Author Interview – Krista Ames (#Christmas #Romance #NewRelease : Harper’s Wish)

Harper's WishKrista Ames is here to chat about her brand new Christmas novella, Harper’s Wish. It came out last friday and is now available at most major eBook retailers. Since the internet gods can be a bit finicky when it comes to book releases, the best way to find out the most recent buy links is by going to Krista’s website (here). However, here are a few to get you started: Amazon, B&N, and KoboSince Krista is super busy today, I’ll get my questions in while I can.

1. Let’s start with the title–Can you give me a hint about what Harper wished for in her letter to Santa this Christmas?

Hmmm…Harper’s big on the fact she never had any family growing up and kind of jealous of all the townsfolk always coming in to the post office so… guess you’ll have to read it to find out more ☺

2. On your cover, I can’t help but notice that Harper’s lips are only a few inches away from a decidedly attractive chin. May I ask who she’s smiling at? What does he do for a living?

Oh yes, I love that chin! That would be Fin Cole…tree expert extraordinaire! He helps his brother run the family tree farm.

3. Tree expert you say? Now I suddenly have all sorts of ideas about his other physical attributes. When it comes to men, I can be quite shallow. What does Fin look like (and there’s no need to limit yourself to the driver’s license description)?

Well handsome is one description you won’t find on the driver’s license. He’s muscled but has a lean frame. Brown hair and taller than me, which doesn’t say much since I’m only 5’3” so imagine 5’11”. Stubbled chin as you can see in his picture (sexy isn’t it?). Your typical farm guy with a big 4×4. Don’t ya just wonder what he looks like on a tractor in the middle of summer…..might have to stay tuned for that book ☺

4. How would you categorize the bedroom scenes in this novella–is Fin naughty or nice?

He treats Harper nice of course but he definitely knows how to be naughty, just how she likes it 😉 Driving her crazy, making her want more.

5. I always end my interviews with this question–How did you get your start as an author? Why did you choose to write contemporary romance?

I got my start a few years ago now by inadvertently friending the owner of a publishing house. We met on a chat group for a completely different publisher that we were both working with. She encouraged me, let me know that if I ever wanted to submit to her, she’d be glad to read what I have. Well I ended up publishing 4 short stories in anthologies with her house. Was a great start!! I think I chose to write contemporary romance because it’s what I like to read. Now, since I’ve read some historical and paranormal, of course my brain is working overtime trying to come up with material to create a few stories ☺ Thanks so much for having me today, I had so much fun answering ☺

As I said, Krista needs to be in quite a few places at once today, so I’ll let her run off. For more information about the book and author, just scroll down.

(P.S. Enjoy the holidays everyone. I’m taking a short blogging hiatus but will tune back in after Christmas. In case you haven’t noticed, Delicious Delay releases this Friday!)

Harper’s Wish

Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time of year, but for Harper Donaldson it’s just another day. Orphaned at an early age, she doesn’t have a single good memory of Christmas.

But, when a Santa’s Mailbox mysteriously appears in the lobby of the post office where she works as postmistress, Harper wonders what it could hurt to send her own letter to Santa.

Could he bring her the family she’d always wanted?

Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon (UK) | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks

Krista AmesAbout Krista Ames

Born and raised in Northern Indiana, Krista now resides in Northern Lower Michigan. She is married to a very supportive man who allows her to follow her true passion of writing and never complains when she is pirated away on her computer for hours. Krista is also a mother of 4 ornery children who keep her plenty busy. With an addition of 2 beautiful chocolate lab sisters and a playful kitty, there is never a dull or spare moment in her household.

Krista has always loved to read and would often sit up for hours into the night not able to put down a book until she was finished. She still reads when she can but her main focus is creating her own stories to share with the world. She loves to communicate with her readers so please feel free to drop her a line anytime at

The Ladies’ Cave:
Amazon Author Page:
TRR Author Page:


A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Bellissimo (a, i, e)

Bellissimo (Bellissima, Bellissimi & Bellissime)

adj. very beautiful, all-beautiful, swell

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here. For an explanation of how adjectives that end in “o” change depending on context, take a look at my previous post on “Caro“.

As with last time, we start with a mini grammar lesson.

  • Italian adjectives can be modified with suffixes (that’s a fancy way to say “endings”) to express different levels of emphasis. “-issimo” is the Italian absolute superlative, which basically means it is used to show that a certain quality is expressed to a highest degree possible. In this case, Bello (adj. beautiful) is modified to become Bellissimo, which is often translated to “very beautiful.” However, it is probably closer to “the most beautiful humanly possible.”
  • Cultural Note: That said, the Italian language seems to favor the dramatic (try watching Grey’s Anatomy dubbed in Italian–it’s very interesting). Therefore, it seems bellissimo is used somewhat capriciously.
  • Side Note: Remember I went over “Caro” last week? You guessed right–“Carissimo” is “very expensive, dear, precious, etc.”

So obviously, bellissima (f.) can be used to describe a woman. To see the Italian hand gesture equivalent of Una bellissima donna! (What a very beautiful woman!), you can take a look at Berlusconi’s first encounter with Michelle Obama (since sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text form–THIS IS AN INAPPROPRIATE GESTURE!). However, when talking about men, there seems to be a preference for the unmodified adjective (i.e. a hunk = un bell’uomo, un bell ragazzo).

That said, bellissimo can be used to describe a whole host of other things. Most common among them seems to be food (Questa pasta è bellissima!) and the weather. Occasionally, it is also used to mean “good”, but I haven’t quite mastered when and when not to use it in this fashion, so I won’t elaborate.

That’s it for this week!

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Author Interview – Shiloh Saddler (#Historical #MMRomance #NewRelease : Saltwater Lover)

Click on the Cover to go to Shiloh's Blog!

Click on the Cover to go to Shiloh’s Blog!

The lovely Shiloh Saddler and I are pub buddies twice over–we both have books accepted for publication with Liquid Silver Books AND Decadent Publishing. Shiloh is here today to talk about her new release, Saltwater Lover. It’s a M/M historical romance and it came out today. You may buy it directly from LSB (which I recommend since more money goes to the author), or through Amazon and other major ebook retailers. 
Now lets progress to the fun-stuff. 

1. I have to admit–the two hunks on your cover are quite delectable. What are their names and how do they come to be on a ship?

Captain Mather is a slaver. His men capture Kojo along the African coast taking him prisoner on board the slaving ship.

2. So it says in your blurb Kojo has a deep connection to spirits. Are there paranormal elements in this story? What kind of spirits are they?

Kojo is like a shaman. He has learned from the elders how to communicate with the spirits beyond the veil. The spirits of those dead and the spirits of those not yet born can give him advice and direction. So I guess you could say there is a bit of a paranormal element because he calls on them at times.

3. As a fellow erotic romance writer, I have to ask–was it lust-at-first-sight or love-at-first-sight? Why are Kojo and Captain Mather drawn to each other?

Ooh good question! It was lust at first sight for both of them. Kojo has had stirrings for men for many years and does not understand these feelings as his people do not believe a man should love another man. Captain Mather hasn’t had a lover in months. When the two men realize they share the same urges it is only a matter of time before they heat up the pages.

4. Since I decided to make this blog 18+ [*cough* adult content warning *cough*], I might as well take advantage. How steamy are the bedroom (ship cabin?) scenes and how much sex are we talking?

LOL. I’d say four out of five flames. Mather teaches Kojo about his sexuality and there are a lot of lessons! The longer I spent with these men and edited this story the hotter it became. I’ll give you a short excerpt and you can decide for yourself.


Mather smiled. The heat emanating from him made Kojo shiver, made him want to be closer to this man, to feel him. If he could make himself valuable to him, maybe he’d have an easier life. Maybe he’d be able to spend more time with him. Maybe he’d be able to feel the man’s hands roaming his body again.

The captain pushed his chair back from the table. “Reward,” he said, “Stand.”

Kojo’s pulse stammered. It felt like a bird was caged in his chest, flapping his wings to break free. He had no idea what the reward would be, only that it could not be his freedom.

Mather offered his hand and Kojo grasped it, letting the captain pull him to his feet. He inhaled deeply. The man’s blond hair smelled clean and salty with a hint of fish. This close to him, it was impossible for him not to be stirred by the man’s scent. The captain came closer.

Mather ran his fingertips lightly from the base of Kojo’s shaft to his softly swollen tip. His eyes were gentle, uncertain. As though afraid to hurt him.

He inhaled sharply, undone by the simple caress. This was his reward? He’d never expected something like this. Dizzy from shock, he reached out with his one free hand to grab the man’s shoulder. Mather felt solid under his clothes. He longed to feel the captain’s bare skin against his, though the thought scared him—had scared him since the first day on the beach. He’d always imagined fear and desire were two very different things. Now he knew otherwise.

Mather gripped his member tightly, but not enough to hurt. “Do you like this? Hmmm?”

All he could do was moan. He hoped Mather would understand he enjoyed his touch. He certainly didn’t want him to stop. Oh yes, this was what he had been building up to before. His body trembled. Senses overwhelmed, he closed his eyes and leaned his head back, awash in the first pleasure he’d ever experienced. His cock grew in Mather’s hand, showing him in action what he could not tell him in words. He wanted this.

Mather slid his hand down the length of it, squeezing it, testing its firmness. He continued to play and fondle, watching Kojo’s face. “I want to watch you come. Come for me, Kojo.” Mather took his balls in one hand while pumping slowly with the other.

Kojo didn’t know what the captain had said. He just wanted time to stand still so this moment would last. The spirits had never told him this type of fulfillment existed.

Incredible pulses of pleasure raced through Kojo’s body. He panted loudly and his enthusiasm spurred Mather to pump his cock faster and faster, at just the rhythm he needed. His toes curled against the wood floor. His breaths came in little pants. Mather ate them all up with his gaze, his smile.

Kojo continued to brace himself with his hand on Mather’s shoulder. Tipping his head back, he let out a long low moan, his body shaking itself to pieces with ecstasy.

5. *fans face* I think I just lost my train of thought. Where were we? Okay, one last question before you go (I always end my interviews thus for consistency’s sake)–How did you get your start as an author? Why did you choose to write historical romance?

History was my favorite subject in school, and I’ve always read historical romance. Since I gravitate toward the genre I think it was only natural I decided to write historical romance.

I know Shiloh’s a very busy lady today, so I won’t keep her. For more information about the book and author (as well as a picture of Shiloh in a cowboy hat), just scroll down. If you get the chance, please leave a comment!

Blurb – Saltwater Lover

In 1800, Kojo is a native African with deep connections to the spirits—but those spirits choose not to save him from the slaving ship. He’s captured and taken aboard, where he meets Captain Mather. During the long journey to America, not even the spirits can save him from their growing attraction. Love blooms. A doomed love. For when they land, Kojo’s fate is to be sold.

Captain Mather can’t imagine Kojo being treated as a slave. Desperate to spare him from that life, the captain hides him, taking him to his home. When he’s blackmailed by a mutinous former crewmember, there seems little choice but to sell his ship and pay. Anything to save the man he loves.

Shiloh SaddlerAbout the Author

Shiloh Saddler likes to do research for her steamy romances first hand. She has invented a time machine and travels back to the 19th century on a regular basis. There are experimental settings on her time machine which could propel her into the future and even other worlds. She believes love and a good book makes anything possible.

Amazon Author Page:

Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday No. 37 (#sffsat) – Rescued from a Trunked Manuscript – #Scifi #Romance

Here’s the next snippet from my nameless trunked manuscript. I’ll keep sharing it for quite a while since my sci-fi (post-apocalyptic) romance isn’t scheduled to come out until late February. 

For all past SFFSAT posts, click here. In the previous snippet, we witnessed Hades express some specie-ism with respect to a prospective employee. 

Nell made a show of glancing down at her slim platinum wristwatch. “You don’t have a choice—we have an infestation problem. The Order of Acolytes’ raison d’être is to kill undead, and their leadership is a veritable snakes’ den. And yet, that fragile human survived their employ for close to a decade.”

Forced to concede her point, he searched for another way out. “It says in her file this woman was fired.”

His sister gave him a disgusted look. “You know as well as anyone the Order’s idea of termination involves homicide. I don’t know how the girl did it, but she managed to get enough leverage to make them leave her alone. That feat, at the very least, should earn her an interview.”

Twitter: #sffsat SFFSat is a group of writers sharing snippets from both published and unpublished works of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about the group by clicking the banner to the left, as well as follow links to the other participants. Any comments are much appreciated!

The Blog-O-Phone pt 2 – Christmas 250 Word Story Chain – Absolute Write

This post is part of the December 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, we’re doing things a bit differently. It’s a story chain (aka blog-o-phone), an each writer must add around 250 words to an ongoing holiday story. Where I last left Claire and Alan, she was about to dump a bucket of dye onto his head. Quite a bit has happened since then.

Previously, on Mossfollow Wood…
orion_mk3 – (link to post)
Ralph Pines – (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – (link to post)
Angyl78 – (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes (me) – The Blog-O-Phone part 1 (WHERE WE LEFT OFF)
meowzbark – (link to post)
orion_mk3 – (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – (link to post)
Angyl78 – (link to post)

And now, on Mossfollow Wood Part. 10…

Knowing her grandfather, Claire would bet her Christmas bonus he had something to do with the dog’s appearance. “So what’s your plan? Are you going to hang out on this tree all night?”

Alan scowled. “Do you have a better idea?”

“As a matter of fact…” She attempted her most winsome smile.

He shook his head. “Absolutely not. Whatever scheme you’re concocting will be the death of me.”

Men could be so melodramatic. “You have the longest legs. If you could be so kind as to jump off and run…”

The dog growled and snapped its teeth, jumping high enough its drooling mouth grazed Alan’s foot. He sent her a withering look. “Yeah. I’ll get right on that, Princess. Right after you agree to cut down this tree and deliver it to my doorstep.”

Hanging onto her branch with one hand, she used the other to pat his cheek. “I didn’t know you suffered from mental illness. Do delusions run in your family?”

He caught her fingers. “Are you sure you want to keep baiting me? I’m going to lose my temper one of these days.”

A blush warmed her face. “What are you going to do, lawyer boy? Sue me?”

His grip tightened. Then he turned his head and pressed his lips into her gloved palm. Even though a layer of cloth separated them, a tendril of heat traveled up her arm. She swallowed.

Cal cleared his throat. “I’m still right here, you know? So is the damn dog.”

And thus I reached my 250 word limit. So where is this heading? I have no idea. The story continues at Absolute Write!

Archive of Past Blog Chains

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Caro (a, i, e)

Caro (and Cara, Cari, Care)

adj. beloved, dear, dearest, darling, sweetheart, precious
     good, kind, expensive, pricey 
n. a loved one, loved ones (fig. family)

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

Since this is only my second IWoW post, I’ll start by very briefly and superficially going over two grammar points.

  • Adjectives that end in “o” (ex. caro), change endings depending on the noun it modifies. As such, caro (masculine singular) turns into cara if the subject/object is feminine singular, cari if it’s masculine plural, and care if it’s feminine plural.
  • Nouns that end in “o” also change when they become plural. Instead of adding an “s,” as in the case of English, Italians change the “o” to an “i”. In other words, caro (n. loved one) becomes cari (n. loved ones).

Basta (that’s enough) with grammar. So why do I think caro is cool?

First off, most romance readers have come across the expression “Cara mia” (my dear) at some point. For one, Lisa Marie Rice wrote quite a number of romances set in Italy and/or with Italian male leads. Of course, the “mia” (my, feminine singular) is just for emphasis–cara can be used on it’s own to express “dear, darling, sweetheart” as well. Oddly enough, what comes first to my mind when I hear cara mia is Gollum’s ravings over “my precious” from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After all, “precious, mine” would be the most literal translation of cara mia.

I stumbled upon the use of caro/cari as a noun during my Disney Study Sessions, during which I watch youtube clips of Italian-dubbed soundtracks (that counts as work right?). In Mulan‘s Riflesso (aka. Reflections…yes, it’s a Christina Aguilera song), there’s this line that took me forever to figure out: 

se io facessi ciò che vorrei, i miei cari perderei

which roughly translates to “If I do as I’d like, I’d lose my loved ones (fig. family).” The line forced me to look the word up–until I did, I had no idea caro/cari could be used as a noun.

Of course, the usage of caro/cara a new Italian student would most likely learn is in reference to an “expensive” object. Since caro literally means “precious”, it’s very frequently used to describe the monetary value of items. Just to keep non-native speakers on their toes, however, poco (adv. few) caro = affordable.

By the way, a useful tourist-Italian phrase to know would be “No, grazie. è troppo caro,”  which means “No, thank you. (it’s) too expensive.”  And thus concludes this post. If you have any cool Italian words you’d like me to look up, just leave a comment pointing me in the right direction.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Author Interview – Sabrina Garie (#Fantasy #EroticRomance #NewRelease : Thirteen Nights)

Click the image to get to Sabrina's Website!

Click the image to get to Sabrina’s Website!

I have fellow SFR Brigade author Sabrina Garie over today to talk about her new release, Thirteen Nights. She’s the second author I’ve interviewed, so this is quite exciting. I’m hoping to do these interviews more regularly since it’s always fun to learn about other erotic romances and how they came to be. 

As Sabrina’s book just came out, she’s a very busy lady. So let’s get right to it:

1. Thirteen Nights came out on December 6. You must be excited. But this isn’t your first published work–can you tell us about the other two?

I am very excited about Thirteen Nights. I had so much fun writing this book. Its fantasy and I loved the world building. My other books include Fires of Justice, which is a paranormal romance, between a fire witch and a fire shifter. I combined elements of western lore (witches, and shifters and gods, oh my) with eastern lore (elemental magic, chakras, and energy). The results were a lot of fun. My third book is Next Move, a contemporary second chance romance between a tough as nails single mother and CEO and her daughter’s soccer coach. That is about real people with real problems, who overcome their own issues to find love again. All books are published Ellora’s Cave. You can also find them on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

2. How did you get your start as an author? Why did you choose to write erotic romance?

I have been trying to write for a long time, always starting new projects. A children’s book here, a play there, a poem way over yonder. Only when I sat down to write romance did I actually stay down and finish a book, and then another. I pitched Fires of Justice to an Ellora’s Cave editor on a Passionate Ink pitch opportunity, and was asked to submit. The first version was not accepted but the second was. The rest as they say is history. For those not familiar, Passionate Ink is the Romance Writers of America chapter for erotic romance.

Why erotic romance? The easy answer is that’s how I like to read romance. I am often disappointed when I get the fade to black in romance novels. More importantly, I prefer sex scenes to be explicit because how people make love is an important part of their relationship dynamic. To me, to fully understand a couple’s love story, it’s important to see that part of it. Despite all the hype, sex is not always easy, and having a safe place to explore it is one of the real values of erotic romance. And finally, for some reasons, when I plot stories, it tends to be around sex scenes because they serve as clear milestones of a relationship.

3. Let’s chat more about your book. How do Annie and Tai end up together (for thirteen nights)?

Thirteen Nights is a yearly ritual that pairs up Amazons and their male counterparts, known as Gargareans (I got that from history books, I did not make it up) for conception, since neither group marries. Both groups are committed to a warrior’s life. I modernized the myth and hid the ritual in a speed dating event. Tai and Annie end up as partners for Thirteen Nights because Tai, who’s a coding whiz, hacks the speed dating database to make sure they do end up together. Although they choose each other during the speed dating event, the pairs are really matched by genetics and Tai, who is a half human, does not have the right genes. Annie is of the royal amazon genetic line.

4. I have to admit, I’m a bit shallow when it comes to male leads. Can you tell us more about Tai? How would his driver’s license read…and what other attributes might catch a gal’s eye?

I love Tai. He’s 6 foot 2, leanly muscled (all that warrior work out stuff), with tattooing that runns from his left shoulder to his wrist, detailing all of his battle victories. He’s got black hair that lands at his shoulders, a little wild. And his eyes are deep brown. Annie describes them as tender and soulful, pledging warmth and humor. He is single-minded, determined, quiet but absolutely lethal. When he makes up his mind, he lets nothing—absolutely nothing—stand in his way.

5. Fantasy and world-building go hand-in-hand. Tell me more about the world of your new Divine Temptation series. How did you manage to get Amazons and Greek Gods in one (very yummy) book?

The world assumes all the pantheons and their gods and goddesses still exist and live hidden among us. Their powers are waning, stripped away by modern life. To survive, the pantheons shun the mortal world. The Amazons, which are genetically enhanced humans, serve as the guardians of the Greek pantheon gods. When they are not battling for the gods, they have to find ways to earn money to survive on Earth. Annie is a bounty hunter in the human world, Tai is cyber security expert for the FBI.

6. Alright, I’m hooked. Where should I go to buy your book?

Right now, it’s available from the following online sites (links are clickable): Ellora’s Cave, AmazonKobo, and Goodreads

It was a pleasure having Sabrina over. Scroll down for more information about the book and author, and please leave a comment if you have a spare moment.

Thirteen Nights

Annie’s always been different. An empathic Amazon, she hides her emotional anomaly beneath her legendary fighting skills. To avoid passing on her genetic disorder, she’s always avoided the Thirteen Nights Ritual—the annual breeding rite among the warrior races of the Greek Pantheon. Only months away from 30, she is now duty-bound to participate. When she meets Tai, a half-human warrior who revs her up beyond legal limits and nurtures the gentleness she’s had to keep secret, thirteen nights of pleasure don’t seem nearly enough.

As a half human, Tai has survived by being faster, more lethal, and a whole lot smarter than his brethren. While the male warriors accept him for his achievements, the Amazons have never given him a second look. Until he meets Annie, whose smile is warm and real and whose body shudders with desire—for him. Determined to have her, he hacks into the Thirteen Nights database and rearranges the pairings to make Annie his breeding partner. Together, their strength and tenderness combust into pure love.

But Tai’s actions are forbidden under Amazon law, subject to a death. To stay together and alive, they must take on the Greek Pantheon and win.

Sabrina GarieAbout the Author

Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine romance fiction has ever known and the hero who can take her. A believer that big, audacious goals spice up life, she relies on coffee, red wine and laughter to make those goals (and her characters) come alive. When not at the computer, she wrangles vegetables and extra helpings of homework into her fashion-loving progeny, kowtows to a fat cat and reads, a lot. Since it is more fun to travel in packs, come along for the ride.

Twitter: @sabrinagarie

Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday No. 36 (#sffsat) – Rescued from a Trunked Manuscript – #Scifi #Romance

I apologize for being a bit scarce lately. For very good reason (namely his sanity), DH requested I go on a short hiatus from all writing-related stuff. I’m now easing back into the flow of things.

Here’s the next snippet from my nameless trunked manuscript. I’ll keep sharing it for quite a while since my sci-fi (post-apocalyptic) romance isn’t scheduled to come out until late February. 

For all past SFFSAT posts, click here. In the previous snippet, we witnessed a spat between Hades and Nell, which resulted in minor damage to Hades’ wardrobe. The siblings are arguing about a potential employee who is waiting in the lobby. (Note: The cue word for this week is RAIN.)

“She’s too…human.”

Nell pointed her lacquered fingertip at the ceiling. “I’m sorry, but is it raining vampire detection experts of the immortal variety?” Her lips firmed into a straight line. “I didn’t think so. Now bring Cora Springfield in here and offer her the damn job.”

Hades slapped his palm on the desk. “She’s not going to survive the week. I need her to help me hunt, not arrange meetings.”

Twitter: #sffsat SFFSat is a group of writers sharing snippets from both published and unpublished works of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about the group by clicking the banner to the left, as well as follow links to the other participants. Any comments are much appreciated!

The Blog-O-Phone – Christmas 250 Word Story Chain – Absolute Write

This post is part of the December 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, we’re doing things a bit differently. It’s a story chain (aka blog-o-phone), an each writer must add around 250 words to an ongoing holiday story.
Previously, on Mossfollow Wood…
orion_mk3 – (link to post)
Ralph Pines – (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – (link to post)
Angyl78 – (link to post)

And now…pt. 5 (thanks for the perfect set-up Angyl78!)

“What are you doing up there?”

Startled by the masculine voice, Claire almost fell off the low-hanging branch. She glared at Alan Nussbaum as he strode across the snow. His black leather boots left deep imprints on the white powder. For a blood-sucking lawyer, the man was surprisingly built. His tailored knee-length coat made his shoulders seem even bigger.

She shifted the bucket in front of her into a less precarious position. “I’m defending my grandfather’s property. You’re all trespassing.”

The man found the gal to cross his arms. “Mrs. McHugh is just trying to get a tree for her kids. Why can’t you embrace the Christmas spirit and look the other way?”

Claire rolled her eyes. “Leave Beth out of this. Why are you here? After all the money you made from the foreclosures, you can afford to buy a forest, let alone a tree.”

Alan swiped off his wool cap and narrowed his frosty blue eyes. “Enough with the polemics—I get plenty of that everyday from your poor excuse of a newspaper. Now climb down here before you break your own neck.”

Snowflakes landed on Alan’s jet-black locks, which managed to maintain their manicured perfection despite recent confinement. His scowl, for reasons she couldn’t understand, made him seem all the more handsome. Such perfection gave her all sorts of ideas.

She acted on the first one that came to mind. With a flick of her wrist, she nudged the bucket full of red dye off the branch.

And thus I reached my 250 word limit. So where is this heading? I have no idea–the story continues at (links will be added ): 
meowzbark – (link to post)
orion_mk3 – (link to post)

pyrosama – (link to post)
BBBurke – (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Dolce


adj. sweet, mild, gentle, nice, pleasant, dear, charming, 
fig.-- easy, gradual, soft 
n. sweetness, dessert, cake, sweet, candy, sweets

from Word Reference

As many of you are aware, I started an intensive Italian course this September. Since then, learning this language has consumed my life. Because the class is designed for American government workers (and not necessarily their spouses), I’ve been taught numerous words I doubt will ever be of use (ex. il garante per la cauzione di criminali – bail bondsman…Crossing my fingers I will never need this one). So what’s a poor romance writer to do in order to counteract the abject boredom?

I quickly got into the habit of looking up and focusing on words I think are cool (and there are lots). Which brings me to my new (hopefully) regularly-scheduled blog post:

My (Italian) Word of the Week

For this week, I’ve chosen a word that is very near and dear to my heart: Dolce.

Let’s start with the most recognizable use of dolce (n., dessert). Dolce can be both singular or plural, and encompasses the entire family of sweet things (cake, candy, gelato, etc.). It also translates to “sweet (adj.)” when used in reference to an edible item, as well as “sweet, nice, pleasant, dear, charming (adj.)” when used to describe a person (as in the case of English, thank goodness!).

One can have a dolce (gentle, gradual adj.) slope, which makes some degree of sense, and, oddly enough, “fresh water” is translated as  l’acqua dolce, for no reason I can think of.

So lets get into its more creative uses (which is where the fun begins). Most people have probably heard of la dolce vita (n., good life). On the flip-side, there is la dolce morte (n., mercy killing , euthanasia). Surprisingly, Italians also use casa dolce casa (idiom. home sweet home). I also stumbled upon an idiomatic expression I have not been able to grasp : Il naufragar m’è dulce in questo mare (idiom. being shipwrecked is sweet to me in this sea)…I still don’t get it.

Of course, the romantic in me couldn’t help but notice la dolce metà (n. fig., girlfriend) which literally means “the sweet half.” One of my instructors also let slip that he once went to the beach “con la dulce compagnia”, which he later explained is a polite way of saying “with his girlfriend.”

Well, that’s all I have for this week. If you’re interested in Italian, stay tuned for the next installment.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well.