Monday, March 31, 2008

Four Angel Review for Love... By The Book!

I'm thrilled to report that Love... By The Book received a Four Angel review from Fallen Angel Reviews. This story asks the question: Can an ancient Hindu sex manual turn an arranged marriage into a love match?

"Love...By the Book is a scintillating mix of lust and sexual exploration. Lydia’s character has the typical ideals of the time period. Marriage is for convenience not for passion or love, no matter what she truly longs for on the inside. Evan is sexy, yet his character has a wonderfully tender side. Evan wants to learn to make Lydia enjoy marriage as much as he intends to. He shows her just how hot marriage can be. The two characters are white hot together. The sexual scenes are scorching. Ms. Lamont has done a very nice job of bringing a bit of the exotic into her writing. I look forward to reading more." - Dawnie, Fallen Angel Reviews

When I decided to write a story involving The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, I did some research and discovered that the book is almost 2,000 years old. Written in Sanskrit, it wasn’t translated and published in English until 1883 by the famous explorer, Sir Richard Burton. Once I’d decided to write a historical-set story, I found a copy of his translation and started reading. It's a fascinating mix of sexual instruction and advice on courtship, combined with quaint superstitions of the period in which it was written.

Hindu society of the time was patriarchal and some of the advice is ridiculous by today’s standards. People also married very young at the time, so I suppose it’s no wonder that the advice for how the woman should behave sounds very juvenile by today’s standards. In one section, Vatsyayana, who was a monk, actually recommends kidnapping the prospective bride if all else fails. Something my civilized English hero would never do. Still, some of the courtship advice is timeless.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Kama Sutra:

"The man who is ingenious and wise, who is accompanied by a friend, and who knows the intentions of others, as also the proper time and place for doing everything, can gain over, very easily, even a woman who is very hard to be obtained.”

"Says Ghotakamukha, 'Though a man loves a girl ever so much, he never succeeds in winning her without a great deal of talking.'"

“. . . the man should do whatever the girl takes most delight in, and he should get for her whatever she may have a desire to possess.”

Evan takes that advice to heart when he buys his bride a brand new piano and plans a honeymoon in the country rather than staying in the city.

Even though he was a monk, Vatsyayana had a romantic streak:

"If men and women act according to each other's liking, their love for each other will not be lessened even in one hundred years."

Love... By The Book was released by Amber Heat in November and is available at by electronic download at*

Linda / Lyndi

* Please note, this is erotic romance.


Friday, March 28, 2008

A Trip to the Chinese Garden

I can't believe I missed almost a week in my blogging. I'm late on a deadline, and updating the blog just didn't seem as important. However, I did finally get my pictures from Portland's Chinese Garden uploaded to my photo gallery at Piccassa.

The garden is lovely, an oasis of serenity in the midst of a modern city. Even though it was quite chilly that morning, my friends and I lingered, exploring every nook and cranny. A few plants were in bloom, including the camellias, but I'm sure it will be even prettier in a month or so.

The early March cold made my left hand, the one with tendonitis, cramp up, so I'm surprised I was able to take as many photos as I did. It would have helped if I'd been dressed more warmly and if I hadn't managed to temporarily misplace my thumb stabilizer. That didn't keep me from thoroughly enjoying the gardens though.

I'm adding a little slideshow here for your enjoyment.

What's your favorite garden? I always enjoy the one at the Huntington Library.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Of Easter Eggs & Baskets

Did you know that decorated eggs predates Easter? The Ancient Persians painted eggs to celebrate Nowruz, their New Year celebration which begins on the first day of spring. The egg represented the rebirth of nature, i.e. fertility, a common cause for celebration in pagan cultures. Later the custom was adopted by Christians to celebrate Easter and the eggs came to represent the rebirth of man. For more on Nowruz, go to

As a child I remember my mom cooking hard-boiled eggs, then the two of us would color them. I was a de-facto only child, so Mom and I did a lot of things together. I do have an older brother, but we grew up separately. (My dad had two marriages and two only children.) One Easter my folks and I visited my brother and decorated eggs with his two chilren. My niece was pretty young at the time, perhaps 5 or 6, and in her enthusiasm to do th job, managed to crack every egg she picked up. On Sunday morning, we had the obligatory Easter egg hunt, then we had to leave to head back home. But we were delayed when my niece decided it was her turn to hide the eggs and let the adults hunt for them. Of course we found it impossible to say no. :)

I was in K-Mart this morning and I saw a lot of commercial Easter baskets available for sale. Maybe it's just me, but that seems to take the fun out of it. If I had kids or grandkids, I hope I'd still make the baskets myself. Finding things to put in them and putting the baskets together is part of the fun.

Do you still have Easter baskets at your house?


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Aries

Finally, we get around to my sun sign. :D

Today is the first day of spring, also known as the Vernal Equinox, and the day the sun enters Aries. Since Aries is the first sign, it's known as the baby of the Zodiac, which some astrologers take to mean Aries thinks he's the center of the universe. I don't like to take the "infant" analogy very far, though Aries Nikita Khrushchev did bang his shoe on a table at the U.N. when he wanted attention! However, I don't think people born under this sign are any more infantile or self-centered than other signs, but maybe I'm biased.

Aries' symbol is the Ram, its ruler is Mars, and it's a cardinal fire sign, so there's often nothing subtle about Aries, and women born under this sign are no exception. Consider Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. It's also interesting that the actresses who played Xena and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are both Aries. People born under the sign do kind of tend to go after what they want in a single-minded, head down, "damn the torpedoes" kind of way. It's a good thing the Ram has strong horns. Aries people can be headstrong, impulsive, and hot-tempered, but also warm-hearted, generous and idealistic.

Compatible signs include the other fire signs, Leo and Sagittarius, and the air signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. I married an Aquarian and it's a pretty good match. His rational calm keeps me from racing off the edge of a cliff, while my need to get out and go keeps him from falling into too much of a rut!

Famous people born under the sign of Aries include Otto Von Bismark, Marlon Brando, Charlie Chaplin, Russell Crowe, Sarah Michelle Geller, Harry Houdini, Thomas Jefferson, Ahley Judd, Lucy Lawless, Clare Booth Luce, Eugene McCarthy, Andrew Mellon, J. P. Morgan, Gloria Swanson, Vincent Van Gogh, Werner Von Braun and Tennessee Williams.

Linda / Lyndi

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Paddy's Day To All

I'm part Irish by heritage, but of the Northern, Protestant, "Orange", variety. When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, my mother and grandmother always insisted we should wear orange on St. Patrick's Day. Then we moved to Southern California and I quickly discovered that not wearing green on March 17th meant complete strangers would pinch you. I rarely made that mistake again.

I believe it was Sheridan who said Ireland was "the land of happy wars and sad love songs" and one of the things I love best about Ireland is the music. Not the Riverdance type so much as the pub music, especially the drinking songs and the rebel songs. I've long been a fan of the Irish Rovers, and The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. Before I could legally imbibe, I enjoyed songs like "The Moonshiner" and "Whiskey, You're The Devil". Irish folk songs are, by turn, lyrical, raucous, comical, tragic or irreverent.

No one with my romantic tendencies could resist songs about a glorious lost cause like the United Irish uprising of 1798 that attempted to unite Catholic and Protestant Irishmen to throw off the yoke of England. I'm happy so many of the recordings have been transferred to CD so I can still listen to them, whenever I feel the urge.

I do have one pet peeve though. I cringe every time I walk into a restaurant a see a sign advertising the "St. Patty's" specials. Patty is short for Patricia. The proper diminutive for Patrick is Paddy, a name once used pejoratively for Irishmen. Now there may be a St. Patricia, and she may have her own special day, I wouldn't know. But in the meantime, please stop emasculating St. Patrick!

On St. Paddy's Day,
My wish for you
Is a large bowl
Of Irish stew,
And a pint or two
Of your favorite brew.

What do you like (or not like) about St. Patrick's Day? Do you eat corned beef and cabbage, drink a pint of Guinness and pinch anyone not wearing green? In any case, have a happy St. Paddy's Day!


Some favorite quotes:

"Ireland, sir, for good or evil, is like no other place under heaven, and no man can touch its sod or breathe its air without becoming better or worse." - George Bernard Shaw

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." - Sigmund Freud (speaking about the Irish)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Slideshow Experiment

I uploaded some of my Portland photos to a Picassa Web Album and I'm experimenting to see if I can set up a slideshow here.

Yippee, it works! Click on the title to go to the photo album where you can see a larger version of the photos.

Linda / Lyndi

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Catching Up

Sunday morning I flew home from EPICon in Portland, after a fun, but exhausting, conference. I've spent the last couple of days trying to recover, get some sleep, and catch up on my life.

My alter ego, Lyndi Lamont, had a new release out this weekend, Alliance: Clandestine Desire, so I had website updates and promo notices to do.

I've started looking through the approximately 125 photos I took in Portland. Some are of the cityscape as seen from the Doubletree Hotel. I took a lot at the Chinese Garden, too, but not many of the conference. I'm going to upload the pictures first chance I get, but here are a few of my favorites.

Our room faced west, so I was able to capture some sunset pics one night, but my favorite is the rainy night.

Linda / Lyndi

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Daylight Savings, Phooey!

I've never been a big fan of Daylight Saving Time, but this year I found it particularly inconvenient. I was at EPICon2008 until this morning. Last night was the banquet, so we were all up late, celebrating the EPPIE winners, then back in the room, throwing stuff into our suitcases until late.

Because of a flight change, we were up at 6:00AM, only it was really 5:00AM, after a late night and a not-very-restful sleep. I'm home now, but too brain dead to think straight.

So can someone tell me why we still have Daylight Saving Time? It may have made sense during World War I when a good part of the country was still not electrified, though I doubt it. In those days, farmers worked from sunup to sundown, and it really didn't matter what time it was. But now?

Some people like to say it's another hour of daylight, but it isn't. The sun shines for the same number of hours on any given day regardless of what our clocks say. I wish Congress would just drop the whole dang thing. All it does is give everyone artificial jet lag twice a year without the fun of actually traveling! But that's just MHO.

What do you think? Should we keep DST or junk it? You know where I stand.

Linda / Lyndi

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hi from Portland

Just a quick note from Portland while I wait for lunch to start. We've been having a great time here at EPICon.

Thursday we did some sightseeing including the Chinese Garden which is a lovely oasis of calm in the midst of downtown Portland. I'll be posting some pictures next week. Afterwards we had lunch in a "haunted pizzeria" in a building that was built as a hotel in 1885. It's tied into the underground tunnels in Portland, and it's supposedly haunted by a former "working girl".

The video presentation this morning went very well. Tonight is the EPPIE awards banquet, so my nerves aren't calm yet. I have to present one award and I'm up for another. Wish me luck! Hope I don't fall over my feet on the way to the podium.

More to come next week.

Lyndi / Linda

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Book Trailers

Today has been hectic as I get ready to leave tomorrow for EPICon2008 in Portland, Oregon. This is one of my favorite conferences, so I'm looking forward to it. On Saturday, I'll be presenting a workshop with Adrianna Dane called Author as Producer: How To Create Your Own Video Book Trailers on a Budget.

Aside from the seven video trailers I've created, my main claim to fame in speaking on this topic is the fact that my video for Marooned has been viewed over 174,000 times at YouTube. If only that would translate into more book sales. Ah, well.

My latest creation is a trailer for my Regency romance, Lady Elinor's Escape. I've embedded it below for your enjoyment. I hope to keep up my Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday blogging schedule this week, but it will be harder than usual since I'll be away from home. I'm taking the laptop with me, though, so we'll see. I'll try to take lots of pictures in Portland. I understand the flowers are starting to bloom there.

Feel free to comment on my trailer or on book trailers in general. Do you watch them? Have you ever bought a book after viewing one? Or is it just free entertainment? (Nothing wrong with that.) I'd really like to know.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Read an e-Book Week

Today is the first day of "Read an e-Book Week", an annual event that draws attention to electronic books. I won't go into all the pros and cons of e-books here, but I will stay that e-books probably saved my marriage. ;) Before e-books, I used to have to sneak my book purchases into the house when my husband wasn't looking. Being able to store my reading matter on the computer hard drive instead of trying to find a place for yet another print book in my over-cluttered house has been a real godsend.

I've been reading e-books for 8 years or so now, and I'm a big fan. I started reading on my laptop, but it wasn't long until I wanted a handheld reader. My first one was a Franklin eBookman which I found less than satisfying, even before it quit working completely. So a few years ago, when I had a chance to pick up an RCA/Gemstar 1100 at a good price I jumped at it. (RCA had purchased the Rocket Book.) My 1100 still works just fine and I still enjoy reading on it. (The updated version is the eBookwise 1150, still sold online.) I still read occasionally on my PDA, too.

However, my favorite reader is my new Amazon Kindle. It's not the electronic ink I like as much as the size of the device and the fact that it's so lightweight I can easily hold it in one hand. I like the bigger screen, though that's also true of my 1100. Click here to read my Kindle review.

Who else reads e-books? Why or why not?

If you do, do you read on your computer or on a personal device?

Linda / Lyndi