Friday, March 30, 2012

Hot Southern Cooking with Dance with a Millionaire


By: Casey Crow

My f/m erotic DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE came out last week!


Southern belle Campbell Layne is the rising star of the Manhattan Ballet Theatre, providing
she lands the upcoming principal role. The stage heats up, however, when Rod
Carrington steps in and teaches her more than she ever expected.

Campbell is determinedto stay focused on the audition that will push her into stardom, but the
dazzling attorney she meets at a gala proves to be a major distraction
especially when he ends up being her professor in a college class she’s taking
in her spare time. Campbell humiliates herself on their first date, but that
doesn’t stop Rod from whisking her off to Italy and turning her into quite the
vixen. Too bad he also had to use his powerful influence to secure the lead for
her. Now she’ll never know if her talent was real or “bought” by the man she
thought was the love of her life.




In DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE, Campbell and Rod are foodies. They wine and dine at Jean Georges in New York City and two other fabulous places in Italy. After that, Campbell cooks Rod a down home meal complete with collards, cornbread, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, and apple pie. She throws in grits, too. What’s more Southern than that? Here's one of my favorite recipes for grits. It's spicy, just like DWAM. Hope you enjoy it.

Jalapeno Cheese Grits

2 cups quick-cooking grits
2 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
3 large eggs, well beaten
2 jalapenos, finely diced
1/4 cup canned chopped green chiles
Garlic salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the grits according to the directions on the back of the package. Remove from the heat and add next 6 ingredients (Cheddar through chilies). Stir well and season with garlic salt, to taste. Pour into a buttered 9-inch baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Let cool slightly before slicing and
serving.


DWAM BUY NOW
Visit Casey at http://www.caseycrow.com/
Follow on Twitter @caseyecrow and Facebook Casey Crow
DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE EXCERPTS

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roller Coaster

Image borrowed from LiveSimplicity.ca
I don't know about you, but life never goes the way you want it to... I'd planned on 2012 being my writing year but I can't help getting sucked into the craziness of unpredictability. Last Thursday I missed my post date when my cousin had symptoms of a mild heart attack triggered from a spider bite...we spent all day in the lovely ER. I swear, it's always packed in there and I have to say that there is definitely a need for medical professionals! Hmmm, did I mention I've been moving in the midst of deadlines, health scares, and workload? 

Yea.

Funny how you never catch up no matter how hard you try. That's something I've had to learn to accept. BUTthere is a silver liningI've been more productive with my writing the past three months than I've been in two years! I sent out my first book proposal of the year not long ago and I'll be sending out two more to my agent in a month or so. By the end of the year I should have a few novellas out as well...not too shabby.

How do I stay positive? I'm not real sure, but I believe that when the odds are stacked against you, there's only one thing to do..."throw your hands up in the air and enjoy it."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Titanic Rhapsody Video

Writers write, but we also like to see our stories come alive with music, sound effects and photos.

I couldn't resist putting together this book video of my Ellora's Cave romance, Titanic Rhapsody.

I couldn't have done it without the lovely photos I licensed from www.dreamstime.com and the stirring Celtic music "Long Road Ahead" from Kevin MacLeod http://www.incompetech.com/ And my favorite FX CDs...

And most of all to Dar Albert http://www.wickedsmartdesigns.com/ who designed my fabulous Titanic Rhapsody cover for Ellora's Cave.


And yes, that's me doing the voiceover...


Titanic Rhapsody sets sail on April 12th!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Conference Fun

Last week my dear hubby and I took a break from the pressures of  daily life and responsibilities helping my dad convalesce and we went to Pensacola Beach for the Silken Sands Writers' Conference. An added bonus (and the only reason I would drive seven hours each way) was that I got to spend time with my crit partner and former naughty chick, Savannah Stuart.

Aside from seeing Savannah and doing the whole conference thing, I even got to meet current chick, Casey Crow, who is just as adorable as her posts!

I got to listen to some awesome workshops, hang with buddies Savannah, Cynthia Eden, Manda Collins and Jeffe Kennedy as well as had a sumptuous lunch with Carina Press Managing Editor, Angela James at a beach side restaurant with a view of scantily clad young men playing volleyball. I won a pink voodoo doll that Cynthia Eden totally coveted, had a gorgeous room with a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and came home with dozens of books I can't wait to dig into. I met all sorts of great folks and even had some quality time with the hubster.


 Savannah and me.




Angela James

 My pink voodoo doll!


View from our room.


Manda Collins, Cynthia Eden and Jeffe Kennedy.
Here are some pictures from the weekend. Don't you wish you were there? The next conference I will attend is more than a year away -- RWA Nationals 2013 in Atlanta. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 23, 2012

SADIE AND HER COWBOY - Sexy New Cowboy Erotic Romance!

I have a brand spankin' new release that I'm so excited about! It's a cowboy erotic romance set in the old west called SADIE AND HER COWBOY!



I got the idea for the book when I was browsing the internet and came across a website about cattle drives back in the old west. In and of itself, not a very romantic topic, I admit, but it was cool reading about all the different jobs the people did and who was responsible for what. When I saw the old sepia photos of the cowboys back then, I didn't see a hot, hunky one among them. I decided the cowboy in my book must have been taking the photo because he's both hot and hunky! LOL!

Obviously, I couldn't write a whole book about a cattle drive! Where's the romance in that? But the cattle drive did give me a good idea - a woman owns a ranch and needs a hired gun to keep a local cattle baron from stealing it out from under her. See, Sadie had to take over the ranch when her father was killed in a stampede. Now the vultures are descending, sure she won't have the stomach to do what's necessary to save her ranch.

But she's tougher than anyone thinks - tough enough to bring in Jake Wagner, a man with a gun and reputation. Not to mention gorgeous. I needed to get some conflict going - just to make it more interesting - so as you can imagine, Sadie and Jake butt heads right from the moment she hires him. Of course, that leads to some spankings (and bondage!), which in turns lead to some very hot sex!

Happy Reading!

SADIE AND HER COWBOY

When a ruthless cattle baron is determined to do anything to get his hands on Sadie Buchanan's ranch, including running off her ranch hands and killing her cattle, she hires the infamous gunslinger Jake Wagner to protect her property.

Despite the fact that they butt heads right from the start, Sadie is helplessly drawn to the ruggedly handsome cowboy, even when he warms her bottom repeatedly for her willful and sometimes reckless behavior.

But all the cards are put on the table when Sadie bets the cattle baron that she, Jake and her small band of cowpokes can get more cattle to market than anyone in their right mind would attempt.

It's all or nothing for Sadie, her ranch and the dangerous cowboy she's fallen for hard.

Excerpt

Jake was at the bar when Sadie walked in, a drink in his hand and a heavily made-up saloon girl on either side of him. The man was so interested in whatever the more buxom of the two women was whispering in his ear he didn’t notice Sadie march across the room to stand in front of him. She wrinkled her nose. Good gracious, he reeked of whiskey even from this distance.

The chatter in the saloon all but ceased. Even the piano player had stopped tinkling the keys.

The saloon girl who wasn’t attached to his ear gave her a haughty look. She had curly, dark hair and a beauty mark painted on her cheek. “Can we help you?”

Sadie folded her arms and returned the woman’s superior gaze with one of her own. “As a matter of fact, yes. You can start by taking your hands off him.”

She was surprised Jake heard her over the sweet nothings the big-breasted strumpet was cooing in his ear, but he jerked his head up at the sound of her voice.

The dark-haired saloon girl lifted a brow. “And who are you to tell us what to do? His wife?”

Sadie wanted to laugh. She’d rather end up a spinster than marry a no-good, drunken lout like Jake Wagner. “I’m his employer.”

Both women looked confused at that. Which was rather surprising. Sadie thought for sure everyone in town would know she’d hired a new foreman. If they hadn’t before, they would after this.

She glared at Jake. “I didn’t pay you all that money in advance so you could come to the saloon and drink it all, you know.”

The good-for-nothing man had the nerve to flash her a grin that was both infuriating and heart-stopping at the same time. “Now, don’t go getting your pantaloons in a bunch, Miss Sadie. I didn’t spend all the money on whiskey.”

His words were only slightly slurred, which was rather amazing considering how much he’d probably drunk. She clenched her jaw. “I didn’t pay you all that money so you could some here and spend it on saloon girls, either. I expect more from my foreman.”

Jake regarded her lazily. “Why don’t you get along back to that ranch of yours and do what you do best, and I’ll stay here and do what I do best?”

She clenched her hands into fists to keep from slapping that smug face of his. “And what exactly do you do best, Mr. Wagner? Get drunk?”

The saloon erupted into laugher around them. Sadie was glad someone was amused.

“I’m not drunk,” he said.

She let out a snort. “Oh, please! You’re as drunk as a fiddler’s clerk.”

That earned her more laughs from the saloon’s patrons.

Jake pushed himself away from the bar. Sadie hadn’t realized how tall he was when he’d been sprawled out in the chair in front of her desk, but he positively towered over her. It was all she could do not to take a step back when he bent his head and put his mouth to her ear.

“Stop this right now and go back to the ranch like I told you.”

If Sadie had been paying attention, she would have realized his words weren’t slurred like before, but his nearness—combined with the feel of his warm breath on cheek—made it difficult to concentrate. Annoyed with herself for being so weak, she stepped back to give him a fierce look.

“I don’t take orders from you, Mr. Wagner. You take them from me,” she told him coldly. “Is that clear?”

Jake regarded her, his eyes locked with hers in a battle of wills, but Sadie wasn’t about to waiver.

“Looks like the little lady put you in yer place, but good,” a man laughed from the other side of the room.

The rest of the saloon must have thought it was just as funny. There were chortles and guffaws all around. Jake didn’t appear to think it was amusing at all, and if Sadie was smart, she would have stopped there. But pride and anger wouldn’t let her.

“Pay your bar tab if you have one, Mr. Wagner, because we’re leaving. You’re coming back to the ranch with me.”

Sadie didn’t wait to see if her new foreman followed, but turned and started for the door. She barely made it two steps before a strong hand caught her arm. She whirled around to see Jake glowering down at her.

“I’ll go with you, but when we get back to the ranch, you and I are going to have a talk,” he growled.

Sadie jerked her arm free of his grasp. Which was probably something she couldn’t have done if he hadn’t let her. She spun on her heel and headed for the door again. Jake stumbled after her. How could he seem stone-cold sober one minute, and drunk as a skunk the next?

“I don’t know why I let Ned talk me into hiring you,” she muttered as she led the way to the stable where she’d left the wagon. The sun was low in the sky now, bathing the street in shadows. “Who ever heard of a gunslinger managing a ranch anyway? You’re nothing but an outlaw who will work for anyone who pays your outrageous fee.”

She was in the stable before she realized Jake hadn’t made a single comment during her entire rant. The drunken lout had probably passed out in the street. Mouth tight, she spun around, prepared to drag him the rest of the way, only to stop short when she saw him standing behind her, arms folded across his broad chest, a scowl on his handsome face.

“Are you finished?” he asked.

Her brow furrowed. “How do you do that? Sound drunk one minute, and sober as I am the next?”

“I told you before. I’m not drunk.”

“Really? Then why do you smell like you just took a bath in a tub of whiskey?”

“Because I doused myself in the stuff before I went into the saloon.”

She frowned again. “Why would you do that?”

“So I could get the townsfolk to talk to me.” He shrugged his broad shoulders. “They won’t talk to a stranger, but they’ll sure as hell talk to a drunk.”

Sadie considered the logic of that. She supposed what he said made sense. That didn’t mean she wasn’t still upset with him. “Well, you could have told me, you know.”

“I did. I told you to go back to the ranch.”

“I meant before I went in there and made a fool of myself.”

Jake snorted. “I didn’t know you were going to follow me. I expected you to be at the ranch doing woman’s work.”

Sadie’s eyes narrowed. “Woman’s work? You mean like sewing quilts and washing clothes?”

“Exactly.”

Chauvinist pig. “Because those are the only things a woman can do, right?” She tried to rein in her temper, but it was quickly nearing its boiling point again. “I’ll have you know I’ve been doing a lot more than sewing quilts and washing clothes out at the ranch since my father died, Mr. Wagner.”

“Maybe that’s why you’re in the predicament you’re in.”

The words cut Sadie more deeply than she wanted to admit, maybe because she’d often wondered if she was partly to blame for making the ranch such an easy target. But she’d be damned if she was going to let a gunslinger like Jake Wagner take her to task for it. Before she even realized what she was doing, she lifted her hand and slapped him hard across the face.

The sound of it echoed in the stable, but Sadie barely heard it. Instead, she stood there, shocked by what she’d just done. She’d never hit anyone in her life.
There was no way Jake could have expected her to slap him, and yet he didn’t seem surprised by her show of violence. He did look angry, though. His jaw was clenched so tightly she thought it might crack.

She’d never been one to run from a fight, but the strange glint in his eye made her think it was time to make her escape. Mumbling something about wanting to get back to the ranch before it got dark, Sadie started to back away, but Jake caught her wrist. Without a word, he strode across the enclosure, dragging her with him. The fury she’d felt earlier gave way to fear.

“Wh-what are you doing?” she stammered.

He stopped and turned to face her. “Doing what someone should have done a long time ago.”

Sadie opened her mouth to ask him what in tarnation he was talking about, but all that came out was an “oomph,” as he sat down on a bale of hay and threw her over his knee.

“What—?” she began, but the rest of her words ended in a startled gasp as Jake’s hand came down on her upturned bottom.

The barbarian was spanking her!


Buy it at All Romance eBooks!
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sadieandhercowboy-753066-147.html


Buy it on Amazon Kindle!
http://www.amazon.com/Sadie-and-Her-Cowboy-ebook/dp/B007KD9MLS/ref=sr_1_39?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331821482&sr=1-39

Buy it on B&N Nook!
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sadie-and-her-cowboy-paige-tyler/1109546420?ean=2940014343794&itm=1&usri=paige+tyler+sadie+and+her+cowboy


*hugs*
Paige

"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"

http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com
http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Seriously?

I think I may have seen it all. This is something my son brought home from overseas, and my DH was smart enough to snap some shots, knowing I would love to post it here.

Where can you get yourself some of this fabulous product, you ask? Let's say somewhere hot and sandy, where the women are covered head to toe.

Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Front

Instructions

Back

This is very real. That background is my kitchen counter. What more can I say? Let the comments begin...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To Film or Not to Film…That is the Question

harry potterRecently, my son and I bonded. Quite by accident…well, that’s not exactly right. We bonded via  required reading, detention and a grounding.

Here’s the story. Every weekday when my son comes home from school I make him read and write a paragraph on it—or else I would have no proof that he actually read the book. Well, after I tired of reading twenty paragraphs on Ben-10 and Bakugan, I told him to read Harry Potter. After grumbling *cough! whining!* he grudgingly started reading The Sorcerer’s Stone. Not long afterward, he cut up at school and received detention. And after all the amenities were stripped from his room, all he had was the Harry Potter books! So the next time I asked him about the books, he’d finished The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets and was well into The Prisoner of Azkaban! And more importantly, was enjoying them!

Soon he and I are having conversations about the books. And to celebrate—after he received his TV viewing privileges back—we watched the Harry Potter movies. Which set off a new set of dialogue. He noticed right off the bat things that were in the books but not included in the movies. Or something that happened in the movie but wasn’t fully addressed like it’d been in the books. It was really awesome! Okay, so that may not seem like much, but when a mother can communicate in more than monosyllables with her twelve-year-old son…

And yet the whole bonding thing isn’t what this blog is about. It’s about what he discovered that I found out a long time ago: The book is almost always better than the movie. Although the Harry Potter people did do a great job. So did the Lord of the Rings folks. And—don’t tease me!—the Twilight people did, too!

I know it’s impossible to include everything from the books in the movies, but with some, all they have in common with the book is the title! It makes me kinda nervous when I hear that plans are in the works for novels I love. For instance, I heard that there may be films based on Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. Those novels are so wonderful, and I’ve had years to picture what they all look like—especially Acheron! *drool*—that I so desperately don’t want to be disappointed! Another series I would be nervous about seeing onthe black dagger brotherhood the big screen is J.R. Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Now I don’t know if there are plans to film it but, in my humble opinion, it is one of the absolute best series to hit the shelves! Could the PTB pull the actors, create the special effects, atmosphere and emotion that make those novels so special and fantastic? I don’t know! I just don’t know…

Sometimes I want to rail *fist shake*, leave well enough alone! Aren’t some things sacred? But, on the other hand, I love to see my favorite characters come to life! I’m so wishy-washy…

So what books do you hope they bring to the silver screen? Or hope they leave alone? Do you agree with my picks?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Romantic Cities?


I'm taking an informal poll today. Like so many others I've dreamed of traveling the world and visiting the plethora of exotic locales so unlike my own. The list of places I'd go is too long to type because in real life I've visited only four other countries, including a weekend jaunt to our Canadian neighbor.

In the grand scope of things, four isn't so bad. There are many people in the US who will never leave this country once. But I still dream. If I had a magic wand and could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, the decision over which place to choose first would be difficult.

I might as well choose on the basis of romance. Romance is a darn-right respectable motivation for a grand trip. But what is the most romantic city in the world? Paris? Venice? Or perhaps an island destination? If the lottery fairy visits me as I sleep, I'd book my trip ASAP. I need a plan just in case and would appreciate feedback to help me make my choice.

So where do you vote for as the most romantic international travel destination?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My New Obsession

Okay, I have something totally off topic to share...or is it?

My new obsession...http://www.Listia.com
Yes, I'm obsessed with Listia.

During our lives (especially if we're Americans) we accumulate a lot of "stuff," never use it, and promptly forget about it. I don't like clutter. Neither does my husband Mr. Amaziing, but he's better about getting rid of things he doesn't want. He sells a lot of yesterday's electronics on Amazon, etc.

Well, a lot of my 'stuff' isn't worth the money I'd be embarrassed to ask for it, especially if I ask the winner to pay for shipping.

So, what does this have to do with Listia you ask? It's a place where you give away stuff you don't need anymore--for points. Then you bid on stuff you DO want with your lovely points...which are fairly easy to earn. In other words, you don't make any money...you just make someone else happy, and eventually, someone else will make you happy when you win a bid. It's just too much fun!

Plus I'm thinning down my closet and jewerly box.

Now, how could this work with our topic of authorship? Think about those free books you get to give away as promos and contest prizes. Now think about how the same people win them over and over. Here's a way to reach a whole new audience, and hopefully convert some folks to the joy of reading...especially the joy of reading hot, sexy romances.

Just one caveat. Be very specific in your description using words like 'graphic' but do not ever refer to your books as 'porn' or the listing will probably be yanked. (Read their rules...you'll see also that you cannot give away ebooks there.) I doubt most of you would ever call your erotic romances porn anyway, but I just thought I'd warn ya.

I won't have another free paperback to give away until 2013, so why am I doing this now? Don't know. It's just too much fun. Have you ever heard of it? Feel like trying it out? Send me your email addy and ask to be invited. We'll both get extra points as a result of my invitation! ashlynchase@gmail.com

Friday, March 16, 2012

Favorite Literary Characters


By: Casey Crow


Guess where I am today? At the beach! Yep, I'm attending the Gulf Coast Chapter of Romance Writers of America Silken Sands Writer's Conference on Pensacola Beach! The white sand is gorgeous and the water crystal clear. Jealous?

Well, that's not the best part. Okay, maybe it is, but Silken Sands definitely has a few other things going for it, too. For starters, I'm presenting a PITCH PERFECT workshop. LOL Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with those details. It's more fun to talk about the party they are throwing! We get to dress as our favorite literary character! How cool is that?

I'm wearing my "hooker" outfit which is basically a skimpy black strapless mini dress similiar to the one Anna Ryan wore in my debut CAN'T FAKE THIS. We can actually dress as any character from any book, not just our own, but I'm cheap and since I already have the dress, I'm wearing it. Plus, I really do like Anna. She's a fiesty little thing.

I was thinking though, what other characters I'd might like to dress up as. Scarlett O'Hara? Well, duh, that one goes without saying. I'm pretty partial to Stephanie Lauren's Regency England dutchess in her Devil Cynster novel. The list really does get pretty endless when you think about it!



What would be your choice of favorite literary characters? What is it about that character that sets them apart? For me, it's the strengh of a strong female I remember most.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Titanic Bell


© Nicola Zanichelli | Dreamstime.com


He rang the bell three times.

Three times.

Iceberg right ahead.”

Frederick Fleet, one of six lookouts on watch that night of April 14, 1912, was the first to spot the iceberg along with Reginald Robinson Lee in the crow’s nest.

Fleet rang the bell and sounded the alarm at 11:40 p.m.

A bronze Titanic bell was recovered and brought up from the ocean floor and has been part of the Titanic exhibition.

According to experts, the bell from the crow’s nest is most likely gone, but you can see a see a photo of the recovered bell here from the 2005 exhibition in a museum in Manchester, England.

The sound of the ship’s whistle has long been associated with the gala, hand-waving departure from Southampton, then the final port of call at Queenstown.

A welcome sound to my Titanic Rhapsody heroine, Katie O’Reilly:

Emerging cautiously from between two large sacks of mail, Katie popped her head up, looking around in a slow circle for any sign of the constable.

The coast was clear.

Gazing upward, she said a quick prayer. Then she stretched, raising her arms over her head. A fine nap she’d had, covered by an empty sack and lulled to sleep by the sounds of the sea until she heard the blast from the Titanic’s funnel, announcing she was dropping anchor at Roche’s Point two miles away.

Her heart rang with joy. She found a strange contentment in hearing the ship’s whistle, as if the great liner was out there waiting for her, Katie O’Reilly.

But it is the ringing of the bell that changed the course of the Titanic forever.

The bell photo posted here was taken by Nicola Zanichelli (© Zanico) and is a memorial to the Titanic.

Cast in stone to stand long and hard against the winds of time.

One hundred years since the sinking is nearly upon us.

2012 is the Year of Titanic.

The air will be filled with the sound of bells ringing to commemorate the maritime tragedy and the souls lost.

May they rest in peace.

=================

A personal note:

I'm excited to announce that TITANIC RHAPSODY will be released from ELLORA'S CAVE on April 12th!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Losing 9 lbs in 7 days

If you know me, then you know I'm a dieter. I pride myself in saying I'll try anything to loose weight... Well almost anything. But lets stick to the basics.

If someone comes up with a gimmick I can follow or an over-the-counter medication I can take, I'm there. Yes, I know, the real truth behind success is will power. Let me say, I have none when it comes to food. I'm far from being a picky eater and I love my starches and sweets. So, what's a fat girl to do?

At some point I decided if I couldn't lose the pounds, then I needed to keep myself in check. There starts my escalade through the maze of diet schemes. I'd lose some weight, keep it off for a while, but it would come back (yo-yo effect). However, this does keep me from continuously growing. I'm not looking to be on The Biggest Loser.

My new try is taking the off-the-shelf drug, HCG. A relative pointed it out, saying he knew a guy at work that lost a good bit of weight using it. Naturally, my interest was piqued. I backed up my shopping cart and began reading the box, the pamphlet inside and the side of the bottle (it's liquid drops).

Without much hesitation, believing the spiel on the label, we each purchased the HCG. Our futher conversations about dieting on basically about 500 calories a day led us to needing a support system, so we got other family members in on the plan. I'm a pretty good cook, handy with minimal ingredients, so I was designated the meal planner.

Now everyday, I plan out our 2 skimpy rations of meat, veggies and fruit. It's early in the game, but I've already dropped 9 lbs in 7 days. However, we're all anxious to see if we shed the average of 1-2 pounds a day over a 40 day timeframe.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mindful Sex

Doing extensive research for my next book, which is about witches, I came across information about meditation. Believe it or not, the practice goes hand in hand with modern day witchcraft.

Why? Well basically, witches practice a sort of mindfulness -- connecting mind, body and the energy that makes up the universe. They meditate to draw positive energy into their bodies and to focus that energy where it will best serve the highest purpose.

So what the heck does this have to do with sex? Think about the mind-body-energy connection as related to making love. If your head isn't a hundred percent on board, neither is your body and thus, you're not having the best possible sensual experience.

Now here's a bit of scientific evidence I came across in my research to back this up. A part of your brain called the insula is sort of an information super highway. Loads of information and stimuli travel to and from the insula to the lumbar part of the body. Apparently, the bigger, more developed the insula, the higher the quality of the female orgasm. (I've simplified the science in the name of brevity.)

How does one build the insula? Why, meditation, of course! Another benefit of meditation is that it can help keep away those errant thoughts that interfere with the pursuit of pleasure during sex.

As busy, active people, it's only natural that we have so much on our minds that it's tough to quiet our brains. But quieting our thoughts has a delicious benefit -- better sex.

I'm off to say a few ohm's now. I'll let you know how it goes;-)

And by the way, I had the release of a new series with Ellora's Cave last week.
Dear Annie is a short teaser story that introduces my forthcoming Wanton Weston Women series. Leave a comment and I will enter you in a drawing for a free copy! Here's a little about the book:


Sex advice columnist Dear Annie—aka Suzanne—shuns relationships after growing up in a dysfunctional family. She takes care of her sisters and her mother but refuses to indulge in pleasures of the heart. When she meets a man who makes her toes curl, she’s terrified of letting him hang around long enough for her to start caring about him.

All Alan wants is a chance, but the blonde beauty keeps putting a time limit on their relationship. He charmed his way into her bed, but now must convince her to let him into her heart.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pinterest!


Just discovered Pinterest! Yeah, I know, like I need something else to distract me from my writing! LOL! But after checking it out, I couldn't resist. Especially since I saw some of the cute pics and notes!




If you don't know what Pinterest is, it's a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website. You can create theme-based image collections, as well as check out everyone else's!




I'm still sort of learning how to use Pinterest, so I haven't pinned anything yet, but I love looking at everyone else's pins. If you're on Pinterest, give me your username and I'll follow you. If you'd like to follow me, I'm at paigetylerauth or http://pinterest.com/paigetylerauth




*hugs*
Paige

"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"

http://www.paigetlertheauthor.com
http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Trip to California

It’s always strange to go back to the place you grew up, especially if you end up 3000 miles away and only had a few visits in 19 years. Or maybe I should call it “the place from which I left” since this post isn’t going to scream maturity.

Now that you’ve been properly warned...

Yes, I’m back in So. Cal, though it hasn’t, like, affected me, like, too much. (Insert smack-inducing eye roll) OMiGod, it has sooo not!


Here’s my first impression as I made my way from San Diego to LA. There was actually a better sideways shot, but I missed it. It’s really hard to go 70 on a 5 lane highway and snap a pic at the same time. Yeah, that was me. Sorry!


I actually ate at Taco Bell before In N Out Burger. Twice. I know, I should be shot. But if you haven’t had Taco Bell in Calif before, you don’t get a say here. It's really good, and I do miss it. Everything is fresh, and they know what a tostada is here. No, my New England friends, it is not a taco shell broken in half, tho I appreciate the effort. Besides, the damn gps I’m paying $15 a day for LIED to me about where the In N Out was. Go figure.

I did manage to pop in to a school I went to for 2 years. There are a couple of people still there, and lo and behold they remembered me. It’s 30 years later. This is not a good thing. Let’s just say it involved a Halloween costume and alcohol and leave it at that. My advice to you? There are apparently some places you shouldn’t revisit.


This one wins best restaurant name of this trip. For my pronunciation challenged New England friends, it's pronounced "fuh." Let's say the whole name all together now...

BTW, as long as I'm at it, can we address Hummus? It's Hoo-moose (extra points if you can say the H like there's something caught in your throat), not Hum-us.


And just in case you have the In N Out Urge:

Now you see it, now you don't.

Whaaat? Get your mind out of the gutter. What else would I mean?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why Would I Want to Read That??

Yay! We have paranormal romance author, Jessica Lee, visiting us today at Naughty Author Chicks! I’m a friend and fan! She’s written for Loose ID, Resplendence Publishing, Breathless Press, and has a new paranormal romance series coming out this October with Entangled Publishing…Whew! Please welcome Jessica Lee! *Clap! Clap! Whistle!*

 

gay kiss coupleHave you ever gotten that wide-eyed look of surprise the first time a girlfriend heard you talk about writing or reading a gay romance book? Not saying that plenty of gay men don’t read them as well, but many are written by heterosexual women and purchased by a large number of the same. Still, there are many who have yet to hear of the genre, and recently while writing at Starbucks, I received another one of those shocked expressions followed by a “why would women want to read that?”

My reply… I asked myself the same question the first time I learned of the popularity of the stories. I had to see for myself what all the buzz was about. Not long after my discovery, I downloaded a novella that I’d heard was very well received and dove inside to educate myself. When I finally emerged from the pages, I have to say, I totally got it.Bloodlines 200x300

That was two years ago and many downloads later. *grin*

Since then, I’ve been asked more than once what is it that you like about m/m romance. I’ve thought a lot about that question and have tried to nail down what the draw is all about. The best way I can describe it for me is that it’s sort of like being given an exclusive backstage pass to an event that as a woman you normally would never be on the invite list.

The stories are provocative. And as I read along, I feel very special to be allowed behind the closed doors of these two gorgeous men’s lives, witnessing their deepest emotions, their angst, how they fall in love, and how they love each other.

I also cannot dismiss the obvious fact that, hey, I’m a heterosexual woman who loves men. So what can be better than reading a story with not one, but two sexy men!

If you haven’t picked up your first m/m romance yet, give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you’ll find, and you’ll be coming back for more.

My new m/m erotic paranormal romance with Resplendence Publishing, On Thin Ice, released on February 29th! The blurb and excerpt are below:

On Thin IceWhen the king of the jungle falls for an Alaskan wolf, it’s guaranteed to get hot, putting their lives and his reign on thin ice.

Silas Murdock, lion Pride leader of Ariel Estates, is on the trip of a lifetime, big game hunting with his entourage in Alaska. Everything had been perfect right up until a freak storm barreled into the area ruining their plans followed by an assassin’s bullet plummeting them into the frozen tundra.

Enter wolf shifter and former pack physician, Theodor Lucas. Returning from a trip to a nearby village, he witnesses the crash and finds the wreckage along with an unconscious and barely alive Silas. Theo’s ethical sense won’t allow him to walk away, leaving the male to suffer and freeze to death when there’s a chance he could be saved. Despite the personal risk and his vow to never be responsible for another soul, Theo takes the lone survivor back to his cabin to care for his injuries.

The stranger's unusual scent has Theo stumped. The gorgeous male is definitely not human, but exactly what is a mystery. But Theo’s unexpected guest is the only one with any answers as to who he is, and why their pilot ended up with a bullet to the back.

There’s just one problem: now that the male is awake, he doesn't have a clue. In fact, who, what, and where he is, is a total blank. But for Silas, there is one thing he does knows for sure, when it comes to Theo, his hot-as-hell rescuer, a lifesaver has never looked more delicious.

Excerpt

“Not one damn thing to show for ten thousand dollars and three thousand miles.” Silas repositioned the dark lenses of his Oakleys and stared up into the arctic sky at the approaching Cessna.

“Fucking storm,” grumbled Jonas, standing beside him, his gaze aimed at the growing, oncoming image of their ride home.

The plane descended, going straight for a flat section of frozen tundra. Its large wheels bounced off the snow then contacted once again, this time settling and rolling forward toward Silas’ waiting entourage. The spin of the propellers whipped the already steady snowfall into an icy blizzard around the men.

Silas rubbed his gloved palm across his face, his skin, half-frozen from the freak drop in temperature over the last twenty-four hours, barely sensing the contact. Even if he shifted into his lion form—which he’d give his right nut to be in right now—a below freezing enviro would be a bitch to handle. Well that, and he’d scare the hell out of his approaching human pilot and their resident guide.

The small charter halted twenty feet away and cut its engine.

“Our chariot awaits, men,” Silas called out, grabbed his rifle and part of his gear before heading toward the passenger section of the plane. Each step sent his boots ankle deep in fresh powder, making his trek a workout. Damn, he didn’t realize how much he appreciated the mountains of North Carolina. Yes, winters there were cold with inches of snowfall each year, but nothing as fierce as the Alaskan tundra. Fun place to visit, but hell if he’d want to call it home.

The pilot, Murray, with his white blond hair billowing around his pale face, met him at the cabin entrance. “Any kills we need to store for the trip back, Mr. Murdock?” He grabbed the handle and popped the door.

“Hell, no,” Jonas, coming up from behind, answered for him. “Fucking storm.” He shook his head, sending a spray of white flakes from dark locks as if the man possessed a serious case of dandruff. Jonas lifted the barrel of his weapon. “Never even got a damn shot off.”

Silas leaned in as the pilot turned to stow their gear. “Liar,” he whispered. “You can’t say you never got a shot off.” He topped off the statement with a quick swipe of his tongue against the other man’s earlobe. Silas didn’t miss the shiver that rocked Jonas. He was pleased that Jonas had wanted to join him on the trip. The raven-haired shifter had made the trek into the Tundra a lot more…interesting. He only hoped when they got back home the other male hadn’t mistaken the invite as an indication he wanted something more permanent. Because he neither wanted nor needed that kind of distraction in his life. He thoroughly enjoyed the men and women he took to his bed and did his best to make sure they were well satisfied.

But his Pride came first.

Jonas jerked his head, turned, and captured Silas’ gaze, his dark eyes smoldering. “Bastard. You knew what I meant.”

Silas quirked a smile.

Yesterday, the five members of his pride had been hot on the trail of a large bull moose. But it was as if the wild game had sensed the early impending storm because their scents had suddenly gone haywire. Then the weather had quickly followed, growing colder by the hour. They’d had no choice but to end the hunt after checking in with their charter company and learning of the forecast: large front moving into the area. High winds, blizzard conditions for at least the next seventy-two hours. The news had blown the hunting expedition all to hell. Fall had barely arrived. Too early in the season for a storm of this magnitude. Silas didn’t know what he’d done to piss off Mother Nature, but she was apparently mad as hell and doling out some payback in his direction. Nothing they could do but suck it up and head back to Anchorage for the next flight east.

After loading the rest of his gear, Silas and his team climbed into their seats with their guide choosing the lone spot at the rear of the plane. The pilot took his position up front, and within seconds, the engine sputtered, then roared to life.

“God, I still can’t believe our rotten ass luck,” Reid spouted from the row facing Silas. “An entire year of planning and waiting…” Reid was twelve years Silas’ junior and his father’s best friend’s grandson. He’d been driving Silas crazy for months about going with them to Alaska.

“Yeah, but I’m still glad I got to come with you,” Travis added from the center seat, squeezed in between Reid and Mac, Silas’ personal guard.

Reid glanced Travis’ way with a coy smile. “Yeah. It didn’t all suck.” He turned his attention quickly to Silas, but not so fast that Silas hadn’t pick up on the fact that Travis was more than a friend to Reid.

“Thanks again,” Reid added, “for giving the last minute go ahead for him to come along with us. I’m sure it ain’t easy to make quick changes like that, being in your position.”

A loud contemptuous humph burst from Mac’s throat. He, as well as the Pride’s head of security, Durran, had nearly burst a blood vessel when Silas had told them they could all kiss his ass over who could and couldn’t come on the expedition. Assassination threats be damned. He wasn’t about to break a promise to anyone and cancel the trip due to the fact he would be with minimal security and out of contact for a week. Nor would he disappoint Reid because someone on his staff didn’t have sufficient time to clear a family friend. Silas hadn’t made it to Pride leader at thirty-two by being weak, stupid, or a chicken shit. Travis had no motive to come after him that he knew of, and it had meant a lot to Reid to have him along. Well, for as long as the trip had lasted.

“Don’t worry about it, Reid,” Silas said, arrowing a kiss-my-furry-ass glare in Mac’s direction. “I’m glad you both joined us.”

“Buckle up, guys,” the pilot shouted out over the roar of the engine. “It’s going to get rough.”

The snap and click of metal against metal signaled everyone was secure and ready. The Cessna’s motor revved, the plane did a one-eighty, and they picked up speed. The uneven earth beneath the wheels made for a bone-jarring run before the nose lifted. Back and forth, up and down, the plane tossed, fighting the crosswinds.

“Shit,” Jonas tossed his head back against the seat’s cushion. “I’m so glad I passed on breakfast.”

Moments later and thanks to their talented pilot, the plane had gained enough altitude and leveled out. Jonas released a sigh and popped a stick of gum in his mouth before closing his eyes. But not everyone on board had settled down. Judging by the cold sweat popping like a hard rain on Travis’ forehead, the young shifter seemed seconds from losing it.

“Hey, Travis,” Silas called out. Travis looked up. His fair complexion, already a stark contrast against his short raven buzz cut, appeared a shade whiter than minutes before. “You okay, man?”

Travis gave a curt and less-than-convincing nod. Reid’s gaze darted between Silas and Travis.

“Dude…” Reid ran a palm up and down his friend’s back. “Shit, you don’t look so good.”

“Thanks,” he scoffed and rolled his eyes. His Adam’s apple worked up and down as if the effort to speak had cost him.

“Sorry.” Reid cringed. He scrambled, looking in the side pocket of his seat and came back holding up a white airsickness bag. “Here.” He shrugged. “You know…just in case.”

Jonas opened his eyes and sat forward. “Why don’t you unzip your coat, man? Maybe it’ll help you relax and breathe a little better.”

“Yeah,” Mac added, beside Travis. “That might help.” He reached over to the younger guy with the heavy down.

Travis swatted his hand. “No,” he cried out. “I’m fine.”

“Come on, Trav,” Reid chimed in. “You might feel better.” He leaned in and tugged on the zipper.

Travis grabbed Reid’s hand, halting his progress halfway down. “I said…I’m fine.” He didn’t look up as he delivered the message, each word perfectly articulated.

What the hell is up with that? Silas stilled in his seat. He didn’t have to look around to know that every head in the passenger cabin was turned toward the pair.

“Fine,” Reid tossed back in return and pulled his hand free from the other man’s grip.

“Hey, I know you don’t feel good,” Mac began. “But Reid was only trying to help you out. Just take off your coat, man.”

Travis looked up and tilted his head in the guard’s direction. His hands twitched, and the thin column of his neck did little to hide his bounding pulse. He reached up with shaky fingers, all the while his gaze fixed on the larger shifter, and pulled the zipper until the material fell free.

“Fuck you,” Travis uttered.

Silas flicked his gaze at Jonas who looked about as stunned as he felt, then back to Travis and Mac.

“What did you just say?” It may have been Silas’ imagination, but Mac suddenly appeared a bit larger in his seat.

“You heard me,” Travis replied, then as if in slow motion, his head rotated toward Jonas and Silas. He snarled, baring elongated canines. “Fuck all of you! The storm may have ruined my timetable. But no way in fucking hell I’ll go back a failure.”

“Travis!” It was Reid’s voice, but Silas didn’t have time to glance in his direction because he was too busy focusing on the pistol now sitting in Travis’ hand.

I hope you enjoyed the blurb and excerpt! To one lucky commenter, I’m offering up a copy of On Thin Ice. The winner will be randomly chosen by Random.org.

For a chance at even more prizes, stop by my blog http://jessicaleenovels.blogspot.com/2012/02/its-release-day-and-party-time.html where I’m running a two week special On Thin Ice giveaway!

Thanks so much to all the Naughty Author Chicks for the opportunity to guest on your blog today. You rock!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Secrets?


I've engaged in a number of conversations with other erotic romance authors about their secret identities as writers of the hot stuff. Some are very out there with what they do. A good number keep it a secret from people they know in their daily lives. The reasons are largely either professional or for the sake of protecting children and families.

As a rule I don't believe in secrets. However, given the continual judgments of mainstream society about what I do, I too keep them. As freeing as it is to share ones total identity with other like-minded, thoughtful individuals, (especially other erotic romance authors who are a barrelful of fun) does keeping this type of secret provide residual benefits?

Do you get a thrill walking around thinking about your naughty story ideas and knowing the folks around you would never guess what you do when you sit at your computer? Or the interesting equations you have to consider on a daily basis about erotic positioning and fresh ways to describe sexual anatomy? Does it put a little oomph or jaunt in your step? Maybe just being a secret reader of this same material is enough to add that sauce as you carpool to school with your kids or watch their soccer matches.

Most people keep some parts of their lives private. That in and of itself is not unusual. So is there a difference when you write (or read) erotic fiction? Is this a more difficult secret, or one you feel comfortable keeping? One you are pleased to keep because it adds a fun aspect to your life?

What do these secrets do for you?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE available now!


My newest release is now available through Siren Publishing!
Southern belle Campbell Layne is the rising star of theManhattan Ballet Theatre, providing she lands the upcoming principal role. Thestage heats up, however, when Rod Carrington steps in and teaches her more thanshe ever expected.
Campbell is determined to stay focused on the audition thatwill push her into stardom, but the dazzling attorney she meets at a galaproves to be a major distraction especially when he ends up being her professorin a college class she’s taking in her spare time. Campbell humiliates herselfon their first date, but that doesn’t stop Rod from whisking her off to Italyand turning her into quite the vixen. Too bad he also had to use his powerfulinfluence to secure the lead for her. Now she’ll never know if her talent was real or “bought” by the man she thought was the love of her life.
To celebrate, I'm offering a sneak preview! I'm also giving away a FREE ebook copy!
Mainstream Excerpt:
"That’s well-rehearsed, Miss Layne. Tell me, though, do you turn on the southern belle charm for all your fans or only the gentlemen ones?”Her mouth fell open, but she snapped it shut. “How dare you? “First of all, I’m from Alabama which makes the accent genuine, and secondly, that’s…the rudest, most ungentlemanly thing to say.”“I never said I was gentleman and readily admit to be undeserving of your sweet fa├žade. I’d much prefer the real you.”She propped her hands on her hips. “And precisely what, may I ask, do you assume to be the real me, seeing as our acquaintance has a life span of what? Thirty seconds?”Rod glanced at an expensive-looking gold watch. “Forty-five.” He stepped closer.She did not see that coming and stumbled back only to become trapped between the wall and his body. The hard, cold stone competed against his warm, harder presence. Damn it, the latter won out. She ground her traitorous fingertips into the wall in an effort to prevent them from brushing away the stray curl that fell across his forehead.The hem of his jacket brushed her hip as he moved in to splay his hand over her waist. The pressure built as he gathered her an inch closer. She caught a faint whiff of his woodsy cologne.“In fact, I’d like to get to know every inch of you.” Another sharp tug had her chest pressed against him.Her blood boiled in a delicious rhythm. Obviously, the vibrator thing was getting old if this jerk was turning her on. Campbell flexed her fingers and pushed against his shoulders. “Let go of me, you arrogant pig.” A lion, cougar, leopard—anything powerful—seemed a more apt description though.Rod chuckled and loosened his hold, enough to insert his finger between them. It followed the line of fabric at her shoulder slowly, very slowly, across her chest. As he glided over her cleavage, he said, “You’re mistaken. It’s confidence I possess.”“More like cockiness.” She couldn’t take her gaze off his finger or steer her attention from the hunger that swept through her so intensely she instinctively arched her back, lifting her breasts to beg for more.“Either way, but I always get what I want, and in case you need me to spell it out” —he slid his finger up her throat to tilt her chin, forcing her to look at him—“I. Want. You.”Her breath hitched. No, stopped. Campbell literally thought she might pass out, only she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.Feigning haughty sophistication wasn’t in her repertoire, but there was a first time for everything. She raised a brow and allowed her gaze to wander his body as he’d done to her. The black tux cut a dashing figure, making her mouth water for a taste of what laid beneath. His bowtie was a little askew. She reached to straighten it, brushing against his neck. She sensed, rather than saw, the restrained quickening of his jaw. She inwardly smiled, but those treacherous fingers battled back, wanting to still the muscle of his clean shaven jaw with a gentle caress. She balled her fists in reprimand, uncaring that her short nails dug into her palms.Campbell shot him what she hoped was a contemptuous glare. “Take your hand off me.” She made a dramatic showing of enclosing her fingers, one at a time, around his wrist and tugged his finger away from between her boobs.Nothing happened. Well, almost nothing. He managed to do that trick when one eyebrow lifts higher than the other.She sighed loudly and exceedingly unladylike. Then she pulled. Hard.Finally, he broke contact by approximately six inches when twelve would have been much closer to the acceptable personal space limit. Too late to hide her puckered nipples, she still folded her arms across her chest. “An apology would be appropriate at this time.”“Ah, but then I’d have to, in fact, be sorry.”He said that? Seriously? She stood there, gaping.“What? No response? I assume that negates the possibility of you actually wanting an apology.”Again, nothing. She felt like a fool, but her mind remained as blank as the sky on a cloudy night. So much for feigning haughty sophistication.“Um…” Okay, it wasn’t a three-point goal in the final seconds of the game, but her voice hit a few decibels nevertheless.Rod’s deep chuckle reverberated throughout the alcove as he captured both of her shoulders. He laughed at her. Worse, he was going to kiss her. She knew it. Right here, right now. In front of everyone. A complete stranger. Well, not completely, she knew his name at least. Knowing the first name made it all right, didn’t it?Lord, what am I thinking? She did not go around kissing strangers. Hell, she didn’t go around kissing people she knew. What would her mama think? She’d die of shame, that’s what.But heaven knew Campbell wanted to taste those beautiful, full lips. She closed her eyes and barely swallowed the lump stuck in her throat before licking her lips, preparing for the inevitable. He leaned in and…bypassed her lips altogether. Her eyes popped opened, and she experienced a moment of utter humiliation before all her attention once again focused on him. His cheek brushing hers as he brought his mouth to her ear.Whispering in a low, sexy baritone, he said, “Forgive me, Campbell. I’m glad to see New York has not jaded you, and that you still maintain an impressive degree of sweet innocence. Combined with your beauty, that’s an irresistible combination.”Holy gamolely. He’d called her beautiful. And innocent. Now, that was a compliment every girl wanted to hear. Actually, he was wrong, thanks to her so-called “boyfriend” at seventeen.Unknowing how to respond, she lamely replied, “You’re forgiven, but how do you know my real name? Everyone here knows me by my stage name, Bella.”“Let’s just say I’ve done my homework on you.”

Friday, March 2, 2012

DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE is finally here!


By: Casey Crow
My long-awaited DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE is coming March 20 with Siren Publishing. When I say "long-awaited," I'm not kidding. This was the first manuscript I ever wrote - meaning I started it in, I'm guessing, 2006. I don't even remember when I had a dream and when I woke up, I immediately sat down at the computer and pounded out everything I could remember. I never picked up a "how to write" book or had this great vision to become a writer, although I'd been thinking for a while "I could that" every time I read a Harlequin.
I piddled around on the story for a few years, which was originally entitled PAS DE DEUX but Mom made me nix it since most people don't know what that means, until I joined RWA in 2009 and got serious about getting published. I went back and rewrote DWAM then let it sit as I was busy with other projects. Finally, I submitted it to Siren and now here it is. Talk about a dream come true - literally!
Here's the blurb:
Southern belle Campbell Layne is the rising star of theManhattan Ballet Theatre, providing she lands the upcoming principal role. Thestage heats up, however, when Rod Carrington steps in and teaches her more thanshe ever expected.
Campbell is determined to stay focused on the audition thatwill push her into stardom, but the dazzling attorney she meets at a galaproves to be a major distraction especially when he ends up being her professorin a college class she’s taking in her spare time. Campbell humiliates herselfon their first date, but that doesn’t stop Rod from whisking her off to Italyand turning her into quite the vixen. Too bad he also had to use his powerfulinfluence to secure the lead for her. Now she’ll never know if her talent wasreal or “bought” by the man she thought was the love of her life.
So what stories do you have regarding your first manuscript? Or if you are a reader, let's hear about the first romance you remember reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

See Your Beauty


Don't laugh, but this line from "Tied Together With A Smile" by Taylor Swift totally rings true! Being a woman is hard enough, but when you add writer to your repertoire, it's a double whammy. We know all writers are the worst critics when it comes to ourselves and I'm no exception. I've been basically dragging in the performance department and as time passes, I become more insecure. More paranoid. More discouraged. 

I'm normally a pretty optimistic person but lately I've noticed that I've never been able to shake a few bad habits like...my body image disorder or my mental anxieties when it comes to my writing. No matter how many books I've written, I have this fear that everything I've written has been dreck! Compounded by the pressures that goes with having submissions out at NY publishing houses, waiting on responses, getting rejections, getting passed over because they just bought a series similar to mine...it's a cesspool of self-doubt ready to erupt. I'm surprised we still have our sanity intact.

I think all of these insecurities are related...for instance, because I am at my most chaotic and vulnerable mental state, I start picking on all my flaws. Is that another wrinkle? Are my eyes too small? Is that a double chin? Do I need a nip and tuck? Why are my arms so flabby? Yeah...even a petite person as myself who is considered "thin" has a zillion complexes. These dissatisfaction about my outer shell really starts affecting my inner self. I'm not smart enough. I'm not a good a writer as so-and-so. Why can't I write faster? Why is everyone selling except me? When will it happen for me? It's enough to drive me to therapy. 

BUT...there is a silver lining. If I push past all the imperfections because of social pressures, personal pressures, everything pressures....we are all imperfect beings. We are all learning about ourselves every day,  and the person who can understand herself is the one that can change the way she thinks and performs. People always say that when you send out positive energy into the Universe, it will come back to you. That's when miracles happen. Well, at least the good luck starts rolling in. I've been hesitant about that theory but lately I'm starting to change my mind about that. Why? Strangely, some good things have finally sprung from my positive attitude of late. From the people I am fortunate enough to meet and become friends with, to the opportunities that are slowly coming my way...I realized that I had spent so much time creating that wall between myself and success that I was the one holding myself back. So even during all the insanity, I think this truth has started to sink in and I'm making an effort to become more comfortable in my own skin. I'm never going to compare myself to anyone and I acknowledge that every path is a path only destined for each of us to walk separately. 

So the next time you're frustrated, uncertain, insecure...look in the mirror...no, really look in the mirror and see your true beauty. Your own uniqueness that only YOU possess. We spend way too much time looking at ourselves from a disconnected angle that we lose sight of what makes us special. We need to stop viewing everyone's perception of beauty and see our own perception of beauty. That is what's real.

My message to you: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Don't forget that because when we do, we lose sight of who we are.