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In Praise of Silver Foxes (VaVaVaVoom)

My most recent book is a love story between 50+ lovers.  I thought it might be fun to remind us all just how sexy 50+ can be. Here’s a quick tour of the silver foxes out there who can get my heart fluttering double time. Here are my favorites:

Viggo Mortensen (53)aragorn_poster

Colin Firth (51)

Colin-Firth-wallpaper-colin-firth-6874205-1024-768

Jon Bon Jovi (50)

jon-bon-jovi-wallpaper-downloads-51

There’s also Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington, Dennis Quaid, and Samuel L. Jackson. Who did I miss?  Who’s your favorite (s)?

If you are looking for short, sexy romances with 50+ characters, check out Life Reignited.

LifeReignited

Book Blurb

 Phoebe lives trapped between two worlds. Born an Amazon warrior, she’s sworn to serve the Greek pantheon. It’s her work as a scholar in the human world that gives her life passion and purpose and eases her heart—which shattered when the pantheon forced her to abandon her human lover.

Alexander Xenos is world renowned classics expert, who has dedicated his life to the study of ancient cultures and promoting peace. His fame and global adventures hide a hole in his heart, ripped out by a beautiful, gentle scholar, who shut him out cold after the most intense love affair he’d ever had.

Thirty years later, Sander meets his long lost love, only to learn she’s an Amazon, the mythical gods are real, and they are about to go to war. And Phoebe, who still sets his blood to boil, is in the thick of it.  He’ll have to prevent a conflict between the Greek and Norse pantheons or lose her again—this time permanently.

Find it Here

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Writers For a Great Cause

bedding sheets and pillow sleep bed

Shades of Pink Charity Anthology

 

 

As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year, the first Shades of Pink event raised over $10.000 through more than 1300 donations

For our second year, 22 authors have allied for 1 cause: fundraising for research. Their gift to everyone who makes a donation is a romance anthology (ebook) titled Shades of Pink (volume 2), totaling almost 150.000 words / about 400 pages as a PDF.  I participated last year and am proud to participate this year, with my first sweet love story.

The suggested donation is $5. Funds are raised via Stayclassy.org and all proceeds go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Readers can also donate to the charity organization of their choice (with a focus on breast cancer) and email their receipt to receive their copy of the anthology in either PDF, ePub or mobi (kindle).

Who: Catherine Bowman, Mitzi Calderone, Vivien Dean, JJ and TA Ellis, Sabrina Garie, Nina Day Gerard, T. Hammond, Susan Harris, Laura Hunsaker, Kallysten, Amara Lebel, Alicia J. Love, Deelylah Mullin, C. Deanne Rowe, Cynthia Sax, DJ Shaw, Alice Stark, Ashley Suzanne, Gill Taber, Natasza Waters, Zoe York, Angela Yseult

When: Now through November 15th.

What: 22 short stories, including…

  • 4 paranormal, 1 sci-fi, 11 contemporary, 1 historical, 2 military, 3 BDSM, 2 YA (some stories have more than one genre)
  • 3 spicy (ménage or kink), 7 sexy (explicit sex scenes), 12 sweet (no sex)
  • A couple of vampires, about three dozen humans including soldiers, geeks, teachers, librarians, writers, survivors, bosses, rock stars, teens, mages, wives, husbands and fiancés, 1 succubus, 1 genie, a few aliens, some werewolves and other shifters.
  • Pink, pink and more pink, including tattoos, plenty of flowers, precious stones, jewelry, a bookmark, a drawing, ropes, lingerie, a car, a bag, a vase, various clothes, an anteater and a squirrel.

 

Where: Kallysten’s blog

Here you’ll find links to teasers for the stories, interviews of the authors and blog posts during all of October, a FAQ, and of course the link where you can donate and help this worthy cause.

Romeo and Juliet: The Politically Correct Version (I had to, really)

Crazy times at my house. Better late than never.

Like Marcella, I’m not a big fan of Romeo and Juliet.  A 13 and 14 year old… What’s up with that?  So here’ my pseudo progressive ending.  Hate it if you must, but I just had to do it.

Juliet blinked her eyes. The poison had not worked and very much alive Romeo face shimmered into focus. She should be thrilled. Why didn’t his eyes look as brown as they once did, nor as tender.  He smelled of sweat and mint and sulfur soap, that made her want to gag. Was that a pimple on his temple or a wart?

“Thank the lord, you are alive, my love,”  Romeo squeaked, the sound harsh against her ears. His mouth fell open, the tip of a pink tongue emerged. The look reminded her of a puppy dog. She looked around him half expecting a wagging tail. He was so young.

“My daughter, thank goodness we find you.” Her father came running up to them. Sweat plastered his salt and pepper hair to his forehead. “We have made peace with the Montagues. The war is over.  Come home and I promise you can attend school with your brothers.”

“You will let me learn to read, father?”

“Aye, daughter, I will. You were too willing to give up your life, too early. It woke me up.”

“Then, Romeo, we should wait. Learn. Grow. If we still love each other after a few years, we can marry properly.”

 

 

Catch me in a Lie

y turn at two truths and a lie. In my day job, I claim to save cities. Below are three ways that I claim to have done so. Which are true, which is not?

  • I worked as a city manager for a small town in the northeast.
  • I once was a university professor teaching courses on urban development and economic development, while providing expertise to the various city agencies and nonprofits through research and consulting work.
  • I have lived in many edgy neighborhoods, leading the way to new possibilities.

What do you think? Which is a lie?  What  do you think are the best ways to save cities? Yes, I do have an urban fantasy in my future. 🙂

In the meantime, I’m offering a free sexy read,  A Flicker of Power,  to celebrate the release of newest book, Life Reignited. You can access all the links here.

LifeReignited

Stronger and Sexier by the Dozen

I like my superheroes in teams, working together, crying together, eating shwarma. When I was young (primary and secondary school),  I loved the Legion of Superheroes.  Remember them?  Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf, Lightning Lad and his sister Light Lass, Braniac, Triplicate Girl, Chameleon Boy…heck, even Superboy traveled to the future to join thee group.  Doing it in a team always seemed more realistic. Yes, they had superpowers but they also had weaknesses. Often big ones.

My love for puppy piles of superheroes was strengthened and deepened by the X-Men. That group brought misfits, outsiders, the onlies and the lonelies together. And if being part of the squad did not make each one whole and healed, it did make things better for them. Because one thing we love to love about superheroes, is the isolation and loneliness that comes from having unworldly and often ill-understood powers. To be a superhero is often to stand alone. Its why so many of us struggle to be normal, because being great seems to come at the cost of being able to connect. So super groups seem to compensate for that cost.

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Which brings me to the last and final group–the Avengers. Kudos to Joss Whedon (again) who really showed the inherent challenges of moving egos, barely contained power, and scarred psyches in a single direction.

How about you? How do you like your superheroes?

Having a god to dinner (and a #giveaway)

LifeReignited At my dinner party, the guest of honor is Forseti, Norse god of justice and truth.  He is a pivotal character in my soon to be released novella, Life Reignited. Because his vocation is arbitration, he focues his full attention on the person talking and the topic at hand. His power is to make each person’s voice feel valued. Some dinner party guest, huh?  Here’s a snippet from the book, where we meet our silver-tongued god.

 

“Welcome to Norway.” The god’s voice flowed like honey over the room. A sense of peace settled in Sander’s gut. From the awestruck looks on everyone else’s faces, they felt it too. “I am Forseti,” he continued, leaning forward, eyes moving from one person to the next. Now that made sense. Forseti was the Norse god of justice and truth, known for his mediation and arbitration skills and a voice that could calm a raging storm.

Forseti is accompanied by Sigrid, a Valkyrie who shadows his every move. There may be a later love story in there somewhere but for now, its the backdrop of Phoebe’s and Sander’s story.  I’d invite them too, because not only are they both brilliant and insightful, Sander has a quirky sense of  humor. He loves to quote old TV shows.  Phoebe, an Amazon warrior, loves to play along.  Here’s a snippet. I’m giving away a prize to the person who identifies the two TV shows quoted below.  Remember both my protagonists are over 50. Fun, yes?

“Everything hurts,” Phoebe complained as she pulled her boots off and dropped them by the front door of Sander’s—no—their hotel room.

“My poor Phoebe. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. But still basically human.”

“Darn. Darn. Darn. Darn.” She beamed at him. “I wouldn’t have it any other way for all the power left on Olympus.”

“Then let me show you how us maturing humans deal with muscle pain. Strip.”

“Professor Xenos. You take liberties.”

A low chuckle started in his throat and ended in his eyes.

 

What does one serve to a god. Clearly, there would be several kinds of fish. It is the Norse pantheon.  Salmon, herring, and cod.  And beer and wine, flowing all night, from pitchers that never empty.  Well, the gods should help with the evening, don’t you think?

Plates piled high with fruit, bowls of steaming chowder and fresh baked bread, platters of cheese, and of course dessert. Apple cake. Come, join us. There will be plenty.  When the gods come to dinner, it really must be a banquet.

 

Life Reignited releases on September 3 from Ellora’s Cave.

A World Turned Red: The Unbearable Burden of Superheroines

Well, I must admit Wonder Woman and the Black Widow top my list of all-time favorite female superheroines. But since Viki and Tina had the same thought, I had to dig deeper, think wider and come up with another  With some reflection, I decided to twist the topic just a touch–to look at a particularly difficult yoke all super heroes carry.

Isolation. The aloneness of an outstretched hand that never meets another.

While heroes feel it, in heroines it can take a very physical reality.

Two heroines in particular:  Rogue and Red Sonja–both redheads.

Rogue, of X-men fame, drew me from the start. Her inability to touch another human directly without draining their power and the 120px-Rogueemotional toll it took on her encapsulated the soul-wrenching loneliness of the powerful, the special, the supremely gifted. No other heroine or hero ever captured that reality as well as she did. When she fell in love with Gambit, never to touch… The sad irony, that to use her powers she must touch another, built into the character, a reminder that that which makes us strong can be our weakest link.  That cost has Rogue moving in and out of the dark side.

Red Sonja,  created by Robert Howard who is considered the father of the sword and sorcery genre, was stunning, sexy and indifferent to it. That woman was in full control of her blade and herself. A warrior for hire in the Conan the Barbarian men-are-men-and-women-are-chattel world, she cut her own way, exemplifying that women indeed could. The deity who gave her fighting skills did so with a cost–Sonja could only bed a man who could best her in battle. She too was given strict limitations on her ability to connect with a lover physically. For the most part, she walked alone and slept alone. Rarely to be held.

 

What do you see as the burdens super heroines (and/or heroes) carry?  Who’s your favorite?  Any other Rogue or Sonja fans out there?

Who’s Your Favorite #LOTR Sidekick?

Like so many of you out there, I love, love, love Lord of the the Rings. Its an ensemble story rich with sidekicks–all of which have a critical role to play in the story.  And its in LOTR, we see the essential qualities of sidekicks–they ground the hero or heroine, hold their hand as they walk a perilous journey, no matter how hard that journey or how dark the road.   My favorite, the one who sets the gold standard, is Samwise Gamgee.

Although set up as the sidekick to Frodo, Sam to me is the hero of the story.  Frodo carries the ring, Aragorn sexily swings his swords and grows into the mantle of a king, Gandalf ascends to the White Wizard, Legolas is steady on his bow and beautiful to behold–heroes all. But its on Sam’s shoulders they all stand.  He’s loyalty and love, faith and fidelity, hard work and dogged dedication. Sam is the ever present reminder of what they all fight for–home and hearth, good food, a loving partner, a family, the taste of strawberries, the scent of grass, the touch of a rose.

But the line and scene that encapsulate this, is when Sam picks up Frodo and carries him to the top of Mt. Doom.

Mr. Frodo, I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.

That scene epitomizes love and the foundational role of the sidekick. The grandeur of love and friendship is not in its opulence, but on the ground, when things look impossible, when the moment is darkest, it is the hand that helps you up.

sam_poster

“Play it again, Sam.”

Who’s your favorite LOTR sidekick?

In Love and Lust With the Lesser Known Gods (and a #CoverReveal)

This year, I’ve been having a ball writing the Divine Temptation series for Ellora’s Cave. The research has brought me in touch with so many new gods and goddesses that tempt and titillate and don’t always show up in the central mythological stories. Or when they do, they are a line in a chapter somewhere and easy to miss. Of great interest (at least to me), many of these lesser known gods show up in several pantheons–they are mythological connectors among the ancient worlds. The original social media influencers. 🙂 Life really doesn’t change so much–it just gets more expensive. 🙂

Here are some of my favorite; some I used in my stories, some I didn’t.

Juno is the goddess of marriage and queen of the gods and patroness of Rome. Although Juno is a pretty well known name, it is her Greek counterpart, Hera, that seems to be better known (think TV shows like Hercules and Xena). As guardian of the community, Juno displays aspects of a war goddess, a fertility goddess and a sovereign.  That fertility trait is the one the classic artists really took a liking to and the reason I chose her.  Here’s an example (there were others like this). I think I need to write a story about the Roman pantheon. They are a lusty bunch.

 

James Barry 001

Forseti is the Norse god of justice and reconciliation and highly skilled in mediation.  He’s the son of Baldr and Nanna, key Norse gods, and lives in Glitnir, a palace of gold and silver, where he sits in judgement. He appears to be a god who brings order and peace to a very warlike pantheon and bridges the world between the gods and the humans. No one  leaves his palace without reconciliation.  All stories about Forseti also refer to Fosite, a Frisian god of justice.  See, key social media connector and influencer.

There is not a lot about him, and that lack of information gives a writer a lot of room to play.  He plays a small but key role in my new book, Life Reignited,  Book 2 of the Divine Temptation Series which releases September 3. It has a sexy cover which I just got so I’m sharing it here.

LifeReignitedArtist:  Fiona Jayde

The Fates are arguably the most powerful of all the gods and goddesses.  Its not clear where they came from but even the gods feared them. Known as the Moirai, they collectively weave our futures.

The Three Fates by

Clotho spins each life with her thread. Lachesis chooses the length and contribution of each life, assigning what you will do and when you will die. Atropos cuts the thread when it is time.  In a way, they are another female articulation of the natural world, as they represent the natural order of things. I love these ladies.

The Chinese immortals seem like a fun bunch.  Apparently, there are eight humans who stumbled into immortality–often by eating an immortal peach. Each one is supposed to be a manifestation of one of the elements of Daoist perfection. They live together, do not rule over anything the way gods do, and just frolic and have fun.  Not too bad, eh?
Hue-EightImmortals

 

There are so many pantheons out there and so many gods. Its a glorious world to dig into. Be Careful.  Once you start journeying into the stories, its hard to return.

So who’s your favorite lesser known god or pantheon? Do share.

Here’s my secret. What’s yours? #Giveaway for secrets

I wish I had a super fun secret to share like Marcella. A card reader! How cool is that. My secrets all tend to be of the serious kind. Remember, comment on all the writers posts on their secrets for a chance to win an author gift basket.  So I’ll get right to it, because I hate waiting for secrets.

Oh wait, I’m a writer. My job is to ramp up the anticipation. Make you wait for it, want it.

Just tell the secret, Sabrina.

I hear you out there. Of course, I promised so here it is.

But first, I have to share, I just got  new puppy. Here she is. Isn’t she the sweetest. She’s been home one week. Aaaah right.

photo 2

Secret, Sabrina. Secrets.

Where are my manners? Are you comfortable?  Do you want some virtual coffee or tea, cookies, maybe? I just baked some carrot, raisin and oatmeal. Tasty and good for you. They are calorie free when consumed virtually. No,nothing?

Sabrina!

I’m digressing, aren’t I.

Yes, Sabrina.

All righty, then. Here goes.

I often blog about being a single mother. Its in my bio, I show off kid pics. I published a chapter in an anthology on motherhood. The part of that I rarely speak about is that I am what’s known as a single mother by choice. I had my daughter on my own (doctors, sperm banks). I was staring down my 42nd birthday, no man on the horizon, hadn’t been one in way too long. I had reached a biological juncture in the road. I literally faced a now or never scenario. I opted for now.

I think that’s also I started writing romance. Cause I still believe I’m going to get the guy,  just later and in reverse order. I just need to find him. Anyone with an unattached brother?

I’m not going to ask what you might do in my situation because its a tough question, and an extremely painful one. So you can just share a secret, or a story, or just say hi or give me some advice on puppies. I could really use some of that.  That’s all you need to do to get put into the gift basket lottery.

 

 

 

 

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