Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas In Italy - Part Three

A Roman Christmas

Welcome to Part Three of the Christmas in Italy trio that I’m doing this month! Once again, there is a video attached, a familiar song, but sung in Italian. If anyone wants to locate the other blogs in this set, just back-track a little, they're all here now! So, on to the holiday in Italia...

Picture Rome at Christmas, and what it would mean to spend the holiday there… the crowds at St. Peter's for Midnight Mass, the chance to see the countless churches with their presepi (Nativity scenes), and perhaps some of the world-famous monuments glimmering under holiday lights. Then there is the festive Christmas market in Piazza Navona.

A walk through Campo dei Fiori toward the piazza brings you into a colourful holiday wonderland. It is, I am told, an incredible sight, with stands and stalls covered in thousands of lights, and offering Christmas candy, small games, and toys such as stuffed reindeer-being sold by Santas! The scene brings back that almost child-like sense of wonder that we all used to feel around the holidays.

Rarely is Christmas cold in the sense that North Americans understand cold, but occasionally there is a cool Winter. The Italian Press tends to refer to such events as Natale Polare or “Polar Christmas”.

For Italians, Christmas represents family… and food. (Shocked, aren’t you? J) And, while the shops are full of wonderful gifts, there is far less emphasis on the commercial aspect of Christmas than in other places. The streets and shops of Rome are crowded on Christmas Eve–but the shoppers' arms aren't full of shopping bags with the latest clothes or toys, they are loaded down with the foods of the season–fresh fish as well as sweets like panettone, pandoro and torrone.

Also, the decorations don't go up very early… usually only a week or so before Christmas because they stay up until the Epiphany on January 6th.

One of the joys of shopping in Italy is the great attention the shopkeepers pay to each purchase and especially at Christmas. Whether you choose a gift that costs a small fortune or something as simple as a pastry to enjoy yourself, your purchase is given loving attention and treated with care. There is a magic that is purely Italian in every breath you take while in Italy, but it is never more in evidence than during this Holy holiday.

If you have the pleasure of spending the Holiday in Rome, rest assured you will not need to struggle with tradition – a visit to many restaurants will ensure that you will be treated to a purely Italian holiday meal. The owner will often tell tourists to close the menus and will then serve the meal that every visitor has dreamed about... usually ending it with a slice from a giant panettone, the traditional cake that originated in Milan and is served throughout the holidays; it's a bit like fruit cake, only much better!

Buon Natale!

Special thanks to the following sites and people for their help in preparing my Christmas Posts: News From Italy, The Italian Notebook, Dream of Italy, and my wonderful friend Stefano Testatonda.

Monday, December 21, 2009


The romance community has long had a reputation for being loving, generous, and supportive of charity, so I hope you'll all take a moment to read this, and to make a small donation that will help benefit children, this is about the KIDS HELP PHONE - an organization that helps kids in need by giving them a safe and accessible place to turn to when they're in trouble. One of Canada's best musicians has not only opened his kind and giving heart to this cause, he's opening up his home - on CHRISTMAS DAY - and giving a special benefit performance from his own living room... Time is getting short, but if you can spare a few dollars, you will not only make a difference, you will receive a very great gift back in this special show.... The details are here, and I really hope you'll consider doing this, and spreading the word to as many people as you possibly can between now and Christmas Day....

Thanks so much, and here are the details and the links, and the whole idea from Mr. Dusk himself:

On December 25th at 4PM (EST), Matt is giving you the unique opportunity to watch an intimate online performance of your favourite Christmas carols and songs from his albums. All proceeds will be going directly to Kids Help Phone. To be a part of this special event, visit to donate and help make a difference in the lives of these kids today.

December 25th at 4PM (EST)

Canadian and Juno Award Nominee Matt Dusk is a singer, songwriter, producer, arranger and fervent jazz-pop musicologist blessed with the perfect name ... for his spirit truly comes out as night approaches and concert audiences await.

In the spirit of giving, Matt Dusk is asking you to make these Twelve Days of Christmas special by donating to Kids Help Phone. In return, he will be giving you an intimate online performance!

On December 25th at 4PM (EST) Matt will be singing a collection of Christmas carols and songs from his albums to those who make a donation. The best part is you have the chance to be the musical director of his show by voting for the songs he performs!

To be a part of this special event, please DONATE NOW.

Upon receipt of your donation, a special link will be sent to you with:

an insider’s view of the venue
a voting feature (you choose the songs!)
exclusive access to the video of his intimate performance
ongoing access to the video at any time after 4PM on December 25th.

What better way to spend the Holidays with your family and friends than by enjoying the smooth sounds of Matt Dusk, all for a great cause! Don’t miss out on this special event. Your donations help Kids Help Phone provide the immediate help and hope that our kids need and deserve.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Terrarossa - Emanuele Dabbono

Click on the banner to vote for this wonderful song.... you will see a row of stars under the player, just click on the last star and you will see "grazie" appear - your vote is counted. Emanuele Dabbono is an incredible singer, and this is an important selection. He is a friend, and a special one, if you have ten seconds, please do this for us. Thank you, from my heart and his....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas In Italy - Part Two

The Language and Customs of
The Italian Holiday Season

Welcome to Part Two of the Christmas in Italy trio that I’m doing this month! Once again, there is a video attached, a slightly different one to the last post, this time the singers are Italian, but they are singing in English. If anyone wants to locate the other blogs in this set, feel free to drop me a quick note, or come by my personal blog and I’ll leave the links there! So, on to the holiday in Italia...

You can find bigger Christmas trees (alberi di Natale) and more extravagant decorations (decorazioni) in other parts of the world, but nothing looks, tastes, feels or sounds like la stagione natalizia (Christmas season) in Italy. With roots in the “Saturnalia,” the winter solstice rites of ancient Rome, and Christian commemorations of the birth of Gesù Bambino (Baby Jesus), the Italian holidays blend religious and pagan festivities that light up the darkest of nights.

In Rome and much of southern Italy, the traditional sound of Christmas is the music of bagpipes and flutes played by shepherds from the region of Abruzzo. Zampognari (bagpipe players), wearing shaggy sheepskin vests, felt hats and crisscrossed leather leggings, used to come to Rome weeks before Christmas to play in churches. These days the shepherds arrive later and play their ancient instruments in front of elegant stores along the Via Condotti and other shopping streets near the Spanish Steps.

Festivities such as fairs and torchlight processions begin weeks before and continue weeks after December 25.

The Tastes of Christmas

When Italians are asked what they do most during the Christmas holidays, they invariably say, “Mangiamo” (we eat) – very often and very well, with a huge feast on Christmas Eve, il pranzo di Natale at mid-day on Christmas, and il cenone di capodanno, another elaborate dinner on New Year’s Eve. In some regions the Christmas feasts must have seven courses (for the seven sacraments); others serve nine (the trinity times three) or thirteen (for Jesus and his twelve disciples).

The centerpiece of the Christmas Eve dinner is fish, particularly eel, a favorite of the ancient Romans that appears in the earliest known cookbook, written by a gourmand known as Apicius. This symbol of life and immortality was traditionally sold alive and wiggling, then beheaded, chopped and dropped into boiling water, spit-roasted, grilled, stewed with white wine and peas, or pickled in vinegar, oil, bay leaves, rosemary and cloves.

The Christmas day feast usually starts with a rich pasta, such as cappelletti in brodo, little hats stuffed with chopped meats, cheese, eggs or pumpkin. By tradition everyone is supposed to eat at least a dozen. Depending on the region of Italy, the main course may be capon, pork or turkey. However, everyone saves room for the special dolci (sweets) and breads of Christmas.

Buon Natale!

Special thanks to the following sites and people for their help in preparing my Christmas Posts: News From Italy, The Italian Notebook, Dream of Italy, and my wonderful friend Stefano Testatonda.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



I confess. I read my horoscope. Addicted, I search it for insights, like a metal detector scouring a playground for shiny dimes. So I was exuberant when I found this treasure the other morning.

“Organization is the key,” my horoscope said. “Take the time to preview your day before it happens, anticipating possible obstacles, so you can be prepared with all you need.”

Wow. It made me sit back, like that moment a decade ago when I realized that meals would be easier if I bought the ingredients ahead of time.

Maybe life would be simpler if I imagined what would get in the way and stocked up an arsenal.

I read the horoscope to my husband, who is also an Aquarius. “Let’s preview our day,” I told him, “and anticipate what could go wrong.”

“Based on past experience?” he asked.

“Sure,” I said, grabbing our calendars. It was a Saturday.

“You have a haircut at 10 and a doctor’s appointment at 11. You’re working on some computer project in the afternoon, and we have company coming for dinner. I’m meeting a friend for coffee at 9, buying groceries, visiting my mother, writing in the afternoon, getting ready for company. A pretty easy day. What could possibly go wrong?”

“Probably the garbage disposal,” he said. It’s true. We haven’t had company come once in the last 12 years when the garbage disposal hasn’t backed up.

“That’s just because I clean out the refrigerator for company in case I’d need to open the door while they’re here. I’ll skip it this time.”

“Or possibly another leak,” he added

“Freak accident,” I told him. “What are the odds we’d have two massive leaks in three weeks with a nearly new house?”

“What were the odds the first time?”

I had to admit the prospect of dodging another geyser from under the kitchen sink made me nervous, especially since we’d just repaired the basement ceiling from the last time and the kitchen floor looked like a washboard.

“This time, I’ll slide a cake pan under the sink and wear rubber-soled shoes. I’d have probably crawled under the sink sooner if I wasn’t worried about electrocuting myself. Of course, my mother may still lose her purse.”

Purse-o-mania is always possible. Natty at 90, my mom still attempts fashion feats that I decided years ago were beyond me. Like changing purses. She wears white after Memorial Day, navy after Labor Day, a red Vera Bradley bag for casual, fun occasions, a black one for somber ones. All this means finding the bags, dumping the contents and losing something in the shuffle.

“Help! I can’t find my purse!” she’ll cry, and off I’ll go to her assisted living apartment on a search-and-rescue mission. Unfortunately, social occasions tend to bring on these attacks. Last time was the afternoon of her grandson’s wedding, when we were already late from the tornado warning.

“No problem,” I told my husband. “We simply won’t answer the phone.”

Of course we both knew that would never work. What if it was a call that her nitroglycerin was in the missing purse? Or a call from our daughter for her frequent flyer number because she needs to book the last ticket to San Diego to work on an organic farm? (What???) Or a call from our middle son, who’s lost his way visiting a friend in Killbuck, Ohio and needs us to Google him back to the main road?

It is small consolation that all their likely requests would be completely aligned with their horoscopes. My mom (Libra) was to “Say what you want to happen, with whom, how and when.” Our daughter (Taurus) was to “listen to your instinct rather than having to hear another, perhaps misguided, person giving you suggestions.” And Lost-in-Killbuck (Cancer) was simply operating “like an artist, creating a masterpiece of personal connection.”

As for my husband and me, that shiny dime I found turned out to be a grungy old pop-top. From now on, we’re switching to Aries: “To keep your routine from becoming a restriction, leave room for surprises, creativity and the possibility of changing your mind.”

It’s our best hope.

Pat Snyder is a recovering lawyer and mother of three from Columbus, OH, whose new book, The Dog Ate My Planner: Tales and Tips from an Overbooked Life, includes the horoscope story and other light takes on the too-busy life. Find her online at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Busy, busy... TWO things...

OK, I need a favor - nothing major - just read this and take a moment to vote? This is a special friend - and he is fabulous!! You know him (well, you've probably heard me babbling about him anyway, right?) - EMANUELE DABBONO!!

THANKS so much. This is directly from Emma himself:

The song is "IO RIMANGO MIO" - it's in the final part of selections for the most important contest in Italy (maybe in Europe): Festival di Sanremo.

You can listen to the song and tell it as many friends as possible. There is nothing to do except to listen and maybe vote if you liked it or not.

The link is:


then click on Sanremo Nuova Generazione
and go to page 9, TERRAROSSA "IO RIMANGO MIO"

See - easy. PLEASE DO THIS??

OK, since the entire page is in Italian... I'll add this....

Voting is easy - click on the song, and a bar appears under the player... it has a row of stars.... click on the last of that row of stars and you will see a message pop up - it's thanking you for your vote.... you're done!


And: MY Schedule for today and tomorrow:

Today Interview:

Blogging with Laurie D.:

Tomorrow: (December 16th)

ALL day chat at Whipped Cream group:

Christmas In Italy - Part Two:

MY blog guest: Pat Snyder, here at Fantasy Pages!

So, let's have some fun!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas In Italy - Part One

I’ve decided to blog about the Holiday, in my favourite place in this world.... Italy. Since it’s generally considered the heart of Christianity, what better time to look at how the most Holy of holidays is celebrated there? I have three blogs to do this month, and I’ve decided to make this a three-part look into Christmas in Italy, so I hope you’ll stay with me! I’ve also made a lovely video, with the help of a friend in Italy, the music you’ll recognize, the language is of course the lyrical and beautiful Italian...

In Italy, the holidays are steeped with the spirit of celebration and reverence for which Italians are famous. 98% of Italians are Catholic, and as the holidays approach, it may seem like the entire country is in eager preparation. The thing that makes it really unique is although rituals are somewhat similar throughout the country, they vary from region to region as well as house to house. Food plays a central role in each.

The Christmas season begins with the national holiday on December 8, marking the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Churches all over the country unveil their presepi, (elaborate nativity scenes). Hundreds of presepi can be seen in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo and a life-size nativity scene resides for the season in St. Peter’s Square. The tradition of displaying mangers originated in the 13th century when St. Francis of Assisi erected the first manger in Greccio. Other noteworthy presepi are on show in the Museum of St. Martino and Church of St. Chiara, both in Naples, and the King’s Palace in Caserta (Campania).

On the streets of Rome, one of the most festive places to experience Italian Christmas traditions, zampognari, (shepherds from the Abruzzo region), dress in native costumes and play Christmas tunes on their bagpipes. The Piazza Navona transforms into a giant Christmas fair with booths selling candy, toys, gifts and roasted nuts. Lights and music flow through the square.

Twinkling lights, red ribbons, Christmas trees (Italians started putting them up after World War II) and the likeness of Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) begin to appear in storefronts and homes throughout Italy.

And, a tradition many would like to have, almost all employers give their employees la tredicesima, a Christmas bonus the equivalent of a 13th month of pay.

Christmas Eve

Italians eat very little on the day of Christmas Eve. They are preparing their stomachs for the massive meal to be consumed that night. The meal centers on fish, in the Catholic tradition to abstain from meat the night before a major holiday. La Vigilia di Natale (the vigil) is also called The Feast of the Seven Fishes. The origin of the “seven” is somewhat of a mystery. Some say it comes from the number of sacraments; others say it relates to the phase of the moon (seven days). Some families even serve 13 fish dishes, one for Jesus and one for each of the 12 apostles.

Popular offerings include linguini with clam sauce, spaghetti with mussels, grilled lobster, salt cod and shrimp. Romans traditionally eat capitone, a long, fat female eel that is grilled and seasoned. Families attend midnight mass together and return home for panettone (the dome-shaped fruit cake that originated in Milan) and Prosecco (sparkling wine).

Buon Natale!

Special thanks to the following sites and people for their help in preparing my Christmas Posts: News From Italy, The Italian Notebook, Dream of Italy, and my wonderful friend Stefano Testatonda.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Tina has picked the lucky winners from the many wonderful comments:


Colleen Love
Missy Martine
N.J. Walters
Kari Thomas


Heather G
Cherie J
Sherry Strode
Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Welcome The Romance Studio

Today it is my pleasure to hand over the blog to one of my favourite sites... The Romance Studio and wonderful Tina Pavlik... so, let's get to it...

What do you want to find under YOUR Christmas tree?

If you could have anything -- ANYTHING -- under your Christmas tree, what would it be?

I was thinking about that while ago and it was hard because there were a few things I thought up.

Money is always good -- but no fun. Nothing is open on the big day and you'd have to wait. Or shop online. While I LOVE to shop online, it's not the same. I guess that goes for gift cards. Still, that next shopping day is fun. And I like Sally's, Claire's, The Loft (Yeah, like I can afford to even walk in THAT place.) =)

A dude? Hmm, well as much as I really like Hugh Jackman and Viggo Mortensen, I've already got the perfect guy. SO no... (but if I were a single gal... LOL)

A new car? Guess you'd have to put the tree precariously on the hood or something. Eh... I have my dream vehicle. Jeep Cherokee Grand, fairly new model. It completes my image as "Adventure Mom." I don't know that you could top that...

The latest video game console and a slew of games? Well... Did I mention I'm a recovering addict? Made up my own 12 step program and everything. Boy, it was hard making amends with those dudes from the DOOM series. LOL

Movies? Hmmm, that's a possibility. Love movies. That might work...

Still, this will require some thought. What would YOU ask for? Give me some ideas here. =)

I'll be giving away prizes to those who post -- for readers, authors too.

Talk to me!

Tina Pavlik
The Romance Studio ~ the romance genre today.

Monday, December 07, 2009

GUEST: Malana Ashlie

About Gringos in Paradise

Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey by Malana Ashlie is a delightfully amusing and lighthearted autobiography chronicling her move from Hawai’i to the Caribbean Coast of Honduras. When she and her husband decide to relocate to a more secluded paradise the fun begins. She shares the trials and triumphs of building a new life in Central America, in what can best be described as a spiritual journey of faith.

Of special appeal to the swelling ranks of expat retirees in Mexico and Central America (over one million strong, according to 2005 census estimates), Gringos in Paradise shares the adventures — and misadventures — two retirees face as they set off to the Caribbean coast of Honduras in search of financial freedom, personal fulfillment, and peace.

Malana Ashlie:

Just over thirty years ago I was given an intuitive reading as a birthday gift. The reader of runes told me that she saw papers all around me and asked if I was a student or a writer. Since I had dragged myself through school and deplored any form of script my response was a resounding “NO WAY!”. I was known to refuse gifts rather than write a thank you note. At the time I was a busy wife, mother of three and a horticultural entrepreneur. I immediately threw all credibility related to psychics out the window.

My elementary school librarian was the influence that saved me from myself by introducing me to books about animals. I read about the wild Chincoteague Ponies that inhabited islands not far from my Annapolis home. Black Beauty aroused my first curiosity of faraway places but it was when my interest expanded from hooves to paws that I moved into the world of adult reading. I discovered “White Fang” and the rest of the Jack London series. They planted the seeds of adventure in my soul.

Along with the librarian’s dedication was the pressure of having a teacher for a mother. My mother loved words; I found writing and composition B-O-R-E-I-N-G. However pressure from each of these women finally wore down my rebellious resistance. I’m sure that Mom’s steady influence and chronic correcting saved my grades in grammar and English.

The fifteen years that followed the psychic reading were filled with numerous life events that altered my philosophy and direction for life. My horticultural experience introduced me to medicinal herbs. I began the study of natural healing and earned a degree as a doctor of naturopathy. My husband and I began a monthly natural health newsletter which we still offer on-line. Later I was asked to write articles on health and healing for a local monthly publication. But these were all short (1,300-1.500) word articles. The first writing of any size was my thesis and dissertation. They were the hardest projects I had ever faced yet they helped dispel the negative belief system I had formed around writing as well as psychics.

Writing “Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey” was an adventure in its own rite. It was the first non-clinical piece that I had attempted and was by far the most fun. It was an exciting challenge to find words that could draw readers into the emotional roller of our transitional experience. I wanted others to experience the alternating waves of near-panic to exhilaration. Who would have ever thought that writing could be so much fun?

About the AuthorMalana Ashlie holds degrees in naturopathy, herbal sciences, subtle energy as well as a PhD in Metaphysics. Those studies along with tutelage from traditional Elders has given her insight that she offers in her consultations, articles on health and spiritual growth, workshops and through her independent study program; Dynamics of Healing and Happiness. Outside of the time she teaches workshops and retreats she enjoys her home along the sunny coast of Honduras.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Meet Sapphire Phalen

Today my guest is author Sapphire Phelan. I hope you'll enjoy her very fun interview... and this very cool book!! Welcome, Sapphire...

1) -Please tell us about your latest book.
Being Familiar With a Witch is an erotic urban fantasy about a mortal woman who finds she has the ability to become a Witch, but only if she allows a demon Familiar coded to her DNA to make love with her to let loose her witchy powers. If she doesn’t, well, she might die along with Earth and Heaven, as a demonic army is about to unleash Armageddon.

2) -What can we expect from you in the future?
My next story, Ain’t Nothin’ Like Succubus Lovin’ is a humorous erotic paranormal romance to come out from Phaze Books Spring 2010. This one is a short story. I am working also on the sequel to Being Familiar With a Witch and the erotic male/male sequel to Beast Magic (this has wereleopards). Plus I did an erotic werewolf paranormal novel for Nanowritmo, that only has some more to be added to be done.

3) -How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
I do mostly paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Though I have done a historical romance story once set in medieval times and may do some sometime in the future. I have done historical fantasy romances before, too.

4) What motivated you to start writing in these genres?
Because I love reading them!

5) -What kind of research do you do?
Sometimes I look up the mythology of my beings, plus if in another era, there’s trying to be accurate with names and how they lived. And if I need to use a drug or something I know nothing about, then look it up, or call my doctor, etc…

6) -Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I like to write most times during the week, during the day. But I have written at night and on weekends when I have a deadline looming or need to get something done right then.

7) -Where do your ideas come from?
From my head. I might see something on TV or when out driving or walking, but most of the ideas come from my head.

8) -Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Nora Roberts, Victoria Holt, Madeleine L’Engle, Anne McCaffrey, both Bronte sisters, Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, JRR Tolkien, Jim Butcher, J K Rawlings, and many others, old and new.

9) -How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
Since I was eight-years old. I’ve always written stories and poems. *chuckle* My first novel was Howling in the Night, a gothic romance. I was in 7th grade. I wrote it long hand.

10) -What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Hearing from a reader that they enjoyed it. You can win awards and get super reviews from pro reviewers, but it’s the readers who have me continue to write. Thank you to my readers.

11) Among your own books, have you a favorite book?
Favorite hero or heroine? It’s hard to pick a book. It’s like asking a mother to pick a favorite child among her children. I admit I love Tina and Charun from Being Familiar With a Witch.

12) -Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I sew or make costumes and wear them at sci-fi conventions, do crafts, like to bake, read (of course!), exercise, watch movies at the theater or on DVDs, be with my husband, travel to interesting places and collect anything on dragons, Yoda from Star Wars, cats and wolves. On education: I’ve been to college twice—in El Cajon, California and few years ago in Petersburg, Virginia.

13) -Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Keep writing, writing and writing. And join a writer’s critique group. And read. I see writers say they don’t read much and yet, they’re writing books for people to read.

14) Tell us your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so the readers can find out more about you.

Go beyond the usual, instead take the unusual that stretches the boundaries and find romance with Sapphire Phelan's aliens, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and other supernatural/otherworldly heroes and heroines.

Finalist for EPIC AWARDS 2010:

From Phaze Books: the erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch:

Tina doesn't know she's a witch. It will take Charun, her demon Familiar, to convince her to make love with him and let loose her witch powers.

For if she doesn't, then with the demon army about to bring Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won't stand a chance in Hell.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Coming Soon from Hearts On Fire Books

Three stories, one kind of hero, pirates anyone? Includes the short stories Angel-Fire, Storm-Singer, and The Phantom’s Lair… Historical adventure, and the darker mystery of an ageless vampire who keeps a witch at his side, his protector and his lover through eternity

Angel-Fire: A short intro to the world of Captain Jack Stanton, an honourable man with a tarnished reputation. Stranded in Nassau, caught up in a pleasant interlude with a barmaid, Jack has a vision that will lead him to his past and his future, if he can survive to get back Tortuga to discover what it all means…

Storm-Singer: The Isle of Nyx has become the dread of all sailors who must dare the waters surrounding the mythical island. Local legends say a vampire prince resides in the ancient castle that can be seen from the harbor of the island. At his side is a powerful sorceress whose song can control and summon storms.

In a desperate attempt to end the eternal threat looming over them, the people of the Aurora Islands sacrifice their greatest treasure, the princess Sarita, entrusting her with the task of seducing and destroying the dark prince who has been plundering their wealth and their people for centuries?

The Phantom’s Lair: Upon her arrival in the pirate port of Tortuga where her father is acting as Governor, Katheryn Hollinsworth is determined to choose her own path, and follow her heart wherever it may take her. On the streets of Puerta de la Plata, she encounters the mythical buccaneer known as The Phantom, and very quickly loses her heart to the handsome rogue.

Jack Stanton is a man who has never fully come to terms with his past, and in the Governor's pretty daughter he finds a most unlikely champion. But when his past threatens her life, and any chance of a respectable future, The Phantom must face the demons of his past, and accept the dictates of his own reawakened heart...

Coming in 2010 from
Hearts On Fire Books

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Birthday Book Bash!!


December is my birthday month and I will be turning 35! (OMG didI just day that out loud?) Yikes!! So....I have decided tohave a huge Giveaway, 35 Books, 1 Winner! I am putting somefrom my own collection, (no crease in spine, excellent condition)BUT this is the catch.... Since it is the holiday season & itis all about giving, I want to know from all of you what booksYOU want! What's on your TBR & Wish lists? New Releases, whatare you dying to get your hands on (up until Jan 05 for newreleases!), or even something from one of your favorite authors'sbacklist. Even ebooks count!!!!


One entry per person!

You can enter TWO books (w/Authors name if you want them tocount) under each genre. You DO NOT have to enter two for each,just genres you are interested in (it won't count against you)....whatever YOU want!

If you win, you will get ALL your books you listed, PLUS 15 others from Authors who have generously donated signed copiesor e-books .... tons of swag for ONE winner!!!! ..... PLUS 10books from me personally!

This is what I need you to do.... Visit:, complete the form there, and that is it!

One winner will be chosen on Jan 01 via Good Luck to all!