Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Greetings From The Battle Zone

Hello! Just wanted to take a moment and say hey, my Imaginarians. I know I've gone radio silent, but this cancer shit is just wreaking havoc with my schedule and my writing. Plus, now I have to  fight broke because well, my Unemployment is up. And there are not a lot of people ready to employ me as I am. Boy, the Universe must think I am Xena, Warrior Princess because if it's not one thing, it's another. But, I'm keeping strong. I want to thank you all for the well wishes and prayers. I have feel truly loved and blessed counting you all in my corner. I'm also making sure that I do a lot of sleeping, exercise and taking supplements to keep up my strength. Cancer ain't got shit on this chick.

I've gone through my first chemo treatment. 1 down 2 to go. So cancer is taking a beating and so far I'm not too shabby except for sleeping a lot.

To help keep me in fighting spirit, my nephew took me to see 22 Jump Street and Transformers. I had a blast seeing both. They were a fun ride that made me forget the fight for a few hours. Joshua is a great sidekick.

Sorry I missed Insecure Writers Support Group. I had intended to post, but never got the time or the energy in sync. My insecurity this month is time. Will I get to finish the projects that I've started on time? How can I work around chemo and tests and appointments? Ugh. It feels overwhelming sometimes.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Leverage By Nancy S. Thompson

Hi Imaginarians, how are all of you? I've been quiet as I make phone calls to doctors etc. I have my first appointment on June 10. Thanks to all of you for your supportive comments, prayers and friendship. You all are amazing. Today I am really excited to bring you a kick ass new book from brilliant writer Nancy S. Thompson. Leverage is a hot new romantic thriller available right now...

Four years ago, Tyler Karras' quest to avenge his wife's death led to all out war with San Francisco's Russian Mafia. With the Bratva's collapse and its king, Dmitri Chernov, long dead, all Ty wants now is to put it behind him and enjoy a second chance at life with his new bride, Hannah, and the child they're expecting any day.

But Chernov's heir, Grigory Dmitriev, has returned, bitter and determined. He wants his kingdom back, and he's more than willing to leverage Ty's new family to get it.

First he targets Conner, Ty's brooding nineteen-year-old stepson, manipulating the boy into a vortex of sex, drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Then he turns his sights on Hannah. At eight months pregnant, she's the ultimate bargaining chip. With both their lives in jeopardy, as well as his unborn child, Ty has little choice but to do as Grigory commands.

But Tyler swore he'd never kill again. He buried that monster four years ago and means to keep it that way. Grigory, however, makes that vow impossible to keep.

With his new family on the line, Ty will cross further into the dark side than he ever has before, challenging everything he believes about himself, and forcing him to face the ghosts of his past. Only then will Ty discover if he has the strength to do the unspeakable, to sacrifice his last chance at redemption and save the lives of those he loves most.

Buy Links:

About Nancy:

Nancy S. Thompson began her writing journey with her debut novel, The Mistaken, a dark romantic thriller released in 2012, and she’s continued the saga in Leverage. While Nancy loves to write, she pays the bills as an interior/architectural designer, as well as a freelance book editor. She’s a Bay Area California transplant, currently living with her husband and college-aged son near SeattleWashington.

Friday, May 16, 2014

I've Been Blitzed!

Happy Friday Imaginarians!! I'm feeling the love of this awesome community in super force right now. I got blitzed yesterday and just wow. Thank you does not even begin to cover the gratitude and positive energy I'm feeling. But all the same, thank you from the bottom of my heart, you all are wonderful, amazing, thoughtful people and I am proud to be a part of this community. I will be working my way through all the comments left and visiting everyone as my energy level allows.

As you may or may not know I just spent nine days in the hospital and am preparing for the battle of my life. I went in for a simple x-ray of my hip and lumbar area because 'd been having horrible pain that would not allow me to sit, stand or lay down for very long. Well, they found a mass. I was admitted and scheduled for biopsy faster than I could blink. It is malignant, so needless to say I am in for the biggest fight, but I am bringing my A game and going total badass bitch on this.

I'll be around as much as I can, but since I have major health considerations now, I may miss time. Thanks again for being my friends, my support, my Imaginarians. I love you!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll...Alice Morell Tells All

Hey there Imaginarians! I know, I've been absent a lot due to real life problems, but I have a special treat today. Alice Morell is here today with some rock star confessions from her article "Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll: Rockstars Shocking Confessions." Take it away Alice...

The rock and roll lifestyle is certainly not for everyone; there are stories, some legends of events and acts taking place backstage or elsewhere with rockers, groupies and unfortunate bystanders. Certainly a few based on musical style or personal preference can be almost guaranteed to have some, “Dirty Laundry” lying about, but some have achieved rather remarkable achievements in the press and the legal record. Here are a few that you may have heard of, but maybe you didn’t know everything about.

A band with quite a few hits on the charts and notices from the authorities are The Rolling Stones. There are plenty of jokes floating around about how after Armageddon happens; the only things that will survive are roaches and Keith Richards. Some true life issues the lads have found themselves in date back to 1967 when Richard’s home was raided by police and some reports, not fully confirmed involved Jagger, his girlfriend at the time Marianne Faithfull and a chocolate bar. Moving forward to 1975, the band would bring on stage during performances of the song “Star Star” a twenty foot long fake phallus even though after initially doing so they were warned by police that it was not considered a good idea. A quieter member of the Stones, Bill Wyman, divorced Mandy Smith; a woman he had married when she was eighteen and he was forty-nine. A recent admission Wyman has made to police though states that the two were dating when she was thirteen and they started having sex a year later. Back to Mick Jagger—the lead singer has had probably enough behind the scenes escapes to cover for the entire band not limited to; an extensive history of drug use- speed, LSD, cocaine & hashish, an alleged love affair with David Bowie and being intimate with over four thousand women including Uma Thurman, Linda Ronstadt and France’s First Lady Carla Bruni.

An easy and open figure in Rock history to find legal issues with is the former front man of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne. The Ozman has had a number of memorable run-ins with authority for a variety of reasons; his first famous event was not at a concert but at a meeting with CBS Records. The reported story says he planned on releasing doves in the air “as a sign of peace.” Unfortunately Osbourne had pre-celebrated a bit too much and while intoxicated, bit the dove’s head off and spit it out. It likely didn’t endear him to the execs, but it’s one of the things he’s well known for. Ozzy doesn’t get any awards from PETA for animal kindness because a year later during a performance in Iowa, a bat was on the menu. It didn’t go down without a fight though because it did manage to bite him first which required a rabies test. Osbourne maintains he thought it was only rubber, while the fan who threw it on the stage says he was sure it was dead when he tossed it. Another famous incident, animal free, involved a drunken Ozzy relieving himself on an Alamo memorial in Texas. What isn’t generally mentioned is that he was wearing a dress belonging to the future Mrs. Osbourne (yes, Sharon!) because she’d hidden his clothes. This led to him being banned from San Antonio for a decade. In spite of all his misadventures, the only jail time the Prince of Darkness ever had was when he was seventeen and stole some clothes from a store and did more time for assaulting a police officer.

Our final rocker with a rap sheet is Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe. Lead singer for the majority of the band’s history, Neil has had quite a few run-ins with the law, some of which led to the deaths of others. This was the first recorded incident when Neil’s love for liquor overrode common sense and involved a party with Neil and members of the Finnish band Hanoi Rocks. Neil and their drummer, Nicholas Dingley went on a booze run after consuming copious amounts already with a few other members of the band. They were doing twice the legal limit when the car spun out and crashed into another vehicle. Its occupants suffered brain injuries that Dingley ultimately died from. Neil was found to have a blood alcohol limit of .17 and was charged with DUI and Vehicular Manslaughter. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, of which he served only 15 for good behavior, five years’ probation and $2.6 million dollars in restitution to the victims of the crash along with 200 hours of community service. Neil apparently learned his lesson for a time but in 2002 he was arrested for punching a record executive and went on to an assortment of incidents including more fighting and drunk driving.

Does the lifestyle inspire the chaos or is the chaos enhanced by the lifestyle? These examples show that sometimes “Living La Vida Loca” isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chicago from A to Z...K is for Kenwood...L is for Lincoln Park Zoo

Good afternoon!! I know I'm getting a terribly late start, but things got in my way. I hate real life sometimes. Anyway, for the Big A To Z today I'm taking you to the famous Kenwood neighborhood on the near South Side, then up north to one of my favorite places, the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Blackstone Library Wikimedia

K Is For Kenwood

Located on the near South Side, Kenwood lies just north of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago along the Lakefront to the east and Cottage Grove Avenue to the west. It was settled in the 1850's by wealthy Chicagoans looking to escape the congestion of the ever growing city. The area is named after John A. Kennicott, the first resident who named his home Kenwood after his family's ancestral estate in Scotland. Kenwood is the neighborhood that President Barack Obama calls home and it has indeed had many famous residents including actor Mandy Patinkin, Muhammad Ali, Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck and Company and Bill Veeck, former owner of the Chicago White Sox. There have also been some infamous residents. Murderers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were from Kenwood as well as their unfortunate victim, Bobby Franks.

The neighborhood has many unique features including an area known as the Indian Village. Here all the buildings are named in honor of the local tribes that once populated this area. The Powhatan Apartments have the only 24 hour elevator operator position in the city. Another landmark, the Blackstone Library was opened in 1902, making it one of the oldest branches in the Chicago Public Library system. It is a beautiful neighborhood with some fascinating walks, if you come visit, I'll take you for a stroll, then take you to Medici's for pizza.
Entry to Lincoln Park Zoo Wikimedia (BTW those birds are sculptures)

L Is For Lincoln Park Zoo

Ah the Lincoln Park Zoo...Here is one of my absolute favorite places in the city. It opened in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States as well as one of the largest free zoos in the world. The first animals in the zoo were a pair of swans from the Central Park Zoo and a bear from the Philadelphia Zoo. It now houses over 1100 animals, including Keo, the oldest male chimpanzee in North America. There is also a large burr oak tree here that dates from about 1830, seven years before Chicago was incorporated.

Marlin Perkins, of Wild Kingdom fame, served as the zoo's director from 1944 to 1962 and helped create the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, a citizens group that fundraises and supports the zoo's operations. My favorite place inside the zoo are the penguins and polar bears as well as the Nature Walk along the South Pond. It is a stunning place to have fun and enjoy a great summer day. You can also enjoy the place in winter with Zoo Lights and caroling to the animals.

Ready to see Kenwood? Take a stroll at the Lincoln Park Zoo? I hope so. Happy A to Zing and thank you for stopping by. Please visit my fellow challengers by clicking at the top left or here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chicago from A to Z...I is for Ida B. Wells...J is for the Jewelers Building

Happy Hump Day!! I can't believe it is Wednesday already. Today I'm here with another Daily Double as I attempt to get myself back on track in the Big A To Z. I'm going to delve a bit more into Chicago history as I give you my selections for I and J. Ida B. Wells is one of my favorite women in history and one of Chicago's finest. The Jewelers Building is a terrific place with an intriguing past.
Ida B. Wells Wikimedia

I Is For Ida B. Wells

Ida is one hell of a woman and a true badass to me. She was a journalist, a suffragette, a sociologist and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Born in Holly Springs, MS to enslaved parents, Ida adored her father James, who after the Emancipation Proclamation, worked tirelessly for the advancement of black people. When her parents and youngest brother died during a yellow fever epidemic, 16 year Ida became a teacher so that she could keep her remaining five siblings with her.

Spurred by the inequality in salary between white and black teachers, Ida moved to Memphis, TN where she attended Fisk College during her summer breaks and became more active politically. She co-owned the anti-segregationist paper Free Speech and Headlight where she wrote articles and edited the paper's content. In 1892, three of Ida's friends were lynched. Their murders prompted her to investigate lynchings across the South and she wrote a pamphlet entitled "Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws In All Its Phases." Threatened, Ida bought a pistol and used her journalistic abilities to encourage blacks to leave Memphis.

Ida moved to Chicago and helped to organize a boycott of the World's Fair. She started working for the Chicago Conservator, the oldest black run paper in the city. During this time she met and married the paper's owner, Ferdinand Barnett. Ida became one of the first women to keep her own name in addition to taking her husband's. Her passion for women's issues led her to found the National Association of Colored women as well as the National Afro-American Council. She also helped to found the NAACP. Her work in Chicago for urban reform, suffrage and civil rights continued until her death.
Jewelers Building Wikimedia

J Is For The Jewelers Building

35 East E. Wacker aka The Jewelers Building is a Chicago historic landmark. Featured in the 2005 film Batman Begins and as the scene of a huge battle between Decepticons and Autobots in 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, this building has seen a lot since its construction in 1927. The first 23 floors featured a car lift  and parking so the jewelers could come and go in safety.

There have been many famous tenants, including Mercury Records, which occupied several floors from 1953 to 1973. The most infamous would be Al Capone, who had a speakeasy in the dome at the very top. This same place then served as the showroom for architect Helmut Jahn. There is a current reconfiguration of the interior going on which sadly has removed many of the cool features like the car lift, but progress will out.

I hope you found Ida as cool I did. We can visit her house if you come to Chitown and we'll also take a spin by the Jeweler's Building. Thank you so much for stopping by. Happy A to Z, please visit my fellow challengers by clicking at the top right or here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chicago from A to Z...The Daily Double G is for Garfield Park, H is for Hull House

I'm so sorry I was gone and not doing my part  for the Big A To Z, but real life got in the way. I even had a new lawn ornament forcibly installed when a woman crashed her car in front of my house. Thankfully the little baby in the other car was completely. The woman was clearly under the influence of something. I am soldiering forward and will try to catch up. Today I'm giving you a daily double of two of my fave spots in Chitown, Garfield Park and Hull House.

The Golden Domed Fieldhouse Wikimedia
G Is For Garfield Park

Garfield Park sits on the West Side and first opened in 1874 as Central Park. It was the centerpiece of the west park system, which includes Humboldt Park and Douglas Park,  and renamed in 1881 after slain President James A Garfield. Designed by William LeBaron Jenney, the park is home to the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest and most impressive conservatories in the Untied States. The conservatory encompasses 4.5 acres of the park's 184 and houses thousands of varieties of plants, some nearly 200 years old. 
Gardens with Conservatory in background Wikimedia

The park is famous for its Golden Dome Fieldhouse, its lagoon system, its band shell and its extensive gardens. It is truly one of the most beautiful spots in all of Chicago and a favorite with locals. Not so much tourists as they are more easily ensnared by Lincoln Park because of its easy access from downtown and the zoo. However, Garfield has its very own stop on the Green Line, so ease of access is plentiful. Garfield Park also contains an Olympic sized gymnasium, tennis courts, pool, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a boxing ring and a theater. So come with me to this wonderful piece of landscape art, we'll have a great time.

H Is For Hull House
Hull House Wikimedia

Hull House was opened by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates in 1889 as a settlement house for newly arrived immigrants. Here they learned English, job skills, received aid in finding housing, schools for their kids and also received free lectures on current events, concerts and art exhibits. It was also a way for women to start seeking independent means of support as they received a full education here from the volunteers who were university students and teachers, all women like themselves at one time. 

The mansion itself was the starting point for a whole movement that eventually grew to encompass some 13 buildings and a summer camp with the addition of the Bowen Country Club in 1912. It became the standard bearer for some 500 settlement houses founded nation wide. When the Nation Historic Preservation Act went into effect in 1966, Hull House was among the the first to be placed on the list. It was built in 1856 by real estate magnate Charles Hull and his niece Helen Culver donated the building to Jane. Hull House and the surrounding complex were purchased in 1963 for the University of Illinois at Chicago. All the buildings, but Hull House were razed. The Hull House Association continued operations in various other Chicago locations until 2012 when it closed its doors forever. Today there is a museum inside Hull House and due to some "woman in white" stories, it does rate a stop on local ghost tours.  

Thinking about taking a stroll through Garfield Park? Want to see the place responsible for helping millions of immigrants and poor people? Come on to Chicago and I'll also buy the beer. Have fun visiting my fellow incredible challengers by clicking on the top left or here