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Friday, August 31, 2012

Romancing The Hop Blog Hop: I'm Fluffy & I know It (my romance tastes! What are yours?)

Hey beautiful people!

Once again, I am joining Carrie Ann’s hops; when I saw the topic for this one, I couldn’t resist! I mean, romance, in all it forms? How and where do I sign up ASAP?

I think lots of romance authors had the same reaction, because will you just look at the turnout for this blog hop? 200+ authors!!! And check out the prizes – that’s enough to send your mind reeling.


1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!
(US only for the swag pack)
 



But yeah, romance... I love romance, in any form. And yes, the fluffier, the better – I’m fluffy and I know it. *grin*

I started reading romance when, in an effort to get me to read the classics and big-name British authors, my father (to whom I credit my life-long love of reading and my love affair with words and writing) started a library membership for me and for the first few months afterwards, already told the librarian what to add to my card every week. These authors’ names were Jane Austen and Barbara Cartland. Yes, I know – my father made me read romance! I couldn’t have been older than 10 at the time... and thus, for the past 20 years, I have been gorging on romance books.

Over the years, I discovered there were tons more types of romance, not just genteel, historical types. And though the heroes were not the exact definition of Austen’s and Cartland’s gentlemen, they were all noble men with beautiful hearts. Action, adventure, humour, tours of the world through exotic locations and settings, fantasy worlds that totally blow away at your imagination – who knew there was all this hidden away behind those racy, make-me-blush covers that had Fabio on them?

And then I discovered chick-lit, and a whole new world of romance opened up to me. Here I was, a young and single gal, looking for love & Mr. Right... and I loved designer clothes and shoes and handbags and... you get my drift. At the same time, life was getting harder, and I needed an escape. Chick-lit, and light romance, became this escape for me.

To this day, I still love a good fluffy book – I’ll pick this over dangerous heroes and dashing doctors and far-flung worlds anytime. But anyhow, give me romance, and I’m set.

Try as I wish to emulate my favourite genre, I can never write light or humourous. I have thus resigned myself to committing by some deep themes and dark characterization... But someday, somehow, I will write my very own fluff... and scream to the world how I’m proud of having done it!

In the meantime, check out my unfortunately-not-fluffy romances:

TRANSIENT HEARTS: A Western Escape foodie romance, from Decadent Publishing, Coming Soon!

Wills, dreams, and desire clash and come together when two transient hearts meet in the town of Freewill, Wyoming. Indo-British chef Shayne Morea and prodigal son & New York Forex broker Grayson Warner discover they have much more in common than they thought... but both are in transit in this town. Can they both make Freewill their final port of call?

ONCE UPON A SECOND CHANCE: A 1NightStand story, Coming Soon!

Leila & Khalid Al-Nadir, an estranged Muslim couple, must come together and face the turbulent, dark, and devastating past that brought them together before it tore them apart. Could Madame Eve’s meddling work here, when she sets these two on a blind date?


ONCE UPON A STORMY NIGHT:  A 1NightStand story

Two people who live their lives as lonely ships in a tumultuous ocean are set for a collision course when Madame Eve pairs them together for a one-night date.  Lars Rutherford, a British shipping director, and Simmi Moyer, a Mauritian corporate lawyer, signed up for one night of pleasure with a stranger. But they end up finding much, much more than they expected. Can this spell the start of a brand-new future for each of them?




CALLING HOME (A Destiny’s Child Book)

Margo Nolan, a cold and rational forensic pathologist from London, slams right into a wall named Emotional Chaos when she lands custody of a tween girl. Completely at a loss as to how to deal with another human being, let alone a child, Margo feels the jaws of Hell close in on her. She is so not cut out to be a mother, or even a woman... But Jamie Gillespie, the sexy young doctor from next-door, has a different opinion. Can he convince Margo to take a chance on impulsive emotions, and on him?



WALKING THE EDGE (Corpus Brides: Book One)

Amelia Jamison wakes up after a car accident with amnesia, but the life she goes back to feels forced and unnatural. What secret is the man claiming to be her husband hiding? What secret does her buried memory hide? On a wild impulse, Amelia sets out for Marseille, where she is certain a man she remembers from her past will be able to fill in the blanks for her. But what she finds is more secrets, more danger, and desire so scorching she will be burnt before recovering her memory. Gerard Besson, the Marseille police commissaire, is the key to unlock her past... but will there be a chance for the two of them to have a future, once they discover who she really is?


BEFORE THE MORNING (Corpus Brides: Book Two)

For as long as she can remember, Rayne Cheltham has been in love with her childhood best friend, Ash Gilfoy. Her one dream was to marry him and bear his children. Yet, life didn’t turn out that way... and Rayne ended up becoming a ruthless assassin and efficient spy for a clandestine agency. But then she meets Ash again, and there’s a chance for them to have a future once more. Together again, married, in love, everything should be perfect... except that a spy cannot leave that life behind her so easily. And worse – Ash has no idea she used to be a killer. How will Rayne confess who she used to be, and how will Ash react? But worse of all – how does she keep them both alive in the cat and mouse game a rogue faction of her agency is playing with her?


What’s your romance confession? Are you fluffy like me? *grin*


Comment (with your email address! Or else we cannot enter you into the draw!) and you stand a chance to win a copy – your choice! – of one of my books listed above! You also enter the draw for the Grand Prizes this way.

Find the list of the 200+ authors taking part in this hop here! And special mention to Natalie G Owens, Jessica Subject, Sheri Fredricks, HC Brown, Dana Delamar, & Savannah Chase!

Thank you for coming over!

From Mauritius with love,


Zee

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Link Thursday: 4 Things Women Do That Men Will Never Understand

Hey beautiful people!

There's finally some brilliant sun accompanied by a dose of warmth here on the island! Not a cloud in the blue, blue sky, and no hint of rain or humidity! Whoo-hoo! This is making me giddy and I'm flitting around like a carefree butterfly... and in the process, the blokes here are looking at me as if I've just sprung up from a beaming light coming from a far away, unknown dimension...

I keep telling them - that's girls for you. This is who and how we are, but I suppose they're never gonna get it, poor souls.

And then I saw this article and thought it was perfect to illustrate my point!

As applicable to real-life ( just like my guys don't 'get' me, I'm sure yours don't, too) as it can apply to fiction and romance; some aspects of your heroine, well you poor hero is totally not gonna understand!

So here we go with this list. I grabbed the article from BettyConfidential, and you can view it online here.

And yeah - here they have to slug through Gossip Girl, not The Bachelorette. *grin* And I totally 'get' the pinning and 'stuff'...

Enjoy!

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4 Things Women Do That Men Will Never Understand
 
TV shows we obsess over, the joys of Pinterest, the need for chocolate...these are things that boggle a guy's mind.

Updated on July 15, 2012, 12:57 pm ET

Communication and understanding are crucial in relationships. However, some things just can't be explained...to a man. Here are the four things women do that men will just never understand.

1. Have PMS.

Lets break it down. EVERY month like clockwork certain things happen. And every month you're surprised. You can't understand what it's like to have your body and mind taken over by an overly emotional, starving devil woman with a sweet tooth, so just call me on the 15th of every month and don't worry, I'll let you know. I'm fairly certain many men think PMS is some mystical party trick we bust out when we're feeling especially feisty...or hungry. As shocking as many men might find this, women don't like the joy ride our hormones take us on once a month and we don't understand it that much either! We don't have any idea why we burst into tears when you said, “You look nice” or called you an a-hole when you brought us breakfast in bed (egg whites? are you trying to tell me something? I'm fat, right?), but what we do know is that it doesn't last forever. Pro tip: If a woman is PMS-EY (medical term) more often than she's not, it's not hormones. If it is just a once a month thing, be grateful! You dodged a bullet, bro! Now give us a snickers and a hug.

2. Watch The Bachelorette.

I wonder how many men in America are being forced to spend two hours every Monday night watching Emily say, “I'm so excited” and make-out with guy after guy. My boyfriend watches it every week, meaning that he sits next to me reading Lakers news, occasionally making fun of the guys on the show. ”Jef...with one 'F'?” He also asks such riveting questions as, “Do any of these people actually get married and stay together?” or “You do know this is totally scripted, right?” First of all, YES! Trista and Ryan got married on T.V...umm...oh and Jason and Molly. So that's something. As for it being scripted and fake, of course it is. Women know that. We just don't care. Here's the secret--we aren't watching it because we think it's real. Quite the opposite--it's such a departure from real life that we enjoy zoning out in front of the TV, watching a pretty lil’ thing with a great wardrobe stylist fall in “love” in exotic locations, laughing at the cat fights and taking bets on who won't get a rose. We do this all the while knowing that real, true love is messy-true love takes more than a few fantasy dates to develop, and we feel pretty grateful that the guy on the couch next to us doesn't have 19 other girlfriends.

3. Waste time on Pinterest

When a guy asks you what you're doing and you're all, “I'm PINNING!” Don't be surprised when he stares at you blankly. It's safe to say that Pinterest was developed for the ladies. We love stuff. Wanting stuff. Being inspired by stuff. Planning for stuff. Pretending we're going to bake stuff, which is usually some random combination of bacon, blueberries and bourbon. And Pinterest is place to organize all of this stuff...into boards of more stuff! In other words, it's a time waster of epic proportions that sometimes gives us ideas on what to wear, what to cook and what to stuff next into a mason jar. With an arsenal of Pinterest boards at our disposal, we feel equipped to tackle any crucial challenge life might throw our way, like perfecting the fishtail braid or painting plaid onto our nails.

4. Say they have nothing to wear while standing in front of a closet full of clothes.

First of all, most of the time women don't mean this literally. Pointing out that there are tons of clothes hanging right in front of her is only going to get you yelled at. It doesn't matter if her walk in closet is bigger than a department store, when she feels like she has nothing to wear, is trying on every outfit she owns and is near tears, what she's really saying is, “I feel ugly in everything today.” Maybe it's PMS (see #1), or maybe it's just an off day. Instead of retreating to your man cave, help the girl out. If possible, find her yoga pants immediately! Or if she has to leave the house, scavenge for her softest, stretchiest, oldest pair of jeans and a black v-neck tee. Even dressier? The black dress that hugs her in all the right places. Then look her in the eyes and tell her she looks beautiful.

Tell us: what are some things men do that you'll never understand?

Elizabeth Marie is the social media manager for We Love Dates, a worldwide online dating site and maintains their popular We Love Dates blog. Keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter!

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From Mauritius with love,

Zee