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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Thursday!!


I recently attended a Human Resources record keeping seminar. There was an in depth discussion of written performance reviews; how they should be done and what value they have. Of course I couldn’t help but think about literary reviews as the presenter of the class offered the following:

1.      1.  Nobody is 100% perfect, 100% of the time, in 100% of the duties required by any job. A review stating that a person has reached this pinnacle lacks validity.

2.      2.  Pointing out areas that need improvement is not a negative thing if done constructively.

3.      3.  Performance reviews are not the place for personal attacks.

4.     4.  Choose appropriate and valid rating criteria.

All of these points resonated with my author self, but #4 made me smile and shake my head in agreement. As the writer of novella’s and short stories, I’ve lost count of how many times a reviewer has admonished me for the story being too short – not in a ‘I wish it were longer cause I loved it so much’ way, but in a ‘I’m rating this short length book lower because it is a short length book’ way!!


**Subject change alert**

Pleasuring Anne is now available at All Romance!!
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-pleasuringanne-1433370-147.html


March is a very busy month for my buddy, Tina Donahue! On March 5th, Seven Sensuous Days releases. Check it out here: http://www.tinadonahue.com/books/seven-sensuous-days/
And stay tuned because she’s going to be a guest here @ 7SS on March 6th and March 12th sharing excerpts and hosting a contest for the release of Stolen Desire!!

Enjoy your weekend~
Tessie

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Name Is Katalina Leon And I'm A Pinterest Addict!

I admit I'm a Pinterest addict. I spend way too much time there. I currently have 74 boards on my profile, and few "secret" boards stashed away. I share the secret boards with others I work or collaborate with both for my writing and for design work. I love creating book boards, character inspiration boards and just plain pin hoarding beautiful images.



I have a Pinterest board devoted solely to Hugh Jackman. Hugh is a romance author's dream template, he's got it all! He's so versatile and handsome and apparently every second of his life is being documented in photos so why give him his own board?
http://www.pinterest.com/katalinaleon/hugh-jackman/



I have a board devoted to 304 of the most beautiful staircases and portals you've ever seen in your life. It makes me happy just to look at them.
http://www.pinterest.com/katalinaleon/staircases-and-portals/


I love beautiful clothes and I have absolutely no business buying them on an author's budget. I get my fashion fix on Pinterest with my Dream Closet.
http://www.pinterest.com/katalinaleon/dream-closet/


One of my most popular boards is inspiration for Vampiric fiction "Vampire Realms"
http://www.pinterest.com/katalinaleon/vampire-realms/

I have boards filled with art, gorgeous manicures, animals and books. I have a yoga board started that I'll post soon. But my favorite boards of all are the handsome men. I have several categories including men with beard scruff--I love it. My favorite is the board of men from Brazil and South America. These guys are insanely handsome!
http://www.pinterest.com/katalinaleon/the-boys-from-brazil/


This is Pedro Soltz from Brazil. He's so elegant and feline. I just love him, especially those eyes.

This is Beto Malfacini my all time favorite Brazilian man.


Beto is my current go-to guy for tall, dark and handsome. I have to give credit to my nieces in Brazil for bringing him to my attention. Beto has his own Pinterest board with a whooping 801 pins!
http://www.pinterest.com/katalinaleon/beto-malfacini/


So, when I started a new WIP this weekend, one of the first things I did was look over my Pinterest boards to choose an inspiration photo for my hero. The WIP I just started is a contemporary, set in the Mojave desert near the China Lake Naval Weapons Station. My hero is newly out of the Navy and returns home to see if a woman from his past is still interested in him damage and all. I needed a handsome Latino man in his twenties and found Miguel Iglesias. What do you think?


Are there any other Pinterest addicts out there? If there are please leave your Pinterest name so I can follow you on Pinterest!

XXOO Kat

Follow me on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/katalinaleon/

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Getting there...


How often I feel like soaring with the eagles...
But end up just running in circles like a turkey on the day before Thanksgiving...

But every step I take forward means that I am getting where I want to be. I just have to keep thinking of putting one foot in front of another, and not slipping back more than one step out of every two. Progress comes in all kinds of packages...the tiny step package...the 20-league boots package...and the Fran Lee package, where I use ski poles and training wheels to move forward three feet. Heck, if it's a forward move, I'll take it!

Where I used to be RAH RAH, now I am Ho Hum. In fact, for about eight months there, I simply rode on my back list laurels, which kept me thinking that I didn't have to work at all. But after a year, people sort of stopped shopping my back list, and actually expected me to write again. So I got busy and finished one of my wips and subbed it. 

It's now been another six months, and I am working hard (or is that hardly working) on  another wip...about halfway through...and getting totally distracted again. Sheesh. Too many things going on in my life.  Time to tie that eagle feather into my hair and leap skyward.

Hugs...

Fran Lee

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reader Feedback Matters!


I received a lovely email from a reader who recently bought and enjoyed Oasis! 
Her kind words gave me incredible joy. 

Oasis holds such a special spot in my heart. It was my second release with EC. It was my first attempt at futuristic/science fiction. My editor was a stern task manager and I'm a better author for her expertise. I can't believe five years have passed!

Excerpt:

Meena walked silently with Elizabeth into the lift, keeping the door open long enough for Gareth to join them. As soon as the door closed, Elizabeth sagged against the back wall and heaved a giant sigh. Immediately Gareth pulled out the medical scanner from his belt and held it toward her.

“Are you unwell, Elizabeth? Your heart rate and respiration are noticeably elevated and your cheeks are flushed.” The genuine concern reflected in his eyes warmed her, but it was Meena who responded.

“She has just left a private audience with the commander.”

“Ah,” Gareth smiled knowingly and put away the scanner. “We understand exactly what that can do to a woman’s physiology, do we not?” The two of them nodded agreement to each other, embarrassing the hell out of Elizabeth.

“For your information,” she bit out curtly, “I find your commander overbearing, infuriating and not just a bit too full of himself, all qualities that I don’t find appealing in the least!”

“Not being possessed of any of these unsavory characteristics, perhaps I should accompany you to your chambers so we may together discover what you do find appealing?” Gareth stared down at her lustfully. “I am eager to step into my new role of teacher to you, the succulent newcomer.” He wrapped an arm around Elizabeth’s waist and gave her hip a gentle squeeze.

“Meena, help me out here.” Elizabeth smiled somewhat nervously but didn’t move away from Gareth’s embrace. It was quite obvious he was being playful and his sense of humor was refreshing after the intensity of the commander. It didn’t hurt that he was fine to look at either!

“Yes, Meena,” he drew her against his other side, “please describe to Elizabeth my formidable and indisputable ability to bring a person to the height of physical pleasure!”

“That is not what she meant and you know it.”

Elizabeth watched the emotions that passed between the two of them. They were definitely more than just friends.

“There will be plenty of time for you to demonstrate your exceptional talents when she is ready to enjoy them fully.” Meena kissed him tenderly on the cheek. “I will see to your needs as soon as Elizabeth is settled back in her chambers.” She cupped his ass enthusiastically.

“Does everything on this ship revolve around sex?” Elizabeth asked breathlessly.

“We manage to squeeze in a bit of planetary exploration when we absolutely have to,” Gareth chuckled as the lift doors opened.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!
Tessie
www.tessiebradford.com


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mystic's Touch BookTrailer - DGarson

Dena's Garson's "Mystic's Touch"


Today's guest is a very sweet friend and talented author Dena Garson. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Dena on the Emerald Isles Fantasies book series, and she was kind enough to beta a WIP for me just this week. Thank you Dena!


(Dena sure gets great book covers, the Cover Goddess loves her for sure!)

Dena's latest book is "Mystic's Touch" from Ellora's Cave Blush Line. If you like your romance more sweet than spice and you haven't already meet Dena Garson, you're in for a real treat:

Thanks for having me today!

Did you know honey was good for more than just a natural sweetener?

While I was writing Mystic’s Touch, I did some research on herbs and healing practices that were used by ancient Egyptians. My heroine is a healer and since the world I built for them was based on ancient Egypt I wanted to know some of the methods and herbs she might have used.

What I learned was fascinating.

Honey has antibacterial properties and was frequently used by ancient Egyptians on the skin to treat cuts, scrapes and burns. It was also used as an embalming fluid and as an offering to their gods.

Ancient Greeks also valued honey. Some myths portray Cupid dipping his arrows in honey before firing them at unsuspecting lovers. Honey was supposedly favored by Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.

Bridegrooms in traditional Indian wedding ceremonies are offered honey to improve his stamina.

Today we commonly use honey to soothe a sore throat or suppress a cough. Minor burns can benefit from honey’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Similarly, minor cuts can be dressed with a thin layer of honey then covered with a clean bandage or band-aid to reduce healing time and sterilze the wound. If you begin to feel like you’re coming down with something, raw honey’s antibacterial and antiviral properties may help boost your immune system and fight sickness. (NOTE: the darker the honey, the better its antibacterial and antioxidant power)

Despite its ability to naturally boost energy, raw honey may provide sleep relief by facilitating the action of tryptophan, which helps make people sleepy.

But don’t forget all the fun you can have with it too! Sweeten your own palate before a kiss to encourage your partner to want more. Drizzle honey on your lover’s body parts and take your time licking it off.

Or heat up a cup of tea and add a dollop of honey before you sit down to enjoy my new book.

Mystic’s Touch:
When Prince Ceros returns home to take his place on the throne, he falls prey to a mysterious malady that leaves him unable to speak or move, though his thoughts and awareness remain intact. Danet, a talented healer, realizes the prince is alert inside his body. The two are able to share thoughts telepathically. Unfortunately her connection with Ceros may bring unwanted attention to her abilities and result in her banishment from the city.

Their unique bond grows as Danet races to find a remedy for the prince’s condition. Desire turns to love, which makes Danet fear for their future when he awakens. They seek out the villain attempting to take the throne and endeavor to find a way to stay together.

Inside Scoop: Ceros’ secret shifter status adds complication and intrigue to their budding romance.


To celebrate the release of Mystic’s Touch, I’m giving away lots of goodies. There will be ebooks, a Dena Garson gift basket, a grab bag of author promo items, a Love: Defined necklace, Naughty/Nice earrings, and a swirl ring made by Designs By Jewelee. See my blog for more info. The drawings will be held at the end of my book tour on March 3rd.

You can enter more than once! Following this link to Rafflecopter:



Find me on the web at:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Ellora’s Cave | Amazon Author Page

Thank you Dena and Best wishes to you!

XXOO Kat






Monday, February 17, 2014

Cover Reveal for my Regencies, self-pubbed, and why a brand is vital!

Using my cherry logo as my imprint logo,
this cover launches the first of my self-pubbed Regencies!
What do you think?
Do you like the feel?
The colors?
The white space?
Yes, my own cherry logo as my imprint logo?
This cover debuts my new branding look for my Regencies, a process that took me a long while, spending (gulp!) HOURS in stock sites.

As a former PR and Advertising exec and owner of my own business for more than 20 years, deciding on a new branding look was one of my first priorities for reissuing Regencies whose rights had been returned to me recently. Yes, I will self-pub these.

Why?

I wanted to experience the opportunity to create one look, one brand, one market outreach that would (hopefully) place me in the minds (and hearts) of Regency romance readers.

When you write for a house, they decide the covers. With a series, the artists in house do try often to give you an individual look, but not always.
Defining yourself across different publishing platforms creates the challenge of giving readers a look to search for and immediately identify as this author's or that.

Too often too, I find that certain graphic designers who are popular are giving their clients within a sub-genre the same kind of look.  For Regency, we often have the manor house in the background or the landscape indicating an estate.  The clinch seems to feature far too many women looking longingly up at a faceless/headless man.

Here, I wanted a look more sweeping, brighter and in keeping with the fact that my Regencies are very sexy and have been, by nature of the houses that published them, considered erotic. Indeed, I hold forth that mine are very similar to many historical romance novels.  While that is for the reader to decide, I nonetheless wanted to position my novels as close to those. And this is the result.

What do you think?  Would you pick up LADY V. and what would you expect the story to be from looking at the cover?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Day After Valentines Day!


 I think the day after is better than Valentines Day...


Because there is no pressure to have to buy an expensive gift to get laid...and if you do get laid, you know it wasn't because you bought an expensive gift.

Personally, I love write about this stuff, but it's been so long since I experienced it, I doubt that I would remember what goes where. It's not that I'm a nun or anything...I'm just darn picky. Besides, most of the guys my age are too freakin' old to feel romantic without a tiny blue pill. :)

Sigh...

Gotta get back to writing so I can pay rent. Have a marvelous day after Valentines day...

Hugs,

Fran Lee

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Who Writes This Stuff?

Yes, I'm about to type about Valentine's Day - shocking, huh??
But not about the holiday itself. I choose to snark about my card buying experience!

This year I didn't wait until the last minute to go shopping and I was excited thinking that I would have a plethora of choices at the store with multiple shelves of Valentine's wishes to select from. By the end of the event, I was frustrated and mumbling out loud and apparently providing enjoyment to fellow card shoppers, if their comments were any indication!

Here comes my snark:

1.  Singing cards provide seconds of entertainment in the store, but at $6.99 or more, they are stupid.

2.  I had to go through I can't tell you how many cards for a daughter and then a son to find ones which were from  "We" instead of "I".

3.  I love my hubby a lot, but I will never sign my name to multiple paragraphs of bad poetry or absurd ramblings expounding on a level of greatness no man could ever live up to.

4.  What's up with all the squirrels?

Did I end up buying any cards? Of course. My favorite? The one for hubby that explains how our ability to pass gas shows the depth of our love!!

Enjoy a marvelous Valentine's Day and weekend~
Tessie
www.tessiebradford.com

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Here's An Early Valentine!


I want to send everyone who visits Seven Sexy Scribes an early Valentine!


When I was a kid I used to love making Valentines. I got out paint, colored pencils, glitter, cut up old magazines and made a mess. There was something wonderful about making and sharing something special with friends and loved ones. I gave Valentines to absolutely everyone I knew and sometimes a few of those people were plain old confused. I'd get a look like, "Why are you giving me this?" It was because I loved LOVE.


As I got older, it was clearer to me why many people didn't enjoy Valentines Day as much as I did. Life can be pretty rough. Real love is the exception not the rule. True love is rare and I think that's what makes it even more beautiful.


Some people are all heart even if they don't have someone in their life who sees things the same way. If their Valentine is a best friend, dog, cat or a favorite child in their lives, it can still be a beautiful Valentines' Day because they're hearts and the world needs more love, no matter what shape that true love takes.


Having said that, here's a video of select Hugh Jackman kissing scenes. Holy hotness! If you're short on time skip the ad and go straight to the kiss in the bathtub at the 1:20 second mark : )



I wish everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day.

XXOO Kat

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gotta Laugh About It!!


We received more snow yesterday . Woo-Hoo! 

I'm a fan of snow and wintery-beauty but when I can't open my back door to let the dogs out due to a giant snow drift and ice, it annoys me! 

Winter weather silly jokes, anyone??

New England Home
My husband and I purchased an old home in Northern New York State from two elderly sisters. Winter was fast approaching and the years first snow came early and I was concerned about the house's lack of insulation.
"If they could live here all those years, so can we!" my husband confidently declared.
 One November night the temperature plunged to below zero, and we woke up to find interior walls covered with frost. My husband called the sisters to ask how they had kept the house warm. After a rather brief conversation, he hung up.
"For the past 30 years," he muttered, "they've gone to Florida for the winter."

Ear Muffs
 Winters are fierce in Minnesota where he lives, so the owner of a construction project felt he was doing a good deed when he bought earmuffs for his foreman. Noticing, however, that the foreman wasn't wearing the earmuffs even on the coldest snowy day, the project manager asked, "Didn't you like the muffs?"
The Foreman said, "They're a thing of beauty."
"Why don't you wear them?" The Project Manager said.
The Foreman explained, "I was wearing them the first day, and somebody offered to buy me lunch, but I didn't hear him! Never again, never again!"

Snow Plow
 A blonde driving a car became lost in a snowstorm. She didn't panic however, because she remembered what her dad had once told her. "If you ever get stuck in a snowstorm, just wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it." Sure enough, pretty soon a snow plow came by, and she started to follow it. She followed the plow for about forty-five minutes.
Finally the driver of the truck got out and asked her what she was doing. And she explained that her dad had told her if she ever got stuck in a snow storm, to follow a plow.
The driver nodded and said, "Well, I'm done with the Wal-Mart parking lot, do you want to follow me over to Best Buy now?"
 

It Was So Snowy that…..
Hitchhikers were holding up pictures of thumbs!

Roosters were rushing into Kentucky Fried Chicken and begging to use the pressure cooker! 

Richard Simmons started wearing pants! 

The dogs were wearing cats!

Starbucks was serving coffee on a stick! 

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/weatherjokes/snowjokes.html



Have a wonderful weekend!
Tessie
www.tessiebradford.com



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Just Finished a WIP


I just wrote "The End" on a 38k Sci-fi adventure. I can't wait to polish it up and submit it.
The picture above is of a gorgeous Greek named Nikos Anadiotis. He was my desktop inspiration for my hero from another world.


This was my inspiration picture for my bounty hunting heroine.

Yesterday I signed up to do a still-secret project with Fated Desires that sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun! I can't wait to start. 2014 is already a very busy year and I love it! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The weekend is here...

Game time...
Of course, if you don't love football, you can just stare at the hottie with the ball...I think I've asked this before...in fact, I'm sure I have, but every now and then I ask again. How many of you see a guy on TV...maybe walking down the street...or maybe just standing waiting for the bus...and you think, "Wow...I could write a book about that man..."?

There are some pretty hot guys walking around, and sometimes I will see one, think about how I could parlay that guy into a hot book, then go sit at my computer and start typing.  Have you had that happen to you?  Just looking at some delicious guy get your juices flowing and the words scribbling?  

I know that not all women see the same guy and drool...we all have our own definite tastes.  Some hot dude that I might stop and stare at might not even get a passing glance from another female. So I will test out my tastes on my captive audience here, and drop a few pics in of guys I think are truly hawt.  You can tell me if I am nuts. If you agree that I have great taste, let me know.






Go ahead...tell me what you thank...
 
Hugs,
 
Fran Lee