My New Home

i-moved

my new blog/website is here: http://rainebalkera.blogspot.com/

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Romance Weekly Blog Hop

I’ve moved! You can find this week’s post here: http://rainebalkera.blogspot.com/

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Let the Countdown Begin!

One more day.

Just one.

Approximately twenty-eight hours from the time of this post until season two of . . .

The Musketeers!

bbc.co.uk

bbc.co.uk

This fan of the weekly drama on BBC America can’t wait and remains intensely ecstatic!

Yes, it’s been done before, over a number of decades, and with different versions of the same thing being retold in various decade-appropriate formats, but I certainly don’t mind.

And while I’m not a huge fan of having 21st Century thinking or ideology being instilled by the writers into the minds and actions of characters who are supposed to be living in 17th Century France, this series is an exception.

The four actors portraying this band of brothers are all charismatic in their own right, but it is even more amazing when someone who doesn’t immediately please the eye somehow manages to work their way into my soul and make me think otherwise after only a few episodes (or scenes) of seemingly inconsequential effort.

There are enough heart-stopping moments when I’ll be led to think one outcome is inevitable and then be either sorely disappointed or laughingly startled to discover just how wrong I’d been to assume anything at all, and for me, that’s just plain fun TV.

Now for the fun stuff.

Of the four men: the ancient super-heroes who easily transcend time with their exciting tales of daring do . . . my favorite?

Betcha can’t guess, so here’s a hint.

 

 

 

Howard Charles as Porthos

Howard Charles as Porthos

Like my own heroes in my own novels, I tend to favor the softy with plenty of brawn, maybe not a lot upstairs, but with a heart of gold who will die without hesitation to save someone else.

This guy grew on me until he had me heart, mind, body, and soul.

When I thought he was going to die in an episode of season one, I shed tears and paced the floor until everything worked itself out.

A close second in this man-candy race . . . betcha can’t guess this, either.

 

 

 

Santiago Cabrera as Aramis

Santiago Cabrera as Aramis

A fan favorite for sure and with definite (and obvious) reasons galore.

He’s the reason why I’m eager to get this season 2 underway. That baby is his, and I don’t think this is a spoiler, either. As I already mentioned, this team of writers has a knack for starting something big and then detonating a bomb, so . . .

Now for #3 on my list of male interest.

L’ing OL right now. This post has just brought to mind something similar I’d done about five years ago, and at my other blog about Asian Dramas.

I rated the three leads in Taiwan’s Meteor Garden, Japan’s Hana Yori Dango, and Korea’s Boys Over Flowers series dramatized in those respective nations.

I thought they were all decent in their own ways of representing the same Manga series, but I did have a favorite and like now, with The Musketeers, I tended not to go with the popularity flow regarding the leads.

Even at my age, I can’t help myself sometimes. That shallow mentality of mine just forces itself to shine through on occasion. 😀

Anyway, here’s my third pick in the leading man category.

 

 

 

Tom Burke as Athos

Tom Burke as Athos

He is a bit too soft-spoken and haughty for my taste, and yet he managed to work his way up to swoon proportions as the series got underway.

Perhaps what is being led up to here is the fact that these men are excellent actors who give the impression of enjoying working together, thus enabling 100% effort on their part to make this series what it really shouldn’t ought to be and yet is — in a big way — like three, different countries producing their own version of the Hana Yori Dango (Manga) series.

Neither series should be as popular (at least not with me) and yet the casting proved too much to resist.

So, that leaves one, last leading man then.

Luke Pasqualino as Dartagnan

Luke Pasqualino as D’Artagnon

Not that I enjoy him the least because he’s great eye-candy, don’t you think?

Just slightly too typical in that regard is all. It’s obvious just by looking at him that he’d be the #1 fan favorite, right?

He’s cute and a good actor. In the book version it’s really his story being told, too. In this BBC America series, he comes late to the troupe but makes a lasting impression. He’s the lady-killer we’d all like to see more in the way of shirtless scenes, too. 😀

I’m a huge fan of his hair and eyes, okay?

Long hair, clean-shaven, and depthless eyes KILL me, I must admit. He’s just not doing it for me the way our Sir Chaz manages, and with a lot less effort and flaunt, too.

So there you have it. My run-down of the main reason why I’m hooked on this series and why I can’t wait for tomorrow night to get here!

Go, Swashbuckler Dudes, Go!

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What Did It for Me

miracles-fearAfter one heck of a long hiatus, I’m back.

Seriously hadn’t planned on ignoring this space any more than I had intended not to write anything for NaNoWriMo back in 2014, either.

What’s worse: since last November, I’ve used those silly, time-sucking and brain-draining Facebook games as a sorry excuse to help fill the void.

The scary thing is, there is this unhappy notion inside me that says I have nothing more to say.

And yet I still feel compelled to produce words.

A long time ago, when my father was still alive but in early retirement due to health issues, he went from being overly active both during and after work — coaching little league, bowling, hunting, fishing — to laying on the sofa watching TV.

Day in and day out, it was all he ever did.

Then one day on the 6 o’clock news, he saw a story about a Traditional Catholic church not far from our city. He became a new man with a new mission, got up off the sofa, showered and shaved, went out and bought a suit and attended the first Mass that Sunday.

He got involved, became a shuttle driver for the priests that flew in from Ridgefield, CT, and spent a majority of his time running between the local parish and another a bit farther up north, out in the country.

One ax this new religion of his always ground into his head was that TV was the devil and needed to be removed from the home.

Despite my father’s new-found reason to exist, TV was not something he could easily part with, and so he reminded these priests that if it hadn’t been for television, he’d never have learned about the church, the movement, or them.

The same might be said for me and my writing — via Facebook.

While on this unwanted and boring hiatus from writing anything at all, including my second manuscript, and while spending far, too much time on my two Facebook pages (one for writing, the other for friends/family/games) I reconnected with old friends, kept in closer contact with relatives, and even sold a few more novels as a result of my fun with a Nightly Male post.

Heck, I’ve even been receiving nightly PM’s from an old school chum who loves to flirt about as much as I do. Seriously fun stuff, and he’s not half bad-looking, either.

Then late last week, a friend was posting YouTube videos of the music he intends to cover on his latest album, and I joined in by posting videos of what I referred to as one-hit wonders, but by extremely popular artists whose music far exceeds just one hit.

It just means they are the only songs that I like by these extremely popular artists.

Things like Elvis Presley’s Kentucky Rain, The Beatles Don’t Let Me Down, The Rolling Stones’ Heaven, and Glen Campbell’s Wichita Linesman.

While doing this, I noticed on the right side of my YouTube account, Shania Twain – Forever And For Always (Red Version).

The last time I heard that song was when it was new and we were all vacationing in the Upper Peninsula; sitting at the shore of an inland lake and around a summer nights’ campfire drinking Michelob Light while gazing at a full, unimpeded view of the Milky Way.

I set that video on repeat and sang along for a few . . . hours. The lyrics had remained dormant in my mind and came back with little effort.

And, that was all it took, too, to get me back in the writing mood.

Weird, isn’t it?

A bit like my late, old man arguing with a priest about the minuscule virtues of keeping a TV in the house since he believed it was what saved him. 😉

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Romance Weekly Blog Hop – The TBR Pile

romanceweekly

Thank you for hopping over from Jo Richardson’s blog post.  You can find Jo’s latest novel, Cursed Be the Wicked, available for download on Amazon.

This week, Elizabeth Janette wants to know what’s on our TBR list. Elizabeth’s novel, Redemption for Liars, is also available on Amazon.

Here’s the blurb:

Welcome to Hill’s Creek, Texas, where the townsfolk like their secrets the same way they like their steaks . . . big and juicy. Don’t worry. Nobody’s secrets stay buried for long.

Until his socialite sister took a swan dive out her penthouse window, FBI Agent Jonah White’s life had been fairly simple: track down bad guys and slap a pair of silver bracelets on them. Nursing a guilty conscience gnawing at his heart, he heads to Hill’s Creek, Texas, to investigate the one woman who just might be connected to his sister’s death. Falling in love with her, a possible accomplice to murder, was never part of the plan.

Recently widowed Maya Savantes is barely keeping her head above water. With a precocious five-year-old to raise, and a growing pile of debt to wade through, she doesn’t have time for a romp through the sheets with a mysterious stranger – no matter how sexy he is. But when her deceased husband’s trigger-happy loan shark comes looking to collect on old debts, Jonah might be the only one who can protect her.

Now, about that TBR pile of mine.

ON KINDLE

Sweet Bea (Sir Arthur’s Legacy Book 1) – Sarah Hegger (reading at the moment)
Corralling the Cowboy – Katie O’Connor
Cursed be the Wicked – J.R. Richardson
The Falls – Ian Rankin (won this at Xio’s release party 😀 )
A Family Affair: Truth in Lies (Truth in Lies, Book 1) – Mary Campisi
The Lake (The Lake Trilogy, Book 1) – Annalisa Grant
Love Conquers – J.M. Cagle
The Mating: The Original Law of the Lycans Story – Nicky Charles (it’s a meh. I try reading clean through and end up passing for something else, but I will finish regardless)
Promise (Soul Savers Book 1) – Kristie Cook
Rising (The Rising Series Book 1) – Holly Kelly
Sunshine Hunter (A Susan Hunter Mystery Book 1) – Maddie Cochere
Where’s My Hero? (Brotherhood/MacAllister series) – Lisa Kleypas/Julia Quinn/Kinley MacGregor
Wicked Designs (The League of Rogues) – Lauren Smith
Winner Take All – Denyse Bridger
Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners Book 3) – Lisa Kleypas
A Winter Wedding: A Five Senses Short – Gemma Brocato
The Calum (The Calum Series Book 1) – Xio Axelrod
Heart of the Arena – Mishka Jenkins
Emily’s Vow (A More Perfect Union Series, Book 1) – Betty Bolte
Unexpected Eden – Rhenna Morgan
Coming Down – Carrie Elks
Chef d’Amour – Brenda Margriet

EPUB

Captivated By His Kiss: A Limited Edition Boxed Set of Seven Regency Romances with Collette Cameron’s BRIDE OF FALCON
Fortune Cookie Magic – Dee Dawning
Dark Wolf Rising – Rhyannon Byrd
Free Air – Sinclair Lewis
The Star Rover – Jack London
Blue Spring’s Queen – Laurie Robinson
Sizzle – Julie Garwood
Poor Folk – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The People Of The Mist – H. Rider Haggard
Roman’s Gold (Underground Heat Book) – Ann Gimpel
The Book of Tea – Kakuzo Okakura
A Demon’s Desire – Lizzy Ford

PAPERBACK

Blue-Eyed Devil – Lisa Kleypas (this shocked me, being written in first-person. I set it aside and will finish it after the dust settles 😉  )
Something New – Nora Roberts
Mercy – B.J. Daniels
When Love Awaits – Johanna Lindsey
Mystic Guardian – Patricia Rice
Orchid – Jayne Castle
The Lone Star Lonely Hearts’ Club – Susan McBride
Smooth-Talking Stranger – Lisa Kleypas
Flirting With Forever – Gwyn Cready (not liking this one. Bad writing, I think.)
The Perfect Bride – Brenda Joyce

HARLEQUIN PB

Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch – B.J. Daniels (I have to tell y’all . . . this one is weird. It’s about a prince from some Eastern Bloc ‘island’ who has an Irish surname and speaks perfect English while working in tandem, mind you, with the FBI. Too funny.)
Under His Spell – Kirstin Hardy
Ransom for a Prince – Lisa Childs
The Makeover Mission – Mary Buckham
Lethal Affair – Jean Thomas
Love in Bloom – Arlene James

(These were desperation purchases while still a penniless nobody, and for .25 for 4 at the local library’s annual book fair – LOL. I intend to read each one, though I find them to be a bit campy and altogether predictable.)

RESEARCH STUFF

A History of Russia – Nicholas V. Riasanovsky
Characters & Viewpoint – Orson Scott Card
Chronicles of Old Salem – Frances Diane Robotti
The Mythology of Native North Americans – David Leeming/Jake Page
My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk

Before I leave you, I’m curious to know how many of you have the same books on your list, or if you’ve already read some that are on mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

I’ve already read lots more in the past few months than I have all year. Writer’s Blues (not block) and an inner need to study more about POV induced me to read more than write.

There’s also the annoying fact of my having recently published — so not wanting to write anything else after all that hard work, two years of editing, revising, omitting, reading and re-reading again and again . . .

😀 The urge to write is back, though! 😀

I hope there are no type-o’s here, because while trying to get this post together, I’ve been thinking about what to add to my latest novel 😉

Now, let’s all hop on over to visit with J.J. Devine and read her TBR list.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Book Promo – A Kiss for Miss Kingsley

Today I am happy to welcome best-selling author Collette Cameron to the Writing Realm! She is here to share her latest release entitled A Kiss for Miss Kingsley. You’ll find the buy links below.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00099]

A Kiss for Miss Kingsley

 

A Regency Short Story of Love Redeemed By Best-Selling Author Collette Cameron

Author of the Castle Brides and Highland Heather Romancing a Scots Series

Blurb

Olivia Kingsley didn’t expect to fall in love and receive a secret marriage proposal two weeks into her first Season. However, one dance with Allen Wimpleton, heir to a viscountcy, and her fate is sealed. Or so she thinks until her eccentric and ailing father, unaware of Allen’s proposal, announces he’s moving the family to the Caribbean for a year. … In two days.

Allen begs Olivia to elope to Scotland, knowing her father will refuse his offer of marriage after such a brief acquaintance with Olivia. Having recently lost her mother, and fearing for her father’s health, she refuses, pleading with Allen to wait for her until she returns to England. Angry at her hesitancy, and unaware of her father’s ill health, Allen demands she choose—him or her father.

Heartbroken at his callousness, but thankful he’s revealed his true nature before she married him, Olivia turns her back on their love. The year becomes three, enough time for her broken heart to heal, and after her father dies, Olivia returns to England. Coming face to face with Allen, she realizes she never purged him from her heart and once again the flames of love ignite, but is it too late? Does Olivia have any hope of winning Allen’s heart once more, or has he found another?

EXCERPT

“This is a monumental mistake.” Fingering the ruby pendant hanging at her neck, Olivia Kingsley peeked out the window as the conveyance rounded the corner onto Berkeley Square. Carriage upon carriage, like great shiny beetles, lined up beside an ostentatious manor.

Guests in their evening finery swarmed before the grand entrance and on the stairs as they waited their turn to enter Viscount and Viscountess Wimpleton’s home.

Trepidation dried her mouth and tightened her chest. Yes, attending the ball was a featherbrained solicitation for disaster. No good could come of it.

God’s toenails, what was I thinking, agreeing to Auntie Muriel’s addlepated scheme?

Olivia flattened against the sky-blue squab in the corner of her aunt’s coach and vehemently shook her head. “I cannot do it.”

A curl came loose, plopping onto Olivia’s forehead.

Bother.

She shoved the annoying tendril beneath a pin, having no doubt the tresses would work their way free before evening’s end. Patting the circlet of rubies adorning her hair, she assured herself the band remained secure.

Her pulse beat an erratic staccato, and she searched for a plausible excuse for refusing to attend the ball after all.

“I … We,” she wiggled her gloved fingers at her brother, Bradford, lounging on the opposite seat, appearing as contented as their fat cat, Socrates, after lapping a saucer of cream, “were not invited.”

Terribly gauche, that. Showing up at a haut ton function, no invitation in hand.

“Nonsense, darling. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to accompany me.” Aunt Muriel, the Duchess of Daventry, patted Olivia’s knee with her plump hand. “Lady Wimpleton is one of my dearest friends. Why, we had our come-out together, and I’m positive had she known that you and Bradford had recently returned to England, she would have extended an invitation herself.”

Not if she knew the volatile way her son and I parted company, she wouldn’t have.

  * * * * * *

Collette CameronCollette’s Bio

 Award winning, Amazon best-selling author historical author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series and Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish romances and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.

 Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers.

She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

Collette would love to connect with you! 

Website: http://collettecameron.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/collettecameronauthor

Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/collettecameron

Blue Rose Romance Blog: http://blueroseromance.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/collette_author

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Collette-Cameron/e/B00CWLYXL2

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7047979.Collette_Cameron

Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/regencyrose

She’s on Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn, Embracing Romance Blog, Romance Writers Weekly Blog, and Romancing the Era’s Blog, too!

BUY LINKS

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Miss-Kingsley-Regency-Short-ebook/dp/B00QSNVG1K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418235981&sr=8-1&keywords=A+kiss+for+Miss+Kingsley

Barnes & Noble

Available December 21, 2014

Itunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-kiss-for-miss-kingsley/id950137983?ls=1&mt=11

Kobo

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-kiss-for-miss-kingsley

 https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=MY3ZBQAAQBAJ

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