Monday, 30 April 2012

What's in Your Browser History?

By Stephanie Beck

I’m all for saving money. Those who know me know that I tend to be a bit of a spendthrift…though some might confuse my ability to squeeze sighs from a penny for being cheap. A few bills in particular always bite me—namely, phone and internet. Both services are super necessary in my personal and business life, but I still groan and growl every time I open the bill.

With my husband working out of town I’ve been faced with even bigger phone bills and another one for him to have internet access at his work. When he signed up and told me about it I admit I wasn’t happy. I asked why he couldn’t just use the internet through work. He said he got it for me.

I was skeptical and called him out on just wanting high speed whatever, instead of using the landline server through his company. After my protests he told me to bring up the search history on my browser. Light bulbs turned on in my head. The business server is monitored and shared…whatever I would happen to look up through it wouldn’t be very private, and well, it probably should be.

My Browser History:

“What things are dehydrating?”                        
“volumptuous” (because I can never spell it right)
“Popular locations of ghosts.”                            
“how much arsenic to be fatal to 250 lb man”
“Can ghosts have sex?”                                     
“procedures for removing foreign anal object”
“penalty for theft under 10,000 in Spain”         
“best dog breeds for finding buried dead bodies”
“natural body lubricants that taste sweet”       
“best sites for free, well, you know”

Upon looking at the history, I understand why my husband would not want his bosses or anyone else at his company to stumble upon it. Actually, looking at it now makes me shake my head, but honestly, every question had a valid reason to be asked!

So, I will pony up for another internet bill and be grateful when I have to schmooze with my husband’s bosses and supervisors at the Christmas party…though really, it probably would have been the IT people giving me looks over their eggnog anyway.

All the best,

Stephanie Beck

Available Now: Smut Therapy

What’s a cowboy to do when the love of his life puts him on a boot-knocking schedule?

In hopes of having a baby, Jenny sets a strict sex timetable. For Aaron, the zealous plan takes the fun and freedom away from their sex life, leading to stress and irritability on both of their sides.

To make the baby they both want and survive each other’s tempers until that day, Aaron proposes a little smut therapy, but getting Jenny to agree will require more than words.
Buy Smut Therapy HERE

Stephanie Beck is a full time mom, part time writer and ameture speller.
She's been writing since she was fifteen. Her first novel, "Love on the Mats" was a graphic, heartwarming tale of a wrestler and a cutie coed which was lovingly edited by the c-squad basketball team on the long bus rides throughout the season. They were all sure it would be published and it still has a home in a folder...somewhere.
Stephanie Beck loves romance and all things romantic, heart warming and usually funny, though a more serious piece will find its way in occasionally.
In her spare time she knits and sews, walks the dog, plays with her two wonderful daughters and tries to get her husband to act out the naughty things she researches...oh the sacrifices she makes for her craft.

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Perception of Age

by Casea Major 

I recently submitted a story to a quality small press and was offered a contract. The story is part of a series with two additionally completed manuscripts. When the publisher read the additional stories, they conditionally offered a contract with several revisions, one of which was that the hero in the second story was almost twice as old as the heroine and needed to be made younger.

As an across the board standard policy, that's fine. However, in this particular instance the age gap between the H/h in the second book (which is the one at issue) was significantly less than the age gap between the H/h in the first book (in which there was no issue). **Scratches head**

Why the difference?

Maybe it will help to take a little deeper look -- In the first book the heroine is a contemporary college student who is transported to a medieval fantasy world where she meets a man she assumes is late twenties. She is a worldly girl and has experience with men, albeit limited. As it turns out, aging in this fantasy world is different and while he looks younger he is really more than twice her age.

In the second book, the heroine is part of the fantasy world and the hero has known her all her life. He's watched her grow up. During her 19th Birthday Celebration he realizes he loves her and sets out to win her hand in marriage.
The heroines are the exact same age, but the older hero is perceived as ok while the younger isn't.

What are the differences that cause the ick factor in the one but not the other? Can they be defined?

Take for example recent news reports -- Why is it that the 41 year old man who left his wife for the 18 year old is considered a deviant predator while Hugh Hefner at 80 years old is on his umpteenth relationship with a twenty-year old and he's considered a legend?

Now don’t write me ugly letters - I'm not advocating either scenario as right or wrong. I'm saying that public perception is very different between the two. And I want to ask you gals – Why do you think that is? And should there be differences?

Food for thought – Edward Cullen is 105 when he marries Bella who is 18 years old. Is it because he looks young that makes it okay? If so, what does that say about our society?

By the way – in my current release with Decadent Publishing, Night with a Dom, the hero is older than the heroine. And you may ask yourself – why are all of Casea's stories older hero/younger heroine? That, my friends, is a post for a different day. LOL Maybe next time on Four Smart Women.
Thanks for having me.

 Night with a Dom
Casea Major

Melody Manning’s workaholic ambition, coupled with a slave-driving former boss, has made her the youngest market analyst in her firm. It’s also killed her personal life, including losing her fiancé. When she receives a message from him on New Year’s Eve announcing his engagement to another woman, Mel loses it. Her new, more compassionate boss has the perfect solution for her—get laid. Good and laid.
At his suggestion, she signs up with the 1Night Stand service, listing her deepest sexual desires on the application.  A speedy response from Madame Eve has Melody on her way to Sonoma Valley wine country and a one-night stand with a mysterious Dom.
The sexy, masked Master promises to get to the bottom of her guilt and provide ultimate satisfaction under the safety of his stern hand. After an emotional night of submission and uninhibited passion, will her lover’s unmasking lead to the end of their encounter or give Mel another chance at love?

Prior to becoming a writer of romantic fiction, Casea Major worked in the legal field for a non-profit dispute resolution company for ten years.  She is now a full-time mom to three preschool children with whom she and her husband live happily...most of the time.  When she isn't chained to her laptop, she enjoys Cary Grant movies and crocheting.

Friday, 20 April 2012

REVIEW: Daughter of Lust

by Ann Mayburn
For the Love of Evil, Book 1

Publisher: Decadent Publishing, LLC
Format: e-book

(I purchased this book from

Natalia is a cambion and doesn’t know it. What’s a cambion? Here’s
a link that explains it. I had to do research into it for a novella I wrote last year. It’s quite an interesting paranormal creature. And as a matter of fact, Merlin was supposed to be a cambion.

But I digress, lol.

Natalia doesn’t know she’s a cambion. Her father, Asmodeus, High Prince of Hell and High Keeper of Lust, is having trouble with Belal, another demon who has found a way to bring sloth and apathy into the human world via opium. If humans have no carnal interest, then Asmodeus loses his power, because, after all, he’s the Keeper of Lust. He feels it’s Belal’s way of taking over his kingdom.

So he sends Raum, his general, to Earth to solve the problem of Belal and the opium shipped through Russia. However, this is also where Natalia lives. Asmodeus also wants Raum to protect his daughter and help her through the awakening of her demon side.

This sets the pace for the story. On one side there are politics in Hell; on the other side, there’s the romance between Natalia and Raum as she struggles with her powers and what she feels is the onset of insanity. The two plots combine into one and work extremely well together.

But as Nalalia’s demon side awakens—remember, she’s the daughter of the High King of Lust—things get a little tricky. She discovers the teachings of ‘sex is bad’ wars with her inner demon who wants sex. Yeah, baby! Sex! Come on, give it to her…give it to her now! Rowl!

Uh, sorry. Reading that book is like Viagra for women. “Honey, I need you in the bedroom now!” Or on the floor. Aw, hell, fire up the washing machine and let’s ride that baby for a while.

Ahem. Sorry.

Ms. Mayburn did an excellent job of keeping Natalia innocent and at the same time one kick-ass demoness. Look out, the pretty lady will bite!

Now for all you fans of hot-sex romance. Let’s just say that the expression “when Hell freezes over” isn’t an option in this book. The sex in Daughter of Lust is…how do I say this? Aw, screw it. I’ll put it this way…if I was Natalia, I’d have to walk around with an ice pack in my panties 24/7. Natalia craves sex, and it’s what fuels her powers. Oh, and lets not forget her concubines such as Gregor and the ones Raum has and shares with her.After I read the book I was hollering, “Honey, where are those damn ice cubes?” This book should come with a warning label: Do not read this novel unless you’re wearing asbestos panties.

It’s obvious the author did a lot of research to create her Hell world. I recognized many things that I’ve studied myself, so rest assured the novel is based on a lot of background work into angel, demons, Hell, Heaven, magic, and so on. The intricacy of Hell is amazing, and it certainly made me pause and contemplate what most cultures believe Hell is versus…well, what IS it really?

This is book one of either a trilogy or a series, so I’m curious to see what happens in the next novel. Daughter of Lust is well written, extremely vivid, and a roller-coaster ride that criss-crosses Earth and Hell. It’s probably one of the most unique romances I’ve read in a long, long time.

My only complaint is that I would’ve liked more of the historical aspect of Natalia’s life in Russia for the year 1870. Hell was rich and lushly described, but I was curious about Kazan, Russia, too.

I highly recommend, Daughter of Lust. If you’re a fan of sizzling sex, gripping romance, dark underworld politics of both man and demon all mixed with mystery and action, this is the novel for you.

Well done, Ms. Mayburn. It’s extremely difficult to impress me in fiction, especially erotic romance, so I give you both thumbs up.

Now, who has those damn ice cubes?

Reviewed by:
Disclaimer: all books reviewed by 4SW have been purchased or are free offers downloaded by the individual reviewer; some may even be borrowed from our local libraries.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

REVIEW: Breach of Trust

By DiAnn Mills

Amazon Version

I downloaded this book for free as an Amazon Prime member.

This book is the first in The Call of Duty Series. It is published by Tyndale House Publishers. It is a Christian book. Let me say upfront that I am not a fan of Christian fiction. I had forgotten that it was Christian fiction. Once I realized what it was (a few pages in), I decided to set aside my prejudices and focused on the story.

The story follows Paige Rogers, a former disgraced CIA operative, masquerading as a librarian in a small town in Oklahoma. During her last mission, she was severely injured and found God during her convalescence. She is not incognito by choice, but is being blackmailed by her former commanding officer, Daniel Keary, who is the real traitor and has threatened to kill her parents should she ever reveal the truth.

Daniel Keary, a non-Christian, is now running for governor. The only threat to his candidacy is Paige. While she has agreed to maintain her silence, he does not trust it and wants her to become part of his campaign.

Miles Laird, the high school football coach, is the love interest. He's hunky and incredibly persistent, even though Paige turns him down again and again.

The beginning of the story is very fast-paced. It's well done, and despite the frequent "What do you want me to do God?" questions, it works. I wanted to find out what happened and did read the story in one day. That would be a good sign except that the last 50 or so pages lost my interest, and I finished it only because I had so much invested at that point. The plot becomes more fantastical and less believable as the story goes on. Finally, when Miles ends up saving this very capable woman, I am irritated that once again, the heroine no matter how kick-ass she is, she is saved by the hero. O.O

Why? Not that he couldn't help, but does he really have to be the one who saves them? This woman who beat him in a shooting contest? It reminds me of this fabulous blog post by Nonny Morgan about this very issue. (Peeps, don't give me a kick-ass heroine who has to rely on a man, who doesn't have the same skills, to save her.)

There are also three POVs in this story: Paige's, Keary's, and Miles'. In my opinion, Keary's is unnecessary. Not only is it unnecessary, but it is first person present tense when the rest of the story is third person limited past tense. First, I am not a fan of alternating between different types of POVs (Eg. first person to third person, etc.). Second, I am not a fan of present tense. Now, changing tense from one type of POV to another irritates the hell out of me. You can see how this would thrill me. (g) This is very unfortunate as Mills really does an excellent job staying within each POV. (Many authors struggle with this.)

I also didn't like the stereotyping. All of the villains were non-Christian. You know, because all non-Christians are evil, and Christians can't possibly be evil. (Let's forget about Jim Bakker and his ilk.) This might be a requirement for Christian fiction, though, so the author could be writing to her audience.

Despite all of this, I would still give this story a three star rating. If you are into Christian fiction and don't mind the 3rd to 1st person POV switch and the hero saving this bad-ass heroine, you might really enjoy this story.

You can purchase the eBook at Amazon.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My Love-Hate Relationship with our Back Bathroom

I have a love-hate relationship with our back bathroom. As grateful as I am to even have a second bathroom, I can't help but get irritated with it.

First, what I love about our back bathroom:

  1. We have one.
  2. The shower head. It's one of those big ones. It's lovely to stand under after a long day.
  3. If someone is camped out in the front, we have the back one.
  4. The size of the shower. It's very large. Compared to the coffin in the front bathroom, it's as spacious as a mansion. Okay. That's a slight exaggeration, but in the front shower, two people in there regardless of the size of the people means that one person's butt will be kissing the cold, tile wall.

That's about it. They are all good points, but there are things I hate about that back bathroom. Just a few things:

  1. The cockroaches. While I haven't seen any for a while (knocking on wood), this is the bathroom where I was doing my business and a large one came out from under the vanity, scaled the heater, and turned to look at me as if contemplating the possibility of leaping onto me. (Blog post here.) It's from whence the cockroaches came and infested my underwear drawer. (Other blog post here.) As you can see, it's been a sore spot for me.
  2. The size. It's teeny. Yes, the shower is huge, but the rest of it is minuscule. Matter of fact, the shower is larger than the other "half" of the bathroom. The toilet is flanked by the shower on one side and the sink/vanity on the other. Two adults in the bathroom are too many. I suppose, that could be the case regardless the size of your bathroom, depending on what you are doing. (g)
  3. If you need to do anything other than pee, you must use the front bathroom. Why? Well, whoever added this room on didn't do the pipes right, so it cannot handle poop. This is not good when you have two people hit by Mother Nature at the same time. (g) It doesn't happen often, but it is inconvenient. Oh, and if you happen to get the stomach flu, you can't use it either. You must rush your ass to the front one and hope you don't toss your cookies before you get there. (Having just had the stomach flu a few days ago, I can attest to how inconvenient that is. I would have preferred lying on the floor in our bedroom instead of the hall floor.)
  4. Until Charlie fixed it, it leaked, which made our walls wet, which attracted the cockroaches, which... You get the point. Whoever redid the bathroom didn't do it right, so now we have to be vigilant about any cracks in the grout. I have no desire to repeat cockroaches in my underwear drawer. O.O
  5. The décor. Yes, I can paint the walls, but there's not much I can do about the bland tan floor tiles nor the awful white wall tiles. I don't know why people like white tiles. Have you ever tried to keep those clean? If I wanted to live in a sanitarium, I would. I don't. Some day, we'll gut that sucker and do it right.
  6. It's not self-cleaning. (g) Okay, this is not the fault of the bathroom. No bathroom is self-cleaning. It would be really nice if they were. (g)

See, it's a love-hate relationship. I'm grateful to have it, yet I wish it were different than it is. Love-hate. Love-hate. Some days, it's easier to love it than others. (g)

Monday, 16 April 2012

Hushed Whispers In The School Yard

by Rebecca Royce

I don’t know what most Romance Authors do, but I let people know what I do for a living.  Some people might keep the fact that they write erotic romance to themselves but I don’t tend to be able to keep my life a secret. I mean, how do I explain that I can’t do all the PTA stuff that is always being advertised?

I’m a writer. I write.

Most people aren’t all that interested and then a few are way over interested.  I’ve gotten all kinds of weird remarks.  Don’t even get me started.  I try to keep most conversations outside the elementary school to talk about, imagine it, the kids.

But the other day…I found myself to be very very popular. 


50 Shades of Grey came out.  Let me clear. I have not read this book. But every mother in the school yard seems to have read it and they all seemed to want to discuss it with me.  In whispered tones. 

“Rebecca, have you read it?” Giggles. “Oh my god. What did you think?” 

I looked around wildly.  “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

By now, we had a crowd. One mother had suddenly become five mothers. All giggling. I finally caught on. They’d just read 50 Shades of Grey.

“Is that normal? Is all erotica like this Rebecca?”

“Oh my goodness, Rebecca, my husband gave me the book and then I called him so he rushed home from work and took me upstairs…”

OKAY! Too much information.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to see them reading, but the friendly neighborhood erotic writer does not want to hear about your sex life.  Not even a little bit. 

And I still haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey. But when I do, I think I’ll find a way to talk about it that doesn’t include whispering in the school yard.

Come on ladies, as professionals, mothers, wives, friends, and strong women.  There’s no such thing as a dirty look book.  Enjoy it out loud. 

About Rebecca Royce:  As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.
I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. We live in northern New Jersey and try not to freeze too badly during the winter months.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Evil Editor’s Movie Reviews

By Valerie Mann

Before I get started, I’ll admit right up front I have a major addiction to going to the movies. Since my husband and I both work from home, getting out of the house to have some alone time is critical to my sanity and continuing to like my husband on a regular basis. Give me a dark theater for two hours, some smuggled candy and soda, and I’m a happy camper with recharged batteries.

I adore indie movies. Subtitles don’t bother me in the least. Foreign films are the bomb. Feeding my addiction are several theaters near my home that serve up a plethora of indie movies, including one that has at least two Bollywood movies at any given time. Don’t like Bollywood yet? You will when I get done reviewing a couple. They crack me up.


Today I saw Pariah. A Sundance Film Festival selection last year, it deals with a high school student, Alike (“Lee”), coming of age and finding the courage to deal with her lesbianism and her family's response to it. Her church-going, rigid mother (played by Kim Wayans, an amazing actress) and her police office father are both at different levels of denial about their daughter’s sexual identity, neither admitting it, both suspecting it, and most definitely fearing it. 

Without going into too many details, I will tell you what I didn’t like about this movie. As an evil editor, I look at plot carefully, and an ending has to satisfy me. The plot was predictable and exactly what I expected Alike would face when she comes out of the closet to face her closed minded parents. Then again, there are probably only two things that could happen—mom and dad deal—or they don’t. And some may argue with me that the ending was just okay, but the journey to get there was worth it, so the lack of imagination was forgivable.

What I liked about Pariah—Lee was never ashamed of her sexuality. Though facing rejection and fear, she never denied being a lesbian. She did hide it, as much to prevent her parents and sister from hurt, as she did to avoid dealing with their rejection. But there was never a time when she tried to pretend to herself that she was not gay. Another refreshing detail I appreciated was that the movie wasn’t geared toward Lee’s relationship with her straight classmates, but rather centered around the relationship with her family. The different ways they dealt with her coming out was predictable as well, but realistic.

The acting was very good, very realistic, without being over-dramatic. A serious topic was handled with care and sensitivity. Sexuality was integral in the movie, sex was not. 
My rating: B
Recommendation: Worth seeing if you can find it showing near you. Or rent it. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Rude Isn’t the Word for It

Prepare yourselves. I’m about to cut loose with one of my famous rants.


I was stupid and went out on government check day which was also Good Friday.

Now, I truly realize why gov check days are so hectic. People on any sort of fixed income are out of everything by the time their next deposit or check arrives, so they rush out to buy what they need. They also pay bills that day, fill their cars up with gas, and so on. This is why I avoid doing my shopping during the first of each month. This particular time of the month turns everyone into raving lunatics—myself included when I have to deal with the anal behavior of said people.

All I had to do was go into Save A Lot and then Riesbecks, our local family-owned grocery chain.

Simple, right?


My two youngest were with me on Good Friday. I warned them that it would be busy and to stay close and not lollygag. They helped me in the store, and before I knew it, we were done with our shopping. I thought, wow, this didn’t take long and it wasn’t crowded at all.

That was until we started toward the front of the store to check out. People suddenly came out of the woodwork. It was like flipping on a light and watching cockroaches scatter in every direction. I stood there thinking, did someone shout “free money!” at the front of the store or what?

Worse, they were all elderly folks and another couple who were stupid like me and went out on the wrong day.

Steeling myself for the worst, I approached the check-out—and only one was open, of course. An elderly couple stood there finishing up their order. The conveyor belt was empty. Let me repeat: EMPTY.

I started putting my groceries on the counter halfway back from them so I wouldn’t disturb them or make them feel like I was trying to push them out of the queue. The old man shoved in between me and his wife who was paying for their stuff. He kept shooting me dirty looks.

Then is wife takes out a check book. Lord have mercy and give me strength. I kid you not, it took her ten minutes—count ‘em, ten!—to write out a personal check, when, I might add, the register had the auto-print feature. All she had to do was sign her name, but no, she stood there ten minutes writing the check out. What took her so long? I have no idea unless she writes that slowly or she didn’t have her glasses.

The elderly gent then began pushing backwards, sticking his rear out slightly in an effort to force me cart Pictures, Images and Photos

Okay. That did it. I’m all for respecting my elders, and I adore elderly people, I really do; however, blatant rudeness? Hell no! But what got me is my mouth. I controlled it…for once. I nearly killed me, but I did it!

However, the urge to snap, “Move it or lose it, Grandpa!” almost made my teeth explode.

I glanced at the cashier, and it must’ve been the look on her face but she in turn glanced at the old man, a strange expression of “Oh, sh**” on her face, and motioned for him to move. Surprisingly, he did.

And because they took so long to write a check and refused to move so the line could advance, said line was backed into the food aisle! They had to open two more registers.

Okay, deep breath. I can do this. I can buy my groceries, pack them, load them in my Blazer, and get the hell out of Dodge before I lose my ever lovin’ mind.

Well, it wasn’t quite so easy. Save A Lot doesn’t carry our brand of coffee, so I had to drive a few yards up the strip to Riesbeck’s. The kids waited in the Blazer for me. After all, I was just running in for coffee, right?

Fifteen minutes later, I staggered out of the store and fell into the driver’s seat.

“What took you so long, Mommy?” Wee Man asked.

One woman was having a fit at the 8 Items or Less register because she was told she had to buy four of the sale items she wanted to get two free. So the stock boy drove to freaking Alaska to check the shelf and got lost on the way back!


So I move to the 10 Items or Less register, where another woman’s total came to $37.06. No, no! Don’t do it! Woman, I command you to hand her another dollar bill—but no! She digs in her wallet for five wonderful hair-pulling minutes for a nickel and a dime!

Pant-pant! Oh, but it gets better!

Since Wendy’s is at the end of the parking lot, I buzzed through the drive-through and got the kids sandwiches. On the way out, the one entrance farthest away was busy, so I went back through the entrance that leads into Riesbeck’s lot to exit that way. It’s a three-way stop with two stop signs within ten yards of each other, followed by either turning left to go out the proper exit where there’s a right-hand turning lane, or go straight into the parking lot. I stopped at the one sign, then stopped at the next, and sat there to make my left-hand turn to the third sign…and sat there…and sat there….

Elderly people were leaving the lot and would not let me out. Hello? Does right of way mean nothing to anyone? It has been my turn to go next for five minutes now. Hey, lady! Do you know what the brake is? You jerk! You don’t get in the damn right-hand turning lane to turn left! Finally, my turn! I edge out beyond the sign and—WHOOSH! This old woman with blue hair and who could barely see over the steering wheel, driving an SUV worth every bit $40K, left a trail of fire behind her to cut EVERYONE off and make it to the exit.

After I sat there for minutes on end, I let loose with a string of expletives and mashed the gas peddle, weaving and bobbing, baby! Weaving and bobbing!

Oh, and the air over the parking lot was a lovely shade of sapphire blue.

But I had to cross the entire lot and exit through the service entrance because no one would let me out at the stop sign so I could exit the normal route.

By the time I got home, I stuffed groceries wherever I could find room and then crashed into my chair utterly frazzled.

I’m buying a taser to use in the stores AND a big monster truck with a cattle catcher on the front of it for those rude-beyond-comprehension ijits in parking lots.

Anyone else enjoy a day out on Friday? Hmm?

Monday, 9 April 2012

And You Think You Have In-Law Problems!

by Stephanie Williams

For those of you that don’t know, I’m married to a Sicilian man. I’ve known him since the age of 22 and I am now 47. We’ve been best friends until seven years ago, when we dated then got married. 
So you can say I married my best friend. 
Now mind you, two years after we meet, my future husband dragged me to Sicily to meet the parents. 
It was like a Mario Puzo movie. 
First of all, hubby is the 17th of 22 bambinos. Secondly, his father is sort of a folk hero. 
During the months leading to WWII, he fled, like most Italians and Sicilians, when Mussolini came to town. He came to America. And what did he do in the good old U S of A? He hung around mobsters. 
Yes, folks, this man was a runner, an ‘Office Boy’ so to speak for some of the heavies and some not so heavy. The one he is most proud of and has a picture sitting in the kitchen, is his association with Lucky Luciano. 

Yeah, you read right. The man himself. There is a picture as big as day on the kitchen wall, with my father-in-law, eating dinner with Lucky. 
When asked about this association, he looked at me as though he didn’t understand what I was saying.
Granted he speaks only the Sicilian dialect. Yes, it’s a bit different that standard Italian, and people his age only speak it. 
Well, guess what? I speak it to thanks to the hubster. 
So I asked him again in his native tongue. He just shrugged. But said Lucky had a great sense of humor. 
I guess you have to, when you’re putting out contract killings, huh? 
How about the mother-in-law?
She’s 99 and as sweet (and clueless) as can be. She’s a bit dippy, and it’s not due to age, she’s always been that way I’m told.
But that could be a front. (Raises eyebrow). 
She can cook up a storm, I don’t think that woman uses anything out of a can, bag, frozen or artificial. If it’s meat, she’ll find someone to kill it. If it’s veggies, she has a serious garden. 
Milk? Straight from old Bessie. 
She’s a quiet woman but don’t get her dander up. She will talk you to death from sun up to sun down! 
I meet hubster's other relatives. He has an uncle who is now serving 25 to life for embezzlement and money laundering. We actually went to his trial. Fascinating. 
He has a cousin who has been missing since 1999. He killed a politician and another mobster for—get this, whacking another relative. Yeah, it’s that twisted in mafia world. 
So with all that being said, you now have somewhat of a clear understanding of the family I’m married to. No, it’s not I’m married to the mob. Hubster’s family are pretty decent. They are honest, working people. In fact, 90% of his family are good hard working, honest folks. 
But like Hubster always said when women want to date Southern Italians or Sicilians, “There’s a 2-to-1 chance you’re dating someone that did 10-20.” 
Which brings me to the vacation we took this past February. 
It was hubster’s dads 103rd birthday! Yes. The man is alive and kicking.
Kicking too damn much sometimes. 
Okay, folks, is it just me, or am I too concerned for the elderly? 
Here is a man that has been sick off and on for the past ten years. Yet he still goes out in the early morning to the fishing boats. (He owns a lot of them). He hangs out in the town. Stays out late and barely gets six hours sleep. 
The time we were there to celebrate this man being on the planet for a century and three yeas, it rained constantly. 
But this stubborn, hard headed….ooh! He still wanted to go out. Hubster and I stopped him every time we saw him heading for the door. 
The old goat had nerve to holler at us. 
“I’ve been going out in the rain since I was a child and nothing has happened, so you really think it matters now?” 
That’s not the point, old man. 
Then momma-in-law wanted go out and check on her vegetable garden. Yes, she is just as active. 
We had to stop her too. She got in a snit also. 
So Hubster and I spent most of our time there, keeping the old ones from going outside. It was like keeping Fluffy from going outside because the neighbor’s dog might get him. Sheesh! 
Then the fussing came.
After about two days we were both ready to let them go out, get wet, and catch cold! 
Were we being too overprotective? Shouldn’t we take care of our elderly? 
Heck, we were more exhausted when we left than when we first arrived. 
You know, now that I sit back and think about it, these two have been through a lot. The Depression, WWI,  WWII, mafia stuff, 22 kids, and over 65 years of marriage. Maybe hubster and I have no say in how they live their lives and what they can and cannot do. And to be honest, hubster and I sometimes don’t have half the energy as they do. That’s real sad. 
I love my in-laws, I talk to them everyday. Papa is a nut and tries to be hip. One day he watched MTV and talked about the ‘Hoochies’ that were on there. I fell off the couch! 
Mama-in-law still tries to tell me how to cook. Apparently, I can’t make sauce as well as she can, even though I follow her recipe to the letter. “I don’t have Sicilian hands.” 
So looking back on it, I have it real good actually. I must admit, it’s very entertaining sometimes, and the bottom line is this:

I will miss them when they’re gone. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Gabriel and Tatiana Part 3 ~ The End

by Kate Richards & Valerie Mann (Evil Editors)

Continued from yesterday... 
Tatiana gasped in an aching breath and pressed her lips to his. “Gabriel,” she said, “I must have your adorable manhood in my chamber of love before another moment passes.”
“Okay,” he said, holding firmly to the girth of his heavily bobbing penis and directing it toward Tatiana’s soaking folds. “But if I am yanked away to hell in mid-thrust you’ll have to excuse me.”
“That can’t happen,” she said. “I have connections.”
He rocketed back on his heels and stared at her, agape. “Tatty, are you an angel, too? I thought I noticed an unnatural light in your eyes, but I’ve never seen an angel with gleaming orange irises twirling in opposite directions.”
She grinned, baring gleaming, pointed fangs. “I am surprised you didn’t guess. I am the daughter of Satan, here on earth to take the virginity of a stupid angel in order to impregnate myself and bear a half angel half demon offspring for nefarious purposes of my great and evil daddy.
He groaned and shoved himself to the hilt in her heated chamber. “I don’t care. I am wearing a condom anyway.” He screamed. His huge balls slapped against her butt cheeks, sending him into spasms of need.
“Yes, I have activated the acid bath that eats through condoms. You will impregnate me now. I want you to. I need you to. I want …yeah, anyway.”
“It hurts, so good.”
“Sure, it’s only acid. Allow me to clench my muscles around you.” She groaned. “Uhhh Uhhhh Uhhh. The giant vein is rubbing against my G-spot. Mmmmm.”
He banged her violently, rocking her head into the headboard.  “I love you. I will give up everything for you for no reason whatsoever except your hot pussy that even now milks me of my fluid of life.”
She seemed to be thinking of something else what she was doing after and he tried to bang the thoughts out of her head.
“Oh baby, it’s so good.” He rocked harder, giving her a concussion and her back arched off the bed.”
Her legs bent at the knees, her feet locked around his neck, and she took the opportunity to admire the baby pink polish she’d chosen at the salon that afternoon. It was her favorite color and reminded her of the time her old boyfriend brought her some pink carnations when they made love for the first time. His penis was almost as long as Gabriel’s and she had enjoyed it greatly. Bucking and thrusting, driving and rocking, growling and roaring, he plunged into her.
“Please rub the tiny bundle of nerves nestled between my nether lips,” she ordered. He used a long, masculine finger to circle her love nubbin in slow, controlled rounds. It throbbed and ached and swelled until it was even harder down there. “Now suck my breasts.” He nibbled gently on her tightened peaks.  “Rub your belly and pat your head at the same time.”
The angel in his desire to please her grew two more arms from his armpits and did everything she wanted while she drew his tongue into her mouth and waltzed with it. It circled and caressed the insides of her cheeks and danced around her teeth. He hoped she’d brushed and flossed that morning.
Her legs began to ache and she lifted them further, locking her glossy pink toes into the headboard and unintentionally exposing her gorgeous rear rosette. He sniffed at the tiny brown star and inhaled the appealing fragrance it exuded of toasted marshmallows and graham crackers. It reminded him of sitting around the campfires that time at band camp.
“I must take your anal viriginity next,” he announced around her tongue.
“Cool and we don’t need any lube or anything. When you’re ready just go to it.”
“Oh, you must be experienced then, with an ass the side of a subway tunnel,” he growled, disappointed. This might not be as fun as I thought, he thought.
“No, never done it before, but I’m sure it will be fine,” she groaned shrilly, the rosette twinkling invitingly. “I just want to feel your jets of love fluid pulsing when you reach your climax!”
“Well for now, I’m gonna finish up here.”
The phone called them.
He leapt off her. “I’m expecting a call. Please excuse me.”
“Sure, go right ahead. I’ll order room service.”
He picked the phone off the table and put it to his ear, speaking into the receiver, “Hello?” he sang. “Oh, it’s for you.”
She tumbled from the bed, giggling. “Hi? Oh, hello, Daddy.” She cupped her hand over the phone. “It’s Daddy,” she explained to him in an aside. “What? I’m working on it, Daddy. Yes, Daddy. Okay, Daddy.”
She handed Gabriel the phone, which he took with his left hand. “Angel, hurry up and impregnate my daughter now.”
His tone was amok.
Tatiana rushed across the room to fling herself on the blue quilt and push her ass in the air.
“Due me, Gabriel.” She arched her back and wagged her luscious ass back and forth, the shiny globes beckoning . “Hurry, the puddle of my desire for you is soaking the mattress.”
“I love you, Tatiana.”
She tucked and rolled, landing on the floor on her knees at his feet. “I love you, too.”
“We should run away to Nirvana and we can be safe there.” He winked. “You’re not the only one with connections.”
“Oh, good plan! I love that band!” They both chorused and she spoke to his dick. “You can cum, too.
“Gabriel frowned, mockingly. “No, my love. He can’t cum. But I promise you, we’ll all come!”
Her nipples pouted prettily as they both laughed at the same time. “Silly nouns and verbs!”  

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Part II of An Editor's Erotic Tale of Really Awful Lines and Actions Deserving of a Snarky Blog~

by Evil Editors Kate Richards & Valerie Mann

(continued from yesterday)... 
A frown marred Gabriel's perfectly-chiseled, golden features and lips as he eyed the puddle of arousal in the seat Tatiana’s exotic rear end had just vacated. Her nether folds pressed enticingly against her lacey white panties under her calf-length, straight, faded, long denim skirt. Her desire was evident in the way her eyes kept roaming all over his erection, leaving a trail of eye-slime behind. He tossed his mane of hair over his shoulders.
But he didn’t mind. The bar reminded him of one he went to two millennia before in Jerusalem where this guy came in and told me about a sale on loincloths down at the agora. So Tatiana’s double D’s pressed enticingly against the folds of her erotic skirt and I took her hand in my hand and hand in hand we left the bar.
I’d only come in to ask directions to the nearest church, because in all my three hundred years of immortal life I’d never had a lurid sexual encounter, but I thought why not?
I felt that I realized what I noticed about her nether folds.
He inhaled on a breath. He thought he knew it was time to lose his virginity to Teresa, who gripped his arm and tugged him down the shadowed, anxious street. Nervous fingers smudged his blue T-shirt that clung to his defined chest.
He turned into a hotel.
He walked through the glass door.
Elegant chandeliers led the way to the elevator.
Tatiana grinned. “I never dreamed I’d be spending the night locked in lurid erotic poses with an angel named Gabriel.
“My name is Sam.” He was afraid she would reject him once she knew the true facts about him. Nervous wings fluttered in his back.
“No it’s not.” She licked her lips in anticipation.  Tatiana unbuttoned the top button on her own blouse with cheerful hands. “All angels are named Gabriel except the female ones and I don’t care what they’re named.”
His erection made the decision for him, bursting through a weak spot in his faded jeans to bob enticingly in the cool air. His manhood’s excitement transmitted itself to her and she was happy.
“Wow what a beautiful penis and I particularly am enticed by the amount of pre-cum on the tip, sparkling in the ambient lighting. But, I like all male organs, and compare them whenever possible on a list of features including whether they are shaved, how many veins stick out and what shade of purple their mushroom head is.”
“Okay, I’m Gabriel, then,” he nodded, confused. “But you have to let me tie you to the bedposts and have my way with you.”
“But I thought you said it was your first time?”
“I didn’t, I only told the reader.”
“And isn’t it odd that a virginal angel would tie me to the bedpost on his first time out of the block?”
He frowned, lines creasing his smooth white skin as the jasmine aroma of her arousal rose to his nose. It clashed with his own nutmeg pheromones.
“Yes, but that doesn’t matter.” He grasped her nervous fingers with freaked out hands and tied her to the bedposts of the queen sized bed, covered with shiny, expensive black satin comforter and black lace pillows.
“No, Gabriel,” she shrieked. “I had no idea we were here to have sex. And the condoms are in my pocket. I bought the extra jumbo size to accommodate the massive manhood I knew you'd have.”
He pulled the condoms out of her pocket and ripped the package open with his teeth while he yanked off his jeans and silk boxers. Shoving her skirt to her waist, he grabbed her new lacey white panties and tore them away. He wrung them out over the bed.
“Is all this for me?”
“You know it, handsome. Now come and get me!?”
He frowned, surprised that she could upset him so much with bad punctuation. “I am not sure. I will be condemned forever to the fiery pits if I roll this condom on and have my way with you,” he growled, using his teeth to do so.
“I’m worth it,” she screamed, and reached the peak of excitement, falling into an abyss of glorious orgasm at the very thought.

To be continued....

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

~An Editor's Erotic Tale of Really Awful Lines and Actions Deserving of a Snarky Blog~

by Valerie Mann & Kate Richards

Editors see some of the greatest writing—stories that make us swoon, or cry, or laugh. Other times, and especially late at night when we’re tired, punchy and instant messaging a fellow editor also in the midst of edits…well, then we just roll our eyes, make snarky remarks, and tell each other to “write this shit down because it’s too good to forget.”

Info dumping, going off on tangents that have no place being there, purple prose, eyes-hands-heads independently moving, euphemisms, misplaced and dangling modifiers, POV issues, silly metaphors and analogies, overuse of names (see POV issues), perfect bodies that don't exist except on the point zero zero one percent of the population, but run rampant in every romance. And more. Sometimes us editors have to poke fun, or we really will cry, and I don't mean with joy.
Every author makes those silly mistakes that are pointed out in edits and they have that head-slapping reaction like, “I did not really write that, did I?” Other times…well, we just aren’t sure what the hell these authors were thinking, but they were dead serious when they wrote it.

Disclaimer: nothing in this blog represents any author’s work in particular. The hero and heroine’s names have been changed to protect their identities. The plot is completely ridiculous and entirely fabricated.
Well, sort of.

The Tale begins...
The bar was smoky and dark. Tatiana (because she can’t have a normal name like Mary) sat at the bar. Searching for her hot date, Tatiana’s eyes roamed the room. No matter how many times she told them not to roam, or flit, or rake things without permission, the little orbs had a mind of their own. Tatiana sighed, her large, creamy white, D-cup breasts pushing up above the neckline of her low cut, red silk designer dress, the one Tatiana had gotten at Macy’s on clearance. Regretfully, Tatiana remembered how she should have bought the matching purse and shoes, but the mean girl at the cosmetics counter had talked Tatiana out of it. Tatiana shook herself like a wet dog, telling herself, “Self, this is no time for regrets!”

The cute bartender, the one who reminded Tatiana of the guy who’d stolen her virginity in high school, what was his name, something like Hamilton Maxwell the Fourth (because she’d never let a guy with a stupid name like Tom come anywhere near her nether folds), grinned at her. Tatiana told herself to get a grip. Now is not the time to be thinking about Hamilton Maxwell the Fourth! He was so not worth it! I should never even order another drink from Mr. Bartender Who Looks Like Hamilton! And why are my thoughts full of exclamations! Stop it!

Tatiana sighed again with long suffering, until her creamy white breasts nearly popped out of her clearance dress. Her hands fluttered weakly and blushed to the tips of her long, blonde hair! Hamilton the Bartender’s eyes roamed over her luscious globes of desire. Evidently, his eyes don’t behave any better than mine, Tatiana thought with a frown.

As usual, Tatiana’s date, the angel Gabriel (because everyone knows a male angel can’t have a name other than Gabriel unless he's gay, in which case his name was Rafael) was late.

“Hello, my lovely Tatiana.” Warm, steamy breath that smelled like coffee and mint and other odd combinations of scents, caressed her neck. “I’m sorry I’m late. I had to save humanity again on my way here. And I bruised my huge, white lustrous wings.” Nobody in the bar noticed as he folded them neatly behind his back until they disappeared. A whiff of sandalwood wrapped itself around her like the bark on a tree. She hated sandalwood, but everyone knows all hot men smell like it.

Her eyes rolled without permission. “You smell funny.”

He grinned, showing his gorgeous, dazzling, pearly-white teeth. “I know I can't compete with you. You smell even better! I love the eclectic mix of strawberries, cinnamon, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that is your natural scent!” He inhaled Tatiana’s intoxicating, personal scent into his aquiline nose, so perfectly proportioned in the middle of his face, with slashing cheekbones on each side and a strong, chiseled jaw accentuating crystal clear blue eyes that could make any human swoon. And maybe even some angels named Rafael!! Gabriel’s broad shoulders, the biggest Tatiana had ever seen, stretched the fabric of his white button-down cotton designer shirt to perfection. Gabriel had gorgeous tanned skin (because what woman would date a pale, scrawny milquetoast) and he filled out his well-worn, sexy jeans so well, his muscled thighs indicating he worked hard, probably had a ranch or something up in heaven, or maybe there was a Gold’s Gym up there because he was buff.

Tatiana’s eyes traveled to his groin area (and this time, she let her eyes have their way) to the enormous, raging manhood pressing earnestly against the fly. She had no idea how that zipper was taming such a thick rod of desire. Her mouth watered. Tatiana decided right then that she was going to let Gabriel have his heavenly way with her that very night! She soaked her panties just thinking about him thrusting and plunging in her slick nether regions as she clenched his hot member with her inner muscles. She just knew she'd have multiple orgasms! She got even wetter down there just thinking about it.

“Let’s get out of here!” Tatiana exclaimed and clutched his arm with manicured fingers, the thick, ropy muscles prominent under the white cotton broadcloth shirt he wore. Tatiana slid off the bar stool, onto her expensive, Fuck Me stilettos, the same shoes that stupid girl at Macy's hadn't talked her out of. Tatiana flipped her pretty hair over one shoulder and smiled invitingly.

A frown marred Gabriel’s perfect, chiseled features as he pointed with one long, masculine finger at the seat Tatiana had just vacated. “Why is your chair all wet?

She blushed to the tips of her long flowing blonde hair, the red flush creeping down prettily to cover her chest in a rosy glow, just above her creamy white double D breasts. “I’m so aroused by you. I’ve been soaking the expensive lacy panties I'd been saving for this occasion since you walked in. Oh! There I go again!”

To be continued... here...