Friday, August 31, 2012

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

Hey beautiful people!

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONCE UPON A STORMY NIGHT:  A 1NightStand story

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




CALLING HOME (A Destiny’s Child Book)

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



WALKING THE EDGE (Corpus Brides: Book One)

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


BEFORE THE MORNING (Corpus Brides: Book Two)

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


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


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

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

Thank you for coming over!

From Mauritius with love,


Zee

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Interview with best-selling author Susan Wiggs, & a review of her latest release, Return to Willow Lake

Hey peeps!

It’s been ages since I last posted a review up here, but things are about to change today coz I’m back with a requested review. Guess you know I sometimes hear from a publicist who asks me to feature and/or review for her clients? She was recently putting together the promo tour for one of her authors, and asked if I’d agree to hop along. When I saw who her client was, I jumped on the occasion. Why, do you ask? Because the tour is for none other than Susan Wiggs, one of my favourite authors!

Disclaimer: Before we proceed, I need to point out that in no way was I asked, requested, influenced, coerced, or suggested in any way, to present a positive review of the book. Any and all opinions stated henceforth are mine, and mine alone.

So, this being said... Susan Wiggs is back, after 2 years, with a brand-new installment in her Lakeshore Chronicles contemporary series. The book is titled Return to Willow Lake. Here’s a blurb:

Sonnet Romano's life is almost perfect. She has the ideal career, the ideal boyfriend, and has just been offered a prestigious fellowship. There's nothing more a woman wants - except maybe a baby sister?

When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high-risk, she puts everything on hold - the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend - and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off. But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even of that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest, mistake - award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. So Sonnet embarks on a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and of finding the home of her heart.

At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Return to Willow Lake plumbs the deepest corners of the human heart, exploring the bonds of family, the perils and rewards of love, and the true meaning of home.

My review:

This is the first of Susan Wiggs’ contemporaries that I have read, and definitely not the last. Just like I fell in love with her historicals (in particular, the Chicago Fire trilogy and the Calhoun Chronicles series), I am now a convert to her Lakeshore Chronicles series.

I loved this book. Though the start was a little slow and dragging to my taste, I did know it was necessary to point out how the interlude between Sonnet and Zach happened. From there on, things really picked up.

There were lots of twists in the story; some I saw coming, others slammed into me from nowhere. In a good way, though – not the kind that makes you go, “what on earth...???” And though this book is mentioned as a romance, I wouldn’t really say that. To me, it was more akin to grown-up chick-lit/women’s fiction, because the story was first and foremost about Sonnet and her relationship with her entourage, namely her family, Zach, perfect-on-paper boyfriend Orlando, the detached biological dad.

I admit it took me by surprise when I was a few dozen pages into the book to learn that Sonnet is biracial. Not that this would change anything in my enjoyment of the story, but until this revelation comes, Sonnet doesn’t really “click” with the reader (at least, not with me!). The overachieving ways then start to make sense; the need to be accepted and lauded by her father; feeling like she’s got one foot on both sides of a wall and not having a sturdy footing to stay on – all these worked once we learn about Sonnet and why she is how she is.

I’ll admit she got me wanting to clock her on the head quite a few times where her relationship with Zach was concerned. It’s obvious the guy wants her, but Sonnet has this idea of perfection and achievement that spells “Orlando” when it should spell “Zach” in bright, neon letters. This did drive me crazy – but then, I suppose Ms. Wiggs did her job, because she got this reader to care that much about *gasp* fictional characters! There weren’t sparks in this book, not the kind we usually associate with romance, as in, they couldn’t get enough of each other, etc. Here, the romance between Sonnet and Zach was more about buried feelings, companionship turning to more, learning to trust, to take a step out of comfortable boundaries and explore the unknown. In this way, this was a very heartening read. With a pace that, though I wouldn’t say “slow”, is not edge-of-your-seat rapid either, you move right along with the characters.

Special mention for how Ms. Wiggs treats the subject of breast cancer in the story. As a 2-times survivor, I am always on the lookout for stories that feature cancer in their plots. This is achieved here without the inherent doom-&-drama people associate with cancer, the treatments presented for what they are and without any embroidering on the reality of the disease. A little nit-picking as Nina mentions at first she is going directly for a mastectomy, but the story plays out with her having a lumpectomy first and then going for a mastectomy later – that kinda didn’t sit well with me, because she didn’t go for the procedure directly and ended up having surgery twice when once would’ve been enough (if she’d had the mastectomy directly). Anyhow... Yes, cancer is scary, but we need awareness if we want to win the fight over it – if anything, I hope this book gets women to think about their health and keep the prospect of breast cancer in their perceptions more than they actually do.

The descriptions of the area, and especially Willow Lake, are absolutely breathtaking, and the feel of small-town community is right there permeating every page of the book. I think this is Book #9 in the series; I jumped right in and didn’t feel lost in this world, so that’s another good thing. I am definitely going back to read the first 8 books now.

On the whole, I loved the story. Everyone who loves small-town stories, slow-burn love, and watching friends give in to their true feelings will enjoy this book.



And also, peeps – Susan Wiggs agreed to answer a few of my questions! Totally stoked to feature this little Q&A session we did for this feature. Here it goes:

What was the idea behind Return to Willow Lake?

SW: I wanted to tell Sonnet’s story. She’s an intriguing character, so I threw some truly difficult life situations at her to see what she’d make of them.

What inspired you to create Sonnet and Zach the way they come across in the book?

SW: Sonnet and Zach took on a life of their own, and I just followed their lead.

I've read quite a few of your historicals (Chicago Fire, & Calhoun Chronicles), but this is my first contemporary by your pen. How different, or even difficult/easy, is it for you to switch between historicals and contemporary works?

SW: A story is a story is a story. The process for me is the same. I brainstorm and plan, I do research, I write and rewrite. So switching is easy. WRITING is hard. J

Lakeshore Chronicles takes place in its own little world. Is it easier for you to work with an existing/
established location, or to invent the setting from scratch?


SW: I wouldn’t say it’s easier, but it works better for me. I like to include certain features of a town–a library, courthouse, lake, summer resort, and so forth, so for me, it make sense to build my own world.

The fun question - who do you picture as Sonnet, and *more importantly, lol!*, Zach? Curious minds
want to know how you saw them in your mind.
J

SW: That is a fun question, but I am so out of the loop on today’s hot young actors. I would love to see Sonnet played by an appealing, soulful mixed race actress. And Zach–tall, white-blond, manly man with a sensitive side. Does such a creature exist?

Thank you for this opportunity to interview you! I've been a big fan of your stories; been hooked ever since I read Halfway To Heaven. I also remember how I had sent you a gushing fan email and you were kind enough to reply me, this crazy-sounding chick from the island of Mauritius. J It's a pleasure to have you over on my blog.

SW: No, thank YOU. Hearing from readers is manna from heaven to me. See you around the web!


Isn’t she a darling? Seriously, I do admit to sending her one of those I-should-be-horrified-I-gushed-so-much fan email to Susan a long time ago, and I thought I had died and gone to Heaven when she did reply me. I was like, big-name folks like her do not reply little peeps like me, right??? Susan Wiggs won herself a lifetime fan that day, and I’m real glad today to be able to showcase her latest book.

Please make it a point to check Return to Willow Lake. Yes, it’s smack-dab in the middle of an established series, but this book reads perfectly as a stand-alone. So what are you waiting for?

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday: A Stolen Season with Tamara Gill

Hey beautiful people!

I'm thrilled to have author Tamara Gill visiting today! Tamara is one of those lovely, lovely peeps you feel you've known all your life after barely 5 minutes of meeting her. Sweet and totally friendly, she also has some fabulous historical romances out, and some of the most gorgeous covers I've seen lately.

Without further ado, here she is!

Welcome, Tamara! Tell us a bit about you, and something we don't know/wouldn't expect about you.

Hi Zee and firstly thank you for having me today and helping me celebrate the release of my latest book A Stolen Season! I’m an Australian author who writes Regency and time travel romance and I married my high school sweetheart. Awww...

Too sweet! *grin*

Why become a writer?


I didn’t really have a choice, I either wrote down what my characters were saying or they were determined to drive me mad.

Lol, I know that feeling!

As writers, we are bombarded with ideas every minute of every day. How do you sort through these ideas, to stick to the 'viable' ones?

I don’t I think. But I do finish what I start otherwise it annoys the hell out of me. So I keep note of any new ideas and come back to them when I have the time.

How do you develop an idea into a book?

I’m a panster writer so I make it up as I go along and hopefully it’ll all work out in the end. It usually does.

Lucky you! Nothing from me makes sense if I don't have an outline, lol! Yep, even life!

Which is easier for you – narrative, or dialogue?

I find both fine to write. Although I’m never quite sure if there is enough narrative, but I love dialogue. That’s always fun to write.

Preferred genre to write?

I love the Regency period and like writing in this genre above any else, but time travels are always fun to do when I need to mix up my writing life.

Time travels do allow for some fancy mixing, innit?

How do you get into your characters' heads and shoes?

They talk and I write, that’s pretty much how my writing works. Some days they talk more than others which is always helpful, but that’s how I roll.

Drafts, edits, polishing – love or loathe? Can you please explain?

I hate editing, as by then the book's done and I’m wanting to move on to something else, but I do love the final read through when everything is just as it should be and I hope people are going to enjoy the story as much as I do.

Best advice you've received, and that you'd want others to know?

Keep writing and take all feedback you receive with a pinch of salt.

Tell us about your latest release

Archaeologist Sarah Baxter had a clear directive: travel back to nineteenth century London to retrieve the measuring device she left behind. But her bungled attempt at thievery left an English Earl dead and his brother bent on revenge. Sarah must once again go back in time to find the device and return to her own time before her tragic mistake puts a noose around her neck. Unfortunately, the only way to get close to the device is to befriend the very man who wants her dead.

Eric, the new Earl of Earnston, was determined to catch the woman who killed his brother, but she’d disappeared without a trace. Twelve months on and there are still no clues to her whereabouts. As luck would have it, he finds a distraction. A new family have arrived in town and Miss Sarah Baxter is a delightful diversion among the stale debutantes in the ton.

Sarah knows it is madness to seduce the man who would want her dead should he know who she was, but the Earl is an alarmingly persistent gentleman. Can Sarah procure the device without her secret being revealed? And what will the Earl do when he finds out the woman he’s in love with is not the woman he thought he knew?

Oh my! That sounds absolutely delightful!

Let's say your book is a movie – which one does it most closely resemble?

Hmm that’s a tough one. Maybe ‘Lost in Austen’ would be the closest.

What real-life actors are playing the roles?

Always Henry Cavill as my hero. ALWAYS! My heroine I didn’t really have anyone in mind…I’ll have to think about that.



Now this movie needs a soundtrack – what songs/tracks best fit your book?

Evermore – Light Surrounding You.




Where can we find you and your books?

http://www.tamaragillromanceauthor.com/
http://tamaragill.blogspot.com/
Links to facebook and twitter can be found on these sites.

Again, what dreamy covers! Thanks for dropping by today, Tamara! Lovely to have you visit. *smile* XOXO

Peeps, do check out Tamara's works. I can promise she delivers powerful historical romances that will keep you riveted!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, August 26, 2012

#sixsunday Before The Morning #17: And he's found her again...

Hey peeps!

For once on a Sunday morning, I can hear myself think and I sit down with a not-frazzled mind to write the Six Sentence Sunday post. The reason why? The hyenas are not here (both have been packed to their respective maternal granmas yesterday) - hooray! And suddenly I find myself with a blank, because it appears I no longer know how to function in utter quiet... Never pleased, innit? Anyhow...

Let's get back to today's topic. Once again, I'm sticking to Book 2 of my Corpus Brides espionage/romantic suspense series. My protags are Rayne and Ash. Childhood best friends, Rayne's been in love with Ash for as long as she can remember. But she's been away for 17 years now - everyone thinks she was working in humanitarian missions as an aid specialist... but it turns out that's just the cover for Rayne, who is also known as Kali, a super-efficient assassin and a master manipulator.

Rayne has left Kali behind to embrace a new life, hopefully with Ash. She's at his doorstep in Notting Hill, and emotion is getting the better of her. Last week, we left off with Ash taking action...

Today, we go into his POV. These six follow right after where we left off.


'...
She tasted like sunshine and sweet, fresh water; like the absolution a man craved, after wading for eternity in perdition's abyss.
He was that man, and without her, he walked the caves of eternal night without any hope of seeing the sun, ever again—she'd haunted his dreams and his every waking moment for the past nine weeks.
But here she was, alive and thriving, with him, in his arms.
Ash couldn't let her go; his kiss grew more forceful, but she parted her lips just as urgently and coaxed his tongue into sensuous play.
God, he had to have her, immediately.
He took a step back, took her with him, and kicked the door shut before he threw the bunched-up towel against the wall; she moved closer, plastered herself to him.
...'


Don't forget to check the official SSS list - I've been remiss in making the rounds fully these past few weeks, and hope I can remedy that today. To those who have visited me recently, I apologize for being a cow in case I didn't get a chance to comment on your snippets.

Check out the excerpts from these peeps - Jessica Subject, Carmen deSousa, Jess Schira, Cara Bristol, Angela Quarles, Kate Warren, Sheri Fredricks, Samantha Paige, Christine Warner, Sue Ann Bowling, Elin Gregory, & Lila Shaw, among the 100+ participants this week.

Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#sixsunday Before The Morning #16 - What would happen if she touched him...?

Hey beautiful people!

I hope you're having  a nice Sunday. It's bleak and dismal here, cold too, and not helping that I'm once again dealing with the aftermaths of insomnia. So if I don't make sense here (or make even less sense than usual...), please don't hold it against me - it's the lack of sleep talking.

So, back to the topic... Six Sentence Sunday. Am I the only one who thinks Sundays come hard and fast lately? Blink, and suddenly it's time for a new post. Lord knows I've been remiss with my blog lately, but SSS always pulls me back in line and that's a wakeup call indeed that time is passing super-fast. Anyhow...

Last week (and the weeks before that), Rayne aka Kali, Corpus secret agent and super-assassin, has returned to England free from that clandestine lifestyle she has led for seventeen years. Her goal now is to go see the man who started everything - her childhood best friend, Ash Gilfoy. Ash lives in a posh area of Notting Hill, and he has no clue he met Rayne two months & three days earlier when he ran to the rescue of a woman named Irina whose husband hit her right in front of Ash's eyes. Rayne aka Kali was undercover...

She's now on Ash's doorstep, and he's just opened the door. Dressed only in a pair of tight jeans, with a towel in his hand and his long hair brushing his wide shoulders in wet locks (you can see how Rayne viewed that revealing moment here!), it's obvious he's just come out of a shower. He appears stricken by her presence, and Rayne's vocal chords refuse to function at the breathtaking picture and the overwhelming moment.

But she tells herself this is Ash, the boy who'd always known her better than she even knew herself...


"...
Rayne opened her mouth, but no sound came out; can't rely on talking, she reckoned, so she bit her lip and brought up a hand...gently, slowly, she bridged the gap between them and placed her opened palm against his cheek.
His warm skin, the stubble of his growing beard ticklish, rasped against her hand; to touch him again felt like heaven—how had she lived all those years without him? That was it, though—she hadn't lived; she'd existed, she'd survived, but she hadn't been alive, not like in the present moment, when a vital force flowed into her body, igniting every cell of her dormant soul.
Without Ash, she didn't have her soul, and she was never more certain of that than when he unfurled his hand on hers and curved his fingers around hers—his touch brought her to life, and when he tugged her to him, Rayne went without any hesitation.
She landed smack against his hard chest and looked up into his face; fire burned in his eyes, and she blinked slowly as he released her hand and snaked his arms around her waist, crushed her to him, as if afraid she'd move away if he let her.
I'm never leaving you; he must've read the thought in her eyes, because he brought up a hand, cradled her jaw, and kissed her.
..."


Can I hear some woots & hollers out there? *grin* Yeah, I knew I would! Ash is stepping up to the plate, indeed.

But is everything as it seems...? Easy, normal, falling into a happily-ever-after? Grab your copy of Before The Morning (Corpus Brides: Book Two) and find out.

Don't forget to check these amazing peeps on the official SSS list - Jessica Subject, Sonia (Bw), Carmen deSousa, Cara Bristol, Joanne Stewart, Angela Quarles, Elin Gregory, Sue Ann Bowling, Monica Enderle Pierce, Silver James, Kate Warren, & Siobhan Muir - among many, many others!

Have a lovely Sunday, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, August 12, 2012

#sixsunday Before The Morning #15 - When we meet again...

Hey beautiful people!

It's back to being cold and wet here in my little nook of Mauritius. Had high hopes this winter was on the way out at the start of the week, but seems we need to bide our time some more. Thank goodness there's good stuff to do online, like Six Sentence Sunday!

Once again, I am taking you to Notting Hill, to Ash Gilfoy's house. After 17 years away, Rayne, who used to work as super-spy and assassin Kali, is about to meet the man she never stopped loving. Last week we saw her apprehension as she walked toward Westbourne Green from Portobello Road. She's spotted his house - the one with the blue door (yep, just like in the movie!), and his silver Range Rover is parked on the curb.

What will their reunion be like? Rayne's heart is beating in her knees; she has forced herself to go up the steps to that front door, and knock...

'...

Her agent's mind knew that no more than four minutes and twenty-five seconds had elapsed, but she couldn't tell that to the frantic beating of her heart, hammering against her rib cage so hard her chest hurt . . . and then the door opened, and she stood there staring at him.

Like the first time she had seen him—exactly two months and three days ago—she lost her breath, and everything inside her mind went blank, because, in her memories, she remembered Ash as she had left him, all those years ago at Waterloo. He thought she was going to Paris, and Angelos' European headquarters, but her destination was the French-Swiss border where she'd take her first initial training before receiving clearance for The Retreat in Prague. Ash was about to enter the Ministry of Defence Police, and with his cropped hair and clean-shaven, boyish face, had looked every bit like the efficient bobby-next-door.

But the man in front of her screamed "dangerous bad boy" from a mile away—never mind the fact he had quit the force to become an ambulance worker; there was nothing next-door-reassuring about the thirty-five-year-old hunk. Taut, tanned skin stretched across hard, chiselled features and a square, strong jaw; his eyes were deep-set pools of molten silver, the same colour as the metal on a Colt Python .357 Magnum, their quiet, subtle intensity just as deadly as the collector's weapon; his long, ash-blond hair—another reason behind his nickname—skimmed massive, well-built shoulders that topped a powerful, barrel chest; the hint of golden stubble on his jaw and cheeks lending him the air of a roguish pirate.

...'

What will be Ash's reaction? Catch that when you grab your copy of Before The Morning (Corpus Brides: Book Two). Yes, I know, that's wicked of me... *grin*

Don't forget to check the official SSS list, and especially those peeps - Jessica Subject, Cara Bristol, Siobhan Muir, Carmen deSousa, Lisa Fox, Monica Enderle Pierce, Gemma Parkes, Kate Warren, Savannah Chase, Christine Warner, Elin Gregory, Samantha Paige, & Cherie Marks, among many others.

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday, with much better weather than me *smile*

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Before The Morning #14 - A Woman In Love

Hey beautiful people!

Another cool & calm Sunday here in Mauritius. In a way, I kinda need the quiet after the excitement and high of last week, when I signed the contract for the new 1NS (of which I featured last week's six). Cannot believe it's already been one week, and guess what? Silly here (aka me!) thought she hadn't signed up for Six Sentence Sunday, so on Friday I scramble out of my way to access the site... only to find out that I had already signed up back on Wednesday morning. Where's my brain going, can anyone tell me?

But today I know where we are heading - back to the Corpus Brides espionage series. We were in Nice last time I posted from Before The Morning; there's been a stint in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, where the Corpus compound where all agents come to heal and regroup between mission is located.

In that Prague scene, Rayne, our super-spy and stealthy assassin who has just realized she's no longer on top of her game, has met with the head of the clandestine Corpus agency. The man has graciously offered her an exit card, on the condition that Rayne aka Kali steps in for some clandestine missions from time to time.

So Rayne is now free, and her first destination is Notting Hill, in London, where Ash Gilfoy lives. Rayne wants a new beginning, but will that be possible? Read on to find out...


'...
She would meet Ash in a few minutes . . . what would be his reaction; would he be happy to see her? The uncertainty gnawed at her insides, and Rayne forced herself to breathe the clean air, light and full of oxygen, not heavy and polluted like other, busier areas of the British capital, which helped her to will her mind clear of all the agonizing doubts that plagued her.
She reached his street and paused on the wide pavement curve, near a black, gas lamppost that looked as if it had stood there for centuries; a woman pushing a pram walked past her and smiled when she met Rayne's gaze.
No, she had nothing to fear.
If only she could pass the memo to her racing heart . . . she'd lived for these moments for the past seventeen years without knowing how much the need to see the man she loved was vital to her sanity—Ash was never far from her mind, but not seeing him, not having him around, made it easier for her to hide him in a secret corner of her heart and stow away the thought of him; but to see him, that had changed everything, made her realize that, without him, she was nothing.
Without him, she was nihilist Kali . . . .
...'


Want to know what happens? Then grab your copy of Before The Morning (Corpus Brides: Book Two) here!

Don't forget to check the other fab peeps on the SSS official list - among others, Jessica Subject, Monica Enderle Pierce, Cara Bristol, Carmen deSousa, Samantha Paige, Alexa Bourne, Lorraine Paton, Siobhan Muir, Kate Warren, Christine Warner, Jennifer Lowery, Paula Martin, Carrie Crain, Dianne Hartsock, Taryn Kincaid, Mae Clair, Elin Gregory, & Gem Sivad.

Hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, August 02, 2012

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

Hey beautiful people!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

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

1. Have PMS.

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

2. Watch The Bachelorette.

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

3. Waste time on Pinterest

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

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

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

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

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

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From Mauritius with love,

Zee
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