Wednesday, 28 March 2012
First off, you want to be as comfortable and as compact as possible. I am well known in my intimate writing circles as one of those crazy authors who likes to edit. It is a good principle to apply when packing for international flights. Edit, edit, edit.
Folks, hotels have everything you need in terms of hygiene, and if you require something specific, budget a trip to the local pharmacy when you get there. Seriously. you have to check all those liquids, and why take the chance they'll end up all over your carefully packed evening wear and cute pj's? Use what the hotel has, or buy it. Because I promise you, there is nothing quite like opening your suitcase and finding your clothes are covered in shampoo. It's a special moment of discovery, I promise you.
Pack your purse and put all your essentials in your laptop bag. One carry on, one suitcase. Trust me on this one. Sooo much easier.
As for comfort, dangling jewelry? Pack it. Don't wear it. Tight belts? Same. Doc Martins? Comfy? Yes. Convenient? um...NO.
The girl operating the x-ray thingamagigy will laugh her ass off as you struggle to unlace the 14 hole Docs and get those stinky suckers off your feet. The guy in line behind you? Will be much less amused, believe me.
Next, if at all possible, and if it's necessary, caffeinate yourself before you get there, even if it means getting up a half hour early to brew a pot or stop on the way. Trying to juggle bags and tickets and passports and a hot cup of coffee is, shall we say, less than fun. And if you haven't injected enough of the elixir of life into your bloodstream by that point, it's also bound to end in disaster. Once you're on the plane, if you're still desperate, they will give you coffee for free. Just ask for extra cream and sugar, because, um, yeah, best to mask the actual taste as much as possible.
When boarding, best get yourself through all the line ups first. Once done with the paperwork and bag checking, you're better off to have an infinity of time at the gate, where you can eat, drink, read and/or write at leisure than to, say, look at your ticket as you're sitting down to a bagel and coffee and realize our plane boards fifty minutes sooner than you remembered it did, and that you have less than half an hour to get to your gate. That scenario sucketh. (Which also brings up the point: Remember to actually look at your boarding pass as you are planning your arrival at the airport, so the above scenario does not occur in the first place.)
So I hope a few of these hints and tips will be useful to you. I can tell you, they would have been useful to me before the fact. Now? I'm keeping a list.
Happy travels, y'all! Pop in on your way out and share some of your better airport moments, won't you?
Monday, 26 March 2012
You see, way back when I was planning out my promotional efforts and such for this first part of the year, I had it in my head that I had a nice spaced-out set of releases and this was good. I planned accordingly. Then, somehow, I went brain-dead and when I got the grey matter back on line, I had it cross wired to think I had two releases in May and was frantically trying to figure out how I was going to dole out promotion evenly and fairly for two releases in one month. I wasn't looking forward to it.
This morning, I come back from running errands to see a post on my Facebook wall saying "Happy release day, love!" And I was all, like....O.o What? Release day? Huh?
Another brain short. Another reboot. and lo and behold, there is the original mind map telling me I had a nice, evenly spaced first half of the year as far as releases were concerned, just like I first thought. Except for the fact I suddenly have no promo planned for March. I have a book out and now a frenzy of OMG!!! I need to tell people!! Ack!!1.....
Mind melt. Time to go to the day job. This is my life, folks. How I will get from one end of it to the other, I do not know. How those around me, like the wonderful, wonderful Sarah, with whom I wrote this book, put up with my constantly short circuited brain, I have no idea, but there it is. Sarah, my darling, you rock hard, woman. THANK YOU!!!!!
And now for a lovely (if possibly disturbing) excerpt from today's release: Tools of Justice.
Friday, 23 March 2012
Please help us welcome Randi Alexander today.
~ ~ ~ ~
I want to thank Four Strong Women for letting me guest blog today. I'm Randi Alexander and I write cowboy erotic romance. I'm published with The Wild Rose Press' Cowboy Kink line. My second Cowboy Kink, Her Cowboy Stud, was released today! Yee-haw!
I've got to talk about kids. Why are they so nosey? There is nowhere to hide anything that they cannot get into. I love them dearly, but it's just incredible to me that they are so curious.
When eight-year-old LittleGuy thought he was alone in the dining room, I watched him go through every drawer and every cabinet in my credenza. It took him nearly a half hour. What did he expect to find? Candy? Cash? A wooden chest filled with gold doubloons? It's a credenza. It's got tablecloths and gravy boats.
When he turned around and saw me sitting there, he said, "I'm going outside," and took off. No embarrassment, no guilt. Gotta love the obliviousness of youth.
The worst was when six-year-old Pink (her nickname because of her red hair) found my Barbies. I've been trying to write a ménage, and since I have no experience (writing or otherwise…) I bought a Barbie and two Kens to help me visualize the positions.
They were expensive! When you buy the ones that are highly bendable, they cost about twenty dollars each. And knowing how Pink treats her toys, I hide them when I'm not…um…posing them.
Last week, I was cooking supper, and Pink stomps into the kitchen, crosses her arms, and asks, "Why do you have brand new Barbie dolls under your bed?" This was accompanied by a serious glare.
For a moment, I felt guilty. Probably a leftover from my Roman Catholic upbringing. Then I thought, hey, those are my dollies!
I turned to her, crossed my arms, and with a raised eyebrow, retorted, "What were you doing under my bed?"
Her redhead-pale cheeks blushed, but to her credit, she didn't back down. She waved her hand as if to erase everything we'd just said, and rolled her eyes. "That doesn't matter," she said. "Just give me their clothes so I don't have to look at them nakies."
Oh holy crap. I'd forgotten the threesome was nakies. Buck nakies. A blush rose to my cheeks, and I mumbled something about them taking a bath because it was Saturday night, bla, bla, bla. I went to find where I'd hidden Barbie's bikini and blond Ken and brunette Ken's surfer duds.
Someday, I'm going find a big honking safe and have it installed in my bedroom closet just to so I can have a place to keep my toys. Until then, Barbie, Ken, and Ken will have to share space with the spare tire in my trunk.
Your turn! I'd love to hear your story of an embarrassing moment when kids, family, or friends found something you wish they hadn't.
Trace McGonagall’s quiet life on his Houston stud ranch is shaken up when gorgeous Macy Veralta arrives to claim an inheritance left to her in his uncle’s will. Trace sees her as just another gold digger, but he also can’t resist her curvy body. When she hints at being the perfect submissive to his Dom, he has to have her.
Macy wouldn’t have been three months late to claim her inheritance if she’d known Trace was sin in jeans. The cowboy’s dominant bearing and the smoldering glint in his eyes send shivers to her toes and stirs images of being bound in his bed and disciplined at his hand. But could Trace’s perfect seduction be part of his plan to reclaim her inheritance?
EXCERPT: Over 18 only please.
“I do sales, but mostly in the Midwest and Northeast. The company I work for has been talking about expanding into the South and West, but…” Macy trailed off, as if thinking.
Trace bet she was thinking the same thing. If she got down here to Texas occasionally, they could make it a regular thing. Even if she was here after his money, he couldn’t ignore the hot, sexy connection between them. Hell, he didn’t have to marry her. One sizzling night a month he could spend some of his bankroll on her.
They’d meet in a high-class Houston hotel. He’d pull her to him, hard and fast, and their kisses would be frantic as they ripped the clothes off each other. He’d tell her with desperation choking his voice, “I want you. Now.” He’d pick her up and press her back against the wall. He’d lift her legs and slide into her hot, wet pussy.
She’d claw his back as he pumped into her, deep and steady, making sure he rubbed her clit with enough finesse to send her over the edge with a scream. Their first rush of lust curbed, they’d fall onto the bed where he’d introduce her to some edgy sex play. Just the basics at first…
“Trace?” Her eyes held a sly gleam. “You seem to be the one who’s doing the staring now.”
To celebrate the release of Her Cowboy Stud, I'm giving away, to one lucky *commenter, an e-copy of my first erotic romance, Chase and Seduction. Just leave a comment today and we'll choose a winner tomorrow. *Commenter must be 18 years of age or older to win.
I'm also giving away a custom made messenger bag and a $50 gift certificate to Pureromance to one subscriber to my newsletter. For more details, and to sign up for this contest, please go to my website, RandiAlexander.com And while you're there, you can read the first chapter of Her Cowboy Stud.
Good luck, and thank you!
Her Cowboy Stud available at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
A few weeks ago, a swimmer friend and I were talking in the woman's locker room. Our discussion turned to swim meets which in turn led us to the eye candy one sees around pools. Not just any pools, but pools where swimmers workout. There are plenty of options for everyone of any persuasion. My persuasion is men, as is Judy's. (Name changed to protect the innocent, although she will know whom I am talking about.)
There are a multitude of body shapes around these pools. Some are hot; some are pregnant (yes, we have pregnant women. Some of which are literally within days of birth. It's very cool.); some are chunky; some are very old; some have the belly-sticks-out-further-than-the-dick-do syndrome (a lot further); some need a little help.
We do see this, and we know where we are in the different categories. However, when we are swimming, we really aren't thinking about anyone's body but our own, and we get a fantastic workout. (Hence, no guilt when we are peeking. ) In between intervals, most of us are too busy trying to breathe to notice much anything else. (g) Although once I told a guy standing on the deck, "Although your body is nice to look at, I can't see the clock. Could you please move?" (g--We are a bit rabid about leaving on the right interval. Most of us are, anyway. And if you mess up our interval, we get a little cantankerous. Think getting between a PMS-ing woman and her chocolate. Yes, we are that bad. g) So, I suppose I do notice the bodies in between intervals, but I am more interested in my workout than their body. (g) Hard to believe when you see bodies like this one below. Okay, not quite like this one, but darn close.
Ah, I digress. It's so easy to do when discussing eye candy and inserting pics of hot bodies. So, Judy and I were talking about doing another swim meet. Swim meets have hot bodies galore. I told her about the first swim meet I'd attended in some twenty years. I jumped in to warm up. A few minutes later, three reel-in-tongue-pick-up-jaw-remember-to-breathe hot men jumped into my lane. I tried really hard not to stare. I am used to hot bodies around the pool, so it should be easy, but damn! they were...pant, pant...hot! It turns out they were Olympians. Yes, Olympians. Bodies of Olympians make you want to do the let-me-rip-your-clothes-off-and-attack-you thing. (Not that I did. Instead, I had to keep myself from staring because, well, it's gauche and I didn't want to look like the horny, mature lady pretending to be a fast swimmer still. Of course, they did not notice me. I'd say it was a bit lowering, but, honestly, I didn't expect them to. I am not in their class. I am not an Olympian, nor do I have the body of an Olympian. shrug)
Judy shared her first in many years swim meet experience as well. Apparently, she had her camera with her and was talking pictures of a lot of hot-bodied men without even realizing it. Matter of fact, she didn't even notice how many pics of hot men she took until her husband asked her, "Who are all these men?" She doesn't do that anymore.
I so get it, though. But I don't feel guilty. They are eye candy after all, and I'm really there to workout or compete. I admire the bodies, I might have conversations with some men (when I can breathe--from swimming hard, people), but that's as far as it goes. It's as far as it will ever go. I am happily married after all. (g)
Of course, instead of attending swim meets or going to the pool, you can just visit this blog post and enjoy guilt-free eye candy.
Note: I was just going to add a few pictures of swimmers in this blog, but I saw so many yummy ones that I had a hard time stopping myself. (g) Now, there are photos of women too because I am an equal opportunity blogger. (We do have male readers after all. g)
Amanda Beard, Olympic gold medalist
Dara Torres, Olympic silver medalist in 50m free
(She is 41 in this photo and very thin, IMHO. O.O)
And one more of hot bodies. (Michael Phelps and Inge de Bruijn)
Monday, 19 March 2012
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
When Man and Fae are threatened by the Thorn or Ebon, the goddess Freya sends Ember, a Daughter of Trinity, upon a quest to find and defeat it. Happy to escape the palace walls and anticipating new lovers, Ember embarks on her journey. However, when she meets Sarenkesh, a Gloaming Elf, her power finally manifests. She soon realizes her magic will kill him and is forced to keep her distance from the only man she's ever loved.
In a battle high above the world, Ember draws upon the power of love to fight evil. Tricked by a deity and forced to be a slave to carnal passions, she’s faced with a choice: sacrifice herself for Sarenkesh and the welfare of others or remained enslaved by a master of fleshly pleasure.
Sarenkesh lay down next to her and pulled her onto her side and snugly against his body. "Aye, you are dangerous. Mortal and Fae can get lost in you." He captured her lips, his mouth sure, possessive. The taste of his tongue like ginger and cloves.
Ember rolled onto her back, pulling Sarenkesh with her. He pressed her tightly to the earth, his erection hot and eager against her lower abdomen. Desire pooled in Ember's loins, its intensity creeping down her legs and up into her torso. She strained against Sarenkesh, wanting him inside her. His mouth seized the delicate pink tip of one breast, and she gasped. Arrows of need sliced through her, and she arched her back, fingers burrowing into his snowy locks.
s warmth crawled into her arms and spread upward into her neck as a fever claims its victim. She sighed and parted her legs, the delicate place between them tingling and wet. Sarenkesh shifted his position so that his cock nudged the lips of her sex. Frantic to feel his hard length, Ember shoved upward with her hips, impaling herself on him. With a surprised grunt, her lover slid fully inside her body.
His cock filled her, stretched her. Before he could thrust, an orgasm swept through Ember in an inferno of sensation. She gasped, stiffening. As she plummeted over the precipice of ecstasy, she bucked her hips, crying out, fingers digging into Sarenkesh's ass. The incredible heat that swirled through her body culminated within her fingertips and surged into her face.
Sulfur singed her nose, assaulted her tongue. Fear crashed through her mind.
"No!" She shoved Sarenkesh away, their bodies parting.
Ember rolled to her side, desperate to turn away from Sarenkesh. She staggered to her feet.
She half ran, half fell toward the creek. Flames licked out of her mouth, her nose, and shot from her eyes in red, white, and orange brilliance. Blindness overcame her, and the aroma of brimstone weighed heavily in the air. She lunged forward, falling from the low bank. Cold fluid engulfed her, the brightness surrounding her vanished, and the heat extinguished.
Arms slipped around her body and lifted her from the creek. Coughing, sputtering, Ember realized someone carried her but didn't have the strength to protest let alone move.
"Ach! What be wrong with you? Can't you wait until we get to the next town to bed a wench other than the princess?"
"She invited me here," Sarenkesh replied tersely. With Ember in his arms, he dropped to his knees on the bank.
"You risk much, elf. You woo her with your magic."
Kaedric? She frowned at his presence. What is he doing here?
"You don't know my sister," Beron said, his voice the next to penetrate Ember's dazed mind. "Father is always in fits trying to keep her apart from her lovers,"
"Is she breathing?" Dikartha asked.
"Woman, what be the matter with you?" the dwarf nearly roared. "Would she sputter and cough if she were dead?"
Gingerly, Ember opened her eyes. She blinked several times to clear the mist from her vision and finally gazed up at the twilight. Lady Evanesce's face suddenly blocked Ember's view of the sky.
"After unleashing such power twice in one day, she'll need to rest," the lady said in her quiet, calm way.
Somewhere just out of Ember's line of vision the captain of war burst out laughing. "Ach, you are lucky your cock did not go up in flames too!"
More male laughter followed.
"I will ignore your words," Sarenkesh said. He wrapped his arms wrapped around her body again, their gazes meeting.
Eyes still stinging, she blinked, and tears leaked from their corners, the burn of sulfur still dominating her senses. "I am so sorry," she whispered.
"Shh. I am whole," he said, wry amusement in his voice. "Dikartha will wrap you in your cloak while I dress, and then I will carry you back to your bedroll."
"You lit up the woods," Beron's voice came from somewhere behind Sarenkesh. "We thought you were on fire."
"Aye," said Hestbone, "as well as Sarenkesh's ass."
Kaedric's bass laughter melded with Sarenkesh's.
"Hush now," Dikartha admonished as she helped Ember into her garments. "The princess is weary."
"Aye," the lady agreed. "Let us get back to the camp and sleep. We still have a long way to travel."
Here's the amazon link, but the book is available at most e-book distributors. If you missed book one, here is the link to it. Also, the following below my question is the blurb and cover for the Fire and Ice spin-off story.
So tell me, what do you like about fantasy and sci-fi or even the combination of the two?
When a wisp of a young woman is cursed by Loki, she wields a huge sword most men would struggle to use. She is utterly untamable, but then along comes the Dwarves Captain of War...
Devoryah is cursed by Loki, and as the youngest and only girl child in a family of older brothers, she's tired of being their servant and told what she can and cannot do. As a result, she vents her frustrations through her sword and loves to spill blood. Thus, she suffers from bloodlust. Men fear her, but Sir Hestbone has a different perspective on her lust for spilled life...as well as the power of sex and love.
Monday, 12 March 2012
Point in case. The battery of my Verizon wireless box died last fall. The warranty had expired—of course—so I didn’t bother replacing the battery until recently because I’ve been without reliable transportation, so there was no need to spend the money for a new battery when I was home 98% of the time and could just plug the box in to an outlet.
Well, now that my Blazer is fixed and I have a new iPad, I wanted a new battery for the wireless so I could use my iPad when I’m out. I stopped at a Verizon kiosk in the mall and asked how much a replacement battery would be.
“Between $30 and $50, depending on the type of battery,” said the clerk.
I blinked. Surely I hadn’t heard correctly. She gave me an odd look like I was going to sprout tentacles.
“For a tiny, flat battery?” I asked, shocked.
“Yes, Verizon makes them expensive so customers will go ahead an upgrade to the latest box.”
Well, at least she was being honest, but when she quoted $150 for the new 4G box, my knees nearly gave out. I’m frugal. Hell, call me Scrooge if you want to because I’ve had to raise kids on a shoe string since…uh…wait, did I have a life before kids? Anyway, I know a lot of people whip out their credit cards and buy whatever, but I’m not like that. I worry about the electric bill. I worry about paying for my kid to go on her Washington D.C. trip, will there be enough groceries between paydays since royalties aren’t due yet, and I stress over whether or not my hubby will be able to go to the dentist since his insurance doesn’t have dental…
So I called said hubby, who told me to go ahead and buy the wireless. “Take it out of your business account, honey. It’ll come off our taxes next year.”
“I know, but $150 for a li’l box? Seriously, it’s just a piece of plastic!”
“You have to have it for your work, babe.”
Grrr. He had me there.
So, I stomped back to the Verizon store.
“Oh, so you decided to get the new 4G box, huh?” the clerk said upon recognizing me. “4G is lightning fast. You’ll love it.”
“Yes.” I sighed. “But it’s under protest.”
She laughed, but I was serious.
The clerk rang up everything. I paid my bill, signed my new contract—and then she drops the bomb on me.
“Btw, 4G won’t be available in our area until the end of the year, and if you decide you don’t want this wireless box, it’s a $75 re-stock fee.”
Now she tells me this??? AFTER I pay for the box and sign the contract??? And $75 is half the cost of the infernal box!
Steam rolled off of me as I walked away with my itty bitty plastic bag.
“What’s wrong, Mommy?” asked my seven year old.
“I hate liars and manipulators,” I answered.
“How did that lady lie to you?”
“She didn’t tell me the truth about what I was buying until after I paid for it.”
“That wasn’t nice of her.”
“Tell me about it.”
I’m sure these clerks and reps are told to do business like this but it’s wrong, wrong, wrong! What happened to a gentleman’s handshake? What happened to the solid foundation of a promise? What the heck happened to quality over quantity?
Don’t mind me. PMS and plastic that’s extraordinarily expensive tends to send me over the edge.
Saturday, 10 March 2012
For those of you who know me, I’m an author, editor, business owner, Mom, wife, quilter—a generic goddess of all that's worth living for, as is any woman who manages to juggle 48 hours worth of work into 24 hours and still find time to breathe, sleep and have sex. Maybe not in that order. But sometimes all at once.
|Sleep under this Star!|
|A Chicken Dirt Bath|
Girlie does a face plant, Chicken Little kisses feather butt
and Houdini risks her life in a hen sandwich. I told you they aren't very smart.
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Available now through Ellora’s Cave.
Stephanie Beck loves romance and all things romantic, heartwarming 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.
Find Stephanie at www.stephaniebeck.net