Thursday, December 27, 2012


The Magic of the Season

This is the time of the year when people give a little more, smile a little more and love a little more. It’s the reason why 690,000 Americans are conceived during the Christmas holiday season. It’s that time of the year when people give love and receive love with open arms. 


You can feel the magic in the air during this time of the year. From Thanksgiving thru New Years there is a touch of human kindness that settle in each of us. We are happy to see those relatives that we hide from during most of the year. Yet, during the holidays, they are the very ones that give you memories that you will share at the next holiday dinner. 


We smile and accept gifts we know we will never use or wear. The one thing you ask for, leave hints for, pictures on the refrigerator with locations and prices, you still don’t receive. But, you smile and are thankful for what you do because we understand, it’s not about the gift but the thought behind the giving. 


Sitting at the dinner table we eat, no, stuff ourselves knowing we are going to pay the price when we step on the scales next week in the name of New Year Resolutions. Or some of us have a little to much to drink and have to stay the night for safety reasons. Oh, and the person who’s home we invade during the holidays, have to put up with family a night longer than planned. 


All of this is a part of the holiday season and we love it. As much as we complain, overspend and over eat, we love the feeling that the holidays bring. We love more, laugh more, and give more. It’s the spirit of love. 


With that in mind, sign up to follow this post and win an electronic copy of a Hot M.A.M.A. author book of your choice from Amazon. Altonya Washington, Angie Daniels, Bridget Midway, Cheris Hodges, Denise Jeffries, Kianna Alexander, Loretta R. Walls, Monique Lamont or myself, Iris Bolling. Email a copy of your sign up page to irisb@sirient.com with the name of the author and book you would like. 

Happy Holidays  

Iris B.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Twas the weekend of Christmas

Christmas Eve is my favorite part of the season. No, I'm not some big kid who looks forward to a man in a red suit sneaking into my house in the middle of the night. Were it not for my parents saying "I do" on December 24th forty-five years ago, I don't think I'd believe in the magic of love.

See, as a kid, I didn't sneak around looking for Santa, I wanted a little brother. That's usually what happened on the anniversary stories I saw on TV. Never happened around these parts, which in hindsight is a great thing.

Christmas Eve has always been a day filled with love and happiness in my home and the only holiday that it is mandatory for all of the kids to show up for. As the years progressed, the guest list grew, there were sister and brother in laws, a niece and three nephews. But the love was just the same. And there is always cake!

And since I'm late on posting, my mistake is your opportunity!
Follow this blog today and you're entered for a chance to win an audiobook of Recipe For Desire.
After you click the follow button, email me your mailing address at cheris87@bellsouth.net!

Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

All I Want for Christmas




Christmas to me is all about family. Catching up. Spending time together... sitting around... talking, that's what I look forward to most. This is the time of the year when I reach out and touch someone across the phone lines that I haven’t spoken to in forever.
I absolutely love the holiday season. Decorating the house, making a big dinner and inviting the family over for dinner. Those things mean more to me than all of the gifts in the world. Not that I don’t like getting them. In fact I am hoping someone buys me that Pandora bracelet I’ve been talking about all year [hint, hint].
Last year I finally tossed out the artificial tree that I’ve had for years. My kids were sick of looking at that pitiful thing. Instead, the day after Thanksgiving we went out and bought a beautiful fresh cut tree and together we decorated it with all these ornaments I got at Cracker Barrel last year after the holiday for 75% off. Then it was time to pull out the Christmas music, which everyone in the house is forced to listen to until the holiday season is over. LOL.
This month, during all of the shopping and holiday excitement I released, A Beau for Christmas. I was in one of my write-a-book-in-thirty-days mode and put my foot on the gas. I am pleased to have released the book earlier than expected. In addition, I also re-released A Delight for Christmas, which I hope will always be a holiday favorite. This has been an amazing year with plenty of surprises and I end the year reflecting on what I’ve accomplished and contemplating where I grow from here.
In 2013, I plan to come out the gate with my fingers blazing across that keyboard FULL SPEED AHEAD.  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Having a holly, jolly holiday!

Now I must tell you, life has been so crazy all I can do is say whew! I at least got my Christmas tree up. I laugh at my self because you would think that was a great undertaking. I opted for the small 4 foot one instead of the 7 footer. And that' saying a lot. I'm hoping to get the cards in the mail by the end of the week and not Febrary like 2010. Don't laugh, I know some of you who have already completed your shopping and the tree is trimmed to perfection and the cookies are ready to be eaten, but not me. I've been wondering around in a major procrastination mode acting as if it's going to get done without me. Not! So, I decided to kick off some holidy cheer and kick myself into holidy gift giving mode by introducing you to my next book that is due to be released in January 2013. I don't have the exact date yet but you will be the first to know, promise. The residents of St. Agnes, Eastern Shore Virginia are at it again. Lost in the Dark, book three of my St. Agnes series is on it's way. I hope you are as excited as I am. It was fun to write and some of the old characters are kicking it strong along with new ones. Dominique is still tough as nails, Jericho is tougher and if it wasn't due to Jasmine convincing eveyone Marcus is alive who know's what would have happened. I want to make sure every one has a great holiday so to toss in some extra cheer I'm having a contest. Who ever wins gets a fantabulous readers dream prize. The contents are being kept in the vault because I don't want to be responsible for any fighting on the internet. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Here's how it's going down.First and foremost you gotta read my whole blog. Second, answer the secret questions at the end and email me your answers at contestwithDeniseJeffries@hotmail.com and leave the rest to me. The first person to respond to my contest gets their name tossed in the pot. For each correct answer you email your name gets tossed in and if you answer all five correctly you get an extra toss in. Wow, there are soooo many chances at winning this holidy contest, Santa is probably going to call me and tell me I've given too much away. Especally since I know most of you have been naughty. I know I have. So lets get started and good luck. I will keep you posted on more contest and exciting things happening as we get closer to release day!
LOST IN THE DARK You don’t have to hide in the dark if you’re already lost. Always ready to write that breakout article, journalist, Marcus Reed stopped at nothing to ‘get it done’… until now. Now, he’s awake and running for his life. Having awakened in a strange city, covered in dirt, grime and blood, not his own, the only thing he can do is seek help from the most unlikely source. The last thing Natalia Lucas needed was for this strange man to wander into her police precinct. Nonetheless, there’s something about him that has piqued her interest. His eyes tell her there’s more beyond the dirt and confusion… the amnesia, especially since he’s supposed to be dead, having been killed two weeks prior when his car blew up. Having vowed to help, they set out on a trek of constant danger. Natalia has secrets of her own and she does not want them uncovered. That fear alone could destroy the woman she’s worked so hard to become. When it’s discovered Marcus is still alive, whoever killed him will do anything to complete the task even if it means killing them both. Knowing breaking this case could put her on the map, she’s determined to put light where there was darkness. Bound by a common goal of finding the truth, they will do everything in their power to ignore the attraction that has ignited between them. As danger builds, will the passion between two ill fitted people be enough to save them or will the darkness they uncover destroy them both.
1. What is the name of my series 2. What are the names of four characters of the town? 3. What is the name of the first book of the series? 4. What is the book number of Lost in the Dark? 5. What do you do, in the dark? Don't forget, email answers to: contestwithDeniseJeffries@hotmail.com

Friday, December 14, 2012

Oh! Oh! Oh!

Don't you just love the holidays? Getting together with family, incredible food, everything all sparkly and shiny, a renewed love of Jesus, and, yes, the presents, both giving and receiving. It's what we all think about when we think of Christmas and the holidays.

So this holiday, I'm going to share an excerpt from my recent release, "O, Come", released through Whispers Publishing in November. It's also included in the Wonderland print anthology, which includes stories from authors Yvette Hines and Aliyah Burke.

Since I'm in a giving mood, I'm also giving away this story. The first person to e-mail me at Contest@bridgetmidway.com will receive "O, Come" in e-book!

Now enjoy this excerpt. Merry Christmas!

Cynda paused before answering. She tiptoed toward him. “Can’t a friend want to see another friend for the holidays? Does there always have to be a motive?”

Reid chuckled. “With you? Yes.” He raked his fingers through his hair and paced in front of her. “What in the world am I going to do with you?”

“I can think up a lot of things we can do together.” She chewed on her lower lip and tugged the hem of the shirt she wore. “Why are you talking about me like I’m some baby left on your doorstep? I’m here. Isn’t that great?”

Had Reid imagined this moment when he would be alone with Cynda again? Absolutely. Now that he stood in the middle of that situation, he didn’t know how to proceed. He’d envisioned a long life together with her. Did she want that?

He stopped. “Do your parents know you’re here?”

“You mean my father, don’t you?” Cynda put her fists to her hips.

She shouldn’t have done that. Her shirt rose about a good four inches, nearly showing off her pussy again. Now Reid wanted to recall whether or not she kept that area completely shaved or did she have a cute landing strip of hair.

“Who knows you’re here?” Reid asked more directly this time.

“Let’s see. The woman at the front desk, Josie, Harold, and you.” Cynda crawled on the bed again and sat on the edge.

“No paparazzi?”

Cynda cocked her head. “Believe it or not, I don’t invite those leeches to follow me. I just want to live my life. Because of my last name, the media chooses to document my every move.”

Reid shook his head. “And you parading around naked and jet-setting across the globe has nothing to do with their interest, right?”

The smile returned to Cynda’s angelic face. “Have you been watching what I do, Reidy?”

He released and exasperated sigh. “Stop calling me that. Between you and Josie, I feel like I’m sixteen again.”

She giggled. “Did she call you Monkey?”

“All the time.”

Cynda did a full laugh this time.

“Luckily she only does it when we’re by ourselves.” This time Reid laughed with her. He hadn’t laughed like that with anyone in a long time.

“Wow, so you haven’t lost your sense of humor. I was starting to wonder.” She stretched her shapely leg out and tapped her toe against his knee.

That slight connection accelerated his heartbeat. He imagined himself holding her ankles and spreading her legs. From the way Cynda reacted to him now, it looked like she wanted to resume their relationship, at least their physical one. Could he be happy with that?

“No, I didn’t lose my sense of humor. But I did lose something.” He glared at her.

Cynda must have picked up on what he implied.

Reid continued. “Over the next couple of weeks, there’s a lot going on here. The Christmas tree lighting will be in a week. Not only are we doing a special holiday package for families like normal, but Graham proposed this new singles’ package that’s gone over like gangbusters. The place is packed. I’m working sixteen to eighteen hours a day to make sure everything is running the way it should.”

Cynda jumped off the bed and approached him. “Hey, look, I’m not here to cause you any problems. As a matter of fact, I would like to help you. You tell me what I can do to help run some of the events and I’ll do it.”

Reid snickered. That would be all he needed for Donald Richmond to hear that he couldn’t handle the holiday crowd and needed help from his most irresponsible child.

“I know what you’re thinking.” She drew an imaginary X over her chest above her right breast. “I promise not to get you in trouble. You can handle the family side since you’ve done that before. I’ll take care of the singles.”

Reid shook his head. “I can’t ask the resort owner’s daughter to work during the holidays. It’s bad enough that I’m working during the holidays.”

Cynda reached for Reid’s hand. “Hey, I’m sorry that you can’t—”

Not wanting to touch her right now, he pulled back. “Look, just stay out of my way and let me do my job.”

She shook her head. “Nope. Can’t do that. I’m here to help. I will not take no for an answer.”

“If the media catches wind of you working here—”

“They won’t. I’m not going to say anything. The guests might blab about me being here, but I’ll try to keep low-key.” She took a step closer to him.

“Low-key wearing that?” He pointed to her hair.

Cynda’s flashy nature didn’t appeal to his public sensibilities. In private, it drove him nuts. If they were still in a relationship, and she came to bed wearing one of those flamboyant wigs, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself.

He never saw himself as someone who would be into role play. Cynda brought out a different side of himself, one he didn’t want to explore.

Cynda brushed the hair from her eyes. “I won’t wear the pink, green, purple or blue one. Not in public anyway.” She smiled. “But I have to be me.”

Reid kept his position. “What if your father finds out?”

“I hope he does find out. Maybe he’ll be proud of me then.” She lowered her gaze to the floor.

For a woman who had ripped out his heart at one time, his own heart ached for her apparent pain. “Your dad loves you. He’s not ashamed of you.”

“You mean like you?”

Reid furrowed his eyebrows. “What are you talking about? I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of you.”

“Except you keep no pictures out in your home. You keep me in a drawer.” She pointed to his dresser.

“You snooped through my personal belongings? You had no right to do that.” His head pounded. Now he wanted her out of his home, out of his life.

“I’m standing here telling you that I’m trying to get to know you again. Just let me in.”

He crossed his arms over his naked chest again. “Yeah, because that worked out for me so well the last time.” Reid walked away from her. “I care about you.”

When she smiled, Reid knew he had to clarify his statement.

“As a friend. You and your family have done a lot for me. But I can’t do this with you again.” He looked at his rumpled bed. “You can stay here for tonight. Tomorrow night you move into the guest bedroom. If you’re here beyond that—”

“I will be!” She moved in closer to him.

Reid swallowed hard. “If you’re here beyond tomorrow, I’ll find you other accommodations.”

Cynda’s smile melted. Before speaking again, she regained intense eye contact with him. “Leaving you to travel was the hardest thing I ever had to do.”

Reid studied her eyes and her expression. Oh shit. This time she told the truth. Reid connected a bit to her pain, but refused to drop his guard around her, not just yet.

“I have no plans to leave. Not just yet.” She reached out to touch him. “While I’m here, I do want us to clear the air and reconnect again.”

Reid had no idea what Cynda meant by reconnecting and why her desire to do so had to be done now. Maybe she’d seen too many holiday movies. Either way, he couldn’t have her distract him from his ultimate goals.

“Get some sleep.” Reid stepped into his bathroom where he found Cynda’s bra and panties on his bathroom floor. A quick image of him snatching off those items from her body and throwing them on the floor flashed in his mind.

Reid really had to get away from Cynda or he’d do something he’ll regret.

He grabbed his toothbrush and toothpaste before he retired to his spare bedroom. “Clean up my room.”

“Yes, sir.” She saluted. “Wait.”

Reid turned around at the doorway.

“It’s been a lot time since we’ve seen each other. I don’t even get a hug?” She held her arms out.

He had imagined this scenario in his head for years, what he would do if he saw Cynda again. In one version, he would grab her into his arms and would refuse to let her go. In another, he told her how much she’d hurt him and refused to see her again. Right now, his feelings lay somewhere in between.

Reid approached her with great caution. He gave her a loose hug using only one arm, and tried pulling away from her, like mouse daring to take a chance snagging a piece of cheese from a trap. Then she held him even tighter.

Snap!

The light aroma he’d caught earlier now overwhelmed his senses along with the warmth of her body. He felt her nuzzling her face against his chest. All at once, heat engulfed his body.

On instinct, he embraced her like his life depended on it. Maybe it did. Maybe in order to move on, he had to have a tough conversation with Cynda and let her know his true feelings. Or maybe sleeping with her again would help put a period on whatever they had between them.

As though she could read his thoughts, she brushed her lips against his collarbone before fully pressing her lips against his neck. Although he didn’t want to, he let a moan escaped from his lips.

Reid rubbed his arms over her back, feeling silly that he still held onto the tube of toothpaste and his toothbrush that he’d grabbed from his bathroom. His body told him to drop the items and pick her up instead. His mind attempted to keep him grounded in reality.

She raked her nails down his bare back, and his cock responded. Cynda pressed her breasts against his chest, and the memories came flooding back. That night. The sex. His disappointment when she refused to come with him.

Reid panted. His damn traitorous body betrayed him. His foot without a shoe took a step toward his bed. The foot in a shoe remained grounded in its spot.

“Come to bed,” she whispered. “Come.”

Stay sexy,
BridgeT

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cutting Through the Holiday Madness




Hey, Y'all,
Well, it's that time of year again. The time when the malls are filled with shoppers, some of whom will elbow you in the mouth to grab that last Barbie doll. Traffic is backed up, parking lots are full to capacity, your phone is ringing off the hook with charity solicitations and telemarketers. It's enough to drive even a genteel Southern lady like myself to reach for the bottle. (Relax, it's just moscato.)

The point is, we sometimes need to escape the craziness forced upon us by an extremely consumerist society. Remember the true reason for the season- whatever that is for you. For most of us, this time of year is about celebrating 2012 and looking forward to 2013 with the people we love most, our family and friends. It's my hope that we all experience the glow of love radiating from those who mean the most to us.

Aside from the joy found in good company, sometimes we need to have some "me time." As women we often struggle with that concept- we give and give until we ourselves are empty vessels, exhausted, frustrated, and ready to smack somebody. Don't do it. While violence may be temporarily satisfying, it often leads to criminal charges. Stop, take a breath, and step back from the situation. Take the time to fill your vessel, by spending time doing the things you love. Maybe it's a spa day. Maybe you want to sleep in. Maybe you want to fill a target full of holes at the shooting range. Whatever your pleasure,this year, don't forget to take time for yourself. My husband will be incredibly gratified to know I've passed the advice he's (repeatedly) given me  to the Internets at large.

If reading's your thing, good news! Everyone who follows the Hot MAMA Land blog today will receive one entry into a drawing for a free autographed copy of my historical romance, Kissing the Captain, along with a Kianna Alexander pen, fancy bookmark, and a few other awesome swag goodies. Want more entries? Check it out- you can get one more by leaving a comment about how you cut through the holiday madness, and yet another entry if you share the blog via Twitter with the hashtag (#hotmamaland!). You can get a maximum of three entries!

From my house to yours, Happy Holidays!

-Kianna

Friday, December 7, 2012

Paying It Forward...Quietly

With this being the month of December, I thought the following experience was most fitting to share. Some of you may have already read about this on my Facebook and Twitter posts from a few weeks back but this is a story that I don't mind sharing again and again.

So every Saturday during football season, we take our son to Chili's after the game- win or lose. Even though my guy's been playing for 6 years, I'm still not all that knowledgeable of the rules of the game. I am however, knowledgeable in drama and oh boy every Saturday you can be sure there are some interesting anecdotes that my son and his dad (who's also a team coach) have to share. These tales make for very interesting dinner conversations, I assure you.

This year my son's team had a very successful season. Unfortunately, they lost the final game and it stung a lot because the other team; from all that I've heard, did a lot of shady things during the season. It stung for my son's team to lose to folks like this. So...as we often do, we talked about the game and gave our son the usual parent pep talk. The talk that week had all the 'keep your head up' undertones but it was also a pat on the back for him to keep up the good work. As one of the smallest guys on the team, he's also one of the toughest and hardest workers. The head coach never fails to mention that when he speaks to the team.

Now we aren't sure if this had anything to do with what happened that day, but I just wanted to take time to set the stage. After the entrees, our waitress asked if we wanted dessert. We told her no and she informed us that our meal had been paid in full by the couple in the booth ahead of us. She (our waitress) also informed us that it wasn't necessary for us to leave a tip as the couple had been far too generous in that regard as well. After I found my voice again, I asked where they were so we could thank them.

The server explained that they didn't want us to know who they were- this was just something they wanted to do. They weren't looking for gratitude or admiration, they simply wanted to do a good thing. We were stunned. This had never happened to us. Ever. Had the couple overheard our comments to our son and thought we were worthy parents? What really stunned us was how quietly these...angels went about their actions without making a fuss or seeking notice. I think that's what really blew me away.

We always hear about folks who make grand, sweeping gestures of kindness. For me, it's those who quietly act, that really deserve so much of our admiration.

For the angels who paid our Chili's bill several weeks ago, Thank You and God Bless You Both. And for those of you who carry out similar selfless and anonymous acts of generosity, You Are Angels Among Men. May God Bless and Keep You All.

So now, I'm in the paying it forward mode and I hope it's a mode that never shuts off for me. In times like these, such acts of good will are not only right, they are necessary. Please feel free to chime in with your own experiences of when you were in the presence of angels or just comment on this post. Doing so, will get you automatically entered in the drawing for either a $20 Amazon Gift Card or  an autographed copy of my upcoming Kimani release- Provocative Territory for you and a friend. Follow the Hot M.A.M.A.s blog and enter to win autographed copies of the new book for you and three friends.

Take care and Best Wishes For A Joyous Holiday Season!
Love,
AlTonya










Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guest Post: Laura Browning

 















This Sunday's guest is none other than Laura Browning. Show her some love, y'all!




I grew up in a family of readers. My father read non-fiction and action-thrillers. My mother was more organized. God, was she more organized. The woman had a reading list probably before anyone had ever thought of the 100 Books Everyone Should Read. We were regulars at the library where I worked my way through every horse book known to man and became an instant expert on everything from archaeology to Russian history.
We were also letter writers. I remember carrying on weekly correspondence with my eldest brother’s then fiancée, beginning when I was nine years old. And honestly, if I had to track my love of writing back to anything, I’d say it’s rooted in reading and the letters back and forth with my sister-in-law.
But I was going to be an artist, not a writer…until a school friend handed me my first Harlequin Romance.
We both dreamed of writing our own books. I actually finished a horrifyingly bad gothic romance written in longhand when I was sixteen. Shudder. I’m not sure where it is, but I hope it’s gone to a better place—like the dump or up in smoke. Like most romance couples of that long ago, he was rich and experienced and she was young and naïve. I even had a sex scene in it, which is pretty good for someone who had barely even kissed her boyfriend. But hey, writers are supposed to have imagination! Besides that, I’d read some Barbara Cartland, too, so I already knew that having sex was so divine, even the first time, that the angels would sing. Wow, I’m making myself gag.
I eventually went into journalism and became a very snappy and cynical news producer. I am not ashamed to admit, though, I was still a romantic at heart. So I continued my attempts to write a romance novel. I had tons of ideas. In fact, ideas have never been a problem for me. I’ve gotten inspiration from riding horses, from songs I like and from people around me. I try to get ideas down on paper as soon as they occur. The danger is, since I’m a pantser, I start getting too detailed and the next thing I know, I’m already twenty thousand words into a new manuscript and backpedaling to write down character and plot details in a separate file so I don’t have to keep hunting them in the manuscript.
Serious writing began about seven years ago, but I still hadn’t worked up the nerve to do anything with it. It’s not easy hanging yourself out there. Having someone rip into your writing is a bit like having skin flayed from you with a metal tipped whip. So I was a chicken. My husband gave me the kick I needed, and in 2009 I submitted to The Wild Rose Press with two paranormal novels The Silkie’s Call and The Silkie’s Salvation. Both were accepted. I enjoyed writing them and may eventually do more, but my heart is really in contemporary romance.
With my confidence back in place, I pulled out a manuscript that had been sitting in my stash and submitted to Lyrical Press. That submission became Winning Heart, the precursor of the series I’m doing with them on the Barlow-Barretts, a family of media moguls similar to a combination of the Kennedys and the Hearsts. Bittersweet came out in December 2011. Book 2, Balancing Act, released last month and, I’m thrilled to say, will be coming out in print in December! And Remember Me comes out February 3. Three more books are either in the process of submission or being written.
The bottom line for me is I love to write, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to teach students to write, too. You see, I gave up the TV career and now teach English at an alternative ed high school. Watching a teenager get fired up about something she’s writing is almost as good as finishing a manuscript. Almost…lol.
Here’s the blurb for my latest release, Balancing Act: He has high expectations. And she exceeds every one.
Seth Barlow picks his teeth with the bones of secretaries he's chewed up and spit out. Except Tessa Edwards. She's completely unruffled by his bad attitude--and completely undone by his touch.
But Tessa is balancing on a high wire with no safety net. Her job is the only thing that keeps her from losing custody of her little brother to her money-hungry aunt and uncle, who care less for the dyslexic child than for the hefty trust fund that comes with him.
When ten thousand dollars goes missing from Barrett Newspapers and shows up in Tessa's personal bank account, not even her budding relationship with Seth can help Tessa keep her job...or her little brother.
Warning: One bad-tempered boss, one super-efficient secretary, and a whole lot of sparks!
Oh, and I have to include a picture of the cover of Remember me, too, because I absolutely love this cover! You rock, Renee!
You can find me at www.laurabrowningbooks.com or on facebook at Laura Browning author.
Hey, thanks so much for letting me share some of my writing journey with you. I love hearing how people end up as writers.

Friday, November 30, 2012

GIVE LOVE AT CHRISTMAS


GIVE LOVE AT CHRISTMAS


It's that time of the year where we take a moment to give. When we hear this most people think of material things. As a romance writer, the first thing that come to my mind is, GIVE LOVE AT CHRISTMAS.

There are so many ways to accomplish this. You can give your time, a simple smile to someone in need or the ultimate give, yourself (literally). Hmm, let's examine that idea. Wrap a red ribbon around certain parts of your anatomy, place a big red bow in the middle, slip on a trench coat, stiletto heels, then show up at his door and knock lightly. He open's the door, you open your coat and say, "Merry Christmas." Allow him to slowly unwrap his present, then ask, "How much fun it is to ride." LOL!

While that form of gift giving could be fun, you can't give it to everyone. However, there is a gift that you can give to just about everyone you care about......romance novels. This gift takes you on a journey  that will last forever.



Try Searching, by Embue (Our own Loretta R. Walls)

Athena Black is not the woman to mince words with. Honest, straightforward and very independent, she knows what she wants and how to get it. The same could be said of her friend-with-benefits, Math Professor, Nelson Hazelwood.

During a social mixer hosted by Ari and Riley Myers, Athena lays eyes on a man that could possibly change that status.

Denali “Dee” Chapman’s past has left many a woman brokenhearted. One of Nelson’s fraternity brothers, he knows all too well what damage Dee can achieve. Once he laid eyes on Athena, his life would never be the same. Two men, one heart in the midst of…Searching.


O, Come, by Bridget Midway, 

It's a few days before Christmas, and to her surprise, there's only one place Cynda Richmond, family wild child, wants to be: Village Resort in Colorado, the ski lodge her family owns. Although she initially plans to spend her holidays travelling through Greece, she decides to stay at home and keeping a close eye on Reid Weller, the lodge's general manager and a childhood friend who has never taken her seriously.

Reid Weller is content to spend his holidays and his entire life taking care of Village Resort and its guests. He's felt more at home at the resort and with the Richmond family than anywhere else, with one exception: Cynda Richmond. Since they were children, she has stirred up trouble and chaos with both him and her immediate family. He's comforted by the fact that normally she enjoys staying away from the resort and her family, especially during the holidays. So when he goes to his private chalet at the resort a week before Christmas, he's shocked to find a beautiful and naked woman in his bed. Even more surprising, the woman is none other than Cynda.

Double Take, by Monique Lamont 

LaMonica Walker is a journalist and a woman who has always done what was expected of her; never walking on the wild side of life. When it comes to success and her career everything has fallen perfectly in place. However, her love life is at a standstill. Until she gets the chance of a lifetime—interview Detrick Raulins. From the first moment she meets him nothing goes as planned. Amidst a case of mistaken identity, resistance and her body on overdrive from one of the city's sexiest men, LaMonica is way out of her element.

Detrick has never had any qualms about being a no-holds-barred attorney when it comes to battling slumlords. Neither has his playboy reputation bothered him; until LaMonica. Always one to protect his privacy, he can’t fathom why he agreed to give an interview, especially to a woman who’s making him second guess his own rules of commitment.

In the end one of them must learn to trust and the other has to take a chance for love.



Any Man Will Do, by Angie Daniels

Only hours away from celebrating yet another birthday, advertising executive Anika Andersen refuses to wake up a 30-year-old virgin. So she goes out looking for a one-night-stand. As far as she is concerned any man will do. That is, before she lays eyes on Auto Mechanic, Trey Austin, a sexy alpha male who's a whole lot more than she could have wished for. Her Christmas wish might turn into a lifetime of happiness.






Recipe for Desire by Cheris Hodges

At twenty-seven, Marie Charles is still Charlotte's number one party girl. But when she adds a DWI arrest and a totaled Jaguar to her list of tabloid news-making escapades, her daddy is done bailing her out. Sentenced to five hundred hours of community service at My Sister's Keeper, a homeless shelter for women, Marie won't have much time left for partying. . .

Renowned chef and TV star Devon Harris volunteers at My Sister's Keeper. And he's not happy Marie is joining him. He may be single--and she may be gorgeous--but the last thing he's interested in is a superficial southern belle. But as Marie outgrows the selfish girl she was, Devon is turned on by the woman she's becoming. . .


Night of Seduction/Heaven's Gate, by yours truly, Iris Bolling


A Night of Seduction can change your outlook on life and open Heaven's Gate.

Night of Seduction
Music Executive Jason Davies made a mistake. That result was a gift of love, his daughter Sierra. Accepting his responsibility as a father, he moves the mother of his daughter, Latoya Wright into his home. Expectantly, she wreaks so much havoc in his life he completely gives up on love. Then he meets the sexy, lovable photographer TeKaya Kendrick and not only does he find a love, he experiences a night of seduction that will last a life time.

Heaven’s Gate
R&B singer Eric “Silk” Davies has lost his muse. Night after night he sings, bringing joy and hope of love to millions, but can’t seem to find it for himself. Then during one of his concerts, his eyes rest on a woman in the front row and his songs take on a new meaning that leads to an unbelievable night of seduction. The woman, he believes to be a call girl, turns out to be a beautiful, baggage filled, school teacher named Siri Austin who just happens to be his key to open Heaven’s Gate.

Two brothers - Two Sisters - Two Loves of a Lifetime!

There are thousands of books that give a little romance and a lot of love, that can last a lifetime. To show you how easy it is. Be the one of first five to post a comment on this blog and you will received a Kindle version of Night of Seduction/Heaven's Gate for free. Just leave your name and email address in the blog and experience how easy it is to GIVE LOVE AT CHRISTMAS.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

Until the next time,

Iris

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Guest Blog: Cora Blu

Today's guest in Hot MAMA Land is: Cora Blu! Welcome!



Thank you for hosting me today. My name is Cora Blu and I write Contemporary Interracial Romance and Parafantasy Romance. An underwater series.
Today I wanted to share how I find my characters voice. The actual sound of their voice. The way I hear a character is vital to how I see them. This adds to their mannerisms, habits, everything.
Walking down the street or through a mall, many of us see a person and form a voice for them in our minds. As soon as they begin to speak and a different voice comes out they’re not as attractive or interesting as they were a minute ago. Worst the voice is warmer, graveled, sexier or deeper than you thought it would be. Now you’re standing there staring at a perfect stranger. Lips drying up because now they’re … interesting , attractive, hot. Blind—they’re staring at you now because your mouth is hanging open and your purse strap is hanging off your elbow. One eyebrow jacked up.
(You know you’ve been there)
That’s how I approach my characters. Listening to the radio is a good way to find pitch in a voice. Not just a deep voice for a brooding hero, but a tone hiding pain. A kind male voice you feel on your skin when the person speaks to you. It lays across you like a spent lover warm and moist with a faint pulse. Not weak, but caring and inviting.
Now that voice has to fit the face in my mind. A short statured man, with a boy next door face and a stocky build that could push a F-150 down the street without breaking a sweat, give him that voice and he becomes your best friends brother that you never liked until he pulled the b-b-grill across the back yard at her parents pool party.
Now all you need to hear is one syllable in that voice and your disposition changes. You start looking around the room, standing on tiptoe trying to see if you see him. All because the voice is a prologue to the personality.
Pair him with the wrong voiced heroine, and the story never works. Place him with a fast talker who speaks faster than she thinks and watch them balance one another out.
Once I can hear their voices I can hear them in any room with any person I place them with, because not only do they have a personality, but so does their voice.
In my Underwater series, Brothers of Element Series, my heroine, Drew, a human, meets her security, Her’lion, a bull shark shifter, for the first time after meeting her hero Dagger, a tiger shark shifter and King of the Atlantic out on her pier.
She couldn’t believe what he was saying. It was more incredible than the idea of living beneath the sea, predators and prey living together in clans. This was straight out of a sci-fi novel. He noticed her confusion.
Come meet my head of security, a bull shark, mated to my life assistant, Carina, a dolphin.”
I can’t concentrate. There’re too many questions to ask.”
She watched the men as they approached the pier, introducing themselves and to her surprise, kissing her palm, one by one. Dagger knelt behind her on the pier as a man came closer. His skin was darker than a nightmare; his eyes, a soft purple, almost lavender shade, were serious with pride.”
Queen Drew, this is your personal security, Her’lion. Her’lion, this is your Queen, Drew Hamilton.”
My Queen, it is an honor to serve you.”
Dagger’s voice was deep, but this man’s voice led you down a dark alley, to an unmarked door with no handle requiring a password and a handshake for admission—yet somehow she knew him.
Her’lion, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” She threaded her fingers together, uncertain of protocol. “Have we met before?”
I watch from the breakwaters, patrolling with the killer whale you refer to as Bandit.”
Oh—” she said shyly. She’d danced for him that morning to save Jim, so she assumed at the time; now she was embarrassed.
Do not be concerned, my Queen, you believed me to be a threat this morning. You are very brave.”
~~~
Thank you for sharing time with me. If you have any questions please ask. I would love to give one commenter a copy, in their preferred format, of one of my ebooks, their choice. If it’s from the Brothers of Element Series I’ll add “Desmond” to it.
Books available @Amazon, B&N, Allromance, Kobo
Sincerely, Cora Blu



Friday, November 23, 2012

You know what really makes a romance novelist mad?

Imagine spending months, even years, with the perfect man. He's a little moody, but he has a big heart -- among other big things -- and when you need him, he's right there. Then you have to say goodbye to him and share him with the rest of the world. Yep, your hero is on the shelves and you're left to deal with the men in the real world.

Yes, those men who don't hold doors and give you side eye when you -- in your five inch heels with your hands full -- don't hold the door for them.

Yeah, those men who holler, "Hey baby!" and get mad when you keep walking without looking back.

Umm, those quarterbacks and other "ballers" who think calling a female sports reporter sweetheart or gorgeous in press conferences and on TV is just fine.

I keep a journal and I usually keep it closed tightly. But I have to share this. Over the summer, I attended the first Charlotte Book Fair and was asked, why do I write romance?
The standard answer is it's fun and a great chance to write about love. Granted, that's true but real deal is real men make me sad.

For instance, once upon a time, I was in love with a man I ended up killing in Cautious Heart. He's Damien King, in case you wanted to know.
Well, much like Damien, the man behind the character was a lying cheater and add childish jerk to the list. So, why should I care that you have happy holiday wishes for me?

You -- the same person who tried to sleep with someone I considered a friend?
You -- the person who ruined my Christmases for three years in a row?
You -- the inspiration for a male character who died such a violent death I had to edit myself?

So, I write romance because I can forget people like "Damien King" are real.
I write romance because it gives me hope. I write romance because some real men just make me mad! I know y'all could do better if you tried.
I write romance because at the end of the story, I get a happy ending too. :)


No Black Friday For Me- Tee Hee...

So this is just my crazy chime in post in honor of Black Friday. I'm not a shopper, I shop but it's not a religion for me the way it is for some folks. With that said, I am SOOOOOO glad that my child is getting to the age where he only has small list of one or two must have items. I remember the days of shopping and making sure he had lots of little things to open to make the holiday a bit more special for him. Those were such fun days and the memories are so sweet but only having to be on the look out for that one electronic gadget that he's GOT to have this year is mighty sweet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Guest Blog: Deatri King Bey

It's Sunday, and that means a guest is stopping by Hot MAMA Land. Today we welcome Deatri King Bey!



The Big Reveal

When do you reveal your past in your current relationship? First, second third date perhaps? Or do you let them get to know you, then you lower the boom! How does that work? I’m serious. If you did something in your past that you’re not the proudest of, would you tell and when? Have you told your significant other everything about your past? How do you decide what to tell?

Does your past really matter if you’ve left it in the past or does it depend on what IT is? I love this show called Drop Dead Diva. In one of the episodes, a husband found out that his wife had murdered someone years before they’d married. Since they’d been together their lives had been perfect. What would you do if you found out the person you love has a checkered past?

Be honest with yourself. It wouldn’t be easy. In all honesty, I don’t know what I’d do. It’s so easy to say we’d do this, that, or the other, but we don’t truly know until placed in that situation.

What would you be willing to do for the well-being of your family? Would you lie, cheat, steal, murder? Did you have the gut reaction of saying no, no, no, no to all four? Are there circumstances you can imagine where you’d step onto that slippery slope?

That’s where the heroine in my latest romance novel, Stolen Heart, finds herself. She’s done things in her past for the survival of her family. She wants to believe she’s doing the right thing, but is she? When you fall in love, do you reveal all of your past and if so, when? Even if you’ve given up that life? Would you tell the one you love that you used to steal candy as a child? What if your past comes back to haunt you?
Here’s a little about Stolen Heart:
Desperate times call for desperate measures!
In the midst of a desperate time, Taylor Paige reverts to a life of crime; however, the tables have turned and it’s Taylor who ends up missing a most valuable possession. She falls in love with her target, and he steals her heart.
As CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, Mike Hughes appears to be at the top of the world. In reality, he longs for something he has never had, a loving family. When Taylor Paige drops into his life he thinks his prayers have been answered, but then he discovers her extra-curricular activities and sets out to save the woman he loves from herself. The problem—she doesn’t believe she needs saving.
Purchase in the following formats: KindleNook or Print
I’d love to discuss the dilemma Taylor finds herself in and what you would have done. I hope to hear from you after you finish reading Stolen Heart. Visit me online at http://www.DeatriKingBey.com

Friday, November 16, 2012

Time is of the Essence

People think since I’m a full-time writer I have all the time in the world. You’d be amazed. Between appointments, kids, a mother, a husband, and two spoiled dogs, I have to scramble to find time to write.
I’ve read numerous books on time management. In fact, as soon as I got married, I decided I was going to change my schedule and get up with him in the morning and start my day. That way by the time he came home in the evening I would have put in eight hours and be ready to spend the evening together. Well, that shit wasn’t working for me. A writer’s mind just doesn’t work that way. The mind has a mind of its own. Seriously, I can’t just sit down at my desk and say, “Okay, let’s write.” It does what it wants when it wants, and at the weirdest times. Most times I’m writing in line at the grocery store, I’m writing while driving the car. Hell, I’m even writing my next sex scene while I’m making love (which has generated some delicious reading material). One thing I can never seem to do is turn the creative machine on and off at will.
It’s the nature of the beast. Writers need to be inspired to write and sometimes that inspiration doesn’t come between 8-5. My husband doesn’t always seem to understand why he has to be second. So every few days, around five, I’ll turn off the computer long enough to make him dinner, ask him about his day, give him some hugs and kisses, and discover creative ways to put him to sleep (hee-hee). All that just so I can get back to my characters. To me it’s like a soap opera. I want to know what’s going to happen! I hate having to stop and start every time I’m interrupted. For once I want to finish my scene.
Yeah right.
The chances of me finishing a complete book without one interruption… that ain’t happening, but it is an interesting thought.
Hmmm. I wonder if the day will ever come that when the world around us has becomes so overwhelming we can simply pick up the remote control and hit PAUSE.
Just long enough for me to get my book finished.

Hee-Hee.

 

Friday, November 9, 2012

And I thank you!

My post last month was a little heavy, talking about my fears. Hey, what can I say? It was October. Halloween. It all goes hand-in-hand. With that said, the next logical choice, since we're now into November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, is to talk about what I'm thankful for as an author.

First and foremost, I'm so, so, so thankful for my readers. I love you all, and I mean as more than just a play cousin. ;) I love when readers write to me about my work, even if it's not so positive. I read every e-mail, messages,Tweets, and posts. I respond to everything I can. It always surprises me that I even have readers. I look at you all like you're celebrities. I think, "Oh my, there's a reader over there. Don't look! Don't look! Ooh, she's coming close to me! Squee! Should I talk to her? No, she'll think I'm a dork." Despite what I write, believe it or not, I am painfully shy. So if you ever come to an in-person event for me, please come up to talk to me.

Second, I'm thankful that I do still have story ideas. Once I get the nugget, the germ of the idea for a story, I run with it. Sometimes the inspiration comes in dreams. Sometimes I get ideas from news stories. This will disappoint my friends and co-workers, I rarely get story ideas from them, well, except for the BDSM group I hang out with, but that's a different story. Now, I will get character looks and names from my friends. :)

I'm thankful that I have an incredible support system at home. I know I practically ignore my poor man when I get into my woman's lair and write with my laptop on my lap in bed. He never complains. He'll just pop his head into the room, give me a kiss and let me do my thing. If I didn't have his love and support, as well as the support from my family and my writer friends like Yvette Hines, Aliyah Burke, Denise Jeffries, Di Topaz and Andrea Jackson.

I'm so thankful to find publishers who aren't afraid to publish my work. Hell, I'm thankful to have publisher to accept my work! Writers get the big rejection letters all the time. So I'm thankful when one finds my work good enough to publish.

Have I thanked you readers? You all are too important not to thank more than once. Thank you for digging my craziness.

Stay sexy,

BridgeT
www.BridgetMidway.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Autumn Madness

Hey, Y'all,
I'm totally late on my post. Why? It's election day! The madness is nearly over. No more of those tasteless television ads blasting the personal character of this person or that person. No more annoying calls asking you who you're voting for. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a bit of relief at the prospect of having the election be over!

On another note, there is even more madness on the horizon. It's November, and you know what that means- the holidays will soon be upon us. Veteran's Day will quickly morph into Thanksgiving, then Kwanzaa, Hannukah, and Christmas won't be far behind. Some folks will pretty much live in the mall for the next several weeks. As for me, I always give out home made baked goods as gifts, so I'm gearing up for three solid days of being trapped in the kitchen, covered in flour. Heaven help me. :) It's a crazy time of year, and you might find yourself feeling a bit like this....

Also, for writers, November is National Novel Writing Month, a month when we, (however foolishly) try to write 50,000 words. Yes, we try to do this in one month. Emphasis on try. This is my first attempt at NaNo, as it's affectionately called, and so far I've logged in close to 3,000 words. A far cry from the goal, but I'm pleased with myself. I'm working on the long awaited final book in my PHOENIX Files series, Midnight's Serenade. (This is under my Alexandra Kane pen name.) Look for updates on my progress in the coming weeks, and a cover reveal in late January/early February.

So, I'll close with a question. How do your survive the Autumn Madness that sets in this time every year? Leave your comments below, because maybe we can help each other get through it.

Until Next Time,
Kianna

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Future Is Bright- My Chance to Talk with Rising Stars

A rare and wonderful thing happened to me last month. I had the chance to speak with two very distinct and distinguished groups. Despite their differences, each group shared a common label. They were all students. Distinctly different in that both groups were at opposite ends of the education spectrum: Middle School and College.

So what made them distinguished? Well I could say you had to be there because what incredible experiences they were... so let me tell you just a bit about the events- just a bit because it'd be quite difficult to fully relay the true excitement and awesomeness of my time with these groups.

At the beginning of the month, I had the chance to speak with my son's 6th grade class- we're talking over 100 sixth graders folks!! This was the largest and youngest group I've spoken to thus far and I was quite on edge about things before we got started. I hoped they wouldn't bee too too bored seeing as how I hadn't written anything that could be labeled as appropriate reading material for a middle school audience. You can't imagine my surprise when it was time to talk to this energetic crowd and have them appear literally riveted on every word. My talk centered around the basics of what it takes to be a writer and the process of a book going from concept to creation. I bought copies of my manuscripts, outlines, cover-flats  promotional posters, etc.

And the questions! The questions these folks had-phenomenal! They were so thought provoking. The kids wanted to know about my inspiration, what kinds of books I like, how I handled people who didn't believe in me, how much money I make :-). Seriously, the interest was equal on both sides- girls and boys. As the mother of a son, it was very refreshing to see so many boys interested in the book biz and to see their faces light up in recognition when I talked about my favorite reads and they saw me hold up my copies of Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events. The success of this visit thoroughly set the tone for an amazing week. It was an experience that I'll always treasure.

Two weeks later, I was blessed with another experience to treasure when I visited the College of Charleston to speak with my cousins's Black Women Writers class. Her professor; who also reads my books, was so welcoming. Before the class, she took time to tell me a bit about what the class was discussing. As we chatted, I was inwardly praying that this group would be as receptive as my middle-schoolers. After all, this conversation promised to be a lot more involved and a lot longer.

Again, I was blown away. It was such a multi-faceted conversation. With this group of young women (and one young man) we spoke on a broad range of subjects. We talked at length about the 'stigma' often associated with the romance genre. One issue that I had the chance to speak with the professor about before the class began, was the distinctions between literary and genre fiction. Why is it that when literary fiction- in which the black woman is heroine- doesn't leave us that HEA ending, it is more widely accepted and taken more seriously than in romantic fiction where the HEA is standard? There are those who say a happily ever after ending isn't real. Why not? It was exhilarating to speak with students on this subject.

During lunch, we discussed the fact that black couples struggle with many of the same issues as white couples; not spending enough time together, husband working too much, husband not wanting wife to work, etc... It's not all about finances and how is the light bill gonna get paid this month. Yes, we do live well, go on vacations, are educated, enjoy the theater. Yet there are those subtleties that distinguish us from other cultures. The conversation segued, merging between literature, state of the world, racism, the college experience, movies, music and of course romance.

So when I say it was an Amazing Experience  it truly was. I feel so honored to have had these opportunities. This October was one of the most hectic months I've had in a very long time. These two events made the challenges of the past month seem so insignificant.

The older generations (I include myself in that group) are understandably concerned about the future. We wonder whether the younger generations are serious, are they ready to take up the banner for change and to fight for it. Are they even aware of the need for change? From what I saw this past month, they are very aware of it. They are definitely thinking about the world and their place in it. I can say with utter confidence that the future is bright.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Readers loved him. . .I didn't




When I write, I expect everyone to like the characters I love and hate the ones I don’t.
It doesn’t always work that way.  When I wrote The Business of Love, I thought I’d created the most annoying younger sibling ever in Cleveland Alexander (More Than He Can Handle)


He was rude, arrogant and so unsupportive of his brother’s relationship with Jill.  Quite frankly, he was acting the same way I did when my brother and sister got married. But hey, I was a teenager losing my buddies – I had an excuse. 

Cleveland, on the other hand, had an attitude problem. But he had something else too. Fans. 

I got so many emails from readers asking “when is Cleveland’s story coming out?” My initial thought was never-- ever! 
I just couldn’t see myself dedicating months and months to being alone with this man.  What kind of woman would want to deal with him?
That’s when you have to be creative. I decided that Cleveland’s woman had to feel the same way I did about him – at least at first. As I got to know Cleveland, I realized that he wasn’t that bad. And he actually became one of my favorite heroes. 

See, I didn’t know Cleveland when we first met. And as much as I don’t like to admit it, Cleveland and I are a lot alike. Pig-headed. Fiercely protective of our older siblings – as if we know so much more than they do – and dedicated to that one special person we love.
It looks as if the readers were right. Cleveland deserved his story and I’m glad I got a chance to tell it. 
 
Coming in May, 2013: Forces of Nature


Crystal Hughes is mad as hell
No one is going to tear down the farmland that’s been in her family since the turn of the century—certainly not multimillion dollar Welco Industries. And until Welco's president meets with her, Crystal will wage a fiery one woman protest to prove it! But when he finally appears, Douglas Wellington III is far from the elderly curmudgeon she expected...
Tall, lean, and fabulous, Douglas is in for a surprise of his own. Crystal's cafe au lait beauty takes his breath away. Still, if she had any sense, she'd realize his project will save the impoverished community. With battle lines drawn, Crystal issues Douglas a challenge: spend one week on the land he wants to destroy. He agrees, if only to be alone with her. But when nature takes over amid North Carolina’s lush countryside, these two warriors just may discover what happens to even the best laid plans...