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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve

In a few hours it will be a brand new year.
Shocking, right?
As usual 2008 zipped by at warp speed and while I accomplished quite a lot, there is always more I wish to do. :)

Each and every year I make a formal list of writing goals to achieve for the next year. I then print them out and frame them so I can keep them front and center throughout the year. In 2008, I accomplished 11 out of 13. Not too bad.
I always do 13 goals each year. It's called a baker's dozen. And 13 has always been a lucky number for me.

As per the usual, I have 13 writing goals for 2009.
Do you have goals writing or otherwise for this year?
If not writing goals, do you have "other" goals you'd like to accomplish?
Feel free to share. :)

And now on a completely different note...

Tonight, for my New Year's Eve celebration, I'm making a pitcher of Sangria made possible by my good friend Wendi Darlin. She obviously loves me because Sangria is one of my very favorite beverages.

I'd like to make a cyber toast to everyone reading. May you have a fantastic 2009 filled with joy, good fortune, good health and happiness. :)
Happy New Year!

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

5 Pixies for The Mistletoe Mistake from Dark Angel Reviews

The Mistletoe Mistake has received a fabulous 5 Pixies Review from Dark Angel Reviews. :)
I've posted it below. Check it out. :)

TITLE: The Mistletoe Mistake
AUTHOR: Lara Santiago
PUBLISHER: Siren Publishing
ISBN: 1-60601-251-7
FORMAT: ebook
RELEASE DATE: December 2008
GENRE: Contemporary Christmas Erotic Romance
RATING: 5 Pixies

Erica Porter never imagined she’d practically jump a drop-dead sexy man in the copy room of her new job. However, when she saw the mystery man bent over the copy machine, showing off his very fine assets, Erica was not completely successful in rejecting his advances under the mistletoe. Quentin Thorne was struck senseless by the stunning, smart mouthed visage before him. He quickly maneuvered Erica through sharp witted remarks into a kiss beneath the mistletoe. The moment Erica and Quentin touch; passion erupted between them, sparking wildfires of lust racing through their bodies. Was it love at first sight, touch, and taste? Erica doesn’t want to chance her reputation and sense of professionalism at her new dream job. Can Erica overcome her reticence to date her boss’s twin brother and take the chance of building a love that is strong, bright and passionate? Quentin will need all of his sensual skills to make his beautiful Christmas vision a lifelong presence in his life.

THE MISTLETOE MISTAKE is a delightful holiday read. It is full of passion, desire, ancient legends, angst, self-denial and, most importantly, love. You’ll feel refreshed and recharged after zipping through this heartwarming tale of fresh young love. Lara Santiago spins her story with a charming turn of phrase, which literally keeps your eyes glued to her words. My favorite quote, which gives you a short glimpse at Santiago’s genius, is “Holy sex god, Aunt Jemimah, this guy was the very definition of sizzling-hot man-butter dancing across a griddle.” It just made me laugh enchanted at the imagery of such a burning hunk of man. The story oozed sexual tension, with erotically engaging love scenes sprinkled throughout the plot. And speaking of plot, it was wonderful; nicely paced, great build-up, no sporadic jumps or fits and definitely attention grabbing. Erica and Quentin’s characters were believable, and really stood out as fresh and likeable people. As a reader, I was attached to them, and was firmly rooting for their happily ever after. The supporting characters served well by adding tension and depth to the story arc. THE MISTLETOE MISTAKE should be added to everyone’s holiday season required reading list as it fills your heart with that special something.


Check out other reviews here at DARK ANGEL REVIEWS

To Purchase your very own e-copy of The Mistletoe Mistake click HERE

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sandstone Legacy by Rachel McNeely

My good friend Rachel has a new book coming out December 23.
Take a look! :)

Sandstone Legacy
by Rachel McNeely

Jake Andrews and Katie Weber are the only beneficiaries set to inherit the valuable Sandstone Ranch property. But who wants it more? Jake needs the property to further his successful business and plans to tear down the old house. Katie wants the house to remain and is willing to fight for it.

The people of Treehaven believe the old farmhouse is haunted. Katie and Jake have thirty days to discover the truth and print the findings in the local paper.
Jake doesn't believe in ghosts, but since Katie's first visit to the old farm house, she's been convinced that not only does a ghost reside there but also it doesn't want company.

Together they battle the growing attraction between them, a not so friendly ghost, and the hidden secrets that will expose an enduring love story and a person willing to kill to keep the secrets of Sandstone hidden forever.

"For several years, I've been writing stories set in Regency England. When the idea for Sandstone Legacy popped into my head, I decided to try writing a contemporary novel, but as my critique partners said, I couldn't leave out a tad bit of history.
Having lived in the south most of my life I've always been fascinated by the big old houses. The architecture has personality. I've imagined sitting on the wide porches and listening to the stories of past residents and their lives. So, I wasn't surprised when the beginnings of Sandstone Legacy took form in my mind.
But what about my ghost? My husband has often talked about civil war battle fields near his boyhood home in Virginia and this tweaked my interest. I did some research looking at books about the war and stories of ghostly appearances, visited a Bed and Breakfast, heard their tale of a possible ghost, and started writing." ~ Rachel ~

To read the EXCERPTS for Sandstone Legacy CLICK HERE

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Rebates... Are they worth the trouble?

Usually, I do believe they are worth the trouble. My husband has very good luck with rebates. He's a computer guy and always talks me into purchases with the promise of sales, discounts and rebates. (oh my!:)) And to be honest, I have to tell you he's very organized about the whole thing when he embarks on a rebate hunt.
He meticulously fills out the paperwork. He scans and makes hard and soft copies of what he sends. He even puts the estimated date to receive his money on our family calender.
Fine. Good. I applaud him.
But why is it so much harder for me to pull this feat of skill and daring off?

Recently I was offered a deal on my annual contact lens purchase. I'd get $30 off my total purchase...IF I bought 4 extra boxes. My oldest son also has contacts and there was a different rebate form and rules etcetera for "his" special rebate.
I had to purchase "8" boxes for his prescription, but at least he'd be set for a year.
Fine. Good. I'm patting myself on the back for my super savings potential.
Contacts are expensive, but I like them. So does my son.

I get home ready to immediately take care of this and get it in the mail.
I pull out the ream of paperwork involved and the receipts and the "official" rebate slips that "Can Not be photocopied" and learn I must mutilate the actual boxes of contacts to send in box tops with my sons rebate, and not the UPC codes. But on mine, I must cut out the UPC codes not the box tops.

So imagine my surprise...I'm sitting at my desk with the oodles of paper work stacked up to my ears containing the microscopic boxes to fill in and I'm reading along with the microscopic fine print on how to redeem the afore mentioned rebates when I discovered a flaw in my savings plan. There is a criteria regarding when we had our eye exams.
What? Why should that matter?
But it does.

I wouldn't have purchased a total of 12 boxes of contacts if I'd known I was 8 days away of being eligible for a full rebate due to the date of my contact lens exam.
I'll still get a little money out of this rebate debacle, but honestly, it barely covers my effort in this endeavor. I had to find scissors for heaven's sake. Then I had to find tape to reattach the little box top tab I'd inadvertently cut off. I had to look for an envelopes, stamps and return labels. I had to highlight purchase dates, and quantities bought and money spend. Plus, remember the microscopic form I had to fill out? I had to print really little letters.
And for what?
Half of what I was expecting.
Fine. Great. I'm never doing this again. I'll leave rebates to my computer geek husband. He's better at it anyway. :)

Thoughts? Experiences?
Are you a Rebate lover?
Convince me, because I'm no longer one.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Spa Day? Yes or No

I LOVE going to spas for relaxation and pampering. I've been to a couple of local places near my house and there are fabulous full-body massages, facials, and pedicures to be had.

About a year ago, I went to one place I'll call Spa A with my mother-in-law and we each had a facial done. Spa A was lovely. The atmosphere at the spa itself was the very definition of relaxation.

We were shown to the ladies locker room and given a locker where we stowed our personal things under lock and key. We were issued snuggly robes and nice sandals. We were then put in a comfortably furnished soothing room to wait while they readied the place for our selected spa treatment.

Also available, while we waited for our personal masseuse to fetch us, was tea, coffee, and a delightful selection of cookies. We decided to wait until after our treatment to partake in the goodies.

The facial was very nice. I’d never had one before so I guess I’m not exactly a great judge, but I really enjoyed the experience. My face and shoulders were massaged, steamed and slathered with various youth inducing products meant to cleanse and refresh me. It worked. I was very refreshed, cleansed and relaxed at the end of my treatment.

Fast forward to a year later. This time I was with my mom. We decided to indulge ourselves with a holiday treat and have full-body massages.

Sigh. The mere mention of massage treatment makes me relax a notch.

This year’s spa day was magnificent. Again we went to Spa A and both had 50 minutes full body massages and I added on a pedicure because I was in desperate need. I’d have to say this was the single best massage I’ve ever had in my life.

My masseuse was amazing and by the time she got to my neck and shoulders towards the end of the time, she had me so relaxed, I fell asleep. Shocking because I’ve never done that before. I’ve had massages in my past and I’ve been very relaxed during them, but I’ve never fallen asleep. Especially while resting on my back. Sigh.

Now I also visited a place recently that I’ll call Spa B. It was a very nice place with similar amenities. A locker room, robes sandals etc. A quiet room to wait. It didn’t have any tea, coffee or cookies, but they had water which is probably better for me anyway. They had a few current issues of beauty magazines to peruse while waiting for my next spa treatment. It was very nice.

At Spa B I had a massage followed by a facial. It was a holiday special and the price was perfect. I enjoyed both sessions very much and yet I think given the choice I’d go back to Spa A.

I can’t put my finger on why. Both places were very similar in amenities and space and atmosphere. Is it loyalty?
Do I secretly feel that since I enjoyed Spa A, I shouldn’t be lured away to Spa B with a good deal on massage prices?

Do you like spa days? I’ve heard that some people don’t care for it and I’m completely stunned by this. If I could afford it, I’d go every day.

Actually, that’s what I plan to do if I ever make big money in writing. Or even average money. For now I write and put the money in an account for my kids college education.

Later on when my children are gone from my financial support, I have no doubt that I’ll write to sustain my addition to spa day full-body massages. I’m thinking about luring my husband into this den of relaxation too.

So my question today is Spa Day: yes or no?
And if the answer is no, why not?
Explain it to me.
I just don’t understand how anyone wouldn’t enjoy this experience. ;)

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Mistletoe Mistake coming Tomorrow...

Blind Date After Dark 3
The Mistletoe Mistake

By Lara Santiago

Erica Porter's new job might be her last. Kissing your married boss has a way of getting you fired. But the man under the mistletoe isn't who he seems and as their relationship grows, so do the secrets. How much longer will she have to pay for her mistletoe mistake?

Quentin Thorne has successfully avoided getting caught under the mistletoe for the bulk of his adult life without regret. However, his brother's new employee is about to change his views on Scandinavian legend.

Sensuality Rating: SCORCHING
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Length: 19,000 words

"Have you ever been on a blind date? Chicken that I am, I never went on one so now I explore the concept of blind dates and their infinite possibilities in my writing. Hope you enjoy my vivid imagination in the Blind Date After Dark series." ~ Lara ~

Check it out.


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Monday, December 08, 2008

Sex Or Suffer Releases Today!

Dark Colony 1
By Lara Santiago

Devastated to discover she harbors the SOS virus, medical researcher, Dr. Penelope Drake hires Captain Gray Wyckoff to take her across the galaxy to the cure on Parsec Five. As Penelope fights for a permanent remedy to cure this monstrous disease, the deplorable question in her mind repeats: How did she contract the virus in the first place?

Captain Gray Wyckoff burns every bridge he's ever built to get Penelope there, only to find she can't deliver the payment she's promised. Serving as her temporary sexual cure along the way only adds to his feelings of betrayal. He thought he loved her. Now he's not sure he can forgive her. Love her? Leave her? The choice between sex or suffering has never been so hard to make.

Especially when he has to watch her have sex with another man.

Sensuality Rating: SCORCHING
Genre: Erotic Sci-Fi Romance, Multiple Sex Partners
Length: 71,322 words

"Being a romantic at heart, my favorite stories are those where love is discovered between a hero and heroine and the ultimate struggles they face to be together. Why then would a woman decide to sleep with two different men? That provocative question began this book and my answer came in the form of a virus called Sex or Suffer. Enjoy." ~ Lara

To purchase Sex Or Suffer E-Book CLICK HERE

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

REC Awards...I won.

The REC awards were announced yesterday and I've won a couple of them.
I know, I'm as shocked as you are, but I am so grateful.
Thanks to the person who nominated me, I appreciate it very much. :)

Check out the list of winners HERE.

I won two categories:

Erotic Romance - Sci-fi/ Fantasy AUTHOR OF THE YEAR
Lara Santiago

Erotic Romance - Sci-fi/ Fantasy NOVEL OF THE YEAR
Menagerie - Lara Santiago

My friend Wendi won for:

Erotic Romance - Interracial/Multicultural Short Story of the year
Wendi Darlin – Rough and Ready

Erotic romance - Contemporary BEST SEDUCTION
Hired Hands – Wendi Darlin

Sweet Romance - Contemporary BEST FEMALE CHARACTER
Cassidy - Water Bearer

Sweet Romance - Contemporary NOVEL OF THE YEAR
Water Bearer - Wendi Christner

Sweet Romance - Contemporary COVER OF THE YEAR
The Water Bearer

And a few other Siren-BookStrand authors also won:

Erotic Romance - Paranormal ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Jenny Penn

Erotic Romance - Interracial/Multicultural ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Jami Davenport

Erotic Romance - Contemporary Rookie of the Year
Bekki Lynn

Congratulations to us all!
Thanks so much.

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