Hard candy, anyone?

You know those old folks one encounters in movie theaters, the ones who always seem to be unwrapping hard candies?

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Of course, you know them. Just as soon as the movie hero is about to reveal the great secret in his past, the one that will determine the movie’s outcome, those pensioners usually pipe up in loud voices.

“What did he say, Henry? No, I didn’t wear my hearing aid. It makes everything too damn loud.” (Unwrap, unwrap, unwrap)

Yeah, those folks. Well, I mean no disrespect. The whole point of this post is I’m starting to feel a strange affinity for the older generations. God bless ’em.

I guess you could say I’m starting to feel my age and it’s been getting me down this week.

Now I’m sure you’re protesting as you read this. “But surely Rosanna is barely thirty years old! How can she possibly be feeling her age?” (You are saying that, right? RIGHT???)

Fact is I’m 45. Yes, I know, still very much young, still lots of living to do. I just wish parts of me didn’t hurt so much during all this living.

A week or so ago, I visited the eye doctor, only to be told I have bizarre scratches on my eyes. They can’t figure out how they got there. (Personally, I think this lends credence to my theory spiders are trying to gobble up my peepers at night.) Oh, and my eyeglass prescription got stronger. That’s always a delight. “From 45 onward,” the doctor said, “your prescription can change every six months. Eyes age quickly during the period between 45 and 55.”

Oh, joy. Just call me Mr. Magoo.

And then there’s the matter of my tendinitis and tennis elbow. I’ve been experiencing pain all through my right arm for over a month. However, as I learned today from my physiotherapist, the pain stems from nerve issues in my neck. The keyboarding doesn’t help but it might also be a result of general wear-and-tear. Again, I’m aging so I should expect more of this.

Did I happen to mention that favorite foods (read: junk foods) no longer sit well with me? Today, because the boys had a day off school, my husband and I grabbed burgers and fries for the four of us. Although that crap went down nicely, within two hours my stomach  had launched an all-out rebellion. I’m serious. It was the fricking Battle of Trafalgar in my gut and I did not emerge victorious.

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So basically my stomach hurts, my eyes are wonky and I’ve got pain radiating out from my elbow into my neck and fingers. I expect gout and shingles any day now.

I’m all about embracing my age, at least on most days. I have no wish to go backward and redo my twenties and thirties. In fact, in many ways, my forties have kicked ass.  I love where I am but I won’t lie to you. Some days everything hurts.

So what do I intend to do about this pesky aging process? I have decided to take action. As much as I detest exercise, I know I need to start moving. I already take long walks but maybe more is needed. Perhaps I need to try something new, something that will not only stretch my body but stimulate my mind.

What about those junk foods that disagree with me so much? I have to remind myself of the discomfort every time I feel like caving. When the waitress asks if I want fries with that, I shall smite her! “Begone, temptress!” I shall say.  (Okay, I won’t really smite the waitress. That’s just mean. Besides, I’m not sure how to smite a person.)

I will be the first to admit I sometimes delay my doctor appointments. As a mom, I’ve always made sure my kids have their physicals, but I sometimes neglect myself. I can’t do that anymore. I have to take care of myself, too.

It’s time for change. Change is good.

In the meantime, until I can sort out all these changes, I’ll just curl up over here with my bran muffin, unwrap a few hard candies and take a nap.

 

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Anise Eden. Cover Reveal – All The Wounds in Shadow.

Anise Eden is one of my favorite new authors so you can imagine my excitement when I learned she’d revealed the beautiful cover for book 2 of  The Healing Edge series, All The Wounds In Shadow. I just had to share it here as well.

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Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

Now, it ain’t just a pretty cover. I loved book 1, All The Broken Places. I had the honor of reading an ARC of book 2, and I can assure you these are terrific reads. The romance here is sweet, the heroine smart and the hero swoon-worthy (calling dibs on Ben … no, seriously. That boy is mine.)

If you’d like to read my review on All The Wounds in Shadow, you will find it here:

“I had the pleasure of reading an early copy of Anise Eden’s All the Wounds in Shadow and enjoyed this second installment of The Healing Edge series. In book one, the author draws the reader into the story of Cate Duncan, a therapist with issues of her own. Her world changes forever when she learns she is an empath and is recruited to work for the MacGregor Group, an organization filled with psychically-gifted individuals. In book 2, Cate has begun her training. We also see her in the throes of a new romance with Ben MacGregor, a former Marine and leader of their ensemble. The group is called into action when an acclaimed doctor is poisoned and on the brink of death. Cate and her friends must employ their unique talents to delve inside the doctor’s mind and discover who attacked him. However, the case brings to light old wounds for Cate and presents new struggles. Can she come to terms with her feelings for Ben? Can she help a man who can only communicate telepathically? And will her efforts endanger her as well? Ms. Eden takes us on a remarkable journey, one laced with intrigue, romance and hope. I cannot wait for the next book.”

For more info on all Ms. Eden’s books, visit her here: http://aniseeden.com/

 

Orange peels, dirty dishes and cat poop.

I awoke this morning in a luscious haze. Stretching, I grinned from ear to ear because I knew I could devote an entire day to writing. Because I work in a library, my work hours aren’t 9-5 and I don’t have to go in today until 5pm. I knew I could dedicate the day to my Muse and artistic pursuits. After all, I am a romance author. I deserve a day full of romance and creativity and whimsy.

Then reality hit.

Last week, we had March Break for the kids. As a result, yesterday involved a lot of running around and ended on a lazy note. So when I headed downstairs this morning, I found a pile of dirty dishes, many of which were left over from my two teen boys yesterday. It seemed they cleaned their rooms. Now this sounds positive, right? Kids cleaning their rooms? Not when they unearth old used dishes.

My eldest son likes to kick it up a notch. Not only did he have dirty dishes in his room, he had bits of food (a no-no in our house). Because he was sick recently, he consumed a lot of oranges. Guess who found all the peels?

I should mention today wasn’t totally set aside for writing. Our cat Sweetie was way overdue for a checkup so I had to get her to the vet by 10am. No biggie, right? It becomes a biggie when you realize you don’t have a cat carrier in the house.

Picture me, if you will, in my housecoat, running around the house trying to find a lost cat carrier at 8am. My hair isn’t brushed. I haven’t showered. I’m digging through the basement junk, where we normally stow the carrier … and coming up short. All the while, I am stressing out because I might have to find a store willing to sell me a carrier by 9am.

Luckily, I realized my father-in-law had borrowed the carrier a couple of years ago and we hadn’t brought it back home. So I thrust the children toward their respective schools, drove like a fiend into the next suburb on a cat carrier mission, drove back to the house to try to insert Sweetie into said carrier, and get her to the vet.

By 9:30, I was sweating. OK, possibly cursing, too.

Did I mention I had to collect a fecal sample from Sweetie as well? Because I did. So not only was I rummaging through the basement today, turning over boxes and books, I had to rummage through her poop.

I suppose the most important part of this story is Sweetie got a clean bill of health and we got a hefty bill. There are some others morals, too:

-Children hide food.

-Children will spontaneously engage in chores, only to disguise the fact they haven’t done chores for more than a week.

-Cats scratch when you put them in a carrier. Wear long sleeves.

-Oh, and the most important of all. Romance authors do not always have lives full of romance and creativity and whimsy. We’re just like everyone else who carries cat poop in baggies.

 

Not so “fluffy” anymore.

Writing is all about transformation, in my opinion. The reader hopefully undergoes a transformation when reading a book. If all goes well, it should touch them or make them laugh and forget their problems for a while. It might inspire them to try something new or reconsider an opinion.

However, I think it should also be a vehicle for transformation within the writer. For me, writing is a constant learning experience. I feel as if I’ve learned so much since picking up the pen for book one, but I continue to discover new things about myself and my writing style every day.

When I look back at my early romances, I see books that are light and sexy and (dare I say it?) even a little “fluffy.” I can admit it. They are beach reads. Nothing wrong with that.  The thing is, I don’t feel all that fluffy anymore.

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I have been craving a bit more substance with my romances. This is not to imply romance can’t have substance. After all, for many, the biggest risk they can take in life is to fall in love and overcome their personal hurdles. Love can be scary and bracing and biting.  At the same time, I long to explore other topics, to show a bit more of the motivations riding my characters. For many, those motivations spring from tragedy and loss.

My shape shifter series is a good example of this transformation. When it began, it was very much a fun and flirty series with easily-resolved conflicts. Each book ended tidily. Not so much with the latest books. In book 5, a new villain emerged and we glimpse a darker side to my characters and their family lives. Readers have told me they’ve enjoyed the blurred lines and darker themes and I’m so glad they have.

I’ve begun a new contemporary romance series featuring a trio of contractor brothers. When I envisioned it, again, I imagined a light, feel-good series of romances. Now that I’ve almost finished book 1, I suddenly have a subplot dealing with the hero’s PTSD. Honestly, I never saw that coming. I had his conflicts and wounds all laid out in an outline and one day I started writing about PTSD. I began to research it. This condition not only affects veterans, it can affect those who’ve witnessed tragedy (my hero’s situation). There are dark moments and I hope my readers will be willing to experience them with me.

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What is the moral of this story? When you read one of my books, you will still get the elements you’ve always found in my writing: humor, fun and a whole lot of sexiness. But I think from now on, you’ll get more. You’ll see life as it is, flawed and frightening and sometimes sad. However, at the end of the day, you’ll also feel a lot of hope and inspiration. I will never leave you with an ending that is anything other than happy. That is my promise to you.

Vice up for nomination at TRR Readers’ Choice Awards!

I’m excited to announce my contemporary romance Vice is up for nominations at The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards!

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It’s always wonderful when a book gets recognized and I appreciate everyone who has supported this story so far. If you enjoyed Kate and Liam’s story, please consider voting. It’s in the category of Erotic Romance- Contemporary Romance. Please note, you must be logged in at TRR in order to vote.

Vote here: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=19201

You can see the full list of books here: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/bookvote.php

Thanks so much for your support! This book means so much to me and I’m glad it has come to mean a lot to others as well.

Rosanna

Eve Dangerfield. Locked Box.

It’s my pleasure to welcome Eve Dangerfield today, hot on the heels of the release of her second romance Locked Box. I’m reading this one right now and it’s been very enjoyable. I love Eve’s writing. She’s funny and smart and I think you’ll like her post on unconventional heroines.

Congrats on your release, Eve!

Unconventional Heroines

I was pretty darn nervous about releasing Locked Box. It’s my second novel and I was worried that everyone would think I peaked at one, aka Harper Lee. But what kept me going was that while Degrees has a special place in my heart the lead character in Locked Box, Julia Bennett, is the kind of heroine I dreamed about creating back when being an author was a laughable pipe dream. She’s tall, gangly, self-deprecating and best of all she’s a gamer. When she’s not lusting after Max Connor’s she’s sitting on a beanbag playing the latest first person shooter with a lapful of popcorn.
I know a lot of female gamers (and am one) but I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance novel where the heroine is casually and unashamedly into Call of Duty or Skyrim. I’ve read a lot of romances where the dude character is into games and the women stand around rolling their eyes and saying “Oh men, they’d rather kill imaginary goblins than shop for impractical shoes or whatever it is I’m into. I guess that’s why they’re from Mars!
I’m not saying all women should be into games, but the fact is a lot of women are into games. They deserve to see versions of themselves represented in the genres they love, including romance and erotica without being patronized. Julia is my humble offering to those women and whatever people think of my second novel I’m proud as hell of her.

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Synopsis
Julia Bennett isn’t having a great day. Funding for her video game is running low, her IT job is sucking her dry and to cap it all off she’s locked in a police station with the very handsome, extremely married guy she’s been avoiding at all costs. Max Connor isn’t having a great year. He’s getting divorced, his best friend is squatting in his spare room and his inappropriate crush on the IT girl is getting dangerously out of hand. And that was before he locked the two of them in an evidence room for the weekend. Surrounded by three decade’s worth of drugs, guns and floppy disks, Max and Julia are forced to confront the heat that lies between them with dangerous, funny and occasionally toe-curlingly sexy results.

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Teaser: Gaming, cider and RAM are all things young IT woman Julia Bennett understands. Her agonising crush on a seemingly married cop? Not so much. Julia’s been avoiding Max Connor for six years but now they’re spending the weekend trapped in an evidence room full of whiskey and mice. Locked Box is a novel about two people with an unspoken connection who are forced to look each other in the eye and say “I really, really, really want to make out with you.”

 

Author Bio
Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels since she first started swiping her grandmother’s paperbacks at the age of fourteen. Now she writes her own unapologetically sexy tales about complex women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Eve currently lives in Melbourne with her lovely sister and a rabbit named Billy. Locked Box is her second novel.

Excerpt 

“Hey! Hey! Is someone in there?”

It was a man’s voice, calm and controlled and Julia knew it was a cop. Relief blasted through her, so all-encompassing she could barely speak. She slapped at the door trying to tell her would-be rescuer she was alive and in need of evacuation.

“Hang on a second,” the cop barked. “I’ll go get the spare keys.”

There was a pounding of feet as her rescuer dashed away. Julia inhaled, trying to calm her racing heart. The footsteps returned. Whoever this guy was, he was quick.

Julia swiped a hand across her sweaty forehead. “Oh my god please let me out.”

“Don’t worry Henri, I’ve got this.”

So the cop thought the actual evidence supervisor was the one entombed in Brenthill’s evidence room? That was awkward, then again who cared? He could think she was Humphrey B Bear if it got him to let her out. There was an agonizing rattle of keys, a muttered curse and then the door clicked open. Julia didn’t think she’d ever heard a sexier sound. She and the cop turned the handle at once, jamming the door. Julia laughed and let go, allowing him to open it. “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m going to nominate you for Cop of The Ye–”

It was him. Of course it was him. She was locked in a room, making a total dick of herself. Why wouldn’t it be him? Julia’s mouth went dry as Senior Constable Max Connor’s gaze flicked over her flushed cheeks and quivering mouth. His eyes were as dark as Julia remembered, black you could barely make out the pupil.

“Julia? What are you doing in here?” His voice was so low and deep she could practically feel his voice reverberating in her bones.

“I-I…” She stared blankly up at Max wondering if she’d remembered to wear mascara today.

“Julia?”

Max’s expression was a mixture of amusement and disdain as though he couldn’t figure out how someone could be quite so ridiculous. Julia cheeks burned hot and she knew that if she’d been given the choice she’d have gladly starved to death in the property office to avoid this situation.

Relevant links:

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Buy links:

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Liquid Silver Books

Daisy Banks. Mother’s Day Magic Boxed Set.

I’m pleased to welcome Daisy Banks today as she tells us about a very special boxed set for Mother’s Day.

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My thanks to you for showcasing the Mother’s Day Magic Boxed Set collection.

I hope your blog readers enjoy the story tasters from this collection of stories.

Best wishes

Daisy Banks

Mothers Day the one!! MDM

13 authors

 

A message from Allyson R. Abbott.

READING TO HELP A CHARITY
I love to buy books as presents. I wanted to find a book that would let my mom know how much I appreciate her. As an author, I decided to write the story to say how much I love her. I told my friend what I had planned to do. Grace, also an author, wanted to do the same. We set out to write our two stories, but Grace suffers with MS and it became so bad she had to stop writing. I sent out an appeal to authors worldwide to write stories for Mother’s Day, and to donate 10% of every book sold to MS. My call was answered by 13 special authors and our Mother’s Day Magic box set was born. Read these beautiful stories and help stop a crippling disease––MS!

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Buy Links

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AVHGNJI

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mothers-day-magic-angela-ford/1123291706

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/mother-s-day-magic

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/mothers-day-magic/id1077026791?mt=11