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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Have You Ever Been Proposed To?

Have You Ever Been Proposed To?
If you want a conversation with your friends that is interesting, sometimes deep, sometimes fun, this is the question to ask!
I did a few years back, out of curiosity, and the answers were surprising. It was a birthday party with some fifteen women present. Out of these fifteen women only one was proposed to by her now husband! He did it when they were on holiday in the States on the Empire State building. It was very romantic, and yes, he got down on one knee to ask the question. They’re still happily married to date.
None of the other women had ever been proposed to. In most cases it was a matter of talking about it along the veins of “We’ve been living together for quite some time. Maybe we should get married?”
Or they’d discussed it because it was financially feasible to get married. For some others marriage came up because they wanted children and didn’t want to get them when not married.

I must admit that my story isn’t a whole lot different. I’d always wanted to get married, it was this dream I had of a gorgeous dress, photos, a big party, the whole enchilada. But when I was with my man, living together and being happy, my hormones woke up and I wanted to have children. The urgency to have a child was way stronger than my dream to get married. Not long after that I got pregnant and I was ecstatic! We decided to get married after we’d had our child. But I found out it was far more hassle to get the legal things sorted concerning our baby when not legally wed. And it would cost a considerable amount of money as well.
Long story short; I got married when I was nearly 5 months pregnant. In retrospect I shouldn’t have done that as my dream to have this wonderful wedding was never fulfilled and it kept nagging me for years on end. Because of my baby-bump -and the speed with which I had to find something bridal-like-, I never had the gorgeous dress of my dreams. Even now that the child I carried in my womb at the time is 27, it still doesn’t sit well with me. I’m giggling now, but I cannot deny the fact.

These days the topic of ‘tying the knot’ is still a very interesting one, not just for young people but also for people who’ve already been in a relationship.
I think it is safe to say that many men who’ve been married or in a long-term relationship that fell apart, don’t feel the need to get married again. They typically don’t see the point.
Unfortunately a huge amount of women do want marriage, even when they’ve already been married before.
In spite of that, there’s a group of women who don’t want to go there again, who don’t see the point of it either or who want to remain independent.
All in all it is an interesting subject.
I myself hope to one day in the not far away future to be proposed to. And yes, I’d love the man of my dreams to drop on one knee in front of me.
What can I say? I love a fair amount of romance in life! And trust me, this gels really well with a more kinky relationship.

Don’t believe me? I’ll prove you wrong in my book “Free Me, Master!” Even the very moment where Rebecca -the heroine- softly speaks the words “Free me, Master!” is super romantic.
After Rebecca meets her man, she finds out she wants more than just be his “girlfriend”, and she faces the dilemma of her man not proposing. She isn’t sure how to address the issue, nor how he will react, and she’s not certain whether a compromise is possible.
If you’re romantic like me, and also into more kinky relationships, let me surprise me with “Free Me, Master!”

Lots of Love!
Dani Rose

My website: Dani Rose Books
My Facebook: Dani Rose's FaceBook
Twitter: Dani Rose Tweeting

Free Me, Master! is available on all major online bookstores!
Grab your Kindle or Nook book copy, or paperback:
AMAZON  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Wolves Are Back In Town! #PNR #Wolves #Military #GetBitten

Bitten Under Fire

Bianca Devlin’s work is her life. Now, she’s finally taking a vacation…and guerillas hit her resort to kidnap a diplomat’s son. She does the only thing that makes sense—intervene to save the child’s life. Being dragged into the jungle with a scared kid she’s determined to protect was definitely not how she saw this trip ending.
After she returns to Texas, the last person Bianca expected to see was Sergeant Carlos “Cage” Castillo, the member of Bravo Team WOLF that helped rescue her. Nevertheless, there he is, living across the street from the house she just bought. The coincidence is alarming, but she has to admit, his presence isn’t entirely unwanted.
But there’s something off about Cage—the way he can move without a sound or the weird way his eyes seem to almost glow at times. And how can Bianca manage her growing attraction, when everything she knows about him and his reason for being there, turns out to be a lie? 
Grab Your Copy!

Read a sneak peek right now!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Writing Rituals #kensingtonbooks #historicalromance



Hi All,

Got your morning cup of coffee? Here’s my favorite. Note the cookie, too!

 
I just finished the ms of A Spy’s Guide to Seduction, the third book of the Husband Hunter series from Kensington. For the first time in two years I’m not facing a deadline while simultaneously meeting the demands of family life—weddings, births, major illnesses and caregiving, and death and loss. Much of this life experience went directly into those stories, available now.

What kept me going?

Writers, like runners, thrive on routine and discipline. As Mason Currey says in the opening of Daily Rituals, “A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods.” A routine also keeps a book and its characters alive in a writer’s mind, while distractions are the great enemy. I agree with the Turkish novelist Pamuk, who says that one dinner party can wreck his writing for three weeks. Or as Jane Austen put it, “Composition seems to me impossible with a head full of joints of mutton & doses of rhubarb.”

In spite of the reputation of artists as “bohemian” and unconventional, most of Currey’s 160 creative people had a strict regimen of regular hours of work daily, especially morning hours. Flaubert recommended, “Be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.”  And Balzac existed on endless cups of coffee.

While I need my writing routine, the hours in the chair and the commitment to words on the page, I also need the rituals that connect me with those I love. I depend on my coffee, a walk with my dog, a glass of wine with my husband, and a story read to a grandchild. Maybe, I should add yoga!


After all, as Joyce Carol Oates puts it, “Getting the first draft finished is like pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor.” After that, who doesn’t need a walk or a glass of wine?

Comment here about a routine you swear by for a chance to win a free download of book 2 of the Husband Hunter Series—A Lady’s Guide to Property and Passion.


Cheers,
Kate
www.katemoore.com
www.facebook.com/katemooreauthor

Monday, May 28, 2018

Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York HOLT Medallion Finalist!

I am delighted to announce that Bedding the Highlander has been selected as a finalist in the HOLT Medallion Contest!
What makes the HOLT unique is it's purpose of reflecting the actual marketplace. Judging panels are comprised only of avid romance readers who participate with enthusiasm and sincerity. They are looking for a good read, a book they would buy and an author they would follow. Their judging decisions reflect these inclinations. No editors, agents or writers are eligible to judge.
BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER
Only a Scot can steal her heart.
There’s nothing ladylike about Katherine Killin. She’s a spitfire who cannot be tamed. To rid himself of her, and to honor a truce set by the Duke of Glencoe, her father agrees to wed her to his clan’s mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kurt Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she suddenly craves domination.
BookShots Flames
  • Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON
  • Novels you can devour in a few hours
  • Impossible to stop reading
READ A SCORCHING EXCERPT!
It was a glorious ride. Kate wanted to throw out her arms, turn her face to the downpour, and revel in the moment. Racing across the lea with Kirk, warm and strong behind her, was magnificent.
She’d always loved storms and the savage beauty of nature. It made her feel one with the world. Alive. But there had never been a more exhilarating tempest than this.
She could taste the acrid scent of lightning on her tongue, feel the crackle of its energy in her hair. Danger stalked them, and it excited her.
But something else did too.
An enormous, muscled man, held her tightly, breathing against her neck in harsh pants. The movement of their bodies against each other created a friction as they rode in manic union. The damp heat of the plaid conjoined them and an earthy scent rose between them.
Ah, it was splendid.
It was nearly a disappointment when it ended, when he slowed and guided the horse to an outcropping protruding from the rocky tor.
And then, he slid from the horse, leaving her alone and suddenly cold. When she frowned at him as he reached up for her, he stilled. “Are you all right, lassie?”
“Aye,” she said, setting her hands on his broad shoulders and allowing him to ease her down. Lord, he was large. So hard and strong. So…tantalizing with his fierce expression. She didn’t bother to hide her shudder.
“You’re freezing,” he said in a low, feral growl.
She was not. She was on fire.
The thrill of the manic ride, the exhilaration of their near disaster, and the pure elation of life and living pulsed in her veins. Which was why she stepped toward him, rather than stepping away. Why she reached up and cupped his nape. Why she tugged him down and whispered, “You saved me.”
And she kissed him.
Surely she intended it only to be a kiss of gratitude, one of pure and simple thanks. It was meant to be quick and passionless and chaste.
Perhaps she had been deluding herself, because she fiercely wanted, to the depth of her being, to taste him.
Glory. It was a mind-numbing kiss. It began as a brush of her lips against his. But then, transfixed by the flavor of his breath, the velvet caress of his mouth, she lingered. Her fingers tangled in his hair, tightened. She eased closer and sealed them together from chest to groin.
Though he allowed this familiarity, she could tell he was resisting the urge to kiss her back. His muscles bunched, he arched away.
The thought annoyed her so she tipped her head and deepened the kiss, pressing her tongue between his lips.
He made a sound, something like a growl, and he broke the kiss completely.
In a rush, he whipped her into his embrace and backed her against the wall. She loved his power, the heat of his muscles, his raging passion. But even more, she loved that he did not give rein to his savagery.
Even now, as he consumed her in a series of hungry kisses, he held back. Refrained from crushing her against the granite tor.
With a growl, he reared back and stared at her. “Lass, you tempt me,” he said in a gravely tone.
She tried to hold back her smile, and failed.
“We canna do this.”
Ah, her mood plummeted. And the least of her despair was her plot to scuttle the wedding to his brother. Her body hummed with a desire she’d never experienced before. It was a soul-deep yearning. A need.
To her surprise, he chuckled, and that irked her. “What is so funny?” she snapped. Did he not know how she ached?
“Lass, lass.” He stroked her hair and cupped her cheek in an attempt to soothe her. She scowled at him. He would have to do better than that. Yet what did he do? He chuckled again and pulled her into his arms, though she remained stiff. “I have work to do before we play,” he murmured. He said this in a teasing tone, one that indicated there would indeed be more kissing. More of…everything.
GET IT NOW: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bedding-Highlander-Bookshots-Flames-Sabrina/dp/0316466972/

Sunday, May 27, 2018

English Country Houses: How much did they cost? Who owned them? Live CHATS with Cerise!

How were those huge country houses built?

How much did they really cost?

Who designed them?

Who decorated them?

I've begun a series of short chats on Facebook to describe my research—both in books and in person—to help me portray these houses in my novels. A lot of what I've learned cannot go into every book. THAT would be "hanging the drapes" and telling you every tiny detail you don't need to know to enjoy a novel and get its verisimilitude.

Do come here to chat with me! https://www.facebook.com/cerise.deland
SWEET SIREN is Book 3 in my series,
THOSE NOTORIOUS AMERICANS, out now.
Amazon  KOBO  NOOK  iTUNES

But I give you a few tidbits, a few illustrations, most of which are my own pictures!
Join me, ask questions!

I began this research years ago to complement my novels and have continued, especially with my newest out now, SWEET SIREN. Here the hero—an American tycoon and robber baron—commissions an architect and his designer to build a country house for him in Brighton in 1879!


A posting in a newspaper about the opening of Harlaxton Manor House, 
the house you see in my post above! 
Marvelous, isn't it, that it was open to the public...for a price?
I will discuss my tour, among others, in Brighton 
of REGENCY TOWN HOUSE.
This building is owned by a non-profit and 

renovated by experts in period construction!
Do Follow them on Twitter for more info!

My picture of a part of Prince Regent's Royal Pavilion in Brighton!
I will talk about this in detail and tell you why 

and how it influenced the growth of seaside Brighton!

My picture of one facade of Spencer House in London.
I will discuss at a future date how this townhouse 

differs from many others, especially those in Brighton!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Alien Attraction (Alien Mate 2) by Cara Bristol


How insane is it to marry an alien as a publicity stunt?

I’m Sunny Weathers. You probably recognize me from my reality show, Sunny Weathers’ Excellent Adventures. I’ve had to perform a lot of crazy stunts in my career, but this one takes the cake! The producers are sending me to another planet to become an alien’s mail-order bride. I’m not allowed to tell anybody it’s a put-on, and as soon my contract is up, I’ll be leaving planet Dakon. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on my attraction to Mr. Tall, “Darq,” and Handsome…

I’m Darq. The moment I laid eyes on the female with pretty mud-colored hair and a sunny smile, I knew she was mine. Competition for females is fierce, and I was determined to claim a mate from the latest shipment from Earth, so I broke the rules. If anyone finds out, my own brother will banish me to the icy wilderness, and I’ll lose my mate. I will do anything to keep her…



 Alien Attraction Excerpt:

“Absolutely not! Have you lost your mind?” I glared across the desk, incredulous at what had popped out of my agent’s mouth. The woman couldn’t be serious. I’d been forced to perform some crazy stunts in my reality-show career, but this would take the cake.

“The ratings will go supernova,” Chantelle Aubergine said with a straight face.

“I don’t care about the ratings! This is my life we’re talking about.”

“You should care about the ratings—they keep you employed. Without good ratings, there would be no Sunny Weathers’ Excellent Adventures.”

Excellent adventures? What a crock. The reality show should be called Stick It to Sunny or Test How Much We Can Throw at Sunny Before She Loses It. The venture had started out as campy fun, but the stunts and segments had grown wilder and crazier. Now, I dreaded each new season.

“Skydiving, military boot camp, living in the jungle during monsoon season, working on a fishing boat, spending a month in the desert with the scorpions and snakes, I did it.”

Chantelle chuckled. “Military boot camp. Hilarious! You and Stormy were great.”

In the early years, my sister and I had teamed up to do the show, which had been called Sunny and Stormy’s Excellent Adventures. Then Devon had come along and put a halt to her career. To keep viewers engaged, Apogee Productions had upped the ante, demanding longer, weirder adventures.

“I draw the line at marrying a purple, scaly horned alien.”

“They’re not purple or scaly—although they do have horns. Women think they’re sexy.”

“The horns or the aliens?”

“I was referring to their horns, but both, actually.”

“Well, not me.” I shuddered. Dating out of my species did not interest me.

“You don’t understand what a great opportunity this is. The producers managed to get a slot for you. 

Do you have any idea how hard that is?” Chantelle said. “Since they’ve opened up the Terra-Dakon Exchange Program to all women instead of just convicted felons, women have rushed to enroll. There’s a waiting list a parsec-long.”

“Then give someone else my slot. Slim as chances are for finding a husband, I’ll hold out for a human.”

Cara Bristol bio
Cara Bristol writes character-driven science fiction romance with humor, heart, and heat. She loves introducing new readers to science fiction romance and likes to say she writes sci-fi for readers who don’t like sci-fi. She’s been a number one best seller in multiple book categories and has hit the USA Today bestseller list twice! She has three science fiction romance series: the action-packed Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series; the dark, intense Breeder series; and the new light and funny Alien Mate series. When she’s not writing (ha ha ha – she’s almost always writing) she enjoys traveling to exotic destinations and chillaxin’ with her favorite reality TV shows. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.

Cara’s Website: http://carabristol.com/
Chat with Cara (Reader Facebook group): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1761424733891183/
Twitter: @CaraBristol https://twitter.com/CaraBristol


The story continues from the first one, Alien Mates, where Terra has sent female prisoners to Drakon as brides in exchange for illuvian ore. But in the first story, the women are criminals, in the second, they have signed up and agreed to the exchange. Well, let’s say, all but one, Sunny Weathers, hadn’t agreed, she is being forced into the deal under contract by her studio, Apogee Productions as part of her Sunny Weather’s Excellent Adventure, a reality show.

Sunny Weather started doing the reality show after her sister, Stormy, has started. But Stormy no longer does the gig, only Sunny, and that is only because of her nephew, Devon, who needs expensive medical care. With a nice bonus, it will make life easier for Devon and Stormy, and it is only for one year, isn’t it?

On Drakon, one-hundred woman is coming, so that means a drawing of one hundred chits with only so many going to each tribe. Darq just knows he will win a draw, but is disappointed. Has fate handed him his greatest wish? Draq will find a lost chit, and while he plays back and forth on what he should do, he isn’t willing to give up having a chance with a Terran female, especially when he sees the one.

The plot will have two individuals, each with their own secrets, demons, and desires. For Sunny, it is spending a year on Drakon to give Devon a chance. For Darq, it means having a mate, a female to love and cherish. From the moment that Sunny and Draq make eye contact in the meeting hall, they are both taken with each other, talk about instant chemistry and attraction.

“I promise to become worthy of you. I will become the mate you deserve.” –Draq

“She shook her head slightly. I’m the one who needs to become worthy of you.” –Sunny

“We’ll learn about each other, together. Except for one thing. The secret I couldn’t tell the world, I also couldn’t share with her. I hated we were starting our life together with a lie between us. “

Sunny’s producers were creative in how to make the reality show work by sending six camera robots, ones that looked like flying insects with red glowing eyes. When Sunny finally can talk to her sister, Stormy, she will learn that Devon is doing better and that Stormy wants to sign up and come to Drakon as a bride, bringing Devon with her. Maybe this is the answer for their futures.

The story will include so many laughing out loud moments with issues with the annoying “insects” as they hover and swarm around Sunny to record her and Darq’s every move and interaction. While they are invasive, they do serve a greater good too. What will happen when true confessions come to light? How will Sunny accept Darq’s deception with the found chit? How will Darq react when he learns she is part of a reality program and will she want to stay as his mate? How will the Dakonian tribesmen handle the deception of Draq and will this mean that the man who lost the chit have the right to claim Sunny as his mate? I look forward to the next book and how the new lottery will pan out.

“The Dakonian lottery was stupid, and yet, so romantic. Darq and I had found each other that way. We’d both had secrets and strikes against us, but for the moment our eyes had met, we’d had chemistry, that indefinable bond that caused two people to gravitate to one another. You could see it with these couples, their attraction sparking with the first hello.”

Friday, May 25, 2018

Open the Heart, Free the Breath, Improve Your Life: Yoga for Writers, Office Workers and Anyone Who Wants to Feel Good by Suz deMello (#yoga #CubicleLife #writinglife)

Last month, I blogged in general about yoga, a five thousand year old approach to life that originated in India and has steadily gained adherents since. The broader view now narrows to yoga practices specifically targeted to office workers as well as those who simply spend a lot of time in front of a computer, including my fellow writers.

First word of advice: get up once in a while, preferably at least hourly. Bust out a few poses to heighten your physical and mental health. 

Inversions will push more blood to the brain and improve its functioning. Of course you could do a headstand or a shoulder stand, but that might draw unwanted attention to your corner of CubicleVille. So I suggest you try a simple wide-legged straddle stretch, known in YogaLand as Prasarita Padottanasana (we yogis love to bring out the Sanskrit--makes us feel as though we're in possession of some arcane knowledge).

Here's what it looks like:



A side view: 


This pic is okay, but don't put your hands on your knees!
Floor, shins or thighs for support.


If you need a little more support, try this with a chair or desk:



The point is: get your head below the level of your heart, which promotes blood flow to the brain.

To perform the posture, always remember that every yoga pose is built from the ground up. Make sure that your shoes will keep you steady--don't wear high heels or slippery-soled shoes. Take them off if you are, and make sure that your stockings or socks or whatever won't slip. Ideally, you're barefooted.

Feet should be planted firmly on the ground about three feet apart, or more. Whatever is comfortable for your body that day.

Breathe deeply and evenly. First spread your arms out into a T, then, on an exhale, bend from the hips, not the waist, keeping your spine straight. If you need support, you can place your hands on the floor, on your thighs or shins. Not the knee--joints are sensitive.

Keep breathing long, deep, complete breaths. Take at least ten full, complete breath cycles.

If you want to twist (highly recommended!) place one hand on the floor in front of your face, then raise the other into the air. On an exhale, twist in its direction for five complete breath cycles. Focus on how these breaths feel compared to the untwisted variation. Then do the other side.


To come out of the posture, untwist, put your hands on your hips, bend your knees slightly, tighten your core. Inhale and pull your torso upright.

Broaden the chest, open the heart, free the breath.

I probably say this at least ten times in every class I teach. The breath is so, so important! Not just in yoga, but in life. We can survive a week or two without food. A few days at least without water. But without breath? Not very long at all.

Breathing deeply will help you in every area of your life. Take a deep, slow breath with a slow release before and after any task. Shove oxygenated blood though your body and feel the energy, the prana, flow and strengthen you.

We spend so much time hunched over at our desks, curving our chests, constricting the breath and squeezing our hearts, when we are so much happier with our hearts open--literally as well as figuratively.

So, employing the same posture, try clasping your hands behind your low back and lifting them, which will open your chest. Breathe deeply--again, at least five to ten complete breath cycles.



Chair exercises

If you are so unfortunate as to have such a small cube that you can't even do prasarita, much of the above can be done in a chair.





Dharana: Mental focus

Dharana is one of the eight petals, or limbs of yoga. (As I discussed in the previous blog, these are techniques which we employ on our yoga journey--that's the path we tread to attain integration and happiness). Certainly mental focus will help us on our journey, as well as in our everyday lives.

So how can we easily practice dharana? The inversion and its variations will help sharpen the mind, but there are other techniques, including something so simple that few think of it.

Try something new.

Research has shown many times that learning a new language improves mental functioning, but that's not because there's any intrinsic virtue in learning Mandarin, Swahili, or French. Any new undertaking grows our neural net, creating new nerve paths and synapses in our brains.

There are hundreds of yoga poses, and a smart yogi will vary her practice, learning new asanas (postures) and breathing exercises (pranayama).

However, many other options exist. Something as simple as skipping instead of walking, taking a different route to work, traveling to another country, or learning a new computer game will increase your brain power.

Quit multitasking. Instead focus on one thing--the moment.

This is a tough one. Our modern, complex society demands much of us, and those demands create what many of us all the "monkey mind," the headspace that is scattered, unfocused, and constantly shifting instead of concentrating.

Be in the moment, focusing on what's happening instead of what could be happening. If you're working, focus on work, not on where you're going to eat lunch or any task that might be facing you. When you're with a friend, a family member or anyone else, be fully present for that person. Don't check your phone... Whatever else night be going, in most instances, it will keep. (Besides, checking your phone when you're with someone is really rude).

Be present and focused on the moment. As the old Latin proverb says: Age Quod Agis--do what you're doing.

Good luck! 

As always: ask your doctor if it's okay for you to perform easy exercises.

And remember to breathe!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wow! What a Month: Visual and Video Highlights of May


via GIPHY

Just got edits back yesterday from our editor for a joint Charmed Legacy story I'm working on with my friend, Muffy Wilson, so now I'm back in the saddle - the writing saddle, that is :-) My health has been much better, and I want to share a few highlights of other fun stuff I've done this month. Still haven't had a chance to see "The Avengers: Infinity War" yet, though. That's next on my list.

Bellingrath Gardens
Mon Louis island, AL
(10 - 15 minutes west of Mobile)







"Dangerous Beauty, Sexy Beast"
Launch with Giveaways


Drayden saved Treva’s life. Her need for vengeance could mean the end of his.

Grab your copy before the sale ends May 31st!





Duck Boat
Mobile Bay (5-10 minutes from my house)







Join my Facebook group to view the full albums. With 2 more books releasing this summer, the forecast is looking fantastic!