2011 is going to be awesome, and 2010 was pretty good. We both have a lot of hope for the new year, in terms of our career, our work and the industry at large.
Things I'm looking forward to in 2011:
New Book in Print in January
House hunting in February
The Alternative Living Expo in March
2 cons in May (The Steampunks worldsfair, and MARCON)
My 8 year Anniversary in June
Moving to SC in June/July
Authors After Dark in August
Audra visiting for a month in August/September
DragonCon and ConTEXT in September
AlbaCon and NYCC in October
Lots to do and look forward to, and I'm always adding more. Hopefully Ill have my cover soon for the new print book, So ill be able to post it next month!
Happy Holidays everyone, and heres to an amazing New year filled with wonder, good tidings and one hell of a awesome time!
Despite the cutting cold, rampant commercialism and the general hassle that can come with the season, I enjoy Christmas. I love it for what it can bring. Not the presents; the days of me excitedly rushing down to the tree on Christmas morning have long since passed, I like my lie-ins way too much! Certainly not the weather; I am no fan of the cold and snow just makes even a basic journey difficult, not least because London became complacent after many years of snow-free winters.
No, I love it for the less tangible benefits it can offer. It is a period in which I leave work aside, and take the opportunity to relax. I can catch up with people that I barely get to see for the rest of the year and, most importantly, spend some time with my family (and annoy them by caterwauling carols, hymns and Christmas songs). In addition, I quite like the fact that eating copious amounts of food is almost a requirement.
There is something distinctly satisfying about the current period, that between Christmas and new year. At least it is for those who don’t have to work in-between and can avoid the cold. I always like to use the opportunity for relaxation before the celebration and, this year, with a bit of promotion thrown in—which is no bad thing. It is the time of year when hope kicks in—that sense of promise that comes with the approach of a brand new year, even if it does all go out of the window on 1 January!
In addition to celebrating the arrival of 2011, I also have a birthday right after that, a new title, Lady in Red, released with TEB (excerpt below) the day after that and will take a turn on the Author Spotlight in January. If you have events to celebrate, it just makes good efficient sense to line them up in a row!
Hope you all have many events that deserve celebration, including a great new year.
“I know you thought of me this weekend. It stands to reason you would accept a dinner invitation.”
Her body failed to deliver the snort of derision that her brain was instructing it to, leaving her only able to hold his gaze despite the fact that he couldn’t possibly have known what she was thinking. However, the feeling of being read by him returned and made her proceed tentatively.
“What do you mean I ‘thought of’ you?”
As he slipped his hand beneath the jacket she wore, he briefly broke their eye contact to look at her figure as he gradually exposed it. In the process of stroking his fingers along the side of her body, he drew the jacket away from it to watch the progress of his hand highlighted against a background of red.
“It’s the reason you bought this sexy dress.”
There were a number of questions that could have arisen as a result of his comments—Had he followed her? If not, how did he know the dress was new? Why did he think that she bought it as a result of his influence? However, she didn’t think of any of them as she was focused on the fact that he liked the dress and clearly thought she looked good in it.
His eyes returned to hers as he brushed a few strands of hair from her face, moving forward at the same time to put pressure on her body with the weight of his own. It was the preparation for the soft kiss he pressed to her upper lip, splitting her legs with one of his own as he leaned into her body.
With her eyes closed, Florence felt his warm breath against her lips as he pulled back but continued to hover, his body remaining pressed to hers. She opened her eyes to see him looking into her face, seeming to study every inch of it. She looked at his lips, watching them intently as if that would reduce the wait for them to return to hers. Lack of action caused what little patience she had to immediately wane, continuing to look at him as she reached around his waist to hold him. Although it seemed to be the right time for her action, a small part of her believed it to be forward and she attempted to test his reaction to determine what side of the fence he fell on.
Relief and pleasure mingled and flooded her body when his lips once again connected with hers in a slow deep kiss that made her skin tingle. Tightly holding him between her thighs, her arms acted in unison by sliding up his back as she succumbed to the sudden burst of desire that exploded deep within her. It developed further until her arms reached up around his neck, clinging to him as if attempting to climb up his body and causing the jacket to fall from her shoulders.
As the glitter and possibility of a new year teases and tantalizes, I encourage you to really reach for your dreams.
But beyond that, can you make a plan to make that dream come true?
If you want to take a fantastic vacation, why not sign up for emails from a travel site? The occasional reminders are a constant source of inspiration to your imagination.
Do you want to write a book? If so, how long does it need to be? Divide the number of words by the number of months you have to write the book, then go for it.
Do you want to lose a few stubborn pounds? If so, is there one small tweak you can make to your diet, rather than setting up a whole list of "don'ts" that might make reaching the goal more difficult? (For example, last year, I decided to eliminate corn syrup from my diet. I had no idea how many items it was in until I began the adventure!) I didn't decide to "never eat sweets again," I decided to make a simple change that naturally allowed me to begin eating differently.
Do you want to get in shape? Maybe start with a small walk on certain days, and pencil those times in your diary as a date with yourself. Or try enlisting others. It's much more difficult to skip your exercise program if someone else is counting on you!
Whatever it is, no matter how big, a small, actionable step will get you moving forward the right way.
Here's hoping 2011 is all you dream it can be!
When I signed up to take the 24th of every month, it didn't occur to me that I'd have to blog right before Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve! I'm not complaining, I'm happy to take a moment away from the craziness and blog a little bit from my heart.
What a special time of year this is for so many of us all around the world. We may take part in different traditions, but I think the foundation of all our celebrations is based on that four letter word: LOVE!
No matter what you are celebrating during this festive season, LOVE is the key ingredient, the source of our joy. May each of us experience enough PEACE, JOY and LOVE during the holidays to spread far into the New Year!
Psst! I'm sharing one of my jolly drink recipes just in case you aren't feelin' the LOVE at anytime during the your Festivus! This one is guaranteed to make you smile! ;-)
Egg Nog Martini
2 shots of Vanilla Vodka
2 shots of Coffeemate Egg Nog creamer
2 shots of Vanilla soy (or Milk)
Pour shots into a shaker filled with ice and shake! Pour into your martini glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Enjoy!
~ Jenna Byrnes
written by J. Javits and P. Springer
originally sung by Ertha Kitt
Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa baby, a '54 convertible too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo
Santa baby, I wanna yacht and really that's
Not a lot
Been an angel all year
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa honey, one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa cutie and fill my stocking with a duplex, and checks
Sign your 'X' on the line
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo
Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don't mean on a phone
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight
Listen to the song here:
1. Christmas is the celebration of Christ's Mass, Christ referring to Jesus Christ, a major figure in the Christian religion. Jesus is considered by Christians to be the son of God.
2. In Greek, the letter X (chi) is the first letter of Christ's name. The similarity of the Roman letter X has also led to Christmas sometimes being referred to as Xmas.
3. There's much speculation that Dec 25th is not the date Christ was born. Scholars argue that it's more likely Christ was born in the spring or early fall, according to biblical texts. But because the pagan celebrations were so great in popularity, the Romans adopted them for Christmas. Saturnalia was/is celebrated from Dec 17-25th, and Mithra, a pagan sun god, was also revered during this time.
4. Pagans celebrated the holidays with green boughs, as a symbol of the harvest and prosperity. But the Germans are credited with first using the Christmas tree to celebrate Christianity back in the 16th century. And it's said Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, first added lit candles to the tree., inspired by the bright stars at night.
5. Santa Claus is derived from the name Sinter Klass, the Dutch pronunciation of Saint Nicholas--a Christian saint who when alive, gave selflessly to those less fortunate.
6. A famous story about St. Nicholas concerns the adaptation of stockings into Christmas lore. There was a poor old man who had no money to give his daughters for their weddings. So St Nicholas dropped bags of gold into the stockings they'd hung over their fireplace to dry out. Hence the tradition of hanging stockings out for Christmas.
7. Mistletoe is a plant, an aerial parasite that attaches its roots to its host tree. It's a symbol of peace that originated in ancient times, courtesy of the Druids. Whenever enemies met under the mistletoe in the forest, they had to rid themselves of their weapons and observe a truce for a day. This has been adapted to hanging the plant above, and so that those who pass below it must kiss and share in general good will at Christmas time. [There's also the legend of mistletoe killing the beloved Norse god Baldur, which some say has been adapted for the current trend of kissing as well. When Baldur was eventually restored, (the goddess Frigg's) his mother's tears turned into the white berries of the plant, and she kissed everyone who passed under it in her joy.]
Just a few explanations for things we take for granted today. They have an interesting history and these short stories listed above are by no means the only ideas behind why we celebrate the way we do.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Wolf Wanted, coming in Jan 2011
We had our first hint of snow at noon the very first day of December. (Sorry about the missing apostrophe! I can't get in to the cartoon to fix it.)
I have a group of friends who meet for lunch every couple of months and we got together December 1st. The snow started as I was leaving my house and when I got to the hostess’ house, I was kidding her about the last time I was there. We hadn’t had any snow that year until the day of the staff party at her house. It started to snow as I was driving over and that was it. The white stuff never left. It was there for the season. And darn it all, the same thing happened this time. It snowed for days and days without stopping. Here are some photos of what it now looks like at our house. This is the snow accumulation of three or four days.
This is the side entrance to our house.
Looking out the sliding glass doors at the back of the house.
The cars in front of the barn.
Max, our chocolate lab, trying to follow my snowshoe track down the driveway. I know what it looks like he's doing but he's really just ploughing his way through the snow.
After all this snow, wind and cold, I decided I needed something hot to warm me up. I hope you enjoy some nice, hot photos. Happy Holidays from Kaenar.
What would this season be without the occasional angel?
I wouldn’t mind the snow, if it came with this.
So this is what was in Santa’s bag. Lucky you!
Santa’s got something just for you.
Looks like Santa needs some help getting his costume on… or off.
You know Santa can’t do it all without his helpers.
This gives new meaning to Santa’s cry of ho, ho, ho. Shouldn't it be hot, hot, hot?
Hey, I found Frosty and Rudolph.
Not even going to go there.
So after all is said and done, just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
See you next month and stay naughty,
Tales to seduce and entice…
Well with the holiday season fast approaching I have been checking out gadgets. Sigh just saying that gives this gadget junkie a thrill. I’ve been trying to convince my sister for ages to get an e-reader. She does not like gadgets at all (putting hand against forehead.) Where did I go wrong? I was planning to get her one for Christmas then show her how to use it. I was determined to drag her into my gadget world despite her objections. Imagine my surprise when she called a few weeks ago wanting to get one and for me to tell her what to get. I had to tell her what her Christmas gift was but I was so happy she agreed to get one. And I didn’t even have to guilt her about all the money I spent and she wasn’t using my wonderful gadget gift. I’m really good at guilt. So with my sis waiting eagerly (snort, that is such a lie) I’ve been looking into what she should get based on what she wants to use it for. Hey any excuse to look at gadgets (grin).
Well I got another shock. My other sister who is also not into technology recently called to tell me her hubby got her an iPad for her birthday. And she was excited about it. (pumping fist) I was excited right along with her. Not to mention proud she has come to the gadget side.
Two converts down in my plan. I’m slowly converting my family and friends in my gadget takeover plan. (eyeing some others out there) They have no clue who will be next. Say it with me - Gadgets are Good.
Back to my sis’s iPad. After hearing about her getting the iPad I of course am a nice shade of color. Green that is. Color me green with envy. (wink) I want one. Like now. (sigh) No iPad appeared. I have to work on my wishing skills.
Well until I can wish one up I have a date real soon to meet the new gadget addition to the family. The iPad. (thumpy, thumpy) There goes this gadget junkie’s heart beating in anticipation. Hmm… I wonder if I can negotiate visitation rights with my sis’s iPad. LOL. Probably not. But I will at least get to see and hopeful touch it longingly.
Now help a gadget junkie out. What are some gadgets you have or wish you had?
…increasing the sizzle factor
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crenshawcafe
Free Reads Site: http://www.satinnotes.com/
Anyone who hangs around at my blog Beyond Romance knows that I was gone for the last two weeks in November on a trip to Japan. Although part of the journey was business, my husband and I were able to devote more than a week to touristic types of activities and overall, had a wonderful time. One of the places we visited was Beppu, a famous hot springs resort area on the east coast of Kyushu island.
As we were reading what our guidebook had to say about Beppu, we noticed a paragraph about an infamous "sex museum", smack in the middle of the largest concentration of hot springs and geysers. The guidebook warned that it was tacky, but hey, I write erotica and erotic romance. I certainly wasn't going to miss the chance to check it out. Besides, the entry fee was tax deductible!
The Japanese have a strange reputation with regard to sex. On the one hand, they're responsible for the most outrageous and artistic bondage techniques on the planet. Supposedly there are vending machines in Japan where you can buy used women's panties. (I didn't see any.) Japanese sex manga gets pretty extreme, from the little I've sampled, and I've seen several Japanese "art" films that challenged even my generous sexual standards. On the other hand, prostitution is illegal in Japan (although geisha clubs, hostess clubs and "soaplands" are not) and most Japanese men that I've met seem painfully shy and socially awkward - sort of the way I was in high school. (Of course, this judgment is terribly biased since I can't speak more than a few sentences in Japanese - I might seem very shy when I try.)
Anyway, I was very curious about this so-called sex museum (labeled a "gallery" by its English sign). The visit began extremely well. The middle-aged woman selling tickets had two gorgeous cats in the ticket booth with her, who were not at all averse to being petted. Talk about positive reinforcement! (The woman was friendly too. Ailurophilia is definitely a cultural bridge!)
The museum had two floors. The first set of "exhibits" presented a miscellaneous selection of sculpture and ritual items related to genitalia: lingams and yonis of stone and wood, African fertility figures with pendulous breasts and massive buttocks, and so on. There were few if any English labels, so I don't know where the two statues below came from, but I'll admit I kind of liked them.
The next segment was devoted to animal sexual organs. A glass case provided models of the male members from various species: whales, elephants, hippopotami, horses - you get the picture. Above most of them were photos of the species in question copulating. There was also a life-size display showing a pair of amorous zebras:
I must admit, I was beginning to agree with our guidebook. Things weren't helped by the fact that three young Japanese guys came in after us and were acting really silly.
The next exhibit was a set of erotic wax work scenes, more or less as large as life. They must have been fashioned by different artists, because one or two were really excellent while the others look like - well, wax. One which depicted a woman who reminded me of Marlene Deitrich masturbating was incredible. I could sense her excitement - her face portrayed a desperate bliss and her gestures were totally natural. I couldn't snap a picture because she was behind glass - but I might use her as a character inspiration in a future book! Another display showed a couple entwined on a bed in a room full of mirrors. Once again, the expressions and positions had an impressive realism, while the mirrors meant that you could see their faces and bodies from a range of different directions. On the other hand, the "S & M" diorama (labeled in English!) depicted a woman suspended in a way that I think defied physics. Her stiff body and vacant face were about as realistic as a blow-up love doll. And then there was the X-rated scene of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, complete with sound effects...I'll stop there and let your imagination take over!
Most of the upstairs was dominated by shunga: exhibits of actual Japanese erotic paintings, engravings, and wood prints. I've included a couple of examples below (from the web). You can find many more, for example here and here. These images were fabulous. They were wildly varied and captured a broad range of moods from romantic to raunchy. There were same-sex and mixed sex couples, ménages, voyeurs, and orgies, and individuals involved in self-pleasuring. The characters in each picture had unique faces and bodies and represented all ages and degrees of beauty, always executed with exquisite craft.
I truly enjoyed this part of the museum. For an erotically inclined author, it was inspiring. Unfortunately, the Japanese split-personality regarding sex reared its head. In front of each picture, the museum had placed a transparent sheet of lucite - mostly transparent, that is. The region in front of the genitalia was frosted, in a ridiculous attempt at censorship! Of course if you looked at the exhibit a bit from the side, you could see the areas that were semi-obscured, but very attempt was annoying and definitely decreased our enjoyment. Basically what was going on was a manual version of the pixelation we saw in the pay-for-view sex movies in our hotel room (but that's a story for another blog post). Very silly!
Actually, it was quite odd, because the second floor also included a screening room where they were showing what must have been (from the clothing of the characters) classic Japanese adult films. Those movies were explicit - no pixelation applied. Go figure.
Near the exit from the "gallery" we found a shop selling cheap, low-quality sex toys and lingerie. The Japanese guys caught up with us there, pointing and snickering. My husband and I shrugged and went out to find lunch, bemused by the contradictions of a foreign culture.
I should say that the rest of Beppu fit better into our preconceptions regarding Japan. Just so that you know it wasn't all tackiness, I've included a photo from a garden around one of the nine jigoku or "hells" for which Beppu is famous.
Looks like Japan, doesn't it? Much more so than the photos above!
Now over at victoriablisse.co.uk I am in the middle of Blissemas. This is a contest I'm running where every comment on a blog from now until the 22nd December counts as an entry to win one (or even more if you have multiple comments) of 15 prizes! To find out more check out the first Merry Blissemas post.
So today, as it's my regular spot here, any comments left on this blog post will count towards my Merry Blissemas contest. Don't forget to come over to victoriablisse.co.uk daily though to see what my new blog is, to comment and to get more entries into the competition!
So Christmas is coming, if you're anything like me you're rushing around like a lunatic trying to get things baked, bought, finished or wrapped and it can feel like one big stress. I know all about it and I adore Christmas. So, I suggest you give yourself a break. Just half an hour of you and you alone time. You deserve it and it will recharge your batteries so you can do all that's let to do with a clear mind.
I like to relax with a book either at bedtime or if I'm really in need of it, in the middle of the day. Make yourself the drink of your choice, find a comfy place to curl up and read. Now, as I'm an author I have just a couple of suggestions of what you might enjoy relaxing with.
Firstly I suggest Christmas Spirit Warms the Heart. As the title suggests this is a Christmas story that is filled to the brim with festive frolics and seasonal cheer. I love this story because Jodi and mike are misfits and loners in the world but they meet each other by chance and get to have their first kiss on Santa's sleigh. How magical is that, eh? I think, well, I hope, that this story captures the real heart and soul of Christmas and I know it's filled with sweet romance and some slow and sensual love making.
If you're looking for something with a seasonal hit that isn't quite so sweet and rich with Christmas Spice you could give Stopping Point a try! Stopping Point is book 2 in my Point Vamp series, it can be read alone but you might enjoy reading The Point as well to get, well, the Point, so to speak! It is not an out and out Christmas story, more it is the tale of a young man who is turned into a vampire and has to discover exactly what's happened to him all by himself with little help from his crazy but beautiful sire, Cara.
The Christmas hit comes towards the end where you get to find out what this bunch of young vampires actually do for Christmas. If you've ever wondered here's your chance to find out!
Whatever you decide to read, give yourself time to escape into some fiction this Christmas season and if you're lucky enough to be getting a kindle this year, check out my books at the UK and US kindle stores or if like my giddy husband you're getting an iPad see what Blisse you can get at iTunes!
Oh, and Whilst I'm here just to let you know, I'm on Courtney Breazile's Total-E-Talk show tonight talking about all things Christmassy! The show is on at 10pm EST and will be available for download after that time!
So have a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!