Is Chocolate sexy? by @TaylorLeeWrites

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate Candy

In answer to the question above, the answer is ‘Heck Yes!” Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but if you’re a Romantic Suspense writer like I am, love and romance is a 365-day-a-year adventure. While science and romance may seem to be at odds, I love it when science studies issues critical to those of us who write (and love) Romantic Suspense. The scientific study below (reported by Diana Herrington @DancinginLife) asks: Which is a more powerful sexual turn on – a piece of chocolate or a kiss from the person you love most? Think you know the answer? Read on.

A Study of Chocolate

“According to a study at Mind Lab chocolate stimulated the brain more intensely than a kiss with a partner. They had 6 couples in their 20s wear heart and brain monitors. Each person in the study placed a piece of dark chocolate on their tongue and let it melt without chewing. Later, the couples kissed in the way they normally would. What the study found was that when the chocolate melted in the mouth, all areas of the brain were stimulated far more intensely. Their hearts even beat faster for longer after the chocolate than the intimate embrace.

Chocolate is famous for containing a ‘Love Drug’ because it triggers feelings of attraction, euphoria and excitement, mimicking the brain chemistry of a person in love. Dr. David Lewis, one of the researchers at Mind Lab, said: “There is no doubt that chocolate beats kissing hands down when it comes to providing a long-lasting body and brain buzz. A buzz that, in many cases, lasted four times as long as the most passionate kiss.”

Chocolate Boosts Mood, Eases Depression

Chocolate contains approximately 380 known chemicals, some of which promote serotonin production which boosts our mood and eases depression. They give a hormone rush that is similar to the rush of love-making as the pleasure center of the brain is triggered somewhat similarly to the peaks during an orgasm.

Chocolate has had a reputation as being an aphrodisiac throughout history. This dates back to the Mayan period from about 250 AD to 900 AD. The Mayans were chocoholics and highly valued the cacao bean. A man could hire a prostitute for eight to ten cacao beans. Rumor has it that the Aztec emperor Montezuma known for being a hot lover, drank 50 cups of cacao a day before heading off to his harem.

Nonetheless, the actual truth is cacao has never been fully proven to be an aphrodisiac. It does have the chemical composition, but in quantities so small you would need to consume as much as the emperor Montezuma did (which is not recommended).

A Feel Good Food

Without question, chocolate has been proven to be a “Feel good food.” Research proves that its ingredients help relax us mentally and physically and brings a sense of wellbeing which can promote sexual interest. Since chocolate improves mood, it can improve sex, but it does not need to strictly be an aphrodisiac.”

Back to the question: “Which is more powerful —a yummy piece of chocolate or a kiss from the person you love the most?”  My answer:  Why choose?  Double your odds.  Have them both!

Here is a tasty decadent chocolate recipe full of healthy ingredients using dark chocolate:

Cherry Pecan Dark Chocolate Bar

Ingredients:

  • 4 squares (approx. 112 gm) unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid light stevia
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries, chopped in half

Directions:

  1. Dry roast pecans in a toaster oven or in frying pan (stir frequently so they do not burn).
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or very carefully in a saucepan.
  3. Use coconut oil to oil a small pan of approximately 8 inches square.
  4. Evenly sprinkle the cherries and pecans in the pan.
  5. When the chocolate is melted; remove from heat.
  6. Mix in the coconut oil and stevia.
  7. Then mix in honey.
  8. Pour melted chocolate mixture over the cherries and pecans.
  9. Let cool in refrigerator or freezer.
  10. Once set, then cut into squares. Store in covered container in refrigerator or freezer, if desired.

****

As you are nibbling on your chocolate and having found a great person to share it with, grab: 

Jorden

JORDEN

Book 3: The Justice Brothers Series By Taylor Lee

FREE TODAY!!!

JORDEN, Book 3 in USA Today best-selling author Taylor Lee’s provocative new series, The Justice Brothers.  JORDEN, the oldest Justice Brother, is unquestionably the most distinguished.  But underneath that sophisticated persona is a sexy, challenging lover.

  • An Assistant US Attorney fights the legal battle of his life. This time Jorden’s on the defense and his children are at stake. 
  • An evil woman isn’t about to let her children and former husband go without a fight. And this woman fights dirty! 
  • A family drama that calls for the best and the worst of the two passionate lovers. Unfortunately, Jorden and McKenna discover that Justice—like Love– isn’t always fair or

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages.  HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart.  Definitely bring a fan!

And if you want more heroes and heroines to feast on, snap up our Author’s Billboard Collection

Sweet and Sassy Heroes

Sweet and Sassy Heroes

99 cent Kindle Countdown Deal!

My Book in the Collection is:

Exposed

EXPOSED: Prequel Novella: Sizzling Hot Detective Series (The Criminal Affairs Collection) by Taylor Lee
A renegade police officer infiltrates a dangerous cartel. Can the undercover special operative keep her from destroying the mission — and herself? ENJOY!!

How to Write a Book Review by @Donna_Fasano

Many readers are intimidated by the idea of writing book reviews and I am often asked how I go about writing them. I’m an author, but I’m also an avid reader. I review a large majority of the books I read. In fact, I have fun doing it, so I do feel somewhat qualified, from both an author’s and a reader’s perspective, to offer a little guidance on the subject. Book Reviews

A quick note on why you should write reviews. Reviews give books visibility. Your review helps a book find readers, but the reverse is also true: your review will help readers find a book. It only takes a few minutes, and authors and readers alike will appreciate your effort.

Let’s start out with some DOs:

  • Do pay attention while you read. Take some mental notes on such things as: What aspects of the book capture your attention? Are you being entertained? Do you like the characters? Did you dislike a certain character? Do the characters react naturally to situations and to other characters? These mental notes will help make the review-writing easier.
  • Do focus on the book’s effect on you as a reader right up front. As you begin writing your review, describe the emotions you experienced as you read the story. How did you feel about the characters? Were they relatable, authentic, plastic, forced, well-developed, etc? Did the story make you think? Did the story/characters stick with you after you finished? Why did you like the story, or why didn’t you like the story? Did the book have a satisfying ending?
  • Optional: sum up the story itself. In a sentence or two, tell what the story is about. This should be a “nutshell” account, brief and as vague as possible so as not to reveal too much detail—more on this later. Focus on the books themes or subjects. Examples: “This book explored the topic of divorce and how breakups turn your world upside down” or “This is a story about second chances and how love can come at any age” or “This book confronted racism, bigotry, and hatred and tackled them like a football linebacker.”
  • Do summarize. In the last sentence or two, offer up a final word of praise or criticism. Would you read other books by this author? Would you recommend this book to your friends?

Let’s talk about DON’Ts:

  • Don’t be mean-spirited. Even if the plot makes you want to toss the book across the room, there’s no need to be nasty. Use calm logic to intelligently express your feelings.
  • Don’t reveal too much. Let’s talk about spoilers. What’s a spoiler? It’s just what its name implies—a bit of information that spoils the reading experience for others. Think about it. If someone tells you the ending of a movie, are you likely to spend your money to see the film? I’m not. From an author’s point of view, spoilers are a huge deterrent to future sales. From a reader’s perspective, spoilers completely destroy my book-reading pleasure. If a book’s product description states that the heroine has a secret, revealing that secret in your review ruins the pleasure of learning that important plot point for other readers. Likewise, if the book is about tragedy, don’t reveal the details of the tragedy; allow other readers to discover it for themselves. Offering a blow-by-blow account of a book’s plot is a big no-no, in my personal opinion. It’s possible—and preferable—to offer a brief recap without wrecking everyone else’s reading experience.

There you have it—my simple instructions for how to write a book review that helps both the author of the book AND readers who enjoy books in the same genre as you.

What do you think? Is there anything you’d add to this list of dos and don’ts? Do you enjoy writing reviews? Do reader reviews help you choose which books you’ll read?

Her Fake Romance

“The author’s style was pure delight, fun and funky. Modern and very entertaining. I never would have thought that a fake romance could be so funny and emotional at the same time. HJ Top Pick!”  ~HarlequinJunkie.com ♥♥♥♥♥

“Mom, get a life!”

Her teenage daughter’s words are daunting. True, struggling single mom Julia Jones hasn’t had a date in over a decade, but she could still catch a man–if she needed to! So Julia, who claims not to want a husband, finds herself entangled in a fake romance.

Ryan Shane is tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome. And he just so happens to need a no-strings date himself. Their plan is perfectly thought out. Until a conveniently staged good-night kiss turns into very inconvenient passion…

This book contains bonus material that includes several delicious recipes!

Find this Bargain-Priced eBook:

US Kindle  *  UK Kindle  *  iBooks  *  Nook  *  Kobo

 

The Blessing of a Baby by @_NancyRadke USA Today Bestselling Author

I have a new “title,” besides that of bestselling author. My grandson and his wife just made me a great grandmother. It happened this week, so I’ll write about my precious new baby for my April blog. She’s a sweet little girl who took her own time getting here, coming on her own schedule, not her mother’s, who had it all planned out for last Thursday. The baby had other plans, almost making it to my birthday.

Baby

Babies are a delight to any family and our little one is no exception. She makes me want to include a baby in an upcoming book, just to remember what a blessing a newborn is. They were able to bring her home from the birthing center a few hours after she was born, so we all got to hold her right away.

Living Near, Living Far

When my first child was born, we were living in Hawaii and our folks were in Alaska and Washington state, and they weren’t able to be there right away. My great granddaughter lives within walking distance, so I expect to see her often.

The ladies in our church family are providing two weeks worth of meals, so I was told to wait to do that.

When my daughter was young, I used to take her to visit her great grandmother at a nursing home. It was the highlight of the week for both of them and I feel it taught my daughter to be kind and thoughtful of older people. I’m looking forward to seeing her grow up.

I feel like I’m rambling, so will mention the book I have out this weekend. Scorpion’s Trail, normally $5.99, is on sale. The story has nothing to do with babies, but it is a romance that introduces my favorite hero, Hugo, who takes delight in teasing my heroine, Perri.

Scorpion's Trail

Do You Feel Young At Heart? I Do! By @Donna_Fasano

Do you feel as old as your birth certificate claims you are? I don’t. I feel young at heart. In my head, I feel I am about half my real age, and I often marvel when I write down my birth year. No way, I tell myself. I am not that old. I believe each of us is an average of three “ages.”

Young At Heart

Chronological Age:

This is the age that is dictated by your date of birth. Are there eighteen candles on your birthday cake? Thirty-seven? Eighty-two? There’s nothing we can do to diminish the number of years we’ve been alive. (Well, nothing we’d want to do, anyway. A visit to the undertaker is something everyone wants to put off as long as possible.) Our chronological age is concrete and unchangeable.

Biological Age:

This is the age of our physical bodies. How well do your lungs work? Your heart? Your muscles? How much extra fat do you carry around? There are lots of things we can do to keep our bodies younger. Physical activity, aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, yoga—all these things will help keep your body fit and lower your biological age. You don’t have to do them all, but keeping active is very important. Eating fresh, nutritious food is another good way to give your brain and your body what it needs to feel young.

Psychological Age:

You might not believe it, but how and what you think affects how you age. Are you curious about life? Do you love to learn new things? There are plenty of ways to enrich your psyche—learn a new language or skill, travel, take a dance class, read good books, listen to music, cook a new recipe, meditate, develop a rich spiritual life, go out of your way to meet new people, smile and love more, frown less. Cultivate confidence by making a What Makes Me Unique list. Learn to forgive; the anger it takes to hold onto a grudge can contribute to cardiovascular disease and a weakened immune system. Avoid negative thoughts and live from a place of gratitude. Learn to let go of the things you can’t control. I’m sure there are many other ways to keep a healthy mind and attitude. If you have some ideas, please share in the comment section.

As many of you know, I’ve been exercising regularly for some time now. I’ve dropped some weight and I’m feeling fit. I’ve never lost my curiosity, I have always loved to learn new things, I laugh often (especially at myself), and I stay positive as much as possible. Because I’ve worked on lowering my biological and psychological ages, I’m sure that’s why I don’t feel my chronological age.

For those of you who don’t remember the classic song YOUNG AT HEART, it was sung by the unforgettable Frank Sinatra. He was famous during my father’s era. The lyrics include some great messages:

~  ~  ~

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart.
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart.

Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart.
For as rich as you are, it’s much better by far
To be young at heart.

~  ~  ~

So tell me, what do YOU do to stay young at heart?

On sale for just 99¢ every day:

A Beautiful Stranger


USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano brings you the first book in her A Family Forever Series.

A BEAUTIFUL STRANGER

When Sean Hudson arrives to claim his new daughter, he discovers the adoption hinges on the impossible. Unless he finds a wife immediately, the tiny orphan will be snatched away from him forever. But before Sean can abandon hope, a beautiful stranger proposes a surprising solution—marriage.

Sean swears the love in his heart is only for his soon-to-be daughter. And that is perfect for Nicki Willis, whose restless spirit yearns to have a family for just a while. But the tenderness of Sean’s touch soothes Nicki’s fears as well as little Sona’s. Now Nicki aches to become a family forever… and she refuses to believe she can’t make this dream come true.