Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Pen Review: The Commander's Desire

Welcome to the next Pen Review...
Today's second review goes to The Commander's Desire by Jennette Green!

The Commander's Desire by Jennette Green
Pages: 312
Genre:
Sensual/Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Rating:
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


The Commander's Desire follows a love story in medieval Scotland. The love story takes place in 715 A.D. The tale revolves around Princess Elwytha. She has her mind set on vengeance due to the death of her favorite brother. According to her the Commander, who is battle- scared and feared killed her brother. Or did he? The land around her is racked by war, so the only way to seek her vengeance is to agree to a false peace agreement with the enemy.

What's included in this agreement? Her marriage to the Prince! Unfortunatley the Prince does not want her... She is offerd to the commander. The very man she loathes! Hoping to be alone with him.. she plans her moves to attack. Having a strong sense of honor, Elwytha will begin to understand the man whom she thinks a monster with scars. Will she change her mind? More than her life is at stake. Also to her demise, the wedding date gets moved up sooner than planned. What will happen to Elwytha? Will she complete her mission and bring justice to her brother or will she be betrayed? Will her heart be moved?

I really enjoyed reading this tale. Elwytha's character was richely written. Her spunk, toughness, and her love for her people stood out. No matter what happend to her she cared about her people's welfare. The dialouge and scenes flowed perfectly. Anyone looking for a great historical romance would love to read The Commander's Desire.

Read the excerpt below to get a taste !

Excerpt:

“Give me your blades,” he growled down at her.

Fear pounded in her chest, and she licked her dry lips. “You found no blades when you pawed through my clothes. The maid found none on my person. Perhaps that is because I have none.”

“I don’t trust you.”

She smiled. As well you shouldn’t. However, she said, “How can we have a marriage with no trust?”

“Come with me.” He forced her toward the door. “You will not return to this room.”

“But my clothes!”

“You will have new clothes. Clothes with no holes for pockets. Clothes that provide no access to the blade at your thigh.”

“Nonsense.” Unthinking, she struggled and then, to her consternation, he picked her up and tossed her over his shoulder. She cried out in fear and horrified humiliation. “Put me down!” She pounded on his broad back. “Put me down, you monstrous serf!”

He strode, silent, through the halls. She squeezed her eyes shut, unwilling to see the others witnessing her humiliation. “Put me down. Put me down at once!” she gasped. She bit her lip, trying to stop the weak tears of a woman, not a warrior. She sniffed and finally stopped struggling, and hung down his back. His belt about his jerkin was within reach. If only she could loosen it, she could cinch it around his massive neck! It was only a hopeless fantasy, of course.
“Where are you taking me?” she demanded, voice muffled. Perhaps if she pretended submission he would return her to her feet. And if she found a dagger, she’d gladly plunge it through his heart.

“To my chambers.”

“Nay!” she gasped out, and struggled in earnest then. “I have decided you are unacceptable to me. You have none of the finer qualities I require in a husband.”

If you would like to purchase the book, please go here.
If you would like to visit's Jeanette's website please go: http://jeanettegreen.com/

The Pen Review: Starquest


Welcome to the Sunday edition of The Pen Review!
Today's pick for review is Starquest by Hywela Lyn.

Starquest by Hywela Lyn
Pages:294
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Fantasy/Futuristic, Romance
Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


If you are looking for action, danger, romance, and love the science fiction then look no further than Hywela Lyn's futuristic romance, Starquest! Starquest follows the heroine Jestine Darnell. The story starts off with a heart pumping action as Jestine finds that she must abandon her ship, but is soon saved by the crew of the Destiny. Jestine is on a mission and to keep a promise to save the world from slavery, a mission she refuses to disclose with the crew of the Destiny. Leaving those around her a bit suspicious of her actions and to further watch her should should she do anything irrational. Could the crew of the Destiny give her the benefit of the doubt? Jestine is so focused on her mission that love is the last thing on her mind. Until she meets, Keri Marchant the Destiny's second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. This makes the completion of her mission a bit harder.

This wonderful tale takes place in a trouble time. A time in which the Union’s stranglehold on Earth is strong and the enemy, the Grakk's have spies lurking in every corner. Hywela's story is written beautifully, her dialogue on point, and her descriptions magical. I really enjoyed reading Jestine's story. Her character was outspoken, strong, and selfless. Will Jestine complete her mission, what obstacles will she run into, and will her heart be stolen? To find out check out some the excerpt below!

STARQUEST Excerpt

His eyes misted as he lifted her into his arms. “It should have been me. That laser was meant for me—”

His voice faltered, and he shook his head to clear his vision. A smear of blood glistened on her lips...a stain on perfection and evidence of his own negligence.

“Please...”

He should have prevented this. Somehow, he should have prevented it! He ran his fingers through the mass of flame-colored hair, golden highlights gleaming in the Phidian sunshine. He buried his face in its softness and held her close to his heart, hoping that somehow his words might filter through to her subconscious mind, as her life slowly ebbed away. “Forgive me, Jess. I love you. I always will...always. I could never tell you how much.”

An instinctive sense of danger pierced his grief. He whirled and rolled over his shoulder, just in time to avoid the laser aimed at his back. The blaster he picked up from close to where Jess had fallen made short and bloody work of his would-be assassin, but it seemed even Jess's last moments were to be denied him. He was compelled to leave her and concentrate on destroying the assailants who came at him from all sides.

If they could still rout Ayandos's men and free the Phidians, Jess would not have died for nothing.

If you would like to purchase Starquest please go here.

Please visit Hywela's website : http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk/

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Pen & Muse!
Enjoy it with family and friends!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Pen and Muse Goes Twitter!


Please follow us on Twitter as well!

We are @ http://twitter.com/thepenmuse

Dancer-Dog

For those who have been following the true adventures of Dancer-Dog via my periodic entries, the manuscript has been accepted by DCL Publications. Look for it as an e-book novella in 2009. There is plenty more action in the life of this big-hearted dog! Thanks to all for your kind comments.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Pen Review: Guilty Pleasures, by Renee Knowles

I recently read a hot erotic romance by Renee Knowles and had to share with all of you!!! It's called Guilty Pleasures and is available now from Siren Publishing!

So, what happens when you get two head-strong, sexy as hell people together? Hot, hot, hot sex and a strong emotional connection. Ms. Knowles knows how to tell a story and to keep a reader satisfied. From the first fiery moments Diana and Nick meet, you just know the pages will be exploding soon. But it wasn't just about sex, (which did I mention was totally hot?) the characters also had some internal issues to deal with. Their real life struggles and personalities made this story all the better, and you really cheered them on when they finally capitulated to each other and themselves. Guilty Pleasures, will certainly be an enjoyable guilty pleasure for you!

P.S. The sequal, For Her Pleasure Only, is coming soon to Siren Publishing, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Blurb:


After his parents' death, Nick Duvane gave up freelancing and took a job at the local TV news station to stay home and care for his younger sister. Now that she's grown, he's desperate to get back to the work he loves. But his boss blackmails him into one final assignment: go undercover at a male escort service and expose it as legalized male prostitution. No problem. Except once he begins an affair with the owner, sexy, hard-headed Diana Grady, how can he deceive her and destroy her business, all for an exposé?


Diana Grady's failed marriage and financial struggles drove her to make her escort business a success. She's poured all her energy into Pleasures and ignored her personal life. But when intelligent, steamy, Nick Duvane enters the picture, she gives in to her passion. Yet Nick has a secret, and it just might shatter her…

**Warning: very HOT excerpt**


Excerpt:

He knew the adrenaline coursing through her made her giddy, but as he let her down and her full breasts skimmed his chest, another kind of adrenaline whipped in his veins. His cock hardened, and he turned away to grab his long-sleeved top and whip it over his head to hide the bulge he was sure was showing.

Diana cleared her throat and pulled away, but not before he'd witnessed the raw passion in her eyes.

They left the center and went to his car. It had grown dark outside, which was probably just as well because if Diana looked at him he was sure she would be able to tell what he was thinking. And what he was thinking was how much he wanted to take her home, throw her on the bed and strip her naked. He tried to rein in his hunger, but remembering her round, gorgeous ass in her tight jeans as she climbed the wall made him only harder.

"Diana," he said when they reached her passenger side door. "You really rocked up there today."

She laughed and did a small jump. "I did, didn't I? God! It was so damn freeing!" Her voice had a bounce to it, and he could hear pride. "I never thought I could do it. But when I got up there, I knew I couldn't stop until I made it all the way."

Nick noticed the pride in her voice and knew she was still on a high. He tried to stop glancing at her lips. Yet she was so close, and they were sexy, full, and ready for the taking.

She raised her hand in a high five, as he'd done to her earlier. This time, as he slapped her back, he grabbed her hand and pulled her toward him.. Her curvy body fit against his hard one. Then against all his better instincts, he kissed her.

There was a brief murmur of protest from Diana, but Nick held on, intoxicated by the feel of her. She relaxed into him and he took full advantage..

He possessed her mouth, tasting her minty, salty flavor mingled with the tang of her victory on the rock wall. His hands slid under the bottom of her shirt and he felt the smooth warmth of her skin. Moving them down over her ribcage, he stopped at the indentation of her waist.
He thought she might slap him. He thought she would shove him back.

But Diana didn't pull away. Maybe it was her adrenaline high, maybe it was the passion that had been simmering between them for the past week, but she pulled him closer and he felt her tongue edge into his mouth.

With a low growl, he dragged her flush against him, so close he could feel her heartbeat. He opened for her, teasing and playing with her tongue until fire raced in his veins. Heat rolled off her body, burning him up with fever.

Or perhaps it was the passion in her kisses that had him aflame. His cock hardened until it strained against the fly of his jeans. Tasting her was better than his dreams, better than his imagining.

Diana reached up and wrapped her hands around his neck, massaging the base of his scalp. Her hot little hands only turned him on more. He could imagine those same fingers stroking his cock.

Nick pushed her up against the car, straddling his legs on either side of her feet. "Diana, Diana," he whispered as he trailed kisses down her neck, licking the small spot where her pulse fluttered. Then, nervous as a schoolboy on a first date, he brought his hand up and cupped her breast, kneading it through her knit shirt.

She arched into his hand, silently urging him to go on.

But suddenly he heard the scuffs of shoes against concrete behind him, and he realized he was mauling her in the middle of an open parking lot.

He dropped his hand and pulled away.

In the artificial lights, Diana stared at him with glazed eyes, her lips swollen and dark from his kisses.

The people walked by them and got into their car. And Nick knew he had to say something. What the hell was he supposed to say?

"Look," he began, "I'd like to tell you I'm sorry. I know that is probably what I should say. But dammit—" he raked a hand through his hair "—the truth is, I'm not." He moved closer to her again, and pushed a piece of hair back from her round, beautiful face. "I'm so not sorry."

Diana drew in a long breath and seemed to be trying to compose herself again.

Say something, will you? As her silence dragged on, he was sure he'd lost his chance at working for Pleasures now.

"Listen," he said. "I didn't mean to offend you. But there is something between us. Something that has been simmering there since we met. I know you've felt it too. I just don't know what you want."

She stopped him by grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him down for another kiss.
"What I want," she whispered, "is sex. With you. Tonight."

© Renee Knowles 2008


Buy it now!


Visit Ms. Knowles at http://www.reneeknowles.com/ and check out her other releases!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tips from Our Readers

Hey everyone! I again wanted to thank our readers for coming to the blog.
I also asked a couple of people who read the blog to comment on what they liked and what they liked to see. So here is on our tips below from Bobbi! It's in regards for writers out there searching for some inspiration.
Thanks Bobbi!

Oh, and you had said to let you know if I thought of anything cool for your blog. Well, I noticed that you put tips to help people become better writers and I have a website that I use that is pretty fun. I use it when I'm developing characters and I want a good visual representation to work with. It's called Meez and it lets you create 3D avatar characters. http://www.meez.com/main.dm You can create the images without even creating an account if you just want to look at them. Creating a free account allows you to save the characters and gives you the code so you can use them on your websites. I know I've used it to create images of almost all of my more prominent characters for the book I'm writing and it has really helped. With the ability to change the physical attributes of the character and with the wide variety of clothing styles you can use to dress up your avatar, it really helps you get a good idea of your characters' personal styles. If nothing else, it's a good excuse to play dress-up dolls when you're experiencing writer's block, and who knows maybe seeing what clothes your character wears will move you right out of the writing slump.

Well, just thought I'd share this fun tool.

~Bobbi
If you have a tip to share, please e-mail here.
Subject: Blog Tips

The Pen Interview with Minnette Meador!



Welcome to our interview edition of The Pen Review! I had the joy in speaking to Minnette Meador for an interview to learn more about her and her works. She is a fantastic author to watch for. Enjoy the interview! Please check out her website www.minnettemeador.com for more information!





Where are you from?
Tell us a little about yourself!

I was born and raised in beautiful Oregon where I started to sing before I could talk. At the ripe old age of 13, I began a professional singing career that lasted, altogether, about twenty years (which is a story unto itself). I have six kids, all grown, two grand kids, one slightly used husband, and a 4 lb toy poodle named Pierre who runs the show. We currently live in Woodburn, Oregon where I write full time and take care of my darling granddaughter, Fernie, age 3.


What inspires you to write? Do you find that your muse takes over when writing?

I would love to tell you that lazy little vixon takes over, but most of the time, it's just plain work. She contributes once in a while when she's not doing her nails or reading gossip mags. I am inspired by music, a rousing good time movie, long walks in the woods, or my husband's kisses. The rest is pure, unadulterated dedication. But I love it to the bottom of my little piggies.

Tell us about the Starsight series! The covers look amazing! Did you plan on these covers or is there an amazing story behind them?

Starsight is the story of an old warrior woman and Starguider who has to guide a student she loves to become a messiah. There is lots of adventure, magic galore (as Piers said), and some great plot twists. Nothing is black or white. The cover was done by local Portland artist Derrick Freeland. He is an amazing illustrator who works a lot in graphic novels. He also happens to be my son and I'm extremely proud of him. If anyone want to see more of his work, go to http://derrickfreeland.blogspot.com . He's also available for other work for anyone interested (says the meddlesome mother).
Do you have any have any other works in progress that you want to share?

I have two historical romances out about Roman Britannia and the Boudicca revolution, The Centurion & The Queen (available at Amazon, BN, Borders, etc.) and The Edge of Honor (out in eBook through Resplendence, Fictionwise, Mobibook, etc. - available in paperback in December 2008). These are about Marius, a Roman centurion, and Delia, a Celtic queen, who fall in love in the midst of revolution. I am currently working on Keenan's Dilema, a paranormal erotic comdy about a guy who sees...well, more on that later.

What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?

1. If you don't have a critique partner, get yourself one. I would go to www. critters. org as a great first step. You can also join Gather (www. gather. com), which is a wonderful community of writers that really help each other out. This is essential for any up and coming writer. However you do it, a critique partner is essential. There are lots of great articles out there (especially through RWA groups) about hunting and catching the best critique partner.

2. Join your local writer's association. I belong to many of these and they are extremely helpful in many ways; they offer classes, critique groups, industry information, publishing info, query letter help, and more. Not only join, but get involved with them. They will help you more than anything else. Plus, they will get you involved in writer's conferences, which is a wonderful way to meet editors and industry professionals, not to mention other writers that can help you.

3. Also get involved with some of the genre specific writing organizations; I belong to a couple of Yahoo fantasy writing groups, paranormal groups, and probably a hundred romance groups. They can also be very helpful. Just go to Yahoo Group search for groups and it will give you an extensive list.


What are your favorite books at the moment?


Not sure if you mean to read or write, but here goes for both; I'm always in love with my current project. By the time I get through all the editing phases of a novel, I'm pretty much sick of it, but I like to go back later to look. As far as reading; I'm a huge Mary Stewart fan, so I reread most of her books. I am currently on a rerun through all of
Michael Crichton books now, to honor him. Unfortunately, I get so little time to read anymore. I have a 20' stack of book on my TBR pile. I also edit for my publisher, so that's about all the reading (beyond my own stuff) I have time for these days. I'm looking forward to finding time for everything.

What's your favorite word? Least favorite?
Luxuriate...got

Special Note from Minnette :

I will be signing both Starsight I and II along with The Centurion & The Queen on November 22nd from 1pm-5pm at the Clackamas Town Center, Lower Level, JC Penney Court. 30% of the proceeds will be donated to the Doernbecher Children's Hospital, so please come join myself and several other local authors for this wonderful event. I will also be appearing at Powell's Books Beaverton on December 11th from 7pm-9pm with both Starsight books and the brand new sequel to The Centurion & The Queen, The Edge of Honor. For more information, please visit my webpage at www.minnettemeador.com.

Congratulations to Julie for winning the contest giveaway for a copy of Minnette's Starsight Series!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dancer Dog

This installment should be subtitled "Suckered." I have just acquired a Pit Bull mix from my local shelter. She's sweet, she's gentle, she's...a con artist.

I had been so unsure of my intention to get a dog that I hadn’t taken a leash, and the little nylon loop they gave us at the shelter didn’t afford much control. Dancer gave me a whirlwind tour of the parking lot.
“For 29 pounds, she sure can pull,” I commented after just missing a close encounter of the worst kind with a telephone pole. “She peed three times. Let’s go.”
Sam slid into the passenger’s seat, snapped her fingers, and the dog launched herself up and into her lap.
“She can jump, too,” I observed.
There were no more calisthenics after that. The dog circled once and curled up in a neat little package in Sam’s lap, burying her nose in the crook of her arm. She didn’t move.
“She’s probably afraid we’re going to take her back,” I said.
Sam nodded. “Yeah, she can’t believe her luck.”
It certainly looked that way, because the dog didn’t budge during the entire ride home. I could hear her breathing gustily, with her nose squashed against Sam’s elbow, but there was no movement. She didn’t barf, either. Polly had always let fly any contents in her stomach before I reached the first cross-street, but this dog looked like a good traveler.
Dancer finally raised her head when she heard the crunch of gravel beneath my tires.
“We’re home,” I said in that tone you use when you give a dog the good news, and her soft ears pricked. She sat up, looking eagerly out the window. She hadn’t come to any palace, just a hundred-year-old Victorian cottage swamped with evergreens, bamboo and a lot of weeds I never got time to whack. But it boasted a fascinating yard I had already decided to have fenced in despite the cost. Sam and I walked the perimeter of the proposed yard so the dog could pee copiously once more, and then my friend (whose husband was waiting for her) had to take her leave of us. She had been walking Dancer and the dog seemed a trifle confused when I took the leash, as though she had considered Sam her new owner, but when I led her into a warm place that smelled like food, she went right in.
Kitty, accustomed to dogs, actually deigned to thump down from the rocking chair to greet us. The next thing I knew, I was flattened against the solid oak door as a rampaging whirlwind ripped out of my unprepared grasp. The cat had MOVED--God save the mark!—and Dancer responded instantly. Poor Kitty, who hadn’t run that fast since her youth, whipped up the slippery wooden steps. She was able to make good her getaway because Dancer had never before encountered steps. The dog thrashed at the bottom, lunging in impotent fury, unable to deduce how to get upstairs.
“No!” I admonished when I could catch my breath. “Bad dog! No chase!”
She looked at me as if I was crazy.
“Oh, come on,” I said, relenting. “Let’s eat.”
“I was just about to,” her expression said. “Where did that cat go, anyway?”
Kitty had gone to the attic. She stayed there for a long time and she must have had telepathy with Smudgie, the barn cat, because I didn’t see old Smudge for days.
Her food disappeared and so did she.
There followed a delightful afternoon and evening of snoozing on the couch with the dog tucked in the same position she had assumed with Sam, in this case flat on top of me with her nose between my neck and shoulder. As long as her eyes were hidden, that tuck seemed to say, she couldn’t spot anyone coming to take her away from heaven. A wave of protective warmth suffused my heart. This dog must have been through hell. Who knew what awful things had happened to her? Well, her troubles were over. I would see to that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Cover!!!

Good morning!


Just had to share with you all my fabulous new cover for Lady In a Box, the second story in my Highland Jewel Series.


I don't have a release date yet, but here is the blurb:


Ian has been left Laird of Clan MacDuff after his brother Donell travels through time to be with his true love. The clan embraces him as their leader, and now to secure his own position, Ian decides he must take a wife. After imbibing on one two many gulps of ale, Ian toys with his brother’s brooch, the very catalyst to his present situation. When the air turns thick with fog, Ian panics that he’s travelled through time, but is comforted by the familiar surroundings of his bedroom. And what’s this? A beautiful naked woman is lying next to him…

Natalie Blackwood, a Scottish historian, wakes up in her own naughty fantasy: making love to a medieval Highlander who strums her body like a fine-tuned instrument. Even better, she’s in a medieval keep set up by--she thinks--her best friend.

When it all becomes a reality, Natalie has some tough decisions to make.
Can she stay in Ian's world? Beyond earth-shattering bliss, can Ian convince her they were made for each other?







For more information on the series, check out my website, http://www.elizaknight.com/



Highland Jewel Series


~Warrior In A Box (release date forthcoming)
~Lady In A Box (release date forthcoming)
~Love In A Box (cover and release date forthcoming)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Pen Review: Anam Cara


Welcome to the night edition of The Pen Review! I have come to bring you a book near and dear to my heart. This all thanks to the author, Keena Kincaid for introducing me to her work, Anam Cara. As I said before I am a lover of all things Celtic. I love history and so this book was quite the treat for me. Anam Cara is the Celtic belief of spiritual bond or connecting.

This lovely story follows the path of two souls, one who has been looking for a while to find that one he once loved. This story follows the travels of Branwyn ap Owen and that of his brother Aeden. Both are blessed with gifts, some that Bran and others may consider a curse. Bran has committed a wrong in his ancient past which he has tried to right. A wrong that has the name of Liza. Liza is an inn keeper with her own secrets and past. She wants nothing to do with the minstrel l that just walked in. Somehow Bran has to find a way to undo the hurt of the past in order to possibly make a future. Will these two find the love they once had or will the problems of the past creep up once more to stop their love? Want to find out more? Follow the amazing excerpt below!

Rating : PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Back of book blurb:


Branwyn ap Owen knows it’s appointed for men “once to die, then the judgment” but his hell is to live again and again until he rights an ancient wrong. Unlike other such souls caught on a karmic wheel, he remembers the past, and he always remembers her.

Liza knows nothing of the vow trapping her in Bran’s judgment, yet when he walks into her inn, she knows he could destroy the life she has carefully built over the years if she lets him get too close. Trouble is, Bran can’t take a hint, no matter how blunt she is.

Determined to repair the damage of his first betrayal, Bran uses the knowledge of a thousand years to woo Liza. Yet just as he begins to regain her heart, a fresh betrayal threatens their last hope for love.

Excerpt:
Bran frowned at the bite in her voice. “I do no’ ken yer anger with me, Liza. No’ even the Scots are this combative. Do I remind ye of yer husband or a lover who ill-used ye?”

“I have had no lover but him.”

“Perhaps that ‘tis the problem. Ye want what ye can no’ have.”

She made a sound between disgust and laughter. “Oh, I am quite certain I can have it if I but ask.”

“Aye, ye could.”

She stared at the river.

“Liza.”

Her name on his tongue pulled her agitation into a sharp-pointed need. She ached.

“I can no’ offer ye the morrow. Even if I ne’er leave Carlisle, this moment is all that is mine to give.”

She made the mistake of looking at him. He claimed her attention, kept it. Heat sparked between them. Nervousness swarmed like excited bees in her stomach. Wulfric had never made her tingle with expectation, and Aelric for all his sweetness never caused her body to knot like a Celtic brooch. Bran did both just by breathing.


I really enjoyed reading this story. I love all the characters. The dialogue and scenery were rich. I felt transported there. Keena is one of my favorite new authors to watch. Her debut novel is now available through Wild Rose Press. Be sure to get it in print on Dec. 5th! Be sure to watch out for her next work, Art of Love coming March of next year!



Please visit Keena's Website: http://keenakincaid.com

How to Use The Microsoft Office Suite to It's Potential


Ever wonder how you can use Microsoft Office Suite to it's fullest potential when you are writing that new novel or setting up ideas for your next work? Ever get frustrated with all these new software packages and not able to understand them? Hate having to pay for a book or try to sit a learn something? Take a step back and think if you are a visual learner or a person who can learn by reading. Personally I am a visual learner. I can rely on books visually and by taking courses. Use your resources. Being a part of RWA, there are many courses out there you can take and pay for. Is there something near you that could help you learn? Of course! Google it! I find that search engines are a writers and a student's best friend. I recently stumbled upon the website to learn for the new Office Suite for Apple computers. If you are a Window's user, feel free to check out the website below to learn Office 2007. There are also great visual learning books as well that you can buy from Peach Pit Press.

Happy learning and keeping writing!

Office 2007 : http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/default.aspx
Office for Mac: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/courses.mspx?mpch=ads

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dancer Dog

In response to a request (you know who you are!), I am continuing with my true story of Dancer Dog. At this point, my friend Samantha and I have just concluded an exhaustive search of the local shelter in pursuit of a dog for me. I have found a likely candidate, but...she's half Pit Bull and I have one question. Will she eat the cat they just put in the meeting room?

***

She didn’t spare him a glance. He was a dead ringer for my Kitty, too, right down to his semi-comatose state. That cat never moved the entire time we were in the room and Dancer treated him like he was invisible. After her initial greeting, she treated Sam and me the same way. She was just a nose on four legs, investigating every object in the room with almost desperate intensity, as though she had been so long deprived of any sensory input meaningful to a dog that she was stocking up. My eyes filled and I grabbed a tissue, intercepting a puzzled look from the technician.
“My dog just died on Friday,” I blubbered, though that wasn’t the only reason I was crying. “She had heart failure.” I didn’t want the girl to think I had been negligent in any way and I hadn’t. I had dosed Polly with digitalis, Lasix, L-Carnitine—anything the might extend her life span, all in vain. Bags and cans of her expensive prescription diet littered my back kitchen. I should donate them to some vet hospital, I thought. Maybe the one that had performed her echocardiogram, where the vet had looked at me with compassion and told me I could do all these things, but my dog was still going to die.
“What kind was it?” the technician asked sympathetically.
“A Bull Terrier.”
“Really?” she asked, looking at me with new respect. Bullies were notoriously hard to handle. “Then you might be a good person to take a pit mix.”
“Maybe.” I watched the bitch circling the room, ignoring us in favor of the good smells. “What’s she mixed with?”
“Probably whippet. She’s five or six months old and weighs 29 pounds. She should mature at about 45 pounds.”
I glanced at Sam. “The perfect size.” I had been raised with hunting dogs—setters and retrievers—and although I had thought I needed a little dog because I had a little house, 45 pounds sounded a lot more pleasing. Polly had been just slightly larger and Polly had been built like a brick wall. This dog--with her tiger-striped coat and black edging at muzzle, ears and tail—showed a lot of Whippet. Her body would be svelte even after she gained weight and she had the elegant, curved tail of the Whippet and the soft “rose” ears you see in that breed. Nothing ever got rid of the pit bull face, but she had a very sweet expression. Whippets were gentle dogs…the conscientious objectors of dogdom. Surely that would overcome much of Dancer’s fighting blood.
“I don’t suppose she’s housebroken?” I ventured.
“Probably not,” the technician admitted. “She was on the street and then here. But she’s very intelligent. If you crate her, she shouldn’t be a problem.”
“I have a crate,” I said, feeling more and more confident. She was old enough to sleep through the nights. “I think I’d like to take her.”
Sam beamed; no matchmaker making shiddoch was ever happier. While the technician took the dog back to prepare her, we went to the receptionist’s office so they could call the vet for a reference. My vet’s office was at her home and she was usually there on Sundays. I knew she wouldn’t mind being bothered for this happy event.
All my good feelings evaporated in an instant. My vet’s phone didn’t answer. It didn’t switch to a tape or a service; it just didn’t answer. At all. The receptionist’s expression changed as quickly as my mood. She thought we were trying to put one over on her.
“I know that’s the number,” I insisted. “I called it a hundred times while my dog was sick. Can you try again?”
She tried again. Nothing. She hung up with a look of increasing exasperation.
“I’m sorry. We can’t release the dog without a vet’s reference. She’ll have to stay here until we get one. If she’s still available at that time, you can try again.” Her expression suggested frozen tundra. No way was she going to hold that dog for me.
“I’ll be right back,” Sam said. While we waited, assuming she was going to the rest room, she marched straight into the shelter manager’s office. He was a personal friend of hers and had been to my house…seen my dog…met me. He knew where Dancer would be going and it wasn’t that easy getting someone to take a pit bull, even a mix. Within moments, he was in the office signing in place of the vet, issuing papers to us over the furious glare of his receptionist. She handed me the leash and a bag of dog chow without a word, pocketing my check like it was blood money.
“I’ll give her a very good home,” I promised. She didn’t answer.
“Bitch,” Sam muttered as we exited, and I didn’t pretend to think she was talking about my new dog.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Congratulations To Our Winner From Bitten by Books Haunted Blog Carnival!

Congratulations to Bobbi Kilbarger of Illinois! She is the lucky winner of the 1GB Apple Product Red Ipod Shuffle! She had some great words which touched by heart that I have to put on here.

I think I would like the red one since a portion of the money they get
from selling it goes towards a good cause. Knowing that me winning
a prize is also helping others will just add that much more joy to this
whole experience.

Thanks again, and I look forward to reading your blog regularly. It's a
really nice website that, if not for this contest, I probably wouldn't have found on my own.


So Congrats to Bobbi and to all our readers: Thank you for coming to this blog and commenting and sharing !

Good Night !

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Late Editon of The Pen Review: Cult of Submission


Welcome to the late edition of The Pen Review!
Today's review goes out to Cult of Submission by Eric Erato.
Although, this book is part of a series, the First Night Series, it can be read as a stand alone. I really enjoyed reading this story. It follows Lucy, a charismatic, tough, investigative reporter. A reporter who is hell bent on finding out about Russell Turnquill. Russell being a business man with a loyal following of people that others might consider a cult. This is the man who has intrigued Lucy for a very long time. So much at even the dismay of her boss, she quits being a reporter for the newspaper to go undercover. A little scared, but armed with her curoisty Lucy will go undercover to find out the truth. Will Lucy find the truth or will she fall to the arms of the mesmerizing Russell? Want to a take a sneek a peak into Eric Erato's Cult of Submission? Take a look at the wonderful series excerpt below.

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Genre: Erotica/BDSM

Excerpt

I allowed my thoughts of Turnquill's strength to flow like the water and mist over my body, imagining him instructing me to touch myself. The scent of lavender had been a subtle undertone when I entered the bathroom, but now grew overpowering, seeping from the steam and the soap and the walls themselves. Feeling lightheaded and aroused, I pressed a coarse and foamy loofa roughly against my skin. Lingering with the sponge, I rubbed it across my erect nipples and shivered with each abrasion. I thought of Turnquill grabbing my hair, twisting my nipples and taking the kiss that he wanted, then taking whatever else he wanted, his hands rough and brutal as the sponge. My head fell back and my lips parted, knowing the loofa would start working against my most tender parts soon, feeling him on me, over me, and being swept away with the sensation and the lavender and the fantasy.

If you would like to catch the series and purchase the book, please visit Eternal Press.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Pen Review II: Ruby's Rules

What do you get with a woman who has everything yet constantly wants more? You get seductive, ruthless, and attractive, Ruby Maxwell Chen. Ruby is the CEO of a huge British business empire. Ruby is the type of women who always used to getting what she wants..

Ruby's Rules by Lisabet Sarai follows the story of ruthless Ruby and her adventures on getting what she wants in business and in pleasure. That is until Rick Martel, an American Entrepreneur shows up for an appointment with Ruby. Both are competing for the same company in Malaysia. Who will win? It seems both Rick and Ruby have no problem keeping each other company until the matter is settled. It seems that Ruby has met her match in business and in carnal pleasures or has she? Will Ruthless Ruby as she is known to business associates loose her heart? Read the hot and sexy excerpt below!


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Genre: Erotic BDSM

Excerpt

Tell me what you want," I purr. "I'm feeling generous tonight, and just might grant your request."

He leans toward me in answer, and grasps my chin. Strange electricity flows from his touch. My breasts ache. I am on fire.

"I want you to take me home with you," he says with a cryptic smile. And then he kisses me.

I am not sentimental. I am not romantic, susceptible, easily mastered. But I swear, I could drown in this kiss.

His lips are smooth and full, his tongue demanding. He tastes of peppermint, and behind that, an aromatic trace of pipe tobacco. I smell his cologne, something clean, woodsy, Scandinavian.

I do not want to give in, and yet I do. I return his kiss, open my mouth wide to his probing. He senses my partial surrender, and presses his advantage. He has slipped his hand inside my vest, now, and is pinching my nipple hard.

I love it. I am awash with lust. I am dying for him to take me. My sex is liquid, spilling over. My scent rises in the velvet-draped space. I know that I cannot hide my desire, but still I try.


If you would like to know what lies ahead for Ruby, please vist Eternal Press
If you woud like to visit Lisbet Sarai's website, please visit here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Pen Review: The Duchess


Welcome to the next edition of The Pen Review!
First, I want to send a thank you to Kim Richards from Eternal Press for allowing me to review some of their clients works. Thanks for having faith in me. Now on to the review..

The Duchess by Rhonda Lee follows the story of a Duchess who seems tired with her life and the husband who is constantly away on "business". So what's a Duchess to do when her husband ignores her and leaves on business? Redesign their home? No! Play of course! Play indeed the Duchess does with the peasants that come with complaints for her husband to hear. Unfortunately, her husband is not around and she must deal with it herself. Not even her staff is safe from her new games. The Duchess has plans of her own. Not even her husband is safe when he returns. For those who read the romance genre of erotica will enjoy this read. Each page is hot and sizzling following the Duchess' naughty endeavors. Rhonda does an excellent job with her enticing work, The Duchess. Take a tantalizing look at the excerpt below into the world of The Duchess.

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Excerpt:

“Don’t you want to touch me, Ferrin?” she purred, extending one curved fingernail and letting it trail across his shoulder. It caught upon the rough homespun fabric of his shirt and stuttered its way across his back. Each tiny jolt resonated throughout his entire being.

“Yes.”

The duchess paused, stopping directly in front of him and looking at him with that now familiar quirked eyebrow,”Yes, what?”

“Yes, I want to touch you.”

A feral smile spread across her lips and he dropped his gaze to the ground, ashamed of himself, of his lack of willpower, but unwilling to take back the words he’d just spoken.

At that precise moment, she knew she had him; he was hers to do with as she wanted—whatever she wanted. Whatever she dared. The possibilities made butterflies erupt in her stomach and her pussy tingle. They straightened her back, added steel to her voice. The purr vanished and her words became sharp, crisp commands. Ferrin had given up any chance of wielding even the slightest bit of control in this situation.

“Then touch me peasant.”


If you would like to visit Rhonda's site, please do so: http://www.midnyte.ca/
If you would like to purchase the book, please visit Eternal Press.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Last Goodbye

As some of you know, I have taken a brief hiatus from writing to say goodbye to an old friend. Baker and I first met twenty-five years ago. His full name was Baker's Dozen, because he was his mother's thirteenth foal. Mom was a quarter horse. Dad was a Thoroughbred, a pretty decent racehorse. Baker was not what anybody expected. His coat was the glorious shade horse people call liver chestnut--a sort of shiny seal brown. His mane and tail were distinctly...well...orange. And some influence from his buckskin mother had given him yellow eyes. Yes, Devil-yellow. He looked like Satan. I was buying him for my husband. He was perfect...heh-heh.

I took him out for a test drive, of course, because my husband couldn't ride to save his soul and I wanted to see if this was the "kind" horse that would tolerate a rider like that. The seller assured me he was, but of course sellers always say those things. As long as we didn't put a child on him, she told me, he would be fine. He had been sold to a young girl who found him a bit much to handle, so they had tried to "school" him by letting the younger students in a riding program learn on him. Big mistake. Baker had an extremely sensitive mouth and when he discovered still-uncoordinated young riders had a tendency to jerk on his bit, the honeymoon was over. They really did think that horse was the devil, but the seller (who struck me as a very knowledgeable girl) assured me that he would cart around any adult.

The lady knew her business. As long as I sat on him like a sack of cement and had no contact with his mouth, he was a dream. A motorcycle cruised up his butt. He glanced at it dismissively and kept walking. Something that sounded like a siren announcing a nuclear power station melting down went off. His ear twitched. Finally, I put him to the acid test, urging him downhill into an almost impenetrable thicket at the bottom of a covert . He forged through it like a Sherman tank and, when I gave him no instruction whatsoever about his exit, backed out as neatly as a dancer, without any panic at all.

Our blacksmith trailered him home for me. They had a little disagreement about loading. Wayne was running late and was disgruntled and hurried. The horse fixed him with those baleful yellow eyes and said, "Don't you rush me, sucker." He refused to load until I took the lead shank and walked onto the trailer in front of him. For me, he went in on the first try and rode like a rock all the way home.

The horse loved me. He carted my husband around in good spirit, but it was me he loved. I'm sure that's why he didn't kill me the first time I risked a large child on him. Sally was obsessed with the horse and since she was a pre-teen, I thought she might pass muster. She was dying to ride him, bribing him shamelessly, currying him by the hour, slipping him every sort of treat. Finally the big day came. Baker was settled in, Sally was prepped and I was...careful. I kept hold of the girl's waistband even after she settled gingerly onto the horse. It was a good thing. I had to literally grab her by the seat of the pants and pull her off as he went up into the air in a perfect pirouette. I saw how he had been ridding himself of riding students. He was good enough not to hit me as he came back to earth, but I did see Satan looking out of those eyes, just for a minute.

I finally found the key. It was height. Anyone above four foot six could get on. Anyone under that height had better not even try. Once I knew that, the horse packed all our older kids around without complaint. The little ones had to wait their turn, measuring themselves against a pencil mark on the kitchen wall until they were tall enough to ride Baker. But he was worth the wait, taking them foxhunting, posing with one daughter through her modeling portfolio, having antlers tied to his head at Christmas and pulling the family down the road in a cart reserved for Christmas caroling. We hung paper mache spiders in his stall at Halloween and he amused the kids by the hour, bunting them with his nose. He drank Rolling Rock beer from the bottle, sharing it with my husband. He ate pears and cherries from our trees, neatly spitting out the pits. When I had major surgery but was burning to ride six weeks after being carved from stem to stern, I took Baker out because I knew I could trust him. No way would that horse throw me. The nearest he came was parting company with me one day out foxhunting when he went one way and I went the other. He slammed on the brakes so quickly that I ended up on the ground with the reins still in my hand, fifty horses galloping past and my horse standing stock-still so that I could remount. Horses just don't do that, but Baker did.

He outlived my husband by seventeen years. Who'da thunk it? They were difficult, impoverished, stress-filled years, but no way was I letting go of that horse. Inevitably, old age took its toll even on his sturdy frame. He got arthritic. He developed Cushing's Syndrome, an affliction common to old horses that causes a horribly painful condition called founder. I thought I would lose him to that, but the vet came through with a medication that cost $120 a month and special shoes that cost $70 every six weeks. Hay went to $5 a bale, grain to $20 a bag and my old friend needed all the most expensive stuff--soft, first-cut hay, special senior grain. I cut my grocery shopping back to every other week and fed the horse.

On Tuesday, for the first time ever, he refused that special grain. I felt a sensation like the distant rumble of a train coming down the tracks, still too far away to see, but making you look for the light on the front. I didn't go to work and I am somebody who NEVER skips work. I can't afford to. But I played hookey--one last time.

By 11 a.m. the horse was in trouble, throwing himself on the floor of his stall and rolling in the classic throes of colic. I put in a frantic call for the vet, who was 45 minutes away, and tried to get my horse up so he wouldn't twist his intestine. One small woman against a 1,200 pound animal out of his mind with pain? It was no contest. I couldn't get him up. He rolled away all his bedding and was thrashing on the bare stall mats, skinning all the hair off beside his eyes as he twisted in agony. His eyes swelled shut, he looked like he had been dipped in a vat of water and when Tony the vet arrived, he almost was. We had to throw water in his face and kick him unmercifully to get him up and out of the stall, but you never want a horse to die inside the barn because they're so hard to remove. And I knew he was going to die.

We tried for two hours...two long hours of heroics mercifully abetted by painkillers, but after two hours Baker peered at me out of his swollen eyes, threw himself on the ground and laid there, unmoving. It was time to go. I sat in the mud with his head in my lap as the vet gave him the fatal injection, and I sat there for a long time afterwards, too. It was a last goodbye. A goodbye to a noble friend, to memories, to the best years of my own life. When I got up, I was a lot older.

Was it worth it? Unquestionably. Horses have no agenda. They serve our will, bear our burdens and soothe our souls. I poured out my grief and pain to that horse so many times while he looked at me out of his Devil eyes with an expression that said he understood every word. And I think he did. Somewhere, even now, Baker remembers what I whispered to him as he died.

"Be free," I said.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Looking for Books to Review!

Hello fellow readers and writers!
I just wanted to put a call out there if you are looking for someone to review your material, please do e-mail me @ Denisse.
We would be glad to review any Romance, Fantasy, Poetry works.

The Pen Review: The King's Daughter

Welcome to the next edition of The Pen Review! 

Our next book on the list to read would be that of Miriam Newman's The King's Daughter. Why should you read this? Well because I said so! :Grins: Just Kidding! Lovers of historical fantasy will be awed and amazed by Miriam's world building skills. Reading this I could experience every single emotion of the characters. The scene and dialogue were perfectly crafted so as not want to drop the book to do anything else. This enigmatic tale follows the saga of eighteen year old Princess Tarabenthia. Princess Tarabenthia is the favorite of her father, the King of Alcinia. All is going well for the inhabitants of Alcinia until Tarabenthia's mother's passing. Princess Tarabenthia's world is then thrust into becoming the next queen until there is invasion by Alcina's enemies, the Tumagis! What will happen to Tarabenthia? Who will she meet? What will be the fate of her kingdom? Well... you are going to have to pick up this book at DCL Publications' website to find out! 

If you'd like more information on Miriam, please visit her website: www.miriamnewman.comTo buy the book, please visit : DCL Publications

In honor of this fantasy I am using stars instead of pen ratings! 

Rating : 5 Stars!

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