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Caturday!!

I have just been made aware of Caturday! How the heck did I miss this for so long?!

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Now that I know about this glorious day I will join the millions of other cat owners and contribute to the mass of cat photos online (you may want to run!)

Please let me introduce Miss Emma Peel:

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Of Phones, Travel and Other Random Things

I am sorry my post is going up late, but I was up until 1am last night trying to familiarise myself with my new phone. Yes, I have entered the 21st century and now have a phone that does more than, you know, make phone calls;). It is exciting to now be able to listen to music on my phone and share far more photos of my cat Emma than you ever wanted to see. But it is also rather confusing trying to figure out what all the buttons do and how to ensure that I don’t go crazy on my data use;). Still, I love my new TARDIS!

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I was lucky enough to visit a friend and spend a glorious week on St. Croix, part of the US Virgin Islands. Now that I am back in snow and ice in Canada I have to share some sunny pictures to warm everyone up.

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That was nice, right? I am clinging to the hope that now that it is March 1st Winter will slink away with his tail between his legs and beautiful, bouncy Spring will take over…I know, I know, but leave a crazy woman her dreams.

On the writing front I am neck-deep in book 4 of the Celestial Surrender series. It will be the final book in this series and tie up all the loose ends I’ve spread across the first three books. I am very excited to finally get around to telling Sydney, Jayden and Miguel’s story. They are all rather prickly at the moment, but fingers crossed, once I get deeper into it they will settle down and talk to me.

I am calling today the unofficial beginning of Spring. My plans for Spring include walking more and using less public transit as well as going to the Romantic Times Convention in May. Do you have any exciting or fun plans for Spring?

Tina’s Dark Christmas Elves Are Doing A Give-Away!

Having worked in retails for years I have lost most of my enthusiasm for Christmas. Let me just say that everyone, and I mean everyone from tiny toddler to sweet little granny, goes completely and utterly INSANE at this time of year!!!!

This is the first time in far too many years that I am not starting my workday at 4.30am in the morning to get to the store by 5am and set it up for Boxing Day madness. To celebrate the wonderful and exciting  (to me at least;)) fact, I am giving away two of my ebooks.

Tell me what you are excited about this Christmas for a chance to win a book of your choice. On Christmas Eve my Dark Elves will help me choose the winners! And let me just say we will have a lot of fun doing it….

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

For a little fun:


Tina Christopher

Writer of Sexy Steampunk and Sensuous Sci-Fi available at Ellora’s Cave and Amazon.

Erm… I’m a bad blogger. But GIVEAWAY!

So this morning, something dawned on me.

HOLY CRAP. THERE IS A BLOG CALLED DARKER TEMPTATIONS AND I AM SUPPOSED TO BE POSTING THERE EVERY SO OFTEN. WTF HAPPENED?

So here’s what happened. I got a new phone. And, said new phone is not programmed with the neato little reminders that old phone was. You know, the ones that pinged me every other Friday and said “Hey, Moron, go do your blog.”

So, this is me, grovelling and apologizing. I’m really sorry that I flaked out for a couple of Fridays there. It wasn’t intentional, promise!!

So, since those reminders also told me WHAT I was supposed to blog about, I’m sort of flying blind for this post.

“What? Regina winging it? That’s never happened.” *takes off sarcasm hat*

So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to give you guys something free to absolve my guilt. (Hehehehee. Here, kids! I’ll make up for bad parenting by giving you too much stuff.)

I’ll pick one random commenter and send them one FREE ebook! You can pick any of my Ellora’s Cave releases. Here, I’ll just leave you links here in case you want to go ahead and pick out your favorite. 😉 Just click the cover and it’ll take you to the Amazon page.

I’ll run this contest through midnight on Sunday, July 9th. That gives you all weekend to comment! So talk to me below, and tell me how I should punish myself for flaking on my poor Darker Temptations. 🙂

 

 

Following the King

Becoming a writer isn’t easy. SURPRISE!!! I know you’re stunned. I was!

Reading is so simple, so wonderful, so engrossing, that I thought writing should be exactly the same. I should be able to lose myself in the world I created just as easily as I do those of my favorite authors. BUT, it doesn’t work that way. Writing isn’t just fun. It’s honest-to-god, back breaking, agonizing, sweat inducing WORK.

Finding the perfect words are hard. Creating the right characters is tough. Building a story is like building a multi-trillion dollar skyscraper–screw up your inner structure, and it’s going to come tumbling down like Jenga blocks.

When it comes to who my writing idols are, I wish I could make it look as easy as they do.

Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Catherine Coulter, Susan Donovan, all these women create stories that read so easily! They’re my favorite books to read, they’re fun, full of love, life and laughter.

But my all-time idol, the man who has inspired me over and over again since I was just a teenager, is the master of horror himself.

Stephen King got me interested in books other than my usual fare. Someone gave my grandmother a big box of books, and she gave them to me one day when I was staying with her for the weekend. There were lots of different genres in there–thrillers, contemporary novels, love stories. But the book that kept sticking out to me was DOLORES CLAIBORNE.

I read the first page countless times. The whole story was narrated! It was in first person! The story was told so deeply from her point of view, because she was telling the story as she remembered it. It was odd. Frightening at first, a little off-putting. But eventually, I got it. I realized how I was supposed to read it. And since that day, I’ve read that book a billion times. I worked my way through some of his other classics. CARRIE, PET SEMATARY, THE GREEN MILE, and MISERY, to name a few. God, I loved MISERY.

 

His book ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT inspired me to write my first mainstream novel (as Gina Lamm). And since then, his advice to write what you love, not what you know, has permeated my books, making them (I hope) much more driven and appealing.

So yeah. Stephen King is my writing idol. He writes 2,000 words a day, every day, no matter what. I need that kind of drive, that kind of persistence. And I know I can do it. He’s my inspiration.

Who’s yours?

My favorite books from childhood

So I’m going to skew the subject a bit. Instead of my favorite literary classics, I’m going to show you my favorite books from when I was a kid. This is a very visual post, ya’ll. I’m not so much with the words today.

Okay, apparently I had a thing for animal books. 🙂

The Nightingale

I ADORE fairytales. We had a giant book of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm when I was a kid. (Actually, I still have it.) I loved the familiar ones, because I could see what really happened in the stories without the Disney candy coating. (Spoiler alert Denise, The Little Mermaid dies at the end. Sorry!)

But my real favorites were the ones that I only found in those books. The girl with 7 brothers who were turned into swans. The dogs with eyes as big as teacups and towers. And then, my favorite, The Nightingale.

The story is simple. A Chinese emperor heard from a kitchen maid that a tiny brown bird had the most beautiful song in all the kingdom. He ordered the bird into his court, and the nightingale sang for him and all his friends. But then someone brought a mechanical bird, covered with gold and jewels, who could sing just as beautifully as the nightingale. The emperor forgot the real bird in lieu of the wind-up one, and the real bird left for its home in the forest.

Several years later, the wind-up bird had grown so fragile that it was hardly used at all, and then it broke completely. The emperor grew very ill, and Death perched on the end of his bed. The emperor begs for music to keep Death away, in a line I still say to myself every time I turn on the tunes:

“Music! Music! The great Chinese drum!”

The nightingale hears of the emperor’s condition, and leaves the forest and sings at his bedside. Death is so moved by her song that he agrees to leave the emperor. The emperor apologizes to the bird for the way he treated her, and she agrees to come back and sing for him as long as she can come and go as she pleases.

Sigh. I love this story. It reminds us that as cool as technology is, nature is even cooler. Yeah, I’m a fruity hippie. 😉

 

Have you heard of this one? Do you have a favorite that isn’t so well-known? Tell me! I love new fairytales. 🙂

 

Scandalous Earls float my boat

Wow. Time gets away from ya when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?

I’ve spent the week celebrating (and writing blog posts, and checking rankings, and worrying myself silly) over the release of my alter ego’s first mainstream full-length novel, THE GEEK GIRL AND THE SCANDALOUS EARL. So much so that when I saw my reminder this morning that I was supposed to blog here today, I went EEP!!

I hope you’ll forgive me, and check out GGSE! It’s a steamy, humorous time travel romance. A modern gamer chick in Regency England. Hijinx and hot smexin’ ensue.

It’s available at these (and other!) places: Sourcebooks  ***  Barnes & Noble  ***  Amazon  ***  Kobo  ***  Discover A New Love

If you plan to check it out, let me know below!

Regina Cole’s a Selfish Bitch

Yep, I said it.

The blog challenge this week is to design a “Pleasure Planet.” Well, I’ll happily do that, but let’s face it.

What flips my switch doesn’t necessarily flip yours. Although if sales of my kinky novels are any indication, some of you do enjoy the same things–you dirty readers, you. 😉

So here’s MY interpretation. I am the goddess of the Planet Pleasure, and I’m creating this world.

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Wanna come live here with me?

1. WE ARE ALL EFFING SEXY. We’re still US, but when we want to we can snap our fingers and change our shape. Want bigger boobs? *snap!* Want a curvier ass? *snap!* Got a craving to be more svelte one day? *snap!* See? How much pleasure would that be? We can all eat what we want and look like cover models.

2. WE ARE ALL OPEN TO EXPERIMENTATION. Okay, I’m going to say it. There are SOME people that don’t like to experiment in the bedroom. And we still love them, but damn it, sometimes it’s okay to want to be spanked. On MY world, you can tell your lover, “you know what? Today I really think I’d like you to dress like Jack Skellington and do me with two zucchini while you flog me with the belt from  your karate class.” And there’d be no O.o. Just a gleeful acceptance to try any and everything that each of you could come up with.

3. WE ARE ALL EXPERT MASSAGE THERAPISTS. Because, come on. I need to be rubbed every now and then.

 

What else is there? I know there’s more that you want. Since I am a benevolent goddess, I will entertain your whims below. 😉

Welcome to Planet Pleasure.

Moravian Christmas Cookies

This may surprise some of you, but I am a CHRISTMAS NUT.

Nope, not religious. I’m talking the whole tacky ornament, Santa loving, Grinch adoring, stockings-and-ugly-sweaters kind of Christmas nut.

I ADORE Christmas. I love getting together with my family, giving them the most fabulous presents I can come up with, eating, cooking, laughing, and sneaking around playing Santa.

When I was little, my parents had to make a rule for me. We couldn’t open presents until 5:30am. That didn’t stop me getting up at 1:00, 2:30, 3:25, and 4:59.

Yeah. This is a lifelong condition.

So, it is with a sense of great jubilation that I share with you my single favorite Christmas cookie recipe.

OMNOMNOMNOM

OMNOMNOMNOM

 

Warning: These cookies taste like you just jammed a sleigh-full of delicious and spice into your mouth. Also, one batch makes about a trillion cookies. But, good news. The batter can stay refrigerated for up to two MONTHS. (not a typo.) Yay for liquor-laced cookie dough!!!

And, without further ado…

 

MORAVIAN CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups Shortening

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed Dark Brown Sugar

A five pound bag of flour (you won’t use all this in the dough, but you will need the vast majority by the time you’re done. Think of the rolling out. These cookies are a commitment, but it’s like marrying an ancient billionaire. Pain in the hoo-ha for the short term, but CRAZY AWESOME later!!)

4 cups of Molasses

3/4 cup Brandy

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 tablespoons Milk

1 teaspoon White Vinegar

2 tablespoons Cinnamon

2 tablespoons Nutmeg

2 tablespoons Cloves

1 tablespoon Ginger

 

Directions, in case you’re not scared enough now. IT’S WORTH IT!!

 

In a big bowl, mix together shortening, brown sugar, and 3 cups flour. Add molasses and brandy. In a separate bowl, dissolve baking soda in milk and mix in vinegar. Add to molasses batter with all the assorted spices. Now here’s where it becomes a workout. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Your arms will be exhausted, and you may give up too soon. That is okay. Refrigerate at least overnight, but up to two months! Liquorrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 🙂

When you’re ready to bake, let a chunk of the dough come up to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. If your oven runs hot, you may want to knock it down to 260. You know your oven. I don’t. Moving on!

On a floured board roll out dough to 1/8 of an inch thick. If too sticky, add more flour. If too dry, add more dough. Cut 3 inch cookies. I recommend using parchment paper on your baking sheets, also, btw. Bake them for ten minutes total, the first five on the bottom rack, and the last five on the top rack. Remove and cool.

 

These cookies will turn you into a bakery, but they make your house smell of nutmeg and cinnamon and ginger and cloves. AMAZEBALLS. And the taste? They’re much better the next day. The spices ping your tongue. Yeah, so they’re a lot of work. Yeah, so they have about seventeen ingredients. THEY ARE SO WORTH IT.

 

Christmas is a commitment, people. Your December 25th can be just like every other day of your life, or it can be special. MINE WILL BE SPECIAL, DAMMIT!!

 

*omnomnomnomnomnom*

 

 

 

 

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