Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Much Afoot At The Readers Dinner And Luncheon

Hey Kids, Hubcap here. I wanted to give you my take on some of the wonderful events Lucy and I attended, events put together by the inestimable Kim Wollenberg and her team of Merry Volunteers. This was Kim's last time as coordinator of these events, so a change of the guard happened as she passed the torch to Jessie. So, let's get right to it, shall we?

The Readers Dinner
Held at Jake's Grill in the Governor's Hotel in Portland OR (or WHAT, you say? Take that, Post Office!), we sat in with about a dozen other folks and enjoyed a great meal and chat about lots of different subjects ranging from publishing tips, to direction of the local chapter, to whether fiddlehead ferns belong in a salad (I would say yes, but I eat dandelions and weeds, so who you gonna trust? Hey, don't run off...). Everybody was really nice, and we had a lot of laughs (NEVER ask me for my history of the bra). Lucy gave an update on where her writing was at (over there, in her office), her spin on what people look for in Romance (escape, inspiration and that...um....kissy touchy feely stuff), and other topics. A good time was had by all.

The Readers Luncheon
We had a beautiful sunny day for the luncheon. Again at the Governor's Hotel, we were treated to a great setup of tables with gift baskets, nice lunch tables with silverware and more gift baskets, and the fantastic booksale area being run by Marcie of Borders Books fame. Shortly after meeting with folks and family, (some of whom we hadn't seen in years!), we took our places near the front. Kim gave a great rundown on the day's events (gab, grub, gifts, gab, gifts, gifts, gifts), and then Kris came up and gave a speech on how literacy is still a large problem today. She cited a personal example of a middle-aged person who came in and wanted to learn how to read, because it was so hard to live without knowing what signs and messages said. I was impressed with how the Portland Literary Council was reaching out to the community.

After Kris was done, Lucy went up and gave her talk on how Romance affects our lives. She started off by giving statistics and demographics on romance readers, but quickly departed from "just the facts" to show how Romance, and Romance literature, impacts our lives greatly and wonderfully (yeah, that's a sentence: look it up, cuz I made it up). She showed four different ways that Romance affects us, only one of which is entertainment. Romance, to paraphrase, encourages us, heals us, makes us grow and become better people. I was inspired and amazed, but then, I've always felt Lucy was amazing :)

The catchphrase that I came away with was, "Love isn't a feeling, it's a lifestyle." So many of us live our love out everyday and know this to be true, but many people go through life thinking that love is only a feeling. Love is actually the GLUE that makes our lives liveable and worthwhile.

Lucy closed out by mentioning the opening of her new non-profit fund, Hearts Unbound, dedicated to promoting tolerance and acceptance for people from all lifestyles, and the fashion show (organized by our daughter) that was kicking off the fund. So many times people are automatically judged for who they are, a standard that none of us can live up to. If we just learned to accept one another and worked to bring out the best in everyone, what a better place this would be...that, and also taking care of this planet BEFORE it takes care of US...

Finally and surprisingly, Lucy had me stand up as an example of an Alpha Male, HER Alpha Male (I gladly wear the title). I wasn't even wearing my Roman Gladiator outfit I usually don for these occasions. You can spot it with all the rhinestones and tassles I put on the codpiece. Just doing my part to boost the economy, by sending most of you into expensive therapy for the awkward visual. Moving on....

The lunch was fantastic, the spread catered by the hotel was wonderful and nobody went without. Kim and Jessie (and a dozen volunteers) then proceeded to award gift baskets to everyone that attended, only slightly impeded by the Raffle Tickets of Doom, which made many folks who bought them invisible and unable to claim their prizes. Just a theory I have which I'll be proving out by running naked in the streets with raffle ticket in hand. No, I don't know if your therapy is covered by insurance.

Capping off the event was the Author Signing, with folks lining up to get their books signed, a very fun and busy time.


So in summary, a great event, a fun time for everyone, and I'll be looking forward to next year's event. In the meantime, see you all in therapy.

Hubcap

Monday, April 27, 2009

Guest Blog w/ Maia Strong

Many, many thanks to Lucy for inviting me to visit today! It's great to get out of one's own blog and go traveling once in a while. ;-)

Now, if I may, I'll tell you a little story…

Long years ago a Wand'ring Minstrel was born into a fantasy world. He leapt—or, more accurately, scrawled—fully formed from the pencil of a high school junior deliberately writing with her wrong hand. He wasn't the hero of these fantasy tales. Indeed, he appeared in only two short stories. He was simply the hero's best friend and roommate. His sounding board. His cohort. Alternately his voice of reason ("She's just not worth the anguish.") and his enabler of poor choices ("More beer!"). His name was, and is, Jimothy Redwing. (The high school junior stole one of those names from a fellow student, but to this day she cannot remember if it was the first or the last name as she never met the student in question, but I digress.)

Jimothy never asked to be the hero. At least not back in those days. He played his guitar and quietly bided his time. Far more patient than any character should have to be who has a story to tell. The years ticked by and the high school junior became a college senior, and then a corporate drone. At some point she forgot how much fun it was to write stories about Wand'ring Minstrels and all the other people who populate the unnamed planet on which they live. Later she escaped the corporate hamster wheel (she never was on the ladder) in exchange for the freedom of contract employment. And somewhere in that freedom she rediscovered how much she enjoyed writing. More than that, she discovered the joys of writing m/m erotic fantasy romance. It was then that Jimothy sat up and took notice from inside her creative mind. That was his genre! He'd never known it before because she had never known it before. At last here was a chance to tell the tale he'd been waiting for so many years to tell! And what was that? National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org)? Perfect!

In November of 2006, that tale became The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing, which is releasing in paperback on 28 April 2009. A happy ending? Not quite. If Jimothy and the woman who created him have anything to say about it, it will be more of a happy beginning.

The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing

by Maia Strong

Arriving 28 April 2009 from Samhain publishing (http://www.samhainpublishing.com)

Come on over to my blog party before midnight PDT on the 28th and you could win an autographed copy!

http://www.maiastrong.com

http://maiastrong.blogspot.com

Author bio:

Maia Strong lives in the Pacific Northwest with her fabulous husband. When she's not writing about sexy boys doing sexy things, she works in local theatre, bellydances, and watches too much Food Network and NCIS. She loves baseball, cooking and baking, daffodils, grey skies, Shakespeare, travel, yoga, and a damned fine cup of coffee.

Blurb:

Wand'ring Minstrel Jimothy Redwing is used to life on the road, delivering messages and performing music. He's also accustomed to occasional trysts with amenable strangers.

Ricky Lennox is smart, funny, handsome, and very amenable. He makes it clear that the night they spent together left him wanting more. That "more" becomes complicated when Jimothy discovers Ricky's true identity.

Usually the anonymous messenger, Jimothy never suspects a letter he carries could impact him directly. But a potential political coup means danger for the lovers; both become targets of violent attacks. Together they must discover the conspirators and bring them to justice.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Long Time, No Chat

I'd like to say that I'm done with Talorc's Moon and well into my next book, but I'm not. I'm working on it though. :)

I just wanted to drop in and say, "Hey." Life around here is pretty busy, as per usual, yes? Hubcap is going to post a guest blog tomorrow and I realized how long it had been since I'd posted anything personally! Crazy making. But there it is.

Do you know how much happens around me that I don't even realize? For instance, I had no idea that Housekeeper to a Millionaire had been nominated for Romantic Time's Best Harlequin Presents of 2008 until after the winner had already been chosen (congrats to Ally Blake!). I also just realized that Valentino's Love-Child (out May 1) is my 20th full length Presents! And Watch Over Me will by my 45 original release!!! Andre and I are talking about how best to mark these occasions, to make the time special for me and for my readers because the relationship is definitely a symbiotic one! LOL

Any suggestions are welcome! Reasonable or fantastic, we can all dream. ::wink::

I just updated my MySpace page, so have a look and let me know what you think. I changed my "About Me" section, sharing a little more of "me" rather than just Lucy Monroe the author. Hope you like.

I watched two great movies recently, Monsters vs. Aliens and Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom. Both were fantastic! Noah's Arc is a great romance and Monsters. Vs. Aliens is everything we've come to expect from good animation. Funny, clever and purely entertaining with a happy ending.

I'm getting my hair done tonight. My best friend since I was 12 years old does my hair. She's an area supervisor for Regis now and not a stylist, but she has pity on me and keeps me looking better than your average gila monster anyway. LOL I'll try to remember to post pictures. I still owe you some of Nev-zilla. You know, you can try hitting Hubcap up for them tomorrow on his blog 'cuz he's ever so much better at actually uploading the pics he takes to the computer.

Until next time...

Mega hugs,
Lucy

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Winners!!!

Thanks to all of you who participated in the ARC giveaway for Lucy's upcoming release of "Watch Over Me"

I received so many emails and I'm sorry that I didn't have enough copies. However, a shipment of the Watch Over Me release is on its way and I will begin sending those out in prizes so stay tuned.

I also would like to remind everyone that we love hearing about your thoughts on these books. If I send you a copy of a title or you purchase one yourself, we would be so grateful if you could post your book reviews all over the web! Amazon.com / Borders.com / and Barnes & Noble.com are all great places to review Lucy's books.

We really appreciate it!

New excerpts from Valentino's Love Child will be posted next week as well as a special guest blogging from Maia Strong and her new release on Monday!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

YOU NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT!!!

Hello Everyone,

Today I sat down with Lucy and discussed all the new things that are going on. Here are a couple of updates for 2009.

-Valentino's Love Child is coming out in this May!
-Lucy's mass market re-release of Satisfaction Guaranteed in coming out in may as well!
-The TGP release of Watch Over Me is coming out in June!

Also, Lucy has asked me to send out a very special prize of unreleased ARC's of Watch Over Me to the first 4 people who send me an email to lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com!

Good Luck and I'll keep you posted on all the goods!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Satisfaction Guaranteed Excerpt!

Enjoy the excerpt from Satisfaction Guaranteed!


They hit pay dirt with the bug in Preston's office two days later.

"He's planning an auction at the end of the month for controlled technology classified as un-exportable," Ethan told Beth. "He's bringing the potential buyers back for a video demonstration of a UGCV along with specs. The auction will happen two days later, but so far we don't have a line on how he intends to pass the plans on."

"You know, I think the man is arrogant enough to store the plans at his house. The security there is tight." She kitty-combed Beethoven's fur while the growing kitten lounged in her lap on the sofa.

"I agree, but I've been over the house plans until I can see them with my eyes shut and there are just too many places he could have a hidey-hole. Going in with a warrant wouldn't necessarily net the goods."

"My guess is that he's got the plans stored on a media device, maybe even his computer. He thinks its full proof."

"His security is better than most. I've been trying to hack his system and there are so many layers of ICE that my fingers are getting frostbite from the keyboard."

"Ouch."

"You're telling me. The intrusion countermeasure engineering Preston's invested in is the best. There are several signatures, as if he's got graduating as well as same-level layers of security from different sources."

"You'll get through."

"Maybe we should call Bennett in on this. This is really his thing."

"But you're no slouch at it, Ethan. Besides, he's on assignment in the Middle East. He left three days ago." The cat jumped off her lap and Beth dropped the special brush down on the coffee table.

"You been checking up on the other agents, Beth?"

"I can't help myself. Maude and I talk daily."

"She handling things okay?"

"Of course. The woman is a miracle worker."

"We all feel that way about you."

Beth smiled, clearly pleased. "I'll remind you of that the next time you give me a hard time about turning in your expense reports."

"I never forget it, baby, but I still don't like doing expense reports. I think miracle workers should be able to generate them without any help."

She launched herself toward him as the phone rang.

Ethan grabbed it and her at the same time. He pressed the button to talk while pulling Beth into his lap. "Ethan here."

She gave him a friendly elbow to the ribs before settling against his chest.

"Ethan, it's Hotwire."

"Any word for me?"

"Officially? No. But ten months ago, a young woman in Oregon killed herself. She was attending a community college not far from Preston's home when they met. They started dating and she stopped attending classes. She'd lost her job for not showing up and had a miscarriage due to drug usage and possible sexual trauma the week before she killed herself."

Ethan couldn't believe what he was hearing. "I didn't find anything about this during my investigation into him."

"Your perp did a good job of hushing his connection to the girl up."

"But you found it." It irked Ethan that he hadn't.

"Her parents died when she was fifteen. Her older sister finished raising her and was helping her through college. The sister is a DEA agent by the name of Rachel Gannon. She confided her fears for her sister and then about the suicide to a friend of mine."

"And let me guess, the DEA agent has taken a leave of absence, her whereabouts unknown."

"Yes. My friend's worried about her, but he hasn't said a thing to their superiors. She's a hell of a sniper and she's more lethal with a knife than Wolf."

"This doesn't feel good."

"I concur."

"Damn. You think Rachel Gannon is planning personal revenge."

"If you can stop her, you'll be saving a life worth preserving." They both knew Hotwire didn't mean Preston.

"She could have killed him at the party the other night."

"If she was the one that was there. Yes. I'll send you a picture for verification of her identity. But personal revenge plans aside...she's still her country's servant."

"You think she wants to stop the plans for the UGCV getting into enemy hands before she offs Preston."

"That's my guess."

"Whit is going to lose his mind if I pull her into our investigation."

"You don't have to pull her in to stop her, but if you don't, you'll be robbing her of the closure she needs."

"I'll talk to Beth about it."

He got a kiss on his cheek for that and couldn't help taking her lips.

Hotwire was laughing and calling his name when Ethan remembered he was still on the phone. "Save it for when I'm not on the other end of the line. You're making me miss Claire."

"Where is she?"

"She went shopping for the baby with Josie. She and Nitro are staying for a few days before she goes back to classes."

"Where's Nitro?"

"Outside scaring the wildlife."

"I heard that," came from the other side of the room. "I'm going to tell Claire that our Medicine Men believe a woman should stop having sex the last three months of her pregnancy for the safety of the baby."

"The man is getting serious," Hotwire said, sounding far from worried. "I think I need to go kill him."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Green Tea - for the rest of us!!!

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's article on the Stevia leaf! Today I thought I would talk about a new supplement that I'm in love with - Green Tea Extract!!!

I've never been one for tea in any variety and I cannot stand the taste - still not sure why? Anyhow, I had been reading a great deal about ways to speed up metabolism and gain more energy. Everyone seemed to recommend Green Tea Extract for its ability to reduce free radicals (bad!) and improve the rate at which you metabolize food in your system.

Check out this cool article!

Green Tea Extract Increases Metabolism, May Aid in Weight Loss

By Mary Shomon, About.com

Created: December 3, 2003

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board


There are two ways to lose weight -- either reduce energy intake, or increase energy expenditure. Because hypothyroidism -- even after treatment -- may reduce energy expenditure in some people, patients naturally are looking for options that can help safely help raise the metabolism.

In a study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism), plus also had a significant effect on fat oxidation. While some of the effects were originally theorized to be due to the caffeine content of green tea, the researchers discovered that the tea actually has properties that go beyond those that would be explained by the caffeine. The same amount of caffeine as was in the green tea, administered alone, failed to change energy expenditure in other studies. This led reseachers to believe that there is some interaction going on with the active ingredients of green tea that promotes increased metabolism and fat oxidation.

The researchers indicated that their findings have substantial implications for weight control. A 4% overall increase in 24-hour energy expenditure was attributed to the green tea extract, however, the research found that the extra expenditure took place during the daytime. This led them to conclude that, since thermogenesis (the body's own rate of burning calories) contributes 8-10% of daily energy expenditure in a typical cubject, that this 4% overall increase in energy expenditure due to the green tea actually translated to a 35-43% increase in daytime thermogenesis.

Of critical importance to thyroid patients is the fact that none of the research subjects reported any side effects, and no significant differences in heart rates were noticed. In this respect, green tea extract is different from some of the prescription drugs for obesity, and herbal products like ephedra, which can raise heart rates and blood pressure, and are not recommended for many individuals, in particular, those with thyroid disease who may be particularly sensitive to stimulants.

Implications for You?

If you were to incorporate green tea into your weight loss efforts, how is the best way to go about it?

One way would be to choose a reputable brand of organic green tea at a health food store or natural grocery, and start by taking a cup of tea every day. You can also take a green tea extract, in the form of a supplement.

Either way, says dietitian Lynn Moss, M.S., R.D., a continuing education specialist for Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made and Nature's Resource supplements and herbs, you should definitely take the green tea with meals, to reproduce the study's conditions as much as possible.

Moss also feels that green tea may be a good choice for thyroid patients because, unlike caffeine, " green tea has the potential to accelerate metabolism -- which can help weight loss slightly -- without overstimulating your adrenal glands."

And even a small effect can go a long way, when you are dealing with a metabolism that may not rebound entirely, despite hypothyroidism treatment.

SPECIAL NOTE: Is Green Tea Dangerous to the Thyroid?

In response to my article, some readers expressed concerns regarding the high fluoride content in tea, and the negative relationship between ingestion of too much fluoride and thyroid problems, as well as other health concerns.

This is definitely something to be considered before deciding to take green tea.

While green tea has some definite benefits in the cancer-prevention and metabolism-boosting arena, the fluoride content may, according to some practitioners, be a concern for the public in general, but specifically for thyroid patients.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Something Interesting!!!

Ever since last year, I have been very concerned about my health. One of the things I wanted to take out of my diet was coke and sugar drinks. My mom actually referred me to what is now my favorite drink of all time. Zevia!!!

Zevia is made with a leaf called Stevia which is a natural alternative to sugar. It's great because it contains absolutely no aspertame (this stuff isn't so good for you...) and can actually cause your body to slow down its metabolic rate and make losing weight much more difficult. Yes that includes Crystal Light!!!

I've been drinking this stuff everyday and I feel great!!! Stay tuned tomorrow as I talk about my new favorite supplement - green tea extract!!!

Take a look at this article and let me know what you think.

The Zero-Calorie Sweetener Stevia Arrives

It soon could be added to foods from yogurt to diet soda

Posted July 28, 2008

Updated on 08/29/08: An earlier version of this story did not reflect a recent announcement of a new line of beverages by PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener. This version also explains in greater detail the regulatory process as it applies to stevia.

There's a new sugar substitute on the market with a really sweet pitch: zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero chance of a spike in blood sugar levels.

Several companies are just out with new products derived from the leaves of the Latin American herb stevia, which contain a substance hundreds of times more potent than sugar. Arizona-based Wisdom Natural Brands was the first to start aggressively marketing packets of its powdered SweetLeaf earlier this summer. Agribusiness giant Cargill, working in collaboration with Coca-Cola, followed with Truvia. And PepsiCo, with Whole Earth Sweetener Co., has developed a new line of beverages sweetened with a stevia product called PureVia. "Soon you'll see stevia in pretty much every food product you can imagine," predicts Oscar Rodes, the founder of Texas-based producer Stevita Co., who is betting the herb could eventually account for 20 percent of the overall sweetener market.

SweetLeaf Sweetener with SteviaPlus

Stevia's already a hit with fans of alternative medicine, since it has long been sold by health food stores as a dietary supplement. (The Food and Drug Administration hasn't yet endorsed the safety of the new products as food additives, but the companies claim they've met requirements to establish stevia as "generally recognized as safe" by scientists.) Boosters tout all those zeros as evidence that the herb is far more healthful than sugar and artificial sweeteners. A packet of sugar has about 11 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and an estimated "glycemic load" of 2, for example. Dietitians recommend keeping your glycemic load, a measure of how much particular foods raise blood sugar levels, below about 100 a day. A packet of sucralose (Splenda) has 3 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and a glycemic load of 1, according to NutritionData.

Indeed, some research suggests that stevia may improve health. Jan Geuns, a biologist in Belgium who has organized symposiums to explore the substance's pharmacological effects on humans, points to two Chinese studies that have found it can significantly lower blood pressure among people with mild hypertension. Danish researchers have reported that stevia seems to reduce blood glucose levels among patients with type 2 diabetes. But the effects were seen only at doses far greater than those for stevia used as a sweetener, Geuns cautions, so the typical user would experience little effect.

The dietary supplements have been slow to catch on with mainstream consumers, partly because of a bitter licorice aftertaste. Makers of the new sweeteners claim to have found ways around that; since the degrees of processing and purity vary significantly—some products contain added flavors, bulking agents, or fiber—consumers may want to try several brands. For the best taste, Rodes recommends using products that are at least 95 percent pure; Geuns says to look for products rich in a substance called rebaudioside A.

It's not just taste that has hampered consumer acceptance; the herb's been trapped in a regulatory limbo. Since the '60s, a trickle of animal studies has suggested that stevia might cause potentially cancerous mutations or reproductive problems. Though the studies' methodologies were criticized and stevia had a good safety record in countries where it was widely used at the time, such as Japan, regulators imposed an import ban in 1991. The stevia industry howled, charging that artificial-sweetener makers just wanted to clear the market of competition.

Rigorous research. In 1994, a new law that revamped the way foods are regulated led to a lift of the import ban and put stevia in the odd position of being considered safe if marketed as a dietary supplement but not if used in foods or drinks. "It's a completely absurd and confusing situation for consumers," says James Turner, a partner at Swankin & Turner, a consumer rights law firm based in Washington, D.C., who has expertise on the regulation of sweeteners. The intent, according to the FDA, is to prove stevia safe through rigorous research before people start widely consuming it in food.

In the case of Truvia, the research has been done, says Ann Tucker, a spokesperson for Cargill. In May, the company notified the FDA that a series of studies had affirmed Truvia's safety. "We did an absolutely thorough job," says Tucker, "and published the results in peer-reviewed scientific journals." She cautions that the findings apply only to Cargill's rebaudioside A extract. In June, Wisdom Natural Brands announced that two independent expert panels that reviewed the safety of SweetLeaf gave it a thumbs up. There's not much chance that the FDA will balk, industry insiders say. But if regulators do raise concerns, they're expected to air them by the end of the year.

You can also take a look at the drink's website for more information - http://www.zevia.com/

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Winner and Cool Stuff!

Thanks for posting your comments the other day! Congratulations to Sarabelle! Just in case you forgot - send an email to lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com with your address and I'll get some goodies out to you!

I have also been playing with ideas on new ways to get more information to the blog. Sometimes the excerpts can become a bit repetitive and I want to start giving you, the reader, a chance to be more involved with your thoughts and ideas.

Check it out!!!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The world's longest-running TV soap opera, "Guiding Light," will broadcast its final episode on CBS in September due to slumping ratings, ending a 72-year run that began on radio, CBS Corp said on Wednesday.

The daytime show transferred from NBC radio to CBS television in 1952. It has won 69 Daytime Emmy Awards throughout its history.

Guinness World Records has dubbed it the world's longest-running TV drama. More than 15,700 episodes will have been broadcast by the time its final episode airs on September 18.

"'Guiding Light' has achieved a piece of television history that will never be matched; it has crossed mediums, adapted its stories to decades of social change and woven its way through generations of audiences like no other," said Nancy Tellem, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group president.

"We are working hard to find the show a new home, and we are exploring all our options to continue to bring loyal fans the characters and stories they love," said Brian T. Cahill, senior vice president and managing director, TeleNext Media, Inc., which produces the show.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Xavier Briand)

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know what you think!

Every chance you write in is another chance to win some great Lucy prizes...