Friday, April 27, 2018

Dangerous Liaisons

How did I emerge unscathed?

In my pre-adult days... How many times did I put myself (unknowingly) into potentially dangerous situations. Unfortunately, more times than I care to remember. Except one particular incident came to mind this morning, and I’ve been trying to forget it ever since, quite unsuccessfully. When I was 14 going on 15, I became enamoured with an older guy, an 18 year old. Looking back, I wonder what in the world a, for all intents and purposes, man saw in a newly minted teenager, but it’s best not to overthink that.

It was 1995. The summer loomed before me, brimming with countless possibilities. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d be moving to a different town, several hours away, in the fall. I encountered him, “John” at a teenage dance. He asked me to dance to a slow song. I had a crush on him so I was thrilled. The next thing I knew, we were kissing in the middle of the dance door like there was no tomorrow. To my recollection, he was the second guy I’d ever really kissed so I totally fell into the inexperienced category. I wasn’t even sure if he was sober or knew exactly who I was. He may not have been sober, but he did know my name. I checked several times. That was good enough for me.

Throughout the summer, we’d meet around town and drive off to go make out in his truck. My friends told me he was bad news, but I didn’t care. I liked him. The river was a favorite spot to park. It had secluded going for it and a romantic atmosphere. My adult self screams, “what were you thinking parking with a guy, with probably only one thing on his mind, in such a secluded area?” to my 14 year old self. Young me was just over the moon to have this cool guy paying me any attention. Like I said, I was terribly innocent. And, to his credit, he didn’t really try anything with me. One night, he slipped his hand in my shorts, but the minute he reached the short and curlies, I pulled away in complete shock.

Then, I found out he was taking another girl parking on the same nights as me AFTER he brought me home. I confronted him and that was that. Except for one night, a few months later, when I had a moment of weakness, and we made out at a dance. He was a good kisser, and I really liked kissing.

If I hadn’t been such a prude set on protecting my virtue... oh the trouble I might’ve found in those days. Luckily, the few other dicey situations I landed in didn’t end badly either.

But it made me think about how my view of the world has changed since I was the innocent 14 year old. And, really, why kids take such risks with their lives. Lying down in the middle of the road to play chicken. Joyriding in the back of a pickup truck. Leaving the bar late at night to catch a cab alone. Not that I ever did any of those things.

Examining human nature becomes second nature to a writer. We’re always asking questions about what we observe around us. Why do people do the things they do? I postulate. And it doesn’t always make sense. Not by a long shot. But what would be the fun in that?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Not A Damsel in Distress

The Classic Disney Princesses

The classic Disney princesses played the role of damsel in distress, waiting for their princely true loves to rescue them from their individual predicaments. This role was representative of the times. Women had less autonomy, migrating from the control of their fathers (or guardians) to the protection of their husbands. Going your own way was never an option.


Elsa

Enter Elsa. Frozen was the first Disney film to broadly challenge the old stereotype. For the first time, the princess didn’t need rescued by a prince. Elsa represented the liberated woman, the mistress of her own destiny. She had the strength and ability to stand on her own. She even protected her sister Anna. There was no Prince Charming in Frozen.

Feminism is about choice. And having a choice is a true source of freedom. You can wait for your Prince Charming to rescue you or you can simply save yourself. Independence does not mean loneliness. You can have it all. You decide what “all” means to you.



I dream of true love and happily ever after, but that doesn’t make me a damsel in distress. I can stand alone, if I so choose, and I choose to be a part of something bigger than myself.

Cinderella

My favorite princess is Cinderella.

Cinderella is one of the best known folk tales with thousands of different versions and adaptions throughout the world. It's a story of unjust oppression and triumphant reward that resonates with people of all ages.

I love her story—the ultimate tale of rags-to-riches—and her gorgeous blue dress. Despite losing her parents and dealing with an evil stepmother and stepsisters, she remains optimistic about the future. Cinderella is intrinsically good. Her kindness is demonstrated in the manner she treats her cruel stepfamily and how much her animal friends love her. She has truly made the best of her circumstances.

In an apt example of karma, her fairy godmother grants her one magical evening. Cinderella doesn't beg for a fancier dress or a longer period of freedom. Content with one night, she knows her memories will sustain her through a lifetime of domestic drudgery. She meets the man of her dreams only to have the stoke of midnight tear them apart. And she returns to her position of servitude never expecting to see him again. Little does she know, there is nothing more powerful than true love, and her prince moves mountains to find her.

But the part of the story I love the most? They lived happily-ever-after.

Your happily ever after is whatever you decide it to be. Mine includes my real life true love and our two handsome princes.

Seize the day, and "Be the hero of your story."


Friday, April 13, 2018

Promo for What If...? Short Fantasy Stories: Volume 1 by @abbeymacmunn



What if…?
Short Fantasy Stories: Volume 1
Abbey MacMunn
  

Genre: Short stories, paranormal romance, fantasy
Word count: 12,000

Blurb:
A magical short story collection from paranormal romance author Abbey MacMunn.
What would you do if you discovered you were a ghost, or a mermaid, or even an alien? Or perhaps vampires are more your thing?

First Bite: When vampire-obsessed waitress Madison meets her very own dark prince, is she ready to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Ghost: All Sarah wanted was a chance at a happy life, but as her husband lies dying on the hospital bed, can she confess her ghostly secret?

Song of the Sirens: Found alone on the beach as a child, Kai has always been drawn to the ocean, but can the appearance of a soaking-wet, naked Adonis offer the truth about what she is? 

Otherworldly Dreams: Art student Amy dreams of strange alien galaxies, but what if learning the truth takes her out of this world?

FREE bonus content: Chapter 1 of TOUCHED, a fantasy romance from Tirgearr Publishing.

Buy links:
Amazon universal link




ASIN: B079RJSPD6


Author bio:
Abbey MacMunn writes contemporary, paranormal and erotic romance. She lives in Hampshire, UK with her husband and their four children. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
When she’s not writing, she likes to watch films and TV shows – anything from rom-coms to superheroes to science fiction movies.





Contact links:
Twitter  @abbeymacmunn



Friday, April 6, 2018

Promo for Sacred Amulet Duet by @kirutaye


Title: Outcast & Sacrifice
Series: Sacred Amulet Duet
Author: Kiru Taye
Genre: Paranormal / Fantasy / Romance

OUTCAST (Sacred Amulet, Part 1)
Ugo’ji is an outcast, an untouchable. She lives on the fringe of society as the lowest of the low, a living sacrifice to the gods. The only person she interacts with is her aged grandmother who nurtures her powerful gift of healing. Until the day she meets Ebube a strange warrior to their lands. He ignites a yearning within her she's unable to ignore.

Ebube is drawn to the young maiden with the emerald green eyes who possesses the body of a goddess and the healing touch of an angel. But he is forbidden from mating with a human and the consequence is the wrath of the gods.

Moreover he is on a mission. If he fails, the gates of hell will be opened and the earth plunged into darkness. He cannot stay and she cannot go with him.


EXCERPT
A twig snapped. Ebube froze for a heartbeat. Unsure of what was approaching, he reached for his scabbard still strapped to his hips.  Without making a noise, he withdrew the dagger in a slow fluid motion. The trees and shrubs around him provided some cover for him. He wouldn't be seen until he was ready to attack.
Footsteps walked in his direction. Human? Knife poised to strike, he manoeuvred his aching body into a crouching position.
As the leaves of the shrubs in front of him parted, he swung his leg out tripping the creature. The person tumbled down onto the ground beside him and he pounced, his dagger already on its downward motion.
Then he froze.
It was a young woman.
“No!” Her scream rent the air as his arm stopped mid-swing. His grip on his weapon tightened. His other hand held her side down firmly. Soft, smooth, warm skin trembled beneath his palm.
He stared at her, fixated by her allure. The shape of her face reminded him of an eagle’s egg, beautiful and fragile, full of inner strength. Eyes the vibrant green of okra twirled in the cream of ukwa stared back at him with fright. They held him captive and he fell into their depths, barely aware of his increased breathing and heart rate.
Mine. For the first time today, his spirit beast roused, alert and pushing to get to the fore.
What? The feral creature living in him had just laid claim to the maiden which made her...  Mine. The word whispered again in his mind.
This girl was his bond mate? The woman destined to be his life partner? This couldn’t be. She was human. Her life force undulated beneath his skin as proof.
He was Ure, part human and part god. A supernatural being. He wasn’t permitted to bond with humans.
But his spirit beast had never risen before without the amulet to connect them. Yet it had done so on this occasion.


BOOK LINKS
Okadabooks: https://goo.gl/hvxAmS
Barnes & Noble: https://goo.gl/DhFpgf
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/DVZhqP


Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/A9TVoi


SACRIFICE (Sacred Amulet, Part 2)
Mating an outcast requires a blood sacrifice.

Ebube has rejoined his warriors on the hunt for the sacred amulet but his heart is left behind with Ugo. He's focused on completing his task and returning to her quickly.

Ugo has found a new confidence since Ebube's departure. After saving a child's life, she is now in demand for her skills and those who had previously ignored her now take an interest in her. Her quiet moments are preoccupied by thoughts of Ebube's return.

But the gods are not so forgiving or forgetful and they will demand a high price for Ebube's and Ugo's disobedience.

EXCERPT
Ebube’s favourite dream involved waking with Ugo beside him in his home on the Amauwa settlement.
There they had a good, simple, and happy life. Peace in the realms and the warriors at home.
She placed a kiss to his face, the tip of his nose and his closed eyelid before whispering, “good morning.”
Half befuddled with sleep he reached for her, hand settling on her hip as he struggled to stay still, needing her in ways that he couldn’t always express.
“The morning is good because you are here,” he replied in a voice still gruff from the night.
“You are awake,” her voice was filled with amusement.
“I am now.” He cracked his eyes open and filled them with a vision of Ugo dappled in dawn’s grey light.
A smile played on her lips even as strands of her braided hair brushed over her shoulders and plump breasts.
He trailed his hand down her smooth back over the curve of her waist to her wide hips and pliant buttocks swell over long legs that he now pulled down on either side of his so that she sat astride of him.
In the time that he’d known her, her body had ripened from that of a girl into a woman.
He had always been a man ready to go to war to protect the realms. Ready to put himself in danger and journey to whatever lands his missions took him.
Now he wanted to stay close to Ugo. To have her as a constant in his life. He couldn't imagine a future without her. A mate to share highs and lows and make family.
“Now that you’re awake, my warrior, what would you like?” She rolled her bum over his groin.
His breath hitched as he hardened.
“Precious,” the endearment was hardly more than a groan on his lips.
She had never been this bold before.
He glanced up to find her smirking as she rolled her hips again. “Yes, my warrior. I have exactly what you want.”

BOOK LINKS
Okadabooks: https://goo.gl/Ag2EYT
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/4GrWeJ

Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/kMtz6r



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