Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tielle's Side Car

Ice half full in shaker
1 shot bourbon (let bourbon marinade with ice for a minute or two; you want a little water in there)
1/2 shot Grand Marnier
1/2 shot Frangelico
3 shots sweet and sour

Shake the hell out of it and pour through a strainer into a sugar rimmed martini glass.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Ruby's Razztini

We love this at our house! It's a festive looking drink for the holiday season with the red and green!

2 shots raspberry vodka
1/2 shot Triple Sec
2 shots cranberry juice
Splash of lime juice

Add all ingredients into drink shaker with ice. Make sure when you shake that your butt is moving in the same rhythm. This always helps to get you in the mood for a party! Drain into a martini glass and add a lime wedge on the rim. Ready to go!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Arianna's Famous Hot Chocolate

We love this when decorating the Christmas tree or as a yummy dessert substitute. If you want to get fancy, make this in a clear mug and use a peppermint stick or candy cane as a garnish. This is a huge hit at Christmas parties or after Christmas dinner.

1 envelope hot chocolate
Hot water
1 shot Bailey's Irish Cream (regular or mint)
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings (if desired)

Empty hot chocolate envelope into mug. Add shot of Bailey's. Stir. Add hot water. Stir again. Top with whipped cream, candy cane, and chocolate shavings if desired.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cait's Creamy Irish Coffee

Your preference of black coffee, sugar to taste
Add measure of Bailey's Irish Cream
Float whipped cream on top and sprinkle with chocolate powder


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tara's Hot Buttered Rum

This recipe is yummy and easy to do, especially if you use a crockpot.

2 sticks butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves (optional)
Pinch salt
1 bottle rum, light or dark
6 to 8 cups of water (depending on size of crockpot)

Place all ingredients in a crockpot set on high. Stir occasionally to combine the ingredients. Once butter is melted and liquid is hot, it is ready to drink. I use a soup ladle to scoop out servings and place in mugs. Sometimes I top it with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Diana's Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate

At one point my husband worked as a night watchman for a historical museum. His rounds included a small house on the property where one of the directors lived. Every night during the cold winter months, he’d stop in to make sure she was okay and she’d give him a thermos of homemade hot chocolate. Here’s her recipe. We make it every Christmas morning and give a toast to her memory.

In a 4 or 5 quart saucepan, mix 1/3 c. baking cocoa, a 1/2 c. of sugar, 4 c. of milk and a dash of salt. Add 1 tsp. of vanilla and heat. Stir continually until all ingredients are mixed and cocoa is warmed for drinking. DO NOT BOIL.

Enjoy! Makes 4 cups of hot chocolate.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lynn's Frozen Banana Punch

An oldie but a goodie! This makes a lot, so adjust the recipe as needed for your party.

5 bananas
2 small cans frozen lemonade
2 large cans frozen orange juice
1 large can pineapple juice
4 cups sugar
6 cups water
4 bottles ginger ale

Heat sugar and water and boil for 5 minutes. Cool. Blend bananas in blender and add juices. Blend. Add sugar syrup and blend with juices. Put in container and place in freezer until needed. Sit out about 2 hours before using. Pour ginger ale over slushy concoction and serve.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Arianna's Easiest Roast Ever

This is the easiest way to make a complete meal, impress your in-laws, and not have a lot to clean up afterwards. It makes the house smell great too.

1 pork/beef roast (get what's on sale!)
1 small bag baby carrots
1 large can whole white potatoes
1 bag pearl onions
1 envelope French Onion soup mix
1 roaster bag
1 tablespoon flour
Salt, pepper, and thyme to taste

Using the roaster bag (available at most grocery stores; Reynolds makes them), put the tablespoon of flour in the bag and shake to coat the inside.

Quarter the potatoes. Put roast, potatoes, carrots, and onions in bag. Sprinkle seasonings in the bag (to taste). Dump the envelope of French Onion soup mix into bag. Close bag. Using a knife, make 4 slits approximately 3 inches in the bag. Put bag in a pan. Bake at 350ºF for 1-2 hours depending on the size of the roast. Use a meat thermometer to check the wellness of the roast.

Sprinkle some parsley over the roast when serving.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lynn's Veggie Spread Bread

I got this recipe from my Ellora's Cave editor, who served it when she invited some of her authors to her home for dinner. I loved everything she prepared that evening, but could have made a meal just out of this. Deelish!

1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls
Broccoli florets, chopped, or bag of broccoli slaw
Green onions, small bunch chopped
Carrots, small bag grated
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
8 ounces cream cheese
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix

Flatten rolls on greased cookie sheet (small sheet, or half of regular cookie sheet); spread evenly, don't leave gaps. Bake at 350ºF 5-9 minutes until just brown; watch carefully as it burns quickly. When done, allow to cool.

While baking, chop veggies and set aside.

Mix mayo, cream cheese and dry dressing mix until smooth. Spread on cooled bread base. Top with veggies, then sprinkle with cheese; pat down. Refrigerate for several hours.

Note: does not keep well. Use in a couple of days or gets soggy.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rock Buns

This is my grandmother's recipe and I'm not sure how far back it goes before that. She gave it to my mum, who gave it to me. These warm spicy buns with mixed fruit are a perfect winter treat.
Who doesn't love some spicy, rock-hard buns? ;)

Rock Buns
8oz self raising flour
3oz margerine
3oz castor sugar
3oz mixed dried fruit
1 medium egg
1 level teaspoon of mixed spice
2 1/2 oz milk

Put flour, egg, margerine and mixed spice into blender. Mix till crumbed.
Pour into a baking bowl and mix in fruit.
Add milk and egg and mix lightly into a fairly rough dough (do not over mix)
Using a fork, deposit onto greased baking tray in small rock-like heaps
Sprinkle lightly with castor sugar
Bake at 220C near top of oven for 15mins

Remove from oven and allow few minutes for buns to set (should be crisp on outside)
Serve warm with or without butter.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Diana's Dip for Triskets

My husband's aunt (What can I say? My husband knows how to find people who make great food!) gave me this recipe years ago and I serve it at our annual Christmas party. I didn't make it one year and boy, did I hear about it! Everyone likes this and looks forward to it. And the best part is, it's easy!

Aunt Jo's Dip for Triskets

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix together in an oven-proof bowl. Bake at 350ºF until top is golden brown. Serve as a dip with Triskets.

Add more onion if you like it onion-y; add more cheese if you prefer a cheesy-ier dip.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Tara's $300 Chocolate Cake

This was one of my mother's favorites. For those who like to actually bake a cake from scratch, you're gonna love it.

Mix 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of sugar in a bowl and set aside. In a pan, boil the following ingredients for 1 minute as you continually stir:

1 cup water
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup oil
4 tablespoons cocoa

Add the mixture to flour and sugar and beat until mixed, then add and mix well:

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda

Once mixed well, pour into greased and floured cake pans or a 13x9x2 oblong baking pan and insert into a pre-heated oven at 350ºF. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.


Bring to a boil 2 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 1/2 stick butter or margarine, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, then add 1/2 box of 10X powdered sugar. Mix well and spread on warm cake.

If you like, sprinkle chopped nuts of your choice (I like pecans) on top.

This goes great with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a slice of the cake. Yummy.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ruby's Christmas Cutouts

This recipe is soooooo fantastic. One of my grandma's. Okay, here's the story and every time I eat one of these I think of her, bless her heart -- she's now passed. When I was little, she would make these and store them in gallon glass jars in her front porch, which wasn't heated. It was always -20 around Christmas, but my sister and I would sneak into the porch. And since it was the front porch and our boots were at the back door, we'd have to stand on books so the bottoms of our feet wouldn't freeze! We'd shove frozen cookies in as fast as we could before we were caught! To this day, I make these cookies and always toss some in the freezer so I can eat them that way!

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Start with mixer. Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Add orange juice. Add flour, soda, salt, vanilla and rind. Knead with hands a bit, then wrap in plastic wrap and leave in fridge overnight. When you roll these out, just take a bit at a time and roll on heavily floured surface and roll thin! Keep the rest in the fridge until needed.

Bake 10-11 minutes (watch closely!).


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Truest Gift

I’ve come to realize that the truest gift is time. In this fast-paced world we have little to no time. Twenty-four hours in the day seems to slip by without much thought as to where it went. If you actually sit and consider the concept of time, we have one hundred sixty-eight hours a week, twenty-one thousand twenty-four hours in a year and we still don’t have enough time.

The reason I discuss this issue with time, for the first Christmas in twenty years, my son will not be home for the holidays. It is with great pride and a heavy heart I have to accept the fact he has chosen a dangerous path in life. By the time you read this, my son will have left for boot camp. He joined the Navy and has been selected to train for the SEALS program. For the past year, he has already been training in a SEALS pre-boot camp program here in New Jersey. He is in the best shape of his young life, but still the training he has yet to face will be strenuous and test both his physical and mental strengths and abilities.

I worry that I have not done enough to prepare him for the events he may face. As parents, we did our best to teach him right from wrong. We were there each time he stumbled. We tended to his needs and gave him the most valuable things we could provide—love, guidance, and a sense of honor and respect. But was it enough to help him in this next chapter of his life.

I believe our lives are giant books. The beginning starts at the first chapter, birth. We enjoy the childhood years, learning and growing. We struggle through the teenage years, which provide our chapters with angst, and some ridiculous fodder to sit back and laugh at when we are older. Each phase toward adulthood, each plot twist builds the story of our lives until we reach those dreaded two words, the end. What we choose to do with our lives is up to each of us. It can be a grand adventure or a sad tale, but it all boils down to that fleeting aspect of time.

You see, I blinked and my son grew up.

I sit here thinking of all the holidays I had with him. The wonderful memories of watching him grow and I can only hope he has the right stuff to reach the goal he has set. Time is a precious commodity. It has no monetary value, no price you can attach to it because it is priceless. It is the one thing in life you can’t take back.

The holidays tend to make most of us a bit melancholy and his leaving at this time of the year is not easy for me. Who am I kidding? His leaving at any time of the year would not be easy for me. He is my first-born and I will miss him as he journeys into this new, adventuress chapter in his life. I can only hope that his time here at home will be a treasured memory he takes with him that will help him succeed in his future.

The greatest gift anyone can give is the gift of time. Use this holiday season to reach out to friends, family and loved-ones to gather them together and share a few hours of that sacred commodity of time. It slips past so fast that in a blink of an eye the kids are grown and you sit there wondering where did the time go.

In the spirit of the holidays, please don’t forget to reach out to those who serve to protect our great country. Remember the wonderful people in the military. It doesn’t take much effort to say thank you. Over the years, I’ve been sending care packages to different service personal around the world. If you’d like to send a care package to someone in the military, please contact Kim Adams at She will gladly provide you with an address of a deserving individual, who’d love to hear from you.

During this holiday season, take a moment of time and enjoy the peace and love of family. Please share with me a fond holiday memory and I’ll enter you for a chance to win a signed copy of either Cursed Laird or Double Dilemma. I will be choosing a winner at random.


Tara Nina

PS, I don't normally share pictures of my family. The one above is a favorite from Thanksgiving a couple of years back. My son Robert is on the right, my husband Bob is in the middle and my daughter Casey is on the left and of course I'm the goof on the bottom. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hello! Real Woman Here!

Hello, Real Woman Here!
I recently had the lovely experience of shopping for an outfit for my husband’s company Christmas party. It was just oh so delightful. . . NOT!

First, let me say, I am over 40 and have borne three children, and am not exactly in shape. Unless you count round as a shape, in which case, I’m all set. I’m not obese, but I’m no super model , nor are the majority of women with whom I come into contact. In fact, if you look up the statistics (like I did) you’ll find:

Despite what the fashion industry thinks, the average clothing size in the United States is not a svelte 8 for women and a 40 regular for men. The average women's size is 14, the size at which "plus-sized" clothing begins. (Netscape Home and Living)

And...the fashion industry assumes these standard measurements for a woman: 35-inch bust, a 27-inch waist, and 37.5-inch hip. In the real world, women ages 36 to 45 actually average:
White: 41-34-43
Black: 43-37-46
Hispanic: 42.5-36-44
Asian: 41-35-43
(Netscape Home and Living)

Now, if that is the case, why did it take me 15 stores to find a top that didn’t either make me look like I was a sausage or a balloon? If it didn’t squeeze me at the waist and bust, it bloused out like a tent. Neither of which was attractive, let me assure you.

I wasted two days searching for an appropriate shirt before I finally found one at a Plus size store in the mall. (Torrid, and they were wonderful. I give them full props!) As I went from one store to another in a vain attempt to find something flattering, I got more and more frustrated. The clothes all seemed geared towards people who had no bust or hips or figure flaws to hide. I can understand marketing to the younger crowd, but I teach high school and I know the majority of my students aren’t stick skinny either.

So, if indeed the majority of women do not measure 35-27-37, why then do so many stores carry clothes that won’t fit an average size woman? I know the reason most designers use super skinny models is because the clothes hang better when you don’t have to worry about hips and breasts getting in the way of the drape, BUT THAT IS NOT REALITY. Where are the designers who use their creativity to design clothes for the average woman? Just because I don’t measure up to an unrealistic standard, does that mean I can’t wear fashionable clothes that make me look and feel attractive?

It is a constant irritation to me that the image of women we see on magazine covers and in movies has very little relation to the women we see around us every day. It is also extremely annoying to me that I buy into that image and fight a constant battle with my self-image and self-esteem. I’ve worked very hard with my daughters to define beauty as “healthy” not “thin” and hope they will listen to me instead of the constant media barrage that surrounds them on a regular basis.

So this holiday season, as you beat yourself up for having that cup of calorie laden egg nog or vow to lose weight for your New Year’s Resolution, consider instead finding a healthy balance and loving yourself just the way you are. It’s the best gift you can ever get.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sometimes I think NaNoWriMo is designed simply as an exercise in frustration.

Nationa Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a movement begun several years ago by a group of writers who vowed to write an entire novel of 50,000 words in one four-week period. The intent was to stop getting hung up on the editing and just let the novel flow out. Editing could happen later.

It was a wonderful idea and caught on with other authors. It spread through genre and age levels and now is a yearly, highly-anticipated event that authors from around the world choose to join. For the past three years I've participated, at least unofficially. I didn't sign up at the official site or join an offshoot group, but this year I've posted about my progress on my blog and Twitter stream. Needless to say, it ain't going so well for me.

I always start out with such high hopes. This year I wrote just over 9000 words the first week which kept me on par to complete 50K by December 1st. But the same problem came up that comes up every year. In my day job, I teach and grades are due by the end of the second week of November. That means I spend every "extra" moment the second week reading essays and senior papers. I worked late this year to get everything graded and came home exhausted. I didn't write but 2000 words the entire week.

Tried to catch up this week and had other RL issues get in the way so that I wrote not one single word on my manuscript. From 9000 to 2000 to 0. I'm more than halfway through the month and less than halfway to the target halfway point of 25,000 words.

The reality is what the reality is. I cannot add more hours in the day (I know, I've tried) and caffeine only gets me so far. I'm not offering these as excuses, but frustrations. Come retirement (2.5 more years, but who's counting?) and I can write 50K every month if I want. Right now, however, I am still squeezing writing time in the odd hours where I can.

I think it's safe to say I won't make the goal this year. I'm considerably further on my current wip, though, and that's always good. It's a full-length work with two couples I'm beginning to like--a lot. I'll be sorry when their story is finished because I enjoy spending time with them. I hope you will, too.

So, for those of you out there still aiming for that magic number -- good on ya! Keep going and I'm rooting for you from the sidelines. Get that novel out of you and onto the computer screen where you can work it in December. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

As for me, I'll keep writing but I'm a little less hopeful about getting this novel completed before the end of the month.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Writing of Always Room for Four

I discovered Ellora's Cave back in 2002 by following a link from an author's website. Whoa! I was so excited to find a publisher who didn't close the bedroom door. I bought one book, read it, and was immediately hooked.

I'd published three sensual romances with another e-publisher, but longed to write something more edgy, and definitely sexier. My problem was I'd never used "those words" in a book. I don't even say them in real life, so didn't know how I could use them in a book. My two wonderful critique partners urged me to go for it. That's how The Birthday Gift was born. It became the first of four stories in my collection, Happy Birthday, Baby.

Now nine years and twenty-five Ellora's Cave books later, I decided it was time to tell Patrick's story. He was introduced in The Birthday Gift, the hero's cousin and the third person in the ménage. I wanted him to meet the woman of his dreams, but I also wanted that woman to have a past relationship with another woman.

Writing about two women together was a first for me. So was writing a foursome. I had an absolute blast doing it.

Here's a little taste of Always Room for Four. I hope you enjoy it.

* * * * *

Tera looked at Amanda's soft hand on top of hers. So many times in college, that hand had touched Tera with tenderness and passion. She and Amanda had remained friends for years, yet had never been lovers again. They'd both become involved with the men they planned to marry. Anything between them had been pushed aside to make room for their soon-to-be husbands.

Tera no longer had a soon-to-be husband, but she had her best friend close enough to touch.

Turning her hand over, she laced her fingers with Amanda's. She focused on their hands as she asked her next questions. "What about us? Does this foursome include us being together, or would we only be with the guys?"

Amanda remained silent. Afraid she'd said the wrong thing, Tera lifted her gaze to her friend's face. "Would you like that?" Amanda asked softly. "Because I would."

That confession surprised Tera almost as much as Amanda's idea of a foursome. "You would?"

"We haven't been together in a long time, but I've thought about it."

"You never said anything."

Amanda shrugged one shoulder. "I figured you weren't interested anymore since you had Roger."

"You had Jake."

"That doesn't mean I stopped caring for you."

There hadn't been anything sexual between them in seven years. After that much time, it shouldn't seem so natural for Tera to lean closer to Amanda and kiss her tenderly. Yet it seemed as natural as drawing her next breath.

Amanda's lips were just as soft as she remembered, just as giving beneath hers. Tera parted her lips, her tongue searched for Amanda's. When she touched it, Tera inhaled a sharp breath. She gripped Amanda's hand, tilted her head to deepen the kiss. Amanda answered each stroke of tongue, each slide of lips.

Blindly reaching out, Tera found Amanda's other hand and gripped it too. She moaned low in her throat when Amanda's tongue swept over her lips. She scooted to the edge of her chair, needing to be closer, needing to touch more of the woman seated next to her.

Much sooner than she would have liked, Tera ended the kiss. She rested her forehead against Amanda's, wanting to continue but knowing they couldn't at this time since Jake and Patrick waited for them in the bar. "We have to stop."

"I know." Amanda's voice sounded thready, breathless. She squeezed both of Tera's hands. "Wow."

"Yeah." She moved back so she could look into Amanda's gorgeous blue eyes. "Tell me again why we stopped making love."


"Well, I won't make that mistake again."

Amanda laughed and Tera joined her. She slid from her chair, tugged Amanda to her feet to hug her. "I've missed you."

"I've missed you too." Amanda moved back, but kept her hands on Tera's waist. "No matter what you decide about Jake and Patrick, you and I need some time together."

The thought of pressing her naked body against Amanda's made her clit gently pulse. "Yes, we do."

* * * * *

Happy Birthday, Baby is available in print. The Birthday Gift and Always Room for Four are available as e-books from Ellora's Cave and other online retailers.

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Romanticon 2011

Romanticon may be a fledgling in the world of conventions, but Ellora’s Cave has mastered the art. Their third Romanticon event reoccurred in Ohio, the home state of erotic romance’s premier publisher.
The four-day event kicked off on Thursday with the Meet and Greet. It was wonderful to see authors, editors and readers come together as old friends. EC provided elegant bottles of local wine and root beer, both complete with EC Logo labels. The Cavemen mingled making the night a sexy success.
Friday was a great day filled with informative workshops and a couple
workshops just for fun. Classes in Burlesque and Pole dancing were available for those with an adventurous streak.
Caveman Angelo gave it his best shot.Caveman Alex mastered the pole.

Friday Night's Party: The Stone Age

Saturday started off full steam ahead with another day filled with phenomenal workshops for both reader and writer alike. EC editors had a full calendar of appointments for those with the desire to become published. As an added feature to enhance the convention, several venders attended selling a range of items from glamorous jewelry to exotic body glitter or painted portraits from a photograph. Once again, classes were available for those who dared challenge the pole or learn the beautiful art of burlesque.
The cover models spent the day vying for votes in this year’s premier contest for Alpha Caveman. On occasion one could peer out a window and catch them practicing the Fire Dance in-between rain showers. The weather in Ohio was not cooperating with this portion of the agenda. It was postponed until there
was finally a break in the rain Saturday night. Sexy Cavemen twirling fire sticks.
Hot, Hot, Hot.

Saturday Night's Party: Futuristic

Sunday morning gave us the final dash of workshops followed by the Sexporium BookFair. The Cavemen provided several dance performances throughout the event. The ladies of Burlesque did a fine job displaying a whole new perspective on the art of stripping. The very athletic pole dancing crew showed off their skills, which were astonishing to say the least. And the vendors provided their wares at this event in case you didn’t get the chance to shop during the convention. A wide variety of EC authors were in attendance to sell and autograph their latest additions. The turn out was fairly decent for such a large venue.
Sunday night’s Bingo Pajama Party brought Romanticon to a close. Rodney was the perfect master of ceremonies. We laughed until we cried making bingo more fun than ever.

If you’ve never attended Romanticon, you’ve missed out on a fun-filled adventure for authors, readers and editors. It’s a place where one can pitch their stories in a more relaxed environment, meet with old friends and make new acquaintances. If this article has piqued your interest, keep an eye on the site
for further information as to date, location and registration.
I know I will.
Tara Nina
Hot Romance~Sexy Attitude

Monday, October 17, 2011

What goes around comes around

I was in the library the other day looking for a new author to read because I had read pretty much everything from my favorites. I texted a friend of mine to ask her for recommendations for a new mystery author. She didn't get back to me before I had to leave, so I just grabbed some books from an author I had never heard of, but her back cover blurb looked good.

Several hours later, my friend got back to me and I told her who I picked. Apparently, she had met that author and "she was a bitch to me." Now I try to divorce the author's personality from the author's talent. There are authors I don't think I'd necessarily like to hang out with, but I enjoy their books. Other authors, I'd love to go out for drinks with because their characters are so damn cool I think they have to be too.

*Disclaimer* There are several authors who I have gone out for drinks with. . .gotten drunk with. . .slept on their bathroom floor, etc. but that's another story. I'm posting as a reader not a writer today.

Anyway, after my friend said this author I was going to try out was nasty to her, I thought about just putting the books back, but in the end I really needed something to read and I had the books right there with me, so I thought I'd give it a try anyway. I mean, maybe the author was just having a bad day or something. I could enjoy the book even if the person wasn't particularly nice, right?

Apparently, no. First, let me say the writing wasn't fantastic anyway. The heroine was annoying and they mystery just didn't grab me AT ALL. I usually will finish a book no matter what because I want to know what happens. I couldn't get past the tenth chapter. It was very frustrating!

After I returned the books, I wondered, if I hadn't heard anything about this author, would I have given her more of a chance to hook me? Was I influenced by the author's behavior more than her writing?

And almost more importantly, have I been a bitch to others and now they'll never read one of my books and they'll be sure to tell all their friends what a bitch Arianna Hart is? I have to admit, it's possible. I'm not always the nicest person, and if I'm tired or my blood sugar drops (which tends to happen at conferences) I could be nasty too.

I hope this experience has taught me a lesson about what goes around comes around. If you put out nastiness, it's bound to come back to you. I think this is good to remember in all aspects of life, so just for today, resist the temptation to flip off the driver who cut you off, don't jump down the throat of the cashier who is taking forever to get you a cup of coffee, and resist the urge to slice someone with sarcasm even if it would be really funny to you.

You never know when the good you do will come back around.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New release!

I'm very happy to annouce that I have a new release after a long hiatus. The third book in my Shifting Magic series is finally available. To celebrate I've decided to share a new excerpt of the book here. Please check out Trusting the Magic, now available as an ebook from Ellora's Cave Publishing. I hope you enjoy it.

An excerpt from Trusting the Magic by Cait Miller

Abby felt his arousal and it heightened her own, driving away the fear so that there was only him. She moved restlessly against the sheets, skin feeling hot and cold at the same time, the soft cotton bedclothes feeling coarse against her body. Her pulse beat strongly in her throat and between her legs. She squeezed her thighs together and the pleasure intensified. Internal muscles clenched and her pussy felt achingly empty. Nick’s response was immediate.

Mine. In her mind’s eye she saw him stroking his hand down his body to his hard shaft. Rubbing his thumb over the fluid oozing from the slit. Abby moaned, caressing her nipples through her nightgown. They tightened against her palms, crinkling the areolas with sensitive ripples. Her breasts felt heavy as she cupped them, imagining it was Nick’s hands touching her. His large palms holding her as he pinched her nipples between calloused thumb and forefinger. Rolling them until her pulse throbbed there, as well. His moist breath against her neck moments before his tongue followed the curve to her collarbone. He nipped at the skin and then pressed his lips to the sting.

Tell me what to do, Nick. She imagined running her hands over his body, tasting the pearlescent fluid that trickled from his shaft to run down over his fingers. Imagined that it was her hand becoming slick with it as she stroked the thick erection. Fingers tracing the veins where desire pulsed hot and desperate, drawing a hiss of painful pleasure from him as she skimmed her nail over the slit. In her mind, she ran her fingers over the baby-soft skin of his perineum and held his scrotum in her hand. His testicles were heavy within the soft sac and she massaged them gently. Moisture trickled from her as her arousal built. Nick’s low moan resonated through her. He ached to touch her.

Using the images in his mind for guidance, Abby released him and skimmed her hand down the soft mound of her stomach to dip between her thighs. She slid her fingers into the wet heat, shivering as she caressed the sensitive labia and spread the slick liquid up to her clitoris. It was throbbing for her attention and she gasped as she began to circle it.

She drew up her knees and dug her heels into the bed as the world spiraled away. Spreading her legs wide, she could pushed two fingers inside herself. Her back arched off the bed and she bit her lip against the cry that wanted to escape, her whole body straining for the peak. As she added a third finger, it was Nick’s face she saw above her, the warm, heavy weight of his body pressing her down. The broad head of his cock entering her.

It was no longer clear whether the images came from his mind, hers, or both. She could feel the sparse hair on his chest abrading her nipples and the heat of his breath against her neck as if it were real. Pressure built inside her and her breath came in pants. Nick thrust faster and her hips snapped to meet him. The inner walls of her pussy clutched at his cock, trying to draw him deeper.

Abby’s fingers pressed harder, moved quicker around her clit. The pleasure was almost painful. Her climax burst over her, drawing all her muscles tight. She gasped and threw her head back as her release spread over her like warm honey. Nick’s groan of completion followed hers but instead of the weight of his body falling against hers there was only the cool breeze of the air-conditioning against her damp flesh. It drew bitter tears to her eyes as she drew the covers over herself against the chill.

(c) Cait Miller 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No resting!

 “Rest on your laurels and you’ll only end up with dead branches.”

I wrote those words to myself shortly after Ellora’s Cave published my first book. Getting that first royalty check and realizing someone, several someones had bought my book and were reading it in the privacy of their homes and that I didn’t even know them was a heady experience and I reveled in the wonder and glory of it.

But I fully understood the transitory nature of success and knew I’d have to keep writing stories readers wanted. I wrote everywhere—in the car waiting for my daughter to get out of ballet class, in the doctor’s waiting room, in fact, anywhere I had to wait became an opportunity to grab some time and write another page. Two of my books won awards and life was good. But I was determined not to rest on my laurels.

And then we had several deaths in the family and I had a hard time. Some readers thought I’d given up writing. I hadn’t. My motto kept me writing but the stories were darker and I published them under the name MysticShade with a different company. The three novellas I wrote for BDSMBooks cross the line into porn and while sex sells, I think most of the readers who like Diana’s erotica didn’t follow me for Mystic’s books. As far as they were concerned, Mystic had no right to wear Diana’s laurels even if Diana did write Stress Relief during this period (most reviewers thought this book went too far into the darker sides of BDSM).

But time heals, the dark period ended and I realized many probably thought I was resting comfortably on my bed of greens since I hadn’t published much with EC during that time (except for the aforementioned Stress Relief. I still like the interplay between Rand and Meg, even if the general populace thought he went too deep). 

In fact, I was writing, but not wanting to end up with dead branches, I moved in a different direction. Perhaps as a reaction to my dark period, my characters now wanted sweet romances with no BDSM at all. Grrr. Darn characters. I self-published two works of short stories in the lighter genre (Tales from the Ramayana and Timeless Love) but was thrilled to discover John and Lauren liked kinky sex in Services Rendered. You can imagine my relief!

But not resting on one’s laurels means more than just penning story after story. It means offering new ideas, new features, new stuff to the world at large. So I added some games to my website (which were just plain old fun to do!) and finally got off my duff and finished Hardship and Hardtack, a historical novel that’s been a part of my life for over a decade. I decided to use a different name for that book so readers wouldn’t get confused and think they were buying erotic romance with a BDSM twist when in reality the book is closer to a young adult telling of one soldier’s life during the Civil War.

And of course, there’s my latest venture. Yes, I’m still writing erotic romance (have a new short story coming out in Jaid Black’s anthology sometime soon) but I’m also branching out. Over the course of the next seven months I’m offering a series of writing workshops on my blog. One workshop a week (Tuesdays!) to help both newbies and professionals hone their skills and get some ideas.

I’ve been teaching writing for a number of years now and have been toying with this idea for a while. Each week I’ll post a new workshop for free (although I am accepting donations). At the end, when all the discussions have been held and the “course” is finished, I’ll gather it all together in a book, take down the posts, and publish it in a more traditional format. This is your opportunity to help mold the book as we go. Each workshop will eventually be a chapter in the book. Just look for the “writing workshop” tag and come on along on this new venture.

“Rest on your laurels and you’ll only end up with dead branches.”

Here’s to no rest…and with any luck…more laurels!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What Makes You Melt?

I love writing romance. Telling the story of two people falling in love makes me smile and gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside. Make it an erotic romance and I'm even happier.

Writing sexy love scenes isn't easy. Fun, but not easy. They have to be romantic as well as sexy, something you, the reader, would want to have done to you (or do to your partner). The words have to get to you, make you want more. They have to make you melt.

A nibble on the side of the neck.
A gentle tug with teeth on an earlobe.
Fingertips drifting down a naked back.
A hand sliding over a firm buttock.
The tip of a tongue tickling a navel.
Warm lips wrapped around a hard nipple.
Firm male flesh gripped in a tight fist.

Maybe it's that first kiss between lovers that makes you melt. Here's a little taste from my newest book, What Are Friends For?, when my hero and heroine share their first romantic kiss.

She turned to face him. Luke stared at the vision showered in moonlight. The silvery glow made Erin even lovelier and he didn't think that was possible. He tried to fight the attraction, tried to think of her as only a friend. Her confession that she wanted him blew all his good intentions to tiny bits.

Cradling her face in his hands, he slowly lowered his head until his lips touched hers. He'd kissed her dozens of times, friendly kisses between friends. This kiss was completely different. It was a kiss of hello, a kiss that began the journey from friend to lover. Her lips softened beneath his, parted for the sweep of his tongue. She clutched his waist, her fingernails digging into his skin. The bite of pain sweetened the kiss even more.

Are you melting yet?

So tell me, what makes you melt? What happens in a love scene that raises your blood pressure and sends you running off to find your significant other?


P.S. The next issue of Sizzling Scribblings, our quarterly newsletter, will be released next week. Be sure and sign up on our mailing list so you don't miss it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sex Change

When I started writing erotic romance in 2001, it was pretty risqué. One guy and one girl but lots of sex and explicit terms (using the “c” words still made me gasp).

But like actual sex, writing the same sex scenes over and over again, gets boring. So as an author, you start to branch out. Some drift into the BDSM world. Some add bodies.

I started with m/f books. Then shifted to m/f/m ménages. The focus was still the main m/f couple but I drew in a second male to attend to the female (cuz really, who hasn’t dreamed about that?).

Then I started with my men interacting sexually. In the Wolf’s Heritage series (m/m/f), the guys become lovers. The female character is still there and the focus on the relationship but in each book, there is at least one m/m love scene.

And earlier this year, I wrote my first m/m erotic romance (A Change of Pace).

I’ve come along way from what I thought was fairly scandalous sex at the beginning.

In my mind, that’s expected. Things change. Authors want to expand. Readers expect more.

Now, I’ve decided to go back and write at least two more books in the Shadow of the Dragon Series. I love these characters and this world so it’s been fun visiting again.

But for the first time in about four years, I find myself writing m/f sex. That’s what that series involves and I don’t feel comfortable changing that on my readers, readers who still want the sensual m/f connection.

I sat down to write and the love scenes just wouldn’t flow. I’d forgotten how to do one man/one woman sex (well, not really but you get what I mean). I realized, I’d changed my focus (and yes fantasies) to be predominantly m/m. To make this book work, I have to shift them back.

It took a bit—going back, re-reading some of my old books. Picking up some favorite m/f authors. I’ve settled back into the groove.

The story isn’t any less sexy to me. It’s just been a bit of sex change.


Sunday, September 4, 2011


Happy September! I say happy because of a couple of things. First off, the heat has finally disappeared. It’s been a very strange summer here in Minnesota, a place where high humidity and temps in the 90s for long stretches is something of a phenomenon. Right now it’s about 58 degrees, slight breeze, and this old body of mine is enjoying the heck of it.

I thought and thought about a subject to blog about today and the only thing I can think of is how happy I am to announce my first self published story entitled, ONE CHANCE! This is a story I’ve played with for quite some time. I’ve been a ‘quiet’ author over the last three years do to simply not having the time to write. Glad I’m back! I’ve got some more stories brewing—four to be exact, plus Ellora’s Cave has accepted my short to be included in their anthology series, Something Wicked Comes This Way. So I’m back baby and loving every minute!

Here’s a little scrap of a review that I’m very proud of!

***5 STARS! I've been waiting for a new 'Ruby Storm' story for way too long. But honestly, it was worth the wait. Storm didn't disappoint. Her latest is a poignantly written, fast, phenomenal read of a love gone wrong and a magical chance to redeem that love and renew their sex lives in the arms of one another.***

If you get a chance to download the story, please give me a holler and let me know your thoughts! I’m over at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords!
Hugs, Ruby

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Come on Irene

Dear Irene,
For almost an entire week, you have dominated the news. Your ominous presence has captivated audiences up and down the entire east coast. Your time in the spotlight is over so please take your high winds and pelting rains and roll on out to sea. We were prepared for you with our up-to-the-minute accurate weather reports. Your every move was watched and talked to death about on every station.
Though I found this constant flow of information tedious and repetitive at times, in my opinion, I feel it did save many lives. More people heeded the warnings and moved to higher ground. More people shopped early and stocked their shelves with water and batteries.(except this one lady interviewed yesterday who said she had no food in her house. Duh they've been talking about this storm all week. You're an idiot for waiting until the stores closed and the rain started to go out and shop!)
I don't feel bad for you Irene that you didn't get the chance to torment like Katrina your horrific predecessor. So you've flooded many things-all are replaceable. You took out trees-a new one will grow in its place. You've knocked out power-no big deal. The power company will fix it within a few days. No power brings families closer together. It's the perfect opportunity to pull out those old game boards, candles and flashlights and spend quality time together. Only thing different now is my kids are drinking beer with us which makes the kiddie board games funny. LOL.
The one thing you did that I found stunning, you shut NYC down. Maybe the one good thing that will happen, your flood waters will clean out the subway system and hopefully it won't smell like body odor and urine anymore when they crank that thing back up.
Come on Irene! It's time for you to go. But could you blow a gust of rain soaked clouds towards Texas before you leave. I hear they need the rain.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Have you ever just stopped and enjoyed the stillness for a moment? Or stopped and given thanks for the blessings you have? Or just plain stopped and let your brain relax from all the craziness that is your life?

I know I don’t do that nearly enough. I was driving home from a family visit recently. It was a ten hour drive through beautiful scenery, which I couldn’t take in because of driving rain and road construction. As my two youngest daughters were watching movies in the back seat, I had plenty of thinking time. I knew it would be my turn to blog soon, and I wanted to come up with something witty, or at least interesting, or hell, maybe something that would make a reader want to buy one of my books. (See, I’m a conscientious blogger, really!) I had snarky comments about road construction, I had biting thoughts about lousy drivers, I even considered blogging about the beauty of nature.

This blog is about none of those things.

When I finally got home (through several traffic jams when I was only an hour away) and unpacked and relaxed a little, I went online to check my Facebook page and see what I’d missed over the week I’d been away. While I was scanning through my friends’ messages, I saw that a patient who had been in the hospital on the same floor at the same time as my daughter had passed away.

It made me stop.

With a full time job, a wish to keep writing, three very active daughters, and a husband who’d like to see me every once in a while, I’m pretty busy. Even when I’m not working or running my children hither and yon, I’m busy cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and planning what I have to do next. Sometimes I think my brain resembles that of a mouse on crack. I’m never still. I never stop.

Well, I did today. For a few moments this morning, I stopped and considered how very lucky I am. I don’t care if you believe in God, a higher power, or just the luck of the universe, sometimes you just need to offer up thanks, because no matter how awful you think you have it, it doesn’t take much to see someone worse off.

I am so damn blessed, and so very thankful for not only the joys, but the sorrows which have made me stronger.

So today, take a minute and just stop. Give thanks if you wish, contemplate the universe, or just enjoy the stillness. You’ll be glad you did.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Everyday Inspiration

In the week following the riots in England every news report is filled with how Britain is broken, young people are doomed and unless we bring back corporal punishment then we are all going to hell. The news reports are full of recaps of the violence of those nights and they are rolling out every politician, journalist and ‘expert’ to tell us why it happened. In the face of all this negativity you could be forgiven for believing the hype and getting depressed and angry as hell and for a while that’s exactly what I did. Then I saw the evidence of community pride uncrushed, people rallied round to clean up, started funds to help those who needed and generally put two fingers up to those who let greed and bloodlust sweep them up.

It was inspiring.

It made me think about other people who inspired me in small ways or great. Not movie or pop stars, few of whom deserve the term ‘role model’, but everyday folk just getting on with their lives. A friend who took in a child when he lost his mother, even though money and space was tight. A fellow author who lives with an illness that terrifies most of us and who has become an advocate against that fear. Several friends whose partners are still fighting a war that politicians would like us to forget. A woman who has survived cancer, not once but twice and defiantly lives on. A friend who had major brain surgery and lived to joke about it. A family who tragically lost a child but made sure her death to changed things, so it will never happen to another. I am full of admiration for each and every one. They make me want to be better and that is a very special gift.
Who inspired you today?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer festivals

It's time to come out of the closet and admit it: I'm a sucker for summer festivals.

And they're everywhere. If there's a small town that doesn't have one, I'd be surprised. Every weekend, a different town, a different vegetable/fruit/music style/folk art/ historical event celebration. Want to celebrate the tomato? Go to Pittston, PA. Like potatoes? Then Potato Days in Barnesville, MINN is the place to be.

Around here, we have the Naples Grape Fest coming up and have just finished the Phelps Sauerkraut Festival. The latter has a great parade (my daughter marched in it this year) and lots and lots of sauerkraut. The former has miles and miles worth of vendors and food, which, to me, is the most important part of any festival.

Really, that's why I go. For the food. Sure I like to see friends I haven't seen in a while and yes, I do shop the booths for the folk art and those wonderful "hippie" dresses, and I'm absolutely thrilled when the libraries have a bag sale, but when push comes to shove? I'm there for the food.

Who can say no to cheese fries or better yet, a bloomin' onion? Corn dogs and kettle corn are staples in our family when it comes to festival weekends. Fresh lemonade with more sugar than could possibly be good for you? Coming right up! Don't forget the cotton candy, fudge and maple sugar candy for later...

Yeah, I'm a sucker for summer festivals. If we're on vacation and go through a town that's having one? We stop. Doesn't matter if we just ate or if we're in a hurry, we stop. For food. 'Cause, after all, what's one more Belgian waffle  or fried dough between meals?

So am I alone in my love of these ubiquitous summer festivals? Which one is your favorite? Are you like me -- a glutton for the food? Or do you go for some other reason? Are there other reasons?

Excuse me, I have to go. I do believe there's a hot dog over there with my name on it...

PS. Put links to your favorite festivals in the comments. Who knows? I might be traveling through your town someday and need a corn dog fix!
PPS. SERVICES RENDERED releases on August 24th. I put a blurb and the cover up on the sidebar so if you're reading this through a reader, click through and take a look.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Favorite TV Shows

We all have them—our guilty pleasures that we watch every week on TV. I didn't watch nighttime TV for years, other than one or two favorite shows (I never missed 24) because I worked at the newspaper during the day and wrote at night. Now that I write all day, I've discovered some nighttime TV shows that I enjoy.

Castle! Oh, how I love Castle. The chemistry between Castle and Beckett is so palpable, I swear I can touch it. And he's just so darn cute.

Other shows I enjoy include:

NCIS: Los Angeles
CSI: New York
Blue Bloods
The Mentalist
Dancing With the Stars
Body of Proof
Hawaii Five-O
Harry's Law

I've also discovered some wonderful shows on the cable networks, like USA and TNT. They don't have a very long season, but I'm going to enjoy them while I can.

White Collar
Covert Affairs
Necessary Roughness
Royal Pains
Franklin and Bash

I still watch M*A*S*H reruns whenever possible. I wish I could find a comedy I enjoy as much as M*A*S*H. Anyone have a suggestion for a show that will make me laugh without using stupid jokes about bodily functions?

Have a great week!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hawt, Sizzlin' Summertime!

Hi all! There’s a good chance that 70% of you reading this is experiencing just that! The states have been immersed in abnormally record highs that don’t seem to want to temper down at all. This Minnesotan is having a hard time with the heat so I’ve found myself perched before my computer and doing the one thing that I love with a passion! Writing!

Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve been awol in that area, but sometimes that’s what life does to you. Family, business and life in general has a way of completely discombobulating a perfectly planned schedule. I am happy to report though that the sizzling temperature isn’t the only thing having to do with hot! Yup! I’m heating up my keyboard and having a ball! I’m back, baby, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

So what’s on the table? I recently submitted to Ellora’s Cave and am waiting for an acceptance on that story. Also, I decided to delve into the world of self publishing. My story, One Chance, is just about done and I can’t wait to get it up and running.

It seems that a lot of authors are dipping their toes into this new age of writing and simultaneously striking out on their own. Some are doing great. Others? Well, the numbers speak for themselves. Bad editing, numerous errors and weak plotlines. So my major concern becomes an issue of quality control. I want to put out my finest. That’s where my Sizzling Scribes sisters come in. This author group that I belong to is absolutely phenomenal. We talk daily. We exchange ideas daily and we also edit, edit, edit daily to assure that the books we finish have a professional quality to them that is unsurpassed.

So enough said. I’m working hard to produce stories that will have you thinking about them long after you’ve read THE END. Whether those tales are erotic romance, sweet romance, or stories about strong women, I hope you’ll enjoy them all.

So sit back, grab a cold one and get ready. I’ve got some heat planned for you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day Off

I apologize for this not being posted sooner. But I've been distracted. My children are no longer children. They both work, they drive, they've got friends and to quote my daughter "they've got lives." So where does that leave me?
This spring I tore up part of my backyard and created a rather large garden. Hey, my kids don't play back there anymore so why not make it useful. My daughter even helped. This has been a rather nice way to transform from the yard for all the kids to just the yard for the old fart.
But this morning with coffee in hand I realized, I miss the swing set days. The kids playing ball or hide 'n' seek. It's a tough transition from young kids, boo-boos and band-aides to who's got the beer and 18 to 20+ year old pool parties till all hours of the night.
When did this happen? I swear I didn't blink. I really tried to keep them little as long as I possibly could but it didn't work.
Not to mention, their friends have grown up too. They've gone from these awkward, lanky children with squeaky voices to adults. Geez it happened too fast.
But I am grateful for one thing...My two are close. This past Sunday, my DH invited a few of his work buddies over and their wives whom I didn't know. It was an adventure to say the least.
But during this busy, chaos, I spotted my two out by the tree swing chatting. Not sure what they were discussing, really don't care. But it was a special moment for me. One sat in the swing while the other sat in the grass and they were simply having a conversation. It was a beautiful sight. it made me realize that maybe I haven't done a bad job. It's not easy keeping brothers and sisters close.
Then on Monday, when I said I'd get this posted, I ended up spending a quite day with the two of them. Not a bad day. Burgers on the grill, great conversation, and swimming in the pool. I tried to nap on a float in the pool. They tried to drown me. Just like when they were little, drown the mama was the game of the day or a least flip her float and watch her sputter. LOL.
And best of all, they obviously believed me when I told them last week that I was no longer the maid and they had to do their own laundry because I was sick of doing it all. No kidding, they would walk through the giant ever-growing pile in the laundry room and not stop to put a load in or toss one in the dryer. So, I sat them down, explained how the machines worked and told them they were on their on. My daughter actually has been doing her own laundry. My son didn't believe me until he had to basically dig his way out of his room through the pile of dirty laundry. Yesterday, he met the washer and dryer, separated his clothes and did his laundry. I was impressed that he even listened. I consider this a small victory. It's one less thing I've got to do.
Now if I could figure out a strategy to get my husband to finish at least one of the ninety projects he has started over the years in my house then I'd truly be a happy woman.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Like falling off a bike. . .

As many of you have noticed, I haven't written much in the last three years.

Okay, let's be honest, I haven't written bubkis in the last three years. Nada, zilch, schmatz.

Anyway, since I live in the northeast, I decided to visit my friends who were at the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City. It's been a while since I've hung out with any writing buddies and I wasn't quite sure how many people would even remember me. I wasn't sure how I would feel when everyone was talking about writing and I had nothing to offer. I was even a little uneasy about how I would react when people were discussing career moves and my writing career has pretty much stalled.

I shouldn't have worried. I can honestly say, Romance writers are some of the most amazing, caring, and just awesome people around. Everyone asked me about my daughter (she's doing fantastic, 10 months since her last chemo and her counts are still great) and when I was going to write again.

No one had forgotten me, no one ignored me because I couldn't do anything to further their career, and my publisher, Samhain, even bought me dinner and breakfast and it's been years since I've written anything for them.

I was humbled and overwhelmed by the caring so many people showed me.

I was also inspired to write again! With any luck at all, I'll actually FINISH writing something this summer and who knows? Maybe the next conference I go to, I'll have something to talk about.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Musical Cherry

This week I experienced an important rite of passage. My first concert. You’ve never been to a concert? I hear you say. Yes, it’s true...well sort of. I have worked at one before but it’s not quite the same. There are various reasons for this, no time, no money but mostly just friends with different tastes in music. Last year I swore I would do it, but who would be my first? It was an important decision, one not to be taken lightly. So I watched the newsletters from event holders and ticket sales websites and in October, there it was.

Bon Jovi.

Now I don’t really care if it makes me uncool but I have loved that group for years. Catchy rock music for blasting out loud and singing along to and a charismatic lead singer – who I swear has a deal with the devil to still look so good. It’s also one of the things my mum and I share so of course she would have to go with me. Whenever we would go on road trips out would come the Bon Jovi cd and we would sing along together. They are part of some really good memories. So I woke up early on the morning they went on sale and I bought the best tickets I could get my hands on without going bankrupt. Back then, June seemed a very long way away.

The nearer the date got the more excited I got. I kept expecting something to go wrong, the concert to be cancelled but the 22nd arrived and off we went. The one and only concert I’ve experienced I was working with the Red Cross and was actually next to the stage and feet away from Billy Joel and Elton John. You wouldn’t think anything would beat that but not so. That day I was working and wasn’t concentrating on the experience. Being behind the barriers means that you are very separate from the crowd, the atmosphere isn’t the same.

The rain poured down but even that didn’t spoil our anticipation. Our seats were amazing. I chose to be in the seated section which did put us about a hundred yards from the stage but we are both short and if we had stood we wouldn’t have been able to see past the crowd. Slowly the stadium began to fill up until 60,000 people joined us. The atmosphere was electric. I have never been in such a large crowd before and it was amazing to look around and see a sea of faces and the strobe of thousands of camera flashes. Suffice to say that Bon Jovi exceeded all of my expectations. They played for two and a half hours without a break and it was one of the best experiences of my life. There is nothing like being one of thousands of voices singing out anthems that clearly mean as much to them as they do to you. I am proud to say that Bon Jovi took my concert virginity; there will never be another first.

I can now say I am hooked and even if I have to go alone, there will be more concerts in my future. The question now is who will I see next?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Question for our readers

As you undoubtedly know, several of the Scribes have made recent forays into the blossoming self-publishing market. Tara Nina's Playing Cowboy (a wonderfully HOT read!), Tielle St. Clare's A Change of Pace (M/M erotica like you've never read before!) and Diana Hunter's Tales from the Ramayana (romantic short stories) are currently available. But like so many others, we're having an internal debate about pricing. Right now we're just shooting in the dark.

And so we turn to our faithful readers for help. Please take the survey below (it's through Survey Monkey and will not download any unwanted material to your machines!). We made it nice and simple with only 4 questions. Help us price the books you want to buy!

Click here for survey

This will be open until noon on Sunday, June 26th. One of us will post the results later that night.

- the Sizzlin' Scribes :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

An I Love Lucy Moment

We've all had those moments when we've done something totally stupid, something like Lucy Ricardo would've done on the old I Love Lucy show. If you're too young to remember that show, you've missed out on some great comedy.

I'll start this story with a fact about me that you may not know—I'm very full busted. That plays a big part in my tale.

My late husband, Harry, and I moved from Sacramento, California to Olympia, Washington in 1996. His son, Little Harry (whose name never made sense to me since he's 6'1"), owned a house in Forks (yes, the town of Twilight fame) that was currently empty, so told us we could store all our household belongings in it until we got settled in a place to live. It was a cute little house with a second story that contained two small bedrooms and a bath. Little Harry was currently remodeling the house, so it was pretty much a mess upstairs.

A couple of weeks after we arrived in Washington, we drove up to the house in Forks to get some of our stuff. It was pouring rain. Forks is on the edge of a rain forest and gets a lot of rain per year. We walked in the back door of the house and heard water running. Let me rephrase that. We heard water gushing and it had nothing to do with the rain outside.

A pipe had burst in the upstairs bathroom beneath the sink and water was literally dripping down the walls and through the ceiling. So we whipped out our cell phone and prayed we could reach Little Harry in Olympia to tell him what happened and find out how to turn off the water. Remember, this was 1996, so cell phones barely had a strong enough signal to call the neighbor, let alone 100 miles away. Luckily, we were able to reach him and he told us where the lever was located to turn off the water. It was under the house, which meant going out in the pouring rain.

I was elected for the job. Harry had had a stroke in 1994 that affected his legs, so him crawling beneath a house wasn't even an option. With the help of a flashlight, we found the little white lever. Hooray! All I had to do was pull it forward a couple of inches and the water would turn off. So I get on the ground in the mud and scooch backward on my back in the narrow space between the ground and the bottom of the house to get to the lever. I'm within an inch (literally) of reaching it when (yep, you guessed it) my boobs came up against the house. I can't go any farther. I'm stretching and squirming to reach that lever just off my fingertips, but my boobs won't let me move.

Of course, Harry is leaning down watching me and laughing like crazy. I put up with his snickering for a few moments, then informed him it was up to him to figure out what to do. After laughing a little longer, he went in the house and came back with a wire clothes hanger. I hooked it around the lever and pulled forward. Viola! Water off, job complete.

Do you have one of those I Love Lucy moments? Tell me about it. I love a good laugh.