Love Jasmine Haynes Style

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Well, ain’t this a kick in the head. I’ve been kidnapped! And, on my own blog too!

 

Normally, I’m the one kidnapping people. I hope whoever did it, plans to get a big ransom. I am a self professed world famous romance author. Of course, I seriously doubt world famous romance authors run around in nothing but a diaper. I find it most disconcerting to tell you the truth. I might be fine if it was just a pair of sexy Depends covering my naughty bits, but what was the deal with the wings? Well, this wouldn’t do at all!

 

“Alright! I’ve had just about enough of this. I suggest you come out and tell me what you want before I go all Sheri Kenyon on your behind!” I didn’t know what that meant, but I meant every word of it.

 

A figure stepped from the shadows of my imaginary palatial offices, and my mouth just dropped.

 

“Jasmine Haynes! What are you doing kidnapping me?” I reattached my jaw. “I told you I’d get you on the blog when I had time.” Though I guess turnabout is fair play. I did kidnap her once upon a time.

 

Jasmine: LOL, with the wings and diaper, you look like Cupid, Jmo! But you’re much cuter! And funnier! Which is why I’ve kidnapped you and your blog (thank you very much!) to talk about Cupid type things (though not sexy Depends, because honestly, Depends just aren’t sexy, though maybe someday in the faraway future I’ll have to change my mind when my own wonderful, darling Cupid/hubby is wearing them!).

 

Jmo: I guess, as I long as I’m dressed for the part, why don’t you tell us about Love, Valentine Style?

 

Jasmine: You might be shocked, but Love, Valentine Style is a collection of sweet Valentine’s stories. Although there is one story which has a love consummation, which, I’m told, means that the anthology can’t be officially called “sweet.” And I bet you think it’s MY story that has the consummation, considering that I write erotic romance most of the time. And even when I’m not penning erotic romances, my alter ego Jennifer Skully certainly doesn’t hold much back in her love scenes either. But I’ve fooled you with this one. Because it’s not MY story! I won’t do a spoiler by telling you whose story it is, but they’re all fun tales from a variety of genres including paranormal, time travel, and contemporary romance. And all about Valentine’s Day! Here’s a brief blurb with the line-up of fabulous authors (other than me, because I’m not describing myself as fabulous, I let other people do that!).

 

Fulfilling a dying woman’s last request brings two lonely hearts together in Be My Other Valentine by Jasmine Haynes.

 

An enchanted island and the magic of Valentine’s Day help reunite a reluctant groom with his jilted bride in Hotel Amore by Pamela Fryer.

 

Magic in donated historical valentines lead a museum curator to a mysterious soldier in Civil War Valentine by Haley Whitehall.

 

A Valentine’s journey to return a lost ring gives Miranda and Ian a second chance at romance in Forever My Valentine by Raine English.

 

Finding Mr. Right by Lois Winston, the novella sequel to Romcom award-winning Hooking Mr. Right, is now part of Love, Valentine Style anthology.

 

Randy Farrell wants to date Twitter’s sweet @GlitterfrostGem. What’ll he think of her prickly alter ego, Gemma Kent? Valentine Rules by Mel Curtis.

 

Jmo: Some amazing sounding stories. I know as Romance authors we’re all about the love, but what inspired you to tackle the most romantic holiday of the year?

 

Jasmine: One of my godmothers (I had 3) was named Valentine. And I always wondered what it would be like to have a day named especially for me! She received flowers and candy and cards. It was marvelous! So when a friend of mine asked me to be part of an anthology, that’s what I wanted to write about, one little girl’s special day which brings together a lonely baker and the child’s widowed father in search of the perfect cake. Of course, romance must ensue!

 

Jmo: Aw, grandmothers are just the best. So how long are these Depends good for? I just drank a bottle of Cranberry Sprite. Never mind, doesn’t matter. Anyway, not counting this, what was your most romantic Valentine’s Day?

 

Jasmine: Well, I guess it depends. (Sorry couldn’t help the pun!) But stop it, you silly man, Depends just don’t do anything for a romantic mood (even if it does make me laugh hysterically!). My most romantic Valentine’s Day. That’s actually pretty easy. My husband took me to a spa resort that had a Jacuzzi tub in the room. Fizzy bath salts in the water, champagne cocktails, lots of chocolate, some of it on chocolate-dipped strawberries, room service for when we needed sustenance after…well, you know after what I mean! I didn’t even need a spa treatment to feel pampered!

 

Jmo: Hardy har har. Everyone likes to crack jokes on the guy dressed like cupid. Oh Well, such is my life, apparently. Unfortunately, since we’ve all had them. What was your worst?

 

Jasmine: The worst was what should have been a romantic dinner with hubby at our favorite restaurant. Unfortunately there was a family with unruly children and as the waiter was removing a bowl of muscles I’d just finished, one of the children ran into him. He spilled all the juice from the bowl into my lap. My dress was ruined and I had to ride home all wet and covered in muscle juice. Ick. But then I had a very nice bath my husband ran for me and a nice champagne cocktail (do you see a theme here?). And things definitely improved after that! So it wasn’t all bad!

 

Jmo: You do have the greatest cupid ever! If you could be cupid for one day, what would you do to make the world a more loving place? Then again, as a huge fan of your books, I think you might already have that covered.

 

Jasmine: Aw, thanks, Jmo/Cupid! Read romance, that’ll make everyone feel better, because there’s always a happy ending! That’s the definition of romance! But seriously, I’d give the world a little tolerance. Tolerance would go a long way to making this world a more loving and peaceful place.

 

Jmo: It so would. Uh, do you mind if we cut this short. This diaper is riding up something awful and I think you Super Glued these wings to my back because my shoulders are itching like crazy.

 

Jasmine: OMG, don’t take off the diaper! I’ll remove the wings, I promise, just don’t take off that diaper! But thank you so much for letting me kidnap you and your blog!

 

Jmo: It was my pleasure, but before you rush me to the ER to have these wings removed, could you tell my readers where they can find you on the internet and buy Love, Valentine Style and all your books?

 

Jasmine: Love, Valentine Style is available exclusively on Amazon and for only .99! http://amzn.to/1afja7K. And here are all the places readers can find me:

 

Website: www.jasminehaynes.com

Blog: www.jasminehaynes.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jasminehaynesauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasminehaynes1

Amazon page: http://amzn.com/e/B001IR3N76

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/130583.Jasmine_Haynes

 

And before I forget, She’s Gotta Be Mine, a sexy romantic comedy with a big dose of mystery by my alter ego Jennifer Skully, is free through the end of the month on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00688GE7Q Apple iBooks http://bit.ly/19DdMi5 Nook http://bit.ly/1bWT2hv And all other major ebook retailers!

 

Jmo: I have that one and it is simply amazing! Good bye everyone and don’t forget to check out Jasmine and Jennifer’s books. I so do love an author with split personalities! Happy Reading!

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Men Need Goddesses!

Men need goddesses!

 

Before you run off to try on that Shiva outfit in the closet, this is going to be one of those blogs about men and the way we think. So, go ahead and get your Shiva on. Like I said, this is about the peculiar male mystique. Bet you’ve never heard those two words so close together before, but it’s true; men have a mystique to them, or us rather. I guess I qualify as a man, even though I’m about to reveal one of our most guarded secrets. We’ll see how that plays out once I’m through.

 

Men start cultivating goddesses early in life. It’s a no-brainer that our first goddesses are our mothers or grandmothers, as the case may be. I call this our goddess of life. Mothers are who we turn to for everything. Food, comfort, and laps to cuddle into. You know all the things we big strong menfolk need. This stage usually lasts from birth to well into adulthood. Sometimes a bit further, but I don’t want to self-analyze myself too much in a public forum.

 

That isn’t to say we don’t dabble with creating other goddesses. The cute little girl in kindergarten. The pigtails we pull in the second grade. Sure, it takes us awhile to work it out, but we love girls. Even back in grade school, we begin building pedestals for them. Sure, we might not be sure what we’re building them for, but we have an internal need to have them. Uh, that’s girls and pedestals. Grade schools are an iffy on the need part, though I did enjoy kickball if I remember correctly.

 

Then we go crazy in junior high and high school. There are goddesses everywhere! We have our bedrooms full of pedestals. Cheerleaders get them. The foreign exchange student who we can barely understand gets one, mainly because accents are insanely sexy. The cute girl we’re paired up with in chemistry gets one, mainly for the fact she gets us through the class and we wonder what she’s hiding under those glasses.

 

College! Don’t even get me started on college. We’re a little bit older and know a little better. Least we think we do. We’ve grown beyond the adolescent need to be stupid about it. Nope, we create a whole new way to be stupid about it. We aren’t looking for a goddess to set on a pedestal and swap out when the new model hits the showroom floor. No, we’re looking for the perfect goddess to leave there and worship until death do us part. Again, that’s a mostly thing. We might be college men, but we’re still the high school guy seeing the world of women as an endless buffet table. So, we shop through the array of goddesses for the perfect fit. Only, we have grown some. We attach an emotional factor into it we might have ignored in our younger days.

 

If a man is lucky, he has the chance to discover a couple goddesses that truly change our lives. The high school sweetheart is one. That special woman who begins the process of thumping through our heads the true meaning of love. The lucky ones latch onto this gem and spend the rest of their lives with the woman who sparks love everlasting. Alas, most of us aren’t bright enough to recognize her for what she is.

 

Then, there’s the unattainable goddess. That ethereal creature is that special woman who fires passion and imagination in most men. Unfortunately, we never act on the impulses the sight of her evokes within us. Why? Hey! Who wants to get shot down by the perfect woman? Seriously, men know who we are. We’re smelly, crude, and in most cases so set in our ways, nothing could change us. Any hope we have of capturing this goddess’ heart would mean more work than most of us are prepared to go through. Better to hold that vision of perfection in a special place within our minds to think back on later, so we can say what if to ourselves. We’re stupid that way.

 

Before you get the wrong idea, it’s not about sex. Okay, mostly it’s about sex, but part of it is the ideal we’ve constructed in our heads. Goddesses aren’t always created based solely on the concept of beauty the media shoves down our throats. No, it’s about finding the perfection we need to complete who we think we should be. The fortunate ones actually find this woman and through no sense whatsoever convince her to be ours. Yeah, it confuses me, too. Since I found mine, and she still agrees not to kick me out in the back yard, I’m not demanding from anyone to explain it all to me. I’m content to simply bask in her glory and do what she says.

 

There’s one last goddess I’ll touch on briefly. Maybe two, but I’ve never experienced this last one, so I’m not too knowledgeable on the subject. But, the last goddess to enter our lives is our daughters. From the moment they enter our lives, we’re bought and sold. It’s the one pedestal that will never be torn down and replaced. This amazing creature totally captures our heart and nothing can rip it from their firm hold there. Mine is about to be twenty-four this year and she can still twist me around her finger when she’s of a mind to. She mainly uses this nefarious power to get Popeye’s out of me when we come for a visit. I’m hoping she uses it for free babysitting, but that remains to be seen. The second of these two are granddaughters. I have a grandson, who might invoke a totally different pedestal I haven’t named yet, but I have some nieces, who have their own pedestals, so who knows how many goddesses there are out there.

 

You might be asking yourself what does any of this have to do with writing? Well, it’s simple. I’ve had forty-four years experience creating goddesses. It makes me somewhat of an expert on the subject. It also means I fall in love with the women dominating my imagination. After crafting over twenty heroines over the past eight years, I know without a doubt some of the goddesses who’ve passed through my life have found themselves incorporated into the strong willed women who live in the pages of my books.

 

My heroes? I guess they’re the men I’d always wished I’d been. Now, at forty-four, I can finally see I might not be the heroes I write, but there’s enough of me in them that I’m pretty happy about the man I’ve become. Who knows I might even be on a pedestal somewhere myself.

 

And, really don’t we all deserve to be somebody’s somebody special.

Jmo a poet?

This year I’ve made a few promises if you remember from last week. One of those was to open myself to sharing my road to being the writer I am today. Long ago, my first love when it came to writing was weird whacked out poetry. Yeah, too much Jim Morrison and Poe growing up as a teenager. In spite of that, I loved expressing the emotions inside me through words. Granted all of it might not have been good, but I liked it for the way I felt when I did it. Writing is a learning experience in the craft and about yourself in the process. Poetry enabled me to do both those things. I thought maybe through the course of the year, I might share some of my other writing on occasion. Today, is one of those occasions.

 

The poem I’m about to share might not necessarily be about anyone in particular, but it is one of my favorite poems. I have a fondness for female singers. Some of my influences, or muses, if you will, are Etta James, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Stevie Nicks, and more recently Adele, Florence and the Machine, and Joss Stone. I just love a singer/songwriter who has something to say and the vocal chops to make me feel what they’re feeling. This song came from that love. Mostly, it’s a homage to Janis. One of my favorite songs is her, ‘Little Girl Blue’. I wanted to capture that sort of emotional pull. So, instead of yapping any moreabout it, here’s my first poem of the year.

 

Enjoy.

 

The aging ingénue

buckles on her war paint,

a facade best left

to the hands of sinners.

Below her…

the slick wafting of

cigarettes and violins

ignites the solitary spark,

a fragile memory of her long forgotten passion.

His name lost,

nearly erased by the pain that still consumes

the fragmentary nature of her past.

She drags heavy on the acid air,

yearning for the comfort of…

the cigarette missing from her shaking fingertips,

an absent friend.

Her lips dry,

thirsting for the taste of slow death,

she glances down.

A pack, a crumpled coffin at her feet,

laying among the trash of her days.

She wishes,

that age hadn’t overtaken her.

So much lost to the rambling

of her earlier life.

The spider web of time,

 

casually, spitefully, marking her days.

Its kiss ingrained

in the once soft flesh

of her youth.

Lovers had crossed her bed,

too many to count.

The soft rush of their feet

once filling her doorway.

Now nothing more than

a whitening path worn thin

in the dingy carpet.

She wonders among

the twinkling of neon

that eclipses her window,

do they remember

with fondness the time of her prime.

She clutches the

scrapbook of her mind,

the vibrant swirl of the

immortality that failed

to come.

Through the cracked floorboards,

the song turns sad and slow.

She understands the words

yet it is the music

that chills her soul.

As the tune calls blue,

the ingénue closes her eyes

to drift into the night…

Jmo’s First Book Spotlight: Gloria Clover’s Children of the King

I am going to try something new this year. A monthly book spotlight. What does this mean exactly? Well, it’s not a book review. I’m not big on reviewing books. Either I like a book or I don’t. Sure, I have my opinions on books, but I’ve always been told if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything. No, my monthly book spotlight will showcase books that I have absolutely fallen in love with. It also means some months I might not spotlight anything. The theory behind this is if a book excites me enough to talk about it, I want my friends to know how great a read it is. If a book doesn’t, I’m not going to waste either one of our time talking about it. I might be an author, but I am first and foremost a reader. That’s kinda why I write.

To kick this thing off, I’m going to cheat a bit. The book that has me all a twitter this month is the third book in a series. After the first book, I just sat back and said wow! Book two hit me the same way, and by the time I went to bed with a headache from over reading during a short period, I just went, how come I can’t write like that.

The Children of the King series is just an amazing read. I know a lot of people will say I don’t read Inspirational Romance. I didn’t either, then a couple friends introduced me to the genre through their writing. That said. I’m addicted to Children of the King! It fits my three requirements for a great read. It holds my interest. I absolutely can’t wait to pick up my Kindle and I hate putting it down until I finish. CotK is also, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance and Inspirational. Count those. That’s four genres excellently wrapped into one tidy book, or three books in this case. With more to come!

Gloria Clover is one, of those amazing authors, who writes so smoothly, you just know she has as much fun writing it, as you do reading it. Her characters are so real that it’s like reading about someone you know. The plot is well developed and flows seamlessly, never once giving a hiccup along the way. The tension between her hero and heroine is spot on, and never once clichéd. I will gladly admit, on more than one occasion, she has made me weep. Gloria is just that good. From the Frozen Depths is just as strong a book as her first novel in the series, Washed Under the Waves. As a series writer myself, I can tell you how hard it is to keep the writing fresh when you’re working in the confines of a serial effort.

I’m not one to give spoilers, so I won’t. I’m going to let the blurb do my talking for me. Before I do that, I want to say one simple fact. If you are not reading Gloria Clover, you are missing a rare treat. Nuff said!

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Children of the King

Book Three

From the Frozen Depths

Blurb

A Devoted Princess

Padar Lacer receives a chilly reception on the island of Dharani, her new home and mission field. What was the King thinking to send her out in winter to a people frozen in their beliefs of caste and karma? Finding the island in the midst of civil war and its people being destroyed with a freeze ray weapon, Padar agrees to participate in a shocking act of healing.

A Determined Commander

Jym Fountayn wants to stop the war at all costs, even using a foreign princess to further his cause. After all, he warned her from the beginning that he was no prince.

The Ultimate King

Padar’s talk of a King who rules the universe, who can thaw hearts and shatter frozen thinking, ignites the entire island. Suddenly Jym wishes he was the chosen prince and not just a warrior destined to kill or be killed.

Well, that’s all from my very first Book Spotlight on the Giggles. Here’s hoping, it’s not the last. I want what everyone wants for this new year. A year full of truly amazing reads! For those of you intrigued by Gloria Clover’s work, here is the link to her Desert Breeze Author Page. You can also pick her books up from a host of places where ebooks are sold, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/brands/Gloria-Clover.html

Kicking off 2014

First off, I’d like to say I’m sorry for disappearing last month. All I can say is stuff happens. I know that isn’t much of an excuse, but it’s the truth. Stuff did happen, both good and bad. We all go through it. So, I feel no need to belabor the point.

This is a new year. An opportunity for a different set of promises to be made, kept or broken as the situation calls for. My promises are few this year. I’m following the dictate, keep it simple stupid. In some vain hope to actually follow through on them, I’ll post them here, so for those of you following my journey through life, it’s up to you to knock me around, when you see me slacking.

The first one has nothing to do with writing, or maybe it does. I promise to be a better man than I was last year. I would like to strive to succeed with the important things more than fail. So who defines what’s important? I do of course. What’s important? Being a better husband, father, grandfather, and brother to the MOST IMPORTANT people in my life, my family. I want to be a better friend to those I know and the strangers I meet. For me as a Christian, that means following the teachings of Jesus, and not necessarily those who use his name to justify their own ideals and not follow his. Lately, being a follower of Christ is a catch-all for everything wrong with religion. Again, this is me speaking for myself, but feel free to quote me. Being a follower of Christ means loving unconditionally, even those different from you. That includes, color, creed, nationality or sexual orientation. Jesus loved with his whole heart. How could I do less? Besides, last time I checked I was in no position to cast stones.

Secondly, I would like to be a better writer than I’ve been in 2013. I’ve grown comfortable in my niche. That isn’t to say, I haven’t done the best I could have. I’m just saying there’s more worlds to explore. As hard as it is to believe, there’s more in the world than vampires and werewolves. As much as I love both of those, I have other loves. I don’t see myself getting to them during 2014, but I’d like to piddle around and see what’s going on in the other corners of my imagination. I hold no false expectations any thing will come of it. I am a bit on the lazy side left to my own devices. I am ashamed to admit that fact, but this circles back to the better man business. If I can admit the truth to you guys, maybe I can admit it to myself. I’ve got an inkling of where these new worlds might lie, so hopefully I can shake the lazy long enough to get something done.

My third promise might be the hardest to pull off, so I’m leaving it with only three. The part about writing nobody tells you, is that writing is only half of the job. The second half is making a person who is introverted enough to create worlds and populate them with people so they don’t have to deal with the real world that they have to actually step out from behind the computer screen and interact with the very people they’re trying to avoid. Whew! That was one long sentence, but I had a lot to throw in there. If I hadn’t done it all at once, I might have chickened out.

Telling others how great the book you wrote  is, might be the hardest thing for me to do as an author. Not because my books aren’t great. They are. Otherwise, I wouldn’t put myself out there. I’ve just never been one to brag. I might hint around at it, but actually coming out and saying how great I am just feels wrong to me. I’m not great. I’m learning. As proud as I am of my books, the truth is I am still growing in my craft. For all I know, there’s tons more I still have to learn. That learning process is one of the reasons I write. I love to discover new things. Sometimes, those things just so happen to be about me. Sometimes, they’re about the world around me. At this point in my career, I can’t see myself stopping . I’m having too much fun.

So instead of bragging about how great I am, this year, I should be bragging about how much fun I’m having. By osmosis, that means you, the readers, get to share in that fun. How? By delving into my books. Because, if I’ve done my job right, you should have as much fun reading them, as I had writing them. At least that is my hope. I know my books won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m alright with that. I’m not a fan of a lot of things people say I should like. Every reader has their own particular tastes. I write what I like to read. Since there are a lot of people reading what I like, I hope I can touch those readers, and like the authors who inspire me, I hope I can provide the escape people need. If for the briefest of seconds, I can make my readers forget their troubles and give them an adventure that puts a smile on their face, I’ve done my job. As an author, that is my goal, and what keeps me writing.

Well, there’s my promises for 2014. Not resolutions mind you, but promises. Resolutions get broken. Promises have a slim shot at making it through to the end of the year. If I succeed at achieving just a small bit of each one, I’ve accomplished something.

So, I thank those of you who stayed around during 2013. I welcome those of you checking in for the first time. Lastly, I wish each of you a year full of love, success, and may every one of your dreams come true.