Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

There really is a lot for which to be grateful, this year more than ever. Here are a few things, not in any particular order:
  • The last of my kids have gone off to college and appear to have chosen well.
  • My entire family will be home for Christmas this year.
  • Stud and I are happy and healthy.
  • I’m writing again.
But most of all, I’m grateful that whatever else mom’s Alzheimer’s throws in her path, she’ll be safe for the journey. My Thanksgiving prayers go out to those still in the daily throes of care giving. Do what you have to do and say what you have to say to get everyone through - including yourself. If you know someone who is a caregiver, don’t let them disappear into that world without coming up for air. If giving them a physical break isn’t possible, provide a mental one. Here are some things to consider doing:

  • Offer to visit with the person they are caring for so they can run small errands, or even take a nap. 24/7 is physically and mentally exhausting. Even if all you can offer is 1/2 hour every now and then, that time will be rejuvenating.
  • Email. Call. Drop a note. (Does anyone do that anymore?) Don’t give up trying to reach the person. Set up a time if that’s what it takes, but please don’t get upset if it falls through. People with illnesses, physical and/or mental, don’t adhere to schedules.
  • If you do connect, let them vent without judgment, or sometimes worse, unsolicited negative opinion. Solutions that sound ridiculous to you may work like a charm. The caregiver is in the trenches, fighting the daily battles. They have a much better understanding of the war as a whole.
  • Send flowers or an edible arrangement. Anything small will do, and it lets the person know you are in their thoughts.
  • And last but not least, be patient. Realize that even after the care giving comes to its end in whatever form that takes, the caregiver will need time to come to terms with it and to rejoin their own life in progress.
(Getting off soapbox and putting it away to enjoy my own life in progress)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Instant Attraction



Ever have that moment of instant attraction - the kind where your heart beats fast and you feel all gooey inside?  I'd love to hear about moments you've had where the attraction blows you away!

In CAN'T FAKE THIS, my sexy Christmas tale, Anna definitely experiences lust at first sight.

A divorcee ready to reenter the dating world, Anna Ryan is determined to be the best “product on the market,” which requires a lot more experience so she propositions sexy police officer Chase Harris to teach her how to make hot, passionate love as opposed to just having sex. He takes it a step further, instructing each lesson based on The Twelve Days of Christmas.

****

Excerpt:

As I rummaged through my clutch for a dose of lip gloss, Marisol cleared her throat and cut her gaze across the room. I followed her line of vision and… Holy shit. I do believe my freakin’ heart stopped. He wasn’t supermodel gorgeous, not with his shaved head and height a tad on the short side, but his swagger… His near-predatory confidence as he maneuvered through the room made my eyes zero in on him. He locked on me, and I felt a slow, lazy smile spread across my lips. Suddenly we were the only two people in the room. My blood pressure hitched a degree with every step he took, and that feeling a girl gets when her heart beats so fast she’s on the verge of throwing up? Yep, I had it. I believe the technical term is “lust at first sight.”

A second later, his warm hand brushed my shoulder, and I’m not kidding, I thought I might melt right off that stool. Even the fine hairs on my arms stood on end, completely attuned to him and begging for attention. Needless to say, my nipples gave him a proud salute.

“Hi, I’m Chase Harris.” His heated breath tickled my ear as he leaned in to be heard over the country rock band jamming out twenty feet away.

My lungs folded and decided breathing was no longer necessary. The brief contact ignited a fiery liquid in the bottom of my tummy. My p**** simmered for the first time in years without the aid of batteries. 

“Anna Ryan,” I answered. “It’s nice to meet you.” Was it ever. I extended my hand, which he ignored for a hug.

My nostrils filled with the citrus scent of cologne, but underneath I detected something more masculine, more primal. I longed to bury my face in his soft gray fitted T-shirt. The garment outlined every perfect bulge. I couldn’t make out its graffiti design, but it very well could’ve said Eat Me and I would’ve happily obliged.

His gaze roamed my body, and the sexy glint in his eyes told me the risk of catching a cold in this black strapless mini was totally worth it. I might be in dire need of a boob job, but Chase didn’t seem to mind my negative As. Then the space between us grew cold as he left my side to hug Marisol.

“Cuba! Hey, woman. Great to see you.”

“Hey, yourself.” She flashed me a shrewd grin.

I so owed that girl.

****

CAN'T FAKE THIS is going out of print soon so you've got just a few more weeks to check it out!

Southern Smiles,
Casey Crow

2011 Best Contemporary ~ Love Romances Cafe

2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner

2011 Golden Claddagh Finalist

Gold Star ~ Just Erotic Romance Reviews


Buy now at: Loose, Id    Barnes & Noble    Amazon

                         Fictionwise     All Romance


CAN’T FAKE THIS Excerpt
See the CAN’T FAKE THIS book trailer
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"The Voice" for writers and why I'm so crazy trying to finish my Christmas Story

Thanksgiving is next week...then Christmas...and I got the crazy idea of writing a Christmas story of the heart...so here I am scrambling to finish it asap and get it up on Amazon...(more info below on my story!)

For today's post, I had to write about a new show premiering in Italy.

The Voice for writers, I call it.


Bookstore in Venice, Italy

Italy has tons of bookstores--on my last trip to Venice, I counted five bookstores all within walking distance from my hotel near the Piazza San Marco. So it's no surprise Italy will have its own version of The Voice--only this voice is the writer's voice...as in finding new authors.

Mama mia!

This engaging post in The Guardian by Jonny Geller and Jonathan Myerson gives an interesting take on the soon-to-be-aired show, lamenting how British TV has no book shows on the air, but is this the right approach to nurture talent? Definitely worth a read.

We all know writing is hard work, a craft if you will, that takes years to nurture. God knows I'm in editing hell doing a word-by-word edit on my 35,000+ novella for the holidays: "A Soldier's Italian
Cover Design by Ramona Lockwood
Christmas,
" a story I've wanted to write about a soldier and a nun who discover forbidden love in war torn Italy during the winter of 1943).

I struggle with every word, every emotion and since it's a historical, every fact--where did the Allies land? What did a nun's habit look like in 1943? I want to make it as good as I can. Re: reality TV--can a writer convince a panel of judges they can do that in five minutes?

Seems it's not as crazy as it sounds. When I wrote kids' and daytime TV, all I had was the pitch. You'd take a meeting with a producer/story editor, pitch your ideas (the magic number was four) and do a song and dance, convincing them you knew what you were doing. Throwing out dialogue, jumping up and down, doing sound effects, etc. Of course, you had a sample script to back you up or previous credits. If they liked your concept, the producer/story editor would add to the story and you were in!

I'll be curious to see how this plays out and whether or not we get our own TV reality book show here in the US. But nothing can ever replace that special moment when you're sitting at your computer and suddenly the story comes alive and you can't type fast enough.

It's the magic that makes the elephant fly...


Happy Thanksgiving next week!!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Books

A lot of us write Christmas stories or Valentine romances. I've got some of both of those in my backlist. BUT, I've also written a couple books that include or are even centered around Thanksgiving. If you want something to curl up with while the turkey is brining or after your Black Friday shopping, you might think about looking at these:



Motor City Mage

Urban Arcana #4

By Cindy Spencer Pape

Available from Carina Press

As a cop who keeps paranormals in line, Des has a hard time trusting them. So why does he want the beautiful werewolf Lana more than his next breath? She's mouthy, flamboyant and distractingly sexy—not the type of woman for a reserved mage like him. Lana admires Des, but she can't be with someone who won't take her seriously, no matter how much she'd love to rip off his dress shirt.

When a dangerous new drug shows up in Detroit, Des must locate the source, and Lana is determined to help. But their plan goes awry, trapping them in a demon dimension. To return home, Lana and Des must flee through a series of unpredictable alternate realities, fighting enemies while trying to shut down the drug trade. But if they're going to survive, they'll have to rely on each other, even though getting closer will add fuel to a fire that's already burning out of control...


Adult Excerpt


Voices drifted up from the stairs below them, along with footsteps. Des pressed forward, backing her into her apartment before he kicked the door shut behind them. 

"Then why the big stick up your ass? It’s not as if you even like me. What’s it to you if I get into it with some lowlife drug dealer?” 

“Oh, maybe that your cousins will rip my freaking throat out?” He stalked even closer, until the back of her legs hit the sofa. “Or that my sister considers you a friend?” 

“So? That doesn’t make me helpless.” Every nerve on edge, she looked up into his eyes, which had gone so dark they flashed like obsidian fire. 

“And it doesn’t make you a professional, either. Leave it alone, Svetlana.” He leaned forward and put his hands on either side of her on the sofa back, bracketing her in. His face was only inches from hers, so she could feel the warmth of his breath. 

Lana glared up at him. “Make me.” Nobody was allowed to call her that—not even her parents. The only person who’d ever gotten away with it was her grandfather, and he was dead. 

“Fine.” Moving more swiftly than she expected for a human, he closed his arms around her and kissed her. 

Lana’s body responded on pure instinct as she grabbed him and flipped them both down to the couch, the maneuver made easy by her werewolf strength and Des’s amazing agility. Sprawled atop him, she returned his kiss as forcefully as it was given. 

Des didn’t let her stay on top for long. Nearly as strong as she, even without lupine abilities, he flipped them both until his weight pressed her back into the sofa. Neither of them broke the kiss as their tongues dueled for dominance. Lana clutched the lapels of his charcoal wool suit, but let go when her claws started to emerge as her arousal went into overdrive. Instead, she used her palms to push the jacket off his shoulders so she could run the flats of her hands down his sleekly muscled back. He shrugged and the jacket landed somewhere on the floor next to the couch. 

Des’s hands weren’t still, either. While one hand cupped her chin, with the other, he pushed her snug turquoise sweater up to bare her beige lace bra. He cupped one of her breasts and Lana groaned into his mouth. She wriggled, thrusting herself more fully into his palm and tugging his dress shirt out from the waistband of his trousers. 

“This is a bad idea,” he murmured as his lips left hers to trail down her throat. 

“Worst ever.” Lana hummed as his mouth found her breast and began to suck on the aching tip through the thin fabric of her bra. 

“Lift up.” 

She did and he pushed her shirt and bra over her head in one slightly awkward movement. Not wanting to waste more time, she undid the top two buttons on his shirt, loosened his tie, and pulled that off while they were at it. Her jeans and boots, his slacks and shoes soon followed. He even had the presence of mind to pull a condom from his wallet and roll it on before he lowered her back to the red leather sofa.  



“One Good Man”
By Lacey Thorn and Cindy Spencer Pape
Available now from Ellora’s Cave http://www.jasminejade.com/p-3938-one-good-man.aspx
 
One of the most enduring of all urban legends is the story of the phantom hitchhiker. Young or old, male or female, in need of help or just needing a ride, the legends vary. A helpful driver offers a ride and the passenger gives directions. When they arrive at the destination however, the driver discovers the passenger has vanished, sometimes leaving behind a piece of clothing or some other memento to mark his or her passing. A stormy night, a deserted country road, a blown tire, and a woman on the run from a killer. Is the handsome young Marine here to save her? Or is he just a figment of her imagination?
Casey is caught between a murderer, a ghost and the wounded soldier who could either save her life or break her heart. Grant can deal with Thanksgiving snowstorms and determined killers but not his brother’s ghost, and not a woman who makes him start thinking about the future. Can Grant let go of the past to embrace the explosive passion he finds with Casey? He’s willing to risk his life for hers, but what about his heart?

Adult Excerpt


The last half hour had been foreplay as far as Grant was concerned. He wasn’t going to have a whole lot of patience for further preliminaries. Apparently Casey felt the same way, she moaned deep in her throat as she opened her mouth to receive his tongue and shifted her body so she was lying full-length alongside him, one leg thrown up and over his.

He plundered her mouth while his hands found the clasp of her bra. He’d forgotten that the fingers didn’t work very well any more. What used to be an easy task was now damn near impossible.

“Rip it.” Casey pulled her mouth away from his just long enough to murmur the words and to nip his lower lip sharply with her teeth. “Or just push it out of the way. Don’t care.”

He grabbed the sides of the fabric in both hands and pulled. The clasps gave with a satisfying rip.

“Oh yeah,” Casey moaned. She leaned up on her elbows and wiggled her shoulders to get the now-useless fabric out of the way. The position also gave his hands access to the pale globes that now swung free above his chest. He gathered one in each hand and squeezed, none too gently.

She pumped her hips, sliding the wet cotton of her panties along his engorged cock. He shifted one of her breasts to his mouth, sucking the swollen nipple between his lips while his hands slid down her back to get rid of the thong.

“Rip it too.” She bit out the words between whimpers.

“Glad we’re on the same wavelength.” Of course he had to let go of her nipple to speak. One hand nudged the other peak into his mouth then he reached down with both hands and grasped the thin strip of cotton that was the only barrier between his cock and her wet, willing pussy.

He nipped lightly with his teeth then smoothed the taut bead with his tongue. At the same time he pulled with both hands, tearing the fabric along a seam. He pulled the shreds out from between them and lifted his hips, rubbing his shaft against the crisp curls between her legs.

“Now, Grant.” She was panting and squirming above him. Her legs straddled his hips. She slid her pussy back and forth along the ridge of his cock, coating him with her thick cream.

The head of his penis nudged at her entrance and with just a twist of his hips he fit it up just barely inside. Casey let out a wordless cry and lifted up to give him room to thrust, when reality hit Grant like a bucket of ice water.

“We need to move to the bedroom.” He pulled back, ignoring the frantic protests from his tight balls and aching cock.

“What?” Casey stilled above him, looked down at him with those incredible eyes glazed and unfocused. “Am I hurting you?”

Grant barked out a harsh laugh. “Not the way you mean. But, honey, all the condoms are in the bedroom.”

“Oh!” He watched her eyes widen in horror at what they’d almost done. Another few inches and it would have been too late. He’d never have come to his senses in time once he was buried all the way inside that snug little box. “Actually…”

She reached over and grabbed her jeans, then rooted through the pockets until she came up with a little foil packet. “I grabbed it when I got the lotion. Just in case.”

“Damn. Nothing sexier than a smart woman, unless it’s a smart, naked woman. Lady, I like the way you think.”



and here's an unedited sneak preview of Thankful for You, part of the Calendar Men series, coming November 2014 from Decadent Publishing. (Look for the 2014 Calendar Men calendar coming soon!)



“You sound like my mother.” And wasn’t that a depressing thought? The last damned thing he wanted was her feeling maternal toward him.

They’d reached the back door to the pet shop, the one that also led up to the apartment above. In the glow of her porch light, she looked up at him, not reaching for her door. “I sure as hell hope you don’t think of me as your mother.” Then she blinked, like she couldn’t believe the words had come out of her own mouth.

Warmth surged through Sig’s veins. He dropped his voice to a husky growl and leaned closer, still keeping a few inches between their bodies so she didn’t panic. “Not at all.”

“Oh.” After the breathy gasp, she blinked again. Then her eyes narrowed and she set her shoulders. “Good.” She took both of his lapels in her hands and pulled him down. “Kiss me good night before I chicken out.”

Sig didn’t wait for a second invitation. He dove in. And damn, if kissing Elsie Jordan wasn’t everything he’d been fantasizing about and more. Her lips were soft, supple, and flavored with cheesecake rather than lipstick. She stood up on her tiptoes to reach him and moaned softly as his tongue slid inside. When she pressed against his erection, Sig nearly lost it. His knees threatened to buckle, so he leaned back against the wall of the building with Elsie still plastered against him. Taking the kiss deeper, he slid one hand into her hair and the other under her suit jacket to feel the silk of her blouse warm against his hand. Every nook and cranny of her mouth was hot and sweet, while her tongue danced along his. Eventually she collapsed against his chest, both of them gasping for breath. To Sig’s delight, she didn’t immediately recoil and step away.

“Either we take this upstairs…” he ran his fingers through her silky hair. “Or I need to go home now and take a cold shower.”


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!