Thank you for hosting me again. I’m thrilled to drop by and talk about my latest charity anthology — The Billionaire Fling. I love doing these because I don’t get out much, so volunteering is off the table, for the most part. And I make charitable donations, but I often feel disconnected from those. Actually sitting down and writing a story makes everything more connected. More really. The bonus is I get to work with a fantastic team and 19 amazing other authors in support of a cause I believe in. Most people have been touched by breast cancer. As we age, there’s an inevitability to this. For me, my dear aunt Heather had it. She fought — and won — but I’d love to see a day where we can prevent this devastating illness. Or where the treatments aren’t nearly as toxic and debilitating. Anyway, my aunt’s going strong, ten years into remission. I hope she’s with us for a long time to come.
Okay, great, Gabbi…but you said something about tropes?
I’ve only written one billionaire story — Beautiful Eyes — and I didn’t market it as such. Sure, the hero has earned over a billion dollars. But he says it casually. And, he doesn’t throw money around to impress other people. He uses his money for good. He doesn’t live flamboyantly, and he’s humbled when facing true poverty and deprivation. In that book, the BDSM and relationship between the hero and heroine are far more central to the story.
When I sat down to write my new story, Grant’s Gambit, I took a similar approach — the money is truly secondary in the story. My hero and heroine have just partaken in an intense cathartic BDSM scene (off page). This story is their journey of discovery into what it means when all the barriers have been brought down. About how learning to trust after such a powerful scene can have a lasting impact. Oh, and one of the characters happens to be rich. Lisa’s family recently sold their media empire and she’s got a billion or two in the bank.
That’s where the trope flipping happens. I wanted my story to be different. I wanted a female billionaire. Lisa’s a character I’ve used before (she’s also a Domme — another bit of a flip). She wields a whip and flogger with finesse. She can also bring grown men to their knees — literally and figuratively. With Grant’s permission, she does this with him. What’s left is the beginning of a long-term relationship (okay, they’re totally together forever). Yes, this is sort of instalove. Or not. They’ve circled each other for a year at Club Kink, the BDSM club. Each knows what they’re getting. Or so they believe. Grant’s an electrician. Lisa’s a professional Domme. Grant makes it clear he’s got no issues with her continuing with that work. Her little bombshell of the newly inherited money means nothing to him. He plans to go to work on Monday. The only change he foresees in his life is that he’s finally found the courage to tell Lisa how he really feels about her.
Oh, and there’s a cat and a surprise behind a locked door.
All that — crammed into five thousand words.
My fellow authors have all written stories meant to entertain. And we’ve all done it with the hope of raising money for a worthy cause. (And I’m thrilled to say my heroine isn’t the only woman billionaire!)
I hope your readers will take a chance and pick up The Billionaire Fling.
And, as a thank you for hosting me, I’m happy to give away a $5 Amazon Gift Card. To the readers — what’s your favorite trope? Even better, which would you like to see an author flip on its head? (Hint — I might just take your suggestion for my next charity story…) Finally, I’ve got a new book coming out in March — so I’ll be back! (More trope flipping to come…)
The Billionaire Fling
Champagne, sports cars, private jets: these powerful billionaires can buy everything but love.
With the world at their command, how will they cope with the one person who wants their heart, not their money?
Strap on your red sole stilettos, pop open the champagne, and dive into our billionaires’ glittering happily ever afters.
Twenty titillating stories from USA Today best-selling and award-winning romance authors in a spicy billionaire collection curated by The New Romance Cafe, with ALL proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Authors: Celia J. Lisbeth
Kenna Shaw Reed
Grant’s Gambit by Gabbi Black
Mistress Miranda, after one of her most magnificent BDSM scenes, plans to relax and unwind in the safety of her luxury condo, high above her beloved city of Vancouver. She has rules about how intimate she’ll be with a submissive, and she plans to stick to those edicts.
Grant Adkins willingly submitted to the formidable Domme tonight. And she’d topped him in a fantastic cathartic scene. But he’s not ready to call it a night just yet. He’s breaking the rules by following her home, but he wants to have just one more encounter. Then he’ll let her go.
But when things heat up, his walking away in the morning feels far more difficult than either planned.
Grant’s Gambit is an erotic 5k short story with elements of BDSM, a cathartic scene, and a surprise pile of money.
Even though Gabbi Black is a firm believer in happy endings, she makes her characters work for it in every romance she writes, no matter what the genre. From contemporary to BDSM, they are penned early in the morning in her home in beautiful British Columbia while her trusty ChinPoo dog keeps her company. She also writes gay romances as Gabbi Grey and contemporary small-town romances as Gabbi Powell.
Born in the segregated South of Heilberger, Alabama in 1927, Coretta Scott’s early life was shaped by her family’s long history in fighting against racial injustice. In 1945, she entered Antioch College in Ohio to study music, all the while actively engaging in civil rights activity through the college’s Race Relations and Civil Liberties Committees and the local chapter of the NAACP.
She won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music and moved to Boston in 1952. There she met Martin Luther King Jr. They married in 1953 in a ceremony in which she had the vow to obey her husband removed. After completing her degree in voice and piano in 1954, she moved with her husband to Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1968, she did not allow the tragedy of his assassination to stop her pursuit of justice. She established The King Center to advance his legacy and ideas. To make sure that legacy was not whitewashed, she fought to make sure quotes reflecting his stance on the Vietnam War were included in the King Memorial dedicated in Washington DC in 2011.
In the 1980s, she drew comparisons between the fight against apartheid and the Civil Rights Movement. After meeting with Winnie Mandela and Allan Boesak, she came back to the US and urged then-President Regan to approve economic sanctions against South Africa.
In 1983, she urged amending the Civil Rights Act to include gays and lesbians as a protected class. She called on the civil rights community to join in the struggle against homophobia and anti-gay bias in 1993. In 2003, she made history by inviting the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to take part in observances of the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington and her husband’s “I Have A Dream Speech.” It was the first time that an LGBTQIA rights group had been invited to a major event of the African-American community.
Having been an advocate for peace as early as 1957 when she helped found The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, it came as no surprise she spoke out against the attack on Iraq in 1993. In 2004, the government of India awarded her the Gandhi Peace Prize.
In 2005, she allowed Antioch College to name a center after her. The Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom addresses issues of race, class, gender, diversity, and social justice. She received numerous awards and recognitions for her activism before she died in 2006.
Moneta Sleet Jr.’s Pulitzer prize winning image of Coretta’s stoic expression while she holds her youngest daughter on her lap during her husband’s funeral is indelibly branded in my memory. Yet, I hope you can see from what I just shared that she enhanced that dignified image by living the life of a courageous activist whose impact rippled across the nation and in the world.
For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share your thoughts on the life of Coretta Scott King or any courageous woman you admire.
Better To Marry Than To Burn by Michal Scott
Blurb: Wife Wanted: Marital relations as necessary. Love not required nor sought…
A bridal lottery seems the height of foolishness to ex-slave Caesar King, but his refusal to participate in the town council’s scheme places him in a bind. He has to get married to avoid paying a high residence fine or leave the Texas territory. After losing his wife in childbirth, Caesar isn’t ready for romance. A woman looking for a fresh start without any emotional strings is what he needs.
Queen Esther Payne, a freeborn black from Philadelphia, has been threatened by her family for her forward-thinking, independent ways. Her family insists she marry. Her escape comes in the form of an ad. If she must marry, it will be on her terms. But her first meeting with the sinfully hot farmer proves an exciting tussle of wills that stirs her physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
In the battle of sexual one-upmanship that ensues, both Caesar and Queen discover surrender can be as fulfilling as triumph.
“Our children?” She swiveled in her seat. “You made no mention of wanting children, just marital relations as necessary. I understood that to mean intercourse.”
“I wrote I wanted to leave a legacy.”
“A legacy. Not a dynasty.”
“Legacy. Dynasty. Is there really so sharp a distinction?”
“To my mind there is. I understood you meant to affect future generations—endow schools, found churches, create civic associations. I didn’t realize that meant children. I agreed to having sex, not having children.”
“Of course I want children.” His brows grew heavy as he frowned. “Doesn’t having sex lead to having children?”
“Not with the right precautions.”
His frown deepened. “Precautions?”
“There are many ways to prevent your seed from taking root, Mr. King.”
“I want children, Mrs. King.”
Her lips twisted and her brow furrowed, but she kept her silence.
“All right,” she said. “You can have children with any woman you like. I won’t stop you. I free you from any claim to fidelity.”
“Legacy—or dynasty if you will—means legitimacy. No bastard will carry my name, not when I have a wife to bear me children.”
Last year wasn’t my most prolific writing year—that’s for sure. However, I did have several releases. Some were re-edited, re-released titles (the Dark Realm stories), but most were new series books, including two Brotherhood Protectors books! Today, I just wanted to provide the list and release dates of the titles in case you missed one. If you’re interested in one of the stories, click on the covers to check them out!
01/07/22 – AFTER DARK, Dark Realm series, short story
01/25/22 – ELI, Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT series
02/15/22 – HUNK OF BURNING LOVE, Cowboys on the Edge, short story
03/22/22 – NO TENDER MERCY, Texas Vampires series
04/26/22 – DARK SEDUCTION, Dark Realm series
06/21/22 – VICTORIA’S SIX, Brotherhood Protectors: Colorado series
07/26/22 – GABRIEL, Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT series
08/12/22 – WHAT A WOLF WANTS, Dark Realm series, short story,
10/11/22 – GUARDING HANNAH, Brotherhood Protectors: Team Wolf series
2022 Short Stories
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell whether you’ve read any of these stories or which titles might interest you now! Easy, right?
UPDATE: The winners are…Beverly and Pamela Reveal!
Maybe you only know me through my bounty hunter books or the Brotherhood Protector stories I sometimes write. I’ve been a full-time author for more years than I care to admit, so there’s more on my backlist if you’re interested in checking out my older titles. Plus, if you love a sexier story than I tend to write now, you’ll really dig these. Hot cowboys? Lava-hot sex? What’s not to love? Read the excerpt below and comment for a chance to win a free download of any one of my six Texas Cowboys stories. They’re available in eBook and gathered together in two print volumes.
Following her husband’s death, Maggie McDermott faces the onerous task of running the family ranch. She’s through mourning her husband and the children they never had. The problem? She doesn’t know the first thing about running a ranch, so she knows she needs a capable hand. When Daniel Tynan applies for the position, she’s flooded with guilty memories of the time she tempted the younger man.
Daniel is more than willing to show sweet Maggie the ropes. His gentle ways melt her heart, and his sensual passion burns away her inhibitions. He may be younger, but he’s not without the right kind of experience…
An excerpt from The Cowboy & the Widow…
Danny Tynan was all grown up.
Maggie had noticed that fact right off. She’d hidden in the house like a coward when he arrived that morning, watching him through the curtains as Reggie greeted him with a handshake and a manly slap to his shoulders.
And such broad shoulders they were, too. Something else she’d noticed. He’d been tall as a teenager, all elbows and knobby knees, but anyone looking at him then would easily guess he’d grow into a handsome man.
He’d far exceeded her expectations.
Dark brown hair curled in careless, spiked waves around his head. Thick eyebrows shadowed blue eyes that could melt a woman’s heart in a single glance. Those features hadn’t changed.
What had changed took her breath away. He turned and stood with his back to her, feet braced apart. She took the opportunity that presented itself, letting her gaze embrace the breadth of his shoulders, the narrow indent of his lean waist, the small round globes of his buttocks, and thighs that looked sturdy and powerful…
If she’d thought him distracting when he was young, he was lethal to her peace of mind now.
Not that she’d ever acted on her attraction when he’d stayed at the ranch all those years ago. Although she’d entertained lurid fantasies where she’d played teacher to his youthful sexual education, she’d studiously ignored his adoring glances. Still, she hadn’t been able to resist deepening their connection, by appealing to a young man’s endless appetite…
For food, that is. She’d always loved to bake. Used it when she needed to work out her problems—a kind of “kitchen” therapy that soothed her restlessness when she hammered a slab of steak or kneaded a loaf of bread.
And she’d needed that release during the years of her marriage to Douglas. For while her husband had been ideal in many ways, he’d left her unfulfilled in two.
The man had never given her an orgasm, had never even realized the need to provide her passion. He’d provided her a roof, a purpose, given her a home to transform into her own haven.
Not a handsome man, he’d still managed to impress her when he’d begun to court her. Promising her comfort, protection—family. Something she’d craved since she’d been left alone in the world.
And although he’d tried to fulfill the promise of giving her a family, that was another hole he’d left in her life. He’d been sterile. When they’d discovered the fact, he no longer thought it necessary to use her body. What was the point?
When Danny Tynan came to the ranch, she’d met a good-looking boy, about to be a man, and a very sexual creature—if the state of his bedding was any indication.
Perhaps the hormones raging in his young body had affected her, for she began to feel those stirrings again. The ones her husband’s neglect had buried. She’d felt shame for her feelings, for the yearnings that tempted her to leave open a button or two at the top of her blouse to tempt him to peer inside her shirt, to wear shorter shorts to feel his glance rake the length of her legs.
That was as far as she’d allowed it to go, because she hadn’t trusted herself to do the right thing.
When I read this line penned in Maya Angelou’s poem, “And Still I Rise,” the inspirational example of a woman like Mary Eliza Mahoney comes to my mind.
Mary was born in the spring of 1845 in Boston Massachusetts to former slaves. They had moved to Boston from North Carolina in search of a better life for themselves and their children.
At age ten, Mary attended the Phillips School, one of the first integrated schools in Boston. By eighteen, she knew she wanted to be a nurse and began working at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. For fifteen years, she acted as janitor, cook, washerwoman, and finally as a nurse’s aide, where she got hands-on experience with the nursing profession. In 1878, at the age of thirty-three, Mary’s diligence and work ethic gained her admittance to the hospital’s professional graduate school for nursing, despite not meeting the age range criteria of being twenty-one to thirty-one. The program, which ran for sixteen months, offered lectures and first-hand experience in the hospital. Of the forty-two students that entered the program in 1878, Mary was one of four to graduate in 1879, making her the first African American in the US to earn a professional nursing license. Due to racial discrimination in the public sphere, Mary worked as a private care nurse, mostly, but not solely, for white wealthy families.
Because the nursing associations she was active in were not always welcoming to blacks, she co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908. The mission of the NACGN was to improve educational access for black women to nursing practices, raise their living standards, and change the poor perception society had of them. It existed until 1951 when it merged with the American Nurses Association.
In 1911, Mary became the director of the Howard Orphanage Asylum for black children in Kings Park, Long Island and served until 1912.
After forty years, she finally retired from nursing but not from advocacy. When the 19th Amendment was ratified in August 1920, Mahoney was among the first women who registered to vote in Boston.
Mary lived until she was eighty and died of breast cancer on January 4, 1926. Ten years later her achievements were honored by having an award named after her to recognize individual nurses or groups of nurses who promote integration in the nursing field. One of those honorees campaigned to have a monument erected in her honor. In 1973, the monument was dedicated at her gravesite. In 1993, Mary was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.
Many African-Americans, male and female—myself included—are the embodiments of the dreams and hopes of their enslaved ancestors. I’m glad to have learned of the dream and the hope that was Mary Eliza Mahoney.
For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share your thoughts on Mary’s story or on anyone you can think of who paved the way for others.
One Breath Away
Sentenced to hand for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.
Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.
Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…
He shouldn’t have agreed to the marriage stipulation, but Judah wouldn’t return the land to a bachelor. At the time marrying hadn’t entered Eban’s mind. Without Nora, he had no desire to leave a legacy anyway. And after sampling women of many races, Eban accepted he’d never marry. Then the stars changed his mind.
He glanced at them now. They shimmered as they had the night of that fateful watch. According to the first mate who swore by astrology, he’d perceived a special celestial alignment for Eban. The stars foretold a coupling resulting from a rescue in which Eban would meet his wife. Having found Mary, Eban knew that prophecy would be fulfilled.
“How could ya have believed ya heritage held no worth for ya without Nora?”
Eban blenched, though he shouldn’t have been surprised his aunt knew where his thoughts had gone and had headed him off at the pass.
He clucked his teeth. “To tell the truth—”
His aunt snorted. “That’d be a nice change.”
Eban frowned, but ignored the barb and continued. “I came home, not to reclaim Heart’s Ease, but to assuage my curiosity. Secretly I’d hoped to find Nora as miserable as I was. Then I met Mary.” Mary. He chuckled. “After meeting her, I see how short-sighted—how Esau-like—I’ve been.”
He glanced up again. “She’ll marry me, Clem. It’s written right there in the sky, and the stars don’t lie.”
Everywhere I look I’m bombarded with reminders of the impending holidays: Pumpkins, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas trees, glittery dresses. Don’t get me wrong, I love a pumpkin spice latte once on the first cool morning in October—not August and not every day for the next four months. That leftover turkey sandwich when the house is quiet, the dishes are all done, and I’ve got a moment of peace to reflect on what I am grateful for—heaven. I love the holidays, but I’m overwhelmed by all the effort that goes into hosting the relatives, buying the presents, decorating, cooking, and attending every obligatory event. If you’re anything like me, you’re already precariously balancing a life packed to the seams. But fear not, there is hope. After many years of trial and error, I have stumbled upon the key to not only surviving but thriving through the holidays: found family, self-care, and cocktails.
Family. We all have one. Even the best of them can be hard to take November through January. There’s something better—found family. I had not heard of the term until recently. Mine calls itself Framily, a combination of friends and family, but I discovered there is a real term and trend of found family. These are the non-biologically related people you chose as your support system. I would not have been able to manage life, much less the holiday seasons, without mine. My framily is a group of people I have known for almost a decade. We can discuss politics, not agree with each other, but listen and learn. We’re there for each other through health issues, life issues, and job issues. No matter what we face we know a text to framily will bring an immediate response of love, truth, help, and compassion without the baggage of biological family. When one of us acts bitchy, we’re called out with honesty and sympathy. If one of us suffers a slight, we fearsomely defend. Having a found family means never being alone to face the good or bad. Having a group that will make dinner when you are caught late at the office and entertaining that evening. So, when I’ve lost my sanity and am a raving lunatic, rushing to buy the perfect gift for Aunt Gertrude while simultaneously finishing a work project and planning a holiday meal, they step in and talk me off the ledge, usually over a cocktail. There is a suggestion for the hard-to-please relative, shortcuts to pull off the meal, and a book suggestion with a not-so-subtle hint to take some self-care time. I can laugh at myself, reset, and stop driving everyone crazy. So, find your tribe, those people that unconditionally love and support you, yet keep you grounded and real.
Self-care is another component for surviving the holidays, though you should make it a regular part of your life. If you don’t value and care for yourself, how can others? You can’t be your best for your friends and family if you aren’t at your best. What it looks like is different for everyone. Massage, tea with a friend, bubble bath, whatever makes you feel good. For me, it’s taking time to sit, read, and recharge. Books are an affordable mini vacation. I am transported to different locations, lost in the story, and who doesn’t need that amid holiday parties, school events, relatives’ visits, and end-of-year work projects? There is a book to suit every mood. I, of course, highly recommend Holiday Shorts that just came out this week. As a contributing author, it has something for everyone— holiday-themed stories. There’s love, romance, exploration, fantasy, and lots of toe-curling sex. Whatever book or other self-care regimens you chose, just do it. Make it a priority. You will thank me.
To complete the survival strategy is a cocktail. Much like my main character, Devon, in “The Sugar Rim”, when I am in a stressful situation, my go-to drink is a lemon drop martini. Devon also has a found family, a group of co-workers from the zoo: Peggy, Joe and Felicia. She is a recent addition to a new area with a job she loves, and she wants to share her life with someone. She has a made an artform out of bad romantic decisions, and she no longer trusts her judgment. Her found family helps her craft her dating profile, and they are there to help with the predate jitters and all the ups and downs that come with new love interests. That, and a little help from a sugar-rimmed drink, gets Devon the love she desires.
That brings me to my favorite recipe for a lemon drop martini.
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice—I prefer a meyer lemon
2 ounces of vodka—Kettle One from the freezer for me
¾ ounce Cointreau—don’t substitute with triple sec
¾ ounce simple syrup—yes, I use store bought no matter how easy they say it is to make it
Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice. Turn on the soundtrack to the movie Cocktail and shake it like Tom Cruise. Take your martini glass, use a little of the left-over lemon juice to rim it with sugar. I love the sanding sugars for their colors and size.
Pour the contents from the shaker into the beautifully sugar rimmed glass
Sit in your favorite chair or spot
Put your feet up
Close your eyes,
Inhale the citrus scents wafting from your beverage
Take a sip
Enjoy the cool, tart, slightly sweet beverage
You are now ready to face whatever holiday challenge comes your way.
I would love to hear about how you cope with holiday stress, your found family, or your favorite drink recipe. Drop a comment for a chance to win a free copy of “Holiday Shorts.” Winner will be chosen within 48 hours.
Thank you, Delilah for the opportunity to share my survival guide with your lovely readers. Here’s to a fun, fantastic 2022 Holiday season.
I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I left the publishing industry for quite a few years, but I’m back and excited to be here once again. So, big thanks to Delilah for hosting me today.
While I was on my…sabbatical, a lot of things happened to me. Like I became a grandma to three lovely little grandsons—a set of twins who just turned three, and their one-year-old brother. With the birth of the twins, we quickly learned why we have our children while we’re younger because those tykes can wear us out in a hurry. Even in the first few months when the twins were just babies, my husband and I would come home after a visit and crash, thinking “But we didn’t really do anything but hold them and feed them. Why are we so tired?”
(One of these days that thought will probably make it in a book by one of my character’s friends or parents.) I’d love to share photos of them but my son and DIL have asked us not to put the boys’ photos anywhere on social media. However, I can share a photo of the Gramps sweaters I knitted for them to match their Daddy’s favorite cardigan.
Yes, I’ve also learned to knit in the past few years, so the boys will never be short of hats and scarves and sweaters, although the challenge of having twins is you have to knit two of everything.
One of my favorite projects to knit are socks. There is nothing like wearing a pair of real hand-knit socks, especially as the days grow chillier. I live in Canada, so yes, chillier days are definitely ahead.
The main female character in my latest release All I Need for Christmas would wear hand-knit socks if she had them, especially while she patrolled in Nunavut, but her love interest also lives in a snowy area—near where I grew up, a lovely area called Haliburton in central Ontario. Being a Christmas story, there’s snow involved. So yes, they’ll want warm socks, and lots of other knitted garments for when they venture outside. But inside they have other activities that really heat them up. 😉
All I Need for Christmas
In the past three years, Megan has only been sexually satiated a few times. A few glorious, hot, submissive times, with an emphasis on submitting.
Oh, it’s not because she’s single. It’s because her sexy, dominant sculptor boyfriend, Ryan Porter, lives half a country away. She spends her time patrolling the Arctic as a Mountie, while Ryan spends his time creating art in central Ontario. Ryan bends metal and wood to his will to reveal their hidden beauty, the same way he does with her…in the bedroom.
But Megan wants—needs—more from their long-distance relationship than phone sex and longing, and Ryan, too, has realized he craves more from Megan than her occasional submission. With their annual holiday sex-fest upon them, can they stoke the flames that burn between them into the best Christmas gift of all?
All I Need for Christmas is available both as an ebook and in paperback.
About the Author
Leah Braemel is the only woman in a houseful of males that includes her college-sweetheart husband, a Shih Tzu named Seamus who behaves like a cat and Turtle the cat who thinks he’s a dog, and visits with her two sons, and three grandsons. She loves escaping the ever-multiplying dust bunnies by opening up her laptop to write about sexy heroes and the women who challenge them.