Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gettin' Naughty - Feel The Power

Music is great at setting the mood, no matter what mood it is you’re after, there are some great songs to get you there. Music holds great power. It has the ability to soothe and relax us, or excite and exhilarate. It can tell a story, evoke emotion, and even be used in medical as well as spiritual healing.

I’ve learned the hard and expensive way (through speeding tickets) that I can’t listen to hard rock while driving. Makes me very aggressive and brings out my lead foot. I start thinking I’m in the middle of that old game, Pole Position, and I have to be first to the next red light! God forbid Sammy Hagar, I Can’t Drive 55, comes on while I’m driving. Love that hair…LOL!

When I feel like getting my grove on, give me some Usher, baby. Yeah! Now, I didn’t say I could dance, because I have no rhythm, but I like to try sometimes and this is one of my faves for trying to get my grove on.

When the past is after me, and I need to remember how far I’ve come, I want Rascal Flatts, I’m Movin’ On. This song speaks to my soul, almost as if they wrote it just for me, at the time I needed it most. No matter where I am or what’s happening when this song comes on, I have to stop, listen and sing along. If you’ve read Tamara’s Spirit, you will hear echoes of this song when Tamara faces her past. Click here to watch the video.

When I need a pick me up and want to sing, its Sheryl Crow, Soak Up The Sun, played really loud so no one, not even me, can hear me singing. Nope, I can’t sign either.

Felling sexy or wanting to get in the mood, I turn on Paula Cole, Feelin’ Love. If there was ever a song made for sex, this is it. Damn skippy, baby! Sorry, Paula never made a video for this song, but I found one with Mick from Moonlight in it. Yum! He makes my inner lioness sit up and roar!

These are just a few songs that affect me and my moods. Are there any particular songs that make you sing, dance, cry, feel sexy, feel anything at all?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Book Talk

I have come to the conclusion that I am a book hussy. Yup, you heard it here first. I, Nicole Austin, have a disease. I must have all the new releases, whether I actually have time to read them or not. My justification, if I don't buy them right away, I might forget and miss out on a awesome read. *sigh*

I've reached this conculssion because of my massive to-be-read stack. Currently, I have more than 250 e-books awaiting my attention. I kid you not. And that's not even going into the stacks of print books. As adictions go, this one is pretty good, IMHO.

What can I say, resistance is futile. I must have ALL the books! They will be mine! This week's releases from Ellora's Cave Publishing are no exception. Check them out and join me in setting your inner book hussy free.

Releasing Wednesday:

Honeysuckle - Anny Cook (Fantasy / Menage)

Stone and Earth - Cindy Spencer Pape (Shapeshifter)

Seven Minutes to Heaven - Lena Matthews (Contemporary)

Mystic Circle - Bronwyn Green (Paranormal)

Releasing Friday:

Rules of Engagement - Ann Bruce (Contemporary)

Amethyst Tryst - Alexis Canto (Paranormal)

Exotika: Journey to the Pearl - Desiree Holt (Erotica)

Sins of the Knight - Dawn Halliday (Medieval Historical)

The Hussies would like to give a warm welcome to new to Ellora's author Alexis Canto. We wish you all the best!

Quick, get them all right away while they're still hot off the presses. Hurry, before someone else gets them. Hold on to them tight and devour the books!

Happy reading!
So Naughty It's Scandalous

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In the Company of Like Minds

In the Company of Like Minds...
Now since most of us here are romance readers, the reference in the title may be a little obscure, but it alludes to a wonderful science fiction novel from the late nineties—In the Company of Mind—by a talented, brand-new author named Steven Piziks. Its sequel, Corporate Mentality, was the first paperback that ever had my name in it—on the thank you page. I was a graduate student in biology at the time, and Steven had gone back to school to add to his teaching credentials. We had many common friends, and being two of the few married couples in that circle, Steven and his wife quickly became close friends of my husband and me. As well as slaving away at his studies, Steven was doggedly pursuing his dream of being a published author. He wrote, revised, and submitted with a diligence I didn’t fully appreciate until many years later. When he needed some physiological information for his novels, a few bits of my thesis research went into it, and a few years later, I got to see my name in print. What a thrill.

At the time, I had no idea that all the stories bouncing around in my head would one day demand telling, and that some years later, I too would find myself being an aspiring writer, albeit of a genre less appealing to most of our geeky friends. I’d say Steven mentored me, but that wouldn’t be entirely correct. I believe he would have, if I’d been open to it, but that wasn’t my path. I needed to forge forward on my own. But he did make the occasional comment here and there that kept me believing in myself enough to move forward on that path—I’m not sure I’d even told him I was writing, for much of that time. But just knowing that someone I knew had made it to publication was a huge boost. I knew it could happen. And I knew from watching Steven that it didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen without a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Writing is WORK. That was an invaluable lesson to learn.

In 2001, I finished a rough draft of my first novel, submitted it, and was summarily rejected (possibly with more kindness than that awful book deserved). I did join RWA, and the Greater Detroit chapter. The next year I joined my first critique group—with mixed results. Most of us had little in common, and it was not a terribly effective group. But I made friends of other writers, and that was a gift without price. Spending time at chapter and critique meetings and getting to know that there are other people out there whose minds work in the same weird, twisty ways as my own—it was an exciting, eye-opening experience. I was not alone! From my chapter and critique group, I learned so much about the craft and business of publishing, I can’t begin to explain it.

Teachers go to work everyday and in the brief moments between crises, talk to other teachers. Engineers go to work and maybe have lunch with other engineers. Likewise for doctors, accountants, lawyers, and mechanics. But writing is by nature such a solitary profession that it is very easy to withdraw into ourselves and forget that we have, for lack of a better word, co-workers. We need to have them. We need to know that someone understands why we cry over a bad review, even if the reviewer was clearly insane. We need to know someone who can share our elation when a new project is contracted. A spouse who mutters, “Well, of course it was!” is encouraging, but they never quite get it. To stay sane, or remotely able to pass for sane, at any rate, we need to have our water-cooler network. Whether that’s a monthly meeting, or an on-line chat loop. Face it, a lot of the great writers in history did go off the deep end. Maybe if they’d had a solid critique group, someone would have told them to seek help in time.

In 2006, I sold my first novel, and Steven was one of the first people I told, along with my RWA chapter. Since then I have had ten more contracts (or is it eleven?) and each one is still as exciting as the first. One of the best things that has come of it was my introduction to the on-line romance writing community. Now it’s here where I jump up and down or sulk as reviews and milestones occur. The encouragement and support I’ve received from my new cyber-friends has far outweighed the occasional bickering and backbiting I’ve seen. To all of you out there who have congratulated, commiserated, or helped me find that elusive bit of information, thank you, thank you, thank you! T

Tomorrow I have a new story released (Stone and Earth, from Ellora’s Cave—OK, I had to get the plug in somewhere) and it is dedicated to the members of the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America, because without them, I am very sure I wouldn’t be here today. One of the more thrilling moments of the last year came when Steven emailed me and asked if I’d like to join his critique group for professional writers. Professional writer? Me? Really? Coming from someone you respect and admire, that’s such a huge validation. Of course I leapt at the chance and now have several new friends who support me and my writing. Some are multi-published with big NY houses, others have sold a short story or two, but they are all seriously working at their craft and careers. When one of them tells me “well done” I still beam like a kindergartener given a gold star.

So my one piece of advice for other authors? Find a support network and treat them like the gods and goddesses they are. Nurture and treasure those friendships with other writers. Whether you find your network through an organized group, an on-line chat, or a handful of friends at a coffeehouse, find yourself some like minds, and rejoice in their company!
Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble. You can find out more about me at any of the links below.
Get your Happy-Ever-After Fix at...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Monday...can't trust that day!

Da da, da-da-da-daaaaah...

Since Sister Hussy Ciana brought up the topic of music yesterday, I figured I'd continue the theme (pardon the pun) with a few words about Monday music. For those of us proudly wearing the title Baby Boomer, the words "Monday Monday" immediately start us singing along with the Mamas and the Papas.

Yep, I like to sing along. I'll admit it. In the car, around the house, anywhere I'm alone and can let rip, I'll sing if there's something I know the words to on the radio. I even have one or two faves on my computer. Sadly, most of these are now labeled as "golden oldies" - and isn't THAT shattering! Way back when, music told a story, most often a love story (although Honky Tonk Woman is debatable) and we could figure out ninety percent or so of the words. Okay, Louie Louie may be the exception, but we only sing that when we're roaring drunk anyway, so who cares???

My Monday music tends towards the gentle, the caressing, the yes-you-can-make-it-through-the-day type of stuff (or help me make it through the night - remember that one?). It's not playing while I write because I find it distracting - I've got a bazillion memories invested in these songs and they rush back into my head when I hear a familiar riff or phrase. There are a lot of artists out there today who are making wonderful music - and I love Ci's "discovery", Ballistic Edna. Their middle eastern influence resonates with me and brings back more great memories. (Years ago I was involved in the Middle Eastern music field. You never forget drum talking...dum-tek-a-tek)

However, I confess to a wince or two these days when I inadvertently hit the wrong FM button on my car radio. Rap/heavy metal/hip-hop something-or-other doesn't do it for me. The only story it's telling me is how the group has a severe case of hemorrhoids. Or at least that's what it sounds like to my ancient ears. Do my son and I disagree on this? Yes. Quite a lot, since he's the one who messes with my car radio settings, the devil. I realize that times change and music reflects our society in so many subtle (and not so subtle) ways. This is fine with me...I'm all for it. And when a sister Hussy finds a new musical treasure like Ballistic Edna, I'm thrilled to bits. (I probably would NOT have stumbled over this group on my own. I will be asking Ciana where she surfs to find folks like this. I don't think they're on eBay. LOL)

All this rambling simply reminds me of our diversity and the variety of our interests. I try to remember that on a Monday when I put the key in the ignition and I'm greeted with an ear splitting scream from Rage Against the Machine. I hang on to the steering wheel (one of these days I swear it's gonna drop off from the decibel level), pray the windows don't shatter and gently turn down the volume. Then I slip in one of my CD's I've hidden in the sliding drawer under my seat. The one my son knows nothing about. And I let Mick and the boys give me some "Satisfaction" as I head out to run my errands.

Ahhhh.... now THAT'S a Monday song....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rock my World

With music.

I'm a big music fan. Except when the television goes on at night for that one hour of wind-down time, my house is filled with music. It inspires, invigorates, relaxes or excites me. A day without music is a bad day for this Hussy. I have an eclectic taste in music and listen to everything from classic to country, old heavy metal to new age. I'm very non-discriminatory. If a song "gets" me I buy it, listen, enjoy and celebrate the creative talent that went into its creation.

Are you a music addict as well?

I recently found a band from Chicago that "rocked" me. Ballistic Edna. They label themselves as alternative pop with Middle Eastern spice. I label them fresh, fun to listen to, )and their song Smoulder is one I've listened to repeatedly as I've been working on a new book). Their songs have appeared on Dawson's Creek and have been downloaded over 1 million times.

James Reilly, Marcella Donnell,Robin Malott and Jack Jerozal have not only captured the attention of the Hussies, they're an Officially endorsed band of The Hussies. You'll be hearing more about them, and their fantastic track What Was That, which will appear on an upcoming Hussies video.

For now, here's a video of Ballistic Edna's smash hit Smoulder.

Please visit their site ( or their myspace page ( and say hello and hear more of their music.

This is Ciana for the Hussies saying a big thanks to James, Marcella, Robin and Jack. May all your music go Platinum and may you always have fun creating great new sounds.

To our readers, let me know if you're big into music and what "ignites your inner Hussy" when you hear it.

Until next time:)

Friday, January 25, 2008

If You’re Not Worth a Good Laugh, You’re Not Worth Much

That’s a French adage I firmly believe in. So in the spirit of having a good laugh at my expense (hey, I’m a writer, my skin is like titanium plating), I’d like to share my few bumbling steps in English, the lovely language I learned at 18 about, well, exactly 18 years ago, when I joined the military. If someone would’ve told me then that I’d not only be able to hold a conversation but to write books in English, I would’ve smacked them upside the head for making fun of me. But I can hold conversation (notwithstanding the accent, mind you) and I do write in English.

For those who’ve had to learn another language as an adult, you *know* how hard it is. You have to force your face into different ways, do things with your tongue you never knew you could (hey, that’s always a bonus right?) and give up on your dignity for the first year. I made mistakes that would curl up your toes. I’ve listed the most outrageous, along with a list of words that I still have trouble with.

First of all, in the French language, we don’t have the “th” sound. When I see “the”, to me it registers as “de”. Same for initial “h” words like hotel (which I pronounce the same way as apple, otel). Second, French people speak fast. Because I’m stubborn and didn’t want to slow down to learn, I’d launch into incomprehensible rapid-fire English that probably sounded like an alien language. Everything time the phone would ring at work, I’d run the other way.

One of the biggest faux pas I did learning English was get confused between a very innocuous word and another, lets say, less polite word. It went something like this:

At work, in the hangar where everybody hangs out before the actual start of the day. Lots of people, all guys, all English. Me the only gal, the only French. Fun.
Sergeant Boss: “Hey, Nat, you’re late. Why?” (he was always succinct, that man).
Me: “Oh, Sarge, I was driving to work but when I turned into the back road, there was a sound under my truck. I stopped to look. I think I hit a skank. And my truck still stinks.”

Did you know it’s possible for a man to laugh so hard he farts? Yes. My boss did. I had to wait a good, oh what, five minutes while everyone was rolling on the floor for one of them to explain to me what I’d said. Oh dear. So that day, I learned the difference between skunk and skank. Not the same.

Here’s a list of words that make my inner Chihuahua want to chew her leg off:

Skunk - skank

Kitchen - chicken (always get these two mixed up)

Version - virgin (oh yeah, there’s another good story with that one)

Horror - whore (“Wanna see a whore movie, Bob?” “Hell yeah!”)

Dog - Doug - dug (all sounds the same to me and comes out the same as well)

Collar - color (I say “koh-ler”, I know, makes no sense)

How - ow (“Ow are you?”)

Poo - pew (yeah, in church, me, I sit on a poo)

Through - true - thru (all comes out sounding like what a parakeet would say...TRROOO!)

That gives you an idea how much fun it is for a true anglophone to speak with me. There’s a lot of “Excuse me? What did you say?” And because I always sound as if my life will end in the next minute and I have to finish that conversation before I diiiiie, add the rapid-fire element, and talking with me is pretty fun. I like to think.
Next time you deal with someone who can’t master that beautiful language that is English, have a bit of patience and please, if she says she hit a skank with her truck, don’t call the police right away...

Released and Outted all in the same day!

Me me'd... Isn't that the cutest way of saying it? That's what Sandra did to me, so here I am posting six rather mundane things about myself. Here goes:

1. I love SciFi. I will watch a B grade movie to get my fix!

2. I once got my lip caught in a zipper. (When I pulled my jacket over my head and then zipped it up. OUCH!)

3. I cannot stand the smell of burning sage. I always smudge a room with cedar.

4. I’m trained as a hypnotist. You are getting sleepy. When you awake, you will believe you are running for President!

5. The way to my heart is with chocolates and wine.

6. I once received a call from a US Senator’s office inviting me to a White House dinner with George Bush. They obviously had the wrong Sally Painter.

NJ Walters
Nicole Austin
Ashely Ladd
Eva St. Croix

The Rules: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. Tag six random (Sorry, I had this saved as a draft and somehow it was mostly deleted, so this is all I can think of at 3 am. 4 will have to do.) people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Title: Divided Love
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
ISBN: 9781419914355 Ebook (Digital)
Publication Date: January 25, 2008

When Reci Waters, Queen of Cups, an underwater nation, suddenly abdicates to live on land, no one, not even the two people closest to her, knows the real reason - to save her kingdom from a deadly enemy.

When the Curse of the Empty Throne hits and Reci divides into two people, she's forced to face emotions she's long suppressed-most importantly, her feelings for her handsome Captain of the Royal Guard, Arthur Finn. But when her hot-blooded twin decides it's time to explores those sexual longings, things don't just grow steamy, they're scorching hot!

Arthur has loved Reci for years, but royal protocol forced his longings to smolder just below the surface...until Reci divided in two. Now he's finding her irresistible- both of her. There's only one problem — Reci will die if he doesn't get her back to Cups, and her twin has run off, refusing to return to her underwater home.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gettin' Naughty - Spoiled Brats

Since Sahara brought up age, I decided to be naughty in a different way this week.

A friend sent this to me in an email and I altered it slightly. If you are 30 or older, you will think this is hilarious! If not, send it to your parents! They’ll think it’s funny! Don’t show it to anyone under 30, they will only roll their eyes at you and sigh just like you used to do to your parents.

It happened to all of us when we were kids—adults boring us to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up. I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!

But now that I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, actually over the age of forty but who’s counting, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don’t know how good you’ve got it.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves… In the card catalog! Do you even know what a card catalog is? Didn’t think so!

There was no email. *gasp* We had to actually write somebody a letter… With a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street to put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there.

There were no MP3’s or Napster. If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself. Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! Of course, that was back when they still played music on the radio instead of just talking all the time.

All this instant news and live videos of events unfolding just didn’t happen. You had to stay awake until 11pm to watch the news on TV or wait until the paper got delivered in the morning to find out what was going on.

They invented something great called MTV (Music Television) that played music videos 24/7. What happened to the music videos? Now MTV is nothing but reality shows.

We didn’t have fancy stuff like call waiting or voice mail! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal and had to call back, that’s it.

And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID Boxes either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your mom, your boss, a collections agent, you just didn’t know! You had to pick it up and take your chances.

When we were on the phone with our friends and our parents walked in, we were stuck to the wall with a cord, a 7-foot cord that ran to the phone—not the phone base, the actual phone. We barely had enough length to sit on the floor and still be able to twirl the phone cord in our fingers. If you suddenly had to go to the bathroom guess what we had to do… Hang up and talk to them later.

Cell phones, forget about it. You had to walk until you found a payphone that worked and scrounge up the cash to make a call.

We didn’t have any fancy Sony Play Station or X-Box video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600, baby. With games like Space Invaders and Asteroids, and the graphics were horrible! Your guy was a little square. You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever. And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died.

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating. All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn’t see, you were just screwed!

Some of us had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu! For those of us who didn’t have cable we only had 3 maybe 4 channels and if the president was on it was on the 3 good channels. To find out what was on you had to use a little book called a TV Guide. And there was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

And we didn’t have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing or a pan with HOT oil and Real popcorn kernels and shake it all over the stove forever like an idiot.

For the writers. There were no computers with lovely programs like MS Word that underlined possible errors and checked your spelling. You had to stick a piece of correction tape in there and type over your mistakes. And you couldn’t cut and paste paragraphs with a few keystrokes when you typed on a manual typewriter. Editors didn’t tack on electronic comments that could be removed. They got out a red pen and marked up the page, which you now had to retype.

You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled! You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Book Talk

It's another special week here on Book Talk. One of our very own hussies, Sally Painter, has a book coming out on Friday. Woot! Divided Love is part of the Torrid Tarot series. Congrats, my hussy sista.I can't wait to get my hot little hands on it!

Let's all give a shout out to the wonderful creative talent of those fine folks in the EC Art Department. Y'all do an amazing job of making our books shine! I'm totally digging the edginess of the cover for Skin!

Without further delay, here are the eight books releasing from Ellora's Cave Publishing this week.

Releasing Wednesday:

God Style Temptation by Taige Crenshaw

Sins of Adaven by Ruth D. Kerce

Quest Into The Forbidden by Vanessa N. Gilfoy

Call of Temptation by Michelle M. Pillow

Releasing Friday:

Ensnared by Innocence by Larissa Lyons

Seeds of Garnet by Elaine Lowe

Divided Love by Sally Painter

Skin by Bernadette Gardner

Time to do your part for literacy and hit the EC website! Go forth and shop.

Happy Reading!

So Naughty it's Scandalous

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Guest Blogger Karen Erickson

Hello! First of all, I want to thank The Hussies for allowing me the chance to guest blog at their wonderful site today. What a great bunch of authors these Hussies are!

I pondered what the heck I could blog about. Sometimes I just feel know...boring. The characters I create get all the excitement, not me. But then I received an email from an old friend, and her message completely inspired me.

She wrote to tell me that she loved my books cos they helped her. Little ol' me and my little ol' books have improved her sex life with her husband! I thought that rocked. When I started writing, I never thought my naughty stories would actually help anyone. To hear that, well, it made me happy.

It also reminded me of when I was in my late teens and my boyfriend and I discovered Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden. We were already horny teenagers (or maybe we were twenty? I can't remember) but after reading that we couldn't get enough of each other! Nancy Friday improved my sex life for an entire summer, lemme tell you. I wonder whatever happened to my copy of that book. I lost it...or maybe he took it with him. Hee hee...

So authors, have you ever been told your work helped improve someone's sex life? And readers, have you ever read a book that got you so worked up you had to attack your husband/boyfriend/bed buddy/any random person on the street? I'd love to hear any tales or recommendations. I'm sure my husband would appreciate the recommendations, too!

On a last note, I hope you get a chance to check out my new book with Ellora's Cave, Virgin Jewels. You can also visit my website for more information.

The Virgin's Blood necklace is legendary. Simple in appearance, it wields a sexual power only its true owners can experience.

Hannah doesn't understand why the newest acquisition at her family's jewelry store makes her ache so deliciously. When Colin visits the shop and tells the necklace's erotic tale, Hannah's further enflamed — for the necklace and the man.

Borrowing the necklace, she has mind-blowing sex with Colin, the power of the stones overwhelming. But for normally shy Hannah, the experience is bittersweet. Her alluring aggressiveness isn't real — it's the Virgin's Blood Jewels. She can't keep the necklace, and fears she'll lose Colin without it. But Colin knows more about the jewels than he's telling.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ripe Cheese

As the title suggests, I'm going to talk about age today. Yeah, Monday's aren't great for that topic, but we CAN survive it. I will admit to being of "A Certain Age" - which is the French way of saying I'm someplace in between 45 and the obituary column. (Vive La France.)

I don't usually pay much attention to it, unless I happen to get into one of "those" conversations with my mother. The one that goes something like... "Dear, don't you think your hair's a bit long for a woman your age?" ... or... "You're showing a lot of cleavage for a woman your age, dear." Now, my mom is a wonderful woman. She is still, however, solidly in the Buckingham Palace mindset when it comes to appearance/age. I think she hopes to see me in a permed short "do" wearing a tasteful twinset and pearls.

Sorry, mom, ain't gonna happen. As far as the hair thing goes? My initial response is... "Hell yeah, I need long hair. What else is hubby gonna grab when he's riding me doggy style?" Okay, not really usable when talking to one's mother. And the cleavage - "No, I don't think I'm showing too much. My nipples are hidden, aren't they?" Also not terribly appropriate for daugher/mother discussions. I could answer these points individually, but it won't help much. Because mom doesn't understand that for so many of us these days, age is mind over matter. We don't mind, so it don't matter.

Sure, we look in the mirror on some Mondays and wonder what the hell happened. But there are other days when we take a look at a vibrant face, full of experience, wisdom and the humor to deal with it all. I think women should be labeled "ripe", not mature. I don't feel mature. I feel ripe - ripe for fun, ripe for laughter (and yes, ripe for a nap now and again, I'll confess. LOL) We have years behind us that have enriched us and made us who we are right now. We know more about sex than half the experts and have the medications to ease the cramped muscles which occasionally result. Are we gorgeous? Depends on your point of view. My point of view says "don't stand me next to a Victoria's secret model and I can shoot for "elegant", if not gorgeous." That works just fine for me.

I truly believe that surviving Mondays has a lot to do with how we perceive ourselves. I've never been able to convince Mom that a scrawl on a calendar has NOTHING to do with age. That long hair works for me. That cleavage, when displayed appropriately, is an excellent distraction away from the other bits I don't want noticed. I love my Mom and she loves me in spite of the hair and the tits. So we don't always see eye-to-eye on appearance and behavior. (RT convention photos of me cuddling a variety of cover models - well, I think she's still hyperventilating over those! LOL) She views me as her eldest daughter. Her grown-up daughter. The mother of her college-aged grandson. I'm all those things. But those aren't notches on the tightening belt of age. They're part and parcel of a chunk of ripe cheese that's sitting happily alongside a bevy of other ripe cheeses and enjoying life to the fullest whenever possible.

So this Monday, I will groom my long hair, tuck my girls into my engineered marvel of a bra and strut my stuff around my house. (Okay, covered by layers of warm clothing, but you get the idea.) How old we are isn't measured by a calendar on a fridge. It's measured by the life in our hearts. It's measured by the passion in our souls not the number of times we have to get the grey out of our hair. Somedays I feel like I'm a hundred-and-two. Other days - I'm twelve. I'm a woman of a "certain age" - I'm a HUSSY - and I have long hair.

If you're a "ripe cheese" or heading that way, let me know how YOU deal with the whole thing? I'd love to hear!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Man up? You better believe it baby

Today I'm going to detour a bit from the normal to bring you the story of a "man in the making." This story is about a 12-year-old boy in Houston, Texas, who faced having to "man-up" in a big way.

And the wisdom and strength this kid discovered is quite remarkable. Regardless of your beliefs and religious affiliations, I think everyone can appreciate the strength and courage this kid found to do what had to be done, despite the fact that it broke his little heart in the doing. That's what I call a true man in the making ... someone who can take on the hard tasks and not lose his heart in the process.

So today, my hat's off to 12-year-old Logan, the Sky Angel Cowboy, from Houston, Texas. Logan, my heart's with you, honey. I know you'll be fine, but you have my admiration. What a fine man-in-the-making you are.

(This came from Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3 who found this phone call so profound, they put it on their web site.)

This is Ciana, for the Hussies, saying have a great Sunday. Our hearts go out to anyone feeling the pain of loss or grief and we salute the bravery and courage of those who face hard times and find strength to carry on. You are the unsung heroes in the tale of humanity.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

  • Hussy in Danger!
    Women continue to outnumber men nine to one as victims of assault by a spouse or partner. WTF?! Hussies, we're in danger. Look at those stats from Canada, considered a safe country, and try to imagine the numbers from countries where it's okay to gang-rape a woman to "punish" her of having been raped. Okay, that reasoning? Totally messed up.

  • In 1996 half of all family homicides involved spouses

  • Between 1977 and 1996, three times as many women were killed by their spouses as were men killed by their spouses

  • Girls are at greatest risk of sexual assault by a family member while between 12 and 15 years of age

  • In 1996 nine of ten crimes committed against older adults by family members were physical assaults

We can't let that continue here, because dude, it's just not right. So my inner Chihuahua, she's putting on her camo headband, donning her studded collar and cracking her knuckles. Because here at Hussies Central, we care about you, and we want you to be safe.

To every attack, there are countless counterattacks. We'll separate them into two categories (verbal and physical) since not everyone is physically able to lay the smack down on the attacker. But we can ALL tell him what's on our mind. Let's call him The Asshole.

The Asshole invades your personal space, imposes on you uninvited physical contact, acts as if he owns everything in sight? We've all met that particular brand of assholes. Fear not, here's a way to deal with him.
The next time he gets in your face, look confident, avoid confrontation if possible, but if it's not or you've just had enough (my inner Chihuahua is rubbing her paws), wait until there are people within earshot then loudly exclaim "My God, man! Put that back in your pants! Eww!"

There are several types of attacks, just as there are several types of Assholes. One of the most common forms of assholliness takes place in drinking establishments. Put alcohol and jerks in the same place, and BAM, instant Asshole. But here at the Hussies, we know how to make them cry for their mommies. Examples of dialogue:

Asshole: “I’d like to call you. What’s your number?”

Hussy: “It’s in the phone book.”

A: “But I don’t know your name.”

H: “That’s in the phone book too.”


A: “Your place or mine?”

H: “Both. You go to yours and I’ll go to mine.”


A: “Is this seat empty?”

H: “Yes, and this one will be, too, if you sit down.”


A: “So what do you do for a living?”

H: “I’m a female impersonator.”


A: “Hey, come on, we’re both here at this bar for the same reason.”

H: “Yeah! Let’s pock up some chicks!”


A: “I would go to the end of the world for you.”

H: “Yes, but would you stay there?”

The following is a list, by no means exhaustive or complete, of ways to physically deal with The Asshole. Try a few on a willing friend, you'll see, they work!

  1. the nutcracker: self-explanatory, any protuberance will do (elbow, knee, hand, foot, etc)

  2. throat jab: use anything and drive it under the Asshole's chin. Don't stay to watch him turn blue, even if it's highly amusing and satisfying on a deep, animal level

  3. the nose job: strike the heels of your palms one against the other. Hard, eh? Now imagine if you were to strike The Asshole right under the nose...

  4. elbow grease: the elbow is the strongest point in your body. No need to be an athlete, pay for fancy training or be 6'3". Just use some elbow power and make him see stars

  5. my feet are killing me: use the frustration of countless hours in your life lost waiting in line, chasing the kids at the mall, enduring conversations with people you cared nothing about but was too polite to do anything about it. You kick him. I don't care where. But he gets in your face? You kick him. Hard. Use those heels that are killing your feet. Chunky heels? Even better. Stilettos? Precision kicking baby

To recap, here are two easy tips
Got something pointy? Jab something soft (keys = belly, pen = eyeball, etc)
Got something hard? Hit something bony (umbrella = hands, shoe = face)

Believe it or not, there's a book out there on how to deal with Assholes. Yes! The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't, Robert Sutton. I know what's on MY birthday wish list!

I now leave you with the following video featuring Jim Carrey performing his famous self-defense sketch. Watch and learn, grasshopper, and most importantly, remember: a confident Hussy is a safe Hussy!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sex and The Vampire

Sex and the vampire.

I’ve written a couple of vamp novels and have to say for me that whole bad boy appeal just makes my toes curl. I adore the tall dark and non-human aspect of the vamp lover. And while my vamps are quite comfy in their skins and never lament about not being human, they do have their own brand of angst of emotional wounds.

Recently I started writing another vamp book and plan for it to be a book 2 in the Savannah setting I created for All I Need. In writing it, I've added quite a few other elements such as werewolves and another yet unnamed species of dark and mysterious. (g)

This whole process made me think about vampires and their kindred ghouls and what exactly about them appeals to us as women and as readers.

The biting aspect during the heat of sex can be sexy if conveyed just right. Then there is the vulnerability of the vampire. He's tall, he's dark and oh so sexy, but he can be destroyed by something so simple as sunlight. Does that bring out the protective instinct in us? Or does it just keep him from being godlike in his immortality?

Could it be the fact he outlives everyone he'll ever know, humanwise that is? Or does his immortality appeal to us and capture our imaginations? He's died and been restored as a non-human so in effect he's defeated death. Power over life.

So what elements of a vamp book grab you? Is it the dark side struggling to be good, but just not able to make it? Is it the rescuing of a wounded hero? Or is it just the eternal lure of the bad boy?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gettin' Naughty -- Man's Other Best Friend

How much do you know about man's other best friend, the penis? I can hear the moaning, "She did not just ask that." Don't y'all know me better than that yet? Sheesh! Never can tell what socially unacceptable topic I'll bring up next. It's my goal to keep you guessing. How am I doing so far? *g*

There are many names and slang terms to describe a penis. Some of the most common include: cock, bone, boner, dick, hard-on, Johnson, lance, manhood, meet, member, Mr. Happy, one-eyed snake, organ, pecker, phallus, pocket rocket, pole, prick, rod, shaft, tool, wood. The list goes on and on.

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
The word penis originates from 1676, perhaps from Fr. pénis or directly from L. penis "penis," earlier "tail", from PIE *pes-/*pesos- "penis". The proper plural is penes. The adj. is penial. In psychological writing, penis envy is attested from 1924.

According to
~ Average length of the flaccid penis - 3.5 inches
~ Average length when erect - 5.2 to 6.4 inches (Yes, erotic romance heroes are above average)
~ Average girth when erect - 5 inch circumfrence or 1.6 inches in diameter
~ Longest recorded penis - 13 inches (Ouch!)
~ Smallest recorded penis - 5/8 of an inch (Sorry, dude!)
~ Average number of times a man will ejaculate in his lifetime - 7,200
~ Average speed of ejaculate - 28 mph
~ Average calories per teaspoon in semen - 5 to 7
~ Average amount of semen per ejaculation - 1 to 2 teaspoons
~ Semen is slightly alkaline, Ph 7.2
~ Amount of recovery time to regain erection ranges from 2 minutes to 2 weeks
~ Average number of erections per day - 11
~ Average number of erections per night - 9
~ Odors that increase blood flow to the peins include: lavender, licorice, chocolate, donuts and pumpkin pie
~ Men who admit to masturbating - 60% *arching eyebrow* Doesn't that number seem low?

What exactly is in semen? Only about 1% is sperm, the rest is made up of:
Fructose sugar
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
Citric acid
Phosphate and bicarbonate buffers

~ It takes 116 muscles to climax. In comparison it only takes 17 to smile
~ In women, sex produces estrogen, which makes hair shine and keeps skin smooth

According to Glamour magazine:
~ There is no link between his shoe size and the length of his penis
~Yes, it shrinks when it gets cold
~ If his ring finger is longer than his middle finger, he may produce more testosterone and therefore have a great sexual appetite

Size does him. Whether he admits it or not, his penis is one of the most important things in his world. He discovered and became fascinated with this organ and began comparing it to others early in life. He's very sensitive on the subject so use care with your words and never joke about his size. Doesn't seem to matter to him that the average length of a vagina is only 3 to 4 inches, stretching to accomidate those above average specimins. Measuring up is important to him.

Here's a fact that will help you, ladies. Having an orgasm relieves menstral cramps. It's true. The vigorous muscle contractions move blood and other fluids away from congested organs. Orgasms also release endorphins which relieve pain so claiming a headache is a poor excuse for getting out of having sex. Quite the opposite, having PMS or a headache is a great reason to indulge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Book Talk

Welcome to Wednesday--Hump Day--New Release Day! Woohoo! My favorite kind of shopping, sexy books from Ellora's Cave Publishing.

If anyone ever says you're spending too much on books *gasp* it's easy to justify the indulgence and earn do-gooder points all at the same time. Stand tall, look them dead in the eye and exlain that by purchasing books you are supporting literacy, the empowerment of women and education (telling them it's sex education is optional). Now go in for the kill. Add a quizical lift to the brow and ask if they are doing their part to further literacy.

See, isn't it fun to be a little bit naughty?!

Releasing on Wednesday:

Demon's Triad - Anna J. Evans & December Quinn

Miss September - Madison Hayes

Desperate Alliance - Robie Madison

Sacrifice of The Stone - A.D. Christopher

Releasing Friday:

Guardian of The Onyx Empire - Vanessa N. Gilfoy

Beware of The Cowboy - Mari Freeman

Sunfire - Lynne Connolly

Virgin Jewels - Karen Erickson (Love this book title and the visuals it sparks in my naughty mind *g*)

The Hussies would like to extend a warm welcome to new to EC authors Mari Freeman, Lynne Connolly and Vanessa Gilfoy!

You're still here. What're you waiting for? Go forth and do your part by shopping.

Happy Reading!
So Naughty it's Scandalous

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Guest Blogger - Eva St. Croix

Good morning Hussies! I'm so excited that I've been invited to guest blog today. This is a great group who write amazing books. Thanks so much for having me here today!
I'm Eva St. Croix and my first release from Ellora's Cave is Rory's Regret, a novella set at Halloween. This book was so much fun to write. I had a great time exploring the urgency of Rory and Dorian's situation while digging into the emotional impact that they had upon one another.
Here's the blurb for Rory's Regret: Halloween. A day for tricks or treats and hauntings. For Dorian and Rory, it is a day to experience love and enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. They long for each other, waiting for the one day of the year they can touch each other.There is only one way that they can be together forever. Until then, they must repeat the day they died until a mortal sees them and helps them to the other side.This Halloween a psychic reveals past horrors and Dorian is seen by a local girl. Rory, still unseen by a mortal, is filled with regret. Cruel events could cause her to be left behind while Dorian moves into the light. Is she destined to spend eternity alone?
And here's a quote from a recent review by Melinda at Night Owl Romance: 5 - Lifetime keeper! Wow this is the first I have read of this author and must say it won’t be the last. Eva St. Croix did a beautiful job of showing two people so in love that the man will do anything he can to make his woman happy. Dorian is a true gentleman who we don’t see often in this age and Rory is the perfect woman for him. Even though they can only be together one night of the year they make every time they have last forever. The love scenes between them are hot and must say this ghost was wow. Eva St. Croix brought the story to life where you can see Dorian in the beach naked and their love through out the book. Awesome job.
But that's enough about me! I want to talk about what you like. I considered a lot of topics that I wanted to discuss today and I decided to ask you, the fans of the Hussies, what do you like best in an erotic romance novel? Is it the relationship between the characters? The steaming hot sex scenes or do you like a little mystery or history in the erotic novels you read? I think for me the ideal erotic romance is one in which the characters are well developed, the relationship is on fire with chemistry and the plot is both appropriate for the length of book and keeps you wondering what will happen next. There are so many sub-genres within erotic romance that as a writer, you can explore each and every one. But, as a writer it always helps to know what fans like in their stories. If you were to describe the perfect erotic romance what elements would it include?
Thanks again for having me here today Hussies. I'm looking forward to all the answers. I'm working today but I'll check in as much as possible.
Eva St. Croix
Hot Wild & Wicked Erotic Romance
Rory's Regret Available Now

Monday, January 14, 2008

That Moral Monday Mindset...

Come Monday morning, it's hard to remember that there are things in this world that really turn us on! Mondays are about beginning the work week (where's my car keys?), getting the kids off to school (no, you can't take the cat for Show and Tell) and organizing your life (Eeeek. I'm out of clean underwear!).

It's funny how a date on the calendar can shape our thinking. On Saturday, we were all about the shaved legs and the handsome waist we planned on wrapping them around. Now it's cereal, coffee and lunch boxes.

Ever wonder why? Are we supposed to put aside the sexual components of our brains while we figure out where little Johnny's gerbil is hiding?
Yep, women are lauded for being able to step from wanton woman into wife/mother without missing a beat. Do men? Since they apparently have sexual thoughts at least every other minute, I doubt it. While we're on our knees looking for the gerbil under the heating duct, our significant other is probably staring at our ass and having decadently naughty thoughts about it.

I say it's time for equality, girls. Let HIM look for the damn gerbil while WE admire HIS ass. If we want some satisfying time between the sheets on a Monday, then why the hell not? Time to shift the balance a little bit. Share those evening chores (so what if he forgets to wash behind your kid's ears?) while you indulge in an after dinner glass of wine. Your bathrobe may be fuzzy and lined with flannel, but the mere suggestion that there's not much of anything underneath and your children will get the quickest bath they've ever had and be tucked down for the night in record time.

Yep, Mondays can work for sex. Any day can work for sex. All we have to do is get our weekend mindset into place - and then go for it!!! Everything that turned us on last Saturday night (that would be a warm smile, a kiss, a George Clooney movie or an erotic romance - by a HUSSY of course [grin]) - it's all still there. You got the urge on a Monday? You got that itch that needs a good male scratchin'? There isn't a man alive who'd turn you down.

It's all in your head, sister Hussies! The calendar may say Monday, but if your head and other places are singing about Saturday night... let the good times roll!!

(And for our friends in primary election states this week...
I'm Sahara Kelly and I approved this message)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Turn me on ...

We all have things that turn us on. Some things seem pretty common among women, but there's also places where the paths diverge.

For example, which of the following do you agree with?
Regardless of my own shape, size or age, I'm going to look at the hunky guys and think "oh baby, I wish." And I'm going to look at the not so hunky, overweight men and unless I've spent the last 20 years getting to know their inner beauty, I'm going to think "oh please no!"

So, what about the couples? Why do I look at the heterosexual couple and think "I could definitely get into some action like that?", and look at the equally erotic homosexual couple and think "uh, no place here for me."?

I'd watch the hetero couple in a film or on television or read about it and chances are, get some prurient pleasure out of it. The gay couple I'd turn the channel or close the book.

But apparently I'm not very trendy in my tastes because nowadays, it's quite the fad for women to watch gay porn and read erotic fiction that's man-on-man.

I recently read an article about women watching gay porn that stated "what's not to like?" It went on to say that gay porn "Works" for women on so many levels that what's really unusual is that so few women will admit to having an interest in it. A straight porn star, Jenna Jameson, hosts a man-on-man gay porn site called Club Thrust that boasts of attracting "legions" of female fans. And in Germany, gay porn is so popular with women that they get together for gay porn night.

"Works" for women? On so many levels? Damn could someone clue me in on what levels those are and how the heck I go about finding them? Seriously, I'm looking for enlightenment here because I love a good turn-on as much as the next gal.

As a viewer of a film or reader of a book, I want to become part of the tale. Cast myself in the role of the heroine. Feel her pain, her pleasure, her passion. If this is a man-on-man, where's my part? I don't have one clue how it to feels to be a man, much less how it feels to have sex with a man, stick my penis in one of his orifices. How do I relate to that? Am I supposed to be the non-alpha in this duo? And if so, then where does the vagina come into play? Am I to substitute the erotic imaginings of my alpha male, stoking inside my warm love box with my alpha-male giving it to me up the backside? Oh well, sorry, the two just do NOT compare in this gal's list of mighty pleasures.

So I ask - what is the real appeal to all of this for women? Come on gals, clue me in. The education of Ciana is in your hands and I'm very interested in hearing what you have to say.

Does gay porn turn you on and if so why? Curious Hussy mind wants to know.

Oh, and by the way, my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hussies at large. This is just lil'ol'redneck me looking to broaden my horizons and gain insight into something that hasn't yet hit my pleasure center.

Hope you have a hussicilious day, and remember, whatever floats your boat is good. That's the beauty of life. We're all individuals and entitled to our own likes and dislikes. It keeps life interesting, you know :)

Cheers -