Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday Winners!

Thanks to everyone who joined in on the "Birds and Bees" topic. I drew two names from contributors for the two prizes. First prize goes to Ru Mery Bast, who wins a download of RESOLUTIONS. The runner up, maripj99, wins a download of AIN'T YOUR MAMA'S BEDTIME STORIES. Please e-mail me with your e-mail addresses and your choice of format at author@vanessahart.com.

Oh, and honorable mention goes to Anonymous for saying I'm not chubby *LOL*!
Thanks.

Nessie


PS The answer to my own trivia question, which nobody answered, is Jules Aiken, 1965, in case you were wondering.

Winner of book download from yesterday

Good morning bloggers. Jenny (Gryffindor) is the winner of a free download of Home Bound, Bone Deep or Season Spirits. Contact me at bondav40@yahoo.com to let me know which you want. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for sharing their deep-seated fears.
Bonnie

Let me tell you 'bout the birds and the bees ...

I have some tales to tell today, some funny, some serious, about childhood sex education--or misinformation. Add your comments, please. Share with us: At what point did you get information about the birds and the bees that you later found to be inaccurate or misleading? You can also include your "aha" moment when it finally clicked exactly what your parents had done to reproduce.

OK, I'll start.
"At age eleven, Mom decided it was time for our "talk." But she chickened out and handed me a booklet printed by Compton's Encyclopedia (no joke!) about explaining reproduction to your kids. It was clinical and had large words I didn't know. But it had diagrams and drawings! My best friend and I sat in her basement with a medical dictionary and figured everything out together. Yes! We figured out that when our parents decided to have a child, they went into the bathroom together and Dad parked his car in Mom's garage--euphemistically speaking. The book said nothing about hormones, pleasure, or female orgasm. For a couple of years my friend and I imagined it as nothing more than a "procedure."

Fortunately I later learned the rest of the story!"

Cover artist extraordinaire, April Martinez, says:
“My mom told me everything when I was 4 years old. I probably didn't understand a word of it though. When I got older, the adults would laugh every time I had the urge to pee during a kissing scene in a movie -- a romantic scene pops up, then, "Ma? I have to pee!" I think I learned a bit more at 8 and yet a bit more at 11 or 12. Sex education at school helped, too, and a good thing -- or my first visit from Aunt Flo would have been a surprise.”

Tell us more about Aunt Flo, April!

Romance author Darragha Foster was self-educated. She says that between the ages of 9 and 11 “I read all the books my mother had stashed in her closet...Fanny Hill, The Happy Hooker, The Godfather...I think that's where I learned about sex.” And maybe that’s why she’s a romance writer today!

Author Rae Morgan tells her story:
“My mom went to the Girl Scouts' meeting on sex education with me and dragged my non-Girl Scout younger sister. And after the film and booklet, we went to a restaurant and she let us ask questions about what we had seen and heard at the meeting. I think we were more interested in the food at the restaurant. Later my mom told me she wanted us educated as early as possible because she had her first period at school and thought she was dying. A teacher had to explain to her what it was.”

Author Jenna Howard recalls how she and two friends found a Playgirl magazine behind a neighbor's house:
“...We giggled and "eeeeewed". Then we hid it and went back the next day for another look. More snickers, more "eeews". Seriously - eew. It was early 80s and the Magnum PI look was big. Someone tattled. Not me! And even confessed our secret hiding spot (beneath the neighbor's garbage can holder thingy). When we went back the magazine was gone and there they stood: three angry fathers. I don't remember what was said. There was a lot of yelling. A lot of swearing. A spanking or two. With the wooden spoon! Damn. All of us were grounded. Now every time I see a Playgirl I feel massive guilt and I'll look around, half expecting my dad to be there, steam coming out of his ears while his cheek twitches. There are also, for the record, no wooden spoons in my condo.

“I don't remember any sex talks (if I even got one) but I sure as heck remember our Magnum PI issue of Playgirl ”

Jenna adds:
“Gee. I think back and I didn't even get a period talk. I'm, like, so deprived. So uneducated. I. Was. Ripped. Off.

“I'm so talking to my mom on Sunday when we go to the museum. Me: "Mom. How come I never got a period talk?" Mom: "Um....look at the sculpture." Me: "Mom? How come I never got the sex talk?" Mom: "Oooh, look at that carving. I wish I brought my camera. Have you seen your father?" Me: "Why? Is he going to give me the sex talk?!" Mom: (a scandalous gasp) "Jenna!" Me: considering the man. "Yeah. I think I traumatized him enough with my story. So?" Looks around the museum. "Can I have the talk now? What? Mom? Mom!? Mom...wait...I can't run that fast! Moooooom." Hm...maybe I'll ask her in the Faces of Asia exhibit. Right in front of Buddha. Just to add to the surreal moment.” LOL

Romance author Lily Ashford says:
“I didn't get a sex-talk from my parents, either. A friend and I were talking about it, and I remember playing basketball one day with my brother when I asked HIM when we got to learn about sex in school He said "grade 6," and then didn't say anything else. After that, I remember seeing a news report about how condoms could cause cancer, and I asked my mom (it was just us watching tv that night) what a condom was. Might have been maybe 12 or 13. And after that, I just sort of...knew. The sex-ed courses at my school were redundant, since we all knew everything, anyway.”

Author Paige Burns says she got the “period” talk at age 12 but the sex talk came later:
“... I think close to 9th grade. My mom gave me a copy of The Act of Marriage and told me to read it then we'd talk about it. It was very clinical and didn't sound like fun at all, though considering the title they probably didn't want it to sound like too much fun anyway. I went to a Christian High School and dating wasn't something anyone encouraged, so boys really didn't become more than friends until partway through 10th grade. Once I discovered how cute boys were though... Needless to say, I was the girl other mothers told their daughters not to be like! And I didn't even go that far in the base running. Oh, well, the boys liked the reputation.”

Funny lady and romance author Michelle Hoppe turns serious with her story:
“This is actually about a childhood friend (tis true, because my children are not that old). This is also not funny, but shows the damage adults can do when they are not honest with children.

“We must have been twelve, when my friend, Becky (not her real name) got asked to a school dance. when her mother found out, she had 'the talk' with becky. In all seriousness, she explained how a girl gets pregnant. Becky's mom assured her it was by 'holding hands with a boy'.

“Now mind you, we'd seen lots of girls and boys holding hands, and none of the girls we knew were expecting; however, since Becky trusted her mother completely, she decided it must be true.

“I could not convince Becky otherwise, even though my older sister confirmed it wasn't possible to get pregnant by holding hands with a boy.

“Once at the dance, Becky slipped and found herself holding hands with the 'boy'. Becky and her man dated for two years, holding hands as often as they could and she never got pregnant.

You might think Becky would have guessed the truth; however she decided, instead, she was sterile. When we were seventeen, a young man, who didn't have true feelings for Becky, listened in what I can only assume was shocked silence, as Becky explained her inability to have babies. His delight was short lived, because less than three months into their relationship, Becky was pregnant, still in high school, and after a shotgun wedding, a wife without much hope of a future.

“Three children, one divorce, and ten years later, Becky went back to school and has now become the woman she dreamed of being when we were twelve. I decided years ago, I would always be honest with my children about sex, no matter how uncomfortable it might make me.”

Good advice, Michelle, as author Trista Ann Michaels’s story proves:
“My mother never discussed sex with me. I started my periods early, around 5th grade, I think. They were terrible and never on time. One night I was watching a show on TV and the woman was telling another woman she thought she was pregnant because she was late. Well, at the time, I was late, too. About a week, if I remember right. I waited a couple of days and then absolutely mortified, I told my mother I thought I was pregnant.

“At first, the poor woman looked as though she were going to faint, but then she finally asked why I thought that. I told her simply, I'm late. It took her a few minutes of stumbling and trying to ask me every question in the world besides the one she should have...LOL. But she finally realized I needed to be told the facts. It was a very stressful conversation for both of us...LOL.”

Author Bonnie Dee’s mother was a nurse:
“I got a very clinical explanation that didn't quite answer nitty gritty questions about how the penis actually comes in contact with the vagina. It was more about the process of sperm traveling to egg. I have five older sisters so eventually with repeated explanations all became clear. I don't really remember what age I was.”


Your turn! And you could win a prize by contributing.


LSB Staff is excluded, of course, but the rest of you have a chance to win a download--just in time for the holidays!--of RESOLUTIONS by Dee S. Knight, Leigh Wynfield, Jasmine Haynes, and me. This is a holiday story, written in four parts, that you won’t want to miss. It was a Top Pick by Romantic Times magazine and earned a 4½ stars. A second drawing will be held for the award-winning anthology, AIN’T YOUR MAMA’S BEDTIME STORIES.

I’ll draw the lucky winners and post later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Vanessa Hart

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What's Your Biggest Fear?

What’s your biggest fear? From snakes to serial killers, there are plenty of thing to fear which could actually harm you. But some of our biggest fears are things that threaten our psyche or ego rather than our physical person. For example, fear of being alone or lonely is a prime motivator of most human beings.

In a related topic, what steps have you taken, if any, to overcome your fears?

The thing that makes me go heart-pounding, mind-numbing, tongue-tied stupid is public speaking. The weird thing is I can go onstage and perform in plays, usually in a chorus capacity but not always ( I was Golde in Fiddler once), because there are lines to say, songs to sing, things to do and another character to immerse yourself in. But to stand in front of a group of people, all eyes on me, and speak directly to them is another matter. Remember how in speech class they always told you it got easier once you got rolling on your subject? Bull! The longer I’m up there the more distracted I get by the staring eyes. I lose my train of thought and am liable to start babbling faster and faster, blood pounding in my ears, eyes darting around like a trapped mouse. What steps have I taken to overcome the fear? Um... Your turn.

Drop a comment any time today for a chance to win a free download of any of my books; Home Bound, Bone Deep or Season Spirits.

Have a swell, fear-free day.
Bonnie Dee

Yesterday's winner

Morning everyone,

Thanks to everyone for posting yesterday. The winner
is Bec. Please send me an email: michelle@michellehoppe.com

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Great Love Story ... and what it looks like

Hello! April speaking. I'm the one who makes pictures to go with the love stories.

It's amazing how romances always paint the main characters as attractive. More often than not, they're young and beautiful, but even when they're scarred or plain, they're always attracted to each other. It's easy to see why; when you're in love with someone, you see their beauty and all else fades away -- a bit like falling in love with, say, the sexy Joaquin Phoenix and never noticing his harelip.

Yes, my lovesick friends. He has a harelip. Sexy as it is.

But the covers, oy, the covers have to be attractive to everyone or even the blurb won't seem credible. The hero/heroine falls in love with that person? Never!

It's so not like real life. Really.

I'm a part-time people watcher -- part-time because I don't do it often enough, but when I do I find myself saying every now and then, "Now that would never make it to a romance cover." I see couples clearly devoted to and deeply in love with each other, and they look like all the secondary characters in all the romance novels. You know the type -- the kindly uncle, the interfering neighbor, the mousy girl at the register with the coke-bottle glasses and bony arms. But when they're with someone, and they love each other, they glow. Their hearts race. Their blood boils. They feel the exact same things that all those heroes and heroines feel in the romance novels. One just wouldn't think it because they don't look the part.

It's even more pronounced when maybe one of the two looks the part and the other looks like the crazy villain or villainess or the bumbling friend and secondary character. One sees a couple like that in real life, and one wonders how the two ever got together and fell in love. One wonders how such a gorgeous creature could fall in love with such a troll.

On a cover a depiction of that kind of couple might be a turn-off, and in real life the sight of the couple might not even be remarkable. But then you talk to them, you find out how they met and fell in love, and you get this wonderful sense of wonder and romance -- a bit like the sequences in When Harry Met Sally, where the old couples reminisce about their courtship in between Harry and Sally's own courtship.

It's amazing what love you can find between two people who look nothing at all like romance characters. I guess the lesson is: never judge a book by its cover.

This, coming from a cover artist.

But truly, I mean it. My boyfriend and I ... we look nothing like romance novel couples. We get "looks" every now and then, and we can tell what people are thinking half the time. They're never right, by the way, but we don't care; we know the real story, and the story is great. One just has to get past the cover to see it.

Think about it a bit. What do you and your significant other look like compared to romance covers, and what's your love story like? Is your story worth buying?

I'll bet it is.

Tell me about the towns in your state with strange names

Hi again, everyone...

I'll start the game and you join in.

Zillah - yes there is actually a city in Washington statewith this name...

"During the 1890's the Sunnyside Canal project was begun. With construction out of the way, the promoter and sole superintendent of the canal, Granger, selected a townsite in 1891. The question of naming the town arose. During the visit, the decision was made to name the town Zillah, in honor of Miss Zillah Oakes, daughter of the railroadcompany president.. Development of the townsite occurred quickly. Shortly after, a hotel was built. Soon a general store, drug store and a blacksmith shop were added. During 1894 School District #32 was organized and a schoolhouse was built."

And, I thought living in a town with the name Zillah would be strange, imagine poor Miss Zillah Oakes, where do people come up with names?

To find out more about this historic Washington town, visit their website.

Ok, now it's your turn...what is the strangely named town where you live?
Everyone who posts a response gets their name tossed in a drawing for a free ebook!!

Michelle Hoppe
www.michellehoppe.com

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What did 2005 bring for you?




As we round our way into 2006, here’s some of the things that have happened to me in the last year. Please share your experiences as well. Some are good, and some are bad, but I finish off the year with a bang.

As of tomorrow, with the publication of Jingle My Bell, I will have published a record nine novels with http://liquidsilverbook.com. :)

Stolen Courage was awarded Outstanding Book of the Year from Enchanted in Romance Readers Choice Award (EIRRCA). :)

My book Gabe's Prize was chosen for the 2005 Reviewer Choice award from eCataromance.com. :)

I was awarded a speaking engagement at the 2006 Romantic Times convention with Rocki St. Claire and Pamela Britton, and my group, http://CrimeinMind.com was given a two-hour presentation slot at the Silicon Valley RWA conference. :)

I acquired an agent … but she never sold anything :(

I was diagnosed with an incurable auto-immune disease, Multiple Sclerosis. :(

I finished what I considered to be my NY breakout novel :), Blood Squad, but haven’t sold it to NY yet. :(

My sister got a divorce. :(

So what does all this say about me… I have the will to persevere, in good :) and bad :(

What does 2005 say about you?

Rae Monet

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Technical Difficulties...

I think Trista is having technical difficulties so that's why she's not here chatting w/ everyone. We'll see if we can't get her squared away. For right now though, here's some Eye Candy for you.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday...

Blaise Kilgallen couldn't be here with us today so I'm filling in. Hopfully I won't bore you to tears!

...or as I like to call it, Shopping Day from Hell. Every year my sister asks me to get up before the butt crack of dawn and spend hours fighting crowds to get that one sweet deal of the century. And every year I've politely declined. (More like HELL NO!) It's not that I don't like shopping. Okay, fine. I admit. I'm not that much of a shopper. Probably has to do with being 40 lbs overweight and nothing fitting, but I digress...

Here's what happened yesterday as I was drunk on Turkey, yummy mashed potatoes and gravy and my favorite, stuffing...

Act 1

DH: "Hey Honey, look at this!"

ME: Rolls eyes. Great, the Best Buy ad.

DH: Handing me the ad. "They've got a laptop for $380."

ME: interest peaking. "Really? Hey, we could put the desktop in the playroom." Reading ad. "What? I don't even have integrated wireless on my laptop."

DH: "Don't even think about it, if we get this it's mine."

Act 2


I could see the laptop festering through his mind as we gorged ourselves on a wonderful Turkey dinner. After dinner, while resting with the kids on the couch watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the 1,289th time, DH, Best Buy ad still in hand, sits next to me.

DH: "So. What do you think?"

ME: "Sounds like a good deal. You gonna get it."

DH: Managing to look a tiny bit sheepish. "Well..."

ME: "Oh, hell no! (see at least I'm consistent) I don't do Black Friday."

DH: "Come on, imagine not having the kids in the bedroom on the computer all the time."

ME: "You have to work tomorrow, just get up earlier."

DH: "I don't have to go in until 8 and you're so much better at getting up then going back to sleep."

This is true, but not really the form of flattery I want to hear.

ME: "Ugh, are you serious?"

Intermission - Tyler, my youngest, proceeds to steal the show with his rendition of the Oompa Loompa Dance.
Act 3

The radio alarm goes off at 4:45. Best Buy opens at 5. I press the snooze and eventually make it out of bed and on my way. I pull into the parking lot at 5:20. It's packed FULL. There are three police cars with lights flashing and a local news van. I shove my way through what seems like hundreds of people (they had to be over fire code) and accosted a super nerdy employee.

ME: "Excuse me."

SNE: "Yeah."

ME: "Do you have anymore of the Toshiba laptop you had on the front page of your ad?"

SNE: "The one on the front page?"

ME: Yeesh, we got a live one here. "Yes."

SNE: "Uh, no, we sold out."

20 minutes since they opened and they'd sold out. Hell, the people that'd bought them were probably still in line.

So now, instead of sleeping, like my DH said would be so easy for me. I'm telling you my tale of woe.

I so do not do Black Friday. Do you?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Things we're thankful for...


How could you not be thankful for Vin Diesel?

Rae Monet
~
I'm thankful to LSB for publishing my first novel, The Lost Wolf Warrior and the journey since then.

Trista Ann Michaels
~
I'm thankful for the pushy person who kept after me and convinced me to try to publish my stories. I'm thankful for the local Wal-Mart that keeps me in paper and ink and of course the local internet people who keep me wired and connected... But most of all, I'm thankful for the school system which keeps my two young children out of my hair so that I can write for several hours a day...LOL.

Beth Williamson
~
I'm thankful for all the readers out there that buy our books and keep us inspired and motivated. On the journey of life, a stranger is a friend you haven't met yet. I'm also thankful to LSB, the staff, the artists, the editors, and the authors that have made 2005 a year to remember! Cheers!

Darragha Foster
~
I deeply appreciate the fact I know how to chant. Nothing is better when my characters aren't behaving. I just go chant about them! Funny...I do the same thing with my boss, my husband, my kid...

I am thankful that I work for a school system that gives me 5 weeks off in the summer, 2 weeks in the winter and several other days/weeks off during the year—and I still get paid. So, ah...Trista...just remember that someone like me is watching your kids during the day...

My appreciation knows no limits in so many ways. I am filled with boundless joy!

Mike
~ LSB Romance Guy
I'm thankful for being surrounded by dozens of hot creative women—at a safe distance!
Harem pffft, I've got me a Scarem!!

Dee S. Knight ~
Not just on Thanksgiving but every day I'm grateful for my family and friends. For the wonderful fans who take time to write just to say something nice about my work and for the colleagues at LSB who've become more than mere colleagues.

If life were much better, I'd be ashamed, and I'm thankful.

April Martinez
~ LSB Art Director
I'm thankful that I have my H.E. (who is my in a way "DH") ... for however many years I have him. Every moment that I have with him is precious to me.

I'm thankful that I have LSB, especially when I lost my day job earlier this year. So I'm also thankful for everyone who makes LSB what it is.

I'm thankful that I have my health. I know how fleeting and brittle life can be.

Robin Danner
~
I'm thankful for the Coke Company for creating Cherry Coke and for whichever person came up with the idea of central heat/air. You know … the necessities in life.

Naw... truly I'm thankful for my family, even though I just counted and we're having 32 people at my grandparents' this week. And my doggies, of course.

Shara Lanel
~
I'm totally agreeing with everything Trista said here, except that it's Staples that keeps me supplied with ink and paper.

And I'm thankful that my son finally brought home a report card without any X's next to the behavior categories. I'm also thankful for family and friends, particularly writer friends, like my local RWA chapter. I'm thankful for everyone who makes up LSB and helps me put out books I can be proud of. Also thankful for cable internet and TiVo. Thankful for Harry Potter, Serenity/Firefly, Buffy, and any book, show, movie that inspires my creativity and allows me to escape for a while.

Pepper Espinoza
~
I'm thankful for my husband, who always supports my insanity. I'm grateful for my friends who act as beta-readers and offer encouragement whenever I'm down. I'm thankful for Jeffy Tweedy and his music, because he's my muse and my hero. I'm thankful for my cats, because they may be really annoying and bad, but mostly they're cute and entertaining.

Raven
~ LSB Owner
I'm thankful for my family and friends (includes Mike - who keeps me steering forward even when I go astray)

I'm thankful for the many blessings that have come out of LSB over the years and those blessings are the fabulous people I have worked with and come to know.

Rae Morgan
~
I'm thankful for my wonderful husband and son. They are the most important people in my life. I'm also thankful for the good friends I've made over my years in e-publishing and especially for Raven who has always been there for me and especially now since my other publisher is closing its doors. I'm also thankful that I have been blessed with good health and a nice living over the years so that I can help others.

Vanessa Hart
~
I'm thankful for my mother-in-law. First of all, she gave birth to the most wonderful man on earth. That in itself is plenty for which to be grateful. She is my fan, my supporter, and--next to her son and my sister--my biggest advocate. She brags about me to everyone about my cooking, my writing, and anything else.

At 83, she's still active (volunteers 2-3 days a week at the hospital, drives, and exercises). She's computer-literate and does most of her banking and ordering on-line, has no patience with her friends who don't do e-mail, and is an energetic dynamo. I'm proud of her.

Since I lost my mom two years ago, she's become more than a mother-in-law and friend. She's my second mother. She'll be baking the pies for Thanksgiving dinner (did I mention she's a fabulous baker?).

Tiffany Aaron
~
I'm thankful for family and friends of course. For Leigh, who pushed me to finish Celeste and then recommended LSB to submit it to. Thanks to Rachel for telling me what was wrong with the story and then to say she'd look at it again once I fixed the problem. I'll always be thankful to Raven for taking a chance on my fallen angels.

I'm thankful that hockey is back. An entire year was too long to go without men on skates chasing a little black puck...lol.

I'm thankful for my cats who drive me crazy and make me laugh every day.

Thanks to Johnny Cash for having a great voice and an intriguing character.

Thanks goes to my dh who cooks, so I don't have to (and really he doesn't want to eat anything I cook...lol)

And last but not least, to Paige/Tina, my partner in crime and the person I bounce tons of story ideas off of. You're the best, lady.

Bonnie Dee
~
I'm thankful to LSB for giving my work a chance to thrive and be seen.

I'm thankful to have all this come about now when I might otherwise be experiencing empty nest or midlife crisis. I'm too busy for either now.

Dakota Cassidy
~
I'm thankful for Aqua Net--without it, I'd be nothing. LOLLOL. I'm thankful for my very good friend and fellow author Michelle Hoppe who knows me and understands my psychoti -- er, quirks.

I'm thankful to Match.Com, for showing me that men really DO know how to use the send key in an e-mail before they think. LMAO

On a serious note, I'm thankful to be a working writer with tons of deadlines until next July and counting. I'm thankful to any and all who are crazy enough to publish me, especially Linda and Mike at LSB, who were my first publishers.

I'm thankful to my mom who moved to the fine state of "everything really can be chicken-fried" with me after my divorce and helps me daily with my sons.

I'm thankful my boys are healthy and doing well in school and have adjusted after a very long, difficult year last year.

I'm thankful for the wonderful group of ladies we call the babes. They are my sunshine in the morning and the crazy full moon at night.

However this year, I'm most thankful for a wonderful man who taught me that there really is someone out there that was made just for you. Someone who will wait patiently while you run around in circles, thinking you're going to ruin a perfectly good friendship by becoming "involved". Someone who'll be your friend while you date freak after freak and laugh about it with you. Someone who understands you and is just plain okay with your being certifiable. Someone, who in the end, made me happier than I ever believed possible, adores me like no other, tells me daily and gives my cynical heart warm fuzzies.

Paige Burns
~
I'm thankful for my husband, who loves me despite my neurosis. My two boys, who even though they drive me insane still make me laugh and love me unconditionally.

I'm thankful for my mother, who taught me to be the woman I am today.

I'm thankful to Raven for taking a chance and letting me fly.

I'm thankful to Jodi for pushing me to write.

I'm thankful for Tiffany, my twin sister in arms, for your insight, your humor, and your friendship. I'd be lost with out you!

Oh, and I'm thankful for Iced Grande Caramel Macchiatos.

Michelle Hoppe
~
Thanksgiving is a time when we reflect on our life and the treasures it holds. My life holds many.

My beautiful children, who are the joy of my existence. They make me proud.
My precious grand daughter, who keeps me young and loves me without question or cookie bribes.
My dear friend, Dakota Cassidy, who keeps me grounded, cracks her whip as well as jokes when I need that extra push, and is always there for me (even in Kansas).
My mother, who is a shining example of who I want to be. Someday when I grow up.
My sisters, who provide humor, strength and support in my daily life and keep reminding me I don’t look like the rest of them, therefore I must be the milkman’s.
The many wonderful friends and fans I’ve come to know and love over the last three years, even when they want sequels to books I’d not planned to write sequels for.
My publishers, without whom I would not be living my dream.
I’m also thankful for the abilities I’ve been blessed with, the beauty of sunset on the Washington coast, and life.

Lily Ashford
~
I am thankful for the many opportunities I have been given to learn, travel, and see things many people don't get the chance to. Also, for my family, who will be together this Thanksgiving without me, alas, as I can't be home for the weekend. I'm extremely grateful for my beloved dog, the apple of my eye. I'm also very thankful to LSB and my other pubs who help me put my work out there for readers to see and enjoy. And I'm thankful for authors who can sweep me away from the workaday world.

Lastly, I'm thankful to animal rescue organizations, such as the Dachshund Rescue, who save thousands of little dogs a year from very sad fates. These people deserve major kudos!

Jenna Howard
~
I'm thankful for the delete button. For Coke Zero. For movies that allow Vin Diesel to wear skimpy tanks to show off his arms. I'm thankful for paper bags that I used when I read the email about winning the Scorpio slot. I'd be more thankful if there was some cushioning in my chairs but I won't be too picky. I'm thankful for that website that has the photo of Vin Diesel in the shower but wished they hadn't clipped just above the sweet spot. I'm thankful my family who support me in whatever endeavors I do. I'm thankful for my nephew who thinks I'm a goddess (smart baby). I'm thankful for my friends. I'm just thankful. Period.

Tina Holland
~
I'm thankful for my family, friends and health. Everything else is just whipped topping on the pumpkin pie...good stuff that!

Tina Burns
~ LSB PR Liaison and Acquisitions Editor
I’m thankful for Raven and her faith in me.

Ditto on Vin! I'm thankful for Riddick and the durability of DVDs! Oh, and where's that website, I need to be thankful for that too!


Rachel Fox
~ Acquisitions Director
Double ditto on Vin. Sigh.


What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Winner

meljprincess, you win a copy of Not For Sale. You made me laugh out loud while sitting in an office by myself. You also got extra credit for enthusiasm.

Thanks to everyone else who offered comments, hilarious scenarios and sage words of wisdom. You made my day.

Rebecca

Darragha's Naughty Bits


I am blogging disabled. I have so much to say, but do it better on a soapbox on a street corner.

Tell ya what, the first three people to reply to this lame first post, get a free download of their choice of "Love's Second Sight" or "The Orca King."

Darragha

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Things Unsaid…


There are some things that are best left unsaid. Things like “God you look awful today”, and perhaps even, “So when’s the baby due?” For sure and certain, when these words actually morph from being thought to reality, somebody will get hurt. Patently then, these words are best left unsaid.

Of course there are other reasons for not saying things. Today for example, the men who came to lay my new hardwood floor said the words the salesman had not... “It will cost you eight hundred dollars for us to level this floor before we can lay boards on top of it.” Naturally there were rather obvious reasons for the salesman omitting this information, increased sales benefit him; from his point of view there are definitely some things best left unsaid.

From my side of the story though, especially when writing, there are lots of things I too prefer to leave unspoken. Some things are so much more eloquent when demonstrated. I think the gentle stroke of a hero’s fingers across the back of his woman’s hand speaks more to his capacity for tenderness than him trying to directly explain his feelings for her. The tilt of a heroine’s chin and the flash in her eyes, says more about her temperament than a hundred lines of direct speech.

Even better are the little hints at character motivation, the behavioural idiosyncrasies that make us wonder ‘what’s with her?’ These are the things that make us read on, that tow us through page after page of a great book. These are the things I try to capture when writing. Even when my characters say precisely what they’re thinking, as they do in Good Intentions, (the latest title I’ve just signed with LSB) I like to think that there is more going on than just what they say.

As a teacher I was taught to ignore the secondary speech inferences, to listen to the words rather than the tone. As a writer and a human being though, it is nonverbal communication I appreciate most. I’m concerned when someone can’t look me in the eye while addressing me. I’m annoyed when someone curls their lip at something I say and become indignant should anyone look down their nose at me.

On the upside, I adore the fact that my husband never fails to bring me home caramel fudge when he’s been to my favourite store. I cherish the trusting curl of five-year-old fingers in my grasp and I revel in impromptu cuddles from the fourteen-year-old who now must lean down to envelope me in wordless “I love yous”.

So next time someone asks me if complete honesty is necessary for a successful relationship, or if I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I’ll be completely honest when I say, “HELL NO!” There are definitely some things which are so much better when left unsaid…don’t you think?

Tell me about things you think should remain unsaid for your chance to win a copy of my last LSB title Not For Sale…now there was a woman who was the queen of things unsaid!

Rebecca Williams

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Classics

When LSB asked me to blog today, I knew right away what I wanted to talk about. The question of why I write for Liquid Silver comes up from other authors quite frequently and my answer is pretty simple ---- I read their books and loved them and wanted to write for them too!

Some of you might be new to Liquid Silver and may have missed the earliest work there. I think of them as Classics - Liquid Silver Classics!!

The very first book I read, I picked out at random from the handful LSB offered at the time. I was blown away! Vanessa Hart's Love Lessons, about a woman who helps her best friend Scott overcome his ex-wife's rejection, was hotter than anything I'd ever read before in my life. I read it in one sitting on my laptop and went back to Liquid Silver and bought four more.

Read an excerpt here!

At the time, back in 2003, I'd written a book that wasn't all THAT spicy but started with a sex scene (it was later published as TRUE SEEING right here at LSB). Reading Vanessa's work really opened my mind to new possibilities. What if, instead of forcing my very hot hero out of my heroine's bed, I let them do what they very much wanted?? Could I keep the conflict high enough if I let then have lots of sex? I tired it out and it worked!

The next book I read that night was Jasmine Haynes' MORE THAN A NIGHT, about a woman who wants a one night stand but ends up with much much more. It was hard to put down, even at two in the morning.

Read an excerpt here!





Then I read Dee S. Knight's IMPATIENT PASSION. It was Liquid Silver's top seller for a long time - and there is a reason - it's fantastic!


Read an excerpt here!




Chris Tanglen's WEEKEND GAMES left me reeling - Here is this story about a psycho killer, yet it's an erotic romp as well (obviously not with the psycho killer - lol). This book was such an inspiration to me, I ended up writing my own erotic thriller called NIGHT HEAT coming out next month in Secrets Vol 14!

Read an excerpt of Weekend Games here!

The last book I bought that night was Rae Morgan's DESTINY'S MAGICK, which starts her Coven of the Wolf Series. It made my paranormal heart pitter patter in more ways than one.

Read an excerpt here!






These were my first books I'd ever read that were erotic romance - and they changed my life. I can only hope that my own books live up to these classics!

What are YOUR favorites from the Liquid Silver's past? What makes a book a classic for you? Anyone who joins in the discussion will have a chance to win a free trade paperback copy of Secrets Vol 12, my last release!

Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who came out and shared their great traditions and recipes and other favorite things! I had a blast.

JaynieR and Ladyvampire2u have each won a copy of "Once in a Blue Moon". Please email me at cece @ celiastuart.com (without the spaces).

Cece

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Favorite Things........

Don’t forget I’ll be drawing two winners later tonight—one from the comments left on each of my blog posts for today.

Since Maggie already blogged about the allure of Wrangler Butts, I’m gonna talk about some other stuff I love.

Cake Batter Ice cream from Coldstone Creamery
Starbucks Guatemalan Coffee and Toffenut Lattes. I’m a total coffee snob too *blush*
A good book
A day of writing that flies by as my pages fill and fill and fill (hey I can dream can’t I?)
Action Movies
Birthday Cake Remix from Coldstone Creamery (seeing a pattern here?)

Okay spill it. What do you love? What’s your secret indulgence? What do you hide from your kids or do when they're not around that's just totally for you?

So now I’m going to sort of shamelessly self-promote my upcoming release. It’s not often that a writer gets a gift-book, a book that pretty much writes itself, but Once in a Blue Moon was one of those and it's definitely one of my favorite things.....

Here’s what The Romance Studio had to say about Once in a Blue Moon:

“This hometown story is unbelievably down-to-earth, sharp-witted, and exceptionally well written. Between the backstabbing, bickering, luscious gossip,and hot explicit sex, the readers will want for nothing….If you only read one contemporary erotic romance this year, put Once in a Blue Moon by Celia Stuart, at the top of your list!”

You can read an excerpt here

Traditions

I love characters who cook and nearly all of mine do—even some of the men. Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta character always fascinated me with her cooking. This Italian woman who could so easily whip up the most scrumptious sounding food after a long day at the morgue. Gotta love it! So I always make sure my characters cook, even if it’s only Tuna Noodle Casserole!

Since Thanksgiving is coming up and since I have a new release on Monday that, funny enough, ends around Thanksgiving I thought I’d share some food…and some traditions and hopefully ya’ll will too. I’ll also be giving away a couple of copies of Once in a Blue Moon—as long as you don’t mind not getting your prize until tomorrow.

One tradition I don't miss is my grandmother's Creamed Onions--Yuck! But when I was a little girl, Thanksgiving was a really big deal! My mom always did Thanksgiving and then my aunt would do Christmas. We would spend the days leading up to it polishing all the brass until it gleamed – including the flatware *sigh* and I got to set the table with her good china and all the glasses and stuff.

Mom was organized, Mom was a planner. Mom was up at 5:00 AM stuffing the turkey. We lost Mom four years ago but don’t worry. Dad found a wonderful woman who came with her own traditions. The one thing I miss, besides polishing the brass with Mom, is her Sweet Potato Casserole. Besides the extra yummy crust, this comes with NO marshmallows—which I’ve never liked.

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes

• Topping
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/3 cup flour
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
PREPARATION:
Beat eggs, granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup butter. Add milk and vanilla. Combine with the mashed sweet potatoes; spoon into a greased 2-quart casserole. Combine brown sugar, flour, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and pecans, mixing until crumbly; sprinkle over sweet potatoes.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

Now Once in a Blue Moon actually takes place over about a six month period, wrapping up shortly after Thanksgiving. Holidays are a really big deal for my heroine, too, who up until her marriage, spends them with her sister, her best friend and her best friend’s kids. And every year Betti makes Pumpkin Cheesecake, which actually, is my own little Thanksgiving tradition. So here you go. The recipe for the Cheesecakes that Betti makes for her first Boudreaux Thanksgiving.


INGREDIENTS:
• 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
• 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 prepared 8 inch pastry shells
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Beat together the cream cheese and the sugar, add the pumpkin and the spices. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add salt. Beat until creamy. Pour the batter evenly into the two pastry shells.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 minutes or until the knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool then top with whipped topping, if desired.

I’m off to see Harry Potter, but ya’ll feel free to jump in here and share traditions and favorite (or least favorite) foods. I’ll check in when I get back!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thanks & the winner is...


Thanks for a great day--I loved responding to all the comments! And I'll keep checking back to see if there are any more responses tonight. If you're night owls like me, I can totally relate!

The winner of a copy of LOVE & MAGIC is...
ANNALISA!
Annalisa, Please send me an email at:
sharalanel@comcast.net
and let me know what format you prefer and I'll get that right to you. Let me know how you like it, too.

I have excerpts from Primitive Passion, etc, on my web site and I'll be posting a new giveaway soon on the News Page, so keep checking back:
http://www.sharalanel.com

--Shara

Who would play Heath?


Ooh, one of the comments was a toughy about turning books into movies--which books and who to play the leads. When I'm working on a novel, I tend to create a notebook with pics for my main characters, and for Heath from Primitive Passion I chose Dylan McDermott. Here's a sexy pic of him!

What about Time? Part 2



Okay, this lovely chest was on one of my short story covers and has nothing to do with time, other than--wouldn't you like to spend time with him?

So am I the only procrastinator in the bunch? Certain things I delay simply because ideas need time to percolate and it's almost like I write better when under a time crunch. Hence my newsletter is often written at 2 am the day it's due out. But other things I put off because they make me almost sick to my stomach, like calling back the principal at my son's school or dealing with the insurance company. Even a simple task like making a doctor's appointment, returning a phone call, or RSVP-ing for a party I often put off until it's too late.

Why is this?

Even eating I put off until late in the afternoon, and by then I'm starving, so I tend to binge. It's a perplexing fact about my personality. I'm either anally early or chronically late. And no amount of Dr. Phil episodes or self-help books do me any good.

Don't forget to post questions or comments for me--I'd love to answer any questions!--so you can win a copy of LOVE & MAGIC.

What about time?

Okay, I was trying to think of something sexy to blog about today, but I don't think I can compete with the awesome coverage Michelle gave all things sex yesterday, so instead I'm going to muse on time (and add in another sexy pic and another contest in a bit--so keep reading).

On the one hand I am anally obsessed with being on time or, whenever possible, early. I'll break every traffic law known to man if I suspect I'm going to be late to something I consider important, such as Harry Potter 4. I was early despite the traffic, since it was showing in 4 theaters at the same time. It took me forever to get my popcorn, but then I stood there in the lobby, watching the clock tick closer and closer to 7. I would never normally wait so long to get a seat, but I had my friends' tickets. So moral dilemma--leave them stranded in the lobby so I don't miss the start of Harry Potter or wait and wait and wait? Plus I had to go to the bathroom--these are notoriously long movies!

What would you do?

Luckily at least one of my friends arrived in the lobby just before the hand struck seven, so I could rush into the theater and save two more seats. The only group of three seats left was the very front row.

So this just illustrates my point--I must be early, unless...

I have to return a phone call, fix a bill, make a doctor appointment, write my newsletter (Shara's E Zone). Then my procrostanation habit kicks in big time. See part 2...
Good morning! I am so not a morning person, but let me introduce myself. I'm Shara Lanel, author of Primitive Passion and Enlightened Love. Since I haven't had my coffee yet, let me start out with a picture to warm you up:

I think this guy could provide more than just financial security, don't you think?

A free copy of LOVE & MAGIC with a story by moi and by Trista Ann Michaels will go to one person who posts comments or questions for me today!

Okay, running for coffee. Then I'll be back with a longer post...

Friday, November 18, 2005

How much sex...Part 8

What a great day!! Thank you to everyone who joined us to help answer the burning question: how much is too much? I think we all pretty much agree, there isn't too much. Oh, and chocolate is important! I'd like to announce the final comment total: 135, WOWZA...so I have one more winner (every twenty posts):
Caffey
Congrats! Email me at michelle@michellehoppe.com so we can talk about your prize.
Okay, are you ready? Ready for the Grand Prize? I let my son choose the winning name out of the bowl, because he's tall and Ihad it lifted way above my head ~smiles~. Drum roll ... tat, tat, tat, arat, tat....
Jeanettej
You are the grand prize winner
(sterling silver penis charm)
~loud clapping~
Congrats, Jeanette. Send me an email: michelle@michellehoppe.com
Thank you, thank you, to one and all. I've met a lot of wonderful people today and look forward to doing this again real soon. Until we meet here again, if you want to find me on the net, you can visit one of these places:

How much sex...Part 7


Utoh...I'm down to my last interesting fact. Guess I will need to ramp up the research ~grinz~. Hopefully, this will assist you in scheduling your future sexual liaisons.

Most arousing time of day/season for a man:
early morning/fall

Okay, so today we've learned a lot of stuff, things many of us may not have known. Things some of us may have not wanted to know ~eg~, but we've learned all the same.

Remember, my contest is based on the number of posts my topics get today. At last count we had 108, YIPPIE. Which of course means we have another winner. Drum roll, please...
Desta
If you will please email me at michelle@michellehoppe.com, we can discuss your prize.
The grand prize will be drawn just before I close up shop tonight at 7:00 pm (pst). Yes, that's right, I'm on the west coast, so we get to go a little longer.
OY...I might as well toss in another promo - I have to keep my image up you know!! I think the reviewers liked Hart's Heart!
5 Blue Ribbons "...blazing sexual excitement" Contessa, Romance Junkies
5 Stars "...very powerful and hot" Julie, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
". . .romance, heat, and rampant desires" Ansley, The Road To Romance
"passion and sparks" Diane, Love Romances
Read the excerpt here

How much sex...Part 6

Hey, it worked. You can scan charms if you have three hands, two rulers, and lots of patience ~smiles~. Here you are, bloggers. A sterling silver penis charm. This is today's grand prize. As you can see, when you pull his little chain, he gets excited ~grinz~
And, still the fun keeps flowing…
I said fun, not come!

Average # of erections per day for a man:
11
Average # of erections during the night:

9

Now this is interesting and something most of us can test at home. Just tell your lover you want him to tell you every time he has an erection for 24 hours and see if he’s normal!

Since I’m on a promo roll ~sly smile~ I might as well give you a link to my information at Liquid Silver Books. You can find out a little about me and find out all about my books.

Wowza, bloggers. We've had 85 posts to my topics so far today so, I'm posting the next two winners:

Congrats to Pennie and Robyn

email me at
michelle@michellehoppe.com to give me your info.

Keep posting, because there is still the 'grand prize' to give away.

How much sex...Part 5




You must be saying to yourself, “How can there be any more?”

Well, I’m not sure. This seems to be a topic with a great deal of research going on ~grinz~.

Percent of men who say they masturbate:
60%
Percent of men who say they masturbate at least once a day:
54%

Contest update:

Alrighty, I have another winner to announce:
Blythespirit
Congrats, email me at michelle@michellehoppe.com

Remember to keep posting, because I’ll give away one prize for every twenty posts on my topics today. For contest information, see my first post of the day – How much sex is too much sex for SEx?

Oh, what the heck, I might as well get in another promo.

The heroine of The Club Belle Tori Trilogy is a mistress of masturbation. “…a firecracker of passion” raved reviewer Oleta, of Just Erotic Romance Reviews. Oleta, gave Club Belle Tori 5 Stars and an O (orgasmic) heat rating.

Irish Minx of Literary Nymphs, had this to say about Belle Tori Too! “Ms. Hoppe has written a wonderfully hot book with the yummiest Alpha hero and one of the best and boldest heroines!” 4.5 Nymphs

Club Belle Tori excerpt
Belle Tori Too excerpt

How much sex...Part 4

Here we go again (with information. I am not having afternoon delight, at least not yet!)

Average length of penis when not erect:
3.5 inches
Average length when erect:
5.1
Smallest natural penis recorded:
5/8 of an inch
Largest natural penis recorded:
11 inches
Largest penis in the animal kingdom:
11 feet (blue whale)

Okay, I have to get in one of those ‘shameless self promotions’ or I wouldn’t be a very good promo-slut, so I’m going to share a new review for my latest book ~grinz~.

Contessa at Romance Junkies had this to say about: Tipping The Scales

“…a great comical read packed with sizzling passion. This story had me laughing out loud one minute; then, in the very next, I was panting my way through one of Eugene and Mary’s sexual encounters. This fun-loving book will put a smile on your face all while fulfilling a great sexual desire."
4 Blue Ribbons.

Color me happy!!

Read an excerpt

How much sex...Part 3

First a quick reminder - make sure you post a Hello in the first topic of the day to be entered in my contest. I'm giving away one prize for every twenty posts (see contest info on first post).

Now back to sex!

More interesting Penis tidbits (the information, not the penis)

Average number of times a man will ejaculate in his lifetime:

7,200
Average # of times he will ejaculate from masturbation:

2,000
Average total amount of lifetime ejaculate:

14 gallons

How much sex...Part 2

Here is some interesting information I’ve found regarding one of my favorite subjects: The Penis! I have no idea if these are true or not, although according to the website I visited, they are weird facts.

I want to find out how to become a research assistance for these guys.

Actual amount of semen per ejaculation:
1-2 teaspoons
Average speed of ejaculation:
28 miles per hour
Average # of calories in a teaspoon of semen:
7

Contest:
We’ve hit our first twenty posts – Congrats to our first winner: Cissi! Send me an email at michelle@michellehoppe.com, please.

How much Sex is too much Sex on SEx

My answer – there is never too much Sex! Good morning bloggers. My name is Michelle Hoppe and I've got some interesting questions and information for you today. Our subject is going to be a fun one concerning, the 'penis'. Yes, that's right, the 'penis'! So without further ado, here we go. . .

Let’s jump right to the topic of the day – Blowjobs – that’s right I said blowjobs! See, there is this question I have, which has been left unanswered for many a moon, although not from a lack of trying on my part, I might add.

Why is a blowjob, called a blowjob?

Every man I've ever asked (and there have been many, usually at parties) say they want it sucked, not blown? Personally, I’ve found if I pucker my lips and blow, I just don't get the same reaction as when I open my mouth and suck!

That’s it…tell me why you think it’s called a blowjob!


Contest:

Entering is easier than a blowjob ~smiles~. Just say hi. That's it. I will pick one winner from every twenty posts and the prizes will range from Sterling Silver Sexy Charm to free e-books.

NOTE: All prizes will be x-rated. You must be 18 years or old to win. If the same person has two posts in a grouping of twenty posts, their name will only be entered once.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

AmyS...

...is my winner for yesterday's Pet Peeve Blog.
Email me at p a i g e @ p a i g e b u r n s . c o m
(of course, with out the spaces)
I hope you like Starbucks! :)

Now, be sure to check back after Rhi's taken her nap, sounds like today's going to be a fun day of SEx! Keep checking her comment section!

Paige

Are we there yet?

SEx ... Silver Expressions

So, blogging today. Are we there yet? First I have to figure out how to start a new thread then we can talk. Let's call this "ask me anything" day. Sort of like truth or dare.

Your turn.
Rhiannon

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pet Peeves...



He's not one but I made ya look huh?


I thought long and hard about what I could say that would drum up some conversation and I think pet peeves will do the job. Looking up on Dictionary.com here's the definition...

Pet Peeve:
Something about which one frequently complains; a particular personal vexation.

Now, everyone has things that they frequently complain about. How the trash never gets taken out, or that the boys can't seem to pee in the HUGE hole in the toilet, but are those pet peeves?

Here's some...old people driving or people leaving their blinker on for miles or people saying smooch instead of kiss (that was my sister's response).

But let's bring it closer to home, this is an author blog right?

We all love to hate the TSTL heroine - To Stupid to Live. In Star Trek that's usually the one ensign that dies each episode, too bad we can't kill off those chicks huh? What about the SEE SAW effect? I love him, I don't love him, I do love him, I can't love him. AAAAHHHHHHH! That's me running screaming from the book.

Here's a new one I came across... and again, this is a personal one. Older authors, and I'm talking about ladies in their 50's of 60's that DON'T know how to write for the times. Don't get me wrong, some of our authors are that age but know what the heck they're doing when they write a sex scene or describe a hero so that any age reader can identify. Someone please tell me how a hero, who is sooooo suck in the 80's can be sexy today. Fannypacks? Muscle T's? Oh, not the one's that show off the muscles, I like those, but the ones that the cheesball weightlifters wear that are open from shoulder to waist in the arms? Oh, put those with a pair of cut offs and whew, aren't you wet with anticipation? Um, no, I'm running away screaming from the creepy guy in cutoffs with a fanny pack!

Now I know there is more but if I listed them then there wouldn't be anything for you to rant about now would there?

Oh, and I've got a Starbucks giftcard and mug for a blogger today too!

So, what's your book Pet Peeve?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

You want me to post in a blog?

Hmm. I'm a boring person pushed by a muse to make me work. I know nothing about blogging. I was surprised when asked to join in. I'm one of those lurkers. Yahoo groups, blogs, whatever, I'm there only reading silently. I have opinions, but those would only anger the masses. Today I thought I'd give you a thrill (LOL) and tell you about my glamorous writing schedule.

Most mornings I wake at 6 to get my husband to work and wake the 5 year old at 7. The 5 year old complains until I get her to school. That leaves me at home with the 3 year old. I try desperately to check my email. Not an easy task with a three year old who eats every ten minutes. I get a few precious moments when a cartoon interests her that I can respond to emails. During commercials she insists I look at the newest shiny toy and then crawls into my life. It is very hard to type with a kid in your lap, especially singing the ABCs. Forget writing love scenes. That's not going to happen no matter how hot the hero.

At ten she is finished with breakfast and ready to start eating lunch. (I wish I had her metabolism. She's tiny.) I have lunch served and hope to do a little writing. Many times I get a paragraph or two before she spills or requires some attention. Anything I write at that point is usually trashed. After eating, cleaning, and checking the email again, I go pick up the 5 year old from school. She needs to be fed and then the hubby gets home. By the time everyone is settled I try to do a little reading. I love reading. It's my escape. Then there is dinner, baths, and story time. Finally I try again to sit down at the computer. The hubby wants me to watch TV, or talk about his day. I try. Around 9 I slink back to my computer, letting whatever is in the clothes dryer wrinkle and leaving the dinner dishes for later. At this point my muse is annoyed with me, but inspiration kicks in and I type like mad before bed. Tired and exhausted I realize that I haven't done the dishes or folded the laundry. I get these done and crawl into bed. Hubby is waiting. When sleep finally comes, it's gone in a blink and that awful alarm clock for my day to start all over again.

Bored yet. That'll teach them for asking me to do a blog. :) I know. It sounds like I live a dull life. I live other stories in my head.

Jennifer
www.JenniferCloud.com

Monday, November 14, 2005

Wrangler Butts Winners!!

Hi y'all,

Had a wonderful rodeo weekend. Awesome male tush everywhere. Was hardley able to keep myself from getting dizzy with my eyes darting all over the place. LOL

Anyway, after reading through the comments again, I was unable to come up with just two winners so I picked three instead. For the three listed below, please contact me at maggie@maggiecasper.com and let me know which e-mail addy to send your prizes too. Please put "Wrangler Butts Contest" in the subject line.

Jenny -- You got the $20 gift cert for Devilish Dots.

Jessica and Shellya -- You've got two free LSB downloads each. Please e-mail me the titles of your choice.

Until next time!
Maggie

What do Readers want?

Why am I here? Ah, the eternal question.

Here's how it went down.

Tina: "Hey RomanceGuy, ya see the SEx blog last week?"
RomanceGuy: "Hi Tina, please call me RG, sounds better. Yeah, what went wrong?"
Tina: "Okay RG, please call me Tina. No class, that's what it was. Started off on the wrong foot."
RG: "I just did. Yeah, that Indiana Fogarty one ... when did they release her?"
Tina: "Right, I know who you mean. Could at least have done some promo."

Pause.

RG: "Well Tiny, it's been great, but I gott--"
Tina: "That's Tina. Here's the thing. I started thinking how to raise the tone of the blog, and of course you came to mind immediately. What do you say?"
RG: "Good luck with that."

Pause.

Tina: "Okay, look ... the truth is, Monday's a really slow day, hardly anyone reads blogs on a Monday, so none of the pri--er, authors--want the slot. Ya gotta help me out!"

You've got to admire her persistence. From flattery to damsel in distress, hardly missed a beat.

RG: "Well that's different. So I wouldn't have to be witty or interesting or--"
Tina: "No, not at all, you could be your usual self."

In hindsight, the flattery wasn't so bad.

Tina: "So can I count on you?"
RG: "All the way to twenty-one hon."

So there you have it, the genesis of putting RG into the OY.

* * * *

Now that we've dispatched one of life's eternal questions, let's move onto something a bit more challenging. Like, say, a universal conundrum.

What do erotic romance readers want?

The secret to solving universal conundrums is to take one small galaxy-sized bite at a time. So for today, let's talk about something we're all currently kicking around at LSB.

What compact info nuggets would you like to see in every book's description? The stuff which would tell you quickly whether or not you might be interested in a book.

I don't think genre alone cuts the mustard for our books, since many of them cross two, three or more genres. The same book could show up in Contemporary, Paranormal and Suspense. Does that really help you?

Do you need any of the following kinds of info (just examples):
Time: Future, near future, present, near past, historical, ancient, mythological
Setting: Urban, rural, office, school, factory, ranch, spaceship, astral plane
Sex content: Hot hetero couple, hea; kinky toys and play; edgy, captivity, coercion, pain, domination; multiple partners, moresomes

Are short text descriptions like these more useful to you, or would you prefer ratings like 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C?

To put this in context, did you know you can search our Library? Just click on "Search this forum." What would you like to be able to put into the search box so that it would bring up a list of books for you to consider?

If you can help us to zero in on what's important for you to know, then we'll do our best to make it happen. We've been kicking it around for years now and still don't have a good answer.

So why don't you tell us?

Until the next time Tina's stuck,
o--RG--y

Fictionwise winner

Shellya -- please give me a shout at keiraramsay@cox.net You won the FW gift Certif!

Keira

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Dream Weaver

Creativity has always been a part of me, even as a child. So it didn't surprise my friends and family when I set out to become a writer. They'd often seen me with my nose in a book and a pencil in hand, so they knew something would come of my love of reading eventually. But for me, being the curious gal that I am, I wanted to search my psyche and discover where my habit of creating scenes and dialogue in my head first began.

I think it was Barbie that helped me get my start. I would make up conversations between her and Ken, addings bits of drama that would make a soap opera seem insipid. Since then, you can be assured I'm constantly spinning dialogue in my head. Things I wish I would've said to someone, convo for my current work in progress, or simply talking myself into or out of something.

So Barbie was the answer to my dialogue, but what about the scenery? I suspect that harkens back to my pre-adolescent years when I was a terminal dreamer. Most were nightmares, some were humorous, others heartbreaking. Even while asleep, my imagination was overly active. I've had dreams that would make you scream with terror, cry with happiness, or feel fuzzy inside. I've spoken with aliens, rescued my cousin from a rabid dog who had an ostrich for a girlfriend (don't ask me where that one came from), and solved murder mysteries.

Now that I'm an adult at the ripe age of twenty seven, I seldom dream. When I do, they are short and sweet, not the recurring epic length nightmares that haunted me as a child. So I think in a way, my writing has become reflective of something I've been missing and didn't even know it. What once existed only in my dreams has now been transferred to something tangible. Of course, I don't write horror or suspense, but you can rest assured that I would have bucketsful of inspiration to draw from.

Now that you know a bit about my Muse, be sure to check out my latest LSB release, The Viscount's Muse.

Robin
www.robindanner.com
Putting the "R" in Regencies...

Where our ideas come from--you get what you ask for!

I agonized for a good long while about what to write in this blog. I’m pretty good about doing articles for other authors about the writing life, but what can I say to readers besides gush and sound like an idiot when I start out with “Gee, I’m so glad you liked my stuff!” (That’s the eloquent, public speaker coming out in me)

Well, what I came up with after starting and trashing two articles that were entirely too “author-oriented” is a bit of a story about an experience I had. A lot of people ask me where I get my ideas (both for my Keira Ramsay stories and my mainstream stuff). In both cases I tend to write about the paranormal, and after you read this, I bet you’ll understand why. Even tho Halloween is almost two weeks gone, this one is sure to give you goosebumps…and I assure you it’s true!

I lived in Yosemite National Park when I was in my early twenties, and it’s a very spiritual place…lots of little hidey holes where spirits tend to stick around, for whatever reason.

Not to long after I arrived, my buds and I decided to go on a spirit walk. I took this concept with a grain of salt, figuring they were a bunch of flakes, but they were my flakes, and hell, there was nothing else to do that night.

We drove to Tunnel View, a big turnout at the end of a long tunnel that brings people into Yosemite Valley from the southernmost entrance. It had snowed earlier in the week, so the whole area was blanketed by this gorgeous, pristine field of white. Because it was winter, we were the only folks in the parking lot. Turns out that was a good thing.

Since I’d driven, I got to sit on the hood of my nice warm car and ruminate while my friends went tromping around in the snow, freezing their booties off. Now remember, there’s no one else in the area but us, so what happened next completely freaked me out.

I was sitting there, warm as you please, when I felt a presence (there’s no other word for it…it was just there) settle onto the hood of the car next to me. I knew, just knew, that this was an eight-year-old named Danny. In that flash of a few seconds I also knew that he’d died in the tunnel. He’d been riding in a white van with his family, been involved in a head-on collision and was the only one who perished. It’s not like any words were spoken…the knowledge was just suddenly in my head—like an epiphany.

To say I was taken aback is a smidge of an understatement, so I just sat there, frozen and wondering if someone had slipped something into my soda back at the dorm.

Danny didn’t leave. Instead, he just stayed there with me, not saying anything. I didn’t get anything more about his life or death, nor did I get any sadness. It was almost as if he was in some kind of limbo, and wanted someone to hang out with.

My friends finally came back, cranky as hell because they hadn’t “found” anything. Danny left before they could sense or feel him, and I thought that was the end of that. I pawned it off as me being goofy or perhaps a bit of mass hypnosis, since my buddies so desperately wanted to find something. I thought I must have read something in the local paper about an accident in the tunnel and was making things up. Needless to say, I didn’t mention it to my friends. It was too personal, too private.

But as you’ve probably guessed, that’s not the end of the tale. A few days later I left the Valley to go shopping, and as I approached Tunnel View, I felt him again, settling into the passenger seat and just hanging out there. His presence was cold…noticeably so in the warm interior of the car. As soon as I hit the end of the tunnel, he was gone. Again, I thought it was my overactive imagination…until I actually had someone riding shotgun with me a few weeks later.

The second Danny settled in for the ride, my passenger (a total non-believer) started to shiver and said it felt like someone was watching her.

That sealed it for me. The next weekend I went down to Mariposa, my hometown and the closest burg, and asked the folks in the newspaper morgue if they knew anything about it. It took a little while, but since I’d gone to high school with a bunch of them, they kept digging until they found it. Danny had indeed been eight, the sole fatality in a head-on collision, riding in a white van with his family…in 1966, the year before I was born.

Yeah, gave me the willies too. The people at the newspaper thought I was a whack job of the highest order, but starting that day, I became a true believer.

Danny rode with me every time I drove out of the Valley until I left four years later. When I moved, I made sure I left by that exit, even though it added an hour to my drive time. I had to say goodbye.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

So while this may have seemed like a loooong, rambling story with no real purpose (or sex), keep this in mind…when you ask an author where they get their stories, beware! Sometimes the answer is weirder than you expected!

Before I check out, here’s today’s prize…if you blog with me today, I’ll pick one winner for a $10 gift certificate to Fictionwise!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Wrangler Butts


Well, you can see exactly where my mind is. I look at it like this... I'm the mom of four who has spet the last nine years of my life as a firefighter. I see some very heartwrenching stuff on a daily basis which is why you'll never see me watching the news or reading the paper. If something noteworthy happens, my oldest daughter will tell me about it, she's a news freak. So, I decided to blog about one of my many obsessions. Men. And in particular, cowboys or those with tight Wrangler butts.

The newest lust of my life, country singer Ray Scott, didn't have Wranglers on last weekend when I went to his concert but DAYUM was he good. His voice is so deep you want to drool and his mouth... his lips are soooo lickable I'm not sure I'll ever be the same. Anyway, he got me back on my male butt fetish, which was had never really gone anywhere it's just that I've been busy with the girls, home writing or off horseback riding so haven't seem many Wrangler butts just lately. I guess you could say I was going through withdrals.

Actually, Ray's concert was just a starting point to get me ready for the big event, rodeo weekend, which starts today in my area. Today is the kickoff for some rowdy annual fun. My area hosts the last points rodeo before everyone heads off to Vegas for National Finals Rodeo so to say there will be Wrangler butts galore this weekend is putting it mildly.

And you know what the good part is??? I keep my bay mare, Suzy Q, stabled at the rodeo grounds so I have behind the scenes weekend passes. Yeeehawwww. I'll be just like a tourist, camera in hand. LOL

So, my question to you all is... do Wrangler butts turn y'all on as much as they do me and if so, why? I want specifics here. Be creative as you post your answers because my favorite will win a $20 gift certificate to Devilish Dots adult toy store.

Now, on the flip side... if Wrangler butts do absolutely nothing for you, let me know that too and why so I can work on converting you. hehehe A second person will be picked at random for two LSB downloads, of your choice. I'm buying. I'll come back on Monday and post who the two winners are. Have fun and please don't behave yourselves!

Until next time,
Maggie

PS -- If you notice spelling errors or gramatical oops's, please ignore them. I probably should have drug my editor, the comma nazi, over to read this before I post it but where the hell would the fun be in that, I ask you?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dee S. Knight contest winner

Jenny (Gryffindor) please contact me at dsknight@deesknight.com to tell me about the books you've won from yesterday's contest!

Congratulations! Thanks everyone for blogging with me!

Possibility of Being

Good morning, everyone. You're probably wondering what my title has to do with SeX. Absolutely nothing...lol. I've been thinking about what to write since I found out I was on the list. Nothing funny or earth shattering was coming to mind. So I decided just to tell you what's been on my mind for the last couple of days.

POSSIBILITY OF BEING is a wonderful poem written by Ranier Maria Rilke. He's one of the greatest 20th century poets. Of course, he wrote in German, so we lose something in the translation. It's a poem about unicorns, but I think it fits with any book or movie we've ever seen.

"Not there, because they loved it/it behaved as though it were.
They always left some space/And in that clear unpeopled space they saved/
It lightly reared its head,/with scare a trace of not being there."

As writers and readers (because let's face it, every writer is also a reader), we leave a space for our characters to come alive for us. Even though those characters are only words on paper or a computer screen, we allow them to come and join us for a time. We love them. We hate them. Some we hurt and some we heal. All of them we love enough to make them real.

We've all met characters who will come and join us for our morning coffee or night time snack. We chat with them about our days and what we'll be doing next. There are characters who hide and we must search them out in the dark to shed light into their hearts.

There's Maximus from GLADIATOR..the wounded hero looking for revenge and we cheered for him and cried for him. There's HARRY POTTER, a young boy simply searching for his place in a world that's gone crazy. Vanyal, the main character in Mercedes Lackey's HERALD MAGE series, breaks our hearts with his pain and devotion to duty.

We all have characters who live with us each day because we simply left them some space and gave them the possibility of being. :)

If you stop by and read this, why not let me know what characters still share space with you?

Have a wonderful day.

Tiffany Aaron

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Good morning all you LSB bloggers!

Rise and shine. ‘Course, I’m on Central time so maybe a lot of you have already risen and shone. Me? I’m just having my first cup of coffee after seeing hubby off and taking a brisk walk around the square to get my back kinks out. Normally I like kinky stuff, but not when it affects my back.

Anyway, yesterday and last night I was sitting around wondering what in the heck I could write about. During the day, I intermittently stopped working on my novel, worrying about this blog. My hamburger burned on the grill at dinnertime because I was preoccupied with what I might say this morning. Hubby gave up trying to engage me in conversation because every other sentence I asked, “What can I write about??” He finally patted me on the head and said, “You’ll think of something,” and toodled off to do something in another part of the house.

I was left alone, twiddling my thumbs and absently watching TV when I noticed The Odessa File was on TCM. Gosh, I loved that movie! It was my introduction to Frederick Forsyth novels and I read every one I could find—he was never a disappointment. (The Day of the Jackal came on TCM afterward, and I set the tape machine for that.) You know, they don’t hardly make movies like those any more. I mean really good movies that revolved on plot rather than sex..

So my blog is about movies. Maybe not the greats, but some of those I particularly enjoyed. My all time favorite, Dr. Zhivago, I saw with my mom and grandmother in Iowa the summer of 1966 when I was a mere babe. Actually I was going into my sophomore year of high school and I fell in love with Pasternak and all things Russian (which wasn’t very popular since my grandfather was Lithuanian, but that’s another story). My grandmother talked all the way through the film. “Would you look at that? My GOD why would anyone live like that??” “Oh, my Lord, I’m getting cold just watching this.” “Well, for crying out loud, why didn’t he know that?” And so on. It’s a wonder we weren’t thrown out.

I thought the imagery and story of the movie and the book were splendid! I carried the sheer romance of Pasternak’s story in my heart for years. Then I showed the movie to a high school class I was teaching in the mid-1990s. I taught sociology in an all boys’ school and I used the movie as a Friday, end of week, give-the-teacher-a break activity. I told the administration the film demonstrated revolution, one of the ways societies bring about change, but the boys knew the real reason. Showing a movie gave them something other than me to ignore. Anyway, go figure. The kids (seniors and juniors) loved the scene where the protesters were mowed down by the czar’s soldiers and totally missed the sensuality of Lara and Komarovsky’s first awareness of each other. I thought at the time the difference in perception was a generational thing, but in fact it was due to their being BOYS.

Other movies I loved: anything with Robert Mitchum (remember The Enemy Below or Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison?), The Fox (Keir Dullea was yummy, and oh, yeah, it was also a D.H. Lawrence story. PLUS, it was very sexy and Keir Dullea was yummy), The List of Adrian Messenger (what a great, fun mystery with the added advantage of a cameo by Robert Mitchum and other greats), Psycho (I saw this movie at Damn Neck Naval Base when I was in the fourth grade, and a little sailor sitting in front of me screamed when the detective was stabbed at the top of the stairs, jumped up and left the theatre. I wouldn’t take a shower for months afterward—this is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen), any of the original James Bond movies with Sean Connery, Ship of Fools (I had a thing for Oskar Werner. I don’t know why.).

DH is the kind of person who looks for three people killed or two buildings blown up or something to happen before the credits are off the screen, or else he says, “I’m bored. Tell me why I’m watching this again??” So it’s surprising that we both enjoyed these kind of low-key movies, all from Australia: The Dish (this was actually wonderful, but my draw was Sam Neill—hubba-hubba!), The Man From Snowy River, and My Brilliant Career (the ending was very disappointing, but did I say I adore Sam Neill??)

Two films I can’t say I loved, exactly, but which I have to mention are Flesh Gordon and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Flesh Gordon is the first XXX rated film I ever saw that I remember. Let’s face it, most adult films aren’t very memorable, but hubby (who took me to an “art” theatre to see this masterpiece) and I have used lines from this movie for years. “I have the Power Pasties and I know how to use them!” Or “I just lovvvvve murder.” Who can forget Flesh and Emperor Wang on the planet of Porno?? (BTW, the only other person I know who has seen this film is another LSB author. Guess which one…)

I have to include It’s a Mad…. not because of the film, but because it’s what Jack and I went to see on our first date (December 21, 1966--Yes, I’m a sentimental slob.). But I should have noticed at the time. That film is pure slapstick. Jack loved it. So lets’ see. I loved Dr. Zhivago, with all it’s angst, and he loved Mad World. What does this tell us? It’s a good thing he’s so lovable in other ways.

I know there are a zillion more films I’ve really enjoyed, but tell me about some of your favorite films. Tonight I’ll select a winner from the films noted and I’ll gift you with your choice of a Dee S. Knight book download and a book download by another LSB author. Stop by the blog tomorrow morning to see if you’ve won—I’ll need you to send me your email address.

Okay? So please blog with me today and share your favorite movies and any little story that goes along with them. I showed you mine, not show me yours!

Dee S. Knight

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