Tuesday, February 20, 2018

14 Signs of a Great Romance

I know we're almost a week past Valentine's Day, but in the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to look at healthy romantic relationship today...

As a romance author, the entire point of my books is to create a romance between two (fictional) people which ends happily ever after. But what does a great romance look like?

Romance and all things romantic can be different for different people. Some think of romance as gifts and dinners. Some think of it as supporting each other through the daily grind. There's a reason why there are boatloads of books on Love Languages and communication between men and women. Because keeping a good relationship in the healthy and functioning category takes dedication and effort.

Rather than writing about my own opinion of a great romance, I thought I'd go with what various experts say are signs of a healthy relationship. Because, for me, a great romance isn't all flowers and pretty words. A great romance always has a happily ever after--in other words a healthy, productive relationship which lasts after the final credits or the book is over.

Think about your favorite romance novels or movies. Which of those romances embody many (or even all) of the following traits of a healthy relationship?
  1. You Communicate
  2. You Trust Each Other
  3. You Speak Your Mind
  4. You Like Yourself and Your Partner
  5. You Let Things Go
  6. You Make Joint Decisions
  7. You Talk to Your Partner Before Others
  8. You Support Each Other in Growth Opportunities
  9. You are Friends
  10. You Keep Your Individual Identity
  11. You Fight (Productively)
  12. You are Willing to Put "We" Before "Me"
  13. You Inspire Each Other to Be Better
  14. You Enjoy Each Other

P.S. Personal addition to the list, sign #15: You don't wait for Valentine's Day to say "I Love You!"

14 Signs You're in a Healthy Relationship, REAL SIMPLE Magazine
6 Sure Signs of a Healthy Relationship, Psychology Today
8 Signs You're In the Right Relationship, Huffington Post
10 Signs You're in a Healthy Relationship, Life Hack
15 Signs You're in a Healthy Relationship, Glamor

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

St. Valentine

Wondering why it's Valentines Day?

San Valentino, officially Saint Valentine of Rome, is a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and since the High Middle Ages has been associated with love.
All that is reliably known of the saint commemorated on February 14 is his name and that he was martyred and buried at a cemetery close to the Ponte Milvio, north of Rome. It is uncertain whether St. Valentine is two different Saints. Because so little is reliably known of him, in 1969 the Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars. 
English 18th-century antiquarians, Alban Butler and Francis Douce, noting the obscurity of Saint Valentine's identity, suggested that Valentine's Day be observed to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia. This idea has lately been dismissed by other researchers. However, many of the current legends that characterize Saint Valentine were invented in the 14th century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer, when the feast day first became associated with romantic love.

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

#Valentine's Day and #Cupid by Diane Burton

In Roman mythology, Cupid is the god of desire. Born of Venus (goddess of love) and Mars (god of war), Cupid represents the fine edge between love and war. He’s often depicted as a blindfolded infant with bow and arrow--blindfolded, because love is often blind. When his arrow pierces a human heart, the person is filled with uncontrollable desire. A little known tidbit is that he has two arrows. The sharp one is for desire. The dull one ends it. That just shows how capricious he (desire) can be.

In Greek mythology, his name is Eros, from which comes our word erotic. While the image we’re most familiar with is the infant, Greeks portrayed him as a virile, young man.

However he is portrayed, at this time of year, we’ll find Cupid on cards, as a stuffed toy, even a dragon. A long time ago, I bought this toy for my Hubs. While Hubs got a kick out of the dragon, he’s a bigger hit with the grandkids (as evidenced by his worn look. (He used to stand up straight.) He plays the Sam Cooke’s 1961 classic "Cupid."

"Cupid Draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me.”

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and may Cupid help you find your true love.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Developing Your Abundance Mojo

We’ve all had those days when everything seems to just flow. Karma smiles at you and opens up a front-row parking space. You arrive at all your appointments on time—no, early. Some days are luckier than others, right?
But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?

The answer is quite simple. We live in a vibrational reality governed by the law of attraction, which states: that which I like unto itself is drawn.

Or, in the words of Albert Einstein: everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.

Wow. Match the frequency of the reality you want. So, if I want to attract abundance, love, money and success, how do I find that frequency?

I belong to a Ritual Muses group, and we’ve each committed to expanding our daily personal Goddess practice. I believe that is how we can also raise our own individual vibration.

Juliette Kristine, a personal manifestation coach, has written extensively on this topic. She has come up with some techniques to raise your vibration and attract more money and success. I’ve drawn from her ideas, as well as from our Ritual Muses discussions, to come up with a list of my own below.

But first, take some advice from one who is learning her lesson the hard way. In order to see results, you must start with baby steps, and then be consistent. I vowed to get up at sunrise to meditate and do my sun salutations. . I’ve been trying to do this for a week, and have only succeeded once. That’s because I had some other habits I had to modify first in order to be successful, specifically, getting into bed before 1:00am. As my baby step last week, I incrementally moved my bedtime schedule up two hours earlier. Now, hopefully I’ll be able to see those sunrises.

Here are some techniques and exercises to raise your vibration and attract prosperity.

1.    Reprogram your subconscious

 Every repetitive thought or belief has a corresponding neural pathway that in turn affects our energy and vibration. Science has brought to light the ability to measure the different frequencies including the frequencies of different thoughts.

Interestingly, negative thoughts like anger, worry, fear, feeling unworthy and guilt measure low on the scale, while positive thoughts like love, forgiveness, and abundance thinking higher measurements.

Our money vibrations are influenced by what we have learned about money from our parents and family. T. Harv Ecker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, says this is our ‘money blueprint,’ the very foundation that guides our unconscious and conscious decisions. To change it, you must first be aware of what your blueprint is. If you have a poverty mindset/vibration, even if you win the lottery, that money will not stick with you.

The various poverty beliefs—the thoughts and actions that determine your vibration: feeling unworthy, undeserving, blind spending, feeling obligated to a lifestyle, irresponsibility, etc.—will all contribute to the loss of the money and prosperity that comes your way.

Ecker says the key to changing your money vibration is to investigate your life and beliefs.

Questions to ask yourself as you investigate:
·       What are my automatic thoughts about rich people, money and wealth? Do I think money is the root of all evil? Do I think most rich people are crooked and that’s why they are rich? To become rich, do I think I must use people and take advantage of them? Is it morally unjust for me to be wealthy while others have nothing?
·       What are my greatest fears regarding having money and wealth? If I become wealthy, will people be jealous of me, or hassle me for loans?
·       Does the thought of having money make me guilty? Do I not deserve wealth? Does becoming wealthy depend on luck? Do I think I cannot become wealthy doing exactly what I love? Is it harder for a woman to become wealthy?

1.    Reset your personal Money Blueprint

There is scientific evidence of the neuroplasticity of the mind. It is physically changeable if you give it what it needs to change. 

Imagination, visualization, cognitive repetition, affirmations, meditation, and exposure to different thoughts, beliefs and life experiences in repetitive ways, all are methods to “plastify” your mind into a new way of looking at something.

So, once you have answered and analyzed the questions above, pick the top 10 statements/beliefs that you want to change. Write them on a piece of paper. Then create an opposing positive statement for each negative belief. For example: The original statement is “I am not good with money.” The new, positive statement might be, “I am a good money manager.”

Look deeply at your thoughts about rich people. Observe, and try not to let your mind engage in criticizing or judging. If you have a belief system that says, “I don’t want to be one of those greedy rich people,” you’re unconsciously blocking your ability to bring and manifest money toward you. Again, turn your negative thought into a positive affirmation.

2.    Start and end your day with a positive affirmation
Create a list of all the positive statements around you and money, wealth and prosperity. The more personal the better. Write them all down, or record them and put them on your phone or ipod. Play them or Read them out loud as you go to bed at night, and again during your first routine of the day, as you have your cup of coffee perhaps. If you do this while doing another activity, you engage several parts of your brain at once. The more you meditate on the new thoughts, the stronger the neural imprint.

Here are some sample positive statements to give you ideas:
* I am a good money manager
* My ability to earn money is expanding
* I am a magnet for prosperity
* Money comes to me easily and effortlessly
* I deserve prosperity
* When I am wealthy, my true friends and family will like me just as I am today

* I am a generous giver and a gracious receiver

3.    Raise your serotonin and dopamine levels
When your body is producing more serotonin and dopamine you feel more joyful and relaxed naturally. These positive emotions send a signal to the universe, and in turn, attract more good vibrations back to you. Hence my striving for morning sun salutations and meditation. You could also play with your animals, take a walk in nature, or whistle while sweeping your front stoop

1.    Nourish yourself

Skipping breakfast can give you sugar cravings and raise your cortisol levels, making you feel stressed and anxious. 

Whether you consider yourself a breakfast person or not, eat a small, protein-based meal in the morning. Pay attention to how it makes you feel the rest of the day.

4.   Meditate and Visualize

My favorite meditation is to work my way up my spine and through each chakra as I perform yoga stretches and positions. 

   If you have difficulty meditating on your own, www.Juliettekristine.com/mini-manifesting-ritual/ offers a free copy of a mini ritual to focus on your goals and bring your life into alignment with them.

Being clear and focused is incredibly important. To change your money blueprint, spend daily time visualizing yourself in a life where money is your friend as opposed to a source of difficulty.

Be patient. Give yourself the time to slowly make new choices in all aspects of your life that support prosperity. For example, if you enjoy good quality coffee, but Starbucks and Dutch Brothers is outside your budget, buy a bag of fabulous Kona roast and an inexpensive cream frothier and treat yourself to gourmet, luxury coffee at home. Tally the savings each month and put that amount into an account slated for investments.

And don’t forget to celebrate your wins! Whenever you have reached a milestone, whether it’s paying down a debt or saving $100, make sure to give yourself tons of applause, and add that feat to your list of affirmations.
We all deserve to have ease in life. You are worth it and your soul has value!

Sandy Wright loves to take ordinary characters and thrust them into extraordinary situations.
In her debut novel, Song of the Ancients, a Midwestern woman moves west for a fresh start. Instead, she becomes the prey in an ancient war to open an underworld portal buried in Sedona, Arizona's magical red rocks.
Readers interested in the dark side of our supernatural world will enjoy of this paranormal suspense series, written by a real-life Wiccan high priestess.
And look for Sandy’s new suspense, Crescent Moon Crossing, to be released in 2018.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

When Your Motivation Takes a Nosedive

By Maureen L. Bonatch

Do you ever have one of those days when as soon as you wake up you know it’s going to be a fabulous day? You have a smile plastered on your face, and you’re showing your to-do list you’re
Photo courtesy Unsplash cc Abbie Bernet
the boss and you feel as if you can tackle anything that comes your way today. 

Then you go to bed and when you wake up the next day you wonder how in the world you can muster up the energy to get out of bed. 

What the heck happened to all that awesome from yesterday? Just imagine how much more we could accomplish if only we could bottle up all that feel-good energy .

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Those New Year's Resolutions

We’ve made our resolutions. Like some of you, I told myself this is it, I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to exercise, and most of all I’m going to write, A few weeks later I’m still looking out the window like a cat sitting on the windowsill “I should be writing right now,” I tell myself, but I continue to stare out the window. As I gaze out into the grey wasteland, I’m also thinking about eating. “What can I eat?” For my new year’s resolution, I cleaned out the fridge, but there is that glimmer of hope that I left a box of Taquitos in the back on the right-hand corner of the freezer. To my great delight there, they were, hiding behind the frozen chopped kale. What was I thinking, kale, really?  As I look down at the box I’m saying to myself, “Do not eat that, you’ll just regret it later.” What does my conscious know? I open the box and place the deep-fried happiness on a plate, and stick it into the microwave.

As I watch it spin I’m at war with myself, don’t eat that, you’ll be sorry, but I justify it by saying, “There are starving children all over the world,” Now I’m obligated to eat those Taquitos.

I joined a gym a couple of years ago. I never went. Every week I would justify why I couldn’t go, but I would most definitely go next week. Nope. I kept the membership anyway, just in case I get motivated. Every month they would take money out of my account and I felt guilty for not going. There’s a theme here, guilt.

Last year I made a resolution to lose weight. So, I signed up for the Medical Weight Loss Center, and it cost a ton of money. With this program you have to practically dip into your 401K to pay for it.  I thought, now I’m invested.  I had to lose weight. If I didn’t, I just lost the money I could have bought a car with. (slight exaggeration).

At first it was great, very motivational. I’m excited, after four days I was in the honeymoon phase. I lost a couple of pounds in the first week, and I was ready to throw confetti. Week three, and I’m jonesin for a Twinkie. After every meal, or a snack, I started watching the clock, two hours before I could eat again. When I got to fifteen minutes before my allotted time, I was watching the clock like a freshman in highschool. A rice cake never looked so good.

I logged everything I ate. What a pain that was. I had to measure and weigh everything, and I had to show them my log. It was like a report card that I had to take to a parent every day, and if I had a low weight loss, my adviser looked at me with those accusing eyes that said, What did you do?
 squirmed, then blurt out, “I had some salt on Friday, ok. I’m sorry, I was weak.”

They would give me a condescending sigh, “Vicki, Vicki, Vicki, you know better.”

Properly chastised, I was contrite, my shoulders slumped, “I know, it won’t happen again.”

It was very effective, and eventually, I lived up to my commitment and hit my goal. Weighing in the last time was a big celebration for me. I got my picture on their wall to prove it.

What does this all have to do with writing? Well, it’s all about commitment. You have to work hard at it, and never give up. Even though you may be blocked, write something, anything that will get you back on the path, and reach your goals.

What are your goals this year?

Here's a little something I've been working on.
Life was draining from her like water from a pitcher that had been upended. The poison was spreading.
Looking down at the newborn child sleeping in her arms heart filled with sadness, she would never know her daughter, never watch her grow up. Tears welled in her eyes and ran down her cheeks. Her husband sat helplessly beside her. There was nothing he could do except watch the love of his life die.
“How can I live without you?” His voice cracked on a sob.
Weakly, she raised her hand and touched his cheek, wiping away his tears. “You will survive for our daughter’s sake.” She took a strained breath. “You must always keep her safe, keep her hidden until she becomes of age. She is a Light Bearer and as long as she lives her life will be in danger.”
“Shhh, you should rest,” he whispered.
“There is no time, my love. Soon I’ll be standing beside the Goddess.” Her husband bowed his head, more tears streamed down his face. She already mourned him. Lara looked deep into her baby’s blue eyes “The light is within her. She will need your strength, Manu. He touched a small curl of hair around his baby’s face. It spoke volumes about the love he had for his child.
It was becoming more difficult for Lara to breathe, she dragged in every breath. More than anything she wanted to close her eyes and let the Goddess take her, but not yet, she had to say what must be said.
“Take her away, Manu and tell no one where you’re going. Keep her away from the city.”
“I will, I promise you.”
It was a great effort slipping the amulet holding the light stone from her neck. “Give this to her when she becomes of age.”  She closed his fingers around it.
Worry furrowed his brow. “The moment she puts it on she will be discovered, not only by a Light Wielder, but our enemy, as well.”
“I have faith that whoever can wield the light will find her first.”
Lara was growing cold, she was on the brink of her death. “I will miss you. Our parting gives me great sadness, for you are the love of my life.”
“And you have been mine, my sweet Lara.”
The Goddess will watch over you, and have faith that I will always be by your side.” He touched his forehead to hers. “Take care of our child,” she whispered.
“With my life, I promise you.”
It was time for her to let go and into the Goddess’ loving arms. Gently, she placed a kiss on her daughter’s forehead and breathed in her sweet scent. “I wish you a good life, my dear heart, I will always love you.”
As her life slipped away she silently prayed to the light stone, keep her safe. Then her spirit slipped away and into the Goddess’ loving arms.

Friday, February 2, 2018

I know What You Like: 5 Things Romance Readers Lurve!

Last month, I shared some stuff I found about reviews—specifically how to use bad reviews for good. As I was perusing reviews for that piece, I couldn’t help but notice a pattern--a repetition of items reviewers praised if they were included or mourned if they were absent. So I came up with a list of things readers want—specifically fantasy readers because that was the genre I was researching, but I think these apply to any genre.

One: They Want Somebody to Love!

I read lots of gripes about female protagonists who came across as demanding, weak-kneed nellies who could never be satisfied and who asked the impossible of their male counterparts. And then there are the love interests who seem to have nothing else to live for than pleasing the woman. I know I’m writing fiction, but geez! Readers want fully rounded, believable people to love and hate and root for and root against. Even sidekicks and walk-ons need to be believable and interesting. Write every minor character as if he/she thinks the entire book is about her/him (I stole that from someone, but I like it.) Readers want characters they can identify with.

Two: They Want Something New

In my humble opinion, one reason the Romance genre gets a bad rap is the use of formulaic plots imposed by some publishers.  Readers want to be surprised and awed and gobsmacked. They want to read something that makes them say, “Holy sh*t” more than once. They want unique voices and quirky characters and nontraditional experiences. The good thing is that every one of us has a unique voice—no one sees the world exactly the way I do or the way you do. So if we are true to ourselves, we can’t help but write in some surprises that make our readers look at the world a little differently.

Three: They Want Something to Laugh At.

Readers crave a laugh, a giggle, a snicker to get them through the day, the week, the winter. The only way to test humor is to take your show on the road. Sometimes, you’ll hear nothing but crickets. As in stand-up comedy, it’s all in the timing. And it takes practice. My best advice about adding humor is to read humor. Read lots of it. Read until your sides ache from laughing. Even then, there’s no guarantee you will be able to reproduce it—in fact, writing humor is one of the hardest things in the world to do. You have to get serious if you want to write humor.


Four: They Want a Plot that Moves!

Alas, readers (and my) attention spans are limited to the 150—now 280 characters of a Tweet. You have a bit more leeway in your novel, but a good rule of thumb is to treat each paragraph like a featured excerpt and each chapter like flash fiction. One of the best exercises I ever engaged in was a thing called Friday Fictioneers. Our glorious leader posted an image on Wednesday and it was the mission of every member of the group to post a 100 word or less story about the image by COB on Friday. Not a reflection or an image—a story with a beginning, middle and end. I learned so much about pacing and brevity from that silly little practice. Make every sentence do double duty and leave them breathless at the end of every chapter.

Five: They Want All the Loose Ends Tied in a Bow.

Don’t leave me hanging. I’ve been writing a series—a real series that involves the same story over three books. Naturally, books 1 and 2 end with some things left unresolved because the chilling conclusion to ALL THINGS is in Book 3. Turns out some readers hate that. I personally love it because books like that tend to be complex and twisted, but some see it as a ploy to sell more books.

 Well. . . .yeah.

But I’ve learned you better throw them bones in every segment of the series and you better end  the whole shebang with a big bang.  If the book is a standalone—the bow needs to be fluffed and carefully knotted with all things revealed at the end. I hate nothing much more than wondering whatever happened to the semi-conscious kitten the protagonist rescued from a slobbering alien menace in chapter 2. I mean, the world may be safe, but is that kitty okay?


BONUS: They Demand Accurate Details

Ermurgurd. Do they love details. Those readers of historical romance will tear you a new one if your main character calls his neck band a cravat  before the 1630s. They are sticklers and they know what they are talking about. They also hate when you get a fact wrong—even in fantasy. I misspelled the name of a famous lady JUST ONE TIME and got dinged on reviews. The silver lining is that if you can accurately capture the period and the place, your credibility is made and picky readers will seek you out.

Did I mention your own pet peeve? Sing out! What MUST a book contain before you call it a GREAT READ?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Milestones and Things to Come

This month’s post from me is short and sweet. Why? Because I’m neck deep in finishing the first draft of the third book in my Prophecy series, Collision. This, by the way, is the perfect way for me celebrate a certain milestone I reached two years ago on January 12th. That was the day I achieved my life-long dream of becoming a published author with the release of my first novel, Prophecy, Book One of the Prophecy Series

It took over thirty years to write the darn thing. No joke. The premise of the story came to me in high school while day-dreaming during a class when I probably shouldn’t have been. (Okay, I know I shouldn’t have been.) I didn’t know back then that this would be the story that would launch my career. I was too lost in the little world budding in my head. All I wanted to do was find out what would happen to Alexis Bock, her brother Jason, and the blue-skinned alien captain whose original name I can’t remember.

Eventually, I put the story aside only to pick it up again nearly thirty years later after a fevered dream (my muse) told me that I must. (My muse likes to speak to me through dreams.) I searched high and low for my original hand-written notebooks containing the manuscript, but they seemed to have vanished. So, I started over, rebuilding this amazing world scene by scene. Ultimately, Alexis became Alexandra, Jason became Nick (Nicholaus. Yes, it’s spelled correctly for this story), and the alien captain became Gryf Helyg.

If you haven’t read Prophecy yet—or book two, Salvation (Nick’s story)—now would be a good time to start. The first draft of book three will be going to my editor by the end of February. So, it won’t be much longer until it’s also available!

Here’s more about Prophecy:

A nightmare of galactic proportions...
One normal day turns into horror when Earth is attacked. Now ER nurse Alexandra Bock is imprisoned aboard an alien slave ship with no way out. She deems all aliens untrustworthy, including the handsome blue-skinned Matiran captain who shares her cell.

A betrayal from within…
One night of treachery leaves Senior Captain Gryf Helyg a prisoner of his enemies. Because of him, Earth’s inhabitants face extinction and his home world is threatened. But his plans for escape are complicated by his inexplicable draw to the Earth woman imprisoned with him.

A chance to save both their peoples…
One ancient prophecy holds the key to free Alexandra and Gryf’s war-ravaged worlds. Can two wounded souls who have lost everything learn to trust and forgive in order to fulfill the prophecy, and find a love that will last for eternity?

Available on:

Reminder: Only one more day to subscribe to my monthly newsletter and claim a FREE copy of my short story, All of MeThis offer expires at 11:59 p.m. PST January 31, 2018.

USA Today Bestselling Author, Lea Kirk, loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance. She's currently working on book three of her popular SFR Prophecy series. She lives in California with her wonderful hubby, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and her "baby", an adorable Dobie mix.  

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pet Phrases, Shifters and Writing with @meganslayer #gayromance #iamwriting

I'm working on a new Sanctuary book and have been doing edits for other stories. My focus has been all over the place because I've had some family things happening, plus some issues with my dog. She's getting older, slowing down a little and has developed a few issues. It's been tough-ish going.
As I read through this last edit, I realized I have certain unintended pet phrases I use. My characters sigh a lot. They chuckle often and have lots of long stares. That's not bad, but when you've plowed through four edits in one week and smoothed out two submissions, you start to notice the repetitions. I know writers have those pet phrases. Anyone who says they don't...well, I don't agree with them. 
Another thing I noticed is the characters eat pretty much the same things. Okay, not exactly the same thing, but there's been a lot of pasta and steak in my books. I wish I could say I'm indulging in a lot of steak - hey, it's good and I like it - but I'm not. As for the pasta, I'm making a lot since tot needs the carbs for running. I never realized how much it's bled into my work until I did these edits. I'm chalking the steak thing up to writing more Sanctuary books and those meat-eater boys are hungry. Grin.
I do have to add this note, the pasta thing has been over the course of the last year and before. The edits aren't for brand new books, but for re-issues. Still, that's a lot of spaghetti and linguine. Oh well. 
I'm finally getting a chance to work on new material and have some subs in at various places. I've got the newest Sanctuary book started on my laptop. Maybe they'll have steak. I don't see the shifters as pasta eaters. 
What about you? Do you have pet phrases you use? Even in everyday speech? I'd love to know I'm not alone. Grin. 

Speaking of the Sanctuary, Book 10 has just been released!! Restoring His Howl. Check it out!!

Restoring His Howl (Sanctuary Book 10)  

by Megan Slayer (Author)
M/M, Anal Sex, Masturbation
Contemporary Paranormal Erotic Romance
From Resplendence Publishing

Opposites can attract, but can they make the love last?
Dillon came to the Sanctuary to hide, but also to heal. He’d been abused and needed a safe place to come into his own. He never expected to find a partner, but love came looking for him. Can he accept what he deserves or will he push away a chance at forever because he feels unlovable?
Cinders knows from the moment he sees Dillon that he wants the wolf shifter for his own. But can a jaguar shifter and a wolf shifter really pair up? He doesn’t know, but he’s banking on the attraction to pay off. What he doesn’t expect is how deep Dillon’s scars run. Is he strong enough to see beyond what’s happened to Dillon and help create a future for them together?
Anything’s possible when the jaguar shifter, a former stripper, and the wolf shifter figure out how to restore his howl.

EXCERPT:  ©Megan Slayer, 2018 – All Rights Reserved

“You can talk. Well, fuck me. That’s amazing. I thought you could, but since you don’t, I wondered. You’ve got a nice voice,” Cinders said. He grinned, his bright teeth standing out against his mocha skin. “You’re cute, too.”
Dillon longed to taste Cinders’ mouth and kiss him. Would it feel like heaven?
“So we’re supposed to be at a party tomorrow. I’ve got some costumes. Most of it is tear-away stuff, but it’ll work for one night. You’re welcome to try on anything I’ve got and find something that fits. I’ve got dibs on the naughty cop, though.” He laughed. The throaty sound echoed in the room. “Want to?”
Dillon almost asked what Cinders meant but nodded instead.
“What? I got one word out of you, and now, you won’t talk to me?” Cinders frowned. “If you’re going to use my clothes, you’ve got to speak to me.”
The wolf stood up within Dillon and watched Cinders. The animal tensed.
For a split-second, Dillon had thought Cinders meant he’d make Dillon fuck him for the clothes. He fought the urge to shake his head. Fucking to get things was part of his old life. He had a new one here at the Sanctuary.
Cinders smiled, and his shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry.”
“Why?” Dillon managed. Despite his best attempts, he couldn’t get out any other words. He spent most of his time tongue-tied, but around Cinders, something different happened. His wolf took notice, which was unusual. The wolf distrusted more individuals than his human side did. If the wolf cared to pay Cinders attention, then that meant something, right? He needed to keep an eye on the panther shifter.
“I’m being pushy,” Cinders said. “Ryan will tell you I’m good at pushy. Quiet? Not a chance. Look, you don’t have to talk. I can do that for both of us.” He waved to his end of the corridor. “Come over when you’re ready, and pick out a costume. The jaguar and I won’t bite. Promise.”
Dillon nodded. The first step to healing had to be getting out of his comfort zone. Going with Cinders was a leap. God help him, he really wanted to leap. 

* * * *

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Why not Winter? by Barbara Edwards

After suffering through some wicked winter weather, it occurred to me that making winter a character in a book might be fun. I didn’t have to think about the strengths or weaknesses. 
I quickly realized winter is very popular with paranormal writers. C.L. Wilson featured The Winter King in a recent book. I loved the hero who’s heart was slowly freezing as he fought to save his world. 

I often use winter in my own writing. Late for the Wedding, a novella, takes place during a New England blizzard. Although winter isn’t a character, it does drive the plot.

Or Dixie’s Gift takes place during a snow storm. 
A sweet Christmas story to warm your heart.

I’m thinking about a character. Of course he could be cold or the other extreme of very hot.
Hmmm. That’s a thought. A hero who fights winter.

Do you have a winter character? Tell us more.

Late for the Wedding (Twelve Brides of Christmas Book 2) 
by Barbara Edwards 
Heather Green will do anything to make her twin’s wedding perfect. Despite an impending nor’easter, she sets out with the wedding dress, cake, favors and cake topper in her car. As the snow piles up, her car is wrecked and she barely misses injury in a major accident.
Nicholas Burnes would rather be ensconced with his latest cuddle than drive a tow truck, but his brother needs his help. He reluctantly agrees to help Heather find a way to the wedding locale, but when the storm closes the roads, he ends up offering her shelter in his penthouse.
Warm and rested at last, Nick and Heather explore their powerful attraction to each other, only to part when he delivers her, on time, to her sister’s wedding. But weddings breed weddings…

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