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Cochins



COCHINS

These wonderful, big fluffy chickens are perfect brooders. I've taken eggs from other hens, and given them to these Cochin mamas, and they smother them with love until they hatch, and then are some of the most attentive mothers a baby chick could have, even doing battle with some of my randy roosters and other hens looking to damage their young.
Cochins were imported to England from China in about 1845. Queen Victoria was given a pair as a gift, and, until then, were only found in the orient. Raised by royalty, and, just like the Panda, they were rarely seen outside of the mainland.
Well, someone in England figured it out, and soon chicks were hatching and were presented to important persons by the Queen, who was said to be very pleased with her little brood. They were all the rage. Until they figured out what they would do to gardens. When Cochins go after things, like roses, peonies, lavender and even rosemary, well it's not a pretty sight. My chickens even ate all my asparagus roots, rhubarb, artichoke and yes, horseradish. One chicken can do a lot of damage to a well-tended garden, in spite of the fact that they eat almost their weight in snails, slugs, bugs per week.
I have one golden feathered one, like on the left, several black ones, and one blue Cochin, really a beautiful silvery grey color.
Now why would I bring up Cochins on my stop at C on the blog tour? Yesterday, as a matter of fact, one of my Cochins was beside herself, clucking, looking for an egg she probably thought got eaten or stolen by another hen. She was grumpily pecking all the other hens in the yard while she continued to search for it, having conducted a thorough review of the henhouse.
I only know this because of what happened next. Normally this very sweet hen is no problem, but I knew she was miffed about something.
When she turned around, I saw her egg had gotten stuck in her feathers, and she was wearing it, carrying it around the yard while she told everyone else about her distress. She couldn't feel it, couldn't see it, so it had disappeared.
I laughed when I thought how often I have been clucking around about something, you know the drill, the muttering under the breath, sure someone else had done something to cause me this distress, only to later find out I did it to myself all by myself!
And how many times did I not listen to advice or feedback, or pay attention in a craft class or workshop, and suffer for it later on?
When I removed the brown egg from her feathers, I showed Ms. Cochin her progeny. She looked at it, pecked it, and then went on and I never heard another cluck all afternoon. Even chickens can be enlightened with the right teacher.
Who knew?

Anytime Now: Success


I'm ready for it. I've prepared my whole life for a successful writing career. Unlike anything before, the measurement tools are complicated, the standards are illusive. I've written my 1,000,000 words Stephen King says we have to do to get good. I've finished several full length novels, written as much as 92,000 words in 30 days, and edited more than I care to remember (until my eyes crossed). I've re-written one book 43 times in the first 10 chapters.

I have rejections. I have new friends. I have people laughing at me that I even consider writing as a career. I have people cheering me on. I've loved chapters I've had to cut. I've killed off a whole bunch of bad guys. I've created a bunch of new beings like my half vampire half angel Gideon. I've dated my hero and made him real. I'm guilty of driving around in my car with my favorite music up full blast. I chose the reality of my own fantasy life.

Heck, I'm doing this blog at midnight and not missing my sleep!

It's coming. Anytime now. The novel called Best Selling Author is about to be launched.
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Something Tasty This Way Comes



Jimmy Thomas Interview This is a reprint of a guest post I did last November. I thought I’d bring you a tasty treat – something to keep you warm on those cold nights. Well, for those of you down under, something to think about as you sit on the beach and drink your bubbly. I interviewed romance novel model Jimmy Thomas, who has graced over 1000 book covers, on his way to obliterating the competition. He is not only a model, but is a personal trainer, an actor, and has studied extensively and competed in several martial arts disciplines. I wanted to present a different glimpse of the man, his passions, and some funny stories about his photo shoots. What do you look for in a woman? JT: Confidence, sincerity, non-jealous, respect, beauty. I want someone who takes care of herself internally (eats healthy) and externally (exercise or is active in something physical), who is passionate, someone who loves animals and children. I love women who are fun, adventurous, spontaneous, easy going, down to earth, a bit tomboyish. Prefer a Cancer, Scorpio or a Virgo… my most compatible zodiac signs Would you consider dating an older woman? JT: About 50% of the women I date are older than me What would be your max age difference? JT: It’s not about age, it’s about maturity, how well they take care of themselves, how we get along, if we have great conversations, etc. What would a date with you involve?

JT: Depends on the date, could be dinner and a movie, a day at a theme park, hiking, camping, a picnic, or cuddling up to a movie rental and a bottle of wine. What type of covers/photo shoots do you enjoy doing most? JT: Sensual and Erotica. They have the most passion in them. I’m VERY passionate and love it when a woman expresses her passion in the physical form and facial expressiveness. What do you like to read and why? JT: My emails, lol. I read only one book throughout high school (Old Man And The Sea), just to see if I could finish. I read Jurassic Park before the movie came out–was hounded over and over again by a friend that I read it. I thought it was GREAT. I’ve never had the patience for reading though. I’d much prefer watching a movie made from the book instead. I read books when I’m on a plane. I’m so busy now with my career, I don’t have leisure time to pick up a book and start reading it cover to cover. I nibble on them. What are your favorite movies, TV shows, types of music, etc? JT: Action adventure, sci-fi blockbuster thriller movies! For TV… House, Chuck, Two And A Half Men and True Blood. I DVR and watch them when I can. For music, anything upbeat, full of energy, high/fast-paced, dance-type music. Music like that motivates and energizes me.
What’s the most erotic cover you’ve ever done? JT: MANY! Sexathon, Whenever We Meet, Simmering Seductions, A Christmas Interlude, Afterlife, many, many more! Were you ever embarrassed about taking your clothes off, or nearly naked? JT: During a photo shoot? Embarrassed no, shy? Yes. Sexiest song? JT: Chris Isaac’s “Wicked Game”
How did you get started? JT: My sister did a few photo shoots that came out great and she suggested I should as well. I thought “Hmmm???… Nah!” My ex-girlfriend taught Taekwondo and cardio kickboxing classes and we ran into each other. I was heavy into weight-lifting, mentioned that I wanted to lean-up but hated cardio, and she suggested I take her cardio kickboxing classes. I thought “Hmmm???… Nah!” Then I was out at a night club and the most gorgeous woman I had ever seen in my life (still to this day), walked up to be with a huge smile, (I instantly looked behind me to see who she was looking at, lol…) and her first words were, “Tell me you model?!?!?” I chuckled, looked behind me again, and said “Ahhh, no. Why?” She said, “You need to and should!” We hit it off, began dating. She fell in love with me but, for some strange reason, I couldn’t fall in love with her… bad timing I guess *shrugs*. But, her suggesting, or rather insisting, that I model, had me take my ex’s cardio kickboxing class to lean up. I shot with my sister’s photographer, and that is where it all began What is your favorite cover–? Why? JT: This changes almost monthly as new covers come out (I’m currently on about 30 new covers each week). Initially, my favorite cover was my first one Solar Heat, then Seducing The Sheriff, Lucas. There have been so many I really liked, but recently I was sent Carly & the New Foreman which blew me away. A few more that really stood out: Love Immortal, Who’s Been Sleeping in Her Bed, Tatiana, Solstice Seduction, Dying Assassin and Araton’s Destiny. There are so many more between the beginning and now, and I know there will be plenty more. Just like how we all had a favorite movie in high school. May not be our favorite movie now, but it is still in your “favorites” category. I could never have just one favorite cover–I’ve been on nearly 800 covers. Have you ever been so turned on during a shoot you got an erection? How did you deal with it? JT: Only if/when a girl is um, groping my junk. Otherwise, my mind is so much on getting great images. I have to focus on us both being in our key lights, not shadowing each other. Our hand and arm placement being correct, our hair not being messed or blocking our faces, her hair length as well as mine always showing. Wardrobe not being wrinkled twisted or messed up. Our expressions being together, while still staying in a romantic, sensual, seductive, sexy character. There’s also stopping often as my photographer adjusts his lighting when we move into a different position. It’s not like we turn on a few lights in our direction and he just clicks non-stop as we do whatever we want. As for how did I deal with the times I have been aroused, I simply went with it and let her do what she wanted to do I’m single, who am I to stop her… she’s in character dammit! How many disciplines of martial arts do you study? What’s your favorite and why? JT: Kenpo Karate was my first and foremost style, but I’ve also studied Jujitsu, Shotokan, Taekwondo and Kickboxing, with Kenpo and Kickboxing being my favorites! What makes a sexy cover? Erotic cover? JT: Chemistry, passion, a strong and real connection between the two models. It’s not just posing in a position that looks hot. That chemistry can be shown in the facial expressions, in the body language, hand positioning, head tilts, etc. So many different variables make up great couples’ images… those variables I only give away to my co-models so that they do them What was your most romantic date? JT: Hmmm, how can I answer this on an “Erotic” blog? All my dates are romantic. I don’t label being romantic necessarily by specific things you do that are listed as romantic (romance 101 things). For me it is about how I converse with a woman, hold her, look at her, caress her, kiss her and move with her. These are the reasons why I am told I am romantic, as well as the little things I do; although those things are then seen more as sweet What makes a woman sexy? At any age? JT: Confidence! A woman who knows what she wants and voices it, expresses it. What about the male form is sexy, in your opinion? JT: Holding his sexiness in a great, confident posture. You could be thin and toned or big and broad, but if you stand and walk with sincere confidence, not arrogance, then you are very appealing to others. Can you share with us your hottest or raciest cover? Photo? JT: I guess that is in the eye of the beholder. Look on my facebook page in my Cover Albums for your favorite raciest cover (www.facebook.com/JimmyThomasDotCom), or through all my images on my stock image website www.RomanceNovelCovers.com. You tell me THE raciest photo of me is not publicly shown anywhere, nor will it be (Ed note: good answer, Jimmy. He’s such a politician.) Thanks,
Jimmy Thomas Jimmy Thomas Fitness, Print & Romance Novel Cover Model (794 covers)
NASM Certified Personal Trainer (since 1998)
Self Defense & Kickboxing Instructor (since 1992)
www.JimmyThomas.com www.RomanceNovelCovers.com www.modelmayhem.com/jimmythomas www.facebook.com/JimmyThomasDotCom
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End of A Love Affair

Somewhere in the green countryside, in the bucolic hills of Sonoma County, my car is dreaming. It hugs the road, as only a $70,000 car can. It has more horsepower for the dips and valleys than it has a right to. It owns the road. It owns the driver. It used to own me.

Not any longer.
I truly loved this car. I loved it the day I picked it out at the showroom. The faded blue fed my need to buy a car that wouldn't do well at resale. I wasn't going to re-sell it. I was going to keep it forever. Some day I was going to be a very spry senior citizen, driving her little antique sports car, hitting people with her cane when they touched it, unwilling to let anyone else drive it. Certainly no future grandson or daughter, God forbid. Maybe not my husband, if he didn't improve his driving habits and need for spine-tingling speed.
Sound system was superb. The stylish sporty chrome dials and buttons were specially designed for the AMG package. The dealer told me how wonderful the car was every time I took it in for service, that I should run the wheels off of it, that I should take it out, like a good racehorse and let it rip.
And I did. I explored the roads of Sonoma County, drove to and from Los Angeles a couple of times and did a trip up to Portland and Las Vegas. Fun to let your hair fly in the breeze. Suntan your face. Let them watch you go by in that one of a kind car, and say, “Wow. Look at her.”
In the process, I hit every pothole between here and LA, most of them in Northern California. I hit the parking barriers, even ran into the valet parking sign at the hospital the night my granddaughter was born, and nearly took the thing home with me. Twice the front low-lying bumper cost us $2900. I once had to duct tape it on my way home from a writer's meeting in the East Bay. Although the duct tape was metallic silver, it didn't quite match.
At a whopping 9,000 miles on it, new tires were needed. All around. It cost almost $1800. I've gone through four of those now. Sets. The front passenger seat sticks. The windshield cracked a month ago. The registration is due in April, for another $500. The services are at least $600 twice a year.
And I'm done.
Oh, this car has been fun, don't get me wrong. I've loved nearly every minute driving it. But we don't live in Germany where you can go 120 mph, and, with the state of our freeways, even if you could, it would be worth your life. One of the other beautiful cars I bought, about five years ago, the one I thought I would keep the rest of my life, my husband picked up from the dealer. Five minutes into his ride home on the freeway, he got rear-ended at 34 mph and what was once a sleek, beautiful 4-door sedan suddenly became a compact Peugeot – 70's style small. We didn't get to drive our “new” car for nearly two months. The 120-point owner education session had lasted twenty times his ride home that day.
So maybe God has been trying to tell me something. It's been a wonderful lover. But it makes me choose between my pocketbook and my ego. I could have it as a trophy lover, someone to parade around in front of everyone. But I kissed him goodbye.
Like an unfaithful lover, he wasn't worth the real cost of ownership. It's been one of the best things I've ever done for me.
Happy Valentine's Day.
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