25 May 2016

Adventures in Hospitality


Oh, that doesn't comprise an entire blog post. Sorry, guys.

I know it's been a while since I blessed you with adventures in hospitality. Honestly, most of them haven't been blog-worthy. Mostly people just being poops.

 But today, I have one for you.

First, some background:

We have a frequent guest, incidentally the queen of resting bitch face and attitude, who has requests that are probably not big deals for other hotel properties, but mine is speshul. My property doesn't have bath tubs in 99.999999999% of its king rooms. My property is dumb, but it's pretty, and we all know that's what counts.

So when Guest comes in, what does she want? A king room with a bathtub. Because of course she does. We found one room type that has them for sure, which is great. However, there are only 3 of that room type, which is not so great.

And today? All of those three rooms are filled.

That should be all the background you need to know.


Today, my coworker receives this phone call from Guest's Assistant, whom I'll lovingly refer to as Ass. With the period. You know, short for assistant.

Ass.: I'd like to confirm that [GUEST] has their particular room for check-in.

Coworker: Well, today, it appears that room is occupied, so [GUEST] will be in a different room.

Ass.: How long is that room occupied? When do they check out?

Coworker: Until the end of the week.

Ass.: Well, why was that room given to someone when it's already been requested?

Coworker: A request is not a guarantee.

Ass.: Can't you just move that other person?

Coworker: Uh, no.

Seriously. No. Just no.

I get having requests when you travel, but if you're the kind of person whose Ass. will ask us to move a person who's been checked in for days in order to accommodate your ONE NIGHT stay.

People.

























18 May 2016

Disturbing the Peace: The Importance of Geekery

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

So there have been a ton of kerfluffles recently concerning women's place in geek culture. Now that we've gotten not one but TWO female leads in Star Wars (Rey in The Force Awakens and Jyn Erso in Rogue One), geekdom has nearly collapsed on itself. And by that I mean about .01% of a very vocal population decided that it was bad enough to have Rey, but Jyn was just too much.

Somehow, over the course of...pretty much forever...men have found ways to exclude women from pretty much everything. Treating us as chattel, property, second-class citizens, using feminine traits as a way to demean and emasculate other men, using female sex organs as insults....Betty White has an amazing quote regarding that, btw. Until 1833, there weren't co-ed universities. Until 1835, women couldn't own property anywhere in the US (thanks, Arkansas!), and even that came with restrictions.

We've made it to 2016. In the last 181 years, since women could own, but not control, property in Arkansas if their husbands were incapacitated, we've made significant strides. We can vote, we can drive, we can own and control property with or without a husband. We've gone to space, we serve in the military, we hold down jobs traditionally left to men. Hey, there's even 20 women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies! Wait...that...that's 4%. Which means 96% of CEOs are men.

This statistic seems to fit in with geekdom, too. There's 8 billion blogs in the world that cover the ratio of female superheroes to male superheros in terms of comic book sales, and others like Feminist Frequency (one of my favorites) that discuss the amount of female and minority video game protagonists versus straight white male, which is sometimes referred to as the status quo or the Easy setting. I've discussed these things before here, here, and here as well, so I won't bore you with details.

Again? ...Always. This pic is always applicable.
What disturbs me more often than not is this concept of the "Fake ____ Girl." Fake geek girl. Fake football girl. Fake car girl. Fake fake fake. As though women need to fake anything up to fit in anywhere. We're women. We have boobs. Everything's fine. But no, when women take up an interest in ANYTHING perceived as male-oriented or dominated, then suddenly that Fake tag gets added on.

Let me tell y'all a little story. My dad grew up with three brothers. Most of his cousins are male, too. As it stands right now, there's only 4 girls on his side of the family--my sister, me, my cousin, and my uncle's stepdaughter. When my mom got pregnant with my sister, and then with me, he had zero idea what to do with girls because he had little experience with raising them. Sure, my cousin was with them a lot, but that's watching, not rearing. So my mom, in her eternal and infinite wisdom, told him, "Just do what you'd do with boys." I imagine her saying that with a nonchalant shrug and a half smile, looking at him lovingly and thinking, Duh.

In essence, that's what happened. Dad took us fishing. A lot. Taught us to bait our own hooks, taught me to clean our catches, to do a proper fish fry. With my sister, he built things for the house and taught her to build her own things. With me, he caught an inkling of my interest in speculative fiction, and he fostered the crap out of it through movies. Star Wars. Horror movies. Last Star Fighter. If it had even a hint of science fiction or fantasy involved, we watched it. Sci-Fi Saturdays were our thing, to the mutual chagrin of my mother and sister, and it was through these glimpses into What if? that my career actually began, though I wouldn't be published until much later.

I often took refuge in science fiction and fantasy, especially superhero tales. I didn't have a collection of comic books because A) I lived in a small mountain town where they weren't readily available and B) I was too busy reading novels and playing video games. I was sickly as a kid, so I retreated to these worlds where awesome people were doing awesome things. I watched the 90s animated shows religiously. X-Men, Spiderman, Batman the Animated Series, & Superman were my absolute favorites. I also obsessively watched the Justice League. I ate up the movies and sought out everything I could. But there was always a disconnect. X-Men gave me the awesomeness of Storm. My love, my life, my inspiration. But the main focus was Wolverine. Spiderman gave me Mary Jane and Black Cat, but again, they were side characters. Batman gave me a PLETHORA of amazing ladies, from Catwoman to Harley to Ivy to FREAKING BARBARA GORDON OMG BARB YAAAAAAAAAAS. But there was still a problem: they were still side characters, and we won't even discuss the abusive relationship between Joker and Harley or the sexualization of literally everyone. My point is that women so infrequently get to take center stage that these moments when we get our Reys and our Jyns, it's a BFD.

However, I'm not a geek if I don't know everything. I'm not a fan if I can't name every person who ever worked on the X-Men comics, or if I can't tell you who created Ra's al-Ghul (spoiler alert, it's Neal Adams, whom I've met), or if I don't know every continuation or retcon of a series. For every Olivia Munn who knows her character's history and fights to have her character portrayed accurately, there's a Charlie Cox, who didn't even know Daredevil was blind until he auditioned for the part. But it's cool because he has a penis.

Here's my point, and I want you to underline it, bold it, print it on a flyer and hand it out to everyone you know: Geekdom is not just for boys; it's for everyone. For everyone who's ever needed an escape. For everyone who needs a hero. For everyone who needs to become their own hero. Art does not belong to one person or a certain group. Art is for whomever it speaks to, and it does not, nor has it ever, required a gatekeeper.

And if it ever does, IT WON'T BE YOU.






Being one of the Embassy’s glorified treasure-seekers has its perks… 
Komandan Uriah Jacobs recovers ancient artifacts in exchange for more than just decent pay; he also receives guaranteed protection from his former owners, the nyx…until an emergency landing on a too-familiar colony brings him face-to-face with his past life and something more—a surprisingly priceless treasure in the form of a human woman. 

A slave to the nyx since childhood… 
Shadi spends her waking hours in the forge, dreaming of rescuing her brother with the help of a man she once worshipped like a father. A crashed ship on the colony becomes her only hope to escape. But before she can steal the ship, the pilot abducts her. They may be the same species, but will he help her find her Shilah? 

Their attraction is undeniable… 
Fighting it seems inconsequential as they evade the nyx's bounty hunter and uncover a conspiracy that shines unwanted light on Shadi's past and reveals the corruption in Uri’s beloved Embassy, placing their fledgling love in danger. 

As the universe systematically falls apart, will Shadi and Uri’s newfound passion be enough to keep them alive? 

Being one of the Embassy’s glorified treasure-seekers has its perks… 
Komandan Uriah Jacobs recovers ancient artifacts in exchange for more than just decent pay; he also receives guaranteed protection from his former owners, the nyx…until an emergency landing on a too-familiar colony brings him face-to-face with his past life and something more—a surprisingly priceless treasure in the form of a human woman. 

A slave to the nyx since childhood… 
Shadi spends her waking hours in the forge, dreaming of rescuing her brother with the help of a man she once worshipped like a father. A crashed ship on the colony becomes her only hope to escape. But before she can steal the ship, the pilot abducts her. They may be the same species, but will he help her find her Shilah? 

Their attraction is undeniable… 
Fighting it seems inconsequential as they evade the nyx's bounty hunter and uncover a conspiracy that shines unwanted light on Shadi's past and reveals the corruption in Uri’s beloved Embassy, placing their fledgling love in danger. 

As the universe systematically falls apart, will Shadi and Uri’s newfound passion be enough to keep them alive? 

Being one of the Embassy’s glorified treasure-seekers has its perks… 
Komandan Uriah Jacobs recovers ancient artifacts in exchange for more than just decent pay; he also receives guaranteed protection from his former owners, the nyx…until an emergency landing on a too-familiar colony brings him face-to-face with his past life and something more—a surprisingly priceless treasure in the form of a human woman. 

A slave to the nyx since childhood… 
Shadi spends her waking hours in the forge, dreaming of rescuing her brother with the help of a man she once worshipped like a father. A crashed ship on the colony becomes her only hope to escape. But before she can steal the ship, the pilot abducts her. They may be the same species, but will he help her find her Shilah? 

Their attraction is undeniable… 
Fighting it seems inconsequential as they evade the nyx's bounty hunter and uncover a conspiracy that shines unwanted light on Shadi's past and reveals the corruption in Uri’s beloved Embassy, placing their fledgling love in danger. 

As the universe systematically falls apart, will Shadi and Uri’s newfound passion be enough to keep them alive? 

Being one of the Embassy’s glorified treasure-seekers has its perks… 
Komandan Uriah Jacobs recovers ancient artifacts in exchange for more than just decent pay; he also receives guaranteed protection from his former owners, the nyx…until an emergency landing on a too-familiar colony brings him face-to-face with his past life and something more—a surprisingly priceless treasure in the form of a human woman. 

A slave to the nyx since childhood… 
Shadi spends her waking hours in the forge, dreaming of rescuing her brother with the help of a man she once worshipped like a father. A crashed ship on the colony becomes her only hope to escape. But before she can steal the ship, the pilot abducts her. They may be the same species, but will he help her find her Shilah? 

Their attraction is undeniable… 
Fighting it seems inconsequential as they evade the nyx's bounty hunter and uncover a conspiracy that shines unwanted light on Shadi's past and reveals the corruption in Uri’s beloved Embassy, placing their fledgling love in danger. 

As the universe systematically falls apart, will Shadi and Uri’s newfound passion be enough to keep them alive? 


Amazon|Barnes & Noble|ARe| iTunes|Kobo|Google Play











20 March 2016

The Smexy Romance Blog Hop and Giveaway!


Welcome to The Smexy Romance Blog Hop and Giveaway.  We promise to give you smexy excerpts from our erotic romance novels that you are certain to enjoy!  Visit all our authors to see all of our smexy reads.  And don't forget to register to win our individual giveaways along with our Grand Prize!
The Smexy Romance Blog Hop and Giveway runs from March 20th to April 2nd.

Thanks to Clare Dargin for putting this whole thing together!






1. Clare's Blog 2: The Haven  9. Maia Dylan  17. Catherine Peace  
2. P.T. Macias  10. Tina Donahue  18. Haley Whitehall  
3. Evelise Archer  11. Nancy Fraser  19. Louisa Bacio  
4. Shea Balik  12. Vicki Ballante  20. Thea Landen  
5. Trace Steinbach  13. Mary Anne Marshall  21. Cree Storm  
6. SorchaMowbray  14. Eve Dangerfield  22. Lea Bronsen  
7. Doris O'Connnor  15. Olivia Night  
8. Andrew Jericho  16. Katherine McIntyre  




While not quite as *fans self* as some of the other entries, I love this exchange between Uri and Shadi from Gemini, my science fiction romance from Decadent Publishing. Two former slaves taking care of each other after an epic rescue? Love it.

Don't forget to visit the other, extremely talented authors and enter on each blog for the grand prize!


As they struggled back toward Gemini, she managed to support his weight. They wove through crowds of merchants and drunks, somehow managing to stay undetected, and Uri still fought his disbelief. The thought that he was hallucinating crossed his mind more than once.

She settled him in the copilot’s chair and took the helm, looking every bit as confident as someone who’d been flying for years. Without a hitch, she disengaged them from the station and into the relative safety of the stars. “You’re amazing.”

She smiled, and light pink blossomed in her cheeks. “Time to take care of you,” she said. “Come on.” Her slight frame contained hidden strength, and, regardless of the throbbing behind his eyes, he wanted her to stay this close. “Now, sit.”

“You didn’t have to come back.” As instructed, he sat on the side of his bed while she fetched first-aid supplies. When she returned, she sat next to him, her knee against his.

“You’d have done it for me without a second thought.” She dabbed at a cut above his eyebrow. “How’s your head?”

“Hurts,” he replied with a little snort. “But it’s been worse. And you haven’t answered my question.”
Her attention moved to his split lip. As she dabbed at the cut, he noticed her fingers trembling, her hand unsteady. Could have been from the adrenaline. “Well, since you decided to get abducted, I contacted Vani. Learned a few things about Earth cats and the fahir, and about how to track ships. As an added bonus, he taught me how to disable our tracking signal.”

“Which is illegal.”

“Nothing we’ve done is legal. What’s one more?” She scooted behind him. “You’ve got a knot the size of my fist back here. There has to be a compress on this ship somewhere. Vani apparently had it fitted for every conceivable human emergency.”

“Like I told you. Worriers.”

“Let me go find it. You could really use it.”

Already, the improved nutrition she’d received over the last several weeks had made a difference. Her waist-length hair bounced with each step she took, and her eyes were brighter, keener. And the sway of her hips certainly caught his attention. She wasn’t the waif he’d stolen from Goliv. Somewhere along the way, she’d become a woman.

A woman who’d risked herself to save him.

When she came back, he noted the grace in each movement, from the way she walked to the way she handed him the compress and sat next to him. “Why did you return for me?”

The gentleness of her fingertips on his cheek managed to cut through the horrible pain in his head. “I had to. You promised to help me. Can’t keep your promises if you’re in the forge.” She kissed the uninjured side of his mouth, and his heart sprinted into high gear. “Besides, what kind of wife would I be if I left my dear husband to rot?”

“In my experience, a happy one.” He took a chance, cupped her cheek with his palm, and, to his amazement, she leaned into his touch. For the first time, he noticed the flecks of amber in her irises and the light freckles on her skin. Then she kissed him again, and he pulled her tight, desperate to feel her body pressed to his. He tangled one hand in her long hair and moved the other to rest on her hip. All the pain in the universe couldn’t strip this pleasure from him.


Enter for the grand prize HERE

I'm giving away a copy of my 1Night Stand Complete Me. Just leave me a comment to enter!

16 March 2016

Upcoming Opportunities

Hey everyone! Sorry there's been a bit of radio silence on my end. I'm working my booty off to try to get some projects finished up for your enjoyment. I'm currently revising another 1NS book to get submitted by the end of this month, and I still have Ember to re-edit and set up. So in the meantime, I'm giving you guys an opportunity to win a couple of books, in case you haven't had a chance to buy them yet, or weren't willing to take the chance *that's totally okay, too!*

First up is the Smexy Romance Blog Hop, the brain child of the super-talented Clare Dargin. March 20-April 2, you'll have the opportunity to visit the blogs of several romance authors and enter to win plenty of prizes. It'll be a great time for everyone :D 


I'm doing a couple of signings as well. I'm attending Wild in West Virginia with my writing partner/best friend/hetero love of my life Landra Graf. If you guys are going to be in/around Charleston, WV, June 10-12, stop by! Tix are available here.

I'm also attending Pages in the Caves Sept. 23rd in Cave City, KY, hosted by the lovely Kristine Raymond. Tix are available here.

And yes, I will have actual, physical, PRINT copies to sign!

I really hope to see you at one of these events! Keep your eyes here for the blog hop. Only got a couple days!

*Soooooooo many exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!* 



29 January 2016

Free Promo Friday: Celebrate Valentine's with Tara Quan's Feline Valentine

A year ago, I released Fireworks at Midnight, thinking I would leave the world of A Witch’s Night Out forever (I’d planned the series as a trilogy). Unfortunately, my characters had other plans. Since I’d sicced Madame Eve on her cat familiar, earth mage Shelley Dupree insisted I make things right. To be fair, I’d already given her a magical handicap, forced her under house arrest, and buried her in bills—taking away her feline companion did seem a cruel and unusual punishment.
It took me two months of fictional time to even the scales with Feline Valentine.  Part of Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series, my interracial paranormal romance is set in Washington, D.C., where magic-wielding folk try to live alongside us pesky humans. It’s my first true “shifter” AND “foodie” romance (talk about ticking two boxes with one book), and a quick read of the blurb should tell you what I mean.
To celebrate this unexpected return to my favorite series, I’m giving away a $15 gift card. To enter, leave a comment here and drop your details in the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post [or at my website: http://www.taraquan.com/felinevalentine].


Feline Valentine (A Witch’s Night Out) by Tara Quan
Under magical house arrest in her great-grandmother’s suburban cottage, college graduate and reluctant earth mage Shelley Dupree whiles away most mornings spying on the warlock next door. Though erotic daydreams offer some distraction, she faces long working hours, cash flow problems, and a repeat burglar. On Valentine’s Day, she sets a trap for the mysterious intruder, intent on ending his crime streak once and for all. But her scheming cat familiar foils her best-laid plans, and, with a little help from Madame Eve’s 1-Night Stand service, she discovers a far more dangerous species of magical feline.
After moving in next to a ramshackle building on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., pastry chef Adrien Chatdurois is plagued by repeat sexual fantasies starring the same curvy brunette. In a state of constant arousal, he devotes his early mornings to grueling exercise and spends the rest of his day handcrafting the city’s best chocolates. When his younger brother stirs up trouble on the shop’s busiest day, the frustrated shifter is forced to pay a surprise visit on his reclusive neighbor. He soon learns not all witches are wart-covered hags, and one in particular might prove the most delicious of desserts.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Comedy, Interracial/Multicultural

Check out the rest of the series here

$15 Giveaway 

About the Author
Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, paranormal worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Her characters, armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after. To receive updates about her new releases and get a free sexy read, subscribe to her mailing list at www.taraquan.com/newsletter.


24 January 2016

Disturbing the Peace - The Importance of the Everywoman (Not Bella Swan)

***Since Arrow is coming back on, I guess I should finish this, especially since we all know she's okay***


[SPOILERS AHOY]

So by now I'm pretty sure anyone who's an Arrow fan knows of this thing that happened, in which everyone's favorite plucky blonde computer genius got shot and may or may not be dead.

Let me say first that if Felicity dies, I will A) stop watching the show and supporting it in anyway, except for Flash crossover episodes where I have no choice, and B) picket any filming I can get to because it's BS.

However, I truly don't think Felicity is dead for a myriad of reasons. This post sums them up pretty perfectly, so I want to approach this from a little bit of a different viewpoint: that of the romance writer.

I write romance, so I'm pretty sure I have a working knowledge of it, at least. Comic books aren't known for subtlety and nuance most of the time when it comes to characters' relationships with one another, and they certainly don't cast women like Felicity Smoak (which is totally a real last name, something that still weirds me out) as the love interest of the hero unless she is horrifically killed and thus becomes a turning point for the hero.

This is known as putting her "in the refrigerator"--a term coined by comics writer Gail Simone after reading a comic book in which that literally happens (to Alex DeWitt in Green Lantern #54)-- and is used over and over and over again in comics and movies. And TV shows. And video games. And pretty much everything.


STEP AWAY FROM THE LIGHT


However, Felicity has spent four seasons subverting that in a most spectacular way. Most people will see a plucky blonde computer guru and think of Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds, or at least I do. She and Morgan have one of my favorite friendships on network television, but that's the extent of it, a fact that frustrates the ever-loving hell out of Morcia shippers like myself. Throughout the first couple seasons, Olicity shippers had that same frustration--that our plucky blonde computer guru would remain in that role of "loves from afar." After all, Oliver was well into a relationship with Sara (and later with Laurel, which is just messed up but whatever; Oliver's not exactly in his right mind).

When Olicity went canon, I squalled. Because Felicity is me.

She's our Everywoman. She's the heart and soul of the Arrow team, who uses humor to defuse situations, who adds normalcy to an abnormal situation. She keeps Oliver grounded and acts as the rainbow to his thunderstorm. She brings a sense of color into the group, not just with her outfits, but with her personality, her kindness, and her general love for all of them. Sometimes she has to be mother hen, sometimes she's the concerned best friend, but she's always the glue that keeps the Arrow team together. Those women are typically stuck in those roles, but not our Felicity. And that's incredibly important for the "geeky" girls, the ones who are normally relegated to the background, the stand-ins. The women who think outside the box, the ones who kick ass in their own ways but not necessarily on a physical level, the ones who may not even be "conventionally pretty" like yours truly are normally not seen as worthy of the hero. And the fact that Felicity is, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE OR SO HELP ME GOD, is representation I feel like is sorely lacking in a world where strong, worthy women are practically dude-light.

So, guys? If for some reason you decide to go down that road with her? YOU WILL HAVE FAILED THIS SHOW AND THIS DEMOGRAPHIC.

/endrant












17 December 2015

New Book Alert! Devil Under the Mistletoe-Sam Cheever

Damian is supposed to escort sexy Amanda to Hell. But he’d much rather keep her.





This Christmas, Damian Noire’s assignment is to bring beautiful Amanda Wright to Hell to stand before the judgment assembly, and then take her to her assigned circle of Hell. It sounds simple. But it’s about to become the hardest assignment he’s ever performed. Amanda might not belong in Hell at all. The problem is, Damian really kind of likes her. And if he gets her the judgment she truly deserves, he’s probably going to lose her forever. But if he doesn’t help her, an innocent may spend eternity in Hell. It appears to be a lose/lose situation on all fronts. Proving once again that holidays truly are hell!












About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

If you haven't already connected, Sam would love it if you Liked/Followed her wherever you enjoy hanging out online. Here are her online haunts:

Newsletter: http://www.samcheever.com/newsletter.html Subscribe to my newsletter and win a free copy of the fun and sexy Honeybun Fever Box Set










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