Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Giveaway (and random musings on frogs)

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. 
~ Albert Einstein



Everything in life, from politics to wallpaper, is affected by our perceptions. Yes, I said wallpaper, trust me, it’ll all make sense soon. Over the course of the summer, I’ve experienced several incidents that reminded me that one person’s absolute truth can be another person’s pile of bovine fecal matter. It’s all a matter of perception, personal preference, and our inherent biases.

As an example of how easy it is for two people to look at the same thing and take away two very different impressions, I give you the wallpaper we have at work. It’s fancy. It’s Victorian, it’s got eye-boggling patterns, and it’s become something of a game to ask visitors what they see when they look at it.

Now, take a look at all those swirls and colours and textures and see if you can find something recognizable in all that visual clutter. 



Got it? Great. Now take a look at the picture below, where I’ve picked out the three most common things people see.


Now go look back at the first picture again. Can you un-see the patterns? I can’t. I see the frog every time and I have to really concentrate to see the others at all. Apparently I’m biased and prefer frogs. (Clowns terrify me, so I’m not really surprised by this.)

I’m far from perfect, but I do try and see past the frogs most days, with varying success. It’s easier to cruise through life on default, and our default setting is that it’s all about us. Everything happens to us, because of them. *waves hands vaguely at the rest of the world.* 


 Stepping out of that mentality isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. Otherwise when the day comes, and it will come, when you’re the one causing the problem, you won’t be able to see it. All you’ll see are your personal frogs, hopping around and obscuring the truth. (Frogging up your vision, as it were... sorry for the pun, I couldn't resist.) 


Just for fun (and to atone for that terrible pun) I'm doing a giveaway. All you have to do to enter is post in the comments and tell me what YOU see when you look at the wallpaper. Winner gets a copy of my newest release, 3013: STOWAWAY. (or a choice of any book in my back catalog.) 


I'll announce a winner on Friday, the 25th of July.









Monday, July 21, 2014

New Release - Kali Argent - Alone

Sometimes, new beginnings come from unexpected places.
To Cecily Baker, being unattached means making her own decisions, living by her own rules, and never answering to anyone. So when her sister drags her to a singles night at a local club—and then ditches her—it only strengthens Cecily’s conviction that dating just isn’t for her.
Pulling double duty as a bouncer and a bartender, Rafe Serento has seen a parade of beautiful women walk through the doors of Electric Mist, but he’s never met anyone like Cecily. Lovely in every sense of the word, and just as stubborn, she challenges everything he thought he wanted in a relationship.
The more Cecily pushes him away, though, the harder Rafe pushes back, and unless they find some common ground, they’ll both end up Alone.



Now Available From:

 EXCERPT
“About four years now.” The tightness in her voice testified to her level of pain, but Cecily didn’t complain as she limped beside him. “Thank you, by the way. I’m sure this isn’t how you planned to spend your night.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I like to think I’m something of a superhero. Leaping tall buildings, racing bullets, and helping beautiful damsels in distress. It’s all in the job description.”
Cecily laughed at his lame joke, a deep, throaty chuckle that tripped his pulse into a gallop. “Mild mannered bouncer by night, milder mannered superhero by later night? Sounds intriguing.”
“Yeah, but it’s not all fun and games.” The breeze shifted, bringing with it the faint scent of floral perfume mixed with just a hint of vodka. “I mean, where do you even find a phone booth in this town?”
Nearing the crosswalk, Cecily pulled him to a stop and leaned heavily against his side. “Just one second, okay? Sorry about this.”
He could tell her not to apologize for something she had no control over, but Rafe had a feeling anything he said would fall on deaf ears. “I’m not in any hurry,” he answered instead. “I don’t have anywhere to be, and it’s not like I’ve got someone waiting up for me.”
“So you live alone?” Cecily sounded nothing more than mildly curious as she reached over to drop her shoes into the nearby trashcan. “I really liked those shoes,” she mumbled offhandedly. “They hurt like hell, but they were pretty.”
“I’m sorry for your loss. We’ll look into grief counseling in the morning.”
Cecily’s husky laughter ended abruptly when she sucked in a sharp breath through gritted teeth. “Light’s green. I’m ready.” She held a little tighter to his arm as they crossed the street, allowing him to support just a bit more of her weight. “You never did answer. About living alone?”
“Miss Baker, are you flirting with me? Trying to get me all to yourself?”
“I already have you to myself, Mr. Serento, but don’t worry. I promise not to take advantage.”
The Garden Apartments loomed just ahead, windows illuminated with soft amber lights or flickering with the glow of television sets. “Almost there. How you doing?”
“It hurts.” Cecily pulled his wool coat more securely around herself as she limped along beside him. “I’ll live, though. I think you were on to something with that bed rest and aspirin plan.”
Neither of them spoke again as they made their way along the canal to the complex. The silence was peaceful, not awkward or uncomfortable, and Rafe felt a small pang of disappointment when they finally reached their destination.
“Here we are, safe and sound as promised.” He gazed up at the wall of windows. “Tell me you’re not on the fifth floor.”
Ducking her head, Cecily tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and bit down on her bottom lip. “I’m on the fifth floor.”
“Well, okay.” In one fluid motion, he swept Cecily into his arms and strode toward the steps.
Cecily squealed, a sound he didn’t think her capable of making, and swatted him in the back of the head. “What the hell are you doing?”
“How else do you plan to make it up five flights of stairs?”
“Shut up.” With a disgruntled, though adorable, growl, she settled into his arms and stopped squirming. “Are you always like this?”
“Like what?”
“Logical.”
“Oh, absolutely not.” Rafe shook his head as he ascended the third flight of steps. “Probably ninety percent of the shit I say makes no sense whatsoever.”
“You’re not like most guys.”
It sounded like a compliment. She looked thoughtful instead of disgusted when she said it. I’m going to take it as a compliment.
“Do you need help getting settled?” he asked when they reached the landing on the top floor.
He expected her stubborn pride to make a comeback, so he was pleasantly surprised when she nodded and pointed toward her apartment door.
“If you don’t mind, I’d appreciate it.” Cecily paused and tilted her head to the side. “You’re not a serial killer, right?”
“Not recently.”
“Or a prude?”
“Uh…” The air suddenly felt thick and suffocating, and heat crawled up Rafe’s neck to his cheeks. “Why do you ask?”
Pushing the lapels of his jacket aside, she licked her full lips while her green eyes danced with what he could only assume was mischief. “My apartment key…” Cecily skimmed her fingers along the swell of her left breast and reached into the plunging neckline of her dress to produce a sing, gold key. “Ta-da.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Born with a silver tongue and a pen in her hand, Kali spends her days sleeping (she's part vampire) and her nights crafting scandalous romances with larger-than-life heroes.
Self-proclaimed patron goddess of reclusiveness, Kali currently resides in the Midwest with her oddly supportive family and tragically misunderstood cat. 
Seriously, though, the cat is evil.







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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thank you, Readers!



3013: STOWAWAY is a hit! 


Amazon: #1 Romance Science Fiction




All Romance ebooks: #1 Romance Science Fiction



I am humbled, grateful and incredibly happy with the reception of my book, and how much readers are enjoying the 3013 world.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


Susan

Monday, July 14, 2014

Common Sense: 1 Self-consciousness: 0

This past week, it's been over 27 degrees in the office where I work. (That's over 80 for those of you who still think that the metric system is the devil's handiwork.) However you count it, that's on the warm side, especially when you consider that I live in the Pacific Northwest, land of rain, more rain, and mild temperatures.

...but I digress.

The heat isn't the subject of today's blog, at least, not directly. The warm weather was the catalyst for a significant change in my wardrobe. First, I bought skirts, some of which actually show my legs! And now I've taken another step into the land of "I really don't care anymore," and bought a number of sleeveless shirts. I'll be hitting the "mid-forty" mark in a matter of weeks, and I haven't worn a sleeveless top outside of my house since I was a teenager. Why? Because I have fat arms. No matter how much I dieted, swam, worked out, toned, lifted, flexed or starved, the arms never changed, so I hid them.

Not anymore. Apparently I have reached the age where adhering to the fashion laws for the flabby set just doesn't seem that important. My give a damn is officially busted. I'm typing this while at the office, in a tasteful, sleeveless shirt and a skirt that only comes to the knee. I'm comfortable, despite the fact it's only 10 am and the temperature in here is already 27 degrees. I'm not going to spend the next forty years covering up out of fear someone may take offense to my imperfections. I'm finally figuring out what's really important, and it's certainly not how much skin I'm showing.

Besides, if they're going to judge me for anything, it'll be for my magenta colored hair.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Now Available - 3013: STOWAWAY







Sonja Grekov has spent her life in a gilded cage, trapped by her wealthy family’s expectations and the scroll tattoo on her face that declares her to be one of the coveted fertile women on Earth. No longer willing to be a pawn to further her parents’ ambition, she finally finds the courage to break free before she can be claimed in a loveless match. She is determined to set her own path, but never expected where it would take her...

Trevar Storm and Deacon Wilde are Alliance Elites, but there’s nothing elite about their current assignment. They crew one of the oldest freighters in the fleet, ferrying goods across Alliance controlled space with just each other for company. With a reputation for trouble and no chance at promotion, the two men are planning for the day they can go into business for themselves and leave their military lives behind.


A straightforward supply run turns into a life changing event when the two elites discover a treasure hidden in their cargo bay. Keeping their sexy stowaway may bring the full wrath of the Alliance down on their heads, but Trevar and Deacon won’t let her go without a fight. Will their journey end in heartache, or can three misfit hearts find love in the darkness between the stars?




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