This blog is for those 18 and older.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Can Openers and Coffeemakers Everywhere!

Hey, ya’all.  Hope everyone is doing great today, and that you had a fantabulous Christmas, and have a fun-filled New Year planned ahead!


Woo Hoo!  It's PARTY time!


So, last time we met here, I was contemplating a potential Red Christmas...one that could possibly bring me another new red coffeepot.  Well, here’s the update...


We all opened our new jammies—an idea I stole from Marie Osmond where I always get everyone new jammies and socks or slippers for Christmas.  We open our jammies first, and then we put them on and open the rest of our Christmas presents in our jammies.  Soooo fun!  And it makes the pictures really cute!


Of course, it helps if you have the right photographer.  LOL  Me and my boys on the couch...and I just now realized the oldest got away with having his picture taken in his jeans...that will NOT happen again.  LOL

Anyway, we were all dressed in our Christmas jammies, opening our gifts, when my twenty-year-old grandson opens one of his gifts and exclaims, “Hey, I got a coffee maker.”

I looked up just as my son said, “Oh crap, I put the wrong tag on it.  That’s gramma’s gift.”

Imagine my horror!

My grandson laughs and tries to hand it to me.

I stare.  That can’t be mine.  So I lodge a protest.  “But I already have two...and it’s not Red!”



That’s when the laughter really starts, and I realize I’ve been had.  I squint and scowl at my son as he roars.  “Gotcha.”  Then his wife takes pity on me and explains, “We got Justin a coffeemaker to take back to school in Tucson.  He just thinks he’s being funny by teasing you.”

Seriously?  My son is NOT right!  Something he clearly got from his father.

So, I breathe a sigh of relief that I don’t have to make room on my counter for a third coffeemaker.  Two presents later, I start to open a small box when I realize everyone has stopped ripping paper and it’s quiet.  I look up and they’re all watching me.  That’s not a good sign!

I look back at the box.  It’s too small to be another electric can opener, and way too small to be another red coffeemaker.  I think I’m safe.  I continue, while everyone watches intently.  I get the paper torn off, cut through the three pounds of tape holding the lid on the box, and slowly open one side very carefully, just in case my smart-ass son has decided I now need a collection of gerbils.  Nothing jumps out, so I pull the lid off and stare at my gift.  Well, it’s not an electric can opener, nor is it a coffeemaker.  But it is a duplicate of something I already have, and it is Red.

I am now the proud owner of a new (second) Red manual can opener.  So, I now have one in red, and one in white.  My son and grandsons are all howling, and my DIL is looking at me in sympathy because she knows this will never end.



But the good news is...it wasn’t a coffeemaker, and it was Red...and everyone got a good laugh out of it, which is what Christmas should be all about.  So, I guess that means our Christmas was a rousing success.  I know I’m looking forward to next year...and, truth be told, I’m just damn grateful it wasn’t a gerbil!

That’s my story, wacky and wonky, and red all over—and I’m stickin’ to it.  Hang on tight now, ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!



Be Safe!



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 is Right Around the Corner


It’s the Tuesday after Christmas (I know, I’m so late writing this) and 2017 is right around the corner (2016 just flew by, didn’t it?).  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! The DH and I had a quiet, low-key Christmas spent with a small, intimate group of family/friends, mostly because we are both dealing with this creeping crud that’s going around (I saw someone called it The Big Yuck and I thought that was appropriate). We did not pass our germs around—everyone else had it as well.
         2016 was a good year. I was fortunate enough to attend two conferences (a reader’s conference in Nashville which was a hoot) and the big RWA conference in San Diego. I enjoyed both immensely! I did NOT lose the weight I wanted to, but I have made a great start toward that goal and dropped a few pounds (which is really hard over the holidays, especially with all the good food and rich desserts to be had). And I finally (FINALLY!!!) finished A Kiss in the Morning Mist, the second in the MacDermott Brother’s trilogy. It’s going through beta-read right now. Oh, and I’ve started Book 3.
2017 is going to be a great year as well. I can feel it in my bones. I have a few goals that I hope to meet, but more importantly, I have wishes for you: Good health, good fortune, lots of good books to read and many, many blessings!

As always, happy reading and Happy New Year!
Marie

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Delicious Heroes and Their Spaceships: Tracy Cooper-Posey with a Giveaway!



Delicious Heroes and Their Spaceships

I have a reputation for writing paranormal romance that has a tendency to spontaneously combust.  Readers who are aware of that reputation sit back in their chairs and blink when they hear that I’ve published a story that doesn’t feature vampires or hot sex.

In fact, I write just as much non-vampiric fiction as I do the heated kind.  Most of the awards I’ve won, including a national writing award, were for romances that didn’t feature fangs.

I’m also an anal geek, who has been reading science fiction – the “straight” hard core stuff, since I was a teenager.  For years I ducked writing SF myself, because I was under the mistaken impression that a) women didn’t write successful SF, b) those that didn’t work in the sciences didn’t write SF and c) only those with advanced science degrees were taken seriously in the SF world.

Of course, that is all complete baloney.   In fact, the first science fiction story ever written was Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, who had neither a science background nor an advanced degree.

There’s a ton of science fiction out there not written by scientists.  Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica – any my latest obsession, The Expanse…there’s so much really great science fiction these days!

Then the romance world melded together romance with science fiction and came up with science fiction romance (SFR)--a new sub-genre that blends the best of both genres in a perfectly balanced mix.

Did I leap upon the new sub-genre with cries of joy?  Well, no.  It took me a few years of circling about the sub-genre and edging closer before I could get over my younger self’s inhibitions about writing SF.  Finally, I simply ran out of excuses, grit my teeth and leapt.  In November 2015, I published my first SFR novel:  Faring Soul.

I had a blast writing it.  I knew as soon as I’d finished the first book that I was going to write more.  Much more.

In January 2016, Faring Soul was given a SFR Galaxy Award for “Most Intriguing Philosophical/Social Science Questions in Galaxybuilding”, and in November this year I published my eighth SFR novel and have still more planned.

None of them, by the way, feature vampires or in-your-face sex, although the heroes are just as delicious.

The Interspace Origins series is the first SFR series I wrote, of which Faring Soul is Book 1.    For Christmas this year, I brought out the full series as a boxed set, Interspace Origins, which offers a 40% discount on the cost of buying all three books separately.

Follow the adventures of Catherine Shahrazad, possibly the oldest human in the known galaxy, and her gifted pilot, Bedivere X, as they return to Federation Space from the vast and unknown fringes. Cat’s history and her presence have caused riots in the past. What will happen this time? Why is Cat back?
Let yourself binge on this award-winning series.
Book 1:  Faring Soul
Book 2:  Varkan Rise
Book 3:  Cat and Company
___

Excerpt:

Two minutes later, Catherine dropped into the navigator chair that Bedivere usually used and let out a long heavy breath. She put the hard case on the console and patted it.

Bedivere, who was sitting in the pilot’s chair, looked up from the instrumentation and grinned. The laugh lines around his warm brown eyes crinkled. “So...it went about exactly the way we expected. We’ll be in clear space in three minutes, by the way.” His brown-gold hair glowed in the light emitted from the overhead console. The warm color was nothing like the muddy color of native Shantans.

Catherine leaned back so her head was resting on the headrest and blew out another breath. “Nothing ever comes easy,” she muttered.

“You wouldn’t like it if it did.”

She rolled her head to the side and looked at him. She was too tired to smile. “Despite the rhetoric that surrounds my much-maligned past, I happen to like the quiet life.”

Bedivere sat back as she was. “Liar. If you liked it that much, you would live quietly. I don’t remember the last time you stopped to smell the roses.”

“Too much to do,” she muttered, glancing at the case.

The silence stretched and she looked at him. Bedivere was studying the case, too. He caught her gaze and looked back at the case again. “Next stop is Federation space,” he pointed out. “If you really do want a quiet life, Cat, this is the time to shut down the engines and go mute. There won’t be any going back after this.”

“Of course we’re going,” she said sharply. “I haven’t spent seventeen years scraping together every last centavo the fringes could cough up just to go live on some ball somewhere and get even older.”

“We don’t have to do this. All we’ve lost right now is time and that’s an infinite resource. If we head into Federation space, then much more than time is at stake.”

Catherine sat up. “Getting cold feet, Bedivere?”

He shook his head. “I’m worried.” His voice was very quiet.
His voice was very quiet. Everything youre doing, everything you’ve done. It’s too much.”

Just shut up right there, she said sharply and spun the chair to face him properly. “Look,” she added, reaching for a reasonable voice and tone. Reason would always win out with Bedivere. Logic was the supreme argument. “I have to go back to the Federation, anyway.” She touched her hair, which was liberally streaked with grey. The red that had been a rich, deep color was now faded. “You understand the therapy even better than I do. You’ve read even more widely and you never forget anything. You know that rejuvenation revives more than the cellular structure. I’ll feel young again. I won’t be this cranky old woman who has seen too much, has wrinkles on her neck and aches in the morning when she gets out of bed. After, I’ll be sweet and reasonable and even more determined to see this through.”

He looked doubtful.

Catherine grimaced. Besides, its already too late.”

It is?

If we stay in the fringes, the Shantans will come after us with everything they’ve got. But they won’t pursue us into Federation space and risk their membership on the Board. So we have to go there. It’s the Federation or bust.”

Bedivere considered that, then nodded. As long as you’re not doing this for me.”

Dont be stupid, she said and turned the chair back to face the console, to prep for the gate jump. “Of course I’m doing this for you. What else are partners for?”

He didn’t argue anymore, because the ship was technically a four-man crew ship, so jump prep took all their combined attention and effort. But the little smile at the corner of his mouth didn’t go away.
___

Praise for the Interspace Origins series:

I know Tracy is a great writer but I was not much into science fiction. Well, now I am!!

I loved Catherine Shahrazad, who is a strong, in charge female.

I'm amazed by the creativity of not only the characters but the detail of sights, sound and interaction.

If you have read any of Tracy's other books you know what awaits you....sheer reading pleasure.

This is truly science fiction at its best.


Special draw for Happily Ever After Thoughts readers:

Leave a comment below, telling me why you like--or think you would like--science fiction romance.  I’ll draw a random winner, who will receive the complete boxed set.  If the winner has already bought the boxed set, I will refund the price.

Entries close on New Year’s Eve.  Winner  will be contacted directly by email and announced here, in 2017.
_____________

Tracy Cooper-Posey is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author.  She writes romantic suspense, paranormal, urban fantasy, futuristic and science fiction romances.  She has published over 75 novels since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favorite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.
She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year and Byzantine Heartbreak was a 2012 winner.  Faring Soul won a SFR Galaxy Award in 2016 for “Most Intriguing Philosophical/Social Science Questions in Galaxybuilding”  She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University.

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian Canadian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Romance with Lexi Post

I just love writing Christmas Romances, whether Paranormal or Contemporary Cowboy. There's just something about this season that seems to fit so well with falling in love.

A Christmas Carol series is obviously inspired by that wonderful classic about Scrooge, but in my version, it's not a miserly old man that the story pivots around, but a young, heartbroken American widow named Holly who lost her Scottish husband. That husband, Cameron, is now in charge of Spirit guides and has made a deal with his higher ups to use these guides to help his wife.

In the first book, Pleasures of Christmas Past, we meet Duncan, who is from late 18th Century Scotland and his mentee Jessica, who is from present day America. In the second book, Desires of Christmas Present, we meet Coco from present day America and Ian from present day Scotland.  Both couples help Holly, but they also learn something very important about themselves, which allows them to grow and be open to their own happy endings.

My contemporary cowboy stories are a little more "down to earth" ;-) When Love Chimes is actually a prequel to Desires of Christmas Present, but it is straight contemporary. In this story, Lynzie finds herself pregnant just as her old flame, cowboy and Army veteran, Ryan, returns to town to help his grandfather. This short novella explores love on a number of levels, including Ryan's love for his fellow veterans , which has inspired his new project.

Another cowboy Christmas story available is Christmas with Angel, a novella that links the Poker Flat series with the Last Chance series. In this story, Lacey and Cole discover what's really important at Christmas when Angel, Lacey's horse, is tracked down by its former owner, and Lacey becomes the the only thing that stands between Angel and more abuse. We also meet Whisper, the heroine in Trace's Trouble, a New Year's story.

I hope that you find that at least one, if not more, bring you the spirit of the season. There will definitely be more next year as I continue A Christmas Carol with Temptations of Christmas Future

Until then, I wish you a wonderful holiday, no matter which one you celebrate, and I look forward to seeing you next year!

Always, Lexi
www.lexipostbooks.com

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ready for the New Year?

Hey Everyone! I thought I'd be prepared for this post. I thought I'd have a topic picked out. But as today dawned, the only thing I had was a stiff neck from sleeping wrong, a computer on the fritz, a foot of snow in the driveway, a Christmas tree that won't stand up, and no food in refrigerator to feed anyone. So, I scanned my iBooks list for inspiration. Something I read must have been worthy enough to post an article about. And then I saw it. Not something I read, but rather didn't read. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I remember downloading it on my queue. There had been so much praise about it. Could this help me? Give me some organization or other intriguing insights to help persue my HEA? Well, I'm gearing up. I might not be ready for Christmas or looming deadlines, but I will be ready for my 2017 New Year's resolution. Hopefully. We'll see. Next month I'll give a recap to see if The Miracle Morning is truly a miracle.

Want to see what all the hype is about? Check out Miracle Morning:

What if you could miraculously wake up tomorrow and any—or every area of your life was transformed? What would be different? Would you be happier? Healthier? More successful? In better shape? Would you have more energy? Less Stress? More Money? Better relationships? Which of your problems would be solved? 

What if I told you that there is a "not-so-obvious" secret that is guaranteed to transform any—or literally every area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible? What if I told you it would only take 6 minutes a day?

Enter The Miracle Morning. What’s now being practiced by thousands of people around the world could perhaps be the simplest approach to creating the life you’ve always wanted. It’s been right there in front of us, but this book has finally brought it to life.

Are you ready? The next chapter of your life—the most extraordinary life you've ever imagined—is about to begin.

YOU DESERVE AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE. IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL

Here's the link if you're interested: Amazon.

I'll be back next week with a report on how well I did or didn't do.

Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!!!

Nicolette Pierce



Friday, December 16, 2016

Have a Very RED Christmas!


Hey, ya'all.  How is everyone today?  I'm doing great.  Got my tree in the stand this morning and the outside lights up this evening.  So I'm almost ready to go...as soon as I can find those stupid extension cords that keep hiding from me.  I will never understand how the hell a 100' bright orange extension cord can get lost, but it manages to elude me every stinking time I need it.  And I have at least three other cords that are 25' and 50' long...can't find those damn things either.  It's starting to become a Christmas tradition at my house...get the boxes out of the barn, test the lights, hang the lights, spend a week looking for the damn extension cords.  ARGH!

Okay, so I got to thinking about Christmas, and gifts, and Christmas lists.  So...what's on your Christmas list?  I don't usually make a list, but I try to always have an inexpensive gift idea or two at the ready, just in case some random stranger wants to put a little something under my tree.  I think it's important to be prepared.  LOL

So, I was a single parent from the time my son, Dustin, was four months old, and when he was young, he would draw me pictures or make me macaroni art for Christmas.  Then as he got a little older, his father would sometimes help him make things for me out of wood or whatever was at hand.  The idea was to keep the cost low, but still show his love by giving something he made himself.  I loved it! In fact, one of my favorite gifts ever was a gas funnel made by punching a hole in a metal coffee can and welding a metal pipe onto it.  That was truly a one-of-a-kind gift, and I am still bummed to this very day that it somehow disappeared.  I'm pretty sure it's because it was such a thoughtful and clever gift that someone had gas funnel envy.

Then, as Dustin got a little older, he started wanting to buy me Christmas gifts.  Oh, I'd still get the wonderful homemade Christmas cards, but he would hit me up for a ten-spot to buy me what he considered a "real" gift.  So I'd usually give him a ten and turn him loose in the store, and every year my request was an electric can opener.  Yes, you read that right...every year.  You see, electric can openers were very inexpensive at the time and it was a gift you could get for under $10...and I really wanted one.  So the first year I thought of the can opener, I was excited...that would be something perfect, something I wanted, and the price was right.  So Christmas morning came, and there was no can opener under the Christmas tree.  No matter, I decided I could live without the can opener a little longer.

So, the next year, the can opener was my request again.  And, again, no opener on Christmas morning.  You see, Dustin had decided that an electric can opener was a stupid gift, so he was bound and determined that he would get his mother something nice...something she really wanted.  LOL Well, this went on for years.  In fact, it became a standing joke by the time my son reached adulthood...and still, I did not have an electric can opener.  By now, it seemed like a cop-out to just go buy one.  So every year, I asked for the electric can opener, and every year I got a very nice gift, but it was not an opener.

Finally, the Christmas morning came when I got my electric can opener...a pristine white opener.  I was so E-X-C-I-T-E-D!!!  I had waited years for that can opener, and it was a beauty.  Dustin still could not believe I had been serious about that damn can opener.  But I think he was sad that the can opener joke was gone, now that I had finally received one...and my son does love tradition.  So I guess he decided to start a new tradition.  Because the next Christmas, I got a lovely silver electric can opener.  Yep, you read that right...my second can opener in two years.  I now had a backup can opener.  (Smile.)  Then my son decided he'd enjoyed the joke of the 2nd can opener so much that the next year, I got a lovely red electric can opener.

Now I know you are laughing...and you're probably wondering what I did with three electric can openers. Well, I'll tell you.  I gave the silver one to my niece (who didn't have one), slid the white one into the back of the pantry as a back-up, and proudly put the brand spanking new RED electric can opener on my counter...which is where it still sits today...and I LOVE it!

It was at this point that I finally told Dustin to knock it off with the can openers because I was running out of storage space.  He laughed and I thought all was well at this point.  But, yes, I did forget that my son loves tradition, and he loves a good joke...and this joke was just too much for him to live without.  So last year on Christmas morning, I opened my gift and inside was a gorgeous RED coffeemaker...exactly like the gorgeous RED coffeemaker that I'd purchased for myself about a year before and still sat on my counter, making delicious live-saving coffee every morning.  YEP...he got me again!

So now Christmas is upon us.  He did ask me this year if I wanted to stay with RED for my new coffeemaker, or did I want to switch things up.  I told him to knock it off with the coffeemakers.  I now have two identical coffeemakers sitting side-by-side on my kitchen counter, and no room for a third!  He chuckled, but it was sort of an evil chuckle.  So I figure I will either get a third RED coffeemaker, or he will find some other kitchen appliance to continue the joke.

Truth be known...I keep both coffeemakers on the counter so people will ask why I have two...then I get to tell the story, which is one I truly love...because I also love tradition, and I love a good joke.

May your Christmas be as fun and as loving, and full of family, food, jokes, and duplicate kitchen appliances as mine!  Stay safe, and have a ball!!!

That's my story, red and ridiculous, and I'm stickin' to it.  Hang on tight now, 'cuz we're gonna go real, real fast!




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Memories


         My DH and I put up our Christmas tree this past weekend and hanging the ornaments on the tree brought back so many memories of Christmas’s past for me. I do get a little sentimental and that’s okay.
Now, you all know that I have my routines in how I do things (all right, I admit it. I am persnickety…just can’t seem to help myself). Decorating the Christmas tree is no different. There is an order to how it’s done. First, and the most important, are the lights then come all the ornaments my son made for me when he was young. I treasure each and every one of those hand-made precious jewels. After those, I have all the ornaments that were given to me by the special people in my life. I don’t do tinsel….I learned a long time ago that it can get a little messy when you have a dog (she would catch the tinsel on her tail and I’d find it all over the house). The last things to go on the tree are the candy canes (yes, we must have candy canes. It’s a rule.)
When my son was young, my DH would pick up a live tree on his way home from work on Christmas Eve. Once the kid was asleep, he and I would decorate it so my son was doubly surprised on Christmas morning. We did this for quite a few years…and then, we got caught. After that, it became a family thing and we’d all pick out the tree and decorate it together.
My son is grown with a family of his own now (and lives in another state) so there isn’t much opportunity to decorate the tree together, but every time I hang an ornament, especially one that he made, my heart just fills with so much love!
Happy holidays to everyone! Wishing you peace and joy (and lots of good books to read).

As always, happy reading!
Marie

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Kindle Fire Giveaway, books and more for the release of the CELEBRATE Anthology!


The authors of the CELEBRATE Anthology set in the Love Brothers world of Liz Crowe are "celebrating" its release on December 15th with a big Rafflecopter!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Her Highness the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham


Romances were a little different in the 1500’s, affiliation over love. 

This story involves the “Jane’s” of the Tudor succession, Jane Grey, Jane Dudley, and Jane Seymour.

Frances Grey, Jane’s mom, tells a good part of the story, always with the hope of her daughter marrying nobility.  Henry VIII is available once again and what parent wouldn’t want her daughter to have such security?  Yet, the pitfalls, danger, and instability of the nobility, especially wives of Henry VIII, give her pause.Her Highness, the Traitor

The relations to the court, whether they work for the king or are family, constantly have to prove their faith and allegiance.  The Tower is filled, heads are lopped off, people disappear, and yet the parents and young ladies continue to vie for ultimate closeness to the crown.

The emotions and sentiments expressed take the reader to a fragile existence, always on the edge and under scrutiny of the society.

Happy reading,
Dawn