Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What Type of Reader are You?

What am I reading now?  A Sunrise in Rio (Rachel Matthews)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  
Book Blurb:
For Hire: Fiancee 
Eric Jansen was aware of the reputation he gained as a cold-hearted playboy. As a widower with a mysterious past marriage, work is his only solace...that is until the company investors threaten to pull out of the deal. With a new luxury hotel in Rio de Janeiro and a housing development for underprivileged families on the line, he needs a way to prove to the investors he is serious. The beautiful new photographer, Jayla Mitchelson, is perfectly outside of the media's eye. Not only will she help the deal, he just may find himself asking her to stay after the job is done.

15 Types of Readers
as told by Cats and Dogs

Here's the first one. Click if you'd like more...by Simon & Schuster on Buzzfeed...I'm definitely all of them at some time!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lemony-Blueberry Scones

(recipe below Rafflecopter)
What am I reading now?  Not Quite Sheer Happiness (Melissa Baldwin)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?
 Book Blurb: Sienna Harris is back and appears to be on top of the world! Her company, Sheer Happiness Events, is booming, but personally she’s a mess. She never imagined that with amazing success would come tremendous pressure. Although her professional life seems in disarray at times, her relationship with the dashing Ace Eckelund is finally progressing.
Friendships are tested and so is her relationship when—once again—the past collides with the present. Sienna begins to question everything in her life and wonders if she should throw out her desire for constant certainty and live life on the edge for once. But, will she be able to change the person she has always been for who she wants to become?
Find out in this captivating third installment of The Event to Remember series.
Lemony-Blueberry Scones
Makes: 9 scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. sugar
3  tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
zest of 1 large lemon
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs; 1 for dough & another for egg wash
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons of milk
1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Adjust baking rack to the middle position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the lemon zest and whisk again. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla together. Set aside.
4.  Grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture, stirring occasionally.
5. Drizzle cream mixture over the flour mixture and then toss together with a spatula. If the dough is too dry to hold together (very loosly) add a few tablespoons of milk to moisten. Slowly and gently fold in the blueberries. Don’t over work the dough. It will not be a wet dough but could hold together with a little pressure.
6. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can and transfer to a floured work surface. Press the dough into a square and cut into squares with a knife. Place the squares onto a parchment covered baking sheet.
7. Brush sides with beaten egg wash.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Top with melted butter and serve with lemon curd.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Mysterious First Chapter

What am I reading now?  The Girl Who Heard Demons (Janette Rallison)

Annd . . . what do I think so far?  Shy Adelle Hansen hears demons, but she’s determined to make friends at her new high school by keeping her ability secret.
When she overhears supernatural voices celebrating the impending death of the school quarterback, Levi Anderson, she knows she has to do something to prevent it. However, the demons aren’t the ones plotting; they’re just celebrating the chaos, and Adelle must contend with earthly forces as well if she wants to preserve Levi’s life.
Handsome, popular Levi doesn't appreciate Adelle’s self-appointed role of guardian angel. As Adelle battles to keep him safe, she’ll have to protect her heart, too. Can she do both?

Exactly what goes into the 
the Mysterious First Chapter?

The first few pages will make or break a reader. Lisa Mangum gave a lecture on writing and said (I'm paraphrasing here) that ...
•the job of the first sentence is to make the reader read the second sentence.
•The job of the first paragraph is to make the reader read the second paragraph.
•The job of the first scene is to make the reader read the second scene.
•The job of the first chapter is to make the reader read the second chapter.
and so on!

So what needs to go into that first chapter?

K.M. Weiland has this list. You can find it on her blog at http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/character-arcs-5/
It is part five of a 15-part series that is a MUST READ for writers wanting to improve the structure of their craft!
"The Characteristic Moment has to accomplish several tasks. It has to:

  • Introduce your protagonist.
  • (Probably) reveal your protagonist’s name.
  • Indicate your protagonist’s gender, age, nationality, and possibly his occupation.
  • Indicate important physical characteristics.
  • Indicate his role in the story (i.e., that he is the protagonist).
  • Demonstrate the prevailing aspect of his personality.
  • Hook readers’ sympathy and/or their interest.
  • Show the protagonist’s scene goal.
  • Indicate the protagonist’s story goal.
  • Demonstrate, or at least hint at, the protagonist’s Lie.
  • Influence the plot, preferably directly, but at the very least in a way that foreshadows later events."
Brandon Sanderson said this (paraphrasing from a session taught at LDStorymakers 2016) of the opening chapter:
The opening chapter is a hook, and a hook is a promise. It is a microcosm of the entire story. He went on to say that we should review the opening scene of the Temple of Doom--Indiana Jones considering how it relates to the entire film.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Freezer Cake

What am I reading now?  Crumpets & Cowpies (Shanna Hatfield)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? First, he's surprised that his brother has died. Then that he must come to England to claim an inheritance. And finally, that it includes two children. All of those surprises, he could deal with, but the solution to it all--never!

The Book's Blurb:

Detestable! Arrogant! Insufferable!

He'd been called worse...

Rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate only to find he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined.
Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s intolerable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she travels across an ocean and America to build a future on his ranch in Oregon.
Raspberry Chocolate Freezer Cake

Bake a brownie mix in a spring form pan according to package directions then cool completely.

In a bowl, beat together 1 small package cheesecake instant pudding with 1 cup milk.

Microwave a package of white chocolate chips, 4 Tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon Rum flavoring; 30 seconds, 15 seconds and 10 seconds (if needed to melt chips). Add this to a package of soft cream cheese and blend until smooth.

Add this mixture to the pudding mixture and beat together.

Whip 1 cup of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the mixture.

Add 10 oz frozen raspberries and fold to incorporate.

Spread over the brownie and chill for 3 hours.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Paranormal Romance

~~~~~~ HUGE $2000 Giveaway! ~~~~~~~

Welcome, fans of the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy genres! This one is just for you! 

And really, it is! 21 best selling authors have come together to provide this EPIC giveaway, and they have devised the perfect plan for vetting winners and making sure these awesome prizes go to true fans of the genre–so if that’s you, don’t worry, we won’t let giveaway bots or cheaters steal your prize!

Our only rules for winning: 1 Entry Per Person (plus the additional entries you get for referring friends) and You Must LOVE Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy!
By entering this giveaway, you will be subscribed to the newsletters of sponsoring authors for opportunities to snag more great deals, giveaways, and freebies, though you can unsubscribe at any time. Find the link to the giveaway at the bottom of the page.

Join the facebook event here:

Not only will one grand prize winner snag a $2000 Gift Card, there are also a TON of fabulous runner up prizes (6 print books and 9 ebooks)!!
  • The Beast by J.R. Ward (any format)
  • Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning (any format)
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (ebook or paperback)
  • Charlaine Harris, Dead until Dark (ebook or paperback)
  • Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh (ebook)
  • Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep (ebook or paperback)
  • Signed Copy of The Blackburne Legacy by Apryl Baker
  • Magick After Midnight Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Wolf Rampant Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Mythean Arcana Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Cursed by Lucy Leroux (ebook)
  • Flower of Hell by Noree Cosper (ebook)
  • Darkness Rising by Lisa Carlisle (ebook)
  • Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon (ebook)
  • Winner’s Choice on any top 10 PR/UF book on Amazon at the time of the drawing
Good luck, and don’t forget to share this giveaway with your Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy loving friends for extra entries to win!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Lot on our Plate

What am I reading now?  The Heir & The Crown (Kiera Cass)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  These are book 4 & 5 of The Selection series. Although I enjoyed books 1-3 more because of the freshness of the story and the political backdrop, these books seems less intense, but that's okay. They just have a different tone that I hadn't expected.

Yes, I still recommend reading them.

Here's the blurb for The Heir: In this fourth romantic novel, follow Illéa’s royal family into a whole new Selection—and find out what happens after happily ever after.
Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story...but as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.
A new generation of swoon-worthy characters and captivating romance awaits in the fourth book of the Selection series!

A Lot on our Plate

Deanna and I are working on two stories right now. We also have one on the back burner, simmering. the rough draft on that one is finished and we have to let it sit so we can have a fresh perspective when we pick it up again. 

When we first started out we had just a couple of ideas. Now we have file of ideas that bombard us while we are writing something else. It's a good problem to have.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day Book Bash

Pick up a few books at special sale prices for Mom for Mother's Day!

The price is right--go ahead and buy one of each!

Also sign up for our $50 Amazon gift card giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

$25 AmazonUS eGift Card Ends 05/08/16 12am. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com US eGift Card. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Mother's Day Book Bash. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zootopia

Z is for Zootopia (Disney)
Annd . . . what’s the blurb? This is a little young for my usual blog readers (Okay, a lot!, but I'm a little desparate for a title that starts with Z) The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde, to solve the mystery.

This might be a case where I loved the movie more than the book. :)

Quote for the Day

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Years & an Ocean

Y is for Years & an Ocean (Jo Noelle)
Annd . . . what’s the blurb? Going to a séance was supposed to be a harmless diversion in Victorian England, but for Delia Spencer, it was life altering. Since that day, she has been plagued by fainting spells, while her consciousness visits Elle Thomas more than a century in the future. 

In modern-day New York, Elle has kept secret the dream-like memories of Delia’s life. As the visits have become more frequent, Elle is confused about what is her life and what is not. Back in England, Delia’s father is determined to marry her off to any marginally suitable man before her illness becomes known to society. But will Delia consent, now that she’s had a taste of Elle’s independence?   

Part contemporary, part Victorian. Part romance, part tragedy. Part young adult, part new adult. 
This time travel novel is set in London, England and New York City. It is a clean romance packed with suspense and humor, and just enough kissing. Science fiction meets sweet romance in Years & an Ocean.

A Secret About the Author: Jo's favorite authors are Erin Knighley and Susanna Kearsley. Noelle's favorite authors are Simone Eckles and Jennifer E. Smith.

Quote for the Day

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for The Joy of X

X is for The Joy of X (Steven Strogatz)
X is that hot little variable we all had a crush on in junior high algebra!

Annd . . . what’s the blurb? 
 "Delightful . . . easily digestible chapters include plenty of helpful examples and illustrations. You'll never forget the Pythagorean theorem again!"—Scientific American

Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, insight, and brilliant illustrations.

Whether he is illuminating how often you should flip your mattress to get the maximum lifespan from it, explaining just how Google searches the internet, or determining how many people you should date before settling down, Strogatz shows how math connects to every aspect of life. Discussing pop culture, medicine, law, philosophy, art, and business, Strogatz is the math teacher you wish you’d had. Whether you aced integral calculus or aren’t sure what an integer is, you’ll find profound wisdom and persistent delight in The Joy of x.

Quote for the Day

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Window of Time

W is for Window of Time (Debra Erfert, pen name DJ Erfert)
Annd . . . what’s the blurb? CIA courier Lucy James never gets used to seeing innocent people killed, but she copes with it—every day. Cursed with the ability to glimpse into the future when a death is about to happen, she has a short window of time to interfere—risking her life in order to change it. No one knows about her curse, until she saves a handsome Los Angeles firefighter trapped between her and foreign operatives hell-bent on intercepting her current assignment. 

LA firefighter Johnny Cartwright’s life changes the moment he meets Lucy. His uncomplicated days flip to dangerously unpredictable after he’s drawn deeper into her secretive world of premonitions. His attraction to Lucy grows as he helps her stop a terroristic plot against the U.S., putting his life between her and certain death.

A Secret About the Author: I can remember an unfamiliar house from when I was 6 months old. I write about this house in detail in Window of Time.

Quote for the Day

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Vocal Crush

V is for Vocal Crush (Lisa Swinton)
Annd . . . what’s the blurb? Can you ever out run a broken heart?

Lexi Court spent seven years traveling the world, living the nomadic Broadway life, in an attempt to outrun the broken heart Nick Rivers gave her. Now, there’s nowhere left to go. 

When she accepted a position as a high school drama teacher in Las Vegas, Lexi hoped to get over Nick, find a nice guy, and settle down. But what should be a quiet summer gets turned upside down when Lexi's best friend, Taffy, drafts her to be an emergency replacement coach on a televised vocal competition. 

Feeling out of her league among the other three celebrity coaches, Lexi fights for the most promising contestants to be on her team. One note from a single voice shatters her summer. Nick unexpectedly auditions and joins Lexi's team. With her vocal crush on him raging as strong as ever, she has nowhere to run from Nick’s dreamy looks or siren voice. 
Lexi has no doubt that Nick can win the competition. The question is does he want to win her heart as well or will he damage it beyond repair? 

Think television reality show The Voice meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

A Secret About the Author: I've dyed my hair every natural shade...and a few unnatural ones. ;)

Quote for the Day

Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for An Unexpected Proposal

U is for An Unexpected Proposal (Annette Lyon)
Annd . . . what’s the blurb? AN UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL as part of the Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection: 
**Amazon #1 Bestselling *New Release* in Clean Romance 
**Amazon Top 10 in Regency Romance 
**Amazon Top 5 in Victorian Romance 

“Top Pick!” “This anthology is what holiday romance is all about. I can't remember the last book I found so delightful and enjoyable.” –NIGHT OWL REVIEWS 

“These six romantic shorts are deliciously crafted… Each short takes the reader on a mini Christmas vacation to the past, its mystical beauty and imaginative romance.” –IND’TALE MAGAZINE, Erin Murdock 

“I readily recommend this smorgasbord of treats that are suitable for all ages.” –ROMANCE REVIEWS TODAY 

“There is just something magical about cuddling up with a good love story on a winter afternoon… they are charming glimpses into romantic moments of days long past.” –DESERET NEWS, Melissa Demoux

While working at a wood camp in the Logan canyon during the winter of 1880, Caroline Simpson is forced to thwart the aggressive advances of Mr. Butch Larson, and in the process discovers that her long-time friend James has genuine affection for her. But as stubborn as Caroline is, she minimizes the emotions James has awakened in her, and it takes almost losing him to admit her true feelings. 

An Unexpected Proposal was introduced in WINTER COLLECTION, the first volume of the bestselling and RONE Award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology series, and is now available as a standalone short.

A Secret About the Author: I'm a total history geek, which in part means that I adore wandering through cemeteries, which apparently most people think is creepy.

Quote for the Day

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tomorrow is Release Day!

April 25th is the release day 
Sweet & Sassy Anthology: 
Sand and Kisses

Five new clean romance novellas from 
Sweet & Sassy Anthologies. 
Open for Love by Elana Johnson 
Sabrina Arnold loves running her family's Bed & Breakfast in sunny New Orleans. What she doesn't love is the new establishment going up right next door. While Bri's snooping around the place to see how it compares to hers, she's caught by tall, dark, and handsome Carter Hammond. 
What she doesn't know is that Carter owns the property where she's trespassing, though he claims he doesn't. He's in New Orleans to start his first business venture, get out from underneath his father's thumb, and learn about the mother he's never known. As he and Bri spend more time together, he knows it's only a matter of time before she finds out that he owns the building she hates. Can their fledgling, summer love survive against the odds? 
Secrets in the Sand by Cindy M. Hogan 
Sometimes staying hidden, even for a spy, is nearly impossible. 

Christy Hadden, spy extraordinaire, thinks she’s created the perfect getaway in beautiful South Beach, Florida. A place where she and her handler, Jeremy, can give their forbidden romance a chance - in secret. 

But when they hear cries of alarm in an alley nearby, they can’t resist the pull to help, even if it exposes them. And when Christy becomes a person of interest in a murder committed in that same alley, they must hunt down the real killers and clear 
Christy's name. 

In this game of hide and seek, it seems their secret is sure to be found out. Christy may have to choose between the love of her life and her life's purpose - and the stakes are higher than she ever bargained for. 
Life’s a Beach by Jo Noelle 
Jenna Brennan doesn’t believe in love. She doesn’t believe in marriage, and she’s learned to only count on herself. At her Uncle Walter’s insistence, and a little emotional blackmail, she returns to Misty Harbor Cottages to help him for one last summer in a place that's really the only home she’s ever known. 
Cole Zamora has worked at Misty Harbor for more than half of his twenty-three years, and imagined someday owning the place. He met Jenna when they were ten-years-old, and his young heart fell hard for her, relishing every summer she came back. That is, until two years ago, when she broke his heart and never returned. 
Uncle Walter proposes a challenge between the two, with the winner becoming the new owner of Misty Harbor. Now, there’s a real chance Cole could lose his heart and his home. Jenna isn’t sure which worries her more—a summer of rivalry or romance? 
The Upgrade by Candice Toone 
Moving on after college can be tough. Especially when former sorority president and dance team captain, Amanda Ford, takes a job at her alma mater. Her big plans to help host a study abroad tour to Peru and to launch a dance fitness program back on campus nearly come undone when she meets Spencer Elliott, an adorable undergrad who’d love to date the girl she used to be. She gives in to a final hurrah date, but regrets that choice when Spencer shows up at the study abroad orientation. Customs regulations, professional insecurities and social unrest combine to challenge Amanda’s developing professional prowess, often leaving her pitifully vulnerable to the unfortunate combination of an emerging sense of self, a handsome near-stranger, and a beautiful Peruvian beach. 
Surfboards and Star Trek by Donea Lee Weaver 
When Anna meets Derek while on vacation at the beach, it’s not exactly love at first sight. How could a handsome surfer be interested in a divorcee like her? When she finds their age difference is nominal and that she and Derek share a love for all things Star Trek, she hopes love might blossom. But, long-distance relationships are tough. And when a waitress mistakes her for Derek’s mom, she starts to doubt the budding romance. Can a California surf-connoisseur and an older woman who sucks at all things water-sports find enough common ground to make a relationship work? 

It's already getting some great reviews. See them here: