Monday, April 30, 2012

Couple Getaways - Z - Zoo

Believe it or not, the zoo can be romantic. Especially in the summertime. And especially at the Portland Zoo. Well, okay, I'm a bit bias because I've been going to the Portland zoo since I was three, but regardless, I'm constantly amazed at how well the animals are taken care of, and how much the zookeepers care about the animals. The exhibits are incredible. There are animals at the Portland zoo that you won't find at other zoos. Careful attention is given to the animals' needs and their habitats. The zoo is constantly expanding as they work hard to keep the animals happy in their environment.

At Christmas time the whole park is lit up, even the train. For Halloween they make it a bit spooky - fun spooky with the zoo boo train.

Trains run all throughout the day, but my absolute favorite is the cute little steam train. Peacocks strut around the tracks with their gorgeous fan of colors. There are often music shows and festivals during the summer, shows where you learn about eagles and hawks and owls. There's a long winding trail that is just breathtaking that takes you to the beavers, otters, and a scary crocodile.

One of my favorite exhibits is the rainforest where you'll find an array of exotic birds. The polar bear exhibit is huge and the bears are often in the water playing with toys. I don't know, they're so big they kind of scare me. Huge bodies, huge paws...*shivers*

I always get a laugh at the penguins. Other animals to see include giraffes, zebras, cranes, lions, tigers, and bears (oh my), antelope, a seriously cool mountain goat, all sorts of monkeys, elephants (Packy is Portland's very special elephant), wolves, bats, and well...let's just say many many more.

Despite it being a zoo, where of course there are a ton of kids running around, there are moments of peacefulness to be found. Hubby and I walk hand in hand and enjoy a picnic on the grass.

I hope you've enjoyed the A-Z challenge. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, but a special thank you goes out to Lynn Proctor and Savannah Chase. I've had a wonderful time learning about new places as well as reliving memories of the places I've been. In all honesty you can make any place a fun and romantic couple's getaway.

Ann Cory

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Winners Announced - Spring Fling Blog Hop

Thank you so very much to everyone who took the time to stop by and comment during the Spring Fling Blog Hop.

I loved all your answers about what signs of spring you most look forward to. Mine is the first blooms on our Magnolia tree out front. The moment I see the pink buds I get so excited for spring to arrive.

I hope everyone enjoyed the blog hop and entered in many of the participating author blogs.

I decided to choose 3 winners this time around. I'll be emailing each winner today and asking for their choice of books.

The names I drew are:

Nay Nay

Denise Z

Vanessa N

Once again, thank you for stopping by!

Most appreciatively,
Ann Cory

Ride to Ecstasy - Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday!

The following six sentences are from my book Ride to Ecstasy

Tonight, her mind refused to sway from lustful thoughts of Vaughn. She needed to get off now or it would be one long night.

Carah charged back into her studio, the floor cool beneath her bare feet. She wasn't fooling around. The burning need toiling around inside her was as ravenous as when she'd first come up with the idea of the sex-toy bike. No less than three orgasms were going to do the trick tonight.

Ride to Ecstasy is available at Amazon

~Ann Cory

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Uncharted Territory - Sweet Saturday Sample

Today I'm taking part in Sweet Saturday Samples. This sample comes from my book Uncharted Territory

Charlotte dragged her body along the sand, her dress heavy, making it difficult to move. She longed to close her eyes and rest. Her lungs felt tight, and she wheezed between breaths. Further, she pulled herself along, well away from the foamy water dotting the shore like ruffled lace. She had no idea how far the ocean tossed her, or what island she’d washed up on.

Charlotte noticed a dark object appear a mere inch from her face. A black boot, long and shiny. Someone seen her after all. She sighed in relief. Clean clothes and a glass of brandy would help erase the nightmare of the last few hours.

Before she had a chance to express her gratitude, the tip of a sword sank into the sand uncomfortably close to her out-stretched hand. She didn’t consider it a friendly gesture.

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to move, my proud beauty.”

The deep voice brought on a sudden burst of goose bumps across her flesh. “Please…” Her voice came out faint, raspy, and it took several tries of clearing her throat before she could finish. “Please. I can hardly move. My muscles ache from head to toe.”

“I only be askin’ once, wench. Move.”

From his gruff tone, she didn’t question how often he got his way. She stared at the black boot, so defiant and firm in its stance. To add insult to injury, he prodded her shoulder with it.

Charlotte rolled herself over, and focused on the blue sky. Scattered white clouds in the formation of doves floated overhead almost close enough to touch, or so it seemed. She glanced to her left and sighed. Pain racked through her tired body repeatedly until the owner of the boot had her full atten-tion.

A devastatingly handsome man stood over her, wearing a black tricorn hat with a crimson feather. The look on his face suggested he knew something she didn’t. He squatted down, his long coat opening wide enough to show a white shirt un-done to his naval, dark knee breeches, and bucket topped boots. A chain hung around his neck with a gold coin at the end that swung in a circle above her head. She shivered as a light breeze stole over her damp skin.

“You’re resting on me swag, lass, and nothing comes be-tween me and my swag.”

Uncharted Territory is available at Amazon

Ann Cory

Couple Getaways - Y - Yaquina Bay

Yaquina Bay State Park is located in Newport at the north end of Yaquina Bay near its outlet to the Pacific Ocean. Spruce and pine grow steadily there, but the real star is the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

Built in 1871, it was decommissioned in 1874. It was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation on December 7, 1996. It's believed to be the oldest structure in Newport, and is the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached. It is also the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing.

Yaquina Bay is located off Highway 101, just southeast of the quaint town of Newport, Oregon. It's quite fun to take a couple hours out to go and tour the lighthouse. The tour guides dress in period clothing and are happy to tell you the history of Yaquina, as well as answer any questions that you have.

On the other side there is the famous Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The 93 foot tower, Oregon's tallest, is located on a narrow point of land jutting due west into the Pacific Ocean north of Newport, at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Winds and rain have buffeted this lighthouse since its beginning in 1872. It took approximately one year, and over 370,000 bricks to construct Oregon's tallest lighthouse.

If you have time or plan to stay the weekend, you may want to take time out to drive over the bridge and see the Oregon Coast Aquarium. It used to be where Keiko the whale was placed for rehabilitation. You'll find hours of fun and exploration there both indoors and outdoor.

All throughout April I've been posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you've enjoyed the destinations, and maybe a few have inspired you to put on your travel plans. It's almost at the end, but I do thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by.

~Ann Cory

Friday, April 27, 2012

Couple Getaways - X - Xainza, Tibet

Nature lovers will enjoy passing through Xainza County in Tibet. There are many nature attractions to see including bodies of water and geologic formations. Even more thrilling is the Xainza Nature Reserve.

Located in Xainza County, Nakchu Prefecture, the reserve is the habitat for over 120 species of birds. It covers a total area of 40,000 square kilometers and is the highest and biggest among the seven nature reserves for black-necked cranes in China.

Its location provides a warmer climate for the birds to live. Runoff from the nearby Gangdise Mountain's glaciers and snowfall, and the annual rain volume of 300 millimeters are sources of moisture for the reserve. The surrounding lakes, with low mineralization water, and widely-distributed marshlands and grasslands, are also indispensable factors for the sustainability of a favorable inland wetland and water ecological system. It's considered to be the best living environment for black-necked cranes.

Xainza Nature Reserve was established in 1993 to protect black-necked cranes. Xainza Nature Reserve is favorable for aquatic organisms and aquatic birds to propagate and live.

Black-necked cranes are also called Tibetan Cranes, and are the only crane species living on highlands. The black-necked cranes are an endangered species. There are no more than 6,000 in the world.

All throughout April I've been posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you've enjoyed the destinations, and maybe a few have inspired you to put on your travel plans. It's almost at the end, but I do thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by.

~Ann Cory

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Couple Getaways - W - Westfield Heritage Village

Westfield Heritage Park, located in beautiful Ontario, Canada, is a delightful place to visit. While not romantic in the sense of candlelight and a stroll beneath the sunset, it is fascinating to step back in time and imagine yourself in the days of the pioneers.
On many weekends there are people who are out in the fields doing reenactments. Each day you'll see people dressed in full costume, going about their business making bread, churning cream into butter, sewing and weaving, and blacksmithing. You can watch the carpenter or printer at work, speak to the trapper in the French-Canadian log cabin, or chat with one of the soldiers in the three-cornered hat. Some of the buildings at the park were used in the Anne of Green Gables movie starring Megan Follows. I highly recommend both the horse and buggy ride after a day of walking around.

Westfield Heritage Village is a collection of 35 historic buildings relocated from various sites around southern Ontario and carefully reconstructed and painstakingly restored to their original appearance. The village sits on a 39 acre site surrounded by an additional 324 acres of unspoiled natural woodlands and meadows with several well marked nature trails.Visitors may witness living history demonstrations and take part in guided tours of the 130-hectare site which is bordered by beautiful woodlands, meadows and trails.

All throughout April I've been posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you've enjoyed the destinations, and maybe a few have inspired you to put on your travel plans. It's almost at the end, but I do thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by.

~Ann Cory

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Couple Getaways - V - Verona

I'm hanging around Italy again because it's a place I long to visit. This time I'm hitting up Verona.

I don't know what it is about medieval/Renaissance/Elizabethan Era, but it's a time period I enjoy listening to the music, reading books about, and watching movies about. Such movies as Becoming Jane, Ever After, Romeo and Juliet (the 1968 version is my favorite), A Knight's Tale, King Arthur, Stage Beauty, Shakespeare in Love, Game of Thrones, Ladyhawke, Stardust, Lord of the Rings, and The Other Boelyn Girl to name a few, make me want to don the clothes and dance to the music. A very beautiful soundtrack to listen to is the Becoming Jane Soundtrack.

That era inspires me to write and be creative. So yes, I definitely want to go to Italy and spend a couple days in Umbria and then a couple days in the fair city of Verona. To walk the streets and take in the ambience.

Celebrated by Shakespeare, who made it famous as the romantic setting for the moving tale of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a splendid, ancient corner of the Veneto region, nestling between the river Adige and Lake Garda, and intimately linked to their waters. With its wealth of Roman sites and streets of pink-hued medieval buildings, Verona has more in the way of sights than any other place in the Veneto except Venice itself.

All throughout April I've been posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you've enjoyed the destinations, and maybe a few have inspired you to put on your travel plans. It's almost at the end, but I do thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by.

~Ann Cory

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Couple Getaways - U - Umbria

Just east of Tuscany, north of Rome and west of the Marches, you'll find a beautiful place that in my opinion would be very romantic indeed. It's a place called Umbria.

I have a great love of medieval castles and the architecture of old historic towns. So does hubby. If I went I'd probably choose sometime during the summer when they are putting on one of the many festivals where people are dressed in costume, putting on plays, and enjoying what Umbria has to offer.

Umbria’s wealth of fabulous medieval towns, mist-cloaked hills, deep valleys and artistic treasures make it a charmer. Its hilltop towns are medieval gems rich in art and architecture, while its wooded landscape comes into its own out of season, when it's mountain-crisp outside and fireside-warm indoors.

Umbria’s capital, Perugia, is the world’s most cosmopolitan medieval city. Encircled by walls, it's an upbeat university city with a lively nightlife and a foot-tapping jazz festival each summer. Elegant shops line its palatial Corso Vannucci, while a warren of winding streets tunnel beneath Etruscan arches.

Visit Assisi in the evening to stroll around the hilltop town bathed in golden light as day turns to dusk. Yes, I think this would be a very romantic spot to go. What do you think?

All throughout April I'll be posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you'll stop by for the next destination! No passport necessary ;)

~Ann Cory

Monday, April 23, 2012

Couple Getaways - T - Toronto

There are many things to do in Canada's beautiful city of Toronto, and a ton of incredible places to eat. No matter your busy agenda, don't miss out on taking an elevator ride up the CN Tower. The view is incredible. There's also a fun little restaurant inside where you can get some fun souvenoirs. Another beautiful site is Casa Loma. I love the architecture of buildings, and castles are some of my favorite.

There are also plenty of shops, the Hockey Hall of Fame for hockey fans, theaters abound showing an assortment of both popular and brand new musicals and plays. At our lost stop there both The Lion King and Mama Mia were the big headliners.

Other attractions include the St. Lawrence Market - perfect to grab some picnic food, The Royal Ontario Museum, the Harbourfront, the Toronto Zoo, and Canada's Wonderland - a large amusement park attraction. There's so much to do in Toronto you really need a good week to enjoy.

Hubby and I enjoyed Toronto at night most of all. The weather was nice and we'd sit outside of a nice eatery with a drink (Bailey's on ice), talking and people watching.

All throughout April I'll be posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you'll stop by for the next destination! No passport necessary ;)

~Ann Cory

Sapphic Planet Blog Tour April 23 – May 4

Sapphic Planet Blog Tour April 23 – May 4

The Sapphic Planet Blog Tour starts April 23!

For two weeks, authors from the Sapphic Planet anthology of erotic lesbian stories will entertain you Monday through Friday with blog posts and tantalizing excerpts. You can read more about the tour at Sapphic Planet Blog Tour.

Comment on any of our posts to enter the drawing for your own free download of Sapphic Planet - the more posts you comment on, the greater your chances to win!

Here's the schedule:

23rd April: Kissa Starling
24th April: Ann Cory
25th April: Dalia Craig
26th April: Nan Andrews
27th April: Adriana Kraft
30th April: Meg Leigh
1st May: Ann Cory
2nd May: Dalia Craig
3rd May: Nan Andrews
4th May: Adriana Kraft

Spring Fling Blog Hop

Welcome to the Spring Fling Blog Hop taking place from April 23rd to 27th!

I'll be giving away an ebook (winner's choice) from my Bookshelf

To enter, post a brief answer to the question below and leave an email addy so that I can send you the prize. There are no wrong answers. On the 28th I'll draw from the names of everyone who left an answer and post the winner :) Easy Peasy!

QUESTION: What do you look forward to most in spring?

To check out all of the participants in this blog hop, be sure to click Here

Enjoy the blog hop and Happy Spring!

Ann Cory

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday!

The following six sentences are from my book Immortally Theirs, a menage.

In the corner of the room, Bastian appeared, his brow raised. His long ice-blonde hair and pale blue eyes were such a striking contrast to Armand's darker features. The nomadic vampire's preference was for sword play and games. He too shared a passion for Shakespeare, but more for the violent side of love and the physical fighting than the poetic romance. He had a commanding approach which is why she deemed him the fighter and Armand the lover. Though Bastian didn't need any lessons in how to pleasure a woman.

Immortally Theirs is available at Amazon

. Hope you enjoyed! Thank you for taking the time to stop by :)

Ann Cory

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Couple Getaways - S - Sunriver

Since I was a little girl, I've been going to Sunriver every couple of years. The resort is located about fifteen miles from Bend, Oregon. My favorite time to go is in late September or early October, just as the autumn leaves show off all of their radiant color. The drive alone is pretty surreal.
There are so many fun activities to do there. They rent out bicycles and have some of the best trails I've seen. There are three outdoor pools, 1 indoor pool, plenty of tennis courts, golfing, horseback riding, you can walk everywhere, and the shops are quite fun to check out. You can go out on a raft, or look at the stars in the state-of-art Sunriver Observatory. Very romantic indeed. And if you prefer the colder weather, you're not far at all from Mount Bachelor.
I also have to mention that they serve delicious food at the restaurant. I recommend the creme brulee for dessert. Yum! Also, if you're going to Sunriver to spend some time with your special someone and need to bring the kids along, there are a ton of fun activities to keep them busy. All throughout April I'll be posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you'll stop by for the next destination! No passport necessary ;)

~Ann Cory

Snake Charmer - Sweet Saturday Sample

Today I'm taking part in Sweet Saturday Samples. This sample comes from my book Snake Charmer.

Somewhere between a sleepy haze and consciousness, soft flutters of desire flickered between her legs, gently arousing her. With eyes half open, she glanced down to see the scarf loosely coiled around her thigh, disappearing beneath her slip. She blinked and looked again, this time more aware of the object. A shiny red snake slithering along her skin. Goosebumps raked her back. Its black eyes watched her intently. Tongue flickering from its thin mouth, tasting air and then disappearing again.

The snake raised its head and moved side to side like a pendulum. Berlin tried to look away but couldn't unlock her gaze. The same garnet she'd seen on the scarf illuminated from the snake's forehead, right above its eyes.


She recognized the voice she'd heard earlier as it echoed around her room. Her eyelids lazed to half-mast as fatigue infected her body. All her internal coaxing couldn't shift her gaze away from the garnet.

Don't be afraid.

The low, ethereal voice stilled her fears.

In frozen fascination she watched its mouth open. Ivory fangs sparkled like stars against a moonless sky. Berlin waited for the ultimate pain as its fangs broke her skin, but it didn't strike. Instead, the snake grew in length beside the bed, becoming an impossible size. Its tongue flickered, a faint hiss barely audible. Transfixed, she watched the red shiny layers of the snakeskin split, and a handsome man took its place.

Snake Charmer is available from Amazon

Thanks for stopping by!

Ann Cory

Friday, April 20, 2012

Couple Getaways - R - Rose Gardens

The Portland Rose Gardens is a soothing way to spend your day with your loved one, surrounded by acres of beauty. Five acres, to be exact.

Those five acres in Washington Park were set aside as a rose-growing test garden in 1917. During World War I, the Portland Rose Garden became a haven for varieties European growers feared would be destroyed during the bombing, and today it is the oldest official, continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States with more than 8,000 rose plants.

June is the busiest month at the gardens because of the Rose Festival, and in my opinion not the best month to go. While it does get warm in July, you'll find some quieter days during that month. If you're looking for a peaceful getaway for the day with your honey, I highly recommend a walk through the Rose Gardens.

All throughout April I'll be posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you'll stop by for the next destination! No passport necessary ;)

~Ann Cory

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Couple Getaways - Q - Queen's Landing

Sometimes you and your significant other want to stay somewhere luxurious. You deserve to stay somewhere luxurious. If you're in the Niagara area, you'll find plenty of accommodations, but a true beauty is Queen's Landing.

Queen's Landing is a grand Georgian-style mansion with elegant decor, attentive service, and a breathtaking waterfront setting. You will find the romance of the water and an ideal blend of style and comfort. 144 elegant guestrooms, a lakefront villa and waterfront cottage, are individually decorated and feature fireplaces and whirlpool baths. When you stay at Queen's Landing - it's all about indulgence, romance, and serenity.

The dining experience is impeccable. Delight in French traditional cuisine in the beauty of the Tiara restaurant. The restaurant is heavenly, and the farm-fresh food will delight all your senses. No matter your preference, you'll find a tasty treat, and the experience alone is worth a stop in. There is also a more casual restaurant on the premises, perfect for a quick pick-me-up. I remember stopping in for the afternoon to cool off and had the most scrumptious creamsicle drink with a kick that I've ever had. Mmmmm.

It's such a quiet place to stay you can lose yourself in the many amenities offered, including a dip in the pool, or a spa treatment at the two local spas.

If you want to venture out with a picnic lunch, you're never far away from a truly pleasurable wine experience in the Niagara on the Lake region. Some of my favorites include: Chateau des Charmes Winery, Hillebrand Winery (try their Trius), Inniskillin Wines, Jackson-Triggs (delicious ice wine), Konzelmann Estate Winery (crisp and clean Chardonnay), Marynissen Estates Wines, and Pondview Estate Winery.

All throughout April I'll be posting about Couple Getaways as part of the A-Z Challenge. I hope you'll stop by for the next destination! No passport necessary ;)

~Ann Cory