Fangirling Over Yellowstone’s Angela Blue Thunder

Where are my Yellowstone fans at? I know the show is on hiatus right now, but I’m a major fan, and I’m not looking forward to the long wait to get new episodes. I’ve watched the show since episode one dropped way back in the summer of 2018. At that time I’d already written books 1-3 of the Talk Nerdy to Me Series, but I hadn’t published anything yet, and I was purposefully consuming episodic shows to study story and world-building. As a fan of storytelling, and the iconic landscape found in the American west, I was instantly hooked on the show.

I also love the way Taylor Sheridan has included strong female characters in the show (I love ALL the ladies, except those Buckle Bunnies Mia and Laramie, they seem to bring trouble wherever they go). What has also hooked me on this show is the cinematic way certain things are filmed, like the landscape scenes, and how relevant cultural elements are incorporated into the storylines. Yellowstone isn’t just about ranchers and cowboys, but also follows the story of some members of a fictional tribe of indigenous people in Montana (called Broken Rock). And one particularly interesting tribe member is a lawyer named Angela…and she’s a vibe.

Can we just talk about how much I love Angela Blue Thunder? I love her soft, slow, subtle don’t F with me delivery, her nuanced pin-up style, and her sharp mind. When I first saw Angela on my screen, I had instant heart palpitations because it was like I was looking at a near mirror image of Quinn from Nerdy Deeds, book three of the Talk Nerdy to Me Series. While Angela tends to dress in a modern style, with more neutral and earth tones, her look is very similar to Quinn. And hello, her hair and makeup is always on point! If you have read my character interview with Quinn, or read Nerdy Deeds, then you know that Quinn’s pompadour and glam, pin-up makeup are part of her “armor” and something she draws power from. If you’re an Angela fan like me, and you haven’t yet met Quinn, then you need to read this interview, and if it intrigues you, read the blurb below for Nerdy Deeds.

Nerdy Deeds Blurb

Quinn Whiteeagle, Nerdvana co-owner and burlesque performer, is falling for Jonah Stavropoulos, and that’s a huge problem. Not just because Jonah’s a customer and is developing the bar’s app. There’s something else about Jonah that makes a future with him a non-negotiable. It’s his dominant nature.

When it comes to Quinn, Jonah can’t help himself. He’ll forgo his safety, put himself in harm’s way, and make any sacrifice in order to have her in his life. Quinn resists his pursuit and that just makes him more determined to win her over.

After several dangerous encounters with a stalker, Quinn puts her pride and reservations aside and runs to Jonah’s waiting arms. He offers Quinn a safe place to stay, but makes no qualms about wanting to give her more than just temporary safety and shelter. Every protective instinct he has is activated and Jonah will fight like hell to keep Quinn in his life and in his care forever.Nerdy Deeds is book three in Talk Nerdy to Me, a series centering around the romances that blossom between bar staff and customers at Nerdvana.

Get Nerdy Deeds at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AUAmazon CAAppleB&NKobo.

Midweek Morsel – Marital Bonds – Steamy Burlesque Scene

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day, that midweek slump. Today I’m adding some heat to your week by sharing an excerpt from my short story Marital Bonds.

A hot, emotional read about a husband and wife who find their way back to one another.

Blurb

After three years of struggling, I’m tired. I miss my husband. I miss our intimacy.

Three years ago tragedy struck and destroyed our sex life. It nearly ruined our marriage.

Thanks to help from a sensuality coach, I’ve got three assignments to act out with my husband, each designed to help us find our way back to each other and reignite the flame on our once searing sex life.

Excerpt

I walk onto the brightly lit stage and peer into the blackness where an audience should be. My heightened nerves are frazzled, but the first strain of the sultry song comes across the sound system. As if it’s automatic, my body sways in response. 

My high-heeled shoes glide across the lacquered floor. I toss a sultry look at the audience, knowing my husband is out there, watching me. Adrenaline rushes through me as I realize he could be one of many watching—or he could be the only other person in this room—not knowing is part of the challenge. It’s part of the thrill. 

I shimmy my shoulders and let the sequins on the low-cut bodice of my dress sparkle in the light. Swaying my hips, I strut to one side of the stage and then to the other. I treat the faceless, hypothetical audience on each side of the stage to jovial gyrations. 

Taking center stage again, I slowly reach behind me and unhook the straps of my halter dress. I let the straps fall forward, but clutch the garment at my chest. I don’t want to show too much just yet. This dance is about the tease, it’s about suspense. 

I swivel my hips in an exaggerated move to turn around. With my back to the audience, I let my dress fall to my waist. My bare back is exposed and I steal a glance over my shoulder, giving whoever may be watching me an impish grin as I push the dress down the curve of my hips until it slides past my legs and pools at my feet. I’m clad only in a bejeweled G-string, and I give a little wiggle of my ass to the audience.

Moving to the beat, I slowly turn. The champagne colored sequined pasties covering my nipples gleam in the light. Although no tassels are attached to the pasties, I shimmy, causing my breasts to move in a circular motion. Getting into the music and the atmosphere, I roll my body and drop to my knees.

The song is nearing its crescendo and I really want to let go, to get into this. And not just for the benefit of whoever may be watching me. The truth is there could be one hundred people out in the audience, and there could be just one person, my husband Eric. Or, there could be no one. The idea that I might be dancing alone in a darkened room doesn’t bother me. 

I could and should do this for myself. For no one else. I needed to let go. So I did.

Under the bright white spotlight, on my knees on the stage, I rock my hips and run my hands up the length of my body. Leaning back until my shoulders touch the floor, I gyrate my core, making my tits bounce in a circular motion. I let the shimmy infuse my whole body with erotic energy. 

My arms rise above my head and as the song comes to an end, I stop. I hold the position, on my knees with my arms extended above my head, my body perfectly still, save for the rapid rise and fall of my chest as I try to regain my breath.

The spotlight turns off and the room is plunged into total darkness. I raise my torso, but remain kneeling on the stage. Is he here? Does Eric want me to stay on my knees? Will he come to me or am I supposed to leave the stage and find him somewhere in this dark, unfamiliar room?

Suddenly another spotlight comes on. It’s smaller than the one that had illuminated the stage, the lighting softer. It shines on a single man, sitting at a table. A tumbler of scotch sits in front of him. 

The handsome dark-haired man dressed in all black makes my heartbeat accelerate. 

Eric

I rise to my feet and slowly, seductively make my way toward my husband. 

Find Marital Bonds for .99 at AmazonAmazon CAAmazon UKiBooksKobo, and Nook.

Read My Books for Free or at a Discount – Smashwords End of Year Ebook Sale!

If you’re looking to load your e-reader up with books to get you through the winter, you will want to check out Smashwords End of Year Ebook Sale. All my titles are included in the sale, with my .99 book listed for FREE and all others discounted by 25%.

Hurry over to Smashwords and take advantage of this sale before it ends on January 1!

Fangirling Hard Mocktail Recipe from Nerdy Words

When I set out to write the Talk Nerdy to Me series, I knew I wanted to include drink recipes in each book. But, as I thought about it further, I realized I didn’t know how to develop a cocktail recipe, since I don’t really consume liquor.

Then, I had a great idea that allowed me to create drink recipes, but that also made sense for the series. In the books, bartender extraordinaire, Jamie, talks about how she doesn’t drink because alcohol famously lowers inhibitions and her wild self needs no help in lowering inhibitions (I love her!). As a result, she creates a mocktail menu for Nerdvana that are not only alcohol free, but each drink has a moniker that’s fitting with the geek-theme of Nerdvana. Every one of Jamie’s mocktails are revealed in each book, and the recipes are dished here and on my social media.

Today, I’m excited to share another alcohol free drink recipe with you!

With the holiday season in full swing, I wanted to share the first mocktail recipe I created. It’s a great drink that’s familiar and perfect for celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s Eve. I say it’s familiar, because really, it’s my take on a Shirley Temple. I chose to share this recipe at this time because cherries in a lemon-lime soda always remind me of Christmas and New Year’s. When I was a little girl, we tended to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s at my grandparents’ house. And while all the adults were celebrating with grown up drinks, my grandma always made me feel special by mixing 7Up with cherries for me to drink.

It was with that fond memory that I made this drink recipe that is simple, but oh-so-tasty.

Fangirling Hard (Cherry Lemon-Lime)  Book 1, Nerdy Words

INGREDIENTS

lemon-lime soda 

jarred maraschino cherries, plus the juice

DIRECTIONS

Drop 1-2 cherries in a glass (preferably a pretty one, like a champagne flute), then fill with desired amount of soda. Top off with a few drops of the juice from the jarred cherries.  Enjoy!

Midweek Morsel – Wild Ride – Motorcycle Scene

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day, that midweek slump. Today I’m adding some zing to your week by sharing an excerpt from my short romance Wild Ride.

A good girl meets bad boy romance!

She’s in for one Wild Ride…

Blurb

Fresh from being dumped for being too boring, shy and geeky Cynthia Goode decides to shake up her dull life by entering a provocative contest at a popular country western bar. She doesn’t win first prize at the Naughty Nightie mechanical bull riding contest, but she does win the attention of sexy biker Brody Cruz.

Living out what she thinks is a fantasy, she lets Brody take her home for a night she won’t forget.

Excerpt

She warmed, from his touch, his words and the way he was gazing at her. His stare moved from her eyes lower. She realized he was looking at her mouth and she fluttered her eyes closed and leaned into him. Cynthia was done pretending she didn’t want him. She so did. Brody brought his lips to hers and her breath caught in her throat. His mouth was warm, his kiss possessive and assured, unlike anything else she’d ever experienced. Her palms grew moist and she twisted the leather skirt in her hands as Brody plunged his fingers into her hair and tilted her head back. 

“I didn’t think I’d meet someone like you tonight.” His voice was a raspy whisper. He let her go, but their gazes held. 

The intensity of his stare made her feel vulnerable, but also aroused. Never in her wildest dreams did she think she’d meet a man like Brody tonight. Or any other night. She leaned against the wall for support and stepped into her skirt. 

“Let’s get you home.” He reached for her hand and pulled her toward the motorcycle parked near the front of the building. The big machine was black with lots of chrome that glinted in the lights of the parking lot. Brody hopped astride the bike and handed his helmet to her. “Put this on.”

“What will you wear?” She gnawed her lip. She hated taking his only helmet.

“Don’t worry about me. I’ve ridden countless times without a helmet. Mainly back when I was young and stupid like Eric.” He shrugged. 

She put it on and fastened it under her chin, but she had to ask for his help in adjusting the strap so it fit her. Hiking her skirt up her thighs, she straddled the big machine and sat on the seat behind Brody. He let go of the handlebars and turned to take both her hands in his. “Wrap your arms around me like this. Put your feet on those pegs. Hang on tight.”

She did as he told her, but gulped and nodded. If she wasn’t already tipsy, she was intoxicated now on the thrill of the situation. Brody kicked up the kickstand then rocked the bike and backed it out of the space. He turned the ignition and the powerful engine roared to life. The seat vibrated beneath her and Brody masterfully maneuvered the machine out of the parking lot. She wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her head against his shoulder. She clung to him. This was bound to be a wild ride.

Want to read more? Get Wild Ride for just .99 at AmazonAmazon AUAmazon CAAmazon UKBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboPlayster, and Scribd.

Embracing the Romance, and the Magic, of Cozy Season

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to winter, aka the cozy season – drinking hot cocoa, cuddling under a blanket, and staying indoors while the snow falls outside. Let me just say that I don’t like being snowed in as much as I like the idea of being snowed in, but I can get down with it for a day or so.

And, I also understand that as I describe cozy season, I’m basically summing up the finer points of every Hallmark holiday film and Christmas themed romance novel. But, as an avid romance reader, writer, and consumer of romantic movies, cuddling, cocoa, and forced proximity from being snowed in are kinda my jam.

As much as I adore reading romance, this winter I want to cuddle up with some romantic movies. And, I’m afraid I’m out of touch with romcoms and sappy movies these days.

Don’t mind me, I’m just dreaming about being snowed in with a crackling fire and never ending supply of cocoa and mini marshmallows.

Do you have a favorite romcom or ugly cry romance I should watch? Some of my faves include Leap Year, 21 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Sweet November, A Walk in the Clouds, and Remember Me. What else should I add to the list?

Have suggestions? Leave me a comment with your book or movie recs, or connect with me on Instagram!

Excerpt from Nerdy Words

If you haven’t read any of the books in the Talk Nerdy to Me series, you’re in luck, because I’m sharing an excerpt from book one, Nerdy Words on my blog today.

If you don’t know, Talk Nerdy to Me is a book series set in a nerd-themed bar in the Pacific Northwest where the staff and customers end up falling in love over drinks, larping, comic books, and video games. Read on for the blurb and excerpt!

Blurb

When Olivia Sands walks into the hottest bar in Cascade Falls, she’s swept away by the cosplayers, gamers, and larpers. The atmosphere at Nerdvana is truly a haven for geeks, and Olivia can picture herself spending every weekend at the nerd-themed hangout. Or at least, she could before she finds out the bar’s owner is none other than Dustin Bradshaw, her first crush and the man who fled her life with no explanation four summers ago. 

Of course, the years have done nothing to eliminate the magnetic pull between them, and now that they’re thrown together again they’re helpless to fight their attraction. Between working on her bespoke costume business Cosplaymates, attending grad school, and planning her future, Olivia doesn’t have time for dating. But Dustin will stop at nothing to finally make her his, once and for all.

Nerdy Words is book one in Talk Nerdy to Me, a series centering around the romances that blossom between bar staff and customers at Nerdvana.

Excerpt

“Okay, I think I finally get why this place is called Nerdvana. It’s like a damn nerd wet dream in here.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

At the sound of the deep male voice close to me I jumped, nearly dropping my beaker in the process. I turned my head to address the speaker but had to drag my eyes up at least a foot to look him in the face. Once I met his stare, my mouth wouldn’t work anyway.

Momentarily stunned by his arresting pale blue irises, I opened and shut my mouth several times before any sound would finally come out. It’d been several years, but I’d never forget that face. I started to greet him, but he broke eye contact.

Before I could string together enough syllables to form a coherent sentence, he turned his attention to Jamie. It figured. Between her sparkling personality and brown almond-shaped eyes men—and women— constantly hit on Jamie. The fact that she was a D-cup probably didn’t hurt her chances either. But still, I wished the spark of recognition I’d felt when our eyes had connected had gone both ways. Of course, maybe he just didn’t recognize me. I’d changed a lot since that summer.

“Are you Jamie? My business partner let me know she gave you an impromptu interview earlier. I’m Dustin Bradshaw,” he told her and thrust his hand out toward her.

Dustin Bradshaw.

As if I could ever forget that name. I dropped my gaze to their clasped hands. It was only a professional handshake, nothing more, but I felt like an idiot, just standing on the sidelines watching the two of them. I shifted my gaze to the ink on the outside of Dustin’s right forearm. In what looked to be an homage to the original 1UP gaming system, he sported a tattoo of the gray square controller on his flesh. My brother was a gamer and I had to appreciate the details of Dustin’s tattoo. The depiction of the controller was accurate down to the twin green circles and blue cross-shaped button. Seeing it made memories come back in a rush.

I’d used my fingertip to trace the details of that tattoo on a warm summer night four years ago. God damn it, why was I thinking about what had happened between us when he hadn’t even bothered to spare a second glance at me? All this clearly one-sided reminiscing made me uncomfortable, like every inch of my skin was exposed under a microscope. The fact that Dustin hadn’t acknowledged me made it all that much worse. I wanted to run from this bar like the building was on fire. Of course, I wouldn’t.

Wanna keep reading? Get the book at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AUAmazon CAAppleB&NKobo.

Talk Nerdy to Me Character Interview: Quinn

Nerdy Deeds Blurb

Quinn Whiteeagle, Nerdvana co-owner and burlesque performer, is falling for Jonah Stavropoulos, and that’s a huge problem. Not just because Jonah’s a customer and is developing the bar’s app. There’s something else about Jonah that makes a future with him a non-negotiable. It’s his dominant nature.

When it comes to Quinn, Jonah can’t help himself. He’ll forgo his safety, put himself in harm’s way, and make any sacrifice in order to have her in his life. Quinn resists his pursuit and that just makes him more determined to win her over.

After several dangerous encounters with a stalker, Quinn puts her pride and reservations aside and runs to Jonah’s waiting arms. He offers Quinn a safe place to stay, but makes no qualms about wanting to give her more than just temporary safety and shelter. Every protective instinct he has is activated and Jonah will fight like hell to keep Quinn in his life and in his care forever.Nerdy Deeds is book three in Talk Nerdy to Me, a series centering around the romances that blossom between bar staff and customers at Nerdvana.

Get Nerdy Deeds at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AUAmazon CAAppleB&NKobo.

Now on to the interview!

How did you get into performing burlesque?

It was something I fell into, as weird as that may sound. My brother is a stage performer and he encouraged me to try burlesque, and by encourage, I mean he dared me to do it. I can never back down from a dare from my older brother, so I signed up for an amateur night at a club in Seattle. Once I was up there performing, it awakened something in me. I realized I was a natural performer, but also that by donning costumes I was able to embrace parts of myself that I never showed to anyone.

Sounds like an empowering experience. Speaking of dressing up, I love your look. Were you always drawn to the pin-up style?

I grew up idolizing the glamorous Hollywood icons from the 40s and 50s. Once I started dressing up on stage, I realized how much I needed to look that way all the time. The pin-up look is my calling card, but it’s more than that. I call it my armor. My pompadour, red lips, and vintage clothing make me feel strong, like a total badass. Like I could lift a car off a baby if I had to. (laughs)

Switching gears a bit, I want to talk more about Nerdvana. The nerd-themed concept is awesome. Coming from performing, how did you get into the bar business?

Yes, the concept is awesome, and I can’t take credit for that, it’s all Dustin’s, my business partner, creation. I worked as a bartender for years and when Dustin announced he was launching this project, he invited me to join him. I of course jumped at the chance, but really, bartending is just another way to perform. The bar’s it’s own special type of stage.

I can see that being true, especially at Nerdvana. Do you have a favorite area of the bar?

We’re working on a new space, the lower level is going to be amazing. We’ll have a special drink list, a DJ spinning a few nights and it’s a private gaming space for RPG and Dungeons & Dragons tournies and groups.

The lower level sounds super fun! Last question, and it’s a personal one. How are things going with Jonah?

It’s like a fairy tale. And I feel a little sappy saying that, but it’s true. It feels good to both in the same place, plus he finally stopped leaving carbs laying out around me (laughs). I really love him.

On that romantic note, if you want to know more about any of the other characters in the Talk Nerdy to Me series, keep your eye out here for more interviews. And, of course the best way to get to know everyone at Nerdvana is to grab the books!

Book one, Nerdy Words, is out now. Get it at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AUAmazon CAAppleB&NKobo.

Find book two, Nerdy Thoughts, at Amazon USAmazon CAAmazon AU, and Amazon UKApple booksBarnes & NobleKobo.

Get book three, Nerdy Deeds at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AUAmazon CAAppleB&NKobo.

Safe Haven, a Short Story Set During Thanksgiving

I’m a sucker for short stories this time of year, mainly because I’m usually busy until after the holidays are over. And reading short stories allow me to take 10 minutes here and there to read a romance. My short story called Safe Haven, is set during Thanksgiving weekend and follows the story of two people who reunite at their hometown bar only to learn they each nursed a crush on the other during high school. Even though decades have passed, the two are still just as drawn to each other as they were as teenagers. This short story is 10,000 words, so it’s a quick read, and it’s only .99 cents. Read on for a snippet and the blurb!

Blurb

When Roxanna Chase finds herself alone in her tiny hometown of Haven, Indiana on Thanksgiving eve, she decides to do the one thing she always swore she’d never do: attend Chatterfest, an unofficial high school reunion held every year the night before Thanksgiving at Haven’s busiest bar, The Watering Hole.

After a couple of cocktails and reminiscing with a classmate, Roxanna is overwhelmed, and a little turned on, when her old high school crush Nicholas Birch approaches her at the bar. He’s still as tall, broad-shouldered and sexy as he was thirty years ago. Since he’d dated her best friend in high school, Roxanna had always placed Nicholas in a box marked ‘hands off.’

When Nicholas admits he had feelings for Roxanna in high school, the two decide to leave the bar together and see what happens next. They quickly find that when old flames are rekindled, they can ignite into an inferno that refuses to burn out.

Snippet

“I’ve wanted to do this since senior year,” Nicholas said before he placed a searing kiss on her lips.

Roxanna let out an involuntary moan when he gently parted her lips with his tongue. She wrapped her arms around his waist while their tongues mated and stroked. Placing her hands on his broad back, Roxanna tried to pull his muscular body toward her own. It felt like she couldn’t get close enough to him, as though she couldn’t get enough of him. As though sensing her urgency, Nicholas broke his mouth free from hers.

“It’s these clothes, they’re in the way,” he told her with a seductive wink.

He pushed her cardigan off her shoulders and down her arms, allowing her to pull the garment’s sleeves off her wrists. Her camisole came next. Nicholas eased it slowly over her head. When she was standing before him in only a bra, skirt and stockings, he reached down to caress the material of her brassiere between his thumb and index finger.

“This is almost too pretty to take off. Almost.”

Get Safe Haven for just .99 at digital book retailers.

Nerdgasm Mocktail Recipe from Nerdy Thoughts

When I set out to write the Talk Nerdy to Me series, I knew I wanted to include drink recipes in each book. But, as I thought about it further, I realized I didn’t know how to develop a cocktail recipe, since I don’t really consume liquor.

Then, I had a great idea that allowed me to create drink recipes, but that also made sense for the series. In the books, bartender extraordinaire, Jamie, talks about how she doesn’t drink because alcohol famously lowers inhibitions and her wild self needs no help in lowering inhibitions (I love her!). As a result, she creates a mocktail menu for Nerdvana. Every one of Jamie’s mocktails are revealed in each book, and the recipes are dished here and on my social media.

I first shared about the Nerdgasm, a cran-apple fizzy drink in an Instagram Reel last summer when I was heavily promoting the book it appeared in, book two, Nerdy Thoughts. In that version of the mocktail, I made it with cranberry juice and a pear apple zero calorie bubbly water. The summertime version is tasty and it goes well with the lower calorie, lower sugar things we tend to consume in the warmer weather.

I recently revised the recipe slightly, to be more fitting for fall and winter. Since this is the time of year where we gather with friends and loved ones and lift a glass or two, I thought the mocktails in the Talk Nerdy to Me series are perfect for the holidays. After all, just because you have a lot to celebrate doesn’t mean you have to imbibe alcohol if it’s not your thing. Also, these mocktails are a great way for underage folks at social gatherings to feel like they get to partake in something special.

For the fall version of the Nerdgasm, I combined cranberry juice with sparkling pear-apple cider. This iteration of the mocktail is obviously sweeter than the summer version, but the core flavors remain the same, cranberry, apple, and pear, three fruits that I think compliment each other so well.

Here’s the official recipe, if you’d like to try the fall version.

Nerdgasm (Cran Apple Fizz) From Nerdy Thoughts

In a glass of your choosing, (hopefully a fun, pretty one), combine two parts sparkling apple cider to one part cranberry juice. If you’d like to up the aesthetic appeal of the drink, toss in some frozen cranberries to keep it nice and chilled. Enjoy!

If you make the Nerdgasm, I’d love to know what you think of it and of course, I wanna see photos (pics, or it didn’t happen, right?). Comment below or tag me on Instagram @thearielstorm and let me know how the Nerdgasm treats you this holiday season.