Beautiful picture by Alexey Bannykh from Dreamstime
My guest today is the awesome Cindy MacMillan from Inner Revolution. Enjoy her words of wisdom.
Next week, my husband and I will be married 28 years.Sometimes I am amazed at how fast the years have flown by. Some days I don’t even feel 28 years old, much less married 28 years.
We met in New Orleans in 1984. I was going to school for Hotel Management and working part-time as a bartender at a hotel in the French Quarter. I clearly remember him walking into the hotel with a group of people and thinking, “wow, he’s really cute”. As his group was checking in he walked over to the bar and asked for change to break a $100.00 bill so he could pay the cab. He had a brown curly afro, brown eyes, and an incredible foreign accent (yikes, my weakness!). So I did what any twitterpated woman would do - I acted like I was busy and said, “no, go to the front desk”. The front desk, by the way, had about 20 people already standing in line. He told me later that, right then and there, he knew I was the one. Go figure.
After his group had checked into the hotel, they came down to the bar for a drink. The same guy, Tom, asked me out to dinner and I explained that I didn’t date the patrons. He said, “if we all go to dinner then you and I are not on a date, right?” That made sense, so I made plans to meet the entire group after I got off work. Friends being friends, none of them showed up and there I was, alone with Tom.
We had an incredible dinner. We laughed and talked until the restaurant closed and had to ask us to leave. I was still wearing high heels and my feet were hurting, so I took off my shoes to walk barefoot and he carried my shoes as we strolled down Bourbon Street. A street vendor was selling roses and he stopped to buy me a beautiful red rose. I am not making this up: he asked me to marry him. I started giggling, which of course hurt his feelings. He was serious!
Several weeks later I went to South Africa and a few weeks after that we got married.
What is the secret of a long and happy marriage? When I was younger, I use to love hearing the stories of what kept people together. Now I have people asking me that same question and I take it very seriously.
Here are my top 4 tips:
If Cupid had a Twitter account, what do you think he would say was the secret to a long and happy marriage? Please leave your comments.
My name is Cindy MacMillan and I’m an integrative coach and teacher of The Art of Feminine Presence™. I’m passionate about helping women who are committed to their personal growth get real about fierce self-love, unshakable self-worth, and finding their own light. I am building a community of women who are bringing more feminine energy and joy into their lives, and living a life they love!
My website is www.InnerRevolution.net
Angels and Demons blog hop
Thanks you, everyone who participated and left comments. I loved reading them! Seems like most of us have a nice mix of both, Demon and Angel. Congrats to all winners!
My winner is: Vanessa N.
The grand prize winners are
Kindle Touch: Stephanie Huff
Amazon $60 Gift Card: Drake
All right, it's on! The Angels and Demons blog hop is up and running. From June 28th - July 1st, you can HOP around the blogs, comment on each and follow their rules, and be entered to win over 100 giveaways.
Each blog will have it's own giveaway, PLUS there are TWO grand prizes.ONE Commenter from the blogs will win a KINDLE TOUCH another Commenter will win a $60 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card! Make sure to comment with your email address to be eligible for these prizes.
To enter my contest, tell me about a time you did something angelic or demonic. My prize will be the winner's choice of an ebook, so take a peek at the Book List page to see which one you'd like. I can send a US winner an Amazon Kindle book or PDF, or Canada and International winner a PDF. If you can read one of those formats, you're eligible to win.
Leave your comment, then hop on over to another author, and good luck!
The Seduction of Phaeton Black
I'm pleased to host Jillian Stone on her Bewitching Book tour, and to write a review of her book, The Seduction of Phaeton Black. First things first.
B O O K T O UR Giveaway Details :
The Key to Phaeton's Heart and ten print copies of The Seduction of Phaeton Black are being given away tour wide, as well as a Steampunk Necklace designed by Ula Kapala. Isn't it just gorgeous?
Enter to win below. Here is a blurb and an excerpt, and my review.
THE YEAR IS 1889 and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Paranormal Investigator, Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted. Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, Phaeton is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.
On his first surveillance, Phaeton pursues an elusive stranger and encounters several curious, horrifying beings. But the most intriguing creature of all is a Cajun beauty who captures him at knifepoint and threatens to spirit away his heart.
She had never met the like of such a man.
After a few deep draughts of spirit, he kicked a chair out from under the table and straddled the seat. “The chair rails guard my bulging privates. Not to be confused with filthy pirates.”
He took another swig from the bottle. “Tell me about these imaginary, cutlass wielding corsairs. Miss––?”
“My name is America Jones.”
He set an elbow on the chair back and cupped his chin. He had a wary way of studying her, as if she were some kind of curiosity. “Are you incapable of answering questions in a truthful manner? Again, Miss––?”
She set her jaw and glared. “America.”
“Is the name of a continent, or two. I can never remember if there are two continents designated north and south, or one continent designated south and north. Which is it?”
Why did he play the Mad Hatter? Leaning far back off the chair, he had to catch himself. The grog appeared to be having an effect. “And there is a new country, the United States of America.”
Even with arms tied down, she still managed a shrug. “It is my name, sir. America Síne Jones and I have learned to live with it these twenty-ought years.”
“I believe I may call you by your middle name.” His mouth twitched. “Sin–ay. I do so admire the first syllable.”
Her gaze narrowed to a quizzical squint. “Is your mind always in the gutter, Mr.––?
“Black.” Liquid sable eyes flecked with gold drank in every inch of her. “Only when I am interested, Miss Jones.”
“And are you interested?”
“I once enjoyed a meal at the Langham Hotel, which I thought about repeating for weeks afterward.”
“Is that what I am to you? A supper?”
He lowered his chin. “A banquet, my tempting dark dove.” Hooded ebony eyes crinkled at the sides. He enjoyed taunting her.
Captivated for a moment, she mentally slapped herself. “I would love to stay and chat, really I would, but I must be on my way.” She flashed the faintest of smiles. “Now that we are introduced, certainly you can release me from bondage?”
“One more thing, Miss Jones. If you would kindly explain about the pirates?” He tilted his head. “Your eyes are most extraordinary. Almost feline.”
What an exasperating man! While he swigged from the bottle, she tugged again on her bindings. “Why do you insist on torturing me?”
She pressed her lips together and chewed the inside of her bottom lip. A force of habit when vexed beyond endurance. Well, she supposed two could play this silly, annoying interrogation game. “Are your parents still living, Mr. Black?
He sat up and blinked. “Mother died of a virulent meningitis years ago. My father teaches advanced mathematics at Trinity College.” He ran a hand through thick waves of dark brown hair. “He might as well be dead. We don’t get on.”
“I could not tell you if my mother is alive or dead. I’ve not been home to Louisiana in many years. Buried my father four short months ago. Charles Gardiner Jones.” She leaned forward purposefully. “A decent and honest merchant trader. Acquaintances said he couldn’t face his business failure––that he died of drink. People who knew him well, told a very different story. My father’s heart was broken by his lying, scheming business partner.”
When her eyes threatened to tear, she lifted her chin. “After his funeral I vowed to bring Yanky Willem to justice.”
“And how goes this pursuit?”
She frowned. “Not as well as I’d hoped. Last night Willem caught me rifling through a year’s worth of cargo manifests.”
He arched a brow. “Searching for––?”
“Proof of piracy, Mr. Black.”
He smiled that maddening grin of his. “I knew if I was patient, we might actually get round to the original subject of my query––the filthy pirates.”
“Chased me from the Docklands all the way down the Strand.” She laid her head back against the padded chair and counted the cracks in the ceiling. “When you stepped into the sharp edge of my blade, I was clean out of bullets.”
“Bullets? And where, pray tell is your pistol?
Now it was her turn to grin. “Untie me, and––“
“I think not, Miss Jones.” From behind protective rungs, Mr. Black stepped over the seat of his chair and ventured closer. “Shall we search together?”
This book starts out with a bang, literally. By the beginning of chapter two, our hero, Phaeton Black, and heroine, America Jones, are doing the wild thing, and they proceed to enjoy a variety of unusual sexual escapades, including an experiment with poses from the Kama Sutra. I wouldn't, however, call this an erotic romance, and the author doesn't appear to be marketing it as such. Just be aware, there is explicit sex in the book, which I found enjoyable and well written, though the first encounter was a bit shocking.
Phaeton and America start out with different goals in mind, and romance is not one of them. She just wants her ships back, so she can run her company, and he wants to enjoy the pleasures of "one of the more reputable bawdy houses in town." They do, of course, grow quite fond of each other as the story progresses. I like the way they eventually relax into an easy rhythm of communication, and start to enjoy each other's company.
The plot was a bit confusing to me at first, but the more I read, the more I got into it and enjoyed the story line. If you're having a hard time following along, just keep reading, and it will all come together. There IS a lot happening, with paranormal creatures, pirates and an assortment of evil, interesting, and sexy humans. I love the setting, Victorian London, and the author did an excellent job with details of the food, dress and other aspects of the era.
I would like to see America Jones display a bit more "power." Though she has her strong moments, she spends too much time depending on the men to take care of her problems. Perhaps in the next book? All in all, Jillian Stone did a nice job telling an original tale, and readers who like action, adventure, and mystery will enjoy this book.
Facebook: G Jillian Stone
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Barnes & Noble
Thank you, Maria Geraci for a wonderful workshop, How to Write a Better Book, Finding Your Author Sweet Spot. Maria was our STAR (Space Coast Authors of Romance) guest speaker this month, and presented an excellent workshop. It gave me a lot to think about, and will certainly help with my current WIP.
Congrats to Shoshanna Evers for reaching PAN status with Romance Writers of America! We eat cake at our meetings when this happens, and we do love our cake. Also is this picture is our fabulous chapter president, Kristen Painter.
Choices and Karma
Choices. Every day we make hundreds of them, starting with when to get up, what to eat, and what to wear. Some choices aren't terribly critical. It won't really matter if we wear the brown shoes or the black ones, or if we curl our hair or slide it into in a ponytail. Some choices, however, are more important. If we choose not to go to work, we could be fired. If we decide to eat mounds of unhealthy food every day, we'll most likely feel bad, and be in poor physical condition. Choosing to take the time to have our oil changed and car serviced is necessary for those of us who depend on a vehicle for transportation. With some decisions, the correct choice is obvious, if not always the easiest. What about decisions that aren't so clear, or seem like a good idea at the time, but end up with dreadful results?
In my book Creatures of the Night, Kyle makes a choice to give up a lucrative career, only to find his dream life isn't what he thought it would be. Maya makes a choice to publish an article that could damage a families' reputation, and finds herself the recipient of a curse. Sasha chooses to follow her lustful desires instead of listening to her internal warning bells, and ends up tied to a bed, which actually turns out quite fun, though the rest of the date goes rather badly. Though at first, each of these decisions seem to end in disastrous results, in the end, all is well, so we can't necessarily say that a bad choice was made.
What if our decisions really don't matter?
Read the rest of this post at Night Owl Reviews http://nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/naomi-bellina-choices-karma-and-contest.html?showComment=1340239363470#c909727937746538395
Romance in the garden
To research my current work in progress, I explored one of my favorite garden centers. Big, happy sigh. How can you not feel romantic surrounded by this beauty? I managed to escape with only two plants in my possesion, but could easily have shopped all day. Enjoy the pictures.
It's so nice to see people behaving as wonderful human beings! Enjoy this short video.
True Blood is back!
In honor of True Blood Season Five starting, or, for those of us too cheap to get cable, season four coming to Netflix, I finally put up my light switch cover. Isn't it lovely? I'm pretty sure the hidden word is 'bite', but with that show, who knows? Now, if I can just get Netflix to realize that I'm very important and send me the first disc. Heavy sigh. I might have to break down and buy the DVDs. It's still cheaper than cable!
I fell in love with this toilet seat when I saw it in a boutique store. The price, however, curtailed my shopping, but it's on my list of things to get when I have enough money to buy really extravagant items. Of course, when you think about it, having a toilet seat you can find in the dark makes a lot of sense, so maybe it's really not that fanciful after all.
My winner is....Susan W! I sent her an email and she will get to pick her pick her book. Thanks so much to our hosts, and to everyone who participated in this hop.
Let me first give a shout out to the hosts, Jen at Red Hot Books, Brie at Romance Around the Corner & Michelle at Michelle's Book Blog. Woo-hoo! Thank you for having this hop to get us all in the mood for summer.
My giveaway for this fun event will be the winner's choice of one of my ebooks. This is open to US, Canada, and International. If you can read a PDF, you're in. To enter, please leave me a comment and let me know what naughty or fun thing you plan to do this summer. Then, click on the button below to go to the next blog to visit. Good luck, and have fun!
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