13 Things I Never Travel Without

17 Apr

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It’s that time again. Sun, fun, and vacations. My husband and I try to take at least two vacations a year. I’m always down for anything tropical, with an adult beverage or two. I’m packing for a cruise right now. Being a military brat, I’m a veteran at packing and moving. I keep a checklist of items, which I’ve updated over the years. When I was ten years old, I wouldn’t dare go anywhere without my Richie Rich comics or my Barbie dolls. Now that I’m pushing forty-six, the list has changed somewhat, but these are all things I can’t bear to travel without.

My TOP 13 THINGS I PACK

  1. Passport (I like collecting those stamps)
  2. Kindle and charger (I have three kindles. I usually take the  Paperwhite and a backup.)
  3. Laptop and charger (I never know when the urge to write might strike. I’ve written on the Lido Deck, in the airport, on my hotel balcony, and on the plane.)
  4. IPod and ear buds (To tune out those chatty folks sitting next to me on the plane, on the beach, and wherever else chatty folks tend to sneak up on me).
  5. Sinus meds (Sadly, this nose can attract pollen from fifty miles away)
  6. Rubber flip flops (For the hotel shower and the beach)
  7. Chap stick (I’m addicted to the stuff)
  8. CPAP machine (This is for my husband, not me. Actually, it’s the first thing on his list—even before underwear. He can go commando, but if I have to endure even one hour of his snoring, I’ll be in misery.)
  9. Beer bottle opener (I’ve got one on my keychain—you never know when you might be stranded with a cold beer and no way to open it!)
  10. Tampons (Yep, Aunt Flow has been known to show up unexpectedly)
  11. Pashima (It can double as a shawl or a sarong, depending on the climate)
  12. Flashlight (I hate waking up in total darkness in those cruise ship rooms)
  13. Switchblade (Just in case I get tied up and thrown into the back of someone’s trunk—I know, I’ve been reading too many suspense novels!)

 

 

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Natural Hair Odyssey

5 Jan

For the past 4 years I’ve enjoyed being natural. I started my journey in January 2012. I’ve learned much about myself, my hair, and the hair industry in general. I’ve suffered no lack of creativity in hairstyles. Indeed, I’ve found my natural hair can be even more versatile than I’d ever imagined.

 

For 2016, I’ve decided to rock a short straight cut. To do this, I elected to go back to a relaxer. One thing I’ve learned from wearing a super short ‘fro in 2014 is that it’s just hair. I can grow it, color it, straighten it, curl it, slick it, blow dry it, be natural, be relaxed, cut it off, and start all over again. It’s my prerogative. No matter how I’ve worn my hair, my favorite product has been Wen. Natural or relaxed, it just works for me.

 

Here’s my new ‘do and my Natural Hair Odyssey in hair in review.

 

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Oct 2012 (me and hubby parasailing in St. Thomas)

march 2013

March 2013

 

Oct 2013

October 2013

feb 2013

2014 (still natural, just pressed & flat ironed)

 

 

June 2014

June 2014

aug 2014

Aug 2014 (hubby chopped it all off for me in time for the cruise)

Oct 2014

Oct 2014 (not fried, but died and laid to the side)

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January 2016

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Ready to DUKE it out?

16 Dec

QUEEN A4

 

Yesterday, my historical romance, Rise of a Queen was profiled on a Year Without a Duke. This site profiles “romantic adventures outside the Regency.” In other words, it’s for people like me who are sick of reading historical romances about dukes and duchesses. No disrespect to the hardworking authors who write in this genre, but if I have to read one more line about Lady this, or Lord that, I think I might throw up in my reticule.

In the spirit of Year Without a Duke, I’ve also decided to profile the historical books I’ve read and enjoyed over the years. They cover everything from ancient civilizations to the wild west to war-torn Europe. I’m starting with my book, Rise of Queen. Yes, I’m a selfish biatch sometimes. But since it’s my blog, I’m going first. If you like it, drop me a line and let me know. You can also review a full excerpt on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Rise of a Queen – A medieval African romance set in 1061 AD. Start reading here.

Sexy Scribblers Fall into Romance Blog Hop

15 Nov

scribblers fall into romance

WELCOME to the Sexy Scribblers Fall Into Romance Blog Hop, where you’ll find fabulous recipes and be entered for a chance to win a FREE eBook from one of the 12 Sexy Scribblers.

Today, I’m offering a free eBook of my erotic novella, Too Hot to Handle. 

Celebrity image consultant Jewell Davenport has one month to turn rugged millionaire Mason Kincaid into a perfect gentleman. Can she pull off another extreme makeover? Or will Mason be too hot to handle? 

TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN, CLICK THE LINK BELOW:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bb55253850/?

TO VIEW THE OTHER SEXY SCRIBBLERS BLOGS, CLICK HERE

In the meantime, today I’m sharing my favorite fall recipe with you. Enjoy!

yam

I Yam What I Yam

(Baked yam recipe)

One of my favorite things about fall is the seasonal food. Pumpkin. Eggnog. Sweet potatoes. Thanks to the invention of sweet potato fries, we’re consuming this versatile ‘root’ throughout the year. But when I think of delicious baked yams, I think of crisp autumn days and holiday traditions.

My mother was a master at making sweet potato pie that melted in your mouth. Later, our family graduated to baked yams with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows. Once I hit age 40, can you believe all of my clothes started shrinking—including my underwear? So, I began looking for healthier alternatives to enjoy my favorite dishes.

This is yummy with grilled pork tenderloin and a nice, leafy green vegetable.

PREP: 10 min

COOK: 1 hour

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of black pepper
  • 2 pinches dried oregano or rosemary

STEPS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom of a glass or non-stick baking dish with olive oil.
  1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut into 1½ inch cubes. Place cut sweet potatoes in baking dish; turn them so that they are coated with the olive oil. Sprinkle moderately with oregano, and salt and pepper (to taste).
  1. Bake for 20 minutes covered. Then, bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes, or until soft. Turn potatoes occasionally, so they don’t stick or get hard on the bottom.

Note: Substitute rosemary for oregano if you don’t like the taste of oregano.

This is a great recipe, and a nice change to the usual sugary-sweet potato drowned in syrup. Speaking of sweet and syrupy, Mason Kincaid, the cowboy in my steamy contemporary novella, Too Hot to Handle, compares the heroine’s legs to the color of warm, maple syrup. Once he gets a taste, he’s hooked! Today, I’m giving away a free eBook of this ‘opposites distract’ erotic tale. If you like quick-witted dialogue and sizzling sex, you’ll love Too Hot to Handle.

2013 THTH COVER

NAKED COWBOYS BAKE CUPCAKES

26 Sep

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I can’t believe it’s officially fall. Normally, I hate fall because it signals the end of the year. I don’t like endings. I like beginnings and fresh starts. That’s why I like sunrises, and not sunsets. I think spring and summer are filled with so much promise. Fall and winter…not so much. At any rate, I’m learning to embrace fall with the help of my Sexy Scribbler friends. Twelve talented and bestselling authors who are revolutionizing the literary world. Well, not really. But we are compiling a fall box set for 2016. So, stay tuned for more details.

To wrap up my year, I’ll be rounding it out with a blog tour. A shout out to all of the wonderful authors who are hosting me. Also, I couldn’t have done this without the help of Crystal. She’s awesome! Check out the tour schedule below. If you want to sign up for the Rafflecopter grand prize, visit Reviews by Crystal

In the meantime, happy pumpkin hunting or leave raking, or whatever it is you fall lovers do.

P.S. The title of this blog has nothing to do with this post. It’s just that I hate blogging, too. But a smart author once told me the key to a successful blog is in the title. So, I figured everyone loves a cowboy. And what woman can resist a cupcake? So, I put them both together, and viola!

Tune in next week for “Kitten Surfs 40-foot Wave in Australia.”

BLOG HOP DATES:

September 25
ELF The Reading Addict
London Saint James

September 28
Vicki Batman

September 29
Fictional Rendezvous

September 30
Rae’s Books and Recipes

October 1
Crystal Chaotic Confessions
Tina Gayle

October 2
Jessie Clever

October 6
Verna Loves Books

October 21
Thoughts in Progress

October 30
Romancing the Readers

November 1
Dawn’s Book Nook

November 2
Alisha Robinson

November 3
Kate Hill

November 18
Kam’s Place

November 19
Nicole’s Book Musings

December 4
Romance Lives Forever

THIS IS THE YEAR OF YOUR DREAMS

8 Jul

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Are You Ready to Meet Your Calendar Man?

12 Alphas 12 Months Box Set

There’s a new calendar in town. But this ain’t your typical calendar. We’re talking about a dozen sexy stories by twelve talented authors. From one story to another, men are stepping up and taking it off to help fathers and children in need.

MEET THE CALENDAR MEN!

Mr. January

Beg for It by Angie Daniels
Three wild erotic nights will have her begging for more…

Mr. February

Got your Six by Erosa Knowles
In the end, the only words he needed were hers in Reclamation: Got your Six by Erosa Knowles.

Mr. March

Succulent by TJ Michaels
Twilight Teahouse ~ Choosing something decadent from our menu…

Mr. April

Stalking Nayla by Yvette Hines
Nayla is being hunted. Shimar has to keep her safe, but convincing her she’s his mate is the real challenge.

Mr. May

Prescription for Love by Seressia Glass
She’s just what the doctor ordered in Prescription for Love

Mr. June

Solomon’s Quest by Serenity King
He’s determined to protect her, but the secrets she keeps may destroy her.

Mr. July

One Hot Dare by Michelle Monkou
When to serve and protect escalates into a sexy dangerous game.

Mr. August

All The Small Things by Stephanie Burke
The more unbearable the pain, the richer the rewards

Mr. September

Inferno by Aliyah Burke
Sometimes the flames aren’t meant to be put out.

Mr. October

Wicked Games by Maureen Smith
Some games are too dangerous to play.

Mr. November

The Ultimate Goal by Di Topaz
Will Justice and Angelique put their difference aside and go for the Ultimate Goal?

Mr. December

Seeking Santa by Latrivia S. Nelson
Alone during the Christmas holidays in a new city, Jade sets out on a mission to find happiness.

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Author Yvette Hines fills us in on how this sexy set came to life!

How we all got together to write this set:

Most of us have been friends for years. Met a conferences like Romance Slam Jam, Romantic Times and Authors After Dark and the friendships have stuck. We all have been supporters and readers of each other’s work during this time as well. So, one day I wake up with a dream about a story that featured calendar men. The stories were all connected, because readers that read boxsets always scream about they want new stories and they enjoy collections that are connected in some way.

I did what all authors do, I called my friends. Told them about my idea and asked if they wanted to join me into some crazy, exciting and stressful fun. Of course they were all like ABSOLUTELY. We formed a group and brainstormed on the connection, the charity, what the charity would before, the photographer (who by the way looks like Nigel Barker from Top Model…yum). We picked what month each book would be set in…most of them are the birthday months of the actual authors themselves. It was fun.

What is the connection you ask:
Well, Tamela Harvin (who is cast from the Actress Angela Bassett) is a nationally-syndicated radio host who left the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to use her fame helping out those less fortunate. She loves a cause. When she contacted by a listener about a grave concern close to her heart; widower fathers struggling to find emotional support and care for their children after a loss of a wife, Tamela gets to work.

Calling in all her community activist across the continent and one sharp photographer, Braden Niles, she creates a calendar of hot sexy men to raise money and support. From one story to another, men are stepping up, and taking it off to help fathers and children in need. How readers know this…easy we made Tamela’s part the Prologue of the boxset. So, they can dive in to all the stories after they read this.

NEW RELEASE!! Want something hot and romantic to do for the summer?
Climb between the sheets with 12 ALPHAS: Military/Vets, Shifters, Blue Collar, Business Men, Athletes, Smoke Jumpers, Doctors and more… Ladies this is the YEAR of your dreams. 12 Alphas 12 Months.

Come and get your calendar men for only 99 cents!

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1FRgXhk
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/12-alphas-12-months/id988505697?mt=11
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/12-alphas-12-months
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/12-alphas-12-months-yvette-hines/1121801030?ean=2940151883689

Sexy Scribblers Teaser

3 Jul

Sexy Scribblers image

Scandalous

Episode 1 by Chanta Rand

Website: http://www.chantarand.com/

 

He smelled bacon.

He mentally struggled with whether to get up and eat or to lay comatose.

Comatose felt good.

Eating would mean dealing with his cotton-dry mouth and the insistent pounding at his hotel door.

He rolled over in his king-sized bed and cracked an eye open. His gaze landed on a plate stacked with strips of bacon, and a mountain of scrambled eggs slathered in Tabasco sauce—just the way he liked them.

He’d eaten the same breakfast ever since he’d bought this hotel years ago. Everything was as it should be, except for the idiot at his door. Who had the balls to disturb him after a night of…hell, what had he been doing last night?

His mind barreled through his memory bank until he remembered. Oh yeah, he’d gotten shitfaced with his cousin, Willard and his brother, Bubba. He could hold his liquor better than the average man, but last night he had a good reason for getting tanked.

Grumbling, he tossed his sheets aside and slid out of the bed stark naked. He yanked on a pair of jeans he found discarded on the carpet in the bedroom of his suite. He hobbled barefoot to the front room, but he pulled up short when he saw a buxom blonde sit up on the couch and wipe the sleep from her eyes. The words, Big Tits Ain’t a Crime stretched across the front of her tight t-shirt.

Incredulous, he rasped, “What the hell are you doing here, Anita?”

She yawned. “Hope you don’t mind, Reed. I crashed on your couch. But don’t worry. You and me didn’t do nuthin’. You was too drunk.”

Thank God!  Sex was so much better when he had the memories to rewind.

“I don’t have to be at work for a few hours,” she added, a flicker of hope dancing across her cherub face. “I got time for a quickie.”

Anita was a maid at his hotel. In addition to her irritating habit of using her key to get into his room, she was also engaged to Willard. Reed enjoyed a good fuck, but not at the expense of someone’s fiancé.

“Some other time,” he lied as he walked with a slight limp toward the door. The hangover was temporary. The limp wasn’t. Most everybody in town knew how he’d sustained his injury. Women thought the cane he used was sexy. There was no accounting for female reasoning. His family had run this town for three generations. Power was one hell of an aphrodisiac.

He hoped Willard wasn’t on the other side of that door with a pair of steel knuckles. Of course, it could be the police, too. He’d been known to raise hell during a night of drinking. But, he didn’t take the cops seriously. He’d gone to middle school with half of ‘em and played varsity football with the other half.

When he opened the door, he stared into the face of a strange woman. She was graced with high cheekbones, a mane of raven hair, and a long, slender neck he would love to sink his teeth into. Her stunning sable skin was marred only by the tight scowl she gave him. It was obvious she had a bone to pick. Adam had already sacrificed a rib for men everywhere. Reed would be damned if he let this beauty take one of his.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Want more? Each day a new episode will be posted. Episode 2 posts tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Follow The Sexy Scribblers

Website: http://sexyscribblers.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sexy-Scribblers/861027850651180

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About Chanta Rand

Chanta Rand has been a matchmaker since she found a boyfriend for her best friend in the seventh grade. Today, she’s putting that talent to use every time she brings an alpha hero and a headstrong heroine together in one of her many steamy novels.

Chanta is a multi-published author of contemporary and historical romances, and the former host of The Chanta Rand Show. After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, she finally felt free to pursue her passion for writing. She made her publishing debut in 2010, with her first historical romance, Pharaoh’s Desire. In 2012, she won the Emma Award for Debut Author of the Year for her contemporary romance, The Highest Bidder. This novel also earned the #2 spot on Amazon’s Top 10 List of Sports Romance.

Chanta lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband. She’s a history junkie, a Walking Dead fan, and a recovering shoe addict. She never met a stiletto she didn’t like! If you still want more, check her out at www.ChantaRand.com or email her at Chanta@chantarand.com.