll down a ways to get to the list. Jomaho is the winner of my blog’s prize, a $100 Amazon Gift Card! Congrats!

Coming up…I’ll be visiting author Margery Scott’s blog tomorrow. And have a look at that handsome graphic to the right. I’ve joined A Hero’s Blog Hop that starts on the 27th, which should be great fun, with all participating sites posting about heroes. I suspect there will be some excellent eye candy posted as well. There will be lots of great prizes for this one, including gift cards, ebooks, a Kindle Fire/Nook Color, a swag pack, and more!

That’s all for now. Hope your week runs a little smoother than mine so far!

A new month and a holiday

1 Jul

Canada Day Graphics

Happy July to everyone and Happy Canada Day to my friends to the north!

I’ve never had the opportunity to go to Canada, but that’s an item on my bucket list. I want to see as much as possible, from the Pacific to the Atlantic and up into the frozen north. If you’re Canadian or have spent time in Canada, what would you recommend as a must-see stop for that bucket list tour?

My goals for the month of July include:

  • 30k on the paranormal romance novel
  • 15k on the next contemporary in the Heart’s Redemption series
  • Spend lots of time with the Helvetican. We’re going fishing Tuesday, WOOHOO!
  • Nudge the son who has some credits to make up before school starts again
  • Get the electrician in here to do the work needed on the house so we don’t accidentally burn the place to the ground
  • Find the surface of my desk. Seriously. When I can’t find things in my file-by-pile system, you know it is out of control. I really need to upload before and after photos. You’ll be shocked that I can get anything done in this mess. But, on the other hand, you know the old saying…If a messy desk is the sign of a messy mind, what’s an empty desk a sign of?

A fun way to start the week

25 Jun

I’m the featured author this week at Kindle on the Cheap and Cheap eReads! If you’re not familiar with these sites, you should be, especially if you’re on Facebook. They list free and inexpensive ebooks for the Kindle and the nook. I think the Cheap has another page that lists deals for Smashwords, Kobo, and Sony as well. They have pages that specialize in YA books, romance, even nonfiction. All books listed include the star rating and the genre as well as a link to the book. Check them out!

Kindle on the Cheap

Cheap eReads

It’s Monday and All is Well

18 Jun

After a very long weekend (made longer by a nasty cold that developed. Don’t mind me coughing over here in the corner.), I’m happy to report that all is momentarily well. Aside from the cold.

What I mean is Mending Fences and Finding Refuge both successfully loaded and are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Other retailers are coming (I’m sure I’ve said that already), but the books should be available now in all the major formats.

So, what’s on the agenda this week?

  • I write nonfiction under my other writer hat, and I have an article to finish.
  • Reclaiming my flower beds, which are once again choking with grass. Darn stuff. Weed barriers are useless against it.
  • Reclaiming my desk. I should seriously upload a photo of what my out-of-control desk looks like. You’d be shocked that I manage to get ANYTHING done.
  • Catch up on some reading. I have The Third Scroll by Dana Marton, The Book of A Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, and The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan as the next books to conquer on my TBR mountain range.
  • Watch two movies coming out this week: Brave and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Soooo excited for both of them!
What are your goals for the week?
I’ll leave you with trailers for the movies, in case you’ve missed them.


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