Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Samhain!!

Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ translated means "summer's end"-sometimes known as the harvest festival, it is also called "the festival of the dead."   Many consider Samhain as the beginning of the Celtic New Year, ushering in the dark "half" of the year when the earth begins its descent into dormancy and quiet.

Long ago, in medieval Ireland, Samhain, or 'Féile na Marbh' was celebrated with a gathering in the royal court of Tara, or Hill of Tara, near the River Boyne. This is considered to be a sacred place where kingships made their offerings through pagan rituals.

From the spark of a ritual fire of the kings, a  great bonfire was lit on top of the Hill of Tara, where it could be seen for miles, welcoming all of Ireland to gather together and celebrate with rituals, song and dance and light the fires of their homes for the next year. The celebration is still carried out in many pagan sects on this first three days of the month--to celebrate "summers sunset."

It's a quintessential day to begin the All Hallows Weekend! A cold front moved in yesterday bringing with it a foggy , steady rain (hello, you'd think I lived in Seattle!) and this morning, its chilly, grey and the burnished red, gold and orange leaves lay sodden everywhere, clinging to any surface to avert the high winds that have blown in from the north.

Yep, its my kind of day.;)

As the northwest winds spin the leaves into a frenzied quick dry--the Lit Ladies are also ushering in the release of the first in the Celtic Spice mini series--WINTER'S DESIRE releases on Nov 1, but I hear rumors that already you can find it at a few brick & morters across the country! 

Join us November 2 and 3 for a full on--48 hour bash with prizes that you cannot believe--including signed coverflats, special Celtic Spice water bottles, a beautiful necklace, Lorenna McKennit CD and the hunky Gods of Football calendar!!(you might have to pry that out of my hands, just sayin')

We'll be giving you sneak peeks to each of the stories, talking about the legend that inspired this anthology , Winter's Solstice legends, and MORE Celtic Spice anthologies on the horizon!!  Mark your calendar and tell your friends--you dont want to miss this one!

Have a safe and sensational Samhain!

The Lit Ladies & Lord CM

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Free Read! Just in time for Samhain....

A little vampyre story, warm your blood...

Based on a description from BUILD A HERO during my TORTURED blog tour-this story was inspired based on Leontine's R.'s fabulous hero description, using her name as my heroine and the hero's description--this short story is what came to mind...UNFORGETTABLE.

If you missed it the first time--you can read it again this week at her blog of 'hawtness" Leontine's Book Realm.  My thanks to Leontine for her great art work in creating the perfect image of these two!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Random Monday Musings...

Here are my random writerly musings of the day, in no particular order:

1. There aren't enough hours in the day to get done what I need to get done--or enough hours in the night to get as much sleep as I need.

2. If one of my kids gets sick, it is almost a given that I will get it, too.

3. I cannot force myself to write if I'm not in the 'zone.' Unfortunately.

4. As soon as I sell a new book to a publisher, it is inevitable that I will then hear of four others that sound similar (and probably sold for more $$$ than mine!).

5. You should have a well-thought-out reason for using whatever point-of-view (POV) you use in any given story (this random musing brought on by a debate on a writer's loop I'm on). "But I've always wanted to try writing in first person!" isn't a well-thought-out reason.

6. WINTER'S DESIRE will be out in five days!!!! FIVE days!!! (according to the widget). Don't forget our upcoming celebration/shindig/giveaways (remember that "winter's sparkle" necklace?!).

7. Lastly, just to leave you some eye candy, this is what the heroine's love interest in my upcoming YA book looks like in my mind's eye:

Okay, I'm now ready to pass the microphone. Your turn. Let's hear your random Monday musings.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Win a copy of A Highlander Christmas!!!!

Hey guys!

If you're interested in winning a copy of A Highlander Christmas, (my alternate ego, Sophie Renwick) just skip on over to Cecile's blog today.

She's got Bran over there, interviewing him. Bran is the hero from Velvet Haven, which releases in March 2010. The novella in Highlander is a prequel to Velvet Haven.

So, if you want to meet Bran and have a chance to A Highlander Christmas, as well as a copy of Addicted, come on by!

Happy Friday everyone!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wicked Wednesday

Sometimes you just have to let the imagination run wild....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Research: Stripping Down the Hero By Ms. Cecile

*edited with permission: Caleb undresses for his heroine...

He slammed her against the closed door and began kissing her. The kiss grew hungry, deeper and more demanding. They drew away from each other with ragged breathing. Desire was in his eyes. He picked her up and headed to the bedroom.

Once there, he laid her on the bed. She loved this part. Her personal strip tease show. Some things you never grow tired of. He began by unloosening the knot of his tie. Very slowly working it down, watching her under his lashes. He slipped the tie over his head and tossed it on the bed, telling her he had plans for it later.

 She grew warm at the thought of what he would do with it. He untucked his shirt from his slacks. Then his fingers found the buttons on his shirt. Slowly, tediously, one by  one, he began to unbutton his shirt. She watched growing wetter with each flick of his fingers. Once done, he made a show of shrugging out of his shirt. The muscles across his chest ripples as he began to take it off and the anticipation was killing her, but she knew it was well worth the wait.

He was so fine and she could hardly wait for what came next. He placed one foot at a time on the edge of the bed, removing his shoes and socks. He's taking his own sweet time, knowing it was payback for what she put him through on the car ride home.

He stood up straight and tall and what she saw in front of her was her dream man. All sorts of deliciously wicked thoughts crossed her mind. As of reading her mind, he gave her an evil smile and said, "In due time."

His hands went to his belt on his slacks and he unfastened it slowly. He pulled it through the loops as if there was no rush at all. True, were it not for the rush of her blood in her veins heading straight to the pit in her stomach.

The belt off, he tossed it to the floor. His fingers hovered over the button fastening his pants and he grinned slowly, enjoying that she was squirming on the bed.

His fingers clutched the zipper and she inhaled a hiss. Damn, this man was going to be the death of her. Slowly, lazily he slid the zipper down, stopping midway to see her eyes wide and hungry.

 He finished unzipping his slacks because it was killing him and as much as he knew it was killing her. He wanted her. Once the zipper was down, he slowly pushed the slacks down and oh heavens above, there is a God. He wore her favorite pair of purple boxer briefs. They clung to his thighs like chocolate on strawberries. She saw the gleam in his eyes and knew he'd done this just for her. This was her dessert and she wanted to savor this as if this was her last meal.

There before her stood the man she desired above all. Dark wavy hair, deep blue eyes, luscious lips. Built like an athlete of the gods. She loved him with every fiber she had and seeing him stand in front of her with his purple boxer briefs clinging to him like she wanted to be, she was in heaven. Two words, "Come here..."

Temptation Tuesday: Boxers or Briefs?

The age old question. Let's talk men's underwear, shall we?

To fully understand the history of this battle, one must understand the history of the garment itself.

In 1925, Jacob Goloumb, founder of the 'Everlast' (sports equipment) designed a special loose-fitting leather short to be used by professional boxers. These shorts allowed greater leg movement, which if you are a boxer --you'd want to 'float like a butterfly;sting like a bee'-right?

As time--and underwear--wore on, manufacturers of mens undergarments introduced the jockey-style brief in the late 1930's. But issues beyond their tight-knit comfort began to um...arise.;)

Random studies indicated that the restrictive tightie-whities may create excessive high temperatures and restricted movement which in effect could cause lowering of sperm count. Uh-oh.

Further, there was some indication that consistent and undue genital pressure may have had something to do with testicular cancer risk. Though all of this remains unsubstantiated and simply theory, it was enough to spawn a new age for the "boxer!"

Since around World War II -- the popularity of the boxer came back due to its ease in movement and fabric content.

And so the battle of the boxer vs brief commenced.

 "Underoos" (knit brief) were introduced to appeal to the younger set of males with their cartoons and super-hero design.

For the older male, in recent years,boxers have made a comeback, utilizing patterns and design and well as the introduction of hip hop, which made baggy jeans and showing off your fancy boxers a sort of 'bling' to your butt thing.

I still don't get how that look is remotely comfortable!

Boxer's remain a  popular choice by many men and now, too, more women are reported to wear boxers to allow greater freedom of movement, greater air flow and style.

In recent years, as the popularity of men's undergarments surged forward to compete with the likes of Victoria's Secret (lingerie for women) and other like-minded  companies--designers such as Calvin Kline, Abercrombie & Fitch--even Hanes-- and Hilfiger made men's underwear a fashion statement to contend with.

 Introducing the latest--the boxer brief--a combination of the stylish free-form boxer and the knit comfort of a brief--this has recently become the underwear of choice for many men if you follow the sales. (Me? I kind of  go for the whole visual thing...)

Ads now run as many spots for mens undewear as do womens underwear. Male sports figures are featured predominately wearing their boxers or briefs of choice. *nice

No doubt about's underwear has come onto the fashion scene with a vengence, just as it has with women's lingerie.

 And I have to say... I'm just as happy they have.

What about you? Are you a boxers or briefs kind of gal?

Or is commando your thing?


Friday, October 16, 2009

Beastly Men

ok, I couldn't resist this title. Barbara from the Happily Forever After blog used this term in a book review, and it gave me the warm fuzzies. We all know those kind of men, don't we? Those mad, bad and dangerous to know heroes from romance novels and movies. They're kind of the anti-hero, aren't they? You're never quite sure who's side they're on, but you're panting for them anyway. There's something about them that gets us thinking, makes us want to strip away the layers and discover what lies at the center of this man. Of course he's brooding, mysterious, dangerous-- lethal, but sexy, surprisingly gentle with the heroine, and he makes us want to have have him all to ourselves.

Well, anti-heroes are really beginning to make a surge in romance, and my writing buds and I are going to pitch a workshop idea for RWA nationals about creating the anti-heroes--The tarnished hero, shining him up-- just enough!

I love writing those types of men. Lindsay from Addicted was one, Wallingford from Sinful definitely is, and the Destroyer character from Immortals of Annywn series is most certainly one...and you get to witness his fall, too!!! But we need more!!!!

So, we'd like to do some research, and we'd like to include a reading list in our handout for all those lovers of anti-heroes. And who better to come to than our well read, man knowing LIT friends!

So, put on your thinking caps, and recommend your favorite,or favorites anti-hero from any book or movie.
(and you knew I had to put up the pic of Gary Oldman as Dracula...I have a perverse fascination with him in those glasses......)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Be Still, My Beating Heart....

Those of you who were hanging around the LIT Manor last spring probably remember my obsession with Gilles Marini on Dancing With the Stars. Boy, could that man dance a sexy Tango (and Paso Doble, and Samba, and...well, you get the picture)!

Anyway, I just realized he has a 2010 calendar out! I Must. Have. It.

In the spirit of sharing, I thought you might appreciate a sneak peek.

Pretty nice, huh?! I think the last pic (on the.....scooter? Is that a scooter?) is my favorite.

I also heard that he's about to start appearing on the TV show "Brothers and Sisters". Guess I know what I'll be doing on Sunday nights from now on.

Must go wipe drool off keyboard now....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wintery Thursday Thoughts

So I've been rising earlier the past couple of days for what reasons I can only attribute to camping out by the bonfire I have going for the UPS man who may be bringing my ARC's  of Winters Desire;)
Seriously, they were shipped to the wrong address and are now making their way to me;)
I look for them anytime now...not that I'm anxious or anything ;)

Kidding, sort what are you all reading these days? I try to make rounds on the blog circuits as best as I can, to read the reviews and recommendations.

I just finished A Rogues Game by Renee Bernard and if you are looking for a sassy heroine and a to die for rake--look no further! Bernard is a brilliant writer and superb storyteller!

Currently, I'm reading The Club by Sharon Page--another page-turner , Sharon goes deep into the erotic seedy underbelly of London's Victorian(defintely my cuppa!) era to uncover the whereabouts of a young woman gone missing. Really good stuff thus far, but some stuff admittedly disturbing (even for me!) I so identify with her heroine in this book in my view. Excellent writing!

We're looking at a cold blast tonight and tomorrow with freeze warnings and a mixed bag of snow and rain this weekend!

So what's shakin' in your neck of the woods?


Monday, October 5, 2009

Sexy Villains?

Wow, us LIT Ladies are really falling asleep on the job here...the poor blog looks abandoned! Time to stir things up, I think!

First off, I have to tell you that I got my author's copies of WINTER'S DESIRE last week, and had the chance to read the entire thing, in 'book form', which is a very different experience than reading the individual novellas on the computer and imagining them all bound together by the prologue. And let me just take a moment to brag on my co-authors--because their stories were amazing, totally drawing me into their worlds. And talk about HOT! I loved the way the common theme was weaved throughout, and I loved the way everyone had their own distinct 'style.' I'm really proud to be a part of this unique book, and I just can't wait till you can read it!

Now, back to today's villains. And I'm talking true 'bad guys' here, not just those 'bad boys' that *really* have hearts of gold. There seem to be two types of villains in books/movies/TV shows: the grotesque type, and the hot, sexy type. Does it bother you when the villain is somehow appealing, despite his dastardly deeds?

I'm a big fan of the TV show HEROES, and the villain, Sylar, is a bad, bad guy. He kills people, among other stuff. Yeah, we've got his backstory, and that makes us feel a bit sorry for him, gives us a bit of understanding, but c'mon, he's killing people. And yet somehow he's the most popular character on the show. Women love him. I love him. He's scarily sexy. Forget Peter Petrelli, the good guy 'hero' who looks like he stepped off the cover of GQ. Women love Sylar. There are fansites *everywhere* dedicated to him, far more than any other HEROES character. He even has an "Army" (Sylar's Army, aka "Sarmy," a hugely popular web site devoted to his character).

Recently I was fiddling around with a YA paranormal manuscript that I've been working on for a while (which, I'm happy to announce just SOLD!!! Details later). There's a bad-guy villain in the book who's threatening the book's main characters, and originally I'd written him as unattractive, with greasy long hair and a hook nose. But while revising, I somehow managed to change his physical description to something far more appealing--don't ask me why. But...there's just something about a sexy villain!

I know there are more examples...Anakin Skywalker, for one (see above!). I mean, you know what he becomes and you know you're supposed to hate him,'re drawn to him, anyway.

Who else? I'd love to hear more examples--from books, TV, or movies--of really sexy villains that you know you're supposed to hate, but can't resist.