Sunday, April 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Before The Morning #5

Hey beautiful people!

I'm waving hello from under the snuggly quilt on my bed. Temps getting chilly here, and though you European&US lot laugh at me when I say the temps tip in at around 18C/65F here right now, and that this is what spring is like for you, trust me - in the tropics, that is chilly weather! And we're not in winter yet! Thank goodness there's brilliant sunshine to keep the spirits up.

Speaking of keeping spirits up, what's better than visiting blogs and reading tantalizing snippets & excerpts, aka, what Six Sentence Sunday is all about? Join me for another few lines from Before The Morning (Corpus Brides: Book Two), which comes out next Monday, btw, May 7... *excited*

Last week, we left our hero just as he made a startling discovery - the woman he's just saved looks so much like his childhood best friend. He hasn't seen her in ages, so is it her, or not?

We move a page or so from where we left off - Ash, in true hero/knight in shining armour fashion, has gone up against the woman's lover, the man who hit her right in front of everyone. It took a policeman to tear the two men apart. Ash refuses to leave before the bloke allows him to check on her - Irina, as she is called.

They're in a room in the house now; Ash has made her sit down, and he is checking on her injury. Yet, recognition is flooring him...


'...
No matter how much she reminded him of Rayne Cheltham, she wasn't his childhood best friend, and he also remembered Rayne as he had last seen her, seventeen years earlier, when they had parted ways at London Waterloo where she took the train to go to France.
Rayne would be thirty-five today, and Irina looked like she was in her early twenties—she still carried a soft layer of baby fat on her cheeks and along her jawline.
The area along her left cheekbone was an ugly, dark red colour, which would definitely swell and bruise later on—thankfully, the skin hadn't broken, and he ran the pad of his thumb against the injury; she winced, and he noticed the healing cut on her lower lip, concealed with dark-red lipstick. His gaze roamed over her, to notice once again the lightweight jacket that sheathed her from the waist up, with closed buttons riding to her throat; she couldn't be cold, not in the smouldering summer heat—she hid bruises, and the fist slam today was not her first.
"Why do you let him do that to you?"
She blinked; her lips parted, but she didn't answer—he'd forgotten she didn't speak English.
...'


Catch the rest of the SSS lot and their fantabulous excerpts - especially Jessica E. Subject, Siobhan Muir, Lorraine Paton, Cara Bristol, Wildcat's Wife, and of course, don't forget to check my sis&bestie's blog, @ Natalie G. Owens.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend, peeps! Thanks for your visit, double thanks + XOXO if you leave a comment.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Link Thursday: 1,000 Things You Don't Know About Women (Part 4)

Hey peeps!

Continuing once again with this list I started a few weeks ago. Women are full of insights about themselves, and what being a woman, especially in a relationship, is all about. Read on for some amazing tidbits from the mouths of women like you and me. Get your guys to listen, and authors - take a peek at how to make your heroine more 'real'.

You can view the last post from this series here (and grab the links to prior posts)... or you can go straight to the original list with its 1,000 tidbits from the Esquire.com website.

Enjoy!

*****

1,000 Things You Don't Know About Women

We asked the women in our lives to share their secrets about sex, relationships, and what we've been doing wrong (and right) all these years. Four months after our special issue devoted to women — and with continuing help from you on Twitter — we've reached a thousand pieces of wisdom. Hope they help.


No. 20: Putting your hand on the small of a woman's back is as potent and powerful as buying her two drinks. Just so long as you know the girl. Otherwise it's just weird. — Anna Ferguson, 27, St. Simons, Georgia

No. 78: Presentation counts. Wrap your gift and iron your shirt. — Merritt Watts, 25, New York

No. 88: We find your inability to ask for directions or go to the doctor every bit as bewildering as you find our inability to pass by a shoe sale. — Pat Morrissey, 50, Shamong, New Jersey

No. 442: For special occasions, it's the effort of taking us out that matters most, not where we end up going. Unless it's a McDonalds drive-thru. — Carly Hansen, 22, Santa Barbara, California

No. 934: A deep voice. And some stubble. — Amanda Rawson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts

No. 12: We like wearing your pants. Not wearing "the pants" — wearing your actual pants. They fit better. — Stacey Berman, 22, Brooklyn

No. 567: You think lesbians are hot; we think gay guys are willing to shop, clean up after themselves, and keep up on gossip. You have your fantasies; we have ours. — Katharine Francis, 28, Lafayette, California

No. 124: Electronics clipped to your pants are sexy only if you're Batman, Superman, or any other kind of man who needs them to save lives, not send e-mail. — Rachel Sturtz, 28, New York

No. 900: There are pretty much no conditions under which sporting a soul patch is attractive. A trumpet virtuoso might be able to carry it off, but even he looks like he's hiding something small but terrible. — Katy Steinmetz, 25, Washington, D.C.

No. 205: We don't like it when you put your hands on our waists. You're not supposed to know about our Spanx. You're just supposed to think our tummies look that flat naturally. Mind your business. — Kirsten Hall, 35, New York

No. 400: Pay attention to the sides. The sides of her face. The sides of her breasts. The sides of her torso. The sides of her hips. The sides of her thighs. A woman's body is not a set of three or four important dots connected by unimportant skin. — Elspeth Golden, 44, San Francisco

No. 17: You court with flowers; we court with a higher frequency of waxing treatments. — Staci Brinkman, 27, Dallas

No. 325: We love the un-expected kiss. Especially the one when you stop us midsentence and make us forget what the hell we were talking about in the first place. — Stephanie Mitchell, 41, Dayton

No. 4: The baby talk is strange if there is no baby around. — Chontelle Matthews, 26, Bowie, Maryland

No. 671: Please do not ever, ever let us see you naked if you are still wearing your socks. — Pat Dunnigan, 47, Chicago

No. 722: Make your bed every day and change the sheets once a week. That vague goatlike smell guys get will remind us of our brother, and you will be sleeping alone. — Melinda Meggyesy, 31, Seattle

No. 356: Please remember that if we hang out with a bunch of guys, it doesn't make us one. — Christina Raine, 20, Richmond, California

No. 820: If the world were a beach, we would want you to throw us in the ocean and then protect us from the waves. — Krista Iovino, 32, New York

No. 501: We don't want a man more polished than us. Slightly wrinkled and smelling a bit of sweat and a bar of soap? Fantastic. — Christine Siltanen, 38, Portland, Oregon

No. 72: Lending us books is one of the most romantic things you can do. — Jessica Wakeman, 26, Bayonne, New Jersey

No. 100: We don't need special moves. Just do the regular ones right. — Katie Dinardo, 23, Brooklyn

No. 46: Don't use our makeup. — Maryann Fitzgerald, 47, Los Angeles

No. 11: We like our heroes flawed. That way, they can rescue us, but it gives us room to rescue them, too. — Beth Young Margulies, 36, Bethesda, Maryland

No. 63: The most chivalrous thing a man can do is let you have the last piece of bacon. — Sung-Hee Park, 30, New York

No. 204: We don't want to wear our bra more than you want to see us not wearing our bra. — Whitney Webb, 22, Blacksburg, Virginia

No. 318: We want to see you cry every once in a while-it makes you human. To find out how often is acceptable, divide the number of cries by the number of no-holds-barred, screaming orgasms you've given us. If the quotient is greater than 0.25, you're a whiny bitch. — Carrie Dienhart, 34, Kansas City, Missouri

No. 605: You only get to ask once about the threesome. — Crystal Taub, 34, Baltimore

No. 559: Please notice and comment on our choice of fragrance. We paid a lot for that teeny bottle of Chanel. — Hanady Kader, 25, Seattle

No. 801: We play with our boobs. Who wouldn't? Even though we complain about them, they're still fun. — Kelly Heintz, 23, Fresno, California

No. 48: When we say that nothing is wrong, we mean that you should know what is wrong without us having to tell you. — Lara Ehrlich, 28, Chicago

No. 3: Please don't write us poetry or compose us music. Unless writing is actually part of your job description, like if you are Tom Waits. — Brenna Ehrlich, 25, Brooklyn

No. 92: We don't want to get married tomorrow, either. There are a lot of celebrities we want to bang before we settle down. — Kelsey Allen, 21, Columbia, Missouri

No. 483: We don't like it when you pull your shirt off from the front. Be a man and pull it over your head from the back. — Molly Rosen, 33, New York

No. 915: We rarely ask a question we don't already know the answer to. So, we know you don't think she's hotter than us, or we wouldn't ask. — Lisa Huber, 38, Teutopolis, Illinois

No. 50: No, it's not all right that you didn't plan anything for our birthday even though we told you not to. — Carla Michelle Coley, 24, Washington, D. C.

No. 8: If you are making out with a girl and she didn't shave her legs, you have great game. At the beginning of the night, she wasn't planning on doing anything. — Janna Johnson, 24, New York

No. 23 We want you to never stop hunting us. Even if we married you. Remember why you got the gig. Don't make the trailer the only fun in the whole production. That's misleading. — Avril Dell, 46, Toronto

No. 744: Don't comment on our driving. There's a reason your insurance is more expensive. — Diane Vadnal, 20, Des Plaines, Illinois

No. 659: Know how to go to a nice restaurant and dine. Eating and talking together is phenomenal foreplay. — Joanna Breger, 36, Wilmington, Delaware

No. 77: We want you to think we are pretty. Every now and then, when we get all fixed up, act for a minute like we make it hard for you to breathe. — Shannon Purvis, 45, Novato, California

No. 516: We look into your minds by reading your magazines. — Lisa Alva, 49, Los Angeles

No. 668: Please don't splay your legs on the bus, subway, or airplane. We know you don't need all that space. Don't flatter yourself. — Grace Zerzan, 27, New York

No. 447: Sometimes, we just want to make out on the couch like we're back in high school. That includes your hands wandering and everything. — Kim Melton, 23, Albuquerque

No. 814: Most of us have considered a threesome. Just not with our boyfriends. — Melanie Smeltzer, 22, Phoenix

No. 15: It's not always chocolate or a foot massage. Sometimes it's Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks. — Caitlin Goldin, 24, Charlottesville, Va.

No. 61: If it's cold, put on gloves. Your balls are not a hand warmer. — Jennifer Wallerstein, 26, New York

No. 40: We think you're high maintenance, too. — Naomi Pabon-Figueroa, 25, Pittsburgh

No. 705: Men don't understand a woman's obsession with celebrity gossip — who's pregnant, who's getting divorced, who made a fool of themselves. It makes us feel better about ourselves. — Cassidy Parker, 25, Brooklyn

No. 39 Panties is a guy word. We call it underwear. — Elisa Benson, 26, New York

No. 5: We don't have penises. When we're fondling away, some encouragement and direction is appreciated. When we direct you as you're spelunking nether-ward on our bodies, don't be offended — be grateful we're preventing you from losing all use of your thumb for a week. — Beth Carswell, 32, Victoria, British Columbia

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Before The Morning #4

Hey beautiful people

Last Sunday of the Easter break; cannot wait for the hyenas to head back to school tomorrow (and thus gain some much-needed peace, quiet, and sanity in my house!) I need something to tide me over though – what better than Six Sentence Sunday, eh?

I’m smack-dab in the middle of edits on this one; Before The Morning (Corpus Brides: Book Two) comes out in 2 weeks, and as excited as I am, I’m also quaking in my ALDO boots as to how the story will be received. Par for the course for every author, innit? Doesn’t make it any less daunting.

So, last week, we saw our hero, Ash Gilfoy, be the epitome of heroic as he rushed to the aid of a woman who’d just been hit by her lover.

Today, I’m taking you a few lines from where we left off. Just to put you in the picture – another man’s come up the stairs to restrain the punch-happy fellow, leaving Ash secure in the knowledge that he could attend to the woman without any threat.

But he’s about to discover something... (and yes, that’s her in the pic above)


‘...
She lowered her head; long, straight, black hair glossy and a stark contrast against the long-sleeved white jacket she wore over a clinging mini dress. The locks fell like a concealing curtain across her shoulders and hid her cheeks.
"Let me look at your face"—she shook her head—"Please. You're hurt, and I should check on you."
Gingerly, he reached out and cradled her face in his palms, coaxed her to tilt her head back . . . and that's when his heart skipped a beat—he knew her.
"Rayne," the name slipped off his tongue in a mere whisper.
She parted ruby-coloured lips and her heavily made-up dark blue eyes grew wide, but she didn't give any indication that she knew him, didn't say his name.
No—she wasn't his childhood best friend, whom he hadn't seen in seventeen years . . . .
...’



Don’t forget to check the SSS list – surefire goodies to be found at the following authors’ blogs: Jessica E. Subject, Siobhan Muir, Angela Quarles, Sarah Ballance, Jennifer Lowery, Christine Warner, Tory Michaels, Lorraine Paton, Wildcat’s Wife, JM Blackman, & Elin Gregory.
And please make a stop at my sis & bestie’s blog, Natalie G. Owens!

Have a lovely Sunday, peeps! Big thanks for visiting today; double thanks +XOXO if you leave me a comment.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, April 20, 2012

Progress Friday + a few lines from the WIP

Hey peeps

Not much progress to show this week, but I gotta say, at least there is some progress. I always end up forgetting how chaotic my house gets when I have the hyenas underfoot. And I think the whole madness grows more hectic at each and every holiday, the older they get. You’d think your kids growing would imply a little more peace of mind for you, but no, that’s not the case (of course, you no longer get ‘accidents’ at night, and they can bathe/feed/clothe themselves without your assistance. But otherwise, yes – your job keeps on growing.)

And what would be the progress report of this week without a mention of the absolutely nightmarish soap opera we’ve been reluctant actors in, along with (what is now) our former ISP (yes, finally!). I mentioned a few weeks ago on this same spot how awful my Internet connection has been lately. I ended up on first-name/good-friends basis with most of the helpdesk staff there, so much I was calling to log in complaint after complaint. I think the company’s technicians visited my house more than my own parents have in the past few months! Things took a turn for the worse Sunday evening, and we’ve been having a working connection for – brace yourself for this one! – 13 seconds. Yes, you heard me! We have connection for 13 seconds, then it goes AWOL, by which time it takes the modem 3-4 minutes to reset and look for a new connection... and it’s connected... for 13 seconds again, before it loses signal... Damn, that is just no way to live! And not to mention that the TV channels that come in the deal play for 13 seconds, image freezes, blank screen while the connection box resets, then you get another 13 seconds of film (after losing 4-5 minutes of the action!). How on earth can anyone not go nuts with such a service! Enough of it – push came to shove and we did shove it, all right. We cancelled the connection on Wednesday (and suddenly the company was speechless that we cancelled and weren’t even moving to a different connection package with them! Ha – take that!) and we tried another ISP, that we’d used in the past. This one too turned to be an issue, because... we couldn’t pick up enough signal off our modem where we live (which, incidentally, is smack-dab in the middle of the third biggest city on the island!). 7 minutes to get Hotmail to open, when we even managed to get a connection. Nuh-uh! No can do (can you see the stress mounting here?).
Finally, we were forced to go to another ISP – yesterday morning. This one is more expensive and is a limited connection, but at least it does provide service where we are, and the connection is reliable. About a whole day lost yesterday to that, and today I had to go out to go cancel the other connection that we tried. What a week! I don’t wish that kind of hassle on my worst enemy!

Is it a wonder then when I tell you the only day I managed to write and get some work done was Monday, before the sh*t hit the fan? Moved up some 3,500 words on Transient Hearts, which puts me just beyond half-way on this WIP.

I know I always say that I plan the week to come to be one where I’ll write, but with my new limited connection now, I won’t have any reason to be online unless I really, really, have to. Which implies time not online = time to park my arse in chair and write! Transient Hearts should see ‘The End’ written on its Word doc before May 5.

Who's gonna keep me to my deadline, and crack the wet noodle? :)

Leaving you now with a few lines that I’ve written this week. The heat is ramping up between Shania and Grayson, and in this scene here, she is ‘feeding’ him something called pani puri, which is a small, fried hollow puff of dough that you dunk in hot spicy water before eating. You can see the pic right here

'...
Before she could realize what she’d done, Shania brought the pani puri in her hand up to his mouth.
In a flash, his eyes darkened, and he wrapped a hand around her wrist. Slowly, he pulled her hand closer, and he opened his lips, took the pastry from her fingers and into his mouth. His soft lips grazed the tips of her fingers, and he didn’t let her pull back while he savored his puri, and swallowed.
“Delicious,” he said softly.
Shania sucked in a breath. His eyes were hooded, jaw tense, and that small smile hovered on his lips.
“You like?” She sounded breathless, her voice so low it could’ve been another woman who spoke.
“I like a lot,” he replied just as low.
He still held her wrist, and without releasing her, he stood.
With a single tug, he could pull her to him. Right then, there was nothing more she wanted than to be flush against him, to have his wide, warm body on hers.
Pull me to you. Dare she ask it aloud though? She could be brazen, yes, but this soon, and with a man she barely knew? She debated the question endlessly in her mind, those split-seconds looking like they lasted for an eternity, until he broke the quiet.
“Come with me.”
...'

Weekend now to be spent on edits for Before The Morning, Book 2 of the Corpus Brides series, that’s to come out with Noble Publishing on May 7. Wish me sanity!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Link Thursday: 1,000 Things You Don't Know About Women (Part 3)

Hey beautiful people!

Back finally to the humongous list after a week’s break, thanks to last Thursday’s guest blog spot at Lindsay Downs’ blog.

I keep going from chuckle to chuckle here, and I’m nodding at almost every other item/observation listed, because some of these are just sooo true and hit close to home with me. What about you?
Remember, we started this series a few weeks back (catch the previous instalments here), and with literally 1,000 items on this list, there’s no way I could’ve featured them all in 1 or 2 posts. So I broke it down and post about 50 every week. You can however find the original list on esquire.com
Here’s this week’s 50. Enjoy!
*****

1,000 Things You Don't Know About Women

We asked the women in our lives to share their secrets about sex, relationships, and what we've been doing wrong (and right) all these years. Four months after our special issue devoted to women — and with continuing help from you on Twitter — we've reached a thousand pieces of wisdom. Hope they help.

No. 743: We are all secretly in love with Jeff Goldblum. — Eve Gleichman, 21, New York

No. 756: We don't like guys who agree with us all the time. — Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 489: Ragging on our girlfriends is absolutely not allowed, regardless of whether what you're saying is true. — Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 446: We're jealous that you get to wear the same suit to every wedding and just switch up the tie. People would start to talk if we wore the same dress every time. — Amy Keller, 27, Chicago

No. 237: If we only order a salad at a four-star restaurant, chances are there's a bag of chips and some leftover Chinese waiting for us at home. If we order steak and dessert, we'll probably just have you afterward. — Beth Malonoski, 34, Norristown, Pennsylvania

No. 415: We think cigars make you smell very bad. Actually, it's not a matter of opinion. —Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 792: Calling us "girls" is okay. "Chicks," however, has very limited, case-by-case usage. —Nicole Lee, 31, San Francisco

No. 947: If we're at a sports bar during a big game, don't hit on us. We're watching the game. — Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 581: If we had to make the first move, you will be reminded of it for the rest of our relationship. —Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 727: We are really more forgiving after fights than we let on. — Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 994: Big arms are overrated. — Felicity Slater, 22, Cambridge, Massachusetts

No. 872: In regards to shirt buttons, here's our advice: one open, you're fine, two open, you're cutting it close, three or more and you look like you belong on Tool Academy. — Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 564: Puppy eyes will get you just about everything. Actual puppies will get you even more. — Carly Hansen, 22, Santa Barbara, California

No. 609: There is something really sexy about smiling when you kiss us. — Kady Ruth Ashcraft, 19, College Park, Maryland

No. 825: We know when you don't know the answer to our question, but it's sort of endearing when you fake it. — Eve Gleichman, 21, Brooklyn

No. 159: It's always a good sign when you can laugh at yourself. It's a graceful motion of not letting pride get to your head. — Grace Smith Vidaurre, 21, Jamestown, Rhode Island

No. 797: When we agree to see Get Him to the Greek over Sex in the City 2, it's not because it looks like a cinematic masterpiece, it's because we're trying to be nice and you look cute when you're laughing. Feel free to return the favor. — Christina Alderman, 21, San Diego

No. 916: It's true: We always want to be your top priority. — Adriana Ball, 24, Miami

No. 465: Ladies is pimps too. — Christina Raine, 20, Richmond, California

No. 315: We like to talk a lot, so even if you don't really care about what we're saying, fake it. That's what we do when you talk about trading players in whatever fantasy sport you're always talking about. — Carly Hansen, 22, Santa Barbara, California

No. 527: The better you are at acknowledging personal space, the more likely we'll be to let you into ours. — Eve Gleichman, 21, Brooklyn

No. 117: We put in a relationship absolutely everything we want you to give back. — Adriana Ball, 24, Miami

No. 729: If we're brushing your leg up and down, don't sit and talk with your friends for twenty more minutes. Time's up! — Kady Ruth Ashcraft, 19, College Park, Maryland

No. 887: We like it when you wear nothing but boxers to bed. — Amanda Rawson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts

No. 452: Snuggling can fix just about anything. — Carly Hansen, 22, Santa Barbara, California

No. 669: We have a thing for nerds. — Christina Raine, 20, Richmond, California

No. 817: When we slam the door, it means come in. — Marcella Daher, 20, Pasadena, California

No. 592: If you don't want to tell us something, you probably should. We might find out from someone else, and that won't be good. — Jenna Alice Loerop, 21, Chicago

No. 762: No, we don't always magically know where the remote is. — Christina Raine, 20, Richmond, California

No. 843: We can read you like a book, so if something is wrong or bothering you, don't be afraid to share it. It saves us the trouble of having to spend all day guessing. — Heidi Stafford, 19, Rancho Mirage, California

No. 623: When you say you know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody, it absolutely never makes you sound cool. — Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 962: Don't pay attention to us if we reach for our bag and offer to pay on a first date. — Victoria Stoner, 24, Boston

No. 742: When we are in a large crowd, hold our hand as if you don't want to lose us. — Amanda Rawson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts

No. 1: Your waiting in the car to make sure we got through the door okay never gets old to us. — Eve Gleichman, 21, Brooklyn

No. 271: Teasing us about how many shoes we have or how we have too many clothes is cute at first. But after a while it gets old; we know we have too much and we like it that way. — Carly Hansen, 22, Santa Barbara, California

No. 704: We do hope we are way prettier than your new girlfriend. — Amanda Rawson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts

No. 806: If we hear a noise in the middle of the night, nothing makes us feel more protected than you going to check things out. — Amanda Rawson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts

No. 893: To us, a successful man also finds the work he does gratifying. — Eve Gleichman, 21, Brooklyn

No. 547: The only reason we share our problems with you is to give you a chance to make us feel better. — Adriana Ball, 24, Miami

No. 571: We love the fact that you are stronger than us and that you can reach everything on the top shelf. — Amanda Rawson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts

No. 392: We don't always want to cuddle up. It gets hot sometimes. — Christina Raine, 20, Richmond, California

No. 852: It is completely okay to talk about your ex-girlfriends or other women you've slept with abstractly, but we don't want to hear anything specifically comparative — unless you're saying that we're better at everything. — Anne Harding, 23, Wilmington, Delaware

No. 786: Don't tell us you shave your unibrow. We appreciate it, but we want to pretend it's hairless all by itself. — Juliet Garlow, 20, Silver Spring, Maryland

No. 634: We think you look sexier after you work out than when you're wearing a tux. — Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 401: Sometimes we like to drive. — Christina Raine, 20, Richmond, California

No. 518: Sometimes we don't need you to solve the problem, we just want you to listen. — Nicole Semonis, 22, Encinitas, California

No. 906: Just how you like your boy time, we like our girl time. — Sydney Hayes, 19, San Diego

No. 694: We love a man who knows how to tell time, because he knows that when he says he'll be there in a minute, there's a difference between a minute and two hours. — Kelsey Anderson, 22, El Dorado Hills, California

No. 775: You know that we sometimes don't say what we mean. But if you go by body language, it's easy. — Christina Alderman, 21, San Diego

No. 140: We like you when you throw on a pair of basketball shorts and call it a day, just not when you're meeting our parents. — Heidi Stafford, 19, Rancho Mirage, California

*****
From Mauritius with love,
Zee

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Before The Morning #3

Hey beautiful people!

It's a cool, calm, and sombre Sunday morning here in Mauritius. Fall is definitely upon us, and if I don't want to fall too and lose what remains of my sanity... let's just say - I need a hero, stat!

And, hey - just the thing too: it's time for Six Sentence Sunday, and we can go back to my current hero, Ash Gilfoy, 'played' by the uber-handsome & super-sexy Josh Holloway (yes, yes, it's him right there! This is what my heroic London ambulance worker looks like *grin*).

What's been happening so far? Well, Ash has been called, totally randomly of course, to a domestic accident site to respond to a distress call after a fight has erupted among participants of a drunken party. But all's not as it seems, and Ash's protective instincts shot high when he witnessed an argument between a couple. And then all hell broke loose when the man punched the woman to her temple, right there in front of everyone...

Ash is a hero; no doubt about that. What's he going to do?


'...
In a precarious position with one foot on the edge of the step, she reeled from the blow; Ash charged up the stairs two by two, and caught her in his arms. He took her whole weight on; his back crashed into the three-foot tall, carved stone banister as he braced her with one arm around her waist.
Sharp pain, like licks of scorching fire, erupted along his spine, and he let out a breath. With his free hand, he reached for the banister and gripped the edge hard to stop their fall - his fingers hurt, as if the bones splintered under the harsh pressure, and the skin of his palm stung and burned where it had chafed against the coarse rock. But what mattered was that he had caught her before she rolled head first down the steep flight.
Her limp body thumped into his like dead weight, and when he managed to breathe without feeling flames of agony sear up his back, he lowered them both onto the steps.
...'


Catch the rest of the SSS crew over at the list today - and don't forget to check out the excerpts from Jessica E. Subject, Sarah Ballance, Siobhan Muir, Lorraine Paton, Jennifer Lowery, and Carrie Ann Ryan... among the 100+ fab authors listing their six this week. :)

Thanks for dropping by, peeps, and double thanks+XOXO if you leave me a comment.

Have a lovely Sunday!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guest Blogging @ Murders&Mysteries - Me and Kick-Arse Heroines!

Hey peeps!

I was invited by the lovely Lindsay Downs, author of the Emily Dahill, CID, series, to guest post on her blog today.

We go to the origins of how, and why, I ended up writing romantic suspense/espionage with strong yet fragile, kick-arse women as the heroines.

"... When a girly girl starts walking on the edge…
…what do you get?

A series about kick-arse women fighting for their lives while they fall in love, and find their HEA in the midst of the direst danger.

By Zee Monodee

I grew up an only daughter. ..."

Come on over and read the rest - the link is here!

From Mauritius with love!

Zee

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Before The Morning #2

Hey beautiful people!

It's back to being warm and dry and lovely here, so I think we might have a reprieve for a little while longer. I wouldn't say no to that, because I'm about to start pulling my hair out and bid goodbye to my sanity as the kids start 2 weeks of Easter break tomorrow. *sigh*

But that's neither for here nor now (thank goodness!) so let's indulge while we still can. Does indulgence have any other name than SSS on Sundays? Not really! :)

Back in London this week, with the hunky Ash Gilfoy who looks just like Josh Holloway (yes, another pic up this week for your viewing pleasure, ladies *grin*).

So who's Ash? He's a paramedic called to the scene of a domestic accident. When we met him last week, in the opening lines from my upcoming romantic suspense/espionage thriller release, Before The Morning (coming May 7 with Noble Romance Publishing), he kinda left us hanging. Something dangerous and/or wrong was about to happen, but he didn't say what.

Will we find out today? Read on *wink*


'...
Ash had sensed trouble brewing the minute he looked up and spotted the silver-haired man storm out of the open French window, at the top of the stone steps that led down the tiered garden — the bloke was hot on the heels of a tall, curvy woman dressed in a white mini dress that clung to her soft body. Both of them spoke in loud, angry voices in a language he didn't understand; Russian, Ash would risk a guess—he'd heard that tongue a lot while growing up, his next-door neighbour being of Russian origin.
The silver-haired man caught up with the woman and he grabbed her arm, yanked her to him, and when she landed against his chest, he kissed her, hard.
Lovers' tiff, Ash thought and immediately paused in his step, but he was wrong— she wrestled free, shoved the man away, and slapped him.
That was when Ash knew everything would turn into a total muck up —the look of fury on the other man's face clearly stated he wouldn't take the hit lying down, not in front of the small group that had assembled down in the garden when they too heard the angry discussion. The guy released her and drew one arm back, then slammed his closed fist on one side of her face.
...'

Don't forget to check the rest of the SSS list - and do drop by the blogs of Jessica E. Subject, Sue, Sarah Ballance, Siobhan Muir, Cara Bristol, Lia Davis, Christine Warner, Jennifer Lowery, Angela Quarles, Wildcat's Wife, and Lorraine Paton, among all the sensational names over there today!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, April 06, 2012

Progress Friday + an excerpt from the WIP

Hey peeps!

It's been another of those weeks, where I again, didn't make my target word count *sigh*. Blast - it seems all I ever do on Fridays is admit defeat, and I'm tired of that. When ever will things calm down a little and allow me some sane moments so I can get on with my stuff? This week's paltry productivity is thanks to a massive migraine of the female-only kind, and then my super-crappy ISP f*cking up my connection again. Tell me how productive you'd feel when every morning - when you've been assured that everything's okay and in working order! - it takes you 3-4 attempts while refreshing every page to even log into your email inbox. If by some miracle, the connection didn't time out and you do manage to open a message, you type your reply, and *gasp*, didn't look at the lights on the modem when you reflexively clicked 'Send'... and find that a) the page has frozen, b) the connection is NOT THERE right then (no lights, not even a blinking one, on the bloody modem!), and c) of course since the connection was down when you typed your message, it never got saved to Draft, so you've just lost all you typed when you have to refresh the page WHEN the connection comes back, and start afresh again.

Lost 2 hours this morning while trying to send out 3 important emails. 3 emails, people! Ain't that enough to drive anyone bat-shit crazy, when just yesterday afternoon, the customer service were calling to tell you everything was sorted out??? ARGHH!!!

My plan was down some painkillers this morning for the migraine and thus enable myself to write for an uninterrupted 3-4 hours, and thus catch up on some of the word count lag. Not to mention that today, the hyenas go on 2-weeks' Easter break - I won't have much free time for most of April what with them being at home with me. But of course, the #$%#@& ISP had to come mess it all up. Sorry for going off my trolley so much, but when you realize that I've been dealing with such crap for the past 5 months... Yes, I know I'm the fool for not taking my customership elsewhere. The problem? In Mauritius, there is really no elsewhere to go, unless you can afford to pay 3-4 times what you're paying to get the only other faster/unlimited Internet access.

But I did clock some 4K-something on Transient Hearts this week. Not all's been lost, but still... ARGH!!

Here's a snippet that I wrote this week - I edited the scene so you can get the bigger picture. More and more, it appears a secondary character is going to get her own story, so this aspect was kinda the foreshadowing of her plot when her time will come.


If only the damn thing [sleep] came when it was needed. She’d rarely needed more than five hours of sleep, and here, she got her rest by napping in the late afternoon when her biological clock told her it was nighttime in London. Which left her wide awake in the heart of the night, hearing every creak and groan of the big wood house. If she was a scaredy-cat, she’d say the house was haunted. Something – what her Indian aunts would call nazarr, the evil eye – seemed to hover inside the dwelling. She shivered. Her aunts would tell her to wear a black kohl dot on the outer corner of her eyes to ward off the threat, but she’d never believed such superstitions.
....
Shania got up and ditched the tattered old T-shirt she wore to bed and changed into jeans and a light cashmere jumper. Might as well head to the kitchen after was done with the call - she had a feeling chopping vegetables would be very therapeutic for the frustration any conversation with her mother would bring on.
The house was still and quiet when she stepped into the corridor. Shania couldn't help the shiver that coursed down her back. Something weird, and not right, shrouded this whole place, and right then, she was attuned all too well to the hovering cloak, one that wrapped itself around her and made her look over her shoulder as she walked down the hallway. The feeling settled around her, and suddenly, her heart no longer hammered. A soft, soothing breeze blew gently in her hair, lifting the locks from the nape of her neck, and then drifted away. Heavy stillness fell on the surroundings when the breeze left.
What on earth was that about?
Shania gasped. She should be scared shitless right then - her mind agreed with that conclusion, but something inside her heart made her certain she had nothing to fear.
    Strange - she should ask Aurelia if the house was haunted.



Here's to wishing you all have a fantastic weekend, peeps! I know I'll be looking toward more migraine-pain and a hell of a hissy fit tomorrow when I confront that shoddy company for the crappy service they're making people pay for!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Link Thursday: 1000 Things You Don't Know About Women (Part 2)

Hey peeps!

I kicked off this series of posts last week. Want to hear about real women, and what they think of men, dating, men+dating, and romance in Real life? Look no further!

Originally from Esquire.com, here's the next 50 on this list!

Enjoy!

*****

1,000 Things You Don't Know About Women

We asked the women in our lives to share their secrets about sex, relationships, and what we've been doing wrong (and right) all these years. Four months after our special issue devoted to women — and with continuing help from you on Twitter — we've reached a thousand pieces of wisdom. Hope they help.


No. 552: Quote movies only when absolutely necessary. We like your own words better than those of that old guy on the bridge in Monty Python's The Holy Grail.—Eve Gleichman, 21, New York

No. 409: We love a chase. Not calling all the time gives us a chance to try new things to get your attention.—Alessia Viscomi, 21, Newton, Massachusetts

No. 337: Don't assume that your favorite beer is our favorite beer, too. You're not the only brew connoisseurs. —Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 419: We would also love to skip Sunday brunch with eighty-five family members in favor of sitting on the couch in our sweats watching reruns of The A-Team. We just have a better game face.—Beth Malonoski, 34, Norristown, Pennsylvania

No. 380: You aren't the only gender that can appreciate a big booty. —Felicity Slater, 22, Cambridge, Massachusetts

No. 446: Black coffee is sexy. Bringing black coffee to us in bed is sexy, too. —Kady Ruth Ashcraft, 19, College Park, MD

No. 304: Yes, we moisturize and walk around the house naked with rubber gloves on when you're not around. —Cassie Rodenberg, 22, Charleston, South Carolina

No. 780: If you plan a date a week in advance, we'll spend the next seven days planning our outfit. Starting from the second you hang up the phone.—Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 558: Listen to your gut feelings when determining if we're into you or not. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 521: If we are wearing white pants or shorts, we are looking to hook up. It's like code.—Mallory Farmer, 23, Boston

No. 231: Where do we put on perfume? Where we wish to be kissed.—Adriana Ball, 24, Miami

No. 794: One-armed hugs means we're friends. Two-armed hugs show you care. Squeezing the hell out of us says you love us. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 328: Those little nonsensical arguments, for us, are fun. They give us a chance to see how you deal with things. —Alessia Viscomi, 21, Newton, Massachusetts

No. 469: Among other tips: when buying clothes for us, grab a similar item from our drawer and match the size. Don't choose an XL because it's the first thing you found. —Cassie Rodenberg, 22, Charleston, South Carolina

No. 803: We love it when you go out and have fun with your guy friends, but stories involving not remembering your night tend to be boring. —Eve Gleichman, 21, New York

No. 861: Sometimes wingmen can do more harm than good, so be brave: do it alone. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 713: Glasses are to women what lingerie is to men. That's right: Bookish is that sexy. —Cassie Rodenberg, 22, Charleston, South Carolina

No. 355: Everything sounds better when whispered close to our ear.—Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 256: We'll judge your beer: opting for something better than Bud Light shows us you care about the finer things in life. —Eve Gleichman, 21, New York

No. 180: We'll never understand why you slap each other's butts when you're playing sports. And that's okay. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 95: The way we feel about your kisses on the back of our necks: Think ice cream in August.—Cassie Rodenberg, 22, Charleston, South Carolina

No. 955: We always want dessert. We always want you to order dessert. What we never want is for you to ask us if we want dessert. It's redundant. —Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 877: Replacing the roll of toilet paper counts as one of those "little things" that we love. —Beth Malonoski, 34, Norristown, Pennsylvania

No. 480: To women, shoes matter. If we see you in Tevas outside of a forest excursion, we'll do what we do whenever we see bad footwear: run the other way.—Cassie Rodenberg, 22, Charleston, South Carolina

No. 614: No matter how much we love you we will never care what level you've gotten to in Call of Duty.—Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 292: Sometimes we just wear nice clothes and makeup for no other reason than to look good.—Nicole Lee, 31, San Francisco

No. 404: Under no circumstance, besides enlistment in the Army, will we find cargo pants an acceptable choice. —Eve Gleichman, 21, New York

No. 368: Don't be surprised that we have condoms in our top dresser drawer. Be happy.—Katharine Smith, 27, Brooklyn

No. 200: "Chuck Norris would do it" is not an excuse for bad behavior.—Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 498: Though it might sound like a compliment in your head, never say, "It's cool that you can eat so much." —Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 663: If we just met you and we're making out on the dance floor, chances are it wasn't your dance moves that got you this lucky.—Dina Sanchez, 29, Brooklyn

No. 687: Sometimes we rely on your mother to say what we've been thinking. (Like: "You look like a slug in that shirt.") —Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 755: Though it may be cool that you saved all that time and money by going to Supercuts, we may not touch you for two weeks.—Lisa Gartner, 22, Washington, D.C.

No. 720: Always assume that what we contain in our purses is very necessary. When you need insect repellent, a Band-Aid, safety pins, or a moist towelette, you'll be grateful.—Cassie Rodenberg, 22, Charleston, South Carolina

No. 832: We secretly wish that we could rock out in our eighties hair-band t-shirt and ripped jeans sometimes too. We just don't try to revive the trend at the neighborhood barbeque.—Beth Malonoski, 34, Norristown, Pennsylvania

No. 401: We love it when you take us out to dinner. We'll love it even more if we don't have to watch you scrutinize the bill for a half-hour.—Eve Gleichman, 21, Brooklyn

No. 890: We prefer that you never use the word "bang" when referring to sex. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 980: We appreciate when you can admit you're wrong, but we also don't want you to say sorry too much. —Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 419: Stop worrying about why we take so long in the bathroom. Think of it as uninterrupted free time to watch Sports Center (again).—Beth Malonoski, 34, Norristown, Pennsylvania

No. 791: We like it when we impress you, whether it's the fact that we own and know the names of most tools, we can drive a stick better than you can, or that we aren't totally freaked out by bugs.—Carly Hansen, 22, Santa Barbara, California

No. 285: Most of us would rather watch Entourage than Sex and the City. — Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 198: We like safe drivers. High-speed chases only impress us when they involve Vin Diesel. — Eve Gleichman, 21, New York

No. 168: We remember every detail about a relationship. Every. One. — Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 996: When we go into a comic-book store, it's entirely likely that we're there because we actually like comics, and not because we were dragged there by a boyfriend. — Nicole Lee, 31, San Francisco

No. 937: We love the smell of your deodorant so much that some of us wear it. — Christina Raine, 20, Richmond, California

No. 370: After getting through a torturous line at a baseball game, we love it when we come back to find you waiting with our food. It's those little ideas you come up with completely on your own that score points. —Amanda Rawson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts

No. 907: Your nipples make no sense to us. —Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 857: We like it when you take your fashion advice, but not your fidelity advice, from Don Draper. — Eve Gleichman, 21, New York

No. 772: Men don't realize that women notice everything. Including when you've worn the same underwear two days in a row. — Kellie Chung, 23, Boston

No. 847: Getting riled up at a restaurant turns us off. — Sharada Tolton, 21, Philadelphia


*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Before The Morning #1

Hey beautiful people

It's an awful rainy, drafty, cold Sunday morning here in Mauritius. In the workds of Ned Stark, I too have to say that "winter is coming" (and FYI, Game of Thrones returns today! Yippee!)

That being said, I'm looking forward to SSS today, because this will be the first time I'll be sharing an excerpt from my upcoming May 7 release, and Book 2 of my Corpus Brides espionage series, with anyone else aside from my trusted CPs and my editor at Noble. Totally chuffed!

So what's Before The Morning about? You can take a peek at the Coming Soon page I just uploaded on the site, but in a nutshell, it's the prequel to my first release, Walking The Edge. The slant is more in-depth about the clandestine Corpus agency... and at the heart of this maelstrom of mutiny that is about to hit the ranks of this illustrious organization, stands a woman who has been a pillar of their operations, and who is about to slip... all in the name of love...

These are the opening lines from the book, and they introduce you to Ash Gilfoy, the hero, and a former cop turned ambulance worker. Yes, that's him in the picture. *grin* (Working this story was such a pain, I can assure you, to picture Josh Holloway as Ash... *wink*).

'...
London, Mayfair;
Thursday, July 12; 4.55 p.m.
To hell with common sense and protocol—he'd be damned if he let a woman get assaulted in front of him. His job was to provide assistance, under any circumstance.
London paramedic Ash Gilfoy sprang to his feet after he made sure his partner attended to their patient on the ground. They had already ascertained the ABCDs of the situation—Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability—and determined the patient was non-time critical.
What was about to happen was time-sensitive though. ...'

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Will be making the rounds on the list as my crappy connection allows me, and I look forward to checking superb words from the likes of Siobhan Muir, Jessica E. Subject, Lorraine Paton, Sandra Bunino, Christine Warner, and Jennifer Lowery, among many others.

Hope you're having a brighter Sunday than I am, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee
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