Friday, June 29, 2012

Foodie Friday, Feederism

So, this is perhaps the antithesis of what Foodie Fridays is about, but it does have to do with food, and with love…although of a kind I’m not particularly comfortable with.
There is a show on TLC called {strange} SEX concerning some of the issues, fetishes and sexual proclivities people experience. One episode had an eye-opening piece on feederism, something I hadn’t heard of and yet, when I saw it, realized I’d actually seen in action. If you’re interested, you can watch a clip here.
The woman in the piece was obese (and I don’t use that word lightly) and her male partner loves to feed her. He loves her size and wants her to get bigger, so he provides her with the means to increase her weight, literally feeding her when they eat together. It seems a symbiotic relationship, with her wanting to be helpless and have him take care of her (her words, not mine!) and him apparently quite happy to do so.
I love food as much as or perhaps more than the next person, but find the entire concept frightening.
Their relationship is dependent on her maintaining and even increasing something (her weight) which could very well kill her. If, for medical or personal reasons, she has to or chooses to lose weight, does that mean their relationship will end? I’ve actually seen that happen and it’s brutal. I’ve had overweight friends who’ve slimmed down and lost boyfriends or husbands, even other friends. As though they’re somehow no longer the same person.
Then there is her wish to become completely dependent on him…become so huge she can’t do anything for herself and he has to do everything for her. Personally that’s terrifying, my greatest nightmare—the reason I fear old age and sickness. And what happens if she achieves her goal and he then decides looking after her isn’t what he wants to do, and he leaves?
I’m a huge advocate of love, of looking for and finding the person who can accept you for who you are, but I don’t think I can subscribe to this. It’s wonderful to see a woman who accepts and loves herself as she is, no matter what that looks like, but to sacrifice her health with 6-egg-and-a-pound-or-two-of-bacon-and-sausage breakfasts is too much for me. And it’s one thing for a man to love a big and beautiful woman, but another (in my humble opinion) when that love seems not to include a component of caring about her long-term wellbeing.
To each their own has long been my philosophy but even for someone who adores food, this is a little too much for me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Public Displays of Eroticism

Today I'm welcoming the dynamic trio of Cassandra Carr, Cristal Ryder and Jami Davenport, who are here to talk about their intriguing book, Public Displays of Eroticism, which will be released tomorrow! Enjoy the sneak peek, and add it to you TBB list!

Sex. Bed. Table. Desk. Mile high. Outside. What’s your pleasure? Cassandra Carr, Jami Davenport and Cristal Ryder like it outside and they take you on a wild ride that will have you wanting to take your loving from the bedroom to the beautiful outdoors!
A little bit of voyeurism and a whole lot of steamy loving as nature intended. Wild and natural. Get carried away like all our lovers do when one couple’s sexual antics at a local park inspires four other couples to bare it all in the open air.
These three multi published authors have come together, each with their own tales of risk, exposure and loving out of doors in an anthology titled Public Displays of Eroticism. It is due out on June 29 from Sybarite Seductions.


Public Displays of Eroticism-

The secret fantasy, sex in a public place. One couple's sexual antics at a local park inspires four other couples to bare it all in the open air. Featuring short stories by Cassandra Carr, Jami Davenport and Cristal Ryder.

Back to Nature by Cassandra Carr

A sub and her Master play hooky to indulge their exhibitionism kink and unknowingly start an entire chain of events.

Hail Mari by Jami Davenport

Meeting Mari Simms for one night of hot sex each year for the past four years is no longer enough for Wyatt Bedford, a ten-year veteran of professional football. This time, he plans on telling her he wants more. While waiting for her in a park, he stumbles upon a sight that changes his game plan and takes their relationship to whole new level. Can Wyatt and Mari find love in the final quarter with the clock ticking?

Taking it Outside by Cristal Ryder

Val sets up an afternoon of play with long-time boyfriend Tyler at a secluded beach.  After packing a goodie bag with playthings, she leaves a note for Tyler. While waiting for his arrival, through binoculars Val spots lovers on the distance shore, and when Tyler arrives, together they watch the couple. Voyeurism at its best. Turned on by watching the couple have sex, Val and Ty have their own public display of eroticism.
Taking their loving outside is a surprisingly erotic treat neither expected to enjoy as much as they do. But a bigger surprise awaits them, leaving them wondering if there is more to come.

A Whole New World by Cassandra Carr

After witnessing some dirty deeds in the woods, Miranda finds she has some kinks she didn't know about and discovers her boyfriend, Ross, is more than happy to help her explore them.

In the Open by Jami Davenport

Once a year, Jaid Angelini takes a break from her demanding career as a criminal defense attorney for a night of passion with young, hot pro-football player Alex Greeley. Despite misgivings about their age difference, Jaid desires a more permanent relationship and concocts a scheme to brand her name on his heart. After witnessing an exhibitionist couple in the park, her plan takes a turn toward the great outdoors. Will Alex and Jaid finally go for the long bomb or settle for minimum yardage?


From Back to Nature

We make the short drive to the lake and park the car. Dmitri takes my hand as we stroll around the perimeter. 

He soon pulls me out onto one of many scenic points overlooking the lake, and places me in front of him so we’re both facing the pristine, peaceful view. His erection nestles into my bottom as his hands steal underneath my shirt, kneading my breasts. Dmitri pulls the shirt up to expose me and I dart a quick glance around, wondering if the hikers at the other overlooks around the lake can see me. I lean my head back on his shoulder like I know he wants me to as he pinches and tweaks my nipples. 

Turning me around, he grabs me and lifts me to his pelvis briefly before setting me back on my feet. He leans down and re-wets the front of my shirt as he sucks on my nipples again. I moan, grabbing Dmitri’s head. A twig snaps and I look around him to see another couple about fifty feet away. They avert their eyes and walk past the overlook. As the exhibitionist in me comes alive, I grin and Dmitri’s head moves to my other breast.

Copyright 2012, Cassandra Carr

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

Sometimes you realize you're not as all-fired smart as you think you are!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Promo: Tattooed Tryst, Coming Soon from Cynthia Sax!

Welcome to Cynthia Sax, whose contribution to the Pricked series, Tattooed Tryst will be released on July 18, 2012. It sounds AWESOME, and is now available to pre-order here. Visit Cynthia's website for information on all of her amazing books. Take it away, Cynthia!

While we’re waiting for Anya’s fabulous Fleeing Fate to release (July 4th – don’t forget, we’ll be setting off fireworks to remind you), I thought we’d talk aliens. Yep, aliens. Anya writes about storm gods and banshees. I write about aliens.
Because I truly believe we’re not alone. Not only that, but I believe some of these aliens are already here on Earth. Come on. Don’t laugh. You’ve seen them. The hunky guy at the coffee shop putting six sugars in his coffee? Alien. That tiny blonde woman who wears her sunglasses inside buildings, claiming her eyes are ‘sensitive’? Alien. That new co-worker who has no family or friends and never ever talks about herself? Yep, alien.
It isn’t a crazy notion. It is simple math. Look at all of the stars in the night sky. Do you truly believe Earth is the only populated planet? And if these other species have the intelligence to travel through space, you know they must have the intelligence to blend in.
The Orogones in Tattooed Tryst are one such species. They are the chameleons of space. They take the forms of the species they visit, learning the language and customs, becoming one of us.
But they aren’t one of us. They have knowledge and abilities no humans have. Thankfully, they’re here on a peaceful mission, to monitor alien activity on Earth, sending the aliens who have overstayed their welcome home.
Eventually all aliens return home so it’d be foolish to fall in love with an alien. Lori, the heroine of Tattooed Tryst, finds this out the sexy way.  

When a tattooed stranger strides into the diner and gazes at Lori with his flame-infused eyes, she realizes he’s someone special. Something special.

There are tall, gorgeous aliens hidden among us, aliens armed with big guns and burning kisses, aliens taking what they want and whom they want, melting resistance with firm lips and rough, calloused touches. Aliens with fascinating tattoos…

Trake takes one look at the waitress serving up coffee and sultry smiles and knows she’ll be his. With military precision, he begins his passionate assault, using every weapon in his sexual arsenal to seduce Lori. Time is limited. He leaves Earth in nine days and his human mate can’t make the difficult journey. This is his sole chance at the ecstasy of bonding.

He will not fail.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Looking back, and ahead

Last week wasn’t a very good one. I learned my brother is quite ill, and it threw me for a loop. I think there’s nothing like those moments to bring life into perspective. What do the people you care for truly mean to you? How important are those squabbles, disagreements and differences of opinion? Not very, right?
It also makes me really think about what I want to be doing with my life at this stage. Life is capricious. How important is what I want to do? How much am I willing to give up to be able to do it? Is my quality of life what I want it to be? These are some serious questions and can’t be properly considered when emotions are too high. Those are the times I go a little nuts and make decisions that turn out to be not in everyone’s best interests.
I'm also seriously missing my critique partner Amy Ruttan, who's gone across country to a wedding. I so hope she's having a great time with her DH and kidlets, but I can't wait to have her back!
With everything that’s happening, I still have to find time to promo and get ready for the release of Fleeing Fate, which is just a week and a half away! I love this book, and hope everyone else will too. Storm god! Banshee! Shenanigans (which is one of my favorite words—ever)! What else could anyone want? Oh, hot sex too? Got yah covered baybee!
I also got around to creating an author page on Facebook. I’d love for you to stop by and give me a little “Like” love. You can find it here. I’ve also been on Twitter for a while, but I’m getting a little more active, so if you’d like to keep up with what I’m up to, my handle is @AnyaRwrites.
On Tuesday I have special guest Cynthia Sax stopping by to give us all a sneak peek of her Pricked release, Tattooed Tryst. This woman writes some hot, delicious aliens…I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on that book when it’s released on July 18th!
On Thursday we’ll be getting a look at an anthology featuring the amazing Cassandra Carr, Cristal Ryder and Jamie Davenport! I can tell you, it’s hot, hot, hot…
Hope you’ll join us all, and have a great week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday Fleeing Fate

I can't believe this is already the last Sunday in June! Or that Fleeing Fate, book one in the Unveiled Seductions series and the first of the Pricked series books from Ellora's Cave, will be released in less that two weeks!! I'm so excited I can hardly wait.
This week, a glimpse of Jakuta's heartbreak...

“Your goddess watch over you, sweetness.”
He couldn’t manage any more than that and Gràinne didn’t seem to have anything to say in response. After a brief hesitation, she raised one hand in farewell and disappeared in a swirl of powerful magic.
He’d known, he reminded himself, that if she were once more whole, complete, with all emotions intact, what she felt for him would fade.
The knowledge didn’t ease the agony tearing at his heart. Blind, deafened by the enormity of his loss, Jakuta transported himself away from the Midnight Café, not sure he would ever be able to return.

Thank you for stopping by, and please check out all the other lovely authors participating in Six Sentence Sunday by browsing the list here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Embracing the Mystery

There were so few mysteries left. The world couldn’t spare the loss of even one of them.
Charles de Lint

When I first signed up for Goodreads, not knowing what I could do with it but feeling I should, one of the questions they asked was, “What are you reading now?” My reply was Greenmantle, by Charles de Lint. I’ve probably read a few hundred books since then, but if you look at my Goodreads page, it still says the same thing. Not just because I often go to Goodreads while I’m writing, not reading, and have nothing to change it to, but also because every time I think of changing it, I can’t bring myself to. Hands down, this is one of my favorite books, and one of the reasons I finally decided to let my inner fantasy writer come out into the light of day.
The mysteries, the myths and legends and questions of what, why, when, where and how, fascinate me. I’m a believer in there being more to this world than we can see, touch and completely understand. I’ve always wanted to think the fairies danced just beyond my peripheral vision, the clouds hide magical beings and the rustle of the leaves is the wind whispering secrets. Oh! If I could just interpret what it says, the treasure that awaits!
And the world is a wonderfully big place. My mysteries, the things I believe with my heart even as my head says they can’t exist, are only a tiny part of the collected mysteries of mankind. Exploring the various ideas others hold thrills and inspires me, opening my mind to life. Some of that exploration comes out in my Unveiled Seductions series--along with some of my own longings, experiences and wishes, suitably camouflaged to protect the innocent and give no glory to the guilty. 
Greenmantle isn’t a gentle fantasy novel. It’s gritty, deals with some of the worse of human nature as well as the best. As a romance author there is sometimes a temptation to not explore the difficult themes, to make everything rosy or take the less stress-inducing route to the Happy Ever After. Yet books like Greenmantle remind me it’s the struggle through darkness to light that makes the sunrise that much more beautiful, the ability to suddenly see what was hidden that much more thrilling.
While we can’t explain the mystery, exploring it, learning about ourselves as we go, makes life worthwhile.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Foodie Friday--Food in Breaking Free

Do you ever wonder what characters would cook if they got into the kitchen? I sometimes do, because often I find I’ve written an entire book, or read an entire book, and the characters have been too busy doing…um…other stuff to actually make an entire meal. Strange, really, in the case of my own writing since I’m a devote foodie! With that in mind, Foodie Friday was born.
Sometimes it’ll just be a recipe I particularly like, or maybe some strange food fact I’ve come across. On occasion you’ll find a short story involving a character from my or other author’s books getting crazy in the kitchen. Foodie Friday is about the love of food, in all its forms, so come back often for a little taste!

This week I got to thinking about how food has been used in some of my books, what it says about the character’s thought patterns. Below is a scene from my Samhain Publishing release, Breaking Free, showing how my heroine Claire attempts to use food to set the hero Xavier at ease, but things don’t work out quite the way she expected. It’s a little longer than my usual posts, but I hope you enjoy it.

The doors at the end of the corridor stood open, light pouring out to pool on the passage floor. It surprised him for some reason, but no more than the transformed room itself.
The bed had been hung with deep blue velvet curtains which, closed, seemed to shut it off from the rest of the room. The wall next to it had also been draped in the rich fabric and he now wondered if it was there perhaps to conceal a window. Plush jewelled-toned rugs had been scattered about the room and flowers bloomed from vases set amongst candelabra, which cast a warm, golden light. Some of the furniture had been uncovered, a chest of drawers, end tables, two large overstuffed chairs. But there were also some strangely shaped objects pushed back against the wall, still covered and remaining hidden from view.
A fire blazed cheerfully in the fireplace and a large rug lay before the hearth, a comfortable distance from the flames. Set out on it was a feast. Xavier stepped further into the room, his hand going out to run lightly across the top of a cabinet, taking in the comfortable warmth of the atmosphere she had created. He turned to find her watching him and smiled his delight.
“This is wonderful.”
He sensed relief behind her answering smile and was amazed to realize his response meant so much to her. Preceding him to the picnic she lowered herself gracefully to the rug but he felt her watching him as he wandered slowly about the room. Running the velvet of the bed hangings through his fingers, touching the silky petal of a blood-red rose, he explored the space, orienting himself, absorbing the sensual atmosphere. Even stronger grew his feeling a metamorphosis was about to occur, and yet there was no fear, only curiosity and eagerness. Finally, he joined her on the rug and she gestured to the food.
“Please, help yourself.”
He turned his attention to it and found an interesting and tempting array of dishes, both savoury and sweet. Small puffs of filled pastry, thin slivers of ham and chicken on rounds of bread, a dish with pink prawns and another with oysters on the half shell, strawberries and grapes and rosy apples, sweetmeats and chocolates and tiny cakes all sat side-by-side. He was not sure where to begin, until his eyes fell on the silver bucket and the bottle within. Removing it, he poured glasses of the amber wine for them both.
As he handed her one of the crystal vessels she asked, “What did you do today?”
“Thought about you.”
She laughed and took a sip of wine, her eyes twinkling over the rim of the glass. “Surely not all day?”
Reaching for a grape and popping it into her mouth, she raised her eyebrows at him.
“Yes, all day—although I was able to get one or two other thoughts into my head in between.”
He ate one of the pastries as she shook her head at him. “Come now, Xavier, tell me what you did today. Start at the beginning.”
Taking a prawn, she gently nibbled at it, listening to his answer.
“I awoke thinking of you. Went for a ride in the park, hoping to see you walking there, and thought about you some more. Having spent the rest of the morning thinking about you, I repaired to my club for luncheon, where I thought about you some more.”
She was laughing, the sound making him grin in return.
“I understand, then, you spared me a passing thought throughout the day?”
“Oh, one or two, swiftly dismissed from my mind.”
Claire pouted, just a little, but her eyes sparkled mischievously. Did she think he was flattering her?
“I thought about you in my study, where by rights I should have been thinking about my business affairs but, realizing the futility of my efforts to concentrate, I went and spent the afternoon in the nursery, having tea and playing with my son.”
He reached for a grape, hesitated and then chose a plump strawberry from the platter instead. The deep red fruit would be beautiful against her peachy lips.
“Do you often spend the afternoon in the nursery?”
Her voice was soft and low, but when he looked at her, her eyes told him nothing, although a small smile still played about her lips. Using a paring knife to hull the berry, working precisely and gently, he kept the fruit firm and un-bruised, losing only one drop of juice, which oozed out along the blade of the knife.
“I have not, in the past. But today I decided I will be doing so more often in the future.”
The quiet intensity behind the single word made him almost afraid to look at her, although he could not fathom the reason for his reluctance. He raised his eyes long enough to offer her the berry, watched her lips open and receive the fruit, his groin tightening as it disappeared. Then he reached for an apple and began to pare it. When he glanced up at her again, she was watching his hands.

Claire awaited his reply to her query and watched, entranced, as Xavier’s long, nimble fingers turned the fruit, removing the skin in one long string with a series of smooth strokes.
“I would like to believe myself a ready pupil, and found myself thinking about the necessity of knowing oneself so as to be able to bring the greatest pleasure to others. It came to me it does not only have to refer to sensual pleasures but could also encompass simple ones too. My son, Quinton, means the world to me, and I would derive as much enjoyment from having him in my life as I possibly can.”
“Have you not done so before today?”
His fingers jerked slightly, severing the peel prematurely. Without hesitation, he picked up where he had left off.
“No, not really. I had as a model my own father who never came near the nursery unless forced or we needed to be punished. I made a habit of seeing Quinton for a little each afternoon, but never just to spend time and play with him.”
He sliced the end from the apple and then gently cut it in two and began to remove the core. Claire was glad his focus remained on the chore so he missed the way she blinked to push back tears.
“What did you play with him today?”
His smile was self-deprecating, eyes still intent on the fruit in his hand.
“He is only a baby, little more than a year old, and I must confess at first I was not sure what to do with him. But I quickly found he dictated the activities. Quinton seems to like to hear my voice, enjoys clapping his hands, riding horsy on my boot.” His smile widened, eyes far away, although he did not abandon the task at hand. “I believe he will be a fine horseman one day, his carriage was superb.”
She laughed breathlessly, the sound catching his attention and causing him to glance up. Suddenly there was a new air in the room, a darker, warmer breath moving along and into her skin, deepening her longing. He shifted, as though he felt it too.
“Go on.”
Her prompting brought him back to the present, but he continued to gaze at her for a moment more before continuing.
“I read to him when he became fussy and he dozed off in my lap. That is all.”
He held a piece of the apple out to her and Claire reached out her hand, placing it beneath his rather than taking the fruit. Slowly caressing, brushing his knuckles, she hooked her little finger on his, drawing his hand closer and closer to her lips.
“Eve offered Adam the fruit of the tree of knowledge, reputed to be an apple. How interesting you offer me the same, Xavier.”
He stared at their hands, and then raised his eyes, focusing on her lips. She allowed them to part slightly, as though ready to take the morsel. However, as the piece of apple came to her mouth, she licked it, using just the tip of her tongue. Opening her mouth a fraction more, she slowly ran her mouth along the fruit to his fingers. The first touch on his hand made him shiver. When she closed her lips over the side of his index finger, sliding down to the base and then insinuating her tongue between it and the middle one, he drew in a shuddering breath.
Claire watched him through her lashes, seeing the way his eyes darkened, listening to the roughness of his breathing. She had learned almost too much about him tonight for her peace of mind. How very much she wanted him now, at this very moment, while the tenderness of his voice as he spoke of his son still echoed in her ears. It was only too appropriate he offered her an apple, for the teacher had, to this point, learned as much as the student. But she would, should, must bring the balance of power back to centre.
“I have something to show you, Xavier, and I think you will like it.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

In honour of my return to work yesterday :P

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Week Ahead

It’s Monday, but I’m still on vacation! What a lovely feeling…of course, tomorrow I’m back at the EDJ, but it’s been fun while it lasted. Got some stuff done, was privileged to read both Cristal Ryder and Amy Ruttan’s new WIP (well, they were WIPs, but are now subs, GO GIRLS!), took the pup to the vet and did some shopping. I’m glad to report that the vet was pleased with Sable-girl’s condition. She and I seem to be coming to a bit more of an understanding about who, exactly, is Alpha Bitch in the house, so all is well in that regard!

This week I plan to finish the book I’m working on, book three in my Unveiled Seductions series, and start making some plans for the next. Right now what that will be is very much up in the air, because there are so many plots and so little time, plus a tempting sub call I just saw and am trying to talk myself out of trying for.
But until the book I’m working on now is finished, I have no brain-space to think about anything else. 

Somehow this one has gotten under my skin and I find myself wanting to make the journey for this couple as perfect as possible. I can’t remember the last time I’ve stressed this way over every scene, every word, every piece of dialog. I’m always anal when it comes to writing and editing, but this book has taken me to a whole new level. Pray God it comes out the way I hope. The expending of emotion is wearing me out.

Well, hope everyone has a great week and read on…there are worlds out there waiting for us to discover!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome! Please make sure to visit all the other wonderful authors participating in Six Sentence Sunday this week. Browse the list here and please do comment. We all love to know what our readers think!

This week, although passion's running high between Jakuta and Grainne, the past is about to catch up with them...

Kissing his way up her body, Jakuta sent sparks into her skin with each impression of lips on belly, sternum, each breast, creating sharp aftershocks of pleasure.

As though released by the force of her orgasm, memories began scrolling through her mind, slowly at first then with gathering speed, each bringing with it the attendant emotions she hadn’t felt when the events first occurred. Soon the images came so swiftly they left just an impression on her closed eyelids. But her reactions lingered, piling one atop the other, growing, expanding—overwhelming. Happiness, revulsion, sadness, surprise, disgust, amusement—bombarding her until she was going insane from the onslaught.

Pain racketed through her head and she clutched her hair, trying to make it stop.

And I hope you'll check out the excerpt for Fleeing Fate, available here, and the book is available for pre-order from Ellora's Cave here. Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Know me by my Name

I seem to be harking back on my heritage a lot this week, but that’s how it goes sometimes I guess. When I was doing research for my book Arctic Destiny, I came across so many interesting and difficult to read stories, and much of what I read stuck with me. And there were times were I found myself pondering similarities between the Inuit experience and that of the slaves brought to the new world. While the Inuit had to put up with interlopers coming onto their land and insisting on changing their way of life, the slaves were taken away from their homelands and thrust into an entirely new, and horrific, way of life. But in both cases these groups of people lost their names.

In an effort to control, the slaves were stripped of everything that reminded them of where they came from, and who they were before they were stolen. They were separated from their tribesmen and women, given new, Western-style names. Children born to a slave mother were also given a name by the slave master, with no record of a father and no surname.

In an effort to control, the Inuit were given numbers and told that they must guard them with all care, as though those numbers held greater weight than their traditional, ancestral-based names.

Eventually, as time passed, the slave masters were told to prepare for emancipation by registering all their slaves by name—first and last. Some gave all their slaves their own surname, one last act of ownership in my opinion; others simply picked names seemingly from the air. Some were honest enough to recognise the children they had fathered, others didn’t care to. Who would make them?

Far later, in the 1970s, the Canadian government decided the Inuit must have surnames, although that was never a part of their culture. Again, it was to make them easier to track, and control. During this time many of the Inuit first names were misspelled, distorted and twisted to fit norms that had nothing to do with their culture. Even the ancestors of Europeans, who knew the last names those men carried and tried to use them, often ended up with something that bore little or no resemblance to the original name, since the people recording them didn’t take the differences in pronunciation into account.

Around the same time, many descendants of slave in the Americas were going through a period of reclaiming the heritage they’d been stripped of. Of course, there was no way to know exactly what tribe you were descended from, where in Africa, exactly, your ancestors had lived. There could only be a blanket acceptance of African culture, a taking on board of enough to give a sense of belonging. Strange new names began turning up in black communities across the western world, names that were derided and ridiculed, but that were intended to form a bond between that child and something bigger and better than the reality it was born to.

Full circle, for the Inuit have been reclaiming their names, having misspellings corrected, taking back not just their names but the meanings, the symbolism of them. They already knew the traditional names had meanings far beyond the understanding of those who so carelessly mangled them. That the bestowing of those names was a link to, and bond with the past—to something important, bigger than the present reality.

Neither of these stories are unique. The movement, subjugation and control of people has been going on since the dawn of man. In fact, what it shows is that if you look deep enough we, collectively, are more alike than it might first appear.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Speaking of Cocks

Do you ever wonder what characters would cook if they got into the kitchen? I sometimes do, because often I find I’ve written an entire book, or read an entire book, and the characters have been too busy doing…um…other stuff to actually make an entire meal. Strange, really, in the case of my own writing since I’m a devote foodie! With that in mind, Foodie Friday was born.

Sometimes it’ll just be a recipe I particularly like, or maybe some strange food fact I’ve come across. On occasion you’ll find a short story involving a character from my or other author’s books getting crazy in the kitchen. Foodie Friday is about the love of food, in all its forms, so come back often for a little taste!

I was on Twitter the other day when someone posted a link to this Amazon page with a rather cheeky comment.

Okay, I know what a lot of you are thinking—WTF? But hear me out, and remember what sound EEEEWWW to one person is *shrug* to someone else.

I’m Jamaican, and Grace is a large manufacturing company on the island. They specialize in what Jamaicans use on a daily basis in their kitchens…stuff people from the rest of the world might never have heard of but are considered essentials to us. One of those products is Cock Soup.

Before I get into what we do with this soup, and what it tastes like and all those good things, let me explain one thing…it is NOT penis soup. A look at the actual package should make that pretty clear, but I thought I’d reiterate it. In Jamaica, traditionally, a ‘cock’ is a rooster, coming straight from our colonial, English roots. Now, if someone were to offer you “hood soup” or “buddy soup” (words denoting penis in our vernacular), I suggest you politely decline. There is one soup, cow cod, that’s made from the intimate bits of a bull, so if that kind of thing makes you queasy, that the one to watch for. Otherwise, if offered cock soup on vacation in Jamaica, I say go for it!

So, the packaged Cock Soup is like any other dry chicken noodle soup mix, except it’s spicier, with a more intense flavor. I use it as a base for making a large pot of chicken soup, add it sometimes to chicken stew and it makes a delicious broth for boiling chicken. (Use skinless chicken breasts, bone in or out, as you prefer. Chop into approximately 2” chunks. Get rid of the noodles from the soup by emptying the package into a strainer and shaking out the flavor base into a bowl. Discard the noodles, because they get flabby and gummy if boiled too long. Put the flavor base into boiling water and add the chicken, cooking just until done. Serve with soya sauce.)

I’ve actually also used the above method to boil shrimps for shrimp cocktail, because it gives them just enough of an oomph without overpowering the shrimp flavor! Of course, if you just want a nice bowl of soup to eat with your crackers, and plain out chicken noodle isn’t cutting it, Cock Soup may be right up your alley.

So, that’s the low-down on Cock Soup, a great Jamaican tradition! Thinking about it, this is probably the tamest blog I’ve ever written with the word “cock” in it… *shakes head*

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Umm...A tie-in to Friday's post...?

Do they come in bunches? Long stemmed? Is the owner's name Bobbit?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday, already???

Wow, I had quite a weekend. I finally got notice to take my citizenship Oath on Canada Day (July 1st, for the uninitiated!), Sable, the new pup, tried to pierce my ear (LOL!) and I struggled with my WIP, where the characters have insisted, vociferously, to NOT follow my original outline. *sigh* But, more important, and exciting, (not than the citizenship part, but the rest) was an invitation to join the Beyond the Veil Blog where they discuss all kinds of amazing, interesting and timely subjects, with a paranormal slant. I’m so looking forward to working with the amazing authors there.

I’ve also been busy booking guests for the blog, including trying to rope in some of my fellow Pricked series authors to come let us know about their exciting upcoming books. There’s a chat on the EC chat site on July 21st to celebrate everything inked. Hope you’ll join us!

With the upcoming releases I’ll be buzzing around the blog-o-sphere too, so I’ll post updates as I know where I’ll be and when. There may be give-aways, naughtiness, and I can almost definitely promise shenanigans…I’m really good at shenanigans :)

Here's a picture of Sable, looking deceptively calm, and my daughter's foot for your viewing pleasure. Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Six...more Fleeing Fate

Welcome to my little corner of Six Sentence Sunday! Please make sure you visit all the other wonderful participants, the list of whom is here.

Again this week I'm featuring a snippet of Fleeing Fate, my fantasy novella being released by Ellora's Cave on July 4, 2012, and already available for pre-order. Jakuta, the storm god, already knows Grainne, the banshee, is going cause him no end of trouble. She's about to realize the trouble will be mutual. Hope you enjoy it!

His eyelids drifted down to reveal their thick, curling lashes, and the corners of his mouth tilted up in a slow, sexy smile. When he touched her cheek a jolt of electricity almost knocked Gràinne off her feet. “Or maybe something about the two of us, together.”

Rocked back onto her heels, she could only stare into his sparkling, dangerous eyes and absorb the sensation flowing into her skin. With a soft sweep of one caressing finger he traced the line of her jaw, lingered just below her ear. Lifting one hand she grasped his wrist and, as though a circuit had been completed, felt a surge of confusion and anticipation fill her with liquid fire, setting her ablaze from the inside out.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Is it just me, or maybe where I live? Or is it a sign of encroaching agedness? It seems to me that the young men I see nowadays fall into two main categories—those who have to hold up their pants when they walk, or those who, having some kind of corporate job, wear their pants a size too small.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against comfort, nor a nicely displayed butt. In fact, I can endorse both those things wholeheartedly. The problem is that neither of these styles fall into either of those categories. The guys wearing the baggy pants all walk like penguins, and it can’t be comfortable to not be able to walk properly, run or trust your pants will stay up. Of course, none of them look like they even HAVE an ass…

As for the others…um, guys, you look like you’re still wearing the pants from your prom suit. I’m not sure where they’re buying these dress pants, but I’m arranging a pitchfork and flaming torch party as soon as I figure it out. Besides, I predict a spate of infertility for these men. It can’t be good to have the boys squeezed up like that in polyester all day! To add insult to injury, it isn’t particularly attractive to see a man walking down the street with what amounts to a planned wedgie.

It’s so bad that when I see a man with a nice ass, in a well-fitting pair of pants, I’m staring, because who knows when next I’ll see another? I’m hoping the fashion wheel will spin once more and bring back something with a little more, or less, room in the toosh. I like penguins but not disguised as men, and tights on anyone other than a superhero doesn't do it for me!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Foodie Friday

Do you ever wonder what characters would cook if they got into the kitchen? I sometimes do, because often I find I’ve written an entire book, or read an entire book, and the characters have been too busy doing…um…other stuff to actually make an entire meal. Strange, really, in the case of my own writing since I’m a devote foodie! With that in mind, Foodie Friday was born.

Sometimes it’ll just be a recipe I particularly like, or maybe some strange food fact I’ve come across. On occasion you’ll find a short story involving a character from my or other author’s books getting crazy in the kitchen. Foodie Friday is about the love of food, in all its forms, so come back often for a little taste!

This week, please enjoy a short story featuring Prudence, Will and a couple of my favorite automatons from my Steampunk novel, Beyond Prudence. Poor Prudence really isn't well equipped to be let loose in the kitchen, and she knows it...

Prudence looked down at Alexander. The mechanical fox looked back at her with an encouraging expression. “Go on, then. It can’t be that hard. A bit o’ bread and cheese is all it is.”

“Easy for you to say,” interjected Ollie from his perch above the counter, rattling his white-and-gold feathers and giving a derisive hoot. “You’re not the one doing the cooking.”

Tightening the apron strings around her waist, Prudence looked from the plethora of ingredients on the counter to the receipt she’d carefully written out. It did indeed sound easy while Cook explained it, but now she wasn’t so sure. Give her some paper and charcoal and she knew exactly what to do, but cooking? You may as well ask her to repair one of Will’s automatons.

But she so wanted to do something for Will. Fixing a late supper on Cook’s day out seemed like just the ticket.

Taking a deep breath and tilting her chin to a determined angle she said, “I can do this. I want to do this, for Will.”

“There you go.” Alexander nodded. “The gov’nor will appreciate it, I’m sure.”

“Indeed, indeed,” Ollie said, clicking his beak. “Whatever you give him, he’ll love. Besotted with you, he is.”

Grasping the saucepan as though it were liable to bite, Prudence approached the stove with dragging steps. Just as she was breathing a silent prayer not to make too much of a mess and incur Cook’s wrath, the speaking box in the corner squawked.

“Prudence? Damnation—” there was the sound of something falling and additional curses before Will continued. “Darling, where the dickens are you?”

“In the kitchen, Will.”

“The kitchen?” Surprise and curiosity sharpened his voice. “Why?”

“I…” Prudence looked around, but neither Alex nor Ollie seemed inclined to come to her aid. She lifted her chin another notch, although he couldn’t see her. “I’m cooking supper.”

“Leave it. I need you here.”

He sounded so decisive, it took her by surprise. Will wasn’t usually inclined to issue orders to her. Prudence wasn’t sure she liked this new side to him.

“I will be there as soon as I’m finished here.” She could be decisive too. He mustn’t think that just because she adored him, he could turn into a bully!

“Let Clifford deal with it, darling. I’ve got more…important…things to do than have supper.” His voice dropped low, took on the caressing tone she knew and loved so well. “I’ve got the AS arranged in that new configuration we spoke about and need you to test it.”


Well that was different, she thought, already halfway across the kitchen, the apron fluttering to the floor behind her, anticipation lending wings to her feet. What Will could do with that machine was far more delicious than anything she could cook up.

Left in the kitchen, Alexander and Oliver exchanged glances.

“I don’t think they’ll want to eat after all, do you?”

Oliver shook his head and clicked his beak with laughter. “Not Welsh Rarebit anyhow.”

And Alexander’s look of shock only made the owl laugh even harder.

Below is the recipe for what Prudence would have cooked if she hadn’t been so—e-hem—rudely interrupted.

Welsh Rarebit

8oz grated, strong cheese such as Old Cheddar
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 level teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons flour
4 tablespoons stout (beer or milk may be used if preferred)
A pinch of pepper
4 slices bread toasted on 1 side only (I like a denser bread, like Italian, rather than sandwich bread. If using sliced sandwich bread, lightly toast both sides)

Put the cheese, flour, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, butter and pepper into a saucepan. Mix well and then add the stout beer or milk to moisten. Do not make it too wet. Stir over a low heat until melted and when it is a thickish paste, remove from heat and stir just a few times more. Leave to cool a little, and toast the bread. Spread the rarebit over the untoasted side and brown under a hot broiler. Serves 4.

The mysterious device in Prudence Hastings’ basement could be the answer to her prayers, if she could just figure out what it is. Needing William Foreman’s help, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to gain it. Even putting aside her dislike of machines and volunteering to test the risqué apparatus he’s developing for the Acolytes of Concupiscence.
Will’s expecting a lightskirt for a test subject and is horrified when he realizes the tempting woman he just debauched is very much a lady. But despite his best intentions, something keeps drawing him back to her, and it isn’t just the thought of discovering the inner workings of her uncle’s last invention. Unlocking their passions is turning out to be a far more pleasurable, if dangerous, job.
Beset by desire, automatons, secrets, an unintelligible maid and the danger of utter ruin should their association become known, Will and Prudence haven’t a chance in hell of remaining unscathed.
Fire up the boiler, open the sluices and take cover. Something’s about to explode…

Beyond Prudence is now available from Ellora’s Cave, and you can read an excerpt here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Week Ahead

Ahhh…Monday morning. What does the week hold for me? I have no clue, except that it will no doubt involve trying to rescue my shoes from an inquisitive, teething puppy (who right now seems sure there is gold to be found behind my back, if she could just dig hard enough to find it) and hopefully getting more done on my WIP, tentatively titled Luck is No Lady. When I started it I didn’t think it would run as long as it is, but hopefully that’s a good thing, rather than the alternative.

It’s the third book aimed at being a part of my Unveiled Seductions series but, of course, whether it makes it into Ellora’s Cave will be in the hands of my editor, the inimitable Grace Bradley. These books are set on the faie side of the Veil separating humans from what we call the supernatural beings. Of course, as far as the elves, vamps, gods, banshees, jinn, trolls and others living in the faie realm are concerned, we’re just another specie, who just don’t have access to both areas of the world like they do.

The first two books, Fleeing Fate and Stone-Hard Passion (don't you LOVE the covers?), being also part of the Pricked series of tattoo themed books, are already up for pre-order on the EC site! During the month of June I’ll be posting snippets of Fleeing Fate during Six Sentence Sunday, prior to its release on July 4th. In July I’ll post snippets of Stone-Hard Passion, which is scheduled for release on July 27th (the day before my birthday...happy birthday indeed!). In August I’m thinking it’ll be Luck is No Lady, but it’s a book with a serious twist, and I’m not sure how much I can post without giving that away! We’ll see LOL!

So, here’s hoping for everyone out there a safe and productive week! Or a really nice vacation…

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Yeah, Sunday, Sunday

I'm so pleased to be back again with the Six Sentence Sunday gang of amazing writers. Please make sure to check out the other author's websites. The list is here. Browse and enjoy!

This month I'm planning to feature snippets from Fleeing Fate, my paranormal romance, which is part of the Pricked, tattoo themed series from Ellora's Cave and also the first book in my Unveiled Seductions series. It's available for pre-order, and I'm soooo excited about the entire series.

In this excerpt, Jakuta, a banished West African storm god, sees Grainne for the first time. He knows nothing about her except that she's trouble with a capital "T". Hope you enjoy it!

She did nothing to call attention to herself. In fact she moved with the milling crowd as though a part of it, skirting the edges of groups, seeming on the verge of joining first one and then another without actually doing so.

Yet somehow he knew she wasn’t there to celebrate with the happy couple. The ribbons of white-hot electricity zapping along his tribal marks, burning across his face, belly and back, told him so. And an insistent rumble of lust in his blood, slowly rising to a booming crescendo as he tracked her path toward Ula’s desk, reinforced it.

The urge to go downstairs immediately, get closer so as to see her face and hear her voice, was overwhelming but he couldn’t seem to make his body move.