Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Gift Horse--Book Trailer

Sit back and enjoy my new video for The Gift Horse, a mainstream contempory romance from Bookstrand and Book 3 of the Evergreen Dynasty Series.

Buy Link
Read Chapter One

New Contest! Read Murphy's Law and win two ebooks!

My new mainstream romance, Murphy's Law, went on sale Tuesday. This story is very near and dear to my heart because it brings the reader into a world I'm lucky enough to know -- the world of horseracing. It's also a three-time finalist in national writing contests. I couldn't be prouder of this book.

Just for BookStrand readers, I am having a contest. Any BookStrand reader who buys Murphy's Law and emails me offline ( to tell me they saw this post and give me the name of the two-year-old stakes horse Katie is given to take Seth under her wing will be put into a drawing to win an ebook of my first book, Turning Thirty-Twelve, and a copy of the Murphy's Law sequel, Free Falling, when it releases in April. This contest only runs through 6PM EST on Monday. From all the emails with correct answers, I'll draw a name at random to receive the ebooks Turning Thirty-Twelve and Free Falling. Be sure and cut/paste your receipt for your purchase of Murphy's Law into your email.

I'm posting an excerpt for Murphy's Law. I hope you enjoy it. :-)



Murphy's Law ~ Ebook link:


Seth Remington had a fortune at his fingertips, but something was missing in his life. Purpose.
Knowing he has one last chance to redeem his son, terminally ill Sterling Remington rewrites his will. To earn his inheritance, his son Seth must labor as a groom for a horse trainer.

Katie Murphy's orderly existence is turned upside down by Sterling Remington's will. Raised on hard work and dedicated to her harness racing stable, Katie agrees to take Seth on as a groom. How can she ever fulfill the challenge of instilling a work ethic in Seth and still keep her faltering stable running?

Kept at arm's length by the strict terms of Sterling's will, Seth and Katie are forced to struggle with their growing attraction until a devastating racing accident forces them to take a hard look at their relationship. How much is he willing to risk for her love?


All Seth could do was sit and stare at the blank screen as a mixture of anger and grief twisted through his mind. The Old Man had really done it this time. Sure, he'd threatened before. Lots of times. But he'd damn well done it this time.

Arthur's voice finally worked its way through Seth's mental haze. "Seth, it's not so bad. You just have to be like everybody else for a while. Not long. Just a season."

"How... how long's a season?" Seth asked even though he wasn't really certain he wanted to know the answer.

"We're training for it now. We race from the beginning of April to the middle of November," Katie answered even though her attention didn't seem to be directed toward Seth.
She appeared to be every bit as disturbed by the turn of events, but instead of becoming catatonic, she busily flipped through the pages of the packet Arthur had handed her. She'd drawn her lips so tight, they were nothing but a thin line. "I don't get it," she said each time she turned to a new page.

Ross finally took Katie's packet off the table. He turned to a specific page, put it back in front of her, and pointed out an important passage. She read it. "So that's all I get for doing this? That's it?"

"That and the weekly stipend," Ross replied.

She'd piqued Seth's curiosity. "Well? What does she get?"

"A horse. A stakes horse," Katie responded. Her eyes slowly scanned Seth from his head to his feet. "A two-year old Indiana-sired stakes horse. I'm not sure you're worth it."

"What the hell is a stakes horse?" Seth asked. If it was some multimillion-dollar champion, at least it would make him feel as if his life had some value.

"It's a horse that's paid up to race in special races. But it's a two-year old. It might not even make it to the track this year. Or ever," she explained, still flipping through the papers.

Even though he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know the answer, Seth had to ask, "What do you mean about not making it to the track?"

"Some two-year olds aren't mature enough to race well. You spend a lot of time getting them ready, and all you get for your effort is massive frustration," Katie replied. She looked as aggravated as he felt.

"Beautiful. Just beautiful." Seth used his fingertips to massage his now aching forehead.
Katie didn't appear much happier. Perhaps his father had insulted her when he implied she was the kind of woman whose common sense and business practices could be influenced by a handsome face.

Ross leaned toward Katie, put a hand on her shoulder, and said, "Katie, it's a really good horse. Sterling knew you wanted to stay in Indiana, so he had some of his people check around for one of the best two-year olds out there. He probably paid more for the animal than it's worth to get it for you. Plus, you get a new groom you don't have to pay."

"That's it? I still don't get it. Why me? Why'd he pick me?"

"Sterling called you `quality.' It was the highest compliment he'd give to anyone, trust me," Arthur replied.

"A whole season? What if he doesn't work hard? What if he's not good with my horses?"

Although he understood Katie's concern about the impact this would have on her stable, Seth cared more about what was happening to him. Thoroughly pissed off at the whole proceeding, he scoffed a laugh. "What if we just pretend I work for you? No one would have to know anything." Once said aloud, the ridiculous suggestion didn't sound so farfetched to him. Then he realized he was grasping at proverbial straws. His father's will had left no wiggle room.

About the time it appeared everyone had mercifully ignored him again, Katie spoke up. "There are no secrets in the barn."

"Excuse me?" Seth asked. This woman seemed to have a language all her own, and he hated realizing she could make him feel so ignorant.

"Everyone would know. There are no secrets in the barn," she answered as if that explanation should suffice.Ross arched an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

Katie's heavy sigh conveyed her frustration. "I know you don't get it. You guys have never been in racing. Everyone at the track always knows everybody else's business. We're together almost twenty-four seven. If you were around a track, you'd understand. It's absolutely impossible to keep anything a secret."

Arthur chuckled. "Reminds me of this office."

Ross smiled and nodded at Arthur. He turned back to Seth. "Can we get back to the business at hand? It's entirely up to you, Katie. When it's all said and done, you get to decide if he's earned his money."

"I don't want that kind of responsibility," she replied, shaking her head.

"You don't have to take him, Katie, but this is a fantastic opportunity for you. Let's go talk in my office." Ross pulled her chair away from the table. Katie stood up, grabbed her papers, and trailed him out of the conference room without a backward glance. Seth's eyes followed her closely as she walked past the glass walls and disappeared.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Five-Star Review for "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?

Woo Who!!! I just received word that Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? was given five stars by Whipped Cream Romance Reviews.

Between her fun sense of humor and her supporting characters that are as alive as the main characters, Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? jumps off the page and comes alive.The intense conflict that rages between Jake and Harlee sets the stage for an extremely hot affair between the two. Smoldering sex, honest affection, and true humor make this a story worth reading and rereading!

You can read the entire review at Whipped Cream.

UNDER THE COVERS new vid - Eve Adams

Have you ever wondered what really goes on in the dark world of Seattle's underground nightlife?

In the newest release by Allie K. Adams, w/a Eve Adams, you'll find out! UNDER THE COVERS is the first in the "Covert Lovers" series -- a new series in the Menage Amour line with Siren Publishing.

Desperate to find her missing sister, Mia Andrews follows her trail to an underground sex ring where women are sold off every night. Under cover as a courtesan, the only way to find her sister is to go in with no holds barred.

Undercover Agent Wayde Davis bids on the sexy-as-sin Mia the instant she wobbles out onto the stage in 4-inch stilettos. She fits the profile of the missing women and may be next. If protecting her means taking her to bed, he'd be more than willing to make that sacrifice.

Painfully shy, high-roller James Pearce wants the beautiful Mia as his permanent courtesan. He also knows his unique fetish requires the help of another man, one so taken with Mia he's willing to do anything to stay by her side--even share her.

Her desperation drives her into both their arms. Her pleasure drives them all to the boiling point!

In the dark world of underground sex clubs, there is more to lose than your innocence when working UNDER (the) COVER(s)...

And for those of you who are more visual, here's a link to a little teaser trailer for the book....

I hope you enjoy!!!

~Allie, w/a Eve

2 New Releases for February from Tonya Ramagos

Voices and Lies [Rock Hard Seduction 1]
When Alicia Addison opens the door of Addison House to find the delectably sexy heartthrob, Derek Kadin, looking back at her with suitcases in hand, she sees all her wildest dreams coming true. Trouble is he doesn't want anyone to know his true identity, not even Alicia. Fearing he'll leave, she hides her knowledge of the truth, but as their relationship ignites both in bed and out, the lies between them threaten to tear them apart. Derek Kadin was looking for an escape when he reserved a room miles from home at the Addison House B&B. What he hadn't expected to find was a woman for his bed, but the minute he sees Alicia he knows that's exactly where he wants her. When the casual vacation affair turns into more, Derek realizes she's a woman he doesn't want to let go. Can their relationship survive when secrets come out on both sides?

Picking Art [Rock Hard Seduction 2]
Garrett Henry is accustomed to people recognizing him as the guitarist for the band Façade. But the cute little blonde stealing glances from across the bar catches his attention like no other. One look down her petite curvy body and he knows she's way out of his league. Still, he finds himself drawn to her like a magnet.
For twenty-five years, Suzanne Cassidy has saved herself. Not necessarily for marriage but for the right man. Garrett Henry is far from her usual type but he has an innate beauty she can't ignore. A short time with him and she knows she'll give him her most prized possession…her virginity. But Garrett is a heavy metal star, a man with whom forever is not an option and forever is exactly what she wants. Will Garrett be willing to give up the band for her? Can Garrett find a way to have both the band and Suzanne?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I received this great review for ParaNormalRomance and am delighted!  Thanks, Nancy!


"you won't be disappointed!"

When last we were in Mudflat, Claire, Nance, Tarvik and Jimmy had banded together as an odd foursome. Tarvik was adapting well to life in another time and Claire was still feeling "those feelings" about him. When Tarvik changed times he had brought along his father's sword as a reminder. It looked great stashed in Tar's closet but, as Claire's grandmother once said..."It has done terrible things."

Mudflat is a part of Seattle but nothing like that city. Mudflat is the place where you live if you aren't quite like the others; if you're a 150-yr old mage, if you came from another time and culture or, if, like Claire you can read the stars. Or if, also like Claire, you have a Troll renting your basement. Mudflat keeps it own secrets and this time there are more than a few of them.

Mages are dying, not the young wannabees - these are the old ones - leaving a gap in wizardry in Mudflat. Although assumed wealthy, nothing is left but the mage's house, in each case. Sergei, the mage in charge, does not believe this is accurate and soon a team is created to see just what is happening. So Claire and the gang are off chasing thieves while Sergei is directing from afar as usual. Who's up to no good? Does it have something to do with the return of Darryl Decko?

This is the third book in the series of Mudflat adventures and I found it just as good as the others! Maybe more so because the individual characters were fleshed out a bit more and I understood a bit better what Sergei's plan is and how it all fits together.

If you've read "Tarbaby Trouble" and "Welcome to Mudflat, Baby" you won't be disappointed!
Reviewed by Nancy Eriksen,
Posted February 24, 2009

Lover's of Alpha Squad 2
Sam is a special ops soldier. He knows how to handle a gun, fight his way out of almost any situation, and is usually prepared for anything…except the feelings he is quickly developing for Dr. Daniel Evans, the squadron doctor.

Doc, however, has had feelings for Sam for quite sometime, but he has no idea what to do about them. For as long as he has known him, Sam has always been straight. When a chance encounter with Sam leads him to believe that Sam might be interested in more than a doctor patient relationship, Doc decided to pursue Sam, only to learn that Sam is married…to a woman!

Heartbroken, Doc ignores Sam's pleas for help when his wife is attacked. But when Sam brings his pregnant bride home and Doc learns that Sam still has feelings for him and it's a marriage of convenience, will Doc forgive Sam?

As they try to explore their new relationship, the danger that brought Sam home in the first place threatens to separate them permanently. With the help of their friends, Sam and Doc try to protect Sam's wife and themselves, hoping for a life together.


For more on this book, to watch a book trailer, and/or to read excerpts check out my website

Stormy Glenn

Tri-Omega Mates Series ~*~ Wolf Creek Pack Series

MySpace ~*~ Blog ~*~ Web site ~*~ Siren Page

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hidden Desires - Tri Omega Mates 3

Tri Omega Mates 3

After watching his alpha and beta almost lose their mate, Thomas decides he needs some time alone. Driving across country, he discovers Micah, a human that smells like dark chocolate and summer rain. He knows immediately that Micah is his mate but before he can claim him, he has to get Micah's sexy little butt out of trouble.

They are attacked by a band of bullies. In his bid to protect his mate, Thomas reveals his true nature to the bullies and to Micah. Afterwards, he has to call in reinforcements to help clean up the mess. It comes in the form of Caleb Hunter, alpha of the Hunter Pack and Micah's other mate. But Micah's human. Isn't he?


For more on this book, to watch a book trailer, and/or to read excerpts check out my website

Stormy Glenn

Tri-Omega Mates Series ~*~ Wolf Creek Pack Series

MySpace ~*~ Blog ~*~ Web site ~*~ Siren Page

Cover for Saved by a Deputy

Saved by a Deputy
By: Carol McKenzie 

Categories: EROTIC Romance Interracial Romantic Suspense 
Word Count: 19,635
Heat Level: SIZZLING
Published By: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.

COMING SOON: This book is scheduled for release mid-2009. 

In a small mid-western community, a deputy sheriff hears of Liberty Carmichael's plight. This rugged ex-Marine named 

Will Banes offers to help Liberty escape her dire situation by protecting her. A widower and gentleman, Will 

inadvertently wins her affection...and passion.

From the first moment they lay eyes on each other, the chemistry is scorching. Their desire builds until their 

relationship screams for consummation. 

Then the insane man from Liberty's past threatens show back up, but Will plans to stop him cold.  

Check out Carol's latest interview at:

Now available at MobiPocket!!

I’m so excited to say that FAITH is now available at MobiPocket!
Bonnie S. Mata

One of the things I like best about e-mail is you get some pretty funny—and pretty astute—missives from others. Often these have come through so many people, you have to figure they’ve been around the world a couple of times.

One of my favourites just made the rounds again, and it’s a topic I find myself dwelling upon in my thoughts a great deal lately. I’m sure you’ve all seen it. It’s called an Obituary for Common Sense.

You have to agree that common sense has seemed “dead” for a long time. I last recall seeing it when I was a kid. As listed in this e-mail, common sense was known for such tenets of wisdom as knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; the fact that life isn't always fair and the true possibility that maybe it was my fault.

I had a little chuckle as I read this email, and this time, thinking ahead, copied and pasted it to a folder where I keep little gems for future reference. And then I got to thinking: what if common sense isn’t really dead? What if he’s just comatose?

In recent times we have witnessed something that I for one would have sworn was simply not possible. We have seen a man rise, in about four years total, from relative obscurity to the Presidency of The United States. Love him or hate him, you cannot deny his meteoric rise, or that his success was against all odds.

So if a man can go from unknown to President in just four years, why can’t we resuscitate Common Sense?

Think about it for a moment: wouldn’t that really be something? Take some time to envision, if you will, a grass roots movement dedicated to the restoration of the rule of Common Sense in our families, in our society, in our institutions! Why, who among us can honestly deny that such a movement undertaken fifteen, ten, or even five years ago might have prevented the current apparent meltdown in the economy we are suffering through now?

What would a world comprised of people governed by common sense look like?

There’d be fewer lawyers, because there would be a lot fewer frivolous law suits. (What? Sue McDonalds because I spilled hot coffee on myself? Ridiculous, it was my own fault for not being careful.)

Collection agents might experience a “down-sizing”, too. (No, we’re not going to throw our money away on frivolous things. First we pay the bills, then we treat ourselves.)

Cancer rates would decrease: (Smoking causes cancer? Then, no thanks. Too much sun brings on melanoma? Pass the hat and the sunscreen, please.)

Traffic deaths would go down: (Everybody buckle up, and don’t tell me to hurry, I’m going to drive the speed limit.)

There would be fewer deaths in house fires, too: (For the cost of a battery I can protect my family? I’d be a fool not to.) And so on, and so forth.

What worries me more than anything is that when you say to today’s young people, “Where the heck is your common sense?”, they look at you as if you’ve just spoken a foreign language.

If a man can go from obscurity to the White House in four years—two years, if you count from when he got serious about it—and if they can build a house in seven days, you just have to wonder. Why can’t we resuscitate common sense?

Or maybe the question is better phrased: why don’t we?

The hottest ménage of the year is now available!


Faithful readers,

It has been brought to my attention, just now, that the e-mail to which
I referred this morning in my Wednesday's Words was not written by that
old sage, 'Anonymous', after all.

If you would like to read the original of the "Obituary To Common Sense"
that I referred to, you may find it here:



Sunday, February 22, 2009

Angelic Forecast ~ XXV

“So many are in need of prosperity,” I say to the Cherub.
He nods beside me, gazing out over the rolling emerald land. Where we are, I don’t know. But it makes me think of Ireland.
“In the New Aquarian Age the real prosperity,” he says, “will be in how people relate to each other. And how they live together in their communities.”
“Do you mean the better we can relate to each other, the more opportunity for prosperity?” Soft winds brush my arms and float my hair. However I see no rainbow. No pot o’ gold.
“Yes. In simpler terms, if the world and the communities of the world use a model of prosperity like the Renaissance Festivals you have in the US...” He pauses, faces me and grins. “I know many will view this as airy fairy ridiculous.”
“Makes perfect sense to me. Goods, crafts, artisans, food, drink... where shopping can be done by barter or by a common currency.” I smile, remembering the Renn festivals I’ve attended, and thinking about all the wonderful opportunities to be had.
“Don’t forget the entertainment.” The Heavenly One sweeps his hand in an arc, drawing a delicate rainbow high in the pale blue sky.
“Yes. Everyone uses their individual skills and talents. And enterprise. No taxes for the King, though.” I emphasize my words with a frown, then smile at the rainbow.
“No, no taxes for the King.” He creates small puffy clouds with the point of his finger.

The following week is all about prosperity. The *hows and whys* it works and doesn’t work will appear on the world stage and show up in your personal life. New ways of creating abundance are opening up for us as individuals. However, these opportunities will not follow any current economic model, for those are falling by the wayside, as the dinosaurs once diminished as a species because they were no longer viable on Mother Earth. It is indeed a new world for lucrative ventures created by and for individuals within their communities. For example, this would include organic farming, whether growing tomatoes, or growing many acres of crops. Whatever is good for one of us, becomes good for all of us.

Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona

On MONDAY, February 23 ~ The Romance Studio will be giving away one PDF copy of WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS in their book-a-day giveaway contest.

Leprechauns, do they show themselves in 2013 ~


Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth ~
Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes?

Blurb: Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar
What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? ...more

~~~ NOW IN PRINT ~~~

Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend, BookStrand author of FLAVIA’S SECRET and A SECRET TREASURE ~ ~

WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ adventure fantasy erotic romance ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~ ~

Kiss from Savanna Kougar...

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

This week's fortune cookie from Mudflat -

Seattle astrologer, Claire Carmody, faces bad bosses, bad boys, bad ex-boyfriends, and a VERY bad monster.  She hopes you are having a better week than she is and sends an astrological fortune cookie to help you.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

4 STARS for Three For All

My latest release, Three For All -- and my first menage! -- has earned 4 Stars (A Keeper) from Sensual Ecataromance reviewer Kimberley Spinney. Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

Three For All has been sitting at No. 2 in Siren-Bookstrand's standings for a few days now, which couldn't surprise and gratify me more. It's been getting some good reader feedback, and this positive review was just the cherry on my day today. :D

Here is some of what Ms. Spinney had to say about Three For All:

"Raina James’ Three for All is a very sensual romp that will require a cold glass of water. The story is perfect for a quick read or when you are in need of a romantic fix. The characters are intriguing and their desires are more complex than most. This is a beautiful story with a flare that leaves the reader wanting more."

You can find the full review here.

I'd also like to invite everyone to pop over to my site (the banner below is hyperlinked) and have a look at my Book Trailer of the Week. Every Monday, you'll find a new book trailer on Raina's Blog. There are still a few days left to check out Hunted Mate, by Kari Thomas, so please drop on by.


Raina James Romance

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Whole Heap 'a Trouble!

It's been a busy few weeks! My latest Tymber Dalton book, "Trouble Comes in Threes," is now available from BookStrand! It's the first in my "Triple Trouble" shape-shifter series, and it's already hit the BookStrand bestseller list!

Elain Pardie worked hard to become a TV news reporter. When a huge, black wolf-like dog with green eyes jumps into her news van, Elain has no idea her life will drastically change.

Aindreas, Brodey, and Cailean Lyall aren't just triplets--they're Alpha shape-shifters running a Florida cattle ranch. They've never found their One, the woman destined to be their mate. Until the day of the Arcadia Highland Games, when both Brodey and Cailean lock onto Her scent. Brodey shifts and gives chase, then goes home with Elain and confirms she is their One.

When Prime Alpha Aindreas mistakenly thinks Elain's already taken and refuses to use force to claim and mark her, Brodey and Cailean must resort to trickery to learn the truth about the wedding ring Elain wears and work to convince her that triple trouble could very easily put her into seventh heaven in their arms.


You can also pre-order the sequel to my bestseller, "Love Slave for Two." "Love Slave for Two: Family Matters" picks up where the first book leaves off and follows Nevvie, Tyler, and Thomas.

Nevvie spent her early life feeling unloved and rejected. Then she met Tyler and Thomas and her scorchingly hot fairytale dream's come true. They have a perfect life and a beautiful son. While their family isn't traditional, she's more than happy with her two hunky, sexy husbands and their relationship.

Unfortunately, a betrayal from where Nevvie least expects it knocks their world on its ear. Barely recovering from that, one horrible morning and an unimaginable double tragedy threatens to take her men and destroy all she loves.

Struggling to keep things together, Nevvie must forge ahead and draw strength from her unusual adopted circle of friends and family to save her men and preserve the life she loves. With Thomas and Tyler's lives on the line, can Nevvie find the will to keep going and bring her husbands safely home? Because to Nevvie, family is the only thing that matters.


You can also pick up my other BookStrand releases:

If you haven't stopped by my websites lately, they've just undergone a huge facelift. Make sure to stop by and check them out and get information on all my new releases, including excerpts and free reads! Don't forget to sign up for my newsletters on both sites, because I'm going to be having some giveaways over the next few weeks.

Lesli. (aka Tymber)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Bulls would be Furious

“The bulls would be furious!” isn’t the sort of statement one would expect from an eight-year old girl, riding up a chairlift above the ski slopes of a Swiss alpine resort in mid winter. At this time of the year, all bovines have long been escorted down the mountain by tanned, six-packed hotties in tight tee-shirts and faded denim. They’ve been washed, brushed, their bells removed and polished, and are tucked up cozily in their sheds, mooing contentedly, lazily chomping on Edelweiss laced hay fed to them by buxom, rosy-cheeked blondes skipping around in time to merry accordion music playing in the background.

Well, sort of… It’s a pleasant image, anyway.

What I do know from experience is that there are no bulls roaming the snow capped slopes, pawing the ground and tossing their horns at the hordes of tourists skimming down the resort’s vast choice of runs on sunny afternoons in February. The bulls would be furious? What on earth was my eight year old niece on about? What bulls? Where?

My husband wasn’t so sure either, riding alongside her on the chairlift, gazing absentmindedly at the sharp peaks cutting into the crystalline sky, a million mental miles away from toreadors hollering “Olé!” at fierce, snorting challengers. He twisted in his seat and turned to look at her, found her gazing down at a group of skiers in red jackets, shaking her head in exasperation. “What do you mean, Giovanna?” he asked.

Giovanna’s silver helmet flashed in the sunshine as she whipped her head around, eyeing him from behind her goggles like he was the ultimate dimwit. “Just look at all those red jackets!”

Lateral thinking, anyone?

xx Francesca
Francesca Prescott
"MUCHO CALIENTE! - Wish upon a Latino Superstar"
An effervescent romantic comedy
LASR: Best Long Book of the Year 2008 : "Laugh out loud hilarious!"
NOR: Reviewer Top Pick : "A seriously fun book with more twists and turns than expected"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The series so far:

MUDFLAT TOY BOY, book 3  (check out the cute cover by Jinger Heaston in the new books shown above)
Ebooks available from BookStrand
Trade paperbacks for 1 and 2 now available at Amazon
Check out Phoebe's webpage for reviews, video, contest. 

Read the first chapter of Tarbaby Trouble on Phoebe's website and email at the address on the website if you would like to read more of the series.  Instructions on the Tarbaby, Chapter 1 link.  This could be the neverending story.  

Rogue's Run by Lara Santiago

Today my latest book, Rogue's Run will be released. :)
It is the first of the Galactic Gunslinger's series.
Check it out.

Rogue's Run - Galactic Gunslingers 1
By Lara Santiago

[Menage Amour 48: Futuristic Romance with Menage a Trois elements, M/F/M]

Abigail Deveronne thought the worst thing that had ever happened to her was marrying Myron Smedly, until she woke up next to his dead body. Her odious childhood guardian promptly sends her across the galaxy to a second marriage by proxy.

On the way to her next marriage, the space craft she's on breaks down on Planet Delocia and the vile pilot insists she must obtain a repair component at the local Supply Hut. Abigail gets more than she bargained for when she traded "companionship" for a needed part to continue her journey.

Transport captain, Jesse Pelland, journeying to his primary ship after a clandestine business meeting, crash lands on planet Delocia and ends up bound in matrimony to a sheltered, young widow with numerous secrets. But it's her almost hidden rebellious streak he can't wait to explore.

A passionate bond develops on the trip to Abigail's home for new proxy documentation. Jesse explores the possibility of a relationship. Until they land and she's accused of murdering her first husband.

To read an excerpt or pre-order a copy of Rogue's Run Click HERE

“MUCHO CALIENTE! – Wish upon a Latino Superstar” voted LASR Best Long Book of the Year 2008

This week started with fabulous news. My romantic comedy, “Mucho Caliente!” has been voted Best Long Book of the Year 2008 by the famous US review site, “Long and Short Reviews”. I nearly fell off my chair when the email arrived, but didn’t, which was just as well since I’d already fallen down the stairs twenty-four hours earlier, and have since been hobbling around on crutches with a badly sprained ankle.
“Mucho Caliente!” is set on the Spanish island of Ibiza and was written several years ago, making its recent publication and success all the more meaningful to me. The book was prompted by a chance sighting of a mega-handsome, Latino superstar at an Ibizinco beach bar, who was dancing up a fiery salsa with a beautiful blonde woman. The moment kick-started my imagination; I flew home to Switzerland and began a Latino love-fest on the page.
I’m the sort of person who is compelled to share my enthusiasm with other people. While writing the book, each day, as soon as I’d finished my chapter, I’d email it to some of my closest friends and was thrilled when they began emailing me back, asking me to hurry up and write another chapter because they couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. For the following eighteen months, my friends and I lived vicariously through Gemma, my heroine, enjoying madcap, rollercoaster adventures, living a shamelessly romantic love affair on an idyllic island in the sun with my imaginary Latino superstar, Emilio Caliente. I couldn’t write the story fast enough, and by the time I wrote “The End”, Gemma, Emilio and the rest of my characters had become as real to my girlfriends as they were to me.
From the reviews “Mucho Caliente!” has received since it was published in late 2008, it seems that its appeal transcends my close circle of friends. Women everywhere relate to Gemma’s insecurities, to her dreams and steadfast opinion of what romance and love should be. As for Emilio, my reviewer at Long and Short Reviews said it all with: “he is the epitome of what women fantasize about.”
I’ll never know whether the gorgeous Latino superstar I saw dancing at that beach bar in Ibiza is as wonderful as Emilio Caliente. But even if he’s only half as nice, his beautiful blonde salsa partner sure is one heck of a lucky girl!

Wishing you mucho giggles while reading my book,
With love,
Francesca Prescott

Blurb for “Mucho Caliente!”:
“Wishing upon a Latino superstar is bound to end in tears. But when destiny insists on playing matchmaker, what’s a girl to do?

Thirty-seven year old Gemma hadn’t reckoned on being seated next to Latino heart-throb Emilio Caliente on the flight to Ibiza. She’d bravely dismissed her cheating husband’s generous divorce settlement, opting instead for a creatively satisfying, financially independent, bohemian lifestyle on a Spanish island in the sun. Falling in love with a pop music superstar eight years her junior was definitely not part of her plan. Common sense dictates staying away from Emilio Caliente and his cinnamon kisses: his life is in turmoil, his latest single has bombed, the press want to see him naked and his hellacious manager seems increasingly deranged. But surely the chain of extraordinary events that insists on bringing them together is proof that love is oblivious to common sense? Does Gemma dare follow her heart and wish upon a pop star without undermining everything else she set out to achieve?”


Chapter 1

It’s not. It can’t be. It bloody well can’t be! Oh my goodness; it is! It’s Latino heart-throb, Emilio Caliente! Why is someone like him sitting next to someone like me on this flight to Ibiza? He should be up front, behind the curtain, hidden away in first class. Why now? Why him? Why me?

Without so much as a glance in my direction, he’s short-circuited weeks of life changing, positive affirmations. Hiding behind my hair, I clench my fists, shut my eyes and silently recite, “My name is Gemma Talbot. I’m a beautiful, intelligent, newly single woman and I’m taking control of my life”. Yeah, right. What a joke! I’m sweating. I’m fidgeting. I’m finger combing my hair, smoothing my eyebrows and wishing I’d retouched my makeup before boarding.

Can’t he go away for a few minutes and come back when I’ve had time to pull myself together, both mentally and physically? Planes should have an emergency hatch with a twisty staircase from the passenger area down into the hold, so you can get to your suitcase, grab a change of clothes, a more appropriate pair of shoes, and maybe even a change of underwear. There should be a decent sized bathroom with pink, soft-tone lights to flatter your complexion and boost your self- confidence, not that vile, green, fluorescent glare that only emphasises your enlarged pores, your premature lines, your facial hair. There should be baskets of complimentary upmarket cosmetics, sample freebies of the greatest and latest scientific breakthroughs in moisturisers and makeup. Yes, even on a forty-minute flight from Barcelona to Ibiza. On this flight especially.

As it is, the bathroom has just been vacated by a podgy, sweaty, sick looking man, and the thought of following in his footsteps does not appeal. I rummage through my bag, praying that I won’t accidentally pull out a bedraggled tampon instead of a bruised and battered lip-gloss. I don’t usually look like this. Should I explain to him that, actually, I am quite a babe, even if I’m old enough to be, if not his mother, then at least his big sister? I’m usually impeccable. It wasn’t me who spilled Coca-Cola on my white linen trousers. It was the woman sitting next to me on my previous flight from Geneva. Her fiery Iberian origins led to loss of body control once she got started on the subject of her exasperating Scandinavian daughter-in-law. As for my T-shirt, it seemed to possess that casual, worn-in look when I left home earlier today, whereas it’s clear to me now that it should have been retired months ago and used as a duster. What on earth was I thinking? Oh, thank goodness; here’s my lip-gloss!

My lips taken care of, I fumble through the pocket of the seat in front of me, searching for an in-flight magazine, but there isn’t one. So I grab the emergency procedures card and start studying it with exaggerated interest, then get all flustered again, as though I’ve been caught reading the Special K cereal package.

What must he be thinking? I’m no first time flyer. I’m an air-sophisticate. I shake my long brown hair over my face and sneak a sideways glance at el divino, as the women’s glossies call him. Maybe it isn’t really him. Maybe I’ve just imagined the whole thing, and in reality, seat 12B is occupied by an obnoxious lager lout with spots and halitosis.

But no. It’s him, pop music’s Latino superstar, looking a little dishevelled and not quite as glamorous as on his album covers, calendars and posters, and obviously wearing some kind of hastily thrown together disguise. However, if the other passengers on Iberia flight 243 to Ibiza are fooled by the navy blue baseball cap, the wraparound sunglasses, and the prickly, chestnut coloured, three-day beard, a connoisseur like me is not. I am the princess of pop music, the FM queen. I know my pop stars.

It may seem sad that at the ripe old age of 37 I’m still addicted to bubblegum music. At my age, most people seem to have either moved on to cooler, more sophisticated musical spheres or remained faithful to the likes of Céline Dion, Phil Collins and Sting. Not that I dislike Céline Dion, Phil Collins, or Sting. They’re great. But when it comes to music, I’ll always be a teenybopper at heart. Boy bands may be passé, but they still do it for me. I’m a sucker for cheesy harmonies and all those slick, over-choreographed, step-step-shrug moves.

Crazy as it may sound, my taste in music was one of the irreconcilable differences that destroyed my marriage. I think it was an overdose of step-step-shrug that finally pushed my husband a step too far. He went and dumped me for an older woman.

Richard left me for Wilhelmina, a poker-faced, peroxided tart from Munich, whom I only ever saw from a distance, yet whose sense of style made quite an impression nevertheless: black leather trousers, sequinned sweaters featuring cartoon characters, daredevil heels and a hairstyle presumably influenced by lion tamers in circuses. Interesting choice for a conservative stick-in-the-mud like Richard. They probably have sex while listening to Metallica. “Yawohl, mein schnitzel, das ist SO gut, ya, ya schneller bitte, schneller."


Well, they’re welcome to it. They can have Metallica and schnitzels, with or without noodles. Screw them! I’m going to Ibiza to get myself a new life. But please, God, right now, give me something cool to say to Emilio Caliente. Send me instant smooth moves, oodles of charm, irresistible flickety hair.

I try to arrange myself a little more prettily, cross my legs. I’d offer him my best profile, but doing so would require odd contortions, since it’s the one against the window. I rub my nose, making sure there isn’t anything embarrassing hanging off the end.

He takes off his baseball cap and his sunglasses, removes his brown leather sandals (hairy toes, I notice), checks his phone for messages, then switches it off and puts it in the duty-free bag by his feet. He then turns to me, gives me the once over, let’s-see-what-we-have-here, oh-yes, oh-well, never-mind-then, graces me with a quick smile (Yes! This is good! Initial contact established!), puts his sunglasses back on and closes his eyes. So much for contact...

It’s almost eleven when we take-off. The flight has been delayed for nearly two hours. Most of the other passengers are either dozing or flicking through the kind of magazines you tend to buy at airports when you’re bored and need cheap, easy distractions. Even I have a copy of OMG! magazine in my duty-free bag. But now, with Emilio sitting next to me, I’m a little embarrassed to pull it out and have him think I’m mentally deficient.

A bored, exhausted flight attendant passes down the aisle with a basket of boiled sweets. I smile at her smugly, willing her to believe that I’m travelling with Mr. Caliente, that we’re a couple. But as she reaches our level and I lean over to grab something to combat potential gorilla breath, the plane hits turbulence, causing me to knock the basket and most of its contents all over Emilio Caliente’s crotch. Both the flight attendant and I freeze, but Emilio doesn’t stir. Is he asleep or is he deliberately ignoring what he thinks is a desperate plea for attention from his moronic, past-her-sell-by-date neighbour? What kind of a person doesn’t acknowledge an unfortunate accident? Why can’t he just smile politely, say “no harm done”, and offer me a cellophane wrapped windfall?

It’s now obvious to the flight attendant that we are not an item. She pulls a face at me, suppresses a giggle and discreetly points to the multicoloured sweets decorating Emilio’s khaki clad, drawstring secured, rather impressive crotch. "Do we leave them or pick them up?" she articulates silently.

I shrug, mortified, then shake my head. Better to leave them there than disturb the sleeping demigod and have him open his eyes to find four unfamiliar hands groping his testicles.

Grinning, the flight attendant carries on down the aisle, offering what’s left in her basket to the other passengers.

“Mucho Caliente!” is available in print from: and Barnes and
It is available as an e-book from:
BookStrand, Mobipocket and All Romance Ebooks
For further information, please visit my website at

Wednesday's Words for February 18, 2009

This Monday just passed was the second ever “Family Day” holiday in the province of Ontario. For years, there had been talk of instituting an additional paid “statutory” holiday here, and last year it finally happened.

First, I’ll explain that in Canada we have a set of holidays that are ‘statutory’, which means mandated by law. Now, businesses may function on these days, but full time employees who do not get these days off must be paid a premium (usually double their regular hourly wage) to work them. Prior to this new holiday, we had 9 stat holidays – and now we have 10.

I don’t know how many people used the day to indulge in family-oriented activities. I imagine quite a few. Today’s younger parents seem more interested in getting to know their children as people than previous generations did. I can remember my mother muttering something like ‘children should be seen and not heard’. I don’t think it was bad behaviour on my part that inspired that sentiment. It was just that the times were different.

Today’s parent seems more “into” their children. They spend more money enrolling them in sports and social activities; seem more inclined to take the time to re-arrange their own schedules and then ensure their child is ferried about. They seem to know, more than my mother did and certainly more than I did that children need to be kept busy, their minds engaged, and their bodies active.

Yes, I know there are still a lot of parents who spend little or no time with their children. That is unfortunate. It’s likely considered more than just “unfortunate” to those adults who long for children but, for whatever reason, have none. But that’s life, isn’t it? Often those who are blessed with abundance in however that term may be defined, seem insensitive to how lucky they really are.

In the Ashbury household, the concept of family day hasn’t yet taken hold. We none of us lead what you could call busy social or active lives. We’re at work, or school, or we’re at home, and that’s that. Well, except for me. I’m at home, or at home. This is a fairly small house with four very distinct individual humans living in it. We have, between us, five computers, three televisions, four game systems, and a few thousand books.

There’s not much room left for dancing.

Free time is vegetating time, I’m afraid. If any one of us were to suddenly suggest to the others that we go for a hike, or a car ride, or some other out of our little box fun activity, the other three would look askance and then hunt up the thermometer.

I suppose that comes from merging what were two distinct family units into one. The merge isn’t—nor really should it be—absolute. But for the most part, we get along, and can manage to be happily occupied in the same space, individually.

I did notice families out and about together on Monday when I snuck out of the house—alone—and sped off for a cup of coffee-to-go from Timmies on my way to the grocery store.

There were couples out walking, parents and kids out bicycling. We have two rivers in our small town, and in the spring and summer there’s a lot of activity on the water, either canoes or fishing. Not so much this time of year. Recent rains and snow melt have caused a rise in the water level, which in turn speeds the flow of the water, making it dangerous.

We have a portion of what’s referred to as the “rail trail” that runs through here, too. It’s a hiking/bicycling trail that was created when old, no longer used train tracks were removed.

For one moment there on Monday afternoon, while the sun was shining brightly in the pretty blue sky, and as I looked at those happy faces of family members sharing the fresh air, exercise, and joyous time together, I thought, maybe I should just go home and invite everyone out for a walk.

But the urge passed. Just as well. I hate being laughed at.

Come see my first guest blog ever!
February 23, 2009 here:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Black History Month Interview

My Black History Month Blog Blitz interview is up at Sistah Friend Book Club (2/15/09):


5 Stars for Sexual Healing for Three!

“Sexual Healing for Three is an entertaining read. Gracie C. McKeever combines romance, paranormal, ex-wives, bdsm, psychopaths, and danger to create a page turner. I finished this book in one sitting. I could not lay it down.” 5 Stars, Anne Boling for To read the complete review, visit here:

To read excerpt and/or to purchase, visit here:

My New Book Covers

I'm so very pleased with my newest books covers designed by Jinger. They capture everything I tried to express in each book.

Claiming Cullen Link

COMING SOON. This book is scheduled for release early 2009.

[Siren Menage Amour: Menage a trois M/M/F, M/M, and orgies with M/M/F/M/M/M]

Five guys and one hot woman, shacked up in a cabin for the week, was not what Cullen had in mind when he pictured his relaxing week away. Especially when that woman was Tess, Cullen's best friend's girlfriend. To make matters worse, Rael, a sophisticated and very much male acquaintance, is along for the ride, and seemingly content to stir up Cullen's long since suppressed curiosities.

Wound up from the sexy ride over, Cullen finds himself the center of a rather sexy competition, as Tess and Rael jockey for position to see who will get to lay claim on Cullen.

Stunts involve a raunchy game of poker with a live sex act, a game of chase in the kitchen that ends up in bondage and a spanking, an orgy of five guys and one woman in a hot tub, and a lot more frisking, teasing, and tantalizing.

Through The Woodwork Book Link

COMING SOON: This book is scheduled for release early 2009.

Benji, a lonely 1950's farm hand, is constantly reminded of the fact that he is the only workman who has not enjoyed quality time with his heart's desire, Molly, the farm owner's mischievous middle daughter.

Their paths cross often as Molly goes about her duties milking the twenty Jersey cows in the barn, but nothing ever comes of it, until one day, Benji discovers a knot hole in the wall. Through the knothole he can spy on her without fear of ridicule or rejection.

When spying just isn't enough, Benji adds another hole of his own, one much lower down. It is his intention to expose himself to her, but to his astonishment, he gets more than he bargained for when Molly treats his anonymous cock to the ride of its life. Molly has one last trick up her sleeve though, and she pulls a prank that not even Benji can fathom.

No animals were harmed in the making of this erotic novella, but there are plenty of sex scenes.

And I still am in love with my first cover Gamble's Game, book available now.

Gamble's Game Book Link

Visit the author at Her author Website
or at her blog

The Gift Horse--Available Now

As a long-time horsewoman and dressage rider, I’ve wanted to write a novel that revolved about dressage and horses. I pictured a romantic mystery, and I wanted it to be different. Killing horses for insurance had been done before. I needed something new.

I also wanted to cover a topic that had been bothering me for a long time. When money enters the picture, how far will a horse trainer go to win ribbons? Will she compromise what’s best for the horse? Will she choose the horse over money or achieving her goals?

When I conceived the idea of The Gift Horse, I wanted to make the horse a secondary character. Equestrian-related fiction often misses the boat on this. They don’t give the horses personalities or allow them to play a part in the book other than being a cardboard animal that appears in the background. My horse character needed as much personality as my human characters. So I turned to my own Hanoverian mare, Gailey, as my model, and believe me, she has a lot of character. Gailey’s sweet mare act will charm the pants off you if there’s a treat involved or if she’s looking to win you over. If she’s not, she puts on the alpha bitch-mare face and makes sure you understand that the princess is annoyed. Gabby is essentially my mare with a little more ambition. My mare wouldn’t buck, as it would be too much work. Gabby bucks with enthusiasm, which often sends her rider flying.

I loved writing about Gabbie, her quirks, her crush on the hero, and her opinions on horse shows, love, and ribbons. I even put a few scenes in the horse’s point of view.

The Gift Horse was released today in ebook format. You can read the first chapter here, and purchase the book here. I hope you’ll check it out. Please let me know what you think, as I’d love to write a sequel if there’s enough interest.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Four bookmarks for 'Escape to Love'

I've had a four-bookmark review from Wild on Books for my erotic ancient Rome story Escape to Love. Natalie S. says:

"Lindsay Townsend’s ability to weave historical tales with the amount of passion and sensuality has me completely hooked. ESCAPE TO LOVE is timeless and true love lasts forever and is able to scale all heights. Severus and Lydia beat the odds and for that I am glad.

ESCAPE TO LOVE is available at Siren Publishing. Lovers of historical romance will be thrilled with this steamy and sweet novella. I know I was!"

The review is here.


Here's your new fortune cookie from Mudflat-

- for more check

Angelic Forecast ~ XXIV

Before my very eyes a pink beam shoots toward me from the sunset. Once again, perfect shades of pink grace the far horizon, as they did the day before on Valentine’s Day.
A rarity in these times, I feel a sense of pure delight and enchantment.
That is, before the rose pink beam transforms into the shape of a heart. Larger and larger, the heart grows, the pink color gradually transmuting into shining translucence. Becoming large enough to let the Heavenly One step through.
“The portal to love is open.” He waves grandly toward the heart. Fluffy pale pink clouds float inside as if it’s the sky. He smiles at me. “And the portal of heavenly love has opened to a greater degree.”
“Does that mean my romance novels will be more romantic?” I ask, knowing it’s a lesser question than I should be asking. I should be asking about the state of love in the world. Will we All be more loving and caring with each other?
“Yes.” He grins teasingly. “And no.”
“Everything will become more extreme. More romance and less romance.”
He nods, the wise sage showing inside his purply glowing eyes.
“Soft will become softer. Hard will become harder,” he says.
Inspired, I say, “But, more than ever, people will need and want love stories, won’t they?”
He nods, dramatically this time. “There will be those who will do all in their power to suppress love stories. And love. Beware.”
I nod.

This week’s forecast ~ Look for a dramatic increase in how love plays out in your life. Also, keep looking for those not-so-noticeable opportunities to give and receive more love.
Plus, this week provides the ideal opportunity to take stock of yourself in new ways. You will more easily see those aspects of yourself which are outdated, or need healing. Simply notice, then move forward. The way will appear. And the best manner of healing will stand before you, waiting with open arms...take advantage.

Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona


Leprechauns, do they show themselves in 2013 ~


Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth ~
Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes?

Blurb: Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar
What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? ...more

~~~ NOW IN PRINT ~~~

Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend, BookStrand author of FLAVIA’S SECRET and A SECRET TREASURE ~ ~

WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ adventure fantasy erotic romance ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~ ~

Kiss from Savanna Kougar...

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Sunday, February 15, 2009

4 Star Review for Trinity Magic

Trinity Magic has received a 4 Star Review from ReviewYourBook.

4 Stars
Love that cannot be destroyed by time…The setting is Trinity Island, Virginia. Ryder and Arleigh were connected by the threads of time. They were destined to be together. He was willing to travel back through time to share her life. He just has to convince her that sex with him will not kill him. Amber Carlton cleverly weaves the story in and out of time. The connecting thread is the Caindale family. Trinity Magic is an interesting read. The characters are fascinating. Carlton make this entertaining with the use of faries and other mystical creatures. I enjoyed the way Carlton used history to add depth to this tale. Her description of life in the 1600s was like icing on the cake.

Reviewed by Anne Boling at ReviewYourBook.

Thank you, Anne!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Romance, Erotic, or Christian...

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be for couples, but if you are a writer – why not give yourself a gift or ask your significant other to buy that in lieu of chocolates. Guaranteed these books will not add to your waist line. They just might give you some new ideas, for both writing and personal use. {grin} Below you will find some from my arsenal. I have shelves and shelves of how to books.

I was perusing my writing romance books for a writer’s group I founded and host once a month in my home. These writers are in various stages of discovering they want to write. Some haven’t decided what genre yet, some write sermons, or lesson plans and want to do more. Some are into genealogy and creative non-fiction, yet there are those who want to write mystery, suspense, plays, screen plays, Young Adult, Thriller and yes even romance. While most of these books would be appropriate for all of them. I think I would have to keep those below that deal with the erotic to myself. They are all full of good methods for writing however – so don’t shy away from a how to book just because it isn’t your genre.
I have found I learn from every manual I read.

How to Write Romance for the New Markets, by Kathryn Falk
Writing the Christian Romance by Gail Gaymer Martin
Writing Romances, A Handbook by the Romance Writers of America, Edited by Rita Gallagher, and Rita Clay Estrada
Writing a romance novel for Dummies by Leslie Wainger
The Easy Way to Write Romance, by Rob Parnell
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to: Getting Your Romance Published, by Julie Beard
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Erotic Romance, by Alison Kent
Secret Sexual Positions, Ancient Techniques for Modern Lover’s by Kenneth Ray Stubbs, Ph D
Extraordinary Sex Now, by Dr. Sandra R Scantling
The Bald-Headed Hermit and the Artichoke, an Erotic Thesaurus. By A.D. Peterkin.
“Entertaining and very funny,” says Hustler Magazine. Just so you know A. D. Peterkin is a Toronto psychiatrist and journalist. Kind of makes you wonder what beat he covers.
But if you are bored with the trite and over-used check this book out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Romantic Roman flowers for Valentine's Day

As a forerunner to Valentine's Day, and with Flavia's Secret and Escape to Love in mind, I thought I'd talk about some romantic Roman flowers. Some are surprising. Some are popular even today.

Sweet violet is a pretty, sweet-smelling flower used, like the anemone and the madonna lily, in garlands at Roman banquets. The scent was believed to ward off drunkenness! The Romans loved the scent of violets and even drank wine infused with violets and honey.

Vervain is a dull-looking plant but one which the Romans believed held magical proprieties. Believed to bring good luck, it was used in love potions.

Roman brides used mint for their garlands, and their faces may have been cleansed with a facepack made from the juice of yellow elecampane, because it was believed that Helen of Troy was collecting the flower when Paris abducted her.

Then as now however, the most popular romantic flower was the rose. Roses were grown in Campania for sale and the streets in Rome were red with rose garlands. They were known as flowers of seduction - Cleopatra was rumoured to have seduced Mark Anthony with rose petals. I'll leave it to your imagination as to how!

(Painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and drawings of sweet violet, elecampane and mint from Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday's Words for February 11, 2009

Much of who we are and what we become is shaped in early childhood. That’s not an excuse; it’s a starting point for understanding ourselves, and others.

I was very shy as a child, and became extremely insecure after the death of my father when I was eight years old. It took me a lot of years, after I became a wife, mother, and then an adult, to get over that shyness. I’m still working on the insecurity.

I used to be bitter, too, but finally let go of that useless emotion when I came to the understanding that the only person it was hurting was myself.

I’m fifty-four years old and have been told more than once that I am hopelessly naive and far too trusting. Guilty as charged.

I love meeting people, whether in person or on line. There is an almost unquenchable thirst within me for forming relationships with others. I trust easily, and despite many warnings by my more worldly-wise friends, give my heart easily, too. I always tell my friends, “I love you”, and I mean it.

I’ve never set out to do anything to deliberately hurt anyone, and when I discover that my actions or words have indeed had that affect, I’m devastated.

In the past five years, since I discovered this brave new world of cyber-space I have made dozens of connections with other people. I have met, face to face, a whole lot of them. Of the ones I have not met in person, I have been savaged by only one or two, and abandoned by probably twice that many. A negligible failure rate, really.

Relationships matter far more to me than they do to most of the people I am in them with. That’s just the way it is, a reflection, if you will, of my basic insecurity. When I am disappointed or hurt by someone—and here I must confess that this happens far too easily, for a thick skin I have not—I bleed inside. But that never stops me from making new friends, and keeping that hopeful, optimistic...and yes, naive frame of mind.

I believe that our fundamental purpose in life is to connect with others, to reach out and offer a hug, or words of encouragement. To uplift, support, promote, and love other people.

Life tests us and twists us and generally makes us jump through hoops. Life is filled with losses for most of us, and sometimes those losses are nearly crippling. I believe that at the end of the day what will matter most is how many people we were able to help along the way, and how many of those losses we suffered we were able to turn around and use to help someone else with their burdens.

I only become angry when someone insults or does an injustice to someone I care about. When sadness, depression, and loneliness hit me, the only cure I’ve found is taking my eyes off myself. Writing is good for that, whether it’s these essays or one of my novels.

When I was a member of the outside-the-home workforce, my co-workers used to say that I treated my ‘job’ as if it was a ‘career’. I knew they meant that as some sort of condemnation, but I never took it as such. Likewise, I’ve been told that I act as if the novels I’ve been fortunate enough to have had published are literature as opposed to being simply erotic romances.

Guilty again. I don’t know why a story that is an erotic romance can’t also be a story about learning not to judge others on a superficial basis, or learning to trust, or finding one’s self-confidence, or believing in one’s self worth, or overcoming a regrettable past, or having faith in one’s ability to decide one’s own destiny or learning to believe in magic. I don’t understand why a novel that entertains and perhaps titillates can’t also tell a deeper story, or offer the message that we’re all entitled to pursue happiness, however we may define that elusive state; that our similarities are greater than our differences, and if I can achieve something, then you can, too.

And I don’t know why a story can’t just be a time out from the trials of life, an opportunity to escape for the hour or two it takes to read it, and be valued for that alone.

But then I don’t know a lot of things. I’m really just getting started, after all.

Feel the heat; catch the fire.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Weekend party!

For a sweet, sensual, sizzling, scorching Valentine's Weekend, why not visit
us over Feb 14 and 15th on the SirenBookstrand loop?

Read about LOVERS!

Come and go as you please, tell us your Valentine stories, have fun!

Best wishes, Lindsay