Thursday, February 26, 2009

Overcoming Underearning

Book Review: Overcoming Underearning
Posted: 22 Feb 2009 05:00 AM PST

This is a guest post from Jeremy M, who writes about experiencing a full life at Lucid Living. When I asked GRS readers recently which books they’d like to see revieweed here, Overcoming Underearning was near the top of the list. Jeremy volunteered to review it, so I sent him a copy!
Barbara Stanny’s Overcoming Underearning is not what I expected it to be. When I read the title, I expected a book about how to stretch your dollars and how get more from what you do earn. In retrospect, that’s already been done well in More Wealth Without Risk by Charles Givens. This book is about asking for more, creating more, and working your way through the psychological pitfalls that lead to being satisfied with less in the first place.

Secrets of six-figure womenAs a reporter, Barbara Stanny interviewed 150 high-income women and wrote a book about them, Secrets of Six-Figure Women. In the process, she learned that the big difference between highly successful women and less successful women was how they valued themselves and what they were willing to do to get what they wanted. They didn’t think of limits, and they surrounded themselves with people who also were successful.

Stanny started running workshops to teach people this message. She emphasized that success takes some Outer Work (the nuts and bolts of how to succeed, ask for more money, etc) and a lot of Inner Work (re-writing your thoughts on money and your value, conversations with your inner selves, etc). This is her core philosophy — that your inner reality, your thoughts and beliefs, create your outer reality. Or, as she quotes from A Course in Miracles, “A decision is a conclusion based on everything you believe about yourself.”

As a side benefit, Stanny says that many of her workshop attendees reported weight loss, more leisure time, improved health, and enhanced relationships. This comes naturally as you learn to value yourself more and expect more out of life. Like this example, the whole book has a somewhat New Age feel to it — I’ll let you decide if that’s a plus or a minus.

Stanny has done some work to apply this to men over time, but the tone of the book is mostly directed at women. I don’t pay much attention to this kind of duality, but women looking for a woman’s perspective will appreciate this — and some men might be put off by it. Mostly the feminine side comes through in the pronoun “she”, and that almost all the examples are of women.

Overcoming Underearning is also an activity book. There are worksheets to fill in, journaling assignments to do, “Conversations with myself” at the end of each chapter, and regular quizzes and checklists. It made the book more interactive and personal, but some readers won’t like the distractions. I did find that it stopped me occasionally, or interrupted my reading as I felt I should fill in a quiz before I went on.

A five-step processAt the core of Stanny’s plan is a five-step process of Inner and Outer Work. She devotes a chapter to each step, and restates them as follows:

Tell the truth about what’s not working for you, and what is.

Make a firm decision about what you truly want. (What is your Why?)

Look for opportunities to stretch by doing what think you can’t do.

Surround yourself with a supportive community.

Respect and appreciate money by taking good care of it.

The first three steps are your Inner Work.

As a building starts with an idea, grows into a blueprint, and finally becomes a real, concrete thing — so your reality starts as an idea, grows into a belief, and then starts to reflect back from the world around you.

Step four is about building a supportive environment. You don’t have to leave your negative friends; in fact, Stanny has a way to use their feedback as well. Finally, we apply the previous steps in how we treat ourselves and how we treat money.

Exercise: As an example of the last step, Stanny offers an exercise in the book. We say that “time is money”. Write down at least ten more things that money is. My favorite is, “Money is a metaphor of how we value ourselves.”

Overcoming Underearning is a good book, in line with Get Rich Slowly ideals. It focuses on the idea that wealth is thoughts, not things. It offers many practical examples of how to build your supportive community, and how to negotiate for more money.

However, the book contains few actionable steps that will help you make more money or invest well. If you need a “how-to” book, keep looking. If you need to get started, or are started, but have hit a wall and you don’t know why, this might be the book for you.

Barbara Stanny bills herself as “the leading authority on women and money”. You can read more at her website, which offers a quiz entitled “Are you an underearner?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Nation of Spoiled Idiots

This is great!!! Wish I knew where to see more of this guy. If someone knows who he is and more about him, please tell me.

Shortcut to:

This guy speaks about being grateful for what we have in the most hilarious way possible. I love what he said. I'll try to be more patient the next time I have trouble with my cell phone or waiting in long lines at the airport, that's for darn sure.


Whipped Cream Review of Spaceport: Time Bomb

Spaceport: Time Bomb by Lena Austin
Spaceport: Time Bomb by Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Futuristic)
Length: Short (71 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, Ménage
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Pepper and her cyborg ally, Kade Starke, scavenge space junk hoping to find that one-in-a-million hunk of rock that will make them rich. Then they find the sad wreck of an old shuttle, and a hunk inside named Dr. Logan MacDonald. Oh, and several billion credits worth of long-lost artifacts and art. Now everyone from pirates to Imperial forces want Logan and his treasure. To get the artifacts to where they can be shared by all humanity and not just a wealthy few, Logan and his scavenger friends may just have to turn the treasure ship into a literal time bomb.

Scarred emotionally and physically, Pepper and her cyborg, Kade Starke, travel around space scavenging junk from old shuttles. They hope to make an amazing find and when they stumble across a wreck of an old shuttle, they find more than they could have hope for in the form of Dr. Logan MacDonald and several billions credits worth of art and artifacts. Logan was cryogenically frozen years ago and unaware of what has gone on in the meantime. His knowledge of the past is very valuable and soon Pepper, Kade, and Logan find themselves battling pirates and Imperial forces who seek Logan and the treasure from the ship.

Full of surprises, this was an interesting story set in a world that fascinated me. I enjoyed learning about the world and watching as a relationship developed between Pepper, Kade, and Logan. They all helped each other and shared an easy camaraderie that I enjoyed. It was interesting to think that the true treasure of the ship was actually Logan as he has knowledge of our modern world that this future world longs for such as knowledge of books and history. I must say that the ending of the story came as a great surprise and is one that I never could have predicted. If you enjoy the Spaceport series, pick this one up to add to your collection!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blue Rose is now at Fictionwise!

I just got this in the email this morning! What a great way to start the day.

TITLE: Blue Rose by Lena Austin
PRICE: $5.00
LENGTH: 38269 words; Reading time: 109-153 minutes
EPUBLISHER: Aspen Mountain Press Published: 2009
DESCRIPTION: Take a trip to Hell with your companions a poisoned warrior princess and her two suitor princes, both of whom have secrets. Their guide is a sassy...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sex In the News-- Reasons to Have Sex

Okay, I had to laugh. Who needs 237 reasons to have sex? Reasons? They think?


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Proactively Protect Yourself from Credit Fraud

This came from my bank.

How can I proactively protect myself against fraudulent card activity?

VyStar Credit Union and Visa® are working closely together to catch any fraudulent
behavior and protect your account. And remember, your Visa Check Card and Credit Cards
are backed by Visa's Zero Liability policy, so even if your card or its number are ever lost or
stolen, you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges. There are also some simple
things you can do.

Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN):

• Never write down your PIN. Memorize it as soon as you get it.

• Do not disclose your PIN to anyone. No one from any financial institution, the police
or a merchant should ever ask for your PIN.

• Beware of phishing emails. These are emails that appear to be from your credit
union or online merchant asking for account information. Do not reply to them or
click on any links. Visa, your credit union or any other legitimate online merchant will never ask for your PIN or other personal financial information via email.

Note from Lena: Never click on a link in an email purportedly from your bank. Open your browser and use your bank's regular URL. They almost got my mother with this trick!

• At an ATM or PIN pad, enter your PIN discreetly, shielding the key pad with your

Note from Lena-- Beware! Cell phones with cameras can capture a picture of your PIN. Shield your entry with your hand.

What do I do if I spot suspicious activity on my account?

1. Review your monthly statements to spot any unauthorized purchases. You can
also monitor your account activity online at any time within Internet Banking.

2. Review your credit scores for accuracy. Call any one of the three credit reporting
agencies to receive your free annual credit report.

Equifax 800.525.6285

Experian 888.397.3742

TransUnion 800.680.7289

3. If you spot any charges that you did not do using your credit card or check card,
please contact your bank ASAP.

4. You should also contact the three credit reporting agencies above to notify them of any
suspected fraud or identity theft.

5. Should you become a victim of identity theft, please contact your bank and their Theft Resolution group will help you through the necessary steps to resolve the

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Heartwarming Story --not mine, reality

You guys should read this. That poor little dog and girl have found one another. (sniffle) Damn, that's twice in one day.


The Checkbook Sweep-- Brilliant!

This article came from Get Rich Slowly. It's brilliant!

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 12:00 PM PST
At dinner the other night, T.S. told me about a new trick she’s developed to force herself to save money. It used to be that she’d just spend whatever she had in her checkbook. She didn’t spend more than that, so she wasn’t accumulating debt. But like many people, she wasn’t saving either. She spent whatever she had on hand.

Because T.S. wants to save, she’s opened an account at ING Direct. She wants to build a balance so that she can earn interest.

But in order to save, she needs to stop spending. Over the past few months, she’s developed a system that let’s her do that. Here’s how it works:

When T.S. gets her first paycheck every month, she deposits it into her checking account. She uses this money to pay bills and to fund her lifestyle, as normal.

When she gets her second paycheck, she does the same thing.

At the end of the month, just before she receives her next paycheck, she sweeps whatever remains in her checkbook into her savings account.

“I make myself feel like I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck,” T.S. told me. “If I move the money over to savings, I almost forget that I have it. I know it’s there in the back of my head, but it’s not in my checkbook ready to be spent.”

This monthly checkbook sweep might seem too simple to some readers, and it might never work for others. But for T.S., it’s one way to meet her goals.

Because each of has different goals and different mindsets, we each have different approaches to money management. We develop our own tricks — or money hacks — to circumvent our personal weaknesses. The important thing is to keep trying new methods until you find a few that work for you.
I have a different system. I have debts and some very large expenses that aren't paid regularly and must be saved for over the long term. So, I keep cash "savings envelopes" on my desk in an envelope sorter. Here are their labels:

Gas and minor expenses: $20
Insurance: $20
Mortgage: $75
Natural Gas: $30
State Tax: $15
Groceries: $140

Every week, I deposit those amounts in cash into those envelopes. The rest of the paycheck is deposited into the bank account to cover my online bill paying. The money isn't in my purse in any form (cash, check, or debit card balance), so it's not available to spend foolishly. Some months have five Fridays, so I end up with an "extra payday" deposited into those envelopes. Sure. an extra $15 made toward my state tax bill isn't much, but that extra goes straight toward the principal owed. It's like making an extra payment directly toward debt reduction.

Also, by using cash to buy groceries, I have a hard limit on what I can spend. Needless to say, I'm paranoid about those treats anyway, so this cash limit really helps.

Note I simply said, "The rest of the paycheck" is deposited in the bank. It's not a hard and fast number deliberately. Sometimes my DH and/or Dante gets a bonus. I deposit the paychecks and don't even try to budget.

From now on, I'm doing a checkbook sweep at the end of the month. What a brilliant way to save!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In the Spotlight-- KZ Snow

This week, I'm hosting KZ Snow, star of Changeling Press and other publishers too numerous for a simple introduction. This woman keeps busy, busy, busy! I enticed her with coffee to sit with me for a few minutes.

Thanks for stopping by, KZ. Let's get right to the questions.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

As soon as I got into writing my first novel (as an adult), I was hooked.

How long did it take you to complete the first novel you attempted?

The very first one was in high school, and damned if I can remember!

Are you a procrastinator, or do you set time aside everyday to write?

It depends on what book I'm working on, what else is happening in my life, what my mood I'm in, the weather . . . Yeah, I can be a procrastinator, but I can write like a demon, too.

Do you have any helpful methods or rituals you would like to share?

Other than drinking oceans of coffee, none.

LOL!! I hear you on the coffee. People are astonished that I actually own and daily use a restaurant-sized coffee urn.

How many publishers did you query before one of them snatched you up?

I have to divide this answer between the two or three distinct writing periods in my life. There was no such thing as e-publishing when I started seriously writing fiction. (Poetry came before that, and I got some stuff published in small journals.) I first tried my hand at contemporary romance but just couldn't seem to tap into the formula that prevailed at the time. Then I had an itch to tackle something more ambitious with no genre strictures. I managed to impress a couple of agents and actually had representation for a while. Ended up with some very encouraging rejections from editors at good-sized NY houses, including Knopf, but never moved beyond that. I just ran out of steam. A decade of zero productivity went by . . . and along came e-publishing. I kind of got a flurry of acceptances all at once.

What was the hardest part about getting published? What was the easiest?

The easiest part, when it came to e-publishing, was getting work accepted. Everything else was difficult -- picking a publisher (e-books were still pretty much in their infancy, and I didn't know squat about what constituted a good house); dealing with inexperienced owners and editors; figuring out how to promote my work without spending buckets of money.

How has your life been affected as a result, if at all? Has your confidence in your writing changed?

I've been spoiled for "real" work! And I socialize less, get out less. Yes, my confidence level has undergone an enormous change. I used to be bursting with self-assurance. Now I more or less feel like one of the herd. And it's a BIG herd. Publishing is an incredibly humbling business.

What advice would you give a writer just starting out?

First, keep the day job. Unless, of course, you have a sugar mama or sugar daddy. Then, do your research when it comes to publishers, never get complacent and assume your work is good enough, be patient, and seek good counsel from industry professionals (this can be as simple as hanging out at worthwhile blogs and chat loops). It also doesn't hurt to find yourself a comfortable niche and stick to it. Genre-jumping can make it difficult to establish some kind of name for yourself. Believe me, I'm speaking from experience.

I'll back her up 100%! Whew! I stick within a fairly limited frame and occasionally surprise myself and my readers with something new, but for the most part it's wise to stick with what you do best.

I hear new genres are opening up. Can you tell us about some?

Boy, that's a tough question. Consumers are fickle. Every day, it seems, I come across readers clamoring for different things. More contemporaries! More historicals! More lesbian fiction! More yaoi! Once I realized each subgenre has its supporters as well as its detractors, I kind of stopped paying attention. Now I write what I like.

What have you published and where can I get your books?

I've published all kinds of stuff in a variety of genres. I currently have books available at Loose Id (, Ellora's Cave (, Cerridwen Press (, Changeling Press (, MojoCastle Press (, and, as K. A. Schuster, at Samhain Publishing ( and Double Dragon Publishing (

Do you have anything currently under contract?

If you mean under a new contract, yes, I just signed with Liquid Silver Books. They'll be publishing a large m/m urban fantasy, InDescent. For those readers familiar with my characters Jackson Spey and Adin Swift (from Plagued, Tormented, and Obsessed -- the first from EC and the last two from Changeling), InDescent is the next leg of their journey together. And it's a significant one!

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

The second novel in my Utopia-X series for Loose Id, Seeking Something Wicked, is coming out March 3. The first, Looking for Some Touch, is currently available. The third, Exploring Savage Places, is currently on my editor's desk. These books are m/m futuristic urban fantasies, not to be confused with sci fi, and all have lots of delectable manlove! I also invite everybody to visit my blog at

And there she goes flying out the door...LOL! Thanks, KZ!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Depraved Duchess shares The Lover's Guide

Valentine's is over, but who says romance can only happen once a year? Let's go over a few little things that get the mood going anytime.

Try this:

1. Gentlemen: get up, walk the dog, shower, give the kids extra pocket money and tell them to go play. Routine tasks accomplished, now is the time for the Champagne breakfast - because it's meant to be a bit cliché; this is a hallmark of romance and there are no prizes for undue originality here. Similarly, the roses - enough said.

2. There's a sexy little extra you can bring to this scene, however. While your lover stirs, touch the chilled bottle to her cheek or neck and then the sexy new toy you've thought to buy for her - this having spent some time alone with the toy working out what the buttons do and which way the batteries fit. Bingo: you've shown you're a liberated guy, that you value your partner's pleasure and you don't worry if your penis isn't solely responsible for that. And you've set the day buzzing right from the word go.

3. Exchange some love messages. On a card, write what you love most about your partner. Express gratitude at having them in your life. It may be you find it easier to express your feelings on paper than in spoken words. Perhaps you might like to give two cards, one for the mantelpiece, for all to see, with that question mark, and one more sexually adventurous card - You'll know the sort of sexy talk you and your partner like, and what your partner thinks of as steamy and what as rude. Another way of sharing written messages is for both of you to write, on individual pieces of paper, the things you'd most like to try, perhaps colour coded for him and her. Pop them into a hat, take a slurp on that Champagne, and in your wandering hands go. ('I want to run the tip of my tongue from your toes to the nape of your neck'; 'I want to wear blindfolds to make love'; 'I want to hold you while you masturbate'. Dot dot dot.)

4. Prolong your lovemaking. This doesn't mean you necessarily have to leap from sex position to sex play treat and back again, until your personal trainer might be telling you to calm down. There's an awful lot to be said for just being together, touching, caressing each other and kissing, letting your thoughts and your bodies find their own pace. You might like to watch a DVD together, settle back and take in some fresh perspectives on your favourite techniques, and discover plenty of new ones. However you make love now, we should safely expect the rest of the day, until you make love again, to be marked with a certain glow.

In the news

Regulating the net. Would you like to be in charge of what you see and read on the internet? Do you feel incapable of regulating your browser experience, preferring instead for people with more wisdom than you have, the sort who exist in committees, to decide what it's okay for you to look at. We know, of course, about the Great Firewall of China. Australia has been threatening to filter. In the UK, 'extreme porn', hazily defined, is now illegal. In India, watch what you're browsing - and who's watching you.

Teen spirit. You'd think the raging hormones, the new and enhanced body bits and (every young person's) solo-invention of masturbation might be enough to contend with. Meanwhile, 'orthodox' adulthood's ever-escalating sexual anxiety - and general identity crisis - keeps getting itself offloaded, piled to ever more Taliban-esque heights, and all this in the name of protection, on teenage minds looking for teenage kicks. Yes, we know virginity pledges don't work and are actually counterproductive. (Did you know that in England a parent is potentially and technically liable for up to 15 years if not so little Jonnie is snogging his girl upstairs?) And yes, we know that teenage pregnancy is a really bad idea. Anyway, Scotland's been rethinking its laws of late. Will they be fondling each other's bits next year?

Happy loving

We hope you're feeling the first hints of Spring and that you've plenty of great ideas about how you can celebrate your love for your partner - on Valentine's and indeed the whole year round.

Meantime: love yourself; love your partner. Vibrate.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Frugal Valentine

There are just some days where someone else has already said it better. This is one of those times. The article from Get Rich Slowly entitled My Frugal Valentine covers all the bases I can think of, plus some. I can't add to this one. It's just too good.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In the Spotlight-- Raine Delight

Thanks for popping in, Raine. You’re a busy gal, so I’ll get right to it.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Raine says: I always loved to read. I think I can honestly say since I learned to read, I was fascinated by the stories authors told. Eventually, I found myself dreaming of stories and scribbling them down, not thinking of doing anything with them. In the past few years, a friend gave me the push and I found I enjoy creating worlds and appealing characters of my own.

That’s a good friend!

How long did it take you to complete the first novel you attempted?
Raine says: My first book was AWFUL!! I believe it is still in the box in my mom’s basement where I stored some things. The next one was my first book published, Sticky Magic, Devon Falls book 1. That took me one week to write.

Amazing how the good books just flow right out, isn’t it?

Are you a procrastinator, or do you set time aside everyday to write?
Raine says: Well, I go by the seat of my pants and since I work out of my home, that take precedence some days, especially as I am deadline some days. I set aside M-F while kids are in school to write something, be it fleshing out characters or checking on some WIP’s that need some work. Weekends are off limits in writing. That is my family time plus it also my errand time as well.

I hear you there! Without down time, my brain would explode!

Do you have any helpful methods or rituals you would like to share?
Raine says: um…*thinks* Always write something. Doesn’t matter if it is junk… can always go back and see the potential to something after it sits a spell.
I always have hot green tea on hand when I write or some Hugs Hershey Kisses. Keeps the muses happy. LOL I have music on in the background for noise unless the music is inspiring me as I write. Some of the Devon Falls books has some Music I was listening to mentioned.

I’ll have to try a bag of the Hugs and the hot tea. I’m a coffeeholic myself.

How many publishers did you query before one of them snatched you up?
Raine says: I was under one then it folded after three of the Devon Falls books were published. Aspen Mountain snapped the whole series up and my other paranormal romance book, Fairy Kisses and Magical Dreams.

I am currently finishing some tweaking on four manuscripts and sending them out to other publishers for consideration. *fingers crossed*

Fingers and toes crossed for you!

What was the hardest part about getting published? What was the easiest?
Raine says: Hardest….keeping myself from head hopping all over the place. I am getting better…a bit slowly. That is hard for me to see when I write so I am hopeful with the few manuscripts I have out there beta reading, I caught the problem.

Easiest? Research. *laughs* I am researching sex toys for a submission and let me tell you, I never blushed so much in my life. LOL Though honey loves it when I go into what he calls “Research Mode”.

LOL!! They do love to play research assistant, don’t they?

How has your life been affected as a result, if at all? Has your confidence in your writing changed?
Raine says: Well, real life does take center stage some days plus with two kids ages 9 and 7 that have dance classes and then honey and I couple time, it is a balancing act in itself. I am lucky that honey and my kids support me in this and that they are proud to hear of my accomplishments and downturns.

Yep, you’re very lucky.

What advice would you give a writer just starting out?
Raine says: network with other authors. Learn, grow and always push the boundaries. Take online free courses and keep writing!

Good advice for anyone wanting to advance a career.

I hear new genres are opening up. Can you tell us about some?
Raine says: Urban Fantasy is gaining momentum big time. I love that genre and find myself wondering if I can even go that way in writing. J

What have you published and where can I get your books?
Raine says: Currently I am at Aspen Mountain Press (, you can find my books at Fictionwise, ARe, and Amazon Kindle.

Devon Falls Series (paranormal Erotic Romance)at AMP:
1) Sticky Magic-In Babes in Toyland II Anthology

2) Red Hot Magic

3) Fiery Magic

Non-Series books at AMP:
Fairy Kisses and Magical Dreams

Do you have anything currently under contract?
Raine says: Currently I am fixing up the next Devon Falls book, Haunting Magic. This one is about Damien’s twin, Rodrick and how the woman who is his mate is not what he imagines.
I am waiting to hear on a paranormal romantic comedy called Falling to Pieces and a few others as well.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Raine says: Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Devon Falls with hunky bachelors, a dog auction and some steamy dreams as Raven DeMarco finds herself dreaming of the one man who can give her everything she ever wanted but can Jean-Claude find her before the end of Valentine’s day? Come to Devon Falls this year and be captivated at how two people find themselves lost in their desire.

Thank you, Raine! Well, let’s get right to that excerpt, shall we?
Here’s a taste of Devon Falls!

Devon Falls: Red Hot Magic
*Book 2 in Series*
Author: Raine Delight
Aspen Mountain Press
Release date: 2/7/08
Paranormal Contemporary Erotic Romance


With the help of a charity fundraiser, Jenna sets her friend, Raven, up to find Mr. Perfect. Raven though, has found Mr. her dreams. Now, if she could only find the sexy man in real life.

Edited Excerpt

Raven felt the soft breeze swirl and the silk sheets slither around her body like a lovers hands. She opened her eyes and looked around. She wasn’t in her apartment and she was naked. How the hell did that happened? Instead she was in a dream; something was going to happen tonight and she knew her life would change forever. “You’re awake I see. We have so many other delicious things to do yet, my love,” a deep voice whispered across the room. Raven shivered as desire raced thru her body faster than she ever had imagined. “Who are you? What do you want of me?” Turning left then right, she tried to figure out where the voice came from. As the breeze swirled around the room, it caressed her body, making her nipples tighten and wetness pool in her core. Trying not to let her mystery man know how he much he affected her, Raven tried to still her aching body with deep breaths. That is until she spied the tall man walking toward her from the shadows. With hair dark as midnight, a body that stormed her defenses with just a look, his blue eyes locked onto hers. He was easily over 6 foot 5” and he was deliciously naked…with a cock that begged to be suckled and licked. It was absolutely the largest one Raven had ever seen and it grew larger with every step he took toward her. This man would give her the ultimate pleasure she had been searching for and she would crave even more from him. Gulping, she felt rather than saw him sit on the edge of the bed. As her gaze traveled up his body to his face, she caught laughter in his marvelous eyes as he watched her take stock of his body. “Love, you don’t have to be afraid. You know who I am even if you don’t want to admit it. I’m your soul mate and I’ve been searching for you for a long time. You need me as much as I need you, Cheri. I am coming for you.” Raven shivered as those words slammed into her with a desire that almost had her coming on the spot. Shifting, Raven asked again, “Who are you?” Before she could do or say anything else, this towering man took her hand, palm side up and with a kiss in the center said, “I am your destiny!” Raven tried to speak, her lips opened but before she could say one word she felt him tip her face toward his. He settled those sexy lips on hers allowing one last thought to pierce her lust filled brain…Damn he’s like a decadent dessert…all ready to gobble up unless you slow yourself down to enjoy every last bite.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sex Toy of the Month-- Esse Stage

Oh, my!! I want one of these! This is the Esse, the curved part.
The bottom, raising the Esse up to a comfy height, is the Esse Stage.
Honey, the Domme in me is losing her mind. See the part she's leaning over? That's a perfect whipping horse position, with the sub's comfort all there.
What's more, it comes in a deluxe fetish edition with cuff clips! I'm in heaven!
Now being that I'm cheap and handy with tools, I might do without the stage. After all, I'm quite capable of building a sturdy, supported box to raise the Esse up to the correct height for the tallest sub's comforts.
I'm also in love with the Zeppelin. (Drool)


Friday, February 6, 2009

Blue Rose is Out at Last!!

The book I consider one of my best has finally released from Aspen Mountain Press at long last!! Please click on to buy Blue Rose.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Winner of my Frugality Contest-- Angie Stubbs

Angie said:

we cut out money off coupons and buy 2 for 1 bargins
we turning off lights and things off standby
we doing the shopping in one day instead of going out 2 or 3 times a week only buying the things we need and not the things we want Angie

Very smart things to do!

Just unplugging the appliances not in use and turning off the computers at night can save something, even if it's only a buck or two. Coupons can save you much more!

The one I was impressed with was the shopping suggestion. It works. I saved more when I was able to grocery shop less often, especially if I bought from a carefully written list.

Angie has won a free ebook from my currently available books. Congratulations, Angie!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The spotlight is on -- Dawn Roberto

Once in awhile, it's fun to turn the tables. Dawn Roberto from Love Romances and More, Love Romances Book Club, and Love Romances Cafe is known for her hard-hitting and often surprising interview questions to authors. Now I get to ask HER a bunch of questions!

Thanks for slowing down long enough to talk to me, Dawn!

1) What got you interested in reviewing? What drew you to Love Romances and More?

Dawn says: I love books and stumbled across a review on one of my favorite author's website Love Romances did and was intrigued. I sent them a sample review and voila! I was a reviewer for them. :) They helped me and eventually I did more for them like interviews and then running the LR Cafe. I enjoy being here since we are all like a family and we are also friends.

2) How long have you been reviewing?

Dawn says: Let me see.....I believe over 4 years but I could be wrong. *Thinks and looks back in records* Nope make it 5 years and counting. :)

3) What is your favorite genre to review? Least favorite? Why/why not?

Dawn Says: I love all of them except horror. I never really liked that genre but any combination of genres is great. Right now I am into Paranormal, Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance and M/M. I enjoy the aspects of two (or more) people coming together and finding their way to their heart's desire with someone else. :)

4) In your spare time, what do you like to do to relax?
Dawn Says: Relax? *laughs* I have two kids ages 7 and 9 so we have two dance classes to go to two days a week, then school functions plus I do a lot of follow up work for the Cafe, emailing authors on their chat dates, answering questions, doing reviews plus I spend time with my honey of almost three years as well.

To unwind, I watch movies, hike in the summer/spring, take a daily walk if the weather is good and I love to bake. *grins*

5) If we looked on your bookcase(s), what authors would we find? Any favorites? Who are they?
Dawn Says: Um...which bookcase...I have three. LOL I have one with lots of Luna Books from Harlequin like Robin D. Owens's Summoning series, Jeri Smith-Ready's Crow series, C. E. Murphy, and others. Another has my Sherrilyn Kenyon books, JD Robb, Maggie Shayne and a host of others. Third is the biggest one, Takes up a whole doorway- that has my Bertrice Small books, Harry Potter series, Cheyenne McCray, Judith Rochelle, Tilly Greene and a host of others as well. I add to the bookshelves daily thru three bookswapping places and honey always gets me a gift card for Christmas or a special occasion for myself to enjoy. I have so many that I am itching to read that I have a three subject notebook I am filling up weekly with new books to explore. :)

6) If you were lost on an island, what would you need with you to survive?

Dawn Says: Um I need honey since I am NOT a survivalist. Kinda like my creature comforts. Books, paper, matches and food. :)

7) Any other interesting things going on at Love Romances and More?

Dawn Says: We now have a blog. You can check it out at Plus we have contests and author interviews there as well. To be on our blog spotlight, you need to contact Danny at danny AT loveromancesandmore DOT com. Lil is in charge of the blog contests and any questions can be directed to her: lil AT

We are currently looking for more editors and reviewers. You can contact Gina on that: gina AT loveromancesandmore DOT com

We also offer low cost advertising for authors either on our website ( and on our blog. You can email Shaiha at shaiha AT loveromancesandmore DOT com or Gina on information for that.

We are also looking for articles for our blog as well.
We are not looking for drive by promos -- but solid comments on the subject at hand. If you are giving away an ereader you and/or your publisher can post a comment. If your publisher is having a sale for the season, they can also post a comment with their link and what the sale is.

LR Cafe is taking 2009 chat dates from May-December. I am booked solid for the first 4 months of 2009 already. Plus a special Event is scheduled on Feb. 28th at the LRC: our first ever editor chat with several publishers/editors. This is where you can get submisison information, what to do to get your submisison accepted and other good stuff. I hope you can join us at the cafe for that.

8) Where can we find Love Romances and More? blogs? Newsletter?

Dawn Says: Love Romances and m ore has a website (, Blog (, TWO book chat loops. LR Cafe is for the over 18 crowd and features e books and print authors daily.

I put out a monthly newsletter in the cafe plus weekly updates on chats or events for the week in the cafe.

Danny puts a weekly update on what is going on at the blog plus other good stuff as well.

Penny runs the other book club and this is for more mainstream work and not erotic work. You can find it at
If you want to schedule a chat day here, contact Penny at Penny AT loveromancesandmore DOT com.

Thank you Lena for letting me come by and chat with you. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Night Critters on You Tube!!

This is the best book trailer in the world, IMHO. LOL!!


Review for Santa Paws

Note: This review was posted in December, but owing to my surgery I've not given thanks as I should until now.

New Review - GINGERSNAPS: SANTA PAWS - Lena Austin
Reviewed by ParaNormal Romance
Many readers will enjoy this short story that shows just what Christmas can be all about, at least to the magical creatures of the world
Read the rest here:

Thank you Stacy Link!!

A Multi-Author Series
“’Twas the night before Christmas…” JR Thornton seeks redemption for his many unwitting evil deeds by dressing up in a Santa suit to deliver gifts to an orphanage, but the angry wood fairy guarding the house is more interested in blowing his head off.
Phaedra hates JR for destroying her home forest and the lives of her family. Now a caregiver putting herself through college, she’s determined to give the most evil and handsome man she knows a piece of her mind.
So why does she want so badly to sit in Santa’s lap?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Genre(s): Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Hot Flashes Theme(s): Werewolves, Christmas, Seasonal Themes, Elves, Dragons & Magical Creatures Series: Gingersnaps Length: Hot Flash
Other books in the Gingersnaps series:
Gingersnaps: Santa Paws by Lena Austin
Gingersnaps: Canine Cop by BJ McCall
Gingersnaps: Serendipity 5A by Dawn Montgomery
Gingersnaps: Christmas Knight by Alecia Monaco
Gingersnaps: Another Chance by L. Shannon
Gingersnaps: Cupid by Sierra Dafoe
Gingersnaps: Serendipity 7C by Lexxie Couper
Gingersnaps: Sophie’s Present by Anne Kane
Gingersnaps: Summoning by Leila Brown
Gingersnaps: Sugar Plums by Kate Hill
Gingersnaps: Pole Serpent by Renee George
Gingersnaps: Christmas Party by Moira Rogers
Buy From Publisher

Monday, February 2, 2009

Penis Size-- An ADULT discussion

Here's what most of the media says about Penis Size:

Average Penis Size
The age-old question, "Am I well hung?" Well, before going on to see where you stand, or should we say hang, remember that size isn’t everything. Most women prefer a man with a less then average penis and great at cunnilingus, to a man with a larger penis and no skills. Furthermore, you should never worry about your size; it will only lead to anxieties and potentially a variety of sexual dysfunctions.

If you are racing forward to find out what the average penis size is to see if you are ok, stop. Read the first paragraph again. The purpose of this article is not so that men can come and see if they are “big enough”, it‘s purpose is to satisfy curiosity, and to reiterate to all the self conscious males out there that size is not everything.

One of the reasons that men are so self-conscious about this has to do with illusions. When men are in the locker room, they can’t help but glance around the room to see how they measure up. Unfortunately, there is a very different angle looking down than across the room, so men become paranoid that they are too small. Also, a man’s limp size has very little indication to his erect size. Furthermore, most men start getting paranoid about it before they have finished growing.

That being said (hopefully not ignored) penis size consists of two components, length and circumference. Although most studies in this area vary slightly in the findings, the average erect penis length is 5.5 to 6.5 inches, and the average circumference is 4.5 to 5 inches.

Penis Length

Your erection length is defined as the linear distance along the dorsal (top) side of the erect penis, from the mons veneris to the tip of the glans. In non-medical jargon, your penis is measured in a straight, or for some arced, line on the topside of the erect penis, from where your belly meets the shaft to the tip of your penis. Take multiple measurements over the course of a few days and then average the values. Since your erections can vary slightly depending on your level of arousal, mood, room temperature, and even the duration since your last sexual encounter, averaging out a few measurements will let you get a more accurate read.

Penis Circumference

Penis circumference is defined as the linear distance around the widest part of the erect penis. Whether you use a piece of string or a fabric ruler, you should wrap it around the widest part of your penis, one time. If using string, make sure it is not stretchy, and mark the string at the correct spot and then measure the portion with a ruler. As with penis length, this should be done over a few days and the result averaged out.

Does Size Matter?

The second most famous question; "Is it the size of the ship, or the motion of the ocean?"... Both are correct, so yes, size does matter. Anyone who tells you differently is not being completely truthful. The majority of a woman's nerve endings are in the first couple inches of her vagina, so exactly how much size matters is a controversial topic. Most women agree that an average size penis, along with an understanding of her genital regions will get the job done. In fact, they would prefer that to a large penis as it could come along with a lot of pain for the first few times together for them. For those dreaming for an 8+ inch penis, just remember that it doesn’t always come in as handy as you think. Having a large penis decreases your chances of your partner being willing to have anal intercourse, as well as deep-throating.

Lena's Comments:

In other words, big dicks are a pain --literally! They take special effort to take into your body at all locations. Anal sex can be deadly with a large cock, especially if your partner isn't inclined to be patient and you haven't used anal plugs to stretch up to his circumference. Darlings, don't think you can "take it." Trust me on this. You can't without pre-planning. Always, always, always use a condom and lube when something goes up your ass. I don't care if it's the plug or him, protect yourself. One tear, and you'll get an infection that could potentially kill you. Why risk it? Condoms are cheaper than a hospital visit.

Same goes for a good deep throat. Our gag reflexes are there to prevent us from choking, and there's nothing worse than killing the romance by upchucking that romantic dinner. If he's that big, take it slow and practice. He'll be happy to help you with this, as long as you let him finish inside you, preferrably your vagina. That's the one part of our bodies that can stretch with relative ease inless you're a Twinkie and he's Goliath.

So yes, size damn sure does matter, but not the way you think.


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