Wednesday, December 25

Merry Christmas!!!! Here's a teaser...

Okay, I'm running out of scenes I can use as teasers, without giving away too much of the actual story.

So today, because of the holiday, here's a homey little scene that doesn't give too much away.

Merry Christmas, happy Yule, or just happy hump day, for those who don't celebrate anything today. :)

Enjoy!!
Bethany

********************************************
“It really is just like bacon,” Ri all but wept, as the first crispy piece of slider meat melted on her tongue. She closed her eyes, lost in the wonder of the taste, the absolute thrill of sensation.
Bev took up a piece and tentatively tried it, as well, tears coming to her eyes with the first taste.
“Oh my gravy that’s good!” she whimpered, taking another small bite.
Rom and Erik watched Bev with wide eyes, making faces at her.
“How you can eat this… animal… is beyond me,” Rom muttered. He had dutifully cleaned and prepared the animal, but his hands were red with irritation from the process. Jace was taking notes on the necessary steps for safe processing and had tested the meat each step of the way, until he finally declared it safe to eat.
“If you’d just try it,” Bev told him, offering a small piece. He shook his head, sticking his tongue out much like a child might. Ri grinned and snagged another piece of the meat.
“More for us,” she shrugged, looking at Bev.
“What is that incredible smell?” Sean asked, wandering in from his mother’s room. Aleah followed him, both of them yawning and stretching from afternoon naps. Ri loved how the Thorsani tended to nap when they pleased, and with whomever they pleased. It was not unusual to find several of the men curled up together on a couch or under a tree in the sun, now that the weather was growing colder. Apparently, they kept that much of the cat in them. They saw nothing wrong with snuggling together for warmth, and there was nothing sexual about it. Ri adored that part of their make-up. She wanted for her children to feel so completely at ease that they would find comfort in the touch of others. Considering that the world she’d left behind had come to the point where little girls and little boys were told not to hold hands for fear of being thought gay, seeing grown men in ‘puppy piles’ was welcome, indeed.
“That incredible smell is what we are going to call bacon from now on,” Ri told him, not letting anyone else say a word. “Here. Try a piece.”
Trusting her implicitly, Sean took a bite of slider straight from her fingers. The look on his face was priceless. His eyes widened in shock for jsut a moment, then closed in ecstasy.
“What is that?” he breathed, once he’d savored and consumed his piece and snagged three more from the plate in front of Ri.
“Salted and fried slider,” Rom told him baldly. Sean choked for just a moment, then shook his head. He looked from the plate to Ri and back again.
“Worth it,” he said, crunching another piece of the delight. Ri giggled and hugged his waist. Bev grinned up at him.
“It’s even better with eggs, toast, and shredded, fried tubers,” Ri told him. Sean’s eyebrows went up in disbelief. She nodded, chuckling. “I promise. It’s amazing like that. We had it for breakfast all the time back home. Though the sliders don’t have nearly the fat content that pigs do, the taste is almost identical to bacon from Earth.”
“Now if we could just figure out coffee and chocolate,” Bev lamented. “We’d be set.”
Not to be out-done by his older brother, Hunter scowled and snatched up a piece of the bacon. Jace did the same thing, and both gave equal amounts of awed delight to their comments upon tasting the treat. Erik sighed and capitulated, but Rom, who had been badly wounded by a slider not too many months before, was holding out. But when Aleah, Geoff, and even his own children joined in their effusive enjoyment of the meat, Rom gave in and tried it as well.
Dinner that night was breakfast. Lots of it. 

Excerpt from Brothers in Arms, book two in the Hearts of Ishira series, tentative releasing in spring of 2014. 

Tuesday, December 24

Merry Christmas!!!

To all of those who celebrate, Merry Christmas Eve and Day!

Searching for last minute gift ideas??

So you've been wanting Aunt Mary to read my book?

Remember that a book gifted through Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com is the perfect way to introduce your friends and family to your favorite new authors! (and me! LOL)

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-of-Ishira-ebook/dp/B009BUC4IG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380763887&sr=8-1&keywords=bethany+aan

Nook:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hearts-of-ishira-bethany-aan/1112922324?ean=2940015689716

And giving to them sends me a bit of a gift, as well.

Two pressies with one gift! Booyah! You're a gifting god/goddess!!!! :D

Shameless plug aside, I hope every one of you has a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.
I have friends and family who follow many different faiths or spiritual paths, as do I, but Christmas is such a wonderful tradition, cobbled from numerous other winter celebrations over the centuries, I know that many of you are celebrating Yule, Solstice, or even Festivus.

Whatever you choose to celebrate during this happy time, please do so carefully, respectfully, and with all the love and joy in your heart.

And wait till you see how they celebrate on Ishira! :D


Monday, November 4

Movie Reviews: Pacific Rim and Star Trek: Into Darkness

Okay, so Sal and I finally managed to watched both of these movies, which we have owned for several weeks, but because we've been so wrapped up in watching Castle every waking moment *grin* we hadn't watched until yesterday.

I have many thoughts and I'm a bit tipsy at the moment, so please excuse the typing, if there are any errors. :)

THERE ARE SPOILERS!!! IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THESE MOVIES, DO NOT CONTINUE READING!!!! 

Pacific Rim:
A friend of ours told us that there was not enough battling in this movie, far too much of the love story and back story. After watching it, I can only assume that she was off her rocker. (Love you, sweetie, but really??)

There was plenty of action, lots of fighting between giant robots and giant monsters. I describe this movie as 'Godzilla meets Transformers meets Independence Day'. If you've ever seen all those movies, you'll most likely agree with me. The plot was RIGHT out of Independence Day (hereafter referred to as ID because I am tipsy). Especially the last part. I mean, really? Make a path? Sacrifice one or more of the leads? The head honcho volunteering because if you lose, it won't matter who's left? I mean, the entire last part of the movie is straight out of the ID script, with names and situation changes as appropriate.

All of that being said, it was still a very enjoyable movie and I'm glad we own it so I can watch it again and again.

Star Trek: Into Darkness:
I was raised on Star Trek.
I saw the first Star Trek movie in the theaters. I saw the second one as well.
When the first 'new' ST movie came out and I saw it for the first time, I was the only one who chortled when Bones said that he thought he was gonna like that guy (referring to Spock. I KNOW! Right???)
I purposely did not read much of anything about Into Darkness, because I didn't want to be colored against it.
It was so much more than I'd hoped. Yes, it was Khan. But it was Khan as we'd never seen him. The twist with Kirk and Spock at the end... that broke my heart, even though I knew what was coming. How did I know? Because it was predictable.
But sometimes, predictable is okay. 
Sometimes, you need to know that somehow, some way, the main character who just died is gonna pull through. And that's perfectly fine. You just wanna know HOW.

And they left it with plenty of room for a sequel or three, which also doesn't break my heart.

I love Chris Pine as Kirk, but I adore the rest of the casting, as well. Spock is just... perfect. Bones is just as perfect as Spock. I think the casting directors deserve a huge round of applause. They done good. :D

All that said, there was just something... missing from this one. There was lots of action, lots of spectacular special effects, great shots of the various spatial phenomenon that were recognizable in the background (thanks, NASA!!!!), and all that. But with all that was there, there was still something missing, IMHO. I did love how much Kirk grew in this one. That is undeniable and Pine did a fantastic job as the emotional hothead that we all know and love. His growth into a true captain was clear and beautiful. I also loved that they gave Sulu the com for awhile, paving the way for his eventual promotion to Captain. 

I wish I could put my finger on just what was missing, but I can't. Maybe it was a love story... I am such a sucker for those that I do miss it when one isn't there. :P Ah well... that's probably it. :)


So there you have it. My two cents' worth on both movies. I know they've both been out awhile, but hey... it's the first time I've been able to see them.

However, I should be seeing Thor this weekend, so I WILL post a review of that as soon as I can! You know how much I love me some Chris Hemsworth, so you'll get a review just as soon as I get home and my fingers can type one up. :D

In book news, I am reading the last of the stories in the Hotter on the Edge anthology. It's free as of this posting, and I HIGHLY recommend it! I will be buying the second installment, which seems to have sequels to each of the stories in the first book. I will also be looking up the authors in these books, to see what else they've got going. PLEASE do yourself a favor if you love sci-fi romance, and grab this one while it's free. It's great so far!!!!

I'll let ya know when I've finished with the second one and review it. :)

Okay, that's all for now. Hope you have a great day and that my reviews help in some small way to bring adventure and delight to your life. :)

See ya!


Thursday, October 24

The search for good art...

I have a problem.

I collect pics that I might use for covers.

Right now, I have more pictures than I could probably use for the number of books I am capable of writing in the foreseeable future.

I'm gonna have to write a lot more novellas, just to use them all.

But they're so yummy!!!

Bare male bodies, muscles sliding beneath tanned, oiled skin. 5 o'clock shadow that makes you shiver just to think of what it would feel like against your flesh. Brilliant eyes in all shades and colors.

And then there are the females... Not nearly as inspiring for me, but they serve their purpose in the romance/erotica cover-art world.

Then there are the backgrounds, artists' renditions of various planets, galaxies, space ships, eco-systems... not to mention the graphic backgrounds to put teasers and quotes against and the very real shots from the NASA website.

And once I collect all these fantabulous pics, I have to decide which way I want to go with the cover... artsy? Graphic heavy? Naked writhing bodies? A combination of them all? Or do my best to come as close to representing the characters and the world they inhabit in the book?

I should have been born with artistic talent as well as crafting skillz. :P I can't draw very well. True story.

So if you go to my Pinterest boards and look at 'book cover elements', you'll get an idea of what I'm looking at. Of course, I would use various pics, meld them with others to create a 'scene', make whatever changes I need to make to come close to my characters, etc. But you get the idea.

Fortunately, one of my author friends is working on a possible cover for me. We'll see how that goes. If she can get the hair color right on the woman, it'll be awesome and as close to perfect as I'm going to get without paying a sketch artist to do the whole darn thing from scratch. And it's such a pretty cover... if it works out, I can't WAIT to share it!!! It will go on the revised edition of Hearts, once I have all the revisions done and can upload all the changes. :) And of course I'll post when that happens, in case you want to go get the revised version (hopefully I'll be able to do it in such a way that it will automatically update to anyone who already bought the book. Checking into that.)


Sigh... There are so many aspects of being an author that you just don't really think about before you start writing. Or is that just me?

Ah well... Got almost 10K words written last night. Pretty thrilled about that. It was on a new story, but hey... it's another story coming out. That's a very good thing! And I think you'll like this one, when I get it done. :) So far, it's full of surprises for the heroine, which is fun. Her guys really like springing things on her, apparently, the rats! But she'll love 'em anyhow, because that's how she rolls. And she might even be able to turn the heart of the one that doesn't want her but is stuck with her. Can't wait to see how that one plays out...

Okay, that's enough teasing for one day, huh?

In other news, I'm only 3 'likes' away from 400 on my Facebook page!!!!! That's so exciting for me!!!!  AND.... *drumroll please* I'm only 2 sales away from breaking my one-month record at Amazon.com!!!! Here's the link to Hearts of Ishira, in case you haven't read it yet and want to take a sneak peek into the first chapter....

WHOOT!!! Okay, it's not a best-seller or anything, but hey... breaking your own records is still kinda awesome. :)

On that note, my sweetie just got home from a very long day at work. I'm going to go watch Castle, then football with him, then hopefully get a bunch more writing done after he goes to bed. :)



Wednesday, October 23

Things that make me wanna throw my e-reader at the wall...

Ya know, back in the old days, before e-readers, when you got a book that made you positively insane, you could throw it at the wall, get a satisfying thunk out of it, and then either keep reading, give it to a local charity, or in very rare cases, throw it away- since nobody needs to be reading such crap.

With the advent of e-readers, you can't really do that. Unfortunately.

I read a book yesterday that I won't divulge because, well, your mileage may vary. It was free, thank goodness, but that didn't excuse it, IMHO.

When a book says it's a romance, I expect certain things.

Romances should have happy endings, and this one kinda did... but not really.
Romances should be about building a relationship, and even if there is subterfuge in there somewhere, there needs to be an actual resolution BEFORE THE END OF THE DAMN BOOK.
Romances should have good sex, if they're going to have sex. Sex should ONLY be painful the first time, if she's a virgin or he's really hung. I do NOT want to read about it hurting every damn time. That kinda takes the fun out of it.

These are my opinions, so feel free to disagree.

In this book, there were aliens and humans. The heroine was a virgin, caught the eye of a rich alien CEO. He decided he had to have her. She decided she had to betray him because she had no other choice. She does give in to sex, though she hates the guy and feels trapped.

The sex is painful for her. Every. Time.
She's not all that likeable.
She betrays him, he uses her to betray the people she's betraying him to, but he still wants her in his life, even though she keeps telling him she wants to be free.
He's got a superiority complex from hell and doesn't let her forget that he's better than her and that she can't run.
 And at the very end, when she realizes that she can't kill him because she's falling for him (why???), he decides to take her to his home, where they'll start their happily ever after.

And the book ends there.

No 'happy' DURING the book at all. Nothing but constant fighting, scorching (to them) sex that she then has to have medical attention from him to recover from. Nothing but betrayal and threats keeping them together. HE likes her, she doesn't like him, but she likes his cooking. Go figure.

Bottom line... HOW was this a romance novel?? And if it was intended just to be an erotica novel, the sex was rather vanilla and perfunctory. A bit of nipple tweaking and kissing, a little finger action elsewhere, and then pain, discomfort, and only in a passing sentence did the author go into the bit about something else that made the sex 'mindblowing'.

Basically, this was '50 Shades' with aliens. Only the writing wasn't as good.

So why did I keep reading it?

Well, I THOUGHT that at some point, it had to get better. There had to come a time when the hero and heroine actually resolved their differences, admitted they were falling in love with each other, and had sweet, real love-making that didn't involve pain and -literally- drugging kisses.

I thought that there would be more of an explanation of why the heroine was being such a bitch and why the hero just had to have her, in spite of that.

I thought that at some point she'd grow a personality that would explain his obsession with her.

And I kept thinking that no way could this book have that many good reviews and be this bad.

Guess that'll teach me! :P

Sorry... I hate it when I pick up a book that's supposedly from a great author and end up hating it. I devoted far too much time to the story, and that's my fault, but still... I was incredulous that it was actually that bad.

Sigh.

So this is my version of throwing my Kindle against a wall. I can't do that, because I LIKE my Kindle and want to keep reading wonderful books on it.

But I can eviscerate the book. Even if I don't tell you the title. I'm sure the author is a perfectly nice person. Maybe her other books are awesome. I don't know and won't likely find out. I'm certainly not inclined to read the rest in this series!

GAH!

I had to read a mindless menage to get the taste outta my brain. Turns out the menage was much better written and more entertaining. :P Who knew? :)

Ah well.

When a book makes you want to throw something, what do you do to relieve that stress?? I'm curious! :)


Tuesday, October 15

Life is finally calming down, I hope!

I know I've been absent a lot... but I think life is calming down, finally. And NO, that is NOT a challenge for the universe! I'm quite in awe of your life-attack skills, thanks, and do not need another lesson at the moment. Kthnxbai!

Anyhow, while I'm getting a series of book reviews together, I will tell you that I got a LOT of reading done this summer, with my back and my arm in mostly un-usable condition. So today I present to you the authors and series that I think you should check out, if you haven't already.

(I have not been asked nor paid to endorse any of these authors. These are my honest opinions and suggestions.)

In no particular order:
1) Anything by JR Ward.
   *The Black Dagger Brotherhood was all it was reported to be, and then some.
     -Vampire/paranormal, sexual content-HOT, HOT, HOT!!!
     I love her writing style. It's raw, edgy, and because the back-stories interlink, you keep seeing glimpses from past characters in each new book. I will mention that you want to start at the beginning, though. This is NOT, IMHO a stand-alone series. You will want to know a lot of things about each character in subsequent books, so just do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. Also, "Lover at Last" is a very touching, wonderful love story, but it does contain gay sex, so if you're not into that, either skip the sexy bits or risk missing bits of the saga.
    *I'm currently on book three of the Fallen Angels series, and it's really good!
    - Angels and Demons
     I love the concept of what's going on, the fight for souls that could go either way, and the raw fight between good and evil, sometimes within one person. I'm in love with Jim!

2) Victoria Danann
     *''The Order of the Black Swan' series.
      -Vampire hunters/paranormal/demons, sexual content- spicy!
      Fun, feisty, fast reads, all of them. Again, the stories of each character intertwine, so you'll want to start at the beginning and read through. This a different series concept, in my experience, in that the main character is introduced in the first book and seems to be much of the focus of subsequent books, with each 'couple' in the following books being sort of a side story to the main story. Not always, but for the most part. Hard to explain, but the fun part is that the characters you get to know and love in the first book are seen again and again, which is what I love about sagas. I HATE falling in love with book folks and then never seeing them again in a series.
     The caveat to this one is that with the last book, I felt just a bit disappointed. The story was good, but the only sexy bits were mistaken identity, and that kinda turned me off just a bit. But the rest of the story was good enough to keep going, and in the end, I was very glad I did.

3) Rebecca Ethington
     *The Imdalind Series
     -YA, Paranormal
     I started reading this before I realized it was YA. Since I tend to like my books spicy, I steer away from YA and NA most of the time. But sometimes, fate intervenes. I started this one and was hooked from the very beginning. I HAD to know what was going on. Before I knew it, I was downloading book two, and I just bought book three. I haven't read it yet, but I'm confident it will be as enthralling as the first two books. Highly recommend it!

4) Penelope King
    * Demonblood and Spellbound series
     -demons, witches, paranormal. Sexual content: not much at all in the Spellbound series, but there is some in the Demonblood series... not too hot, but definitely there.
     Demonblood:
     This was something completely different from what I've read before, which is why I kept with it when, again, it was a NA novel, instead of my usual. :)  Two aspects of the same person, living in one body, with completely different personalities and lifestyles. One exists by day, one by night, and though they know about each other, they are unaware of what the other aspect does during their 'body time'. It's a very intriguing series, and I can't wait for the third book!
     Spellbound Series:
     A sweet YA series, dealing with coming-of-age witches. Predictable, but in that good way, when you know what's coming, but you love the characters enough to want to know how they get there. There's a reason the 'formulaic' stories work... if the characters and plot twists work together, it's a hit. I thought these books were definitely well-done and enjoyed them thoroughly. :)

5) Keary Taylor
    * Branded: Fall of Angels
     paranormal/angels, first book: no sexual content, though there is some sweet attraction and kissing. :)
     Another one that I started reading without realizing it was YA. But WOW. What a story! I was blown away! I can't wait to get the rest of the series (so many books, too little income!!!!) but the first book is AMAZING. Very well-written, emotionally engaging and with such an intriguing plot that I could not put it down. I'll report on the others in the series as I'm able. :)

So there ya go. 5 authors that, if you haven't already experienced them, you should. I have very eclectic reading preferences, so while things like the Spellbound series are sweet and clean, the Black Dagger Brotherhood is definitely not either of those.. it's raw sex and violence, but in a way that makes you want to wade into the fray and start busting heads. Demonblood straddles the two categories, with parts of it being innocent and timid, and the other parts being bold, courageous, and sexual. Black Swan is just outright fun, with some gory parts (I mean, they're vampire hunters. There will be blood) and interesting cross-overs, literally, since you're dealing with different dimensions.  And the Imdalind series is a class unto itself, IMHO, as is Branded.

Have fun, and feel free to let me know what you think of these authors, if you decide to read their stuff. :)

Now that I've done an update... time to get back to Ishira! :D

Thursday, August 1

Long time, no see...

I know, I know... I've been gone awhile!

I wish I could say it was because I was deep in a writing frenzy during which all I came up for was food, sleep, and bathroom breaks.

Alas, that is not the case.

Between the physical stuff, moving, and the fairly sudden death of my grandfather, things have been a bit crazy, so the blog has fallen by the wayside. I apologize for that.

I have been reading, a lot, during this time, and I've picked up two new crafts, so that's a plus. I'll try to get as many of the reviews out as I can, as I have time.

And I have started writing once more, which is making me very happy. Now that we're settled and life seems to be calming down (gods, did I say that out loud???), I'm hoping I can get my stories straight. Literally! :D

In the meantime, though I'm sure you were hoping for an update from Ishira, here's some of what I've been up to. The good news is that once I have the wire wrapping looking more 'professional', I might be inclined to make some of the tree pendants in Ishira's colors, and maybe use them as prizes for upcoming contests. We'll see how that goes. :)

Anyhow, this was just to let you know I'm still here, still working, just not being as vocal about it here as I am on my Facebook page. I either need more hours in the day or I need more of ME in the day! lol

Enjoy!

Punch needle embroidery. Very easy, quick, and
fun! :)  
  

 Wire Wrapped jewelry/ornaments:




My first piece, with supplies I had on hand.
Tree of Life, Autumn, again with supplies I had on hand. Second piece... first try at a tree.



Owl Be Seeing You, a few purchased bits, the rest was stuff I had on hand or found in my late grandmother's jewelry-making stuff.


Into Each Life, silver tone wire, glass beads, Swarovski crystals.

Silver Paisley, glass beads, silver-tone wire.

Summer Smile; copper wire, metal and acrylic findings, stone chips, glass mosaic piece as the back-drop. 


So there you have it. That's what I've been up to. :P



Friday, June 21

Hearts of Ishira going on sale!

Sorry I've been an absentee blogger for the past few weeks. Between getting the hubby graduated from college and then moving, then recovering from moving, then ending up with my back in worse shape AND with a sinus infection, to top it all off, I've somehow managed to tear my rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I'm a complete mess and being online kinda hurts. I can't find a position that doesn't piss off the pain gods and send me whimpering to my bed with Mr. Oxycodone and Ms. Flexiril fornicating within my system. :P
 
SO as sort of an apology for my neglect and because I'm overjoyed that my bestie is back in the US for a month, after being in Turkey for the past three years... I'm putting Hearts of Ishira (amazon) on sale for half price until July 5th. (Here's the link for Nook: Hearts of Ishira by Bethany Aan





I'll post more as I have time, but for now, that's the big announcement. I do have TONS of book reviews I need to get to, but haven't read anything great until today.

 
I don't have a review ready for it and it might be an older book, but Enforcer by Lauren Dane is a freebie and a great werewolf read. :) Go check it out. I mean... it's FREE.


Get that one after you get Hearts, if you haven't already read my book. *cheeky grin*


Love you all, and I hope to check in more often. It has been REALLY hectic, and life and health come first, but I think things are calming down enough to get back to it for the foreseeable future.

Ah, man... Did I say that out loud??? EEEP!

Tuesday, May 21

so sorry!!!

I'd like to send out a huge apology for falling down on the job in the past few weeks.

First off, at the age of 42, my sweet husband, my hero, partner in crime, and all-around silliness angel, graduated from university! He now has degrees in mathematics and education. While that is an amazing accomplishment at any age, it's harder when you have a broken wife, a mother who had a horrible cancer incident in your first semester, and the constant worry of both of their failing health issues.

I'm so proud of him, I can barely stand it! Anyone who's also a friend on Facebook will see me refer to HoBA. That's Husband of Bethany Aan, a name he picked out himself. :) He IS my every inspiration, my every achievement, and the rock upon which I build my every dream.

I kinda like him, can you tell? :D

Anyhow, with his graduation and the party we held for him afterward, I was a *wee* bit busy the week before last.

Last week, I was recovering from the week before. :P Those health issues, you see.. they hit me hard. I thought it was Tuesday and was quite surprised to find out it was Friday. Yeah. That was last week in a nutshell.

This week, we're moving. Yup, college kids gotta move back into the 'rents' house for the summer while HoBA looks for a job. :) We're looking at a few different counties in North Carolina, as that's our home state and where he'll be licensed, but we're also looking at Turkey.

Yup. You read that right. Turkey.

Why? you might ask... Well, I'll tell you. My best friend in the world (other than HoBA of course) has been teaching in Turkey for the past three years. She shall be teaching in Turkey for at least one more. They made her an offer she couldn't refuse. :) But I am damned tired of part of my heart being overseas. So, as they say in the Muslim world... if Muhammad will not come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Muhammed. Or something like that. Please don't burn me in effigy if I got that wrong. I mean absolutely NO disrespect! So when I talked to her on Skype this past weekend, I let her know we were absolutely serious about moving over there for HoBA to teach, if she could give us a few leads on jobs.

I thought she was gonna cry. I know I about did! But it turns out that she JUST signed a lease on a three-bedroom apartment right across the street from the school she'll be teaching at, and she would LOVE to have roomies. :D Us. Yup. So not only do we have an 'in', but we have a place to live, with my best friend. :) Have I mentioned I haven't seen her in THREE frickin' YEARS??? The cookie dough shall be epic...

Ahem. I digress.

Anyhow, if you've been wondering why the dearth of reviews, updates, etc... well, now you know. :) I've been a wee bit busy.

But I'll try to get a few reviews up in the next few days. If I'm not able to, please forgive me. We still have a LOT happening between now and the end of the month. June should be a lot calmer, and YES I'm still trying to get Brothers in Arms, the sequel to Hearts of Ishira, published by the end of August. Don't hold me to that, as things could change if we DO end up needing to move to another country, but right now, the goal is end of August. :)

And there are a few other things in the works, as well. If you know me by now, you know that I am pathologically incapable of writing only ONE story at a time. So I have several going at once. But it's okay... my betas tell me that so far, so good, on all of them. :)

Okay, champagne ramblings ending now. Bear with me as I get my life back into some semblance of order! I'll be back soon, with reviews, snippets, and much more! In the meantime, try to keep up at www.facebook.com/BethanyAan
 (seriously... go like! I'm only 20 likes away from 200! I will squee so loud when that happens!!!!)

Okay. done now. Nite nite! 

Oh, in case you missed them... here are a few teasers from my FB page... all from Brothers in Arms...






Monday, April 29

Review: Falling for Heaven by Anne Conley



Recently, I was delighted to exchange books and interview questions with author Anne Conley.  The questions she sent me were so good, I sent them right back at her. Lazy? Perhaps, but I've never been good at coming up with interview questions, so hey. I work with what I've got. :) 

 















The book: 
by Anne Conley




Blurb:
Uriel is one of God's Four Winds, the Archangel of Destiny. He has helped thousands of people throughout the ages find their destiny according to His will. This time however, what he doesn't realize, is that it's his own destiny he's supposed to fulfill.

Heather is an exotic dancer, who's stage name is Heaven. It's not that that's what she's always wanted to do, it's just that it helps her pay the bills, and she's got a lot of bills, with taking care of her mother and her sister. When the mysterious Uriel comes into the club, she can tell he's different, just how different will rock her world...

My Review:


I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Falling for Heaven, and I was hooked from the first word. Ms. Conley's writing style flows very well, and Uri is just... *swoon* Such a sweet, strong, wonderful being. There's really not much I can say without spoilers, but rest assured that there's a HEA and some really steamy bits!

It's a short read, but felt like a much longer novel, as far as action, depth, and pacing. That's really hard to do, in my experience.

I definitely recommend this book, and can't wait for the rest of the Four Winds stories!




 Interview with Anne Conley:

1.  Describe your writing process. 


My process is a lot like dating…. I fantasize about the perfect story for a long time before I actually sit down to start writing it.  Then I put down an outline.  From there, I type up a rough draft, this is the first date.  Subsequent revisions are like the entire courting process.  Each revision allows me to delve deeper in the characters, the conflict, and what they're up against.

2.  What motivates you to sit down and write?

I'm very goal-oriented.  I set goals for myself, both long-term and short-term, and every morning, I wake up and decide what to do to accomplish those goals.  I know that I can't sell books if I'm not doing everything I need to be doing to sell them, and I need to sell books so that I can justify all the time spent in front of my laptop to my family.

3.  Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere.  I get a lot of inspiration while I'm in the car, either listening to music, or being quiet inside my head.  I also enjoy listening to my Aunt and my Mom talk about people in my family that lived years ago.  There are some pretty interesting stories to be told there.  Actually, I enjoy listening to everything.  Right now, I'm sitting in a tiny cafĂ©, listening to a loud-talker telling stories about living in Austin.  There's probably a story there, too…

4.  Do you have any writers that you consider mentors?


Liliana Hart, without a doubt.  I heard her speak at a RWA meeting in November.  She told about her experiences as an Indie Author versus the traditional routes.  It inspired me to get my butt in gear.  She gave us a written plan to follow, and has been open to email questions.  Liliana's offered me much support in the past several months, that I appreciate greatly.  I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for her.

5.  What do you think your greatest strength is in your writing?


My focus is probably my greatest strength.  I am able to focus on one thing, and get it done in a relatively timely manner.  I may have to go back and fix it, but I get it done.

6.  What is your biggest challenge?

Patience.  I'm not a patient person, and I have trouble sometimes taking a step back and looking at the big picture.  I'll send my stuff out to beta readers, then check my email every hour on the hour for weeks until they reply.  When I publish something, I check my reports daily, trying to figure out what I can reproduce that caused that one person to buy my book.  When I figured out that Smashwords published their reports quarterly, and I had to wait three more whole months to figure out how I was doing, I cried.

7.  Do you ever experience writer's block?  How do you get through it?

The old fashioned way…Pen and paper.  I have discovered that if I close the lap top, and go someplace different, I can usually get through whatever scene or character I'm working on.  I used to teach writing to High school kids, and some of those crazy brainstorming tricks still apply.  Plus, your brain works differently when you write as opposed to typing and I find that that usually does the trick.


8.  Name some authors who have influenced or inspired you?   

JK Rowling, Stephen King,  Liliana Hart, honestly there are too many to name.  Almost every author I've read has influenced me in some way…

9.  Tell a little about your most recent work.  Title, genre, and tag line.

Falling for Heaven is a paranormal romance about the archangel Uriel.  The tag line would probably be…"She was his greatest sin…"

10.  Tell us about your favorite character from the book.

It would have to be Heather, who is an exotic dancer because it earns her enough money to support her sister and her mother.  I know I think I'm sexy when I dance, but the reality is something altogether different, I'm sure.  She's down to earth, and is just trying to make her life the best she knows how.  Like most of us.

11.   Are there specific themes that you would like your reader to grasp while they're reading your novel?


Well, for a novel of it's length (about 45,000 words), I think Falling for Heaven touches on some pretty deep stuff.  There are the obvious religious implications of good vs. evil, but there are also issues of addiction, care of the elderly with dementia, and dealing with death of loved ones.

12.  Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for other writers who are looking to publish?

Make a plan, write it down, and try to stick with it.  Not everybody does it exactly right on the first try.  Most everybody has to go back and re-do something.  Just know what you want, and have a plan to get it.

13.  What makes a good story?

A good story is one that the reader can relate to on some level.  The characters need to be likeable, and their reactions to their experiences need to be realistic.  In my opinion, anyway.

14.  How do you market your work?

How do I not market my work?  If there's anything I haven't done, please let me know, I want to try it!  No really, I try to be everywhere online, although building up a presence is time-consuming.  I will book for people to review, I'll talk to anybody about my work, and I'm not shy, although when the little old ladies in my church group ask about it, I tend to blush a little.

www.conleycorner.blogspot.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/anneconleyauthor
www.anneconley.wix.com/anneconleyauthor
www.anneconley.wix.com/anneconleyauthor


15.  Do you have a current work in progress?  Can you tell a little bit about it?

I'm currently working on Hot Mess, a continuation of my Stories of Serendipity series.  It's about a firefighter named Sam (yes, he's devastatingly gorgeous) and a woman hiding her HIV status from the small community. 

16.  Tell us about yourself, outside of writing.

I'm a wife and a mother, living on a goat farm in east Texas.  When I’m not writing, I'm planning menus that my children will eat, cheering on tee ball games from the sidelines, or pretending to be an awesome dance mom.  I also spend a lot of time reassuring my husband that he doesn't have to look like the heroes in my books for me to love him, although it is funny to watch him preen for me when he's feeling self-conscious.
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If you'd like to read my answers to the above questions, and see what Anne Conley has to say about my book, head over to The Conley Corner and check it out. Leave some love for her there. :)

Thursday, April 25

Review- Restraint by Erica Chilson

Product Details
Restraint, Erica Chilson
(free at time of review)






3 batteries
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Wow.

That was quite a ride!

Whew. Okay. Catching my breath and soothing my mind. Speaking of minds, this is totally a mind-fuck book.

The people in this story are BROKEN. Understandable, once you find out why, but still... wow.

Not really sure how much I can say without giving it all away, so I'll just say this: HOT, even though there's only one sex scene, which I was surprised about.

I WILL post this as a warning: There is a possibly triggering scene. I'm usually very sensitive to those, but the way Ms. Chilson handled it was... amazing. You'll know what I mean if you read it.

People can be so fucked up. What amazes me every time is how they can overcome and live with their various issues... and find people that need to give them just what they need to heal. I've seen it in real life, and I love reading about it. It gives me hope. :)

Wednesday, April 24




Branded (Fall of Angels) by Keary Taylor

Picked this one up for free, but I'm an instant fan of Keary Taylor. Like many other reviewers have said, I've never read anything quite like this, and though there are moments where you can draw correlations to Twilight, it's definitely its own unique story. Definitely planning to read the rest of the series!

I enjoyed this take on angels and the humans that interact with them. It's not often that you find someone scared spitless of them, but Jessica has very good reason for her terror. She doesn't sleep much, she looks horrible, and yet when she meets her new 'boss', the grandson of her previous bosses, there's an instant connection. Though her social skills are a mite rusty, Jessica finds herself wanting to come out of her shell for Alex. She might even consider telling him about the night terrors that have plagued her for most of her life.

But then Cole shows up, and he's just as interested in her as Alex is, and just as compelling...

No heat to this at all... but the romance is sweet and awkward in that cute way. 

4 coffee cups because it kept me up till 4 a.m.... I couldn't put it down.

Saturday, April 20

Naughty Girl book review- 4 batteries

So I picked this one up when it was free yesterday and read it this morning because I had a cat on me and neither one of us wanted me to get out of bed yet. :)

WHEW!
Yeah, have batteries handy. :)
This is DEFINITELY going to the 'afternoon pick-me-up' shelf on my reader! *wink* 

The only reason this didn't get 5 batteries is because there wasn't enough sex in it. When someone writes these scenes as well as Ms. Metal does, I want MORE! Just sayin'.

So here's my review, without spoilers.

I really enjoyed Naughty Girl!

I've read a number of BDSM books where half the story seemed to be explaining the 'life' of those who participate. Not so with this book. There were tidbits here and there, but it read much more like the novella it was supposed to be than a 'get started' guide, and I like that. The writing was smooth and the story flowed very well.

I love Alex but Paul made my heart race! I love an alpha male with a heart and a strong protective streak. Gets my motor running every time. :)

Can't wait for the sequel, if there is one. *Hint hint I'd like one! hint hint*

Thanks, Scarlett Metal, for an enjoyable morning's read. My husband will thank you later... ;)

And here's the link for Naughty Girl. Only $.99. Can't beat that!

Sunday, April 14

A teaser, since I'm having a good day!

In honor of a really good day and a wonderful mood, I'm giving you the opening scene from my second book, the name of which won't settle for me quite yet. But it IS the sequel to Hearts of Ishira. :)

Enjoy!
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This teaser contains SPOILERS for the first book !!!!!

PLEASE don't read this if you haven't read Hearts yet! Don't want to ruin that one for you!!!! :) 

I promise you'll thank me! 
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Chapter One



Ishira Colony
10.7 AC - .5 THIA
-Years Ishira, AC (after colonization)
-Five Months, THIA (Thorsani/Human Integration and Adaptation)

Arianna Hunter-Jace woke to the very pleasant sensation of being made love to, with one of her mates nibbling on her thigh and the other nibbling on her lips to make sure she was awake for the fun. Murmuring approval at their methods, she sighed sleepily, rolled onto her back, and stretched. Muscles lengthened and pulled, aches and bruises reminded her that she was still recovering from an attempt on her life. But that was secondary to the palpable intensity of her mates, waiting patiently for her to finish stretching so they could devour her.
“Good morning, little warrior,” Hunter said, rising to one elbow to look down at her. She gave him a sweet smile and wrapped her arms around his neck as he lowered his head to kiss her. Only a thin, soft sheet covered her. It was slowly pulled down her body, the incredibly luxuriant material sliding over her breasts, her belly, and her thighs, as her other mate, Jace, bared her to the pre-dawn light for his delectation.
“Open for me, love,” he urged from his place by her hips, his voice husky with desire. She sensed the need in him, the hunger that he reveled in when he had her in his arms. He loved the taste of her, loved the noises she made, her responsiveness to his caresses. And she loved that he loved it.
Ri willingly allowed her legs to fall open, then sucked in a breath around Hunter’s tongue as Jace’s mouth began worshiping her in the way he most enjoyed. Her body bowed away from the mattress when Jace tongued her clit and tortured it with tiny bites, but Hunter was there to steady her, his big hand on her swollen belly, sliding up to her breast.
She watched him breathlessly as he plumped her flesh in his hand. He stared at her nipple as it gathered and tightened in anticipation of his loving. Ri gasped and wiggled as Jace adjusted himself so that he was lying between her legs, his face buried between them, his tongue, teeth, and fingers doing things that made her want to fly out of her skin. A soft, shuddering cry escaped her as Jace penetrated her with his fingers at the same moment Hunter took her nipple between his teeth.
Ri shivered a gasp, her head arching back into the pillow with Hunter’s delicate bite. Jace’s tongue licked a path down her slit, lodging in her center and diving in to taste her there. He slid his hands down and under her thighs, gripping her rounded bottom and lifting her hips from the bed, giving him better access.
“You are so very sweet in the morning,” Hunter murmured around her nipple, his tongue snaking out to taste the taut, small bud, lapping at it then blowing on it, letting the crisp morning air chill her skin. “So warm and soft from sleep.”
“So good,” Jace agreed, rising up and positioning himself to take her. “I can’t wait. Ri….”
Hunter nodded to his brother, then sheathed his teeth and bit Ri’s nipple with a roughness that she wouldn’t have been able to tolerate at first. She was so very sensitive. At the same moment, Jace slid easily into her warm, slick depths, seating himself fully within her for a breathless minute. She throbbed around his cock, her core eagerly latching onto him, desperate for the pleasure he brought.
They all paused, allowing Jace and Arianna to enjoy the moment of possession before Hunter groaned and went back to ravishing her nipple with his mouth as his hand slipped down to torture her clit. Jace began withdrawing and thrusting in the tempo that he knew would drive Ri out of her mind, his hands still holding her up for the right angle of attack.
When her body arched in helpless reaction, Hunter’s other arm slipped beneath it, bowing her back and effectively raising her breasts higher for his enjoyment. He switched his attention to her other nipple while his fingers danced on her clit, pulling and twisting, tickling and teasing. Using their mental connection, he played her like a master pianist, his fingers pulling every nuance of sensation from her body. Her breathing increased, as did the intensity of her gasps and cries. Jace picked up his pace, taking his cues from her sweet noises.
Feeling the tightening of her body that signaled imminent release, Jace held her hips between his big hands and thrust harder, deeper, drawing low moans, pleas for completion from her throat. Hunter, sensing she was close to her peak, suckled on her nipple, hard, dragging a shivering, gasping cry from her.
“Come, little one,” Jace said through gritted teeth, hunching his body over hers and taking her mouth as his hips ground against her body.
Hunter slid from between them, giving them this precious moment to themselves. Jace fell above her, his hands on either side of her shoulders, his mouth attacking her full breasts. She wrapped her arms around his head, her legs around his waist, and clutched him to her as she plummeted over that peak. Her body shook and shivered with her climax, her hips jerking against Jace, her body nearly bent in half with the power of her orgasm. His body tightened at the feeling of her spasms, and he thrust one last time, falling to her and kissing her ravenously as he came inside her. Her core clenched around him with muscular contractions that milked him almost to the point of pain. He threw back his head and cried out at the exquisite sensations roiling through him, gritting his teeth against the onslaught.
Ri’s body was still shuddering when Jace slid from her, panting, and fell to her side. He slid up enough to kiss her as Hunter immediately took his place between her thighs and, hitching them up around his ribs, lifted her butt in his big hands and thrust powerfully into her slick depths. She was still trembling from her first completion, but with Hunter’s penetration, energy speared through them both, rushing outward from their joined bodies and shimmering with each thrust, building with their passion. Hunter held onto her, pumping into her body with the strength and determination of the warrior that he was… his mind, heart, and soul attuned to her every need.
Jace, knowing what was to come, backed reluctantly away for just a moment.
Arianna was weeping with the need to come again, begging incoherently for her mates to finish her. Hunter angled his hips perfectly, long months of making love to his woman having taught him just where she needed him most, how to attack her ‘g-spot’ for the most devastating effect. His eyes were feral and his face tight with need as he hungrily watched her breasts bounce with his thrusts. The difference between her soft, pale body and his muscular, hard form was intoxicating. She was breathtaking in her passion, and it made him feel like a god. His hard grin widened as he felt the quick spasms in her thighs, the uncontrollable shifting of her body against his, her desire to reach that precious pinnacle with him. Gods, he loved this woman! His eyes locked to her shifting breasts, as though mesmerized by their stiff tips and the tight little puckers that surrounded them.
Jace, calmed a bit from his bout with their mate, took charge of those plump beauties, leaning over to do his share of nipping, suckling, plucking and pulling. Hunter slid one hand up from beneath her, his thumb finding and pressing on her clit with exquisite precision.
Ri’s eyes popped open at the multiple assaults on her senses, her body thrashing beneath her lovers.
“Hunter,” she whimpered, pleading. “Now!
“Fly, little warrior,” he murmured, dragging her body up against his in one powerful move as he sat back on his heels. She was completely surrounding him, her body fully open to his, her arms around his neck. Her head fell forward, resting on his shoulder, her mouth against the sensitive skin below his ear. He was seated as far inside her as he could go and they both pulsed in breathless splendor at the feeling. Using the peculiar rings of muscle that no human man possessed, he moved his cock deep inside of her as he held still. Contracting the ridges of muscle ringing his shaft, Hunter concentrated on dragging those hard bumps over her G-spot. Ri felt as though her body shimmered with each exquisite spasm, the tightness growing until ecstasy burst within her and she fell apart in his arms with a broken cry of joy, her head back.
Her powerful climax and surge of ecstatic energy fueling his, Hunter shouted his release, dragging her head down so that he could kiss the breath out of her as they came in unison. Their energies swelled and combined between them. As though existing in two bodies at once, Hunter felt her elation, the throbbing of every nerve ending in her body, the deep spasms that gripped his cock rhythmically as her hips shook and jerked. She could feel the same in him: the hardness of his body, the power that moved through him as he gave up his seed to her, the hot grip of her core around him, tautness of his arms as his hands curled over her shoulders from the back and he pressed her down on him. She marveled at the effort he expended not to crush her to him like he wanted to. Each felt their own sensations and the other’s, at the same moment. It was like nothing either had ever experienced until they’d met.
Ri shook and shivered, her arms sliding limply from around his neck, her face buried between his shoulder and neck, as they both came down from their peaks.
Knowing that Jace was behind her, Hunter opened his arms and allowed Ri to slide backwards. Jace caught her and eased her to the bed, brushing her long hair away from her face and fanning it over their pillows. Hunter, spent, collapsed beside her, his arm crossing just under her breasts, his hand resting on the other side of her belly.
As the three caught their collective breath, the men murmured softly to her, kissed her, and caressed her, reminding her of how much they loved and adored her. She panted, trembled, and fought to steady her breathing and heart rate as they soothed her. Gods, she loved her warriors!
“Good morning,” she whispered brightly, kissing them both in turn.
“Aye,” Jace said with feeling, his sexy smile tugging at her heart. “That it is!”
****
On the balcony, only yards away, Sean, eldest son of Aleah-Karl, scowled at the sunrise.
The colors that washed in spectacular streaks across the eastern sky were amazing, the sky itself a study in all the shades of purple one could imagine. Teal foliage, now turning various hues of blue, purple, black, and aqua with autumn’s abrupt arrival, swept across the hills surrounding Ishira Colony. Nothing to frown at in any of that. Had Sean not been so distracted, he would have sworn that this was paradise.
No, the reason for his scowl was currently giggling and sighing her way through her morning love-making session with her mates. His brothers. The team he’d been separated from more than a decade ago and only recently reunited with, thanks to the fierce mental connection he had with Arianna Hunter-Jace. He had been mentally searching for his people when she had found him.
From the moment he’d touched her brilliant, sweet mind, he’d been intrigued. When he’d discovered that the little human woman was mated to his brothers, he’d become hungry. And when he’d seen her in person for the first time, smelled her sweet essence, touched her… the energy that stretched between them became a living spark that sent whips of awareness and desire through both of them. He could feel it in her, even as she tried to deny it. He could feel nearly everything about her.
His body clenched, even now, as he felt her heightening passion in the next room, heard her muffled cries through the thick walls of his brothers’ home.
“Shards of a dantun tree!” Sean muttered, his teeth gritting together. 
He closed his eyes, clenched his hands around the banister of Hunter’s balcony, and shook as his body fought not to give in to Arianna’s release. He breathed heavily, sweat popping out on his brow, on his chest, his back. His muscles spasmed as though he was the focus of the maelstrom of pleasure emanating from his brothers’ bedroom. 
And in a way, he was. 
He could feel a bit of what she was feeling. His skin was hyper-sensitive, his body throbbing in tandem with hers. Though he didn’t feel his brothers’ touches on her, he felt what those caresses did to her. He felt as though he was involved somehow, it just wasn’t his body reaping the rewards of that passion. He fought his reaction, fought the rising storm as long as he could.
But it was no use. Swept along in the flood of Ri’s energy, Sean’s head snapped back and he groaned to the sunrise, his body shuddering with her release… but not his own. Though he experienced the emotional release, his body remained hard, hot, full and throbbing, aching with the need to bury himself in Arianna. The passionate cries and shouts from the bedroom covered his moans before everything became quiet once more.
Shaking with the aftermath, Sean whispered curses and ran a hand through his long, sable hair. His fingers were trembling, his arm shaking with weakness and pent-up desire. Eyes still closed, Sean fought to get his breathing under control. After struggling with it for only a moment, he gave in to Arianna’s rhythm, synchronizing his intakes with hers, slowing his inhalations even as she slowly came down from the emotional and physical high of her passion.
“I can’t do this,” he murmured after a long moment, his eyes opening to stare with bleak acceptance at the sunrise. “Ri…”
With an iron will, Sean forced his mental walls higher, sought for the power to strengthen them, to shut her out, at least some of the time. But she seemed to be a permanent fixture in his head, in his heart. She owned a part of his soul, a part he had willingly given her the day he saved her life. And yet, she held back.
Sean's only solace seemed to be that she was unable to shield herself from him, as well.
With one last muttered curse, he shoved himself away from the banister, only now becoming aware of the burning, stinging ache in his gut. The wound from the laser blast he’d taken in the belly mere days ago, to protect her, pulled painfully. He’d probably opened the edges of the healing crater again. He pressed a trembling hand to the bandage, felt the sticky patch of blood that had seeped through. He'd have to get Jace to patch him up again.
But not right now. Right now, he needed to walk. He wasn’t supposed to climb stairs yet, but he had to get away for awhile, to gain some distance from Ri and her joy.
Joy that didn’t include him.
Yet.
He swore to the rising sun and all the gods of Ishira that he would change that.
His body implored him to make it quick.