I’m in an interesting mood today. Feeling somewhat cranky and romantic at the same time. Now how one does that is still beyond me *smile*, but it’s no less true. And since I’m feeling all romantic-y (I know it’s not a word, but you get me) I’ve watched a few romantic-y movies this weekend. So here’s my Music Monday pick. Recognize it?
And today I have a real oldie-but-goodie song on my mind. This morning I was talking with someone and they asked how I was doing. My response was, “I’m fine. I’m…giddy!” Picture in your mind, Inara Sera from Firefly/Serenity snapping at Captain Tight Pants (Mal Reynolds) at the beginning of the movie, Serenity…and you have ME!
Yep, that’s my mood – snarky and sarcastic with a genuine smile
I’ve embedded video of the song from Serenity in this blog post, but if it’s not showing, here’s a link:
In case you don’t subscribe, I’d like to share this recipe that was in my recent newsletter (view entire newsletter HERE). If I were to link this to any of my books, I’d say this is something that Shinju in Hatsept Heat, Vampire Council of Ethics Bk 3, would make. She’s a professional and classically trained chef who dreams of one day having her own restaurant. She ends up revamping (pun intended ;D) the kitchens at the Northern Territory Headquarters of the Vampire Council in Montana…after becoming a Serati warrior, of course. And yes, she cooks for her man in the book. It makes for some interesting, uh, dessert.
I’m not a big raspberry fan, but this looks so good I want to see if I can get my daughter (she’s a pastry chef) to make this. Enjoy!
Heavenly Chocolate Raspberry Bundt
1 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a bundt or tube pan.
Make filling by creaming together, cream cheese with sugar and vanilla.
Mix in chocolate chips and set aside.
For cake, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
Beat eggs and gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
Beat in melted butter, then milk, water and vanilla.
Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix well.
Spread half the batter into the prepared pan.
Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese filling evenly over the batter.
Sprinkle raspberries over the top.
Cover with remaining batter.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 1/4 hours.
*all credit given to Food.com – original recipe here
I’m sponsoring a GIVEAWAY for an Authors After Dark 2014 Registration, for the August 6-10th convention in Charlotte, NC featuring New York Time and USA Today bestselling author, Alexandra Ivy.
Two ways to enter! Send a message on Facebook, or comment at my website on the AAD Giveaway blog post. Just say “I wanna go to AAD 2014!”. Do it in both places and you’re entered twice!
If you win, to receive your registration simply Book It! Send It! Get It! **
Book It! — Book your room at the fabulous Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC, a 4-star swanky property. Be sure to ask for the Authors After Dark special rate.
Send It! — Send the hotel confirmation to me privately.
Get It! — With confirmation of your room, the conference organizer will send you your completely paid-for registration.
Entries Open: June 18th to noon, Sunday, June 22.
Winner Announced: Sunday, June 22nd at 6:00pm Eastern Time.
In addition, I’ll take you out to breakfast, lunch or dinner during your stay in Charlotte. And *drum roll please* we’re giving away 5-10 registrations for AAD 2015 with Master of Ceremonies Sherrilyn Kenyon, too… but you have to be present to win. And there’s over $4k in freebie books this year, plus over $5k in prizes being given away.
** Winner responsible for hotels fees and airfare.
Okay people, I am reeling after the Super Bowl! Just…gah!
While it’s true that I live in the Pacific Northwest, I’m not originally from here. In fact, I spent more time in Colorado than I have in the PNW. So, yep, after my hometown team (the 49ers), I’m a Broncos fan.
The game started out strange, yes? The first order of weirdness was a funky coin toss by none other than the legendary (and sometimes goofy) Joe Nameth. Next came the snap that sailed past Peyton Manning’s head and resulted in the Seahawks getting the first score.
And it went downhill from there. If you watched the game, what were the highlights (or lowlights, as it were) for you? Gotta say one thing – Peyton Manning is a class act.
If you missed the Authors After Dark Vampire Ball, don’t despair! The dark mistresses of the night are here to provide you with a taste of something sweet–a chance to win a pile of books from the authors who sponsored the Vampire Ball, and a limited edition booklet only available to Authors After Dark attendees!
Author Bio: Jess Haines writes about furred and fanged things that go bump in the night. Best known for the H&W Investigations urban fantasy series, she’s been writing since she was a teenager and was first published in 2010. Visit the author at www.JessHaines.com for the latest news and updates.
Type of Books: Jess Haines writes dark, daring and funny urban fantasy novels that follow the (mis-)adventures of human private investigator Shiarra Waynest. Praised by RT Book Reviews, Library Journal, and many more, the latest release is Forsaken by the Others (Kensington/Zebra; July 2, 2013).
Bio/Books: Winner of the Romantic Times Career Achievement award, Joey W. Hill has published over thirty contemporary and paranormal BDSM erotic romances, including four series. Her emotionally-intense love stories offer everything from vampires, mermaids, witches and angels, to boardroom executives, cops and simple housemaids. Free excerpts from all her works are available at her website, www.storywitch.com. Additional vignettes, character interviews and graphics inspired by the work are at the fan forum site, accessible through www.storywitch.com/community.
Author Bio: Jae Lynne Davies is an author, wife, and mother who wishes there were more hours in a day to balance all three and a full-time job. But whenever she finds a spare moment (usually in the late hours of the night when her husband and two young children are visiting the land of dreams), you’ll find her sitting in front of her laptop typing the next chapter!
Type of Books: Striving to share her passion of the written word, Jae Lynne pens stories of conflict and believable, but forbidden relationships between extraordinary characters. In fact, the more complex, the better, which might explain her desire to create erotically-charged paranormal tales of romance and urban fantasy that she hopes leaves readers thirsting for more.
Author Bio: USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes the Dark Protector vampire series, the Maverick Montana cowboy series, and the Sin Brothers romantic-suspense series.
Type of Books: Rebecca writes steamy romances featuring Alpha males and smart, determined heroines. Whether the characters are paranormal creatures, wild cowboys, or dangerous soldiers…there’s adventure, hot romance, and deadly fun in Zanetti’s worlds.
Author Bio: Nightmares as a child forced MK Mancos to begin telling herself stories before going to sleep. Thus began the lifelong love of a good pulse-pounding tale and lives not her own. MK resides in New Jersey with her wonderful husband, Dave, and dog, Lily.
Type of Books: MK Mancos writes anything that strikes her fancy. From tales of the Jersey Devil, to magical Leprechaun gold. She writes paranormal & fantasy as MK Mancos and futuristics and sci-fi under the name Kathleen Scott.
Author Bio: Back in 1994, TJ picked up her first romance novel by Heather Graham. It was love at first page. Years later, after raising her family and establishing her career, TJ wrote what became her first published work. Writing like a madwoman, TJ hasn’t lost steam. Her mind may be gone, but steam there is a-plenty!
Type of Books: TJ is an award-winning author of paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and urban fantasy romance. No matter the genre TJ is penning, her favorite thing to do is build worlds. To take you somewhere extraordinary. To transport you to a place where you can close your eyes and slip into your fantasy…
Author Bio: Marianne Morea is a New Yorker, and her stories embody the grit and complexity of the city that never sleeps. An avid traveler, she uses experiences from around the world in all her books. Her love affair with the paranormal is born of fantasies, transporting her into a world of what if?
Type of Books: Dark Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Suspense are the hallmarks of Marianne Morea’s writing style. Stories filled with underworld violence and the desire to transcend a broken soul, readers are thrust into a world where the city never sleeps because the nightmares are real.
Author Bio: A military brat and wife, Melissa Schroeder has a Monty Python type of humor meaning she is usually politically incorrect. She is busy raising two human and two dog daughters and is looking forward to her move back to Virginia after her husband finishes his career with the Air Force. More info can be found at: www.melissaschroeder.net
Type of Books: With over 50 novels, novellas and short stories published, Melissa has stories that span historical to futuristic time periods. Her ADD allows her the ability to write paranormal to straight romance, always with a touch of humor. She is best known for her Harmless series.
Author Bio: A national best selling author, Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. In addition to military romance, Heather writes a wide variety of romance from paranormal historical western romance to contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She loves characters and the stories they have to tell. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.
Type of Books: Heather writes paranormal romance, contemporary romance, military romance, and westerns with a paranormal twist. Her focus is on characters and the emotions that drive them to love, hate, live life and survive – romance with an edge.
Author Bio: Seventeen years and over a hundred books later, I’m still a quiet wife, mom and grandma who dotes on kids, cats and a growing collection of orchids that sometimes rewards me with an exotically beautiful blossom. One might say I’ve explored my wild life vicariously through the people in my stories. Although I’ve won several prestigious awards over the years, the compliments that mean most to me are those that come from readers who’ve been touched deeply by my stories.
Type of Books: I write romances, from “vanilla” erotics to kinky BDSM, in settings both familiar and fancifully exotic. All of my books have the proverbial “happily ever after” in common, though my lusty heroes and heroines follow many different and rocky roads to that happy, committed relationship.
Author Bio: USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, C.J. Ellisson, lives in northern VA with her supportive husband, two children who listen at their whim, two dogs that worship her, a cat she’s allergic to, and two lizards she wishes lived somewhere else. She’s been writing for a four and half years and can’t imagine ever returning to her previous day job of real estate and property management.
Type of Books: C.J. spins tales containing adventure, intrigue, action, a little bit of mystery, and a whole lot of steam. She firmly believes hot monogamy exists and all her books, whether erotica, urban fantasy, or contemporary erotic romance, reinforce her views on the magic two people can share.
Author Bio: Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsession with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning urban fantasy for Orbit Books.
Type of Books: Gothic urban fantasy featuring vampires, courtesans, shifters and fae.
There are big cities, like San Francisco and New York, from coast to coast of this great country. But there’s no rule that says a big city has to be during this life period, right? Alternate Earth’s can have big towns, too. So, introducing the Province of Draema and the High City of Draema Proper. Stay for awhile and take a look around. Enjoy this Snippet from Gathering of the Storms – Wind and Fire, then visit the other Snippet Saturday authors via the links at the bottom of the post. Tally ho!
Coming Fall 2013
by TJ Michaels, All Rights Reserved
The expressions of his party had shown none of their discomfort or concern with the suddenly pressing journey back here. In fact, if not for the chilling mounds of snow piled along the roads and the biting winds it would have been a good time under clear and amazingly vivid blue skies. Read the rest of this entry »
This week’s theme is ‘Life in a Northern Town’, or small town living. Nothing says ‘small town’ like country charm. So enjoy this snippet where Pryde Ranch is clearly the place where lion shifters can enjoy the good life…
Check out the other Snippet Saturday authors via the links at the bottom of the post.
Lou walked into the elegant dining room and was immediately directed by one of the staff to a chair across from Jason and Neesia. Neither sat at the head of the table, but side-by-side instead. Lou couldn’t blame them—the view was spectacular, given they faced a wall of screened glass with an unimpeded view of the setting sun on the vast horizon.
The table was set with elegant silver-lined china, dainty tea cups and crystal wine glasses. Lou appreciated Neesia’s attention to detail when he noticed the sturdy glass beer mugs among the delicate stuff. The second he sat down, Lou’s mouth watered. Neesia Pryde appeared to be quite the chef. The smells wafting from the uncovered dishes were absolutely delicious and set his stomach to rumbling. It was pretty impressive considering the woman had managed to whip up many of his favorites with no warning of his visit at all.
And then Niah was there. The huge, white pine table sat eight with room for more, and his woman had waltzed in and sat her pretty self clear at the other end. God, she seemed practically a world away.
Patience, Lou. Patience.
Turning his attention back to the table, Lou wasn’t sure what made his stomach grumble more—the huge spread in front of him, or the scent of that lotion stuff Niah used on her skin that made him think of sundaes—warm, sweet syrup poured over something fruity…with a cherry on top.
Neesia started the dinner off by passing the first dish around. When Lou was done piling his plate, his inner country boy shouted a big yeehaw. He had a pile of hot water cornbread, mustard greens doused in what tasted like homemade spicy chow-chow, and a mountain of macaroni and cheese—and the stuff was made with real cheese instead of that orange, plasticky stuff. He lifted his fork and then paused a moment when the staff brought in yet more food.
This time, his inner-lion lifted its head and took notice—buffalo. Huge pieces of rare, perfectly cut buffalo steak that had been grilled just long enough to add a hint of smoky flavor to the meat. Lou turned towards a smug Jason. “Really?”
Jason simply grinned, and leaned in to kiss his smiling mate. “Yep, that’s how we roll, isn’t it honey?”
As a shifter of one of the predator species, his body required huge amounts of protein to stay healthy, and this was a close to heaven as a carnivore could get. He didn’t care that all eyes were on him as he dove headlong into the grub. There was very little Lou loved more than good, southern cooking…other than Niah in his arms, of course.
There was very little talking during the meal as they all stuffed their faces. Lou was glad to see none of the women did that dainty shit where they just pushed the food around on their plates. No, these were lions dressed in designer jeans—beautiful killing machines who took their food seriously.
When the dishes were cleared, cold beer was poured and set in front of Lou along with a baked dessert—bread pudding with raisins and pecans. Mmm, one of his all-time favorites. He took a bite and moaned his appreciation.
That’s when the grilling began…only this time it wasn’t a buffalo on the barbeque feeling the heat this time.
All books must be bought between June 17 and June 22nd. (We cannot accept any previously bought work)
Now the fine Print: Winner pays their own transportation and any gratuities, taxes and room service on the room. This prize cannot be transferred and MUST be used for the 2013 convention year. This prize has NO CASH VALUE and cannot be turned in for monetary compensation. In the event that the winner cannot use the prize, the prize will be awarded to another name on the list.
I was born and raised in California, but my dad was from Georgia. When my sisters and I were college bound, he packed up and said, “Well, ya’ll are big enough. I’m going home.” Some years later I realized that I’d been married, had children and divorced, yet neither my children or I had ever been to the South. So in 1997 I moved my family to the South – Augusta, Georgia to be precise. I commuted to Columbia, South Carolina, for work everyday.
In 1997, thirty years AFTER the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to prohibit marriage between races, South Carolina still had that law on the books. In fact, the year we moved there was the year they finally removed it after the people of the state addressed the issue via ballot.
I thought it was…odd. Why? Because I was raised in a place that is amazingly diverse? No, not really. Sure, San Francisco is a big mix of people from all over the globe, but you still find neighborhoods with a majority of a certain race. So being born in a diverse place wasn’t enough. What shaped me was my parents–parents who, regardless of the fact they’d literally fled the South in the Sixties, taught me not to give a rat’s rearend about race.
After I started dating in high school, I brought guys home to meet my parents. I never gave their skin a second look. To me they were simply people. I dated black guys, Jewish guys, white guys, a gorgeous hunk-of-awesome from Puerto Rico, and even a dude from Guam. What did they all have in common other than their humanity? Not much! They were from different upbringings, different countries, different religious beliefs, and so on.
There were plenty of other things to learn about each other and plenty of other hurdles to hop over besides…I pause here because I don’t really want to use the word “race”. If you think on it, we’re all ONE race. We’re all the same species. For example, lions look different from tigers, look different from cheetahs, look different from your typical garden variety house cat. Yet they’re all called cats, they’re all felines. Their anatomy is pretty much the same.
So what’s the difference with humans? Our skins may have different shades, our eyes may have different shapes, but we all have the same number of kidneys, lungs and stuff, right? We all reproduce the same way…unless there’s something someone forgot to tell me!
So, in my novels, I don’t make race an issue between the characters. What’s more important to them is that they catch the bad guys and gals that are wreaking havoc in their worlds. And sometimes my characters bring their own drama to the party by clashing as all couples do, over communication, money, age. Hell, sometimes it’s something as silly as shoes!
Do I describe their looks? Of course. I make it very clear who is who and what they look like, whether they have brown skin, golden tan skin or creamy white skin. And then I go on to tell one hell of a story that’s packed full of action, HAWT lovin’ (or lubbins, if you’re so inclined ), solid families and relationships. They’re stories of hot alphas and the women who can handle them *hubba hubba*
So jump on in! Close your eyes…and slip into your fantasy. I guarantee, you won’t regret it!
I’m giving away a e-copy (Nook or Kindle only) of my brand new release, Niah’s Pride. This book just released last week and it’s unheard of to give away a new book, but here we are breaking tradition *yeehaw*
Be sure to comment to be entered into the drawing!
Catch me on Facebook and Twitteralso. Be warned, I have no sense and no shame so you never know what you’re going to get
Hop on over to M.O. Kenyon’s blog and see what juicy goodness is in store for you!