This poster is hanging up at the Starbucks on Irving and Kostner. There are all sorts of "cock" jokes here, but I'm gonna be good (for once) and not say any of them. I love how the small print points out the "actual rooster not blue". Whew!! I'm not a doctor, but I'd have to say a blue cock is NOT a good thing. (Or blue balls for that matter... hehe) Thanks Misia for texting this to me. Too funny.
I'm off to the doctor in the morning for what should be an easy procedure. Honestly I am really nervous about this and I'm trying to stay cool. (Although really, I'm always way cool... LOL!!) Anyone who knows me also knows I lost a great friend to cancer in January of 2003 after she fought the disease for seven years. This whole thing makes me nervous as hell, but it has to be done... So please keep fingers crossed that everything checks out ok... Thank you.
I joined a gym yesterday. I've been thinking about it for a while and finally went ahead and signed up. I also got myself a personal trainer until May to make sure I stay on track and to help me along. I'm totally excited because I've only heard good things about the place I joined. I was hesitant to take the plunge and join a gym for some personal reasons that I won't get into here and now... I'll save that for another day... LOL (Which means a story there... just don't want to get into it right now...) I meet with my trainer Friday morning then we start getting serious on Monday. I'm very excited and Catherina totally owes me because I was able to give a month free to a friend who is already a member and I picked her... Now my other friends who are members will be mad at me... LOL
I saw this movie last night/this morning and I thought it was hysterical. This is a great movie to see if you want to have a lot of laughs. Be warned though, as when the one guy discovered he was missing a tooth, I had iced tea shoot out my nose it was so funny... (Not a pleasant experience and I don't recommend it!! LOL) All the actors were great but I find Bradley Cooper to be very annoying. I think he is an obnoxious Ryan Reynolds wanna be. (Please note Bradley: There is only ONE Ryan Reynolds and you babe, ain't him!! Now move along...)
All in all a really funny movie where you don't have to think much and just laugh.
They planned a Vegas bachelor party that they would never forget. Now they really need to remember what exactly went down! A baby? A tiger? Why is one of them missing a tooth? And most of all, where is the groom?! What the guys did while partying can't compare to what they must do sober in an outrageous caper that has them piecing together all their bad decisions from the night before-- one hazy clue at a time.
These Chicago area Catholic elementary and high schools posted the biggest enrollment numbers this year, according to figures from the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office of Catholic Schools, which operates schools in Cook and Lake counties:
10 biggest high schools: 1. Loyola Academy (Wilmette) 2,094 students
2. Marist High School (Chicago) 1,797
3. Marian Catholic High School (Chicago Heights) 1,505
4. Mother McAuley High School (Chicago) 1,409
5. Carmel Catholic High School (Mundelein) 1,404
6. St. Ignatius College Prep (Chicago) 1,360
7. Fenwick High School (Oak Park) 1,197
8. De La Salle Institute (Chicago) 1,175
9. St. Viator High School (Arlington Heights) 1,058
10. Brother Rice High School (Chicago) 1,029
30 biggest elementaries: 1. Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Glenview) 950 students
2. Frances Xavier Warde (Chicago) 817
3. St. Paul of the Cross (Park Ridge) 694
4. St. John Fisher (Chicago) 691
5. St. Gilbert School (Grayslake) 684
6. St. John of the Cross (Western Springs) 683
7. Sacred Heart Schools (Chicago) 680
8. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (Orland Hills) 679
9. St. Francis Xavier (LaGrange) 666
10. St. Patrick (Wadsworth) 656
11. Our Lady of the Wayside (Arlington Heights) 654
Reese Witherspoon introduces the Women's Empowerment Bracelet.
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Purchase the Women's Empowerment Bracelet for yourself and your friends. It's a symbol of unity that represents a future without limitations for all women. It represents everything I love about this company.
Bracelet proceeds will be used to create a new Avon Empowerment Fund. The first $500,000 from bracelet sales will be matched by the Avon Foundation for a total donation of $1 million to UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, for projects that will empower women around the world.
Show your support, show your solidarity, show off your bracelet."
Silvertone infinity symbol on blue stretch cord. One size fits most. 100% of the net proceeds ($2.25) are donated to the Avon Empowerment Fund to end violence against women.
I've had a Yahoo fan group since November 2005. There are over 300 members currently in it who are readers of erotica, along with a few of my writer friends as well. Sometimes I have reader polls or give away free books. I also promote my writing by posting excerpts too. The group is "over 18" so I can post more graphic excerpts without worrying about under 18ers reading my stuff. If you have a Yahoo id and would like to join the link is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Annmarieauthorgroup/. You will have to copy and paste the link into your browser, or click the live link on the sidebar for my Yahoo group. Hope to see you there!
I hope everyone had as great a Christmas holiday as I did here. I decided to show my favorite gift that I got this year from the best CPD officer I have ever known... LOL He totally made me laugh when I unwrapped this... It is so cool and I love it. I'm a very happy girl. :)
Merry Christmas to all my readers. I hope you have a wonderful day and that Santa was good to you all. As you can imagine I was quite relieved to find out that Santa actually likes naughty girls... LOL
It's official, we're in countdown to Santa here. There's truly something special about Christmas when you have kids. Their excitement for the holiday is contagious. Holiday movies you saw a hundred times seem new and fresh. A simple gingerbread house becomes a lopsided work of art. As tree decorations are unpacked their stories are told to eager ears. (Grandma made this one for me when I was in Girl Scouts... I got this one the year you were born for your first Christmas.) Add snow to the mix and you have magic...
I'm looking forward to seeing my boys faces when they wake up Christmas morning... To find Santa really did try their cookies and milk and even remembered to fill their stockings (and the dog's too!) There will be ooohhh's and aaahhh's as they discover their presents. There will be kisses and hugs and a house full of love. And I'm blessed to have such an incredible family and I don't plan on missing a moment of it.
Peace, love, and joy to all my readers this Christmas Eve.
What the hell?? I saw this at the strip mall on Irving and Narragansett tonight. When I got out of my car to take the picture I could see the sign is actually "Cockatoo Tanning". A couple of burnt out letters sure changes everything!! LOL I think I do know a few people who would like this place with the misspelled sign...
For anyone who had a bad day or bad week... Things aren't always as bad as they first appear.
Sonnets from the Portuguese
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (pictured above)
I thought once how Theocritus had sung Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years Who each one in a gracious hand appears To bear a gift for mortals, old or young: And, as I mused it in his ancient tongue, I saw, in gradual vision through my tears, The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years, Those of my own life, who by turns had flung A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware, So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair; And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,- "Guess now who hold thee?"-"Death," I said. But there, The silver answer rang,-"Not Death, but Love."
And if that doesn't work for you... maybe this will instead LOL:
And btw... this is a video of the original "Annie" now grown up and singing the song she helped make famous in the 70's. She has an incredible voice.
Besides my scheduled book signings for next year in Joliet and Deerfield, I may be attending another out in Kankakee. I participated last year and I'm in the process of trying to get signed up for the event again in 2010. Dates and locations of all events will be posted as they become closer.
Photo is from an Authorfest that was held in Schaumburg. That's me and my cousin author Kim Garland.
Today's song is "Give it to You" and sung by former New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight. The song is cute and has a catchy tune (the video is cute too... it's like the carnival at the end of Grease.), but you really have to listen to the lyrics. They're pretty graphic for the former NKOTB singer who once sang about "Hanging Tough". He sings about "holding you down in my bed" and wanting to "taste you there". And ummm... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you don't have to be an erotica writer to know what he's wanting to "taste"...
My favorite lyrics are these...
Example at 1:20 in video: I'm the place to be and soon you'll see I don't care who leads as long as we move Horizontally Anyone can make you sweat, but I can keep you wet.
Wow. Yep, Jordan has definitley grown up. He should consider a career in erotica writing if this music thing doesn't work out for him. :)
Click below to watch. Sorry video isn't the best quality, but you'll get the idea...
So I'm wondering if the old saying is true? "Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses." What do you think? Are glasses sexy or not? Do you like how they can make a woman look? Do you like that naughty librarian look? LOL Or are glasses a turn off to you?
My friends and I were debating this the other day so I thought I'd ask... Feel free to leave a comment if you like.
I had a great time hanging out on the south side of the city last night. I ended up having a quick late night dinner with a friend after a spur of the moment phone call... LOL Long story, but it was a lot of fun... Thanks for the laughs and here's the song!!
I forgot to mention the great music at Traxx too. Here's a few they'd play there I always liked. It's hard to just pick three... Kooler Than Jesus was my FAVE by Thrill Kill Kult.... Loved Headhunter too by Front 242 (One you lock the target, two you catch the man...) and Romeo Void's Never Say Never is a classic. (I might like you better if we slept together... )
Traxx was a bar that used to be on 63rd Street on the south side of the city. I used to go there every Friday and Saturday night in the early 1990's. Back then I was one of those chicks walking around with combat boots and my dad's old police leather. (In fact, when my cousin got married I wore my Doc Martens under my dress!! She was NOT happy with me... LOL) I had friends with mohawks, goths, and punk rockers and we all met there.
I still talk to some of the people who went to Traxx. A lot of us have reconnected through Facebook in the past year. I have a picture here of my VIP card that I kept all these years later. There is also a picture of a bunch of us at the ER at Christ hospital when a tv that was hanging on the wall fell on a friends head one night at the bar. (Yeah... good times...)
If you used to go to Traxx you should join the group on FB and check out the hundreds of pictures that people have posted on there. It's pretty cool.
Meet Julian Fantechi. Julian and I met online a few years ago on MySpace when he was being considered for the "Playgirl Man of the Year." He was in a few PG issues and ended up winning man of the year. I actually did get him involved in romance novel covers by hooking him up with one of my publishers. The same publisher sponsored him to go to RT ( Romantic Times Booklovers Convention) in 2007. (And yeah, they did kick him out but that's a whole other story.) That was how we were able to meet in person in Houston that year. We really did hit it off just like Mari said in a previous post and have remained friends since.
I manage a MySpace page for Julian's book cover modeling and his Yahoo fan group that currently has over 2,000 people in it. He really does have a following with his modeling and acting career. (He has been on The Insider, Ugly Betty, and The Colbert Report to name a few...) He has appeared as a Dark Hunter for award winning author Sherrilyn Kenyon and graced more-than-I-can-count book covers including Harlequin.
Besides the acting and modeling Julian has also been a pediatric physical therapist for severely disabled kids. Yep, not only is he drop dead gorgeous he is smart too; he has a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy. (See the video below when he got some press for being in PG and working with kids... ) He used to work for a school in New York but has recently made the cross country move to San Diego.
Julian and I have a very cool friendship. We might not talk to each other for a few months, but then when we do it's like no time has passed. It always cracks me up when I answer my phone and hear "Blondie!!" He has surprised me a few times by asking me for my opinion with modeling or to help him with a project he is working on and I'm always happy to do what I can for him. He is also great at providing me pics whenever I've asked him, which is nice...
And once, there was an author who got upset at his and my public banter on our MySpace accounts. She wrote him a pretty nasty private email telling him that if we were involved we should keep it private and how he was going to ruin his career, etc. He promptly wrote back to her and told her to mind her own f*cking business and he'd do whatever he wanted. (I was so shocked when he called me to tell me, but man that was cool... LOL He was my hero that day!! haha)
If anyone ever told me I would have someone like Julian as a friend I would have told them they were crazy. But we are friends and I value his friendship immensely. And it's nice to know even though we live so far away from each other he is only a phone call or text message away for me.
If you want to read the free short story that Julian inspired after meeting him, go to the link that follows. The story is about an erotica writer who meets a cover model at a convention and what happens between them when they meet. (You'll have to decide what is based on fact and what is fiction in the story... LOL And a warning... it is GRAPHIC!!) The link is Click Here Just scroll down to my name to get to the story.
I wanted to say say thanks to Mari for the incredibly sweet (and funny) blog post yesterday.
It's true that I first heard the name Marianne LaCroix when I was being jerked around with that anthology she mentioned. I was like who is this bitch? LOL Then I googled her and saw she was with Ellora's Cave and I understood why they wanted her in the book over me. (Ellora's Cave is the BIGGEST erotica publisher there is.)
We were introduced by Andrei at Daytona and we hit it off right away even though I was nervous talking to Mari. I was intimidated being a new author talking to someone so established and famous in the erotica world. But we became fast friends after that. (And btw Mari... I spent the night with Andrei in Daytona... in the lobby talking for a good five hours waiting for his shuttle to take him to the airport at five am. Did I tell you that? LOL)
In Houston we did room with my cuz and we had a blast. Mari was super cool when I ditched her to go have dinner with Julian the first night we were there. Come on now... she would ditch me in a heartbeat for Brooks!! LOL We had a blast that week and it was then I believe we realized my "Model Magnet" ability. During the book signing Julian would come over to talk to me and the author on one side of me asked if we were married... LOL Then Jason S and Bill F came and talked to me too, followed by Chris Howell who comes up to me and gives me his phone number... THEN the author on my other side told me how fun it was to sit next to me because of all the men... and she asked me what perfume I used to see if it would help her with the guys!
Pittsburgh was a lot of fun even though the hotel sucked big hairy monkey balls. At the book signing they lost power and we were all in the dark. It was a scary moment. Mari and I did crash a party, mingled with the models (scaring Andrei in the process), and had a late night dinner with Chris Howell that was hilarious. When a drunk fan came up he was super cool the way he told her to get lost. haha
Mari and I do talk everyday and sometimes it's hard to believe we live so far away. But we have a really solid friendship that means a lot to me. It's one of the best things that's come from me getting published. I can't wait for her to get to Chicago because it is going to be so much fun. And it will be interesting to see what kind of trouble we get ourselves into here.
So, what am I going to blog about? How about friendship? Seems appropriate as AM is my best friend. She is Lucy to my Ethel.
I met Annmarie online several years ago (2006) when I had a few short stories contracted with Silk’s Vault (now defunct). There was a major issue at one point involving my “slot” in an anthology. I was supposed to be in the antho, but the owner kept flip flopping over it. And guess whose story was being flip flopped as well? Yup. Probably not a good start to any friendship, huh? I had no idea they were doing that to her. I ended up pulling the story from Silk’s and giving it to Ellora’s Cave. It continues to be my best seller there—Beast In My Bed. Good move.
When I worked at Venus Press, I organized models for a series of books involving Greek gods, thus I met many handsome cover models—Brooks Johnson, Andrei Claude, Evan Scott, Sylvester Bowden, Marc Patton, etc. I got Andrei (Mr. Romance 2005) on some covers at Silk’s and one night they held a chat where he was a guest. I actually met Annmarie at that chat. We later chatted on MySpace and agreed to meet at RT in Daytona.
Between then and RT I had terminated my contracts at Silk’s. Essentially, the owner had no concept of understanding her own contract (and how you can’t change things like the royalty payment process willy-nilly). It got ugly, but I did get my rights returned.
In Daytona I met up with Andrei and introduced him to my mom. (I took her to the Daytona RT as a Mother’s Day gift. She had a blast.) Later he introduced me to Annmarie who I had seen across the room earlier—the blond hair was a dead give away.
We all went out to dinner that night—Annmarie, Andrei, AM’s friend from Chicago, author Tyler Blackwood, my mom, and me. We were there in the hotel restaurant for hours talking and laughing. It was awesome. I hit it off with AM very quickly. We met the next morning for breakfast before everyone went home. So much fun.
I started talking with Annmarie more frequently after that. When it came time to start planning RT 2007 in Houston, we planned to room together, along with her cousin Kim.
Houston RT was so much fun. I got to see Brooks again (who I met at RT 2003 in Kansas City). Let me tell you, Brooks is THE best hugger. Dear God, the man can hug. And I will go get a hug often too. LOL Also in Houston I met Chris Howell for the first time, who is an awesome guy, a true Texan gentleman. Kim nicknamed him “Pippin” from Lord of the Rings, because he was so cute.
Annmarie’s pal Julian Fantechi was in the Mr. Romance competition that year. It was my first time meeting him. I think it was her first time too, although they’d been talking online for a while before that. They got on so well. Real friends who connected.
During that RT Julian ran into some problems and was eliminated from the Mr. Romance competition for bringing copies of Playgirl (He was Playgirl Man of the Year, after all!) to the book signing. Someone got offended, I guess, and he was booted. He almost had to sleep in our room that last night as he was afraid they’d kick him out of the hotel. Yeah, it was crazy.
Houston was a lot of fun—the men, the laughs, the men. But then there was Pittsburgh.
A year passed since seeing AM and within minutes of her walking into the hotel room, it was like a flash of time. Tiles flew from the wall! Right off we crashed a Kensington author’s party and the good times rolled from there. We hung out with Chris (who grew up over the year and was quite yummy...very, very yummy), Brooks (who still was the KING of Hugs—and would snub many of his admirers to talk to me about his turbulent love life), Jason Santiago (who won the Mr. Romance competition the previous year), Andrei, and Sly. AM and I went around the convention getting “model sandwich” pictures. Chris looked confused, and Andrei thought we wanted to feed him. The ONLY guy who understood this was Brooks, who cheered with much enthusiasm.
Despite the “Pit of Hell” hotel in Pittsburgh, we laughed so much and had so much fun. It was the one of the best RT’s I’ve gone to, and I’ve gone to six! Of course, the fact that we seemed to attract the male models didn’t hurt. She knew some and so did I. Combined, we were Model Magnets. It is always nice to sit back and hang out with intelligent, sexy men.
I haven’t seen Annmarie since Pittsburgh, but we maintain our friendship. We talk daily on the phone, several times a day. We laugh—A LOT! I didn’t get to see her this year as we both skipped RT. (I had major abdominal surgery that week of RT.) I plan on seeing AM in 2010. Her Chicago North RWA chapter is having their conference in April, and I am going to that. I am actually going a few days earlier so I can tour Chicago with AM that week. It is going to be a blast. I can hardly wait.
Does the distance and lack of face-to-face meetings affect our friendship? Heck no. AM is one friend I can count on. If I need a lift when I’m down, she’s there. If I want to share a happy moment, she’s there. If I need someone to come to my defense, she’s there. I couldn’t ask for a more loyal and trustworthy friend as Annmarie. She is the best of the best.
Marianne LaCroix will be my guest blogger tomorrow. She is a multi award winning author of erotic romance and a great friend of mine. Here is her bio:
My name is Marianne LaCroix, Mari to friends, and I write hot romance. I am published by Ellora's Cave, Resplendence Publishing, Total-e-Bound, and Pocket Books. My latest releases are EVEN NAUGHTIER NUPTIALS in print from Ellora's Cave, THE DARK KNIGHT from Resplendence Publishing, and WARRIOR LOVER from Total-e-Bound. I am founder and President (2008-2010) of the Florida Panhandle Romance Writers Inc. located in Tallahassee, Florida, and Member at Large (2010) for Passionate Ink, the Erotic Romance Special Interest RWA chapter.
And btw... The guy on her book cover is Brooks Johnson. He's a good friend of Mari's and we got to hang out with him when we were in Pittsburgh back in 2007. Besides having beautiful eyes he has a great sense of humor. Really nice guy...
Writing erotica definitely has it's ups and downs. (Or would it be more appropriate for me to say "ins and outs"?) Besides coming up with a unique storyline every book needs unique sex scenes as well.
Just how no one wants to read the same story over and over... that would get boring... No one wants to read the same sex scene over and over. An erotica writer can't have the hero and heroine having missionary style sex in every book. Erotica writers have to be imaginative to keep things exciting. In all honesty this can get difficult at times.
Before sitting down to write a sex scene I have to give it a lot of thought. I've written a few books already and I have a following of readers. (I have a "fan club and reader group" that has over 320 members.) I have to keep my readers in mind when writing. I already wrote a sex scene with the woman on top, or the guy taking the woman from behind. The sex needs to be as fresh as the story. But thankfully there is an endless variety of ways to have sex, and it's up to me to know them to be able to incorporate them into my work.
When I write a sex scene I try to think of what a reader would think is "hot". And typically if I think it's hot, so will my readers. For example... In "Deal With the Devil" the heroine uses a vibrator while the hero watches her. Hot? Hell yeah, I think so, and let me tell you... So have the readers who have written to me about that book... LOL
Later this week I'm going to be working on a sex scene, so I'm already thinking about how the main characters are going to be "getting it on". So yes, I have sex on my mind a lot this week. LOL So if you know me and I seem a bit distracted now you know why. I'm busy thinking about sex. ;)
Mondays video asks... If I strip for you, would you strip for me? A classic Adam Ant video that had to have made my parents crazy when I went around singing this back in high school. LOL. A little early morning inspiration for a week of writing about sex... It's a dirty job, but somebody has to--- Oh forget it... who am I kidding?? I LOVE my job!!! ;)
I had a really busy week with running the Holiday Gift Shop for the PTA. It turned out to be another successful event, even though I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing. But, because of the awesome help of Misia and Laura we not only had a great event... but we believe when all the math is said and done we might have actually beat last years profits and they had a five day sale and ours was only four.
So I am quite relieved that there are no more big events going on with school so that I can get focused back on my writing. It always bothers me when it gets put to the side but sometimes it's necessary. (It is a huge perk though... being able to make my own hours is nice. Most bosses would frown upon an employee telling them they can't come in because they have a breakfast or lunch date... LOL)
So starting tomorrow I am back to business... back to writing. I have to finish edits before I can submit my current manuscript, then on to the next project. I think the next one is going to be an easy write too. (My first attempt at an erotic mystery/crime/thriller story!) I have the title, storyline and plot worked out... I even have the dedication planned.
So yep... tomorrow back to work. Tonight though... I'm watching Romancing the Stone.
I guess it's officially the holiday season. I was at Victoria's Secret on Tuesday night shopping for some new things (nope, no details on what I bought... LOL) and I saw some crazy shit going on at the registers. There were three girls waiting on customers and while I was next in line two or the three girls were dealing with women trying to scam the store.
One woman was trying to return some shower gel and other stuff that wasn't even from the store. I heard the manager tell her "This, this, and this isn't even from our store and this is, but it's from a gift box and you don't have the other items or the box."
The other sales clerk was waiting on a woman who was trying to return bras with a receipt, but the bras weren't from VS either. "I have a receipt," the woman kept saying to the girl. "Yeah, but this receipt isn't for these. These aren't Victoria's Secret bras."
I'm standing there watching both conversations like I'm watching a tennis match, amazed at the balls these people have. I guess at Christmas time people get all desperate trying to get money by pulling one over on a store. When it was finally my turn I was glad to pay for my purchase and get out of there... tis the season for Xmas stealing...
Now I would think that this combination can only lead to trouble... Still a few hours left to the day so we'll see... Though I will admit I seem to have found a bit of trouble already tonight without trying... LOL And nope, I'm not saying anything more. Enjoy the video below...
Today was day two of running the Holiday Gift Shop at school. It's been a lot of fun watching the kids shopping for Christmas presents for friends and family, but at the same time it has been A LOT of work. This morning while I was checking stock and filling shelves (yep... we have actual shelves. This is a serious event at our school) a mom asked me how I do all that I do. She actually made the comparison of me to Wonder Woman and it made me laugh. She started listing things that she knows I do... volunteering at school and running big events, writing books, taking care of two kids and a dog, taking care of a house, taking one son to tutoring twice a week, all my online stuff for school and myself, the occasional modeling gig...
And I was like yeah... AND I do laundry almost every day, cook dinner almost every night, do all my political protesting, and still find time to have some kind of social life. By the time we were done talking I was thinking damn, I DO do an awful lot... LOL But I guess I just believe in living life to the fullest and do as much as you can while you can... Because in this world there are absolutely NO guarantees. I admit there are some times I just kind of make it up as I go along and wing it... (Like with the gift shop. I've never done this before.) But I think things always turn out well for me in the end because I do everything 100% and put my heart into everything I do. It's my style. It's me. It's who I am. I guess I am Wonder Woman. Just not with the spiffy outfit.
First of all I am a Chicago girl! I'm a member of the Romance Writers of America along with the Chgo. North Chapter. I am published at Resplendence Publishing, New Concepts, and Red Rose Publishing. My work is available in both e books and print. (Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, fictionwise.com) This blog is for my romance writing. If you are interested in my non fiction, then click the non fiction link found below.