Music Monday: 27-Oct-2014

Was watching YouTube while laid up with a icky cold over the weekend. I absolutely love Yanis Marshall so I had to watch a few of his vids. He’s an amazing choreographer. And as a feminist, I think that anyone should be able to dance in heels if they want to, minus labels or judgment. When Yanis was asked, “Why do you dance in heels?” His answer was, “Well, why not? My mother has forty pairs of heels so I learned to dance in them. It’s hard, and sometimes you fall on your *bleep*.” Enjoy. The man has some serious moves! YanisMarshall

I’ve included the video here, but if it doesn’t appear for you, click this link of Yanis Marshall dancing to Ride by Ciara to view the video.

Music Monday: 20-Oct-2014

I’m in an interesting mood today. Feeling somewhat cranky and romantic at the same time. Now how one does that is still beyond me *smile*, but it’s no less true. And since I’m feeling all romantic-y (I know it’s not a word, but you get me) I’ve watched a few romantic-y movies this weekend. So here’s my Music Monday pick. Recognize it?

I’ve embedded the video from YouTube, but if it doesn’t display, please use this link:
Link to TJ’s Music Monday pick

Music Monday: 10-Oct-14

It’s Monday!

And today I have a real oldie-but-goodie song on my mind. This morning I was talking with someone and they asked how I was doing. My response was, “I’m fine. I’m…giddy!” Picture in your mind, Inara Sera from Firefly/Serenity snapping at Captain Tight Pants (Mal Reynolds) at the beginning of the movie, Serenity…and you have ME!

Yep, that’s my mood – snarky and sarcastic with a genuine smile :)

Happy Monday!


I’ve embedded video of the song from Serenity in this blog post, but if it’s not showing, here’s a link:

Theme Song from Serenity/Firefly

Loving Day Blog Hop – And…?


I was born and raised in California, but my dad was from Georgia. When my sisters and I were college bound, he packed up and said, “Well, ya’ll are big enough. I’m going home.” Some years later I realized that I’d been married, had children and divorced, yet neither my children or I had ever been to the South. So in 1997 I moved my family to the South – Augusta, Georgia to be precise. I commuted to Columbia, South Carolina, for work everyday.

In 1997, thirty years AFTER the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to prohibit marriage between races, South Carolina still had that law on the books. In fact, the year we moved there was the year they finally removed it after the people of the state addressed the issue via ballot.

SeekersSolace72web I thought it was…odd. Why? Because I was raised in a place that is amazingly diverse? No, not really. Sure, San Francisco is a big mix of people from all over the globe, but you still find neighborhoods with a majority of a certain race. So being born in a diverse place wasn’t enough. What shaped me was my parents–parents who, regardless of the fact they’d literally fled the South in the Sixties, taught me not to give a rat’s rearend about race.

After I started dating in high school, I brought guys home to meet my parents. I never gave their skin a second look. To me they were simply people. I dated black guys, Jewish guys, white guys, a gorgeous hunk-of-awesome from Puerto Rico, and even a dude from Guam. What did they all have in common other than their humanity? Not much! They were from different upbringings, different countries, different religious beliefs, and so on.

There were plenty of other things to learn about each other and plenty of other hurdles to hop over besides…I pause here because I don’t really want to use the word “race”. If you think on it, we’re all ONE race. We’re all the same species. For example, lions look different from tigers, look different from cheetahs, look different from your typical garden variety house cat. Yet they’re all called cats, they’re all felines. Their anatomy is pretty much the same.

So what’s the difference with humans? Our skins may have different shades, our eyes may have different shapes, but we all have the same number of kidneys, lungs and stuff, right? We all reproduce the same way…unless there’s something someone forgot to tell me!
So, in my novels, I don’t make race an issue between the characters. What’s more important to them is that they catch the bad guys and gals that are wreaking havoc in their worlds. And sometimes my characters bring their own drama to the party by clashing as all couples do, over communication, money, age. Hell, sometimes it’s something as silly as shoes!

Do I describe their looks? Of course. I make it very clear who is who and what they look like, whether they have brown skin, golden tan skin or creamy white skin. And then I go on to tell one hell of a story that’s packed full of action, HAWT lovin’ (or lubbins, if you’re so inclined :roll: ), solid families and relationships. They’re stories of hot alphas and the women who can handle them *hubba hubba*

So jump on in! Close your eyes…and slip into your fantasy. I guarantee, you won’t regret it!

I’m giving away a e-copy (Nook or Kindle only) of my brand new release, Niah’s Pride. This book just released last week and it’s unheard of to give away a new book, but here we are breaking tradition *yeehaw*

Be sure to comment to be entered into the drawing!

Catch me on Facebook and Twitter also. Be warned, I have no sense and no shame so you never know what you’re going to get :)

Hop on over to M.O. Kenyon’s blog and see what juicy goodness is in store for you!

Snippet Saturday – Author’s Choice

Today’s Snippet Saturday theme is author’s choice. Honestly I actually like having a specific theme because I love so many books it’s tough to pick a scene that I want to post. And I obviously can’t post the whole book, right *bleh* ;D

So I think I’ll choose something a bit sassy from a book where all the characters have a bit of pizzazz in one way or another. After the excerpt be sure to visit all the other Snippet Saturday authors via the links at the bottom of the page.

Egyptian Voyage
Copyright 2006 by TJ Michaels

One more step and his erection thudded against her stomach, just underneath her breasts and partially hidden by the frothing water. Her heart rate kicked up into overdrive and breathing was a whole lot higher on the scale of important things to do. Okay, time to go. So, why weren’t her legs carrying her the hell out of the damned hot tub?

“Chrysalyn?” he asked, seeking her permission to touch with a whisper-soft plea against the side of her face. With her butt rooted to the spot, she watched one of his large, strong hands move toward her face to remove her sunglasses as the other tipped her chin up just before his lips brushed sensuously against hers.

“Chrys, baby, I’ve missed you so much.” His breath was a barrage of peppermint flowing over her cheek, followed by Eskimo kisses. When was the last time she’d rubbed noses with a man, or anyone for that matter?

His perfectly chiseled body scant inches from hers sent the blood dancing in her veins as the heat in her own skin threatened to out heat the bubbling tub. God, why had he always been able to get to her like this? Especially when she should totally hate the bastard—the dark-haired, tawny-eyed, gorgeous and seemingly sincere bastard. The knowledge that he could move her like no one else pissed her off.

*Or perhaps you are more angry with yourself?* Adonei queried as he faded to a little corner of her mind.

Nope! She was not angry with herself. Even if she had made every dumb decision possible during that rocky period while on the rebound from Rahn. Even if he would have crawled back, she’d simply been too proud to forgive him, determined to stay with the fiancé from hell just to prove a point.

Oooh, but now he nibbled that little spot he knew she liked while whispering her name between little bites.

“God, Chrysalyn, you taste so good,” he murmured against her slightly parted lips before covering her mouth with his. Any gentle intent dissolved into pure lust as he entangled his tongue with hers. She felt herself slip under his spell, felt the petals of her sex tingle and burn, and it had nothing to do with the heat of the hot tub.

Then she was suddenly empty. Rahn was there, but in her mind, she was utterly, totally alone.

Usually an expert at schooling her features, her emotions slipped out of her grasp and ran away from her. The panic that reared up to press against the middle of her chest was etched clearly across her face. Adonei! He was gone. They’d never been apart since the day she’d met him as a child. Why? Why now?

*I am here, Chrysalyn, but I would not disrespect you or your mate by intruding upon your mating.*

‘What? Adonei, don’t you dare leave me!’ she wailed in her head.

*Your mate will take good care of you. Do not worry. I will be near.*

‘My mate? What’s with this mate stuff? Adonei? Come back!’

“Hey, sweetheart, what’s wrong?” Rahn asked, letting her push away just a bit. The concern in his voice, accompanied by a little shake, broke through the wall of fear quickly erecting itself around her heart and snatched her back to the present.

“Are you all right?”

Her gut clenched painfully. All right? Hell no, she wasn’t all right, but it would be a seven-below-zero day in hell before she admitted it. He couldn’t possibly understand the emptiness in her head, the little void in her heart that was always filled with Adonei’s presence. Just the thought of being alone inside her own mind was downright terrifying.

Rahn crooned into her ear, holding her tenderly, gently massaging the muscles of her back. “You look afraid. You know I won’t hurt you, love.”

Still shaken from Adonei’s absence, she snapped, “I’m not afraid of you, Rahn.” And moved to jump out of the tub.

Rahn’s hand wrapped firmly around her biceps just as her toe hit the edge of the Jacuzzi. She froze.

“I’m sorry, Chrys. I didn’t mean to upset you,” he said quickly, his smooth voice full of concern. The pained expression in his deep amber eyes moved something buried inside her she’d thought long dead—the ability to receive comfort from a man. That comfort eased through her heart, mind and body, worked its way to her head and calmed her fears.

Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Selena Robins
Eliza Gayle
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Mandy M Roth
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Selena Blake
Vivian Arend
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Beth-Ann Mason
HelenKay Dimon
Shelli Stevens
Lauren Dane
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Shiloh Walker

NWNW – It’s ON!

Click the logo to read posts by all of the other participants

No wedding, NO womb!
A brilliant movement started by Christelyn D. Karazin
Visit Beyond Black and White, for thoughtful, funny and down-to-earth talk

Why am I supporting this blog around the world? Because although I was married when my children were planned and conceived, I ended up a single mother anyway. Now some would say, well what’s the point of getting married if you’re going to end up raising your children on your own anyway? Marriage isn’t my point, not really. Children are my point.

Children need both sexes to thrive. And not just both sexes, but well-rounded parents. In my case, after our divorce the ex-husband was perfectly happy to walk away from our children. I had to find surrogate dads – luckily I had single and married friends who didn’t mind taking my son golfing, to play ball, do Boy Scouts, go snowboarding, camping, etc. Friends came to graduations for both my kids when the sperm donor wouldn’t show up. They came to plays and dances, football and volleyball games. In short, regardless of how strong I am or how educated, I couldn’t do it alone. Period.

While women are full of love and natural nurturers, if we were all that was needed to have and raise a child, then there would be no need for sperm. God knew what he was doing when he made men and women to need and complete each other. Can you be happy single? Absolutely. But planning to be single typically means there is no plan for children.

Why do children need their fathers? First, I can’t teach my son to be a man. Why not? Because I’ve never been a man, I have no idea what it means to be one and to be honest, I have no desire to be a guy. Second, my daughter needs to understand what a good relationship with a man looks like so she can tell the difference in her own relationships.

Black male-to-female relationships are at the heart of this issue. Our teen girls are told through the media that they’re supposed to go to a club as skanky as they wanna be with no consequences. Meanwhile, the young men are supposed to rope in as many women as he can while not being committed to any of them.

But when it comes to the real consequences of lax sexual attitudes, the result is 48% of black women have herpes, and more than half have babies out of wedlock. Those are sobering statistics which lead to even worse stats in store for our children.

Why do we put more planning into our next vacation than we do into planning our families? And why are we willing to accept less than what we want when it comes to ‘the ring’? The answer- because black women are fed the “you’re not worthy of a good guy” crap from a young age. It’s rare that black girls, in general, are made to feel special.

When I was growing up, in school there were the ‘special girls’ and the rest of us were worth almost nothing. We were lucky if guys were interested in us at all. We were expected to settle for being skeezers and taking whatever we could get. The ‘special girls’ had lighter skin than me and they were perceived to follow the standard of beauty set forth by society or MTV while girls like me didn’t fit that standard.

I was called black dog, pitbull, ugly, big nosed, nappy head, etc. And when people learned that I was a book worm, got good grades in school, and graduated early then I was told I was trying to be white. And none of that came from outside of the black community. It all came from so called family and friends.

Now how the hell was I supposed to grow up as a well-rounded woman able to make good choices and understand my worth when my own community was setting me up to fail? It’s a good question, isn’t it? There’s a lot to be said for constant subliminal bombardment, both inside and outside of the black society.

When a person’s color is the topic of conversation rather than their accomplishments, then that tells us a lot.

Gabourey Sidibe (pronounced Gah-boo-ree Si-deeb) the gorgeous star of the movie ‘Precious’ made the Elle magazine for October 2010. They made 4 different covers to celebrate this actress, yet there is controversy behind the magazine’s photos. Why? Because anyone who saw Precious knows that Miss Sidibe has very dark, beautiful smooth skin and dark hair, yet the photos show both a few shades lighter than her natural tones (see photo here). But why the need to make her look more ‘acceptable’ as if who she is isn’t good enough?

What the hell?

So back around to the dating thing – Don’t buy into the stereotype. That goes for black men AND women.

Currently there are horrifying statistics regarding our young black men. New York Times columnist, Bob Herbert said, “The Schott Foundation for Public Education tells us in a new report that the on-time high school graduation rate for black males in 2008 was an abysmal 47 percent, and even worse in several major urban areas — for example, 28 percent in New York City.” Read entire article here.

Black homes account for $850 billion of revenue via spending, per year. Yes, you are worth something. You are more influential than you think. See past the bullshit and learn to respect yourself. Respect for yourself is not putting others down or lashing out at someone else. Respect for yourself is learning who and what you are, the blessings you are entitled to (without the ‘tude) and being grateful.

There’s a big difference between ego and self-esteem.

In the end when it comes to children, it’s not about your ability to be a good mom. It’s not about who you are as a woman. It’s about what’s best for the children that we bring here. It’s about knowing how to provide a emotionally, psychologically and financially whole home where they can learn to appreciate the differences that men and women bring to the table, and where they can learn to be the best they can be.

Women, don’t feel pressured to give up your ring. If you want to be married with children, don’t let anyone, including your man, pressure you into squeezing the watermelon out of your va-jayjay before he says I DO.

Am I saying that you should make ridiculous demands on your man? Uh, no. Am I saying that we should have our nose in the air and treat men like they have to lick our shoes just to be worthy of being in our company? Nope. But don’t take it to the other extreme either, where we feel that we have to bring another life into this world in order to be worthy of a commitment.

(See this quick chart of statistics from the Centers for Disease Control on birth trends)

Snippet Saturday – Black Moment

No story is complete without a Black Moment – the moment when it looks like all is lost. The moment that absolutely MUST have a resolution because if it doesn’t, there can be no happily ever after.

I chose a Black Moment that, while I was writing it, had me on the edge of my seat as I imagined how the hell my characters were going to get out of it. Enjoy a snippet from my first younger man/older woman contemporary, Caramel Kisses! Meet our awesome executive lady chick, Sydni, and her handsome lover, Drew. The two have just returned from a fabulous two week vacation together…and then it all goes to hell fast.

Copyright © TJ MICHAELS, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

After spending a couple of days recuperating from jet lag, it was time to go back to the office. And once Sydni got there, she wished she’d stayed in bed when Tsubaki-san patched a call through from one of the secretaries upstairs.

Sydni listened carefully unable to keep her mouth from falling open in shock. This couldn’t be right. No way. No how.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Sydni demanded from the woman on the phone.

The secretary hissed in response, obviously trying to keep her voice down. “I said…”

“I know what you said. Now what the hell did you really mean?” Sydni didn’t think she’d been this upset since the day her parents announced they were moving back to the South just as Charli was due to start her first semester of college. Unfortunately, they’d taken their money with them and Sydni had to figure out how to pay for Charli’s books and get her tuition in so she could actually start classes on time. And she had no million dollar bonuses headed her way from anywhere at the time.

“Drew Caruth was just led out of the building by security. He’d just come into his office a half-hour before and booted up his laptop when the senior management team called him up here. Next thing I knew, security showed up and took him out. They didn’t even let him go back to his desk to get any of his personal things. I heard him ask someone to at least have his administrative assistant bring his briefcase and keys so he could get into his car. Rumor has it that Alex Voltier is behind this. Claiming sexual harassment or some such.”

“Son of a bitch!” Sydni didn’t even bother hanging up the phone and was out her door in a flash. When she got to Drew’s office his things appeared undisturbed. Good. She’d gotten there before anyone else had a chance to ransack his belongings. Sydni packed his stuff as quickly as possible. Her hand was on the top of his laptop, lowering it so it would shutdown so she could toss it into his big attaché case with everything else that looked important.

She knew it was a risk, but one she had to take. There was no way in hell Drew had committed such a crime. But if there was anything that might clear him, it was probably somewhere in this room.

Whoa, what was this? Just as she was closing the laptop, an instant message alert flashed at the bottom of his screen. Curiosity got the better of her.

I hope I don’t end up like that cat who did the whole curiosity thing, she thought, then clicked on the little icon noting the date was the same day they’d left for vacation. Obviously Drew hadn’t had a chance to check his messages.

Hey handsome. I’m glad you weren’t upset at our little interaction. Hope I answered all of your questions. And most of all, thank you for being a gentleman. Good luck with everything. And let me know if you change your mind about dinner…or any other things you might happen to want. Always, Alex.

Hmm. What was that about?

Sydni closed the IM, careful to save it first, then reached for the files that were open on his desk. One of them was the Sony contract. The same damn one that had her stumped before. Drew had highlighted several sections with questions and comments. Looked like he was on to something. But Sydni didn’t have time to figure it out now. She had to get out of here before anyone caught her. If the Expedex security folks got here before she could get out again, they’d confiscate everything. They certainly wouldn’t give him his laptop. No, they’d scrub it clean and send it back to inventory. They’d also probably overlook the little note from Alex that might be all it took to get Drew off the hook in the first place.

The only things she left were his keys on the desk and his suit jacket on the hook behind the door. Silently locking up behind herself, Sydni put the thick leather strap over her shoulder and hauled Drew’s attaché to her car then returned to her office for a second.

After placing a few bogus off-site meetings on her calendar she intercommed her secretary.

“Tsubaki-san, I’m heading out for some last minute meetings. I’ll be back right after lunch. With that she made a call to Charli on her way out of the parking lot.

More Snippet Saturday authors:
Emma Petersen
Ashley Ladd
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Eliza Gayle
Mari Carr
Elisabeth Naughton
Juliana Stone
Lauren Dane
Shelley Munro
Taige Crenshaw

Snippet Saturday – Pets and Animals

I really enjoy Snippet Saturday! Each week there’s a different theme and this week’s subject had me putting on my thinking cap. Why? Because none of my heroes or heroines have pets. They have spirit guides, which is an all together different kind of animal – pets require attention, love, food, etc. Spirit guides just might kick your azz if you get out of line, hero or not ;D

I picked a snippet from one of my favorite paranormal stories, Primed to Pounce. I think it’s my favorite because it was my debut, the first book ever published in my 3 1/2 year writing career,

It’s the story of an undercover drug agent who is starting a new life after a bitter and nasty divorce. In this scene she is about to meet a man that turns out to be two things she doesn’t expect – a rival agent who is after the same bad guy, and according to her spirit guide, her mate. After you’re all done, be sure to click through to the links of all the other Snippet Saturday authors to see what they have in store for you.

Another favorite book of mine is Jaguar’s Rule. It was nominated for a CAPA award and later published by Pocket Books. Ever wonder what a jaguar sounds like? Well, I’ve got an answer for you. Choose from the several selections on the player below, close your eyes and imagine yourself in the jungles of Belize in the middle of the night…

Primed to Pounce
by TJ Michaels
Copyright 2006, All Right Reserved
Published by Ellora’s Cave

“Here I am eating a delicious dinner in a swanky, first-class mingling establishment, and I’m sitting here talking to myself,” Delaine grumbled under her breath, hacking her asparagus into itty bitty pieces with her steak knife.

*But you are not speaking with yourself. You are speaking, or rather arguing, with me,* Sapa whispered sarcastically into her head.

‘I am NOT going over there to talk to that man!’ Delaine growled back along their bond, stabbing her knife into a steak fillet so tender she could have cut it with a fork. The lioness was trying to get her to talk to the gorgeous redhead eyeballing her from across the room. But the cat was clearly crazy.

*You know you want to meet him, Suta.*

‘Who the hell cares whether I want to or not? There’s no way I’m making a fool of myself. I did that for eighteen years, and I am SO done,’ Delaine fumed at her spirit guide.

*Pride versus opportunity, Suta Winyan. Choose one. He’s interested. And quite tasty looking.*

‘Puh-lease! A man as fine as that, interested in me? Riiiiiight.’ It was times like this Delaine wished her spirit guide would go on vacation or something, but no such luck. The attractive man had caught the big cat’s eye.

*A possible mate, yes?*

‘NO!’ Delaine wailed in her head.

More than confident at her job, Delaine just wasn’t that bold when it came to trying to develop a love life. She’d been with the same man since her nineteenth birthday. At thirty-seven, she had no clue how to play dating games, and there was no way between here and hell she was putting herself out there with a total stranger. Besides, if the father of her children didn’t want her, then who would?

*You admit the puny Gary person you were married to was right?* the lioness asked on a sly purr.

Delaine bit the inside of her cheek to keep her mouth from falling open. What an ah-ha moment. Sapa was right. What the hell was she thinking, allowing that bastard Gary to make her feel unworthy and unwanted? She’d been more than good enough for him. He was the first man she’d ever dated, ever made love to, and unfortunately, settled for. But she would never settle for a mealy-mouthed, untrustworthy, spineless, selfish asshole again.

Mr. Handsome-As-Sin with the piercing eyes didn’t look like he fell into the mealy- mouthed category. He was stunning. He must be intelligent or he wouldn’t be in this group. She would never know if he fit the rest of the bill if she didn’t take a chance.

‘Okay, Sapa, let’s do this,’ she said, and took a deep breath as Sapa appeared behind her eyes, ready to give any aid Delaine might need.

Delaine squared her shoulders and pushed to her feet. The butterflies in her stomach grew kite-sized wings the moment she locked eyes with him. He didn’t look away. If anything, he stared harder. The man had no shame. The expression in his eyes was primal, like he had an unsatisfied craving for something. So that’s what lust looks like? Her knees felt peculiarly weak, but she kept right on walking.

She told herself to relax, painting on a calm facade. He stood and waited for her as she made her way over to his table. Lord, he was so tall and powerfully built. Forcing her eyes not to widen like a startled owl’s, she took in the length of his legs. He had to be at least six-foot-five to her five-foot-seven inches. His gray fine-gauged sweater accentuated the width of his shoulders. A pair of jet-black, tailored trousers showed off a trim waist, flat stomach and super long legs.

Sapa purred in her head as Delaine entertained thoughts of sliding her hands over the well-developed deltoids and thick biceps that bulged through the material of his sweater. His wavy, dark red hair was tastefully cut, with the sides and back cut shorter to fade into a neat line at the nape of his neck. His eyes were the most vivid, breathtaking blue. Like perfectly cut Caribbean Sea gemstones. Jeweled topaz blue. Damn, she’d always been a sucker for blue stones.

McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Ashley Ladd
Shelley Munro
Mari Carr
Jody Wallace
Shelli Stevens
Victoria Janssen