Friday, February 29, 2008

It's Party Time!

Whiskey Creek Press is celebrating their 5 year anniversary!

There's plenty of events going on, like a Scavenger Hunt, and I'm here to tell you all about one of the parties.

On Monday WCP and Torrid authors like Kristina Diesen, Linda Mooney, Michelle O'Neill, RaeLynn Blue, Margaret Blake, Mary Jean Kelso, Annette Snyder, Rayne Forrest, Paige Tyler, myself and others will get together and bring Whiskey Creek Presses 5 year celebration to you!

We'll be talking about some fabulous reading material available from both lines, hosting contests and plenty more fun for all - so consider this your invite and come enjoy yourself.

By the way, did you know March 2-8 is Read an eBook week? Well it is so let's see if we can't help you find a new treasure to kick the week off.

So the details are:

Date: Monday March 3rd
Time: 9:00am est

Have a great weekend everyone and we'll see you on Monday!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leap Day Surprise!

Leap Day only comes around once every four years, and Phaze is celebrating with a special sale and Take a Leap Giveaway, with two ways to win!

All through Leap Day, 2.29.08, you can get 29% off all eBooks in our store using the checkout code LEAP2008. When you purchase a title from the catalog on Leap Day you will be eligible to win one of TWO gift certificates valued at $29 each.

You can also enter the drawing by sending an e-mail to with your Name, E-Mail Address, and one sentence describing the best way to "take a leap" on this extra day.

How would spend your Leap Day: an actual "leap" with a bungee cord attached your ankles, or a metaphorical "leap" toward an exciting new job or romance? Let us know; we'll post the answers we like best on our blog.

All entries for the giveaway must be in by midnight, 2.29.08 to be eligible. No purchase necessary to win!

Until then, stay Phazed and Enthused!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thursday 13 #29!

I'm a big movie buff and I love the award season not for the awards or kudos but the fashion, now that interests me. Normally I'm not bothered by the comments made about why something had low viewership. Who cares, right? Well, I care when the excuses being given are because only foreigners won, the movies were too dark or were small budget flicks so movie goers didn't care about them.

Are you kidding me?

No, I'm not a movie snob who only watches foreign or art house flicks, like I said earlier, I love going to the movies. If the cutie has anything to say about it, we'll be in line for the next Batman when it opens. Anyway, because my blood is boiling over with this subject I thought I'd help myself to get over it by using this weeks 13 to offer up flicks I love. You may not have heard of them because they weren't blockbusters or maybe you've forgotten about them, either way, they're worth watching.

In no particular order, here are a few movies I saw last year and a few from this year that have stuck in my mind as being entertaining.

1. Letters From Iwo Jima
A neighbor lent me this one. It was a tear jerker that gives an interesting view of WWII. There's an accompany movie from the US point of view [I think it's called Flags of Our Father] but I haven't seen it - need to prepare for the floodgates to open again.

2. Pirates of the Carribean - At The World's End
Oh yes, loved me some good pirates - although I think the first one was best.

3. Surf's Up, The Game Plan, Transformers and Santa Clause 3
A few of the movies I remember seeing on various flights - entertaining.

4. Pan's Labyrinth
Rented this one and it wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be - it was much better.

5. Elizabeth and Elizabeth - The Golden Age
On the last flight home I caught The Golden Age and rented the first one because it was so interesting.

6. American Gangster
Fantastic! This was deep and thought provoking movie - especially once you find out it's real.

7. Syriana
I watched this one when it came out but wanted to catch it again...I love it when something makes you go hmmm.

8. Eastern Promises
Oh man, dark and great! Viggo in the spa...HOT and scary!

9. Stardust and Becoming Jane.
Caught both of these on a flight and was surprised by how entertaining they were, the latter I had issues with but when I ignored them it was okay.

10. The Last King of Scotland
This is one of those I missed when it first came out and finally remembered to check it out when I was at the video shop. Wow!

11. The Simpsons Movie and Ratatouille
Love me some fun animation :-).

12. Shrek the Third
Yup, I'm easy for Shrek - did you catch this past holiday's Shrek the Halls? Hilarious!

13. Goya's Ghost
Okay, this is a bit of a cheat because technically I haven't seen all of it. Caught this one on a flight and the last 10 or so minutes were cut off by the arrivals in a foreign country speel. Dang! It's driving me nuts to have missed it so I'm putting it on here. I have seen another flick with Bardem in it called No Country for Old Men, oh yes, it was definitely good.

What about you? Have you seen any flicks you think were good, entertaining, made you think twice about them?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I've been tagged!

My fellow chocoholic Selena Illyria has tagged me for 5 sordid facts so let's get to it before I chicken out.

1. I love high fashion, but I wear mostly shorts and jeans.

2. I love Coca Cola Classic, but I drink fizzy water with juice and an occassional Coke Zero.

3. I love being barefoot, but wouldn't think of walking anywhere with at least my thongs on.

4. I love going out to dinner with friends, but don't really care about the food.

5. I love being tan, but now know it's bad for me so use sunscreen and hats.

I'm not to sure who to tag so I'm putting it out there for whomever has 5 "sordid" traits to have at it :-)

Book Talk!

The week’s Book Talk! I’m going to tell you about what’s been on my ebook reader for the past week or so. Each night before heading off to bed I read a couple of poems from Emma Keatley’s A Lover’s Cocktail.

Granted I’m biased because for a couple of years there's been one thing consistent about my inbox...the pleasure of receiving a missive from the writer. But my personal relationship with her is moot from the minute I opened the ebook. Yes, she is the sweetest person around who happens to have a passion for Cowboys, but be assured she writes wonderful poetry.

Let me take a moment to give you a little history on how this ebook came about. Not too long ago Kate Hofman, an author with Romance at Heart Publications, requested Emma to write a few poems for one of her characters in A Sensual Seduction. There was a great response and Adam Tremayne’s words were placed into their own ebook. Shortly after this, the poet extraordinaire was offered a chance to release an ebook filled with her own poetry. Of course she said yes!

A Lover’s Cocktail by Emma Keatley is broken down into eight sections full of poems from sweet to erotic. “A Wounded Warrior’s Redemption” brought a sigh to my lips because of how well she painted the hero - he rang true for me as a reader of the romance genre. “A Lover’s Cocktail” was naughty fun and made even me want to dash into the kitchen to experiment with the cutie. Then there’s “His Mouth & Lips”, well, what can I say other than this was one of my favorites. The pace was perfect, word choice spot on, by the end this reader was looking to follow the poems example. With “The Sea Lover” I can almost feel the salt spray land on my face.

Ms. Keatley’s poetry runs the gambit of emotions and brought this reader right along with her. Personally, I’m looking forward to the next volume of her work.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Guest Blogging Today!

I'm over on The Romance Studio's Blog today talking about...The Joy of Hobbies! Check it out :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A bit of random ridiculousness...

Last night the cutie and went to the flicks to see Jumper. It was all right, interesting premise, but I came home with a bruised nose and swollen face.

Why? Well, I wear glasses and when I say I don't see well in the dark, I mean it. You see, I dropped a napkin and bent over to pick it up and nailed the empty seat in front of me. Misjugdged the distance or simply forgot it was there...both are possible. What made the price steep for making a mistake was the fact it's an old theater with wooden seats.


So, what's the positive here?

The nose isn't broke and I don't have black eyes :-)

Who knew going to the movies could be so dangerous!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday 13 - #28!

Last week my TT was about where we stayed in Milan. It was a treat all on its own. I was on my own for most of it, cutie had to work some seriously long hours - even jetted off to Paris for a day. Today I'm going to list 13 highlights from the trip:


The Duomo is the most noted of all the sights and it is impressive. There are a many many statues decorating the outside, even a few women, placed there over decades by different artists. I found the crypt - not my usual fortay - interesting. I should've realized then that the gems of Milan would be hidden.


One night the cutie and I were in town and this has to be one of the most vibrant sunsets I've seen. The Duomo is at our back and were looking toward the Castle. Wow!


The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is right off the Piazza del Duomo [think Traffalgar Square with all the bird - eek] and is full of shopping. No, I didn't take these pictures, mine were far too dark. I had to laugh when I noticed McDonalds was located across from Savini - way upmarket restaurant. Nice. No, I didn't spin on the bull for luck but did shop in one of my favoritebookshops - Rizzoli. Great selection :-) Opposite the Duomo entrance is the one from Teatro alla Scala. Didn't get a chance to go in but would've loved to have - it looks stunning!


The Castello Sforzesco was much more than I'd expected. It's a Castle with a handful of museums inside, but it was the wildlife that caught my attention first. There are over 50 wild cats that have been adopted by the staff and they live in the walls of the building. If you can't see the one white cat in this first pic...

here is a close up...yup, he came out of the hole for scaffolding to sit in a sunny spot on the ledge.


The various museums were a great mixture from Mummy's to musical intruments, but I had one favorite. I could take a picture - too dark - so borrowed these here and here so you guys can get a brief idea of what it looks like. Leonardo Da Vinci was painting the ceiling and walls in this room while working on The Last Supper. It's a pergola and so much more. It's been covered by paneling for decades before they discovered what was underneath. Eventually the limbs and trunks of the trees start digging in through the rock foundation. It is a powerful piece.


Please forgive me for not remembering which church this one is and cobbling the picture together from two, but the beauty is in the differences. This is the backside and interesting to see how many different additions there have been. In front, there was a bride and groom out on the front steps being congratulated and an inside out collande full of young goths. I never really understood what the single row of columns and partial architrave were from, but it was an interesting mixture going on out front and in back. Oh, and the parc where the goths feeling romantic were decorating the benches used to be where they hanged people. Yup, had to laugh.


Did you know there's a canal district in Milan? There is and it's a hot bed of fun! This is where the parties are at night and during the day the shopping is interesting. I forgot to take a picture but there was one guy who had a shop right on the canal and he painted the most incredible purses. Yes, purses that looked so real someone might of picked one off a counter. If he hadn't been closed I think I would've checked it out for one for myself. Fun, quirky, and fell perfectly into the Hot Couture series. Oh yeah, remember, I was in Milan doing research for "His High Stepper" - work, work, work :-)


On the otherside of the canal was a crepe shop! Dang, can't remember what it was called but it was spectacular. The Italians seem to love Nutella. It isn't something I care for so went for a limone e zucchero [lemon and sugar] and it was divine. It was a great little shop, all of those brown things in the cupboard and handmade cones for the gelato, which is found under those brass bells. I did partake a couple of cups of gelato and it was lovely!


I walked, lots. Each morning I'd take the bus to the Central Train Station and from there hop on the Metro and take it to the area I wanted to explore and walk. I enjoy finding the everyday life of these places I visit. Whenever I know I'm going someplace new I get 2 things: popout map and travel guide [like the DK Eyewitness Travel ones because they give you history of the place, details and more about what else there is besides what the place is known for]. Getting off the well known path is how I feel like I get to know some place.


Walking off one of the pedestrian only streets in the Fashion District was a busy street and this was across the way. Really look at it. The windows are different, there's arches for structure but off from those above them, and up top is a fresco. It made me pause - I enjoy finding interesting things like this.


When you see pictures of European cities, you often see these huge double wooden doors, sometimes with a small portal in them and sometimes not. I often wonder what's behind them. Some drive their cars through them for parking, some have private roads behind them, others have extensive gardens. This one had a courtyard with cannons. It was a museum so open to the public.


You guys know me, what's a trip without some cioccolata and once with panna [cream]! Trust me, the cream was a distraction, the chocolate was so thick you ended up with a face full of the stuff before tasting the dark glory :-) The bottom cup won the award for the thickest it cooled I needed a spoon!


I saved my favorite place for last - the Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte. This is a place you go to see for the structure as well as the art found inside. Although full of guards, it was all very relaxed with a gem around every corner. One room I walked throug had a young man with a lifesized portrait leaning against the wall and was cleaning it while a young woman was taking detailed photos of the hardwood floors - for repairing. The next room over is the one you see above. Those were the last people I saw for 3 hours when they closed for a 2 1/2 hour lunch :-) From this floor up to the attic was full to the brim of treasures.

My only disappointment, there was no guide for the Villa or any other place other than the Duomo. Such a shame really. The one book I came away from Milan with was The Sforza Castle with watercolors by Jack Tow and text by Amelie Gale.

Many people have mentioned to me that Milan is an industrial city and therefore boring - I beg to differ, I found some of my favorite places and things of all time here. So, if you're ever given an opportunity to visit this city, GO!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Who is Cupid?

In two days time it’s Valentine’s Day.

One day out of the year we dedicate to roses, chocolates and diamonds, mixed in with pink and red visisions of romance and a baby wearing wings, carrying a bow and arrow. Wait a minute, a baby with a weapon? That's right. So, what makes Cupid right for the job? I'm not so sure he is, Eros might actually be better qualified for the position.

Both Ancient Greece and Rome had their own mythology and pantheon of deities to worship. Over the centuries the two groups have been combined, separated or listed side by side for comparison. Needless to say it’s sometimes difficult to know what’s true to their mythology and what isn’t. That said we definitely know that Eros was the God of Love for the Ancient Greeks and Cupid is the God of Erotic Love and Sex for the Romans. Unfortunately, that’s where it stops being clear-cut and simple.

In Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes Edith Hamilton states Eros was depicted as a “beautiful serious youth”. H.J Rose’s says in A Handbook of Greek Mythology that he was “handsome young athlete”, but before both of these characterizations were made he represented love, lust and intercourse as one of the oldest gods in Greece. Where worshipping of the god was important it’s been discovered he was the deity for attractive young men and boys. Across the Adriatic, Cupid was depicted as a child who had the same traits as those already noted. Like Janus, it was questioned whether Cupid had two distinctive sides to his persona or was actually two separate individuals.

After gaining Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, as his mother along with three prospective fathers, Eros image of male lust and sex was further encouraged. One probable father was Hermes, a phallic god and another was Ares, God of War. It seems even in the ancient world a warrior encouraged a woman’s desire to grow exponentially. The third potential was Aphrodite’s father, Zeus. This union was viewed as sexual passion so strong and out of control it has no limitations. This association with the uncontrollable made Eros a dangerous god. The parent issue was similar for Cupid. Jupiter and Venus were also noted as his parents, as were Nyx and Erebus. Both possible couples helped define and solidify various qualities of his character.

Both Cupid and Eros seem fairly interchangeable at this stage, except for their appearances and the Ancient Greek god having elements of danger associated with him. It's at this point the two figures actually appear to swap personalities.

It wasn’t until Alexandrian times that women come into picture for Eros. This happened when the ideal relationship between men and women moved from being mere sexual desire to one of love from the heart. Because of this supposed softening to his characterization, the God of Love’s importance to men was lessened. With this change in attributes, as well as society moving away from worshipping gods and goddess, he became a chubby child with a wicked bow, seen mainly in connection with Aphrodite and subordinate to others.

Cupid gained some clout as a god of love with an appearance on the romantic stage with the Cupid and Psyche’s love story, written in the second century [A.D.] by Apuleius. The story depicted Cupid as a young man and involved very adult issues found in romance like love, jealousy, mistrust and forgiveness. Unfortunately, it seems as if it wasn’t enough to allow him to be depicted as anything but a baby for Valentine’s Day.

So, what do you think? Does it make sense for Cupid to be the image of Valentine's Day? He is a child afterall. Maybe Eros [erotic love] would be better suited for the holiday that encourages lovers to put their hearts out there for their lovers to see and experience.

Naughty Thought for Monday

Interesting. Can you guess what it's an ad for or who paid for it? It was the NHS in England promoting condom use. They have a funny 70's porno type online video here to help get their point across.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thursday 13 - #27!

Back at the start of December the cutie went off to Milan and I went to the New York Small Press & Independent Press Book Fair. It was a wonderful fair, met some truly interesting people, but I knew I would've enjoyed a new adventure with the cutie as well. So, when he had to make the trip again, I went along and what a wonderful hotel he found - and not two blocks away from where he was working. Let me share some of my favorite bits of the Villa Torretta in Parc Nord, Milan.

No, I didn't take this picture, it was dark when I finally thought about doing it. Oh, I guess I should give you a little background on the hotel. It's a renovated 15th century villa that was going to be torn down until they decided it was a true gem inside, because under all the years of white wash and wallpaper were the original frescoes.

The cutie and I were up every morning to eat breakfast together and there were two ways down the hallways from our room to the restaurant.


Downstairs, along the outside hallway and then back upstairs [this is the view of the picture above], or down the hallway from our room. This took us through:


a sitting room,


another sitting room,


a ballroom,


and another ballroom with a coffered ceiling painted with birds,


and into the hallway where the buffet was set up.


And of course I'd enjoy a cioccolata [I could spend another post on this alone, it was gorgeous, thick but not sweet] in one of 3 rooms.




Other highlights in the Villa are:


This is the Torretta Belevedere, which takes some interesting twists and turns to get up to, but it's worth it. I'd bring my laptop up here and get some writing done - yeah, I know, deadlines are deadlines.


This is just one example of how interesting the structure is. The picture is looking down from the 5th floor to the 3rd where there's a glass floor, through which you can see a doorway which doesn't meet up with the current floor - which is as old as mud. These types of unique bits and pieces were all over the place, with a bricked up doorway there and a odd beam ending hanging out over there. Just great.


If you go outside the Villa using the opposite side as the one shown above, then you come out onto a brick courtyard. There's a park on one side and a Chapel on the other. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to go inside, we were out with associates of the cuties the night it was open for a festival. I've seen pictures though and it is as frescoed as the rest of the villa. Incredible!

The staff were very kind and gave me a copy of their guide...research guys, it's all in the name of research :-) I'm not sure how I'll use this gem in "His High Stepper", but it will definitely be there.

Next week I'll show you a few of the highlights from my various trips into the center of Milan.

Buon Giorno!

I'm HOME! Basically we've been gone since before Christmas and I fell in love with my bed all over again last night.

While I was away there was some great news on the publishing front...The Leather Bride, Taming Marie Antoinette and The Gilded Cage are going to be put together and published as Hot Couture, with a simultaneous ebook/print release! How fabulous is that! And, dare I say, what interesting timing because while in Milan I did plenty of research for the fourth book in the series.

That's right, I was in Milan and tomorrow will take the opportunity of TT to share the incredible place we stayed...let's just say Villa, frescoes and plenty of cioccolata calda! So hope to see you all tomorrow!