Sally Felt on Writer Wednesday

Sally Felt on Writer Wednesday

My friend, Author Sally Felt. She's almost always laughing!

My friend, Author Sally Felt. She’s almost always laughing!

Sally Felt is another one of my online writer hang-out group that I dearly adore. Way back in 2003, when there were four of us exchanging snippets and encouragement online, Sally blew me away with her writing.

So I’m extremely happy to note that two of the books she’d been working on back then are now (and soon to be) available for purchase.  I’ve had her on Writer Wednesday before, but she deserves another showcase.

Her first romantic comedy is called Going Native, and I had the pleasure of watching this novel evolve from tentative first steps to the glorious thing it is now.

Here’s the blurb for Going Native:

“Violet Maison is house sitting a fabulous penthouse loft with a wardrobe to die for. Tired of worrying about everyone else’s expectations, Violet’s ready to walk a mile in her friend’s very sexy shoes. She embraces her new life by planting a jubilant, champagne-fueled kiss on the sexy stranger

Going Native by Sally Felt

Going Native by Sally Felt

next door.

Eddie is in town to help close a business deal—and lick his wounds after a bad breakup. The last thing he wants is complications. But surprise kisses from the tipsy redhead next door prove a Texas-sized distraction he can’t ignore. Violet is demure one minute and suggesting clandestine sexcapades the next. Eddie can barely keep up. Or wait to see what Violet does next.

Something about Eddie burns away Violet’s inhibitions, though discovering he holds the key to the future of her family’s business shakes her newfound confidence. But Violet finally knows what it’s like to feel sexy and powerful, and she’s not about to give that up. She’s ready to fight for the life, and the man, she wants.

A Romantica® Contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave”

Sally’s newest book, Flushed, comes out on February 6th, 2014 and is currently available for pre-order. Here’s the quick blurb for Flushed, also an Ellora’s Cave publication.

“Blush sensuality level: This is a sensual romance (may have explicit love scenes, but not erotic in frequency or type).

Flushed, by Sally Felt. Available February 6, 2014

Flushed, by Sally Felt. Available February 6, 2014

Kissing her plumber in the middle of her dinner party is the very last way Isabelle expected to spend her night—after all, she’s sworn off dating. But when Kim Martin, plumber to the rescue, charms her guests and poses as her new guy to spare Isabelle the humiliation of an uninvited ex, she makes an impromptu exception—and gets carried away.

At first, being Isabelle’s faux beau suits Kim Martin just fine. She’s hot, intriguing and won’t get in the way of his plans to blow town and build a business he’s passionate about. But Isabelle just isn’t cut out to be a goodtime girl. She gets under Kim’s skin and into his head—and he’s not entirely sure what to do about that.

Kim should be everything Isabelle believes of men in general—confident, flirtatious and too attractive for his own good. Yet the more Isabelle tries to fit him into a box, the harder he fights his way out of it. He’d be maddening if he weren’t so intriguing.

A Blush® contemporary romance from Ellora’s Cave.”

Check out Sally’s Amazon Page, and her website.

Happy Wednesday, my lovelies!









Susie Strong, and Wine Friday

Susie Strong, and Wine Friday

Today an amazing woman who is a WANA friend is undergoing surgery for breast cancer. As today is also the day I get a mammogram, I felt that I had to give a shout-out to Susie Lindau (along with a LOT of our other WANA friends), tell her that I’m thinking about her, and to remind my other dear friends to not forget about scheduling your mammograms. I’ve been scolded for not getting one since 2010; both my doctor AND her nurse chided me about it. So here I go, into the squeeze machine, and you can bet I’ll be thinking of Susie and her doctors while I do so.

In Surgery Today.

In Surgery Today.

Susie writes with humor and grace, and you can find her at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride. Go check her out; she’s totally a blogger worth following. And to show your support, tweet her at #SusieStrong – Susie know you’re thinking about her!

For more information about the WANA Revolution, check out Kristen Lamb’s blog today. Talking about wine after discussing Susie seems a bit trivial, but – onward!

Wine Friday – Two Chardonnays for Summer

In these days of high unemployment and wild uncertainty, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10.

seekerThe Seeker California Chardonnay 2010 Alcohol 13.8% by Volume  Website:

On the Label:  “The Seeker relentlessly tracks down the world’s finest wines across time zones and continents.  Our wines are made with care by talented winemaking families, crafting flavorful, individual wines from selected grapes where they grow best.  The first Seeker wines come from France, New Zealand, Argentine, California, and Chile.  If you share the joy of discovery, this wine is for the Seeker in you.

“The grapes for our Chardonnay were discovered across California’s finest cool-climate vineyard sites to deliver a wine with ripe pineapple, golden apple, and pear flavors with a smooth, creamy finish.  Pour a glass and transport yourself to Sunny California wine country.”

My Take: I’m not usually a fan of what I like to call “consortium” wines (though that’s probably the totally wrong word); by that I mean, I prefer wines from a winery. From what the label says, these people go all over the world to find wines, then put their own label on them and import them. So it makes me kind of wiggly tentative about trying the wine.

But luckily, I bought before I read the label. This was a nice, easy-sipping wine, perfect for summer and fish on the grill. Barely any oak, so you stainless steel Chardonnay fans will be happy (though I’m glad I can say there’s no “tinny” taste at all). To top it off, it’s got a screw top, which makes it easy (especially for arthritic hands) to open.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~

Ooh La La Chardonnay 2011  California Alcohol 9.0% by Volume  oh lala                     Website:

On the Label: “Ooh La La wines are light and refreshing with just at touch of mouthwatering zing that allows the fresh fruit flavors to rush forward.  The Chardonnay is lush and juicy with flavors of apple, tropical fruit and vanilla.  The perfect start to any occasion! SERVE WELL CHILLED.”

My Take: At 9% alcohol, THIS is the white wine you want to serve at parties. It is ever-so-slightly effervescent, which was a delightful surprise; and it stood up to appetizers just fine. Plus the bottle is – wait for it – capped, like a soda. How innovative! I’ve only seen that on a couple of bottles in the past. (Bonus – they also put out a Rose´, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling.)

My Rating: ~ Very, Very Drinkable ~ Stock up, so you’ll be ready to go all summer long, no matter where you’re invited.

As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.

My Rating System: Undrinkable; Barely Drinkable; Drinkable; Very Drinkable; and the ever-popular “Stay Away! This is MY wine, you Slut!”

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to get that mammogram! ~


Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle and Kobo! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

A Retreat For One

A Retreat For One

When was the last time you went on a retreat? By yourself? With no agenda, but just to be?

This would be such a blast!

This would be such a blast!

I can’t remember. All my travels have a purpose – writing conferences, mostly. Or vacations with the hubby, or visiting the family, or writing retreats with friends. But take ME on a retreat, with nothing planned? I am having difficulty wrapping my brain around it.

(I will say the closest I come to having gone on a retreat was when I visited Tehachapi, last December. I stayed with my brother and his gal, and had a wonderful time with no real purpose behind it, other than helping out some friends.)

Leonie Dawson put this thought into my head with her post about her retreat. Now, she has a 3 year old, and I don’t; so she had anxieties about leaving home that I don’t have. (My anxieties are much weirder uh, different.) But where should I go?

Or camping. By myself. Well, maybe not...

Maybe camping. By myself? Well, maybe not…

Aside from where to go, the other question lingers in my mind. What would I do on a solo retreat? Leonie’s retreat didn’t quite go as she had planned, but it was just what she needed. Three nights and days of solitude and the sea and sunshine, which refreshed her and refilled her creative well.

My circumstances are a bit different, and I won’t be planning any three-night stays in a b&b on an ocean cliffside any time soon. (Or on a Boat, Bed and Breakfast…) But I really want to go on a retreat, so I am going to start small. I won’t be all alone, but I’ll have my days free and I won’t be at home for two nights. Two absolute musts, as far as I’m concerned.

I shall go prepared, but without plans. Which means I’ll take my camera and my computer and my drawing stuff, and see what happens. And I’ll meet up with my man at nights for a yummy dinner and great discussion about what we did that day, plus the comfort of not sleeping alone.  Sooo…

Back to Shelter Island Marina go I! Woo!

Back to Shelter Island Marina go I! Woo!

But before I can go, I need to get the Guitar book edited and off to the publisher (fingers crossed). Which means I need to hustle! The last thing I want is to have a deadline looming over me while on a retreat. That is NOT relaxing, lol!

(By the way, welcome to the new look of the blog! My thanks to Kristen Lamb for the new tagline.)

Have you ever gone on a retreat by yourself, with no plans in place? Does that sound like
something you would ever do? If so, where would you go? How long would you go for?


Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time, cheers!

The Agony of Bra Shopping

The Agony of Bra Shopping

The only thing worse than shopping for a bra is shopping for a swimsuit. I try my hardest to not shop for bras – I think the last time I did was back in the 90s. Okay, I’m exaggerating.

But not by much.

Bra shopping makes me want to head for the liquor cabinet.

Long gone are the days when I could order anything out of the Victoria’s Secret catalog and it would fit. Now, I wander around the bra department of Kohl’s, amazed at the diversity of color/style/shape/fabric of the bras on those irritating plastic hangers. I grabbed some in the size I wore back at the turn of the century(while knocking countless bras to the ground), went into the fitting room, and spent the next hour a) wrestling with the hangers to free the bras so I could try them on and b) struggling in and out of bras that didn’t fit.

(And lets not discuss the bra with no hooks. Getting that thing on, and then off, probably helped me burn a thousand calories alone. At one point my arms were trapped over my head, the bra wound around my mouth. Which is one way to start a diet, but rather difficult to go out in public like that.)

I helpfully re-hooked all the bras back onto their awful little mocking hangers, dressed again, and went out for Round Two. Still, I didn’t find anything that looked like it might fit AND flatter, especially since now I knew, roughly, what my size was. It wasn’t until a helpful sales person pointed out that I was in the Junior Lingerie Department that I realized – I had gotten old. At some point, and without my full consent, I could no longer wear frilly, pretty, wispy pieces of lingerie without looking like a complete, delusional idiot.

Hell. I couldn’t tell I was in the Junior section. I mean, it’s not like there was a HUGE sign

I thought of happy things, like daffodils. It didn’t help. I was still in the Juniors department. Sigh.

that said JUNIOR BRAS. CUTE AND SKINNY GIRLS ONLY. Okay, maybe the bras in that section were of the electric shades (that really bright green seems to be popular), and maybe the cups were more demi than full coverage; but when I picture myself, I still see me as I was at seventeen. Long hair, weighing a healthy 111 pounds, dance muscles, fantastic legs and my A cup boobs never needing to wear a bra.  (Sigh for the days gone by…)

So, dutifully, I trudged over to the “mature” woman section. Again had trouble finding my size (no, I’m not telling, lol). Finally found exactly two bras from the multitudes that might work, and that didn’t look like they belonged on the East German Ice Skating Judge from any of the Olympics games in the 1960s. (Just saying.) I headed to the fitting room.

Oh, the horror! They fit around okay, but my boobage being what it is (still not overly abundant, in other words), the cups almost touched across my chest. I wouldn’t be able to wear any tee shirt or top that opened below my collarbone. This time, disgusted with the whole process, I stuffed the bras in the corner of the dressing room, tossed curses at them, and stomped back out to the “Junior” section. They did have bigger sizes; one of those bras just might work.

After this trip, I was ready to go kayaking. Where I wouldn’t wear anything resembling a bra. Or a swimsuit. (Shorts and tee shirts, absolutely!)

Then I remembered the last time I’d gone bra shopping (oh, those long, long years ago), Maidenform had the bras that fitted my body the best. So I headed to those racks (ahem) and started searching.

Finally. I found some demi-cup bras in my size. Went to try them on, and voila! Not perfection (it’s really hard to look at ONLY my boobs when trying on a bra…), but looked good under a t-shirt, and really, that’s all I wanted.

So I got one in beige and one in white, picked up some soft panties while I was at it (because my husband has been complaining about the age of my underwear lately), grabbed a white t-shirt, and headed to the checkout.

Where I almost had another meltdown. Why does underwear cost so much? Holy guacamole! I bit the bullet and paid.

The lovely and talented Christine Rose Elle.

Why did I put myself through such torture on an otherwise lovely Sunday afternoon? Well, next weekend I am getting a professional photo shoot done from the lovely and talented Christine Rose Elle (which I am TOTALLY excited about, btw!), and one of her requirements is “nude undergarments”. So that was my impetus to finally get new bras, and put the old ones out of their misery.


In Other Bra News…

A fifteen year study in France suggests that bras might be bad for you. If, you know, you’re young and hot and in shape, you should just ditch the bra and let the girls free. If you’re “an overweight mom in her 40s with 3 kids”, keep that bra on! …according to this article at The Week.

And then over at Renee A. Shuls Jacobson, Misty shared her #SoWrong moment regarding going braless when she was young. I had to laugh at this – like I said above, when I was younger I never wore a bra. They felt wrong when taking ballet, and I was small enough to not need one. I don’t think I wore a bra until I got into the corporate world in 1983, and then only when I absolutely had to.

And for those of you who need more bra info, as in how to size, what the different styles are, etcetera, I found a terrific site called Her Room. Check it out!

Do you have any funny or horror stories about bra shopping? Or going braless? Or the price of bras? Let’s dish!


Thanks for stopping by – until the next time, cheers!

How to Taste Wine

It’s been a rough week at Chez Ashworth, culminating in coming down with a nasty cold that’s been making the rounds of the office, so I am way behind in today’s wine blog. Instead of highlighting some affordable wines, I’m pointing you toward two funny but educational videos on wine tasting. The first looks like it was produced in the 70’s but was done in 2008; here’s a live female showing you the ropes.

How to Taste Red Wine

 Now, if you prefer your guide to be of the cartoon male type, here you go…

Another Video on Tasting Wine

I did learn a couple things from these videos, namely how to tell the relative age of the wine (which was discussed clearly in the first video).

When was the last time you did wine tasting? I’d love to know!

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~


Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle and Kobo! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?