Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Mad Dash

Christmas is in sight. The cars are clogging the roads as shoppers make a mad dash for last-minute presents. Saturday, I joined the throngs of shoppers, not for my presents, but to help my sister find hers.

It was an adventure that I’ll hold in memory. My sister and I are horrible when we shop together. I always manage to spend more money with her than I do on my own. Not that she encourages me to shop, but because when I’m with her, I’m forced to look around instead of arrowing straight for what I went to the store for.

That wasn’t the only reason it was a fun time. My sister’s goofiness provided both of us with much hilarity. Like her taking a lady’s basket thinking it was her own. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the basket hadn’t been filled with the lady’s purchased items. Oh yes, my sister was mortified. Luckily, we have the ability to laugh at ourselves. Then, to make things even funnier, we waved madly at someone in a car we thought was her son. You know, out the window waving, honking the horn…only to find out it wasn’t her son. Meh. Between blushing and laughing, we ended up in the Christmas spirit.

What gets you in the mood for Christmas? On Christmas Eve, I like to ride around looking at Christmas lights. It’s entertaining and puts me in a great mood for the next day. What traditions do you follow to get you in the mood?

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Fantasy Man Friday

JOY! Today is Friday which means there’s another Fantasy Man coming your way!

Of course I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about something. Today’s topic is crazy weather. This week has been a mess. Rain, rain, and more rain. Tuesday night, we had so much rain that when I left my house on Wednesday morning, I was worried I’d get bogged down on the highway.

I got to work and it continued raining. We were hearing of school closures because of levee breaches, and all I could think was: They’re not going to let me get home. So when I drove home, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see a police roadblock. Unfortunately, my house was on the other side of the roadblock. The troopers wouldn’t let me drive through, telling me I needed to get back on the interstate. I can tell you know, the air was blue while I drove all the way around to get to my house.

I went a very round about way and when I get to the bridge before my house, guess what I see? Not a single puddle on the road. What were they protecting me from? Oh, I know, they were doing their job, but they added forty-five minutes to my commute. (I’m such a whiner.)

So in honor of the police officer who was so rude to me, here’s today’s Fantasy Man.

I can promise you, the officer I talked to looked nothing like this! I mean, if he had, I’d probably have offered him a ride to the next, er roadblock…ahem. Do all officers look like that under their uniforms? No, I know they don’t but could you imagine if they did? You’d have women committing crimes daily! I’m on the point of finding where this officer works, stealing some whipped cream…shutting up now!

Enjoy, and Happy Friday!

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Connor’s Interview

Connor Griffin was next to impossible to meet with. If possible, he was a harder interview than Lucian was (and you all remember Lucian’s interview.). I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. They are friends after all.

So, when Connor finally agreed to meet with me, it wasn’t where I expected. Um, we met at his hotel. I’m blushing while I write this! He’s sexy, possibly even sexier than Lucian and that’s really saying something!

Connor’s stats:

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 250

Hair: Brown hair

Eyes: Blue (Crystal blue people!)

Have I mentioned he’s drop dead sexy? Oh. Okay, just making sure I didn’t forget to mention it because he’s muy caliente!

Danica: Connor! Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.

Connor: Lucian said you were okay. He said you might be able to help me find someone. Have you seen this werewolf?

He thrust a picture under my nose of a…well, a werewolf in human form. I’d never seen the man before in my life. Have I mentioned that Connor is um, intense?

D: Um, no, sorry. Is he the nephew you’ve been looking for?

C: How do you know about him if you’ve never seen him?

D: I interviewed Piper Fairhaven the other day.

Remember those ice blue eyes? Those gorgeous eyes surrounded by thick, long eyelashes that give him a sleepy-eyed look? Well, they began swirling with amber until I swear, I was looking into the eyes of a wolf! I almost peed my pants cause really, this was an honest to God werewolf I was talking to!

C: Her. What did she say about him? Did she lie to me?

D: Um, nothing, and no. You do realize this is my interview, right? You’re supposed to answer my questions.

C: Hmph.

D: So…you’re the Alpha of your pack?

C: Just until my nephew is ready to take it over.

D: But your nephew’s fully grown! Why can’t he take it over now?

C: He’s barely out of transition. Okay, maybe not barely. He’s fifty-two, but I don’t think he’s ready for the responsibility. Look what he’s got me doing! Instead of being with his pack, learning how to lead it, he takes off for the bright lights of Cypress Point!

I have a feeling at this point, my face was showing just how crazy I thought he was. Cypress Point has maybe two stop lights, barely a thousand residents, and no nightlife that I know of.

D: Um. Okay. How do you know Lucian? How’s he’ doing by the way?

C: We were in the Guild Academy together. I hadn’t seen him for a while, but it looks like he’s doing fine. Mated, enjoying fatherhood it looks like.

D: What about you? Do you have a mate picked out?

C: Gods, no! My nephew is the one who’ll be providing cubs for the pack. No mates, no kids for me.

D: Well, what do you plan to do when he takes over the pack?

C: I’m going to return to my studies. I write historical texts on the Veilerian races. It’s very time consuming, but history is a passion for me.

D: Oh, me too!

I totally giggled, but I don’t run across many history buffs who look like him!

D: Right. So what did you think of Piper?

C: She’s a succubus.

D: Yes. What did you think of her? She seemed nice to me, funny too.

C: She’s a succubus. They’re all charming and fun until they kill you. Well, maybe not you cause you’re female.

D: Um. Why don’t you like succubi?

I instantly realized this was a bad question. His face went from somewhat friendly, to downright hostile. This is when I started to think I shouldn’t have agreed to meet with him in his hotel room. I mean, HELLO! he’s a werewolf! He could kill me without even blinking.

C: A succubus killed my brother. They’re nothing but filthy soul suckers.

D: Okay. Well, um. She seems to like you.

It was a lie, and he knew it because he laughed. Going from pissed off to laughing, yeah I like.

C: She hates my guts. Okay, you want to know the truth? She’s the most beautiful female I’ve ever seen in my life. She makes me feel crazy. I want to push her away, then chase her down like prey.

I gulped loudly. That was soo sexy!

D: So are you going to see her again?

C: I don’t know, probably. She’s my only link to finding my nephew right now. I hate dealing with succubi, but if she knows where he might be, or knows someone who does, she hasn’t seen the last of me.

D: I just have a few more questions, easy ones, I swear.

C: Fine, fine. Not like I have anything else to do.

D: What’s your favorite color?
C: Gold.

D: Where do you see yourself in five years?

C: What’s with people asking that? I’m not an Oracle, lady. I can’t predict the future, but I’d like to see my nephew as the Alpha, and myself in my library learning.

D: How will you get Piper to see you again?
I shivered. He gave me this slow smile, his amber eyes turned smoky, and hubba, hubba-woo-woo! If he had asked, I’d have stripped. I mean, not stripped. I’d have slapped his face and told him I’m not that kind of girl!!

C: She won’t have a choice, but to see me again. And I think that’s all the questions for now.

D: S-sure! Thank you, Connor, for taking time out to do this.

C: No problem, and if you see my nephew,  you’ll let me know?

D: Of course…

And just like that, I found myself standing in the hallway of the hotel. I’m not entirely sure how I walked across the room and through the door without noticing, but it probably had something to do with a hand on my elbow, and a beautiful man distracting me. I almost stomped my foot in frustration, then I realized…things are only going to get better between Connor and Piper, and I’d have a front row seat!

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The Descending Hoards

I’ve mentioned before that I work in a male dominated environment. At the most, there are four females I work with on a regular basis. Four females out of…roughly 200 or so men.

This has led me to a deeper understanding of the male mind. When you sit next to the gathering spot for the top dogs, you tend to overhear things. They talk a lot about hunting when they’re among themselves. It’s boring. But the minute one of the ladies walk into the room, they start flirting. Fascinating.

What I never knew, was that men can smell food through walls and across acres of land! It’s amazing! For instance, some kind vendor brought a box of McDonald’s breakfast foods and put it in the kitchen. In less than five minutes, the hoards descended on the kitchen. Did I attempt to get a biscuit? Oh no, I like my limbs where they are.

This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed this phenomena. Yesterday, it was similar. Some kind lady brought a tray of sweets (things that have no discernable scent), and within minutes, they were all gone.

I know the guys are just excited to have food. They work hard (I think), and it isn’t like these are food items they get everyday, but I never realized how they manage to find the food before people in the office have. I’m not sure if that makes them like vultures of locusts. I’m leaning more towards locusts because when the swarm has abated, there is nothing left but an empty bag, or an empty tray with not even a crumb left. It’s amazing!

Have you ever witnessed this for yourself? I feel a bit like a scientist studying an alien species in the wild. Strange.

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Piper’s Interview

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to get down to Cypress Point. The town is still lovely, and the Veilerians are still in full force (not that I’m supposed to know anything about them, of course). However, I managed to track down the ever-elusive Piper Fairhaven.

We met up at Cuppa’s, the only coffee shop in town. She arrived in her very sensible 2007 Honda Civic. Because I have an inside agreement with Kali (the Oracle), I know Piper hates dressing up, so I wasn’t surprised to see her in jeans and a “My Heroes Have Always Been in Books” T-shirt.

I was surprised though, by her appearance. She’s maybe 5’3″, and curvy. I mean that in the best way. She’s adorable! She also has the most gorgeous hair. If I thought I’d look just as good with black and gold striped hair,  I’d do it in a heartbeat. She also has the most eerie gold eyes I’ve ever seen.

Me: Hi Piper, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview!

Piper: I didn’t have much choice, you kept calling my cell phone, and threatened to come to the Pleasure House.

Okay, so perhaps I was too persistent.

M: So what exactly is a pleasure house?

P: It’s a home for succubi. Because succubi live off of male energy, it was deemed acceptable by the High Council that succubi could live together in familial units to generate and preserve male lust.

M: Um, so you guys are like…you know, a brothel?

She didn’t look too happy about my choice of words.

P: No. We don’t take payment, we don’t allow mated males, and we have very strict rules. My mother, Persephone, is the Seductarian and she’d never allow anything that would harm the house. The males who visit the house know what they’re getting into.

M: Your mom’s the what, leader then? Who works in the house? You?

She blushed. Who knew succubi could blush? I thought they were all unflappable sex kittens. Huh, you learn something new everyday.

P: Um. My sisters Penny, Posy, Prudence, and Pauline choose their escorts for the night. I work the door with another bouncer to make sure the males who aren’t chosen don’t become rowdy.

M: Why don’t you, er work with your sisters?

We were both blushing by now.

P: I’m uh, not- I haven’t transitioned yet.

I looked around to make sure no one was listening.

M: I heard that you’re a Halfling.

P: What! Who told you that?

M: I have my sources, all confidential, I’m afraid.

P: Well, let me tell you something Ms. Avet, if word gets out about this, it could mean my life, so I hope you’re careful with what you know.

M: No one will know, trust me.

You guys won’t say anything, will you?

P: Then  yes, I am a Halfling. My mom, um, had an affair with a weretiger and er, had me. If my father’s streak finds out about me, it could have political…implications

I barely held back my ‘whoa’. I wanted to ask her more, but she was fidgeting, so I decided to change the subject.

M: Um, I’m to understand that you’re working with a werewolf on something?

Remember I said she had eerie gold eyes? Well, they’re really scary when she’s pissed off.

P: Yes. Connor Griffin. He’s the temporary Alpha of the Tall Pines Pack in Wolf Gap, Texas. He’s here looking for his nephew.

She was totally disgusted when she said his name, but she looked intrigued too. There was more to this story and I couldn’t wait to find out what.

M: Why don’t you like him?

P: Because he’s an arrogant ass! Oops.

Everyone had stopped to stare at us, especially the kid working behind the counter. In fact, he turned beet red and ran to the bathroom. Hm. When I looked back at Piper, her face was just as red.

P: He’s rude, overbearing…rude…nasty tempered…Sexy, okay? He’s friggin’ sexy. The ass.

M: O-kay, so why is he looking for his nephew here?

P: I don’t know. He asked to meet with my mom, but she sent me instead cause-

This was getting good!

M: Because?

P: Gah, I think she’s trying to get me to sleep with him.

M: Whoa. Why?

She looked around and leaned forward. I obliged her unspoken request for privacy.

P: Um, I have to lose my virginity to reach my full succubus potential and I think she wants Connor to do it.

M: Holy cow…you’re a virgin? How old are you?

Now she looked offended. I have a big mouth sometimes, but really, she’s a bloody succubus! Well, a succubus/weretiger Halfling, but she’s totally hot. Not that I’m into women, but all the men in the coffee shop were trying to watch her without getting caught.

P: I’m seventy-four, and I’m a virgin because…because I don’t know! I don’t…I don’t want to be a succubus, dammit. I want to fall in love with one man, have children, and be happy. But does mom get that? Noooo, she thinks I have this destiny to lead the house for her when she retires.

That was much more information than I thought I’d get, so I was content. Wow, so her mom was trying to get her to have sex. What a weird mother-daughter relationship!

M: And she wants Connor to do this?

P: She suggested it, not very subtly either. She’s always throwing men in my way. I’m almost tripping over them when I go out the house now.

M: That sounds awful.

Sarcasm, thou hast overcome me again!

P: It is horrible! These men don’t want to do anything but have sex. I want a partner, a friend…you know. I want to live like a regular woman. To them, I’m just a sex object.

M: Ouch. So what are you going to do?

P: I don’t know. Avoid Connor Griffin at all costs, if I can.

M: But I thought he was hot.

P: He is! He just hates succubi, okay? He hates me, and he doesn’t even know me.

At this point, Piper was near tears, so I couldn’t go on. Poor lass. Thrown in the path of a male (who is apparently very sexy, rude, arrogant, blah, blah, blah) who hates what she was by a mother who wants her to have sex with him. Wow, and I thought I had problems.

M: I’m sorry for upsetting you, Piper. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.

P: It’s okay. Everything seems to upset me these days.

M: How about I treat you to a Snickers Crush Iced Mocha?

P: That sounds good.

We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking the most divine drinks, and talking about romance books. Apparently Piper is as much a romance bookworm as I am. I just hope my interview with Connor goes a little better. Maybe I’ll wait a little longer before I meet with him.

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The “Cheating” Hero

I have a critique partner, bless her soul. She puts up with my comma splices, and my tendency to have dangling modifiers. I’m very lucky to have her in my corner, not to mention I think she’s helping me be the best writer I can be. It was a partnership that came about unexpectedly through the Muse Online Writer’s Conference and I couldn’t be happier.

The reason I’ve titled this post ‘The Cheating Hero’ is because of something I discovered while critiquing her story. No, the hero isn’t cheating, but it made me think about what makes a story more ‘real’ to me.

For the most part, I read only paranormals and historicals, and in several of them there’s that moment when the hero ‘cheats’ on the heroine. The quotes are because they haven’t technically gotten together, but you know they’re going to be together. It’s such a small device, but powerful, I think. It makes me go ‘oh boy, this is going to come back and bite him on the ass.’ And it usually does.

I’m not saying that I want to read this in every story, but it is a clever plot twist, bringing more conflict to the table. It also makes me more sympathetic to the heroine. On the other hand, if the hero and heroine have a relationship going, I do not like the cheating at all. It turns me off completely.

I remember reading one historical where the hero had to cheat because to do otherwise would expose him as a spy or something like that. I read that book, furious at him. To me, the ends didn’t justify the means. This is perhaps a pet peeve in equal irritation of the TSTL heroine.

What irks you in stories? Is there one plot line that just drives you utterly insane and you’ll put the book away without finishing it? What turns you off when you’re reading?

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A Time Traveler’s Backpack

In my usual fashion, I was deep thinking while brushing my teeth this morning. Maybe I have some brain cells that leaked down to my gums and when I brush my teeth, I tickle them into tossing out ideas. Hm, I might have to do a study on that.

Anyway, I was wondering two things this morning. First, if I could travel back in time, which time period would I travel to? I’m a history buff (I hold the paper that proves it, too!), so I had to seriously think about this.

My first thought was, wouldn’t it be awesome to live in Medieval England? Then I started thinking about the lack of hygiene and women’s rights. It would be fantastic to see what it was really like, see if chivalry was real or not, but on the other hand, they’d think I was a serf and I’d have to work.

Then I thought about Regency England. Of course, the women’s rights movement was still sadly lacking, but at least it was a little better than the Middle Ages. Wear those gorgeous gowns, have tea with a Mr. Darcy type fellow, and have my hand kissed. Although, once again, I’d probably end up a parlor maid to some lecherous sod with nary a hero in sight. Hmph. (Blame my melodrama on the Regency romances I’ve been reading lately, lol)

Which brought to mind, if I could travel back in time and had the chance to bring a backpack filled with items, what would I bring?

1. Lush soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrush. Cause really, I have to be well-groomed in case I run into Prince Charming.

2. Medicine. With my luck, I’d pop into an epidemic and die. Yeah, so antibiotics, Tylenol, and Vitamin C would go in the pack. Even better, I could use my medicine to save someone’s life and be called a heroine! Or a witch, in which case I’d be burned at the stake, so this is iffy.

3. Feminine products, sorry if it’s TMI, but I don’t even want to think about using primitive products *cough*. If I’m going to be touring history, I’m not going to go for a week. I’d want to go for at least a few months.

4. History book so I can avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time cause it would be my luck to be stuck in 1605, sneaking into the House of Parliament and found with Guy Fawkes…yeah, that would suck. Of course, if I were discovered with this book, I’d probably be burned as a witch. Hm. I might have to think about this item more.

So, how would you answer these questions? When/where would you go if you could, and what would you bring with you?

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