Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Release Day to #LilyHarlem! TEAMWORK

Teamwork by Lily Harlem

Book four in the Hot Ice series. (Can be enjoyed as a stand alone read.)

What I know about hockey could fit on the back of a stamp. So my latest patient may be one of the NHL’s hottest defensemen, but I’m not exactly blown away by his stardom. Add in the fact that he’s a surly, growling grump, and I’m more than happy to work my magic on his battered body and then hot-foot to my date with his teammate, Todd “Pretty” Carty.

Todd is sex on a stick, a slice of man heaven and I want a bit of the action, preferably of the bedroom variety. But when Raven emerges from his bad mood and throws his energy into blowing my mind with just one kiss, I find my head spinning and my libido raging.

What I didn’t bargain on is these hard-training, hard-playing hockey players working as efficiently off the ice as on it when it comes to getting results. But who am I to complain when satisfaction is their ultimate goal?

Reader Advisory: Contains m/f/m. Go on, you know you want to indulge!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#NaNoWriMo Update

I've been a little quiet this week, but that's because I'm nearing the finish line to my NaNoWriMo journey. This month I've written a total of 45,000 words which I split between two novellas and I also managed to write a children's book for my son's Christmas present. Booyah!

I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule once I hit 50,000. Wish me luck :)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leftover Turkey White Chili

It's Sunday and I know everyone in my household is sick of turkey and stuffing or turkey sandwiches or turkey and cranberry salad. Time to do something totally different with the bird. I usually make white chili with ground chicken, but I developed this recipe about ten years ago to use up leftover holiday turkey and it was a smash success. Ever since then it's been an after-Thanksgiving staple in the Jacks household. It's chocked full of vegetables and a lot more colorful than its name implies. Hope you enjoy!

1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Sweat vegetables in large soup pot until tender

2 pounds leftover turkey, shredded
Add to vegetables and saute for 5 minutes so that flavors blend

8 cups of chicken or turkey stock
1/2 bottle beer
1 can yellow corn
2 16-oz cans of Garbanzo beans
2 16-oz cans of Cannellini beans
2 16-oz cans of Great Northern beans
Deglaze pan with 1 cup of stock then add the rest. Add all canned items.

2 dashes allspice
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Add spices and stir. Simmer for 90 minutes.

1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
Add cilantro, simmer another 15 minutes

Optional garnishes:
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Jalepeno peppers, minced
hot sauce
sour cream
lime wedges

Serve with garnishes and fresh corn tortillas. Enjoy!

Fiction for the bad girl in every woman

Friday, November 23, 2012

#BlackFriday...bah humbug!

Photo copied from
I used to work in retail when the term "Black Friday" was originally coined in reference to the day after Thanksgiving. The phrase used to be something we employees would mutter under our breath as we prayed the weekend would pass by in a blur, not some huge sale-abration as it's depicted now. I know exactly what store employees are going through today. It's that if-only-I-could-blink-and-wake-up-on-Monday feeling mixed with a little nausea and lots of foot and back pain. This weekend is brutal and requires Herculean amounts of patience...and vodka.

Perhaps it is for this reason I traditionally abstain from Black Friday. Also, having been through a serious financial crunch a couple of years ago, I've scaled back my Christmas shopping and found the holiday so much more peaceful when not worried about what gift I'm going to get my co-workers or passing acquaintances or my neighbor's dog groomer. I write this tongue in cheek, but for a while there I was buying stuff for people I hardly knew only because I felt like I had to and I knew they were going to give me something though I didn't really understand why. A Christmas present should be given from the heart, but I digress.

So, yeah...Black Friday. Having been on the receiving end of the madness, I'm loath to be the umpteenth customer who asks if there are more of the two dollar electric coffee mug warmers I saw in the sales flyer but can't seem to find on the shelves. Also, Black Friday deals are much like the Loch Ness Monster. I see purported evidence of them on TV, I've also heard people tell stories about them, but damned if I've ever actually encountered one myself. Sure, there are a few amazing deals on things I don't really want or need in the first place, but the items on which I would really appreciate a deep discount (such as that Lego set my son's been drooling over all year, but that costs an arm and a leg), those things aren't marked down all that much. Am I going to risk life and limb to save ten or fifteen way.

While much of the US loses its mind over door busters and too-good-to-resist bargains, I'm staying home. I will eat leftover turkey and pumpkin pie, sip hot cocoa and sort through my Christmas decorations blissfully removed from the insanity. To those miserable sales associates counting down the minutes until their shifts end so that they can curl up in the fetal position until it all starts over tomorrow, I offer you my sincerest sympathies. As for the rest of Black Friday, I say bah humbug.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

10 things for which I'm grateful #Thanksgiving

As a big believer in counting one's blessings, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and let days, weeks, even months slip by without stopping to look around and give thanks. That's why one thing I'm grateful for is a day that reminds us to take stock and whisper a prayer of gratitude. Here are the other nine things for which I'm giving thanks today:

9. Food, shelter and water - In the US, it's easy to forget these most basic necessities are not readily available to much of the world's population. I count myself as so very fortunate to have all this and most days not give it a thought.

8. My publisher and my editor, without whom I couldn't share my work with the world. Love you, Jilly!

7. Music. Nothing affects my mood more. It brings me joy, makes me wanna get up and dance and, when needed, helps me have a good cry. I can't imagine a world without music.

6. My health. It's been a bumpy year healthwise, but they were fixable bumps and the road ahead looks smooth.

5. Pecan pie...yes, this should fall under food, but it's so much more than that and well, whoever created the first pecan pie was a freaking genius :)

4. Words. Words are my life, my bread and butter and my dessert. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't express myself in this way.

3. Readers! You are the reason I do what I do and I can't thank my fans enough.

2. Laughter. I love to laugh and nothing fills me with more happiness than to hear my son burst out in a fit of giggles. Best sound in the world.

1. Friends and family. It's the people in life that make it worth living. I give thanks every day that I've been blessed with so much love and so many people to love.

I hope today finds everyone happy, healthy and filled with things to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Pornographer--Jacqueline George

Please welcome a new guest to my blog. Jacqueline George, an erotica and romance writer from Queensland! Want to know more? Please visit her website:

She's terribly clever and she'll be dropping in regularly so let's make her feel at home ~Cindy


Your Friendly Neighbourhood Pornographer

It all started a few years ago when Siren-Bookstrand signed up five of my books. They are American and business-like; I am from Queensland, a State that describes laying-back as strenuous exercise. I had been writing away by myself, creating books, and now Siren-BookStrand were going to sell them for me.
Turned out that the first thing I needed on my journey from dilettante to successful author would be a website. I needed a corner of the web all to myself, where potential readers could drop by and learn about my books and, of course, about me.
Now, there was a problem. The things is, I like to write about fun, travel, good food, sexy romance - and I like real. In fact, I insist on real. I might be writing a fantasy about witches, or soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but I have to believe in them and the way they behave.
I’m sure you can see what is coming. If you want sexy romance and reality, well, the clothes are coming off at some point. The thoughts and feelings of a heroine do not always revolve around ponies and flower arranging. At some point in her romantic journey, she will want to get a grip on things. Literally. And she will certainly want her things to be gripped, firmly, by the consenting adult of her choice. In fact, there are going to be pink bits all over the place, and our heroine and her hero will be putting them to good use in all sorts of interesting and rewarding ways. Creating stories like that was all great fun. In fact, writing naughty stories is just about the most fun you can have by yourself.
Fair enough. This is the twenty-first century, and even maiden aunts are aware of quite sophisticated ways to amuse themselves. It’s just that, even now, I find it a little embarrassing to carry a book like that up to the bookstore checkout. And if that’s embarrassing, imagine how I would feel if the rest of Cooktown found out what I write. Not that it was ever likely to happen. With all the people in the world, what were the chances that anyone from here would discover my site?
Let me tell you about Cooktown, Queensland. Firstly, our state reckons we are the Texas of Australia when it comes to miserable Puritanism. Playboy has to be toned down before it can be sold locally. Secondly, Cooktown is tiny. Even considering all the countryside for kilometres around, I doubt if we can raise 2000 souls. No hope of hiding in the crowd here. We don’t do crowds. We are literally at the end of the sealed road going up the east coast. We grow mangoes and passion fruit. Imagine what the farmers would think if they ever found out about my books.
Then the nice girl at our local newspaper chanced on my website, presumably when she was looking for some bedtime reading. She called me immediately, and the jig was up.
What happened? Firstly, I got an interview in the paper for my latest release, the paperback version of How to make Wild, Passionate Love to your Man. Then I had an interview on national radio about the same title. Local radio called up and demanded a chat.
People stopped me in the street, and I quickly found they were divided into two categories. The first group wanted to congratulate me just for managing to get a real book published. The members of the second group wanted to drag me off into a corner and discuss the book they had always wanted to write and had been ready to put pen to paper for the last twenty years.
I released another book as an Australian paperback - The Prince and the Nun. The Cooktown library bought a copy from me and did not even ask for a discount. The book just would not stay on the shelves, and there was a waiting list of people wanting to borrow it. Strange that. Cooktowners are so cheap they would not buy their own private copy, but they were happy enough to put their name on a public waiting list to read a very naughty book.
Nothing else. There must be people who disapprove, but I did not hear a whisper. The neighbours still talk to me, and their kids bring us fresh eggs and take care of the cats when we go to the bright lights of Cairns two hundred miles south. I now write for the local newspaper group - five papers covering an area the size of Michigan (but with less than 20,000 people.)
I feel different. I work at my chosen craft with some pride. I have started Q~Press Publishing and taken the lead with Yellow Silk Dreams, a growing band of independent authors, all writing interesting and sexy romantic stories. I am part of the ebook revolution, and bringing in some money. Not enough for a Jaguar yet, but a new second-hand car is on the cards. I am writing and selling more books than ever, and having even more fun!

Jacqueline lives in Far North Queensland, on the shore of the Coral Sea. She keeps herself busy with her cats and garden, and by writing books - some of which are far too naughty for her own good. You can find out more about Jacqueline and her books at

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Cindy Reads--BLOODWEIGHT by Eva LeNoir

Looking for a kickass heroine who's badder than any bad boy? Tired of vampiresses who are ice cold and yet somehow still weak as hell? Well, look no further for a she-vamp to sink your teeth into.

What drew me to Eva LeNoir's story is the premise itself--a female vampire who is also a kickboxer. LOVE IT! After the first few paragraphs, I was hooked.

Ms. LeNoir has a rich, smooth voice that draws you in and keeps you firmly rooted in the story. While I instantly fell in love with Sire Vampire, Nash Stanford, it's the heroine, Ellen, who really carries this tale. She's fiesty, tough, complicated and very comfortable with her sexuality. I appreciated that tidbit. Personally, I can't stomach the "gatekeeper syndrome" in women's erotica...but I digress.

The fight scene is fierce and had me rooting for Ellen the whole way. Same goes for Nash's pursuit of her. He's a wonderfully arrogant alpha male, but shouldn't the Sire Vampire be? Ellen's manager, Stones, is an adorable side character. As he is Ellen's favorite shifter, he quickly became mine as well.

My only complaint about this book is that it ends far too soon. I wanted more, more, more of these characters, the lush world Ms. LeNoir created and the steamy hotness that builds to a glorious crescendo.

Ger your copy today!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy #NewRelease Day to Eliza Lloyd!

Congrats to my fellow Jilly Belle, Eliza Lloyd. As soon as I read the blurb for On Thin Ice, I knew I had to read this one--erotic romance AND a thriller! Must. Buy. Book. NOW :)



Dr. Keefe Pearson knows what she wants. He’s hot, he’s sexy and he’s available anytime she wants sex and trouble. But what if she wants more?
When things heat up with the discovery of a rare Mayan urn, Evan Jahnning is tasked to retrieve it from the formidable Pearson Institute of Antiquities. A few dead bodies later and Evan is convinced he is doing the right thing—protecting Keefe and keeping the urn safe. Now if he can only prevent Keefe from finding out.
While Evan has Keefe hot and bothered between the sheets, she has her own plan to discover the truth of the urn—is it a treasure or does it portend the end of days? There is no convenient time for the truth but one thing is clear. Evan has to keep Keefe safe without committing the ultimate betrayal. Because she’s the one woman he can’t live without.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Bread Pudding #Recipe

If your house is like mine, the last bit of bread in a bag (what we call the bread butt) gets cast aside when a fresh loaf is purchased. My motto being waste not want not, I toss the butts in the freezer until I get approximately a pound. Then it's time to make bread pudding--a dessert with a very short life expectancy around the fam.

Usually I make the dish the traditional way--with condensed milk, cinnamon and raisins, but last year I had some leftover egg nog and decided to try an experiment. Turned out to be the best batch of bread pudding ever. So much so that my guys have requested I make it again.

Here's the super-easy recipe, hope you enjoy!

1 pound of stale bread, ground into fine crumbs
1 quart egg nog
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup of craisins (dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together, let sit for 10 minutes. Pour into greased 9 x 13 glass dish. Bake 30-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and serve dusted with powdered sugar.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Take a Little Byte Blog Hop

I'd like to welcome to  my release day mini-blog hop. There are some great prizes up for grabs including a $20 Amazon gift card, signed editions of print books and free ebooks...and that's just from me so be sure to stop by Lily, Denyse, and Milly's blogs for their prizes! All you have to do is leave a comment on our blogs for a chance to win! Good luck to all and happy hopping.

Hop authors:

Cindy Jacks

Denyse Bridger

Lily Harlem

Milly Taiden

Blog-hoppity, Take a Little Byte

My offering my mini bloghop is from Just a Little Byte--a print anthology authored by myself, Nara Malone and M.A. Ellis. My contribution--Phantom Touch--is a modernized version of Phantom of the Opera. Hope you enjoy.

Erika leads a quiet life—at least in the real world. But her alter-ego, Little Lottie, is a singer at a local club and engages in a wild online romance. For months she’s been communicating with a mysterious man, known only to her as the Phantom.

Her lover contacts her via texts, emails and instant messages. When he offers to fulfill her desires in real life, she can’t refuse. The only condition to meeting for their sizzling assignations—he wears a mask to hide his true identity. Despite his reluctance to reveal himself to Erika, he tears down her inhibitions and unleashes her suppressed passions, taking possession of her body and soul.

Erika may have finally found the one man who can sate her every longing…if only he would show her the man behind the mask.


Arranging the webcam so that it focused on the wingback chair in her living room, Erika settled her laptop on the ottoman. Her Sunday night date with the Phantom. She looked down at her outfit—a loose-fitting blazer, tight camisole, high heels, G-string and fedora. Not that she planned to perform a full-out striptease to music, but she was going for something like the You Can Leave Your Hat On scene in 9 ½ Weeks. She gave her hair one more tousle and settled into the chair.
When she connected with the video chat service, she smiled to herself—the Phantom was already logged in, waiting for her. She clicked the option to allow him to see her. His image appeared on-screen—black shirt, black pants and of course the mask. The room was dimly lit by a few lamps.
He pursed his lips and let out a low catcall. “Wow—that’s a hell of an outfit.”
“Thanks.” Rubbing her thighs, she grinned self-consciously. “Where are you? Looks like a hotel room.”
“Told you I don’t live in the sewers.” He chuckled.
“You live in a hotel room?”
“I didn’t say that either.”
Never a straight answer—not that she expected one. Spreading her legs, she opened the button on the blazer to expose the skimpy lingerie beneath.
“My god.” He licked his lips. “I was going to play a little guitar for you, sing to you—but now I don’t think I can.”
His hand strayed to the bulge in his pants, rubbing himself.
“I can change if you don’t like the outfit,” she teased.
“Don’t you dare.”
Emboldened by the way he was staring at her from behind the mask, she licked her fingertips and skimmed them over her thighs.
“Take off your panties,” he said.
At first she was going to comply, but then she decided not to. “Play for me first.”
A sly smile parted his lips. “How about I play and you play at the same time.”
He slid his guitar onto his lap, gave it a few strums and then plucked out a few sweet sexy notes, his deep baritone crooning a song she’d never heard. The lyrics spoke of beauty, sensuality, a woman’s touch making the ordinary extraordinary. The rhythm was unusual, making unexpected switches, more typical of electronica but somehow worked with the acoustic guitar.
“Did you write this?” she asked, rubbing between her thighs.
“For you.” He continued to strum the guitar.
“It makes me feel sexy.”
“Show me, then.”
Running her palm over her torso, she worked her way up to her breasts, brushing her nipples through the silky fabric. The throbbing between her legs seemed to keep time with the music.
He started to sing again, the same low, gravelly voice he always used. Slowly shedding the blazer, she let it slide off each shoulder, dropping it onto the floor. Scooping one breast from the camisole, she ran her tongue over it.
“Oh god,” he moaned, interrupting the song.
“Keep playing.
“Take off your panties. I want to see your pussy.”
Shaking her head, she said, “Not yet.”
A playful grimace on his lips, he started playing again—this time no lyrics, only a slow, sensual loop of notes.
One strap at a time, she worked the camisole down around her waist. Her nipples drew into tight buds. His gaze focused on them but he continued to play.
“Panties.” The word came out as a growl.
Hooking her thumb in the waist of the undies, she stretched the elastic strings, twisting them around her fingers, but didn’t shed them just yet.
“You’re a tease.” He chuckled.
“Oh yeah?” She edged the panties down, exposing a bit of pubic hair. Watching his breathing pick up speed, she inched the thong down a little lower, then she slid it down her legs but clamped her thighs shut.
“What do I have to do to get a peek?” he asked, still playing but his gaze fixed on her.
“Take off something you’re wearing,” she replied.
“No deal.”
“I want to see you.”
He stopped strumming the guitar and set it aside, his fingertips to his chin. “One second.”
Erika watched as he stood and turned off the lights around the room except the floor lamp behind his chair. Now backlit, he took a seat, his silhouette all that was visible.
“You’re the tease,” she said, shaking her head and smiling.
His fingers strayed to the buttons on his shirt. “You want me to undress or not?”
“I do.”
One by one, he popped the buttons then slipped out of the shirt, discarding it on the floor. Though she couldn’t make out any details, she drank in the outline of his broad shoulders and muscular arms.
She let her legs open a little, sliding a hand between her thighs. “Now the pants.”
“You said I only had to take off one thing.”
“I lied.”
He let out a throaty laugh as he stood, the light behind him accenting his trim waist. “If I take off my pants, then do I get to see?”
“How do I know you aren’t lying again?”
“You don’t.” She rubbed her hand over one thigh. “Only one way to find out.”

Get your copy today!

Be sure to return the blog hop main page and comment on Lily and Denyse's blogs too!

Lots of fun stuff today! #Contests #Author #NewRelease

Today's the day! SMUGGLER'S BLUES, JUST A LITTLE BYTE, and RECLAIMED are releasing today so of course I've got some fun stuff planned. The blog hop will kick off in a few, but I just wanted to give you a list of all the places you can find me and my writing today. Please drop by and leave a comment. I'm giving away signed book copies, Ellora's Cave playing cards, e-books and a $20 Amazon gift card. I'll be choosing three winners at random from those who leave comments at any (or all *grin*) of these events.


Take a Little Byte mini-blog-hop:

Rock and Roll High School with Karen Booth:

Creation of an Alpha Hero with Cerise Deland:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sorry about the confusion

The Take a Byte Blog Hop will be tomorrow. Sorry for the confusion!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Happy Debut to Eva LeNoir!

Hi, Eva! Welcome to my blog. Grab a glass of wine make yourself comfy :)
Thank you, Cindy! Oh and if we’re starting with a glass of wine, I may just never leave ;)

First off, I’d like to congratulate you on your new release...and if I’m not mistaken this is your e-book debut. How does it feel to have your words available to the world?
Yes, this is absolutely my debut whether it be e-book or otherwise. I’ve always written but this was my first finished work. Well, to be honest, I’m not sure it’s hit me yet. I must admit that it feels pretty close to hanging out your laundry in public. It’s such an intimate thing and yet completely for the world to see. Yep, a tad frightening to say the least.

Please, give us a little about Bloodweight and what inspired you to write it.
Bloodweight is about a female vampire, Ellen, who has used her fighting talent as a means to make something of herself. She’s angry inside and kick-boxing is her release. There are rules and with those rules comes self-control. Except her perfectly planned life is going to crumble when the biggest fight of her life won’t necessarily be in the ring. And oh…Nash! This male vampire has everything he could possibly want and yet he doesn’t have Ellen and that is just unacceptable! But, believe me, he’s a very persuasive male…

When Ellen first came to mind, she wasn’t a vampire. She was a regular woman struggling with her life and having only one out to survive. Personally, I think kick-boxing is a splendid sport, a choreography of sorts. But then I wanted to create an entire world around this arena and the idea of making it full of otherworldly enemies working together with the sole goal of making money, appealed to me. It’s like a fictional rendition of our own world except here; the good guys get really great sex ;)

I noticed this is the first in the Underdogs of the Arena Series. What other releases do we have to look forward to in this series?
Yes, Bloodweight is the first in the series. At first, I thought I would have two more books and then…something happened while writing Bloodweight and the final book come to me. As it stands today, there will be 4 books in the series. But who knows, maybe more will introduce themselves as I write along. They are a bit sneaky like that!

Do you intend to continue in the paranormal erotica genre. If not, what other genres are you working in? If so, what about paranormal draws you in?
To be honest, I don’t have a genre per se. There is a thriller idea bouncing around my head in collaboration with two of my friends but we are merely in the “what do you think about this” stages. I also have an idea of a stand-alone in the Ménage genre, inspired by a friend of mine. I must admit that if I’m thinking of him while I’m writing it will be light-hearted and full of humor.

As a newly published author, what advice do you have for aspiring writers?
I suppose I’d have to say: Finish your work. I’ve spoken with aspiring authors, like myself, and we hide in the safety of our unfinished manuscripts. If they are not complete, then they cannot be torn apart by the editors and readers. Also, it is crucial to have good and honest beta readers before submitting. A family member who doesn’t want to hurt your feelings just won’t do it, in my opinion. Have an English teacher take a look, for example. But yeah…get it done and send it in.

Where do you see your work in the next year? In ten years?
To be honest, I haven’t even gone as far as next month. I’m really just enjoying the fact that I’m published. And I have Horny Devil Publishing to thank for that! It may sound ridiculous but the simple idea that I’m “a published author” makes me ecstatic! Obviously, in the filing cabinets of my brain, I’m finishing all four stories of the Series but beyond that…it will have to be a surprise!

Where can we find your book?
Bloodweight can be found first and foremost on the website of Horny Devil Publishing, in the Paranormal section. It is for sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and ARE.

Where can we find you?
Wow, that’s a philosophical question, Cindy…Not sure I’ve actually found myself, haha. But physically, you can find me on:
Facebook-- , you can friend request me if you’d like. This is where I keep in touch.
FB Author Page: This is where I keep you up to date on the books!
I’m currently working on a website of my own and trying desperately to figure out Twitter LOL!

And now for more fun!
Name your favorites:
· Author (besides yourself, lol)? Wow ! So, difficult… but, Ernest Hemingway takes the lead!
· Book? The Catcher in the Rye because it gave me the passion.
· Music? I don’t have a favorite genre. I can listen to Chopin and turn around and listen to Metallica.
· Band/singer? Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and list goes on…
· Movie? So many choices but as a big Tim Burton fan I must say: Big Fish but ask me tomorrow it might be something else..haha.
· Actor? My first reflex is to say Johnny Depp and not for his very tempting looks but for the film choices he’s made throughout his career. His talent is amazing!
· Actress? Definitely Meryl Streep. What an incredible actress! She can make you laugh, cry, cringe and everything in between! And seriously, who didn’t cry in the Bridges of Madison County?

Okay, time to commit--you can only choose one:
· Summer or winter? Summer, no doubts!
· Candy or French fries? Candy
· Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup
· Tall, dark and handsome or golden boy? Tall dark and handsome, always!
· Early to bed or night owl? Night owl
· Strawberry or chocolate? Pffft…chocolate! But then…a strawberry dipped in chocolate never hurt ;)
· Chains or whips? Chains
· Alpha male or sensitive guy? Alpha…hmmmm…

Guilty pleasure: Name one thing you love that you’re ashamed of.
Well, well Cindy…are you trying to have me divulge all my dirty secrets? Let’s just say it’s sweet and fits really well in my mouth. I love to suck on it but unfortunately I cannot do so at work. Apparently, teaching with a lollipop (love butterscotch) in my mouth are not considered compatible.

Thank you again, Eva, for being my guest and I can’t wait to read more of the Underdogs of the Arena Series!
Thank you so much for having me, Cindy. This was great fun!! And by the way, I’m a great big fan of your writing so this was an honor! ;)

Aw, now I'm blushing...and the honor is all mine. You've definitely recruited me as a fan ;) I read Bloodweight last night and it is fantastic. I'll post a review next week, but I recommend readers get their copy today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eek! I just discovered, I'm a sci-fi geek!

If you asked me even two days ago if I considered myself a sci-fi geek, heck, even a sci-fi fan, I would've given you a resounding no. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just didn't see it as a genre I'd ever thrown myself least not willingly.

Okay, I grew up with Battlestar Galactica but I was a kid and I watched what my parents and brother did. I saw every episode of Star Trek the New Generation when I was in college, but that was really more about a guy than any real compulsion to watch the show. I did enjoy it though.
"Captain, I am not a merry man," so sayeth Worf.
Best line evah.
I've also seen all the Star Wars movies...several times, again more about my boyfriend picking the movies than any desire on my part.

Firefly, now that show I watched voluntarily but only when it'd been off the air for several years. Then I had to watch Serenity the movie because we were egregiously robbed of a resolution to Joss Whedon's epic vision. But c'mon, a young Nathan Fillion in tight pants...really? That's not me being a sci-fi fan, it's just that I enjoy an attractive man in tight pants. It's the same reason I love football, but I digress.

So yesterday, when discussing a neighbor's Captain Mal Halloween costume, another neighbor pounced on me and gleefully dubbed me a sci-fi geek simply because I required no explanation as to who Captain Mal was. At first I railed against this characterization, but as the science fiction references flew--Romulan Ale, I, Robot, Huttanese, etc, etc, I conceded the point that I am at least conversant in sci-fi jargon, but it's not like I speak Klingon or anything. Really, I don't.

Then it occurred to me that I have what's considered a science fiction release coming up this week, the second in a series of three as a matter of fact. Smuggler's Blues is set in the year 2017 and Sailor's Knot in 2037. These books are a continuation of the post-apocalyptic world I set up in Landlocked. They are all part of Ellora's Cave's Aeon line, which yes, is futuristic and science-y kind of fiction. I'm also working on a book set in the 22nd century titled Beautiful Monster. It was inspired by what's considered the very first work of science fiction--Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

All right, all right. So what's the big deal? I like science fiction and that's a good thing. And maybe I even am a geek, but I think there's something about putting characters into unfamiliar surroundings and situations that distills in them what is uniquely and unmistakably human. As Morgan Freeman's character stated in The Magic of Belle Isle (notably NOT a sci-fi flick, I do watch other stuff, ya know), "You don't have to leave the planet to tell a good story." No, it's true you don't, but it sure is fun to depart from reality once in a while. If that makes me a sci-fi geek then so be it. I embrace my geekdom and all that comes with it. Except learning to speak Klingon. I draw the line there.

Live long and prosper,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reason 101 why I love my guy...

I thought I'd take a page from Cari Lorine's book and blog about my man (love your blog, Cari!). There are at least a hundred reasons why I love my guy, but here's reason one hundred and one.

Last Thursday, while I'm trying to select a movie for our "date day," he's on the phone with work. No, this isn't the reason I love him. Anyway, I motion to Snow White and the Huntsman. I know he doesn't care to see it, but he's told me it's my pick so I run it up the flagpole and see if he salutes.

Covering the phone receiver with one hand, he nods. "Yeah, that one. Or how about Magic Mike?"

Is he serious? No way. He's messing with me. Of this I'm sure.

Patiently, I wait until his phone call is finished. He strides into the living room and peers at the TV.

"Did you order a movie?" he asks.

"Not yet. I wasn't sure what you wanted to see."

"Snow White is fine. Or Magic Mike. Either one."

"Are you serious?" I look at him out of the corner of my eye. "Magic Mike?"

"Yeah. I hear it's a good movie."

Okay, I remember raving about it, but that was for obvious reasons. Granted, I liked the plot of movie far more than I expected to, but that's neither here nor there. No hetero man alive would volunteer to watch it...would he?

"Okay, what's up?" I ask, full of suspicions. There must be an impending firefighters night out or he has to work on our anniversary or he's shrunk my favorite sweater by mistake. Seriously...what is going on???

"I'd just like to see it and I'm sure you're willing to sit through it a second time." He takes a seat next to me on the sofa.

Well, all righty then. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I click "order" with the remote and run to the kitchen to fetch the bottle of wine. Because he's a firefighter and an EMT who works 24-hour shifts, we've designated Thursdays our "date day". My son is at school, it's DH's second day in between shifts so he's well-rested and it's one of the days I've scheduled off from writing. Thus, the stage was set for a wonderful day snuggling on the couch.

Though I'm sure I enjoyed Magic Mike on a totally different level than he did, he never ceases to amaze me with his willingness to meet me more than half way. Turns out the film also gave him some choice ideas for the end of date day...but that I'll have to save for one of my books *grin*.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

How I lost 40 pounds

Last week I hit my weight loss goal of forty pounds. It took nine months and a lot of blood, sweat and tears so when folks who haven't seen me in a while ask, "How did you do it?" I'm kinda at a loss for an explanation. After all, it wasn't an overnight thing and it wasn't any one technique that was successful, but a combination of methods...and again a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Oh yeah, I said that already *grin*

Yesterday, I gave the journey a good long think and compiled a list of things that worked the best for me: an attitude shift, increased exercise, calorie restriction and tracking, intermittent fasting and scheduled splurges.

1. Attitude shift - This might be the hardest part of the whole enchilada...mmm, enchilada...oh, sorry. I got distracted. For me, I had to change the way I thought about myself, about weight loss and about food. First, I had to get rid of negative thoughts that told me I was too old, too set in my ways, and incapable of working out hard enough to get results. The truth is middle aged doesn't have to mean soft around the middle. As for set in my ways--well, the good news is they were MY ways which means just as it was entirely up to me to fall into bad habits, it was entirely up to me to change them. Easier written than done, I know, but still, it was all within my control. And working out hard enough to make a difference, I'll get to that in the next section. The gist of the attitude shift is this: you have to prepare yourself mentally before you ever attempt to change yourself physically. Go into it believing you are worth being the healthiest, most beautiful and happiest person you can be.

2. Increased exercise - There are a lot of myths about exercise these days, many propagated by fitness celebs trying to sell you their product. Same goes for those expensive gyms fees. I managed to lose weight during one of the most financially challenging times of my life. I didn't purchase a thing in terms of exercise equipment, gym memberships or pricey video systems that promise you miraculous results in three months and then hammer your body to get you there and makes you feel like loser if you're in too much pain to continue after a week or so.
     What I did do a lot of was WALK. I'm not talking insane marathon walks either, but simply opting to walk anywhere that was within a couple miles of my house. Some days I did take long walks, others I just walked to the store, about twenty minutes round trip. I listened to my body and if I really didn't feel good after about ten minutes of walking, I went home. But you'd be surprised that if you force yourself to get out there for that initial ten minutes with some good music on your mp3 player, you'll usually feel like going farther.
     I also danced. A lot. I love to dance and it's something I could do around the house. I will admit I did buy a Samba work out video through Amazon Instant Video for around $10. Dancing makes me feel beautiful and gave me respect for my body even though I wasn't yet at my target weight. The point is, if there is an activity you do enjoy, whether it's tennis, yoga, martial arts or, like me, dancing, work that activity into your fitness regime.
    I did some sort of exercise six days a week, not hard, put-yourself-through-hell, aching-all-over-the-next-day exercise, but some sort of physical activity for at least twenty minutes. But when I did feel like doing thirty or forty-five minutes or even an hour, I did.

3. Calorie restriction and tracking - I won't lie, this part was hell the first couple weeks. I was used to overeating so I did feel hungry all the time for a while. Once I got accustomed to eating more appropriate portions, it got much easier and even now when I'm very hungry, a smaller amount of food satisfies me.
    What helped me keep track of what I was eating (and also showed me which foods gave me the most bang for my caloric buck) is a website called It is free unless you find you need the enhanced features (I didn't feel the need to use them). It helped me set a calorie goal and then stick to it. If I did go over my calorie count for the day, it was at least with the full knowledge that I was going to do so.
    I also checked out the Calorie Restriction Society's website which has a lot of useful information about high nutrient, low calorie foods:
    As for cheating on my eating plan, if I decided I wanted to splurge a little on a day that wasn't my cheat day, I would pick out an activity that would burn the extra calories I planned to consume. Bottom line is, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

4. Intermittent fasting - This technique isn't for everyone (please consult your doctor before attempting this) but I found it useful so that I could spread my reduced calories throughout the day. "Fasting" is sort of a misleading word in this technique. It's more like intermittent eating. I know many nutritionists says to graze all day, but I find that grazing (for me) leads to overeating and eating when I'm not truly hungry. I also tend to eat when I'm bored or stressed. To short circuit that behavior, I made a schedule with enough time between each meal to allow my stomach to empty. Also, three days a week, I would put off eating breakfast until 11am. I know, I know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but not when it includes pastries, fatty meats, and processed carbohydrates. Plus, about two or three times a month, I would only eat dinner. Sounds nutty, I know, but it did work
   Studies indicate that intermittent fasting is linked to healthier levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Our ancient ancestors didn't have constant access to food and I'm not sure that it's healthy for us that we do now, especially the kinds of foods that are readily available at fast food places and convenience stores. Here's the study I read :

5. Scheduled splurges - Just as I think it's important to control when and how much I eat, I also neeeeeeed days during which I can eat the foods I really miss. For me, this day is Sunday. Again, I don't go nuts and eat everything that crosses my path, but a cheat day is crucial to success. If I told myself I could never have Skittles again or could never drink wine again, I'd say screw it and give up on losing weight. On my cheat day, if I want that bacon cheeseburger, I eat it. If I want wine with my cheeseburger, I drink it. But I also kept track of what I ate on my cheat day just to keep myself accountable. Once I got used to doing without these high calorie foods, I found just a little of them was more than enough to keep the cravings at bay.

Perhaps the most important aspect to my success that I haven't listed thus far was the encouragement of friends and family. Your support system is also key to your success. Whether that comes from a Weight Watchers meeting, an online chat group or the folks who love you at home, you have to find a cheerleader or two to keep you inspired. Even if it's just someone to tell you, "Hey, you look great. Have you lost weight?"

My main cheerleader (but by no means my only one) was my hubby. He, in fact, likes my body when I'm heavier--God, I love that man!--but he did comment often on how much progress I was making and even helped me plan out a budget for all those new clothes I was going to have to buy. He's my rock and I don't think I could've done it without him. But make no mistake about it--YOU are the most important person when it comes to your health and fitness goals. It's your health, your fitness, and your choice. You have the power to shape your body and your future and believing that is half the battle ;)

Have you recently started a fitness regime or weight loss program? Please share with me what's worked for you! I'm always looking for new ideas!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#NaNoWriMo - Be your own cheerleader!

These past few days I've been wrestling with a nasty cold and laryngitis. Needless to say it was all I could do to keep up with my usual domestic duties, much less try to write my goal of 2000 words each day. This morning I did panic a bit when I noted I was still languishing around 10,000 words (the same word count as a few days ago). But what separates those who can from those who cannot? Perseverance!

Am I going to let a couple unproductive days discourage me?

Am I going to get down on myself because I haven't yet reached my goal?

Am I going to throw in the towel?

Am I going to have a couple glasses of wine today?
Most likely!

And then I'm going to pick myself up, dust myself off and get back on that proverbial horse because writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint. Yes, it helps that I have the confidence that comes from having several already completed novels and novellas. But even if you don't and you've found yourself in the same boat I'm in, don't get discouraged or give up simply because you haven't been as prolific as you would like. Do whatever you have to do to get your head back in the game (hence the couple glasses of wine pour moi *grin*) and get back to that story.

Remember: If you don't try, you'll never have that 5000 word writing day. So be you're own cheerleader and get yourself psyched to write--here, I'll get you started:

Hey, hey! Ho, ho! We're gonna write 50K for NaNo!
Hey, hey! Ho, ho! We're gonna write some mo', some mo'!

What? No...I haven't gotten into the wine yet...why do you ask?


Monday, November 5, 2012

#Authors #FreePromo #BlogHop

Howdy folks, I was going over my schedule for November and I realized I have three print releases this month and of course the release of Smuggler's Blues. I know it's last minute, but I'd like to put together a little blog hop from November 16th to November 30th called the Take A Little Byte Blog Hop. Blog posts should feature scenes dealing with sex and technology: (sexting, dirty talk via IM, nekkid Skyping, cyborg love, lol). Prizes are up to the author's discretion, free book, giftcards, etc. Write me at cindy (at) cindyjacks (dot) com by November 14th to be included.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

#SixSentenceSunday--Peek at Beautiful Monster

It's Six Sentence Sunday! Here's a peek at my updated Frankenstein story from one of my #NaNoWriMo projects (I'm at 10K, woot!), Beautiful Monster. Dr. Francine Stine tries to recreate her deceased husband using her cyborgnetic research lab. It's my first attempt at erotic horror, finger's crossed I can pull it off.

Let's see if these six sentences pique your curiosity:

The face before her bore no tiny scar over his left eyebrow from a baseball to the temple at nine years old. There was no little mole on his right cheek. No laugh lines around his eyes…and yet there was something about his eyes. They were the wrong color of course, but the glint of mischief, the almost imperceptible squint, in fact his whole expression and posture screamed Adam.
“Why are you crying, honey?” he asked, folding her into his arms.
Though the Fleshlite hadn’t quite warmed from the coolness of the chamber, a familiar scent surrounded her―her husband’s scent.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Never say never...

#NaNoWriMo update: 3000 words yesterday...boooyahhhh!

While I wrote, I was listening to Taylor Swift's hit song, We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together, and it occurred to me how absolute things used to be in my younger days. Love was the highest high, but was also much easier to walk away from. As I hurtle toward the big 4-0, I find it's much harder to discard relationships (that's good news for the mister...or is it? *insert evil laugh*).

It calls to mind a study I read--not sure why I read it, but I did--stating that aging female cockroaches are much less picky when it comes to mating than young female cockroaches ( Okay, I don't like the analogy much either. As I sit here eating my raisin and walnut oatmeal, I like my comparison less and less, but it is appropriate. For some reason, it seems, as females age, we have a greater capacity to overlook crap that would've gotten a lover (or cockroach) kicked to the curb in our youth.

Is it that older women know something younger women don't, such as a hard man is good to find *grin*? Is it that we're more patient with other people's flaws having experienced our own foibles? Is it that we're just too tired to give a shit? I do know that the more you weather with a partner, the harder it is to toss him out over one argument. And maybe we middle-aged folk just know never to say never. I think perhaps it's a combination of all that.

The only thing I'm sure of is that my version of the song would go something like: We...are maybe, one day, if I feel vulnerable or lonely or just plain horny and you look good in your jeans, getting back together.

Now it's your turn. Do you think we are more tolerant and more likely to form long term relationships as we age? If so, what's your theory on why it happens? And again, sorry about the cockroach thing.

Friday, November 2, 2012

And the WINNER is...

Thanks to all who participated in the Wicked After Dark Halloween Blog Hop. My winner, chosen at random, is Christine! Check your inbox, the three books in the Four Brothers Clan series is waiting for you!


My experience with #Healthworks

I was going to update everyone on my #NaNoWriMo progress because I had a great first day (2500 words, woot!), but I had an experience yesterday that moved me to write this blog entry instead.

Without getting into a big debate about healthcare in this country or politics in general--for this reason comments will be moderated today, I really try to keep my blog neutral on such topics--I just want to give a shout out to the wonderful people at HealthWorks for Northern Virginia. It's an amazing project staffed by amazing people who, for the first time since my current health crisis started, made me feel truly cared about and cared for. Everyone I met there was warm, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and just plain fantastic. How often can you say that, even if you have top-notch insurance?

It's designed to help the people in the middle--those who make too much money to qualify for public assistance, but who can't afford health insurance or whose jobs don't offer health insurance. I fall into the latter category and I've made due with individual insurance which comes with a hefty deductible just to make the monthly payments reasonable. Again, I don't want to get into a debate about which side of this issue has more merit or who should be paying what. I want to focus on the positive of this project which is affordable, quality healthcare for all--whether you're rebuilding, in the middle or doing very well.

HealthWorks services include (list copied from their website):

  • Sick visits
  • Chronic disease management (High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc.)
  • Minor injuries
  • Prenatal care
  • Minor office procedures
  • Well-child care
  • School and sports physicals
  • Well-woman care/ Pap smears
  • Prescription assistance program
  • Case management/outreach and referral services
  • Education & Prevention Programs
  • OB/Gyn
  • Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse
  • Lab
  • Family Planning
  • Dental is available off site through community partners.

  • Currently, they have locations in Leesburg, Sterling and Herdon. I'd love to see this project spread to more communities. Please, check out their webpage: and consider a donation if you live in the Northern Virginia or, heck, even if you just think it's a plain good idea. I know where my annual charitable donation dollars will be going from now on.


    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    #NaNoWriMo -- Tale of Two Projects

    I haven't participated in NaNoWriMo in a few years, but I decided to this year because I have friends--J.J. Massa and Ashley Marie Lucas--participating. I also have two projects that need to be wrapped up and there's nothing like NaNoWriMo for the support and enthusiasm needed to rack up the word count.

    My first project is something I have planned out--a paranormal piece--and the second recently fell in my lap. Without giving too much away, I'd like to give a shout out to my fellow Spice Girls: Karen Stivali, Karen Booth, Sidney Bristol, and Lynne Connolly plus all the other Jilly Belles who will be working on this series.