Happy New Year everyone! 2010 was an interesting year and I'm really looking forward to 2011! To make the new year even sweeter, I'm teaming up with five fab authors to kick off 2011 in style! Great prizes up for grabs including tons of books and a brand new Nook Color! Contest begins on January 3rd, so stay tuned for details!
In the meantime, enjoy your celebrations, make and break some resolutions, and kiss someone at midnight, even if it's a wish. :) See you in 2011!
...Or as I titled it last year, Small Freakin' World: Hey, I KNOW Him!! Here's last year's post and a video I still love!!
(Original post 12-17-09)
Talk about my two worlds colliding!
Okay, this all started when Brynn Paulin randomly posted this great video on her blog. I watched it, loved it, and proceeded to spread the joy.
Then my friend Melia watched it and said, "Oh, it's great, and you do realize Brad's in this, right?"
I totally spread around this video not even knowing that one of my friends "in real life" is one of the dancers! So bizarre!!
Anyway, when Brad was performing with the Rockettes' Christmas show about 5-6 years ago, the guys in the show got together and made this up as a Christmas present for the rockettes. This is their performance for the gals, who you can hear doing all the screaming throughout!
Now I see him dancing every week...at my daughters' dance academy just down the road. He brings all that enthusiasm and talent to the fore every single day working with the dancers of tomorrow, and he does a fabulous job doing it!
Back to "now", here's me with Melia and Brad out on the town about a month ago. When you watch the video, he's towards the far end (away from the camera) with a white shirt and long dark scarf on. He's just astounded not only that this is still around but also how popular it is. LOL, why wouldn't it be? Watch and see for yourself, and give Brad and his crew some love. I'll be sure to pass it on! :D
I'd wager that most of you also follow Chris' blog, but for those of you who don't ( or do, but need an extra reminder!), she's having a giveaway of Making His List. Comment on HER BLOG POST by 7pm CST, on 12/21 for a chance to win!
And for those of you planning ahead, there is a HUGE giveaway planned at Reviews By Jessewave on Christmas Eve day, first come, first served. If you don't follow her yet, join now so you know when to pounce! I'm donating a copy each of Making His List, The Swap, and Pride and Joey to the first reader to ask for them there that day. Lots of fabulous authors are donating books, series, and swag, so you needn't just ask for my stuff. I won't be hurt. Much. (LOL! JK!)
I'll also be putting up a couple of my favorite Christmassy things next week, including my E-Rom Author's version of T'Was the Night Before Christmas I wrote last year. :D Stay tuned!
Sometimes in the depths of winter, warmth can force a unexpected bloom.
In shock after the death of her ex-husband, Maggie Winter gave in to her need for comfort with Nick, but immediately regretted her impulsive act.
With her young daughter to raise alone, it was time to start acting her age. But Nick isn't put off by her cool act and has no problem turning up the heat.
Now on rotation for her viewing pleasure were Blue-Eyes’ long legs, stretched out under the seat in front of him and crossed at the ankles. His large, strong hand rested on the armrest between them, long fingers drumming occasionally. It was tanned and for some reason, sent a spike of feeling shooting through her gut as she watched it tap.
“Would you like something to drink?” This question was from the flight attendant, as she set a napkin on the area between the armrests, her manicured hand lingering close to Blue-Eyes’ forearm. Irritation made Maggie’s mouth tighten as she looked up and found the flight attendant practically in Blue-Eyes’ lap as she bent over him. It had to be against airline regulations to have her shirt unbuttoned that far down.
To Maggie’s shock, Blue-Eyes picked up her own hand, his fingers toying with her wedding band. He leaned closer to her, “Sweetheart, do you want something?”
Her gaze snapped to his, uncomprehending, as her jaw dropped in shock. What is he doing? The strokes of his fingers on hers was doing something wicked to her insides.
“Let’s start with some water. She has a bad headache.” This was directed to the flight attendant. “Do you have anything she can take for the pain?”
Maggie watched as the attendant withdrew to the galley, then turned back to Blue-Eyes. “She’s gone now. You can let go,” she whispered hoarsely, trying in vain to reclaim her hand.
“But she’ll be back,” he murmured just as quietly. He bent his head towards hers again. His dark hair looked like it had been recently cut in a short, businesslike style with a slight wave, and his chiselled jaw line sported a hint of shadow. His fingers stopped moving, but continued to hold her hand. Maggie could feel the warmth spreading upwards from her chest to her face as the blush consumed her. How long had it been since she’d sat holding hands like a kid on a date? Wade wasn’t much for PDA. That thought did the sudden smack of reality thing again, which only added to her anxiety.
She turned away to try to get herself under control and could hear Blue-Eyes thanking the flight attendant. She gave a surreptitious tug to her left hand, practically a yank. He refused to relinquish it immediately but gently turned her hand over and placed two pills in her palm.
“Are these okay?” he asked, indicating the medicine in her hand. She glanced down and nodded. He held a glass of water, which he gestured with. “Go ahead.”
She tipped the pills onto her tongue and reached for the glass. Her fingers brushed his as she took it, and she mentally castigated herself as she swallowed the water. C’mon, Mags. Hardly a good time to get caught up flirting with some aeroplane Romeo.
This sobered her again, and she knew she had to nip this in the bud as she finished the glass of water and set it down. “Thanks,” she offered blandly, without looking at him. She pointedly closed her eyes and leant back.
She could feel his regard, but stubbornly refused to acknowledge him and tried to relax. It felt so good to close her eyes. This was her fourth flight in two days.
Her eyes flew open in shock as she felt a glancing touch across her breasts. Her nipples instantly hardened to taut peaks, and she saw Blue-Eyes’ arm leaning across her chest.
“Seatbelt,” he explained as he buckled her in. “You forgot to fasten it. I thought you were almost asleep.” His eyelashes swept downwards and she could feel the tension between them ratchet up about ten notches as she sensed him noticing her reaction to his touch.
She squirmed a little under his gaze. Had she ever been on the receiving end of a look like that from a guy like him? Never in her very ordinary life. Maggie closed her eyes again, a little desperately, resisting the almost overwhelming urge to cross her arms across her chest. Apparently, Blue-Eyes finally got the message, since he also settled back into his seat.
Gradually, she relaxed, and the plane taxied towards takeoff. She was hyperaware of her body and could feel her breasts jouncing slightly as the plane moved over the runway. Was he watching? Just the thought made her peak again. A slight intake of breath next to her made her wish for a blanket. She hardly ever wore a bra, since she barely fit into an A cup, and never when she travelled. Now she wished she had some armour to reign in her wayward breasts, even if it would have been uncomfortable. Her nipples seemed to be eagerly awaiting the next touch. Party’s over, ladies.
The amazing Authors below will be popping in and out to chat & post excerpts from their latest books:
ZA MAXFIELD - VIGIL ETHAN DAY - SNO HO SLOAN PARKER - MORE SJ FROST - KEYS TO LOVE CLARE LONDON - 72 HOURS AKM MILES - COLD WINTERS DEVON RHODES - PRIDE & JOEY LEX VALENTINE - SUNSTROKED JP BOWIE - SENSE & SENSUALITY ANDREW GREY - CORE TRAINING SIMONE ANDERSON - FINDING LOVE JAIME SAMMS -THIRD TIME'S A CHARM ALIX BEKINS - AN ACADEMIC DILEMMA G.H. WORTH - GRANITE: A ROCKY START ALLY BLUE - WHAT HIDES INSIDE & TWILIGHT The day will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST in the Ethan Day Yahoo Group where we'llbe posting excerpts, running contests for free books, and chatting about all the new and upcoming releases from your favorite authors. I hope everyone will stop by to catch up with your favorite authors and joinin all the fun!
Always excited for a new release, and even more so when it's a kick-off to the holidays! Making His List is part of Dreamspinner's annual Advent Calendar, and just went on sale tonight as a single ebook!
When his young niece Bailey moves in, Cory knows he needs to end his casual fling with Ken. Bailey’s had enough upheaval in her short life, and Cory doesn't want her to get attached to a “friend” who won't be sticking around. Even so, Cory finds himself continuing to let Ken into his life, but a one-night-stand gone serial isn’t what Cory wants, and so he makes The List: his requirements for the perfect partner.
Helping out during a difficult time, Ken finds himself being pulled into the family unit despite Cory’s previous emotional distance. He hopes he's finally breaking through, on the verge of convincing Cory to make their relationship more than a casual one. Then, while helping Bailey write to Santa, he finds Cory's list and takes it as his cue to bow out—just when Cory needs him the most.
The nice long excerpt on Dreamspinner's site is from Cory's point of view, at the very beginning of the book. So I thought I'd throw up (haha, no pun intended!) an excerpt that shows you a bit more about Ken. Hope you enjoy!
Ken didn’t even realize he’d made a decision until his hands turned the wheel left out of the parking lot—toward Cory’s—instead of making the right turn to go home. It was after eight o’clock, the earliest he’d been allowed to come over in the time since the girls had moved in, so Bailey would probably be in bed by the time he got there. And he could test his theory about being assertive.
Either he’d come out a winner, or the end would be clear. At the first red light, he sent a quick text: On my way over. OK w u?
Fifteen minutes later, he shifted from foot to foot, waiting outside Cory’s front door. Bypassing the bell as
usual, he’d knocked softly, twice, without success.
Is that clear enough for you, idiot? No return text and no answer.
Just as he was debating the wisdom of trying the knob versus keeping his pride and retreating, the door was pulled open, and he had to put his hands up quickly to keep a thin young woman with a vague resemblance to Cory from running right into him on her way out. So this was Becky, obviously dressed for a date.
“Oh!” She stopped for a second, and then veered around him toward the steps. A trace scent of alcohol trailed behind her as she brushed past. For the first time, he noticed the car idling at the curb behind his.
“Good. You’re finally here. I saw your text. I’ve gotta go. Bailey will not go to bed and Cory… Well, good luck with all that.” This last was offered over her shoulder as she opened the passenger side door and climbed in.
Staring in puzzlement after her, he was distracted from the actual sight of her driving off by the unfamiliar feel of a small, warm hand slipping into his. The sight of Bailey’s tearful face wiped away all his hesitancy as he herded her inside out of the cold night air.
“Hi, sweets. How are you feeling?” He squatted down to eye level as she wiped her nose on the sleeve of her shirt, blinking at him solemnly. He let his gaze wander past her, shocked at the unkempt appearance of the normally neat house.
“Okay. Can you help me make dinner?”
His eyebrows rose before he could control his reaction. With a surreptitious glance at his watch confirming it was close to nine, he bit back the questions and commentary and simply led her into the kitchen. There he found a ripped open loaf of bread sitting on the counter, two slices of bread amidst the crumbs, with a steak knife and unopened jar of peanut butter alongside.
“I can’t open the jar. It’s new. And it’s not crunchy.” Her lower lip quivered.
“Well, we can’t eat that then. Let’s look for something else.” While he quickly assessed the possibilities with a thought to speed of prep, he cored and sliced up an apple.
“Here. Why don’t you start on this? Do you like tomato soup and grilled cheese?”
“I like it how Uncle Cory makes it.”
Ken smiled, even as the reminder of Cory caused a twinge in his chest. “What do you like about Uncle Cory’s version?”
Bailey’s eyes sparkled for the first time since he’d met her. “He lets me float Goldfish in the soup and cuts the sandwich into a heart. Can you do that too? Pleeeeese?” She cocked her head to the side and batted her eyes as she begged.
He caught himself shaking his head at her antics and turned it into a nod. “You go find the Goldfish while I get the soup warming and find some cheese.”
Mission accomplished, Bailey perched happily on a stool, munching her apple slices and watching as Ken assembled two sandwiches. “Does Cory cut them into hearts before or after he cooks them?”
“After.” The adult-sounding duh in her young voice made him grin.
He finished the sandwiches, and Bailey eagerly assisted him by finding the heart-shaped cookie cutter, paper party plates and napkins. Finally settled with her dinner, he let her eat quietly while he munched on the sandwich trimmings, dipping them in his own small cup of soup, not really hungry but wanting to keep her company.
“Uncle Cory eats my edges too.”
He finally broached the question that had been foremost in his mind since his arrival. “Honey, where is your Uncle Cory?”
Available NOW at Dreamspinner Press! Don't forget to use the discount code "HolidayDreams" for 20% off your entire purchase twice per customer until the end of the year. :D
***I originally posted this last year on another blog. I've tweaked the time references so it is relevant to the current year, but otherwise it stands as previously written. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Fall has always been my favorite season of the year, the colors, coolness in the air, what's not to love? It was Dad's fave as well, which made it especially difficult when he passed away unexpectedly at 61 in late October, seven years ago. Every Thanksgiving since then has been bittersweet with happy reminiscences comingled with the memories of the raw shock of that first holiday season without him.
Two years ago, my remaining parent was literally fighting for her life. She had been diagnosed with leukemia in May, fought a losing battle with chemotherapy over the summer, and nothing was helping to stem the advance of the cancer in her blood and bone marrow. With the classification that she fell into, her prognosis at the time of diagnosis was less than a year.
Then a miracle happened...her doctor was able to convince the insurance company to approve a bone marrow transplant despite her age (63) being beyond their normal range. That was followed closely by a second miracle...she didn't have to wait for a donor match. Her brother, who lived 4 miles away from her and was still in good health at 65, tested to be a perfect match for donation. Sibling donations have the highest success rate, and we crossed our fingers that Mom could hold out long enough to stabilize for and undergo the god-awful pre-procedure chemo and radiation.
So on November 25th, 2008, she was given the transplant, and we waited while her body fought both the cancer and the 'invading' new bone marrow cells. That Thanksgiving was filled with worry and hope.
As December began, she started slipping away. Her counts were proceeding 'normally', but she was becoming delirious and eventually unresponsive. An unexpected allergic reaction to her anti-rejection medication sent her into a coma due to fluid buildup in the brain called PRES syndrome. 2000 miles away, I could only wait for news. She was moved to intensive care and the second week of December I received a call needing permission to place her on a ventilator as a respiratory infection set in.
At that point I could wait no longer, and scheduled my flight to South Dakota. I hadn't seen her since August, and barely recognised her; her hair was gone, she was 30 pounds lighter, and all the medical support equipment... I walked into her empty house alone that night and it was the strangest sensation, as if she were already gone.
I sat by her bed for nearly a week with no response. I'd had the irrational thought that once there, she'd hear my voice and open her eyes, but that only happens in fiction I suppose. I lotioned her feet, tried to keep her bloody tears from drying on, and tried to talk. It was hard to know what to say, again where the movies and fiction have it wrong. Her hand was warm but dead in mine. During this time, her only movements were occasional gagging motions, and I asked, begged, pleaded, and finally demanded they remove the breathing tube. Their response was that she'd met every protocol except one; she had to be responsive before removal.
I was stymied by ICU staff and resp therapists at every turn until one day I finally spoke to the Pulminologist on the phone and reminded him that she's been unresponsive for days before insertion. After securing my permission to reinsert if she went south, he approved the removal, much to the dismay of the resp therapist who'd smugly handed me the phone in the first place, sure that the doc would support her instead of me.
She and the ICU nurse went through the shut-down and pulling of the tube. It was awful watching my mom's body fighting and gagging. But it was finally out. Then her eyes opened...
After weeks in a coma, when that tube came out, she just...woke up. The nurse asked if she knew who I was, and she said in a raspy, but clearly disgusted voice, "Of course! That's my daughter." Oh, that's my mama. Give 'em hell, Mom.
While she'd been laying there, her body had been accepting the transplant. They moved her back up to oncology the next morning (that was a jolt, coming into her ICU bay and having it be empty!), and I flew home the day after, on Christmas Eve, to be with my girls for the holiday. And only two weeks later, she went home. Her mom, my grandma, who was 87, moved out to the farm to spend the rest of the SD winter with her and take care of her 'little girl' during her recovery.
Today is the two year anniversary of her transplant, and she is 100% donor cells and cancer-free. This June she actually flew out to Oregon for a visit, something I never thought would happen again. She is living alone, still driving, and doing for herself. Moreover, she's still herself, still Mom, still Mimi to my two girls and my brother's little boy, something that I'd almost given up hope on during my vigil last winter.
Back 'round to Thanksgiving again, I am so thankful that my small family is not one person less this year. We had every reason to expect that she could be gone by now, but a few miracles later and I have something very real and concrete to be thankful for...my mom's future.
Okay, it's pretty exciting to hear someone else reading the words you crafted aloud. Especially when it's the wonderful voice of JP Bowie and his sexy as heck Scottish accent. And wait'll you hear what he does with Mario! Rowr.
My Sci-Fi/Futuristic, M/M/F menage story Wet Your Whistle is finally out! This is my first non-contemporary release, and also one of the first books I ever wrote, so it has a special place in my heart. I hope you enjoy it too!
I've dedicated this book to Kate Pearce, who first opened my eyes to the amazingly hot world of M/M and menage loving. Kate, my muse thanks you! I'd like to think I'd have written M/M anyway, but you were certainly the catalyst!
Three lonely people trapped together on a distant, isolated planet...
When Rhea was left all alone at Wet Your Whistle after her beloved grandfather died, she vowed to seduce the next visitor into taking her along when they leave. Who knew she would have to choose between two mouth-watering men?
Jolan is wealthy and handsome and arrives just ahead of the storm. But his presence here isn't random, and he stands to gain more from this visit than anyone suspects. Will having Rhea and all she brings with her cost him the man he loves?
Bryce has committed himself to Jolan—his lover and savior. Now the sexy Captain finds himself drawn to Rhea, but with nothing to offer her, how can he compete with Jolan for her heart?
With attraction on all sides, and layers of secrets to reveal, the three play in the hot springs and delve into love. But before the storm is over, they will need to make hard choices, and see whether the truth will cost them their hearts.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of both M/M and M/F intimacy, theraputic sex with a 'borg, and lots of hot springs menage loving.
It's release day for Rough Riders, which was originally published in the Gaymes Anthology. If you missed it the first time around, or prefer to skip anthos, here it is as a single release! If you like athletes, you'll love these guys. Be prepared for tackles with grindage, locker room jealousy, a very hot shower scene, and guys exerting themselves...
BLURB: Playing by different rules can lead to heartbreak, but changing the game plan can be the tiebreaker.
Luke Briscoe has a good reason to stay in the closet with his team, the Rough Riders. Bitter past experience has taught him to be cautious around athletic teams. But after Mario, his teammate and lover of ten years, leaves him, tired of the secrecy, Luke is forced to confront his fears, especially since the sexy and confident new member of the team, Derek Grimm, has no problem with being out and proud.
Derek has wanted Luke from the first moment he saw him. But he knows the timing is all wrong, and vows to let Luke have the time he needs to recover from his breakup. As time goes on, though, Derek becomes frustrated with Luke’s determination to stay in the closet. Derek and Mario are out, and the team is fine with it. Why is Luke still holding back? Derek wonders if any amount of time will ever be enough. Maybe it’s time to try a different game plan...
Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Gaymes anthology by Total-E-Bound
"It's not like I hide you from the world," Luke protested, arguing one of Mario's most repetitive complaints of late. "But the guys here are not going to be as accepting as the public in general."
Mario rolled his dark eyes in his typical dramatic fashion. "Please. The whole point is that ...Get dressed, you're going to be late." He grabbed the jock dangling from Luke's fingers and slapped it at his chest with hardly a pause in his speech. "...is that we are here all the time. All. The. Time." He punctuated this with pokes to Luke's arm. Luke didn't move and Mario sighed. "Fine. I shouldnt have started this here. But I thought it would give you a chance to rearrange the roster, or at least start thinking about it during practice. Plus you can tell the guys today that I'm off the team."
"What?" Luke shot to his feet. "Why should I tell them? Why don't you tell them? It's as much your team as mine." The Rough Riders was their baby, formed nearly a decade before with a mish-mash of friends and acquaintances that had since become the most competitive three-sport team in the city. They entered tournaments city-wide and regionally in basketball and softball, and just last year had qualified for nationals in flag football.
"Not any longer. And think, Luke." Mario stood as well and leaned in close. Luke closed his eyes briefly as the warm, familiar scent came to him, knotting his insides. "Do you really want me to tell them? Hmm? I have reached the end of my self-control. If they ask me why, I will not be able to lie. And you do not want me to tell the truth." He flipped his hand expressively. "That is the whole problem."
"What if..." Luke stopped, swallowing hard. He fought down the rising panic. "What if I did tell them? Would you stay?"
Mario's handsome face slackened in shock and disbelief, then hardened. "Put your fucking workout clothes on. Meet me outside." Luke touched his elbow warily, and Mario knocked his hand away. "Outside, or I swear to God I will take this fucking roof off." He stormed away, muttering to himself, the stiffness in Mario's normally fluid stride bringing a touch of fear into Luke's heart.
Luke quickly dressed and hurried out the door to the practice area. He looked around with a frown. He should have asked Mario to specify where outside. The sports complex was huge. Maybe he meant by the parking lot?
Luke started walking around the huge building in that direction, and stumbled when Mario grabbed his T-shirt and yanked him into a doorwell, shoving him up against the cinderblock wall and taking his mouth in a hard, demanding kiss. Luke found himself moaning into the rough contact, which drove all thoughts of their whereabouts straight out of his head. He let go of Mario's arms, which he had clutched initially to balance himself, and wrapped his arms around him, desperately returning his kiss. Coaxing the other man in to a softer mutual stroking of their mouths, he willed Mario to give up this crazy ultimatum. God, if he lost him... He groaned as he shifted, fitting himself more completely against the insistent press of Mario's lean, muscular form.
Mario's hand snaked up under Luke's shirt, tweaking his nipple. The jolt brought Luke's eyes open, and they immediately snapped to movement over Mario's shoulder. His eyes widened and Luke stiffened as he saw a tall, superbly fit man running rapidly towards them, his eyes looking directly at the pair with surprise. "Shit," he muttered into Mario's mouth. "Babe." He disengaged their mouths by turning his head, pushing at his chest. Mario kept him pinned. "Mario, let me go, man, someones coming!" He pushed ineffectually against the well-positioned man.
"I thought you wanted to tell everyone." Mario mocked, his tone derisive, but his eyes were filled with pain. He kept Luke in place as the man ran past, close enough that they could hear the swish of his running shorts as he blew by, apparently wrapping up his workout with a sprint. "He wasn't even someone we know and you froze up. And you think you can tell the Riders?" He snorted and finally released Luke, backing away, shaking his head. "I'm sorry. I just can't do this anymore."
I had a fun time last night going out to First Thursday down in the Pearl District, and what made it even more fun was one of my closest friends had a grand opening for her second Popina store. Here are some pics from the evening:
Some of the models and employees after the fashion show with my friend/designer/owner, Pam (the somewhat hidden redhead).