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Saturday, March 29, 2008
Cover Art for "Sex & Guitars"
Here's a sneak peek of the cover art for my latest Forbidden Publications release, Sex & Guitars. This is my erotic memoir that was previously only available in hardcover -- now it's available in ebook! Isn't the cover lovely?


I'm happy to see this memoir available in ebook, and I can't wait to share it with a whole new audience. I wrote a bit about the newest edit of the book in a blog entry a few months ago. It is a book that is obviously very near and dear to my heart.

Here's the cover blurb:

Finchy is still hurting from the demise of a relationship she believed was forever. Ayza is a recording artist on the rise and far too sexy for his own good. When Ayza offers her a shoulder to cry on and the comfort she needs, Finchy falls into his arms. As Ayza’s songs blaze up the charts, Finchy becomes his muse, the only thing he loves more than the music. Together against the world and buoyed by success, they feel invincible.

But charming Ayza is married, a fact Finchy keeps firmly between them, no matter how intense their affair becomes. Their relationship grows with every hotel room, every stolen moment, and every mile on that tour bus. The guilt grows, too, until Ayza is drowning in the bottom of a bottle, his career in jeopardy. With both of them pushed to the edge, Finchy has to answer the toughest questions she will ever face: Is there hope for redemption? Is there hope for a future? Should she walk away? Or should she hold onto the man she loves, no matter what the cost?

Watch for it...Sex & Guitars is coming soon!

Cheers,
Gwenny

For more: Website / Blog

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posted by Gwen Masters @ 2:28 PM   2 comments
Friday, March 28, 2008
Roasted Elephant

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." -John Wooden (1910 - ) Hall of Fame basketball coach for UCLA, won a record 10 NCAA men's championships.

That's a good one. I need to read that every day I think. I often get discouraged when I look at the tasks before me--so many daunting projects--that I lose sight of the old addage I try to live by. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

Okay yeah, who the heck wants to eat an elephant? Thing is, I like a lot of stuff to do. I get bored easily and tend to binge work when I get into something I like. My brother and my dad both work that same way. I'd say it borders on being obsessive compulsive. I'll also say it drives my husband nuts. Oh well. I gotta be me or who else would I be?

With this little tidbit of wisdom, take heart. You may not be able to get everything done in one fell swoop. You may not be able to do ten loads of laundry in one day. You can, however, do a couple of loads each day so that by the end of the week, you have little to none left.

Writing books is like that. A chapter a day. A chapter a week. Little by little the monster gets done.

Life is like that. We do a small bit each hour, each day, each week, until we finally reach milestones: love, marriage, children, college degrees, our own busniess. That's what it's all about. The Hokey Pokey of Attainment.

Small increments equal big goals in the end. So next time you feel overwhelmed, just do what you CAN do at the moment and realize you're slowly reaching a much larger goal. Stay on track. Don't stress. Don't worry. That won't get you anywhere at all. Just go along at your own pace.

What do you do to get your monsters done?

Find out more about me here: RabiyahBooks.com
posted by Unknown @ 2:53 PM   1 comments
Monday, March 24, 2008
A Black Stallion Called Thunder!

I am seriously thinking about taking up horseback riding lessons. The days are longer, and hopefully the weather will improve and bring warmer days. I'd like to try it again although the last time I was on the back of a horse, let's just say it is longer than I care to admit.

Currently, I'm working on a story involving cowboys...and horses for a special anthology. I've never yet written a cowboy story per se but it occurred to me that my hero in Hot Sex with a Stranger is a cowboy, well more or less as he does wear the ten gallon hat right off in the first scene where the hero and heroine meet. And he does get to ride a horse!

In the story he rides a very independent black stallion named Thunder. So you see Thunder for those who have read this story was never a figment of my imagination. He did at one point exist in time, though I'm sure he's now where all horses go after they've lived their lives here on this earth.

Thunder took up enough time from my life--2 hours -- and let me know and question whether I would ever want to get on the back of a horse again! And considering how many years this has been since I've ridden Thunder through the back trails of Litchfield County, I think the answer up to now was probably not.

But enough time has passed that now I'm reconsidering and becoming more positive about trying horseback riding in a time of my life where such decisions aren't easily made.

Thunder was the lead horse at Lee Stables. Why they ever put me on the back of that horse I'll never know. At five feet and at the time slightly over a hundred pounds, I don't think we were a very good match.

Unfamiliar with reins, and stirrups, and sitting on a saddle that my legs barely got around, Thunder pretty much had his way with me in terms of doing what he wanted to do, specifically to be at the very 'head' of the lineup of us amateur riders. And since I was the last one to mount a horse that day, that meant Thunder having to gallop full speed ahead in order to get into the position where he felt he should be--namely in front! My twin sister on the other had been given a multi colored horse named Pokey, who as described in my story Hot Sex with a Stranger pretty much lived up to that name.


The other day driving home I spotted a sign "Riding Lessons." I looked up the hill and saw the corrals and grazing horses. I thought. Maybe just maybe this summer my granddaughter and I will look into taking riding lessons together.

Either that or I'll just create another story featuring a horse called Thunder. And along with that a very sexy cowboy who gets to ride this very independent black stallion.

Collette Thomas
http://www.freewebs.com/collettethomas
Hot Sex with a Stranger at Forbidden Publications
posted by Collette Thomas @ 1:06 PM   1 comments
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Musical Muse

It was a cold winter's night when I first saw Maxim. He was walking down a lonely street to the sounds of Simon and Garfunkle. It was raining and his only companion was an amber street light.

Taegen and Torrey showed me a glimpse into their world during a Journey song, and I saw how they had first met by chance on a train in South San Francisco.

Van showed me his childhood, and how he had loved a girl in high school named Kat, who had been the only one to see past his exterior. He told me his story in detail, then showed it to me with images accompanied by many, many songs.

And lately, an assassin named Jaide has been plaguing me with his past through melody. He has a difficult time talking of it, so he shows me in ways he knows I'll best understand.

Music. It is my guiding force in my writing. Many writers speak of their characters "coming" to them to have their stories told. I am no different. But if characters make the journey to me to have me pen their tales, music is the avenue they use to travel.

I have never been so inspired as I am when listening to songs with beautiful melody and eloquent lyrics. I once told my husband as I was figuring out the details of an idea to a song that I had a "symphony of words in my head." That's the best and most accurate way I can describe it. When I hear the music, I see the story. What begins as a short, flat snippet of something blossoms into a beautiful, flowing, three dimensional idea when I couple it with the right music.

What about you? Does music inspire you? Or is it something else? If music does play a part in your writing, what kind of music is it?
posted by Brieanna_Robertson @ 8:19 AM   1 comments
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Review: Shahzar III Sorcerer and Shadow
It's raining outside, dreary-looking and I need to get chores done and head off to buy some party supplies for my father-in-law' s surprise 76th birthday party. What better way to start the day than to open an email from Coffee Time Romance to find a pleasant review for Shahzar Book III: Sorcerer and Shadow? The reviewer must be following the series because she's the same one who read the first two books. She nailed the tale in her comments. Here's the full monty for you to read as well:




SHAHZAR BOOK THREE: SORCERER AND SHADOW
ANASTASIA RABIYAH
ISBN: unavailable
February 2008
Forbidden Publications
www.ForbiddenPublic ations.com
E-Book
$4.99
102 Pages
Fantasy Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

Shahzar is happy in Roderick's arms. She would prefer to forget her life as Queen of Kaladia, but Ishas continues to call to her, even though she is far from home. Even at a distance, she can feel the advance of the Klemish forces upon her city.

Raynier is a bishop, not a king. But in Shahzar's absence, he is the one who must assume responsibility for Kaladia. He proposes a unique solution to the Klemish threat, to which even Irlecain agrees. Dalin must be stopped, at all costs.

Shahzar and Roderick's days of peaceful bliss are numbered. The shadows which Shahzar evoked have given her unlimited powers, but they have also lured in the Shan-Sei. Roderick seems powerless to resist, and Shahzar feels the danger to him increase with each passing day. Kaladia is in constant threat from Dalin and his forces. Raynier and Irlecain are doing everything in their power to save the city, but both long for the return of their Queen. Shahzar is being pulled by so many forces, all drawing her back to the city that holds her heart…in an icy grip. The choice—to stay or return—may no longer be hers to make.

Book Three in this series is very bittersweet. Shahzar is finally happy, but it is an ephemeral emotion. Her character is evolving into much more than the warrior that she started out to be. Raynier's character has also developed into a much stronger and commanding individual. They both find themselves with a tenuous hold on their control, and must struggle against battering forces. As this series unfolds, it wraps around you, and does not let go.

Lototy
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

To Buy Shahzar, Click HERE
posted by Unknown @ 2:58 PM   1 comments
Friday, March 14, 2008
Little League Season is Upon Us !

It is March! And this time of the year always reminds me of the days when my late husband became a Little League coach. Reason being so that my two boys would also become involved in the sport. For six years he coached the local team called the Phillies. During this time I would go watch them practice, becoming a regular spectator at their games. Also during this time I created in my mind a young boy who would later become an important character in my book NO MORE SECRETS, NO MORE LIES.

Brian Morgan is a ten-year-old boy with an undeveloped right hand. I fashioned him from a young boy who played on my late husband's team. This boy was determined to play ball, and to play it well. He wore an undersized glove and managed to play as well as any of his teammates.

When Brian learns that his father is not dead, he believes his father abandoned them because he did not want an imperfect son. This was the last thing his mother Sydney Morgan (my heroine) wanted her son to believe.

So how will she gain her son's trust again after this lie she has forced him to live. And how is she going to repair their now broken relationship and convince her son that he will always be perfect in her eyes?

I think this is one reason why Romantic Times gave this story a four star rating. As reviewers have said it is a story that touches the heart, uplifts the spirit, and mends the soul.


Available at FORBIDDEN PUBLICATIONS

Marie A. Roy
My Website
posted by Collette Thomas @ 9:26 AM   1 comments
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Is Good Enough, Good Enough?
In this post and the previous one, I have added my favorite two photos.

The first defines why I write. "The Princess Faerie", her beauty and finesse, her unabashed femininity and her mystical ties to the world of humans lead the mind to seek out the story within and let imagination soar.

This one, "Pandora's Box", is life as it happens. The photo depicts a woman opening the box and unleashing every spirit, both good and bad, into the unsuspecting world. One could be made with a male 'Adonis' type doing the exact same thing. The male version would come closer to accuracy in real life!

These photos, and many others that touch on the mysterious world of fantasy, are my escape; my way of challenging myself to create. If I look at, or hear a beautiful composition, images get trapped in my head. The images lead to .....

Aw Hell! Let's get real here. I have dreams, and the dreams are stories that invade my life. If I don't write them and purge the story from my dreams, I end up a year later with an unfinished story and that is totally unacceptable to my muse. Oh yes, I do have one, or more .... one day I gotta find out for sure.
I think she, or they, live in the closet I have turned into a bookself. I never see her, or them, but I feel the presence.

Believe it or not, I have 17 unfinished stories on my hard drive in various states of completion. From time to time, I will be at my computer and I hear (I don't really know if I actually hear it) this voice that leads me into a frenzy of typing. Perhaps it's my inner self that has finally worked out a tough chapter or just the characters themselves deciding it's time to get on with the story. I really don't know how it happens, but it feels good when it does. And when I finish one .... WOW!

Then the fun starts; I edit! First draft, second draft and I sit with the best I have hiding on my hard drive for a couple of weeks procrastinating and worrying if it's GOOD ENOUGH. I re-read and tweek portions and still I procrastinate. Eventually though I get the courage to submit. I relax after that. For me, it's the best I have and if a publisher agrees to accept it, I know I will receive the help I need to make "GOOD ENOUGH" even BETTER!


I'm A.C. Croom and I write!
http://www.accroom.com
posted by A.C. Croom @ 8:26 PM   1 comments
Never Give Up


"Just don't give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." -Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) American jazz singer

While writing is not necessarily a dangerous journey, it is one that must be pursued with vigor. An author who lets a muse rest too long might lose that voice, that idea and the trappings of it to ordinary things like pulling weeds and washing dishes. I have long and short muses, as I like to term them. The long ones are in it for the long haul. They'll haunt me for life and tell me story after story. The short ones show up with a duffle bag for a brief stay and a tale that burns bright before going out in a blaze of glory.

It's funny what triggers these short ones. It's strange how they manage to cut in line--a snaking, unending line--to push their way to the front and sit beside me with their tales. Short muses make me write fast. I liken them to a person on his or her deathbed with only so much time left to speak. I must pay attention; I must get it written, for when short muses get to the end, that's it. There's no going back. they turn to fairy dust and float away on the breeze from whence they came, never to be seen again.

So, I write. I write fast and today the short muse at my side is too busy telling me about her dark lover to even offer me her name. Maybe she wants to keep her anonimity for I believe this tale is about to take a turn into a darkness she regrets. Maybe she wants me to name her with some mystical title I'll seek out on the net, a name with meaning, a better name than her mother penned on the form at the hospital where she breathed in life for the first time.

I'll miss her when she's gone and I think I'll cry when this tale hits the end. Too much reality in its fantasy, too much sorrow in its ill-fated lovers. I must write and write fast lest I miss any small bit.

Authors have our own weird way of seeing our muses. They mean something to us whereas to most folks, muses are just our way of being a little weird and whacky. I think only an author can truly understand another author's thinking. And only a devoted reader can fall in love with the tales our muses share. Here's hoping the readers will love this nameless muse as much as I already do.

Find out more about me and my muses at: RabiyahBooks.com

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posted by Unknown @ 1:15 PM   1 comments
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Banana Bread Recipe
My seven year old son likes to cook. He's just like his father in that respect. Not one to discourage him his fun, I let him bake with adult supervision, of course. It began with his Easy Bake oven. Don't laugh. Boys can and should cook too. There will invariably be a time in their lives when they have to feed themselves and I hope my sons grow up to be independent, do-it-yourselfers who know how to keep a clean house, bake their way into their future wife's hearts and hopefully by that time, remember how to flush the toilet!

Anyhow, here's my favorite banana bread recipe, the very same one my son used last night to bake our dessert. It's all gone, by the way, down to the last crumb.



Banana Bread
3 Ripe bananas
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. margarine
pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour

Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher. Blend in the sugar, salt, beaten egg and baking soda. Stir in melted margarine. Add flour and mix well. Bake in a loaf pan or as muffins for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Visit author Anastasia Rabiyah on the web at: RabiyahBooks.com
posted by Unknown @ 2:19 PM   1 comments
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Behind the scenes
"Echoes of a past injustice can never fade when history is destined to repeat itself."

A tragic history haunts Calloway Cove. Three deaths~ one man, his son and the woman they both loved~ all lost to the sea. Yet the official accounts don’t ring true to either Leena or her future father-in-law, Cole Savage, both of whom witness the eerie apparition of a weeping woman with blood on her hands.

Together they begin to unravel the mysteries behind the enduring love of a woman, callously dubbed The Seagrass Whore, and discover shocking truths that had remained untold for decades. But by discovering the past they come face to face with the realization their growing affections reflect what once was~ and that the consequences could be just as dire.

Behind the scene... or the book...
"Where do you get these ideas?" my husband asks after he has read my book.
Difficult to explain, except I grew up near fishing communities in Nova Scotia- a place rich in superstition, ghost stories and oddly named fishing boats! The Seagrass Whore- the name of a fishing boat- a scandalous love triangle- a mysterious death and the haunting of The Gray Lady-a small community of 'simple' folk who were shocked by anything perceived as unnatural... well, it all seemed too exciting a mixture to pass up.
So I took all these ingredients, combined a past myth with modern day drama and voila! I got The Seagrass Whore.
I suppose in some ways I could have introduced this book as "based on a true story". Although- the love scenes, well... no, on second thought we'll stick with "based on a true story"!!
posted by Mary Ellen Ashman @ 9:16 PM   2 comments
Why I Write
Hi,

I finally made it here so I can tell you why I write. One reason for writing is because someone is listening (or reading) to me. Have you ever talked to people who keep interrupting you all of the time? Well, that happens to me all of the time. I have a hard time presenting ideas verbally fast and succinct, so writing allows me to finish what I start. lol

Another reason I write is because I get to determine how the lives of my characters turn out. It's definitely a control issue. We have very little control in our daily lives because we aren't the only one in our circle. We have family, friends, strangers, etc. coming into our lives and they take away that control whether they intend to or not. There's so much danger around everyone of us these days that it's nice to have control somewhere.
posted by Sandy @ 4:49 PM   2 comments
Monday, March 03, 2008
Flu Season Is Still Upon Us! What to do????


On the left here is Lake Winfield a favorite spot of mine where I can go and pretty much enjoy the beauty of nature. This was taken last summer! Occasionally I pull this photo up and simply gaze at it, and pretend the snow is gone, the chilling winds have died, and there is no longer two feet of snow covering my backyard.

But alas, March 3 tells me it is still winter, and we have a few more weeks to endure.

And like many out there, some of us are fighting the flu bug, or bronchitis, or some form of illness that seem to peak at this time of year. For me it has been chronic bronchitis which is more a nuisance than anything else, and usually vanishes when temps rise above 50 and stay there.

So what to do in the meantime!

Being that I'm a firm believer in the healing properties of the foods we eat, I thought I'd share this quick and easy chicken soup that will at least give you a feeling of comfort at the same time nourish the body as well as the soul.

Easy Homemade Chicken Soup

I make this soup when it's cold, when I have a cold, or when I'm feeling too lazy to go out or cook (yes, technically this involves cooking but really is not much more complicated than heating a can of soup and tastes so much better).

1 chicken breast (frozen or fresh)
3 carrots
1 russet potato
1 small white onion
3-4 stalks celery
1/4 cup white wine
1/8 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
about 3 or 4 cans of chicken stock (enough to cover ingredients)

Chop everything (except chicken breast) into bite size pieces (not too small as they shrink after cooking). Dump in chicken breast (add another chicken breast if you like more meat in your soup), add white wine, cover with chicken stock (I use Swanson's, which is available at Costco in cases), drop in bay leaf, and bring to boil then simmer until all of the vegetables are soft (about 45 minutes).

Pull out chicken breast and shred meat with forks then return to soup. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. You can add noodles at the end, although I find that they get soggy if you are making this quantity (enough for leftovers to reheat on the stove or in the microwave). You can also add whatever vegetables you like. The ones listed here are just the ones I like. Same with herbs. Sprinkle in whatever you like or whatever smells good. Since dried herbs are not anywhere near as pungent as fresh ones, they are really convenient for this soup (and you can get rid of some of those herbs that have been sitting around in your cupboard longer than you would ever admit to anyone else). Smell, add, taste, change, repeat (or not).

You can also omit the chicken breast, add some broccoli, a little cream (or not), and then puree with a hand blender, and get a richer, creamy version (don't add noodles if you do this).

Voila! Simple and easy and quick!

Collette Thomas
Enter my World

Hot Sex with a Stranger: A Case of Mistaken Identity available at
Forbidden Publications

Sequel coming soon - FOUR PLAY







posted by Collette Thomas @ 6:48 PM   1 comments
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Writers write and Dreamers dream! I'm Both!


She's beautiful isn't she? The culmination of thousands of years of evolution or one single instant of creation; take your pick. It is the dream of man to hold beauty close and cherish it. Offer himself or herself to an equal in the quest to create beauty, most times in the ultimate sharing of Love as soul mates, a fleeting, almost magical moment stretched into a single lifetime to be enjoyed time after time with smiles and happiness.


Writing is like that to me. A story begins with a single thought and grows to maturity in my imagination to become the most beautiful thing I can share. I try to know and understand each and every character in my stories so thoroughly that they can tell me the story in their own words. I try to create worlds that will please them and the people they entertain as their tale unfolds. I try to let the story end happily if I can.


When I was a young boy, I began to read the classic authors that were available to me; Hemingway, Dickens, Zane Grey, Longfellow and of course old Sam Clemens (Mark Twain). I read of impossible feats accomplished by determined heros, love as viewed in the 19th. century, hard fighting cowboys and the west as it should have been instead of the tough life that was in day to day reality, poetry that sang of far away lands with magical men and women, and innocence that always held purity high for all to see.


With all those beautiful images in my soul, how else could I be. Everyone has a story to tell. I have many! Once started on the road as a bard, it's hard to imagine life without the beauty of the telling or the happiness it brings.

I'm A.C. Croom and I write!
posted by A.C. Croom @ 8:05 PM   2 comments
Calabacitas for Dinner
Anyone who knows me, knows I don't like to cook. It's a crap shoot for me except when I make desserts. That's about the only sure thing for me in the kitchen: brownies, pies, cinnamon rolls...all from scratch, really. Once in a while though, I can make a consistent dinner. (If it's easy to make!)

Here's one of my favorite recipes and it's also vegetarian. A lady named Linda who I used to work with brought me calabacitas every so often to share at lunch. She got me addicted and taught me how to make it.

If you're looking for authentic Mexican food you can whip up with ingredients from the local grocery store, give this a try.

Calabacitas (Little squash)

6 small zucchini, sliced
1 small package of frozen corn or 2 cans of corn (drained)
1 medium onion choppped fine
1 large tomato diced
1 package of shredded cheddar cheese (I use 12 ounces)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste if desired

1 package of a dozen large flour tortillas
margarine

Heat olive oil in sauce pan or deep skillet over medium heat. Fry onions until glossy. Add sliced zucchini, tomato, corn, and cook covered until all vegetable are done. (No crunchy zucchinis in this dish!)
Add cheese and stir in until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from stove.

Butter one side of each tortilla with a butterknife. In large skillet, heat each tortilla on both sides.

Wrap the calabacita mixture in the tortillas burrito style and enjoy.

One of the reasons I love this dish is its simplicity. Also, my kids always ask for seconds and that's a rare thing when I cook. It's really yummy as leftovers the next day too, if you're lucky enough to have any leftover that is!

Anastasia Rabiyah
Dark Fantasy
Erotic Romance
Fine me on the web at: RabiyahBooks.com

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posted by Unknown @ 3:40 PM   0 comments
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