Monday, May 25, 2015

Guest - Ines Johnson

Good morning! I hope everyone is enjoying the day. In the US, we're having Memorial Day (I speak about it in a previous blog post ) so I know there are lots of BBQ's taking place. Please be careful on the roads. We don't want to lose any of you!

We have a guest today, Ines Johnson, who's giving us a terrific article about, well, men, lol. Let me know what you think of it.


Men of Devotion

If you read my books, you may have noticed a theme. Between the covers of many of my stories you’ll find a man of the cloth, who struggles with his feelings for a woman, and ultimately succumbs to the glories of romantic love.

An Old Testament
My fascination with priests began with the television movie, The Thornbirds. Richard Chamberlain in robes -nuff said. Its not just priests I’m fascinated with. It was an illuminating experience for me watching the Jedi of Star Wars. I even found Yoda hot! And then there was that string of movies about fallen angels where Christopher Walken was a badass angel and Elias Koteas was a former priest. Yummy. But the priest to end all priests? Matthew McConaughey in Contact!

Why am I attracted to priests, monks, angels, and even cone-headed, Buddha-like aliens? Because these men of devotion have a lot of qualities that women look for in their partners. They’re disciplined, full of grace, devoted, and they understand sacrifice.

A Beautiful Mind
Spiritual men are smart. Monks spend their lives studying ancient texts. Priests have to get a degree from college or seminary school, which can take anywhere from four to eight years. Jedi are taken as children, younglings, into the order. Other than Luke Skywalker, we know they spend all of their formative years training in the mental and physical art of the force.

Hopelessly Devoted
Speaking of Skywalkers, Padme didn’t fall for cute and cuddly Anakin. No, she fell for the grown Jedi who began to tug at the rules of his order as he pursued her affections. We all like a rebel, a bad boy, to some degree. The man of cloth might not be the bad boy, but their situation is definitely a naughty and forbidden one. He’s pledged his loyalty and devotion to another: namely god, a goddess, or some higher power.

The Sexy Priest trope is the perfect love triangle. You have the sexy priest, the first leg of the triangle. The priest is devoted to his vows, the second leg of the triangle. And then in walks another set of legs, the heroine. Admit it: we all want to be the chosen one in a love triangle. And if you can emerge the victor over a god-figure…

I already recognize that I’m going to hell. But that’s okay, because that’s where all of the sexy, fallen priests will be!

The Loyal Steed: a Pleasure Hound Novel

What starts as a series of carnal lessons turns into more as two rivals vie for the woman of their dreams.


Trained as a Pleasure Hound and now surviving by selling his body to rich women, Jaspir’s heart has always remained loyal to Lady Merlyn. When Merlyn’s fiance, Liam, approaches Jaspir for help in ensuring her happiness in the bedroom, Jaspir agrees to train Liam in the pleasure arts. What starts as rivals in an uneasy truce, soon turns carnal when Merlyn learns of their secret lessons and iis torn between the attentions of two men who would do anything to rule her heart.

Quantifiable Love

"Our time is up, Merlyn."

"Should I buy more?"

Jaspir hesitated. He closed his eyes, resting his forehead against hers. She had his heart, but he would never be allowed to possess hers. He set her back on her chair.

"No," he whispered. He lifted his head and looked into her eyes. "No," he said more firmly.
Another hour, another day would change nothing. It had taken years to get over her. Who was he kidding? He'd never gotten over her. He never would.

"My time is up because you have another lover coming?" she asked.
Jaspir pulled away from her, staring into her golden brown eyes. "No. There is no one else."

She cocked her head to the side, the birdlike motion signaling that she was investigating his words. Just as Merlyn only spoke facts, she had a knack for sensing when someone told half-truths.

"I have no other lovers coming today." Something compelled him to go on, to assure her of her place in his heart. "You own my heart, Merlyn. I have loved you, and only you, every day since the first day I met you. I will continue to love you every day of my life."

She searched his eyes, her head cocking the opposite way as she considered every angle of his new statement. "Why is it that I believe you? There is no possible way to prove your declaration. Love isn't a tangible thing that you can point to. It isn't measurable."

Jaspir took her hand and placed it on his heart. "Do you feel that? What reason does a heart have for racing?"

"It’s a fight or flight response from the autonomic nervous system."

"Do you think I'm preparing to flee due to fear of you? Or that I'm preparing to harm you?"

Merlyn shook her head.

"Look at me, Merlyn. What do you see?"

"I see that your pupils are dilated." Her eyes dipped lower. "Your nostrils are flaring, and you are panting."

"I can tell you that my stomach aches when I think of you. My palms sweat and I feel light headed. Not to mention what happens in my sex organs. That's nearly every system of the human body engaged at the very thought of you."

"These symptoms happen every time you think of me?"

"Without fail."

"Fascinating," she breathed, eyes bright.

Jaspir grinned at the curious creature before him. She pressed one hand to his heart. The other she ran over his forehead. Her fingers came away with beads of sweat. Her thumb returned and traced his lower eyelid.

"I'd like to study this phenomenon some more." She looked into his eyes. Her own pupils were large, her nostrils flared, her breath came in small pants. "May I return to make more observations?"

Amazon Purchase Link

Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

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Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day to all my USA readers! Please take a few minutes today to visit a cemetery and honor a veteran who served our country. Or, if you know a veteran or someone who is currently serving, stop and thank them for their service. I'm sure it would mean a lot to them. We couldn't have the freedom we do if it weren't for our veterans.

My Uncle, my Brother and my Husband all served in the US Armed Forces. They each gave two or more years of their lives to the country. My relatives were lucky they came back relatively unharmed. But some weren't so fortunate. Some of them suffer after effects of their service - physical, mental or emotional problems that continue to plague them even years later.

If you have a relative you'd like to honor, leave a comment (no last names please) and tell us a little about your veteran.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Special Look - Last Day by K. Mabe

One of my dear friends is donating the proceeds from this to Relay for Life. If you can help, that would be great! 

*Proceeds go to Relay for Life of Alamance County 

If today was your last day, what would you dream? 

Will Leavey's neighbors want to make his wish come true. Why? He's terminally ill with cancer and smack dab in the middle of a second uphill fight. 

Through fundraisers and prayer power, everyone's tossed something into the pot. Bella Variel has pitched in more than bone marrow. Her passion for the cause triggered Maxwell Bahn's protective side. 

When a boy needs a super hero on call...who's better than an officer in tights?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Guest - Marie Lavender

Good morning! We have a great author, Marie Lavender, visiting today so grab one of the comfy chairs. Snag a coffee and a scone and enjoy the days post.


Being Different

As writers, I think most of us have felt like the odd man out. We are not like other people because we tend to observe humanity and store information in our memory banks, process it and spit out our impressions on the page in the form of characterization. We hear voices in our heads; they tell us what to do. LOL. We often wake up in the middle of the night with story ideas or can’t fall asleep because of it. We plot whole books in the shower. It makes for an interesting ride, to say the least.

In the range of sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal stories, the characters are often different from the rest of society. They break the mold; they are our heroes. And sometimes a completely normal character can be heroic as well, using the resources at hand to solve a problem. I think people are that way too. Anyone has the potential to be something more in the work of a moment.

In my paranormal romance, Second Nature, Desiree is a woman who has lived a fairly normal and quiet life. When she meets Alec, she wakes up to the idea that the world is completely different than she thought. And she learns a lot about herself in the process. In fact, the entire Blood at First Sight Series was created around the theme of people “being different”, or coming to terms with their new abilities.

Most writers or readers of these genres have open minds. They are open to the idea that the world is mysterious, that there is so much we don’t know about it. And for some, maybe it is the escape from the dilemmas in our current society which has the most appeal. Reading a book is an adventure, though. That fictional realm is enticing, so wonderful that it is hard to step away from, even for a moment.

So, what if these things were possible? Just think for a moment if our world was the world of fiction. Space would be so much more than something you see in a movie or learn about on the NASA channel. These fantastic stories would be more true to life than we ever thought. Creatures, both horrendous and beautiful, would abound. Might we have to fear for our lives on a daily basis? Perhaps. Maybe not. But, the idea of it appeals on some level or I think we wouldn’t enjoy reading about it so much. We find the unknown exciting, the unexplained wonderful. We are thrilled by horror movies and television shows about the supernatural. Even dystopian stories are interesting because they make us wonder how things might be if that ever happened in our society.

I think these books also show us that it’s okay to be different. Whether you have special talents or well, you simply like to dance or dye your hair in wild colors, it is quite all right if you don’t always conform to society. Fitting in is overrated sometimes. As human beings, we were born to be individuals, to be completely unique from one another. Of course, we are tied by our humanity and if we don’t recognize the human condition on some level, that is bad. Community is important, even I know that. But, it’s also acceptable to be yourself, to be the person you know is just dying to come out.

And I think these kinds of stories show that. Every time I pick up a paranormal romance or a piece of fiction in general, I am reminded that we all have personal demons. We all have dreams, things we want to do in this life, goals we have to reach. And having some people behind you who understand your individuality and respect it, that actually helps too. But, it’s okay to make that journey fearlessly, even if it’s alone. Because you are honoring who you are inside, what makes you unique.
I am reminded of the movie Divergent. At one point in the story, Tris has to throw off her fears that people will find out her secret, that she is different from them. Because doing the right thing is more important than conforming to the standard.

So, rejoice in who you are. Every one of us has certain beliefs, different backgrounds, and a specific take on how we view the world. Love your differences. Celebrate your individuality and your passions. It is okay to be different, to be something more than normal.

Thanks for your time, readers. Now I have to get back to writing about characters who love to be different as well.    

About Marie:

Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance/fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry under the various pen names of Marie Lavender, Erica Sutherhome, Kathryn Layne and Heather Crouse.

Lavender just released Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. She released Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, back in March. Upon Your Honor, released last April, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

Second Nature

She never expected it…

 Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

 Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?

Excerpt from Second Nature 

At the park entrance, she felt a strange tingling on the back of her neck and paused in mid-step. She looked around, but the place was empty. As it was growing dark, people didn’t usually frequent the park at that time. She fingered the mace in her pocket, just in case. She had learned to be prepared. She couldn’t see anything, though. Maybe it was nothing? Then the tingling sensation came again. It wasn’t quite like the feeling of being watched, but something else. Something more. She was sure of it when the tingle moved through her body.

 Instinct forced her to move forward. Something was wrong. She remembered Alec telling her about powers meeting powers, about the physiological response she might have. To what? The dread made her nauseous. What if it was just a psychic sensation like what she’d had with the man that was murdered? She didn’t want to go through that again. Suck it up, she scolded herself. She couldn’t just ignore it either. She couldn’t allow someone to get hurt.

Check out this light-hearted romantic fantasy also by Marie Lavender:

Magick & Moonlight

Messing with free will is always a bad idea…

Ethan Hamilton moves to a lazy little town in Oregon, hoping to escape his demons. But, instead he discovers a woman dancing nude in the moonlight. This woman who claims she is a witch dazzles him with her sensual presence. He thinks she’s crazy, but what if she’s not?

Jessie Anderson has been taught that her kind hides who they really are. And she has a problem on her hands. Someone knows her secret and she has to do all she can to protect herself. What other choice does she have? Jessie casts a love spell on a good man, a man with whom she can’t fight her attraction. The spell doesn’t work quite as planned – she ends up falling for Ethan.

To top it off, Ethan’s treatment of her, his “love”, is so addictive. Deep down, she knows the spell will wear off, and yet his feelings seem genuine. It’s just a spell…right?

Marie's Links

Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me