Monthly Archives: January 2011

Time For A Change

I have this thing about having the same hair styles. I hate it. I like change whether it’s cut or color. I’ve had the same cut for about two years now, but what makes it fun is that I change the color…well almost every single time I go in for a trim.

I’ve had to train my stylist. It’s taken nearly three years, but she no longer cringes when I ask her for something “different”. That’s my usual request when I sit in her chair. “I want something different this time.”

Well, this weekend was no different. I’ve had three-toned hair for months now. Black underneath with blonde, brown, and red streaks on the top. That’s how my hair looked for Nationals. It was obviously time for a change.

My stylist has this color she’s been dying to try on my hair (I did say I’ve been training her!) and this time we finally gave it a try. It came out a little brighter than I’d hoped for, but I do like it. Of course, I have to wonder if my boss will like it as much. So this morning, instead of fixing my hair the way I normally would after a trip to the salon, I put it up to cover some of that marvelous reddish pink color.

This is what it looks like:

The colors are wonderful, if a little bright for me. My sister-in-law and sister laughed when they saw it (we all got our hair done together) and wondered whether or not I was trying to fix my hair like Ruby’s.

What do you think?

Her hair is more auburn than pinkish red, although the cut is surprisingly similar. How weird is that? I swear, it wasn’t my intention to attempt to look like my cover model…although I wouldn’t mind having her physique! Maybe Ruby was on my mind a lot while sitting in that chair. Her book is coming out Wednesday and I feel decidedly ill. Oh, and I got the edits back for book 2, Succubus-in-Waiting on Friday. I have a lot to do, so I suppose it’s natural that she was on my mind.

How about you? Are you a hair rebel, or do you like to lay low? How often do you change your hair style?

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Fantasy Man Friday & Author Interview: Avril Ashton

Yay for Friday! Today isn’t just another Fantasy Man Friday, but a special edition because I have the marvelous Avril Ashton here to tell us about her writing and her book, A Wicked Ride, which is out February 1, 2011.

I’ve been Avril’s critique partner for almost a year now and let me tell you this: A Wicked Ride is a hot book! I loved her heroine and her hero and darn it, I was so jealous reading it because I wish I had come up with these characters. Oh, well. I suppose I’ll just have to get over the envy.

About Avril:
A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a Spousal Equivalent of almost eight years. Together they raise a 6 y/o daughter who loves reading and school (wonder how long that will last). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing plot points of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew with a very encouraging mother 

Always in love with the written words, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Avril remains a believer of love in all its forms.

The Blurb:

Sasha Forde has hung up her thieving stilettos, but a visit from a mobster sends her right back to her old life. In order to save her family-and herself-from jail, she must steal evidence hidden in a lawyer’s office. She sets out to do what she considers a simple B and E, but someone else has arrived first. And he holds her life in his tattooed hands. Not for long.

Niko Davaris is all about revenge on the man who tried to kill him. The evidence he stole is the first step in that direction. He’s not thrilled to wake up with a gun to his head. The woman on the other end is cocky, smug, and too damn hot for her own good. He wants her, she wants the evidence. When she takes it and disappears, he gives chase. Battle lines are blurred as they give in to temptation, but on a ride like this someone has to come out on top. Who will it be?     

And now for the interview!

Niko is a hot, tortured hero…I mean, seriously, I fanned myself several times reading this book. Who was your inspiration for Niko?
Oh, darling. Isn’t he though. I start with my own visions of what I want my characters to look like then about halfway through the manuscript, I find a real life person who meets that criteria. The rapper Common fit my criteria to a tee. Especially the characters he played in the movies Wanted and Smokin’ Aces. Badass with a gun, all angry and masculine. But sexy too.  

What’s your writing routine like? Do you have to squeeze it between shoe shopping trips? Because I noticed Sasha has some killer footwear!
 Hah, I hate shopping. Hate!! But I love shoes. I can’t wear heels so I love vicariously through my heroines. That’s why we write, isn’t it? My routine is ‘get it in where I can get it in.’ The bulk of my writing is done at the day job. For some reason the place with the most distractions is the most conducive to writing. Recently I gritted my teeth and parked myself on the couch, so now I get a little bit of writing done at home. The goal is to get as comfortable at home as I do at the evil D.J. 

You’ve actually inspired me to give my heroines some glam. Are you a fashionista?
I’m not, just wondered what it’s like, lol. I’m by no means a fashonista, but I love beautiful clothes. I also love women who wear the clothes, not who let the clothes wear them. A great outfit inspires me as well as anything else. The What-ifs take over and I imagine the type woman who’d wear a certain dress, or heels. I try to answer those questions.

What was your writing journey like? How long have you been writing? Were you born with pen in hand and scrambling for paper?
I was born with a book in my hand. The pen came later. I’m still scrambling for paper. My writing journey wasn’t that long or hard. I began writing seriously in August 09, by that year’s end I’d completed my first novel and set to work on the second. I finished A Wicked Ride in August of 2010, queried agents and epubs in Sept and got a contract with eXtasy books the same day I queried. Literally within an hour.

Sasha, your heroine, is such a strong, sexy, sarcastic woman! (How do you like that alliteration!) How do you come up with such tough ladies? And you’re not carrying brass knuckles or anything, right?  
I write what I know. I was raised by strong women, so I don’t know any other kind. There’s a bit of me sprinkled in there as well, I curse like nobody’s business and have a pretty raunchy sense of humor. I can’t identify with someone who cowtows and whimpers. Unless of course, it’s in the bedroom, and even then to a certain extent 😉

Is A Wicked Ride the first book in a series? How many books do you plan? I’ve already said I really, really, really want to read Maysin’s story *pouts* Pretty, pretty please? I hearts Maysin! LOL.
It is the first of four in the Wicked series, yes. And everyone wants Maysin’s story, alas you’ll have to wait a while. His story evolves over the first three books, and culminates in the fourth and final one. Prepare for a long wait *ducks*

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received and did you follow it?
Just write. And, uh, yeah.

For you, what’s the best part of writing? Is it the character conflict, the glamorous lifestyle of a writer, or the happy ending?
It’s a given in romance novels that the h/h will have a happy ending, yet it is always the best part for me to read as well as write. The obstacles they overcome, the odds they beat to get their sunset. I love it, I always finish with a sigh. Just…*sigh*

What’s your idea of a perfect hero?
A man strong enough to take and relinquish control. Who treats his lover as an equal, no matter size or status. Who can talk about his feelings, but even better, show you. I lucked out, snagged one of those and tied him to my side with a lifetime contract.

What do you do in your spare time? You know, when you’re not writing about killer heroines and their drop dead gorgeous heroes?
Nothing. LOL. I’ve got a 6 y/o who prefers her own company, and a Spousal Equivalent who kinda tolerates me. I love T.V. so I’m always watching that, and I spend entirely way too much time on Facebook. I’m unapologetically boring J

What’s your favorite movie of all time?
It’s a toss-up between Pretty Woman, and The Fifth Element. Multipass *snicker*

Who is your favorite author and why?
I have a love/hate relationship with J.R Ward. Her books wring me out emotionally. I go through a process every time a new Brotherhood book comes out. Inevitably I read it, cause really, it’s the Brotherhood. But after each one and a million tissues, I swear I’m never reading another again. Then I wait, breathless, for the next.

Your heroes wear: boxers, briefs, boxer briefs, or go commando?
LOL, the Spousal Equivalent will be reading this, so I’ll say this: My man knows what I love to see him in.

 ****

Thank you for stopping by, Avril! I loved this interview and hope you enjoyed learning about this amazing writer. Her book, A Wicked Ride, is out Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Check it out! For a chance to win a copy of A Wicked Ride, check out Avril’s contest over at her blog!

And just for fun, here’s another picture of her inspiration for Niko, Common:

And just another Fantasy Man for fun! This is who I pictured Niko looking like when I read the book. Hubba, hubba!

One last thing. Tomorrow I’m guest blogging at Southern Sizzle Romance. For a chance to win one of the masks made especially for Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose, drop a comment about your favorite bad boy/villain!

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Cajun French: Frissons

It’s time for another lesson in Cajun French.

As my sister-in-law said in her comment last week, this is one of her favorite words to use. Honestly, it’s one of mine as well. While I love envie, frissons expresses perfectly when I get a chill. I’m not talking about the “oh, it’s cold” kind of chill. I mean when you feel a chill creep over your skin for no reason other than fear, or excitement, or even superstition.

Frisson, or frissons, means exactly that: chill, goosebump. It’s pronounced free-zawn, free-zawns, with the ending sounding like the “aw” in awning. It’s a soft “n”. You would use this in a sentence like, “Mais, I got the frissons! That movie was scary!” or “This place gives me the frissons.”

It’s a great word and I use it without even thinking about it. I don’t even know when I first heard it, so I suppose it’s been part of my vocabulary for years. It’s kind of like cher and mais for me. I just know it and if you sound it out, it sounds like the perfect word to use when you catch a sudden chill. Frisson. It almost sounds like freezing. If I were motivated, I could probably figure out the exact origin of the word, but it’s early and I just can’t do it, lol.

So the next time you’re watching another M. Night Shyamalan movie or reading a Stephen King novel and you develop goosebumps, call it the frissons.

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What’s Playing Wednesday

Wow, it’s already Wednesday, although when I woke up this morning I just knew it was Thursday. I suppose I need to relax and take one day at a time. The release date will be here soon and after that things will be hectic.

Which kind of brings me to today’s What’s Playing Wednesday song. I like a wide variety of music from classical to classic rock to rap to reggae to heavy metal. I tend to listen to everything as long as either the lyrics are amazing, or the rhythm is catchy.

Today, Danica’s Magical Musical Player pulled up a surprise for me. It’s by a musician called Matisyahu. I don’t remember where I first heard this song, only that when I heard it, it instantly reminded me of John Lennon’s Imagine because the sentiment is there. The song is called One Day and it’s a lovely song filled, both emotionally stirring and catchy. It’s the kind of song I like to listen to when I’m feeling down because it lifts me up.

I hope you enjoy today’s Magical Music Player’s selection and remember:

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down.
So when negativity surrounds,
I know some day it’ll all turn around.

By the way, don’t forget that Friday, I have a special edition of Fantasy Man Friday with an author interview with the amazing Avril Ashton!

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On Tour

I’m giggling at myself for the title of this post. I always wanted to be a musician with gigs all over the country, unfortunately, I’m not terribly musically inclined. Instead, I save my creativity for writing but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a tour!

My erotic paranormal, Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose will be released a week from tomorrow. It’s so exciting! And sickening. The sickening thing will probably grow worse as the release date creeps closer. I’ll probably stop eating, or if I do eat, everything will come back up (you wanted to know that I’m sure). The thing is, when I get nervous, I tend to get sick to my stomach. It could help me lose weight, but I don’t think that’s a good way to do it. Hm.

Anyway! The tour. That’s what I was talking about (forget about my sensitive stomach for the moment). Several lovely people have expressed interest in having moi on their blogs and I’m so happy (and nervous). Again with the stomach. So here’s the list of where I’ll be:

January 29, 2011 – Southern Sizzle Romance for Badurday. I’ll be talking about bad boys, villains, and have a little excerpt from the book. Giveaway!

February 5, 2011 – Falyn Donaldson is having me over on her blog for a special edition of Teaser…er, well it isn’t Tuesday, so let’s call it “Sneak Peek Saturday”. I’ll have an excerpt up and yet another giveaway!

February 7, 2011 – Nikki Brandyberry is interviewed me. Let me just mention that I labored and edited and labored some more over my answers. Oh, and we’re having a giveaway!

February 10, 2011 – Rachel Firasek will have me over on her blog for another interview and yet another giveaway!

February 15, 2011 – Jillian Chantal is interviewing me as well and you guessed it, another giveaway! (Do you see a theme here?)

February 17, 2011 – Avril Ashton, one of my critique partners and wicked good author is having me over for an interview and a giveaway. Also, she’ll be stopping by here on Friday January 28, 2011 for me to pick her brain (be sure to stop by as she’s having an ARC contest of her soon-to-be released romance, A Wicked Ride).

That’s all for right now, but I think that’s plenty. On top of all the tour dates and giveaways, next week I’ll be joining several other wonderful writer type peeps on a group blog called Four Foxes One Hound. I’ll be joined by Jillian Chantal, Daisy Harris, Lynn Rush, and the lone hound, Jeff Salter. We’ll talk about anything and everything to do with life, romance, and writing. Be sure to visit us!

I’m probably leaving out a date, but as soon as I figure out which one it is, I’ll let you know!

P.S. Be sure to check out Allison Pang’s debut release, A Brush of Darkness. She’s a snarky, brilliant lady!

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A Flat Monday

When I woke up this morning, the last thing on my mind was my car. I was instead thinking about how sore I was from this weekend. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I painted my room this weekend.

First of all, let me mention the room originally belonged to my brother who married and moved out this fall. When he was in high school, he painted the room…well, Superman blue. He loved it. We all decided not to go in there. So now that he’s gone and I can finally have a bigger room, it needed to be painted. We started at noon and finished at around 6:30 Saturday night, but the room was painted. It’s a goldish color that I’m strangely satisfied with.

However, even though I’ve been working out diligently for three months now, the painting left me sore in places I forgot I even had. Yesterday it was my shoulder and arm from all the rolling. Yesterday afternoon, I started feeling my thighs and butt from all the stooping and standing. About six hours of squats and yeah, you can imagine. So that’s what was on my mind when I woke up this morning.

But it’s Monday and isn’t there a rule that Mondays are meant to be frustrating? Because when I went to my car to start my work day, I found I had a flat tire. Meh. The only thing I could do was put enough air in the tire to get me to a mechanic’s shop so I could get it repaired. This meant being late to work, which I hate more than anything, mostly because I just hate being late anywhere.

So I headed to the shop and arrived shortly after 7 a.m. only to wait for an hour for them to even get to my car. When they finally finished and presented my problem to me (a nail), I was over an hour late for work. Frustration. Meh again!

However, I’m where I’m supposed to be and hopefully the day will improve from here.

I hope your Monday is going better than mine!

On a different note, I have a series of blog appearances scheduled for the next few weeks to pimp my paranormal romance, Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose. Tomorrow I’ll post out the appearances and links where you can find me. Pass the word around as I’ll be giving away a mask to one luck person who comments (or two) 😉

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Fantasy Man Friday

Wow, what a week!

In case you haven’t heard, I discovered that Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose will be released on February 2, 2011! I’m still swooning! Oh, and I got my cover 😉

Several people mentioned the hero looked a bit like my Fantasy Men and I had to agree. Maybe the artist took a moment to look over my website and my past Fantasy Men, or maybe she just ogled them here on the blog. Who knows? All I know is that I heartily approve of her artwork 😉

I’m so excited about the upcoming release and I already have several guest spots and interviews coming up. On top of that, starting January 31, I’m teaming up with four other romance writers on a group blog. It’s called Four Foxes One Hound. Why? Because we’re four female romance writers and one lonely male romance writer. We won’t torture him. Much 😉 Be on the look out for the first post by none other than the lovely Daisy Harris.

Did I mention today is Daisy’s birthday? It is! If you see her on Twitter or Facebook, be sure to wish her a happy birthday. Me? I’ve already decided that today’s fantasy man will be dedicated to my lovely critique partner and friend. You can all look, of course, and he’s still coming home with me, but she gets to ogle him more than the rest of y’all 😉

I know what you’re thinking…why bother with goggles? 😉 Mm. This beautiful specimen is getting himself all clean before he climbs in bed. *cough* 😉 He does look inviting, what do you think? So this is Daisy’s Fantasy Man birthday present. Why a guy about to expose himself and drenched with water? Because when I see soaking wet men, I instantly remember Daisy’s heroes. Those sexy dragon and shark-shifters. I do love those shark-shifters. Oh, my!

By the way, y’all simply have to read Shark Bait. It’s such a good book! (Sorry, Daisy, I’m biased because it’s that gorgeous Raider’s book…Le sigh.

So Happy Birthday, Daisy! Happy Friday everyone else! I hope y’all have a great weekend. I know I will 🙂

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