Home for the Holidaze

BurningBright300I’m with Neal Harrison today, the star of BURNING BRIGHT by me, A. Catherine Noon, and my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder.  We figured, since it’s the holidays, we’d find out a little more about what our favorite Dom does when the mistletoe is overhead and eggnog perfumes the air.

ACN:  Welcome to NGWN, Neal!

NH:  Glad to be here!

ACN:  So, I read that you have a mixed-religion household.  How does that affect your celebration of the holidays?

NH:  We celebrate Christmas as an American holiday, since it’s become so consumerized and is in all the stores and stuff.  My family wasn’t super religious growing up, so it didn’t loom very large for us.  Doc is Wiccan, so he celebrates the Winter Soltice, or Yule.  Steve is Christian and likes to meditate and retreat from the world.

Steve pokes his head into the room:  I heard that!

NH:  I know you did, big guy, that’s why I said it!

ACN:  Gentlemen, gentlemen, one at a time, please.

NH:  But you wrote us multiple men at a time, we figured that’s –

ACN: MOVING RIGHT ALONG NOW.  So tell me, what did you get as gifts for Doc and Steve?

NH:  I haven’t yet.

ACN:  Really?  But you seem so organized and buttoned-up in the book!

NH:  Appearances can be deceiving.  It’s only the 11th.  There’s plenty of time.

Steve hollers from the hallway:  I’ve already got presents for everyone!

NH:  Yeah, and they’re probably already wrapped and hidden.  Wait til I tell Doc where your hiding place is!

ACN:  Now, now, that’s not fair.  You’ll ruin the surprise.

NH:  Yeah, but then I can get some ideas.  ~He grins~

ACN:  Do you have any special menu plans for the holidays?

NH:  Yes.  We called the special menu “Holidaze.”  We’ll be serving Hot Buttered Rum from the 20th through New Year’s Eve.  It’s an old secret family recipe.

ACN:  Wow, that sounds really yummy!

NH:  Thank you.  If your readers would like to find out more about me and my restaurant, they can check out BURNING BRIGHT, available now from wherever fine books are sold.

ACN:  Happy holidays to you and yours!

To win a copy of BURNING BRIGHT of your very own, just in time for the holidays, tell me in the comments:
What is your favorite holiday beverage (alcoholic or not)?

Here’s the details on the rest of the hop, including the grand prize.  Visit at least five of the participating blogs and leave a comment to be entered to win.

Happy reading!

Tina Christopher Grand Prize of a $50 All Romance eBooks Gift Card and the choice of 3 of my books

Dani Wade $10 Amazon Gift Card

Nona Raines A digital copy of Nicely Naughty 2–Erotic Christmas Anthology & $10 Gift Card

Harlowe Wild A Surprise Prize

Leela Lou Dahlin A copy of Rumor Has It or A Haught Date and a $10 Amazon gift card

Angel Payne A $15 Amazon Gift Card

Taige Crenshaw A $10 All Romance Ebooks eGift Card

Jianne Carlo One copy of Prymal Lust and one copy of That Pearly Drop

A. Catherine Noon eCopy of Burning Bright (or other backlist title)

Lara Archer A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Leela Lou Dahlin A copy of Rumor Has It and a $10 Amazon Gift Card

Cynthia Sax The choice of any eBook from my backlist

Ella Sheridan An e-copy of any backlist book

A to Z Challenge, Day 26: Z Is For Zen

Image © 2014, A. Catherine Noon, All Rights Reserved

Zen Koan

Chao-Chu fell down in the snow

and yelled, “Help me up! Help me up!”

A Zen Monk came and laid down beside him.

Chao-Chu got up and went away.

Thank you for visiting and traveling with me during the April A-Z Blogging Challenge.  I’ve enjoyed making new blogging friends and collecting new followers.  It’s readers like you that make writing such a pleasure.  I appreciate your support!

Happy blogging!

Dog Sledding!

In keeping with our theme of staying warm because it’s cold outside, I thought I’d share with you a story of our dog sledding adventure with Voyageur Outward Bound in Minnesota in 2006.

It all started because my husband complained about the weather here in Chicago. Fitting complaint, especially since it’s expected to get down below zero this weekend. I wanted to do something fun, unusual, and educational. I picked the Outward Bound class because I’ve always wanted to do one, to experience it and challenge myself. The hallmark of Outward Bound is that you spend some time, one night or more, camping by yourself in the wilds. I thought, what better way to learn how to stay warm and have fun all at the same time?

Two weeks before we left, my husband shrugged and said, “Well, if I don’t like it, I can always hang out in the lodge and drink hot chocolate.”

Lodge?

On an Outward Bound Expedition?

“Didn’t you read the stuff I sent you on the [non-refundable] class?”

Blink. “Well, I looked at the pictures.”

He looked at the pictures.

“DO YOU REALIZE WE’RE GOING THIRTY-FIVE MILES ACROSS THE ICE IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS?” Panting.

Another blink. “Oh.” Pause. “So, no lodge?”

Gritted teeth. “No, dear. No lodge.”

“Oh.”

Cautiously, “So, you still want to go?”

“I suppose.”

Rousing endorsement, that.

So we get there, and the first thing we learn is the Heat Triangle. Here’s how it works:

There are three parts to keeping warm in severely cold weather:

1. Layered clothing
2. Food and hot drinks
3. Movement

You can work on any one of the legs of the triangle to warm up. One of the most effective techniques is to swing your arms back and forth like a windmill. This will bring the blood to your fingertips and warm up your hands. I use this frequently back here in Chicago when waiting for the bus or the train.

And my husband? He survived and had an awesome time with the dogs, the cold, and yes, even the hot chocolate.

Cheers!

Thursday Teatime: A Visit With Shelley Munro! – and a Contest!

I am so excited!  Today I have a special treat for you, complete with a contest!  My buddy Shelley Munro is releasing her new book and agreed to do a guest post for you today.  Take it away, Shelley!

The Attack of the Dust Bunny

Housework

It’s the bane of my life, especially when there are so many other interesting things to do. The truth is when I’m in full writing-mode the housework goes by the wayside. Oh, I keep up on the washing since it’s easy enough to toss a load in the washer and let it chirp merrily through a cycle. The kitchen is also fairly tidy since we have limited space. The vacuuming and dusting, not so much.

Mr. Munro is very supportive, but sometimes even he’s horrified by the size of the dust bunnies that lurk in the corners of our house and scuttle under the beds. Mr. Munro says some have attacked him, but he’s been known to fib when it suits him. Just ask my father about Father’s Day and the bottle of bourbon…

I’ve been inside houses that are spotless and others that aren’t so clean. I think our house falls somewhere in the middle, and I’m happy with that position. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers spent a lot more time doing housework than the average woman does today. Part of that is due to mod-cons and many women now working outside the home, but I’m sure glad times have changed. I couldn’t make a career out of housework.

I say let the dust bunnies have their fun in the corners while they may. I’ll slay them at some stage…

Julia Maxwell, the heroine in my latest release, Past Regrets, is a secretary turned strip club manager. She’s a busy lady these days, so I’m thinking that her dust bunnies and my dust bunnies would rival each other in size. Maybe they should get together and have a party, but heaven forbid if they go forth and multiply!!

Here’s the blurb for Past Regrets:

Never look back…unless that’s where your heart belongs.

Love and Friendship, Book 2

Julia Maxwell was a seize-the-moment party girl until the night she spent with up-and-coming rocker Ryan Callander. From that moment, she was a one-man woman. Pity he hasn’t kept with the program.

Tired of the secrets that have kept her out of the press and Ryan’s fans happy, angry with mounting evidence of infidelity, Julia is older, wiser, and determined to divorce his cheatin’ ass.

Ryan’s long European tour had more than its share of hard knocks—one of which landed on his head when he was mugged. Divorce papers waiting for him at home are a shock that fills in some of the holes in his sketchy memory. But it could be too late to salvage his marriage.

If Ryan thinks flirtatious smiles, seductive touches, and hot-and-heavy kisses are going to smooth things over, Julia’s got a hammer with his name on it. To her surprise, he picks it up, determined to rebuild a bright future for both of them. But the past is lurking with some missing pieces that could bring their hearts crashing down.

Product Warnings

Contains a pissed ex-stripper turned burlesque dancer, a bunch of nosy friends and a smooth-talking rocker with one thing on his mind. Stripper poles and skimpy costumes may be involved.

What say you about dust bunnies? Are they real or mythical creatures?

CONTEST: Win an Amazon Gift Certificate. To enter the draw, answer the question above and complete the rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Past Regrets Buy links: On sale this week only at Samhain Publishing, 30% off normal retail price!

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand with her husband and a rambunctious puppy called Bella. She writes spicy romances for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. To learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website.