Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What is yoga, and why does Suz deMello care about it so much? (#yoga)

A five-thousand year-old practice, yoga has steadily been gaining practitioners in the West since the Beatles made a now-forgotten but then much-publicized trip to India in 1968. That visit, which was to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, kindled interest in transcendental meditation as well as all things Eastern, including yoga.


But what is yoga? Most people think that body-bending postures, called asana, are the be-all and end-all of yoga. They look at pics of people standing on their heads in the lotus position, and figure, I'll never be able to do that, and why would I want to? and don't look further into the practice. 


But as stated, yoga has been around for five thousand years, and anything that's been around so long probably has value. So why has yoga lingered? Simple answer: yoga works.

That begs the question: works at what? Why do people do yoga? What do they get out of it? What is the purpose of yoga?

Quite simply: People do yoga because it makes them happy. The result of the practice is a calm mind integrated with a healthy body...a great prescription for happiness. The word yoga means union, which refers to union of the disparate parts of ourselves--mind, body and spirit. It also refers to union with the universal all.

Yoga sees each of us as an energetic being in a universe likewise composed of energy. This view is in keeping with modern physics, which posits that everything is energy, but that which we perceive as solid and liquid isn't moving fast enough to appear as energy. Einstein told us in E=mc(squared) that anything with mass becomes energy when accelerated to the speed of light.

Thus, everything is energy. The only difference is due to a temporary condition, i.e., speed.

The sage Patanjali, who wrote the yoga sutras two thousand or so years ago, stated in the first sutra: "The purpose of yoga is to calm the disturbances of the mind."

We calm ourselves and integrate the disparate parts of ourselves--mind, body and spirit--by utilizing techniques embodied in the Eight Limbs, or Petals, of Yoga. These are not to be confused with the Eight-fold Path of Buddhism, which is also useful; these two great streams of thought complement each other and are not in conflict.

Asana, the postures, are one of the Eight Limbs. The others can be seen in the
drawing to the right, which I created for a workshop I recently gave to a writer's group on using yoga to improve creativity.

Two of the petals are prescriptions for living: the yamas and the niyamas. These embody the usual ethical precepts that most of the world's great religions and plilosophies espouse. If a person lives ethically, s/he lacks disturbances of the mind. Our consciences don't bother us if we live rightly.

Asana and pranayama embody the physical practice. Asana are the postures, and pranayama refers to breathing to push energy through our bodies.

The four petals high on the flower are the more difficult and subtle parts of yoga. Pratyahara--going inward, which enables dharana, mental focus, and diyana, meditation.  

And all of the above lead us to samadhi, oneness, a state of OM which unites us with ourselves and all else.

Remember: yoga sees everything as energy. Samadhi refers to that oneness with all.

Practicing all eight limbs of yoga with consistency, focus and determination will engender samadhi. 

I am a believer in the lifelong practice of yoga, so much so that I have spent thousands of dollars and a considerable amount of time not only to practice consistently, but to complete yoga teacher training. I look forward to spreading the word about this wonderful practice in any way I can.  Others I know who are more casual practitioners report weight loss and a generalized feeling of serenity and happiness. Many report that stretching has resulted in another inch of two of height. One man I know swears that his improvement in vision is due to yoga.

Please contact me if you want to know more. Can't hurt to try, right? 

And by the way--you don't need to stand on your head in the lotus or any other position. We do plenty of sitting and lying around, just...being.

Next month I'll blog about yoga to enhance creativity and mental function,
So stay tuned!




Sunday, April 8, 2018

What Do Men Want?



What Do Men Want?
Answer? Not much different from women. They want love, respect and someone to believe in them. But, and there always is a but, they’re more direct in their needs and desires. Sex is like breathing. They want hard and rough and hot. The partner who can take all that and more is their ideal.

Writing the male POV? Think of the men in your life. The man you love. The men that drive you mad with their grunts and unwanted opinions. Then think of the man who beds you and makes you scream with pleasure because he knows exactly what you want and need. Think edgy, hard and possessive. Think need and tenderness.

Men. They're complex. To write from their perspective? A real challenge. Nothing is worse than reading a male/male book where one of the characters’ names could be changed to a female name and the story wouldn’t change at all. But written with understanding? Ahh the best romance and hottest sex ever.

Do I know it all? Hell no. Will I keep striving to improve? Hell yes!


“Getting Naughty: Twenty Tantalizing Tales” includes three of my MM stories: “Fireworks at the Lake”, “Chocolate Coated Reunion”, and “The Loch Ness Monster, Romeo and Julio”.

“Fireworks at the Lake”: Andrew didn’t want to spend the Fourth of July long weekend with the people from the office so he goes to Lake Superior instead. There he sees Luke, a blond Viking who arouses every craving for love and lust inside him. But can he overcome his low self-esteem from when Rory rejected his love and open his heart to another man?

“The Loch Ness Monster, Romeo and Julio”: Fraser Campbell and Cameron MacDonald are sent to Glasgow on business. Cam’s determined to see the Loch Ness monster. Fraser just wants Cam.

“Chocolate-Coated Reunion”: Matt arranges to meet Jake for Christmas Eve drinks after work but after a series of disasters is very late. Jake refuses to talk to him. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Matt is determined to reconnect with Jake. But is Jake too hurt and disillusioned to forgive him?


Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078H4ZLPT

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/getting-naughty-2

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/getting-naughty-suz-demello/1127687384?ean=2940155023661

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Suz_deMello_Getting_Naughty?id=eo1DDwAAQBAJ

Berengaria Brown




Sunday, March 18, 2018

Meet the "Queen of Shadow" by Suz deMello (@suzdemello #futuristic #romance)

http://a.co/192YziO
One of the most common and disliked questions readers ask writers is "Where do you get your ideas?" Quite honestly, we don't always know. Sometimes it's obvious--the germ of a story I wrote for Harlequin/Silhouette under a different pen name, His Baby, Her Heart, came from a magazine article about in vitro fertilization I read in a medical office waiting room.

But most of the time, the line from idea to story is not so clear.

I wrote Queen of Shadow when I was living in Thailand. I was attempting to recover from a particularly traumatic time in my life. My father had died in 2002 after a two-year-long bout with cancer. My best friend and her husband killed themselves in 2005 in an incomprehensible double suicide. My eldest brother had died in 2006 after a year-long fight with, again, cancer. I now understand that I had experienced a nervous breakdown without knowing it, desperately flailing about to keep my life together as everything fell apart. But under the stress, my marriage had failed, also.

Some believe that "wherever you go, there you are," meaning that running away doesn't solve problems. But for me, it does. Physical distance often results in emotional distance, and leaving helps me gain objectivity, perspective and detachment.

After spending a couple of months in Europe, I traveled to Thailand and made a nice life for myself in Chiang Mai. As I settled into the structured serenity I created, I found myself able to write again after a prolonged absence--all the trauma had created a writer's block about the size of Gibraltar.

I had seen a science fiction movie about ten years before that had posited a planet strictly divided into bands of light and darkness. It wasn't very good, but the concept had stuck with me, and I decided to write my own take on what such a planet would be like.

Thus was born Queen of Shadow, a full-length, 55K+ word novel. Here's the blurb:

Looking for the next GoT? Here you are.

My little studio apartment in Chiang Mai,
where I wrote Queen of Shadow
A brave queen struggles to control divided kingdoms on a terraformed planet thirty thousand years in the future.

Janus is a planet which lacks both tilt and spin, and its Shadowlands are the pewter band of dusk dividing the violently hot Lightside of the planet from its Darkside, imprisoned by eternal night. Because of the peculiar conformation of the planet, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.

Audryn, Queen of Shadow has reached that time in her life when she must choose a king to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos. Despite her duty, she is reluctant to share power, even a bit distrustful. Janus’ nobles vie for Audryn’s hand. Although she enjoys trysting with all her suitors, none seize her heart.

Then Storne, the warrior Prince of Darkness, arrives to claim her as his bride. Will his masterful ways allure or repel the willful Queen?

And a sexy little snippet (NSFW) to brighten your day:

Although I believed I could trust Storne, I couldn’t stop the nervous flutters in my belly. I occasionally allowed myself to be dominated by Rall and Parron as a change from the norm, and because their loyalty was absolute. Each would give his life for me.

But Storne wanted the throne, wanted his blood and bone to rule even after our deaths, or so I surmised. He did not hesitate to kill in order to win; what stopped him from taking me against my will?

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/743053
And my will was strong. After learning that someone that we had trusted had plotted to kill my family—and had succeeded—had seemingly strengthened my unwillingness to hastily make the choice that must be made.

My worries must have showed, for he asked, “What’s wrong, Audryn?” 

He slid his fingers out of my pussy and laid his hand on my belly. His gray eyes were steady, his gaze fixed on my face.


I breathed deeply. “I want you, but—" 


“I won’t take advantage of the situation.”

I sighed. “I hope you are not insulted.”

His brows raised. “Your decision is momentous and final. I can afford to wait.” His voice oozed confidence.

“You are sure you are the best candidate.”

“Yes.” He leaned closer and purred against my ear, “I’m bigger, stronger, tougher and I don’t look like your great-grandpa."

I giggled.

He chuckled, a deep, sexy growl of a sound and bit my lobe. His fingers again busied themselves inside my pussy.

Like what you read? Find all ebook formats here:




Thursday, March 8, 2018

Writing my 100th book



I was asked about the most exciting thing that had happened in my writing career and answered that it was the sale of my first book. That first sale proves that everything I thought about my ability to write was correct. I wrote a book and a publisher bought it. The icing on the cake is when readers buy it too. The second book sale confirms that the writer can write. It wasn’t just a one-time thing, or an acquiring editor with too many gaps in their schedule so they bought any old thing. Someone actually liked my books.

In fact, I sold three books in very quick succession. I began writing because I had nothing to read. I wrote a book and sent it off to a publisher, but while I was waiting to hear back from them, I still had nothing to read, so I wrote a second book and sent it to a different publisher. And again with a third. I read anything. All genres, all kinds of books, the back of the shampoo bottle in the shower…. So that’s why I wrote different genres, and sent them to several different publishers, publishers that specialize in a particular genre.

Anyway, all three books were accepted with a few weeks of each other and suddenly I was an author, with contracts to sign, artwork to choose, edits to do.

Time passed. I kept reading, kept writing, and before I realized it, I had a passel of published books and needed spreadsheets to keep all the paperwork in order, to keep track of my characters, to make sure I didn’t repeat any important places, names, ideas.

Some of my books had been on two-year contracts, which were renewed, one of my books, had been made into an audio book, and several of my books were turned into print volumes. My spreadsheet was getting complicated so I sat down to work out exactly how many books I’d written, and which ones were in multiple formats. Which was when I discovered I had more than one hundred individual books, and I wasn’t exactly sure which was my one hundredth book.

An author’s one hundredth book is supposed to be a big thing. Lots of authors hold giveaways, prizes, and parties. Mine passed unnoticed. Of course, I tend to write short. I don’t have many books over 40,000 words. I have a bunch of books 30-35k in length but my preferred writing length is 20-25,000 words. So having 100 books is not nearly as big a deal as for writers who prefer writing 75,000 for each book. But still, it’s kind of embarrassing not to be certain which book is my lucky 100.

I think it’s Book 2 of the Possessive Passion series, “Possess Me”.

Shiloah, a New Thimphu native, is envious of her friend Chevaunne's newfound happiness with her men and wants that kind of love for herself. She has enjoyed working with the luscious Stan and Goa on The Grandparents' Garden. But now the project is finished, so how will she see them again?



All four books in the series can be read as stand-alone stories, but to get a feel for the world and the people it’s better to read them in order. Book 1 is “Shared Possession”.

Chevaunne is abducted by three brothers who take her to a new world where brothers share one wife, who is their treasured possession. Jim, Sam, and Paul have waited years to find the perfect woman, and when they see Chevaunne, they know immediately she is the one for them.

Buy link for the series:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=possessive+passion+series+berengaria+brown

It's also available in print: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1619260239/bookstrand-20


Oh, and if you were wondering, I have recently finished writing book 149, and I will have party when I’ve written book 150.
Berengaria

Berengaria Brown’s links:
Blog: http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/
Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/berengaria-brown
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Berengaria-Brown/e/B00541R3YQ/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/berengaria.brown?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BerengariaBrown



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

ENTER BELLE SCARLETT’S BIRTHDAY #GIVEAWAY ~ $50 #AMAZONGIFTCARD

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Naughty Spice Contest Winner!

Congratulations  to Denise from Burbank on winning the Kindle Fire loaded with  books by the Naughty Literati authors.

Our sincere thanks to all who  entered and helped us celebrate the release of Naughty Spice.
Happy reading!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Fortune To Win: A Romance Miiseries by Suz deMello (#romance #miniseries)


Drug addicts Harvey, Lord Darlingside, and his supermodel wife, Mara, died by drowning in the Trevi Fountain while on a heroin binge. In a previous rare moment of sobriety, Harvey created a trust for their three children with a peculiar stipulation designed to ensure none would go his way: each must demonstrate maturity by making a substantial non-monetary contribution to others.

A Fortune To Win is the story of the Darlingside heirs' journey to love and their legacies.

Will Alice break through her emotional shell to find love?

Can supermodel Sophie survive repeated attacks from someone who seems bent upon her death?

Alcoholic Peter is accused of murder...can he get his head out of the bottle long enough to beat the charge and maintain his freedom?

PLUS A SPECIAL HISTORICAL PREQUEL!

Here's a snippet to pique your interest...from Peter's Story:


Prologue


LORD DARLINGSIDE AND WIFE MARA FOUND DEAD

DRUG OVERDOSE SUSPECTED

[ROME] The jetsetting couple known as ‘Marvey,’ Harvey Fortune, Lord Darlingside and his supermodel wife Mara Tove, were found at three a.m. today (local time) drowned in the historic Trevi Fountain. An autopsy is planned, which many fear will confirm the initial assumption that the couple’s known heroin addiction caused their deaths. Reportedly, used syringes were found on the fountain’s marble balustrade… They leave three adult children: Peter, age 26, the new Earl Darlingside; daughter Alice, 23, a teacher; Sophia, 19, a model.

one week later

CONTENTS OF ‘MARVEY’ WILL REVEALED

LONDON] …Though the Fortune family solicitor, Rabbie White of White, Cheshire and Queen (Lincolns Inn Fields) remains closemouthed, an unidentified source close to the family states that the Fortune fortune, encompassing a manor house in Kent, a mansion in Hampstead, and invested monies totaling some 50 million pounds, will be divided between ‘Marvey’s’ children. However, the ‘Marvey’ trust requires the heirs make a substantial non-monetary contribution to society. Whether each child’s acts are sufficient to inherit is a decision left solely to White’s discretion. Apparently Lord and Lady Darlingside wanted to ensure that their progeny did not follow the same dangerous path they trod…

...eighteen months later...



Chapter One


One cool, bright summer morning, Peter Fortune, Earl Darlingside, awakened in a big, four-poster bed covered with a fluffy white duvet with a woman beside him. She was dead.

Until that moment, he’d been doing quite well, thank you very much, considering that he’d spent the night before drinking Remy Martin Black Pearl with a number of equally dissolute young noblemen and getting drunk as, well, drunk as lords. He should have had a throbbing head, unclear eyesight and a belly that pitched like bloody hell, but he felt great. And, given that he’d won rather than lost betting on billiards was another point in favor of the day.

Which was, he remembered blearily, Monday, perhaps? Or maybe Tuesday. Did it matter?

The window was open to the Hampstead sunshine and also admitted birdsong. Every once in a while he heard the sound of a distant siren, reminding him of...of…?

Oh yes, the dead girl.

Melanie.

He supposed he ought to call 9-9-9 and get an ambulance, though judging by her total lack of movement and warmth, the authorities would get to her too late. Far too late.

He rolled to the side, reaching for the bedside table where his mobile reposed. Something jabbed his arse, and he threw back the sheet to find a used syringe. A needlestick from an addict’s rig. Oh, shite, I’m fucked. He grabbed the thing and flung it across the room, then called for help.

*****

She’d been called Foxy Roxy for as long as she could remember, but she hadn’t embraced the nickname until her fifteenth birthday. That day she’d visited a charity shop with friends. One had spotted an old fox stole on a mannequin and bought it for Roxanne Fox as a gift. She’d worn that fox pelt around her neck on cool days until it had fallen apart, then bought another and then another. Only from the charity shops, though—she wouldn’t be directly responsible for the death of an innocent animal. Later she’d found a source for high-quality fakes, which fit her vegan habits far better.

This morning, she was nibbling a gluten-free currant scone slathered with soya cream cheese whilst enjoying her second flat white of the day (made with soya of course), reading a fairly interesting case file about a fellow who had been recorded by the many CCTVs roundabout London. Unfortunately for the client, he’d been taped with his zip open whilst fondling an impressive erection. Even less fortunately, the Crown was not amenable to letting the incident go by even though he claimed he’d been “pissed legless.”

Roxanne’s secretary stuck her head into the open doorway, her eyes round. “That prat Darlingside has gotten himself arrested again.”

“Oh, happy day.” Roxy wiped her mouth with a hanky. “What is it this time? Dead drunk? Car crash?”

“No, it’s more serious. Unless someone’s having a go at us.”

“Not chundering onto some poor copper’s shoes?” That had been a memorable case.

“No, murder.”

Roxy sat up straighter. She’d been White, Cheshire and Queen’s criminal defense specialist for four years, having left the Crown Prosecution Service to pursue more lucrative options. At WCQ, she’d had the opportunity to sample a more varied menu of cases than she’d expected. Along with the anticipated tax avoidance schemes and family squabbles regarding bequests—which occasionally devolved into wine-throwing and fistfights—a prominent client occasionally committed the odd sexual peccadillo, like the fellow diddling his dong in Notting Hill.

And then there was Peter Fortune, the Earl of Darlingside, who seemed intent upon imitating his parents’ strikingly self-destructive ways.

Bless him—he’d brought her a case she could really sink her teeth into. “Where’s he being held?”

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