#ManCandyMonday Mario Lopez

It’s the dimples. Okay, and the rocking hot bod! Mario has appeared on numerous television shows and commercials. He’s probably best known for his role as A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell. Mario has also written a fitness book, cookbook and a children’s book about himself and his baby daughter.

He’s just so totally cute and a worthy choice to heat up this very cold and miserable first day of spring.

Mario Lopez at 2014 ALMA Awards
By Richard Sandoval [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pound of Feathers or Lead? Serving Sizes Matter

As some of you may know from my Twitter and Facebook Posts, my goal for the New Year is to get healthier and lose weight. I’ve always stuck to an exercise regimen, but found that losing weight was just not happening in the past couple of years.

One thing that I had not done, as I had in the past, was limit my carbs. That was step one and wow, what a difference. Cutting back and substituting whole grain carbs has made a HUGE difference. It’s been just two weeks and I’ve lost 11 pounds.

The other thing I’m doing is being more conscious of serving sizes. Let’s face it, it’s tough to know what is a cup of anything and the last thing I want to do is to turn cooking dinner into a chemistry lab where I am busily measuring everything.

But serving sizes do matter and with that in mind, I laid out a tablespoon on the kitchen counter and took my plastic measuring cups to my office, where most of my mot egregious eating happens at lunch hour with my friends. The goal: make sure that the size of my portions was in keeping with the serving size so that I would know just how many calories I was eating!

But measuring cups and spoons are not always available, so how do you know when it’s one serving or more?

I’ve tracked down this excellent visual comparison from the people at the Food Network! Just click here to see how you can gauge just how many servings are in your portion!

My hardest one to judge is always meats. Now I know that of beef/chicken/pork looks like a deck of cards or my palm without my fingers (another good way to gauge). So how many ounces is in a meat serving? 3 ounces. If you’re eating fish, three ounces looks like the size of a checkbook.

If you’re going to have a larger portion (8 ounces) of meat, a serving is about the size of a thin paperback novel.

I hope this helps out if like me, you’re trying to implement a healthier lifestyle for the New Year.

Once Upon a #Romance Short, Fun & Flirty

ONCE UPON A ROMANCESeveral years ago, my fabulous friend Lois Winston had three short stories published in charity anthologies. The rights to these stories recently reverted to her and she’s taken these stories and one more and published them as an ebook. ONCE UPON A ROMANCE, Four Short Love Stories, is now available for Kindle, and should be available for Nook, Kobo, etc. within the next few days.

If you get a moment, please check it out and give it some some love with likes/tags, etc.

Or feel free to give a shout out like this:

ONCE UPON A #ROMANCE, 4 short, fun, flirty & heartwarming #love stories by Lois Winston 1.99 #Kindle http://ow.ly/gGwnj @anasleuth

And now for some additional Friday Fun, here is a “Red Band” trailer for Sandra Bullock’s new movie THE HEAT with the always funny Melissa McCarthy. “Red Band” means the clip is for mature audiences, so if you’re not over 17, please don’t watch. My family and I love the comment at the end about the engagement! Check it out.

If you can’t see the video below, you can click here!

Manic Monday, #Giveaway & Some Amazing #ManCandy!

It’s a wet, dreary and depressing Monday, but I hope I can get you up and going with this little video to get you feeling better! But first:

Join me today at Froggarita’s Bookcase for an interview and giveaway! Also visit with me at the Forever Romance Summer Book Club which kicks off with a behind-the-scenes look at the SIN HUNTER mythology in THE CLAIMED and an 8 pm chat with me, hosted by the wonderful Cynthia Garner.

But now, if this Man Candy from Down Under doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will! These Aussie footballers are stunning, but you’ll have to wait a minute or two until you can truly enjoy them. My favorite was John, how about you? He could be my Christopher any day!

And those accents. YUMMY! If you can’t see the video below, you can click here!

Summer’s Road by Kelly Moran

We’re really honored to have Kelly Moran with us today! Kelly is a dear friend and a fellow author. I am so lucky to have just received a copy of her wonderful book, SUMMER’S ROAD and can’t wait to start reading it. Leave a comment to win a copy of Kelly’s book and also to win a copy of an ARC for THE LOST.

Without further ado, here’s Kelly!

First of all, a huge thanks to Caridad for letting me intrude on her blog today. I’ve enjoyed her books for a long time, so this is an honor. I’m going to let Caridad pick one commenter to win a FREE eBook copy of my upcoming release, Summer’s Road, due out March 25th wherever books are sold. Feel free to also ask any questions you have.


After her father’s death, Summer Quinn realizes just how alone she feels in the world. With no family to fill her life now, she finds comfort among friends, but yearns for true love, contentment, and family. When her boyfriend, Matt, suggests they raise their relationship to a higher level, Summer jumps at the chance to get everything she’s always wanted. Only, she doesn’t expect the heat arising between her and her best friend, Ian – a man who never seems to settle down. A man the complete opposite of what she’s looking for. But when her estranged mother reappears after twenty-eight years, Summer’s world completely flips upside down. As secrets from her family’s past and Ian’s true feelings for her emerge, Summer’s now faced with choices she’s not sure she can make. The rest of her life’s happiness hinges on her confronting a past she’d rather deny and legitimately opening her heart to love, even if it’s not where she expected to find it.


Summer stepped onto the pier and gazed out over the ocean. Nighttime here was different than back home. There weren’t any city lights to disguise the stars. The ocean looked black, as dark as the sky above, so that across the horizon, she couldn’t tell where the sky ended and the water began. It was kind of like looking into heaven, like looking into the earth’s soul.

The drum of footsteps behind her broke her from her reverie. Turning, she saw Ian coming toward her. Shirtless, he hadn’t even bothered with the button on his jeans, he strode closer in bare feet with a bottle of wine in one hand and glasses in the other.

All she could think was how damn delicious he looked in the moonlight. Heat pooled in her belly and spread throughout her body like a wildfire. Ian Memmer. Not good.

“You shouldn’t be out here by yourself,” he said, pouring a glass of white wine and handing it to her, the look in his eyes saying it looks like you need this.

She took the glass from him and sipped before answering. “That’s the point, to be by myself.”

He raked a gaze over her. “And if you fell in?”

Maybe it was the moonlight. Maybe it was the call of the ocean. Whatever it was, something made her want to test the boundaries between them again. Matt or not. Friendship or not. Consequences be damned. “Then you’d save me. You always do.”

Again, a big thanks to Caridad for having me by. If interested, you can find trailers, reviews, my books, and more on my Web site at www.authorkellymoran.com, or my Blog at www.authorkellymoran.blogspot.com. I’m also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorkellymoran, Myspace at www.myspace.com/authorkellymoran, Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/authorkellymoran, and Twitter at www.twitter.com/authorkmoran.

Special July Contests!

We’re having not one, but two Jersey Shore Sin Hunter Summer Goody contests during the month of July!

Come down the shore with me for Christmas in July with my wonderful friends at Fresh Fiction.

Jersey Shore SIN HUNTER Summer Goody Contest!From July 5 to July 26th you can enter the Jersey Shore SIN HUNTER Summer Goody contest to win a $25 B&N Gift Card, Autographed copy of SINS OF THE FLESH and SIN HUNTER Summer Goody bag which includes a STRONGER THAN SIN T-shirt & Tote bag, Jesse Bradford Rubber Football Ducky, Bath & Body Works Shower Gel, Mini-Beach Ball and Candy! Just click here for the contest or cut and paste this link in your browser: http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=2675

Join the fun at the Summer Beach Party with my amazing friends at Writerspace!

Register now for the July 18th event and a chance to win an assortment of prizes! If you’re lucky, you might win my prize which is:

STRONGER THAN SINAutographed ARC of STRONGER THAN SIN & SIN HUNTER Summer Goody bag which includes a STRONGER THAN SIN T-shirt & Tote bag, Jesse Bradford Rubber Football Ducky, Bath & Body Works Shower Gel, Mini-Beach Ball and Candy.

Click here to enter the 2010 Summer Beach Party Contest or cut and paste this link into your browser:

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What is the Bite on Vampires by Melissa Burmester

GingerHighWe’ve got a very special guest today – 15 year old author Melissa Burmester who is going to offer us her take on vampires!

Please welcome Melissa!

What is the Bite on Vampires? by Melissa Burmester

Everyone has their own opinion on how a vampire is expected to act and look. Some people think of a vampire as a horrid creature with huge blood dripping fangs and others say they are like normal people and live among us. When writing about vampires it is important to make the character appear “human” and “real”. This will give them more appeal.

The characteristics that most vampires have are:

  • 1. Vampires do not prey on just anyone they have a person they use as a “feeder” and when they get weak they always come back to them.
  • 2. They do not like to feed off children and animals.
  • 3. The vampires may keep some blood in the refrigerator in case their “feeder” is not available. It is usually hidden so no one can find it.
  • 4. Vampires have been around for many years and tend to move around from place to place. They also have a lot of money and can get anything they want.
  • 5. They are charming and look great. That makes them so appealing to us.
  • 6. Not all vampires drain blood from their victims. Some have the ability through magic to drain the person of their energy and liveliness.

So how do you kill or annoy them:

  • 1. Cut off their head or make them drink blood from a dead person.
  • 2. Garlic will never kill them. It just makes them very angry.
  • 3. The good old stake through the heart. I read that it only paralyzes them for a while and does not kill them.
  • 4. They do not burn or blow up when exposed to light. It may weaken them but they always recover.

So now that you know some of the characteristics of a vampire how do you write about them:

  • 1. You need to decide on the time period you want your novel to be in. Many of the novels are set in modern day or in the future. Some novels have flashbacks into the vampires past. I used this idea in my debut novel Ginger High.
  • 2. Never make the vampire seem dead or depressed. The character should blend in with the population. Make them appear mysterious and alive.
  • 3. It is important to surround the vampire with realistic details. This is important so the reader feels that they are able to connect with the vampire and the setting.
  • 4. A horror novel should have something horrifying in it. The vampire is always considered the bad guy and the human usually wins. Everyone likes the fangs that the vampires have. Incorporate them in the story.
  • 5. When naming a vampire always use a name that is appropriate for their age and character. They usually keep the name when they were alive.

I have given you a few tips on how to write about vampires. So go out and write your own bestseller. But the most important thing is that you have fun while doing it. The information that I provided was obtained from all the reading that I have done over the years. Have Fun.

About the Author:
Melissa Burmester is presently living in East Moriches, NY with her twin brother George, her parents and their cat Cosmo. Melissa has been writing about vampires and the supernatural since the age of twelve. She has written a few short stories, but “Ginger High” is her first novel. She is presently attending Westhampton Beach High School, and is in the tenth grade. She is planning a career as a writer and a teacher.