Monthly Archives: February 2010

Book Giveaway

I’m nearing the end of rewrites on my second manuscript. Whenever I get close to finishing a project, I immediately begin thinking of what’s coming next.

As of right now, I have two book ideas circling my head like vultures. I’m hoping ya’ll can give me a little help in choosing which one to work on.

So, let’s get to the fun part!

Book idea 1:

This story will involve an incubus and a witch. I have a very basic plot in mind. It would be book 4 of my Veil series. I’m very tempted to start plotting this story out and get to writing, but hesitate because what happens if the series doesn’t take off? The incubus I have in mind is very sexy (of course), and has appeared as a secondary character in 2 of my other manuscripts. The heroine will be a witch about to come into her power. I know how I want to open the book (very hot love scene), but don’t want to get too involved in case the other idea is better.

Book idea 2:

This story would be a complete change of pace for me. I was inspired by a song and came up with the idea of a new series. I want to rewrite Greek mythology by taking heroes/heroines and bringing them into modern times. They’ve all died in Greek mythology, but were brought back by the gods to learn how to be better people. The idea is to match them each up with a modern hero/heroine who’ll teach them this lesson. My first hero would be a rather infamous character (holding back the details for now), and I’m still sketching out the heroine for him. I really like this idea and I can almost picture the whole book.

As you can see, I have two ideas that I think are great, but I just don’t know which one to start on. The old series, or the new series? The incubus, or the fallen Greek hero? I’m hoping you all can help me choose. And in thanks, I’ll be choosing one lucky person to receive one of a choice of books.

So tell me, what do you think sounds more interesting?

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Not Too Sexy for Spandex

Obviously the Olympics are taking place. Right now, the games are my non-NFL football therapy. I love watching the competitions and look forward to them every 4 years.

This might come as some surprise considering I enjoy my contact sports so much, but I love figure skating. I’ve never been ice skating (picture a Cajun on ice and yeah, that’s not pretty), but I love to watch their artistry and grace. There’s just something so soothing about the sound of the skates gliding over the ice and the complicated jumps that catches my imagination.

I’ll watch every aspect of the figure skating events. I love couples figure skating, and women’s figure skating. The men leave me slightly confused though. Let me explain. I can tell by watching them perform, that these men are in excellent physical condition. They’re strong, limber, and graceful. But what’s with the costumes? They’re very unsexy and, well…tacky.

Oh I understand they have to wear formfitting costumes for easier maneuvering, and I’m sure there’s some kind of costume guideline they have to follow, but really…overalls? I had to leave the room for that performance. Then there’s all the sequence and nude netting. Is there something wrong with a man showing the middle of his chest? Is that considered crude? What about the ruffles?

Now, I can approve of Evan Lysacek’s costume. It was understate and simple. I even liked Stephane Lambiel’s costume. While watching his performance, I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be for one of those guys to perform in full Regency costume. That, I could get. But all the spandex just bothers me. (Not that I’m against men wearing spandex…I do love to watch speed skating too…oh, and luge *cough*). I just couldn’t imagine any of these men as romance book heroes, and I think that’s what gets me the most. Other sports I can imagine them as a lead in a novel, but figure skating? Hm. And this is in spite of my love of The Cutting Edge.

How about you? Do you wish the male skaters would wear something else? What would you have your ideal skater wear for a performance? Can you see these skaters as leads in a romance novel?

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Mardi Gras

I love short work weeks. They cheer me up like nothing else can. Today is Mardi Gras which means I’m off! Yay! I don’t actually go to parades. Sorry peeps. After several years marching in 8 mile parades, they’ve kind of lost their charm.

Now, if I were going to the Gheens (pronouned “gains”) parade, that would be a different story. This tiny community has what’s known as a truck parade. People decorate trucks and ride in the beds. There’s only one way in or out of Gheens, and it’s lined with houses. The parade goes up and down the street while the Krewe of Gheens throws beads to the residents. 

The best part of this parade, though, is the end. On the last pass, the male krewe members (masked members of the community known as Mardi Gras) begin to point out people in the crowd. Usually it’s children, although if you’re a new face, you’ll be pointed out as well. What then happens can only be described as absolute chaos. Once the parade reaches its final destination, the Mardi Gras hop on four-wheelers armed with switches. They then ride back up the street, looking for children to ‘whip the demons’ out of.

The race is on. Kids scatter. Parents point them out. Visitors look on in horror as they’re swarmed by masked men with weapons. It’s all in good fun. When they “whip” you, you’re to drop on your knees and say “pardon” (with a short a & rolling r). Then they go away and you’ve been initiated into the community. I suppose the tradition began as a way for children to be “purged” of their evil ways before Ash Wednesday. I’ve been whipped (they don’t beat you, people), and it wasn’t bad or degrading. It’s fun!

The other great part about this parade, is that because it’s set in the middle of a very small community, people pretty much open their houses for everyone else. When I went, my host’s family had a boucherie and we had fresh cracklins, or grattons (grah-tawns). Food, food, food, oh and alcohol. There’s plenty of both and everyone is welcoming. You’ll taste some of the best food you’ve ever had in your life at these small community parades. Promise. Oh sure, New Orleans has the big party atmosphere, Houma and Thibodaux have the market on more family friendly parades, but Gheens, Mamou, and other small towns hold the prize for unique, and traditional fun.

Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras parade? Where, and how did you enjoy it?

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Book Review: Pleasure of a Dark Prince

Saturday morning, when I was out running errands, I decided to hit the bookstore in the hopes that Kresley Cole’s latest Immortals After Dark book, Pleasure of a Dark Prince, had somehow come out early. Without further delay, I practically ran to the romance section, scouring the titles. Then…there it was. *swoon*

I nearly ran out of the store (after paying, of course) squeeing like a fangirl. I couldn’t wait to get home to crack the cover! I’ve been following this series since the very first book. There’s just something about her immortals that I adore. Could it be the antics of the Valkyries? Possibly. It could be the drop-dead sexy immortal males though. After reading nine IAD books, I can’t decide which of the races is my favorite.

There’s just something about those Lykaes…oooh! I mean come on! Lachlan? Bowen? Garreth?? They’re beasts, lusty, sexy beasts! Then there are the demons, Cade, Rydstrom…*drools* Horns! They have horns!! And how can I forget the vampires? Nikolai, Sebastian, Conrad, and Murdoch…gr-owl!! They can sink fang anytime! I’m afraid, my friends…if I were any race in Cole’s books, I’d probably be acting like a nymph. Le sigh, but really, can you blame those shameless hussies?? I can’t!

Anyway, enough drooling. I’ll need a bib soon if I’m not careful. Here’s the blurb:

A DANGEROUS BEAUTY

Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her—and those she loves.

AN UNCONTROLLABLE NEED

Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.

LEAD TO A PLEASURE SO WICKED. . . .

From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia’s greatest weakness—her wanton desire for him. . . .

I’ve been waiting for Lucia and Garreth’s story since A Hunger Like No Other. There was just something touching about Garreth’s need to protect Lucia. Learning the story behind their brief scenes in that book was fabulous! I’m not going to let out the deets, but I will give my impressions of the book.

Somehow (and I can’t decide if she’s an evil enchantress, or a wicked witch) Cole manages to make the impossible possible. Lucia (or Lousha, as Garreth calls her) is bound to vows she made as a young valkyrie or she’ll lose everything she holds dear. Garreth is determined to woo and win her (he’s a Lykae, you kin…he must have her). There seems to be no middle ground throughout the entire story. If she succumbs to his abundant um, charms, she’ll suffer.

The scenes between them are jam-packed with hot dialogue and even hotter action. I was at the point of shouting, “Forget suffering, jump his bones! You can do it!”. Then, the bad guy is…well, let’s just say he’s really bad. I was on the edge of my seat when the big action scene took place. Poor Garreth. Poor Lucia! Cole seems to have this talent for ripping out my heart and then putting it back in when her happy ever after comes about. I should dislike this, but I’m sick enough to love it.

I couldn’t see anyway for things to work out, but Cole, as always, manages to give us a happy ending that’s both logical and satisfying. Sometimes when reading stories with nearly impossible HEA’s, the end isn’t logical, or in some cases, it just seems too pat. Cole though, serves up a great ending and still manages to leave you hanging (blast her!).

Now I’m salivating for the next book which doesn’t come out until August. How could she do this to me? Really! It’s like Chinese Water Torture! I need to know what’s going to happen next. (Still not telling you how Pleasure of a Dark Prince ends though, ne-ner!)

I’m giving Pleasure of a Dark Prince two thumbs up, a #1 foam finger, and a Mardi Gras bead (one of the ones you usually have to flash for…because Garreth delivers…in a big way…bwahahaha). If you’ve never read any of the books in this series, I’ll list them out like I did Lori Foster’s SBC books. They aren’t necessary to read in order (since some of them do happen simultaneously) but this series isn’t to be missed! If you’re a Kresley Cole fan, you definitely have to read this book! Get it…NOW!

Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Series**:
A Hunger Like No Other
No Rest for the Wicked

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Dark Deeds at Night’s Edge 
Dark Desires After Dusk
Kiss of a Demon King
Deep Kiss of Winter
Pleasure of a Dark Prince

**Note: I did not include the short story The Warlord Wants Forever which is the first story of the entire series.**

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Fantasy Man Friday

Another week has ended. Yay! It was a short week due to me taking Monday off for post-Superbowl relaxation. Yes, the Saints went to the big game and came out winners. Happy, happy!!

Now we’re looking towards Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras. I’m not concerned about either holiday, to be honest. I’m single, so I have no Valentine, and I don’t like parades. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t dream about having a Valentine. In fact, I’m going to conjure one up.

Let me see…he’ll be gorgeous, of course. I personally love dark hair and light-colored eyes…a torso with rippling muscles would be lovely too. And because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, he’ll have to be wearing red. Now, close your eyes…(but read the rest of this first!)…make a wish, count to three…(you can close your eyes now)

1

2

3

Hells yeah! Now that’s what I’m talking about! He’s a little younger than I like…with a baby face, but I’m not complaining. Now excuse us while we enjoy Valentine’s Day.

Go on…we don’t need an audience. Stop looking! Oh, and I hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day. I’d offer your sweeties a kiss, but you’re not getting one from mine, sooo…sorry! :)

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Family Time

I spent all day Saturday with family. My brother, his fiancée, my oldest nephew and his girlfriend all took a road trip to Baton Rouge. The main purpose was to have a nice meal at Joe’s Crabshack since neither my nephew nor his girlfriend had ever been there.

What began as just lunch turned into a shopping spree. We found ourselves at the Mall of Louisiana. I’ve said before how I have this strange attraction for “smell good stuff”, we went directly to Lush. Oh Lush…how I love thee! I bought three soaps, a bath bomb, a bath bar, and a shower aromatherapy bar. My purchases qualified me for a gift bag. Oooh, a gift bag! It held another soap, another bath bomb, and yet another bath bar. It was like I’d hit the smell-good lottery!

From there, we meandered through the mall to the one place I’ve never been able to bring myself to enter. The temptation is so strong, I hurry past the store without looking in the windows. This time however, my future sister-in-law led us there. Yes, you know what place I’m talking about…the Godiva chocolate store. G-O-D-I-V-A! It is the Holy Grail of sweets. Everywhere I looked I saw chocolate covered fruits, chocolate covered cookies, chocolate covered caramel, truffles, anything and everything you can think of! It was…really awe-inspiring. I walked out of there with a huge brown (chocolate drizzled of course), and a bag of chocolate covered truffles. *Drools* That was the worse place I could’ve gone to, but ooh, I feel so good for having been bad!

We walked the entire mall because my brother said he needed to ‘walk off his meal’. Can I just say I was tired? I really don’t like going to stores, you know this, yet I walked every square inch of a two story mall (small potatoes for those of you in big cities). I was ready for home…and my brownie. Yum.

All in all, it was a wonderful start to a 3-day weekend. I love spending time with my brother, nephew, and their girlfriends. They’re funny people who don’t mind my foul mouth as I drive (usually…I did get chided for some of my language), or my twisted sense of humor that required me to take fast turns so everyone in the backseat squished my brother…yeah, they all had a blast.

I love spending time with my family. Now that football season is over, I’ll definitely have to do more of it. With Good Friday coming up, we’ll probably have a crawfish boil (even if I can’t eat the crawfish), then Easter…it’ll be wonderful to visit and goof off with my loved ones.

Have you done anything fun with your family lately?

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Book Review: Back in Black

I read paranormal and historical romances. My groaning bookshelf can attest to my interest in both genres. However, once in a while, I’ll come across a contemporary romance series that I can’t put down.

I remember when I first picked up Lori Foster’s Simon Says. I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. It was about some MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting group called the SBC (Supreme Battle Challenge). I devoured this book. It was fast paced, sexy, and a fun read. And because I’m anal, I had to pick up each of the books in the series (even though I read them out of order).

So it should come as no surprise that when I saw her latest offering in the series, Back in Black, I had to pick it up. If you haven’t read any of these books, let me just start out by saying these heroes are sexy, smart, and h-o-t! I’m not into MMA fighting, or at least I wasn’t until I read these books. There’s just something so raw and elemental about the sport that it made me uneasy. Men beating each other, twisting each other like pretzels…it didn’t seem interesting at all. Until I read about heroes who “live” that life. It opened a whole new world for me.

Not that I’m a big fan now, but I at least have a better understanding for their discipline and willpower. It’s obvious to the reader, when reading any book in this series, that Lori is a big MMA fan, and that she’s done her research. She manages to give the action just enough grittiness without getting graphic. It’s a fine line to walk and she does it flawlessly.

So, on to the book!

Here’s the blurb:

SBC president Drew Black is as controversial as they come. But the hot-headed entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. Maybe too extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew’s been causing a lot of friction. That’s why someone’s been called in to clean up his image—before he does any permanent damage.

The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who’s smoothed out the rough edges on many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she’s ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian’s starting to like him raw. Now, opposites aren’t only attracting, they’re igniting. But in the rising heat, which one of them will end up on top?

I’m not going to give spoilers. I prefer not knowing what’s going to happen in a book before I read it. However, I will give you my impressions of the book.

Drew is HAWT. He’s rough, smart, and sexy as hell. He isn’t pleased with the idea of someone trying to clean up his image, but he’s also attracted to Gillian in spite of what she’s there to do. Gillian has plans and if she can give Drew some polish, it’ll make her career. Sparks fly between Drew and Gillian from the start. Drew, although he isn’t a fighter and has a dirty mouth, turns out to be honorable and sweet in his own way. How could Gillian possibly resist?

But things aren’t all sunshine and roses in the SBC world. A group called WAVS (Women Against Violent Sports) is out to discredit the SBC organization and Drew Black. Foster does a marvelous job of giving reasons behind WAVS’ dislike of the sport, as well as a backstory for the group’s leader, Audrey. The plot twisted and turned, leaving me to wonder how the two organizations could ever see eye-to-eye.

All in all, it was a great read. I almost wish there had been a little more tension between them before they got together, but I can’t complain. It seemed natural for them to get together, and how can you be upset about that? They’re a good couple and each of them realize it. They mesh together so well.

There’s also a side story which Lori manages to weave into the plot. Unlike some side story romances, it doesn’t detract away from the main purpose of the story. If anything, it blends in seamlessly, giving the book a lot more depth. I’ve read several books where there is another romance going along with the main plot, but they don’t intermingle. This can be distracting for the reader even if it pertains to one of the characters you want to know more about.

Her effortless blending of plot and subplot kept me reading this book into the wee hours of the morning. I’d have to give this book two big thumbs up (and a #1 foam finger too). It was a delight. I hope you have a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I did. Besides, how can you not love the title? It makes me want to break out some AC/DC and start rocking out!

If you’re interested in the series** order, it’s as follows:

Causing Havoc
Simon Says This was named the MMAWorldwide book of the year.
Hard to Handle
My Man Michael
Back in Black

**Please note, I haven’t included the novellas for this series.**

Have you read any books lately that you feel the need to recommend to everyone you meet?

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