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Sunday, March 31, 2013

AUTHOR SHOWCASE - Ashley Lavering

  
Title: Star Cursed (Curse of the Beast book 2)
Author: Ashley Lavering
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance/ Beauty and the Beast Retelling
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours


Book Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Tayla will never forget Beast’s fiery-venom spreading through her body like an infection. Now, with her best friend Chel’s help, she must find a human true love before the last petal falls from her enchanted rose or the full moon will transform her into a wolf forever.

But Tayla never expected that her biggest obstacle would come from inside—a wolf presence threatening to take her very soul. At every turn, the she-wolf exploits Tayla’s weaknesses and gains enough control to sabotage her dates. Tayla struggles to control her unruly wolf and her forbidden attraction to Beast. But can she resist his southern charm, the she-wolf’s attraction to his alluring scent, and still fall in love with a human?

Tangled in a web of wills, Tayla must risk everything to break the Curse of the Beast. With failure and possible death looming overhead, Tayla will do anything to find true love. But will one moon cycle be long enough to conquer her wolf and remain human? Or will she become a permanent member of Beast’s pack? Find out in the second installment in the Curse of the Beast series.

Available as E-book: Kindle, Nook, Smashwords; and  paperback: Amazon

Add it to your GoodReads shelf:  


Author Bio:

A nomad at heart, I currently claim Nevada as my home. I have a wonderful husband and two young children that put up with my “writing time.” When she’s not pondering a spell that will magically calm the ferocious winds that plague the air around her, you can find her, with notepad in hand, frantically jotting down ideas in those short moments between caring for her girls and working full time at the Elko Institute for Academic Achievement.

Art and science have always been my yin and yang. Throughout my college career, I shifted between the two, but in the end I graduated with a Bachelors of Mathematics and Science from the University of Wyoming.

Charging into adventures and discovering something new has always been a passion of mine, but as a teenager I used to run screaming from a reading or writing assignment. Looking back, the irony isn’t lost on me. Now you can’t catch me without a book in hand or without an open word document. Every time a new idea pops into my mind my heart races and my hand twitch to write it. In that moment, I have my writer's high and pray it will sustain me through thousands of hours of revision.



Ashley's Links:
Amazon Links for Ashley’s books:
Website/Blog Link: Creative Thoughts
Goodreads Book link, for each book:

Excerpt

Brayden held the door open for me as I climbed out of the car. I tried not to cringe seeing the movie house again, but I couldn’t stop my lips from pulling into a hard line. My wolf felt my unease and paced in my mind, adding to my nerves. I knew Brayden was different from Kyle. There was no comparison, but that night still haunted me, and seeing the place where Kyle had assaulted me left me a bit unnerved.
“Are you okay?” Brayden’s hand rested lightly on my lower back.
“Umm.” I shook the bad memories and turned a smile on him. “Yeah. Sorry. It’s been awhile since I was here last.” Like months. He looked confused, so I lied, “It just looks different. That’s all. Why don’t we get our tickets?”
“All right.” He still looked unconvinced, but let it go.
We arrived at the ticket booth and both spoke at the same time, “Two for Lights and Brimfire.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” I looked off to the side of him. “I just thought, that well, since I asked you and all…”
He chuckled. “Tayla, it’s okay.” I looked up at him and the smile on his face tugged mine back into place. He continued, “And I always pay, even if the girl asked me.” He winked at me and my knees wobbled from the fuzzy warmth creeping into my stomach. A rumble of agitation pushed through from my wolf, but it only gave me more confidence that this guy was it.
We picked the seats right in the very middle. To me they were the best seats in the house. I wasn’t sure about the movie. It was some war movie. I felt bad that Beast had to be subjected to it. At least he hadn’t had to run here. He had insisted on drive his own truck.
I felt Beast slink in behind us. He was a few rows up, wearing his trademark black trench coat and kept his head low. As people filled into the theater, they gave him a wide berth. I didn’t blame them. Honestly, he looked like the grim reaper or something.
The lights dimmed in the theater and the previews started. I offered Brayden a licorice. He smiled, and my heart stuttered. Even in the dark, his smile lit the world.
“Thanks for coming,” I whispered.
“No problem.” He grabbed another licorice. “Thanks for the invite.”
“Hey.” I shouldered him. “That’s my licorice,” I teased.
He shoulder knocked me back. “Then you shouldn’t have given me the first one. Now I’ll eat the whole bag.”
I made a great show of hiding them in my jacket and we both chuckled. He was easy that way. I didn’t feel like I had to be someone else. Not like with Kyle.
Why am I thinking of him?
I mentally scolded myself and relaxed back in my chair, leaning close to Brayden. He didn’t scoot away and hope warmed my chest. I was careful to only breathe through my mouth and had practiced clamping down on my wolf senses, not wanting a repeat of the gym scene. The heat of his arm against mine was comforting, and the way he periodically gave me sideways glances made my heart flutter.
The movie started but I was too focused on Brayden to watch. That was until the battle scenes demanded my attention. My wolf was riveted to the carnage on the screen and, to my horror, was licking her lips. I almost dry heaved right then. I shrunk from the movie and from her. I covered my eyes with my hands, praying it would stop her blood lust and my rolling stomach. I’m sure I whimpered or something equally as embarrassing, because Brayden lifted the armrest and pulled me close. I snuggled into his chest.
“We can leave,” he whispered, tickling my ear.
“I don’t want you to miss your movie,” I responded, trying not to breathe as I was happily surrounded by his strong arms.
He squeezed me close. “All right.”
My nose pressed up against his shoulder, a potential happy place for me if it wasn’t for my wolf. I was too close and could taste the tang of animal blood on my tongue. I quickly closed my mouth. When I was forced to breathe, the smell of farm animals was strong, but not as strong as the metallic smell of blood. It all reminded me of the first time I met him.
The smell overwhelmed my senses and I felt my control slip. I closed my eyes, focusing on restraining the wolf struggling against her cage. She wasn’t going to ruin this for me. I refused to pull away, but the thought of dead animals was too disturbing, and the smell was stronger than that day in the gym. My mind wandered from its task. Had he killed an animal today? But the horror that should have washed over me was replaced with a heady need. I breathed deeply and pressed my body closer, quickly losing control. The smell was delightfully tantalizing and my stomach grumbled, transporting me to a childhood memory of Aunt Lily’s jello cake.
My mouth watered, as I pictured the cake. It smelled so real that I could almost taste it. I opened my mouth and skimmed the cake with my lips, biting down softly. My teeth met more resistance than I was expecting. I was about to bite down harder when large fingers slid between my teeth preventing me from my dessert. I growled and threw my head back, only to have Beast’s strong arms capture me in a vice grip around my torso. 
“What the—?”
Brayden’s voice snapped me out of my delusion of a childhood dessert. My eyes flew open and I took in his disgusted expression as he rubbed his neck. His hand came away wet with my saliva. His gaze darted to his left shoulder where his shirt was several shades darker, thanks to my drool. Horror washed through me, but before I could utter a word of apology, Beast tugged me out of my seat and hauled me out of the theater. I could still hear Chel and Brayden.
“Oh,” Chel said. “Eww. I’m so sorry. Maybe her blood sugar was low.”
“What?” Brayden’s disbelieving voice sliced me. How would he love me now?
“You know people do all sorts of weird stuff when their blood sugar is low,” Chel explained.
“Oh, like biting me?”
I could imagine his eyes narrowing in anger.
“Umm,” Chel hesitated, obviously surprised I had actually bit him. “Was it just a nip? I don’t see any broken skin.”
That news sent a trickle of relief over me. At least, I hadn’t drawn blood.
“That isn’t the point. She bit and slobbered all over me. My animals don’t even get me this bad!” he hissed back. His voice sounded like he had stood and was walking out of the theater as well. Chel didn’t respond. I’m sure she was trying to process the whole thing.
“And who was that guy?” Brayden asked.
“Oh, just a friend.”
“She has some stalker friend to pull her from dates when she starts biting them?”
“No.” She giggled nervously. “I guess you smell so good she just wanted a taste.”
I cringed, mortified even more than I already was. Way to go, Chel, now I really want to hide. The night air hit my face as we exited the theater house. Beast strode a few yards more before depositing me against the wall, where I slumped down to the ground and hugged my knees.
Almost too low for me to hear, Chel’s date, Dalyn, responded, “You can take a taste of me anytime you like, Chel.”
“You’re all nuts,” Brayden said.
“Wait, I’ll drive you home,” Chel called after him, her voice getting louder as they neared.
“Don’t bother. I’m safer walking.” He pushed open the door. Our eyes met for a moment before he stormed off. 
I hung my head. “Oh, Beast,” I whispered. “What have I done?”
To my surprise, he chuckled. “So you nipped him?” He shrugged his shoulders but the mirth was still there.
I glowered at him. “Then why did you swoop down and carry me off if you didn’t think it was a big deal?”
“The nip wasn’t what I was worried about, but the real bite you were going to give him next would’ve drawn blood, and then it was unlikely you’d be able to stop.” His lips hitched upward. “That would have really made your wolf crazy.”
“That meddlesome she-devil!” I ground out between my teeth. “She ruins everything.”
“If you’d learned to control her better, you would’ve smelled the animals on him and stayed far away from him in the first place.” His eyes twinkled as if laughing at an inside joke.
Before I could retort, Chel came out of the doors, her date trailing behind her. “Dalyn, will you start the car for me and bring it around?” She tossed him her keys before he responded.
“Sure.” He eyed me with a mischievous glint. I felt Beast vibrate with an inaudible growl. I agreed. Dalyn’s look sent chills up my spine, like he was assessing a hooker or something. Yuck! I was definitely telling Chel to stay away from that one.
With Dalyn in the SUV and out of hearing, Chel demanded answers. “What just happened?”
I scowled at my knees. “He must’ve slaughtered a cow or something yesterday because his stench was so much stronger today, and my wolf got the better of me.”
“But you bit him?”
“It’s her! I would never do that. Eww. He must think I’m a freak.” I groaned, placing my head in my hands. “He was so perfect, too.”
Chel patted my shoulder, but it wasn’t soothing; nothing was, with this wolf in my head.
“You know what the worst part is?” I ask, looking up to see Chel raise her eyebrow. “She tricked me. She used my memory of Aunt Lily’s jello cake to convince me to bite him. I didn’t even know she could do that!”
“Jello?” Chel asked.
Beast cleared his voice.
“What?” I demanded.
“That isn’t exactly true,” he said. I lifted a disbelieving eyebrow at him. “Just hear me out. The smell, it was delicious to you?”
“Only after she tricked me into thinking it was cake. If I had consciously thought of it as blood, animal, whatever, I never…” I couldn’t say the rest.
“That is where you are wrong.” Beast paused until I looked up at him. “To your wolf, animal scent and blood are delicious, and so the best way you could understand those feelings was to relate it to cake.” His voice lost its teacher tone when he got to the last word and turned more playful. “It must’ve been some delectable cake. Maybe my blood lust would curb a bit if you made it for me.” He winked.
“Shut up.” I smacked him in the leg, but couldn’t resist the smile that spread across my lips. I had my wolfish friend back and was determined to side-step as many rift-creating topics as possible. 
Chel bit her bottom lip. “I’m not sure I can fix this, Tay. A little drool I could explain away, but…”
My frown was back. I’d lost Brayden. “Thanks for trying. I guess we should stay away from cowboys.” I gave Chel a rueful grin.
Chel puffed out air and rubbed her temples. “Friday night is a cancel then.”
“Oh?” Why did things always go to crap?
“Yeah, one of Brayden’s roping buddies. But after he hears Brayden’s story, he’ll be canceling before I get a chance to do it.” She gave my shoulder a squeeze. “I’ll find a replacement.”
“Ah!” I buried my face in my hands. “Why did she have to bite him? Stupid wolf.” She growled at me and nipped at my mind, causing a throbbing headache.
Beast crouched down to my level and tucked a finger under my chin. His touch held soothing warmth, but I fought it. I deserved to feel the crushing weight of my actions. The pressure on my chin increased until I could no longer resist his strength. My face tilted up to him, but I refused to look him in the eyes. At least, in that I still had the power to defy.
“Stupid is the last word I’d use to describe you.” As if by its own accord, my gaze lifted and was met by the warmth coming from his eyes. His thumb grazed my jaw, and both my wolf and I trembled ever so slightly. He noticed my reaction, and his eyes lit with mischief. “And if he had been a werewolf, I guarantee you would’ve gotten a different response.”
I couldn’t breathe. What he implied was too direct to misinterpret. A horn blasted, and I jerked, breaking the spell. Beast lifted his head to look at Dalyn, giving me the needed release to breathe.

Now for the Giveaway! 




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

AUDIOBOOK UPDATE FOR ALLUSIVE AFTERSHOCK




Audible.com and the production company are working very hard on getting Allusive Aftershock ready for audiobook release. It should be released this April and will available at Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes.
I don’t have an exact date, but as soon as I do, I’ll let you know. The narrator, Rachel Jacobs, is fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better Adela. She could even play her in a movie. Isn't she gorgeous? She looks exactly the way I pictured Adela when I wrote her character.  

Rachel's performance of Court's and Max's voices are awesome as well. She’s doing an absolute marvelous job and I can’t wait for you all to hear her. You can learn more about Rachel here at her website and check out her new voice demo while you are there: http://www.rachelljacobs.com/rachel/home.html

And on another note, Allusive Aftershock is featured today at: Ereader News Today. Check it out. And don't forget, always dream and, 






Wednesday, March 20, 2013

THE THIRTEENTH by G.L. Twynham - Showcase and Excerpt

And giveaway!!!!


Title: The Thirteenth
Author: G.L. Twynham
Series: The Thirteenth Series
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 9 2009
Editions/Formats Available In:  Kindle/Print/Audio Book




Blurb/Synopsis:
Imagine starting at the end and finishing back at the beginning.  This is the story of a teenage girl called Valerie Saunders who is about to be thrown through time and space. Being bestowed with abilities beyond her wildest nightmares, she discovers that she not only has to deal with turning eighteen, her first job and an unwanted tattoo, but also magical powers and intense urges to fall in love. She envisaged she would spend her life blending into the scenery, not blowing it up!
Val has a calling, but which side is dialling her number? 

How did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

We need to go right back to my youth for this. First Sci-fi infection was Star Wars at the age of five. That’s one that stayed with me for life. I actually watched Star Wars: A New Hope today. But my main influence was Flash Gordon – the 1936 black and white episodes with Buster Crabb. It would be aired every Saturday morning and always ended on a cliff hanger which would leave me wondering what had happened to Flash for a whole seven days.
Them my father kindly introduced me to the audio of War of The Worlds and the Flash Gordon Movie made in 1981. I grew up with the original Wonder Woman, Spiderman and Hulk TV series. I would watch anything slightly out of this world. So when it came to writing my book it was the one thing I wanted – something that in all that amazing mixture was missing – A British Female Superhero.
So to answer the question, my life chose Sci-fi for me and I’m very grateful it did.


 Born in Wellingborough in 1972, Georgia was brought up with her two older brothers in a sleepy Leicestershire village until at the age of fifteen, her parents decided to move abroad, taking her with them. A new country and a new language helped her come out of her shell and for eleven years, she lived and worked on the beautiful island of Menorca.
Georgia wrote short stories and poetry from an early age but her real passion for writing didn’t truly emerge until she was 31. Writing for her own web site and articles for magazines helped to support her and her daughter. After meeting her now fiancĂ©, she was given the encouragement and opportunity to write full-time and the rest is history. 
Chapter 1
The Tattoo

A young woman stood alone looking up at the night sky, a cool breeze effortlessly caressing her slim frame as darkness closed around her. At long last it would be her turn to be part of something that had been her destiny since birth.
She moved on, passing the pond; she caught her reflection in the water and smiled. The time had arrived; the moon had reached the tops of the trees. On this particular evening, the shadows of the dense woods, mixed with the bruised sky made the adventure that lay ahead seem all the more exciting.
As she left the village behind and made her way into the woodland, her body filled with anticipation. She began to run.
Knowing instinctively where to go, she weaved like a needle in and out of the undergrowth, dodging the trees as if they were merely smoke trails rising in front of her.
She was moving swiftly when an unfamiliar sound suddenly stopped her dead in her tracks. A strange crackling in the air made every hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Something was very wrong. She span around, trying to find where it was coming from, but soon realized it was everywhere. Then, as suddenly as it had started, it stopped.
She had cautiously started to move forward again, when the silence was shattered once more by another wave of sound. In the confusion, her foot caught under a loose tree root, causing her to fall awkwardly into a pile of leaves. Before she had time to stand up, she heard violent screams coming from the distance. These weren’t joyful cries; the cries of pleasure and happiness she had been expecting. These turned her blood cold and left her paralyzed where she lay on the wet forest floor, her heart pounding.
After a few seconds, she gathered enough courage to slowly lift herself up and move forward again. She was suddenly very frightened, aware of the risk she was taking just by being there. She darted to an old oak tree, hiding for a moment in the shelter of its huge trunk.
Cautiously, she edged around it. Everything was quiet again so she leant the top half of her body out, to see if it was safe. In that split second a ball of light came towards her, travelling at amazing speed and growing as it came, until it seemed to be the size of a mountain.
When it hit her, its power engulfed her whole body and she was instantly lifted off the ground. She screamed helplessly as it raised her into the treetops.
Her ears filled with a piercing noise, like nothing she had ever heard before. Her whole body felt like it was burning up, yet still she kept rising and rising, until she was high above the trees.
Then the light and noise stopped as quickly and as it had started. Her upward flight came to a violent halt, and she began to fall. As she tumbled through the trees, the thick branches scratched aggressively at her clothes and face. The ground came towards her at terrifying speed. The scream that was struggling to escape her was silenced when she hit the ground with tremendous force. Her body filled with pain, the taste of warm blood filled her mouth, and she slipped into unconsciousness.


Purchase Links
Amazon Print:   
Other Purchase Links Can Be Found Here:   

Author Links
Website:    www.thethirteenth.co.uk
Blog:    http://gltwynhamthethirteenth.blogspot.co.uk/


Sunday, March 17, 2013

ALLUSIVE AFTERSHOCK PROMOTIONAL TOUR & GIVEAWAY

The contest is open now and will run until April 14th



Title: Allusive Aftershock
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Available Now on digital and paperback from Amazon. Paperbacks available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and various bookstores.
What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!

Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him.

But, Max--her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet--hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking. 

When Max leaves her stranded in his parents' wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict. 

But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?

The tour starts March 24th but the giveaway goes from
 March 17th through April 14th.
Tour Schedule - March 24 - April 7

Amazing Books Mar 27
Read 2 Review Mar 30
House Millar April 4

*******************************************
Now for the GIVEAWAY!!
What’s up for grabs?
1 Signed paperback copy of Allusive Aftershock
1 Coffee Mug with Allusive Aftershock full print cover
1 Charm Bracelet with Allusive Aftershock book charm, created by Cassie Chaves of Cassie’s Crafty Creations
1 Tote Bag with Allusive Aftershock front and back cover
1  Poster of Allusive Aftershock book cover, 11” by 17”
2 Winners of an e-book copy of Allusive Aftershock



Seven (7) winners! 




Thursday, March 14, 2013

DON'T KILL DINNER by Jennifer Martinez - RELEASE DAY BLITZ!

 Something about this title that just shouts, "READ ME!" Annnnnd I am so looking forward to it, especially since I just returned from New Orleans or as they say there, Naw'lans. ♥






Title: Don’t Kill Dinner
Series: The Rules Trilogy
Author: Jennifer Martinez
Genre: Urban Fantasy/New Adult Paranormal (Mature audiences only. Mild to moderate swearing and damn sexy sexual situations)
Page Length: 170
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Tour Organizer: B3 Tours




Quote for Cover: “I love you Kenna and I will never lose you. I promise.”



Official Blurb:
There are three rules when it comes to being a vampire in New Orleans. 1) Don’t kill dinner. 2) Don’t feed from people you know. 3) Don’t tell anyone. Not too hard, right? Wrong. Kenna is a new vampire filled with a passion that has turned into an uncontrollable lust for blood.
 Will Arthur be able to stop her feeding spree before the coven comes after her or is Kenna beyond saving?

Arthur has been watching Kenna for years, wanting her to try her own hand in life before he gave her the ultimate proposal. Now that she has accepted, will his love be enough to save her?


**Notes: The first day proceeds of Don’t Kill Dinner will be donated to Rain Pet Rescue of Fort Myers. They take in animals from High Kill shelters throughout Florida. This is my adoption agency of choice and I am a proud supporter of adopting your family members.**
Rain on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rain.rescueanimalsinneed?fref=ts
Rains webpage: http://www.rescueanimalsinneed.org

Here's something about Jennifer:
One day while slaving away at her monotonous day job, Jennifer Martinez found her true calling. Like a firefly in the night, the pages called to her. Once she caught the bug there was no stopping it. Her fingers flew furiously across the keyboard winding tales of love, mystery and anger. She snapped out of her reverie to find herself still behind the desk but at least she knew who she was… Author Jennifer Martinez.


Ever Winter by Alexia Purdy Blurb Blitz





Title: Ever Winter
Author:  Alexia Purdy
Series: A Dark Faerie Tale (#3)
Genre:  Fantasy/Faeries/YA/Paranormal
Publisher:  Lyrical Lit. Publishing
Release Date:  February 28 2013







Synopsis:
Shade is left all but shattered. She must travel to the Ice kingdom along with her 'body guard' Dylan, who continues to be bound with a blood oath to her, where the holder of her magic dwells. Her only chance to right the warring Faerie lands to harmony will be to resist the enchantments of the Ice King, one of the Ancient rulers of Faerie, to regain her power and make it to the Summer Kingdom with her family to claim back her throne.
Only the Ancients of Faerie don't want her to succeed and there are treacheries in every crevice of the land, even among the human mortals and trusted alibis.



Alexia currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada–Sin City! She loves to spend every free moment writing or playing with her four rambunctious kids. Writing has always been her dream and she has been writing ever since she can remember. She loves writing paranormal fantasy and poetry and devours books daily. Alexia also enjoys watching movies, dancing, singing loudly in the car and Italian food.
Author Links







Excerpt 

“Open the door, Stanis,” Shade hissed. “We’re through here.”

“Just a minute, princess. I have bone to pick with you.” He tapped the wall and moved so fast, only a blur appeared where he had stood. He was in the kitchen now and pulled out a small, blue glass bowl. Bringing it to her, he held it out toward Shade, pushing her to take it. When she did, he resumed his position on the creaky chair, motioning her to sit back on the couch. “Please, sit.”

“I’d rather stand.”

He groaned, rolling his head on his shoulders, his long brown hair spilled over the back of the chair as he did that. He looked like a drunk slumped in the chair, almost falling off the edge.

“Suite yourself, changeling. But I highly suggest you sit. There are more ways than one to use magic, even bound up as you are.” His wild eyes seemed more sober now and she felt a sudden urge to sit as told. The suspicion she felt that he was using magic on her was eating at her nerves. She hated being played, and he seemed a master at that.

“What do you mean, more ways?” She settled between Soap and Dylan and held the bowl out. It was small enough to fit in her palm.

“This is a Pith. It extracts your essence, therefore, your powers are given a release through this bowl. Even in your case, one’s powers cannot be completely contained, as one can never truly trap a mind. This Pith provides another route, another path for your magic to escape your body and work its powers. We’re only trapped by the binds we allow to be placed upon ourselves. This breaks through that. It will let you use your water magic, as if you’d never been bound.”

The others gasped, staring in wonderment at the ordinary blue glass bowl sitting in her palm. It seemed utterly mundane, no etchings on its hard surface, nothing to condone its powerful use. She wondered if he was pulling her leg or not. But it was worth a try.

“One drop into the bowl, Shade. That’s all it takes.” He gestured quickly, to make her move faster. She gulped, mesmerized by the glass. She silently prayed that it would work, if not, they were doomed. No, she was doomed.





Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Most Awesome Birthday Cruise Ever!


So, I’ve been MIA for the past week and a half. I haven’t really been missing. I’ve been cruising. Yep. Went on a cruise for my birthday and I have to tell you, it was the best cruise ever! I thought of you all every day—not.
But don’t despair. I didn’t forget you all. It’s just that I had so many other things on my mind. I’m sure you can understand.
  
Yep, that's me sitting there in our living room. Since the cruise was a birthday present from my wonderfully romantic hubby, he decided to take it a few steps higher and upgrade us to one of the only two deluxe owner suites onboard. These suites (one on each forward side of the ship) have wall-to-wall windows with 180-degree views spanning from the bedroom throughout the living room.  
 Our dinning room

Yes! I have the best husband in the world. Thank you, honey, in case you read this. Annnnnd, the room came complete with a whirlpool bathtub, free booze, annnnnnnd, are you ready for this? A butler! Our very own butler, (not the Butler as in Gerard, that would have made me wet my pants or something) but Bagus, pronounced Bagoose








brought us much appreciated, hors d’oeuvres every afternoon and brownies, which made those ten pounds I lost before the cruise slightly creep back onto my hips.

There were several other awesome perks that came with these rooms. One of which, was the ease of getting on board. We didn’t have to wait in any lines. We were escorted directly on board and taken to the most swanky restaurant for a free lunch, which normally cost extra at this particular restaurant on the ship.  Aside from all the free fancy and not fancy restaurants, unlike most cruise ships, the Norwegian Cruise line has several other restaurants to choose from that require an additional cover charge. Breakfast and lunch were offered to us at this restaurant everyday for free, but most of the time, since we had that awesome view, we ate in our suite with room service that our butler was more than happy to fetch for us, which also contributed to those pounds that snuck back onto my cheeks (both sets). 

So, where did our cruise go?

We started out in New Orleans, cruised to Costa Maya where we went on a very tiring excursion to the ruins and then spent some time on the beach, drinking Corona’s and sunning ourselves. From there we floated down to Belize where we decided to take advantage of the ghost ship (literally) and stayed onboard. It was a wonderfully quiet and peaceful day, sunning by the pool with only a few other passengers who had the same idea. From Belize, we took off to Roatan, Honduras, a surprisingly beautiful place with the most powdery white sand. Need I say more? We did do a little shopping there too but mostly enjoyed the beach. Our last stop on the cruise was to Cozumel. In Cozumel, we went on our own, did some shopping and had lunch. Cozumel is just south of Cancun and aside from the beautiful crystal blue-turquoise water, it is a typical Mexican tourist town with someone wanting you to buy something every few feet. I had to laugh at one point after several guys trying their best to coax us to come check out this or come check out that, when one piped up and said, “Come check out my sister.”

As we cruised our way back up to New Orleans, we were given a tour of the bridge. Our concierge had mentioned to us that no one had the view we had from our suite except the captain and he didn’t lie.  

I do have more pictures and will post them here and facebook as I sort through them. 

We had such an amazing time. The ocean was very kind to us. In fact, I really miss the gentle sway of the boat as it lulled me to sleep every night while I watched the stars that somehow always seemed much closer to earth than normal.

Have you been on a cruise? Tell me about it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.