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Weekly Remedy – Margueritas!


This week is Spring Break! Out college kid is home for a long overdue and much looked forward to visit. Amazing how quickly their attitudes change in a few months away from home. Chores were so onerous and despicable. But four months studying like a maniac to pass really hard classes and working to keep yourself alive and off the streets is so much harder than sitting on the front porch and walking your little buns out to the horse coral and feeding them twice a day. Ahhhh, being home.

Here, in the country, the frogs croak all night and the birds sing and the air has a quiet peace to it. It’s just home.

 

 

And we celebrate my day off and time with Ben with margueritas! My mom contributes the Patron and Grand Marnier. They are the best drinks ever. Thanks Mom.

Happy Spring Break all!

Nena

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Weekly Remedy – Vitamin D


Vitamin D isn’t exactly a remedy, but it is something too many of us neglect to add to our diet. Yes, it is added to milk. But how many of us really drink that much milk any more? Our bodies also manufacture Vitamin D from cholesterol when we expose ourselves to the sun. It’s a pretty remarkable phenomenon. Unfortunately, the fear of skin cancer has us masking our bodies from ultraviolet light and with that, preventing this vital nutrient from being produced.

Symptoms of deficiency are vague. Tiredness, general aches and pains. There are a lot of ailments with those symptoms. Advanced cases show more severe aches in the bones.

Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus resulting in  the necessary ingredient for healthy bones. Without it we get rickets.

What? Rickets? Is that still around? You bet!  An ancient disease, but it still happens. How about that.

There is a simple blood test available to test for this nutrient.

And it’s easy to prevent. Spend a small amount of time in the sun, manage to swallow cod liver oil, or take some of those little gelatin capsules of D3 you find in your local health food store. It doesn’t take much, but it’s worth not getting a crippling bone disease.

Hope this little awareness blurb helps. I firmly believe there a few ailments that, when tested would likely show this deficiency.

Hope all your days are healthy and happy.

Nena.

 

Review – No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean


I just finished this book. It arrived around Thanksgiving. Having preordered it months ago, it was my Chanukkah surprise. And what a pleasant one indeed. I got hooked on this series when Louisa Edwards tweeted about Sarah’s first book in the series, A Rogue By Any Other Name. I loved that one and, as the publisher hopes, fell into the well and am enjoying drowning in this historical setting of the Fallen Angel.

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This book was wonderful. The hero, Temple, is blamed for the death of his father’s future wife, Mara Lowe, twelve years earlier. She was a child bride to an old man, but the son unwittingly starts a tryst with her. She uses him to escape a loveless life by faking her death in his bed. When the dead girl shows herself alive to Temple his world shifts as the emotions and feelings assailing him at her reemergence take hold. They had an undeniable attraction all those years ago which still binds them in more ways than her deception.

Mara never planned to come out of hiding, but when the funds she leaves with her brother are gambled away in Temple’s gaming Hell, she has no choice but to try to win them back. Little does the mighty Temple realize that Mara can almost out witt him in any circumstance. She drugs him directly after she reveals herself. He wants nothing more than bring about his absolution and retribution while ruining her for labeling him the Killer Duke for the past decade.

I love the ups and downs Ms. MacLean takes us on in this story.
SPOILER ALERT!!
Mara runs a boarding house for orphaned boys. Temple weedles his way into it and their hearts and hers. I love the clothes fitting scene… so sensual. Then she runs away and he gets to rescue her. Ms. MacLean takes us to the edge of sanity when Mara is dragged into Temples world, the casino, where she doesn’t cower. She fascinates him. He gets duped into fighting Mara’s brother, who ends up stabbing him. That was a big surprise! Worse yet, it looks like Mara might have helped the cur. Temple recovers, barely. In time to reveal her to all of London. But by this time he’s so in love with her, he can’t do it. She takes the bull by the horns and tells the world herself. Then she runs away.

My version sounds so cliché, but the ins and out of discovering what love does to the heart and how wide forgiveness reaches makes a really great story.

Thank you Sarah MacLean for a fantastic book. I can’t wait to read Chase’s story. You dropped enough hints and mysterious clues. How can I NOT preorder this one!

Nena.

Wild Weekends!


You would think, since I work during the week, as a writer I would spend my weekends writing. Ha! I thought the same. The last of our kids is sixteen, self-sufficient, drives, does errands, helps around the house and …. she plays tennis.

She loves tennis.

That means the weekends are usually busy with a tournament or lessons.

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It has taken her until this past spring to finally find her athletic niche. And it hasn’t been without a wide variety of searching. We’ve tried karate with grappling… that was a blast. Baton twirling with the band… she loved that. And track and field.

The one thing that really stuck was tennis. After six months of working at the sport she has a pretty good grasp of it and is competing in the US Tennis Association tournaments in our area. One thing we have learned… she started late. Most of the girls her age have at least two years of tennis under their belts. They are really good.

But that won’t thwart our kid. She’s only played in two tournaments. The players are, for the most part, much more experienced than she, but it doesn’t phase her. She takes every match as a learning experience. She soaks in their moves and whatever they throw at her, assimilates it and uses it the next time.

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Such doggedness is worth taking a lesson from. I started this path to publication late in life. My journey seems so long. This was supposed to be the year I sold a whole book. Sadly, I don’t have a whole book ready to pitch even. I’ve written about five whole books, but none really of the right calibre. The one I’m writing now is really the best, but it’s taking me so long to get written. I’m not discouraged. It is coming along, just as my girl is making great strides in tennis.

Together we’re going to take the ride and have some really wild weekends!!

Nena.

The Power of Words


As a writer, I notice the use of words… in everything. Commercials, bill boards, work, books especially, nothing is outside of my pervue. Though I could take a whole blog to complain about the language used in commercials alone, today I want to talk about lyrics.

I love music and the words those notes travel over can be so moving and imaginative. I wish to God I could put words together like that. This isn’t a new obsession by any means. I have always been fascinated by song lyrics. I used to sing… all the time… and words to the songs made me want to sing the song.

Lately lyrics have started to capture my attention again. For awhile there I was too engrossed in learning how to write that I stopped listening to songs, only symphonies, movie scores. Last year my daughter started playing the local radio on the radio on the porch. Over the speaker croons Luke Bryan and…
“You’ve got your hands up, you’re rocking in my truck. You got the radio on, you’re singing every song. I’m set on cruise control, I’m slowly loosing hold…”

The picture that line evoked sent me right back to my teenage years (awhile ago, mind you). Just those simple words threw me into a world of my happy past, free wheeling and carefree… the college years. I saw myself the center of that boy’s attention, amazement in his eyes, his mouth dropping open. The way every young woman wants to be admired (I think).
I was amazed. I was hooked too.

From there Blake Shelton’s “Over” the very first line is magical!!
“If I could, I would feed your dreams and starve your fears.”
Doesn’t that take you to a place of utterly perfect love? I’m a romance writer and I find the romance in everything. Worse yet, I find the best part of a relationship in everything because you are looking at a hopeless optimist.

If you aren’t too fond of country music, sorry. I live out here and everything in those songs makes perfect sense. I could post a list of them here, but I have mercy on readers.

I’d love to hear what lines evoke an emotion or a memory for you. Put it in the comments.

Love,
Nena

Jason Aldean Rocks!


Something I have become over the past year is an avid country music fan. I have a Pandora station playing at work all time and the radio in the car playing the local country station. I blame it all on my daughter. She turned the radio on last summer and Luke Bryan was singing “You’ve got your hands up, you’re rocking in my truck” and I was hooked.

So of course the logical thing to do was hit the next concert that comes to town. George Strait sold out in minutes, but I bought tickets to Jason Aldean’s Night Train concert without an issue.

This past weekend my daughter and I spent the weekend together. Making it an awesome time was staying at the Marriott. But the highlight was the concert itself. I’m ashamed to admit it has been almost forty years since I went to a live concert. I’ve attended the ballet, classical concerts, plays, but a real rock concert… nope.

Country music isn’t the twangy stuff from twenty years ago. The new country artists have rock and roll souls with a heart in the country. You feel it when the bass reverberates through your whole body and those drums shake you to your feet. Of course, you’re left half deaf by the end, but the thrill of getting to that stage out weighs the lack of ability to hear.

Opening the event was Thomas Rhett.

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If you know anything about country music, this fellow sings “A Beer with Jesus”.

The next guy singing was Jake Owen. He was awesome. He’s really cute in person. My daughter says he looks like a younger, darker Matthew Mcconaughey. We love his music and band.

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Then came the headliner!! Jason Aldean.

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Every song was awesome. I sang the words to every one of those songs. That is an eerie feeling knowing every lyric he sings. He opened with “Take a Little Ride” and I waited and waited, along with the whole arena of fans, until he sang “She’s Country”. The roar of the crowd was overwhelming. I can only imagine what it feels like getting that reception on the stage. Exhilarating I guess.

The man looks great in a pair of jeans, by the way.

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I had to use the little point and shoot camera for these pics. The concert promoter wouldn’t allow cameras with detachable lenses inside the arena. I still managed a few decent shots, but nothing as stunning as my regular Nikon delivers.

This is a short post just to get all this off my chest until I write about on my real person blog.

It was such an exercise in people observation. The writer in me went bonkers. I have so much going on inside my head it’ll be a few weeks before it all calms down.

Love this kind of stuff.

Nena

Today is Cowboy Lust Release Day!!


Today I become an officially published author. My story “Caught Unawares” starts on page 144 of the book Cowboy Lust, a Cleis anthology.

This story is all about getting wet. How can a hot cowboy resist a beautiful girl as she comes out of a pond? You can find out how Reece reacts when he sees Lacy drenched.

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I can’t leave off without an excerpt:

“I was after honey in that bee hive in the big oak. I can’t very well climb in a dress. I just dipped a finger in when they swarmed on me.” She swatted at the air around her head. “Can’t you see them?”

Come to think of it, there were a few bees buzzing close by.

“So a dip in the pond should scare them away. I get it. C’mon out, Lacy. You’re safe now.” Reece stepped closer to the edge and extended his arm.

“I can climb out on my own.”

Hitching her breeches to her waist, she slogged to the shore. Mere steps away she sank over her head. Could have been a hole, but Reece wasn’t taking any chances. Muscles tensed, he dove, boots and all, into the water.

Reece surfaced with Lacy, his hands circling her small waist. Her body was way too close. Her round doe eyes peered back at him as he found his footing on the slippery pond bottom.

Lacy sputtered and wriggled as she surfaced. Reece realized the less than appropriated placement of his hand, yet entirely desirable. In the ensuing struggle the palm of his hand slipped over the outer edge of her left breast. If the sight of her hadn’t sent him over the edge, that simple touch did. His cock became ram-rod hard.

Thing was, he couldn’t move his hand right away. She was suspended in the water, feet dangling by his knees, and shifting her would press all those luscious curves against his chest and groin. Lord knows he didn’t need her bumping up against that. Damn. Not now.

Her body softened in his hands. Doe eyes met his gaze and her small hands grappled for his arms as a weighted hush stretched between them. He saw a rosy flush cover her sun-kissed cheeks, but it could’ve been the dunking.

“Are you all right?” Reece needed to break the tension.

“I will be when you put me down.” A deeper shade of red infused her cheeks.

“Promise you won’t drown?” He lowered her feet to the bottom and slid his hand past the sensuous curve of her breast. Watchful for any reaction, Lacy thinned those full lips of hers and cocked a brow at him.

Setting her deeper in the water didn’t improve his predicament. The loose tails of her shirt floated up and the buttons at the top opened to reveal the thin fabric of her chemise as it caressed her tantalizing cleavage. His eye roved over every inch of her. Her lush form set a fire loose inside him.

Hope you enjoy the enticement.

Nena