Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Confessions of a Hedonist!

When my husband recently deserted me to go heli-skiing in Canada, my daughter suggested that instead of staying home alone, I should spend the week at a Spa. Why this had never occurred to me to do before, escapes me. Firstly, because I love being pampered and secondly, because it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life!

A quick google search of Spas in Colorado brought up St. Julien’s in Boulder. This funky, college town is nestled against the foothills of the Rockies and enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year. I’d only spent the day here before, but I’d liked it and the thought of spending time close to home, but not too close, appealed.

Within minutes of picking up the phone I was booked into a kingbed room with a view of Boulder’s famous “Flatiron Mountains”. And less than two hours later, down the Interstate from my home in the Rockies, I was being warmly greeted by the hotel staff and shown to the Spa where I had a pedicure booked.

Positive the therapist would run screaming when she got a glimpse of my feet that had been squashed into ski boots for a good part of the season, Renee, was instead the picture of discretion. I was given a glass of water, offered grapes and dipped my feet into a swirling, warm bath. An hour later, my lower legs and feet, scrubbed, massaged, primped and nails painted, I emerged feeling as if a quarter of my body was already on the way to feeling restored. In an effort to feel fully restored I booked a sugar body scrub and revitalizing facial for the following day.

Proud of my pretty pink-painted size tens, I padded around the hotel in the hotel provided robe and slippers and went to check their restaurant menu. Not in the mood for dressing up – or dressing at all, for that matter, I opted for room service.

I caught up on emails via the free wireless internet in my room and my smoked salmon walnut salad was delivered 20 minutes later with a smile and the good wishes of my waiter to have a good night. There’s something wonderfully decadent about lounging across the bed, eating and watching really trashy TV programs. Ever wondered where they find those people in the People of Walmart emails – just take a look at some of those reality television shows – particularly ones dealing with repossessions, bounty hunting and anyone who lives outside the law!

Dinner finished, I decided on an early night as I had a book to write during my sojourn. However, sleep didn’t come easily as the plot of a new story teased at my consciousness. Midnight found me typing the first words of book four of the O’Malley Men series, about firefighting brother, Adam. Two hours later, I had over 3,000 words down and was ready for sleep. This time it came blissfully quickly as I sank into the soft-as-a-cloud mattress and pillows. Such bliss!

After a late breakfast of smoked salmon bagel, which was so delicious, I couldn’t wait for breakfast the following morning to order it again, I wandered into the spa for my Body Scrub and Vichy Shower. Having never experienced one of these before, I had visions of myself glowing in the dark, I’d be scrubbed red raw.

I was greeted by my therapist and directed me to lie on a bed in a room that looked like an enormous shower. I was draped for modesty and Mary set about massaging the rare as hens’ teeth (apparently) sugar into my legs. Far from being rubbed raw, this was an amazingly relaxing experience. I tried not to think how much dead skin was being rubbed away after a winter spent two miles high in the dust dry atmosphere of the Colorado Rockies. Backs of legs, back, shoulders and arms rubbed, it was time for the Vichy shower. As I lay on the bed, several gentle jets of water washed the sugar away as my therapist used a hand-held spray to gently wash away the last of the sugar crystals. Then it was time for my tummy, front of legs and arms to be given the treatment. I was then toweled off and massaged with a soothing palm oil butter. I emerged feeling re-energised and extraordinarily clean and smooth!

Kerrie welcomed me into the facial room where I lay on a heated bed and it was deemed my skin was in desperate need of a Revitalizing Treatment – recommended for mature, fatigued, dull, sun-damaged, pigmented, and sluggish skin types. Since I felt my skin pretty much slotted into all those adjectives, I lay back and let Kerrie do her best. I tingled when the alpha-hydroxy exfoliant was applied and felt nicely burned when she applied a paprika mixture to help the alpha absorb. None of this was unpleasant and I satisfied myself with the knowledge that the more it tingled, the more help my skin probably needed. A soothing cream was then massaged in, a honey scented mask applied and hands massaged while this did its magic. An hour later my skin felt like a two year old’s bottom and I was practically drooling with pleasure. But wait, my ecstasy dose wasn’t over yet. Then followed a hot oil head massage and foot reflexology. By the time I left the salon I was floating on air.

Back in my room I ordered a Caesar salad for lunch, then took a restorative nap. I awoke at dusk, took care of emails and started work again. I was so absorbed in my new story, that I forgot about dinner and worked till 3am.

This pretty much became the routine for the week. Wake late, take a walk around historic Boulder, shop, back to the hotel for lunch followed by an afternoon of indulgence at the spa. Dinner in front of the TV and then back to work!

By day three, I was making plans as to how I could stay in this magical place for the rest of my life. I’d gladly sell my first-born (and subsequent issue) in order to do so. I was loving being able to go to bed when I wanted, rise when I wanted and eat what and when I wanted. No children asking: What’s for dinner? No husband saying: It’s late, come to bed!

I finished up my week of indulgence with more massages of body, feet and head, facials, splurged on a body mud masque but didn’t care for it nearly as much as I’d enjoyed the sugar scrub. By the end of the week, I'd worked my way through just about every therapist at the spa and left the hotel vowing to return soon.

By the end of the week, I’d written over 20,000 words towards my new book and felt revitalized, re-energized and ten years younger. As Ryan, one of the many wonderful staff at the hotel, opened my car door, wished me a safe journey home and hoped he’d see me again soon, I decided that if I had a money tree, I’d live in a spa hotel forever!

What’s your secret indulgence? What would you do, where would you go if you had a week completely to yourself, to do as you wished?

CC Coburn

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I remembered...

to blog! So sorry I missed last month. I have been busy with kids' activities and deadlines and life in general, like drooling over the cover for my April Harlequin American, HIS BABY SURPRISE. I uploaded it to share. And if he wasn't adorable enough on his own, he's holding a baby. She reminds me so much of my oldest, who is now driving. *gulp* Where does time go?
As you can tell, from my missed blog last month, I've already broken my New Year's resolution of getting more organized. Sad that I didn't even make it 9 days, huh? How about the rest of you? How are the resolutions going? Kept? Broken?
Reply and I'll pick a winner from the responses for an autographed set of all three Citizens Police Academy books!
Happy Reading!
Lisa Childs

Monday, February 08, 2010


I don’t have much to blog about today. I’m busy trying to make a Feb 15 deadline. But I was reading our local paper this morning with breakfast and there was an article about Valentine’s Day and some favorite romantic movie quotes. They caught my attention and I thought I’d share some with you.

This one goes right to the heart.
"I’d rather spend a lifetime with you then to live all the ages of this world alone."
Lord of the Rings

Ah, true love.
"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with a person, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
When Harry Met Sally

What romance novels are all about.
"You make me wanna be a better man."
Melvin Udall
As Good as it Gets

This quote is true in life; not just on Valentine’s Day.
"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."
The Wizard
The Wizard of Oz

This next quote fits the book I’m writing. The hero and heroine are on opposite sides of a legal matter but love finds a way to bring them together.
"Even if we never speak again after tonight, please know that I’m forever changed because of who you are and what you’ve meant to me…"
Holden McNeil
Chasing Amy

And my favorite…
You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how."
Rhett Butler
Gone With the Wind

Gotta love Rhett. I never got what Scarlett saw in the wimpy Ashley.

Do you have a favorite quote? Or which is your favorite from the above?

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day filled with love.

Skylar’s Outlaw Jan ‘10

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Are You An Oreo? by Megan

I am.

I have the pleasure of taking care of my mom while having children at home. My friend calls me part of the sandwich generation, wedged between different responsibilities. Now, if I'm going to be a sandwich, I'm going to be the sweet, creamy center of a cookie!

I'm already double-stuffed, lol, so an Oreo seems like a natural choice.

Raising my children is a responsibility of love. So is caring for my mom. She was in the hospital last month while I was on deadline and had bronchitis. After some antibiotics for me and my sinus/ear infections, and three heart stents for Mom, we are mending.

I prefer when everyone is well (DH had a 101.5 fever for three days during this time; now my children are coming down with ... something), but I'll take what comes. I feel extremely lucky to have my mom still with us. I'm incredibly blessed with two children and the man I love as my partner.

That same friend's children are grown and gone, and her parents are independent and live far away also. She has a different life than I, not a richer or poorer life, but different. Someday my mom will be gone and my children out on their own, and it will all come sooner than I'm ready for. In the meantime, I will enjoy the ups and downs and feel blessed for each fevered brow, straight A report card, and moment I spend with them.

Here's wishing you a happy day, no matter what stage of life you're in. If you must be "wedged" between two generations, remember, you're the sweet, creamy center.

[Just watch out for that giant cup of milk!]

Megan Kelly