Friday, January 31, 2014

My Sexy Saturday post for My Sexy Saturday Bloghop

The following is a subtly sexy, seven paragraph snippet from my latest installment, UNION, book 3 of my interracial/paranormal romance series, The Felig Chronicles (P. J. DEAN, author). The series introduces and follows Nate Lowe and Tina Cain's stormy, enduring love story as they strike back against alien invaders, the human -consuming Felig. Check out their tale from book one until now at my publisher eXtasy Books (direct download available for Kindle)  or at sellers of all ebooks. Also visit my website,

 I am part of My Sexy Saturday, a blog hop hosted by Lynn Crain. Please read all of the participants' blogs and links at

"I suppose we need a moratorium." He kissed the top of her head. "We need to have clear heads to form crucial decisions."

"Yeah, we do need clear heads. We have to discover if we have staying power as a unit above and beyond monster slaying and sex." She hoped that they did, but that bonding thing…

"We will always be the very best of friends, no matter what." He released her and held her by the shoulders as he suggested, "T, we need to get off these grounds for a while, a few hours at least. Go out on the town. Get re-acquainted. We have to live even in the face of destruction." He was willing to do anything not to lose her.

Nate relinquished his hold. Tina stood ramrod straight, took off her gloves and shoved her right hand at him.

"I don’t think we were ever properly introduced. I’m Faustina Marie Cain of Philadelphia, now of New York state. And who would you be?"

"I am Nathaniel David Lowe of Boca Point, now of New York state, too." He flashed the pearly whites, took off his glove, and shook her hand. He held it firmly for more beats than necessary. "We have a date night?"

Tina placed her other hand on top of their clasped ones. "We do."


Tomorrow starts that yearly celebration in the States called, "Black History Month." Or as I call it, "Give 'em the coldest, shortest month in the calendar so they'll shut up" celebration. And since those 28 precious days are devoted to all that is African-American, Black (choose your word), that's what you're going to get. Some entries will be interesting. Some entries will be enlightening. Some entries will make you wanna holla! Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

New types of romance characters or "Haven't I seen that Navy SEAL before?"

Just a few thoughts on the current crop of heroes in romance today. Well actually, erotic/new adult, fill-in-the-blank romance heroes. Please, please tell me why are all the men from the land of Alpha Galore 7? Every freakin' one has the chiseled abs of death, is an insanely handsome, active or retired, Navy SEAL or a gruff cop who's been a Navy SEAL or a billionaire/bartender Navy SEAL or a fireman/Navy SEAL or a Mixed Martial Artist/Navy SEAL or a motorcycle club member/Navy SEAL and they ALL are lonely DOMS who own or frequent BDSM clubs. The only thing missing is for someone to write a book where the hero is a combination of all of them. Now that would be a challenge! My question? Where are the insanely handsome janitors and grocery store clerks and unemployed guys whose abs are just OK? Just askin’.

Curiously the same types rule in Male/Male romance too. Perhaps it’s easier to keep the hero a specific stereotype, then you can switch out the characters as needed. Just like M/F romance, tons of M/M is written by women for women. So it might not be too much of a stretch. Hunky guys are prime story material for all genders. But in the current crop of M/M romance, the plots are reading like M/F romance with the female swapped out for a guy. In some stories there is little in the way of an emotional or psychological shift to distinguish it from its M/F counterpart. Just like “50 Shades of Grey” introduced BDSM (in a very watered down way) to the sleeping masses, the current crop of M/M romances seem to be reflecting a tone that won’t have the shuttered, curious masses clutching their pearls too much but will have them say with squinted eyes, “Ooooh! So that’s how they do it?” One such book comes to mind immediately. It’s written by a woman. She’s tops (excuse the pun) in her field and her book is essentially a male take on “Pretty Woman.” It’s a great, angst-y read. I just felt like it was constructed to appeal to a female audience because one of the guys could have been replaced by a woman easily.

My absolute favorite M/M romance? Bone Rider by J. Fally hands down! This author writes like nobody’s business. Her plot is original and riveting. Her love scenes, yes, love, not sex scenes, are scorching and are written in a way that are believable. The men in this book are mad for each other and show it in a raw, unflinching way. YUMMY! Check the book out. It’s like the movie “The Hidden” crashed into the movies “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Die Hard.” Strange mix, right? But it works! it’s so enjoyable. It’s very different, very unique. And I adored it. It has spoiled me. Her unbelievable, crazy blend of the military, survivalists, an alien, a bartender and a Russian mobster succeeds on all fronts. Bravo! Bravo! Hollywood, this is the cowboys and aliens movie you should have made.

On to the heroines.

Compared to the guys, the girls need therapy. Quick. Ladies, I expected so much more from you, this being the 21st century. As cookie-cutter as the new heroes are in any combination of partners, the onslaught of the traumatized and traumatizing heroine in the New Adult genre has me scratching my head. God, she’s either the weeping, distraught, dazed throwback to the by gone days of romance or she’s the I'll do anything at any time with anyone chick. AND most disturbing to me is many in this new crop of heroines find themselves the victim of rape-be it by a “friend” or by a stranger. Oh my. If this occurs in F/F romance, I don’t know as I haven’t got to them yet.

And the same types people the IR romance landscape too. I’ve skimmed lots of ebooks where the dusky, curvy temptress with natural hair on page one is being swept off her high heels with a flowing weave on page eight by a White Navy SEAL/billionaire/MMA fighter/bartender/cop/werewolf/fireman/lawyer/vampire. Wait! For some, the last two choices may be the same.

Well, that’s my personal report on the ever shifting characters of Romancelandia as the age and circumstance and preferences of readers change. Are they reflecting your tastes?

Friday, January 24, 2014

4 stars for UNION from Night Owl Reviews!

Here is a pretty decent review of Union, The Felig Chronicles, Book 3 especially since the reviewer came to the book without having read the previous two books. It made my day this past Monday when I opened my email.


Score: 4.00 / 5

Nate Lowe wants to get married but girlfriend Tina Cain just isn’t feeling it. They have a good relationship and love each other but she’s sure she isn’t cut out of wife material and she is definitely dragging her feet. Between fighting aliens and constantly fighting for their lives…marriage doesn’t seem like a good idea. Nate and Tina will go on a journey of personal discovery and alien adventure. This is a continuation of the Felig Chronicles. The writing was good quality and consistent throughout the entire book. I believe had I read the other books in the Felig Chronicles, I would have better understood some of the terminology and situations. For example because it is a continuation of a series…it picks up from the last book. I would not recommend reading this as a standalone novel, because it can be quite confusing because of the great details, characters, and their history. Nonetheless, with the action packed pages and tension between Nate and Tina, the story is quick flowing and interesting. I would recommend reading them in order.

Happy Reading,

Beth Hardy

The Night Owl Reviews Team
Night Owl Reviews, 1410 NW Kearney Street, #910, Portland, Oregon 97209

I was pleasantly surprised and let out a squeeee!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Makes me wanna holla!"

Today's entry honors Dr. Martin Luther King. I'll return to writing about writing in the next blog.

Well, today is the Rev. Martin Luther King's birthday, January 15th, the REAL day he was born not the one created by the US gov't (January 20th this year). As instituted by the gov’t, it's celebrated on the third Monday in January. The same change has moved Washington's birth day and Lincoln's birth day in February. The two days have been combined into President's Day on the official time table. Whatever. I guess industry complained about how too many days off for the masses slow the grinding wheel of capitalism. Anyhoo, silly me acknowledges a person's birthday on the day the person was born not when it's convenient for me.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, his treatment and portrayal in the mainstream press as a grandfatherly, benign, smiling figure bugged the hell out of me. From most press reports, one would think this man had spent hard time on Robben Island because he'd littered. Of course Faux News had to mention that he was a Communist. So, still after that, one was left with the impression that he went to jail because he'd been a littering Communist.

Anyway, the man got life in prison because he'd demanded better for his people. He wanted freedom. At any cost. He'd seriously broken the law, accepted his fate and had refused to change his beliefs when caught (with the help of the CIA). In fact at his trial he stated that he was willing to die for his beliefs because he was not budging one iota on his stance. So, instead of death, off to a lifetime of prison he went.

In the end after corporations were boycotted and pushed to divest in South Africa or else by the activist African-American community in the US and scads of other people of many races and creeds of the same mind, the government of South Africa blinked and Nelson Mandela was released. He'd done 27 years by then.

At the time of his death he'd outlived all of his oppressors and the best that mainstream US news outlets could do was to swing between "grandfather" and "Communist."

Good freakin' Lord!

Tell the truth! He was a staunch believer in dismantling a system that had become comfortable in grinding it's boot heels on the necks of South Africa's indigenous population. He was willing to blow it apart. He was a head-knocker of the first degree and had embraced his shadow side. He was a multi-faceted human being.

Which brings me back to Martin Luther King, Jr. His influence has been blunted by mainstream media. With the celebration of each passing MLK holiday, someone, somewhere reads “I Have a Dream” in front of his statue on a plaza or at a gathering, people have the day off, stores throw weekend-long sales. MLK has become a safe benign figure and commodity whose words from one speech have encased him in time in the role of quiet peacemaker.

MLK was a profoundly different man at the end of his life in 1968. He was light years away from the young preacher who'd spoken in D. C. in 1963. His "I Have a Dream" speech has been co-opted and misinterpreted so many times that its meaning has been severely diluted. Constant repetition of that one speech makes one think that the only thing the man did was sleep! Even the schizophrenic GOP has twisted it to their means. UGH!

Like Mandela, Dr. King had been arrested. Like Mandela, King's movements had been trailed. In his case, he'd been watched by the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover. And before he woke up and smelled the coffee, Robert F. Kennedy had not been an ally. Sadly, he'd be murdered a month after King. The five years between '63 and '68 had changed King greatly. He no longer thought being peaceful was going to get the oppressed anywhere. His last speechs before he was assassinated held all his new thoughts. Yet, they are rarely, if ever, quoted. He was on board for Johnson's War on Poverty program but spoke out against how it was not enough because funds for the program were being siphoned off for the Vietnam War. He was against war period and even more so against one that was taking from the poor to escalate action in SE Asia. At his demise, he'd been organizing and helping garbage workers get more money for their thankless jobs. Speaking up for the poor and against the war earns no one friends in high places. Only enemies. Dr. King knew this and pressed on anyway. He had seen more, had heard more and was probably pissed at being dicked around. Yes, the King killed at 39 was markedly different than the 33 -34 years young preacher of "I Have a Dream" renown. And by 1968 he was aware that this change could get him killed. And it did.

And how do we commemorate him decades after the March on Washington, his fight for the overlooked and his murder? We throw appliance sales, car sales and dumb-assed freedom-to-twerk parties. Yeah, I said it. D-U-M-B-A-S-S-E-D. We attend breakfasts where speakers give lackluster, rote re-readings of select parts of the "I Have a Dream" speech. We celebrate a whitewashing of his warrior legacy.

I truly hope Nelson Mandela's warrior legacy fares better.

Thank you, Dr. King, and Happy Birth Day!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Musings on the doubletalk concerning some 2014 reading resolutions put forth by readers and reviewers at popular romance book review sites

I've been scanning the popular romance book review sites for the last few days. Many reviewers have posted their lists of 2013 favorites and the readers who frequent the sites have weighed in with their 2013 keepers and their projected reading goals for 2014. Resolutions on both the part of the reviewers and the part of the readers included not to suffer through a book for any of the following reasons: a premise they found boring, an unrelatable storyline, disgusting scenes and/or characters they could not care about. Others goals included stepping out of their comfort zone and picking up books they never would have looked at before. A list was given (male-male romance, menage, paranormal, military, etc.)

Admirable goals.

Except here is where I'm gonna get pissy. Not a one, NOT A ONE of these reviewers or readers included the possiblity of reading an INTERRACIAL romance. Yeah, I can hear you now. "She's just bitchin' because that's what she writes." Partially true. Also true is that habits are hard to break. Human nature is a bitch. Routine is hard to unseat if it gives one great solace.


Would the inclusion of attempting to read a romance with people in it who do not look like the mainstream reader have been such a stretch? And by "mainstream", we all know who that entails. It's weird that this type of romance is rarely, if ever, on a "mainstream" list because this country's stats on interracial dating/marriage is increasing. The swirl of all flavors is out there. As are wonderful books.

I also find it strange that the same readers lament constantly in the comment sections or forums on romance books that they desire to see other cultures depicted in the books they read.


Don't you get it? To step out of one's comfort zone, one has to step out of the comfort zone. Be adventurous. Do you need directions on how to pick a book? There aren't any. You just pick up one and read.

Ladies, gents if you aren't seeking it out, buying and reading it, you won't see it. You'll keep filling up your library with what you've been digesting. For the New Year, I say dispense with the resolutions. Simply open your mind and your horizons.

Happy New Year and happy reading.