Sunday, February 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Calling Home Snippet #10

Hey beautiful people!

Leaving tropical Mauritius to go back to the late-winter cold garden of the Surrey mansion today - SSS snippets reverting to Calling Home, my sweet romance that, in the words of my editor, is an "old-fashioned romantic tale that nevertheless lacks none of modern reality and grittiness."

Remember here - Margo Nolan (uptight forensic pathologist who's just landed custody of a tween); Emma Milburn (said tween with an attitude, and almost-fanatical love for soccer); and of course, Jamie Gillespie (hunky young doctor who lives in the front half of the Victorian mansion).

Margo's feeling irrational attraction for the handsome Jamie... who has the hots for Margo too, but mistakenly believes she's a lesbian. However, in Margo's perception, things are definitely heating up, and she's about to fall, hard...


'...
He peeled his sinewy, muscled body from the pillar and approached her. "You want the house; admit it."

His voice came out low, like a breeze of warm air on her temple—he stood completely in her private space, something she hated, and didn't tolerate, usually, so why did she want him to bridge the gap and mould himself to her?

She plunged her teeth against her lower lip, needing the pain to jar her back to reality as she hovered in the trance-like, magical moment that bound her to himsuch moments never happened to her.

What did that bloke want after all—earlier, he behaved as if it was a pain to be around her; at the moment, the way he drew close and lowered his head to her, she felt his breath whisper in her hair that he wanted to be even nearer.

Did he know that she turned to putty when a man played with her hair, when he raked the tips of his fingers in a shivery caress over her scalp? ...'


Don't forget to check the amazing contributors' sixes from the SSS list this week.

Big huge thanks to all my visitors, and double thanks if you leave a comment. I've been remiss in visiting blogs these past Sundays, but will remedy that today and pay ye all who comment here regularly a visit.

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, February 24, 2012

Progress Friday

Hey beautiful people!

Today's an absolutely fantastic & gorgeous day! The reason I'm in such high spirits - no, not TGIF, but here's what's happened:

A little while ago, Decadent Publishing sent out a call for submissions, urging in-house authors (and even authors not yet with them!) to consider writing some stories for some specific lines there. One of them is Western Escape - a multi-author, small-town community line of stories with a Western theme, set in fictional Freewill, Wyoming. Stories in this line can be set in contemporary Freewill, or in the historial, 1880s Freewill (and you can even time-travel between the eras! How cool is that?)

Anyhow, because this one uses a common setting and community, the editors require that any author considering writing for this line submit a proposal with blurb and detailed synopsis (GMC, plot, conflict, resolution) and if this gets approved, then the author starts writing the story, submits it, and the editors decide if they'll take it or not.

Now, ever since I saw this call for submissions go up (and, again, poked and prodded by some of the peeps over at Decadent!), I've been toying with the idea of a story set in Freewill. Indian-origin heroine who has ties to Mauritius; multicultural setup akin to my upcoming 1NS over there... On an insane impulse, I put a proposal together last weekend and sent it off...

And got the reply today - the editors want to see the finished ms. This in no way implies they'll take the story, but to me, it's one foot in the door anyhow, and I'm over the moon!

Those of you who have been following my career or who know me from my writing debut about 6 years ago know that my preferred theme/idea to write about is heroines who have the same cultural background as I do (and let's make a point here - culture and religion are not the same thing, in case anyone wants to point out and/or ask why I write about Indian culture when I'm a Muslim woman!).

Shania, the heroine in this story, is British with parents who hail from Mauritius. Grayson, the hero, is from Freewill, though he moved to Boston and then New York.
When the story starts, both find themselves in Freewill, and... *wicked grin* I'll make you wait a little before I unveil what happens then (though of course we all know these two will fall in love - it is a romance, after all!)

The title for this one is Transient Hearts. Look to the meter on the right to catch my progress on the WIP every week during March now.

Other good note of the week - I've been poked and prodded (yes, here too!) to showcase the cover art work I've been doing so far. So check the aka Cover Designer page on the blog - it features a slideshow of the covers I've done. I'll be adding to it as I go along.

So that's how I go into the weekend - on a high, and on the need to work out the story's plot in minute detail so I can outline the story to give me a working flow draft.

What have you got planned for the weekend? Good things, I hope :)

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Link Thursday: What Makes Men Irresistible?

Hey peeps!

I'll try to keep this one short & to the point (ha! *ironic snort*) because we've had massive thunderstorms here earlier, and as I've learned now, that (and everything else, it seems!) plays havoc with my Internet connection. So let's hope this one will last long enough for me to post this.

So, was browsing through the available links to post, when I stumbled upon this one. Recently, a good friend and I were discussing what it takes to make you swoon over a hero, that perfect, special little something...

The article echoes this question. Read on for 10 things that make a man irresistible...

I got this one from Cosmopolitan Australia, and you can find it online in the original slideshow here. The article says 10 things, but No. 4 is mysteriously absent from the slideshow...

****

What makes men irresistible

Okay, so obviously a man with a body like Daniel Craig (hello, chiselled abs and perfect biceps) is going to catch a woman’s attention – we’re only human! But it’s not just all about looks. We’re paying homage to the ten traits that are guaranteed to make a man irresistible to women.

1. Sexy body language. All men have something physical that they do – without realising – that turns women on. For some it’s a wink, for others it’s a hand through the hair, and for Chuck Bass it’s simply stating “I’m Chuck Bass”. Whatever it is, it’s suave, cheeky, and smoking hot.

2. He’s chilled. We women tend to get a bit over-excited about certain things, and while we can be a tad neurotic and frenzied, irresistible men seem to simply radiate calm and a can-do attitude. A steady gaze and cool written all over his face makes his sex appeal shoot through the roof.

3. He looks after himself. Sexiness doesn’t come down to a certain height, build, or dress code (although board shorts with skate shoes should never be worn over the age of 13). But the bottom line is if he keeps his body in okay shape, he obviously knows how to take care of himself and sets health as a priority. This indicates he’s more likely to take care of you, too. That’s a turn-on.

5. He has a manly scent. Research has shown that our DNA compatibility dictates who smells good to us – and with good cologne that can be anyone! It sounds animalistic and primal, but a guy with a hot, strong scent has the potential to drive a woman wild.

6. He shows affection. An arm around our shoulders, a hand on the leg, a kiss on the back of the neck…not only does this double as affectionate, but little signals like this can also turn us women on in a big way.

7. He laughs. A lot. No news flash here. Look in any dating column or website and you’ll notice the number one trait people are looking for is a sense of humour. Comedy is highly enticing. It's worth noting though that there are different types of humour. The insecure comedy that's based on putting others down or calling them names doesn't impress us. But give us fun-loving jokes and laughter and that man will head straight to the top of the sexiness charts.

8. He does things you can’t. Now, we’re all for equality, don’t get us wrong. But a dead cockroach in the bathroom? Hell no, sister. While we tend to hate having to rely on anyone but ourselves, sometimes it's just easier to ask him to take care of it. Carrying heavy objects up the stairs, hanging pictures, and killing large creepy crawlies are all part of his irresistible appeal.

9. Protectiveness. Nothing is more attractive than when a man walks on the outside nearest to the traffic, extends a hand to help us up a steep incline, or worry that the guy at the checkout was quite literally, checking you out. Even if us women can protect ourselves, it’s nice to be taken care of – and a protective man is most definitely irresistible. Why do you think James Bond has nabbed so many women over his time?

10. He’s passionate. About you, about global issues, about puppies and kittens, or all of those things combined. Whatever it may be, a man who is passionate is completely desirable.

***

I'm curious to know - what do you think makes a man irresistible?

Personally, a man who respects women and treats them right, with consideration and care, wins big into my good books.

What about you? Drop me a comment and let us know.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Meet the hero from "Once Upon A Stormy Night"

Hey peeps

Hope you're having a lovely weekend! No cyclone this week, thank goodness :) Nice weather actually, back to being in the top 30degreesC or around where I live (coldest spot on the island), with hits of 35degreesC on the coasts and in the capital city.

Anyhow, I planned to go back to the regular SSS snippet this week, to Calling Home, but a few people who've read last week's excerpt from my 1NS have asked me to share some more about it. I still don't have a cover or a release date for this, but here's another peek.

This week, I introduce you to the hero, Lars Rutherford. He's a half-Swedish, half-British expatriate living in Mauritius, and his office is located in the posh wharf buildings of Caudan Waterfront, a former docklands on the harbour in our capital, Port Louis, that has been turned into a shopping village. Yes, that's the pic above - Lars' office is in the tall storeyed building at the top-right.


'...
Lars took in a deep, salt-filled breath as he emerged on the marina, near the cinemas and the colonial stone edifice of the Blue Penny Museum at the back of the waterfront. He spotted his thirty-nine-foot-long, Athena 38 catamaran at the far end of the dock. With a glance at the sky, he saw the weather was good, with a mild breeze, and no clouds. The perfect time to take the boat out, before the cyclone season kicked in with full force in December, only a few weeks away.

But even the satisfaction of a trip on the clear blue seas of the Mauritian lagoon failed to lift him up, and unbidden, his thoughts went back to Magnus' words.

Bloody hell—he needed a shag, and if one came along without the probability his one-night partner would drag him down the aisle, he'd take it. ...'


Here's a few more pics to give you a better visual of the waterfront:

The Marina - Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel on the left; cinemas in the middle; Blue Penny Museum to the right. Barkly Wharf is right behind the Blue Penny Museum - that's where Lars' office is located.

Lanes of the shopping village
Inside the mall


Don't forget to check out the other SSS participants this week! And big huge thanks to everyone who's come over and double thanks if you've left me a comment :)

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, February 17, 2012

Progress Friday

Hey peeps

Apologies for not posting yesterday - my Internet went off in the afternoon, came back for 2 minutes, then went berserk again for another 5 minutes, to settle down for 1.5 minutes, then go all crazy again! I actually gave up, and did nothing except some reading and writing offline (in a way, had I not been forced offline, would I even have tackled those jobs...? Biiiig questions...).

Anyhow, I was at the bank this morning and having to fill in the deposit slip, whereby I have to put in today's date... Was flabbergasted to realize we're already into the second half of February!!! I have absolutely no clue where this year is going. One minute it was 2011 and I blinked *poof* we're in the middle of February!

And all I seem to be doing is asking myself tons of questions. What's next? What to do? Where to focus more? How to organize it all? Who/what deserves most of my time and dedication right now? All of these have been roiling inside my head, and I gotta admit, when you're thinking every step through to the nth degree and second-guessing all your moves before you even lift a foot forward, you're not exactly in a creative mood where the words just flow off your keyboard and onto the screen.

Still, being forced to 'work' yesterday when the connection went off, I have made some teeny progress. The counter for Against The Odds moves by a little under 500 words (pathetic, I know. But it's 478 words more than 0, know what I mean? I'll bask in that!). Plus I've dusted off an old short story and I think this one might just be getting a new lease of life with one of my publishers. Not to mention a special call for submissions story I'm putting together as a proposal this weekend, and which will go to the concerned parties next week...

All in all, there is progress, but I wish it were more concrete, as in, more words to show what I've done. When all your work's in your head, you're hard pressed to show your labour, innit?

Looking forward to a productive weekend catching up on email and promo stuff, all while I work on the above-mentioned proposal, the short, and a special project I'm getting to make with a friend (this one's hush-hush for now, but I'll let you know the minute I can *grin*)

Have a lovely weekend, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday: About Fashion...

Hey beautiful people!

My guest today has had to reschedule, so I find myself with a free slot. Haven't had a free Tuesday for a while on the blog, so not really a chance to share with you those little tidbits I liked posting here for ye all.

But today, we have one such opportunity, and this is what I wanted to share with you. I guess you know by now that when I research my characters, I also put a lot in research into their clothing and accessories (well, duh! you'll be going. That's expected to characterization, innit? You'd be surprised how many skip this step... Anyhow...). So one of my favourite ever houses is Burberry Prorsum. I absolutely love their elegant, classy look. The clothes are modern, often flirty, but there's always, always, a certain British refinement and class to them that keeps them from going over the top. Plus their finish is exquisite (believe me - I've studied textiles and dressmaking at school and that kind of effortless class and refined look is very, very hard to achieve!).

Now we all know Burberry stands for British style pretty much... which also means, British pounds... I could never afford these clothes *bwahahaha!* so I make do with the next best thing - I dress my characters in those clothes. :)

So here I found the clip of the Burberry Prorsum spring/summer 2012 womenswear collection. I watched this when it originally aired in September 2011 on FashionTV, and I was blown away.

Check it out!



From Mauritius with love,

Z

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - "Once Upon A Stormy Night" First Glimpse

Hey beautiful people!

Hope you're all doing okay wherever in the world you are. We're under the influence of a rather strong tropical cyclone this weekend; went on cyclone warning Class 3 since yesterday (no one allowed to go out, definitive curfew at night, have to pull down antennas & satellite dishes, etc). 3 is one step short of 4, which would be Red, aka total destruction.

So I hope that
a) I get to post today, and
b) I get to still have power & Internet later today to visit your blogs.

Anyhow, this also got me thinking... Guess you peeps who regularly visit know I recently contracted a short story in the 1NightStand line at Decadent Publishing. The title is Once Upon A Stormy Night, and the one-night-stand encounter that Madame Eve sets up for the hero, Lars Rutherford, and the heroine, Simmi Moyer, takes place on the same day a cyclone warning goes up on the island.

What better way to highlight this Sunday than with an excerpt - and the very first glimpse I'm offering of this story! - via SSS?

Please note I don't yet have the cover for this one, and the snippet to follow also hasn't been through edits yet, so please bear with me.


'...
As she stepped out of the thatched-roof reception area of the Mauritian branch of Castillo Resorts and Hotels, located on the rugged southern coast of the island, a gust of wind propelled her toward the golf cart that would take her to the villa. The one Madame Eve had told her to go to, in the email she sent with the details, stood at the far end of the property, and overlooked the craggy, stony cliffs of the south coast across the eighteenth hole of the golf green. Secluded and private—exactly what one expected for a one-night tryst.

Around her, the wind picked up, and a few leaves hit her arm—had she been nuts to come? There was a cyclone warning class one over the island; mild in the big scheme of things, but which did imply a storm in the area, and the possibility the weather would get worse. But who did she contact to cancel the date? ...'


And yes, that pic above is of the south coast of Mauritius - all dark rocks and strong waves in a savage display of Nature's beauty.

Don't forget to check out the other SSS regular cast here; and big huge thanks to everyone who comes over & comments! You're all priceless!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, February 10, 2012

Progress Friday

Hey beautiful people

Okay - get your wet noodles ready; I deserve the thrashing I'm about to get... for, you see, I don't have much progress to show on the WIP.

Worse - I switched WIPs...

I did get some brush-off-the-dust moments on Against The Odds, my romantic comedy that revolves around the heroine's breast cancer diagnosis; however, no new words added to it.

That being said, I do have my priorities sorted - my focus isn't more on producing completed works now, but ensuring that the world out there knows I have books out & coming out this year (aka Marketing & Promotion!). And like I always maintain - no one wants to be nice to a cow... so the first rule of marketing & promo? Don't behave like a cow!

Which implies slowly but surely building relationships & friendships with people, esp readers (as fellow Noble Romance author, the best-selling Margie Church, has told me). So I've been a little bit more involved on Goodreads this week. Dunno the results of this effort, or if it's even borne fruit... but I can tell you I am enjoying meeting readers from all walks of life and discovering new people and their likes & dislikes.

In another way, I am once again learning how to juggle and adjust my routine - next week, I should have it smoothed out, whereby I can get some 'real' writing done too. Got a few freelance projects to settle this weekend, but next week, I hope to get back on the ball.

What are ye all up to this weekend?

Hope you have a nice Friday/Saturday/Sunday!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Link Thursday: 44 Best Places To Meet Eligible Men...or Where To Find Your Next Hero

Hey peeps

How many of you know of couple/s who have met when one rear-ended the other's car, or they were were both involved in a car accident?

Not many, right?

But make your Hero/heroine meet this way in a romance, and you're writing up a cliche!

As romance authors, we are constantly prompted and prodded to make our main protagonists meet in unusual/original ways.

So where on earth do you find eligible men???

My single friends ask the same thing, and though us-married-for-ages-half-of-a-couple tell them "it'll happen when you least expect it," that's not exactly what those girls want to hear.

With both these issues in mind - for the romance writer and for the single gal - here's a link to an article that highlights 44 places you can meet eligible men today.

The article is from All Women Stalk and is written by Mercy.

Enjoy!

*****

44 Best Places To Meet Eligible Men

Places to Meet Eligible Men become more and more scarce these days. Heck, even eligible men as they are have become a rare species. And what do we single ladies do about this? Well, my guess is it can go 2 ways – either we sit and wait for the good men to sweep us off our feet or we simply take the first step toward our destiny and check out the best places to meet eligible men to see if our future boyfriends or husbands might be there? Well, if you are like me and you are choosing the second option, let’s get ready for some action and take a quick look at this fabulous list of 44 Best Places to Meet Eligible Men!



1. The bar

This may be one of the oldest ways to meet a man, but it still works. Free flowing beer makes it easier to approach your target! However, if ‘commitment’ is on your mind, then look elsewhere!

2. The market

Whether it’s the shopping mall or the supermarket these places are loaded up with good looking folks. Chances are you’ll find someone who lives in your neighbor and likes coffee the way you do. A bookstore is another place to meet someone with similar tastes – at least in literature!

3. Online

This is the latest method of meeting single men. There are several online dating sites where you can check out profiles and photographs. The best one I’ve heard of is PlentyofFish.com, because all the services there are free. But there are others like Match.com, Chemistry.com (Limited time offer – 7 Day Free Trial) or Perfectmatch.com that too seem to be pretty good, although you’ll have to spend some money on membership. Online dating became a relatively safe method as you can get to know your date before you go out with him.

4. Church

Church is a good place to meet men who share the same faith and moral grounding. If you’re a single mom, this may be a good place to find serious men who are looking for a life partner rather than a night out on the town.

5. The water cooler

If you can get past the gossip, the office is a place where romance can be sparked. Being in such close proximity with colleagues can lead to an office romance. Finding someone of the same intellectual level may be easier at the workplace than at the bar!

6. Newspapers

Check out the newspapers for announcements regarding neighborhood picnics, square dances, tours and special events. These are great places to meet new people, especially single men! Go ahead strike up a conversation. You might end up meeting your spouse.

7. College …

If you’re taking some classes at the local college this could be an opportunity to meet eligible men. There are seminars and short courses that you can participate in. Not only can you get an education but you can find that perfect someone perhaps sitting right next to you.


8. Friends

Get your friends to help if you’re serious about finding a man. Attend parties where there is a good mix of singles. Be friendly, outgoing and be seen! You can even throw a party yourself and tell friends to bring their friends along.

9. Gym

While you exercise your muscles you can exercise your heart as well. The gym is a great place to meet single men, specially the hot men! You’ll know in advance that they value their health and you know what to expect when thir expensive suit comes off, so that’s a good starting point!

10. Favorite diner or restaurant

Notice the guy who’s having dinner by himself at the far corner table? Well, what you waiting for? Get a waiter to introduce you or do it yourself. Either way, make a move.

11. Work

Either in your office or in the accounting on the 19th floor there must be that cute, nice, good-looking guy who makes your heart tick. Figure out where exactly he works, what’s his name, if he’s available, and let the flirting beging! Who knows, maybe the guy in the next cubicle is the one you were looking for all this time!

12. Vacation

I know they say that relationships that started on vacation never last, but that was way back in the 20th century! Now that air fares are getting lower and lower and Internet live video chats is the most common thing out there – why not to give a great man you met on a vacation a chance? Who knows, maybe in a couple of months you’ll decide you want to live together?

13. Parks

When I say parks I mean day time, safe places downtown, where people go to get some fresh air during lunch break, after work or on weekends. For your own safety, please don’t stay there after dark. But during the day, you’ll be surprised at how many young good looking men spend an hour or so sitting on a bench reading, working on their laptops or just watching other people. Just sit next to the one you like the most and if he is in the mood for conversation, you’ll know it!

14. Airplane

These days we spend a good couple of hours every month flying here and there. Next time you have a flight, look out for cute guys who might too be flying the same plane. And who knows, maybe your seat will be next to his!

15. House Party

Any party is always a fun way to meet people but with a house party, everything is so much more in your control and it’s comforting to know that common friends are involved. So throw a fun little party, invite all your friends and tell them to invite their friends (preferably single). You never know who you may end up meeting and if nothing, at least they’ll be grateful for the awesome party!

16. Acting workshop

If you’re not shy and love an audience, why not join an acting class. You will meet tons of taleneted, fun, outgoing men and you’ll have a ready excuse to flirt with them. What? You’re only playing your part! Besides, you’ll figure out quite early on who you do and do not share chemistry with and the rest will be history.

17. Art exhibits

They say that without art, the earth is just “eh”. Sorry I read that somewhere today and had to share. Back to the point, art exhibits are one of the best places to meet eligible men. Whether you are an art lover or not, an exhibit will give you an opportunity and an excuse to chat with different men, get to know them, perhaps flirt a little and if the chemistry is just right, maybe you could take the party elsewhere.

18. Book Club

If you love reading, one of the best ways to meet like-minded men is through a book club. Think about it. You read, you share opinions, you find similarities, you hit it off, you fall in love…Okay, I’ll stop.

19. Blood drive

This one is definitely not for the squeamish! If you watch The Office, you’ve probably seen the episode where Michael runs into this pretty woman while donating blood and hits it off instantly. That could be you. Strike up a conversation with someone who’s next to you or if you see a cutie by the snack table, ask him what he recommends for strength building.Who knows, you may end up deciding that dinner is the best option. And even if you don’t end up meeting someone, you’ve at least helped save a life.

20. Rock Climbing Center

If you’re adventurous, a rock climbing center is one of the best places to meet eligible men. According to a study, nearly two-thirds of wall climbers are male so imagine your chances of meeting someone wonderful and exciting. Plus rock climbing is fun with lots of scope for “accidental” touching and flirting and such. Ah I’m just a pervert sometimes.

21. Wine/Scotch Tasting

If a bar is much too loud and chaotic for your liking, how about going to a wine/scotch tasting event? It’s a lot calmer, quieter and not to mention, sober. Whether you actually know your wines or feign innocence, you are bound to meet an eligible bachelor or two. Besides, it gives you plenty of time to “work the room” and figure out your options.

22. Running Club

A friend actually met his current girlfriend through a running club so if you’re into outdoor sports, find a local running club, put on your shoes and get out there! Men in running shorts are so cute and if nothing else, at least you’ll get back in shape.

23. Community Service

Giving back to the community is always a great thing and who knows, your karma might actually earn you an eligible man. There are plenty of places where you can volunteer so take your pick and give away. At the end of the day, you know you’re going to meet someone who cares…

24. Weddings

I know that the common belief is that all single men at weddings just want to get laid but I beg to differ. Some of them are perfectly charming, pre-bride approved gentlemen that are out there looking for eligible women. You just need to give them a chance. Just don’t get too drunk and you’ll see what I mean.

25. Dance class

I know you’re probably wondering why dance classes are on the list of best places to meet eligible men since they usually have more women than men but it’s definitely worth a shot considering you will be forced to physically interact with potential hotties. If you feel the chemistry and if the small talk is intriguing enough, hang back, get to know him better and see where it goes…

26. Laundromats

The only thing that makes the idea of laundry bearable is the possibility of meeting a cute guy and if you run into someone who fits that description, do not hesitate tochat him up. What could it hurt right?

27. Jury Duty

It may sound boring but think about this. Other bored, possibly wonderful eligible men could be out there and they have nothing to do but chat you up. Sound good? So yep, don’t ignore your civic duty the next time you receive a summons in the mail.

28. Ski Resorts

You might probably need to wait till winter for this one, but hey, it’s great to have a B plan if you will be looking for a hot date to take to all the Holiday parties. Knowing how to ski is not necessary, you can try and learn, but if you just go to the resort to relax or have fun with your friends, you’ll be surprised at the dozens of sporty good looking eligible men having a hot drink in the bar after an exhausting day of skiing. And is there a more romantic place to find the man of your dreams than under the stars in the middle of snow covered mountains?

29. Reality Shows

If all else fails and I mean ALL else, reality shows like the Bachelorette seem like a fun way to meet a lot of men who want to make you the center of their attention. I mean, who wouldn’t want that! Oh wait, this is about eligible men… I need to cut down on T.V.

30. In the Navy

One of the best places to meet eligible men is, unquestionably, the Navy. Even if you don’t want to make the commitment of joining the Navy, you can make yourself available during shore leaves and Fleet Weeks. These men are brave, handsome, and generally dying to get away from all those boys!

31. Walking the dog

Most guys love dogs, so when you’re walking your pooch, you’ve got a great opportunity to meet one. Big dogs like Labradors and Retrievers are always a great draw, but if you have a little dog, don’t worry. Many men have a secret love for the little dogs as well. If you’re friendly and make eye contact (and if your dog doesn’t try to mark his territory in an awkward spot), you should be golden!

32. The hardware store

You’ll be surprised at what a great place it is to meet men. First of all, almost all the clients are men and so are the sales assistants. And being a woman, you’ll find it natural to ask for help that cute stranger who will gladly explain you the difference between this and that tool. Who knows, he might ask you out for coffee to continue the conversation…

33. The tech store

Tech stores are men magnets. I do not know a single guy who would pass on the opportunity to come and take a look at some new weird plasma TV or sound system or whatever it is he’s read about on his favorite tech blog. So take it from me, most customers in tech stores are also men, and many of them are very good looking. Now, you’ll surely see a couple of married guys (of course), but you’ll be surprised at the number of single guys browsing these stores. Give this one of the best places to meet eligible men a try and you won’t regret it.

34. Museums

Now, I know this might sound a little cliche, but what’s the best way to meet someone, when you are visiting a new city than going to a local museum. There are hundreds of single men who, just like you, want to check the museums off their lists when they travel to a new city and believe me, they’ll be happy to have a conversation with a cute girl, especially when there are so many conversational pieces around. Museums are also fantastic for meeting artsy guys and foreigners, so if you are feeling adventures, this is the place to meet eligible men.

35. The bowling alley

I know you probably think, how old the guys in the bowling alley would be? 60? 70? But don’t be so quick, I have personally seen a couple of times guys coming in in groups for a little game. And may I say, some of them were very cute.

36. The golf course

Ditto on this one, although golfing can be quite a bit more boring than bowling. The difference is, the course isn’t so loud and crowded either, and you can really get a chance to talk to a guy. If he looks really into the game, let it pass, but if he’s with some friends and they’re chatting together as much as golfing, go for it!

37. Casinos

Although loud, casinos can also be great places to meet eligible men. You don’t want to talk to a guy when he’s right in the middle of a heavy game or anything, but if you’re both playing Blackjack, if you’re sitting at the slots, or one of you is throwing dice, then you can start a conversation. It’ll be casual, but that can lead to other things.

38. Concerts

Concerts are a fantastic place to meet eligible men, especially if it’s your favorite performer. You will instantly have an interest in common and when you are a fan of something it’s so easy to bond with the other person. The connection sparks instantly, so try this place to meet eligible men and see who you meet!

39. At a club

Now, many guys just go to clubs to hook up. A lot of them aren’t necessarily looking for someone to date. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and that is the only reason nightclubs made it onto the list. You have to have an eagle eye, but if you spot this guy, you’ll be glad. He likes to dance and hang out and have a good time, but he isn’t the boy who’s only into ranking up as many one night stands as possible.

40. The beach

The beach is not just a great place to meet eligible men, it’s a fantastic place! See, guys who go to the beach generally fall into three different categories. They go alone, and depending on what you see them doing, that probably means they’re single (so if you can think up an approach, do it!). They go with a group of guy friends, and again, you can typically tell by their behavior if they’re single. Or, they go with their wives or girlfriends. If you see a guy spreading lotion on someone else, just play it safe and scratch him off your list!

41. At a cigar bar

I don’t know many girls who like cigar bars, but I know plenty of guys who do! Sure, you’re going to be entering forbidden territory, but it might well be worth it. These places have tons of eligible guys, and the kicker is, most of them think any girl in a cigar bar is automatically cool!

42. A sushi bar

Surprisingly, more and more men start loving sushi. And nowadays, when you pop into a nice such restaurant you see more men and women. Some of them are having business dinner, others are meeting with a friend, but there are those, sitting at the bar, having dinner after work on their own – and those are you could easily sit next to and perhaps strike a conversation if you feel like it. Or he’ll be the first to talk, guys are usually like that – they catch your eye and they just start talking to you.

43. The bookstore

Meeting men at a bookstore is just tops, especially if you’re a big reader. You know he shares your interests, you automatically have plenty to talk about, and since most bookstores provide little chairs and comfy couches, you already have a cozy spot to get to know one another. What could be better?

44. A networking event

A networking event can be dull as hell or it can be fun and interesting. To make sure it’s the latter, take a friend of yours from work with you, make sure your hair’s done and you are dressed nicely and you’ll definitely turn a few heads. A lovely place to meet eligible men, if you ask me!

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Calling Home Snippet #9

Hey beautiful people!

It's another bright Sunday here in Mauritius. Still hot as the depths of hell, and there's nothing more you wanna do that plop down in front of an open terrace door/window, and with a blowing fan to your side, an ice-cold mocktail in your hand (preference lately = virgin mojito *grin*) and a good read...

...which today means *yippee!* Six Sentence Sunday snippets!

Okay, I am back in the yard of the Camberry Victorian mansion (and before you start to wonder how much stuff can actually happen on an estate's yard, let me just tell you a whole chapter takes place here! There, we have that out of the way *grin*).

So, Jamie is pining for Margo... whom he thinks bats for the other team, thanks to Emma's long-winded explanation. Ice Queen Margo is also feeling something for the hunky Jamie - she who never feels anything but cold professionalism and swift competence.

But is she finally coming undone? And what of the misunderstanding between them? Will it ever be resolved... before it's too late, for both of them?


'...
A hot flush crept up her face and burned her cheeks when she found herself wanting to touch the fabric, eager to know if the flannel was as soft as the lamb's wool shirt of the night before.

Damn hormones - thirty-six was too young for peri-menopause, wasn't it?

"Is something wrong?"

His voice sounded thick, strained - come to think of it, the expression on his face echoed his tone; he didn't look aloof as much as he resembled a man careful to shield his feelings.

He hadn't looked at her that way the day before, as if he was hesitant about her; she read his body language all too well, since he echoed every other witness, and the people in victims' entourages, she encountered on criminal cases. 

"Emma was with you?" she asked, hoping to break the stilted, tension-filled silence between them. ...'

Catch some more awesome SSS snippets from the list - Siobhan Muir, DeAnna Felthauser, Jessica E. Subject, Tory Michaels, Sue K., Sarah Ballance, Angela Quarles, JM Blackman, Sherry Gloag, Rebecca Royce, Cera duBois, Cherie Marks... and the rest of the posse this week :)

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, February 03, 2012

Progress Friday

Hey peeps

Where did this week go???? I seriously have no clue! One minute I was looking at the calendar and it was Monday; suddenly it's Friday? Already? You gotta be kidding me!

And fortunately for me, I am in a position today, despite the super-fast, extra-speedy week, to say that I've gotten some work done writing-wise.

Remember I was telling you (last week I think, it was?) that I was revamping an old ms in the hopes of possibly shopping it around later? Well, I've taken a long, good look at said ms... and come to the conclusion that it's going to take a lot of work. A full rewrite-from-scratch even, because the way it's written atm, it's 'me' but it's a sort of BMI-of-15-super-anorexic-borderline-corpse 'me' with regards to how much my writing has grown since I wrote that one. Full rewrite of a single-title novel = 2-3 months' work, at least, and that too when life isn't butting in (when ever does my life not butt into my writing?)

Also, considering I have 2 series out and there are more books planned for each... Can I really afford to give 2-3 months of vital/strategic writing time to a project that is more like a fun/hobby deal, when there are more 'important' stories to be written? Not exactly, right?

So today, with that knowledge and upon that decision, I went back to the current WIP. If you're in my social networks, you'll see I had my updates along the lines of "something old; something new; something true; and something blue" (we don 't have "something borrowed" in there because I'm talking about writing, and you don't "borrow" in writing - that's called plagiarism!).

Every word of that update pertain to me going back to Glory Days, the next book in the Destiny's Child series.
Old = tweaking the already written;
new = adding words;
true = the vision to myself and to my readers;
blue = the bittersweet undertone in this story, about former teenage lovers who have to reunite nineteen years later upon the revelation that they had a secret child who has today died and left them a baby to bring up together.

I started this story last year, around March, and the title came to me as the perfect definition of the time the hero, Stellan, and the heroine, Kelsey, spent together.
Imagine my surprise then when this year, I hear Adele's song, "Someone Like You", and those lyrics:

"...You know how the time flies,
 Only yesterday was the time of our lives,
 We were born and raised,
 In a summer haze,
 Bound by the surprise of our glory days ..."



Stellan and Kelsey meet over a fateful summer, both miles away from their homes, their romance and the surprise of their Glory Days cocooning them in a bubble... that bursts when Kelsey leaves one morning and no one knows where she went.

So I'm back on this WIP now. Should have a progress report for you next Friday (if I don't, please feel free to line up to take your turns with the wet noodle whip... *grin*)

And now I'm looking forward to the weekend with my mind working overtime on the story, while I wait for my quiet days to roll back next week and I get back to writing.

Have a lovely weekend, ye all!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Link Thursday: 10 Ways To Feel Good Every Day

Hey peeps

I usually post articles that might help you with characterization and 'realism' in your writing, but today I wanna do something different, and post something for YOU! Yes, it needs to be in all caps *grin* because, let's face it - if you're not feeling good, your writing's not gonna be much good (unless you're one of those tortured authors who pounds away at the keys when in the dregs of misery!).

So here comes this article I accessed a few days ago. A lot of the tips are really easy to follow, and some can be simplified further. I'll tell you my own twists on them at the end of the post :)

Read on for effective little ways to change your day, every day! The article is from MSN Living, Inspired section, and can be viewed online in its original slideshow here

*****

10 Ways to Feel Good Every Day

Easy tips and tricks to feel great all the time.

1. Exercise Less (But More Intensely)

Don't have a full hour to spend at the gym? Don't sweat it. "A short, high-intensity workout is easy to stick with and just as beneficial," says Lisa Wheeler of Equinox gyms. Instead of a 40-minute run, do intervals: Jog 2 minutes and sprint 1 minute, for a total of 20 minutes.

2. Go On a No-Deprivation Diet

"Food has a huge impact on your mood," says nutritionist Keri Glassman, "so when certain treats are off limits, it's like an awful, unending downer diet." Can you eat five cupcakes a day? No. But if you are craving a cookie, allow yourself one and really enjoy it.

3. Surround Yourself with Flowers

Brush up on your flower-arranging skills because there's a very compelling reason to have beautiful blooms around at all times: In a study by Nancy Etcoff of Harvard Medical School, 27 women were sent colorful stems; another group received home d├ęcor items. Within a week, Etcoff found that the flower group reported feeling more enthusiastic about their daily activities.

4. Drink Up

It's simple enough: Dehydration makes you feel lethargic, and water restores energy. Two 8-ounce glasses of water are a good antidote for morning drag.

5. Eat Algae

For a quick boost of your B's--the vitamins that help metabolize carbohydrates and give instant energy--take a swig of E3 Live (e3live.com). The liquid supplement is made from fresh-frozen algae (and, no surprise here, it tastes a little like the ocean, so have a chaser at the ready).

6. Pick a Smarter Sweet

Sometimes, having a candy bar seems like the best way to make it through the day, but that sugar will make you feel better for only about 30 minutes--and then way worse. Instead, choose Sweet Riot cacao nibs (sweetriot.com), which taste just as good but have half the calories and less sugar, so you don't crash later.

7. Take a Walk Before Lunch

Even if it's just a quick stroll around the block, here's why you should head outdoors: "Around 1 P.M. there's a natural lull in your circadian rhythm that signals the body to release melatonin, which makes you drowsy," says sleep expert Michael Breus. "You can prevent that dip by exposing your body to 10 minutes of sunlight at noon."

8. Eat the Same Breakfast Every Morning

When you know exactly what you are going to eat, you are less likely to skip a meal--or make a bad decision. (And, no, a cup of coffee won't cut it.) Start your day with protein-packed hard-boiled eggs or a yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and sesame seeds, which are loaded with iron and calcium.

9. Talk to Strangers

And, of course, say something nice. Tell the woman on the train that you like her shoes. The compliment will make her smile. "She's happy, you're happy," says Blissology founder Eoin Finn. "It creates a mini endorphin explosion."

10. Pack a Happier Gym Bag

Approved by fitness guru Tracy Anderson, these cheery essentials (including a post-Pilates sweet treat!) may actually make you look forward to working up a sweat.

Donatienne Barbie bag, $475; donatiennedesigns.com.
Visual Changes gly-sal pads, $31; amazon.com.
Amazon Chocolate Bliss Bar, $4; theblissbar.org.
Cooler Cleanse coconut water, $9; coolercleanse.com.
Nike bra, $25; nike.com.
American Apparel tank, $20; americanapparel.net.
S'well water bottle, $35; swellbottle.com.
Undrest leggings, $148; undrest.com.

*****

I'm not doing No. 5, no matter how much anyone tells me that's good for me! *Big Grin*

And regarding No. 6, I've found the perfect solution to chocolate cravings with less sugar and no fat. Get a tin of Dutch cocoa powder, and just mix a little with some water or a little milk to make a paste. Add the sugar you want - there's also no need for butter/fat, so you get a treat!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee
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