Friday, April 30, 2010

Run, Don't Walk to the Store for These!

You've probably heard me say this before, but I'm always watching what we eat, so I'm always on the lookoout for healthy, tasty snacks, and my new favorites are VitaTops! Talk about yummy!

I was first introduced to these delicious muffin tops by Hungry Girl! (If you haven't checked out Lisa's website, it's filled with lots of great tips, ideas, and recipes. You can even sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter and friend her on Facebook and MySpace. Yeah, I'm a huge fan!) Okay, back to the Vita Tops!

They're made by Vitalicious and their slogan is "Maximum Nutrition and Pleasure for Minimum Calories!" I'm so down with that! And they taste great! Our favorite is the Deep Chocolate, Triple Chocolate Chunk, Double Chocolate Dream, and Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip, (I'm seeing a trend here!) but they also come in Chocolate Mint, Raisin Bran, Banana Nut, Banana Fudge, Golden Corn, Blueberry, Cranberry, and AppleBerry! Have I made you hungry, yet?! LOL! They come individually wrapped and you can find them in your freezer section (you can also order them online!), then just pop them in the microwave and enjoy!

And the best part! They're 100 calories and made with whole grain! They're also Hungry Girl approved! Yay!

You've so gotta try 'em!


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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Naughty Victorian Lady’s naughty first kiss: Episode 3

By Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke, heroine of The Blonde Samurai

Read Episode 1 here

In EPISODE 2, we discovered that Temerity Whitechapel has no choice but to sell the family lands to the railway, but she insists that a kiss be part of the bargain. A naughty kiss. Captain Jack Longhorn refuses and she challenges him to a duel

Episode 3:

Back-to-back they stood, Temerity and the dashing Captain, their pistols raised, the breadth of his hard shoulders pressed firm against her back, the heat of his body thrilling her with every sensation she had read about in her torrid novels. Ripples of pleasure rushing through her and making her press her thighs together so she may enjoy the lovely contractions.

“Ten…nine…eight–” she counted, keeping her voice steady though just barely as she walked away from him. Slowly. She didn’t give him the opportunity to protest her doing the count instead of an impartial third party. Would she have stopped if he had?

Her long skirts dragged along the polished floor behind her with the solemnity of a requiem. As she took each step, the heat of his body lingered on the bare skin at the back of her neck.

What was she thinking? She wanted him to kiss her, not shoot him.


She couldn’t deny it. She was in a high state of arousal and in need of a man’s touch to temper her needs. What other explanation could there for her wild impulses?

“Four, three…”

Temerity had to stop this silly game. Fast. Her recklessness would be the end of both of them.


The last number caught in her throat. She couldn’t go any farther.

She turned around swiftly before giving the signal to fire, determined to admit her foolishness lest any harm come to his person because of this imprudent weakness of hers to be kissed, when–

Captain Jack grabbed her roughly and slid his arm around her waist. His swift action thrilled her, his show of bravado setting off a ripple of anticipation that made her moan. He nuzzled his face in her hair fragrant with her honeyed scent and whispered in her ear, “Did you think I would let you go through with this silly charade?”

“I wouldn’t have shot you,” she said, barely catching her breath. Her heart raced. She prayed he wouldn’t let her go.

“I know.”

“You do?” she said. His blunt reply made her feel foolish and devoid of any dignity.

“Yes. You are the most audacious young woman I have chanced to meet in this town, Miss Whitechapel,” he said, his hand resting under her breast, “and the most beautiful.”

She stiffened, not wanting him to remove his hand, so lovely it felt massaging her breast with tiny strokes.

“Am I to believe that you have changed your mind about the kiss?” she dared to ask.

“You are as hot-blooded as those scarlet petticoats you wear. A woman who knows what she wants and will do anything to get it.” He pulled her close to him, his hot breath burning her cheeks, his eyes blazing with a rising desire he didn’t try to hide. “And I’ll be damned if I’m not the man to give it to you.”

“Captain Long–” she began, but he took advantage of her surprise and turned her over his knee then pulled up her scarlet petticoats and spanked her. Not too hard, just enough to make her wiggle her fanny with delight. Delicious sensations that slithered through her, edging out any ill will she'd felt toward him. No, indeed, she rather liked it.

Then before she could catch her breath, he kissed her, the firm pressure of his lips on hers invoking such intense tremors in her that she could do nothing but enjoy it.

And that she did.

His kiss was as she dreamed it would be. Warm, silky sensations.

A crawling heat unnerved her, beads of salty perspiration dripping down her cheeks and wetting her lips, but she didn’t wipe them away. She couldn’t move. She was in a trance.

She gasped when he sensed her surrender and plunged his tongue into her mouth, such delicious, hot probing unknown to her, but she didn’t want him to stop. She returned his kiss with all that she was: Her innocence, her youth, her desire.

Wetness mixed with passion and such tenderness she sighed deeply when the kiss ended. “A naughty first kiss should lead to a second, should it not?” she asked, her breathing ragged, her eyes misty.

“Miss Whitechapel, you do amaze me,” said the Captain before claiming her mouth again and making her forget all about the pistol she still held in her hand.

Now you know what to do for your beloved to raise his ardor. Do as Temerity Whitechapel did and give your husband or your lover a very naughty kiss.

I assure you, you will find his pistol loaded.

===== End of Episode 3 =====

The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just the Facts, Ma'am

I racked my brain all day Monday for a subject to blog about. My husband threw suggestions out and I shot him dirty looks...and he stopped. I watched Miami Vice and decided, yeah! I'll talk about Crockett and Tubbs' clothes...meh. But, really, why did Castillo never look people in the eye when he spoke to them? I mean, would you trust someone who always talked to you in profile??

Okay, I'm digressing...but I was still searching and searching. When lo and behold all I had to do was open my email! Every year that "Get to Know Me" survey goes out where people fill in information about themselves, forward it and then we get to delete those answers and complete them with obscure, trivial facts. Fun! Fun! Especially the "What are you doing right now" question...depending on the time of day you kinda wish some people would skip that particular inquiry...really don't need to know you're basking in coital bliss. Eew!!

So I decided to piggy-back off that email and disclose ten facts you may not know about me. The catch? You have to reveal at least three things we didn't know! And make 'em good. No "My favorite color is blue". Booooring! Now if the thong you lost your virginity in was blue...oops! Dang! Now I've got to find a replacement fact! *sigh* Okay, here I go:

1. I've seen the movies Stand By Me 31 times and The Lost Boys 26. I had a huge crush on Corey Feldman...

2. I have an identical twin sister who is older by 5 minutes.

3. At a concert, I tripped and rolled aaaaallll the way down the stairs in front of God, country...and Immature.

4. I have 5 tattoos (just got another one last weekend) but I also have 2 brands. Yes. Brands. As in hot iron and flesh burning. Actually it was a hot coat hanger and rubbing alcohol. Still flesh burning. Long story. Don't ask. College and stupidity.

5. My favorite scents are cigarette ashes (even though I don't smoke and have asthma!), fresh coffee grounds and gas at the pump.

6. I had a New Kids on the Block doll. And I may--may, mind you!--know the entire dance routine to Please Don't Go Girl.

7. My sister was hit by the ice cream truck running for a push pop. Hee-hee! Okay, that may not have been one thing you didn't know about me, but it sure was funny...

8. When I was twelve, I took guitar lessons for one summer because I wanted to start my own rock band.

9. I actually believed the water monkeys that were advertised in the Archie comic books were real.

10. My grandmother busted me sneaking a beer and she made me drink the whole bottle. I peed the long ten-hour trip back home...and don't drink to this day. What a woman!

Okay, I've bared my soul! Your turn!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Randy Research - A Position Paper

I admit it. Spending my days writing romance stories chock full of steamy sex scenes, I occasionally find myself at a loss to put a fresh spin on a sex scene. I have resorted to researching the best way to handle certain unusual sexual situations. These queries always result in some very interesting information.
Say for example my hero and heroine are in or near a body of water when the sexual tension gods demand a sacrifice. I might research Best Sex Positions in Water. The plethora of ideas is mind-boggling! On Cosmo’s website alone I found the Tawdry Tube, the Randy Raft, the Canoodling Canoe, the Hot Tub Hug and my favorite discovery – Get a Leg Up!
And these positions are great after a couple’s already made love at least once. But for a first encounter, the Spider or the Cowgirl just won’t do. More often than not I choose the same position—at least at the beginning of the encounter—missionary style. Why? Intimacy. The lovers can look each other in the eyes and forge a deeper connection.
Missionary sex gets a lot of bad press as old fashioned or male chauvinistic, but for me, intimacy is way hotter than acrobatics. And according to research, it’s how most people had sex the very first time.
Not that acrobatics doesn’t have its place, mind you. I love putting my characters in creative sexual positions.
And what’s the most popular position? I actually found an ezine article that claimed to have done a poll. The top three were all close but at least in 2008, doggie style won. I’ll be sure to let you know the 2009 results as soon as they are in. Actually, I may be busy writing a sex scene, so maybe not.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Which do you prefer?

The other day I was discussing the roles of the sexes with a writer buddy of mine. We were talking about how much romance heroines have changed over the last three decades (in a good way). They've gone from the relative doormats of the 80's to kick ass DEA agent vampire killers who aren't afraid of their sexuality (I don't know if there's a heroine who meets all that criteria and if so I'm not referring to anyone in particular, lol). As more wine flowed, the topic of alpha males came up. No, this post isn't about alpha males, though I could talk about my love for them all day. When I say alpha male, I'm not talking about the jerky hero from the 80's, but a dominant man who's protective of his woman no matter what.

I'm going to backtrack a little before I get to the point. Before I was married I dated a decent amount. I don't want to say a lot, but my dating life was very healthy. In all that time I never asked a guy out and I'm not actually sure why looking back. It could have something to do with my deep southern upbringing. So when I read romances, I like for the hero to pursue the woman (as a rule). Don't get me wrong, I like the woman to be the aggressor sometimes (when the man is too dense to make a move), but the way I looked at my dating life and the way I look at most of my romance books is if the man is interested, he'll make the first move. Of course there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule. One actually comes to mind right now but it just came out and I don't want to give away any spoilers.

And yes, I realize this perception is a double standard, but it's the way I like to read so it's not wrong, just an opinion. It could have nothing to do with my southern upbringing and could instead be something biological. Or it could have everything to do with the fact that my husband pursued me with a quiet intensity for almost a month before we finally went on that first date. ;)

I want opinions! Check out the poll to the right of this post. The questions are in context to this blog post and please expand on your answers. I'm very curious!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


by Cara McKenna

This is my longest post to date…and the least relevant! Today I'm blogging about an experiment I undertook with my manfriend this past winter, in which we watched every Jean-Claude Van Damme film we could get our hands on—over thirty movies in six weeks. Hey, it's New England. February's a bitch and you need projects.

This all began on a semi-drunken night in Old England. My traveling companion and I enjoyed a couple too many Guinesses out amongst my Yorkshire brethren and returned to our hotel to find a terrifically horrible Steven Seagal movie on TV…I wish I could remember more, but I only know it was set in Alaska and all the Inuits seemed to be played by Chinese actors. We laughed and laughed and passed out.

One night after I got back home, the manfriend and I were hurting for entertainment and I said, "Let's watch a Steven Seagal movie!" He said, "I heard Steven Seagal has some contract clause where he won't even take a punch in his fight scenes. Let's watch a Van Damme movie instead." And so we did. Then another. Then another, then a month and a half later we'd watched JCVD's entire available oeuvre. That's about two cumulative days of each of our lives, lost forever, ninety minutes at a time.

As a consequence of this experiment I developed a massive soft spot for JC. He takes a lot of flak for his many rather bad films, and for his allegedly poor acting. It's true, he can't deliver a Hollywood one-liner to save his life, but I think he's actually a rather strong emotional actor. He's also a kick-ass screen martial artist, and I think anyone who bad-mouths JC should be forced to do a split whilst saving a baby and reciting lines in a non-native language. Then we'll see who's talented.

And of course, Jean-Claude Van Damme is pretty foxy. I didn't realize that before starting this experiment, as I'd never actually seen any of his movies. Hey, bonus! He's got a fine face (including the mysterious bump on his forehead which I've taken to calling his "spider eggs") and an ass that just won't quit.

Anyhow, enough of my defensive mother-hen clucking. On to the thirty-plus mini-reviews, my public service guide to JCVD's Cinematic Oeuvre. Here they are, from best to worst…worst in this case meaning boring or insulting, not necessarily campy or ridiculous—many of JC's campy and ridiculous films are among my favorites. You will notice color-coded themes running through these reviews, denoting special features, such as the ways in which JC's accent is explained. Other features are so ubiquitous in JC's films that I haven't bothered pointing them out. These include explosions, breaking glass, primal screams, and high-waisted pants. Those are very nearly guaranteed when you choose wisely and indulge in a little Van Damme of an evening.

Here we go!

1. JCVD (2008)
I think if you're going to watch only one Van Damme movie, make it this one. JC plays himself in it and it's clearly semi-autobiographical. It's a clever little tongue-in-cheek Belgian film not unlike Dog Day Afternoon, and although you don't get much in the way of cool fighting, I defy anyone to watch it and not develop a soft spot for the Muscles from Brussels.

Okay, now on to the classics!

2. Hard Target (1993)
I was tempted to list this first, because it has everything that makes a JCVD flick great. JC plays a Cajun (as he often does in movies set in North America, when he's not playing a Quebecois). Highlights: JC sports a powerful Jheri-curled mullet, punches a rattlesnake, and you get to see Wilford Brimley as a moonshine brewer. Miles of ridiculous plot and fighting, plus a token sassy black lady.

3. Bloodsport (1988)
Major bromance in this one! What I like about Bloodsport is that it's your classic fight movie, the story revolving around revenge and culminating in a climactic battle scene. Lots of training montages, tons of combat, a Hong Kong setting, not too much extraneous plot, TONS of splits (including ones performed using a rudimentary training device) plus some sexxoring and shameless rear nudity.

4. The Shepherd (2008)
This gets big points because JC spends much of the movie carrying around a bunny, plus he's Cajun. You can't top that. Plot is just over-the-top enough and the fight scenes are great. Bonus: one of the villains is foxy.

5. In Hell (2003)
Set in the Eastern Bloc, this one is simply a good movie, in my opinion. Then again, I like movies set in prisons for some kinky reason. You won't get a ton of cool stunts from In Hell, but on the flip-side, JC is spared delivering corny one-liners and does a very nice job as a plain old actor. I'm 75% sure JC is Cajun in this one, though they don't really tell you.

6. Timecop (1994)
This movie has it all! Time-travel, corrupt politicians, revenge, the best JC kitchen-sink split scene ever, sexxoring, spinning hopping roundhouse kicks to the villains' heads… JC's accent is left a mystery.

7. Double Impact (1991)
Here is all you need to know: JC plays his own long-lost identical twin. Bonuses: splits (as pictured), a bit of bromance, and JC's accent is explained as one of the twins was raised in France, the other in a Hong Kong orphanage overseen by a French nun.

8. Double Team (1997)
So horrid it's got to be good. This disbelief-fest co-stars Dennis Rodman (who gets about five hair color changes throughout the course of the film) and is rife with basketball puns. There is a nice training montage scene in which JC makes innovative use of a doorway, among other improvised gym apparati. The story reaches a dizzying climax involving landmines and a baby and JC side-kicking a tiger just before the Colosseum asplodes.

9. Sudden Death (1995)
Die Hard, with hockey! Set at the Stanley cup and featuring precocious children, my husband thought this movie was near perfect, with the exception of the wholly unnecessary scene in which JC suits up as a Penguins goalie whilst eluding terrorists and goes out onto the ice…a scene that could have been cut without disrupting any other aspect of the story. If I recall correctly, JC is Quebecois.

10. The Quest (1996)
This one was loosely based on the life of the same martial artist who inspired Bloodsport—Frank Dux. It's a sort of globe-trekking adventure that features training montages, split-kicks, and JC running about in clown make-up at the very beginning.

11. Universal Soldier (1992)
JC plays a [presumably] Cajun war vet turned government-engineered killing machine. I liked this one…and I don't really like sci-fi, generally. It co-stars Dolph Lundgren as the baddie, and there is some shameless glistening rear-nudity as well as lots of JC getting dunked in icy baths.

12. Until Death (2007)
This was an interesting one…pretty dark. JC is a dirty cop who's addicted to heroin. He later ends up in a coma and wakes up a better man. I can't remember all that much else about it, though I'm fairly certain he's Cajun once again.

13. Desert Heat (1999)
Not like any other JC film I can think of… JC (who may be Cajun, I can't recall) goes to the Southwest someplace, and he has a foot-rubbing bromance going on with a wacky Native American guy. JC also has a threesome with a couple trashy blondes (witnessed by a pervy snakehandler woman), all whilst killing lots of evil rednecks on a mission to gets hisself some revenge! Again, I thought one of the evil rednecks was cute, so that helped. Also, JC is all beat up for a lot of it, and a bruised and vulnerable man turns my kinky crank. Oh and Mister Miyagi is in it!

14. Nowhere to Run
This one's actually listed in IMDb as both action and romance. JC is on the run from the feds and takes shelter in the home of a woman and her almost ludicrously precocious children. There is some disconcerting mother-child chat about JC's contentious wang size, but I believe there's a bit of rear-nudity that'll make up a few lost points.

15. The Order (2001)
Dan Brown may have written this, possibly while drunk… It's a mix of Angels and Demons and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, set in Israel. Some innovative chase scenes and some interesting weaponry at the end, but not one of my favorites…although you do get to see JC in disguise as a Hassidic Jew.

16. Legionnaire (1998)
Starts out with some sexy scenes of a French JC as a boxer (my personal Kryptonite). He refuses to throw a fight and is shipped off to the Foreign Legion, where he battles corruption and hitmen to get back to his jilted fiancée. Dusty! Bromance! Also, not too corny, though not one of the more memorable films.

17. Derailed (2002)
Nearly set in the Eastern Bloc, this is a better version of Seagal's Under Siege II. JC and his wife and kids are on a train along with a vixeny jewel thief, and chaos ensues! Also a bit like Speed, on a train. Or Die Hard, on a train. Okay overall, the highlights being some ridonkulous stunts featuring JC on a motorbike…on a train! If he'd done a split between two cars, that would have bumped it up the list.

18. Cyborg (1989)
This was an interesting one…post-Apocalyptic and a bit like Beyond Thunderdome, only set in the States and without all the flash and Tina Turner. JC does a notably fine split in a sewer in aid of escaping the baddies.

19. Death Warrant (1990)
Whee! JC is Quebecois! He plays a detective investigating a serial killer. JC goes undercover to solve some prison murders (with the aid of a three-way inmate bromance) and by the end some decently choreographed fighting goes down (though not enough, really), culminating a largely satisfyingly O-T-T climax.

20. Lionheart (1990)
Once again, JC is in the Foreign Legion. This time he escapes and makes it to the States and becomes a fighter on a shady underground circuit. Prepare yourself for split-kicks and interracial bromance! I suspect but can not guarantee that there was some rear nudity. My notes also say there were "leotards", but I can't recall how those actually fit in.

21. Kickboxer (1989)
I love a good fight movie, though this one was just okay. The highlights were that it had tons of training montages, and JC was actually allowed to be Belgian! Holy shit, what an idea! Super-bonus, JC performed splits using a special training device! It also featured a bromance (emphasis on the bro) to be reckoned with plus an additional interracial bromance, a soundtrack to be defied, and one weird zip-up-coveralls-tanktop you have to see for yourself.

22. Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)
JC is back as everybody's favorite Cajun war vet turned super-secret government killing machine. No Dolph Lundgren, but instead you get WWE wrestler Goldberg as the baddie. Goldberg's acting makes JC look like Sir Lawrence Olivier. There is a super-lame evil computer that takes over the top secret government facility, a total HAL-from-2001 rip-off. And there's an adorable child in peril.

23. Maximum Risk (1996)
I honestly don't remember much about this one…I know it's set in Europe and JC plays a man who finds out he had a twin when he discovers said twin's dead body. The brother was a cop who was murdered and JC has to pretend to be him in order to unravel the mystery. Sadly, a bit forgettable, though that film still pictured left sure looks exciting…

24. Knock Off (1998)
Oh Lordy, Knock Off… I had to bump this one up from the depths of the gutter because my husband passionately flip-flopped and decided he liked it. We watched it in two installments because the first time around we both lost the will to live. It co-stars Rob Reiner in a love/hate bromance with JC and the plot revolves around counterfeit designer jeans. In Hong Kong. With explosive terrorist devices hidden in them which asplode with green smoke. I grudgingly admit it had a few innovative fight scenes, but it was also wincingly slapstick and featured a token sassy black lady.

25. Wake of Death (2004)
If I remember correctly, there was some hot sexxoring (and hence rear-nudity) at the start of this movie…then JC's immigration official wife [rather unprofessionally] brings home a refugee girl from a bust and ends up murdered by the Chinese mob. A lot of people end up murdered, actually, and JC has to avenge them all and save the little girl.

26. Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009)
Set in the Eastern Bloc, this film's got very little action, and very little JC, actually. Very little Dolph Lundgren too, which is a waste. JC's stunts are still solid even though he's getting older, but his role is dull and the movie is generally boring, though nicely filmed. Bonus: I thought the bad guy was sexy—fighter Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski. JC is once again Cajun.

27. Replicant (2001)
Weird one…and nearly another twin flick. JC plays two unlikable characters, one a creepy Norman Bates-ian momma's boy serial killer and the other a "replicant"—a borderline retarded clone engineered from the killer's DNA to allegedly help track the killer down. The real protagonist is not JC-as-retard but a crusty detective overseeing the case. The only bonus here is the unexpected (though my husband totally predicted it) fucktarded romantic twist at the very end… Cannot tell you how deeply I questioned my marriage when my husband called that ending.

28. Breakin' (1984)
Rated low because it's really not a JCVD movie, though JC's role as an unnamed extra is priceless. I'm not one to mock the man, but check it out if you want to see a young JC grinning and dancing in a unitard, fresh off the plane from Brussels to Hollywood. And if you're looking to watch a better period movie about break-dancing, check out Beat Street.

29. Black Eagle (1988)
An oddity, in that JC is not the star. The lead is played by Kung Fu star Sho Kosugi, but young JC, a minor villain, steals a lot of Sho's thunder. With some meager bonus points for campiness, this movie is a bit blah overall but ties with Time Cop for Most Extreme Use of a Split.

30. The Hard Corps (2006)
Oh sweet fuck, prepare to be insulted. JC plays a bodyguard / bodyguard trainer for a sassy black lady's rap star brother and his entourage. You're never once told what city or state you're in, and JC's accent isn't acknowledged or explained. It's only a couple training montages that keep it from falling to the bottom of the pile, plus a bit of bromance.

31. Second in Command (2006)
I nearly put this one last as it's just plain boring. JC doesn't get to fight at all really, and the plot isn't very dynamic. Eensty points for being set in the Eastern Bloc.

32. Street Fighter: The Movie (1995)
Comes in dead-last because it is a) super insulting to even a child's intelligence and b) features very little fighting, street or otherwise. I'll forgive a movie many things if it has good martial arts sequences, and this one did not. JC's talents were wasted and even Raul Julia couldn't save the film…for that matter, neither could Kylie Minogue. The film is set in Hong Kong and JC is freakishly American, emblazoned with an unconvincing stars and stripes tattoo, yet no one acknowledges his Belgian accent… I can't in good conscience recommend this to anyone. It's so bad it's not even camp. It also has a majorly corny ending that made my soul hurt.

And that's it, folks. Sorry to put you through that, but I hope you'll all leave your desks feeling a little wiser and a little more endeared to old JCVD. I strongly urge you, the next time you're torn between Van Damme and Seagal, to err on the side of JC, the side not afraid to take a punch, or to kick a tiger, or to bite the head off a rattler, or to show some ass. Et merci de votre attention.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Naughty Victorian Lady’s naughty first kiss: Episode 2

By Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke, heroine of “The Blonde Samurai

In EPISODE 1, we met Temerity Whitechapel, a lass of one and twenty who pines to receive her first kiss…then finds herself in a turmoil when a handsome gentleman shows up at her manor house, wishing to buy her property.

She sends him away, much to her regret.

Episode 2:

Temerity was yet in a stage of anticipation, a moist heat growing in her sex, when Captain Jack Longhorn returned the next day.

Looking even more handsome.

‘Twas no wonder then she behaved rashly when he said with a disarming smile that sent intoxicating sensations through her, “And you still refuse to sell, Miss Whitechapel?”

“Yes,” Temerity said, affecting the defiant posture of a woman in control of her fate. Tall, straight, hands on her hips.

If the truth be known, a mischievous purpose lay behind that single affirmation. She prayed that her refusal to sell would bring the handsome captain back every day so she might continue to gaze upon his broad shoulders and handsome face.

And if she dared, imagine him delicately rubbing her mound then moving lower, massaging her pink flesh, her nub hard and throbbing, until her breathing became ragged and she begged him to–

No, first he would kiss her. A naughty kiss.

She imagined herself engaged in a long act of surrender, her breasts crushed against his hard chest, his hand cupping her chin and bringing his lips down on hers and making her groan with pleasure–

But her charming plan was destined to go astray.

“I fear you have no choice in the matter, Miss Whitechapel,” the Captain said, the dimple in his chin widening. “You must sell.”

Why did he appear so sure of himself?

Her lips parted and a dryness caught in her throat. “Sir, what are you about?”

“According to the original Crown grant signed by King John, Mottersby Manor and all the land surrounding it can be confiscated by the local government…” he paused, then said with emphasis, “If there is no male heir.”

“I am not aware of any such ancient land grant, Captain,” she sputtered, a coldness smacking her cheeks and making them go pale. True, she was her grandfather’s only living relation, but how could such a thing be true?

He smiled. “Neither was I until I checked the old vault in the local magistrate’s office holding the original land grants for the county.”

He handed her the brown-tinged old parchment affixed with the royal signature and seal, leaving no doubt what he said was true.

“And, pray, what do you propose to do, Captain Longhorn?” she said, thrusting it back at him, knowing her staunch refusal to sell was in tatters. She would never admit that inwardly she sanctioned such a sale. She was pleased to be freed from her promise to her grandfather.

“My company doesn’t wish to stir up trouble, Miss Whitechapel. Nor do I,” he said with a sense of duty that surprised her. “If you will affix your signature here,” he pulled out an official bill of sale, “I shall destroy the original grant–”

Temerity’s cheeks blushed a deep pink, her chest rising and falling with agitation. He was ruining her plan.

She had to act now.

She lifted up her chin, determined to get her way. “Since you leave me no choice, I shall do as you ask, sir…”

He smiled, relieved.

But,” she added, tilting up her chin, “it will cost your railway company more than the purchase price you have quoted me.”

Wary, Captain Jack stared at her, trying to read her intentions. “I am not at liberty to offer you more money, Miss Whitechapel.”

“My price is not beyond your…capabilities, Captain.” She sounded more than confident than she felt and fought hard to keep her voice from trembling.

Curious, he ventured forth with: “And what is your price?”

“A kiss, sir,” she blurted out, arching her back and thrusting out her breasts as if they would break free from the confines that bound them. “But not just any kiss. A delicious, naughty kiss that will make me quiver and shake and beg for more.”

He drew in his breath, thinking over what she said for what seemed to her an unconscionably long time. “And if I refuse?”

She drew the pistol out of the pocket of her voluminous skirt. “Than I shall blow a hole through your…trousers.” She aimed at his crotch. “I warn you, Captain, I am not a clean shot and I could miss.”

“Miss Whitechapel…” He circled around her, tapping the bill of sale against his thigh as if he itched to grab the pistol staring him in the face. “From your desperate measures, I am wont to believe you have never been kissed.”

She lowered her chin, but not her pistol. “Your words are remiss, Captain, for I am quite experienced in the art of amour,” she lied, then she tried to cover up the falsehood with: “Shall we proceed?”

He smiled widely. “No, though I admit any man would find it difficult to resist such a heartrending plea.”

Her smug smile disappeared. “Am I to understand that you will not kiss me?”

He nodded. “I will not take advantage of a lonely woman who has obviously been reading too many romances.”

Her look of disappointment quickly turned to anger. She should be insulted by his words, but something in his voice, in the way he looked at her with a tenderness she had ne’er seen before in a man’s eyes, as if he understood her pain, touched her heart.

But pride is another thing and Temerity was filled with as much pride as she was loneliness.

Fired up with reckless intent, the heat of her denied passion overwhelming her, she said, “Then I challenge you to a duel, Captain Longhorn.”

“A what?”

“A duel. With pistols.”

“Over what?”

“You insulted me. I heard you call me a frumpy old spinster.”

He grinned. “Are you refuting that fact?”

“I am.” She raised up her petticoats. As scarlet as the invisible letter she dared to wear, even if she hadn’t earned it. “No frumpy spinster wears scarlet petticoats, Captain Longhorn.”

“You amaze me, Miss Whitechapel, but I stand true to my word. I am not going to shoot pistols with you.”

“You can’t run away from a duel, Captain,” she said, smiling and eager to bait him. “Unless you enjoy being the subject of local gossip about how you backed down to a woman.”

He smirked. “A vixen in scarlet petticoats is a more apt description.” He clenched his fists. “You won’t get away with it.”

“Won’t I?” She cocked an eyebrow in defiance. “I shall tell them that you threatened my person.”

“You’re blackmailing me, Miss Whitechapel.”

“That I am, Captain.” She opened the velvet-covered box and handed him a pistol. “I assure you, it’s loaded.”

He checked the chamber. “I should take my hand to your backside for this silly game of yours…”

Perhaps she had been too hasty?

He came closer, his sensual presence overpowering her in a manner she found disturbing, but she didn’t back down. He said, “But since my reputation is at stake…among other things.”

She pulled back the hammer on the pistol. “Shall we say twenty…no ten paces? The drawing room is bit drafty at the far end and you might catch cold when I blow a hole through you.”

His face tightened, his rugged features twisting with a perplexity that intrigued her, made her wish that he would forget about her virtue and kiss her hard and long. “I prefer twenty–”

She grinned. “Then you are fearful I will hit my mark?”

She pointed her pistol at his groin and, to her delight he cringed, though the dash of madness she saw in his eyes alerted her that he was no fool. He intended to see how far she would go.

Temerity pulled in her breath. How far would she go?

What do you think? Will Temerity go through with the duel? It would be a pity to blow a hole through the…reputation of a gentleman with the roguish appeal of Captain Jack Longhorn. What would you do?

Return Wednesday next for the riotous–and if you will excuse the phrase–climax of my scandalous tale and find out!

===== End of Episode 2 =====

The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More exciting developments!

My Strange Neighbor series is shaping up to be the new summer blockbuster. (Hee hee Only kidding.) But it's receiving a lot of positive buzz that I'm excited to share with you.

It got an awesome review in publisher's weekly. That caught the attention of a Hollywood Producer who asked if the rights were available and when told they were, she requested an advanced reading copy.

I just received my editorial notes back on book 2 and my editor had some really nice things to say about it. Fast-paced and fun were two of her words.

And...In book three of the Strange Neighbors series (which I'm writing now)
the two witches who live in the building play a major part.
Since I like to feature real people, places and events when I can, and
since one of my witches travels to Salem MA to consult with none other
than the famous Laurie Cabot, I took a chance and wrote to her, asking
permission to use her real name and/or the name of her shop.

If you don't know who Laurie Cabot is, then you're not a witch. (wink) Back in the 80's she was formally decreed "The official witch of Salem, MA" by then Governor Michael Dukakis.

Not only did she give me permission to use both, but she said if I had
any questions, she'd be happy to answer them for me. She also predicted
the series would do extremely well. Woo Hoo! It will be a thrill to
acknowledge her in the book.

Friday, April 16, 2010


How about a bit of in-the-moment, live-action, never before seen story brainstorming? We authors do it all the time, receive the kernel from our muse and start to nurture the damn thing until it blooms into a full blown story. Just yesterday sitting in the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts (No, I was not bribing my muse with sweets. I was bribing my son, thank you.) a story setting descended on my poor unprepared mind. The circus. Do you like the circus? Ironically, I never much did as a child. I think it made me nervous. And the sensory overload blew my circuits. Of course, as an adult, I realize that's part of the point and leaves great riches to mine in potential story wealth. As a grown-up I saw Cirque du Soleil and formed an instant addiction to those shows. The blatant sensuality of it blew me away. How perfect for erotic romance.

The circus, even the more typical one, has so much: wild animals, acrobatic feats of strength and physical self-discipline, costumes and masks, daring, magic, the embracing of the bizarre, family troupes with long traditions and histories. So tell me, does the circus do it for you? Is it exotic or just a sensory turn-off with its screaming children, loud lights and music and copious amounts of sugar? I admit I've read a couple books recently that may have brought this setting to mind. Do you have a favorite book, erotic or otherwise, that used this backdrop for character and story?

With this recent muse-provided story environment I thought I'd give myself a writing challenge. Since I am perpetually in need of work on my SHORT story writing (I'm super plus length novels all the way, my dears) I'm going to ask you, my lovely readers, to come up with some story variables for me to use to write a stand-alone erotic romance circus scene. Later, I'll post the scene on this blog. I won't promise it for my very next blog post, but I'll try my best. So here's where you get to decide if it's Mr. White, in the library, with the candlestick, up against the wall with Mr. Brown topping him, or otherwise. Oooh, maybe there can be a whole series of erotic Choose Your Own Adventure novels? Do you remember those?

Throw out some variables to me and I will play --m/f, m/m, m/m/f --- an acrobat, the knife thrower, a clown, the ringmaster, a trapeze artist, the animal trainer, the tight rope walker etc... --- under the big top, in a side show car, in the bus of the caravan, inside the animal cages etc... --- a modern day circus, a circus in a fantasy or futuristic setting etc... And anything else you can think of. I'll pick and choose suggestions and then string them together as part of the story.

Let's see what happens. Any suggestions appreciated.

Join Me For A Toast!

I am sooo excited that my first book from Ellora’s Cave, Tropical Exposure is now out. This is also my first ménage story. I’ve been told the subject is a popular one for the genre. So do tell. Have you ever fantasized about participating in one?
And did you know there’s even a cocktail of the same name? Sounds intriguing to me. Here’s the recipe:
· 1 fl oz of dark rum
· 1 fl oz of Cointreau or triple sec
· 1 fl oz of half and half
· 1 strawberry
· ice cubes
Fill shaker halfway with ice cubes. Slit strawberry and wedge it over rim of martini glass. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake. Strain into glass and enjoy.

I’ll give one commenter a free copy of Tropical Exposure. Here’s a blurb:
Megastar Marin Shay disappears from the radar a few weeks a year for a vacation from the pressures of Hollywood. This time, though, instead of the usual bodyguards she gets stuck with—beefy middle-aged men with bad breath and even worse comb-overs—she lucks into some scorching-hot eye candy.
Tony and Josh share the same objective—taking care if Marin in every way possible. And when she proposes they indulge her fantasy of a ménage a trois, both men are definitely eager to please.
There’s only one problem—one of them is really a tabloid reporter who could ruin everything.
And here’s a sneak peek:
God, she missed the feel of a man’s strong arms around her, the rough scratch of a five o’clock shadow against her skin, the heated stares that made her legs wobble.
Liaisons took so much planning for someone like her, always in the limelight, always under scrutiny. Few men could handle that kind of attention. Famous men dealt with it best, already used to the constant attention. Unfortunately, those she’d dated were way more focused on their image than on making a relationship work.
She’d had a couple of regular guys, men without gigantic Hollywood egos. But they’d been too interested in pleasing her, as if they needed instruction. Most were too intimidated to push the envelope, sexually speaking. For once, she didn’t want to be in charge. She yearned for a man to take control of her in the bedroom, make her submit to his will, but she’d never had the nerve to say so.
A blast of cold water ripped her out of her thoughts. Had she run out of hot water already? She gave the faucet a quick twist to shut it off. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw something move. Glancing toward the window, she gasped.
There was a man on the deck just outside the window taking a shower. His back was to her, all tanned skin and rippling muscles. When he turned a little, she realized it was Josh. But she couldn’t stop gawking, couldn’t tear her gaze from his amazing shoulders or his six-pack.
When he twisted toward her, she got a glimpse of his cock. Holy cow! It wasn’t even hard, but it was enormous. Mesmerized, she stepped closer to the window for a better view.
Soap bubbles cascaded over his chest, past his stomach and disappeared in the tuft of brown curls above that amazing… Hey! It was growing. He was getting hard. What the…
Then she lifted her gaze to his face.
Oh God. He grinned, stared at her, obviously enjoying her reaction to his chiseled body. Automatically, she drew her hands up to cover her breasts and she realized her nipples were as rigid as Josh’s erection.