Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Got Poopy Paws?

Hi! I’m Wendi Zwaduk and I’m glad to be here at the Four Strong Women blog. I love hanging out with pals and this is the place to be.

Now, you’re probably wondering about the title of this post. Sounds...gross? If you have cats, you’ll understand. No? Let me enlighten you.

I’ve got two cats. One could be a stand-in for Garfield. Really. He doesn’t do much all day but eat and sleep. In fact, if I dropped off the face of the earth except at feeding time, he’d be pleased. The other one? He’s the pill. All black and stealthy. We’re talking, you don’t know where he is unless he starts chattering, stealthy.

He’s my poopy paws cat. No, he’s not wandering around with dirty paws, but he has this tendency to wake me up every morning promptly at seven am. This isn’t really that early, but when you’ve been writing and up until past midnight, even comes awfully fast. Anyway, he is waking up committee. This entails strolling on me, putting his face in mine, meowing right in my face and swatting me with his tail. On most mornings, I don’t mind. I get up, feed him and the chubby orange one, then if at all possible, head back to snooze until seven-thirty.

Once he’s fed, he’s happy. Except on those odd mornings when he gets a wild notion to come visit me after he’s done with his second morning ritual. I haven’t mentioned what that is yet? I’m sorry to have left that part out. You see, the little bugger will eat, run laps around the house, then he must do his business. When he’s done in the litter box, he must—I stress must—run rickshaw through my house. Once that’s done, he’s happy and wanders off to do whatever it is he does when I’m not around. So now we’re to the odd mornings. Yesterday was one of those odd mornings. Instead of doing his victory laps through the house, he headed for my bedroom. I snuggle down tight into my pillow when the cat jumps onto the bed and steps on my person. I move, he doesn’t. He makes his way to my face and proceeds to tap my nose. This particular morning, I catch a whiff of where he’s been.

The litter box.

“Cat! I don’t want your poopy paws on my face!” Okay, maybe they weren’t poopy, but he’d been in the box. Close enough.

He stepped backwards and looked at me like I’d screamed in Martian, then hopped off the bed. I’m pretty sure that was his plan. Wake me up fully by pawing my face with litter toes. When I got up, his day was complete.

Has this happened to anyone else? Do you have cats that are pills? Dogs that do the same kinds of things? I’d love to know. Never hurts to commiserate. Leave your comments so we can chatter about our goofy pets. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Now here’s a little bit about me:

Like spicy romance? So do I! Come along on this journey with me.

I’ve always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I love playing with words and letting the characters run wild.

NASCAR, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, animals and second chance romance all feature prominently in my books. I also write under the pen name of Megan Slayer. I’m published with Total-E-Bound, Changeling Press, Liquid Silver Books, Turquoise Morning Press, Decadent Publishing and The Wild Rose Press. Come join me for this fantastic journey!

If you like my work, tell your friends and email me. I love hearing from readers!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Dull is Good...

by Valerie Mann

Man, do I live a dull life. And I mean that in a good way. For all of my snarky comments and sarcastic, the-glass-is-always-half-empty view of life, I look at this as a positive. I may boo hoo like Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons—oh please, you do too know who I’m talking about—but it’s okay. Someone has to play Eeyore to your Pollyanna (Holy pop culture, Batman! How many more fictional characters can I squeeze into a paragraph?).

So, today I was at my local Target, shopping for movie candy (for an evening video date with the hubster) and other odds and ends, like Valentine stuff, toilet paper and whatever else Target can lure into my cart, because we all know you never go into Target or Walmart for one thing, without winding up with a cartload of crap you didn't know you needed, but realized you can't live without.

I'm not even ten feet in the store and I hear a booming, "I just want to pay for my f**king stuff!". Queue the rabbit ears and about face. Three men are wrassling a man into submission...okay, they're trying to wrassle him, but he's wearing them like a bad fur coat. He's swinging them around, they're holding on tight, crashing into cash registers and the tobacco/baby formula/condom lockup (because that's the stuff that should be under lock and key), and generally bringing the entire front half of the   Tar-jay to a shocked, rubbernecking standstill.

This guy did NOT want to go down. Darn it, all he wanted to do was pay for his f**king stuff. Why wouldn't they let him? *snicker* Anyway, I'm thinking here's a fella who's more worried about what happens if he goes down, rather than what he's done. Which means (a) he's got a criminal record and this silly misdemeanor means a whole lot more than a stolen CD/six-pack/earrings for his girlfriend, or whatever it was he palmed, or (b) he's innocent. 


Our local Barney Fife shows up (slipped another fic character in when you weren't looking) and cuffs the poor guy. I look down and realize I've got crap in my cart that I didn't even realize I'd put in there, so distracted was I. The store returned to normal, I paid for my f**king stuff (because I'm good that way and I'm allergic to handcuffs of all kinds, even fur-lined) and left, having been both entertained and shaken. And drove away. 

And thought, "I like my dull life. I really do." Interesting is a relative term. Living an interesting life, like the one that poor guy is facing right now, is way more drama than I care to have. I appreciate my boring, free life, where my complaints are minor, if a bit snarky. I'll take it!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

We Want Your Business But…

So, the other day, a telemarketer called. I had purchased something and ended up with a “free three-month trial.” (Oooo…) Now they had a six-month special (only $4.95/month instead of $14.95) if I would give them my credit card number right now. The conversation went something like this:

Me: But I’m not sure if I want to subscribe for another six-months or not.

Telemarketer: If you don’t, you’ll be paying $14.95.

Me: Not if I don’t re-up after the three months is up. Besides which, I know what will happen. After the six months is up, you’ll start charging me the $14.95 unless I call you to cancel, which most likely won’t happen as I’ll forget about it until I see the next bill. Then I’ll be on the phone for hours trying to get a refund and it cancelled. Can I pay by check?

Telemarketer: Of course, you can pay by check. We will send you an invoice, but so you know, you will be charged a minimal fee of $2 for paying by check.

Me: What? You are going to charge me $2 for paying by check when you are soliciting my business? Seriously? I own my two businesses, and I don’t charge people for patronizing them, especially if I’m asking them to buy my products.

And this type of thing drives me nuts. We want your business but we are going to charge extra for that business if you wish to pay by check. What? I like paying by check. I’m not a fan of charging up my credit card. I know this has been going on for some time, but the principal of it irks me. When did it become okay for businesses to charge a customer for using checks to pay their bills?

For instance, take car insurance companies. They’ve been doing this for years. If you pay in increments, you are charged more. Okay, I get that. This is to encourage you to pay for an entire year upfront. However, why am I being charged a $2 processing fee if I pay by increments. Isn’t processing just part of business expenses? Heck, they even charge that if you use a credit card.

The same thing happens with the bank. I like getting my checks returned, but I can’t get them anymore. I can get copies of my checks back for $2/month fee. So, it went from that being part of my statement to having to pay to have copies all on one or two sheets of paper returned? Are they or are they not my checks? I mean, didn’t I have to buy them? I’m okay with buying them, not so much with paying to have them returned to me. And the banks are pushing to go paperless with statements--to save the environment… like they really care. It’s about saving the money from printing and mailing those statements. You can print them yourself, of course, but if you don’t, they only keep three years online. Statute of limitations is seven years. Of course, you can get the older statements… for a fee. (Most likely $2, but, hey, when you need them, only $10/statement.)

How much can we screw you without you leaving us? Apparently, quite a bit, as all of them do the exact same thing. When something is required either by law or just to live (not that you can’t live without a bank account, but it sure makes life a lot harder), choices are slim and their “we want your business but” is legal highway robbery. All right, so $2 isn’t highway robbery, but it adds up quickly and, in my opinion, shitty.

Of course, I can live without the subscription, so, yeah, the answer is no.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Skyfall Review

So, around Thanksgiving, Charlie and I went to see Skyfall in the movie theaters. He was hot (Get your minds out of the gutter, people!) to see it, and I was, eh, not so hot, but willing. We did the whole date night thing, which we rarely get to do as, well, we are parents. Anyone who is a parent understands what I am saying.

The theater was relatively empty, but the opening rush had past and we went on a weeknight. (You take what you can get, right?) I'd say about a third of the audience were women.

Something had gotten up my butt. I don't remember what, but I remember being irritated about something. (Obviously of little importance or I'd still be ranting about it in my head. LOL) As I sat there, peeved and grumpy, the previews came on. Each succeeding preview was more violent than the last, and I wondered, "Why are they showing all of these horrible previews (Eg. Django Unchained directed by Quentin Tarantino, etc.)? Aren't there any nice romantic comedies that I would like to see?" As the fifth preview started to play, a light bulb clicked in my head and I realized where I was and what movie I was about to see. And I laughed. Well, duh! Of course, they are going to show violent, testosterone-filled trailers. Not that a third of the audience would watch it, but, hey, maybe we would. (Not in this life, I wouldn't anyway. You'd have to tie me down and prop my eyelids open to make me watch any of them.)

So, before the movie even started, my mood had traveled south. Of late, I've been more disappointed by movies I've seen than pleasantly surprised or happy. Actually, that's been for the past several years.

Overall, it was a typical James Bond movie. Daniel Craig is good, of course. But the movie is all about him aging and perhaps not being able to do what he could do in his youth. Scotland Yard wants to get rid of him because he's "too old." They want M to retire because her methods are too archaic. The ones who want this to happen aren't in the trenches and have no idea what they are talking about. (Isn't this always the case? People who have no idea make decisions they shouldn't be making.) Of course, when Bond saves their ass, they change their tune. He may not be as young, but he has more experience than his younger cohorts. Needless to say, he proves them wrong because age and treachery always prevail over youth and skill. (grin) It's interesting to note that the bad guy is also "old" compared to the young kids trying to track him down. And the kids can't find him because he too outsmarts the young "geniuses." It's up to Bond to defeat him. Of course, he does, but not without a steep price.

First, I have to say I wasn't enamored of the whole "Bond is too old" thing going on here. When I go to a Bond movie I expect certain things: action, adventure, gratuitous sex not refined upon (Because Bond always sleeps with the women.), chauvinism, and a happy "Bond" ending. The chauvinism bothers me more now than ever before. But the plot line? Um, okay. HAHAHAHAHA Most action adventure movies don't seem to have that great of a plot, in my opinion.

Still, it was a fun movie…if you don't include the things that bothered me…


  1. The beginning. It felt very British. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, as Bond is British after all, but it was that slow sort of British you don't expect from a Bond movie. For example, they spent a good 15 minutes on him wallowing Hemingway-esque in a bar in some tropical paradise upset that M had ordered the other agent to shoot (the agent missed the target and hit Bond instead). I wondered if the movie would ever move forward.
  2. Despite the fact that this same agent eventually saves his life at least once, he still tells her—yes, her—she'd be a better desk agent than a field agent. (rolling eyes—because men never make mistakes.)
  3. There were a few issues that were either hokey or irritating when they finally return to Skyfall (his ancestral home in the highlands) to wait for the bad guys to come after them. First, his home has been sold because they thought he was dead. So, he's destroying someone else's property, but no one seems to mind. Second, the old groundskeeper is conveniently around to help when they arrive. Third, and this inconsistency really bothered me, was during the fight scene between the bad guy and his men and Bond, M, and the groundskeeper. One moment, it's early afternoon outside, and, the next, it's pitch black. Now, mind you, I am aware that in the mountains night can and does fall quickly, but it does not go from early afternoon light to pitch black in seconds. I am not kidding when I say, "Seconds." One moment you are outside and it's light. They cut to inside and through the windows it's suddenly seven o'clock at night in winter in the highlands. This was not the worse offense for me, though. The worst offense is coming next.
  4. The final thing that bothered me enough to say something was how after M dies in Skyfall's chapel, the new M is a man, and his new assistant is the female agent whom Bond told she'd be better at the desk. The feminist in me did not like this at all. Yes, I know they are trying to return to more of the original Bond, but these were written in 1953. The societal opinions of the time when it comes to women are less than optimal. We have a hard enough combating these prejudices without seeing this crap in the movies.

That last one is my biggest complaint really. I feel like we've fallen backward. Why couldn't the bad agent have been a man? Oh, wait! Then Bond wouldn't have been able to sleep with him… Um, well, maybe he could, although he might lose a few fans. (grin) Of course, Bond sleeps with a few other women, so why does he need to sleep with the agent who should be at a desk? And why couldn't have the new M's secretary have been a man?


That being said, it was still entertaining and I'd still recommend it for people who enjoy action/adventure and/or Bond films. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time, and, if Charlie is to be believed, I did a lot of jumping and squealing. I know I hid my eyes a few times, but didn't realize I was squealing. (Apparently, I am as much fun to watch as the screen at these types of movies. Yes, I am a wimp. I admit it. LOL)

The best part of the movie is the soundtrack by Adele. Fabulous, fabulous music!

So, I give the movie a B overall rating. Worth seeing, entertaining, but not stunning. In short, the typical Bond movie.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bathroom Invaders

by Deena Remiel

I think we can all agree that when all else fails, our bathroom is the last refuge for privacy and “alone” time. Whether we’ve renovated it to three times its original size in order to look like a spa or only picture it as such in our minds, it is our bathroom that holds the key to peace and solitude.
Besides the basics that our bathroom offers us, as multi-taskers, we utilize the space far beyond its potential. My bathroom, for example, turns into so many great spaces as I enter. It becomes a library, an office, an idea generator, and a fortress that no one shall enter without begrudging permission.
And so, it is with great distress that I must share some troubling news. My bathroom has been invaded! This invasion did not occur suddenly. No, the invaders took their time, over a period of days and weeks, leaving pieces of themselves on the toilet tank and the counter, even in the toothbrush holder. Mascara, eyeliner, hairbands and hairpins, a brush, perfume, a shirt or pair of shorts, and hairspray have at some point found their way into my safe haven. I believe these invaders to be professionals at usurping territory. So be on the lookout!
Of course, with today’s technology, I was able to determine just who the insurgents were that decided my bathroom was worthy of infiltration. Okay, so really, I yelled at the top of my lungs that if those previously mentioned items weren’t quickly removed I would throw them away. A flurry of footsteps down the stairs solidified their identity. I have four words to say at this point. God bless my daughters. They took their contraband and headed back to their own rooms, but like an insidious disease, those items crept right back in over the course of another week.
Why is it such a horrible thing to find their menagerie continuously in my bathroom?Let me explain. We have two full baths in the house, one upstairs for the girls and one downstairs in our master bedroom (has NO door). We also have a powder room. Since I am the first to wake in the morning, I claimed this tiny closet of a bathroom so I wouldn’t wake the hubby. Everyone is free to use it throughout the day, but there shouldn’t be anything left behind because everyone has their own bathroom. It’s such a tiny space that even one item left in it clutters the space.
Why, oh why then do the girls insist on cramming into this tiny box when a beautifully sized bathroom awaits them upstairs by their own bedrooms? I’ve yet to come up with a good answer. The only one that resonates in my brain is that they are bound and determined to take over the entire house. Well, I’ve decided to fight back! Boundaries, girls! I must protect my sacred space!
Here’s my plan… Okay, I don’t have one, yet. I need help! I am calling upon all you strong women out there who know what kind of angst and pain I’m going through. 

Help me create a foolproof plan to stave off any more attacks on my little hovel of a bathroom. What should I do? I’m not beyond groveling, so the top 3 ideas will get some swag from me.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Dreaded Blank Page (And Giveaway)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I seldom get writer’s block but when I do it’s frightening. However, I’ve finally realized the one thing that will make it worse and even keep my muse firmly blocked--staring at the blank page.

Don’t do this.

LOL! Well, don’t!

Seriously, though, that empty expanse of white tricks your brain into believing there are no ideas, that the muse is dead or passed out behind the couch with an empty fifth of whip-cream-flavored vodka [the lazy bitch!]. Don’t fall for the blank page. It’s a ruse of the Furies. It’s a weapon of the bad guy who sits on your shoulder. It’s the excuse we all use to do other things from laundry to sorting the sock drawer and more.

I find this happens to me the most after I’ve been working like mad on more than one manuscript. This occurred last fall when I wrote three holiday stories right after edits and promo for Fire in Winter, a short tale that’s part of The Edge series. I guess Naomi’s new, wintry-hot lover inspired me, lol. Take a bit of handsome, blue-eyed frost, some sex toys, being cooped up while it dumps snow outside…

Uh… What was a talking about?

Oh, yeah. The blank page.

Naomi even gets gifts of ice sculptures from her hunky winter representative, and although he turns down the heat in her house, he turns her thermostat up, up, up. And then he—

[Looks around at all the quirked eyebrows and stares]

I wandered off again, didn’t I?

Anyhoo, if you complete several manuscripts within a close time frame, always remember to give yourself at least a week off before you start pounding the keyboard again. I speak from experience. An exhausted brain will refuse to cooperate, and if you stare at a blank page, that only compounds matters. Walk away from the laptop or PC and let your mind wander. That’s when a blog topic or a new plot will pop into your head.

But Naomi’s new man can pop things into her that—dang it if this keeps up [no, not *that* up!], I’m gonna have to go find the hubby! I won’t even get started on the hunky vamps of The Holiday Series or talk about Richie and Albert. Too many dreamy guys! No, I’ll blame it on the climbing temperatures here in eastern Ohio. It was 2˚ the other morning and now, as I type this post, it’s 70˚ and I’m sweating. I’m blaming it on the weather. Yeah, that’s it. The Weather!


I find myself with several guest appearances this month so my giveaway is going to be a little different. I’ll have a small giveaway at each appearance, but at my last one for January, there will be a grand finale prize. At each of my guest blogs, leave a meaningful comment and be entered to win an e-book from my Molly Diamond (retired pen name backlist. Comment at every stop and you’ll have more chances to win the grand prize on January 30th—a nice, big coffee mug with goodies stuffed inside it AND an ebook! 
January 11th - Paranormal Haven 15th - Literary Lagniappe
Today - Four Strong Women
January 21st - Silken Sheets and Seduction
January 30th - Trinity Blacio's website - 

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F.L. Bicknell's work has appeared in a wide range of genres and publications such as: Would That It Were, Touch, GC, and Ohio Writer Magazine as well as publications in Canada and Turkey. Under her now-retired pseudonym, Molly Diamond, she was a regular contributor to Gent and Ruthie's Club and has had fiction published in Hustler's Busty Beauties, Penthouse Variations, and Twenty 1 Lashes. Ms. Bicknell is the author of several e-book and print titles, also writing as Azura Ice, Amber Redd, Cutter Phoenix, and Kiyara Benoiti. She has served as co-editor and managing editor for three different publishing houses. She is represented by TriadaUS Literary Agency.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Kids’ Boogies…er…Buggies

Anyone who knows me well also knows that I have no respect for the public school system. Well, at least the school system in Ohio. Long story, but that’s not what this post is about.

No, the other thing I detest about public school systems is the fact that kids bring home every sniffle, virus, or horrible ailment that goes through those buildings. Even the crap pumped through the heating/cooling ducts to kill germs does nothing against the germs floating around the halls and classrooms.

Kids, especially li’l ones, sneeze and cough without covering their noses or mouths. [Dude, keep your boogers over there on your side of the table!]

Both children and adults skip washing their hands after restroom breaks or after sneezing/coughing into their palms, and then they touch everything—including you—in the process. [Look, I enjoy going to the PTA meetings with you, but if you didn’t wash your hands after you were done in there, I have only one thing more to say to you… Get the hell away from me!]

And that’s not counting what goes on in people’s homes! One of the kids’ mothers might make baked goods for that classroom party, but she’s been suffering some sort of respiratory virus and sneezed on her hands, and then forgot to wash them before smearing icing on that batch of brownies. So now your child and every other tyke in the second grade class have the virus, too. [Oh, look. He brought a brownie home to me. Typhoid Mary has now spread her germs into another household.]

So now that everyone is ill, here’s where the schools pi** me off to no end—they penalize you as a parent for keeping your children home so they don’t spread the illnesses to everyone else.

Seriously? My kid is too sick to go to school, but he’s not quite ill enough to go to a doctor because it’s one of those things that pass in twenty-four hours (our doc gets really angry over the school’s policy because he has to see people who should simply stay home and ride out the virus), but you want me to take him anyway just so I have a doctor’s excuse. Sure! I’ll whip out $125 for an office visit or force our insurance company to pay for it when it’s really not necessary, just to make you happy! We wouldn’t want you to miss out on that state kickback for having that note, now would we?

(This is why I have chosen “hold thy tongue” as one of my resolutions for 2013. I seldom use profanity in such situations, but I do have a wicked mouth and wield sarcasm as easily as breathing. See our guest’s post Swinging from the Trapeze of Life and check out the comments, too.)

My youngest was home from school two days last week with stomach problems. He hurled all over the school bus Monday afternoon and, after he got dressed this morning, his belly started hurting again and he didn’t want any breakfast. I will never hear the end of it when I call him in absent. “Make sure he has a doctor’s excuse, Mrs. Brown.”

Really? Well, I have a pimple on my butt. Should I make a doctor’s appointment for that, too?

Courtesy MorgueFile free photo
I’m being a smartaleck, but the schools are going overboard insisting on physician’s excuses for migraines, bad head colds, sinus infections, pulled muscles, and even other appointments such as when my youngest daughter had an eye examine scheduled in another county. It was pointless and too much driving/gasoline to send her to school for ninety minutes only to pick her up and drive all the way back across two counties for her eye appt. It was just one of those situations where going to school was pointless and almost impossible.

I was ready to stuff that eye doctor excuse up someone’s stuffy nose by the time she returned to school the following day!

Regardless, sending your kid to public school is a crap shoot. You never know what he or she will bring home to the family after a day with dozens upon dozens of kids and staff who don’t, or simply forget, to cover their mouths and noses when they spew or visit the toilet.

And I think I need to make a batch of fudge for our bus driver, the poor guy!

Now that I’m done ranting, lol, I want to mention that I have a two-part giveaway for readers going on this month. I’m visiting various blogs and websites with my books, being my goofy, warped self like I do here at 4SW. If you visit last Friday's guest appearance (HERE) and today's (HERE) and leave comments, be sure to check out my blog here at 4SW this Friday the 18th and comment on it, too. This will give you three entries into my giveaway. However, each of my guest blog posts have the giveaway of an ebook from my site, but at the end of this month, I’ll chose someone from all my blog appearances to win a nice, big coffee mug packed full of goodies from sweets to cool pens to maybe even some trinkets. So, if you wanna start getting in on the fun, visit the links, and come back to 4SW this Thursday for more insanity and a chance to enter the two-part giveaway again. 

Wishing you all a wonderful day! 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Cold Weather is really HOT by Casea Major and Give Away

   First I want to thank the Four Strong Women for allowing me to visit today. And thank you guys for stopping by to read my post. Leave a comment for a chance to win.
   There is something to love in every season. And as the weather changes, so does our need for new settings in the stories we love to read.
The sweet breath of spring gives new life to the world of romance.
   Depending on where you live, the weather is mild and animals come out of hibernation to seek the sun. It’s all new love with baby bunnies and daffodils. Nature lends a hand to show how fun being together can be. Living in Texas, we get a lot of sun and one-hundred degree days.
   Summer romances and sex on the beach make for exciting reading.(andlovin’ if you’re lucky) Sultry heroes wiping the sweat from his brow and voluptuous heroines in skimpyswimsuitssunning by crystal water are all fantastic images of romance in the season.
   But when the weather turns colder and the leaves change and fall, what is more romantic than a stroll in the woods or sitting in front of a lazy fire. Drinking apple cider snuggled next to the one who keeps you warm.
   The hero and heroine in my latest release, The Driver’s Seat, find themselves snowed in during an ice storm, and they discover simple ways to keep warm…and occupied in the wintery blast. **wicked chuckle**
   I love romance set in the winter. Snow on the ground and the warmth of the holidays lend themselves to closeness with friends and family. It’s one time of the year I don’t want to be alone—although with three kids and a husband it’s hard to ever be alone. But what better time and place to find love than on a cold wintery night?
   So what about you, what do you love about winter and why?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my latest release – The Driver’s Seat.

The Driver’s Seat
Casea Major

Seattle Attorney, Belenda “Len” McCreevy has had one hellacious week, but when her battery dies during an ice storm in backwoods Wyoming, it only gets worse. The resort-bound Len is rescued by Jack, local mechanic with a Matthew McConaughey smile and a truck load of dominate appeal that has her hormones raging. It soon becomes clear he’s looking to service more than just her car, but while the man might be good with his hands, Len’s determined to maintain control and be on her way.

Against his better judgment, Jack agrees to let the stubborn woman drive off in the middle of the winter squall with the understanding that if he has to pull her out of a ditch, he'll also spank her ass.

When Len careens off the road, more than just her car crashes at rock bottom. She swallows her pride and calls the only man who can help.

Stuck in the storm, the two find they have more in common than lust. But will Jack’s secret destroy their growing love and take him out of the driver’s seat?

“Thank you, Pete. I appreciate your help.”
He dangled her keys. She grabbed them and walked to the door as fast as she could without appearing to run.
His sexy drawl seduced her ears just before she opened the door. “But darlin’, if I do have to dig you out of a ditch, I promise I will toss you over my knee, pull your panties down, and tap that ass until you can’t sit.”
She spun around to glare at him. Anger burned in her chest along with a host of other, more erotic, emotions she wasn’t about to confront. Using the one weapon that always produced success, she flashed her best sexy smile. “I’m not wearing panties.”
A bold-faced lie that worked like a charm. His eyes rolled back in his head and closed as he tried to control the desire that flashed over his rugged features. He took a deep breath, and she noticed the seams on the crotch of his pants looked a little strained.
She smiled in satisfaction. Worked every time.
But then he was on her, pinning her against the glass door with his massive body. The entry bell jangled with the force. She couldn’t catch her breath. His hands roamed her sides, touching and grazing. She couldn’t move and didn’t want to. The heat of him lit her on fire, and every place their bodies met ignited a flame.
He buried his nose in her hair and blew a moist breath in her ear. “Won’t that make it easy then?”
The lazy drawl sliced through her like a sharp knife into tender flesh. Goosebumps rose over her arms and the skin on the back of her neck tightened. Her nipples hardened and pressed into his chest. His presence crowded and demanded more space, making her shrink, but the door held her in check. He flattened her upper body against the glass as he fit her lower body snugly to him.
Her head dropped back and banged the door as his iron-hard erection bored into her hip. She still couldn’t get enough breath, and the sound of her panting shocked her.
She should’ve been scared or, at the very least, alarmed, but all she could feel was the pulsing between her legs. And his obvious regard against her hip.
He slipped his hands around to her back and cupped her ass, holding her firmly. His lips feathered down her neck then traveled to her mouth. He placed the softest, sweetest, lingering kiss on her lips. Her knees turned to goo. If he hadn’t been holding her up with his body weight, she would’ve slithered to the floor. Hot didn’t do him justice. Molten worked better. His mouth was soft, but insistent. Hard but gentle. A contradiction she could spend a lifetime analyzing. But right now she just needed to enjoy.
He pulled away and said in a husky voice that concentrated the firestorm between her legs, “Sure I can’t convince you to stay?”

Casea Major
Casea Major is a writer, philosopher and part-time sexual adventurer (at least in her mind). She loves exploring limits and unleashing her imagination to create worlds of pleasure...and pain.
Come along for the ride. And if the flames get too hot...embrace the burn.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Man Down the Road

Please welcome guest Lucy Felthouse!

When I first sat down to think about what I’d write for this post, I drew a blank. Oddly, I can be quite ranty, unintentionally funny and am often described as quirky. So why did I struggle so much to come up with a topic?

I’ll tell you: I’m too diplomatic. There are things that piss me off on a daily, even hourly basis, and yet for the most part I have to keep quiet about it. I inhabit a world where pissing other people off is not a good idea. I certainly don’t bitch about them on the internet. Granted, I might sit and make rude gestures at my laptop screen and pull faces, but the only person that knows I’m doing that is me.

However, the man down the road has pissed me off to the max, and I’m fairly sure he won’t be reading this blog post any time soon. And if he does, I’m not really bothered because I’m brewing up to a face-to-face confrontation, anyway. I don’t do confrontation very often, either, so perhaps that’s an indication of how annoying the situation is. Perhaps I’ll even print it off when I’m done and stick it through his letterbox.

I’d better tell you what I’m going on about, hadn’t I? Maybe some of you will think I’m being really petty and overreacting, but others will be sitting there nodding, because you know what I’m talking about.

Okay, so I’m a first time dog owner. I have a pup of thirteen months old, and we’ve had him almost a year. He’s not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination (which you’ll probably already know if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter), but one thing he is not is aggressive. And that’s not me just saying that because he’s my little boy. He really isn’t. The only time he barks is when we’re playing or if something makes him jump. Or at pigeons. But that’s okay, because we don’t want pigeons in our garden, anyway. He only growls when we’re playing tug of war, and since his tail is also wagging like crazy the entire time, I figure the growl is him being silly, too.

He absolutely adores people, to the extent that I’ve had to apologise to many a stranger because he jumps up and gets people dirty in his enthusiasm (yes, he jumps up. And yes, I’ve tried everything short of chopping his legs off to get him to stop). He loves other dogs, too. He also has no fear. So while I’m crapping my pants at the thought of walking past a huge, scary looking dog (I was attacked by a large dog when I was little, so I’m still nervous of them. I try not be, but I can’t help it), Scamp thinks it’s okay to go sniff the dog and possibly try to play with it. If it’s a female dog, he’ll probably try to hump her, too (he’s been “done” but that doesn’t stop him – he’s a horny little bugger!). Of course, it doesn’t enter his head that the other dog might not be friendly, and I live in fear that one day he’ll meet a canine that’s not. But that’s not the point of this post, anyway.

So, that’s probably given you an idea of my dog’s temperament, yes? Not perfect, but very sweet and loving. So, would you like to know why the man down the road now crosses the road with his dog every time he sees us out walking?

Because he’s a moron, that’s why. As I just said, Scamp loves to meet other dogs. The dog down the road is a big old chocolate Lab, and he’s met Scamp several times, they’ve had a sniff and a little kiss, and then us, the respective owners have had to drag them away, because otherwise they’d stand in the street all day playing. Cute, eh? Yes, exactly.

On one occasion, though, the two of them were playing, and, as has happened many times to me with other dog owners, the leads have gotten tangled up. It’s a nightmare, but usually we just laugh about it, untangle the dogs, and go on our way. This one time, though, somehow, the clip that attaches Scamp’s lead to his harness ended up attached to the other dog’s collar. Bear in mind, he’s a big old lad, and the collar isn’t particularly tight, anyway. But it was caught fast, and we had no idea how to undo it. In the end, I took Scamp’s lead off and hung on to him while the man sorted things out. It was a pain in the arse, and the poor Lab probably got yanked about a bit, but there was no harm done. Neither of the dogs got nasty, and no one was hurt. We then went our separate ways.

Since then, the man avoids us at all costs. Bearing in mind, it was his dog’s fault as much as mine, and it was just a bloody accident! Now he crosses the road and basically acts like my dog bit his or something! If he had, then I would understand his behaviour, but as it stands, I think he’s just being petty. Especially since his dog wants to play just as much as mine does.

Ugh. Idiot, eh? Okay, rant over. Now I’ll continue to glare out of the window every time he walks past.

As a postman by day, and one of Santa’s reindeer on a single very special night, Cassius Cupid eats, sleeps, and breathes deliveries. He doesn’t mind, but sometimes wishes that someone would send him something more exciting than bills and junk mail.

One cold January morning, Cassius gets his wish. A young woman arrives with a parcel. Turns out it’s for his housemate – but Cassius doesn’t care. All he’s interested in is Carina – the beautiful female courier.
Has Cupid finally met his match?
More info, excerpt and buy links:

Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora's Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Secret Cravings Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

Monday, 7 January 2013


Seven days into the New Year—and how are those resolutions????
Working? Well? Not? Or forgotten?
I think of this, actually in mid-December when I am writing this, because I looked at our new puppy this morning and out came this thought:
(Bear in mind, his name is Bert. He is strong. He is mutt. He is long sleek Malinois and Lab.) And for some reason this morning, though he’s been with us for 3 months now, I said, “Bert! You remind me of Burt Lancaster, swinging from the trapeze of life!”
He cocked his head, looked at me as if to say, “I’m cool, Ma. How’d you know I swing, I glide, I dip and rise, I turn and spin, dip and rise again?”
He is indeed movin’ with the flow of his new life here, he rises, gets his training and then, yes, he dips and fails. Then he does something totally new and endearing and we all are right with the world in a new new way.
So today, I am asking you, with those resolutions under your belt, how are they working for you? Do you rise with them? Use them?
Sad to say, I have known too darn many people who listed all those happy goals and promptly forgot them.
The ones who said they’d never complain again…about the boss, their coworkers, the industry they work in, the failure of their spouse to…pick a task.
The ones who said they’d exercise and lose weight.
Then they’d keep it off.
The ones who said they’d be temperate in their alcohol consumption.
Then got blitzed.
The writers who vowed to do a daily page count.
The aspiring ones who said they would have time to write when they retired. Or when the kids went off to college.
The women who tell me their marriages are in a slump. Do not know what to do about it. Or who never developed their own sense of self or record of accomplishments. 
The young people who are waiting and waiting and waiting for inspiration to stride about what they want to be when they grow up.
The folks who complain bitterly about what they do every day, but love the money they make doing it.
The ones who tell me they are New Age, but have no idea what it is to sit zazen, or who truly understand and practice the joy of giving to the homeless, the ill, the disadvantaged.


My rant today is this: Do not tell me you will, when you have not the tenacity. Do not tell me you are one thing, but act like another.
Do not criticize, and do not complain.
Do not make promises to yourself, that most  special and nigh unto sacred person in your life, if you have no intention of keeping them.
Recognize that you, just like the rest of us, swing from the trapeze of life. You rise, you fall sometimes through no fault of your own. You twist, your turn with the forces that affect you and those you affect.
Make your life happen. Keep it real.
Swing from the trapeze of life and go with a flow that you make. As you approach the glory days of your life, I bet you that you will see positives you never realized before. Aspects you never considered.
All because you were good to yourself and those around you, being a person who TRIED and who, on most occasions, SUCCEEDED.

Friday, 4 January 2013

On Being Your Own Worst Critic

And why it's unfair and sucks.

Our basement went from this
To this in two days.
I had 6000+ words written the first three days of January.
I got website updates accomplished.
Other sundry promotional stuff was completed, and even a couple of blog posts into the mix.
There has been family movie time:
I need to know when this series starts up again, because damnit, how the hell did he do that????

Will always be among my top kids' movies. Love this to pieces. Hiccup is awesome.

Can't decide if it's the steampunk or the chemistry that appeals...
and outings to look at electronics we can't afford. (I'd post pictures of them, too, but hell, that would be pretty much the whole of Best Buy's inventory....)

And all this since we returned home after Christmas.

I've even submitted a short story (oh, and written it) so it's time for my inner critic to shut the hell up and accept that the emo artist girl is actually an efficient, accomplished and well rounded professional.

Thank you very fucking much!

You see, it's really easy for me to look at the amount of time I spend sitting my ass in this damn chair and say it's not enough. And then when I do sit here 24/7, to argue with myself that not enough of that time was spent writing. But that's bullshit. There's been enough time to write 2000 words a day, make blog posts and do a smattering of promo. 

There's been enough time out of the chair to watch upwards of 24 hours of movies with spouse and kids, and to go shopping for at least one full day. The house is clean(ish) Clean enough, anyway, Christmas has been packed away and the house has actually improved with the swamping out of the crazy hoarder person's crap in the basement. (That would mostly be me...)

So why is it that easy to listen to that nagging voice that says "not enough"? And so hard to listen to the voice of reason that says "Life is good."? 

Does anyone else have this problem? My new years resolution this year is pretty simple. I'm going to take the time, every day, to reflect on what I accomplished and remind myself not to dwell on the items on the list that haven't been crossed off. Because let's be realistic. There will always be a list. Always.