Saturday, October 28, 2006

Touch of the Beast by Tawny Taylor

I saw this over on Romance Divas and I am definitely going to add this one to the wish list. I haven't read it yet, but it is an erotic romance about shapeshifters in Alaska. That would be a topic I enjoy.

If I was in super-blogger mode right now, I'd tell you about the real life shapeshifter story along the Nushagak in Bristol Bay. But that will have to wait.


Touch of the Beast released Wednesday, Oct. 25...

TOUCH OF THE BEAST
(Book #2 of the Animal Urges series)

A shapeshifter erotic romance by Tawny taylor

Buy at: http://www.ellorascave.com/
Read an excerpt at http://www.ellorascave.com/

Blurb:

Katie Spenser is looking forward to some R-and-R with her best friend Abby when she makes the loooong trip from Chicago to Alaska. Unfortunately, rest and relaxation are not what she gets. Intead it's:

A missing best friend...
Men who turn into bears...
Bad guys shooting guns.

The only part of Katie’s so-called vacation that’s pleasant is Raul Zant. She simply cannot resist a guy so sexually dominant that a mere glance produces delightful tingles and quivers of anticipation. And the sex... Two words: Mind. Blowing.

Security Officer Raul must turn over his renegade best friend to Omega, or his brother will die. He loves his brother, but handing over his best friend, regardless of the reason, isn’t exactly painless. And speaking of pain, his desire for Katie is so relentless and intense it’s agonizing. She will surrender. He must have her.

Together, with assassins at their heels, and fiery lust driving them into each other’s arms, Katie and Raul must rescue their friends, uncover who is behind Omega, and learn whether there is a cure for Raul and Tarik’s unusual “ailment.”

The trick will be staying alive.



Link to Mark of the Beast at www.ellorascave.com

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Really Had A Good Laugh This Evening

Oh goodness.

I heard a tidbit on the news today linking the fattening of America to an extra $1 billion in gas burned in our vehicles annually.

I must warn you that if you found my blog while researching the Web for facts on gas consumption for a scholarly piece of work, move on! I didn’t get a firm grip on the “facts” because I was just passing through on the way to the kitchen to eat more food. You know, being a fat American, we eat plenty.

But I did stop my quest for dinner long enough to stand in front of the TV and laugh.

How could someone possibly link such an insignificant gain in use of fuel in America to the weight of the drivers? After all, $1 billion dollars is penny anty.

Logic? Were they using logic? Was their logic based on the notion that vehicles carrying heavier loads use more gas? Had to be. If so, it does make sense that the skinnier the driver, the better gas mileage their car will get. I figure they can't have facts to back this up because no “study” could possibly factor in every variable that would determine what fuel usage per vehicle contents and extrapolate fuel cost to anything reliable.

It had to be a fat-phobic skinny person’s logic that came to the conclusion that prompted this news blurb/story. It couldn’t have been a person that actually thinks things through without blinders would come to that conclusion.

Scenario #1, if you will.

Ten years ago today, a 120-pound woman bought herself a new vehicle that has 312 miles on the engine. Over the last ten years her own fuel consumption has exceeded her fuel burning capacity and that same woman now weighs 170 pounds. As she watched the news tonight she realized that little-by-little her car has gotten worse gas mileage.

Oh wow! Must be because she’s fatter! After all, it couldn’t possibly be her 1996 model that with 114,578 miles on the engine that is the problem.

My ability to think logically can further refute this “study”.

Scenario #2, if you will.

Last Wednesday I went to work with that fat American woman in scenario #1 in my truck. When my truck’s gas tank is filled to the brim, it weighs about 170 pounds. And, to top that off, last Wednesday I went to work with a cup of coffee too, which probably weighed about one pound.

Anyway, I left the house with a full tank of gas, and 171 of cargo. When I got to work and I still had a full tank of gas. The needle hadn’t moved at all. The drive home I was minus the coffee, so the cargo was 170 pounds. Sure enough, I drove up into the driveway and the needle was still past the F-mark. No fuel burned, all day long. I didn’t use a drop of gas!

This Wednesday I left the house with the weight equivalent of a small child in my gas tank, and no coffee. I estimate this means I had about ninety pounds less cargo than a week ago. When I left the truck was on a third of a tank. When I got home it is well below the quarter mark. The needle moved so much I could almost watch it. I used all kinds of gas and had much less cargo!

There you have it. The proof you need that that extra bag of potato chips you ate this morning won't increase your spending at the gas pump anytime soon.

Okay, so I know that a loaded-down semi tractor trailer gets worse gas mileage than an empty tractor trailer. But even with vehicles that regularly haul tens of thousands of extra pounds, the driving conditions need to be taken into consideration when calculating fuel use. As I type, I can hear the big rigs on I-80. I can hear the engines whining as they start the next foothill on the way up to the California border. When I hear the engines whining, they’re guzzling the gas. Ah, there, I just heard some air brakes. That truck is coming out of California, and only needs to keep the engine on to keep the brakes functioning properly. But after they leave the Sierra Nevadas, the run to Salt Lake City, Utah is pretty much five hundred miles of flat road. The Bonneville Salt Flats are so wide and so flat can't even see the darned horizon. Seems to me that fifty miles is a lot more economical than the fifty miles through the Sierra Nevadas, even counting the downhill coasts.

By the way, I think that real reason we’re using more gas in the United States is because we have more trucks on the road. No facts to back that up. Just paying attention. Am I the only person that has noticed that every major trucking company is advertising for drivers? That isn’t because all drivers are quitting in record numbers. It is because there are more trucks on the road and they need more drivers.

And a real life example that occupant weight doesn't matter...

Scenario #3.

Last year this time I was working at Amazon.com, which is about 100 miles round trip on open road. No matter who I had in the truck. 4 trips back and forth to work, and then a trip to the gas station. One month I drove with my brother and he weighs over 200 pounds (he isn't fat, like the man from Brussells, he's six-foot-four and full of muscles). One month I was on another shift and drove alone. One month I had a third skinny little guy with us in the truck.

My life was repetitive. It didn't matter who I had in the truck with me. 400 miles. Trip to the gas station. The MPG (and I was keeping track to charge the car poolers) and cost would vary insignificantly - by pennies - while the cargo weight in the truck was fluctuating from 300-500 pounds depending on if I had 2 passengers and a full tank, or no passengers and an empty tank.

Oh, and by the way...

My truck is nearly 5 years' old and still gets and ALWAYS has gotten better gas mileage than the sticker in the window said it would.

Come on now!

There are just too many variables to figure out gas mileage the average American driver uses and compare it to gas used in the country.

I’ll end this super long post with a scary loaded-vehicle-needing-more-gas story. This is a story about when weight in a vehicle matters!

I was once on a 737 in Southeast Alaska that was delayed because they were taking off cargo they hadn’t originally intended on carrying. The pilot got on the intercom and told us the extra cargo meant they didn’t have the fuel to make Seattle and they wanted to stay on schedule so dumping the cargo rather than taking on more fuel would save time.

Since these planes can fly from Seattle to Anchorage without refueling, I was thinking, they’re carrying so little fuel right now that the a few extra boxes of frozen fish is going to mean we were in danger of falling out of the sky over the Space Needle? That is when I actually asked the attendant ... what about contingency plans? She told me, she was sure they had contingency plans.

Like hell they did! They’d all but admitted we were flying on fumes to a town regularly shroweded in fog? I’ve always had the “what if” writing skill down when it aids in my ability to panic on airplanes. What if we get down there and we can’t land? What if it is foggy. Twice in my lifetime SEA-TAC was a lost cause and the plane I was on overshot for PDX. Twice in my lifetime!!! What if we run into a head wind? What if there is an earthquake or tsunamis and we have to head inland to Boise, Idaho!

I did not get off the plane, but I never forgot the relief of landing in Seattle.

The fog was thicker than pea soup too.

Soup!

I think I'll go have a snack before calling it a night.

Even if it costs me an extra penny to get to work tomorrow while my truck burns it off for me.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Reading Throughts

I feel like I slept in today. I didn’t really. I was up at a decent enough hour but all I’ve done so far is finish the rest of Sasha White’s Bound. Not that often I read a book in a few sittings.

It’s an erotic romance that involves dominant/submissive roles. A good deal of the erotic romance that involves BDSM (that I’ve run across) might be heated, but I can’t really identify with the characters or situation they’re in. Most of what I read is paranormal or futuristic and involves completely fantastical situations. Fun to read about a dominant vampire hero, but not something I really have to worry about running up against in real life. And if there is a BDSM club in a story, I might be fascinated by the idea but I can’t see myself participating in a real-life situation.

I could identify with Katie Long in Bound because the story was really about two people experimenting with their fantasies. There might be the one scene in a BDSM club, but the rest of the story is about how the hero and heroine are growing into a sexual relationship where the heroine felt comfortable leaving behind the “good girl” role. Even though the book is written in first person narrative, I got the feeling that Joe was doing some experimenting in this relationship too. He wasn’t a professional bad boy, looking for a innocent to debauch. ;)

Just "real" people in this story.

Jennifer Colgan's Ravenstar's Bride is one of those futuristics that I read a lot of, but can't really identify with the situation. I can see myself as the characters, and this was a great story. But, it couldn't really happen to me. Darn it! I wish it could. I would so love to stowaway on a starship and travel the stars. But, something tells me the farthest my feet are getting off Earth are 30-some-odd thousand feet in a jet plane.

Oh, suppose I should let you know that Ravenstar's Bride isn't erotic romance. Blog post started off talking more about sex, and ended talking about dreaming of traveling the stars. I did warn you I felt like I'd slept in! LOL.

Seeing the pics, the strongest tie between these two pics is they're both written by Divas! I'll have to get back to my third Romance Diva author story tomorrow. I left Christy Gissendaner's A Most Dangerous Affair at work.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thrift Store Blues

Writers. Just to warn you, this is a depressing post. Yet hopeful toward the end. Yesterday I went to the Salvation Army. It was in the book section. I found author copies on the shelves. Whoever dumped them left an invoice inside one and the copyright matched. From what I can see she wrote under two names and had at least 5 books published. Under the “romance” name she wrote those historical romance sagas that follow a female character, but the heroine sleeps with other men. Like Rosemary Roger’s books. The longest is 1018 pages long! Wow. When I found them, I was fascinated. Yet, at the same time my thoughts revolved around the idea the books are now junk. At what point do we dump our “babies” off at the Salvation Army thrift store? At what point does it stop being important that our dreams were realized and we give away good, unread copies of irreplaceable books? Maybe it wasn’t her. Maybe it was family or friends or landlord after she passed away. No matter the reason, I was saddened at finding those books because they do represent so much work. But then I thought, if I am ever as famous as Nora Roberts in 20 years and have millions of books available, I will probably be bringing my books to charity by the cartload. That was the hopeful part.