Sunday, August 29, 2010


The word sends a shiver down your spine. That shiver could be from fear, or it could be from excitement.

Vampire romances have been around for decades, yet have seemed to explode in the last few years. I doubt if there's anyone who hasn't heard of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Laurell K. Hamilton's vampires are famous, as are Charlaine Harris'. True Blood, the HBO series based on Charlaine's books, has vaulted her into superstardom.

I haven't read a lot of vampire books, but have recently discovered a series that I'm enjoying very much--The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. There are currently eight books available. I'm reading number six. Ohmigosh, they are so good! If you haven't read them yet, I can't recommend them highly enough. Absolutely incredible.

As for my own writing, I've penned one vampire romance--"Diverted Destiny" in the Seasons of Seduction IV anthology from Ellora's Cave. My vampire took blood as others of his kind do, except he drew strength from a woman's orgasms. The more she had, the stronger he became. Sounds like my kind of vampire!

I'm currently writing a three-book series for Ellora's Cave about triplet brothers. Once that is done, maybe I should return to the world I created in "Diverted Destiny" and write more books about my vampires. Now my brain is whirling with ideas of characters and plots...

How about you? Are you a vampire fan or not?


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Forgotten Beauty

I think when you live some place it’s easy to get complacent about the beauty and attractions around you. Every place has some reason to draw tourists, right? I live in Alaska. I’ve been here for 38 years. I can’t count the number of times that when I mention I’m from Alaska, people say to me “I’ve always wanted to go there.”

And my first reaction?


It’s never been a destination for me. It’s always been home so while the rest of the world sees it as exotic, to me, it’s every day.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Alaska is beautiful. And there are days that even the most long term residents can’t help but catch their breath. I still slow my car and marvel when I’m driving work and see a moose munching on my neighbor’s tree. Or I stand on tiptoe to see Mount McKinley (some 200 miles away) from my doorstep. Or even the clear blue sky on a cold winter day.

But sometimes it takes a tourist to remind us of how special our home is. I recently went on a day trip that included a short train ride, a raft to the base of a glacier and then a float down a river. The tour was filled with tourists and three Alaskans. There was a collective gasp as we came around the corner and saw the massive glacier for the first time. I was amazed at the brilliant blues of the glacier ice. I got to touch an iceberg and stick my fingers in a glacial lake.

It rained all day so Alaska wasn’t showing herself off in her best light to the visitors but I could see through the clouds and it reminded me of the stunning beauty that’s minutes away. I’d forgotten that and really needed the reminder.

I think sometimes it’s cool to play tourist in your own land so you see the world through new eyes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stop the clock!

August? Already? I can’t believe how fast time flies now that I’m older. I remember as a kid feeling like summer went on forever, the wait between Thanksgiving and Christmas was endless, and it felt like decades between birthdays. Now, I blink and half my summer is gone! Poof!

In the summer I like to read and read and read. I try authors I’ve never heard of, re-read some of my favorites, and haunt the “New Books” section of the library like a bar fly at last call. During the school year I have to limit my reading time and so I stock books for July and August. By the end of June my “To be read” pile no longer fits on my nightstand, in fact it’s BIGGER than my nightstand.

I think summer vacation shouldn’t end until my pile of books is finished. That’s not unreasonable, right?

So what about you? Do you have a pile of books by your bed or maybe a list of unread books on your ebook reader? Are you more disciplined than me and only get the next book when you’ve finished reading what you already own, or do you grab a stack of what looks good at the library and save your own for a rainy day? Do you get nervous when you don’t have a few back up books handy?

More importantly, what are you reading? And do you have any suggestions for me, because I’m always looking for another good book.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


M.F.S. is my new way of life at the moment.
As women, we survive many changes, childhood, puberty,
awkward teenage years where these objects that catch boy's eyes pop out
of our chest and start our amazement at what thrills the male species.
Until we blossom into women, where we learn, we grow
and realize the power we maintain within ourselves.
It doesn't stop there. We become girlfriends, wives, mothers and
leaders. Yet that's not enough to assuage the curse of Eve and that Damn apple.
We were cursed to bleed in a monthly cycle. Ever wonder what we'd be like if
one woman hadn't slipped into temptation? Should we blame her for that one fault?
Nah, because if it hadn't been her, it would have been another down the line.
We women are sensual creatures. We control the world's finest asset...ourselves.
Yet, still we can't find a cure for menopause.
Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and changes in diet wage war on our
systems and suspend our normal way of life. For some it's quick and last a year or
two. For others, it drags on over a long period of years.
Myself, I started what's called peri-menopause a few years back (yes, I'm older than
I look). It began with night sweats ,but not every night. Then my cycle changed and
became heavy and more frequent so I chose to take a shortcut out of this downward
spiral in the female agenda. I had an ablation. It's a simple procedure where the
uterine lining is cauterized to prevent future periods. For me, it freaked my system out
and when the time for my normal cycle came, I was catapulted into menopause.
It was a week from hell. I was irritable, mean, cranky, weepy, and sweating buckets around
the clock. Thanks to one of the nurses I work with, I found an herbal supplement that seems
to help me, for now. It's called Estroven, maximum strength. It's not the perfect solution.
I still get night sweats occasionally, but not every night.
As sisters in this trek, I'm open to any and all ideas for easing this unwanted chapter of
the feminine life. I look forward to hearing your suggestions for alleviating the symptoms
of menopause because Menopause Fu***** Sucks!
Tara Nina