Sunday, June 29, 2008

Boy Toys .... not for everyone

First, let me preface this post by saying that like millions of women, I'm categorized in the "older woman" genre, so this is in no way a slam to any of my sisters.

The last decade we've seen a rise in the "older woman/younger man" pairings. Hey, if it works for you, go for it. But recently I read something that pushed things beyond tasteful in my opinion and gave the older women/younger man situation a rather seedy tone.

I'm referring to an article that was titled "For the Woman who has Everything: A Boy Toy"

Some enterprising entrepreneur in New York decided to organize a speed-dating event to bring together 20 "sugar mamas" and 20 "boy toys". For a woman to qualify she had to be over 35, earn more than 500k a year or have a minumum of $4 million in liquid assets, entrusted assest or divorse settlement.

Jeremy Abelson, the promoter, uses the older man/younger woman scenario as his justification for the event, saying that for centuries it's been allowable for ugly old rich men to attact young beautiful (money-hungry) women. And now it's the woman's turn.

Let me pause here to say ... that offends me. Maybe we women are a step above that sort of mentality. Maybe we don't want to have to "buy" the affections of a man. Personally, the last thing I want a man attracted to is my bank account. This ol' gal isn't getting off with that idea being up front and center. Might as well invest in a new sex toy. At least you don't have to worry about what it's thinking as it gets you off.

But back to this... event.

It was set in a club in Manhattan and attracted more than just wealthy divorcees. One woman, the owner of a marketing firm and a also a theatre producer in London and New York was quote as saying "Is this really what I'm looking for? No. Is it an option? Why not?"

Well, I can think of a couple of reasons right off the bat:

(1) Paying for sex is paying for sex any way you color it.
(2) Can a woman really feel good about herself knowing that it's not her the man is making love to (use that phrase to avoid certain F words) but her money?

I'm not convinced. Sure Ashton and Demi made it work. But that's love. Not buying a boy toy. And just that phrase makes me gnash my teeth. How many centuries have women been complaining about being objectified, being treated like a piece of meat, just an orifice for men to use to get off? Is it really a sign of progress and independence for us to stoop to that same level? I sure hope not.

And boy toy? Ugh! Men are a lot of fabulous things, but toys? I think not. Toys are purchased discretely online and come in unmarked packages. Men are those wonderfully different beings that we try to delve into their psyches, find their "buttons", swoon over when they show up in a tuxedo, cry over when they are heros who fall, poke fun at for being from "Mars" as opposed to our home world of "Venus", and who make us feel ever so good when they give us the look that says "baby you're looking good." But toy? Ugh.

Again that's just my take on things. If you've got the bucks to back it up and it floats your boat then go for it. Have your boy toy. Enjoy

Personally every time I even entertain the idea for a book, try to cook up a scenario, I end up with something like this...

Okay, no way I want to be the woman some young stud is having a case of the shuddering creeping willies over. Sorry. That is NOT what this gal's ego needs. Give me a "seasoned" guy any day of the week, someone who's had years to figure his way around the female form and is willing to take the time to figure out what makes my clock tick. If I want the energizer bunny that keeps going and going and going ... well, I'll buy D-Cells.

Feel free to disagree. Like I said, it's just my opinion.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Vanishing Cat

My cat Sophie has turned up in the strangest places over the past few weeks. Places she couldn’t possibly be.
One day we heard something that sounded like the cat trying to get into one of our offices. My husband and I both went to our office doors and opened them, stared at each other, looked around for the cat and both said, I thought one of the cats was trying to get in.

We closed our doors went back to work and the sound came again. I went over to the linen closet and out jumped Sophie. How had she gotten in there?

A few nights later as I closed the door to the master bath and padded to bed, Sophie ran in front of me and zoomed out of the bedroom and down the stairs. When I awoke in the morning and opened the bathroom door, Sophie ran out. Again, how did she get in there? No one walks in their sleep.

Later that week she turned up in the utility room and then in the downstairs bathroom(We keep our bathroom doors closed for effective Feng Shui practice.) again, somehow she'd miraculously transported into a room where the door was closed. Had been closed while she was outside the rooms.

Scratching our heads, we laughingly said she was a time traveler or was catching worm holes that delivered her behind closed doors. The most perplexing one happened just last weekend. I’d been working in my office and my husband had turned off his computer, declaring we needed a break for the project we’d been working on all week.

I joined him downstairs and we grilled out and enjoyed a leisurely meal on the patio. Again, Sophie was in plain view of us inside the house,playing with our other cat, Bow. So later that evening, I went into my office to check email and heard this pitiful wail. It was Sophie and she sounded frightened.

My husband came running up the stairs wanting to know what had hurt Sophie, but we couldn’t find her. She’d just been downstairs with us. We started opening closet doors. Then I went into his office and opened his bathroom door and out popped Sophie. It took her nearly an hour to calm down. She jumped at the slightest movement or sound.

So anyone ever hear of such a crazy thing? We know for a fact that we did not accidentally close her into any room. We are at a real loss to explain this phenomenon. And so like many other things in my life, I just shrug and shake my head. I have no idea how Sophie ended up in rooms with closed doors when she’d previously been outside them. So we’ve affectionately started calling it a close encounter with a VFO (Vanishing Feline Occurrence)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gettin' Naughty - Sleep Sex?

Ever have a partner wake you during the middle of the night for sex? Did they seem to be more asleep than awake? Well, they may have been experiencing Sexsomia. A co-worker taking a psychology class had us all debating this “condition” at work over the weekend.

Sexsomia—sleep sex—is becoming sexually aroused and having sex while asleep and not in control of your actions. Think sleepwalking to the extreme. Sleep disorder researchers have proven it happens and psychiatrists have begun to treat the condition in the past decade. Initially, this may not sound like a problem but there have been several cases of sexual assault and even rape that have been acquitted due to this not very common medical diagnosis. It has even been used to justify being caught in the act of cheating.

That’s right. People have used Sexsomia as a legal defense and been believed by the courts. One story in the National Post (click here to read) details an Ontario appeals court upholding a rape acquittal due to Sexsomia. The man in question had passed out after consuming high quantities of alcohol and suffering from sleep deprivation.

In fact, according to one study (click here to read) sleep deprivation and stress can be triggers for this condition in people who have other sleep or sexual disorders. The New Scientist (click here for article) discusses an Australian woman who would have sex with strangers while sleeping and was caught in the act by her partner. There is also a case of a man fondling and raping young girls who was later cleared when he claimed to have sleep walking tendencies (click here for article).

Wow, I’m not sure what I think about this. Is Sexsomia an actual disorder or just a convenient excuse for some sick people? What do you think?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Your latest find

There are two feelings in the world I adore. Okay, there are a lot more than just two! But when it comes to romance fiction, there are two sensations that are absolutely priceless, to me.

One is that thrill that comes when I'm working on a story, and suddenly something clicks. Something that I didn't expect -- a scene I would never have imagined… until it happened. That point when the characters come fully to life and start surprising me. From an author's standpoint, that's the best.

As a reader, the most thrilling moment is that little shiver I get when I pick up a new author -- and they catch me. Just a turn of phrase at first, maybe, or a particularly deft description. There's a tiny jolt of electricity, a sudden flare of excitement… Is it? Can it be? Have I found a new favorite author?

Hardly daring to let the hope take shape in my mind for fear of jinxing it, I turn the page, eager to let the author lead me further into her story. Like a spectator at an equestrian event, I hold my breath, watching -- will she clear the next hurdle? Canter easily into the backstory? Will she carry me safely across the fence I can see looming just up ahead?

Yep, I used to ride. I miss it. I miss Klondike Kid, who was this huge, rawboned, dirty white horse I got to ride at the stable where I worked. Ugly as sin, but boy could he jump! And there was nothing like sailing through the air, borne aloft by his strength and speed… except maybe the feeling of being swept up and borne aloft by a really, really good story.

When that happens, when I find a new-to-me-author, I feel rich as Midas. Some people love their books, which for them means taking very good care of them. I love my books to death. I sleep with them. I carry them with me everywhere. If I really, really love a book, I reread it and reread it till the binding is shot and the pages are falling out… and then I buy a new copy. 

One recent find for me was Red Garnier who (full disclosure time!) has since become a very good friend. I remember the exact moment when I felt that little thrill down my spine, that excitement which tells me I've found a new favorite author -- it was while reading Spin Devil, her first Ellora's Cave release. At that time, I didn't know Red at all, and I was enjoying the story just fine -- it was well-written, well-paced, very readable…

Then I got to the flashback scene (for those of you who've read Spin Devil, you'll know the one I mean). Having carried me well into the story, Red transitioned into a memory of the hero and heroine at a dance -- and did such an incredibly deft job of conveying the entire history of their relationship and the conflict between them that I was left absolutely speechless. And that was the moment in which I became a true-blue, dyed in the wool Red Garnier fan.

How about you? Who was your latest find? What was the scene or moment that made you really sit up and take notice?

-- Sierra Dafoe
BUILT TO LAST -- just released from Ellora's Cave!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Do you remember

Remember the dance flicks from the past? I was cruising through You Tube this morning as I enjoyed the first cup of coffee for the day and came across an old video from Flashdance. It made me stop and think... not a lot of these kind of movies anymore.

Why is that? Have we lost the desire to dance? Do our toes not tap in time to the beat anymore? Or have we simply lost interest in films that feature song and dance? Any any rate, here's a few videos from some films of the past - romantic tales that used song and dance as part of their expression.

What's your favorite?



Dirty Dancing

Happy Sunday!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things that float my boat

High on the list of things that fire my jets is photography. I love taking photos of people, watching their expressions and body language - snatching a moment out of time and freeze-framing it.

This photo comes from a shoot I did recently with Victoria, a good friend and quite beautiful woman. I had her pose with several different men who'd never modeled before and boy did she bring out the man in them:) Pictured here is Frank.

A photo like this inspires a lot of ideas for me and helps me create characters. How about you? Do images inspire ideas or do you use images to assign to characters you read?

Hope you have a great weekend!!


Photo by Syneca/Original Syn. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lips! Lips!! Lips!!!

Lips! “Read my lips!” “Don’t give me no lip!” “Press your two lips together and blow!” "Give me those lips!" "Press your lips to mine!" We outline them, lipstick them, gloss them. We purse them together, make them pouty, bite them, chew on them, smack them, lick them, and spread them.

Lucious lips. They can be plumped up with collagen to make them bigger. Sexier. Psychologists say it’s because a woman’s lips excite. They reflect her other set of lips. It’s all sexual you know. According to the couch potato analyzers. But do men really think this, or is it something more oral?

Lips greet everything that goes into our mouth. Kissing is one of the most sensual and personal things we can do to show our affection. Lips can be firm, hard, cold, wet, soft, and warm. A very versatile part of our anatomy that can convey so much simply by the way we use them. We can even whistle with them. Suck on a straw through them. Breathe through them. They can even be read by a trained lip-reader. They can get stuck to a metal pole in freezing weather. They can get chapped. They frame our smiles and frowns. So the next time you look in the mirror, smile and take care of those lips!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Book Shopping?

What motivates you to buy a particular book? Do you base your decision on the blurb? Is it the excerpts that draw you in? Do you like to try new authors or stick with the ones you know? Rely on reviews to guide your purchases? Do you judge books by their cover first then consider other factors? Stick to certain publishers? I'd really like to hear how you decide!

I've been thinking about this great deal lately. In this time of soaring prices, I am much more careful with my choices. I'm also much more likely to stick with a book longer, hoping it will get better, before deciding its not my cup of tea.

Personally, I don't like to read excerpts. When I buy the book then get to that point in the story the scene now seems anticlimatic to me if I've already read the excerpt. And no advertisement in a magazine or on a website is going to sell me a book, although it might get me to look at it the next time I'm shopping. Reviews are great, but I don't spend my money based on the opinion of someone who may not have the same reading tastes as I do. Free bookmarks and other promotional items never sold me either, but meeting an author in person will sway me.

It may be shallow, but covers do make a difference to me. I don't go for chick lit and I've found that covers for the genre tend to have a certain look that will make me pass right by to the next book. If the blurb can arouse my interest in the story, I'm sold. And if the cover happens to have the name of an author whose writing I've enjoyed in the past its even more of a done deal, but I don't shy away from reading new-to-me authors.

What about you? What will get you to take a closer look at one book vs. another? What prompts you to buy a title?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Now that we're men

My kids have gotten into Sponge Bob Squarepants and in the movie, Sponge Bob and Patrick sing a song about being men. It is actually amusing to hear what they think being men is all about, facial hair and all that. Sort of like snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

Due to some recent events, I have been thinking about men, more specifically about heroes. What makes them work? What makes them not work? And most of all, what makes them tick?

I like a wide range of heroes from Mal in Firefly/Serenity to Ramiel in the Lady's Tutor to Marcus in Partners in Passion: No Limits to Julian from Fantasy Lover to Draven from Master of Desire to Daegus in The Dark Highlander. I started to think about what made these guys heroes to me. And how that translated into a man in real life becoming a hero to me.

It all seemed to come down to one thing for me. Their own code of honor. They might not be good men, some are womanizers, some are thieves, most are jaded. But, they all live by their own code. They do not, under any circumstances, go against that code, no matter what other faults they might have.

Mal is a good one to illustrate this with. He's a thief. He doesn't mind killing when the situation demands it. He often has a cruel sense of humor. But he has a very specific code of honor: you protect your own. There's an episode where he comes back for River and Simon, two people who live onboard Serenity, his spaceship. Simon asks him at the end about why he came back for them. Mal says, "You're on my crew." Simon says that "you don't even like me." Mal says, "You're on my crew. Why are we still talking about this?" If you're part of those Mal protects, he will do anything for you. Anything. Even risking his own life and his ship to do it.

It's what makes him a hero in my eyes, despite other things that would probably eliminate him from that list.

Another thing about most heroes is that once they get involved with their heroine, their code of honor dictates they are only with her. They keep their vows to her, just like they keep their code of honor. Often times, their vow is a part of that code that they keep.

It's what makes a man a hero in real life, too. I know men who have their faults, but they keep their vows to their significant others and their children, in keeping with their own code of honor.

What kinds of things make a man a hero in your eyes?

Mechele Armstrong aka Lany of Melany Logen

MIDNIGHT TREAT $20 Gift Certificate - Amazon

Tuesday was a big day of celebration at my house. I was so excited that the paperback release of our Pocket Books' EC anthology - MIDNIGHT TREAT was being released. Margaret, Shelley and I were shouting so loudly I could almost hear Shelley across the world!

Seriously, I'm celebrating from now until June 30th on my website by giving away a $20 gift certificate to amazon. Just complete the form on my website site to be entered. Winner will be announced on June 30th.

Here's a little about the book.

WANTED: Kissable bachelor with fangs seeks soft, sexy lady for a kinky good time. Meet me at midnight....

To Kiss a Gargoyle

Tempted by the half-man/half-lion statue perched outside her high-rise office window, Marcy puts her hot lips on his rock-hard body, bringing the towering, muscular stud to life -- along with her wildest fantasies.

Tall, Dark and Deadly

After a business meeting with irresistible leading man Claude Darvell ends in carnal ecstasy, Eloise learns he's no actor -- he's a vampire -- and his seductive bite arouses her erotic appetite.

Curse of Brandon Lupinus

The gorgeous hunk who haunts Jess's dreams shows up in the flesh, claiming to be a ghostly eighteenth-century werewolf -- and together they indulge in some naughty bedroom play that leaves both of them panting for more.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Pocket (June 10, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416577238

(X-Rated) Read an excerpt


Pocket Books

Come Celebrate!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Romance, Red Bull and Paperclips

The three elements are on my desk right now:

A brand new manuscript that's going to my lovely editor this week; an empty can of the jet-fuel-tasting orange stuff; and all kinds of brightly colored paperclips in a paper origami receptacle that my eight-year old son made.

There's Trent Reznor snarling in the background that we shouldn't bite the "hand that feeds", my 95-pound Lab curled on my feet as he snores and dream-twitches. I've just finished my latest novel, Gladius, another addition to the Hussies series (well, if it's accepted that is...I'll share the news as soon as I have them). The UEFA Euro Cup (soccer) is on...which means my TV screen full of yummy men in shorts.

It's a good life, I tell you.
Which reminds me of the first romance I've read. Remember that one? Aside from the Harlequins that I was unfortunate enough to try back in the 80s (and made me run and never look back), I clearly remember my first ever romance. Actually, it was an erotic romance entitled Ravenous, by Sherri L. King. After I finished, I thought, DAMN, guns AND hot love AND a strong heroine?! Gimme more. I went on to try another, because O Joy, my hopes were up and my woman parts were tingly. I read Madame Charlie by Sahara Kelly. That was in 2006, I think. Supreme Delight, I LOVED it too. Two good books in two tries? I was hooked. So from one of those who'd look at romance books with a bit of distrust and a whole lot of "mehh", I became a fan of what I call "hybrids". I'm not sure if it's a proper term. Don't care. Hey, I even call science fiction "scifi" which I know gets some people's panties all bunched into a knot. You what? I don't care about that either. But back to those books with enough action to satisfy the gamer in me that also happen to pack some hot love and sex that please me as a woman? Well damn, can I ask for more?

I've read more of these hybrids since then, and even caught myself once or twice reading scifi or fantasy stories and *adding* the romance and sex in my head because suddenly, I thought it was lacking, which had never happened before. But I realize I'm a late bloomer.

So Hussies out there, do you remember the first romance or erotic romance book you read? What was it (and don't forget linkage goodness so we can drool at the cover)?

P.S. that photo was taken when we spent a weekend in Paris last year. It always makes me laugh because as my husband took it, I said "Wait! I have something in my eye!" To which he replied "What? An Eiffel tower?"

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Nerdgassing - a New Word by John Scalzi

I was just over at Scalzi's blog, Whatever, when I came across this gem. I thought it was hilarious.

Oh god, I'm a Nerd. And another thing I discovered: I totally have a crush on the guy.

Read it and, like me, giggle.

"The word: “Nerdgassing”

Definition: The venting nerds emit when some (often minor) detail of a book/movie/TV show/comic book/etc either conflicts with canon and/or handwaves through some
some suspect science.

Example One: “In the third show of the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data clearly says that the Glorithian flagship was constructed in orbit around that planet Norgar, but then in the fifteenth show of the sixth season, it’s said it was constructed in the Buterian space
docks! How do you explain that, hmmm?”*

Example Two:
“Ringworld is unstable! Ringworld is unstable!”
Secondary definition: What happens after too many Cheetos and Mountain Dew."

Saturday, June 07, 2008


I was cruising through YouTube, watching old music videos and hit on this one, a favorite of mine from the past. Not just because of the singer, but I thought it was really well done and quite romantic and tragic.

What do you think? What's your favorite music video from the past?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Love Songs The Second Time Around

Second Time around could easily become the third, fourth, and even one hundredth. Finding true love in the next lifetime might be a bit easier than it was the first time because if we have decided to come back as lovers a second time around, then we would have programmed those recognition filters within our human matrix.

LOL. That does sound a bit techno, oh well, I do so love scifi. But seriously, if it is true we choose our lives before we return, at least those who have worked through enough karmic debt to have the right to decide instead of having our lessons decided for us, then we might very well desire to have recall of our special someone.

I’m going to talk in terms of commonly held belief systems by those of us who either have firsthand experience in reincarnation and recall or those who at least embrace the idea of reincarnation. So if you and your cherished hunk decide to come back together in that fabled circle of life, meaning with the same souls you have traveled with before, then chances are you will recognize each other at least on a subconscious level. Sometimes people instantly recall their past lives spent in each others’ arms and sometimes enemies come back destined to be lovers as a way to work out their differences. Oh yeah, karma can be a demanding hussy!

Many believe there are time-released cellular memories within our makeup and when it’s time for a certain thing to happen those cells are activated. Not so far fetched as we might suspect since puberty is very much like that as is menopause when reduced to a very simplistic explanation for a complicated process. So say you and sugarbabe want to meet while in college. BOING! The instant attraction is in motion and those cellular memories spark. Ah…love at first sight…well, not exactly. It may appear to be love at first sight when it’s truly recognition.

This could explain some fatal attractions or obsessions. Maybe the person possessed with that unrequited love somehow recalls the past life love that is not destined to reoccur this current life. Bad wiring? Could be. Or maybe it is something more complex such as a lesson meant to teach what that experience allows the lonely heart to learn. The key is to be willing to delve a bit deeper into life’s situations and probe into the underlying meaning of what we are currently facing. Is it a challenge to our skills? Perhaps that is designed to place us in a position to stretch beyond our typical means. Maybe in a past life we were lazy in our work and didn’t learn the disciplines necessary to excel.

Maybe the person you are fixated on was in your position last life and you ignored him. Gasp! Would you ever do such a thing? Who knows. It’s all in the past but is ever so relevant to your present. Yes, we are summation of our past and not just this life.

So if you and your stud muffin decide next life to reconnect, you may even choose a favorite song to act as that catalyst to spark the cellular memory and open that door of recognition. Then Strangers in the Night might be more than situation to you, and even a past life love song that foretold your story.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gettin' Naughty - Pigeonholed?

During my research I got interested in birth order and personality. According to pop psychology, where you rank by age among your siblings has a profound effect on psychological development, and is a good indicator of personality. Does this sound reasonable or like a bunch of psychobabble to you? Read on to see what I discovered in my research. Although the defining qualities vary from one resource to another the general consensus is that oldest = leader, middle = adaptable, youngest = unreliable, only = self-centered.

The Oldest Child
Throughout history, most of the men elected as President in the U.S. have been the oldest child. These children tend to have serious, take charge personalities. They are planners who are not likely to miss important dates or occasions. First born people tend to lack spontaneity and dislike surprises. They were an only child for a while and often feel the need to show superiority over siblings. It’s suggested an oldest and youngest child match works well not just because opposites attract, but because some of their stronger traits can rub off on their partner.

The Middle Child
The adaptable compromiser and negotiator. Definitely not spoiled, the middle child tends to feel they didn’t get as much attention growing up. May feel life is unfair and that they’ve been left out. Stuck between the alpha older child and the manipulations of the baby, the middle child will either try and put others at ease or act out. Not the best communicators, they tend to keep their emotions close to the vest. Since the exacting nature of the oldest and only children tend to intimidate them, the middle child is said to do best with a youngest child.

The Youngest Child
Many famous comedians are youngest children. They tend to be the most outgoing and live to have fun. Opposite of the first born, they thrive on flying by the seat of their pants on the spur of the moment without any true plan. Expects others to make decisions and take care of the details. The youngest tend to not be great with finances or being on time. They may also be a bit spoiled and accustomed to getting their way, and they know how to use their charm to make sure they do. An oldest child is purported to be a good partner for counterbalance, or a middle child who understands their need to be at the center of the action.

Only Child
These are oldest children to the extreme. A serious perfectionist who matured quickly and tends to feel they should always be the center of attention. They take their time analyzing a situation until it’s too late to take action leaving someone else to make the first move. Again, for balance, their best pairing is said to be with a youngest child.

Now that you’ve read what the mucky-mucks believe here’s a bit of reality from my own life. If you look at my family this analysis is totally wacked (either that or my family is).
I am the youngest child and I am the least outgoing and spontaneous. To this day I struggle against my extreme shyness. I fit better into the oldest child description since I tend to be the one who gets everyone organized and plans things out. I am also the most likely to show up on time and makes sure the others are okay.
The middle child in my family got the most attention by acting the outcast. He is certainly not willing to negotiate or compromise on anything. He fits better with the youngest child description. He is the least reliable out of the three of us. My oldest brother fits more in the middle child from above. He is the one who is tight-lipped. He may be a supervisor at work, but he is far from alpha in his personal life. He tends to be the one trying to keep the peace and quietly following along the rest of the time.

My children don’t fit into this mold either. My oldest can be a leader and planner at times, but she’s also the least dependable. My youngest is all alpha, although that may be because he grew up in an all female house and felt he had to be “the man in charge”.

In my opinion, personalities can’t be predicted by an astrological sign, birth order, race, religion, sex or any other single factor. We are a product of many different influences and are complex individuals who are not easy to figure out. That’s what makes us all unique and fascinating, and keeps life from being boring.
What do you think? Does your family fit into the mold or are they much more dynamic?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Book Talk

Apparently I received some bad information because last week I told you having ten new books out each week from Ellora's Cave Publishing was finished. Oops! We're getting ten more yummy books again this week, not that it's a hardship or anything. *g*

Releasing Wednesday:

Lovers at Last - Shelley Munro (Contemporary)

Twisted Steel and Sex Appeal - M.A. Ellis (Contemporary / owym)

A Cowboy's Charm - Brandi Michaels (Western)

Perfect Cadence - Nikki Soarde (Contemporary / Menage / Gay)

Releasing Thursday:

Convincing Silvia - Erin Aislinn (Contemporary / owym)

Out of Control - Eve Savage (Contemporary / owym)

Releasing Friday:

Soul of the Sea - Alison Paige (Shapeshifter)

Barbarian's Bride - Rodine Dobeck (Historical)

Chocolate Destiny - Alexa & Patrick Silver (Futuristic)

In the Arms of the Wind - Charlotte Boyett-Compo (Romantic Suspense)

The Hussies would like to extend a warm welcome to new to Ellora's authors Eve Savage and Rodine Dobeck. We wish you all the best. And welcome back to Brandi Michaels. Its been too long since we got a new, steamy read from you!

Happy reading!

So naughty it's positively scandalous!

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Dreaded "R" Word...

Since it's June - summer for us in the Northern Hemisphere - I've been thinking a lot about vacations, travel and all that sort of thing. Plus we're in the middle of a hot political season as well. Both these topics crashed head-on into each other when I put gas in my car yesterday.

There's no two ways about it, nor any polite way of putting it - we're in a RECESSION, folks. The politicians can call it what they want, but when the cost of filling my gas tank nearly maxes out my credit card...when a gallon of milk requires I pass on the cookies to go with it...and when every bill I get in the mail is higher than the last one - yep. It's a recession, all right.

So I have to wonder how you all are managing, given our current financial crisis. And in particular, how it is affecting your reading. I'm a writer. I need to know these things!!!

So here's some questions for you - and I hope you have chance to answer them. Vent a little frustration, whine, rant..whatever you want.

Question One: Are you reading as much now as you did a year ago? I'm not. Besides the time thing, I have a habit of digging around in my bookshelf for old favorites and re-reading them now and again, especially on long hot summer afternoons. It's like spending time with old friends.

Question Two: When you do scrabble together enough pennies for a book, how are you choosing what you'll buy? Are you getting less-expensive books these days? Waiting for them to be reduced or end up on the Bargain aisle? Or are you saving up for that one new release from a favorite author?

Question Three: Are you sharing books with friends? Setting up your own little lending library? (Hint: Put your NAME inside those paperbacks. They'll get lost and won't be able to find their way home otherwise. I'm still missing a Nora Roberts someplace...)

Question Four
: Are you having to make a choice these days between books and other things? I'm not sure there ARE "other things" but my family has this silly habit of complaining if I'm out of stuff like eggs and bread. Obviously they haven't realized the nourishment provided by a good book. (Also a diet aid if you bought it instead of double chocolate chip ice cream. Hmm. The Recession Diet? LOL)

I'm interested in knowing how you feel about all this. How your purchases - when it comes to reading - are affected by the overall financial situation going on right now. We're all feeling the pinch, tightening our belts and looking for ways to economize - and cover that damn fuel bill. Where do books rate on your priority list?

Oh...Question Five: Anybody know where I can find some cheap gas?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

If I had a theme song ....

Yeah you probably guessed it. After all, I am a Redneck Woman. And I don't take offense to being called a Redneck. There's millions of us, and by and large we're a pretty good bunch of folks. Ya'll non-rednecks sometimes get the idea that we're a bunch of illiterate, inbred yahoos with not enough sense to get in out of a shower of rain, but that's really not the case. And when it comes to redneck women ... well Gretchen says it with country style ....

So why do I consider myself a Redneck? Well that's easy. I'm a country gal - born and raised. Spent more time around the middle-class than the affluent. I grew up near a real small country town that was populated with farmers, ranchers, construction workers, small town shop owners, volunteer fire and police departments - people who knew everyone's mama and grandmama and great grandmama (and what everyone was doing and who was doing who).

I learned to drive a tractor before a car. Rode a horse years before I rode a bus. Thought the 4th of July was one of THE most important holidays of the year, and always said yes ma'am and yes sir because it was unthinkable not to.

My favorite car was a Ford pickup that I called Blue -a three in the tree affair with a clutch stiff enough that I built up one hell of a leg muscle changing gears.

My redneck heritage didn't prevent me from earning a doctorate degree or finding a good man or raising two wonderful children. It didn't prevent me from traveling, from exploring who the woman inside this redneck is or learning things from people of other cultures outside this country. It did hamper me a bit in college French. Seems my southern tongue was made for French that had nothing to do with talking. It allowed me to feel good about myself when I wanted a chainsaw more than a diamond necklace, and a tractor more than a new car. It gave me a strong sense of self, and a sense of humor that let me laugh at myself and not take offense when others laughed or thought I talked funny.

But most of all it gave me a forgiving nature. I don't expect others to be or talk or think like me. Hell, that would be boring as all get out. I don't want or need approval or praise for living the life I choose, and sure as heck don't feel qualified to tell someone else how to think or live.

So there you have it. I'm a redneck and proud of it.

Hell yeah.