Friday, August 30, 2013

Cover Reveals for Angela Brown and Gwen Gardner!

Y'all, please file this blog post under the category "Better Late Than Never." My blogging/writing pals, Angela Brown and Gwen Gardner (whom I met during the Tree of Life: Branching Out Collaborative Writing Project), have books coming out and I'd said I'd happily join in their cover reveal on August 30. Well, we're in the last 30 minutes of that day, so...uh...yeah. My bad. Srsly. But my badness shouldn't stop you from checking out their awesomesaucey prose. (I'm sure awesomesaucy's a word.) (OK, well, pretend it is, for heaven's sake.) Anyways, onto the reveal, Angela and Gwen...

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It is with great pleasure and a thrill in our hearts that Gwen Gardner and I (Angela Brown *hugs*) reveal the covers for our follow up stories to our currently available novels: Givin' Up the Ghost (Gwen) and Neverlove (Angela).

*cue drumroll*
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A GUILTY GHOST SURPRISED by Gwen Gardner (Add to Goodreads)

An Angel Among Us
Paranormal happenings at the Eady household are the norm. Recently, things have become downright peculiar. Childish giggles at odd hours of the night lead Indigo Eady to her little cousin, Bryan, a guileless cherub spirit, complete with Spider Man pajamas and a set of faux angel wings. The problem is that Bryan died nearly three years ago in a hit and run that killed him and his mum. The driver was never found.  Now the gang must solve the mystery of his death in order to send him back to heaven.  But where to start when the trail is three years cold?

Indigo Eady
Indigo Eady is not clumsy. At least, that’s what she keeps telling everyone. Can she help that the overactive spirit community of Sabrina Shores causes her psychic abilities to short-circuit? It’s unfortunate that her cute friend Badger is often on the receiving end of her mishaps. At times, she is positively hazardous to his health. Even so, sparks fly in more than one direction.

 

THEY ALL FALL DOWN by Angela Brown (Add to Goodreads)

Abby and Basil: New love reaches new heights as they finally give in to their lust and desire for each other.

Q: Consumed by the Devourer within and his base need to claim Abby as his own.

The crave: What it all boils down to. A crave for souls. A crave to keep love intact beyond betrayals. A crave for a second chance. A crave for power and The Fall of mankind.

“Love can conquer all” is put to the test and salvation may be impossible when it’s “ashes, ashes…they all fall down.”


About Gwen

Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face - but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate - not necessarily in that order.
Haunt at the following: Blog | Twitter | Facebook


About Angela

Angela is a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Haunt at the following: Blog | Twitter | Facebook


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A Public Service Announcement:

In honor of the upcoming U.S. holiday, Labor Day, I will be taking a break from...well, laboring on my bloggy blog. If you celebrate the holiday, hope you have a great one, and if you don't, hope you have a fab Monday! L8RZ! 
 xoxox

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Spotlight on "Rearranged" by Tina Carreiro!

Because I'm a big believer in writers having one another's backs, I will occasionally put a "spotlight" on an author's upcoming or hot-off-the-shelf book. Today, the spotlight's on...


The Book:

Carly West is good at taking care of herself—she’s been doing it since her mama died. She can even make marrying a man she didn’t choose work. But when gorgeous ranch foreman, Wade Dawson struts into her life, everything changes. Her life starts to unravel, lies are uncovered, and the only comfort she finds is in the arms of a stranger.

Wade Dawson has one thing on his mind, to fulfill his brother’s responsibilities and get the hell out of this small town. But he soon finds out he wasn’t only hired to watch the ranch, but to see that the farmer’s daughter makes it down the aisle. It’s the first job he isn’t sure he can follow through with. But if he doesn’t, his brother’s reputation and freedom is at stake.

Bound by obligation to marry another man…

Bound by blood to save his brother…

Will one night destroy it all?


The Excerpt:

“Fast I can do. It’s soft and slow I’m goin’ to have a problem with.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Different meanin’ for different people, mine’s personal.” He placed his palms against the wall by her ears.

“I don’t understand.”

He leaned his forehead against hers. “Fuck… you’re killin’ me, darlin’.” His fingers skimmed across her cheekbone and disappeared into her hair. “Do you remember what I said about kissin’?” His hazel eyes trapped hers.

“It can be dangerous?”

“Yes. And slow… slow is very dangerous.” He leaned forward, brushed his lips across hers, and all the air left her lungs. Something strange started in the depths of her stomach, and her skin flushed. Her nipples tightened, growing to the point of pain as they rubbed against the cotton fabric of her bra.

His eyes flicked toward them, a deep grunt sounded from his chest, and his hand tightened in her hair. He held her with a firm grip and leaned his forehead back against hers. “Reach down, and undo my jeans.”

She was trapped. Even if she wanted to retreat, there was nowhere for her to go. He’d invaded her space. Intense eyes stared right into hers as if he was demanding her deepest secrets with one hand buried inside her hair and the other curled around her neck. A rock hard, well-defined stomach pressed against her belly. The skin-on-skin contact ignited a slow burn that was sure to grow into a wildfire any minute. If she weren’t leaning against the wall, she’d collapse.

The Author:

Tina spends her days writing and creating fantasy worlds until she’s forced back into reality where she pretends to be “normal.” When not writing, she’s a full-time cub scout/camping/gymnastic/PS3 mom for her son and daughter and a devoted wife to her leading man, the love of her life-husband. She’s addicted to writing, romance novels, zombie movies, and coffee with caramel macchiato creamer. She fully believes in karma and pours her heart into everything she does.  She loves life and embraces every moment of it.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Monday, August 26, 2013

Eye-yai-yai!

For this episode of "What about luuurve?" (or, my feature on topics relating to the science behind love), let's take a look at our eyes. I don't mean, like, in the mirror or anything. I mean, let's check out how the eyes figure into the science of attraction and whatnot.

Our eyes both pick up on information and communicate it (this last bit, often without our conscious knowledge). Specifically, our pupils are the actual windows to our souls, and those suckers dilate (get bigger/wider) when there's information before us which we deem of great import. This can be because of something good ("That dude's HAWT!") or bad ("Holy shit, is that a freakin' bear?!"). The wider the pupil, the more information gets through to our little gray cells, the faster our little gray cells can tell us to run (whether to or from the source of the stimulus will, of course, vary, depending upon the info received). (Presumably.)

As regards the "something good," if we're talking about a possible future lover/mate/spouse, when our pupils widen to take her/him in, areas of our brain which respond to dopamine get very active, probably 'cause our little gray cells want us to get a move on and take action on the attraction, already.

Interestingly, the sexes have somewhat differing perceptions of widened pupils in the objects of their respective affections. Hetero dudes think chicks with big pupils are hawt because:
a) they interpret that wide-pupil gaze as sexual interest in them, specifically, and
b) they (unconsciously) reckon that this sexual interest is due to the chick ovulating ('cause, like, menfolk have that biological imperative to spread their seed far and wide, yo). (Hey, I don't make this stuff up, I just report it, OK?) (Sheesh.)
By Greyson Orlando (Own work)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Medieval Italian babes intuitively picked up on this and used belladonna to widen their pupes, thus increasing their pulling power. (This method's not recommended, as belladonna's toxic like Britney.)

Hetero chicks' responses to dude's pupil size will vary, based on what it is they're actively seeking. If a gal wants a steady, long-term, relationship, she'll prefer a dude with medium-sized pupils. But if all she wants is a bit of short-term fun, then larger pupils will float the little man in her boat. Apparently, wide pupils in a male indicate a potentially overwhelming sexual desire that can lead to aggressive, even violent, behavior (which, while undesirable in a long-term relationship, may explain the mystifying attraction some gals feel for so-called "bad boys"). Anyway, them mid-sized pupes demonstrate a safer level of interest. (Curiously, biology can trump this thought process when a chick's ovulating—at that point in her monthly cycle, it seems a woman's held hostage to her urge to merge/biological clock/"Damn, I really want a baby" instinct.) (Again, I'm not making this jazz up, promise.)

Right, so: if pupil enlargement indicates sexual interest (and it does), then a large-pupiled, long-held gaze is a very promising sign, indeed. We're flattered when possible love-objects stare into our eyes and, subsequently, rate their attractiveness even higher as a result. And the longer we hold one another's gazes, the more passionately we feel about them.

So what's the takeaway from all this?

By Emily Tan (originally posted to Flickr as The Gaze)
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
Well, if you and your lover naturally make frequent eye contact and hold one another's looks for longer, rather than shorter, periods of time (in non-creepy ways), your relationship's probably in a good place. Take note, however, if any of the following are true:
  • When out to dinner, you and your love-muffin would rather look at your food, around the room, or at your smart phones, rather than at one another. (More often than not.)
  • Your lover blocks his eyes (whether with a hand or simply by closing them) during a conversation—this could mean he's troubled by, or frustrated with, you.
  • Your significant other starts blinking, a lot, when explaining his whereabouts of an evening—folks' eyelids begin to flutter rapidly when they're nervous. (Looking away for a moment, however, is not necessarily a bad thing, as he may simply be trying to recall an exact sequence of events.)
  • Your spouse squints, or narrows her eyes at you when you're giving her your whereabouts of an evening—you're either seriously stressing her out or she doesn't buy what you're trying to sell and she's pissed.

Stuff I read to research this topic (to give credit, and to reassure, in case you're still thinking I made this shizz up):

Joe Navarro, “TheBody Language of the Eyes: The Eyes Reveal What The Heart Conceals,” psychologytoday.com,December 11, 2009.

Cheryl Murphy, “Learning the Look of Love: That Sly “Come Hither” Stare,” scientificamerican.com, October 17, 2011.

Cheryl Murphy, “Learning the Look of Love: In your Eyes, the Light the Heat,” scientificamerican.com, November 1, 2011.

Cristen Conger, “Does love make your pupils dilate?” howstuffworks.com, February 12, 2012.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Entry for the 50 Shades of Sexy Blog Tour!

Click here to read my excerpt!
Y'all, RWA NYC (the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America) is running a blog tour in which members offer up a (brief!) sexy (but not too graphic!) excerpt from their books (or WIPs).

Today's post features a snippet from my debut novel, That Fatal Kiss (coming September 24!). (Probably!) (God willing!) So, like, please take a look/leave a comment/spread the word!

(I adore writing parenthetically!)

(You may have noticed.)


Monday, August 19, 2013

Giving Our Girls Some Chemical X (WIBWIW)

I've mentioned on Facebook that some family from out of town visited recently. My cousin brought her two girls, ages 3 and 6, and we had a BLAST! They departed Saturday morning for points north of New York and, while I have to admit to utter exhaustion, I was sad to see them go.

We walked around Manhattan, sang real songs and made up songs, watched The Powerpuff Girls (I still have VHS tapes—yes, VHS tapes—of the PPGs I'd bought for Balthazar years ago), and we laughed, a LOT.

We battled balloons, we swung around and got dizzy, we had tickle attacks, we played Shipwreck (in which I was the boat and rocked the girls into a bad storm at sea) and Airplane (in which I was the plane and they "flew" on the soles of my bare feet), we took tumbles, and we ate cupcakes.

I bought them each three books and none of them were about princesses. I quizzed them on stuff. I tried to comment on how pretty they were only once a day. If I told them they were cute, I also told them they were smart and strong.

You see where I'm going with this, peeps?

Though The Powerpuff Girls were made of "sugar, spice, and everything nice," the scientist who created them in his laboratory inadvertently mixed in some Chemical X. This is what gave the PPGs their super powers. And their super powers, in turn, give them the assurance that they can handle any monster who crosses their path, even when they're scared.

My sister, cousin, and I weren't given any Chemical X when we were kids. We were taught to be obedient, quiet, and above all, never to engage in behavior that could be considered ugly.

Well, funk that noise.

Let's teach our girls to be courteous, yes, and polite, and respectful. But let us also teach them to be messy. Let's show them how fun it is to get some dirt under their fingernails, as well as how pretty those nails can look with a few coats of polish. Let's teach our girls to be loud, when it's warranted. Let's teach them to run fast, kick balls, and swing bats.

Let's challenge our girls, rather than make things easy for them. Let's allow them to take a few falls and then show them how to get back up again. Let's talk to them about farts, and snot, and toe cheese.

Let's show them that clothes come in a wide spectrum of colors, not just pink. And let them know it's totally cool to prefer pink, too. Let them know they have options.

Let's give our girls some Chemical X and empower them to be whatever they want to be, not what someone tells them to be, or what they think they should be. Let them know they can just be, and that that is enough.



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cover Reveal ~ That Fatal Kiss by ME!!!

I've long held a passion for Greek mythology, y'all. The story of the goddess Persephone's marriage-by-kidnap to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, has particularly fascinated me, and thus came about my debut novel, That Fatal Kiss. Coming September 2013, the revisionist tale features a fiery and noble heroine, a handsome and broody hero, and some heated, earth-shakin' lovin'!

Given my neurotic nature, it took cover artist Steven Novak and me a few go-arounds before settling on the cover design for That Fatal Kiss. It had to be curiously compelling, slightly spooky, and yet super sexy—and so it is!





The Book:

Feared by mortals for his inexorable power, and loathed by his fellow Greek gods for the same, Hades rules the Underworld alone. A stark eternity looms before him until he discovers Persephone. Struck by the youthful goddess’ beauty, kindness, and spirit, he must have her. But Hades believes Persephone could never love him, and so he conspires with his powerful brother, Zeus, to take her by force.

Persephone too seeks a mate but her possessive mother, the goddess Demeter, frustrates her husband hunting. Then Hades abducts Persephone, tearing her away from the Upperworld she loves to reign with him in the dank depths below. Though outraged, Persephone cannot deny the desire ignited within her by the dark lord’s touch. And even as she hopes that Demeter will unearth her, Persephone aches to surrender to the heat in Hades’ immortal soul.

The Teaser:
“Enough,” Hades said, closing the distance between them. “I have taken you with your father’s consent, as custom allows. You are in my kingdom, under my rule, and if you have any care for your continued well-being, you will get into my bed. Now.” And with the removal of the pins that held together the black cloth about his waist, he stood naked before her.

The anger warming Persephone clashed with another fire that roared to life within her. She choked on a breath and turned her face from him. “Be warned; I will resist you with the full force of my being, through violent means, if necessary.”

His large, unyielding hands encircled the soft flesh of her upper arms as he said, “If you must. Though your surrender to me would prove more satisfying to us both.”

If any of this intrigues, please keep abreast of updates regarding That Fatal Kiss, as well as the development of any new neuroses, by stalking me at my usual haunts:

Blog: Some Dark Romantic
On Facebook: mina.lobo.1
On the Twitter: @GothMomLite
And GothMomLite Will Tumblr For Ya as well

And, if the spirit moves you, please do spread the word by clicking on the icons of your social media of choice, below.

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With hearty THANKS to all the bloggers who've joined me in this cover reveal!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Anti-Blogfest Gary Fest!

Let me tell you about my good friend Gary. He, too, is a blogger, an advocate of mental health care, owned by his lovely dog, Penny, and an all around great guy.

The thing is, Gary doesn't support blog hops/fests. He feels they place too much stress on participants and take the joy out of blogging, especially the mack daddy of all blogfests, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I can't say I blame him, as I've been participating in fewer of these events myself, for those very reasons. In any event, Gary's been quite vocal about his feelings for blogging events and so, in gentle raillery, fellow bloggers Alex, Tina, Robyn, Mark, and Morgan have created the Anti-Blogfest Gary Fest, in which participants create the titles/descriptions of three PG-13 rated blogfests which they would never, in a million years, join.

So, here are three blogfests in which I'm damned if I ever participate:








Monday, August 5, 2013

Dark Romance #9 ~ Allyson Lindt's Holding Her Close

A few months ago, I wrote about my friend Allyson's debut contemporary romance novel, Conflict of Interest. Today, I want to tell you about the next book in her "Bits and Bytes" series, Holding Her Close, which is actually a prequel. (I heart me a good prequel, y'all.)

In Conflict of Interest, we met Scott and Zach, co-owners of a lucrative software/gaming development company, and followed Scott's romance with the gal hired to groom him so he could make nice with the investors/world. In Holding Her Close, we travel back to a darker time, when the lads' first company was subject to a hostile takeover, and their futures looked bleak.

Zach, a long-haired blond dude (I heart me a man with floppy locks, y'all), is haunted by the fact that their company wouldn't be in such dire straits if his former girlfriend hadn't pulled out from investing (and very publicly rejected his marriage proposal). (Le ouch.) Worse, a previous, more important ex-girlfriend, Rae, feeds Scott's hopes that they can restore their company to its former glory—something Zach knows to be impossible. Still, Zach appreciates that, after ten years of not being on speaking terms with Rae, they can now interact without one or both of them freaking out. (More or less.)

Rae's good with numbers (I heart me a chick who rocks the maths, y'all, 'cause I couldn't do the kinds of calculations this gal does for a living to save my life). And Rae believes she can help the fellas come back from defeat, only it's gonna take a lot for her to convince Zach of that fact. The Zach she dumped when they were in high school. The Zach she never stopped wanting. And, from the looks of things, Zach isn't quite off the emotional hook either. He proposes they do the thing they didn't the first time around—have sex. You know, just to get it out of their systems. For closure. (Man, if I only had a nickel for every time a man proposed sex for closure...) (Well, OK, I wouldn't even have a nickel.)

The dark romance of it all: First, I'm always fascinated by folks who can stay friends with their exes—I've not managed it and, frankly, I don't see the point (unless y'all have kids together or something). Second, it intrigues me when folks who've split decide to get jiggy with one another later on down the line. Who doesn't know that's a supremely bad idea? (More often than not, I'd wager.) Zach and Rae have so much baggage from their breakup, they'd be hit with extra checked baggage fees from pretty much every major airline in the U.S. Each suffers from monumental anger and hurt from what went down all those years ago, and yet it's this woundedness which drives them to seek sexual healing from one another. Of course, it'd have been better for them to heal their wounds before getting intimate...or perhaps it's the complete vulnerability of love-making which opens them up to healing. Why does coming to grips with past heartache often seem to require the complete stripping of the self and renewed suffering, until we're made new? (Hah, I may as well inquire of the moon why she revolves around the Earth.)

I enjoyed Holding Her Close; it engrossed me straightaway and didn't seem too inclined to let me get to bed at a reasonable hour. (I started reading on my morning commute, gritted my teeth in frustration when I had to stop to work, then picked it up again on my commute back home and for the rest of the night. I was over 60% done with it by the time I finally got to bed.) The writing is crisply contemporary and I found myself relating to Rae, and liking her, quite a lot. Zach was a bit more glib than I generally like in a romance hero, though I appreciate that he keeps things at a superficial level in self-defense, at some cost to his own peace of mind. Seeing them reconnect and process their past was a pleasure, as were their love-scenes (which, I have to tell you, really grabbed my attention in ways that other writers' love-scenes don't always manage to). (They were hawt, y'all, is what I'm sayin'.)

I feel like I'd have liked to follow Rae as she dug up some very pertinent information regarding the hostile takeover (I even think it'd have been fun to see her and Zach team up, Scooby Doo style, to uncover these mysteries, and would've provided more dramatic opportunities for them to re-bond). But that's a minor point, as I found the story engaging, came to care a great deal about the main characters, and really wanted them to enjoy a "happily ever after."

All in all, Holding Her Close was a lot of fun and I'd recommend it for anyone into gaming, young professionals, and lovers of romance of all ages.

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