Friday, December 30, 2022

Friday Book Blog Hop: Tommyland


Autobiography, Memoir, Music

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I am Tommy Lee, born Thomas Lee Bass in Athens, Greece, on October 3, 1962, and raised in a suburb of California by an American father and a Greek mother. At seventeen, I joined Mötley Crüe and we became one of the baddest-ass rock bands in history. We sold over 40 million albums, we wreaked havoc, we scared parents, and we titillated too many fathers' daughters. I've been married three times: once for just a few days to a Penthouse Pet, for seven years to Heather Locklear, and then for five years to Pamela Anderson, with whom I have two beautiful sons. I've gotten into a lot of fights and I've been to jail a few times.

But this book isn't your typical journey in a straight line from day one to day now. I'm more interested in revealing what's most important about my life, like how I cook my steaks; what I think of the tabloids, the truth, my ex-wives, my ex-band, my music; and what an innocent observer might find hanging around my house any given Sunday. You'll get plenty of facts and I'll tell you a story, but my real mission here is to paint you a picture of my life. I want to show you how my memories smell.

I'd like to get into it now, so please take your seats. I advise you to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. If you have a pacemaker, a heart condition, or if you are pregnant or too damn short to reach the safety bar, I ask that you turn back immediately. Those with weak stomachs, strict morals, or chronic indigestion should put the book down now. For the rest of you, there's one truth that's real across the board: What you send out is what you get back. Send out the good, people, and it will come back to you. There's another thing I've learned over the years, in court, in fights, and in arguments with people I love: There isn't one truth, there are many. This book is my truth.


Free use image by Alexas Fotos on Pixabay

Ornery Owl's Mini Review

Rating: Five out of five stars

Tommy is a bright, intelligent, insightful person, not at all the brain-dead rock star that tabloid journals have made him out to be. I've been trying to write an autobiography/self-help book for years and have always given up on it because I can't imagine why anyone would want to read anything I had to say. 

Tommy's words reminded me we all have something to offer and our words may be just what someone else needs to hear. I thank him for being a great entertainer whose music I love and an inspirational teacher whose thoughts are well worth the read. I enjoyed reading his co-author Anthony's thoughts as well.

The First Line/Book Beginnings

Tommy: Good morning, my man. 
Dick: What’s up? Well, besides me? I’ve been up for a while. I’m always up before you.

If you haven’t cruised PCH, let me tell you, it’s heaven: a winding road right on the ocean with cliffs and mountains to one side and God’s swimming pool on the other.

29th - January 4th - Did you exchange gifts for Christmas with other book lovers? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

My broke ass did not exchange gifts with anybody, not even my son. 

I encountered one of those grids of letters saying that the first four words I see are the words that will define 2023. Here are my words:

creation, love, connection, money

I'm still learning to love or at least tolerate myself. My creations are my only chance for connection to the world. Maybe the money will follow.

Best wishes for a better year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

One Week to Win Her Boss


One Week to Win Her Boss, sweet romance by Barbara White Daille

Book blurb

Single mom Amber Barnett loves family, kids, Christmas…and unfortunately, her boss, confirmed bachelor Michael DeFranco. It's a crush she really needs to get over. Except, when she’s temporarily forced from her apartment, her only option is to stay at Michael’s private ski lodge, where she's the housekeeper. No problem. Her handsome boss rarely visits Snowflake Valley unexpectedly, plus he’s spending the holidays with his family. Or so she thinks…

A stormy Christmas Eve reunion leaves Michael seeking the solitude of his lodge, where he finds Amber in residence—and in trouble. Attempting to save her from her matchmaking family, he announces they’re a couple. His good deed backfires when they’re instantly included in each and every holiday event in town. So much for solitude. 

Only the more time he spends with the beautiful, cheery brunette, the more he yearns to make things real between them. But he and Amber want different things, and Michael could never be the family man she's looking for. 


I thought you might rather have the tree gone,” Amber said to Michael.

He shrugged. “Whatever you want to do with it is fine. But wouldn’t you like a break from all the Christmas cheer?” He gestured at the strands of red and green lights twined around the lampposts. “It’s everywhere you look in this town. Don’t folks who live here like to get it out of their houses, at least?”

Not me. I love it. And now I have a question for you. I heard you talking with my dad as we were leaving. You were awfully quick to say you’ll attend the opening ceremony of the festival with us tomorrow. What happened to having so much work with you?” Again, that grim, tight-lipped expression crossed his face. She didn’t like seeing the change. Or, worse, knowing she’d caused it. “Besides,” she rushed on, “I’d think you would run as far as you could from anything to do with the festival.”

Because I’m a Scrooge?” He gave her a crooked smile. “Yeah, normally I’d take a pass. I’m only going along with that for you, too.”

Prince Charming, all right. From her hand on his arm to the tips of her toes, warmth spread through her. Afraid he would see her reaction in her face, she looked away. She couldn’t believe in a fairytale that, for her, wouldn’t come with a happy ending.

Keep it light. Keep it real. As they passed another lamppost, she gestured toward it. “Speaking of decorations everywhere we look, I suppose I should warn you. Before the ceremony, we’re all going out for lunch to celebrate Lyssa and Nick’s engagement.”

No problem. I like to eat.”

At the Candy Cane?”

He groaned.

I’m so sorry.”

Yeah. I can tell by the size of your grin. I’ll bet you love that place.”

Down to the last tiny ornament.”

The Candy Cane.” He shook his head. “Whoever came up with a name like that for a diner?”

Anatole, the owner. And for your information, the Snowflake Valley Chamber of Commerce approved it unanimously. The name is good for business, plus it goes along with the Christmas cheer. Which, by the way, we call ‘adding a little touch of magic.’”

I call it being a little touched in the head.”


He laughed and squeezed her hand.

Being so close to him, laughing with him, teasing him…she’d done all those things so many times before. In her dreams.

Keep it real. Could things get any more real than this?

Keep this for as long as you can.

Come on, everyone’s waiting for us.” She pulled her hand from his arm and grinned up at him. “Last one to Santa’s mailbox has to make hot chocolate tonight.”

Find the book (99 cents for a few more days)

About Barbara

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. You can find her books, blog, and newsletter signup here:

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Warlock's Curse


The Warlock's Curse

by C. B. Oresky


GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy



Clara and Angelica Grace have never met ghosts. They’ve never sailed on a tall ship, ridden wild unicorns, or fought with magical weapons. Instead, the teenage twins have a wretched existence, ignored by their troubled parents in a rundown home and tormented by the town’s snobs.

Everything turns topsy-turvy all of a sudden when discovery of an ancestor’s hidden journal with an odd key to an unknown door leads them into an entirely different realm.

The girls go on a thrilling oceanic voyage to search for mysterious whales, train with a seasoned warrior, and are befriended by a wise Master. But all is not a bouquet of lovely lilies…they are hunted by a cunning warlock and must rid themselves of The Warlock’s Curse.



Help! Please help!” Angelica cried, turning toward the direction the voice had come from.

Veils of darkness greeted her eyes.

Suddenly, a strange sight seized both girls’ attention. The oddest-looking creature the girls had ever seen emerged from the gloom, waddling along a curved path near the pool’s edge. Its shape gradually came into view.

The squat creature stood about two feet tall, an amethyst stud adorning its short nose, its long face crowned by a single lock of fair curly hair. In place of normal clothing, a grasshopper-green mossy material covered its small hands and feet, while an amber mesh filament, appearing like thinly braided laces, swathed its arms and back. It eagerly flew toward the girls, appearing like a goldfinch, its smooth, translucent body quivering like firm jelly and glowing as the shimmering sun. The creature’s unforgettably deep eyes were grave and dark and splashed with touches of ocher, like glossy black beetles.

Clara trembled in her well-worn boots, imagining the approaching creature as a monster in some horror movie. She wrapped her wool cape more tightly about her, wishing it might somehow guard her from harm.

Angelica also eyed the peculiar-looking being fearfully and staggered back a step.

The golden creature stopped just short of them.

It smells good…like meadow grass and flowers,” Clara whispered.

Hummmmmm, Hummmmm,” its melodious voice buzzed, like bees flitting over flowers. The odd creature licked its rubbery lips.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Fascinated by the works of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, C.B. Oresky began writing her own fantasy novel, The Warlock’s Curse, after dreaming of being whisked off to an alien realm. Besides her debut novel, she has seen four of her short stories published in a small, national literary press: Conceit Magazine. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through the woods, dancing flamenco, or planting flowers in her garden. She currently lives in a small town in Connecticut with her bodybuilder husband, their exceptionally naughty Scottish terrier and Siamese cat, ten chickens, Mr. Tiggy the hedgehog, and a yard filled with majestic flowers.




Twitter: @cbOresky






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Friday, December 23, 2022

Once Upon a Blizzard Review


New Release!

Once Upon a Blizzard:

A Bisexual Holiday Romance

By Lisabet Sarai

Bisexual (MMF) holiday 🎄 erotic romance (5 flames)


14,800 words

Smashwords and Amazon KDP

ISBN (Smashwords): 9781005502300



#HolidayRomance #NewEngland #SecondChanceRomance #Bisexual #Blizzard #Voyeurism #HighSchoolSweetheart #SnowedIn #MMRomance


No electricity. No water. Plenty of heat.

Suzanne and Gino have a history going back to high school, but for more than a decade the workaholic CEO has been thousands of miles from her New England home town.

A mistletoe kiss at a Christmas party rekindles the old spark and Suzanne finds some things do indeed get better with age. When Gino rescues her from a blizzard, though, she discovers that she's not the only love in his life. Gino shares his bed and his colonial-era farm house with taciturn painter Harris Steele.

Snowed in with two lusty men who truly seem to care, she wonders why she’s so determined to return to her lonely West Coast life. Is there really a chance for a holiday happy ending?

Note: this book was previously published by Totally Entwined with the title Almost Home. It has been revised and re-edited for this edition.

Read author Lisabet Sarai's guest post and excerpt here.

Free use image from Pixabay

Ornery Owl's Review

Five out of Five Stars

Like all of Lisabet Sarai's stories, this quick second-chance holiday romance sizzles. When Suzanne encounters her old high school flame Gino at her friend Helena's holiday party, it's obvious that the spark is still there. Suzanne agrees to a date at Gino's house and ends up snowed in with Gino and his more-than-a-housemate, painter Harris Steele.

I always enjoy the diversity of Lisabet's characters. When I read one of her stories, I know I'm not going to be stuck with the young porn-star types that all too often populate the erotica genre. Gino, Harris, and Suzanne are all in their middle years. Gino has a romantic and sexual history with both Suzanne, a type-A power player, and Harris, an introverted artist. He wants both of them, but can he make it work?

Lisabet's characters seem like real people interacting rather than predictable tropes reacting. The reader is invited to join Suzanne on her journey from a frustrated CEO who has lost her sense of adventure to a woman ready to explore life again in more ways than one. Suzanne initially isn't sure if she has much in common with the introverted Harris, but when a storm knocks out the power, she bonds with him in ways she never expected.

This hot story has both m/m and m/f erotic scenes that don't hold back on the heat. If you're looking for a sweet and spicy holiday tale filled with both hope and hot sex, pick this one. You'll be glad you did.

Buy Links

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About Lisabet

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genreparanormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Youll find information and excerpts from all Lisabets books on her website (, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. Shes also on GoodreadsPinterest, and Twitter. Join her VIP email list here:

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Juunyork Review #rabtbooktours

Biography, LGBTQ, Romance

Date Published: August 3, 2022

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

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The Final Chapter is a true story about a romance between a man, Brandon, who falls in love with a Brazilian social media influencer, Junior. The story begins on the first day they meet and follows them through the next eight months of their relationship. It ends with their final tragic day together.

Each month shows the progress of their journey and the role social media plays in their love. It outlines the current fashion of LGBTQ dating involving apps, open relationships, and the evolving meaning of exclusivity. Witness their passionate sexual experience, their romance, explosive outbreaks, and multiple vacations.

In their final months together, feel their love before a tragic accident destroys it.


Day 1

I wish I could say I met Junior at a store or a restaurant or we had some amazing occurrence where we locked eyes and had a cute awkward encounter, but that was not the case. I met Junior on an app that many of us know all too well in the gay world, “Grindr”. One night, I got a message from a very attractive Brazilian man and our sexual preferences seemed to be a good match. We began talking that night for a little bit, but unfortunately I had plans that evening and told this guy to please save me as a favorite and we would circle back. I went to sleep early that night once I got home and moved on to the next day as normal. I worked my normal 8-5 and messaged a few other guys throughout the day on this app. As the evening approached, I had a friend’s birthday dinner to celebrate. I never knew that evening, I would be meeting someone who I would fall desperately in love with. However, I would have to go through a few twists and turns before this encounter occurred.

I wrapped up my day at 5:00 o’clock and was planning to celebrate somewhat of a new friend’s birthday. The event was occurring around 8:00 that evening. I went to the gym as normal after work and then took a shower and began getting dressed for the evening. I decided to check Grindr again and remembered the attractive Brazilian I was chatting with the night before. I reached out and asked how he was doing. He gave me a quick response. He would be in the Orlando area that evening but would have to go back home that night, which was about an hour away. I responded that I would like to see him tonight, but had a birthday party to attend first, but I would reach out to him that evening. He gave me a thumbs up or some type of quick response to let me know he understood.

I went to attend the birthday party that night. I began driving downtown, which is about 30 minutes away from me. About half way to the event, I realized I had forgotten my driver’s license at the gym and had to turn around and travel to the gym first. You will realize throughout this story, I am a bit forgetful and I stress myself out pretty routinely. I would love to say Junior helped me with this, but he was just as forgetful as me and lived his life without much organization or structure.

But anyways back to the birthday event. I finally made it to the club downtown that evening. I provided my ID that I finally had to the staff and entered the party. The party was a great time. I was able to meet a few people and have a few drinks. I posted a picture while at the event and tagged the location. Over the next hour, 2 or 3 guys that lived downtown had reached out to me from that photo asking if I wanted to link up that evening after my party. One was a prior fling that had lasted about 2 months. The other was a guy that I had experimented with prior as well. I know this does not put me in the best light and it makes me seem that I had hooked up with many people. However, the truth was I had been single for almost 2 years and I had met many guys in the Orlando area. As I went to the bathroom, I checked our favorite app and realized another gentleman that I had been talking to prior wanted to see what I was doing that night. I checked to see if the Brazilian had responded or sent any further messages, but he did not.

I ordered one final drink at the event. As you get to know me in this story more, you will not be surprised that I ordered the drink and then ended up spilling it a few minutes later when attempting to take a photo with some friends. At this time, I decided it was probably time for me to leave. I made my way to my car and continued entertaining messages from my social media and Grindr. As I got into my car, I decided to send another message to the cute Brazilian. If you have ever used these apps, you will realize, you typically do not send multiple messages in a row or you come off as that annoying person and you will quickly be blocked or deleted. I wrote a simple message “what are you up to”. I received a response pretty quick that he was in the area but pretty tired. I continued responding to some of the other guys, but something inside of me really wanted to meet this one. Physically, he was very much my type and I think that I liked that I had to chase him a bit. As I was heading home, we were chatting back and forth and he advised he would want to see me and I thought for sure he would be coming over. I finally made it home and took a shower and prepped for the event that he would be stopping by.

I do think it’s time to explain in the gay world, that it is typical we sometimes will hook up upon meeting each other on this app and typically we are using this app for sexual needs. I had put on a pair of gym shorts and something that was comfortable in order to meet this guy that I was excited to see. As I finished getting ready, I received a message that he was very tired and would need to go home. I was frustrated at this point and ended up sending one final current picture in hopes that he would come over. Needless to say, it was a bit of a sexual photo. He quickly responded that he was tired, but he now wanted to come over. He said he would be there in 20 minutes or so. I was excited, but I myself was getting a little bit tired as I had drank and also had work in the morning.

About 30 minutes later, I received a knock on the door. I opened the door and it was this man who had a very aggressive demeanor. I attempted to give him a hug, but it was a bit awkward. We both entered my room and immediately began connecting. I was shocked at our physical connection and his aggression in a way. He was very direct with what he wanted, but it was one of the most sensual experiences I had encountered in a long time. We were physical for almost an hour. He was so dominant and aggressive and that was something I found very attractive. He told me exactly what he wanted done to him and advised what positions he wanted me in for both his pleasure and mine. He was so giving sexually and did many things that were directed at pleasing me which I had not had someone do in a while. Most of the time, guys are more concerned at what is pleasurable to them, but do not focus on the other person involved. However, that was not the case this time. During this sexual encounter, he began kissing my neck and even my face. He would whisper things in my ear that we were very good sexual partners together and that he had not felt this good in a long time.

Before our encounter, we had described things that turned each other on. During this hour, we both continued doing these things to each other and it made the experience so sensual. Upon both of us climaxing, we laid together for about 15 minutes. We both cleaned up in the bathroom and made small talk that this was very fun and that it felt extremely good for the both of us. Unfortunately, again, in the gay world this is somewhat common. We normally will discuss how it was good and that we should meet again, but most of the time we move on with our lives with little response or communication.

As we exited the room, we walked through my living room and we were approaching the front door. I was planning to give him a small hug and let him know to reach out soon, but he stopped me and said, I want to know more about you. I was a little bit surprised and asked what he wanted to know. He said he just wants to talk and to get to know me more. At that time, it was almost midnight and I still had to work early in the morning. I advised him I was pretty tired and maybe we could catch up another day. He said he just wanted to talk for 10-15 minutes and then he would leave. I had never had a guy be so direct and was a bit surprised. We were nearing my kitchen and I said we could talk a little bit if that is what he would like to do. Trying to be clever and ensure this would not be an awkward situation, I advised him we could each ask 10 questions and we both had to answer the questions. I told him he could start. He first asked “What do you do for work?” I provided my answer to him and then asked him what he does. He smiled a little and said, I kind of have a weird profession, but I am trying to become a comedian. I made a joke that it sounded like he does not have a real job. He began laughing so hard and said he had never had anyone be so direct with him before. I smiled and said you were the one who wanted to talk and get to know me.

I then asked him “Where are you from?” He had told me he was from Brazil and then advised that he would take me soon since we have a pretty good connection. I made a joke that he was pretty cocky, but I liked it. I told him about being from the small town of Inverness, Florida. He laughed and told me he had never heard of that before, but since he was going to take me to Brazil, he would take a trip with me to Inverness. He could not pronounce it, and I had to explain how to say it several times. I then told him that the small town of Inverness hosts a pretty spectacular “Cooter Festival.” I had to explain to him it was a festival about turtles. Honestly, you just need to Google it to see for yourself. We could not stop laughing through these few minutes.

His next question was very direct. He asked about my past relationships. I was not prepared to go into my major heartbreak that I had, but did tell him about my prior marriage, which was significant in my life as well. I was with a man for 7 years and we were married for one. I told him I was a 26 year old divorced man. He said he was happy I had told him. It became pretty serious at that time and truthfully I was a bit surprised I was explaining this to a man I had just met a little over an hour ago. There were times I hid that information for weeks or months when talking with guys.

We then discussed our favorite foods, favorite color, favorite vacations, and continued talking for an hour I quickly forgot which question we were on and I was loving just talking to you and seeing your passion and smile as you told me things about you. As time progressed, it was almost 2:00 in the morning. We had not moved from my kitchen, where I was sitting on the countertop and you were still standing.

I had told you that I really liked talking with you, but I think it was time that you left because I had to be up soon for work. I went to give you a hug and say goodbye, but you told me that I needed to walk you to the door and give you a proper goodbye because that would mean I plan to see you again. I followed your direction and walked you to the door. I gave you a hug goodbye and you kissed me on the cheek and said that you would wait to see me again. As I went to sleep that night, I could not stop but ponder how unique this evening was.

Ornery Owl's Review

Four out of Five Stars

I enjoyed this heartfelt memoir about Brandon's connection with Junior. There was a passionate bond between them and they learned a lot from each other. Sadly, their time together was cut short when Junior was killed in a tragic accident. 

This book is forthright and powerful. Because of discussions of sex and a few instances of drug use, it is only appropriate for adult readers. The story takes the form of a series of letters to Junior as Brandon recalls their time together.

There is an unpolished feel to the text. This seems appropriate for the way the story is told because who would go through and meticulously edit a heartfelt letter to someone they wished they could speak to one more time? I appreciated the author's honesty in revealing a beautiful and painful connection that changed his life. 

If you enjoy reading memoirs that don't hold back, you will appreciate this book.

About the Author

Brandon McKinney is a twenty-seven-year-old currently pursuing his master's degree in global strategic communications. He obtained his bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Florida. He is a Florida native. He loves traveling, animals, and hopes to one day have a big family. In his spare time, he is active in many sports leagues in the Orlando area. This is his debut novel.


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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Sexy Saturday: Once Upon a Blizzard Excerpt and Guest Post


New Release!

Once Upon a Blizzard:

A Bisexual Holiday Romance

By Lisabet Sarai

Bisexual (MMF) holiday 🎄 erotic romance (5 flames)


14,800 words

Smashwords and Amazon KDP

ISBN (Smashwords): 9781005502300



#HolidayRomance #NewEngland #SecondChanceRomance #Bisexual #Blizzard #Voyeurism #HighSchoolSweetheart #SnowedIn #MMRomance


No electricity. No water. Plenty of heat.

Suzanne and Gino have a history going back to high school, but for more than a decade the workaholic CEO has been thousands of miles from her New England home town.

A mistletoe kiss at a Christmas party rekindles the old spark and Suzanne finds some things do indeed get better with age. When Gino rescues her from a blizzard, though, she discovers that she's not the only love in his life. Gino shares his bed and his colonial-era farm house with taciturn painter Harris Steele.

Snowed in with two lusty men who truly seem to care, she wonders why she’s so determined to return to her lonely West Coast life. Is there really a chance for a holiday happy ending?

Note: this book was previously published by Totally Entwined with the title Almost Home. It has been revised and re-edited for this edition.

PG Excerpt

The kiss caught her off guard.

One moment Suzanne was standing in the doorway to Helena’s den, scanning the occupants and wondering if she knew anyone at all at this party. The next moment someone twirled her around and fastened a pair of firm lips on hers. Out of instinct or habit, she closed her eyes. The darkness heightened her other senses. Powerful arms circled her body and pulled her against a fuzzy male chest. Her partner’s scent rose around her, a complex mix of soap and musk, evergreen and wood smoke. His tongue teased the seam where her lips met and she let him enter, her self-protective reflexes dulled by his warmth and the glass of merlot she’d downed on her arrival.

His mouth tasted of eggnog and candy canes, appropriately seasonal. He was delicious, in fact—not just his mouth but the quiet confidence of his probing tongue, the sculpted muscle she felt under his sweater, his bold hands wandering across her back to her buttocks. She hadn’t enjoyed a kiss like this in a long time.

She’d felt chilled and tense ever since her plane touched down in frigid Boston but now her muscles began to unknot. He was a miniature sun, melting her, turning her languid and dreamy. She clutched at his solid form and returned his kiss, trading heat for heat. Tropical colors paraded behind her eyelids—fuschia, lime, peach, and aqua—shimmering like the water in her pool back home. She even began to perspire, her long-sleeved velvet dress suddenly too warm for comfort.

He pulled her full hips against his lean ones. A tell-tale lump, wonderfully hard, pressed against her belly. Her panties and tights dampened, too.

Normally she would have resisted but stress and alcohol made her susceptible. She allowed the kiss to lengthen and deepen, sinking into the pure pleasure of it.

A smattering of applause brought her back to awareness. “Whoa there!” hooted one of the guests. “You two want some privacy?”

Suzanne broke away from the man who had ambushed her. “Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” Embarrassment added a sharp edge to her voice.

The dark haired man favored her with a grin. “Mistletoe,” he said, pointing upward. Sure enough, a cluster of green leaves and pale berries dangled from the door frame. He could scarcely contain his laughter.

That laugh. That voice. Something tickled Suzanne’s memory. “Gino!” she exclaimed, finally, chuckling herself. “I can’t believe it! Still acting like we’re in high school.”

I couldn’t resist, Suzy Q.” The old nickname made her blush. He hadn’t relinquished her hand. “In fact, if you don’t move, I’m very likely to kiss you again.”

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New England Nostalgia

For the past two decades I’ve resided in the tropics of Southeast Asia, but before we moved here, my husband and I lived in a rural town in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. The region offers fantastic natural beauty, wonderful local food, and a culture of easy-going individualism that suited us well. However, it also requires a certain level of fortitude from its inhabitants. One spends a significant amount of time and effort dealing with the environment: battling undergrowth, pulling weeds, raking leaves, shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, installing or removing storm windows and snow tires, checking the anti-freeze in the radiator and the oil in the furnace tank, storing summer clothing while exhuming winter garb and vice versa, catching and evicting mice and squirrels, and so on. Folks in the Pioneer Valley have to be tough.

New England winters are not as cold as some parts of the U.S., like Wisconsin or Minnesota, but they’re far less predictable. I can remember sixty degree weather on Christmas Eve in some years, temperatures below zero in others. Ice storms are a real menace; one year an ice-laded bough snapped off one of our trees and thoroughly crushed the roof of my car. Then there was the morning I skidded on a snowy road on my way to work and rammed into a tree, crumpling the front end like tin foil. Scary indeed.

No, New England was not for the faint of heart. After the easy life here in Asia, I can’t imagine ever going back.

Nevertheless, I have incredibly vivid memories of New England’s unique charms and I do find myself becoming nostalgic. One of the joys of being a writer that I can channel this nostalgia into my stories.

Once Upon a Blizzard draws heavily from my own experience. The farm house occupied by Gino and Harris is based on the home of our close neighbor (although they didn’t have a hot tub in their back yard). The crispness of the winter air, the clarity of the winter sky, the distant clank of the snow plows when they finally arrive – I’ve been there.

The strangely freeing experience of being snowed in, without electricity, heat or running water is something I remember well. It’s almost like a holiday. Time is suspended. You’re forced to let go. You’ll get dug out, eventually. You’re not that worried, because of course you’re prepared with wood for the fireplace, propane for the stove, candles and flash lights. That’s just how New Englanders are.

My heroine in Once Upon a Blizzard grew up in the Pioneer Valley, but she has been working in Silicon Valley for a decade. In writing this story I was rediscovering, with her, the special magic of New England.

About Lisabet

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genreparanormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Youll find information and excerpts from all Lisabets books on her website (, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. Shes also on Goodreads, Pinterest, and Twitter. Join her VIP email list here: