Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Men in Kilts!

Just a few men to make you smile as you go about your Tuesday. I just finished re-reading Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning so it's men in kilts day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shelli Stevens is in the hut!

Please join me in welcoming author Shelli Stevens to our humble island! Shelli writes steamy love stories for Kensington Publishing, Samhain Publishing, and Cobblestone Press. She also finds time to be a fabulous president of the Seattle RWA chapter, where she mentors young, impressionable, aspiring authors to write hot, write often, and reach for the stars.

Ciara: In SEXY BEAST VII, your novella features a shapeshifter hero. What is so sexy about shapeshifters? What makes a shapeshifter hero bigger, badder and hotter than other species of hero?

Shelli: Hmm that's an excellent question! I think what makes them so sexy, is the fact that there's finally a reason behind that 'primal, alpha, animalistic' mentality some heroes get that we may not understand. When they're actually part animal and have those tendencies born within them, well it's just kind of hot. Plus it's the unknown, the paranormal element, that just adds to the fascination factor.

Ciara: Edward or Jacob?

Shelli: Oh, God, Jacob all the way. Vampires gross me out (that whole blood and puncture wounds thing). Jacob is hot, kind of a coming into his own alphaness and total jailbait, but I'd be all over him.

Ciara: What kind of heroine is the ideal mate for a shapeshifter? What characteristics should she possess?

Shelli: Well obviously she needs to be open minded, or she just may never get over the 'my boyfriend is a wolf half the time' bit. She should also be strong willed and not easily pushed around, because shifters can be alpha to the boot, so she should be able to hold her ground against him. And of course she's gotta be passionate to satisfy the beast within him! ;)

Ciara: If you could live in any world/series, which would you pick?

Shelli: Hmm, let's see. If we're choosing paranormal, I'm going to go hang with the werewolves in the Twilight Series (they are so yummy!). If we're going for the normal boys, I think I'll plop myself into Lora Leigh's world of Navy Seal boys.

Ciara: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring 6 books, which would they be?

Shelli: Wild Card, by Lora Leigh
New Moon, by Stephanie Meyers (Jacob factor again!)
Mark of the Assassin, by Daniel Silva
Master of Surrender, by Karin Tabke
Hide and Seek, by Cherry Adair
Spying in High Heels, by Gemma Halliday

Ciara: If you could bring 6 heroes, which would you pick?

Shelli: Sir Rohan du Luc, from Master of Surrender
Nathan/Noah from Wild Card
Jacob from New Moon
Roark Navarre, The Innocent's Dark Seduction
Clint Evans, Just a Hint Clint
Jack Ramirez, Spying in High Heels

Ciara: Favorite drink to bring to the DIK party?

Shelli: a yummy, dry red wine (trying to get more into wine!)

Ciara: What can we look forward to next from you?

Shelli: I have the third novella, Protecting Phoebe, in my Chances Are series coming out with Samhain in November. Then in July 2010 I have both the release of Need Me from Kensington Aphrodisia, and Chances Are are (all three novelllas in print!) from Samhain. Other stuff is out pending in submission land, but hopefully there's some hot, suspenseful shape shifter
ideas and some light and hot romances in the future too!

Ciara: Thank you so much for joining us!

After years as a slave to the pleasures of the powerful, Talia knows how to make a man mad with lust. But her pleasure counts for nothing—until a handsome, ruthless stranger appears. Ryder dares to look at her... to touch her... to awake in her a desire she's never imagined. When he kidnaps her to learn her secrets, Talia vows not to let her passion take control. But soon she discovers that her captor's intense gaze and searching hands can perform their own kind of interrogation, a sweet torture she finds impossible to resist...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

kris needs your help with a knotty problem

I have a bit of an obsession with Lora Leigh's heroes from her Breeds series.

Can anyone say A-L-P-H-A??

Damn, those guys are hawt, the sex smutty, the mating thing granted a little ouchy for the girls, but... c'mon, mucho smexing, people! Meerow! or Wooluf! as the case may be.

Anyway, I've been chatting offline with a certain chook *BTW, if you only knew the shocking level of lewdness and bawdiness she hides behind that sweet and innocent facade you'd be stunned* about this series and it suddenly occurred to me...

... which Lora Leigh Bralpha would I rather be mated to? A big cat? Or a wolf/a coyote?

I soon realised that it's not as simple as choosing between cats and dogs, but, in actual fact, is a difficult decision between barbs and knots.

I know! Which to choose?!

Salvation came in the form of Tracy because I knew the DIK peeps could help me with my knotty problem.

So, the question... which Bralpha would you rather be mated to:

a) The Big Cat (Pluses - Barb that extends during mating heat to connect with a hitherto unknown pleasure point. Minuses - You may choke to death during oral.)

b) The Big Dogs (Pluses - Knot that swells during mating heat and inflames a hitherto unknown pleasure point. *Who knew we had so many.* Minuses - Depending on size, gag reflexes, etc, guaranteed to split the sides of mouth during oral.)

c) Say someone had a birthday coming soon do you think it's perfectly okay to pimp the day to death in the hopes of numerous cards and pressies from blogging pals?

Your help is greatly appreciated!

PS - Yeah, I know c) doesn't have anything to do with the Bralpha thing, but I wanted to get some input for, err, a friend of mine.

PSS - I still need your help with choosing my Mate because I've already taken into consideration the pros and cons of wet dog smell vs giant litter trays.

PSSS - Will a cookie help you decide??

PPS - You can answer that question any time now.

PPPS - It's September 30, btw. Just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Lisabea Top Ten List

It's a good thing!

Top Ten Reasons Why This Author Love Bloggers & Blogging

Number Ten

Reader Feedback
Extremely useful--but it can be excruciating. For the most part it's lovely. Best to ignore the former and concentrate on the latter.

Number Nine
Hot Topics
As an eBook author, it's good to be aware of your environment (the web)--particularly if there's something juicy going on.

Number Eight

I won't lie.
There. I said it. October 2nd from Aspen Mountain Press. Booyah!!

Number Seven

Discovering New Books
I've spent more money on books because of blogging...it's a curse, and it's a blessing.

Number Six

Hawt Nekkid
Ok this is apparently a love/hate issue with a lot of people--and clearly a, erm, little goes a long way...but STILL. A peek at the man titty can make for a happy day. **

Number Five

It's imperative to step away from the wip and make the rounds. Blogging is a great way to unwind.

Number Four

I laugh a lot. Most of the bloggers I hang out with are funny. They're smart. They're well read. They can be critical without losing perspective--and even more importantly, they know not to take themselves too seriously.

Number Three
LOL Cats
That's not really blogging. I just like LOL cats. So do you.

Number Two
Changing Attitudes

Folks like Kristie J and Wendy and their love of the Western; Jenre's in depth reviews of m/m fiction; the incomparable Tumperkin whose blog is thought provoking and fabulousa; and our girl, Tracy, who reads a helluva of a lot of books--these and so many other bloggers keep things fresh and fun. They challenge what I think of our beloved genre, what I read and why, and they often encourage me to step out and try new things. Bloggers rock.

Number One

Meeting Great People

The So. Cal. Bloggers following lunch and a rapid book\swap last winter in the parking lot of PF Chang’s. From left: Blanche, Holly, Lori , Daphne, Tracy, LB (honorary California girl for the day and previously unaware of her height issues), Wendy, Rosie, Nikki, Alice and Renee.

Is it me, or does Renee look about to be gobbled up by that hatch back?

Thanks to Katiebabs--my inspiration for this post. =)

**no actual man tit was exploited in this post.

Monday, September 21, 2009

DIK's Very Own Authors

Did you know that we have our very own authors here on the Island? That's right we do. This way if we manage to read all of the books that the we've brought with us - as well as the ones that our guests have brought - we'll have our wonderful locals to write more books! What do you mean that's not why we brought them? Ah well, we're happy they're here no matter what!

First we have Katie Reus. Her latest release Finding Hope is from The Wild Rose Press.

Twenty three years ago, Luke Romanov’s childhood playmate disappeared without a trace and he’s never stopped blaming himself. When the family he works for hires a woman identical to his childhood friend, he’ll stop at nothing to discover her true identity, even if it means betraying her.

What few memories photographer Hope Jennings has of her past aren’t pretty. The monsters from her nightmares make it impossible to completely erase her violent history, but she’s living her life one day at a time. Hired to photograph a wealthy family’s ancestral home in the Caribbean, she expects to work hard, get the job done, and go home. Instead, Hope finds unexpected passion in the arms of the family’s sexy and dangerous security expert, who has the power to destroy the safe life she’s built for herself. When someone from her past targets her to die, Hope doesn’t know who to trust.

(Katie also writes erotic romance under the name Savannah Stuart.)

Next up we have our very own Lisabea who writes under the name L.B. Gregg. Her third book in the Men of Smithfield series, Cover Me, will release on October 2nd from Aspen Mountain Press.


That was the initial conclusion enigmatic security specialist Max Douglas had drawn of Michael “Finn” Finnegan—Dalton Prep’s beloved English teacher. When Max arrives at Smithfield’s exclusive boarding school to protect a high profile student against a mysterious stalker, he’s hell bent on enforcing his style of leadership on students and teachers alike. Warring tempers turn to passionate lovemaking between the former marine and the easy going drama coach. But danger is closer than either man expects and all too quickly violence rocks the homey campus—putting both men at risk.

We also have Carolyn Jean who writes under the name Carolyn Crane and will have her first book, Mind Games, published with Bantam Spectra Publishing on March 23, 2010.

Mind Games is the first in an urban fantasy trilogy about a hypochondriac who joins a psychological hit squad. It takes place in a fantastical Milwaukee/Chicago.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Romancing the "Bird"....

Alice couldn't make her regularly scheduled trip to the Island this go round so when Tracy issued a "island call", asking if anyone would like a little mini vacation I decided a day away from it all was just what the doctor ordered. So I packed up my Tori and rounded up three of the menz and here we are!

We left the vamps and my one demon behind this time because well to be honest they are kind of high maintenance (worth it though). The other guys were busy, but Mitch (a.k.a. Gerard) and Nicholai (a.k.a. Clive) were available on short notice. And, Johnny (a.k.a. Johnny Depp)? Well, I borrowed him from Ms.M. He is here for the rum, and, damn I just like looking at him... ;)

Okay, we are ready to partaay

'Nicholai', Johnny and I are lounging in beach chairs enjoying a couple of drinks with those little umbrellas in them, and as we watch Mitch surf, we got to talking about ' flipping.. ooops, I mean, romancing the bird', namely "Twitter". All the guys and just about everyone else I'm acquainted with on-line is "tweeting".

Me? I'm a complete, novice as in NEWBIE with respect to "The Bird", I'm probably the last person who should be posting about this social networking phenomenon. However, because of my newness I'm still in the "romance" stage I tend to do a lot of 'lurking', and am fascinated by it all, just as I was when first introduced to blogging .

Above right is pictured the Twitter Mascot, I tried to find out if this little blue guy had a name, but it doesn't seem so. Therefore one can assume he is called "Twitter"... lol (I think he is damn cute, by the way!)

So, in an effort to become more educated with respect to Twitter I consulted our friendly neighbourhood Wikipedia. (I mean where else would you go right?)

This is Wikipedia's definition of Twitter:

“Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. While the service costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.”

Just as a point of interest Twitter was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, a software architectural genius and businessperson.

What does this mean? Well, as near as I can tell, it is like a rapid form of instant messaging that has caught on and spread in popularity worldwide like wildfire. At any time of the day or night you can find folks logged on to Twitter, tweeting at light speed about anything and everything you can possibly think of. How does this relate to reading romance and blogging? Again, as near as I can tell a vast number of authors, bloggers and readers in general have joined Twitter and are Tweeting about books, blog posts and contests, and life.

However, like anything else there is a learning curve. There is a whole vernacular associated with Twitter that I haven't mastered yet, not to mention the various tools folks use to re-tweet (spreading news to all your followers), #FF (whatever that is), and so on and so on. So I was advised to download "Tweetdeck", because re-tweeting was much easier to do when you used that tool.

I tried to download "Tweetdeck", (lol - sorry I start laughing every time I type that) however my old dinosaur computer booted me off that one 3 times!

It was at this point I flipped "Tweetdeck", the "Bird"...

However, during my "lurking a.k.a. romance", I've also noticed folks "Tweeting", from Twirl, web, and any number of other formats. You can also get messages sent to your phone - that however is going to cost $ for text messaging.

The one thing I have noticed is that folks are commenting on blog posts less. And, blogs are shutting down. Is this because more bloggers are "Tweeting", in essence interacting socially on Twitter?

I'm also wondering if Twitter will make blogging obsolete at some point? I mean it is described as a "micro-blogging service", you can even download pictures on to it with something called "Twitpic"... lol (Almost sounds profane doesn't it?) Many of the girls have their Twitter Profile pages decorated like blogs!!

Just out of curiosity do you "Twitter"??

So, if anyone has some words of wisdom for a newbie to "Twitter", I'm all ears. In the meantime, I think I'll have to keep "romancing the bird"... lol

Tori, myself and the menz are hosting a little luau here on the island tonight, and there will be lots to drink and eat - music, and who knows what else... **waggles brows**... ;)

In the meantime, I'm admiring the "sights" while reading a novel... This IS the life. ;)

Thanks so much and I hope everyone enjoys a great weekend.

If you would like to vote for one of the choices in the Week #3 kissing scene contest at my blog - closetwriter - you can view the post here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The most anticipated books for me of 2009!

Hi everyone!

So i'm filling in today for Alice as she can't be with us today. So last night I agreed to post today and then I had to think of something to write about! I had a few moments of what the heck am I going to write about!? And then it hit me. In 2009 there have been for me a number of books throughout the year that I have HAD to have! In my opinion 2009 has been a great year for new releases in my opinion. So I'm just going to give you a few of my fav's of the year.

My first anticipated book of the year was J.R. Ward's Lover Avenged telling the story of Rhevenge. I love love love the Brothers! I have been reading them for a couple of years now and I really enjoy them. Incidentally, J. R. Ward has a new series out this month, The Fallen Angels, starting with Covet. And the cover of Covet is HOT!!

Next came Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning. This was my personal hell! I have been an avid fan of Karen's for many years and this latest installment of the much acclaimed Fever series did not disappoint! I think it is my favorite book of hers in the whole series. But I wish I hadn't finished this book already as there is no date for the release of the next book Shadowfever yet!

Next week I know alot of people will be excited about my next release, Echo in the Bone Diana Gabaldon the 7th book in the Outlander series. This series is phenomenal and it is another series that I don't want to end. After this book, there is one more to come and then the epic tale that is Jamie and Claires story will be done!!

Other authors that have books out this month or in coming months are Audrey Niffenegger author of the Time Travellers Wife her new book Her Fearful Symmetry is set to become an international bestseller. Dan Brown released a new Robert Langdon book, The Lost symbol this week.

If you are at all into Young Adult fiction the 2nd book in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins was released at the beginning of September. I discovered this series last week and I am in awe of the series it is fantastic, it left me reeling! Just be warned though of a planned trilogy one two are written and it is the type of series that you would ideally like to have lined up to read one after the other and then go right back to the start and begin all over again!

So what were/are your most anticipated books of this year?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh come on, I just had to!

Kris likes to call them cookies. Probably because they're so yummy. Enjoy this delicious treat.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just a Little Thing

Called Sex. lol. Did I get your attention? heh-heh

So I had this interesting conversation with a coworker today. See, next Tuesday is my 33rd birthday and we were talking about the party I had for my thirtieth. My friend and his boyfriend gave me a vibrator for a gift; more as a gag gift than anything. However, they gave it to me in front of all of my friends and my boss, which was...awful. And also very funny.

My coworker asked me if I was going to have a party this year and I told her I'm thinking about it. I kind of have something planned, but need to make it a bit more concrete. Anyway, she said she was going to buy me something. Immediately I cringed.

But, it got me to thinking about sex toys. Of course, it did. See, I'm not a huge fan of 99% of them. They're either too loud or too bulky. However, there are some fine specimens out there that are quiet and tasteful. This coworker also told me she's friends with one of those sex-toy party people. Um...no. lol

And for some reason blogger doesn't like the picture I was going to use. One of the most traumatic things I've ever come across was one that was 15 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. All I could think when I saw it was OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! And who in the world would use something like that? *shakes head*

Then my thoughts turned to favorite scenes using sex toys. I kind of drew a blank. Usually they're eye-roll inducing instead of being sexy.

Oh the conversations you can have when it comes to sex toys. What about y'all? What are your favorites? What makes you cringe? What makes you roll your eyes? Any good books with good sex toy usage? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Sad

For any of you who haven't heard the news, Patrick Swayze died today. I find it truly a tragic tale, considering that he was fighting so hard to live.

Like any girl, I grew up on Dirty Dancing. It came out when I was 11. I didn't actually see it until years later, but I remember being enthralled by the love story of Baby and Johnny Castle. To me, Johnny embodied the ultimate BAD boy. Black leather, tight pants and moves. LOL! Now, as an adult, I can watch that movie and see the things that are just wrong about it, but for a long time, the magic of that movie...*sigh*

And then there was Ghost. Man, that movie is just depressing. Sure, the scene with the clay was deeply erotic and the song that played kills me every time I hear it. The end was stupid, but I'm doing my best to think of Mr. Swayze being in peace and not having to be in so much pain.

I wonder that his death has hit me harder than any of the other celebrity deaths we've heard of lately. Maybe it's because his movies were the movies of my teen years; impressionable years where I wished I could move like his leading ladies

No, he wasn't attractive; not to me anyway, but the man had a sense of grace about him that made him attractive. I hope his wife is able to find some peace and know that she had a long, hopefully happy marriage and that he isn't in pain anymore. That's all we can hope for.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Swayze. You shall be missed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I admit...I'm cheesy. I see pictures like the one above and I automatically put myself in the woman's place. Of course, I don't think I'd be doing that in the ice cold water (which I'm sure it is), but the thought behind it is lovely.
I've had romance and love on my mind a lot lately. Anyone who reads my blog knows that my luck with men is just this side of nonexistant and that I'm becoming cynical in my old age. *snort* Very recently I had the...privilege of telling someone I liked them only to have them blow me off. Yes, it was a blow to my ego, but it also made me realize something.
Do I really want to spend the rest of my life looking for the "one?" Is it really worth the time and effort? There are times I wonder. Sure, I'd love to find that guy that's perfect for me. I thought this guy was, only to find out that yeah, not so much.
Maybe that's why I write romance novels. It allows me to let my characters fall in love, even if it's never happened to me. Do I wish the things that I write about were true? I'd be crazy if I said no.
The ridiculous part is that I know love's not perfect. I know there are ups and downs. There are unhappy times. Times when you wonder why you're with that person.
There's nothing I hate more than the trite "The right one's out there for you." Um, yeah. I stopped believing that years ago. I think I will end up being one of those cliches, living in a huge house full of books. Flirt with the lovely UPS man who brings me my weekly allotment of books. Write about the loves I'd wished I'd had. Be content being with friends and my books. It can't all be bad, can it?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

5 Romances That Won't Leave My Shelves

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was a teenager and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

(Keira's idea of a desert island!)

As I was writing my post for Katiebabs on the heroines I’d liked to be (when the post goes live on Katie’s blog this phrase should be linked to it) I thought of the romances I would never get rid of. I thought the lists would be the same, but surprise—they weren’t! Never would I have guessed that.

So, if I had to pair down my collection to just 5 books (a horrible, horrible thought… shudders…) these are the ones I would keep:

Endearment by LaVryle Spencer: Blueberries and vatermelon on a rustling corn ticks filled bed. Karl is one hunky Swede! Spencer wrote fantastic keepers and was my first romance author. She will always be dear to my heart.

Charming the Prince by Teresa Medeiros: A very literal raid for his heart. The only story I recommend with kids of an age to talk without reserve for personal tastes. I am completely confident saying this because I have recommended this book in the past and with great results.

Silence Speaks for Love by Emma Goldrick: She who holds her tongue gets her man along with help from an enormous well trained dog and feisty aunt. It’s a classic, my favorite Harlequin Presents to date… or really category in general.

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas: Baby plots have never looked so good or made me laugh so hard.

Love is Blind by Lynsay Sands: He wants to keep her blinded to his looks and she just wants to get access to her glasses so she can see him perfectly once again. It’s so sweet. I never fail to sigh when reading it.

Now it’s your turn. You can only keep five romances; what would you pick?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hey Everyone quick announcement!

The winners of Katie's giveaways are: *drum roll*

Razlover's Book Blog (Book from the back list)


Tracy (Finding Hope)

Please send an email to Katie (katiereus@yahoo.com) with what book you won so that she can get it out to you! Thank you to everyone that participated!!!

And a BIG thank you to Katie for coming to visit us (even though she lives here we make her work from time to time LOL!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Katie's Day 3... dealing with rejection

Right now I’m playing the waiting game. Actually, it feels like I’m ALWAYS playing the waiting game. If you’re a writer, pubbed or pre-pubbed, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Once you actively start submitting your work to agents or editors, the waiting game will commence and you’ll find yourself obsessively checking your email or mailbox. It is not fun. But, it’s a part of life if you want to get published so I’ve learned to be patient. When I first started submitting (2007ish), I taped this quote on my computer: “If you don’t get a rejection at least once a day, you’re not trying hard enough.” (I really wish I could remember where I got it.) This quote was my mantra for a while. It doesn’t apply to the current stage of my career but those words were a great reminder to me when I was first starting out and learning to actually deal with rejection.

Ahhh, rejection. My least favorite part about being a writer. I decided to dig up my file of rejection letters from the first manuscript I ever submitted, which looking back, NEVER should have been sent out for public viewing. I’m shuddering just thinking about it. Anyway, I found my file and counted all the rejections from agents. Total: 37. They were ALL form letters and most said ‘dear author’. Over the next two years I started receiving more personal rejection letters, explaining what I could do differently. And, I was no longer ‘author’. I had a name. So yeah, the rejections sucked, but they were getting better. For a while I focused on simply writing erotic romance for EC but at the beginning of this year I decided to get serious about finding an agent again. Before signing with my agent, I submitted a polished-to-death manuscript to a select number of agents (her included, obviously). Out of those agents, ten were the same agents I’d submitted that horrid manuscript to two years ago. And out of those ten, seven requested either partials or fulls.

Every author deals with rejection, sometimes on a larger scale than others, so if you’re putting yourself out there, don’t let a few ‘R’s’ get you down. Rejection isn’t something authors talk about a lot because it’s freaking painful (at least for me). On a logical level, I know the person isn’t rejecting me, but that certain piece of work. Since I’m unavoidably tied to my work, it can still feel personal. I think authors as a whole are solitary creatures so it’s easy to feel alone in our struggles. If your dream is to one day become a published author, don’t let anything get you down. If an amazing author like Sherrilyn Kenyon can deal with probably one of the most awful rejections, you can too!

*Side note don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to receive a copy of Katie's book. Also don't forget to send me your answers to the crossword puzzle for another chance at winning a book from Katie. *

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Katie and I debate if I should move to FL...

So Katie I hear Florida is the place to be. The end all be all. But no one can tell me why that is. Why should I leave my lovely flat, wheat and corn filled plains to join you in Florida? What does Florida have to offer me?

I was born in Florida so I’m a little biased, but I love this state. It's hard to be depressed when the sun is shining all the time. Here are some reasons why I think you’d love it here too! Maybe not to live, but to at least visit!
1. If you don’t have a pool, chances are you know someone who does.
2. You can wear flip-flops or sandals year round, even to clubs and no one looks twice at you.
3. A beach is never far, no matter what part of the state you live in.
4. South Beach hotties. Dude, I don’t need to say more.
5. Winter? Um, what’s that? January and February in Florida are perfect. It’s cool enough to wear scarves and gloves occasionally, but there’s no snow and most of the time, I don’t even turn on the heat.
6. If you don’t have a JetSki, chances are you know someone who does!
7. We have St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States (European settled city). It’s one of my favorite places to visit. I love the architecture and history.
8. I LOVE deep sea fishing and if I want to get some friends together, it’s easy and inexpensive to plan a daytrip.
9. Kelly Slater is from Cocoa Beach
10. I’ve been to Hawaii and California and even though the waves are smaller in Florida, watching surfers is still fun, no matter where you live.

But isn't all that sun and water bad for my hair? I'm a natural curly headed person? And what's up with this deep sea diving thing have you ever seen a shark? I will however, give you Kelly HOLY CRAP I think he's going to be our new spokesperson what do you think?

I'm a naturally curly haired girl too so no worries, I feel your pain! I don't even bother with the hair straightener ten months out of the year, lol. But, that's what conditioner is for! And even if your hair gets a little wild, if you live here, you'll always have that sexy tousled look which is great if you're trying to impress the surfers. Too much of anything can be bad for you, but the sun in small doses is great. After all, it's a great way to get your Vitamin D!

Sharks? I've seen them while fishing and diving, I caught a small one off the coast of Marathon, and one even rammed into my thigh years ago (at Cocoa Beach). In reality, you have a much better chance of getting stung by a jellyfish (nasty little creatures!) or getting a sunburn. The truth is, the ocean is their domain so you have to respect them and understand that it's a risk anytime you go into the water. I grew up here so I guess I've never thought much about it. Considering I spent almost all my summers at the beach and I've never been bit, I'd be more worried about getting into a car accident on the way to the beach ;)

Kelly can definitely be our spokesperson! I love his eyes.

So Florida and I should think about meeting once huh?And January and Feburay its cool but not hot? Maybe I should come and visit you huh? How do you feel about company?

Yes, you two definitely need to meet! While December is sometimes warm (I've gone waterskiing many Christmases), the first two months of the year are perfection. And you are more than welcome to come visit anytime! I'll take you the beach, to Key West, fishing, or anywhere you want to go. (just not Disney!)

Sounds like a dream... Excuse me ladies while I head over to Southwest and book a flight! In the meantime if you have any questions you would like to ask Katie about her works or Florida feel free!

Also don't forget to fill out the crossword puzzle and email me (saraijohnson@hotmail.com) your answers. It closes midnight on Thursday in the meantime don't forget to leave a comment in order to be placed in a running for a copy of Katie's book.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 1 and Katie's come to play

Hey guys guess whose come back to play with us? If you guessed Katie Reus you would be correct!!!!

And since Katie has 2 new releases recently she has decided to give 2 lucky readers a prize. The first lucky reader just needs to leave a comment on todays post and the next 2 days. The second reader will win a copy of Finding Hope by Katie Reus and all that person has to do is....

Answer the crossword puzzle correctly!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.armoredpenguin.com/crossword/Data/2009.08/3014/30140713.314.pdf Head here to see the crossword puzzle and send your answers to saraijohnson@Hotmail.com. Winner will be announced on Friday!

Alright tomorrow Katie is going to tell us about Florida and why Sarai should move down there *wink* Don't forget to send your answers to me by Thursday night

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sharon Lathan Day 3

I'm back! My last day on the island and I am already sad. But the sun is shining and the water is warm, so I will enjoy the company for the remaining time allotted to me before civilization beckons. While I recline on the chaise, palm trees shading my delicate skin from the direct rays of sun, I will dream about my ultimate hero: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Did you think I had erred yesterday on omitting him from my list of heroes? Perish the thought! No, I was simply saving the best for last. My love affair with Mr. Darcy has been of shorter duration than the ongoing one with Aragorn, but the intensity of my passion increases his clasp upon my soul. Ah, Mr. Darcy! What is it about that guy? He is over 200 years old, been written about thousands of times, and incarnated by a half dozen actors, yet remains dear and fresh to our collective hearts. The debates over this character rage on. Who played him best? What is he really like? What were his motivations? What kind of husband would he be? And so on.

The debates are fun, but the bottom line as far as I was concerned is that the mystery revolving around him meant I could go in any direction I wanted. I took that fact and ran with it! MY Darcy is a melding of the written original, portrayals on cinema, and my own desires and imagination. Probably more the latter. So let me introduce you to the Fitzwilliam Darcy of my Darcy Saga series and tell you why he is a hero to die for.

1. Tall, dark, and handsome - No doubt! However one may imagine him, Darcy is a looker. Austen doesn't give us much to go on, but I am sure we all agree he is mouthwatering. I am inspired by Matthew Macfadyen, a man I think divine, so my Darcy has blue eyes, a chin cleft, and straight brown hair. Height is a given, but I pump up the drool-o-meter by packing on the finely-toned muscle mass. Oh yeah! Darcy must be sporting a six-pack, solid thighs, and lean physique.

2. Rich - Admit it, we like our heroes to have more going for them than just a hot bod. Fortunately Darcy was already written as rolling in the dough. Throw in a nice house, fancy carriages, a few dozen servants, and a lucrative job and a girl is nicely set.

3. Intelligence - Years of tutoring, a well stocked library, a Cambridge education, and Continental travel for a man who is insatiable for knowledge adds up to create a very smart fellow. But I wanted my Darcy to be more than just well educated. I wanted him to apply that intellect in actively managing his estate and proactive involvement in the changing tides of the Industrial Revolution that was sweeping England. Yes, he has his steward to co-handle affairs, and the necessary solicitors to attend to the legalities, but that does not prevent him from wholly comprehending business matters and making sound decisions. He avidly keeps abreast of financial opportunities and is keenly aware of how to diversify his wealth. On top of that he personally participates and understands the inner workings of his land. He is just as apt to spend hours in his study poring over documents as hopping on a horse to ride about the estate. He even lends a bit of muscle now and then.

4. Outdoorsy - I wrote a Darcy that is all man. He hunts, shoots excellently, fences, trains falcons, and stargazes. His greatest passion and mastery is with his horses. Darcy is a born equestrian who not only rides brilliantly but also participates in every aspect of breeding and raising the Thoroughbreds of Pemberley. He is not afraid to get dirty when need be, and in fact hungers to frequently work up a healthy sweat. Stories of his youth are filled with daredevil pursuits that have earned him quite a few scars!

5. Passionate - Well yes indeed I do mean in the bedroom! Natch. A hero simply cannot be a hero if he is not abundantly capable of satisfying his woman! Anywhere, anytime, any place. However, I also refer to passionate in other aspects of his character. Passionate about his family. Passionate about Pemberley. Passionate about new inventions. Passionate.

6. Sentimental - I think I am most pleased with the softly romantic Darcy I have created. He has deep emotions for those he loves and can be moved to shedding a tear or two. He is not above reciting poetry and expressing his feelings, especially to his beloved wife. He keeps mementos of special events and journals of his life. He does not wear his heart on his sleeve, maintaining the stoic reserve we expect from Mr. Darcy, but he is an emotive, sensitive individual when it is appropriate.

7. Protective - A real man, a real hero, must have that alpha side to his character even if he isn't overtly so. Darcy is a balance. He is gentle, loving, and reticent with a polite diffidence and quiet humor. Yet he is also fierce, commanding, dictatorial, and wildly protective. Do not ever make the mistake of crossing this man! He hides his backbone of steel behind an urbane attitude, but never presume that he can be taken advantage of. And he will quite literally do anything to ensue the safety of those he loves.

8. Gentleman – For the Regency man this title imparted the highest compliment bestowed and was what they strived to attain. It had to do with being chivalrous, educated, reliable, kind, polite, helpful, respectable, intelligent, and always ready to do one’s duty without complaint. Darcy embodies these concepts.

That is just scratching the surface. Too perfect? Of course, every man, even our made up ones, must have some flaws! We already know that Mr. Darcy can be too prideful, a bit arrogant, and lacking in social skills. Fine. I also point out that he cannot carry a tune, is horrible at cards, has no luck with dice, always loses to his cousin at darts, can be impetuous and swift to anger, and is occasionally quite dense.

So there you have it! My hero. To learn more of this fine specimen of virile manhood, read my books. I think I have done him justice and made Miss Austen proud. For more info on my Darcy Saga series, come to http://www.darcysaga.net/

Thanks again to Bridget for inviting me to the island. I had loads of fun! Anytime you have a free deck chair, give me a call.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sharon Lathan Day 2

Here she is again, folks! Enjoy!

Back for more fun! Whoo Hoo! Today I am going to chat about my favorite heroes. It was tough for me to limit the list to a reasonable number. I have been reading so long that I literally do not remember learning how to read. It is like I was born with the ability to devour a book in no time flat. Until recently my favored genre was fantasy/sci-fi. Those novels are filled to bursting with manly hunks swinging heavy broadswords from the backs of charging stallions, so really not too far removed from the romantic heroes of most romance novels. All very alpha even before I ever heard that term applied to literary men. Suffice to say that now as I have moved into reading romance novels, those manly-men of brawn still appeal to me. But they also have to have brains to go along with it, decency, and a strong moral fiber.

King Arthur My earliest forays into mythology and fantasy were Arthurian legends. I read them all, but the best are the four books written by Mary Stewart, with Mary Zimmer Bradley's Mist of Avalon a close second. Film adaptations are numerous. Excalibur is a favorite, with Nigel Terry a more than adequate King Arthur. Clive Owen is a bit older than I ever pictured Arthur, but it IS Clive Owen so nuff said, right?

Aragorn Fast on the heels of my infatuation with Arthur was a life long love affair with Middle Earth. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is the best fantasy ever written, period, and the main hero is the standard bearer of all others. Aragorn is the archetypical hero. Wise, brave, a warrior, commanding, long-suffering, intelligent, compassionate, romantic - he is perfection. Peter Jackson opted to make him a bit more flawed and human than Tolkien wrote him, but Viggo Mortensen so incredibly embodied Aragorn that those changes were easily forgiven. And let’s face it, in costume or out, Viggo is hunkalicious.

Jason Bourne Please, I beg you, erase the sacrilege that is Matt Damon from your mind! No offense to Damon, who I like, but the movies are a travesty and insult to the character Robert Ludlum created. I have read all the Bourne books a dozen times and Jason Bourne is an amazing hero. He is a warrior extraordinaire who sacrifices everything to serve his country, again and again. His intelligence and craftiness is astounding, his physical skills mind-boggling, and his capacity to love heartbreaking. An age appropriate Richard Chamberlain did a FAR better job playing Bourne in the true-to-the-book 1988 miniseries.

Richard Cypher/Lord Rahl Terry Goodkind's series is long-winded and frankly somewhat annoying in places, but his created hero is wonderful. The journey that Richard goes on from simple woods-guide Richard Cypher to leader of the free world Lord Rahl is mesmerizing. No other character in all of literature suffers as Richard does, yet he keeps on going, swinging the Sword of Truth with supernatural skill, magically staving off the end of the world, and forever devoted to Kahlan. These are not romance novels by any stretch, yet the love between Richard and Kahlan is superbly written. The TV series isn't all that hot, but Craig Horner does a good job as Richard, and looks real good too!

Dr. Jonathan Ferrier Taylor Caldwell wrote Testimony of Two Men in 1968, and I read the book in one day straight when I was 14 (And, no, I will not say how long ago that was!). I already knew I wanted to be a nurse so I was fascinated by the medical history, but especially by the character of the tortured, complicated Jonathan Ferrier. He is a hero in that he stood up for what he believed in, fought against the established medical practices, and cared about those who were in need. He may be a fictional character, but he stands for all men who strived to advance medicine, an accomplishment I appreciate. David Birney played Jonathan in the 1977 miniseries and was perfectly cast, IMHO.

Captain Mal Reynolds from Firefly OK, so he isn't a literary hero, but he is still one of my favorites! Joss Whedon created him, but I have no doubt that it is Nathan Fillion's personality that gave this character life. A cross between a gun-toting cowboy and cocky Han Solo, Mal is a hero to completely fall in love with. The series was short lived, but the fan adoration for Mal and his motley crew still lives on - and fueled the necessary fire to allow the movie Serenity to be made. Long live the Browncoats!

Hawk, Grimm Roderick, Circenn Brodie, Drustan and Dageus MacKeltar, Adam Black, Cian MacKeltar I just can't pick a favorite out of Karen Marie Moning's Highland heroes! I want them ALL!!! I truly don't have the words to describe how much I love these books and the men Moning has created. Luscious.

Jamie Fraser I will probably get pummeled for admitting this, but I haven't read all of Diana Gabaldon's novels. No excuse, really. And it is a tragic shame as Jamie Fraser is incredible. Tall, manly, a Highlander, faithful to Claire, a fabulous lover, a warrior, a Highlander, educated - I mean, what's not to love? And is it just me or wouldn’t Gerard Butler be a fantastic Jamie?

Honorable Mentions: Edward Cullen, Twilight series. Ryan Sanderson, Marie Force's Line of Scrimmage. Jax Graham, Mary Margret Daughtridge’s SEALed with a Kiss. Stu Redman, Stephen King's The Stand. Roland Deschain, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Ender Wiggin, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Paul Atreides, Frank Herbert’s Dune series. And I shall stop there or this blog will never end.

Join me again tomorrow when I will be talking about my favorite hero. Any guesses?
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