Glad to be home…

No truer words were ever spoken. Okay, well, maybe truer ones, but at this moment, nope.

I am very glad to be home from Authors After Dark. I am very glad to not be living out of a suitcase. I am very glad to have my own shower and bedroom. I am very glad to be relaxed and not running everywhere from the second I get up. And, I am glad to be eating home cooked, real food again. Man, oh man, am I glad of that!

I’m gonna tell you, it’s miserable going from whole wheat, whole grain, natural foods to processed and eating out a lot. However, there was strawberry cake one night that I might kill to have a slice of again…

I met some fabulous people at Authors After Dark though and I am very glad to have gone and met them. Melissa Schroeder (straight shooter and I love that), Kris Cook (just so fabulous beyond words), Joy from Joyfully Reviewed (who welcomed me with such open arms and a smile), and Cat Johnson (who gave me valuable branding/marketing ideas). I spent a lot of time with Samantha Kane and Mari Freeman. We laughed, we went sightseeing, we journeyed to Starbucks! I met people who (when they knew who the hell I was) have loved my books and people who have in the past ragged on them and ripped them to shreds. I met people with ginormous egos and others who were so down to earth and kind and sweet. Larissa Ione was one of those down to earth people and I caught her as we were both standing off to the side at one point. We struck up a conversation and she was easy to smile and laugh and talk. I had not read her books before but because of that one moment, I will try them now. Others, not so much.

I got to spend some time talking with Delilah Devlin. I had met her at Lori Foster’s Reader and Author Get Together. I learned a lot from talking to Delilah and she’s so kind. I also met Sidney Ayers again. She’s very quiet but easy to smile and told me that her books are funnier than the covers appear so, I bought the first one, Demons Prefer Blondes and am going to give it a try!

The tattoo artist tagged me within seconds of meeting me as submissive (which is true). Kinda caught me off guard though and I left my friend Kendra alone with him and her tattoo shortly after that. She’ll forgive me…lol.

I met people from Twitter whom I just wanted to hug and cuddle with… @esmerose1977 and @juju221.

And I hung on the ever fantabulous Dakota Cassidy because I truly can’t get enough of her! She’s very gracious to tolerate me.

Look at me name dropping! LOL. As if, right? However, these are people I met and who stood out to me. Of course, I cannot forget Jen B. and Susan, two readers who actually knew me, actually looked for me. Those were awesome moments.

Aside from Lori Foster’s Get Together, Authors After Dark is only the second con I’ve attended. It was interesting, busy, however it was more busy for others than for me. I was more a tag-a-long than anything. I was a late sign-up, which was fine. Not being in the mix and middle of things, allows one to observe and listen and even find time to connect. I didn’t have to be here or there or in two places at once and that was nice. Very few people knew me, but, in the grand scheme of things… One of my roommates, Eliza Gayle… Now everyone knew her and some were falling all over themselves to get to her. Readers, and bloggers, and authors alike gravitated toward her. She was truly in her element and that was cool to see. Whereas me, I was like a fish out of water…

Authors After Dark 2012 is in New Orleans. I won’t be going to that one. August? New Orleans? Off-season? No… But Philly, that was amazing. It was so different than the Southern cities I’m used to. The atmosphere was hurried, lively, loud. I loved walking around the city, seeing the sites, the architechture, the history. The history was fabulous. And the cheesesteaks. I have to say y’all, the cheesesteak thing… There’s a bit of controversy there. Is it best with Wiz? With provolone? With American? Hell if I know! The one place we went, they said provolone. The people we talked to outside that place said wiz. I do believe after trying both, I’d have to go with wiz. Are you wondering what wiz is? Cheese Whiz. It melts into the steak better and is just more delicious. I am however cheesesteak’d out. I’m actually tired of eating out all together and as I said earlier, I’m glad to be able to eat home cooked, real food again.

I came home with two new book ideas, one I need to write on today and one I need to get started on very, very soon. The whole time I was there, I couldn’t wait to get back to writing and so, I think I shall do that now. And today will be an Elvis Presley listening day… Do you have a favorite Elvis song? Mine is Moody Blue.

Hope all of you had a great weekend and are on your way to a great week.

~lissa

 

Birthday Bash – Kiss and Tell Girls

Okay, today on the blog I’ve invited my group blog mates from Kiss and Tell Girls to post. This is gonna be a long one because each individual has included a little birthday story and a bit about one of their books…

I am not posting with them, however, we’ve had an author join us from time to time on the blog, Chloe Harris.

So, here we go…

From Noelle (one half of author duo Chloe Harris)

My birthday is on Christmas Eve so my best memories are of how hard my parents worked to make sure my birthday was special and separate from Christmas. They did everything they could to make sure I never felt cheated and I’ve done the same thing with my December baby.

In Deep – Nominated for Romantic Times Best Erotic Romance of 2010

1745. Betrayed, kidnapped, and stranded in the Caribbean, Irish beauty Jaidyn Donelly realizes her only hope for making money—and gaining a passage north—is with her luscious body. Irresistible client Connor O’Driscoll has other plans for Jaidyn, though, offering her passage to the Carolinas—in exchange for a voyage filled with sizzling pleasures and growing affection. But their intoxicating passion forces Connor to hide a dangerous truth—that his arrival in Georgetown puts his life on the line.

While the ship nears its destination, so too does the treachery of their secrets. Riding the waves of fierce desire, Jaidyn and Connor resolve to right the wrongs of their past—and risk all for a future together…

Visit Chloe Harris at www.authorchloeharris.com

From Samantha Kane:

Birthday Memory?
My older brother and I have the same birthday, twelve years apart. When I was a kid there were always two cakes etc. I never, ever minded sharing my birthday because he always told me I was the best birthday present he ever got. He’s pretty awesome like that.

Birthday Present?

On my 16th birthday my mom gave me an antique, white gold wedding band that had been in the family for years. I have worn it constantly ever since that day.

Favorite Birthday Cake, meal, or some other dessert?

Hmm, well now I like to have chocolate wafer cake. It’s very simple to make. Take those thin, crispy chocolate wafer cookies you usually find near the ice cream at your grocery store, and make a log of them with real whipped cream as the glue. Then frost the cake with the rest of the whipped cream. Put it in the refrigerator for several hours so the whipped cream soaks into the wafers. Cut on the bias. It’s fabulous. Tip: make the whipped cream slightly sweeter than you normally would.

Best birthday cake ever? I still remember a butterfly birthday cake my mom made me when I was about 7 or 8. It was beautiful.

How you like to spend your birthday?

At home with family. I like quiet birthdays. Since my birthday is 5 days after Christmas and the day before New Year’s Eve, I enjoy a lull between frantic holiday celebrating.

I don’t have a cover yet for my April release, Cherry Pie, from Loose Id, but I’ll give you the blurb:

John Ford packed up his life a year ago and moved from LA to small Mercury, North Carolina after the death of his long-term partner. He’s been living in a kind of suspended animation, fixing up the old house he bought there, reclusive and alone. Until the day Connor Meecham appears.

Conn Meecham has returned home, only to find it isn’t his anymore. Someone else owns his mother’s house now. But Conn needs that house to find the man he left behind more than eight years ago—before the drugs, before prison, before his life derailed. Lonely, desperate, lost, Conn finds in John a kindred soul.

Mercury is a dying town. But John sets out to change that when he learns what it means to Conn. Through home improvements, sex, old friends, sex, misunderstandings, sex, and homemade cherry pie, John and Conn may finally discover that where they are now can be heaven on earth if they want it to be.

So, since we don’t have a cover yet for this one and it won’t be out until after the birthday bash, I’ll be giving one book from my backlist at the end of the party.

From Mari Freeman:

I think birthdays are great for kids. We had a big party for our 10-year-old girl this summer at the lake. It was an all day outing that included her friends and their parents and our friends. It was a good excuse for us all to get together at the lake talk, watch the kids have a ball, and enjoy a nice August day. And maybe a beer or two.

I’ve come to the point in my life where I don’t think so much of my birthdays. LOL. Hey, I’m not old. It’s just that when I was a kid, birthdays were so low key. That may be why I don’t practically want a big party as an adult.

A typical birthday more as a kid was my parenst and my brother at my pick of restaurants. And it was always the same place. I loved this nutty place called the Tiki Hut.  Crazy décor that included huge rattan chairs and drinks that came in a coconut shell may have been an unusual pick for a kid, but my brother and I were nuts about it. They served Pu Pu platters. We giggled at the name, but what’s not to love about flaming food as a 10 year old?

Dad liked it because the waitress wore grass skirts! LOL Mom liked it because the staff didn’t care how much noise or how much of a mess we made. Her not having to clean up after us was all bonus. I think that was why we went for the small, family restaurant parties.

Once we got home from dinner we would do the traditional homemade chocolate cake and a few presents. My brother’s favorite thing to do for presents was to wrap up an old album and pass it along to me. I learned my love of rock music this way.

One year, we got home to find my chocolate cake was moving. Literally. Ants had found their way into our house and onto the table while we were happily dancing around the Tiki Hut. Needless to say, no cake that year!

You can now find me at the nearest Sullivan’s steakhouse for dinner and dessert on my birthday.

Lissa – May all your cakes be ant free for your birthday celebration.

Happy birthday, Baby!

Sin on Skin

Wild women do…

That’s the theme for the friends Stevie Jones found at an erotic-romance convention. But as the women share their experiences with younger guys on their Tempt the Cougar blog, Stevie discovers she’s the least wild of the bunch. Finding a younger man isn’t the problem; after a lifetime of unfulfilled desires, Stevie needs a younger alpha man. In the meantime, getting a tattoo is an easy, safe way to begin ramping up her wild side.

Tattoo artist Errol knows instantly what Stevie needs, and it’s not just a bit of ink. He’s hot, young—and he’s just invited Stevie to his private BDSM club. Before you can say “green light”, Stevie is experiencing things she’d only read in her favorite erotic novels. Sinful toys, spanking benches and voyeurism are just some of the stops on what will become the wildest ride of her life.

Reader Advisory: This hot little number contains a scorching scene in which the heroine becomes a plaything for others—three others, in fact—including one very demanding Domme.
Available from Ellora’s Cave

Visit Mari at www.marifreeman.com

And last but certainly not least, Eliza Gayle:

My favorite birthday memories come from my kids younger birthdays. Mostly because my husband and I had so much fun together making their cakes. When birthdays came around the kids would choose their theme. I’m not sure there is an old Disney movie we haven’t done a cake for. lol I’d bake and frost the cake and the husband would use his artist skills to design the scene. We’ve done everything from Snow White and the seven dwarfs complete with cave and railroad tracks to a Mulan battlefield scene and a Little Mermaid under the sea extravaganza. We may be past the Disney years but we’ve definitely created memories that I hope we’ll never forget.

These days the birthday parties are a bit more subdued. One of my daughters just celebrated her birthday a couple of weeks ago. We went out for a nice meal and ate the birthday cupcakes my daughter wanted to make herself. They were almost too pretty too eat.

Speaking of sweet…

My new valentine’s story is now available for preorder at All Romance. In addition to the hot story I have included my favorite recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes at the end of the story.

Blurb:

Who knew a rose could hurt so good?

Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for Harper Allison and her cupcake bakery. She’s not personally interested in the trumped up holiday until she receives an anonymous gift with explicit instructions that include a rendezvous at the most upscale BDSM club in the city.

From the moment Alex lays eyes on Harper at the Glass Kat Club he wants her. And what Alex wants Alex gets. He formulates a plan with his best friend, one guaranteed to fulfill Harper’s unspoken desires and hidden fantasies.

Unfortunately for Alex, one night is all Harper is prepared to give. Her life is complicated enough without having two Doms pushing her to submit, no matter how incredibly sexy they are. Until the familiar voice of a stranger reminds her…Maybe she doesn’t know Alex at all.

Available for pre-order at All Romance eBooks

Visit Eliza at www.elizagayle.net