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Monday, November 25, 2013

#BookBlast: Shoshanna Evers The Pulse

About the Author:

Critically-acclaimed author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories including Amazon Erotica Bestsellers Overheated, and Enslaved, Book 1 in the Enslaved Trilogy. Her work has been featured in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and Best Bondage Erotica 2013, the Penguin/Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy, and numerous erotic BDSM novellas including Chastity Belt and Punishing the Art Thief from Ellora's Cave Publishing.

The non-fiction anthology Shoshanna Evers edited and contributed to, How To Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors, is a #1 Bestseller in the Authorship, Erotica Writing Reference, and Romance Writing categories.

Her BDSM erotic romance The Enslaved Trilogy released in April 2013 from Simon & Schuster's Pocket Star imprint, followed by the Pulse Trilogy, a post-apocalyptic dystopian erotic romance releasing November 2013.

Shoshanna is a New York native who now lives with her family and two big dogs in Northern Idaho. She welcomes emails from readers and writers, and loves to interact on Twitter and Facebook.

Shoshanna will be awarding a $50 gift card for either Amazon or B&N to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Book One in the heart-pounding Pulse Trilogy—a gripping erotic romance set in post-apocalyptic New York City one year after an electromagnetic pulse destroys America’s power grid. "Intense, exciting, and sizzlingly sexy—a perfect post-apocalyptic romance!" (Heather Thurmeier, bestselling author of Escape to My Arms and Stuck on You)

Emily Rosen lives in a military camp at Grand Central Station, where women sell their bodies to soldiers for extra rations. When she discovers a dark secret—that America is rebuilding outside of New York City, and everything the city’s refugees have been told is a lie—she escapes, the soldiers hot on her heels…

But Christopher Mason, a convict who broke out of prison after the Pulse, finds Emily first. Although he’s survived this long on the streets by looking out only for himself, Emily is beautiful, alluring, and impossible to leave behind.

Now Emily must convince this intimidating, magnetic stranger to be her guide as they journey out of New York and into the unknown. She’ll barter with her body, but sex with Mason can never be currency—it’s pure passion, and everything she desires. Despite the crumbling world around them, can Emily and Mason discover true love blooming in the darkest of places? 

Excerpt :
Excerpt from The Pulse, Book 1 in the Pulse Trilogy by Shoshanna Evers
Copyright Shoshanna Evers 2013 Simon & Schuster Pocket Star, All Rights Reserved.

“Look at me,” Emily said soothingly. “I need to see your pupils.”

She peered into his eyes. In a perfect world, she’d shine a flashlight in them, but there were no flashlights. The only light she had now streamed in through the dirty glass panes of the windows.

Man, he was good-looking. Too good-looking. And large.

Mason leaned forward on the cot and grabbed her wrists. “It’s you,” he said groggily.

 “I’m Emily, I’m taking care of you,” she said gently. “I’m going to clean your wound. It may hurt.”

“I remember you. I saw you that day, when they picked you up. When you got brought in.”

Emily looked at him in horror. He was from the camp, he had to be. She shrank away from him, feeling her heart race. The washrag hung limply from her hand.

Focus, don’t be blinded by fear.

“I remember you. When they took you away, it was me, hiding behind the cab,” Mason said, staring intently into her eyes. “Are you okay?”

She remembered him now, the man who held his finger to his lips. At the time she had assumed he was hiding from the soldiers, just like she had been.

Like she was now.

“You—you’re not one of them?” she asked, hating how weak and scared she sounded.

“No. I’ve got my reasons to hide from the law. Like you, I imagine.”

She laughed, a dry barking sound. “Not like my reason.”

Quickly, she quieted herself. The less he knew about her hidden radio, the safer for both of them.

“Are you . . . Why are you hiding, Mason?” She had to know, as much as she didn’t want to. He was the only man around she could possibly trust—if he truly had nothing to do with the soldiers.

As much as she wanted to make it on her own, it didn’t hurt to know who her friends were—and her enemies.

Suddenly, he looked at her suspiciously. “I should never have told you my name.”

“I’m sorry,” Emily whispered. “I saw the tattoo, on your arm. I thought maybe you had been in prison.”

“Do you know what they do to prisoners now, Emily?”

Emily looked at him and cocked her head. “My understanding is they let all the petty criminals go. The ones who were murderers, rapists, pedophiles and psychos they . . . they shot them. Killed them all so they wouldn’t take up valuable resources.”

“They kill prisoners, huh?” Mason said, staring at her intently, holding her wrists. “So what makes you think I want you spreading rumors about me being in prison?”

“I won’t tell anyone. Not a soul.”

He dropped his hands then, as if suddenly realizing what he was doing. “There’re no computers to track me. No fingerprint files. I’m a blank slate now, and I intend to start over.”

“What did you do?” she whispered.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. “And that’s all you need to know. Understand?”

“Okay,” she said softly, and picked up the rag to finish cleaning his wound, grateful to have a task to keep her focused. He wouldn’t need stitches, but she’d have to check him every fifteen minutes or so for a while to make sure he wasn’t suffering from a brain injury.

Not that she could do anything for him if he was. If his head injury was truly serious, then he would just go to sleep and die. She wasn’t about to do brain surgery. She couldn’t even if she knew how.

His T-shirt was saturated with blood—scalps tend to bleed a lot. “Can you . . . take off your shirt?” she asked tentatively.

“You don’t have to do this,” he said. His face looked flushed, a deep pink coloring his previously pale cheeks. “I’m not—I don’t expect you to—”

She took a step back. “No! That’s not what I meant. I just—your shirt is ruined. Bloody. I can wash it.”

He turned his face from her for a moment as if trying to compose himself.

“Where you gonna wash it?” he asked as he pulled the filthy shirt over his shoulders.

She glimpsed tight abdominal muscles and an incredibly large, smooth chest before the shirt came completely off . He had a sprinkling of crinkly dark hair leading down around his navel, trailing into the waistband of his cargo pants.

Emily sighed. “I don’t know. But I bet one of the shirts I took with me from Grand Central will fit. Might be a bit tight,” she acknowledged as she ruffled through a worn backpack. “Here.”

It was definitely too small, outlining all of his muscles in stark relief.

Where to Buy:
Barnes and Noble

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Recipe: Apple-Walnut Galette

With Thanksgiving next week, I thought I'd post a scrumptious Thanksgiving desert. And if you don't do Thanksgiving, the dessert is still scrumptious! I've included the Food Network's recipe for the dough. I did not make the dough. I bought it. Who has time to make both the dough AND the pie?

For the Dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg

For the Filling:
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 Golden Delicious or other firm baking apples (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 cup apricot preserves
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Position racks in the middle and lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Make the dough: Pulse the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon ice water in a bowl, then add to the processor and pulse once or twice. (Stop before the dough gathers into a ball.) Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack until golden, 7 to 8 minutes; let cool. Process the nuts, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the egg, 1 tablespoon butter, the vanilla and salt in a clean food processor to make a creamy paste.

Line a flat baking sheet (or an upside-down rimmed one) with parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, then unroll onto the parchment. Spread the walnut filling over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border around the edges. Chill while you prepare the apples.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Peel, core and halve the apples, then cut each half into 8 wedges. Arrange over the filling in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping. Fold the edges of the dough inward, pleating it. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons butter.

Bake the galette on the middle oven rack until golden, 40 to 45 minutes. (Put a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drips.) Cool on a rack. Whisk 1 tablespoon water and the preserves in a bowl. Strain, then brush over the apples. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#Review Doctor Who Series 6 #SaveTheDay

The Eleventh Doctor is certifiable. Definitely crazy. I like it, but it's such a change from the previous seasons and the flow inherent in them, that I don't feel there's a connection. It's disconcerting. I don't like it. Overall it felt as if this series was a race with bad crashes and a few stellar moments. With still that same disconnect I felt in Series 5.

I loved the Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, it touched on the Doctor's past without recapping too much and showed the depth of pain he carries as well as the acting talent of Matt Smith. Kudos there!

And the overall arc with River's origins and the whole past/present thing is really good. I like the Silence, even if the connection between episodes isn't always obvious (which is fine) or coherent (which is not). I get the feeling Steven Moffat has fantastic far reaching ideas but can't quite get there story-wise. But the time travel aspect is really cool and works well with River.

Also the fine line between human and what may be if given a chance. Or what's sentient and what evolves. And those two reasons are why I watch science fiction and the reasons I enjoy it so much. As always, I can do with less Rory and Amy, but I forebear despite the repeated attempts to bang over my head how much they're in love and how they'd wait for each other and on and on. I get it.

My favorite episode of this series was The Doctor's Wife. It may have had that same frantic, mad race around the story of the week but the emotion, the bond, the love so present was touching. Absolutely adored it!

Plus the return of Craig. I don't know why, but I love Craig and his story! It makes me laugh and the Doctor is so different around it. Can't put my finger on why or how, but the 2 episodes with Craig were among my favorites.

I'm still a little confused as to why the Doctor had to marry River. I don't object, just am curious. It didn't seem to serve a purpose other than to provide a physical closeness for the pair of them so she'd understand what was truly happening. Did I miss something? (Hopefully!)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Recipe: King Crab Appetizers

Getting ready for the holiday season? I'll give you a moment to get used to this being the holiday season already. I know, it's so so much easier to simply buy them but this way you know what's in them and can add or subtract depending on allergies and preferences. Plus I prefer making my own to trusting someone else. King Crab Appetizers aren't the easiest recipe and they're messy but worth it in the end!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 12
2 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated
biscuit dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch paprika
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 tartlet pans.
2. Divide rolls in half and press into the prepared tartlet pans. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, crab, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, green onions and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon 1 teaspoon of mixture into tarts and garnish with paprika.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown. These freeze wonderfully. Just reheat before serving.

Monday, November 11, 2013

#Review Doctor Who Series 5 #SaveTheDay

It didn't take me long to warm up to Matt Smith, but I'm thinking that had more to do with his phenomenal acting than the writing in the first few episodes. Not their best. By far not the best.

Sure, the Doctor is a pro at running, but this season feels more like a Let's skip any and all character development, character memory, or future characterizations and hop around like a loon.

Yes, yes, different feel to the entire series, but then Steven Moffat is at the helm now. Different writer/producer, different flavor. I miss the old flavor.

Still, I feel there's something distinctly lacking in this particular series. I love the overall arc with River Song and the banter between the Doctor and River is fantastic, but there's still something off. Something that keeps me disconnected.

It took me 4 days to get through Hungry Earth and Cold Blood. Four days! I watch 3-5 episodes at a time in my mission to finish all 7 series (and every single special) before November 23's 50th Anniversary special. Four days for 2 episodes is way too long.

And frankly I didn't pay all that much attention to the Van Gogh episode. It's Vincent van Gogh (played by the amazing Tony Curran with guest-guest star Bill Nighy) for crying out loud and I didn't care! What was his purpose? For the Doctor and Amy to show him that whole madness is only depression and you're a genius? There was no connection, despite the theme that carried through from the previous famous-person guest stars.

I've watched Charles Dickens (a lonely and broken man who reclaimed his zest for life), Queen Victoria (an arrogant queen who required and demanded help but did more to change the future of Doctor Who than any other), William Shakespeare (a pompous fool with a wicked mind and maybe a will to change), and Agatha Christie (a lonely woman with no self-confidence who was shown to be the brilliant deducer of mystery we think of her as) and in each of those enjoyed the overall episode as well as the individual sparks and quirks that made up the Doctor and his companion and their quest to solve an alien mystery.

Why am I so ambivalent to this series? Why do I not care? Why do I feel as if I'm watching this to get through it in the hopes Series 6 is better?

Could be Amy. (No offense to Karen Gillan.)

There's nothing about her that screams I'm a worthy companion for the Doctor. Nothing. Since I couldn't put my finger on exactly why I wanted Amy to die a horrible and painful death several times over, I thought it was me. There was no transition from the 10th Doctor to the 11th as there was from the 9th to the 10th, no continuity, not even a vague mention of the previous seasons.

No Doctor screaming pain from the Daleks who always come back and pop up everywhere, only the seemingly burning question of why Amy didn't remember them. Really? That's the burning question? Not the I killed my people to stop the Daleks and they've returned? I lost friends and companions and people I love to them? Not how the hell did they survive again?

Nothing. There's not even a brief mention of anything from any of his previous incarnations (let alone the most recent 2) until Vincent and the Doctor when the TARDIS prints out a list of the Doctors starting with the first.

I admit, I didn't (and don't) like that, but there's more to it. More to my nearly instant and total dislike of Amy. And what's a girl to do but search online for why I hate Amy Pond? Surely others (who have watched the show first run and had more time to process this) have answers!

Yup. Lots of answers. There's talk of sexism, of one-dimensional characterization, of Amy supposedly being the 'pretty' companion, prettier than others (which I adamantly disagree with!), etc. I think my favorite paragraph out of all I've read is this one from SPARK Movement:
It is also sad that I can’t describe to you how much Amy plays the role of damsel in distress, or how often she’s blamed for problems not of her making.  Not to mention how much she is sold to viewers because she is more “beautiful” than other companions. But I digress; there are other important topics to discuss.

Steven Moffat, the current writer for Doctor Who, calls Amy a ‘fierce’ girl. Amy speaks her mind, looks good, and is bold, but, when Doctor Who plotlines are examined, Amy is only superficially fierce. Amy wants adventure and enjoys it, but she is portrayed as needing the Doctor to find it for her and to save her from any difficulties. She seems to need the Doctor to awaken her ‘fierce’ qualities, reinforcing the idea that a woman must depend on a man to bring out the interesting parts of her character. Amy is, in reality, a damsel-in-distress rather than a ‘fierce’ heroine.

Overall, I had a very difficult time getting through series 5 (or series 6 if we're counting the David Tennant Specials as a separate season). It was all jumbled with more contained episodes that had very little to do with characterization than all previous series combined.

As I said, I did enjoy River Song, she's got enough character to make up for the lack of it from both Any (and Rory who I find so inept and utterly forgettable and is it any wonder Amy forgot him?) and the Doctor. Plus she makes me laugh. The Lodger was funny in a I've forgotten every single moment of my previous lives way and The Pandorica Opens featured River again so automatically made it excellent. I say automatically, but it really was excellent on its own terms.

Like really excellent in a WOW this is why I love science fiction and Doctor Who way. Even if the 2nd part Big Bang ruined every fantastic, wonderful point Pandorica Opens made. I can't even begin to describe the continuity issues, plot creators, and paradoxes inherent in that finale.

Onto Series 6 where I understand it to be a "timey-wimey, headache inducing, I must watch this again before the 50th Anniversary and hope it makes sense". This is a quote from my cousin. I promised I'd watch Series 6 with her so we could discuss, analyze, dissect, and hope for the best!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cover Reveal: Bring on the Heat

Cover Reveal ~ Bring On the Heat
Bring On the Heat
A scorching collection from ten of today's hottest authors

Title: Bring On the Heat
Genre: Erotic romance
Length: Approx 263k words
Release date: January 6, 2014

Boxed Set:
Eden Bradley: Breaking Skye
Cassandra Carr: Caught
Stephanie Julian: An Indecent Proposition Part I
Amber Kallyn: Burned
Keira Kohl: Laundry day
Adriana Kraft: Cherry Tune-Up
Emma Lai: Riding Romeo
Anh Leod: Clockwork Captive
Ann Mayburn: First Kiss
Cari Quinn: Jingle Ball