The world didn’t end… so what now?

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

My children and I had fun yesterday, planning an “End of the World” party. The plans included popcorn, disaster movies and staying up late.

As the evening ticked on, they decided they didn’t want to watch disaster movies and we nixed the popcorn.  The family consensus was to watch a rerun of Doctor Who. After all, the world couldn’t end if The Doctor was still fighting for us, right?

One by one, the kids wandered off to bed, secure in the knowledge that Santa would stop by our house on Christmas Eve and tomorrow was right on schedule.

So what now?  Wide awake on the eve of Armageddon and the kids fast asleep…  that familiar pesky question popped up:  “What if?”

Changeling Press authors and readers are tempted every week with a “Flash Fiction Challenge.”  A theme is announced, 100-150 words. This week is Armageddon. What or who would you do if the world was ending?

What would I do? How would I want to spend my last few minutes?

 

 

You Matter

We stood still, looking at the brilliant streaks of light shooting through the sky. At any other time it would be a novelty. Tonight, it foreshadowed the end of the world. Catastrophic collision, meteors, it all ran together in a confusion of doom.

“Tony, I can’t just stand here waiting for the end. Take me home.”

He took my hand and led me back to our house. The white picket fence we’d so painstakingly put up last spring surrounded us with a false sense of serenity as we passed through the gate.

“Wait! What…?”  His low chuckle rumbled against my ear as he swept me off my feet and carried me over the threshold.  “Didn’t we already do this once?”

“It’s never too late to have a second honeymoon.”

“Did you forget the end of the world stuff?”

“Honey, you *are* my world. When I’m with you, nothing else matters.”

__________________________________________

 

It’s been an interesting year with many challenges, tragedies, rewards and discoveries.  Just remember that YOU matter.

The fact that you exist and participate in this wild, wacky world of ours is a miracle that only you can perform.  So whether the world ends tomorrow or pulses on for a millennium more, you matter more than you’ll ever know.  Thank you for being a part of my world, and I hope in some small way that I’ve been a part of yours.

~ Cassidy McKay
http://www.cassidymckay.com

 

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If you had only seconds to live…what would your last words be?

I write romance. I admit that I’ve been lifelong romance-junkie. I love the long, seductive glances, the tentative touches, and the tingle just from being with that one special person. The lazy days lounging under a leafy tree on a blanket, those wonderful nights of loving… who could resist spending all that time falling in love, being in love, or rediscovering love?

But a few days ago, I saw something on the news that made me think about those deliciously decadent days a little differently.

Passengers on an airplane mid-flight were startled when a loud explosion sounded above their heads. A large hole had been blown in the side of the airplane just behind the cargo bins, and they could see the sky through it. Oxygen masks dropped and the plane set immediately into a deep dive. Many of the passengers assumed they had only moments to live before the plane went down.

One man on board texted his wife from his phone, saying something like: “Plane going down. Love you.”

As the wife of a man who travels for business occasionally, just the thought of receiving a text like that sends chills down my spine. Then I thought of what I would say in those few moments if I had the chance.

What would you say if you could only send on short text to someone in your last moments? Would it be something loving? A bit of twisted revenge against an enemy? Something romantic and memorable? Something funny for them to remember your humor?

I would like to say I’d think of something so profoundly moving, humorous and memorable that I’d be memorialized in stories of love forever. But in those precious few seconds of panic, how many of us could realistically come up with something even semi-coherent, let alone something that would inspire those we’d left behind?

I’m afraid mine would probably be something more mundane, like: “Don’t forget to feed the kids.”

Simple Pleasures

A good friend of mine gave me a beautiful reminder this morning, one that in the hustle and bustle of the season I’d forgotten.  If I’m to be brutally honest, I’d forgotten it long before that.  In the hurry of deadlines, the rush of last-minute due dates and children and babysitters, school and homework, husband and promotions, this one little thing slipped from my existence.  And this little thing?  It’s big…really big.

Remember the simple things.

I’m rushing to get presents, get a Christmas tree down from the attic and up, clean the house, bake cookies, get dinner made, plan for holiday parties, etc.  But thinking back to my childhood, what do I remember most about the holidays?

  • A story read in front of a picture window.
  • Handmade gifts I received that weren’t worth much monetarily, but priceless in the thought and effort that went into each gift.
  • Seeing the joy on the faces of those who appreciated the little gifts I made them.
  • Stringing popcorn for the wonky little Christmas tree
  • Singing carols with my brothers on the organ as my older brother played.
  • At the big family gatherings, I remember:
    • welcoming new babies from the past year
    • reminiscing over family who had passed away
    • commiserating over silly things while doing dishes.
    • amazement over how cousins had grown and changed, then as years passed, their children and grandchildren.

The things I remember and appreciate weren’t the things that I am stressing over now, nor are they the things that cost the most or were the latest ‘have-to-have-fad’.  They were a knit dress my mother bought me second hand, which I wore until it was threadbare and wouldn’t stretch any more, then it went on my dolls to dress them in love.  A little knit lamb (Lambie) that finally lost its fight against time.  The last Christmas I had with my mother when I was eight, and all the Christmases since with the rest of my family.  The crocheted blanket I made my then father-in-law that ended up so huge it could have passed for a carpet, was gratefully received and treasured.  The first Christmases with each of my children, and making patchwork stockings for each of them.  Holding hands with my husband and feeling that little tingle, even after all these years.

I don’t remember if the turkey was dry, or if the potatoes weren’t quite done, or if the decorations were perfectly spaced.  Or if there was apple pie instead of pumpkin, tablecloths or sheets, china or paper plates. Those things are fleeting and don’t matter in the long run.

“Look for the pictures in the clouds.”

This is what my friend reminded me of.  Those days laying in the yard on a blanket with the kids, pointing out pictures in the clouds and laughing at each others’ imaginations.  Squinting into the light to try and see the fluffy animals and fierce dragons through the eyes of the person next to you.

Simple things.  The laughter of a child, the warmth of a small body snuggling next to you, the excited voice of an imagination sparked with promise.  I’d forgotten in my headlong rush for improvement, completion, and production, that it isn’t what you’ve accomplished, how rich you become, or how successful you have been, if you pass by the things that are the most precious to reminisce about.

Today, while I didn’t look at the clouds with my kids (it was still cold and wet from all the storms), we played games and drew funny stories on the computer with a graphics pad while they did homework.  We made it fun.  It went by quickly and without complaints, and hopefully it will remain in their memories as one of the fun things of their childhood and school.  I know it will remain a favored memory of mine.

Thank you, Jax, for reminding me of the things that matter.  Including good friends who will kick you in the butt when you need it.

Happy Holidays everyone, and I hope you remember to make memories that you’ll cherish forever.

This blog post is dedicated to my Aunt Annabelle, who passed away this afternoon after a long battle with Alzheimers.  I will always remember her as the fun, quirky aunt who could spin yarn from sheep’s wool, whip up a huge family get together in nothing flat, and who appreciated the things in life that really mattered.  Safe journey, dear woman.  Your time here will be cherished by all who remain.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Why do the majority of romance novels feature handsome, muscled hunks and thin, beautiful women?  From some people I’ve heard that they want to escape into fantasy…these type of people are the ‘media ideal’ which most people don’t have and fantasize about.

Sinful Temptations by Cassidy McKayDo you fantasize about these types of people?  Or do you want to read romances about ‘real’ people? People who don’t fit the media’s image of perfection?

I have to admit, I love the ‘fantasy’ as much as anyone else.  I like looking at pretty people, but when I daydream about jumping on the nearest hunk-o-the-month, I’m not dreaming about the media ideal of a man.  I’m dreaming about a guy with a little extra ‘real estate’ and some salt and pepper on top.

Does that surprise you?

Outside beauty is so fleeting. It is the beauty inside that makes the person romantic, full of character, and ultimately someone we are compatible with for more than just a one night stand.

In writing, it can be all about the fantasy, or we can pull elements of real life into the equation and weave a more realistic and ultimately more believable story that drags us in kicking and screaming, and doesn’t let us go until it has wrung every ounce of emotion out of us, leaving us satisfied and wanting more.

So what yanks your chain? Is it the fantasy of that which is unattainable and transient? Or is it the reality of someone you could meet on the street or in the grocery store tomorrow, who might sweep you off your feet and give you that ‘happily ever after?’

A quick excerpt from Variance: The Countdown – Urban Fantasy

The Countdown is available now at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

Hot alpha males, evil shapeshifters, strong women, and the fight to save the world. Variance: The Countdown is available now at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

If you enjoy shapeshifters, danger, kick-ass heroines and hot alpha heroes, intrigue and suspense, check out the first book of the Variance series!

 
**Currently #4 on the Best Seller’s list at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid!** 
 
What do you get when you mix:

A sadistic Sarion shapeshifting prince, determined to steal a woman to breed…

AND

A yummy alpha male hell-bent on saving the one woman destined to be his mate

WITH

A kick-ass heroine who takes matters into her own hands…and then cuts it off?

You get the perfect blend of passion, suspense, murder, desire, mystery and mahem! The Countdown has begun. In order to save Wynne from the evil Sarion, Brent must put his own life in danger to save his mate.

But can he convince Wynne that she is his mate? Can he save her from the hoards of shape-shifting monsters who are after her?

 
——————————————————————————————————————–
 
The sound of glass breaking jolted Wynne out of a sound sleep. Her heart leapt up into her throat, lodging there until she remembered that breathing sometimes required effort. She listened, trying to figure out where the sound had come from, and heard quiet cursing coming from the bathroom next door to her bedroom. It was Brent.

Wynne opened the door to her bedroom, cringing as the hinges squeaked. Damn, I have to remember to oil those! Tiptoeing down the hallway, the light coming from behind the partially opened bathroom door spilled out like fresh milk from a dropped carton. The cursing coming from inside, however, had obviously spoiled.

“Brent, are you ok?” She asked quietly.

She heard more cursing, as well as something heavy falling against the door slamming it shut.

“Hey, are you ok? Do I need to call someone?”

“No, I’m fine. Do you have any tweezers anywhere?”

“Tweezers? What do you want with tweezers? Are you going to pluck your eyebrows?” She laughed.

“No, I need something to get this glass out of my foot; I can’t get a good hold of it with my fingers.”

“Glass? What did you do? What happened? Open that door and let me in there, I know some first aid, and I can help.” Wynne tried the door, which was unlocked, but blocked by an immovable object.

“Brent, open this door right now! You might be here to fight the bad guys, but this is my house and what goes on inside it is my business!” Wynne yelled at the closed door, willing it telepathically to open. Yet again, the abilities she didn’t have failed. The door remained closed.

“Please?” She tried again.

The door opened slowly, and Wynne gasped at the amount of blood on the floor and counter in the bathroom.

“Sorry about the mess; I’ll clean it up in a bit.”

“Brent, what happened?”

“Your damned cat, that’s what happened!” He complained, pressing a cloth against the bottom of his foot.

“George? What did George have to do with your foot? Don’t tell me he tried to bite it off? I’ve had to talk with him before about eating strange men.”

“He got in my way, yowling at me in the kitchen. I tripped over him, and dropped the glass I was carrying. Some of it ended up in my foot when I tried to keep my balance and not fall on your idiotic cat! Lucky for him, I think I missed him for the most part.”

Wynne’s eyes got huge as she ran out of the bathroom towards the kitchen, calling George’s name and leaving the bleeding man cursing contrary women and their cats.

“HEY! What about me?” He yelled after her.

Wynne came back down the hallway from the kitchen, carrying an indignant George upside down in her arms, crooning to him with baby talk.

“What a poor kitty you are. Did that bad man hurt you? Is my little Georgie-worgie ok? He just doesn’t understand that you like your midnight snack, does he? He comes into your house and tromps all over you. Did you get any glass in your feet, Sweetie? Oh, what a poor kitty.”

“Oh my God, you’ve got to be kidding! Here I am, almost bleeding to death all over your floor because of that damned animal, and you’re worried that he might be hurt?”

“Well, of course. I didn’t know how badly you might have injured him when you tripped on him. Obviously you only care for your own well-being, but George here only has me to count on, and care for him if he gets hurt.”

“Okay, I guess that makes sense, at least on your part. Can you help me get this glass out of my foot now that you’ve assured yourself that George still has a couple of lives left to him? I’ve only got the one, and I’d hate to bleed it out all over your pretty white bathroom floor here.

Wynne watched the blood soaking into the cloth he had placed on his foot, and put George down after petting him one last time. She washed her hands, and retrieved the tweezers from the drawer. She noticed something else, now that she wasn’t occupied with saving her cat’s life.

Brent’s pants were undone. Not just the button at the top of the jeans, but all the way undone, and slipping low on his hips. He was shirtless, and the muscles that his shirt had hinted at before stood out in stark definition under the harsh bathroom light. His chest hair spread across the muscles, and led down his stomach, pointing the way down into his loosened jeans. All the way towards what looked to be a huge surprise.

With a gulp, she redirected her eyes and thoughts, looking for antiseptic and bandages.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital for this, Brent? I know first aid, but if you need stitches, I’m just not the sewing type.”

“No, it’s not that bad, and if I can just get the glass out of it, I think it should be fine. If it needs stitches, we’ll take care of that then.”

Wynne bent down, taking the bloodied cloth off his foot. “Can you bend it up here a little bit so I can see underneath it?”

He lifted his foot, crossing it over his other leg so she could reach the bottom of it. She poured some warm water over it to wash away the blood, catching it in a small basin she set underneath. Looking at the cut, Wynne saw a small slice, with a piece of glass embedded in it. She poured disinfectant into the wound and over the tweezers, and then dug into his foot to grab hold of the glass.

“Stop jumping, will you? How am I supposed to get hold of it if you keep moving?”

“I didn’t ask you to do surgery on me, woman. Especially not without anesthesia! What are you using, anyways? A pry bar?” Brent jumped again as she hit a tender spot.

“Oh, stop being such a baby! Goodness sakes, for such a big, strong man, you don’t have much tolerance for pain, do you?” She glanced up at him, her gaze only going so far as his undone pants. They’d slipped just a little lower while she had been working.

Brent cleared his throat loudly. Her gaze jumped up to his face, and the smirk there mortified her. Oh great, just what I wanted to be caught staring at!

Wynne firmly grasped it and pulled, watching it slide out slowly, the fluids welling up at the tip. It was longer than she thought. And much wider at the base than what it first appeared to be.

“Finally! I thought you’d never get it out of there. It was really starting to hurt” he complained at her tardiness.

“If you hadn’t kept distracting me, I would have pulled it out much sooner.”

Wynne dropped the piece of glass she’d pulled out of his foot and after putting antiseptic on it, she placed a bandage over the top, finishing up her sojourn into the First Aid field for the night. “There you go, you’re as good as new, and it doesn’t look as if you’ll need stitches. Try not to step on any more glass tonight, will you?”

Romantic Games… anyone want to play?

Sexy and romantic games in the bedroom can add spice to your life!

Sexy and romantic games in the bedroom can add spice to your life!

Bringing sexy or romantic games into the bedroom… is it worth it?  While it is always up to the individual couple to decide, some of these games can spark up the old romance when things get a little stale, or help you break the ice in a new sexual relationship.

Imagine an upcoming Valentine’s Day…

A romantic meal, candlelight, soft music, lingerie, maybe some champagne or wine, and a brightly wrapped present sitting conspicuously on a table.  Your sweetie opens the present to find a special sexy game that you’ve picked out for the two of you.

Intrigued, he or she opens it up, and the fun begins…

Many of these games direct you to do specific sexual or romantic things (which can always be substituted, if it is sm550603_14518034something you’re not interested in or willing to try).  Some have you write down your fantasies before the game, introducing your own wishes and quirks into your romantic play.  This may be a fun way to introduce something to your partner that you’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t quite know how to bring the subject up.

Whichever game you may decide to try, make sure that it is something that won’t make you or your partner *too* uncomfortable (a little discomfort might heighten the anticipation). 

Where can you find adult games like these?  You can usually find them in lingerie shops or adult stores and the like, but many people find it difficult to walk into these.

The Internet has many places to purchase adult games discreetly.  I’ve listed a few sites below for you to check out that stock adult games (be aware, some of these are VERY adult games… while some are just fun, sexy and romantic games). 

http://store.sextoy.com/search.php?a=sextoycom&ser_key=games
http://www.adultsexygames.com/
http://www.adultsextoys.com/sextoys/start/category.html?a=ast&tf=games
http://pleasurists.com/ (has reviews of some games)

There are many many many more sites out there, just do a search for what interests you!

Enjoy yourself and plan a sexy Valentine’s Day!

Anticipation is Sexy!

Romantic Candles leading to a rendevous

Romantic Candles leading to a rendevous

Imagine getting a text message or a phone message in the middle of a busy day at work…

“Romance awaits… follow the trail when you get home.”

Hmm.  Interesting.  Wonder what he’s got up his sleeve this time? 

Work is busy.  Too busy to contemplate much on the message until break time.  Then the brain starts working overtime.  What does he mean, romance awaits?  Did he buy me a romance novel?  Is he feeling a little randy and waiting in the bedroom with a trail of clothes leading the way?  Did he draw me a bubble bath surrounded by scented candles?

After a long day at work and the anticipation of a romantic surprise, home is finally in sight.  A small note on the door directs me to follow the candles.  Opening the door, all is dark, except for a small pool of light surrounding a candle.  Next to the candle is a rolled scroll of parchment wrapped in a deep red ribbon.  Upon opening it, a poem of love and romance.  Beautiful.

Looking around, the next candle beckons further into the house, flickering gently.  Next to this, another rolled scroll again wrapped with a ribbon.  Inside, another lovely poem of longing and beauty. 

Another candle in sight pulls me into the living room.  Another scroll.  Another poem.  I believe there were some roses in there somewhere, too…

All eventually leading into the master bedroom where a candle lights a small area on a tall dresser.  Next to this, a small white teddy bear holding a red heart pillow.  On top of the pillow…  an engagement ring!

Valentine’s Day was never so romantic or beautifully thought out, and the anticipation of romance fulfilled so well.  So start thinking of what you can do this upcoming Valentine’s Day.  Plan ahead.  It doesn’t need to cost a thing.   Romance your lover with anticipation…and let your imagination soar.

And my answer to this wonderfully inventive and romantic proposal from the lovely poet?  A resounding YES!