Even though I don't really like cold weather, my favorite holiday are the "season" beginning with Thanksgiving, through Christmas, and Hogmanay, which is a Scottish holiday that gets celebrated along with New Year's Eve. Why? I love family gatherings! When the weather gets cold and depressing, nothing cheers me up like getting together with my family, whether there are gifts involved or not. It's the hugs, the catching up, the pictures--everything makes me happy!
Thanksgiving is always fun, even though I really don't like turkey. Instead, I love the side dishes! My husband's sweet potatoes with maple syrup, brown sugar and nuts, with a splash of rum. I make homemade cranberry sauce--super simple, and super good, even plain! My sister-in-law makes broccoli casserole with cheese. YUM!
Christmas was always Mom's favorite holiday, since she grew up 8th of 10 during the Depression, in a large Polish immigrant family in Chicago. No toys or gifts ever, so she made sure that our family never lacked for them. We didn't feel spoiled--just loved.
Hogmanay was special to me faither who was from Glesga. He said that when he was growing up, Christmas in Scotland wasnae a big deal. New Years was, because they celebrated Hogmanay. How? At midnight, you eat homemade shortbread cookies (I make them every year.) You drink ginger beer, or have a wee dram of Scotch. Then the next morning, on New Year's Day, he remembered visiting all of the bars in the area. There would be lines outside of them, filled with women, and blond and red-haired men. Tradition says that the first person through your door, for good luck all year, must be a tall, dark-haired man, with a piece of shortbread in his pocket so you'll have food all year, a lump of coal in another pocket so you'll have heat, and something to drink that will keep you warm and happy all year. My dad would get pushed to the front of the line, because the barkeep wouldn't open the door until there was a tall, dark-haired man at the head of the line. Dad got free drinks everywhere he went! No wonder it was his favorite holiday!
I don't usually feature holidays in my books, but in Never Too Old For the Game of Love, and Recipe For Love, Reyes Family Romances Books # 1, and 2, there are scenes crucial to the plot that take place during "the season." In the first book, Tegan and Alejandro realize separately, at Thanksgiving, that they are developing feelings for each other, when their affair started out as just one hook-up weekend a month, when her ex has the kids. She has them for Christmas, but she and Alejandro spend New Years in a very romantic cabin in the woods. In the second book, Patti hosts Thanksgiving, and her ex tries to ruin the day. The biker she hired to help her cook in her diner, puts him in his place--leading to a romantic encounter Patti and J.T. have both been waiting for!
What are favorite holidays of other authors? Check them out:
Lisabet Sarai is an author that I really enjoy. When I say that she writes hot stories, that's an understatement! I always enjoy her books. So when she offered to host me, to help introduce people to my female spies, I jumped at the chance. Head on over to her site for an exclusive totally hot excerpt from Secret Lover--
And while you're at her site, check out her latest book: D&S Duos, book six, that has 2 stories in it. Lisabet often writes about the blending of pain and pleasure. This book is no exception.
Searing tales of erotic surrender.
Muse--Of course she’d dreamed of being a slave. The passion leaked out, even in the tamest of her kinky scenes.
Détente--I can’t help it. I’m dizzy with instantly kindled lust. He nips at my lips, probes me with his tongue. He drinks me in, consumes me. Between my thighs everything melts.
Excerpt – from “Détente”
I tried to choose, ten years ago. I married David, traveled the world with him, settled down, as much as I’m ever likely to. My ties to Eric wouldn’t let me rest. I would dream of his voice commanding me, his hands alternately caressing and tormenting me. I craved the sensation of him ravaging me until I was too sore to walk. I yearned for the near-telepathic connection we shared when he called me to his dungeon and bound me to his service. “Give me your body – give me your mind,” he had whispered in my ear on that night long ago, when I was young and impressionable, before I’d ever met David. Malleable, he called me, gently mocking. Indeed, he molded my desires into strange and fearful shapes.
Lust, obsession, love, whatever you want to call it, it flowed between us like currents of fire.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t enough to keep us together. His sensitivity could turn into irritability. His sense of power could dwindle to miserable inadequacy. He was intuitive, but didn’t always share his insights.
I was young, as I said. I reacted instinctively to his desire, but I didn’t really understand his heart. I thought that I was nothing more to him than his slut, and never would be.
Meanwhile David exploded into my life and swept me off my feet with his quirky gallantry. We skinny-dipped under the full moon, drank vodka and pondered philosophy until dawn, spent entire Sundays in bed feasting on each other’s bodies. David wrote me poems and sang me the blues. He took me to the strip clubs in the seedier part of town, then later plowed me with long, slow strokes while we fantasized about the dancers. He recounted picaresque tales of his travels, bus trips through jungles in
Sumatra, hurried couplings under the bridges of Paris, epiphanies in the mountains of Peru. He promised to take me with him on his next set of adventures.
I married David. Eric still hasn’t forgiven me.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, Pinterest, and Twitter. Join her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh
This one is really easy. Once upon a time my husband learned that I really love hard-cover books--English major and all. So he gifted me with two collections: One had books 1-3 in Laurell Hamilton's Anita Black series, the other had books 4-6 in the series. Then I liked them so much, he kept buying them for me, the individual titles, as they came out. I was a truly happy reader! There's nothing like holding a hard-cover book in your hands, smelling the pages, knowing that you're going to enjoy yourself, and looking forward to it.
Since I'm also an author, I read other author's blogs regularly, and I read on one that Laurell Hamilton was commenting that when she goes to the UK to promote her books, they complain that she has too much violence in them. But when she comes back to the US, she gets complaints that she puts too much sex into the books. She commented that it says more about what the countries are about, than about her books. She's right about that. And I'm the last person to say there's too much sex--in anything! My books are steamy, some would say erotic. But they're character-driven, and there's a story, along with people growing and changing together, to make a monogamous HEA by the end of the story.
I really used to enjoy Hamilton's books, because Anita Black was such a kick-ass heroine. She's a necromancer, so she can raise the dead. In the beginning, that's her job. Like if someone dies without a will, she can raise them, question them, then lay them back into the ground when the survivors have what they need. Oh, and she also fights demons and other paranormal characters.
But first she gets seduced by the ruling vampire in her city--I think by the 3rd book? They're hot together, and it's all good. Then another book or so later, she gets seduced by the local Pack leader, of the werewolves. Okay. An uneasy love-triangle, but she manages to make it work--for a while. Then every book after that brought her not just new demons to slay, but new males to lay. And somehow along the way, she "absorbs" an ancient female entity (a succubus?) that can never have enough sex. So now she has to have 5-6 males in bed with her at any given moment, or she doesn't really feel satiated. I joked to my husband that she must have the world's largest bed, in order to fit her, 5-6 males, and an emu, so that she can be satisfied. Sheesh! (I made up the emu part, unless that's been added since I stopped reading the books.)
See, I'm not really into the whole 1 woman, multiple men idea. I know a lot of authors and readers really are. But I raised 3 sons, and they wouldn't even share their toys when they were kids. Only one is married, but he'd NEVER share his wife with his brothers! And speaking as a woman, I'd be hard put to decide who to hurt first, if my husband ever cheated on me--him or her? Probably both!
The last book my husband gifted me with in the series, I scanned--all right, I was looking for the naughty bits! But what I found was the pack leader guy apologizing to Anita because he's so very huge, that no human females can accommodate him, because he rips them to shreds. That's why he's happy he can have Anita, because her paranormal status makes her more "durable." Then he proceeds to pleasure them both, in the most violent of ways.
I closed the book and said, "That's it." I told my husband to stop buying them for me, and I have no idea what's become of the series since then. But I have no interest in finding out. If I want a shot of Hamilton, I'll reread the first few books--maybe up to the 8th or 9th. But doing that will depress me, because I know the way it's heading. So I haven't done that for many years.
So that's my sad story. What about you? Have you ever stopped reading a series? Why?
To find out what other authors think, head to
Ameena has never been able to forget what she endured on her last assignment before she left the agency. The only female agent to live through what The Executioner did to his victims, she still bears the scars, both physical and psychological. When he escapes from his prison cell, her former handler brings two agents with him, telling her that one or the other will be her shadow, until her torturer is caught again.
Having kept herself too busy for romance, she is caught off-guard by the sudden insertion into her life of two hot, sexy men, one who actively pursues her, and one whom she finds more attractive for his shyness. Doe she choose between them, or enjoy them both? Will she live long enough to make a choice? And once she does, is that the end of the story? When the man she chooses is captured while on his last assignment, she needs to recruit a team to rescue him. But she needs one more team member--the man she rejected. There's only one thing she can offer to him, that might convince him. Only one thing he wants from her.
What is my silliest pet peeve? I don't like to let anyone else drive my truck. Yes, silly, I know. Back when the kids were young, I had to drive a mini-van. I hated it. But it had a tow bar, and we have had a series of pop-up campers for years. Both husband and I drove the van when we went camping.
Then the van died, and I successfully lobbied for a Suburban. I loved that machine! It was fast, did 0-60 in a few seconds, drove like a dream on highways, and had seating for eight. That means when I had to drive my girl scout troop around, I could take a lot of them with me. But when our family did camping, there was an empty seat on both back benches, in-between the kids, for them to have room to pile their various entertainments. The Suburban had a loud stereo too. Plus husband didn't really like driving it. The negatives were that whenever I took it to the shop, it was never under $500--and I had it in often. Not for major work, usually. But for things like automatic windows or door locks that needed to be replaced--repeatedly. Plus it only got about 8 MPG. Sigh. When we traded it in, I was very sad.
But I got a Ford Sport-Trac, with a V-8, from the last year they were made. It was used, but in great shape. It's a small truck, a tiny bit bigger than the old Rangers used to be (husband bought three of those and drove them until the doors rusted off.) But it has a bench behind the driver, with three seat-belts. Plenty of room for passengers--and a truck bed for cargo. I fell in love from the start! Husband says it's a "lady truck", so it's sized for me, with arm rests and window heights comfortable for me, but not for him, since he's a foot taller than me. So I told him he can't drive it. For years, the seat adjustment motor was broken, so that was my reason--if he adjusted the seat back, I'd never be able to get it back up for me. Then we fixed that, and I had to confess that I just don't like him driving my truck. It's MINE!
Our kids tease, calling me a "bad-ass, truck-drivin' mama," since I have lots of tattoos. They say I should be blasting country music. Nah. I blast industrial metal or blues from my truck--occasionally Santana. But I like to open the sky-light and all of the windows (I don't like AC, either in my house, or my truck). I hang my tattooed arm out the window, blasting my tunes and enjoying the wind in my face. Driving is relaxing therapy for me, no matter the destination.
So one thing's for sure. If you see my truck coming, you don't need to look in the driver's side window to see who's driving it. It will be ME!
Head here to learn of other authors' pet peeves:
That's right! From now until Sunday, May 31st, you can get each of these books for 60% off, or only $1.20 each!
Secret Lover--Learn more at: www.fionamcgier.com/spies.html
Sheena has spent 12 years saving the world, one assignment at a time. She enjoys the work, but is getting bored. She tries her usual cure; a new man. But something about this one is different--she develops feelings. And in her world, even having feelings is dangerous. Indulging them by falling in love can be deadly...for both of them.
Only One Man Will Do--:www.fionamcgier.com/onemanlastresort.html
This is an MC (motorcycle club) story, but the twist here is that Alexandra is the red-haired biker queen from the first Minnesota Romance. Dmitri is the ex-KGB cousin that Ivan sends to make her promise to never contact Raul. While there, he decides it might be fun to try to tame this wildcat. But she doesn't want to give up her other men, the ones in her gang. And Dmitri doesn't share. How far will he go to claim her for himself?
Go to my Smashwords page, scroll down, and click on the book covers. you can always download the first 20% free, but go on, for less than a cup of coffee, you can escape this mundane quarantine existence, and break a sweat reading about my heroines' adventurous lives!
Honey West. The Prisoner. The Man (and Girl, but not Woman--what's with that?) From U.N.C.L.E. The Avengers. Our Man Flint. James Bond. Mission Impossible. Do you like to read, or watch movies and TV shows about spies? Their lives are so exciting and glamorous, and the best part? They can do something about fighting the evil-doers of our world! I'm a huge fan!
But the only thing I never like is that the the agent is always the hero. I don't want to have to identify with the damsel in distress! I want to be the agent with the mad skills, who can survive on just wits, great style and looks, and a well-made cocktail.
Blurb for this book: Sheena has spent 12 years saving the world, one assignment at a time. She enjoys the work, but is getting bored. She tries her usual cure; a new man. What starts out as a hot affair with a famous action movie star becomes serious--she develops feelings. And in her world, even having feelings is dangerous. Indulging them by falling in love can be deadly--for both of them.
Kelly, the vivacious, young, blonde actress from For the Love of His Life, wants to get to know the mother who abandoned their family so many years ago, in favor of her job as a live agent with the CIA.
Her mother, Stella, retired 3 years ago, after 30 years as an agent. But someone is sending amateurs to kill her, and she doesn't have any backing from the agency for killing anymore.
Stella desperately wants to explain to her eldest, Kelly, why their family broke up so many years ago, and she hopes they can create some kind of relationship, since her heart still aches at having lost both of her children. She agrees to join Kelly for 2 weeks at the resort run by Ivan, who was introduced in the first book also.
Ivan is unnerved by how familiar Stella looks, but attributes it to Kelly's resemblance to her mother. But he's also surprised by his body's reaction to her. Both Ivan and Stella are mature people in their 50's, with adult responsibilities. Neither of them is looking for a partner. But life sometimes gives you what you want, even when you don't know what that is.
Healthy Relationships Are Back In Style
Fiona McGier’s novel Never Too Old For The Game Of Love is a hearty and enthusiastic endorsement for everything that is still sound and good between consenting guys and gals in the bedroom (and other discrete places). Nearing her 40th birthday, divorcee Tegan is tricked into performing an amateur strip tease act when she can’t locate a professional dancer at the last minute. Her dance attracts the interest of Alexander, a passionate Hispanic businessman, and The Game of Love is soon in full play. For a fun read that will have you alternately laughing and panting and then laughing again, latch on to a copy of Never Too Old For The Game Of Love, the first book in the Reyes Family Romances.
* * * *
Contemporary Erotic Romance