guest blog

The Way to Your Heart: Nail Polish!

First things first: today is the last day to sign up for T.T. Kove’s giveaway for her lovely seasonal romance, Sakura Kiss! She’ll be choosing a winner using the random number selector tomorrow.

Next up for my third post for the Way to Your Heart blog hop:

bloghop banner

Another quick and easy way to my heart is to cater to one of my current serious obsessions: nail polish.

I used to be not much of a fan, actually, because of the smell – and the way it felt on my nails, like a coat of something that smothered them. Then companies started going 3, 4, and 5-free – harmful ingredients toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), formaldehyde resin, and camphor. And, I saw a fantastic shade of gray nail polish on Bill Kaulitz.

Office neutrals had never really interested me, but that edgy gray was like a whole world opening up to me. I found myself at the cosmetics counter getting Chanel Black Pearl and Dior Gris Montaigne. A couple of months later, I made it a workout reward, and wow, it was a full-on slide into its own obsession from there. Nail polish became its own reward! I started maintaining a nail polish tumbler: http://effyeahnailpolish.tumblr.com/

There was so much to do with polish and simple nail art that there hadn’t been when I’d done my nails when I was younger. It was like a fascinating new universe opening up to me, and the brands that didn’t have any harmful chemicals didn’t feel like they smothered my nails at all.

So, a bottle of nail polish in just the right color is a fast path to my heart. From those edgy grays I went to finding just the right hue in every shade across the spectrum, but far and away my favorites tend to be blues, teals, and greens though I have a serious weakness for a good nude, and holographic micro-glitter is one of my favorite things ever.

To show you some of what I love, here are six of my favorite manicures from the past year. It was hard to narrow them down to six, of course.

 photo IMG_20130329_073932_zps0aee93a8.jpg

Illamasqua Fragile, the color I wore over Easter weekend.

 photo IMG_20130218_115602_zps8a0dc168.jpg

A-England St. George with a scalloped ribbon of A-England Holy Grail – one of my fun “save a chipped tip” manicures, I featured this not too long ago for Manicure Monday.

 photo IMG_20130111_080514.jpg

Essie Butler Please – my perfect Tardis blue!

 photo IMG_20121229_133607.jpg

Chanel Quartz and Pixel Till I’m Blue Over You/China Glaze Snowglobe checkers. My first time doing a checker manicure, and I still need to do this again! So much fun, and so pretty.

 photo IMG_20121205_074346.jpg

Sephora by OPI Traffic Stopper Copper over sponged half-gradient of Brisbane Bronze over Essie Sand Tropez. This one was inspired by something I reblogged on Tumblr, though I used different colors and a bronze under the glitter. I loved the way it turned out.

 photo IMG_20120515_075535.jpg

Chanel Delight, the most gorgeous finely-milled bronzy coppery gold with a micro-glitter almost holographic spark to it.

And to sign off, don’t forget to check my giveaway post, where I offer a free copy of A Cut Above the Rest (or anything from my back catalogue, if you already have that).

Have a great week, and may your polish dry quickly and smudge-free!

Guest Post and Giveaway: T. T. Kove

Good evening, readers! Tonight we have a guest post from the lovely T.T. Kove, who has a brand new release I think you’re going to want to check out! See what she has to say about Sakura Kiss, and stick with us for details about the giveaway at the end.

sakurakiss

Armas wanted to start over in a new country, with new people, something he achieved by moving to Japan. In the beginning of the book, he is severely depressed and nothing really interest him, except for one thing: the cherry blossom trees.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Japan, except the hot, Asian men, is the cherry blossom trees. They’re beautiful with their pink flowers and I could very well go to Japan simply to watch them.

I have seen one such tree here in Norway, back in my hometown. It doesn’t bloom often, but when it does it is simply striking to look at. I think this trees are quite fascinating, and that has bled into Armas in this book. Watching the cherry blossom trees calms him down and gives him just a sliver of peace for a little while.

    *** THE BOOK ***

Sakura Kiss

Memories of a brutal attack have left Armas afraid—of people, of intimacy, of admitting his sexuality. But shortly after arriving in Tokyo on business, he ventures out for a drink … and wakes up in the morning in a strange hotel room after a night he can only vaguely remember, though all his memories are surprisingly sweet. In a panic he flees, determined to leave the whole night behind him and get back to a life that is comfortable, familiar. His plans are ruined when his one night stand proves to be the CEO of the company that has brought him to Tokyo, and a man determined to help Armas overcome the dark in which he’s living.

Buy at Less Than Three Press.

Takeo drove to the studio, taking every shortcut he could think of, but when he walked inside, Armas Takala was nowhere in sight. His flamboyant secretary was there though; her bright clothes practically lighting up the studio, the few others still there paled in comparison.
He walked over to her. “Hashimoto Aya-san,” he spoke.

“Huh?” She turned around with a curious expression on her face. “Sawada-sama!” She squeaked when she saw him, then covered her mouth with her hand and bent her head slightly. “I’m sorry. Good afternoon, sir. What can I help you with?”

“You can tell me where Armas Takala is. I need to speak with him.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but sensei already went home.” She looked up at him apologetically.

“To the hotel?” That was also in the file; the company were paying for it, after all. “I’ll go there then.”

“Oh, well, he might not be there.” She worried her lower lip thoughtfully. “He asked me about sakura trees today and which place was best for seeing them up close.”

“And where would that be?” Takeo stared at her.

“Shinjuku Park and Uedo Park,” she replied. “It sounded like he was going there. To one of those, that is.”

“Alright. Thank you for your help.”

Takeo exited the building again. He sighed when he settled into his car. Should he really go to the parks? Wouldn’t that make him some sort of desperate stalker or something? But on the other hand, he really needed to see Armas, to talk to him.

But which park? He wondered. His eyes locked on the clock on the dashboard, and that decided it for him. Shinjuku Park would be closed, besides, it cost money to get into that one, while Uedo Park had no entrance fee and was open at all hours.

    *** THE GIVEAWAY ***

I will be giving away one copy of Sakura Kiss to a lucky commenter. All you have to do is comment with a valid e-mail address and your preferred ebook format. The giveaway ends Sunday April 7th, and the winner will be chosen using random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Guest Post and Giveaway: Casey K. Cox’s Finding King

Good morning readers! This morning, we have a guest post from Casey K. Cox discussing the exciting upcoming release, Finding King! I hope you enjoy this sneak peek at the space pirate novel that’s definitely on my list of books to check out.

Hello all, and thanks for tuning in to this stop on the Finding King blog tour. Finding King is the first installment in a new sci-fi trilogy The Breaker, published by Less Than Three Press. Each day sees a draw for a free copy of the book. I’m Casey K. Cox, and I’ll continue our look behind the scenes at CKC Muse HQ. Grab a coffee and settle in to this latest insight into The Breaker Series.

The crew of the Breaker started out as four young lads running away from a government-training program for unwanted kids. If you don’t have a future with your family on Rexalon, the government provides one for you. Jessie, Merrick, Taylor and Cooper, broke out of their training camp and stole an old cargo freighter that had been brought in to the workshop for spares. Over the years, the boys picked up stragglers around the quadrant and worked their way up stealing larger ships until the Breaker fell into their lap during a spot of R&R at a local Deport Station. With a military grade deep space starship, complete with two smaller cruisers, at their disposal the boys were able to expand their horizons and move out of the danger zone of recapture around the homeland territories. It wasn’t long before they discovered a small uninhabited planet they started using as a safe house and affectionately named the Rock.

In this excerpt we join the crew of the Breaker during a raid on a large freighter, The Den-Freight-Four…

Merrick led his men through the bowels of the newly acquired ship. It was clean and bright, a complete contrast to the Breaker. The corridors were smooth. A satin metallic sheen reflected the strip lights at ceiling and floor level. Even the air was sweet. Merrick could taste it through his supercharged skin sensors. The environment had been enriched with oxygen for the health of the passengers, and something else, hanging in the air. Something he couldn’t pin down, but it was familiar. The faintest trace of something his body recognized. The hairs on his arms and neck stood to attention.

“Stay vigilant.” He took a long, exaggerated breath trying to identify the scent, but there wasn’t enough to process. He grumbled under his breath. The last thing they wanted was trouble. “This has been too easy. I don’t like it.”

“What’s up, Captain? Got a sixth sense on trouble?”

“Don’t you smell it, Ace? Like we’ve been here before.”

“Got the heebie-jeebies, for sure. But this baby’s practically new.”

“And a bit too pretty for a freighter, wouldn’t you say?”

Ace shrugged, but Merrick wasn’t about to let down his guard. Captain Carlton and his late crew had already made that mistake. But Carlton had been at a disadvantage from the start. The youthful appearance and young voices belied the true age and experience of Merrick and his men. They were frequently underestimated.

“Merrick.” Cooper’s voice came over the comm, “She’s all clear, Captain. All crew accounted for.”

A smile quirked Merrick’s lips. No trouble after all. “Well done, Cooper. Head back to the Breaker and take the bridge. I’ll walk our new baby.”
“Any idea where we’re heading?”

“Depends on the cargo. Set a course for Deport Twelve for the moment. Keep an eye out for company.”

“Roger that.”

“Okay, lads. Take a corridor and let me know what you find.”

Merrick found the equipment store. It was a small office that branched out into racks of supplies and machinery. It was tidy and well organized, easy to find the inventory. Everything looked pristine. Merrick thought the Den-Freight could well be on her maiden voyage.

He made himself comfortable at the desk and methodically plodded through the catalogues, giving a whoop when he came across something that would fetch a good price. It felt good to fill his head with calculations, his time with work—anything to keep him from his own thoughts.

He paused to close his eyes and the memory slammed him in the face. Something about the place triggered it. It was almost tangible. Jessie laughing, holding a vidscreen over Cooper’s head making him jump for it. ‘Tell him to stop teasing, Merrick.’ They looked so young. Merrick smiled. A good memory.

Ace buzzed his comm and Merrick was startled out of his daydream. “Merrick, look at this.” A view of a second cargo hold came up on the vidscreen. Rows and rows of metal storage containers with small patches of light that looked like screens centered on the front panels lined the walls, casting an eerie green glow.

“Holy shit, is that what I think it is?” He sat forward too quickly, almost tipping the chair.

“Hell yes.”

Just what he needed. Unexpected company. He knew it’d been too easy. He tried to keep his voice even and pressed the comm at his ear. “Keen, we’re going to need you in cargo. Ace, send him directions.”

“On my way, Captain.”

Finding King (The Breaker #1) by Casey K. Cox is available for pre-order from http://www.lessthanthreepress.com
Find out more about my work on Goodreads.com and at http://caseykcox.blogspot.com
Or email me at caseyk_cox@yahoo.com

Thanks for stopping by, Casey! Dear readers, comment here for a chance to win a copy of Finding King. Giveaway closes April 2, 2013!

Thank-you from A.F. Henley and upcoming blog hop!

Good evening folks, hope everyone is having a great week. I’m glowing after a good one-on-one with my boss this morning; always a mood lifter.

A.F. Henley dropped a comment on last week’s author spotlight and I wanted to pass it on for those who might miss it:

Congratulations Isabelle! Please check your email
Thank you so much to everyone that played along and my special thanks to Talya for the pimpage [and the patience :D].
Here’s hoping everyone has an amazing week and thank you for spending time with me. ❤

It was a pleasure! 🙂 We really appreciate the generous giveaway for Honour.

And, check out what’s coming soon. How is it already almost halfway through March!?

bloghop banner

As a final word, did you check out my guest blog on Pants Off Reviews? If you did, let me know what you thought!

Cross-promotion from Summer Michaels

Hope everyone is having a lovely evening! I’m dropping in from my night of cuticle care and delicious homemade pizza to make sure you have an opportunity to see the Author Spotlight that the lovely Summer Michaels hosted on her blog! Check it out and give her blog some love, and get a sneak peek at Appetite: A Cut Above the Rest.

Later this week I’ll do a rundown of what to expect from the Bestiary Bundle 1, giveaway open now, and post about my latest novel, From the Inside Out.

Right now there’s a story calling my name. Have a great week.