Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bold and Beautiful Confession

I have a confession to make. It’s a little embarrassing, although it shouldn’t be, because clearly I’m not the only one on the planet to look forward to my daily dose of cheese. No, I’m not talking edible fromage; heaven knows I’m not impartial to a nice nibble of French Morbier, or a chunk of English Cheddar after dinner. I’m talking about cheesy entertainment. You see, I’m addicted to “Top Models”, better known throughout the world as ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’.

There, I’ve said it. It’s out. And I’m grinning, even though many of you are probably rolling their eyes and thinking “you poor, sad person.” But I don’t care because I’m equally sure there are plenty of you sighing with relief, having been afraid I was about to confess to something way more icky. In fact, some of you might be grinning along with me, thrilled to have found a cheesy kindred spirit. Hello, “Top Models” fans! Gimme five!

I’ve been watching “Top Models” since it first aired here in Switzerland back in 1987. In my twenties at the time, I came across this never-ending show somewhere in between rushing back from work, getting changed, and rushing out again to paint the town red with my friends. Maybe I was tired, maybe I’d just had my heart broken by some imbecile, or maybe I was coming down with some mind-numbing bug, but for whatever reason, on that fateful autumnal evening, I switched on the television instead of the turntable and my daily schedule changed forever. Because there they were, the Forrester family, having their first problematic evening reunion, being served by a pretty blonde girl from the wrong side of the valley called Brooke Logan (played by Katherine Kelly-Lang). Back then, who’d have thought that the lovely Miss Logan (and the rest of her messed-up family) would wreck such long-term havoc upon those unsuspecting neurotic Forrester souls? Who’d have guessed that, twenty-two years later, they’d all still be nursing variations of the same problems and insecurities, still bitching, conniving, swapping partners, and generally pulling rugs out from beneath one another’s expensively clad feet?

On an even crazier note, who’d have thought that, after all this time, I’d still be tuning in, night after night? I mean, I know I’ve got it bad because whenever I can’t make that 6.15 TV appointment, I make sure it’s taped so I can watch it later. There have even been times when I’ve come back from holiday looking forward to two or three weeks worth of “Forrester Problems”, as my son Gregory calls the show. I also get pretty miffed when, for reasons beyond my control, I’m prevented from watching “Top Models”. Take last night for example. There I was, sitting comfortably, enjoying the first few minutes of my daily fix when the bloody Cablecom box conked out mid-B&B introductory theme song and the screen went blank. I was not amused.

Basically, I just love plopping down in front of the television at the end of the day with a nice cup of tea and being whisked away to Forresterland for twenty minutes of mindless entertainment. People know not to phone me at this time of the day; experience has shown that if they do they know I’ll be a) annoyed, and b) too distracted to listen to what they have to say. When my children were younger, they’d both been fed by the time the show aired. Well trained, they’d sit quietly on my knee or in their bouncy chairs, jiggling in time to the familiar theme tune. Nowadays, even the dogs recognize the “Top Models” music; I know this because when the daily episode comes to its cliffhanging end and the music soars, they automatically jump out of their baskets, knowing I’m going to get up and move onto more important things, such as checking my emails for the trillionth time, or getting started with the dinner. Pavlov definitely knew his doggy stuff.

Can I embarrass myself any more, you wonder? Well, actually, yes I can. You see, many years ago, in the days when Thorne was played by Jeff Trachta (we’ve been through quite a few different Thornes…), and when the long-suffering Macy, played by Bobbie Eakes, was still alive, there was a whole musical sidekick to “Top Models”. Back then, Thorne and Macy were pursuing scripted singing careers, and if I remember rightly, Eric (John McCook) and Sally Spectra (Darlene Conley) also duetted episodically on the show. So, sometime during the mid-1990s, the producers decided it would be nice for all of them to go on a real “Top Models” worldwide concert tour. Which is how it came to pass that, on December 20, 1997, (albeit without Eric and Sally Spectra), Thorne and Macy performed at Geneva’s Arena. And guess what? I bought three tickets, one for my friend Asa, one for my sister Victoria (who is never going to forgive me for revealing this mortifying moment of her life), and one for me. Yes, I went to a “Top Models” concert!

Hey, don’t think I can’t see you, sitting there in front of your screen, with that little smirk on your face! I know what you’re thinking, but I don’t care, because it was a once in a lifetime experience. You see, the Arena, which has hosted massive stars such as Ricky Martin (would you believe I actually missed him when he performed there? Still kicking myself over that…), Brian Adams and Sting, was PACKED. People (mostly elderly ladies…) came from far and wide to see Thorne and Macy croon their soppy duets, supported by the authentic “Top Models” orchestra. In fact, the concert actually opened with the “Top Models” theme song, and everyone in the venue went wild, la-la-ing along. As for when Thorne and Macy sauntered onto the stage, well the crowd simply went beserk! I must confess that, at that point, I was a little embarrassed by the lack of “retenue” demonstrated by my fellow “B&B” aficionados; it was somewhat disconcerting to see all these little old Swiss ladies leaping out of their seats, wiggling their botties and squealing with delight. But at the same time, there was something refreshing – moving even - about this heartfelt show of enthusiasm. This wasn’t a “cool” concert; there were no special effects, no big screens, no sophisticated graphics to blow our minds or rev our pulse rates. This was just a little orchestra and two soap-opera stars belting out the likes of "Everlasting Love", "Especially for You", and "What’s Forever For", but it was wonderfully entertaining in the cheesiest kind of way.

There was even an intermission during which many of the little old Swiss ladies rushed down to the front of the stage to get Thorne and Macy’s autographs, something Asa and I didn’t partake in so as to avoid my increasingly-mortified sister from committing hara-kiri on the spot. I did, however, buy a Thorne and Macy CD on my way out. And although they’ll never admit it now for fear of committing social suicide, both my kids were thrilled and wanted to listen to it all the time. That CD is still sitting around here somewhere, squashed in among hundreds of other old albums deemed far more... -how should I put it? - socially acceptable, maybe?

I experienced another unforgettable “B&B” moment recently when my daughter Olivia came back from a trip to the local shopping centre with a sparkle of wicked glee in her eyes. “Guess what they’re selling in Manor?” she chuckled, one eyebrow cocked, baiting me.

I was stumped. They’re always selling loads of stuff in Manor; it happens to be one of Switzerland’s biggest department stores.

“A box-set of the first few years of ‘Top Models’!”, she exclaimed, wide-eyed. Then she threw back her head and gave in to a fully-fledged fit of the giggles.

I guess I know what Father Christmas will be bringing me this year. In fact, I hope he does, because I’ve quite thoroughly enjoyed trawling through YouTube today, searching for snippets of Bold and Beautiful memorabilia to share with you. I hope you’ve enjoyed them too, or at the very least, I hope they’ve made you smile.

But I’ve got to leave you now. Because, you see, it’s almost 6.15.

It’s “Top Models” time.

xx Francesca Prescott

"MUCHO CALIENTE! - Wish upon a Latino Superstar"
An effervescent romantic comedy
LASR: Best Long Book of the Year 2008 : "Laugh out loud hilarious!"
NOR: Reviewer Top Pick : "A seriously fun book with more twists and turns than expected"
CRR: “Hard to put down”

Friday, November 27, 2009

87 and so Thankful

I was honored to spend Thanksgiving with a very energetic just turned 87 year old woman. She was so full of life and energy, so thankful it made me feel ashamed at how blase I had been feeling about the holiday. What right do I have to not be thankful for all the wonderful things I have in my life? Here is this woman who is 87-legally blind, widowed twice, child of the Holocaust, she moved to Seattle from Berlin in 1933 when she was 16 years old-she was more upbeat than me, more in tune with what this holiday is supposed to represent.

She is an amazing woman. She is tiny, maybe 95 pounds and she was bouncing around with my girls having a good time. She was nowhere near what I would expect. She is small and a bit frail looking but she doesn't present herself in a frail or inhibited manner at all. She is so capable, so much more capable than many who are years younger.

I don't know what her secret is, she certainly is in excellent health aside from her eyesight which has been bad all her life, quickly deteriorating to legally blind when she was a young adult. She is active though, and perhaps that is something that helps.

She was an actress as a young woman and now as a retired woman she performs a one woman show about her experiences growing up in Berlin and coming to the United States. She performs it in schools around Seattle as a part of Holocaust education. She doesn't rely on others to do everything for her in her day to day life either. She takes the bus, walks, shops and takes care of her apartment without the assistance of another, beyond the occasional assistance of reading fine print perhaps.

She could very easily sit back with every valid excuse to not do anything other than watch television and let others do everything for her. She could get away with having others doing all the things that are, most likely, the very things that keep her living such a high quality of life.

This year she is particularly thankful, we have made her a Great-grandmother. She is the mother of my stepfather and although we have been sort of related for quite a few years now this is the first time we have actually met. She is a wonderful addition to my and my children's lives, I am thankful for her and the enlightenment she has brought to my life.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why I Am Thankful...

When I lay my head down at night, exhausted from the stress of everyday life and wondering just how much more I can take, I play a game with myself. It's called the I'm Thankful game and it goes like this...

*Though my home may be messy, I'm Thankful for the four walls that surround me...some don't have that.
*Though I fought with my nine year old today, I'm Thankful to be looking into her beautiful green eyes to do it...I almost couldn't.
*Though we had Macaroni and Cheese with Hot Dogs and a vegetable for dinner last night, I'm Thankful I was able to put at least that in my child's stomach...some parents can't.
*Though the years have not always been kind to this middle aged body, I'm Thankful to still be in love and loved by a wonderful partner...Some aren't so lucky.

My list goes on and on, but I think these four explain it well enough. While my problems seem overwhelming at times, I've found it's important to take a step back and regroup.

Things can be worse. And right at this moment, for somebody else out there they probably are.

As I've told my daughter on many occasions, it's easy to see the bad rather than the good. The bad things tend to jump into our path and get bigger and harder to go around, but not insurmountable. In the end though, finding the good things this life has to offer proves to be much more rewarding.

*Friends-there to encourage and support your desires.
*Love-in any form that finds you, from Parents or Child, lover or spouse right on down the the big brown puppy dog eyes that follow you around the room.
*Help make the good things-A can or two dropped off at the local food shelf, will bring a meal to another's table. Winter jackets that have been outgrown, will warm another child. A toy or two will make one child's Christmas special.
*A simple smile to those you meet along the way, may make another's day.

As I sit down this afternoon with my family surrounding me to share in the feast I will turn my eyes inward, as is my own private tradition, and remember why I am lucky, I will remember what makes me happy, I will remember where I need to do more, but mostly I will remember ...Why I Am Thankful.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Reasons To Be Thankful!

We don’t have a Thanksgiving celebration here in the UK which I always think is such a pity. It’s a good idea to take some time every now and then to think about the things we’re thankful for, the things that bring us such happiness every day. With that thought in mind, over the past couple of weeks I compiled a list of the things that make me happy - the things, big and small, that I’m thankful for on a daily basis. And with thanks to the late, great and much-missed Ian Dury, whose song ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3’ inspired me, here it is. Enjoy!

Fresh fruit smoothies.
Sinatra sings the bluesies.
Gene Kelly movies, his magic never dies.
Bees that bumble.
A rummage through the jumble.
The scent of apple crumble and hot mince pies.

Saturday brunch.
Sunday lunch!
A pretty pub garden where the sun’s always bright.
A country lane.
Sussex after rain.
Crisp autumn leaves and golden light.

‘Ashes to Ashes.’
Birthday bashes.
A bit of Tony Bennet and ‘Fly Me To The Moon.'
Scat sung by Ella.
A cuddle from my fella.
Dr Who with David Tennant. Bugs Bunny cartoons!

My son playing tennis.
Dennis the Menace!
Cakes from the oven and a nice cup of tea.
A good white wine.
That spaniel of mine!
Friends that I love, and who love me.

My daughter singing.
Church bells ringing.
A book at the beginning and a walk by the sea.
A sandwich with alfalfa.
Cheering on Rafa!
(He’s given us a fright, but he’s still our Number One!)

Toms and mozzarella,
Molto bella!
Italian food for ever – yum, yum, yum!
Music up loud.
Kids making me proud.
Six arms round my middle and ‘we love you, Mum!’

Much more that I’ve missed,
There’s too much to list!
So now I’m saying ‘thank you,’ cos I know that I should.
Yes, I’m confessing,
I’m counting my blessings.
All’s right with my world, and everything is good.

If you’d like to hear Ian Dury and The Blockheads singing ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful,’ there’s a wonderful You Tube video here. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reasons I am grateful, one, two, three...

1. My husband. He is my best friend, an all-round amazing bloke and blog supremo (and took the pic on the left, in a village on the Northumberland coast).

2. My friends, especially my girl-friends, with whom I chat and share as we offer mutual fun and support.

3. My family, of whom I am so proud.

4. Roses. I love roses for their shapes, colours and scents.

5. Lime trees. A lime in early leaf is a marvellous sight.

6. Music. I'd hate to live without music!

7. Good company, cocoa, chocolate, korma curry (Not all at the same time!)

8. Running clean water. Warm houses. My garden.

9. Bluebell woods.

10. The internet - those wonders of research and shopping at the click of a button - and all those lovely ebooks!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey Tales

Here are two turkey (or turkel, as we call them) sightings around my house.

Turkey in the Snow

In December 2007, a big storm dropped a good foot and a half of snow. By late afternoon, the sky was clearing and two tom turkeys (all that chest hair) slogged to the bird feeder. We have several large pines in our yard which shelter the feeder. The snow wasn't as deep there and the turkeys pecked at the seeds.

The next time I looked, only one turkey was left. He turned toward the hill to climb up to the woods, stepping into snow that was up to his belly. He stopped. For several minutes, he struggled and strained against the snow, but couldn't make any progress. The light was fading, and I expected him to return along the path he and his friend had broken.

Instead, Mr. Turkey unfurled his wings (BIG wings) and flew up to a branch. Huge bird that he is, he made quite a sight, perched on that limb. As the night progressed, I looked out several times to check on him, but I couldn't see him in the darkness. I worried about him, even as I told myself turkeys are professional wild animals and can survive outside.

The next morning, I heard "Gobble, gobble, gobble," and sure enough, there he was, still sitting on that tree limb. He flapped his wings and flew down to the ground. A crust had formed on the snow overnight, so he was able to walk away, slipping and sliding and using his wings for balance.

A happy ending.

A Spring Turkey

Last May, as I sat in my front room, I heard clucking outside the open window. I jumped up to see the turkey (seeing a turkey is still a big deal) and sure enough, a hen stood on the front lawn.

She clucked again, and six tiny brown-and-yellow chicks (poults) ran out from under the rhododendron beside the house. From their small size, they must have hatched only a few days earlier.

Mama turkey clucked again and walked around the side of the house, her poults trailing in her wake. A resplendent tom, tail flaring in full courtship regalia, followed. The entire group climbed the hill behind my house and disappeared into the woods. I wonder where mama turkey built her nest. I hoped she used our woods, but I have no idea.

My husband took these two pictures from inside the house. Click on the images to see the poults better.

I never saw the poults again, but I do see the turkeys from time to time. They have no schedule, but they wander from yard to yard, climb the hill behind my house to the woods, and then climb down again, cross the street and head into the woods lower on the hill.

I'm glad we have turkels. And I hope they come around for a good many more years.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal
Lady of the Stars
--4 stars from Romantic Times, 2010 EPIC EBook Competition finalist, Regency time travel available from The Wild Rose Press
--Regency Halloween comedy available from The Wild Rose Press
Website Blog Myspace Facebook Twitter

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkeys I Have Known

I'm talking about the ones with feathers, not the non-feathered variety that plague us all everyday.

I live in a New England suburb. The area is mainly houses and lawns, with an occasional patch of woods like the one on the hill behind my house. We have the usual wildlife: squirrels, chipmunks, songbirds, rabbits, deer, raccoons and the occasional fox, opossum and groundhog. Up until a few years ago, we never had wild turkeys. Once, long ago, a domestic turkey, probably an escapee from someone's yard, wandered through for a few days, and for a year or two we had ring-necked pheasants, but no wild turkeys.

One day I looked out at my back yard, and there the turkeys were, pecking at the spilled seed under the bird feeder. They usually arrive in groups of females (hens) or males (toms) but not the two together. The only time we'll see them together is in the spring, when the toms display themselves for the hens. The traditional picture of a Thanksgiving turkey with his feathers fluffed up is a tom in courtship display. He'll ruffle his feathers that way in the spring to attract the hens' attention, but not in November. The hens also fan their tails, but their display is not nearly as striking.

How do you tell the sexes apart? Turkeys are all large brown birds with sharp beaks and big, spurred feet. The toms are generally larger than the hens and have bright, iridescent feathers. These distinctions are apparent in a mixed sex group, but for most of the year, the birds segregate into male or female only groups.

An undeniable difference is what my husband calls the tom's "chest hair"--a bundle of long coarse feathers that hangs loose from the tom's neck and swings as he walks. I would have called the feather bundle neckties, but chest hair works, too.

As for the noises they make, in most ways they sound like chickens. They all cackle and squawk. But the toms gobble, a rapid "gobble-gobble-gobble", which is why they're called gobblers.

I enjoy the turkeys. We call them turkels, to distinguish them from the turkey that will grace our dinner table on Thanksgiving. Watching them is still a treat. Most of the time all they do is stop for a snack at the bird feeder and a drink from the bird bath. But I do have two special stories about the turkeys that have visited my yard.

Tomorrow: Turkey Tales.

Thank you all,

Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal
Lady of the Stars
--4 stars from Romantic Times, 2010 EPIC EBook Competition finalist, Regency time travel available from The Wild Rose Press
--Regency Halloween comedy available from The Wild Rose Press
Website Blog Myspace Facebook Twitter

Top two pictures from Wikipedia, "chest hair" by my husband

Friday, November 20, 2009

Life's Not So Bad After All

Isn't it wonderful when a man suddenly realizes the life he has isn't so bad after all? I think men, most of all, feel a failure when their comfort zone is threatened. And, like George, go through a spell when they feel like they shouldn't have been born, or worse, don't deserve the loving wife and beautiful kids. Hard times are emotionally draining.

It's A Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies. I never tire of it. Poor George who constantly has to forgo his dreams. Do you think in the end he really felt like he'd been cheated? I don't. His brother said it all - he's the richest man in Bedford Falls. We all should be so lucky to have people who will give all they have to help a friend.

We often forget what is really important when life knocks you in the gut and you can't breathe. I know I've been guilty of it this year with losing so many people in my life.

I have so much to be thankful for.

All the comforts of having a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back can bring. A family that is fairly healthy and happy.

What ails we have don't slow us down, much.

I have a husband who loves me no matter what stupid choices I make. He just seems look beyond them. Sometimes I wonder why.

I've made some wonderful author friends who've been supportive not only in my writing, but with my personal ups and downs.

My book sales are fairly consistant and I have a new book coming out next year as well as three short stories in anthologies.

I have a wonderful relationship with our pets, and our wild pets. They give me so much pleasure. Even Faith, though she passed away two weeks ago today. I have pictures and memories that will always keep her in my heart.

I have the best mother-in-law; she is one of my dearest friends.

The simpliest things tickle me. 'coz, I'm a pot hole...sooooo, k bye' never fails to crack me up.

Thanksgiving day, I'll be spending with my husband's side of the family and our immediate family. Usually around 22 of us, sometimes more. We'll have all the traditional foods: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, oyster dressing, sage dressing, green casserole. I have a dish which I'm required to bring or I'm not allowed entry. lol It's quite simple and a recipe given to me from an aunt when I was in junior high. What the original name of it is, I have no idea, but my family calls it 'Fluff'; very simply it contains three ingredients.

Strawberry Banana Cottage Whip [my name for it]

large container of small curd cottage cheese

small container of cool whip

large box of strawberry/banana jello

Thaw the cool whip, then add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well; cover and refrigerate. Best to make the night before.

Despite my aunt's insistent that you can only use orange jello for this, I've tried every flavor of jello with it and it's all good. My favorite is the orange followed by lemon and lime. The family prefers the strawberry/banana.

There will also be specialty items my oldest niece will make for her sister. Desserts, items made with soy and gluten free. Last year, she made an apple crisp for her that was amazing.

And we all must watch Grandma Ann. If we don't, she'll be pigging out on the sweets when our backs are turned; quite comical the way the sneaks like a small child. She's diabetic.

Oh, and the horses -- they go crazy when the kids show up. It's extra treat time. You think my pets are spoiled. It runs in the family.

I love the holidays. I do don't much of the cooking for Thanksgiving. I fix the 'Fluff', candied yams and sage stuffing. About the only thing I do different with my stuffing is I don't use dried bread -- it's so much better not to. Christmas is where I cook up a storm. I've found some new delish recipes to try this year. I'll share those as we near the best day of the year.

Today is the kickoff for the Christmas season in our little community. All sorts of goings on downtown; Christmas parade and the lighting of the trees; the local florist, which is quite a large place, has it's Grand Christmas Opening -- I'll be going with mom. I'm quite pumped.

I wish you all a very happy and fulfilling Thanksgiving.


Gratitude and Romantic Sassitude

From BonzaSheila, Legendary Lovers~ ~
In 1942, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy co-starred in Woman of The Year, the first of nine films they would make together and the beginning of a romance that would become legendary.

Gratitude... tis’ the season to take a look at what we’re most grateful for. I’ll admit this year has been challenging in that respect, for me. Yes, I am thankful for every good thing that’s come my way, for my family, my friends, my author buddies, and my doggies.
Living on the tame prairie as I call it, is a daily blessing. Just to look out at the land, the glorious softly rolling grassland lined with trees, to see the amazing and inspiring sunsets, to catch glimpses of the wild critters and watch the birds fly and live their lives... it is sustenance for the soul.
One day, several weeks ago, the early morning sunlight slanted across the trees when their leaves had changed to a lovely autumn yellow and the scene was gold. A golden radiance haloed the trees along one long fenceline. I stared, my breath taken away, my soul soaring.
This year, I had four books e-published and now two of them are in print. Smiles of gratitude are definitely on my face. Actually, I’m even more grateful to have written the stories, given I always fall in love with my heroines and heroes.

Sassitude, a word I thought of today, to describe my heroines. Though, I’m certain it’s being used by others, as well. I haven’t seen it, but the word’s a natural, given there’s kick-assitude and other variants.

Romantic purring sassitude, that’s my black cat girl, Sable, the heroine of BLACK CAT BEAUTY, released in January. The novella is written in her POV and living inside her seductive shifter skin was an absolute trip.
I’d love to have the time to write more of Sable Kiki’s story. I’m thinking... maybe... Black Cat Magic or Black Cat Friday for the title. Realistically, though, I’m so overwhelmed... well a feline-natured author can dream...

R-Snippet from BLACK CAT BEAUTY ~

Sable flipped her ear forward, noticing Devon Zant had halted high on the stairway, his attention clearly on the “accident” commotion. Although concealed by shadow, the bold strength of his physique could easily be seen. His dark shirt and pants skimmed his superbly muscled body as if the materials had been poured over him.

“Every inch the superhero,” Sable whispered, wondering how he would look flying on screen as the son of Super Ace. She hadn’t bothered with the movie trailer or the website. Especially since she’d only learned about the assignment late yesterday afternoon. A catnap in the sun had seemed much more enjoyable.

“Of course, I haven’t viewed those meaty ‘inches’ yet. So who knows if his cock is supercharged and heroic in action?” Sauntering unimpeded to the stairs, Sable briefly scanned her surroundings. Evidently Mr. Rising Superstar didn’t require beefy cow muscle to protect him ... just PETA to protect him from wandering pussycats. Maybe I should offer him personal protection from all pussies ... if he’s worthy.

Once she placed her foot, encased in the supple black leather of her sleek shoe, on the first step, his gaze fastened on her. Slowly she smiled at him. She lingered her Mae West smile on him as she provocatively swayed up the stairs.

Also released in January was MURDER BY HAIR SPRAY IN GARDENIA, NEW ATLANTIS, a finalist in the Romantic Times/Dorchester American Title IV contest. This story rose like a tidal wave from my soul and hasn’t stopped yet. I have the next book in the New Atlantis Trilogy partially written... again, all I need is time, energy and my Atlantean muse. Oh, and luck... and everything else an author needs to complete a manuscript.

*Good luck to all of us authors getting our manuscripts finished and polished!*

Yep, romantic independent sassitude, that’s my heroine, Sheriff Kalypso Sun Wing. Nope, I can’t resist that kind of tension between a woman and a man. She’s her own woman and he’s determined she belongs to him. Blame it on those Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movies I grew up on, and adored.


Kalypso whipped around. "Get your equipment up, stud dog, for these."

"Not worn long," he stated, watching his vid scan. "And not worn by our victim. Must be one of your citizens. She's not showing up on my ID. I can analyze her gene material, give you a profile, unless that's contrary to your sovereignty, Sheriff gorgeous. By the way, no underwear, anywhere." He fastened his gaze on her. "You're not wearing any."

"Don't like it." Kalypso averted her face, and twisted the corner of her mouth. Men! "Except on special occasions," she added for affect. "Give me a profile on our red lace gal. My prerogative as Sheriff of our fair land and town."

"I like it. That you're not wearing any...underwear. It'll take a few minutes. I have to use the central program."

"Really don't care what you like. And don't like," Kalypso grouched. "Anything else you want to investigate here?" She shoved past his great hulking frame, and breathed in the air of freedom, from him, even if it still reeked of hair spray.

"Feeling trapped by our ferocious attraction?" Zryphus sauntered toward her, his gaze locked on the vid.

"If I have to personally tromp through hell, I'm finding the killer just so I don't have to be around you!"

Zryphus raised one dark ruthless brow, then both brows. "If I were the killer I'd be quaking in my killer killer shoes, or my killer bare feet."

"Is that the diabolical plan? Make me hate you so much, I'll do whatever I have to do to get the killer, despite my duty to the sovereignty of New Atlantis?"

"No, the deviant diabolical plan is to trap you in my bed, take advantage of every carnal thrill with that exceptional and sweet body of yours."

"Disgusting doesn't cover it!" Kalypso marched toward the door.

STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME is my latest release. It’s the first story I’ve ever written only from the hero’s POV. That was a trip and a half, trying my best to think in ‘manly’ terms and, at the same time, think and feel like a stallion, since Trail is a stallion shapeshifter, and more. He’s not from this Earth.
Romantic cautious sassitude, that’s my heroine, Seneca. She’s been burned by love many times and only hires Trail because she desperately needs help with her horse ranch.


Before she opened the door entirely, Seneca peeked around the edge. The glisten of her bright sky eyes galloped over him. Recognizing him, she opened the door, her gaze meeting his without an ounce of pretense. Still, speculation flickered in their depths. Trail had decided a long time ago her eyes were a type of magic he wanted to explore. However, that could not be his destiny.

“Howdy, Seneca. I’m looking for a job. Mandy saw your ad for a hired hand until your brother can get back on his feet again. I’m applyin’.” He tried a small grin that he hoped looked more friendly than saying, “I want to grab your fine round ass and plunder your mouth until you melt against me.”

“Trail, is it?” She stepped outside, letting the door slam closed. Raising her chin, she eyed him almost fiercely and crossed her arms beneath her plump perky breasts. Hell, she rarely wore a bra, and now her nipples poked her flannel shirt, he knew not for him. The morning chill hadn’t been dispelled by the sun’s ferocious heat yet.

“Yes, ma’am. That’s my handle.”

“Why Trail?” Her tone interrogated him, even though her brows raised revealing her curiosity.

“End of the ” He paused, hoping for an amused glint in her eyes. Nothing. “As in, end of the trail.” Still nothing. “This is where I make my home, end-of-the-trail,” he added.

Trail had the wild urge to grab off his hat and finger the brim nervously like he’d seen in the old western movies he’d watched over and over. Yep, a filly like her would sooner kick his flanks, then race past him. That is, unless he minded his manners.


Her voluptuous dark pink lips formed an O. Trail caught himself wondering if she would respond to him like Maureen O’Hara had to John Wayne when he’d hauled her over his lap and given her ass a good blistering. Or when he’d seized her against him and forced a kiss on her fighting lips.


Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving...
May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~
~~~ Sable & Devon invite you to read their love story ~ will a black cat girl find happiness with a superhero? ~~~

BLACK CAT BEAUTY ... She has the claws and the cattitude to prove it... He has the super-powered strength and passion she fights, but needs... *4.5* Top Pick from Night Owl Romance Reviews ~ available from Liquid Silver Books ~ ~ ~ ISBN: 978-1-59578-507-7
~~~ Kalypso & Zryphus invite you to read their love story ~ a match made in intergalactic heaven ~~~

MURDER BY HAIR SPRAY IN GARDENIA, NEW ATLANTIS ~ 2051 suspense futuristic, erotic romance ~ American Title IV finalist ~ One hundred years later Sheriff Kalypso despises relationships. Zryphus has found his one woman. The Battle of the Sexes begins. *4* Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies ~ Rising from Siren-BookStrand ~ the future begins here... ~ IN PRINT ~ ~ ISBN: 1606011472
Trail and Seneca invite you to read their love story ~
STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME ~ Available from Siren-BookStrand ~ A man-stallion of ash and flame on a mission to save his world’s Earth portal must save his Mate, a human woman forbidden to him ~ ~ ISBN: 1606015931

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Lady of the Stars" is a Finalist in the 2010 EPIC EBook Competition!

My big news!

Lady of the Stars
, my Regency time travel, is a finalist in the Science Fiction Romance cat
egory in EPIC 's (Electronically Published Internet Connection)2010 EBook Competition. Complete finalist listing here.

I'm still bouncing around, and I'll probably bounce for a while longer.

I've never finaled in a contest before. While I would love to win, I can be very happy with finaling.

As for reviews, Romantic Times Book Reviews gave Lady of the Stars 4 stars (review here, contains spoilers) and LASR gave it 4 1/2 books (review here, contains spoilers)

All reviews are here:

And you can buy from here:

A legend spanning time and the man and woman caught in it.

Caroline knows something is wrong the instant she steps from her holiday cottage into that unusual gazebo with two doors. But when a man she knows she will never see again appears outside the gazebo, she flings caution aside and plunges through the back door, crashing into the man--and 1817.

A voyage through time? Impossible. Richard refuses to believe the strange woman's outlandish tale. Still, the lady is lost and alone, and he helps the stranded wayfarer.

But as attraction flares between these two lonely people, Richard's family legend grinds to its ultimate fulfillment--will it bring them together, or tear them apart forever?


Caroline followed him into the room she knew was the kitchen and he stepped up to the banked fire.

Fire? Where were the stove and refrigerator? And all the chrome and stainless steel of the ultramodern kitchen she had seen only this morning? This kitchen contained a scarred wood trestle table with several chairs pushed under it. Pots and pans hung on wall racks and reflected the dim firelight. A cupboard stood against the far wall, next to a sink with a pump. A pump?

With shaking hands, she set the lantern on the table and pulled out one of the chairs. She was in trouble, very deep trouble.

As she sank into the chair, she turned her stunned attention to her host.

Unaware of her gaze, he busied himself at the fireplace. His back to her, he placed the candelabrum on the mantle above the hearth, then drew the fire screen to the side of the grate. Dropping onto his haunches, he pulled several logs from the nearby basket, then arranged the wood in a neat pile on the smoldering embers. Almost at once, the flames blazed to full roaring life.

Silhouetted against the light, he straightened, replaced the screen, then removed his hat and tossed it on the table.

Her jaw dropped. Good heavens, the aggravating man was gorgeous. Tall and slim, his broad shoulders tapered to narrow hips and long legs. But where had he found that outlandish outfit? He wore a top hat, out here in the middle of nowhere. His shirt collar was turned up and he wore a huge white tie. And his waist-length, double-breasted jacket had tails, like the one an orchestra conductor wore. Muddy black boots with the tops turned down came up to his knees. Skintight trousers, or were those breeches--of all things?--emphasized every well-formed muscle.

Now if his face matched his form...

What was she thinking? She hadn't felt anything for any man in a long time. Not since...

He turned, and for the first time that night she fully took in his face. She gasped. Had she seen a ghost through the gazebo's back door? "Richard?"

Puzzlement spread over those chiseled features she now saw only in her memories. "How do you know my name?"



Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal
Lady of the Stars
--4 stars from Romantic Times, 2010 EPIC EBook Competition finalist, Regency time travel available from The Wild Rose Press
--Regency Halloween comedy available from The Wild Rose Press
Website Blog Myspace Facebook Twitter

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why Read a Western? By Gem Sivad

My friend and fellow author, Savanna Kougar invited me to do this guest blog today, and I hesitated. I couldn’t think of anything to tell you that I was sure you would be interested in hearing. And then, I had to assemble a promo for my latest western romance that premieres today from Liquid Silver Books (*g*) and I found a lot of reasons why I enjoy writing historical westerns that I thought I’d share. The biggest reason is one that might surprise you. I love the information I’ve found about the nineteenth century American West.

For instance, did you know that honey is a simple medicine that really is good for more than sweetening tea? Honey is an antimicrobial agent. No, *grin*, I didn’t know what that meant either, so I looked it up. It means that most bacteria and other microorganisms cannot grow or reproduce in honey. For a lot of reasons, the elements in honey prevent the growth of bacteria.

So, when your mother or grandmother insisted on a cup of tea with honey in it, they were reflecting ancestral knowledge handed down, (often without explanation) from one mother to the next. Honey has been found effective in treating everything from a sore throat to athlete’s foot.

It was while doing research for Hellcat, Deacon McCallister’s story in the third Bounty Hunters book that I stumbled upon the use of honey as an ointment. Lol, Deacon finds himself staked-out over an anthill after having his back flayed with a knife. Strips of skin had been removed during two days of torture.

He’s ready to kill the woman who slathers honey on his back and keeps it on there even when the ants come marching too. Come to find out, honey is also a topical ointment, that seals out bacteria, promotes healing, and in my story, saves Deacon’s life (with the help of female bounty hunter Miracle Beaumont).

I don’t like to read any book that leaves me knowing no more after, than I did before I picked it up. I’m serious. Whether it’s a new word, a new style, an incredible sexual position *smile*, or an historical fact, I like books that entertain and educate me too.

That’s why I write western romance. I don’t know a lot, but with the vast array of researched information that the internet makes available, nineteenth century America is a visit to yesterday without the inconveniences that were actually there.

If you haven’t tried a western romance, there are so many great authors now who are beginning to discover the Old West. Try one. Sample the adventure and romance in a land and time where women and men needed each other to survive.
I append this blog with a final note:
Intimate Strangers, my western romance novel that begins the Eclipse, Texas seven book series, is a finalist in the 2010 EPPIE AWARDS, nominated in the Best Western Romance of 2009 category.

*** GEM ~ Wahoooo! Congrats on being a finalist! Big Sky Smiles, Savanna ***

Wolf’s Tender ~ Western Erotic Romance

Presenting the second release by Gem Sivad from Liquid Silver Books.

Wolf’s Tender


Book One: in the Bounty Hunters series

Rough and tough Charlie Wolf McCallister knows he needs to get laid, when even a spinster school teacher with a sharp tongue, starts looking good to him. But, cad that he is, he operates on the philosophy that a bird in hand is better than no bird at all. And so he offers to trade service for—servicing.

When Naomi Parker's students are snatched from their school by marauding Comancheros, she can't believe that she hid like a coward and let it happen. The only way to ease her conscience, and get the girls home safely, is to hire half-Kiowa bounty hunter, Charlie Wolf McCallister. His price seems a bit steep, to prim and proper Naomi who must choose between her virtue and her students’ lives.

When one straight-laced spinster, tenders her body, to one cynical sometimes savage, the unexpected bounty, is love.


“You’ve been following me all over town.” The woman didn’t even deny it, leaning toward him instead, patiently waiting as he took her measure—thin face with brown hair skinned into a tight knot, straight teeth, and nose spattered with freckles across burned skin. Deep exotic cornflower-blue eyes met his.

Charlie’s gaze came back to the eyes for a second look.

“My name is Naomi Parker.” If it weren’t for the unusual shade of her eyes, Miss Naomi Parker would be written off as old-maid material. She was a tall, skinny female, past the first flush of maidenhood, with prim and proper written all over her.

Not being a prize himself, nor considered civilized, he rarely came in contact with females of social standing, but he recognized one now. He intended to run this one off as quick as possible and get on with his bath. Knowing what he did of her kind, he didn’t think it would take much.

She held out her hand and for a moment he wasn’t sure what she wanted. Then he realized she intended it as a greeting. He grabbed the extended limb and pulled hard, rolling her down his arm, and into his embrace before she realized she’d been captured.

He pulled her against him, wrapping his arms around her like bands of steel, pulling her so close her chin brushed his bare chest. The contact sent a frisson of heat coursing through him which made no sense since her body was encased in iron, or at least something that felt like it.

“What the hell kind of contraption do you have on, Miss Parker?” His hands automatically fell to her hips, holding her against the swell of his erection, stealing a moment’s pleasure.

Accept for the slight mound of her breasts, she had the body of a fifteen year old boy—thin for his age—but a tall stripling. He noted all of this unconsciously, surprised that his cock had roused with fierce interest. Jesus, I need a woman.

His shirt and handkerchief were smashed between them. She tilted her head to glare at him as she struggled against his hold. Her hips moved in his hands and in her struggle, she accidentally rubbed against his arousal. She froze.

“Stupid to offer your hand to someone you don’t know,” he admonished her even as he blatantly rubbed his swollen flesh against her hip.

Her breasts that were, as near as he could tell, about the size of robin’s eggs, were nevertheless heaving, and she was pissed not scared, as he stared into eyes that had darkened. He wondered what color they would be when she came, and then flinched at the thought.

Jesus, all pussy’s the same in the dark. What the hell difference if she’s a dried up old prune. His cock demanded, Fuck her.

Old maid material or not, his cock was erect and urging him to make friends.

“You’re lucky you survived the raid. Think about that, instead of wallowing in guilt, and let the law take care of your friends.”

He had a cigar and the rest of a bottle of good whiskey waiting for him and minutes before he’d thought that was enough.

He’d meant to scare her away so he could climb into that tub of hot water while it still had some steam coming from it. Instead he had a woman wrapped in his arms and his body seemed determined to keep her. His cock said this woman could service him just fine—and she could do it now.

It was pleasing the way she fit up against him, hip to hip, thigh to thigh. His first assessment that she was skinny, gave way to new knowledge. She was a slender armful, her softness hidden under the iron casing she’d wrapped around her flesh. The thought of her long white legs sliding around his hips while he sank into her, filled his mind.

He let his thoughts play over the impossible possibilities for a second, before he let her go, allowing inches between them and dropping his hand that had been stroking her back.

“I’m planning on being in that tub of water in two minutes, naked as the day I was born, whether you get out of here or not.”

He released her abruptly, expecting her to hurry from the barn. Instead, she continued the connection between them, pressing her body against his, her unwavering blue eyes staring up at him. Her lips trembled for a moment, and then she repeated her request.

“I need your help.”

For more information about Gem Sivad, visit me at ~ ~
You can also hang out with Gem Sivad and her stable of sexy ranch hands at her webbie place ~ ~

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bound by Erotic Romance

At times, it’s a brow-raising surprise to me how inspiration for a new story comes about. Or, my Muse works in strange and mysterious ways.
My latest WIP, tentatively titled, Mercy is for Sissies, had it’s subconscious-brewing origins in a blog written about men in chains... okay a picture of Kevin Sorbo as Hercules that was featured on the post, was an inspiration unto itself... however, the blog and following comments opened my eyes to how much some readers find men bound by chains erotically sexy.
More recently, this deliciously wicked picture was featured during the Liquid Silver Author’s Halloween blog tour. Again, the comments were revealing and downright motivating.
Thusly, my heroine, Skycat, and her story were born. One of those big color, movie-like scenes formed in front of my mind’s eyes, starring Skycat and the hero. Then, my writing instincts took over.

Flash from my WIP ~ Mercy is for Sissies

Skycat strode down the long ramp of the docking station. She moved at a slower pace than usual, fried and drained from her last assignment, capturing a particularly nasty space raider. Still, her superior senses remained on duty and she recorded everything around her, including the glint of her immediate’s superior’s hovering eye as she called the small sphere device he used like a second pair of eyes.
Darkly amused, Skycat snapped a mocking salute and moved toward her silver flight cycle. If he’d wanted a fast report, Benx would have met her or sent one of his flight pods.

Even with her weariness, adrenaline kept her in its relentless grip and Skycat swung astride the cycle as if off to the races. Not bothering with any protective gear, she anti-graved above the ground, rotated to the air lane that would take her beyond the thriving spaceport city, then zoomed toward her domain located in the red cliffs.
Arcing the aerodynamic cycle above the minimal traffic, she traveled over the latest construction, slender swirling spires that looked like they’d been constructed out of wire. Normally, she would have stopped in for a leisurely meal at her favorite, off-the-beaten track tavern.

But that could get her into the kind of trouble she didn’t want, given her over-taxed body and mind.
Lowering her speed, Skycat leaned forward entering the sparse forest of pine trees, high on the cliff’s time-worn side. She wove an unmarked path through the spindly, yet majestic trees, aware that several pairs of critter eyes watched her as she passed. She didn’t bother identifying them her with her psi-sight. Most of the area’s animals had become used to her living among them. Instead, she inhaled deeply, indulging in the fecund odors of the ground littered with drying pine needles.

The slightly acrid scents of prickly bushes and dry-climate berries drifted around her. Still immature, the berries would soon be a feast for her, the birds and especially, the red-coated small bears. That is, if she wasn’t on assignment, gunning for some bad ass galactic criminal.
In a smooth move, Skycat swerved toward the cave tunnel, short in length, that led inside her abode. Straightening her arm, she shot energy from her palm at the invisible field protecting the entrance, dissolving it. Sliding inside the dim interior, she halted instantly, then swung her leg over the front of her flyer.

Behind her, the barrier restored itself as she landed on the balls of her booted feet.
Skycat had sculptured every inch of her domain, using her energy-force to shape the front entrance of the small cave into her private haven. Knowing the snaking curve of her enclosed stairway, she trotted up rapidly in the semi-darkness, ready for a cold drink, then something to eat. Then the sweetness of sleep.
Entering her food area, she hit the switch that opened her huge skylight. Beams of sienna-colored light poured inward from the lowering sun. Skycat sighed with the relief of being home.

Moving toward her chest-high cooler, also carved out of the rock, she pulled out a bottle of sassafras brew. As she flicked off the old-fashioned lid and took a leisurely sip of the tangy potent liquid, Skycat smelled him. A real man.
Nope, not an android. However, by his scent, he’d been brain-altered enough that he couldn’t use whatever abilities he possessed to harm her. No wonder her psi senses hadn’t clanged a warning. Skycat tipped up another sip as she slowly spun around gazing into her large central room. Sunbeams barely outlined the figure of a man laying prone.

Unmoving, he appeared to have been positioned on one of her lounge chairs. Various scenarios of how and why a man had been placed inside her domain sped through Skycat’s mind as she approached, her tread silent. She certainly hadn’t ordered him. She’d never ordered a man to service her sexual needs.
Of course, it could be one of Benx’s pranks. It’d be like him to place a fake order, then use his access to her abode in this ‘gotcha ha-ha way’. She could imagine him before her mind’s eye now, laughing his skinny hind end off at her expense.

Yep, Benx would be clutching his concave stomach.
It wasn’t her birthday or any other gift-giving occasion, so that probably left her mother out. Besides, her beloved mother would be matchmaking, not sending her a sex-for-the-night gift.
He hadn’t been transported inside her home. Skycat would have seen the residue frequencies and felt them. Only her sister and her best friend, Priov, had the code to enter her front door. Her sister, Lilydragon, wouldn’t have parted with the coin, being ultra careful in her expenses.
Shortly before departing her cruiser at docking, she’d had a long welcome-home chat with Priov.

He’d been on his way out, ready to dine and dance the night away with a new man friend who’d intrigued him with his intellect and, of course, his handsome physique.
Priov swung both ways in the sex department and preferred threesomes. That was one reason their friendship remained strong and had survived since childhood. Sexual attraction never got in the way and their preferences were starkly different. Yet, there was no one Skycat loved more than Priov. If her friend had set up this scenario, he’d have given her a couple of sly hints, urging her to go home.

Whoever the naked man was, at least, he appeared naked from this distance, he’d been elaborately bound, trussed up by the type of soft rope used in playing out erotic fantasies. Sunbeams highlighted the impressive ultra-masculine planes of his torso, buttocks and thighs. Not only that, the reddish light enhanced his skin color, a dark brown with a bronze sheen, the kind of coloring on a man that always tempted her tongue to lap and taste.
Not sensing an ambush, Skycat sauntered closer. With her luck, he’d probably be temporarily neutered, a practice men used to curb their carnal appetites.

Have Wonderful Thanksgiving...
May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

All Shades of Blue Paradise
Red Lioness Tamed
When a Good Angel Falls
Tangerine Carnal Dreams
Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis
Black Cat Beauty
Stallion of Ash and Flame ~

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time for a roaring fire

After a rainy and recession-dampened Bonfire Night in my neck of the woods, I began to think wistfully of enormous medieval fireplaces, logs cut from the woods by peasants in grubby tunics, the warm glow of a winter fire. Then I thought of a poem about firewood from the 1930s: '..Apple wood will scent your room,/Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom...'

Then I found this picture, February from the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, which says it all, from the woodcutter in the top right to the fire in the bottom left, blissfully enjoyed by one well-mannered lady in full garb and two pretty unlaced individuals for whom underwear is an optional extra. Ah, the warmth of the open fire....


Monday, November 2, 2009

A bit of romance for the devil...

Guess who's starring as my devil?

Just for fun - FLASH-ING THE DEVIL

Yep, HEA lovers, another piece of Flash Fiction I couldn’t resist penning after going on the Liquid Silver Authors’ Halloween blog tour.

Peacock Moon Sorceress

I avoid looking at my reflection in the shop’s window. Why torment myself? In my book aging is just plain stupid. Still, I catch a glimpse of an elaborately feathered mask, stopping. Gorgeous doesn’t describe it’s beauty. ‘Peacock Moon Sorceress’, I read. “Yes,” I whisper in agreement. My pulse quickens as I continue staring. I hear the shop door’s bell and glance over. It’s a man costumed as a devil, a damn good-looking man, his sinew and muscle in all the right places. He’s fiery red from head to toe. I can’t help wondering if his costume has a forked tail.

“Come on in,” he invites with a devilish smile. “I don’t bite, at least, not like a vampire.”
I smile. I can’t help it. Besides, his manner is engaging and the woman I still am comes out to play with him. “Oh, I bet you do.” I flirt with words. “But, no thank you. I have no place to wear it.”
“You can wear it for me. No one has tried it on yet. The woman who created it will be so disappointed.”
“No one?”
He shakes his head, an alpha movement that has me mesmerized for a moment. I stare.

“You’ll be the first.” He widens the door invitingly.
Why not? I tell myself. What can it hurt? Unless he does bite... “I doubt I’m the first,” I teasingly say as I move past him inside. Heady from his masculine smell, I feel somewhat disoriented, as if I’m walking on clouds.
“No.” I hear his smoky voice behind me. “However, you’ll be the last.”
Before I can reply, or even turn around, he’s holding the mask before my gaze. “It’s so bewitching,” I murmur. My feet are rooted to the floor.
“Yes, bewitching. Come, let’s go over to the mirror.”

“Mirrors are no longer my friends.” Acid edges my tone, despite the weird tingly sense that for some reason, ‘devil man’ finds me attractive. I put it down to my over-active imagination. I’m just an aging boomer who desperately desires to feel beautiful.
With the gentle urging of his fingertips on my shoulder, I move toward a gleaming full-length mirror. Everything I’ve heard about the mystical powers of mirrors zooms through my mind. “Bonfire incense?” I ask, the potent fragrance filling my nostrils.
“Hellfire incense,” he darkly rasps. His fingers stroke from my shoulder as I stand before the mirror.

Swiftly, he places the mask before my face. “Please,” he intones like I imagine a wizard would, “put it on.”
I am aware only of the mask, it’s stunning colors, the elegant and ephemeral sweep of the feathers. I’ll never have this chance again. “Do you have a tail?” I ask. “I mean does your costume have a tail?”
“Put on the mask and I’ll show you,” he tempts like the devil himself.
The reflection of his smile in the mirror is my undoing. Worse, his dark blazing eyes match. Both are sexy, and an enticement that promises extreme passion.

I take hold of the mask, then press it to my face. Amazingly, it remains in place as I reach to secure it. “Oh-my-god,” I mutter. Inside the mirror, a scene takes shape as if I’ve turned on my TV. Men and women in opulent costumes dance with each other at a masquerade ball. Magnificent candle-lit chandeliers illuminate them. I gasp at the sheer splendor.
“Shall we dance?”
I whirl around, surprised by feel of a gown. Devil man holds his glistening forked tail in a cavalier manner, his arm presented to me. Suddenly, glorious strains of music surround us.

Have Wonderful Thanksgiving...
May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

All Shades of Blue Paradise
Red Lioness Tamed
When a Good Angel Falls
Tangerine Carnal Dreams
Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis
Black Cat Beauty
Stallion of Ash and Flame ~