Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Titanic and the Wireless

© Photowitch |
What if you found yourself on the Titanic today?

The ship sinking…seawater coming up higher and higher on each deck. What would you do?

Grab your cell phone. Call or text for help.

If wasn’t that simple back in 1912.

The wireless was the only means of long distance communication between Titanic and other ships (the Morse lamp was used for ships within visual range as well as rockets) as well as land.

Much has been written about the Marconi wireless and how novel it was to the passengers on the ship.

Who can forget the scene in the film when operator Jack Phillips “yells” back to the operator on the nearby Californian, “Shut up, shut up! I’m working Cape Race.” (Cape Race was the first wireless station in Newfoundland and the only land station to receive the Titanic’s distress signal.)

Frustrated, the operator shuts down his wireless and goes to bed. No further communication with him was possible that night.

He didn’t hear the “CQD” or the “SOS” after the Titanic hit the iceberg.

The Californian didn’t know until it was late the ship was sinking.

According to newspaper reports at that time, CQD was the British landline operators’ signal (“CQ” for “all stations”) with the addition of “D” by the Marconi company for added emphasis (danger).

“SOS” was adapted because of its distinctive Morse Code pattern of three dots…three dashes…three dots.

According to an in-depth article by Frances Williams at Suite 101: “Only five months before the disaster, New York had received the first wireless transmission from Italy and for many years Marconi had been working to improve the range of his transmissions.”

The Titanic had a first rate wireless room and could receive signals as far as 400 miles during the day and seemingly unlimited range at night.

Which meant they weren’t the only ones sending messages back and forth (the Titanic had sent 250 messages during the voyage).

According to the NY Herald, April 18, 1912, something had to be done to regulate the wireless lest more disasters at sea take place because their distress signal wasn’t heard. “Wireless meddlers” crowded the airwaves with messages and a Senate bill was drawn up to set up to regulate operators with a license.

No post about Titanic and the wireless would be complete without mentioning the two Marconi operators and their dedication to duty.

J.G. Phillips, 25 years old, was the chief operator and had served on the Mauretania and the Lusitania. He had been with the company for seven years and did not survive.

Harold Sydney Bride, 22 years old, had only been with the company twelve months and did survive. (He was on the same overturned lifeboat along with the hero in my romance novel, “Titanic Rhapsody,” Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn.)

It was Phillips who sent the famous wireless message to Harold Thomas Cottam, the sole wireless operator on the Carpathia:

“It’s CQD, old man. Distress call.”

Mr. Cottam was off duty and had not gone to bed when he heard the distress call. He insisted on waking up Captain Rostron. Because of his actions, 705 people survived that cold, bitter night.

Why was Mr. Cottam listening to the wireless if he was off duty?

He was hoping to catch the Saturday night football scores broadcast from Cape Race.

His alertness was a touchdown.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Life on Hold

I'd love to tell you about all the awesome word counts I've achieved of late. Unfortunately I've hardly written a word. All I've accomplished in the last week is to complete edits my editor sent me for a super short story.

You see, my eighty-four-year-old dad just had knee replacement surgery and he and my mother have been staying with me since he was released from rehab a week ago. My house is now a nursing home complete with daily visits from nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and more.

When the troops aren't parading through my house, I'm on duty. And trust me, my father is not the ideal patient. My husband says he's never heard my name called so often!

The moment I sit at the computer, I'm summoned for either my dad or my handicapped mother. Mind you, I'm not complaining -- I'm explaining -- maybe more to myself, why I'm being less productive than I've been in years.

At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They'll be flying home to New York before the end of March. At least, that's the plan. In the meanwhile, I'll have to hang close to home and suck it up. After all, my parents spent many years taking care of my every need.

What about you? What hinders your production? What makes it fly?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reality TV!

We don't do a lot of Reality TV.  At least not the network television kind.  We don't watch American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Voice, any of those.  Just can't get into them.  In fact, the only reality show we watch on network television is The Amazing Race. That, we totally love.

We watch a lot of what I call the fringe reality shows, like The Next Food Network Star, Worst Cooks in America, House Hunters, Cupcake Wars and new favorite Face Off on the SyFy Channel. If you're a fan of movie make-up, and how they create all those aliens, vampires, werewolves, zombies and horror movie bad guys, you definitely have to check out the show.  It pits movie special-effects artists against each other to see who can come up with the best make-up.

So, while we don't watch Dancing with the Stars, we can totally get down with zombies dancing to Natalia Kills' Zombie!

If you don't know the song, you can check out the video here!

Now, imagine zombies dancing to it!  So hope the DJ plays it at RomantiCon!


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


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Act Of Valor

Who else is going to see Act Of Valor this weekend? I'm going for sure, because I'm a military and Special Ops geek. I'll be in the front row taking notes and covering my eyes when things get too gory :)

The thing that surprises me the most about this film is that the actors are active duty SEALs. At first I was skeptical (like, HELL NO) that the Navy or DOD would allow such a thing, but after checking with sources I trust, I have to admit it seems true. In fact, one of the retired SEALs I follow on Twitter posted the other day that one of the actors was a student of his during BUD/S training.

Just to be clear, I would have seen the movie whether the actors were active duty SEALs or not, but this just makes it more fascinating for me.

Here's the trailer:
Looks good, right? Most of the reviews I've seen for it are positive too. It began as a recruitment video that morphed into a feature film, and the shooting of it took a long time because the actors would suddenly be called away on deployment and the directors were never sure when they would be back. Or if they'd come back at all.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You are the Bestest!

criticI am one of my harshest critics.

Forget my critique partners or editor taking the proverbial whip to my manuscript and making it bleed red, I’ve already done it about five times before they even get to it! Ooh! I could have used a stronger verb here…my plot has a saggier middle than me…my love scene makes me cry—and not because it was so satisfying…

Yup, I can really rake myself over the coals. But I’ve learned that while I’m so quick to prohibit myself from watching Being Human for not meeting my word count, I have to be just as swift to reward myself. Believe it or not, that was hard for me.

I’m the person who doesn’t impulse shop or treat herself to a new shirt. I’ll buy my husband a new gadget rather than spend $7.00 on a book for myself. Some may call that selfless, but it’s actually guilt. I have a guilt complex when it comes to spending just for me. Having kids only deepened the neurosis! Armchair psychiatrist here, but growing up, I watched my parents sacrifice for my sister and I when it came to private schools, clothes, extra curricular activities…they always put themselves last. My mother used to joke, “I haven’t bought a new pair of drawers in years!” TMI really, but as an adult I adopted that mentality. So, you understand why it has been a struggle for me to actually reward myself.

But I find that setting aside those little presents for obtaining a goal helps to motivate me. It’s not about buying things all the time or spending money. There are simple luxuries. As a writer, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I’d like. So for reaching a word count goal, I get to indulge in Thea Harrison’s Serpent’s Kiss in her Elder Races series. Believe me! This is an awesome treat! For finishing a book, my husband cooks stuffed mushrooms and friend eggplant for me. For selling a book, my husband takes me out to our favorite restaurant, Carrabba’s. well done

Being hard on myself is not a negative thing because it helps me to constantly strive to better myself and never become complacent. But I also need positive reinforcement. It’s not selfish to baby or pamper myself. The same hand that slaps my forehead in “what the &^%^$# are you doing?” is the same hand that can pat myself on the back, say “well done” and pop a Symphony chocolate bar in my mouth. Actually, it feels—and tastes—much better!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Romance Mad Libs

You know the Mad Libs drill. Fill in the blanks with the noted part of speech and read your new masterpiece at the end. Plenty of folks have done romance related Mad Libs, but I got this idea stuck in my head last night and wanted to try. Feel free to make up your own versions and send them in with comments.

Elana ________ (past tense verb) into the party, knowing she looked ________ (adjective) in her new ________ (adjective) designer cocktail dress. She'd spent hours preparing for this event. Every important ________ (noun) in town was attending. But there was only one _________ (noun) she cared about seeing. _________ (male name).

She scanned the room for the sight of his _________ (adjective) shoulders, his _______ (color) head of silky hair. That _______ (expletive) man! She should not be so eager to see him. That the idea of it reduced her to ________ (adjective) plotting and self-indulgent preening disgusted her. But it had been _______ (a number) years since he had suddenly left town and left her high and dry. If nothing else, she would use their meeting tonight to give him a piece of her __________ (noun).

She _______ (-ed verb) over to the bar, taking her time as she kept watch for her ________ (noun). Elana ordered a double _______ (type of alcoholic drink) and _______ (-ed verb) it _________ (adverb). Throwing caution to the wind, she ordered ________ (a number) more and finished them all. Now she was ready to find that ________ (adjective) man.

She swayed over to the hostess of the party, wondering why she was so _________ (adjective) on her feet.  Halfway toward her goal, she spotted him. 

What should she say? Who cares what she'd say. Her first goal was to get to him without ________ (verb) on the floor.

Two stumbles later, she made it and _______ (-ed verb) him on those attractive shoulders. "Excuse me. I think we have some unfinished business."

He turned around. His eyes ________ (verb) wide. "Elana!"

"Yes, it's me. The ______ (noun) of you to show up in this town again. If we were not in a crowded ________ (noun) I'd slap you _______ (adjective)!"

He crossed his arms and squinted his eyes, his broad body slouching into a relaxed pose. "________?" (an interrogative)

"You betcha!" She opened her mouth to _______ (verb) him some more, but she never got a chance to hear her _________ (adjective) remark because the room grew blurry and __________ (dark) as she fell forward into his ________ (noun).

* * * *

Elana woke in a _________ (adjective) and unfamiliar bed. She rolled to her side and a _________ (adjective) object broke her movement. It was him! His ________ (adjective) body pressed up against her own. Her hands reached out and touched ________ (noun). He was naked! After a moment she realized so was she. 

He opened his ________ (color) eyes and stared into her __________ (part of body). "Good morning, Elana."

__________! (expletive) What was she going to do?

I hope you had some fun with the above. And that your week started off with a smile.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bloggers Block

Hey there. Ever heard of bloggers block? I just made it up...or if I didn't, someone else had the same clever idea before I did. At any rate, it's that horrendous moment when you know you have to blog, but you can't come up with a single idea. I had that a few moments ago. But just as with writer's block, there are ways to deal with it that do not include giving up.

I actually found an article on ways to get ideas for blogs about your topic...whatever it may be. I won't share all of them, just the ones that made me say, "Ah ha! I can do that."

* Visit forums related to your niche. Spend 30 minutes a day in forums related to your niche. Write down common questions or inquiries and use those to craft articles.

* Visit the Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers. If one person has asked the question, chances are there are many more who have it but are afraid to ask. Answer the most common questions you see with a new article.

* Check the news. Being on top of the industry news will help you be able to write related articles as the news events take place. This can also be a great way to grab expanded exposure. By piggy backing off the hot topic you can grab way more readers then you would with a normal topic. And not just the big news stations either. Some of the smaller more local stations may have topics not covered by the larger ones and can be a potential goldmine for ideas.

* Set up a Google alert for your topic. This way you’ll be emailed however frequently you choose, with up to date blogs and posts and new stories related to your topic that you can get and gain ideas from.

* Spend 30 minutes brainstorming. Do not allow yourself to focus on anything but your topic. This will get easier the more times you do it. It can be difficult the first few times to get your mind to actually produce something, but once you’ve done it a few times your mind will know you mean business and will help you populate ideas quite quickly.

---Now, in all seriousness, I don't like blogging when it's just another commercial for my books. I don't like promo in general, but it's a necessary evil. The trick is to find promotion you enjoy doing. I finally came up with an idea for a regular blog that I'm having a ball with! I'm not mentioning my books at all. I'm simply showcasing my off the wall sense of humor.

You really must check it out! And if you enjoy it, please follow. I'll feel like less of a loser if I can get over half a dozen followers.
Oh...and by the way, please buy my books. (There. I snuck it in. Subtle, wasn't it?)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mardi Gras Time!

By: Casey Crow
It's Mardi Gras in Mobile! Yeah, New Orleans throws a big ta-do, but since we Alabamians like to say Mobile had the first Mardi Gras, I'll be talking about how we do it up down here. Purple, gold and green everyone, even on my own front door. Parades with masked revelers throwing moonpies, beads, and huge stuffed animals. Balls with ladies in beautiful long dresses and guys in tails wearing so many beads they look like Mr. T. On Fat Tuesday, the Knights of Revelry ladies wear spring suits and fancy hats like you see at the Kentucky Derby. Most have on tennis shoes with those designer suits. Half the children running around wear French hand-sewn dresses and john-johns. The other half are raggamuffins with Walmart sacks filled with throws. The most serious parade goers have folding chairs, ice chests, and giant umbrellas they flip upside down. That's makes the aim easier for a drunk dude on a float to ring. Folks even have those trash picker upper things to pull beads from the branches of the crape mertles and enormous live oaks lining the streets. Campers fill the grassy area by the civic center.
I've been in the parades and watched them. Been sprayed with mace when some doofus near me got into a fight with his buddy. Once, when I was fifteen and riding in the Floral parade, this super cute guy ran up to my float and gave ME a rose. That's my favorite Mardi Gras memory.
So that's the first-hand account. Now here's the official explanation:
Mardi Gras is celebrated in Mobile, New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities.
This festive event was started in Mobile and according to some accounts, dates
back to 1703. The celebration was originally called Boef Gras (Fat Beef).
The well-known Mardi Gras in Mobile was begun by Michael Krafft. On New
Years's Eve, 1830, Krafft and his friends were reluctant to end a dinner party
at the customary time. They raided a nearby hardware store, took up rakes, hoes
and cowbells and proceeded to wake the town. They soon formed the Cowbellion de
Rakin Society, the first of Mobile's many modern mystic organizations. The
Cowbellions presented their first parade, complete with floats and theme, in
The Civil War brought revelry in Mobile to an abrupt halt. Joseph Stillwell
Cain, on Fat Tuesday of 1866, donned full Chickasaw Indian regalia, dubbed
himself Chief Slacabamorinico. Cain and six friends set out to raise the morale
of citizens in the defeated city. Dubbing themselves the "Tea Drinkers", and
fired up by drink much stronger than tea, they took to the streets in a
decorated coal wagon pulled by a mule. Cain was a founder in the Order of Myths,
the organization which today holds the final Carnival Season parade Mardi Gras
night. He also helped organize many more parading societies. Cain's role in
reviving Mardi Gras is observed each year on the Sunday before Mardi Gras Day,
"Joe Cain Day." On "Joe Cain Day" thousands of Mobilians in costume and on
individually designed floats parade through the streets of downtown Mobile.

The date of Mardi Gras is determined by the date of Easter. Mardi Gras Day,
or "Fat Tuesday," is the Tuesday before the Ash Wednesday which begins the 40
days Lenten season. Nighttime parades and other public festivities begin about
10 days before Mardi Gras Day. Carnival Season balls, receptions and other
private functions begin in the fall and continue through Mardi Gras Day.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The One That Got Away

I know we all have our little stories about "the one that got away"...I even came up with a cool paranormal idea eons ago that has a very unique twist...but that's for another day. Hmmm, as far as my very own TOTGA  experience...I've had a few...but looking back now, the memories are most likely better than if I had ended up with any one of those men. I think that break ups and relationship ups and downs makes us all stronger. AND it makes for a great story. 

One memory that's stuck with me happened many many many years ago when I was just starting college. My girlfriends and I decided to have lunch at a very popular sushi bar in town. It had a rather hip vibe and drew in a younger crowd. It was also owned by a pseudo-friend of mine. As we were waiting for our lunch, the front door opened and in walks the most gorgeous man I'd ever laid eyes on. was a slow-mo moment in my head. He had on a black helmet, weathered leather jacket, dark denims, and soon as he stepped inside he pulled off the helmet and I melted. Tall, gorgeous blue eyes, sandy blond hair...he really did look like he had jumped out of a billboard ad...I kid you not. After I wiped the drool off my face, I made a bet that HE would be mine. Of course, my buddies laughed at me and rolled their eyes because he was now officially my target. 

Fast forward a few weeks, I learned: 1. he was my pseudo-friend's on again off again boyfriendlike forever 2. They had broken upagain (but for good this time) 3. He was temporarily helping her manage the restaurant for the summer while she visited family in Japan. WINNING! I think I ate at the restaurant every other day for a month. One crazy afternoon he finally spoke to me. I froze. Then while I was kind of happened like this... 

I signed my credit card slip and asked nonchalantly, "Aren't you going to ask me out?" 
He blinked. "Really? You want to go out with me?" Dumb-founded look.
"Yes." I scrawled my phone number on the front of the slip and slid it over to him.
He gave me a boyish smile. "You never seemed interested."
"Why else would I come here several times a week?" I smiled back. "I'm tired of waiting so I'm taking the initiative."
He laughed. "I like a woman who knows what she wants."
"Then you'll like me."
He picked up the slip and gave me a wide grin. "It's a date then."

I won that bet.

Two days later we went out. Two years later we moved in together. Six years later we broke up and I moved to mend my broken heart. We had such a tumultuous relationship. Passionate. Intense. Painful...but those were the memories I never want to forget. I could say he was my first realhonest to goodness"love". But what I learned from that experience is that sometimes that kind of love is best kept in your heart. I don't have any regrets and I simply know that we were never meant to be... These days we're still friends and the memories, the emotions, the craziness of youthful love is what I put into my writing...what I hope will be believable, raw emotions and has impact in my storytelling. 

Okaywhere was I? Right. 

Do you have a "the one that got away" story? Do tell. I wanna know... :)

* * * *

P.S. I recently stumbled across this brilliant video below and I couldn't help laughing until tears flowed from my eyes. Maybe it's not that funny but it was to me. Sometimes you need a bit of humor to get you going. I'm sure Adele would have a good laugh at it herself. And I am a HUGE Adele fan...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Titanic and the Honeymoon Couple

© Gorgios |

Imagine you’re on your honeymoon and you’re sailing home on the Titanic.

Four days–and four passionate nights–at sea with your man.

Cozy afternoons in the lounge reading a book…slipping your hand in his. Knowing that later you’ll be in each other’s arms.

Long strolls at night on the deck, looking at the starry sky overhead.

Forget the bitter cold. He has his arms around you to keep you warm.

On a drizzly Sunday morning, you attend services with your man, then look forward to an informal dinner and another night of passion–

Until 11:40 p.m.

It’s the night of April 14th, 1912.

Your honeymoon comes to an abrupt end when the Titanic hits an iceberg.

According to Titanic Story, there were thirteen couples aboard the ship of dreams celebrating their honeymoon, though some sources report the number was twelve. The new young bride of Col. John Jacob Astor, pregnant with their child, was among them and escaped in lifeboat No. 4 (along with Katie O’Reilly, the heroine of my Titanic novel).

Here’s what went through her head when Katie, an Irish emigrant, found herself in the company of these women:
Katie held her head in her gloved hands. It wasn’t just that the fear of death was all around her or so shocking, but that she was here in the lifeboat and not the grand gentlemen married to the ladies in this boat.
First cabin ladies.
Wearing fur coats and teardrop diamond earrings and big, feathered hats with silver hatpins. Smelling of lavender and not the salty sweat of steerage. Dressed in the pink of fashion, they looked as out of place in the lifeboat as perfect plump prawns tossed into a fisherman’s dirty pail. Bickering among themselves about keeping their part of the boat for their kind only. Making comments about the sailor at the tiller smoking. And generally being what they were.
First cabin ladies.
Col. Astor did not survive and unfortunately, several honeymoon couples met the same fate.

A couple who did survive, John and Nelle Snyder, had left from Southampton and were returning home to Minneapolis,Minnesota.

According to a story in the Daily Mail, Mr. Snyder said he owed his life to his wife’s insistence that he get out of bed and check to see what happened when they felt a “bump” on that fateful night.

They were among the first to get into the lifeboats (they were in lifeboat No. 7 along with three other newlywed couples, according to one news source) and were later photographed in the clothes they wore that night. They were quite an elegant couple, according to the photo in the Daily Mail story referenced above.

They lived for many years afterward (Mr. Snyder was 71 when he died and Mrs. Snyder was 94), but their letters and photos have only now surfaced, engaging us with their wondrous escape.

The Titanic continues to fascinate us with its elegance and romance. It’s comforting to know that for the Snyders, their Titanic honeymoon had a happy ending.


Here's my cover by Dar Albert
coming soon from Ellora's Cave!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Blog Hop

It's the third day of the big, huge, honkin' blog hop to celebrate OUR holiday...Valentine's Day!

This major event goes on until Feb 14th and hundreds (yes hundreds) of bloggers are participating.

We the Naughty Author Chicks are giving away 10 books AND a $20.00 gift certificate to buy more of our books. (wink)

What do you have to do? Visit our blog! Oh, wait a minute--you're already here! LOL. So, now that you've checked us out email me
because I'm coordinating this blog's participation. We'll agree on 1 winner for the whole kit and kabooty!

Next stop on the blog tour:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day Blog Hop

It's the second day of the big, huge, honkin' blog hop to celebrate OUR holiday...Valentine's Day!

This major event goes on until Feb 14th and hundreds (yes hundreds) of bloggers are participating.

We the Naughty Author Chicks are giving away 10 books AND a $20.00 gift certificate to buy more of our books. (wink)

What do you have to do? Visit our blog! Oh, wait a minute--you're already here! LOL. So, now that you've checked us out email me
because I'm coordinating this blog's participation. We'll agree on 1 winner for the whole kit and kabooty!

Next stop on the blog tour:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Blog Hop!

It's the first day of the big, huge, honkin' blog hop to celebrate OUR holiday...Valentine's Day!

This major event goes on until Feb 14th and hundreds (yes hundreds) of bloggers are participating.

We the Naughty Author Chicks are giving away 10 books AND a $20.00 gift certificate to buy more of our books. (wink)

What do you have to do? Visit our blog! Oh, wait a minute--you're already here! LOL. So, now that you've checked us out email me
because I'm coordinating this blog's participation. We'll agree on 1 winner for the whole kit and kabooty!

Next stop on the blog tour:

Friday, February 10, 2012

So, Viggo Mortensen is Into Spanking, huh?

I knew it! No, really, I did, See, I can just look at a guy and tell he's into spanking. Giving a spanking, that is. And if a guy doesn't look like he can spank a girl, then he doesn't do it for me!

Back to Viggo. I've been crazy about him ever since seeing him in LOTR, so I regularly check out Viggo Works, your go-to website for everything Viggo. Well, they had an article on there about Viggo giving costar Michael Fassbender tips on spanking and how to do it better for his role as psychiatrist Carl Jung in the movie A Dangerous Method.

Now, if only Viggo would play in a movie where he gets to spank the girl!

Which other actors/celebrities do you think look like they'd be good at giving a spanking?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Head & Shoulders Above the Rest!

The Superbowl is over...thank God! Some people call July through February dog days of summer, autumn and the lion of winter. I call them the loneliest months of the year! Football season! AAAARRGGGHH!!!

It’s the time of year when pork rinds become a staple in the pantry like chicken is in the refrigerator. When the bedroom turns into the Pentagon as the phone, computer, radio and television are crackling and running stats in one synchronized flow. It’s when communication with the husband deteriorates to grunts unless you’re offering more afore-mentioned pork rinds. It’s when nookie is squeezed into 2 minute warning commercials and half-time...unless it’s the Superbowl. Madonna stole my conjugal visit this year!

Football, oh how I detest thee…

That is until four years ago when I discovered the Pittsburg Steelers. Or more accurately Troy Polamalu, the Steelers’ uh...umm...well, his position isn’t important.
I mean, have you seen his hair??


One fateful Sunday night four years ago I decided to be self-sacrificing and long-suffering and sit through a football game. And who should I see busting across the screen but a strong, authoritative, no-holds-barred player who destroyed everyone in his path! Oh and did I mention how his dark, wavy mane of hair just poured out the back of his helmet?
I was entranced by his presence, his talent, his confidence…

And the way his dark curly locks hit the middle of his back.

I soon discovered that this bastion of Gridiron superiority was Troy Polamalu. Of Samoan descent, he is a I said the position isn’t important. His speed, agility and dark beauty reminds me of a panther, sleek and dangerous. How one can be so terrifying on the football field and then such a soft-spoken gentleman off the field is endearing and hero-worthy. What woman doesn’t love an aggressive and dominant man who can still be gentle when—and where—it counts? And when he removes his helmet... Hallelujah!! Hosannas break out! The man is beautiful in a little-grass-shack-in-Hawaii-save-the-virgin-from-the-roaring-volcano way. (Please cut the snickering. I never said I was the virgin!)

Needless to say, ever since that fateful night my husband and I now see each other during football season and spend quality time together every Sunday between July and February...well, except when the Steelers have a by-week...

So, on one hand, I'm THRILLED that football season is a memory for at least five more months. But on the other...Sigh. Troy, we always have the Head & Shoulders commercials...

Monday, February 6, 2012


I was perusing news articles for inspiration because, ya know, that's what I often have to do to get inspired for you Naughty Author Chick followers, and came across a NYT's article on heterosexuality. Well, at least a commentary on a recent book about the subject--Straight by Hanne Blank.

So much discussion and recent scientific effort has been put into thinking about what makes someone homosexual or some other less mainstream flavor of sexuality, that we haven't paused to ask about what is considered "normal." (I hate the word normal, by the way.) Yet it seems from this article (and granted I have not yet read the book) that "normal" wasn't so important in our past. That folks were not mired down in definitions of heterosexuality and it was simply a process of continuing the species and organizing possessions via marriage. People were not judged as different based on their responses to varieties of sexual temptation. Many self-defined heterosexuals have behaved in ways that are contradictory to that classic definition. But it is only when the world became fascinated with classifications that the judgments became so pronounced.

But science and culture are pushing at the labels with which we're familiar. This book suggests that our world is moving onto a more fluid understanding of the sexes, and of masculinity, femininity and sexuality.

I for one see this as a good thing. Traditional romance literature may have perpetuated the binary stereotypes of rigid sexual definitions, but it's grown in leaps and bounds. Every type of romance story between every type of individual is out there for you to find on real or virtual bookshelves. And I like to think that this literary access to outside of the box relationships is helping our world move toward fluidity in thinking in real day to day opinions, actions and responses toward and about one another.

So let's throw out the definitions and enjoy those romantic stories.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'm so confused!

Okay, I'll admit I'm not the brightest bulb in the neon sign, but with all the online committments, real life appointments, conference schedules, etc. there are days I don't know where I'm supposed to be and when.

Today for instance...1st, I thought next Saturday was my blog day. I had so many things written on my calendar that today's small square filled up and the words NAC blog spilled over into the following week's square. *Sigh*
However, next week is our Valentine's Day blog hop, so I'll be posting about that then too!
...2nd Up popped my credit card bill reminder on my screen and I can't remember which card it's for. I think it's the one I cut up recenty.
...3rd, I can't remember who I'm supposed to tell about the three books I want to sign at RT's two book fairs.
...4th, I had to cancel one of my appearances at RT due to a conflicting obligation, and I don't have half my schedule yet!

All my obligations, promises, etc. are written on two calendars with slips of paper added where I run out of room.

Yesterday I was notified of a winner in a contest I didn't know I participated in. The blogger or yahoo group or website owner (I still don't know who it was for) sent me an email telling me the winner's name and the title of the book she won...only the book wasn't mine. I guess I'm not the only person out there who's so overextended they get confused. I double checked and it was just the title she got wrong. Apparently I was participating in the contest, so I sent the winner a copy of Strange Neighbors.

Well, I'm off to do the one thing I'm expected to do each day...write!

Does anyone else find themselves in this situation? I can't be just me...can it?

Friday, February 3, 2012

What giving 100% really means

Posted by: Casey Crow

Can you believe it's Feburary already? I can't seem to get caught up from December! And, now that I'm swamped with edits for DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE coming out in March, I have to admit my blog day jumped off my calendar at the last minute and slapped me in the face.

So I got this other email this week. My cousin, Lisa, send them out A LOT :), but this one is too good not to share -- and yeah, I promise I'll come up with something fabulous and orginal for next post -- Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama anyone? -- but for now check this out.

Two math teachers with a combined total of 70 yrs. experience asked What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions: If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Is represented as: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then: H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

And K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

And, B-U-L-L-S-H-I- T 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.
A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G +19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there. It's the Bullshit and Ass Kissing that will put you over the top. Now you know why some people are where they are!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

WTH Becomes Inspiration

Dang, there's been so much excitement in my life most of January. My mother was hospitalized twice and I was buried under stuff...y'know, sleeping at the hospital, getting sick, life responsibilities, deadlines, etc...we've all been there. I don't seem to have a great track record when it comes to getting my posts up on time on NAC (SORRY) but I swear I'm going to start prepping early now that I've made it to February. Yes, it felt like forever....

I'm finally starting to get more organized now that things are settling down..knock on wood...which I haven't been very good at lately. You'd think with all the calendars, organizers, and such I'd be more on top of things. LOL --  Hopefully the rest of the year will be drama free. *Crosses fingers* But out of all the chaos, I've finally been writing again. I've locked myself up in my room and forced myself to write as much as I can. Of course, my writing speed has decreased dramatically over the years but I'm hoping that once I finish this book I will have enough momentum to start the next one and finish it quicker. Or, at least, that's what my BFF says will happen. 

I will have to say that these hurdles have really made me more aware of my writing goals. It's made me more inspired and determined to get a new publishing contract or two this year. I suppose while I was trying to deal with "life", my buddies were out there finishing and selling books. A few made it on the USA Today Bestseller list and some in the NY Times List, which I'm extremely happy to hear..but it really lit a fire under me. I've been writing romance for a good eight years now and although I have books out, I don't have nearly as many as I've wanted to publish. Looking at other's accomplishments I realize the need to push myself harder, fight more, believe in myself more. Writer's are the most sensitive souls and when we get a bad review, hear criticism, or get rejections, we automatically beat ourselves up mentally. I know I go through those depression slumps and I go through days when all I want to do is walk away....I guess it's easy to walk away--but if I did that, it would only mean I was never really serious about my writing career....

This year it's going to be different. This year I am going to pull myself together and hopefully by December I can look back and be proud I didn't give up.

Thanks for not stoning me :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nice Girls Do It (the Hunter series)

I'm excited about recently self-pubbing the second story in my Hunter series: "Nice Girls Do It."

A stormy day and Chloe gets caught in the rain until a mysterious stranger who calls himself “the Hunter” offers her shelter in his old Victorian mansion.

Will she lose her virginity before morning comes?

Here is a sexy excerpt:

“This beautiful vase reminds me of a story I heard in London about a gentleman and a virgin,” said the Hunter, holding the ovular vase painted with pretty blooms and fancy chinoiserie. The bright gold leaf around the rim caught the light from the fire, mesmerizing her.

What was on his mind?

“Smoking a big cigar,” he continued, “the British lord insisted to the proprietor of a posh shop on Bond Street that a virgin was like a vase.”

“How intriguing,” she said, interested. The metaphor was obvious, but coming from the Hunter she expected his take would be unique.

And sexy.

She wasn’t disappointed.

“Puffing on his cigar, the gentleman expressed his desire to acquire the vase for his collection.” He looked her straight in the eye as he slid his fingers up and down the vase from top to bottom with an experienced touch. She took an unexpected delight in watching him caress the vase like he would a woman.

I wish he’d touch me like that, find his way inside me and do all kinds of wonderful things to me.
“Admiring her lovely shape,” he said with a wink, “the gentleman flicked his cigar ashes into the vase when no one was looking.”

Just like a man. Taking advantage of that poor, defenseless vase.

“He purchased the precious objet d'art and took her home. Then,” said the Hunter, “in the privacy of his bedroom, he thrust his big cigar into her.”

No!” Chloe tensed as she heard a strangled sound and realized it was her own voice. A punch to her gut, but she was also strangely aroused by his dark, sensual tale.

“Shall I stop?” he asked, concerned.

“Go on…please,” she whispered, wrapping her hands around his holding the vase. He smiled, then slipped his hand under her kimono. He parted her thighs and slowly stroked her bare skin. Her pussy tingled when he pressed his hand between her thighs then stopped, waiting—

She sighed with pleasure as her senses filled with the closeness of him.

What would he do next? What she wanted him to do…if she had the courage.

“The man attempted to be gentle,” he said, opening her lower lips and exploring her with an experienced touch and making her moan. “But the vase cracked.”

Oh…” was all Chloe said. She couldn’t speak, didn’t want to as he turned her around and he cupped her pussy from behind, then slid his thumb up into her.

She gasped, stiffening as the pure joy of his touch sent a delicious burning through her.

“Afterward the broken vase was no longer precious to him,” said the Hunter, his voice husky, his thumb finding her clit and stroking it. “But relegated to sitting on a shelf.”

He wiggled another finger inside her, making her clench her pubes together in a lovely contraction.

Oh yes! Her fragrant scent wafted to her nostrils.

“She was no longer a virgin,” he said.

But she was, Chloe thought, and he knew it. He was feeling her up to make sure.

“Why are you telling me this?” she managed to say, lifting up her behind to give him greater access to her.

“Such men call themselves gentlemen, Chloe, but it’s not a very pleasing proposition for the lady.” He removed his fingers, then sniffed them. A pleased smile lit up his face. “Such is not the way in Japan.”

She closed her legs, her lower groin full and heavy with desire. It had been so long since she felt like this, why stop now?

Did she want to remain a virgin for the rest of her life?

Or worse yet, what if she got herself into a situation where her emotions were running high and she fucked a guy in the backseat of a car or in a hotel room then regretted it later.

Why not make love now with this handsome stranger who was as mystical as he was appealing?

“You know another way for a girl to lose her virginity?” Chloe asked.

“Yes,” he said, his voice low. “An elegant and exquisite ritual practiced by the geisha.”

“I thought geisha didn’t sleep with their customers,” she said, toying with the long, silk kimono. She took a deep breath and leaned forward, eager to hear more.

“They don’t,” the Hunter admitted, “which is why their virginity was a prized commodity and often auctioned off to the highest bidder.”

Chloe’s eyes widened. She imagined she was a beautiful geisha with long black hair trailing down her back to her knees, trembling as she stood before the men in the tea house. Her flaming red silk kimono open and exposing her slender nude body for their inspection.

“Tell me more,” she pleaded. She wasn’t afraid. The Hunter exhibited a protectiveness toward her that made her feel safe.

“If you insist,” he said with a wide smile.

“I do.”

“A more civilized deflowering ceremony is performed in Japan,” he said, “where the new vase or virgin doesn’t undergo the pain of penetration by an overzealous husband or lover.” The Hunter slid the kimono off her shoulders. She moaned in pleasure when he lifted her breasts to his mouth, licking one nipple than the other. “Rather, the ritual is performed by a complete stranger.”

Chloe bit down on her lower lip, her mind reeling with wild imaginings. “Show me.”


I hope you enjoyed it!  "Nice Girls Do It" was a launch story for -- a new website for erotic books and short stories with links to buy books. 

Buy links from my Nice Girls Do It page at

Kindle | Nook | KoboDiesel | Sony | Smashwords

 I have a question for everyone: Nice Girls Do It is priced at 99 cents.

Do you think 99 cents is the right price for an erotic short story just under 7,000 words? Should it cost less? I'm trying to figure out the right price point and would love to have your opinions. Thank you!