Saturday, May 26, 2018

Alien Attraction (Alien Mate 2) by Cara Bristol

How insane is it to marry an alien as a publicity stunt?

I’m Sunny Weathers. You probably recognize me from my reality show, Sunny Weathers’ Excellent Adventures. I’ve had to perform a lot of crazy stunts in my career, but this one takes the cake! The producers are sending me to another planet to become an alien’s mail-order bride. I’m not allowed to tell anybody it’s a put-on, and as soon my contract is up, I’ll be leaving planet Dakon. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on my attraction to Mr. Tall, “Darq,” and Handsome…

I’m Darq. The moment I laid eyes on the female with pretty mud-colored hair and a sunny smile, I knew she was mine. Competition for females is fierce, and I was determined to claim a mate from the latest shipment from Earth, so I broke the rules. If anyone finds out, my own brother will banish me to the icy wilderness, and I’ll lose my mate. I will do anything to keep her…

 Alien Attraction Excerpt:

“Absolutely not! Have you lost your mind?” I glared across the desk, incredulous at what had popped out of my agent’s mouth. The woman couldn’t be serious. I’d been forced to perform some crazy stunts in my reality-show career, but this would take the cake.

“The ratings will go supernova,” Chantelle Aubergine said with a straight face.

“I don’t care about the ratings! This is my life we’re talking about.”

“You should care about the ratings—they keep you employed. Without good ratings, there would be no Sunny Weathers’ Excellent Adventures.”

Excellent adventures? What a crock. The reality show should be called Stick It to Sunny or Test How Much We Can Throw at Sunny Before She Loses It. The venture had started out as campy fun, but the stunts and segments had grown wilder and crazier. Now, I dreaded each new season.

“Skydiving, military boot camp, living in the jungle during monsoon season, working on a fishing boat, spending a month in the desert with the scorpions and snakes, I did it.”

Chantelle chuckled. “Military boot camp. Hilarious! You and Stormy were great.”

In the early years, my sister and I had teamed up to do the show, which had been called Sunny and Stormy’s Excellent Adventures. Then Devon had come along and put a halt to her career. To keep viewers engaged, Apogee Productions had upped the ante, demanding longer, weirder adventures.

“I draw the line at marrying a purple, scaly horned alien.”

“They’re not purple or scaly—although they do have horns. Women think they’re sexy.”

“The horns or the aliens?”

“I was referring to their horns, but both, actually.”

“Well, not me.” I shuddered. Dating out of my species did not interest me.

“You don’t understand what a great opportunity this is. The producers managed to get a slot for you. 

Do you have any idea how hard that is?” Chantelle said. “Since they’ve opened up the Terra-Dakon Exchange Program to all women instead of just convicted felons, women have rushed to enroll. There’s a waiting list a parsec-long.”

“Then give someone else my slot. Slim as chances are for finding a husband, I’ll hold out for a human.”

Cara Bristol bio
Cara Bristol writes character-driven science fiction romance with humor, heart, and heat. She loves introducing new readers to science fiction romance and likes to say she writes sci-fi for readers who don’t like sci-fi. She’s been a number one best seller in multiple book categories and has hit the USA Today bestseller list twice! She has three science fiction romance series: the action-packed Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series; the dark, intense Breeder series; and the new light and funny Alien Mate series. When she’s not writing (ha ha ha – she’s almost always writing) she enjoys traveling to exotic destinations and chillaxin’ with her favorite reality TV shows. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.

Cara’s Website: http://carabristol.com/
Chat with Cara (Reader Facebook group): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1761424733891183/
Twitter: @CaraBristol https://twitter.com/CaraBristol

The story continues from the first one, Alien Mates, where Terra has sent female prisoners to Drakon as brides in exchange for illuvian ore. But in the first story, the women are criminals, in the second, they have signed up and agreed to the exchange. Well, let’s say, all but one, Sunny Weathers, hadn’t agreed, she is being forced into the deal under contract by her studio, Apogee Productions as part of her Sunny Weather’s Excellent Adventure, a reality show.

Sunny Weather started doing the reality show after her sister, Stormy, has started. But Stormy no longer does the gig, only Sunny, and that is only because of her nephew, Devon, who needs expensive medical care. With a nice bonus, it will make life easier for Devon and Stormy, and it is only for one year, isn’t it?

On Drakon, one-hundred woman is coming, so that means a drawing of one hundred chits with only so many going to each tribe. Darq just knows he will win a draw, but is disappointed. Has fate handed him his greatest wish? Draq will find a lost chit, and while he plays back and forth on what he should do, he isn’t willing to give up having a chance with a Terran female, especially when he sees the one.

The plot will have two individuals, each with their own secrets, demons, and desires. For Sunny, it is spending a year on Drakon to give Devon a chance. For Darq, it means having a mate, a female to love and cherish. From the moment that Sunny and Draq make eye contact in the meeting hall, they are both taken with each other, talk about instant chemistry and attraction.

“I promise to become worthy of you. I will become the mate you deserve.” –Draq

“She shook her head slightly. I’m the one who needs to become worthy of you.” –Sunny

“We’ll learn about each other, together. Except for one thing. The secret I couldn’t tell the world, I also couldn’t share with her. I hated we were starting our life together with a lie between us. “

Sunny’s producers were creative in how to make the reality show work by sending six camera robots, ones that looked like flying insects with red glowing eyes. When Sunny finally can talk to her sister, Stormy, she will learn that Devon is doing better and that Stormy wants to sign up and come to Drakon as a bride, bringing Devon with her. Maybe this is the answer for their futures.

The story will include so many laughing out loud moments with issues with the annoying “insects” as they hover and swarm around Sunny to record her and Darq’s every move and interaction. While they are invasive, they do serve a greater good too. What will happen when true confessions come to light? How will Sunny accept Darq’s deception with the found chit? How will Darq react when he learns she is part of a reality program and will she want to stay as his mate? How will the Dakonian tribesmen handle the deception of Draq and will this mean that the man who lost the chit have the right to claim Sunny as his mate? I look forward to the next book and how the new lottery will pan out.

“The Dakonian lottery was stupid, and yet, so romantic. Darq and I had found each other that way. We’d both had secrets and strikes against us, but for the moment our eyes had met, we’d had chemistry, that indefinable bond that caused two people to gravitate to one another. You could see it with these couples, their attraction sparking with the first hello.”

Friday, May 25, 2018

Open the Heart, Free the Breath, Improve Your Life: Yoga for Writers, Office Workers and Anyone Who Wants to Feel Good by Suz deMello (#yoga #CubicleLife #writinglife)

Last month, I blogged in general about yoga, a five thousand year old approach to life that originated in India and has steadily gained adherents since. The broader view now narrows to yoga practices specifically targeted to office workers as well as those who simply spend a lot of time in front of a computer, including my fellow writers.

First word of advice: get up once in a while, preferably at least hourly. Bust out a few poses to heighten your physical and mental health. 

Inversions will push more blood to the brain and improve its functioning. Of course you could do a headstand or a shoulder stand, but that might draw unwanted attention to your corner of CubicleVille. So I suggest you try a simple wide-legged straddle stretch, known in YogaLand as Prasarita Padottanasana (we yogis love to bring out the Sanskrit--makes us feel as though we're in possession of some arcane knowledge).

Here's what it looks like:

A side view: 

This pic is okay, but don't put your hands on your knees!
Floor, shins or thighs for support.

If you need a little more support, try this with a chair or desk:

The point is: get your head below the level of your heart, which promotes blood flow to the brain.

To perform the posture, always remember that every yoga pose is built from the ground up. Make sure that your shoes will keep you steady--don't wear high heels or slippery-soled shoes. Take them off if you are, and make sure that your stockings or socks or whatever won't slip. Ideally, you're barefooted.

Feet should be planted firmly on the ground about three feet apart, or more. Whatever is comfortable for your body that day.

Breathe deeply and evenly. First spread your arms out into a T, then, on an exhale, bend from the hips, not the waist, keeping your spine straight. If you need support, you can place your hands on the floor, on your thighs or shins. Not the knee--joints are sensitive.

Keep breathing long, deep, complete breaths. Take at least ten full, complete breath cycles.

If you want to twist (highly recommended!) place one hand on the floor in front of your face, then raise the other into the air. On an exhale, twist in its direction for five complete breath cycles. Focus on how these breaths feel compared to the untwisted variation. Then do the other side.

To come out of the posture, untwist, put your hands on your hips, bend your knees slightly, tighten your core. Inhale and pull your torso upright.

Broaden the chest, open the heart, free the breath.

I probably say this at least ten times in every class I teach. The breath is so, so important! Not just in yoga, but in life. We can survive a week or two without food. A few days at least without water. But without breath? Not very long at all.

Breathing deeply will help you in every area of your life. Take a deep, slow breath with a slow release before and after any task. Shove oxygenated blood though your body and feel the energy, the prana, flow and strengthen you.

We spend so much time hunched over at our desks, curving our chests, constricting the breath and squeezing our hearts, when we are so much happier with our hearts open--literally as well as figuratively.

So, employing the same posture, try clasping your hands behind your low back and lifting them, which will open your chest. Breathe deeply--again, at least five to ten complete breath cycles.

Chair exercises

If you are so unfortunate as to have such a small cube that you can't even do prasarita, much of the above can be done in a chair.

Dharana: Mental focus

Dharana is one of the eight petals, or limbs of yoga. (As I discussed in the previous blog, these are techniques which we employ on our yoga journey--that's the path we tread to attain integration and happiness). Certainly mental focus will help us on our journey, as well as in our everyday lives.

So how can we easily practice dharana? The inversion and its variations will help sharpen the mind, but there are other techniques, including something so simple that few think of it.

Try something new.

Research has shown many times that learning a new language improves mental functioning, but that's not because there's any intrinsic virtue in learning Mandarin, Swahili, or French. Any new undertaking grows our neural net, creating new nerve paths and synapses in our brains.

There are hundreds of yoga poses, and a smart yogi will vary her practice, learning new asanas (postures) and breathing exercises (pranayama).

However, many other options exist. Something as simple as skipping instead of walking, taking a different route to work, traveling to another country, or learning a new computer game will increase your brain power.

Quit multitasking. Instead focus on one thing--the moment.

This is a tough one. Our modern, complex society demands much of us, and those demands create what many of us all the "monkey mind," the headspace that is scattered, unfocused, and constantly shifting instead of concentrating.

Be in the moment, focusing on what's happening instead of what could be happening. If you're working, focus on work, not on where you're going to eat lunch or any task that might be facing you. When you're with a friend, a family member or anyone else, be fully present for that person. Don't check your phone... Whatever else night be going, in most instances, it will keep. (Besides, checking your phone when you're with someone is really rude).

Be present and focused on the moment. As the old Latin proverb says: Age Quod Agis--do what you're doing.

Good luck! 

As always: ask your doctor if it's okay for you to perform easy exercises.

And remember to breathe!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wow! What a Month: Visual and Video Highlights of May


Just got edits back yesterday from our editor for a joint Charmed Legacy story I'm working on with my friend, Muffy Wilson, so now I'm back in the saddle - the writing saddle, that is :-) My health has been much better, and I want to share a few highlights of other fun stuff I've done this month. Still haven't had a chance to see "The Avengers: Infinity War" yet, though. That's next on my list.

Bellingrath Gardens
Mon Louis island, AL
(10 - 15 minutes west of Mobile)

"Dangerous Beauty, Sexy Beast"
Launch with Giveaways

Drayden saved Treva’s life. Her need for vengeance could mean the end of his.

Grab your copy before the sale ends May 31st!

Duck Boat
Mobile Bay (5-10 minutes from my house)

Join my Facebook group to view the full albums. With 2 more books releasing this summer, the forecast is looking fantastic!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Silver Foxes

Do you love the tantalizing trope of silver foxes? Some men–like fine wine—are better with age. After all, age is just a number and mature is not a dirty word but it can be naughty. If you like Hot older men in romance novels you’ll love these books (20 something of them) featuring older heroes. They are all free on the giveaway until the end of May. https://claims.instafreebie.com/gg/DW5gStulfiCMOP1O7IEB

Back To The One I Love is one of them. That’s mine.

The thrilling adventure of first love and self-discovery is just as groovy the second time around.

A free-spirited, baby boomer couple, Cash and Keith, find their marriage of forty-five years unraveling amid apathy, boredom, and retirement. Cash feels Keith is no longer attracted to her and he’s consumed with a couch-potato life of streaming Firefly all day long. Trying to hang on to their marriage and rekindle the romance they lost along the way they turn to a counselor. The therapist uses an unorthodox magical method of a time-traveling Volkswagen van to cast them back into the garden…four days of Eden at Woodstock….the epic music festival… where they first fell in love.
Will the freedom of Woodstock lure Keith and Cash to push their individual boundaries and seek new lovers? Or can Déjà Vu and grooving to music….truly lead them to rediscover the peace, love, and harmony they once shared?

“I remember.” Keith put his bag down and took her hand in his. “I remember everything. I could never forget anything about you.”
“Me neither.” Cash gave his hand a squeeze.
“Stay here, I’m going to turn our garbage bags in, they’re full.”
He took her bag and picked up his and she watched him hand the filled bag to one of the Hog Farm volunteers, and then he walked back to her.
Keith held out his hand to her. “Shall we, my lady?”
“I suppose it’s time.” She took his hand in hers.
“I’m not ready to leave just yet.” Keith flashed a mischievous grin.
“What do you want to do?” Cash’s heart beat faster as she saw the glint of desire in his eyes.
“We really shouldn’t go without taking a dip in the famous pond.”
“Skinny dipping, at our age?”
“Why not?”
 “Yes, why not?”
Clutching each other’s hands, they strolled to the pond.
With his fingertips, Keith gathered the fabric at the hem of her blouse and gently pulled it off over her head. He dropped it to the grassy bank as he gazed at her breasts. His eyelids appeared heavy, almost closed as he admired them, even though she knew they didn’t look the same as when she was nineteen.
Keith skimmed his palms down her soft back. A hot shiver shot up her spine at his touch. He unzipped her jeans, hooked his fingers in the waist of them, and slid them down her long legs. She stepped out of them and he kicked the jeans aside. He took a moment to gaze at her nude body.
She couldn’t believe that she was standing nude in public, a woman of sixty-seven, but she was and she was as proud of her body in that moment as when she’d been nineteen. In fact, she was even less self-conscious about it. She could tell by the sensuous light in Keith’s eyes that she still turned him on. And a burning need coiled in her.