Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the old...

New Year's Eve is upon us.

(May it be noted that today is also the last day of my NaBloPoMo challenge and WOOT!! I did it!!! A blog a day for a whole month!!!)

With New Year's Eve, there are all kinds of interesting posts popping up about what people are resolving to do for the new year. About how next year is going to be different. About things that they want to see happen with the new year...

It makes me wonder (and yes, this is where the virgrant begins) why we think that a new year is a new beginning.

I went to see that movie We Bought a Zoo yesterday with the kids. It is a true story based on a family who bought a zoo. (You can actually see the zoo's website here and donate to keep it open.) In the movie, Benjamin Mee is a writer who states that with 20 seconds of pure courage, you can dare to do anything.

(Okay, the movie had me from the first line... when they mentioned he was a writer. )

How often do we say that we are going to change this or that or do this or that and never do it?

I want to climb the pyramids. I want to swim with dolphins. I want to change the world.

But it gets put off. Maybe I will do it when I have more money. Perhaps next year because this year I am very busy with work and the kids. Maybe once I figure out my relationship. After I loose ten pounds.

Why not TODAY?

My point-and the linking factor between New Year's and Benjamin Mee is this...

If you have a dream, something that you want but don't do for whatever excuses you feed yourself everyday to keep doing the stupid crap you think you HAVE to do...

Stop it.

Chase your dream.

You only have one life. And most elderly, when asked what they would go back and change if they could change anything, is that they would have dared more. Risked more. Said yes to more chances when they happened. When asked if they want to go on the trip or spend time with friends, they answered, "I have to work." Looking back, that payroll wasn't the thing that made memories.

The things they DID filled their lives.

I walked away from an office job not long ago. It was a comfortable job and I could buy clothes if I wanted them and eat in nice restaurants and afford trips now and again.

And now I am a stay at home mom/student/author/editor/reviewer.

I am really happy to have that list of what I am. I can't always afford the luxuries that came with working insane hours. When I quit the job, I felt as if I was leaping off a financial cliff and I was sure to fall flat on my face.

Well, looking back, money is tight. But you know what?

I hated my office job. I hated my life.

I love my life now. The challenges I face are because I am living my dreams.

If I have another stroke tomorrow and don't live to see 2012...

I will know I did it my way.

What do you want? What is the thing that would take that 20seconds of raw courage to do? What is your adventure?

Are you going to grab it by the ass and knock it into submission?

Or are you going to 'resolve' to change your life?

2011 has come and gone. So have all the years before it.

Don't let 2012 go on 'plans' and 'somedays.'

Don't make resolutions.

Make change.

Happy writing!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bubbly: An erotic contemporary romance for New Years

Bubbly: An erotic contemporary romance for New Years

By Anne Holly

Beth’s had the best of everything and the worst of everything. From the outside, a poor little rich girl, hounded by the press, but, on the inside, bruised by dark memories. When she seeks escape from her suffocating world on New Years Eve, she accidentally gets a taste for how the other half lives. Rough bartender Tig Riley offers her a whole new outlook on life in his arms and maybe even a brand new future, if only she can trust him. Can he really help her heal herself?

PG-13 Excerpt…

“You are far from cold, lady.”

She felt herself swoon at his words.

“But you may well freeze,” he said. “We should get you inside.”

“Inside?” she chirped, suddenly alarmed.

“It’s up to you,” he said. “You can go in there, and go freshen up, and carry on with your party or we can go inside some place private and see where this leads us.”

She felt torn. His arms eased away from her and she was relieved he was giving her the option of escape, but she was suddenly too embarrassed to ask him to continue doing to her what she wanted him to do.

“But your job?” she asked, her mind hazy.

“It’s okay,” he said. “My buddy in there owes me one.”

“You won’t tell him?”

“Of course not,” he said. “My days of bragging are over. I’ll just tell him I have the shits or something.”

She laughed at his vulgar reassurance, and so did he.

“You’re so pretty when you laugh,” he said.

“So are you.”

“There you go again,” he mock-snarled. “You go on up, and I’ll meet you wherever you want.”

“My room, on the third floor?”

“Sure,” he said and touched a curled knuckle to her lips with incredible affection.

“Okay,” she said, reluctantly straightening off his lap. She wobbled a moment, her knees lacking assurance on those silly heels.

“You need some help?” he asked.

Oddly tempted, she almost said yes, but gathered her dignity enough to step away from him.

He grabbed his bag and gestured for her to go on ahead, and she carefully picked her way back to the door as she heard him slam and lock the van.

Whatever was about to happen, good idea or not, was not what Beth had planned for ringing in the New Year. But she had dreamed about spending it with someone special and that glimmer of hope gave her courage.


For more info, please visit


Anne Holly is a Canadian writer of romance and erotic-romance, as well as a mother and teacher. She has found a particular niche in holiday romance. You may visit Anne at her blog or website, or find her on GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter (@anneholly2010). Sign up for her newsletter here. Email her at

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Exciting week...

New Years is upon us...

What have you resolved for the new year? I can tell you right now that I wanted to be standing in Times Square by this year so I could see the ball drop live and it probably isn't going to happen. However, the kids and I will be hunkering down with a good friend as we have the past couple years. We will sip drinks at midnight and watch the ball drop and do a countdown. Possibly there will be a Wii dance party. Then, of course, the traditional pork and sauerkraut. Pigs never look back...

How do you ring in the new year?

Yesterday, I had the fun author of steamy MM, Megan Slayer on the blog. If you missed it, check out the blog here. She was talking reviews with us and we got to hear about her new releases Permanent. Check out her website here or pick up your copy of Permanent here.

Tomorrow I will have a special guest here at the blog. Anne Holly, multipublished author, is stopping by to tell us about her recent release, Bubbly. This story is a fantastic erotic piece that will fit great into anyone's New Year celebration. Pick up a copy over at amazon today here.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Read a Review Today, Oh Boy!

Today we have a guest post from Megan Slayer!!
I am super excited as I have read this author and adore her work. Since she had a new release yesterday, if you haven't heard about her, you may want to pick up Permanent. You can grab it here. Here is a short bit about the book before we get to the blog~
Sometimes love just ain’t enough...

River Cortland trusted the person he loved. His faith couldn’t protect him from the bitter sting of a cold-hearted Domme. If he’s going to learn to trust again, he’s got to deal with his past. His roommate and best friend, Tory, has seen the physical damage and hasn’t walked away. Can he deal with the emotional scars as well?

Tory McClellan wanted the carefree life...until one night with River changed everything. There’s more to the shy art teacher and Tory wants to know everything-how he tastes, the scent of his skin, the feel of his body as they make love. What terror lies behind River’s brown eyes? Better yet, how can Tory make the sadness go away and be in River’s life, permanently?

Available December 26th From Total-E-Bound!

I wanted to thank Virginia for having me on her blog. Love being here. Always fun to hang out at the different blogs and when it’s the blog of a friend, it’s even better.

So why did I use the title I picked? I’m an author, I shouldn’t be complaining about reviews. Well let me state here and now, this isn’t about my reviews or a review of my books. It’s a general impression of reviews.

All in all, I think reviews are fantastic. Even the negative ones. Why? When an author gets a review, it’s nice to know what the public thinks. Just because I might like the book, doesn’t mean the general public will. One of my favorite reviews for my books was a terrible one. Honest. The reader noted the book was confusing, trash, and they thought it was written too fast. Why would that be a favorite? The reader taught me to not take myself so seriously and to really look at the book. The one thing the review said that stuck with me was that the book needed to be longer and the characters more fleshed out. PING! The light bulb went off in my head and the characters started chatting. Yes, they wanted more time to talk. So, I listened and I’m glad. I’ll probably never make that reader happy—can one ever make everyone happy at once?—but I made myself happy and learned something.

Now for the oh boy! part of the post. I like to read the reviews of books I’m buying. Why? I want to see what others think about the book. Is there something in the book that might turn me off? Is there a twist ending? I’ve done my fair share of reviewing. I love to talk about the books I’ve read and why. You never know where you’ll find your next favorite read.

What I do not understand about reviews is quite a bit, but here’s one thing: “I didn’t really like the book and it wasn’t XYZ’s best. Still, buy it.”

Um. Hmm. I saw this and cocked my head. I’m all for short reviews. Tell me and be done. You didn’t like it. It wasn’t the author’s best, but I should buy it? I might very well like the book. I tend to like books that get panned often. But still, this doesn’t tell me what about it was so terrible.

Here’s another: “This book is s*&^%”

The review is your opinion. That’s fine. But swearing like this in a review makes less of an impression of the book and more of the reviewer. I scratch my head and think, well do I want read more of the reviewer’s reviews? I’m not really learning anything about the book.

So what do I want to know about a book when reading the review? What turned the reviewer on about the book? What made the book special? What really stuck out and made you want to bang your head? Did the characters stick with you? What would you like to see if the book was revised?

Why? Answers to these questions give me the author a better understanding of what to improve on, what worked, what didn’t and what characters really spoke to the reader. I can run with that. If you like a book, tell the author. There’s nothing more fun than getting fan mail in the form of a review. If you had mixed thoughts, put that in the review. Honestly is the best policy. If you didn’t like the book, honesty works. My suggestion? If you didn’t like the book, tell why. Saying it’s garbage doesn’t really work. If the author knows why, then there is room for growth.

You never know. Your review just might be the catalyst for the author’s next book.

About Megan:
When she's not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don't seem to mind.

When she's not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school.

She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best.

Currently hanging out every Wednesday and Friday at the Menagerie Authors site, hunting Hotties for the Saturday posts, and working on the next great story brewing in her head!

The cabana boys are willing to serve, unless she needs them. She always need them. So be nice to Javier or he will bite--on command.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On Love

Tina Gerow, multipublished author (who's website you can see here), posted on facebook this quote yesterday:

"You can't just stop Loving someone; either you Always will, or you Never did."

It got me thinking...

How many times in any given day do you say that you love something? I love chocolate. I love coffee. I love this snuggie.

How many people do you say it to?

I watched an awesome documentary called Pompeii:Back from the Dead last night on Netflix. There was one skeleton called The Green Woman. She was a pregnant member of the aristocracy and her skeleton had turned green in the remains of the dead city Pompeii. It seems that the vast amount of jewels that she felt the need to take with her into supposed safety had reacted in a chemical change and turned green.

Green like money. Green like the emerald bracelet that she clutched to her pregnant belly in her last moments of life.

Not a miniature portrait of someone she loved who wasn't with her. Jewels.

How often do we forget to say, "I love you," to the ones that matter?

How often do we know that we love someone more than breath and yet fear saying the words?

Be it for sake of shame or fear of rebuttal or any number of reasons, how often do we bite our tongue on the words that really matter and instead say useless things, collect useless things, treasure inanimate THINGS when the ones we love we fear making precious?

I try to tell all my kids at least a dozen times a day that I love them. The people that are dear to me, I clutch in terror. It seems, for me at least, that mortality has been an ever present shadow over the ones that I love and perhaps it is because I learned so early how fast and unexpected death can come to your door... to your home... and take away the ones you love that I am so aware that the end is close at all times.

I read a story on the news of a woman who lost both her parents and her children in a devastating fire on Christmas day. The article went on to talk about her success in business. Does that matter? Is it some comfort to her that her career will go on when so much has been swept away as quickly as one might clear a dry erase board?

Some people in my life probably think me strange. I know one of my exes received a call from me a few months ago on which I left a message telling him how he changed the course of my life... How his love for me made me stronger and better and without it, although it may be gone now, I would not have the strength to go after the things I dream of.

We are no longer together but he made an impact on my life.

How many would not have made that call, fearing the reaction?

I guess my point is that the Green Woman of Pompeii died in a room full of slaves, clutching jewels that did not save her. We clutch to our bosoms the things that we think will matter... But so often leave us empty and alone.

Be the one who is not afraid of love. Love is messy. Love hurts. But without it, we are nothing but bones left to be picked over.

And remember the quote..."You can't just stop Loving someone; either you Always will, or you Never did." Because if you really love, it doesn't go away like a lightswitch flicked to kill the lights. It burns. It stays alive in you. It may change forms but if it is real love... It will never end so long as there is a breath left in your body.

Which is, again, sometimes messy. Sometimes painful. But it is wonderful because real love makes you stronger.

Even when they aren't there anymore.

Okay, this was me going on one of my Virg rants and I am sorry. Tomorrow will be much more upbeat. Tomorrow, Megan Slayer will be visiting the blog and she will give us the low-down on reviews and a sneak peek into her recent release.

But for tonight... Hug someone just because you want to. Tell someone you love them just because you do.

For tonight, remember the lesson of the Green Woman.

Happy writing!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Yes, Santa, there was a Virginia...

Yes, Santa Claus, there was a Virginia.

In 1857, Harper's Weekly printed a story about a jolly man in a red suit. Upon reading the article, Virginia O'Hanlon wanted to believe in the magic. Her friends had told her that there wasn't a Santa Claus. So she wrote the editor that had first printed the article and asked him.

When the response came back... Advising that a world without Santa was like a world without Virginia's, the world found a new story.

Imagine my excitement, today, when my awesome landlord brought over the original article... The one that made young Virginia wonder.

Brittle with age, the paper was too dry for me to flip the page open but I snapped a few shots with my cell phone so that I could share them with you all.

Virginia wrote:

“Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”

— Virginia O’Hanlon

Here is a copy of her letter... If you click on it you can read it.

Believe in the magic... :)

Happy writing!