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Weekly Wrap-Up

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

I didn't make it here this week, but I did get things done. I found another writing deadline that's more realistic and that has me genuinely excited, so happy about that. Things are rolling along in my group writing blog, always great. Two awesome fans got in touch with me and made my day each time, can't beat that. And I've laughed more this week than I likely have in the last six months--WIN! Let's break it down, shall we?

Writing: I wrote words. Words were written. There are words. Yeah, so there's that.

Social: I've got some guest blogs coming your way that are awesome. Girls and boys and variations thereof, can you say, Multicultural Steampunk? I knew you could. You're going to enjoy that feature. I also have some ideas in place to build me up to blogging here three to five days a week down the line. Yay!

General Health: Two days of severe, "am I going to faint" fatigue in the middle of the week, but feeling fantastic today and yesterday. Digestion seems to be on point, minor food sensitivity but all in stride. Mental clarity was up, I'll need to work out a few things there. Pain level was tolerable if higher than hoped.

Mental Health: Maybe the workout endorphin highs have been lasting extra long, but I've felt fabulous five of the last seven days, and even those other two days were really good.

Fitness: I made June's cycling goals two weeks early and beat the time I was aiming for by two minutes! Hands Up!

WIPs: Gender Variant F/M-V/M-V Sci-Fi Romance, Demon-Bound Bisexual M/M/F or M/M/M/F or M/M/F/F (or something else) Horror Romance, Sequel to A Way To A Dragon's Heart, Sequel to Its Sweetest Form, Revision of BloodSprite. PsiCorps Chronicles Book 3.

Lots to do and feeling good enough to work my way through them, slowly but surely. So that's this week, bring on next week!

Wrap-up Ramble Done, Kittens!

~X
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The Journey Back

AWTADH
Greetings Kittens!

The dust is thick, but everything still seems in place, imagine that. It's been just under a year since I last blogged, nearly that long since I last wrote. It's been a trial and a tribulation, but I'm here...I'm here.

I'm starting from scratch, getting back into forums and blogs, looking through open submissions, and getting my writing feet wet again. There's a lot I don't remember because of the dyscognition and even more that's changed in just the short time I've been out of the loop. All of that's a good thing. A brand new start is just what's needed. I've spent too much time in the past and the things I can't go back to.

I've always been reluctant to discuss my health concerns here, or anywhere really, primarily because I lacked the language to convey the depth of what I was going through. It was also difficult to see where such a topic fit in what was supposed to be a writing blog. Being too sick to write has put things in perspective. My health is directly related to my creative expression, as are so many things, so all of them belong wherever I speak about my existence.

I have ME/CFIDS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue
Immune Dysfunction Syndrome), fibromyalgia and circadian dysfunction. The symptoms range across insomnia, IBS, vertigo, memory loss, inability to concentrate, chronic headaches, chronic muscle pain, chronic joint pain, and crippling fatigue. I was in remission from November 2005 to 2010, stayed in denial until 2011, and made things worse with a full time job and other stresses that couldn't be avoided in 2012. All of that led to a collapse of everything in 2013 and I've spent much of the last 15 months housebound and the better part of 10 months bedbound.

I'm still symptomatic, but no longer stuck curled up on my side with a ice pack or heating pad. I can walk short distances, stand for a small bit of time, and can even run errands up to twenty or thirty minutes before my back locks up. It doesn't sound like much, but it's everything. The last three weeks have shown significant improvement and I want to follow through with taking back the important things.

As always, I'm ambitious in the task. I found an open call with a July 1st deadline. 35K in 30 days is doable, if over-reaching for just getting back, but hey it's win-win. Either I finish it, editing as I go, and have something submission ready at the end of the month, or I'm 15 to 35K closer to a finished ms than I was when I started. Win-win all the way.

After so long, I know it's likely no one will even see this, but it was important to write it anyway, to get a foot back in the game. I've been on the sidelines too long.

I hope everyone is well. I want to get here three times a week this month and rebuild that habit, but I'm not going to push. I'll do what I can and celebrate how far I get. Seeya soon.

Return Ramble Done, Kittens!

~X
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AWTADH
Hot_summer_romance_giveaway_hop_graphic

Greetings, Kittens!

Welcome back to the Hot Summer Romance Giveaway Hop . Today, as an author of bi-poly romance, I’d like to talk about love triads vs. love triangles, and the progression from bromance to romance.

Fiction of every stripe has made use of the love triangle since we sat around camp fires, huddled against the night. The oldest love triangles are often centered around brothers who love the same woman. This is in part because the relationship between brothers has always fascinated us. The rivalry, the intensity, the fierce loyalty and the sacrifice between brothers has been part of an epic tapestry that stretches as far back as Remus and Romulus and even further to Osiris and Set and beyond.

Competition for a mate meets competition for familial attention and recognition when the brother dynamic is wed to the love triangle. The explosive possibilities for betrayal and even lethal retaliation raises the stakes. Higher stakes means a greater interest in the outcome and so we tell the stories over and over again. In modern Western culture, the minutia may change but the story is inevitably the same, with the more heroic brother winning the girl, sacrificing the relationship for his brother, or dying by his brother’s hands. As many ways as this can be spun, it does inevitably require an upgrade. Step in...the best friend triangle.

Close male relationships were once the norm, especially among the educated elite. Time spent with ones intellectual peers was considered beneficial—even necessary—and these relationships were fostered at every turn. Meant to mirror siblingship and even exceed it, close bond friendships still honored their origins. This lead to the widespread formation of brotherhoods among scholars and tradesmen and terms like brothers-in-arms for those who served together in military ranks.

Where brothers-by-birth are meant to compete, chosen brothers inspire a different, deeper loyalty. After all, these men lack the history of a childhood being compared to each other, trying to outdo each other or feeling inadequate in one another’s presence. And if any of these elements are present, well it simply fortifies the connection since in the end these two people chose to remain close. As a result, these are the relationships meant to endure. And they usually do—until a woman arrives to tear it all apart.

Be she divine angel or evil temptress, if you listen to the stories, historically women are the most destructive force to close male relationships. In part, this mirrors the severing of childhood ties for adult marriage, elevating sexual and reproductive relationship above all others. Its vilification represents the resentment to growing up and relinquishing the carefree days of bachelorhood. It is also a visceral response to leaving the company of the knowable masculine for the unknowable feminine. But what do you expect when for so long men wrote the tales and sung the songs? So what happened when women took up the pen?

Well, for the most part they wrote about relationships between women, but when romance finally made its way onto the pages, the love triangle was alive and well. For women, the perfect love triangle existed when both men adored the heroine but held disdain for one another. In this way, the heroine was not culpable in altering heart-held ties. In fact, in early works men rarely had any heart-held ties. Instead there are many gothic, brooding counts, widowers who would never love again and otherwise grumpy, gruff alpha males all waiting for the right woman to come along. Ever so often we get the dueling noblemen, figuratively or literally, competing to make the virginal heroine swoon.

It would take more time than I have here to breakdown exactly what happened with male friendships but sufficient to say in America, the rise of the labor class, military careers, isolated suburbs with long commutes and a general nose to the grindstone mentality changed our definitions of masculinity. Real men worked and provided for their families and didn’t have time to sit down and talk about feelings “like a bunch of women”. Emotional interaction was a luxury men didn’t have and more and more adult male relationships were reduced to alcohol fueled laments on life or sports analogies where no one asked anything deep, least they be viewed as less than men. This is not just a caricature women see about men, but a true loss men have expressed in their relationships and one finally taking a turn again.

We got our first taste of changing male relationships in the 1970s and fiction followed suit, but it was not to last through the cutthroat ‘80s. Romance fiction held on however and filling in the gap with the return of the brother themed love triangle in full force. The 1990’s introduced the “sensitive male” personae and held out emotional security and intimate connection as sexy. As a byproduct, men not only connected with women better than they had all century, they actually began to connect with other men on a genuine level. After the near-cannibalistic everyone-out-for-themselves ‘80’s, the ‘90’s saw the resurrection of the male best friend.

As a result, Hollywood gave us the buddy comedy in abundance, while television and romance novels gave us the best-friend love triangle. Even in print these relationships always played it safe and resolved in one of two ways. Most often they resolved into a heterosexual pairing where love had conquered all and there were no regrets concerning the now discarded male. When that was too predictable, they were momentarily subversive where all parties tried to make it work through loads of angst only to arrive at the inevitable course correction of a tragic ending. The overriding message? That the heroine must choose or fate would chose for her, often with the subtlety of a cross-town bus out of nowhere.

For those of us who hate the love triangle trope things seemed hopeless. Then came the new millennium and the rise of the ménage. Suddenly, on the page at least, the heroine didn’t have to choose. These best friends, and sometimes even brothers, could find a way to share and prosper rather than destroy everything between them by competing. Of course sharing didn’t always mean enduring love. Most ménage fiction as early as three years ago still held with the one-off sexual adventure from which everyone eventually came to their senses.

It’s been a short jump between ménage and polymory and those one-off encounters blossomed on the page into full relationships. They aren’t yet abundant but I believe they will be as male relationships continue to grow closer. Currently, Hollywood has taken notice of evolving connections between men and we see the rise of the man-crush, the man-date and the bromance on screens big and small. Is it any wonder that more love triads have also been published and more and more of those have been MMF where the men love each other as much as the heroine?

I’m not expecting Hollywood to jump on the bi-male bandwagon tomorrow, but the first few sincere offerings can’t be that far behind. For now, I’ll take the acknowledgement of being in love with more than one person and fully wanting relationships with both of them, as a great start. Right now, it appears that paranormal fiction will be our answer on the screen to inspire more authors to put it on the page.

*Spoiler Alert* The triangle in The Vampire Diaries is built upon the premise that both Salvator brothers are loved by Elena, as they were by her predecessor Katherine. This was finally accepted and acknowledged by all sides, and although a choice was made at the close of season, this is still the only network show that may still cross that line down the road. Although I’m not caught up on this season yet HBO’s True Blood is a step close, with Sookie openly admitting to being in love with both Eric and Bill and actively wanting both of them. Both are classic triangles, and even with choices made, neither come with the imperative of the old to, “choose or else”. Without this imperative, the outcome of not only choosing both but actively pursuing it to a positive conclusion becomes natural. The idea is there and ripe for exploration. To date however, only the non-fiction movie Savages directed by Oliver Stone has crossed the divide of two het men in love with the same women and willing to share. It’s a harsh film with its share of violence but at least our lovers all make it out alive.

Once they successfully cross the line into working polyamory on a popular show and mega hit movie, it’s just a short hop, skip and jump from the male intimacy of the het bromance to that of the bi-romance. Happy Hopping!

~X

Remember to comment to win a copy of A Way To A Dragon's Heart or the backlist title of your choice. Please leave an email where I can contact the winner or winners and don't forget to keeping visit over the next few days, there's a grand prize of Kindle Fire and a $50 Amazon gift card through the larger Insatiable Reads hop!

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Summer Chillin' Blog Hop

Drow Fairy
summer-chillin-button-1

Greetings, Kittens!

Welcome to the Summer Chillin' Blog Hop. I hope you find some great recipes and delightful promotions to help carry you through the hot weeks ahead.

For my entry I've chosen a dessert. Yes, it might heat up your kitchen, but trust me, these cookies are more than worth it. To further make amends, I've provided a refreshing beverage to cool you back down.


I encourage making things from scratch, but I know we don’t always have the energy or the budget to keep the ingredients on hand. Box cake mixes are the perfect back up/alternative. I stock up on my favorite mixes any time I see them on sale and often for $1.25 or less, have the perfect base for sheet cakes, cupcakes, cookies and bars. Here’s the newest favorite in my household.


Red velvet chocolate chip cookies
Cake Batter Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1 box red velvet cake mix,
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1tsp baking powder
3tsp water
6 - 8oz chocolate chips
Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. Combine Red Velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines, but any 18oz mix will do) with baking powder, eggs, water and oil until dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Form into teaspoon sized balls, roll in powdered sugar and place on tray about an inch apart. You can pat down the tops lightly, but these will spread fine without that if you prefer. Bake for 8 to 12mins depending on your oven, the top of the cookie will crack and it will set around the edges. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar immediately after removing them from the oven. They're crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and perfectly moist.


Strawberry Lemonade
Blended Strawberry Lemonade:

1 ¼ lb strawberries, washed and halved, about 4 cups
2 lemons, washed and quarted
½ to ¾ cup honey or agave nectar to taste
6 cups of water
Ice

Blend the strawberries, lemons and honey with 2 cups of water. Strain and add the remaining 4 cups of water. Adjust sweetness as necessary. Serve over ice.

Alternately, blend lemons, honey and 2 cups of water. Strain and return to blender, add in frozen strawberries and remaining water for a slushie treat.

Comment for a chance to win my food-centric TherianWorld novel A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART, or backlist of your choice.

Ramble Done, Kittens!

~X
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HAHAT winners of A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART

AWTADH
Bi_Heart_genderlesslove

Greetings, Kittens!

Thanks to all who participated in the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia! I loved the response to my post on BiVisibility and BiErasure and I appreciate all of you who took the time to comment.

I won a few prizes myself, and in celebration I'm giving away THREE copies of A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART. Congrats to Sophia, Lisabet and Layla!

Remember to keep speaking on these issues, every day, every time. It's only when we refuse to be silenced that we begin to see change.

The best of everything, Kittens!

~X
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Bi-Erasure and Bi-Visibility

AWTADH
2013 2

Greetings, Kittens!

A few years back, during my well days, I wrote a guest series based on “life in the middle” as a MMF romance author. Continued bi-phobia and bi-erasure has left a void when it comes to sites dedicated to—or just inclusive of—bisexual content. Navigating the stereotypes of bisexuality also means taking great care to clearly show bisexuality on the page as a true identity, without taking from the fact that most bisexuals, like most of the Western world, tend to settle into monogamous coupledom. It’s difficult to do both, the bisexual past is often erased and the relationship is ultimately considered to be gay or straight, depending on the partner the protagonist ends up with in the end. To keep the bisexual experience on the page, as well as celebrate the overlooked and misunderstood road of non-monogamy, I chose to write polyamorous romances. In my work, polyamory is expressed as polyfidelity, a committed relationship of three or more people. Romance readers of course know these books better under the label menage.

Menage, for those of you unfamiliar,  is the ever growing subgenre of romance, and a natural extension of the classic love triangle. You know the one I mean: Hero A has everything she ever wanted, Hero B is everything she thought she could never have, who will she choose?

As a pre-teen, I read those books and always wondered why she had to choose at all. Menage emerged to show that she didn’t, at least not entirely. I’ve come across more than a few in which, once the deed was done, the threesome invariably learn that it’s best for her to be with just one of the men, but it’s less of a choice between them and more a clarification of what she/they really want. I can accept that, it’s just not my gig. I prefer the increasing, dare I say pervasive,
HEA segment of menage that legitimately becomes poly-romance. I want my threesomes, foursomes and moresomes to work it out, stay together and become a family. Is it harder in real life than on paper? Damn skippy! But so are relationships in general and yet romance is the bestselling genre all the same. Readers have extended the fantasy, and I say give them what they want. If it serves to educate on the concept of bisexuality or fluid sexuality, all the better.

When you open my books, they’re all poly, all the time, (and there was much rejoicing). There’s also male-male love in all my work, which is not the menage standard. I don’t mean the gay couple across the street, or the gay brother-in-law and his partner, (although I have nothing against shining a light into their love lives, if they leave their bedroom doors open), I mean two or more male leads that are in love with each other. Men who want to touch, taste and caress one another. Who watch one each other walk by with that hungry, all encompassing need to ravish the object of their affection. Men in awe and appreciation of the attributes of other men, and enthusiastically in awe and appreciation of the attributes of women. Yes, I firmly put the ‘B’ back in LGBTQ with my Bisexual Poly Romance—and most people don’t know what to do with me.

MFM, that lovely combination that’s all about a women getting everything she wants, is easily shelved with the rest of het-romance and promoted like its monogamous brethren. Change the letters to MMF to become about a man getting everything he wants and suddenly there’s a pause. When the time comes to let readers know your work is out there, some sites that cater to erotic romance readers start to get a little jumpy if you want to stand out on the bisexuality or sexual fluidity of your characters. It goes something like this:
I write erotic romance and here is my MMF book, your readers will like it. “Hmm, gay content.” They’re not gay, they’re bisexual. “Still, male-male content, I’m not entirely sure how to package that to our readers, if you want to emphasize it, have you tried the gay romance sites?” The characters aren’t gay. “But it’s male-male content and they know how to work with that.” Fine, that seems reasonable. The majority of MM readers are women and many of them were introduced by various menage stories that obviously worked for them. Some went on to launch male-centered romance/erotica sites and know what they’re looking for, great idea. Here you go, I write erotic romance, here’s my MMF book, your readers will enjoy it. “Hmm, straight content.” The characters aren’t straight, they’re bisexual. “Still, male-female content, I’m not entirely sure how to package that to our readers, have you tried the het-romance sites?”.

*Blink* *Blink*

Before you get the wrong impression, no one is entirely throwing MMF writers to the wolves, there isn’t a mad hate-on for bisexual/fluid content, nor does the industry have a campaign of bi-erasure. It’s more a matter of neglect because of bi-erasure in society and lack of bi-visibility in entertainment media at large. We don’t see bisexuality with the frequency or positive commonality that gay male couples have achieved, so when you get to niche sites, they don’t know what to do with that representation and try to force it into one box or another—the experience of bisexuals in day to day life.

A great story will speak for itself, it just needs someone to listen. With so many books released every day, specialty sites pop up all the time to give readers a place to come and talk about favorite genres and find desired content. To make sure that their readers get exactly what they want, they narrow their focus as much as they can and those of us between boxes are forgotten. There are certainly readers who want everyone in the bed to be completely committed to the enjoyment of everyone else present, but where do they go?

LGBTQ sites offer the full spectrum, but often the implication is that the stories will be about the struggle of being LGBTQ, rather than about people falling in love and learning about each other. Sometimes it moves beyond implication to outright statements by such sites who are “Telling Queer Stories for Queer Audiences”. Well, as much as I embrace and celebrate my queerness, I don’t write queer stories, for queer audiences. I write poly love stories with sexually fluid characters, for anyone who wants to read outside the lines. Where’s my shelf?

In the end, enough writers of MMF, (and FFM, but let’s not even get into the red-headed stepchild treatment of FF content in non-lesbian romance, or of lesbian romance itself because that’s its own series of posts), or enough readers will get together and the necessary sites will emerge. In the meantime, keep lists, start group discussions and track down authors doing what you want and getting it right, then spread the word. It’s only when we see ourselves that we believe we have the right to be ourselves.

We’re out there, sexually fluid and bisexual identified authors showing what that kind of love looks like in our unique voices. Find us. We’ll be here writing and waiting for the time, when being stuck in the middle, becomes conquering from the middle out.

Leave a comment with an email address to win a copy of A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART or one of my other titles.

Writing from the Middle Ramble ~ Done
~X

For more links in the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Xakara is an openly bisexual, poly author. Her works include ITS SWEETEST FORM (A Therian World Novella) out with Musa Publishing. SHIFTING PASSONS ( A Therian World Novella), out with Samhain Publishing. A WAY TO A DRAGON’S HEART (A Therian World Novel) out with Liquid Silver Books. GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST (PsiCorps Book 1) and DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT (PsiCorps Book 2) also out with Liquid Silver Books.




 
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Caridad Pinero's THE VAMPIRE'S CONSORT

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

It's been a while and I couldn't think of a better way to brush the dust off this blog than by letting you know of a new guest post at Beyond the Veil

Caridad Pineiro's THE VAMPIRE'S CONSORT is coming out on April and I thought it a wonderful idea to bring you a sneak peak. 

The full post is at Beyond the Veil and I encourage you to check it out. In amends for my absence, here's the excerpt. 

Enjoy!


Teaser:

 

Vampire Adrian offered Eliza a choice: die of a fatal illness, or become his consort and attend to his every need. Eliza chose life, but she did not expect to fall in love–and lust–with him.

 

Nothing compares to the erotic excitement of watching Adrian pleasure one of his many willing companions, but she’s tired of waiting for Adrian to see her as more than his consort. She thinks she’s ready to move on with her human lover, John–until Adrian surprises all three of them with a sensual encounter that changes everything.

 

Excerpt:

 

The first time Eliza had realized the moan was one of pleasure and not pain, she should have walked away from the peephole.

 

But she hadn’t.

 

The peephole had been placed in the wall after a so-called Slayer had tried to stake her master. Adrian had subdued the overly eager and decidedly naïve young woman. In time, the Slayer had come to realize that Adrian was not only one of the white hats, but an excellent lay.

 

Despite the truce struck with the Slayer, Adrian had decided that the peephole was necessary for safety’s sake along with the loaded tranquilizer gun in Eliza’s nightstand.

 

Luckily she’d not had a reason to use the gun, but the peephole had been another thing. Peering in it had almost become an obsession.

 

She used it way too often, drawn by the sight of Adrian and his lovers. Unable to yank herself away from her gorgeous master as he pleasured yet another willing woman before taking his sip of their blood as compensation for the wicked satisfaction they found in his arms.

 

Eliza imagined herself in those arms more than she should.

 

It was wrong, she knew. She was here to serve Adrian and keep his home, not to love him. But after nearly two hundred years of being his consort, it was hard to deny that was exactly what had happened.

 

Eliza had fallen in love with Adrian.

 

She loved him and lusted for him, she thought as she peered through the peephole once again and watched him move over the body of his latest companion.

 

The young woman was a lithe strawberry blonde with surgically amplified breasts that barely moved as she lay on the bed with Adrian’s big body snuggled between her long thin legs. Tanned skin which would one day be leathery contrasted sharply with Adrian’s pale alabaster perfection.

 

As Adrian lowered his head to suckle her breasts, Eliza’s nipples tightened in response and her sex grew heavy and damp with need.

 

Bracing one hand on the wall, she tugged at the belt for her robe. The silk fabric fell open and even that subtle movement of smoothness against her body dragged a breathy sigh from her as she imagined it was Adrian’s skin along hers.



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Thursday Thirteen #94 The Zen of the SNAFU

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

I was hit with a bit of malware on Monday that I'm still recovering, (I'll get my taskbar back yet). I don't want to dedicate any more time to the downside, just let me spread the gospel of running SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes every month, every two weeks if you have Spotify or anything else that runs 3rd party apps. 

Although it took me two days to recover from it, I don't feel negative about that time. In fact, I think it was a perfect microcosm moment of what to do when things go sideways. A friend that I talked to during it, (and who I talked into running antimalware which turned up a trojan, so seriously check your systems), asked me how I kept my zen, and I outlined what I took from the incident. In case you were all interested in how my mind works, I thought I'd share it here too. Originally it was in ten steps, but I've expanded them to thirteen for your viewing pleasure.

Enjoy.


13 Steps To Getting Through An Incident Without It Ruining Your Whole Day

1st, Don’t Panic. Take a breath and step back before doing anything and see what’s fully going on.

2nd, Act Instead of React. Evaluate and move forward rather than just immediately reacting on the emotion of the moment.

3rd, Remember You’re Not Alone. Any problem you have, someone else has had it and they’ve talked about it on the internet. Go and check for solutions if you can’t handle the problem yourself.

4th, Keep Asking Questions. If the first search doesn’t turn up what you need, keep tweaking the question, type it right into the search engine and continue until you find what you need, or until you find it explained in a way you understand.

5th, Verify. Don’t borrow trouble, compare your advice and verify your sources.

6th, Pace Yourself. Take the solution, whatever it may be, at your own pace and without feeling anything but empowered to turn around the situation.

7th, Be Patient. Pardon my language, but it takes time to unfuck a situation, give yourself that time.

8th, Gain Perspective. Whatever's happened, you're there to complain about it, so it could have been worse. Every time the moment begins to overwhelm you, stop, back away, see the bigger picture and get back in there to fix it.

9th, Multitask. Whatever has knocked your day off-kilter, take the moment it presents. Perhaps you needed time to yourself to be alone with your own thoughts. Nothing hyper focuses you like trying to fix a laptop, (or car, or situation in general). Take the moment not to think about anything else. And when you can do nothing but sit back and let the scan run, (or wait for maintenance, etc), consider it that time you never get to read or watch tv or work out. I mean, why waste it?

10th, Remember, It’s Not Personal, Even When It Feels That Way. It’s an incident, perhaps a couple incidents, but that’s all they are. It’s not an agenda. Even when someone takes something out on you, it’s not really about you, so don’t internalize it as if it were.

11th, Let it Go. Whatever it is, it happened and it’s over, even if it’s not entirely resolved.

12th, When In Doubt, Dance It Out. At the beginning, in the middle, at the end, anywhere during the situation, take a music break and have a time. It will elevate your seratonin and make it all look better.

13th, Call Me. Or, you know, whatever friend you have that listens to that kind of thing. Not only will you feel better to get it said, but you might save them the trouble of flying blind when their own situation comes around.


Other Thursday Thirteeners

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Thursday Thirteen #93 Year in Review

GoCP
Greetings, Kittens!

I've been so busy, I wasn't sure I'd get a chance to get in another T13 before the year ended. Luckily, things have calmed  and I can close 2011 with all of you.

Usually, I spend the last week of December and the first week of January adjusting my plan for the new year. I know that January 1st is the traditional day, but it takes me a few days to see how the year is going before I can set up goals. So that'll be next week, while this week I thought I'd review the goals for 2011.

Enjoy.

1. Finish all my writing/submission deadlines on time and with the minimal stress possible. (I have six this year...so far)

This worked for a few of the deadlines and I want to carry this over to 2012 with a few adjustments to technique, so that all of the projects can be on the minimum stress train.

2. Complete two revisions on long term projects.

Done! One was contracted and released, the other is on submission.

3. Finish BloodQueen and The Forgiven.

Not even close. They got bumped for other projects.

4. Start BloodThrone and Rise of the Morning Star.

This actually happened. I was in the mindset, so parts of both of these stories were "put to paper". I can only do so much without finishing the stories that come before.

5. Become a more active participant in reader/writer forums.

Done! And it's only going to get more involved next year.

6. Have fewer writing related obsessions.

Is television considered non-writing related obsession, if the shows inspire the desire to write scripts?

7. Read more to recharge my creative spark.

My reading time was primarily sucked up by research. I did get the recharge I needed, but I wish more of it had been fiction reading. I hope to have that in 2012.

8. Become proficient enough with my Hula Hoop to teach others.

Not even close. I got severely injured more than once, but each time has given me more insight into how to get around injuries. I'm carrying this goal over to 2012 as well.

9. Save up for certification courses.

This started, but the financial situation didn't let it continue. That should be different with new employment on the line.

10. More sex.

Done! :)

11. Complete another large crochet project. (I know that seems a strange thing to put after sex, but the last crochet project ended up being a queen sized afghan that's on our bed, so you get how I arrived here.)

It's not complete. I changed my mind a few times on what I wanted exactly, but I'm happy with the progress on it.

12. More sex. (And you get how I got back here.)

:)

13. Spend more time during the rest of the week getting acquainted with the blogs of my fellow TTers.

A partial success. I've  had the chance to see more blogs and I got to know some of you more, which is wonderful. I didn't create the blog surfing habit that I wanted, but much of that was due to writing, so I'm okay with that. Once I have my writing habit tweaked, I'll go back to building the blog habit as best I can.

Other T13ers

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Edits HurtSoGood
Greetings, Kittens!

I'm in the midst of edits and after reading through the manuscript four times Tuesday, things did not go as well on Wednesday. I love the story and I love the tweaks, but I've been up close and personal with it for too long. The wonderful editor suggestions are starting to feel like hurdles to jump rather than the guideposts they're meant to be. I got through the first chapter tonight and it was time to step back. Now I consider what happened next to be a bit of rejuvenation, but I can see how it may look like procrastination to others. Either way, here are the 13 Things I Did Instead of Edits.

Enjoy.


1. Watch Supernatural fanvids on YouTube.

2. Search for music on Spotify.

3. Read the political page of the Huffington Post.

4. Read the Black Voices page of the Huffington Post.

5. Read the Gay Voices page of the Huffington Post.

6. Spent hours on Tumblr...

7. Where I learned how to give Black Barbie natural hair among other things.

8. Spent 90 minutes on the coorelation between misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

9. Took notes on a cyberpunk idea that won't leave me alone.

10. Played with my hula hoops.

11. Danced to my playlist instead of writing to it.

12. Shopped for custom sex toys for a giveaway. (Because that's how good I am to my readers)

13. Messed with my worpress blog and still posted at LJ instead.
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Thursday Thirteen #91 Eye Candy Edition

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

Did you miss me while I was hard at work meeting my deadline last week? Well it turns out, I'm racing against another deadline this week, so I will do a short and sweet post of random eye candy for our collective delight.

Enjoy.

Wait, I guess I do have something to do with this one, never mind...
































Other Thursday Thirteeners
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AWTADH

Greetings, Kittens!

It's been a while and I thought I'd start back with another look at A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART, before moving on to a holiday theme offering next week. You can read the entire 1st chapter HERE   and there will be a chance to when a copy of  A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART in two weeks at TRS party.

Be sure to leave your name in you comment so I can be sure to visit!

Enjoy.


Caleb quickly shook his head. “No, it’s never been like that, I’ve encouraged Xander to go for it from early on when they first met. I thought they’d be good for each other, and I felt better knowing Kryssa would take care of him the next time I left.”

He looked over at her, “Even when his brothers were at their most negative and vocal, Kryssa never wavered in her support. She offered to throw me out a window the first time Xander and I were off-again after they became friends, but the goal was to clear the way so we could go straight to make-up/comfort sex after I healed.”

Caleb laughed and nodded, “I know she’s been on my side from the beginning, and with his Fae blood and my Therian and Vampire instincts, I knew we’d go back to being polyamorous eventually; we always do. I’ve even spent more time than I should admit to wondering about it being Kryssa."


Other Six Sentence Sunday Participants

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cornucopia
Greetings, Kittens!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating today! Whether you're eating turkey or protecting them, today is as much their day as anyone elses. I thought since I shared my wishes and gratitude last week, I'd give this week to the most committed partner in the Thanksgiving celebration--the turkey. In this case, the Wild Turkey.

Enjoy.

1. Wild turkeys are native to North America and there are five subspecies: Eastern, Osceola (Florida), Rio Grande, Merriam's and Gould's.

2. All five range throughout different parts of the continent. The eastern is the most common and ranges the entire eastern half of the United States.

3. Between 5,000 and 6,000 feathers cover the body of an adult turkey in patterns called feather tracts.

4. Most of the feathers exhibit a metallic glittering, called iridescence, with varying colors of red, green, copper, bronze and gold. The gobbler, or male turkey, is more colorful, while the hen is a drab brownish or lighter color to camouflage her with her surroundings.

5. Two major characteristics distinguish males from females: spurs and beards. Both sexes have long, powerful legs covered with scales and are born with a small button spur on the back of the leg. Soon after birth, a male's spur starts growing pointed and curved and can grow to about two inches. Most hen's spurs do not grow. Gobblers also have beards, which are tufts of filaments, or modified feathers, growing out from the chest. Beards can grow to an average of 9 inches (though they can grow much longer).

6. It must also be noted that 10 to 20 percent of hens have beards.

7. Wild turkeys have excellent vision during the day but don't see as well at night. 

8. Turkeys can run at speeds up to 25 mph, and they can fly up to 55 mph.

9. When mating season arrives, anywhere from February to April, courtship usually begins while turkeys are still flocked together in wintering areas.

10. After mating, the hens begin searching for a nest site and laying eggs. In most areas, nests can be found in a shallow dirt depression, surrounded by moderately woody vegetation that conceals the nest.

11. Hens lay a clutch of 10 to 12 eggs during a two-week period, usually laying one egg per day. She will incubate her eggs for about 28 days, occasionally turning and rearranging them until they are ready to hatch.

12. A newly-hatched flock must be ready to leave the nest within 12 to 24 hours to feed. Poults eat insects, berries and seeds, while adults will eat anything from acorns and berries to insects and small reptiles. Turkeys usually feed in early morning and in the afternoon.

13. Wild turkeys like open areas for feeding, mating and habitat. They use forested areas as cover from predators and for roosting in trees at night.

Bonus Fact: The Wild Turkey population has gone from only 30,000 in the early 1900s to more than 7 million today.

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Back Up...Maybe

AWTADH

Greetings, Kittens!

So far, so good for the day. I think the connection is going to hold, so I'm back in the communication loop. I apologize for the sudden drops mid-conversation, as I tried to get as much done over the weekend as possible. I hope we all caught up and if I am behind on anything that I've forgotten, just drop me a message and we'll catch up!

Have a great Tuesday! :)

~X

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Weeping Statue
Greetings, Kittens!

With so many health issues on my end, I didn't want to disappear without an explanation. Our internet connection went spotty on Friday and may go down completely for a couple days to fix the line issue. I'll catch up on Tuesday or Wednesday for any missed emails, status updates, tweets, scheduled chats and guest blogs.

Auto-tweets will be going out over the course of the night, and any time the connection last long enough to approve them, but until there's a general "I'm back" kind of post, they're only automated and I can't be reached online.

Have a great weekend, I'll see you when I can see you, Kittens!

~X
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Thursday Thirteen #89 Wishes Edition

Ying Yang Blue-Red
Greetings, Kittens!

Today I was feeling rather...zen and hopeful I guess. I know that others may be feeling rather less so, and I remembered a post that I shared years back. To bring a bit of that peace and hope to all of you, I wanted to share those good wishes again. So here you are, Kittens,13 Wishes For All!

Enjoy.


13 Wishes

1. May you be truly loved, for it is said to give us strength.

2. May you truly love another, because it is said to give us courage.

3. May you know your worth, for you are a priceless being.

4. May you value those around you, for they are irreplaceable.

5. May you live your dreams, because they are unlike any other.

6. May you learn your purpose, because without you the world is diminished.

7. May you crave your own company, for in that stillness is wisdom.

8. May you seek out others, for in shared experiences are the seeds on enlightenment.

9. May you briefly be lost, because in wandering we often find ourselves.

10. May you have everything you need, and want everything you have.

11. May you connect with something greater than yourself ,and know that you are never alone.

12. May you know peace and pass that peace onto others.

13. May you forgive and in turn be forgiven.

Namaste




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Thursday Thirteen #88 Quote Worthy Edition

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

I've often mentioned how much I love quotes for T13, but I can't remember the last time I posted any. I chose some great words on success and failure, as a nod to Veterans Day and Remembrance Day on 11/11/11, to honor the brave men and women who gave their all defending both countries, and the ideas of freedom and perseverance as a whole. I give you 13 Quotes on Seeing It Through!

Enjoy.


1. Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently. ~ Henry Ford

2. I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work. ~ Thomas Edison

3. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison

4. Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. ~Albert Einstein

5. It’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up. ~ Unknown

6. Eighty percent of success is showing up. ~ Woody Allen

7. Reach for the moon; even if you miss, you will land among the stars. ~ Unknown

8. Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be. ~ Wayne Gretzky

9. When you are falling from a mountain, you may as well attempt to fly. ~ Babylon 5

10. The Obstacle is the Path. ~ Zen Proverb

11. Success is not the destination, it’s the journey. ~ Unknown

12. Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. ~ Albert Einstein

13. If at first you don’t succeed, try doing it the way you were told. ~ Unknown

And in honor of all the unknown quotes, and to prove politicians weren’t always like they are now: It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. ~ Harry S. Truman

Other Thursday Thirteeners



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Thursday Thirteen #88 Maya Angelou Edition

AWTADH

Greetings, Kittens!

I thought we could use a bit of a pick-me-up around the web. Although only the first stanza fits, even a single stanza of Miss Maya can do a great deal to put us all in the right frame of mind. Here's the beginning of Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.

Enjoy.


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.



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AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

Today I got the official confirmation on my Halloween Day release date for A Way To A Dragon's Heart. Yay! So today I bring you 13(ish) paragraphs from AWTADH, (not counting single line dialogue or short descrip as always).

Enjoy.


“So, you like, get scaly, and big, and stuff?”

Kryssa Drake gritted her teeth and counted to five. What she wanted to do was get scaly, and big, and stuff, and eat the annoying young woman following her around the office loft, but Human Resources had warned her about doing that again. Not that she’d actually eaten the other temps, but the way that last one had hollered you’d have thought she had him half swallowed when security showed up. It’s what they got for sending irritating, yet crunchy and salty-good humans during her period. It was a conspiracy.
Firmly ignoring the too-cute, too-blond, too-perky Barbie clone, Kryssa continued the tour to the break room, explaining the shelving and territorial marking of foodstuffs. Just when she thought the dedicated over-talking of the girl had imparted a clue to the temp, it—she—took Kryssa’s arm.

“You’re like, warm and stuff.”

She gave a slow blink as she looked at the girl. Taking that extra breath before speaking, just like they’d taught in anger management, Kryssa tucked a glossy black spiral curl behind her ear and sighed.
“The air conditioner is on low, and it’s eighty-nine degrees outside, not to mention I’m Therian and run hot. What exactly is the mystery?”

The bubbly twit smiled, tilted her head, and gave an affectionate squeeze, confirming the suspicion she had indeed originated from the head cheerleading rung of hell.

“Well, the whole cold-blooded thing, silly. Dragons are reptiles, right?”

Kryssa stared at the porcelain hand on her arm. It stood out against skin the color of gingersnaps, its paleness making it seem delicate and outright fragile. With that in mind, along with a clenched jaw, mental counting exercise, and thoughts of sitting through yet another Anger Management and You course, Kryssa managed not to crush the thin wrist as she removed the offensive touch.

“Regardless of what we shift into, Therians are mammals. We’re all hot-blooded.”

And hot-tempered and just plain hot when in a thriving environment, but that was neither here or there. Kryssa needed something to calm her nerves before she forgot herself and a simple orientation became a full-blown situation. A quick rooting through the fridge produced a large tub of raw vegetables. Almost before the top was fully off, several baby carrots disappeared into her mouth.

“Ooo, you eat vegetables too?” A slow continual nodding of the head followed the question, a trait that took the temp all morning whenever something challenged her to think too hard.

Kryssa crunched louder and groaned. “We’re omnivores, you idiot.” The last two words came out a mumbled wreck that bought her a little extra time for decorum.

“Oh yeah, okay, right. So, um, just between us girls, have you ever eaten anyone, Chrissie?”

Time’s up. “No, but give me a minute.”

Big blue Bambi eyes blinked over at her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you.”

I’m not the only thing she doesn’t understand, by a long shot. “I said give me a minute. I have to take care of something.” Kryssa backed away slowly, the way you escape from a dog you think might be rabid. Or in this case, one severely mentally stunted, and therefore dangerous to your dry cleaning bill with the slobbering and the pawing. “Get familiar with the cabinets and snack machine and I’ll be back.”

Broccoli florets, raw cauliflower, and more carrots disappeared in the hundred yard dash to a neutral corner. An open concept conference room became her refuge as she ducked through the glass double doors and hopped up on the conference table. She considered the meeting going on at the time just a minor inconvenience she could generously overlook.

“Kryssa, can we help you?”

She looked to the company’s CEO and shook her head.

“Nope. I’m good. Nice suit.” She reached out and fondled the material. “Did I buy you this one?”

The handsome, regal, professional air collapsed in on itself as he looked at her. She reached up and brushed a dark lock of hair from his forehead. It was the same glossy jet black, but had the barest wave to it, unlike the tight curls pinned back off her face and spilling down her back. She couldn’t help but smile at the face, several shades lighter with its olive hue, yet otherwise incredibly similar to her own.

“Yes you did, Kryssa. Nice jeans.”

Funny, it didn’t sound like a compliment. She looked down at the black tailored jeans, matching cropped three-quarter sleeve blazer and white lace cami, unable to find anything wrong. “What? I’m still in head-to-toe Armani. Classic black and white, down to the Italian ankle boots, business casual at its finest. How can you complain, Nicky?”

Dominic Drake sat back and shook his head. “My baby sister just came in eating the equivalent of an entire salad bar and sat on my conference table to crunch her way through the middle of my business negotiations. Where should my list of complaints begin?”

That didn’t leave a lot of room to argue with him, but with family, such a thing is hardly a deterrent to trying. She popped another carrot into her mouth and looked to the oval table. “First, this is my conference table. Your conference table would be two floors above, up the hall from your office. You came to my floor, and for the next two months until my sabbatical starts and I escape this place for a while, it’ll be run my way. As Chief Liaison Officer, I like to liaise in comfort so we do things rather informal here.”

She leaned across the table, smiling at the childhood friend at its other end. “You’re going to accept the merger right, Jimmy? You always were. Your sister told me last week. This is just a bit of show in order to ensure you get the east coast offices; which, let me tell you, Nicky is completely prepared to give to you. So you all may as well take an early lunch, business done.”

Dominic stood abruptly and picked her up, carrying her from the room without another word. As distractions went, it worked, and she munched contently as he strode down the hall, giving the smallest grunt when he finally plopped her down on the receptionist desk in her outer office.



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Fang Don't Blink
Greetings, Kittens!

Thank you for all of the comments these last few Thursdays. I usually reply to each and every comment, even if you all don't swing back to read them, but these last few weeks have seen the "chronic" part of my chronic illness and I haven't been up to it. I'm feeling a bit better today, so hopefully that will change!

I've been asked the last two Thursdays if I was going to do another horror movie rules edition. I did two versions last year, one of horror movies rules on my blog, and one on horror movie pet peeves on a group blog. It's was great fun and everyone threw in their own rules in the comments section. I loved it and just couldn't pass up doing the theme again this year. So today I bring you a blended edition of the 13 Horror Movie Rules To Help You Survive.

Enjoy.

                          

13 Horror Movie Lessons ala Xakara
(In Case You Ever Find Yourself In A Horror Movie)

1. Don't Split Up: No, it won't be faster. No, you can't cover more ground that way.  Why? Because you can't move or cover ground if you're dead. If you're undead, maybe, but not dead-dead. Just stay together.

2. Evil Uses Racial Profiling: If you're the only Person of Color in the crowd of plucky, yet naughty, white folks you're going to die. Don't bother running, just turn and fight so you can go out with glory.

Exception: The Tech Guy/Occultist Chick. You've been off doing research since the middle of the second act. As long as you don't try to relay the forbidden information over the telephone while you're all alone in the middle of a storm/blackout, you'll survive to nearly die in the sequel.


3. Virginity Saves Lives: If you're the female lead and have been declared a virgin, you now possess the magical "get out of slaughter free card" and will slip the noose to fall into the male lead's arms. Unless of course he's been pressuring you for sex. In that case, he's already dead from his tryst with your slutty best friend after they went off into the woods/by the lake/[insert isolated area here], in Act I.

4. Virginity Kills: If you're anyone but the female lead and a virgin, or you are the lead but have proved to be TSTL, a major ritual sacrifice is in your future. The calvery will ultimately swoop in and prevent the apocalypse, but the virgin still dies.

5. Crows Have It Out For Us...Maybe: Whether guiding the souls of the wrongfully killed back to earth for vengence, or heralding the arrival of the Walking Dude; crows are always a danger sign. But at least they warn you with their cries, so maybe they're trying to help us. However it shakes out, where crows go, a high body count follows. That's just how they roll.

6. It's Fallen, but It Can Get Up: And it will, so don't go check for a pulse if you don't have a weapon. If you do have a weapon, aim for its head and keep shooting or swinging until there's nothing but a misty paste left. Trust me. Anything else and it's curtains for you.

7. If You Build It, It Will Eat You: Your wonderful, disease curing intentions are irrelevant. If you create a creature, especially one with human DNA, it's going to kill you. Not only is it going to kill you, it's going to kill all of your family, all of your friends, all of your collegues, and the girl that says hi to you every day in line at starbucks. However, if the two of you are spending $9 at Starbucks on a daily basis, in the middle of a recession, you both kinda have it coming. Unless of course she's made a cute joke about stimulating the economy, in that case she's totally saved.

8. Rottwielers are Evil: But only if there's a Latin choir chanting ominiously in the background. Otherwise, you're good.

9. Sleep Kills: If you're a teen or twenty-something and you either learn for the first time that a crazed, maniac killer died in your house, or you grew up with the legend of him dying in the neighborhood; on the anniversary of his birth/death/most infamous crime/[insert significant event here], you and your friends are going to die in your sleep. Insomnia is your friend.

10. Sleep Saves Lives: If you and said friends try to avoid your fates by taking caffiene IVs and going on a nodoz diet, you will inevitably collapse and some well-meaning ER attending will sedate you, spelling your doom. It's better to hit the library and check out everything you can on lucid dreaming and battling night terrors so you can learn to become a kick-ass ninja-pirate-spy when you enter REM sleep.

11. Death is Patient, but Douchey: You can avoid your lethal fate by exiting the plane/boat/car/train/other fiery death trap you were expected to be in, and live on for days or even decades. But eventually death/fate will hunt you down and kill you in the most awkward, unnecessary way just to make your obituary an embarrassment.

12. You Saw What You Saw: Your new neighbor/teacher/sheriff/authority figure/pillar of the community, really is a bloodsucking fiend or other psycho killer just like it appeared. No one will believe you. He will find out you told. MOVE.

13. Sometimes Zombies are Fast: So get the hell out of dodge...but don't split up to do it!

Happy Halloween Season, Kittens!

Other Thursday Thirteeners

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AWTADH


Greetings, Kittens!

Happy National Breast Health Month! Yes, I know that's not what it's called, but as I've mentioned before, I would rather the focus be on working towards health, rather than fighting against disease. For today's TT I once again offer 13 Ways To Keep Breasts Healthy Right At The Grocery Store. 

Enjoy

13 Foods For Breast Health 


Breakfast
1. Whole-grain carbs like Oat Bran cereal add insoluble fiber that absorbs excess estrogen and carries it out of the body.



2. Half a grapefruit has vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid believed to sweep carcinogens out of the body.



3. Papaya has vitamin C that works as an antioxidant and may reduce absorption of nitrosamines from the soil or processed foods. It also contains folic acid which is shown to minimize cervical dysplasia and prevent neural tube defects.


4. Raspberries contain vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and antioxidants known as anthocyanins that act as a protectorant.


Lunch & Dinner
5. Beans are a great source of fiber and phytonutrients and can be easily added to pasta, soups and salads that could contain...


6. Spinach with its two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin.


7. Mushrooms such as shiitake and maitake among others contain the protein lectin which attacks unhealthy celss and prevents them from multiplying.


8. Broccoli contain indole-3-carbinol and the sprouts have phytochemical sulforaphane. If you don't like it plain, a serving of low fat melted cheese can make it into a treat. But a better dressing could be made with...


9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a great source of monounsaturated fats that have been linked to keeping breast healthy. Garnish with...


10. Nuts containing the antioxidants quercetin and campferol that suppress unhealthy growths. Brazil nuts contain 80 micrograms of selenium that also protects the prostate.


11. Flax, which works both sprinkled over cereal and salads, contains lignans which may have an antioxidant effect and block or suppress cancerous changes. It's high in omega-3 fatty acids that protect the heart and colon as well.


12. Turmeric can season quite well, a little going a long way. A member of the ginger family, Tumeric is sites as an aromatase inhibitor which lowers estrogen in post-menopausal women. It also decreases inflammation.


13. Red Grape Juice contains bioflavonoids and polyphenols which helps neutralize free radicals.




Detailed List from  ABC News

Other Thursday Thirteen Participants


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Bi Any Other Name (And Other Posts)

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

Just dropping in to let you know I'm a guest at Gabriella Hewitt's today with the post Bi Any Other Name, a discussion on Pansexuality and similar terminology. Come on by and share a bit. I may have also forgotten to mention the Crush of the Week Anna Torv at Erotic Diaries on Friday and Writing From the Middle: Screw the Norm at QMO on Saturday, so by all means come by those as well!

Enjoy.


~X
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Thursday Thirteen #84 Banner Edition

Statue Kiss

Greetings, Kittens!

I haven't really slept in a few days, so I'm not going to subject you all to an attempt to be coherent. Instead I shall dazzle you with visuals on, what else, Thursday 13. Here are 13 Thursday Thirteen Banners. Please pardon any blurring from scaling them to the same width. :)

Enjoy.




1.  

2.  

3.  

4.  

5.  

6.  

7.  

8.  

9.  

10.

11.

12.

13.


Update: Sorry, I wasn't clear above, yes, I made all of these. I prefer the banners to reflect or compliment the content. Or like the Sam one at the beginning,  I make them just to make me laugh. :)

Other Thursday Thirteeners


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Menage Monday ~ Menage On Film

AWTADH

Greetings, Kittens!

I'm got a Menage Monday post this week at Taboo Indeed. Writing From the Middle ~ Menage on Film which yields a lovely little chat on the movie Threesome. Swing by and weigh in on the menages you love and the ones you want to see more of in the near future.

Enjoy.


~X
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Six Sentence Sunday #14

AWTADH

Greetings, Kittens!

Welcome back, always glad to hear from you! This picks up within the same conversation between Kryssa and her brother Dominic.

Enjoy.


 

“I know that, and you don’t have to mentally measure me for a coffin, Krys, I’m not talking about a relationship, I just think you need another focus. What about Xander? He seems great from everything you say. When’s the last time you had sex anyway?”

Kryssa slid back on the desk and folded her legs tailor fashion, “Don’t bring this down to sex and stress relief, Nicky; I could sleep with the entire Human Resources department and that girl would still be only slightly smarter than a bag of hammers. Why are you making this about me?”

Other Six Sentence Sunday Participants


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Thursday Thirteen #84 Banned Book Edition

YinYang Dragon grey
Greetings, Kittens!

Happy Banned Book Week! In celebration of the freedom to read what we will and as a minor stride in the fight against censorship, here are 13 Books that were Challenged or Banned in 2010-2011. They are in no particular order, and since I assume there will be other lists, I have skipped about the listing to choose my 13. A book's presence on this list is not an endorsement, as I may or may not have read or liked them. The point is that it's your right and that of everyone to read them if you choose.

Enjoy.


1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

2. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

3. Betrayed by Kristen Cast and P.C. Cast

4. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

5. Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

6. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

8. What's Happening to My Body: Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras

9. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

10. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

11. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology edited by Amy Sonnie

12. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

13. The Koran (Yes, it pains me to use a wiki link for a people's holy book, but I know you all take wiki with a grain of salt, so here you are.)

Other Thursday Thirteeners

For a larger list check the American Library Association




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Statue Kiss
Greetings, Kittens!

My bi-monthly Wednesday Ramble is up at SS&S. I'm talking about sexy supernatural creatures and the shows that use them to pull us in. Have a look and talk about your favorite shows, characters and creatures!

Wednesday Ramble ~ Sexy Supernaturals

Enjoy.




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Six Sentence Sunday #13

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

Welcome back and thank you for coming by each week. Today I offer more of A Way To A Dragon's Heart. I'm so excited for the release next month that I can't focus on another story yet, so I'm thrilled that you all seem to love Kryssa as much as I do. This picks up just  a bit after last week and you can read all of the offers so far HERE. For reference, this is Kryssa speaking with her brother Dominic.

Enjoy.

Photobucket

“She touched me to check if I was warm-blooded, and you and I both know, I’m going to be checking her blood if she touches me again.”

Dominic ran his hand over his face. “At least you haven’t thrown her out of a window like the last time someone touched you.”

Kryssa’s jaw dropped, “First of all, as an Avian, he should have known better. Second, we were only twenty stories up, for a WereFalcon that’s playground level; he would have landed safely in his sleep. Third, not only did we still get the account, but he thanked me for the compliment to his virility and he asked me out.”


Other Six Sentence Sunday Offerings

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Buried Treasure at Lex Cade's

Statue Kiss
Greetings, Kittens!

I'm guest today at Lex Cade's talking a little bit about my writing process. Come and take a look and share a little about your writing process or what you thinking about the process as a reader!

Buried Treasure...

:),

~X

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Thursday Thirteen #83 Fitness Edition

Hoop Life
Greetings, Kittens!

This week finds me fitness minded after several conversations on the topic, with more to come. When I say fit, I don't mean simply being thin. I'm talking about having stamina, endurance, flexibility, strength and healthy organ, muscle and adrenal function. Regular exercise, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and proper hydration all lead to this, but you get healthy and fit, long before you get thin, so focus on the right numbers that nothing to do with the scale. Here are a few of my favorite fitness gadgets and gizmos.

Enjoy.

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1. Pedometers: This is the number one go-to gadget out there. It's small, simple to use, inexpensive to own, and immediate feedback on your activity for the day. There is absolutely nothing else out there that beats the sheer accessibility of using a pedometer daily and building your steps.

2. Stationary Bike: Whether upright or recumbant, stationary bikes allow for intense cardio that doesn't require you to be able to stand for extended periods of time. It also saves stress on your knees and back. Recumbant bikes are especially good for back issues, but they do cause you to lose a slight bit of pedaling intensity with change in angle to compensate for that.

3. Elliptical: Gentle on joints and able to mimic running for knees that will never do so, ellipticals are a dream machine when properly adjusted to height and stride. Unless you're following a pre-programmed routine, intensity can lag, but like anything, you get out what you put in.

4. Treadmill: Adjustable treadmills are fabulous. I have shin issues that keep me off of them for now, but there is nothing like an inclined treadmill for the back of the thighs and the glutes. Interesting fact that anyone who's been on a treadmill can relate to: they were original built for prisoners as a punishment. *grin*

5. Balance Ball: I swear by my balance ball. It improves posture, works the core through simply active sitting, and supports the back during strength training and crunches. It also allows for several modifications to exercises like lunges, squats and planks to make them via to a larger audience.

6. Free Weights: I don't have any right now, they were left behind when we moved, but I love dumbbells. There's something real and solid about having a weight in your hand and seeing the number get larger as you get stronger. No amount of color coding or cord numbering with machines can replace the sense of accomplishment of working with real weights.

7. Weight Lifting Gloves: Yes, even with your tiny 5lb weights, a good pair of gloves is the difference between calloused, sore hands, and hands that are supported during your workout. Lightly padded gloves are great to keep you from gripping the weight too tightly.

8. Door Gyms: Sometimes real weights aren't an option due to safety issues or convenience. Adjustable door gyms can take you all the places that a set of weights can and they can do it anywhere you have a standard door. They have the smoothness of machines with the portability of fitness bands.

9. Heart Rate Monitor: These come in all makes and models and you can benefit from even the simplest design. Not only does it allow you to gauge your intensity, but it is a direct measure of your fitness improvement as well. From your resting heart rate, to your 80% max, a good HRM can guide you on your fitness path like little else.

10. A Bodyfat Scale:  If you're going to get caught up in the numbers, then have all the numbers. Bf scales aren't as accurate as going to the doctor or a fitness center, but with a good scale, the numbers will be consistant and you can monitor changes in body composition that aren't going to show up on a regular scale.

11. Pilates Equipment: Pilates is a great way to stretch, build strength and work the core, all in a gentle, but continuous routine. Mat pilates is great, but eventually you'll need some sort of resistance equipment to keep pilates challenging. These are as simple as cords, similar to powerbands, or as complicated as dedicated pilates machines that take up an entire room. I suggest the Pilates Power Gym or something similiar. It's like a mini version of the Total Gym, but constructed with pilates in mind. It takes up little room and allows for marked progression in strength and flexibility.

12. DVD Routines: I prefer to workout at home and dvds offer a wide variety of options from walking routines, to bellydancing, to Tai Chi, to Tae Bo. You can walk, kick, punch and shimmy your way to great health, all in the privacy of your own home.

13. Great Shoes: I'm a New Balance girl myself and I hear wonderful things about Ryka, but any brand that gives you proper support and won't break your budget is a good choice. That said, make sure to expand your budget as much as you can, proper shoes are an investment that will keep you from spending even more to rehab an injury.

Other Thursday Thirteeners

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Six Sentence Sunday # 12

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!

We're back to A Way To A Dragon's Heart today. I loved last week's 6SS, but I couldn't find a snippet I liked that wasn't a spoiler for the first two books, maybe next week. :)

Previous offerings from this story are HERE and thanks for coming by, as always! You all lift my day more than you know.

Enjoy.

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“Where’s your assistant?”

“She’s on maternity leave, remember,” Kryssa muttered around the mouthful of vegetables.

She watched Dominic look around the office like he expected the object of his question to materialize out of nowhere. “Where’s the temp they sent over this morning? Tell me now if we need someone from Clinic to come up.”

“No, we don’t need medical personnel," she grinned, "I left her in the break room and by now, she’s probably trying to figure out if the screen on the microwave gets cable.”


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Dean Grin
Greetings, Kittens!

I've been remiss in posting here when I have features up elsewhere, but I'm trying. It's all about the baby steps *wink*

Today is Crush of the Week at Erotic Diaries and in honor of its 7th seaons, (as well as inspiration from This Post), this week's crush is Jensen Ackles! The Supernatural returns for a 7th season on Friday, September 23rd at 8pm Central. Swing by and weigh in. For now, here's a peek!

Enjoy.

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Thursday Thirteen #82 My Week Edition

DEL
Greetings, Kittens!

I still haven't managed to restructure my days enough to visit all of you during the rest of the week like I want to. Today, I thought I'd share my week with you since we got the chance to hang out last Thursday. So here you are, 13 Things from My Week!

Enjoy.

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1. (Friday) Crush of the Week ~ Lena Headey @ Erotic Diaries.  Crush of the Week is a regular feature at Erotic Diaries, where I've been alternating actors and actresses who supportive of social issues, body positive, sex-positive, and so far, who bring genre television and movies to new heights.

2. (Saturday) Writing From the Middle: The Pansexual's Delimma ~ Accuracy vs. Visibility @ QMO.  Writing From the Middle is a recurring feature currently seen three times a month, once at QMO and twice for Menage Mondays at Michael Mandrake's.

3. (Sunday) Six Sentence Sunday #11 Saint Valentine.  This is the first snippet shared from Saint Valentine for Six Sentence Sunday. It went over very well and I'm excited to share more from it at future dates.

4. (Monday) Launch of Silken Sheets & Seduction.  This is a brand new erotic authors site and there's a huge giveaway of over 75 ebooks, gift cards, and a Kindle! Please stop by and get your name in the running. Winners will be announced October 1st.

5. (Wednesday) Wednesday Ramble ~ What is Sexy? @ Silken Sheets & Seduction.  Wednesday Ramble is a brand new bi-monthly feature at Silken Sheets & Seductions. It brings my total to 5 other blogs you can find me on monthly, consisting of 10 posts a month--before any other random invites. Yep, I'm being social! :) I'd love for you all to come and weigh-in on the posts!

6. I got a job interview.  Well, I got scheduled for a job interview. I'm waiting to hear back on the hard date and time. It's the first interview for me since I was laid off in February, 2010. I'll let you know the outcome next Thursday. 

7. I decided to take a vacation from writing.  Not that I've been getting an abundance of writing done while sick, but once my current projects are wrapped up, I'm putting everything else on hold until January. I'm also limiting myself to four projects for 2012. Let's see how that turns out.

8. I caught up on Sons of Anarchy.  I still don't know how I feel about this show. I love Jax and Opie, but I'm used to being endeared to each individual in an ensemble cast and there are some characters in this show that I just want to see die! It's an odd place to be in, some three seasons in. It proves I love my husband-like-person! I watched only because he puppy-dogged me into it, and now I'm committed and conflicted.

9. Started a 1000 mile journey.  Well, I started it before this last week, but this week is the first where I've made daily progress. My health and energy have been very poor, and in building back, focusing on the next 1000 miles seemed a fitting goal. I'm using a recumbant stationary bike and a pedometer to count my miles, but the pedometer has gone MIA, so I'll be estimating errands as a single mile until I get a new one.

10. I set a year health goal.  I can't undo the CFS, nor can I force it into an upcycle. I can make significant health strides and regain where I was three years ago. That's what this year will be about.

11. I realized I was depressed.  This sucks, but at least I know for sure that it's part of the problem and can deal with it. It was difficult to separate from the insomnia and blood sugar instabilities, but now I know and will go from there.

12. I was bombarded by four story ideas.  None of which are on the list for the projects I'm working on next year. *headshake* If I slept like normal people, this wouldn't happen to me. Ah well.

13. I watched three of the first offerings of this new fall season.  I'm reserving judgement.


Other Thursday Thirteeners
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DEL
Greetings, Kittens!

The Mega-giveaway is still going on at Silken Sheets and Seductions and my introductory post is up today. Wednesday Ramble will be a regular feature--and oh the fun we shall have!

Stop by to weigh in and keep at that chance to win ebooks, gift cards and a Kindle!

Good Luck!

~X

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Silken Sheets and Seduction Launch

Statue Kiss

Greetings, Kittens!

Come and join me for the launch of Silken Sheets & Seduction! Check out our giveaway for the incredible number of books and the grand prize Kindle offering!

For our introduction, the eight of us will explore what sexy means to us. So come by and weigh in to win.

Good Luck!

~X


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Six Sentence Sunday #11 Saint Valentine

Weeping Angel
Somber Greetings, Kittens!

In light of the day, I've moved from my more comedic offerings from A Way To A Dragon's Heart and back to my PsiCorps series. This is PsiCorps #3, tentatively titled Saint Valentine.

Enjoy.
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“I don’t care,” she interrupted. “I cared when you came in, but we’ve passed that point, so let me tell you my name instead. I’m Agent Riley Valin, but there are quite a few that use Kali Valin, I’m open to both; either way, you need to go and say those names to someone who’s been in the building more than two minutes. Otherwise you need to rapidly experience the good fortune of spinning the wheel and buying a clue, so you know where you stand in this situation.”

"So what, you’re The Doctor in this situation?” he laughed.

Riley smiled, “My inner geek loves you just a little bit for that fandom reference, but my outer bitch is about to hurt your sense of self-esteem.”

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Thursday Thirteen #81 Playlist Edition

Drow Fairy
Greetings, Kittens!

I'm experiencing a bit of melancholy right now, so I'm using my favorite mood booster--music. Don't try to find any rhyme or reason to the song mixture, just take in the variety. *grin* Here are 13 Random Songs from my many playlists*.

Enjoy.

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1. Find A Way ~ by SafetySuit

2. Everything ~ by Lifehouse

3. You Could Be Happy ~ by Snow Patrol

4. St. Lawrence River ~ by David Usher

5. Comin' Home ~ by City and Colour

6. Get Stoned ~ by Hinder

7. Protect Me From What I Want ~ by Placebo

8. Words I Couldn't Say ~ by Rascal Flatts

9. Wreck of the Day ~ by Anna Nalick

10. Love the Way You Lie ~ by Eminem featuring Rihanna

11. Love the Way You Lie pt II ~ by Rihanna featuring Eminem

12. I Gave You All ~ by Mumford and Sons

13. 9 Crimes ~ by Damien Rice

*The links supplied are to neutral vids containing the lyrics to the songs. They are not the vids from my youtube playlists. Those are primarily Supernatural fanvids and likely only of interest to me.

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Thursday Thirteen #80 To-Do List Edition

Drow Fairy
Greetings, Kittens!

Happy September! Today I'm focused on all of the things I need to get done during this brand new shiny month. Due to the long illness of August, I'm far behind, so I might share the second part of the list next week as well. For now here are 13 Things to Do in September.

Enjoy.


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1. Finish Saint Valentine ~ Originally I wanted a chance to get this out and into the world for Christmas, but as I wrote I realized it was more properly set around Valentine's Day. I wanted to send it in by the September 5th deadline, but I was too run down the last three weeks. Instead I'm aiming for September 15th and will pitch it as a single title.

2. Revise BloodSprite ~ I have two separate publishers interested in two different revisions, so I had to put this off until I could dedicate my full attention and energy and this month will be part of that.

3. Revise Ronin StillSkin ~ This is only hours from being done. I just need to do a readthru and send it out the door.

4. Schedule the next 18 months ~ Yes, I do my writing schedules 18 months in advance. It helps me to prioritize plot bunnies so everything can get its moment in the sun.

5. Get Well ~ I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I can't magically cure the CFS, but I finally have enough energy to do the work that will get me back to median. I've been able to ride the stationary bike a bit and I just want to increase that bit by bit until I build back enough strength and stamina that I can push through the exhaustion like I used to.

6. Settle the Job Question ~ Perhaps I can't control who will call in this economy, but I can change my mindset and narrow the field to those jobs that would be a benefit to our situation rather than cast so widely that I end up facing something that could be a detriment.

7. Settle the bills ~ Let's leave that as is.

8. Prioritze my obligations ~ I took on quite a few things in July and there are still a few things sneaking up for more of my attention. I like all of the things I'm a part of, and I'm excited about my release in October and the inevitable uptick in obligations. That said, I need to figure out which ones are mandatory and which are negotiable. Some weekly appearances may need to become bi-monthly.

9. Volunteer ~ I don't know where, how often, or even how practical this is, but I want to do it.

10. Network ~ I think I've done well with this, but I have several things I want more information and insight on, and I want it from the personal experiences of people, so I need to find more people to share content.

11. Choose my promo ~ This ties into prioritizing my obligations. I need to choose specific promotional options for my next release that can be done around any lingering illness and any change in schedule brought on by working outside the home.

12. Sleep ~ It may not always be restorative, but it needs to be there regardless and it's been slipping away. I've got to fight my way back to it, even if it means meds for a few weeks. Sigh.

13. Experience a windfall ~ This solves so many things that it deserves to be on every list. Wish me luck! *grin*


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Beyond the Veil ~ The Art of the Ensemble

DEL
Greetings, Kittens!

I'm at Beyond the Veil today, wrapping up our month long character theme: Characters Welcome ~ The Characters We Love or Love to Hate and introducing our television them: Tune In, Turn On and Drop By ~ From Current Guilty Pleasures to Classic Television We Grew Up On (and everything in between).

Come on by and join in as I talk about ensemble cast and touch on Numb3rs and Criminal Minds in Art of the Ensemble!

~X

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Six Sentence Sunday #10

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens! Welcome back, I always appreciate you coming by. I didn't get around last week like I wanted, so please pardon double comments this week as I catch up on your 6SSs. Today is a continuation of last week after Kryssa came and interrupted her brother Dominic's meeting.

For those who need to catch up, you can do so with our First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth offerings.


Enjoy.
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She leaned across the table, smiling at the childhood friend on its other end. “You’re going to accept the merger right, Jimmy? You always were, your sister told me last week. This is just a bit of show in order to ensure you get the east coast offices; which, let me tell you, Nicky is completely prepared to give to you, so you all may as well take an early lunch, business done.”


Dominic stood abruptly and picked her up, carrying her from the room without another word. As distractions went, it worked, and she munched contently as he strode down the hall, giving the smallest grunt when he finally plopped her down on the receptionist desk in her outer office.


Update: I have caught up on last week's 6SS for all those who posted here. The only people I may have missed are those who posted anonymous without leaving a name. Please be sure to let me know who you are so I can return the favor! :)


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Gothic Beauty
Greetings, Kittens!

It's Friday, that means another Crush of the Week segment at Erotic Diaries. This week's crush, is Rutina Wesley and here's a sneak peek of the loveliness in store!

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See you there today and every Crush-worthy week!

~X




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AWTADH




Greetings, Kittens!


There's been a lot on my mind while I've been sick these past weeks. Primary among my thoughts have been two things. The first, my UI runs out in ten weeks and there have been no callbacks on my numerous inquiries. Second, as bad as things might become, right now I'm doing better than many others and for that I need to be grateful, compassionate and giving when viable. There might be a donate button popping up on my site sometime soon, but for today I bring you 13 Ways You Can Be The Change & Save A Life.


Enjoy.




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1. Hunger in America ~ In 2009 50.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33 million adults and 17.2 Million children. $25 = 200 meals. That's just $5 from you and 4 friends. If $10 would be easier, you can text FEED to 50555 and then reply to the confirmation text with YES. No fuss, no muss!


2. The Horn of Africa ~ Plumpy’nut®, a vitamin enriched peanut-paste, plays a critical role in meeting the nutritional needs of impoverished countries quickly and effectively. This project will provide enough Plumpy'nut® to reach 40,000 children in it's duration. $25 = A month of meals for one child. Again, $5 from you and just 4 friends.


3. Charity: Water ~ This non-profit brings clean, safe water to developing countries. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people than all forms of violence including war. 100% of the donation money directly funds sustainable water projects. $20 can provide clean water for one person. That's $5 from you and 3 friends.


4. Feed A Child in Guatemala ~ The lovely Plumpy'Doz nutritional supplements can keep a family of four from the threat of malnutrition. $15 = A month of relief. That's $5 from you and two friends.





Feeling geared up? Let's talk about fostering nutritional independence.


5. Goats for Guatemala ~ This project not only provides a source of diary, protein and vitamins & minerals to supplement meager meals, it allows for long term prosperity and increased nutritional options from selling the excess milk, cheese and goat hair. $40 dollars = 1 goat. That's $5 from you and 7 friends.


6. Donate a Pig ~ In rural Haiti pigs are a measure of wealth. They insure an education, proper nutrition and a full quality of life. The pig population has been on the decline and now a grassroots organization wants to begin a breeding and education program. $25 = A quarter share in a pig. $100 = 1 pig and $200 equals a breeding pair. That's $20 from you and 9 friends.


7. Project Rise ~ The Rural Irrigation System for Ekumdipe will introduce framing techniques for the 6 month dry season, allowing for year round growing in the Ekumdipe community of Ghana. Turning the 6months of no income and inescapable poverty into a growing season will completely transform this community. $25 = A full sack of seed for dry season crops. $5 from you and 4 friends.


8. Homegirl Cafe ~ This project helps transition disadvantage and at-risk girls from gangs and impoverished living conditions to full-time employment at the Homegirl Cafe, a full service restuarant in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, California. The concrete skills learned through the program allow the girls to enter and compete in a highly in demand job market, taking them out of chronic poverty. $35 = Supplies for basic food preparation skill class. That's $5 from you and 6 friends.


Want to help in your community? Let's look at Feeding America where $45 will feed a family of 4 for a month:


9. The Mobile Pantry Project ~ Mobile pantries expand the reach of food banks, extending service into otherwise overlooked regions. You can find out what your local foodbanks are doing HERE.


10. National Produce Program ~ Formerly the Fresh Food Initiative, Feeding America established the National Produce Program to increase the network's capacity to handle fresh foods. This changes the program from simply fighting hunger to helping increase health and true nutrition.


11. Kids Cafe ~ This is an afterschool feeding program that provides meals and snacks to low-income children. The genius behind this is that it takes place where kids already congregate after school: local Boys & Girls Clubs, churches, public schools and neighborhood rec centers.


12. Summer Food Program ~ Over 20 million children were part of the free or reduced cost school meal programs, but less than 3 million children received meals during the summer because of lack of programs. Food banks stepped up to begin summer meal programs and must continue to expand. Does your community have one?


13. Relief Fleet ~ The price of transporting food has caused some food banks to have to turn down donations. This program works to lower the transportation cost so that all viable donation sources can be accepted. Every $1 saved on frieght provides 7 meals.



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Six Sentence Sunday #9

AWTADH
Greetings, Kittens!


Thank you for joining me here again. Your comments are always appreciated! Today is the fifth offering from  A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART because I needed the smile. In our last entry Kryssa had escaped from the babbling temp to head for a neutral corner. She ends up sitting on a conference table, conveniently overlooking the meeting going on at the time. *grin*


Also, for those who need to catch up. First, Second, Third, Fourth installments.




Enjoy!






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Dominic Drake sat back and shook his head, “My baby sister just came in eating the equivalent of an entire salad bar and sat on my conference table to crunch her way through the middle of my business negotiations. Where should my list of complaints begin?”


That didn’t leave a lot of room to argue with him, but with family, such a thing is hardly a deterrent to trying. She popped another carrot and looked to the oval table. “First, this is my conference table; your conference table would be two floors above, up the hall from your office. You came to my floor, and it’ll be run my way; As Chief Liaison Officer, I like to liaise in comfort so we do things rather informal here."



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DEL
Greetings, Kittens!


I'm at Erotic Diaries today with my regular Friday feature Crush of the Week. Today, staying with the True Blood theme, our Crush of the Week is Stephen Moyer. If you haven't had the chance you can also visit the CotW for Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgard.


Here's a preview of what awaits over at Erotic Diaries!





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Enjoy!


~X






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DEL

Greetings, Kittens!

I'm rather under the weather right now but I come baring treats! Today I bring you guest Gabriella Hewitt and a bit about her book Out of the Shadows.

Enjoy.


Hi Xakara! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today.

I am happy to share Thirteen Things about my newly released novella, OUT OF THE SHADOWS.
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THIRTEEN THINGS ABOUT OUT OF THE SHADOWS



1. Aztec Mythology: Set in the present, this story weaves Aztec mythology into the story.

2. Wolves: My hero, Tomas, is a wolf shifter with major attitude.

3. Hummingbirds: In Aztec mythology, the souls of warriors who died in battle turned into hummingbirds and followed the journey of the sun for three years before ascending to "heaven."

3. Sonoran Desert: Out of the Shadows is set in the Sonoran Desert, an area that straddles the U.S.-Mexican border and covers part of Arizona.

4. Huitzilopochtli: He is the Aztec god of the sun and war, and he plays a role in this story. 

5. Chalchiuhtlicue: A mouthful, isn't it? She is the goddess of water, among other things, and her name means "She of the Jade Skirt." 

6. Tzitzimime: These are celestial demons. They are said to come down from the sky and appear as beautiful women, who tempt men, only to devour their souls after. I've taken some liberties with them in my story, but they make great bad guys.

7. Secret: My heroine, Carolina, guards a secret that has been passed down to her from one generation to the next.

8. Shadow Warriors: Aztec warriors chosen by Huitzilopochtli to stand between humans and the demons sent to earth to destroy them.

9. Water: Carolina possesses power over the element of water.

10. Series: OUT OF THE SHADOWS is the first story in the shadow warrior series. Shadow Vision will be next and there will be others. 

11. Stubborn and Independent: Qualities both Carolina and Tomas possess. They'll have to find their way past the tough barrier they present to the world to reach each other's hearts.

12. Excitement. Suspense. Passion: I always deliver ESP in my stories. You'll find plenty in this one.

13. My cover: I absolutely adore my cover: the colors, the imagery. Samhain Pubishing's Art Director, Scott Carpenter took a simple art form I filled out and came up with this gorgeous interpretation. I'm in love. ( :


Out of the Shadows, released on August 16th from Samhain Publishing. It's available through Samhain Publishing, Amazon and ARebooks. If you pick it up, drop me a line and let me know how you enjoyed it. I enjoy hearing from readers.

So, what aspects of a story attract you most? The cover? The blurb? The genre?

Leave a comment and be entered into the OUT OF THE SHADOWS blog tour contest.

Winner announced on Aug. 26th will receive a $25 GC to Amazon.com. Official rules are here.

For your added enjoyment, here is a tantalizing excerpt from OUT OF THE SHADOWS, available from Samhain Publishing.

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Six Sentence Sunday #8

AWTADH

Greetings, Kittens!

Here's a bit more of A WAY TO A DRAGON'S HEART. It's more or less right after the last entry and still between Kryssa, (who the temp keeps referring to as Chrissie), and our temp from "the cheerleading rung of hell". *grin* Kryssa is speaking around a mouth full of crunchy veggies.

If you wish to catch up. First, Second, & Third offerings of AWTADH.

Enjoy.

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"So, um, just between us girls, have you ever eaten anyone, Chrissie?”

“No, but give me a minute," Kryssa said.

"I'm sorry," Big blue Bambi eyes blinked over at her, "I didn’t understand you.”

I’m not the only thing she doesn’t understand by a long shot.
“I said give me a minute, I have to take care of something,but you can familiarize yourself with the snack machine.” Kryssa backed away slowly, the way you escape from a dog you think might be rabid; or in this case, severely mentally stunted, and therefore dangerous to your dry cleaning bill with the slobbering and the pawing.

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Thursday Thirteen #77 Multiple Edition

DEL

Greetings, Kittens!

I've had a lot of multitasking over the last few days and will have more over the next week. I also wrote two articles on polyamory, a topic that certainly deals with multitasking! I decided to combine them and find poly words and tell you the multiples they deal with. So here you are, 13 Polys!

Enjoy.
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1. Polysexual ~ Attracted to multiple gender identities

2. Polyamory ~ Having multiple loves

3. Polygamy ~ Marrying multiple spouses

4. Polyandry ~ Having multiple husbands

5. Polygyny ~ Having multiple wives

6. Polytheist ~ Believing in multiple gods

7. Polyarchy ~ Governing by multiple leaders

8. Polyglot ~ Speaking multiple languages

9. Polysyllabic ~ Consisting of multiple syllables

10. Polydemic ~ Native to multiple countries

11. Polygenesis ~ Arising from multiple origins

12. Polydomous ~ Living in multiple nests or homes

13. Polyhedron ~ Having many faces or facets

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Writing From the Middle Guest Post

DEL

Greetings, Kittens!

I'm over at Michael Mandrake's blog today with another WFtM segment. This one is on writing poly romance and the perception of polyamory in the industry. Come on by and share your thoughts!

Writing From The Middle: Poly Normalcy

~X

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Xakara's books on Goodreads


Shifting PassionsShifting Passions
reviews: 1
ratings: 38 (avg rating 4.41)



Ghost of Christmas PastGhost of Christmas Past (PsiCorps, #1)
reviews: 7
ratings: 41 (avg rating 3.92)



A Way to a Dragon's HeartA Way to a Dragon's Heart
reviews: 2
ratings: 23 (avg rating 4.60)



Dawn's Early LightDawn's Early Light (Psicorps, #2)
reviews: 1
ratings: 13 (avg rating 4.00)







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