Make It Memorable; Love’s Many Faces

Valentine’s Day. The day for lovers, right? Romance, flowers, whatnot…

Yeah, maybe.

But that’s not my most memorable Valentine’s Day.

Don’t get me wrong, there were elements of those things in that day, but that’s not the BIG MOMENT.

My day?

It was supposed to be my day off, but I had to finish making a schedule (and hubby was working anyway) so I stopped in to work for a few hours. I didn’t stay long; was out by noon. No sooner had I left that my office was calling again. Turned out Edible Arrangements had been there and delivered a gift from my guy.

GREAT start to my Day, right? I headed home to start cooking hubby his favorite Filipino dishes…chicken adobo (adobong manok), fried rice, and broccoli.

Hubby walked in to a great smelling house and a hot, tasty meal… There were probably gifts, but I can’t remember now. What I do remember is that he loved the meal, that I went to bed early as I had an early work day & a 14 hour shift the next day….

Right about now you’re scratching your head and wondering what is so memorable, right?

Well, I hadn’t gotten there yet.

Sometime after 11 pm, hubby came in and woke me up. Said he was having pretty severe abdominal pain and wanted to make sure I was ok. Apparently, he was worried it might have been food poisoning except I’d been sleeping like a baby. So then he narrowed the pain to his lower right side.

Googling his symptoms, I realized it could be his appendix. He was scared, but also worried about me and work. So I talked him into going to the ER alone, making him promise to call me if it turned out to be anything serious. At about 1:30 am, I got the call. He sounded a little terrified.

Him: Lovey, they told me I have a necrotic appendix.

Me: Oh no!

Him: Can you come here? They told me I need surgery. I tried to ask if they could write me a prescription to slow it down in the meantime so I could call a doctor and schedule it.

Me: (choking back a chuckle) Yeah. Pretty sure that’s not gonna happen.

Him: Nope, but it was worth a shot. They told me they didn’t think I understood. The ambulance is on the way now to take me to surgery. Can you come, please?

Me: I’m on my way.

Him: I can’t believe you poisoned me for Valentines Day.

Me: I did not. And stop saying that or there may be people who believe you or at least start to wonder. I’m on my way.

And that’s how I found myself in the emergency room on the 15th, calling out from my job, calling friends to walk my dogs during the day, and headed for the hospital to be with my husband.

So, yeah, my most Memorable Moment had everything to do with the ‘For Better or Worse, In Sickness and in Health’ part of our vows. Those moments mean more than any random superficial stereotypes. And that he hadn’t lost his sense of humor, even through his fear and pain? That just shows I married a badass.

So tell me about your most memorable Valentine’s Day. Did it embody any part of the wedding vow? Or are you an non-believer, feeling this only lines Hallmark’s pockets with gold?

Hey, Stranger! Let Me Introduce Myself… #Hello2016

Hello

Bonjour! I hope everyone’s having a stellar new year so far.

When Anna over at Herding Cats & Burning Soup came up with this idea for a blog hop, I was pretty stoked! Basically, here’s how this one goes. In this hop, we’re to introduce you to fun, quirky things about ourselves and/or our blogs. Not the boring, obvious stuff like I’m an erotica writer who can turn practically anything into innuendo….but more random, surprising, or maybe disturbing things. PLUS, we give stuff away AND a lot of cool authors and bloggers are involved.

Is there anything better than FUN & FREE?

So here goes….

Image courtesy of Karen Shaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Karen Shaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My biggest fear is not blood or guts or gore…. If you want to see me get all weak, girly, and scream like someone murdered me (aka not in the good, orgasmic way)… watch me when I see a frog. I completely lose my dignity. Don’t believe? Read about it….HERE.

I don’t care what anyone thinks. They. Are. NOT. Cute!

Hospital

In a past life I worked for a hospital for several years. The tales I tell are both comical and a bit disconcerting with the strange things people have done…Check it OUT!

On a personal level?

Yup! I AM that girl that pretty much turns everything into a song. This was a little snippet from my wedding day. My sister gave me a hug, and someone said something like…”Awww, look at the sisters…” Which caused me to break into this song, and my sister to chime in. Yes, it’s a family thing. I come by it naturally.

The strange? Cause, ya know…. There had to be the strange, right?

My favorite flip flops and toe rings

My biggest insecurity body image insecurity came from my feet. I hated them with a passion. Felt they were ugly….until I met a foot fetishist who helped me view my feet in a different way. Here’s THAT story.

As for what most consider my most contradictory characteristic? I guess it’s the fact that despite writing ménage erotica, I don’t consider my very outspoken, focused belief in the Freak Flag, letting it fly to contradict my very passionate belief in Christianity and my faith. In fact, I wrote about that, too. It even got me on GirlBoner radio with August McLaughlin.

Anyway…. that’s a bit about me. Now, to tell you what I’m giving away and how to qualify.

I’m feeling generous. I’m giving away 3 books. Two are mine. (Three For All & Four One Night) The third? It’s a project I was honored enough to participate in… all about empowering female sexuality. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. The book? Embraceable: Empowering Facts and True Stories About Women’s Sexuality. They are all in ebook format.

To win, I want you to share something unique and personal about yourself with me. Something that might surprise people, or maybe what you’re passionate about, or which body issues you’ve overcome. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s in the spirit of getting to know each other.

And if you want a chance at more prizes? Check out the link below and visit the other participants!

Embraceable YOU!

Today I woke up to the best surprise. 

Embraceable
Yes, it happened. The surprise project created by the lovely August McLaughlin of GirlBoner went live on Amazon Kindle today! On her blog she shares some of her favorite things about this project. I feel so fortunate to be included as a contributor on such an important body of work. 

This was truly a labor of love for my friend and the many other gifted contributors. 

Here are some early editorials for Embraceable:

“Sassy, spicy, and deceptively wise, this book will empower you to own your sexual self and enjoy your romantic life–and your whole life–a great deal more.” — Victoria Moran, author of Creating a Charmed Life

“August McLaughlin takes on sexuality, body image, depression and female empowerment head on! One part memoir, one part sociological manifesto = something of interest for women of all ages. She hit the nail on the head with this book. Frank personal stories and interviews interspersed throughout the book help us unpack our personal inner conflicts that when unexamined suck the joy out of the female experience.” — Cheryl Grant M.A., M.F.T.

“Let this book give women back their imagination and ownership of their sexual story to write the one that truly lets them know, feel and experience the level of pleasure and connection their hearts most desire.” — Megan Fleming, Ph.D.

Like Shere Hite, Erica Jong and Nancy Friday, McLaughlin’s work is notable not just for women, but for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of their sexual and spiritual self. Embraceable is just that.” — M.G. Miller

I hope you’ll find this book as enriching and rewarding as I did!

And on that note, I’d like to share a holiday song that leaves me feeling a bit spiritual. 

The Heart….

I adore this song… It’s a great reminder that what makes this holiday great is the little things:

  • Time Spent With the People Who Matter
  • Hope (for the future, ourselves, our loved ones….both inspiring it and clinging to it)
  • Love (the kind you give freely, and the kind you accept)
  • Cherishing Special Moments
  • Taking a Second to Stop and Appreciate the Little Things

It’s not the monetary gifts that make the season special. It’s the things that money can’t buy.

And So, It Begins….

December is officially here! The holiday season is upon us. It’s now okay for folks to pull out their colorful decorations, wreaths, and bows to decorate their homes in brightly lit welcome.

Yes, I love this time of year, and as is my tradition on this blog… The daily sharing of holiday music begins.

Do you love or hate this time of year? What drives your feelings? I know this time of year isn’t easy for many, and that’s okay… I’m sending virtual hugs to all of you who struggle. Heck, I’ve got hugs for everyone.

Today I’m also thankful that hubby is okay after getting in a car accident on his way home from work yesterday. Some might focus on the accident, but I’m choosing to focus on the guardian angel that made sure he and the person who hit him were okay.

#RockinReads Giveaway and Tattooed Baristas

rockin reads

I have several major passions…. Most of you who’ve stopped by my page pretty regularly know that one of my big addictions is coffee. In fact, it’s a big part of what began a beautiful friendship with one of my favorite authors (who has since become a friend), Lissa Matthews.

We have a mutual passion for coffee, experimenting in the kitchen, hotties…and she’s a terrific writer. I was a total fan girl first. She made my day the first time she responded to one of my Tweets. Her Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series is one of my all time favorites. Her Simple Need series? A close second… And don’t even get me started on how much I love her gay romances. Yum!

Tattooed Barista

And then she comes out with this awesome new series that surrounds some of our favorite commonalities. How could I not share something with a cover this HAWT and a story this fun?

Don’t believe me? Check out this blurb:

Derek Forrester couldn’t lie his way out of a paper bag, but somehow he’s managed to convince his less than approving high society mother of his engagement to the teal haired, dangerously curved, tattoo covered, coffee cart owning girl named Peggy.

Peg, not ‘Peggy’, is far from amused by Derek’s fib, but the way he kissed, left her wondering what might have been if she hadn’t been paid to play along.

The stakes are higher than the original bargaining price, a new business is getting off the ground, and it’s going to take a whole lot more than caffeine to get through this wedded mess.

Sounds like terrific fun, right? The Tattooed Barista has one of the coolest, most unique covers I’ve seen in a long time and I’m in love with it.

Want a chance to win a copy? I want you to share your favorite coffee shop drink and the title to one of Lissa Matthews’ books that YOU think is most intriguing based on the cover or blurb…or if you’ve read her stuff. You have until the end of September 30th EST to qualify to win!

And if you haven’t met Lissa yet, Stop by her Facebook or Twitter and say hello. Not for points. Just because she’s cool as $hit….and tell her I’ve been bragging on her and how amazing I think she is.

And if you’re looking for more books to win? CLICK the button below. It will guide you to other participating blogs!

Spring Giveaway and Vacation Talk #lvlspringgiveaway

Spring is here and it’s time for a big giveaway from Laughing Vixen Lounge. 11 shops have come together to create one amazing Prize Pack ($280+) full of Jewelry, Perfume, Clothing, Vintage and much more! Many of the shops offer items perfect for any book lover along with lots of other unique, handcrafted and custom designs.

The Fabulous Spring Giveaway is open worldwide. 1 winner will win the Prize Pack. You can enter via the Rafflecopter below. Please visit the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog and the Main Giveaway Post HERE to see the full prize list, participating shops and daily features during the giveaway.

Since Summer is right around the corner the giveaway theme is Vacation Memories. Each of our participating shops, and many of our blog sponsors, will be sharing some of their favorite vacation photos with you.

At A Cowboys Game

At A Cowboys Game

Snorkeling in the Bahamas...

Snorkeling in the Bahamas…

Hubby & me at Trump Tower in Chicago

Hubby & me at Trump Tower in Chicago

IMG_0437

Fabulous vacation at the Atlantis with hubby.

 

Giveaway runs May 4th – 18th. Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all giveaway details. See full details HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

X is for Xenial

Definition of XENIAL

:  of, relating to, or constituting hospitality or relations between host and guest and especially among the ancient Greeks between persons of different cities
That’s the definition according to Webster, anyway. Urban dictionary’s actually not very far off from that…

xenial

Xenial is an adjective meaning giving gifts to strangers. Xenial people are usually very helpful.
This spoke to me. It reminded me that kindness and generosity are what makes the world go ’round. It also brought to mind the joy and hope, not to mention the beauty that can be found in random acts of kindness.
Xenial

These acts are not limited to only the people around us. It’s scope of impact is so much bigger than we realize. It’s something that can be done for anyone. Anytime or anywhere. Someone you know or a complete stranger. You never know if you’ll change their day or their life.

Kindness means that much. Makes that strong of an impact.

You never know when that cup of coffee you bought for that person standing in line behind you might have been the first nice thing they’ve experienced today or maybe in much longer than that.

Xenial to me? Kindness and generosity to someone you may never have met before. When’s the last time you did something kind do a random person? Do you remember the last time someone did something nice for you? How did it impact you? Wouldn’t you love to pay it forward?

#SharetheLove With Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust Love

share the love hop

My pal, Anna Cade, of Herding Cats and Burning Soup came up with the terrific idea of sharing a little love with a well deserving/favorite blog or author. I thought it was a terrific idea, so I signed up.

My biggest problem? I have so many awesome author and blogger friends. That meant I had to really dig down and think.

As I started considering things, I realized something…. It wasn’t a tough choice at all!

Let me tell you a little bit about the awesome lady I’ve chosen to share with you guys today.

I met Stephanie a couple years ago at an Authors After Dark event in Savannah. At that time I was still working on my manuscripts, so I was there strictly as a fan girl and to meet all the awesome authors and bloggers I’d been following/getting to know on Facebook and Twitter.

We were at an author party when we struck up a conversation. We found ourselves at the same table when we headed down for one of the balls held at the event, so we got to know each other better. When we got back to our homes, me to Florida, her to Maine (in the same area my best friend used to live), we found each other on Facebook and Twitter and kept in touch!

I already followed her blog, so I was thrilled when she began to follow mine back. Even more so when I put out my first book and mentioned that if anyone wanted to share their blog with me for a spot or two, that I’d be honored.

She reached out immediately!

She offered me a guest post spot on her blog! Me! This may not sound like a huge deal to you, but it was to me. Why? Because in my preferred genre there had been (at that time, and unfortunately still are) plagiarists claiming to be self published authors who had been outed for stealing the works of some very popular authors. Most of the book blogging community became very gun shy about unknown commodities, and who could blame them?

But she took a chance on me.

In fact, she was headed down to Florida and we met up for coffee to catch up and talk about what sort of post she thought might be appealing to her audience, helpful to readers, and maybe a smidge outside of her comfort zone yet right up my alley.

Well, we found it. With her approval, my alternative lifestyle post/readers glossary was born.

But her generosity didn’t stop there! She also read my books and did a review of Four One Night on her blog. I hadn’t even asked her to do it! I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.

The thing about Stephanie is she truly is a supporter of authors! ALL KINDS of authors! She doesn’t limit herself to one style or genre. She’ll do audiobooks, ebooks, physical books…. She truly does have a passion for books and it shows in her thoughtful, well written posts! She’s honest about what she likes and doesn’t like in books, and it doesn’t matter who the author is. It’s always her personal, unbiased opinion. I respect the heck out of that!

So, because she’s just amazing in general, and gives great feedback about so many subjects in particular, I’m telling you to get to know this wonderful lady!

And if who she is isn’t incentive enough? I’ve got a couple of giveaways for ya! Click on
a Rafflecopter giveaway and earn a chance to win the following.

AmazonOR

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And, if my giveaway has simply whetted your appetite for winning? There are lots of other blogs sharing the love and giving away. Click the blue button below to see who else is participating!

Gone Gaga for the Winter

I’m not normally a Gaga fan, but I do love playful, jazzy music….and she did a fabulous job with the legendary Tony Bennett.

I’m getting ready to head back up to the winter wonderland that is Syracuse, NY…. so I guess I thought the song was appropriate.

By the way, don’t forget to check out the Christmas Wonder Hop if you haven’t yet. My post is linked up right here, but you can get to the other participants by clicking the picture of the hop on the right.

Also, Natasha Blackthorne has been hosting a Facebook party this whole weekend and it’s filled with giveaways. I take over hosting duties this evening at 9pm. Click HERE to join her White Hot Christmas party!