Saturday, November 7, 2015

Baoule Spirit Lovers

Baoule Spirit Lovers
Guest Post by Christy Gissendaner



The Baoule people of Africa’s Ivory Coast believe a parallel universe, called the Blolo, exists where the spirits of newborns waiting to be born and the deceased co-exist with the real world. Every spirit has a mate in the Blolo, who can be enlisted to save their mate’s problems while in our world. Interesting? I certainly thought so. Enough to write a Christmas novella centered on the Baoule culture.

Romantic problems, infertility, and general unhappiness in the real world can be cured by commissioning figurines of spirit mates. Blolo bian (males) and Blolo bla (females) are generally carved from wood and are created to the specifications found most desirable in a spirit mate. Food, money, and attention can be given to the spirit mate to keep them appeased, thus allowing a person to find happiness in the real world.

Active relationships are maintained between spirit mates, particularly in a dream state. It is believed that nocturnal visits from a spirit mate will initiate healthy interaction between a person and his or her physical mate.

Much detail is given to these figurines - plump bottoms, elegant necks, thick legs. All the attributes desirable in a proper Baoule mate. Social status and individuality is acquired by use of adornment, costume, and hairstyle. Even skin tone is considered when commissioning a spirit mate statue.

This very primitive…yet romantic...practice provided the inspiration for Christmas Spirits, a holiday themed novella set in modern-day Georgia. A chance reading in an old encyclopedia and Tedros, the “spirit” of Christmas Spirits, was born! The story is meant to portray the reality of spirit lovers, and I took a very atypical approach to most romance novels.


Keep reading to learn more about Kia’s quest for happiness and just what role Tedros plays in her search for happiness.  

CHRISTMAS SPIRITS: Kia Mays has little time for anything as her lifelong dream of being a fashion designer comes to fruition. For Christmas, she takes time out of her busy schedule to visit her family in Georgia where her beloved grandmother, Naya, reveals a secret of her Baoule heritage.

In Baoule, located on the Ivory Coast of Africa, the people believe in spirit lovers, which you are separated from at birth. Tedros, Kia’s lover from the spirit world, appears to her and reveals that he is there to assist her in finding a mortal lover.

Elliot Melton, the brother of Kia's new sister in law, is also invited to share the season with the family. With the help of a meddling grandmother and an otherworldly spirit, Elliot and Kia soon find out that Christmas is the best time to fall in love.

Buy Links:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy book anniversary to Sherri Hayes


Four years ago on July 26th, Slave, the first book in Sherri Hayes' Bestselling Finding Anna Series hit the market.

Genre: BDSM Romance Series
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Stephan has lived the lifestyle of a Dominant for five years. After several rebellious teenage years, it gave him the stability and control he had been seeking after his parent’s death.

As president of a not-for-profit foundation, he knows what his future holds and what he wants out of life. All that changes when a simple lunch with his college friend and Mentor, Darren, leads him to buying a slave.

Thrust into a situation he never thought he’d be in, Stephan can’t walk away. He is compelled to help this girl in the only way he knows how.

Brianna knows only one thing, she is a slave. She has nothing. She is nothing.

Can Stephan help Brianna realize that she is much more than just a Slave?

Readers Have Fallen In Love

Slave now has over 100 4 and 5 star ratings son Amazon.

"Slave was a very intense read for me, beautifully written, and left me wanting more." 
~In The Book

"Describing this read is simple- AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found every aspect of it to be so good. I couldn't put it down."
~AndreaAH


Finding Anna

Slave is the first book in Sherri's Finding Anna Series. A 4 book serial series that follows Brianna and Stephan through their journey.


"I talk to a lot of readers and the one thing they consistently say is that this is unlike anything they've ever read before. Some see the cover of Slave and assume it's a traditional slave/capture story. That couldn't be further from the truth. Slave, and the rest of Finding Anna, is about a young woman who has to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life after suffering through immense trauma. Finding Anna starts where all the other slave/capture stories end...with the rescue." ~Sherri Hayes




As Brianna comes to terms with the realization that she is no longer a slave, she must figure out what she wants for her life. Forgetting her past isn’t an option. It is an integral part of who she is now, and it will forever shape her view of life. The one thing she knows is that she cannot imagine her life without the man who saved her, but can she be what he needs? 


Stephan never imagined falling in love with the woman he rescued, but the thought of her no longer being part of his life is physically painful. The scars from her past continue to haunt her, and he is helpless to stop them. All he can do is try to help her work through the traumas of her past. Can he be everything she needs and help her move on?

The two must figure out how to navigate not only their relationship with each other, but also the outside world. A friend from Brianna’s past shows up where she least expects them, and Uncle Richard continues to enforce his well-meaning agenda to get Brianna more traditional help. As forces, both friend and foe, threaten to tear them apart, Stephan and Brianna have to navigate the turbulent waters and find what they need in each other.



For the last two months, Brianna has discovered something she never thought she would again. Hope. After the horror of being Ian’s slave for ten months, a fate she never imagined she’d escape, it feels as if she is living a dream. She has freedom she hadn’t expected to have again, and she wakes up every morning not fearing what the day will bring. There is also Stephan. The man who saved her from the daily torture she had to endure at the hands of Ian and his friends. The same man who makes her heart race with just the thought of him. Life is good.


Outside forces are determined to conspire against them, however. When Brianna’s father shows up on her doorstep, it sends her world spiraling out of control. He brings with him new information about how Brianna ended up in Ian’s clutches, but will it make a difference? Will Stephan be able to find a way to make Ian pay for all he made Brianna suffer? As Brianna and Stephan try to find out the truth, their relationship is tested. She is forced to face her past head on, and deal with the ugly reality of what happened to her. Will Stephan’s love be enough to see her through her newest challenge, or will the fragile trust they’ve built come crumbling down around them as the truth makes itself known. 



Brianna is lost for the fourth time in her life. Each time was unexpected, and each changed the course of her future. The first life-altering event occurred when her mother died, and she moved to Minnesota to live with her father.


The second was when she was kidnapped at the age of seventeen and forced to be a slave. She would never forget those ten months. Brianna thought her life was over.

Everything changed again the day Stephan steamrolled into her life and brought her home to live with him. She had no idea what to expect—what life with her new Master would hold. That first month with Stephan was, in some ways, more confusing than the prior ten. As a slave, she’d known her place. With Stephan everything was new and different. He’d given her freedom and so much more.

Five months after Stephan rescued her, Brianna once again finds her life flipped upside down.

In this fourth, and final, installment of Finding Anna, Brianna must unearth strength she never knew she possessed. Stephan can no longer protect her from the outside world. She must learn to trust herself, embrace who she is, and discover who she wants to be. Only by facing her demons can Brianna find true happiness and peace.


Finding Anna Box Set

Download all 4 books for only $9.99.
Giveaway

Grand Prize - $10 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize - Sherri Hayes Swag Pack
3rd Prize - Set of Signed Finding Anna Bookmarks



Friday, June 19, 2015

FABULOUS FIRSTS: Liz Kelly



Hello dear readers!

I have been showcasing fellow authors from our upcoming boxed set, Summer on Main Street, which releases June 23 but is available now for pre-order. Today, I have a fun interview from Liz Kelly.

The first few lines of... GOOD COP

Brooks Bennett ran a hand through his short copper curls and blew out a long breath as he studied his surroundings. Their favorite college haunt seemed smaller and dingier, though the same stale smells of cooking grease and spilled beer lingered. They’d celebrated their College World Series win right here almost seven years ago. Seven years. Fucking A.

Part of the SUMMER on MAIN STREET boxed set
Available to pre-order now!


* * * * *

FUN FIRST FACTS ABOUT LIZ

 Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? What ever happened to it? 
Huge. Long. I’m re-reading it and it’s boring me to death. I had no sense of point of view, but I had an interesting twist that I’m hoping to reuse. We’ll see.

What was your first date with your significant other?
“Disco Dance” in college. It was a sorority event so I asked him.

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
An Audi R-8 like Christian Grey drives. Hottest car on the road. Only mine would be red. I like sports cars and muscle cars. I’m saving right now for the newest model Corvette!

* * * * *

MORE ABOUT LIZ: Liz Kelly is a USA Today Bestselling author of the Heroes of Henderson Series. A graduate of Wake Forest University, she splits her time between Chicago and Naples, Florida.

Find her online here: http://LizKellyBooks.com


* * * * *

Tempting Vivi--Book 3.5 in the Heroes of Henderson series is available now


Graduating college and starting her dream job, Vivi DuVal’s confidence is severely shaken, sending her spinning right into the arms of heroic Lane Kettering. But their ultra romantic beach fling may turn into nothing but tabloid fodder when Lane’s secret is revealed, tossing Vivi into some very hot, tempting water.

Available now at  Amazon.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

FABULOUS FIRSTS: Cerian Hebert




Hello dear readers!

I have been showcasing fellow authors from our upcoming boxed set, Summer on Main Street, which releases June 24 but is available now for pre-order. Today, I have a fun interview from Cerian Hebert.

The first few lines of... 
LIGHT THE WAY HOME

“What do you want me to do about it, Sally?” Ben Winslow rubbed hard at the bridge of his nose where a headache was forming. This conversation was the last thing he needed today.




Part of the SUMMER on MAIN STREET boxed set
Available to pre-order now!


* * * * *

FUN FIRST FACTS ABOUT CERIAN

What was the first romance you ever read? The first real honest-to-God bodice ripper was Skye O’Malley. I fell in love with romance novels after that, and that was when I
decided to write romance. I soaked in Harlequins and any bodice-ripper I could find.

Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? What ever happened to it? My best friend and I decided to co-write a horse-oriented romance about two perfect sisters and their perfect boyfriends (mine had an Australian accent) who own a perfect horse farm. I believe that I still have my portion of the story in a box somewhere (my friend moved to Louisiana so we had to snail mail the story back and forth to each other)


If you could restart your writing career, what’s the first thing you’d do differently?
 I would take it seriously. I would put everything into it, and not put it aside when I wasn’t interested in what I was working on. I’d do the research necessary to write the story. A lot of what I know now wasn’t possible back when I first started, since there was no internet. But I’d still write write write. 

* * * * *

More about Cerian--Originally from Minnesota, Cerian is currently settled in southwestern New Hampshire with her husband and four children, working for a well-known children's magazine company. She's known she wanted to write since she was twelve and between mucking stalls in New York and booking cruises in Maine, she's been filling notebooks and flash drives with her stories in pursuit of her dreams.


Find her online here:


Monday, May 25, 2015

Fabulous Firsts with... ALLIE BONIFACE




Hello dear readers!

I have been showcasing fellow authors from our upcoming boxed set, Summer on Main Street, which releases June 24 but is available now for pre-order. Today, I have a fun interview from Allie Boniface.

The first few lines of... 
The Promise of Paradise & After Paradise



“Is this it?” Jen craned her neck and stared at the street sign.


Ashton wiped one damp palm on her thigh and tried to will away the knots in her stomach. “I don’t know.” She pulled her Volkswagen to the curb and dug in her pocket for the email print-out with directions.


SUMMER on MAIN STREET
Boxed Set--Available for pre-order


* * * * *







Fun First Facts About Allie

What was the first Rated R movie you ever saw?
My best friend and I saw Nightmare on Elm Street when we were 14. Her mom gave the theater permission to let us in even though we were underage (this was before you had to show ID!), but needless to say, even though today it views as a pretty cheesy horror movie, we
were TERRIFIED by Freddy Kruger. We didn’t sleep a wink that night at my house, and my mom was so mad she had to get up at midnight and reassure us that a burned-up crazy man with knives for fingers was not hiding in our basement!


What was the first romance you ever read?
I actually don’t remember, but I do remember loving These Happy Golden Years from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House collection. That’s the book in which studly farmer Almanzo courts young schoolteacher Laura by riding his horse and sleigh over the prairie to bring her home every weekend. Sigh.


Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? What ever happened to it?
Great story: it was a novel called Lost in Paradise, and I sold it to The Wild Rose Press back in 2007. Although I was thrilled to finally have published a book, it didn’t sell particularly well. When I was dabbling with the idea of trying out indie publishing back in 2012, I decided to get the rights back and try to re-brand and publish it on my own.

It has since been renamed The Promise of Paradise, and it currently has over 100 reviews on Amazon and has been downloaded (between sales and free download specials) over 100,000 times! For Summer on Main Street, I’m including this book along with a brand new novella that gives best friend Jen her very own story (it also introduces readers to Lindsey Point, which is where my Hometown Heroes series takes place). So even if you’ve read The Promise of Paradise, the novella After Paradise will be brand new to you on June 23rd. Pre-order your copy of Summer on Main Street now to make sure you have it!



More about Allie
Allie was born and raised in a tiny community in upstate New York, which probably explains her fascination with small town life. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Rochester in New York and a M.A. in English Literature from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1997, she has enjoyed life in the northern NYC suburbs, where she lives with her husband and teaches high school English. In her spare time, she and her husband love to travel. She is also a runner, a musician and an animal-lover.

Allie is a USA Today best-selling author of sensual contemporary romance. She reads in all genres and loves chatting with other readers and writers about any topic under the sun. You can find her around the Web, at writers' conferences, giving workshops and always swapping stories. Allie loves stories set in small towns and is a firm believer in the power of love and the emotions that connect us all!

Find Allie online:

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Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for...WALK IT OUT

A to Z Blogging Challenge


Growing up, I hated any form of exercise, even leisurely walking, unless that leisurely walk took me to the ice cream store or bookstore. Or both.

I started walking when my kids were small because if I put them in the stroller and gave them a lollipop (I know—bad, bad mommy), they wouldn’t scream or otherwise make my
nerves go taught as a violin string for at least 20 minutes. I knew for at least 20 minutes every morning I would have peace and quiet, time to gather my frazzled thoughts. Soon, those walks became addictive. Sometimes, I went for two walks a day. Sometimes even three, depending on whether or not the Alien Toddlers felt like napping.

I soon learned another benefit of daily walking. It was a great way to work out the kinks in my WIP. Almost like magic, for the scene I was having so much trouble with, the one that had me staring at the blinking cursor until I could see it in my sleep, the solution would pop into my head. Oftentimes, my mind would be overflowing with so many great ideas, I’d extend the walk (with more lollipops) until I couldn’t wait to get home and onto the computer (after Alien Toddlers were napping, of course).

Creativity guru Julia Cameron urges all of us artsy fartsy types to take daily walks to restore our spirit and nourish our creativity. In her book, Walking in this World, she says, “The truth is that walking holds our solutions.” Before the walk, we’re stuck. After the walk, we’re miraculously unstuck.

Walking clears your head and focuses your thinking, it pulls your awareness away from relentless mind chatter to the gentle rhythm of the walk. The repetitiveness of each step after step gradually brings you into an almost meditative, deeper state. And this deeper state is where your creative mind is free to let go, to explore the possibilities and all the “what if’s.” This is when the magic happens.

It’s no secret that exercise and creativity go hand in hand. Stephen King is known to be an avid walker (unfortunately, he didn’t have eyes in the back of his head when he was hit by that car…). Henry David Thoreau wrote a book about it. And St. Augustine said, Solvitur ambulando—“it is solved by walking.” The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

Great minds, great walkers.

I’m not telling you to go out there and walk as fast as you can until you’re all hot and sweaty and cursing my name. I’m talking slow and leisurely, people. Easy does it. Nourish that inner muse, don’t give it a heart attack.

Next time you’re stuck with your writing, instead of beating the tar out of your computer, calling your muse foul names, or scarfing a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, trying going for a walk instead. Your muse—not to mention your waistline—will thank you.

Rebecca J. Clark walks almost daily but swears her internal critic is following her. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

V is for VIDEO

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today, V stands for Video. Because I couldn't think of anything to post on V-day other than Vacuum (boring!) I thought I'd post a funny video. This is some 80s style aerobics with Taylor Swift's recent release, Shake It Off dubbed over it. Good stuff. But OMG, did we really think those hair styles and outfits looked cool????


U is for... UP

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today, U stands for UP, as in Legs Up the Wall Pose. It's a restorative yoga pose that feels SO good. It's great for your back. It's great for achy legs and feet. Great if you suffer from
varicose veins. It's super simple, too. Anyone can do it. 

Find a bare wall. Lie on the floor with your hips scooted right up to the place where the floor meets the wall. Your legs rest on the wall in front of you. Now, if your hamstrings are really tight, you might need to scoot your hips back away from the wall a bit to be more comfortable.

Once you're in position, just relax, breathe and enjoy! Spend at least five minutes a day in Legs Up the Wall Pose. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for... SUMMER ON MAIN STREET

A to Z Blogging Challenge

SUMMER ON MAIN STREET

I'm so excited to be a part of this new boxed set with these amazing authors. Several of the books (including mine) are
brand new, never released. 

The book I'm including is LEAD-OFF BRIDE, book 1 of my new Take Me Out to the Wedding series, about weddings and baseball. Of course.

Summer on Main Street is available now for pre-orders and releases June 23.



Available now to pre-order
Just 99 cents!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for... RUNNING

A to Z Blogging Challenge

7-Week Beginning Runner Program
(Personal trainer since 2003, NSCA & ISSA certified)

Thinking of starting a running program? Here's an easy one to try. Yes, I said "easy." There are a lot of great beginning running programs out there, but most of them are still too advanced for a lot of people.

One mistake many beginning runners make is starting off too fast, too long, too soon. It's going to take a while for your bones and joints to get used to the work, so take your time. Personally, I need to start out really slow & easy because I have foot and back issues to work around. If I do too much, too fast, I hurt. Bad.

So, I thought I'd share with you the program I created for myself. It works for me. Maybe it'll work for you, too.

You're going to work in five minute bundles. You'll do 4 bundles in a workout, plus warm up and cool down.  After the warm up, you'll run for the allotted time, then walk for the remainder of your 5-minute bundle. You'll repeat that combination until your workout is done. Then you'll walk for five minutes at the end to cool down. 

The running/jogging times are a suggestion. Don't do more than I suggested, but you can certainly do less and increase at a pace that's better for you.

You'll want to do this workout three times a week. No more than that. On off days, cross train by lifting weights, taking a class, etc.

Don't forget: 5 minute warm up walk to begin, and a 5 minute cool down walk to finish. Not optional. :)

Week 1
30 seconds--run/jog
4.5 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x
*If 30 seconds is too long, start with 15 seconds. Or 10 seconds. Then walk the remainder of the five-minute bundle.

Week 2
45 seconds--run/jog
4.25 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

Week 3
1 minute--run/jog
4 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x


Week 4
1.5 minutes--run/jog
3.5 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

Week 5
2 minutes--run/jog
3 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x


Week 6
3 minutes--run/jog
2 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

Week 7
4 minutes--run/jog
1 minute--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

This level is where I stay. Running/jogging continuously hurts my feet and back, but if I walk for 4 minutes and run for 1 minute over and over, that works for me. But if you get to this point and want to run for longer times, keep adding 1 minute to your running times each week, until you're at the level you want to be at. Perhaps your goal is to run 20 minutes straight. Or 30 minutes straight. Or to run 2 miles without stopping. 

You can do it. Try this program and let me know what you think. :)



Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for... POSTURE

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today we’re talking about posture. All of us know what good posture is—we can probably still hear our moms and grandmas and teachers telling us to “Stand up straight!” or “Sit up straight,” or “Don’t slouch!”
But now that we’re adults and don’t have our moms, grandmas and teachers around constantly to tell us what to do, we may have developed some bad postural habits.
Good posture is important for everyone, because it makes you look better (ie: taller and leaner), and it’s good for your health. Poor posture puts excessive stress and wear on certain joints and muscles. It looks bad and it causes pain. How many times have you spent a lot of time at the computer or behind the wheel only to have horrible back pain as you finally stood up? Better posture could help eliminate that pain.
This is of particular importance to writers because poor posture can hurt our creativity. I’ll explain.
Let’s try something. Stop what you’re doing and give me your worst posture, all slumped over and slouched. Staying in that position, take a deep breath and let it out. Now straighten up, shoulders back, chest out and take another deep breath. Notice the difference? Your breathing was much easier when you were sitting up straight, wasn’t it?
Slumping requires more muscle activity so it uses up more of our precious energy. Poor posture inhibits circulation, which means your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function at its best. And if you remember from my last blog about exercise and creativity, your muse doesn’t do well without plenty of oxygen.
So, what is good posture?
When you’re seated, whether at the computer or behind the wheel, it’s sitting up straight, belly gently in, shoulders back and down, chin tucked slightly. When you’re standing, it’s balancing your weight evenly between both of your feet, pelvis just slightly tucked, belly in, shoulders relaxed and not hunched by your ears, chin not jutting forward.
You might find that holding good posture is not comfortable, maybe even it hurts a bit. This is probably because your chest muscles are so tight from hunching forward.
Here are some good chest openers:
Stand or sit with your back tall and straight. Clasp your hands behind your back, straighten your arms and raise your hands. Hold for 20-30 seconds while taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Stand in a doorway and lift your arms out to the side, your forearms resting on the frame. Lean forward into your arms, feeling the stretch through your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds while breathing deeply.
If you have one of those big exercise balls, sit on one and walk your feet forward until you’re lying backward over the ball. Stretch your arms overhead or out to the side. Hold for as long as you want, at least 30 seconds.
Roll up a beach towel, yoga mat or exercise mat. Lie back on it, the roll centered along your spine, length-wise. Let your arms fall open to the sides. Straighten or bend your legs, whatever is most comfortable. Hold this position, breathing deeply for 3-5 minutes. It feels fabulous—you’ll love it.
Have I convinced you yet to work on your posture? No? How ‘bout this? Good posture will make you look 10 pounds lighter.
Now, stand up straight! Don’t slouch!




Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for...OLYMPIA BEER

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Olympia Beer? If you're younger than I am, you probably don't remember it. (You're not

missing much.)

I grew up in Olympia, home of the Olympia Brewery from 1896 to 1983 (then it became Pabst until the brewery closed in 2003). We used ride our bikes there and suffer through boring tours (we were kids) just to visit the tasting room at the end of the tour. No, they didn't serve kids beer. But we did get free pop, which was a treat back then. 

Eventually, we figured out how to sneak in at the end of the tour, so we could get free pop without having to endure yet another hideously boring tour. 

When I was in college, I found out my younger brother and his friends would sometimes sneak into the brewery...not for
the pop, but into the vat rooms for beer. I mentioned this to a couple of my guy friends at school and they insisted on coming home with me one weekend, and made my little brother take us with him.

So one night, we waited until it was late (after midnight). We pulled my car up next to one of the buildings under a fire escape. We stood on top of my car, reached up for the ladder, pulled ourselves up to it, then climbed up to the second or third floor (can't remember which one). That door was never locked for some reason. How my brother and his friends figured this out, I have no idea.

Anyway, inside was the vat room (don't know what it was actually called, but that's what we called it). Each of the many vats was full of beer. We had our thermoses and containers with us. We opened the vats, leaned way inside, and filled all the containers. Then we climbed back down the fire escape, back into my car, and drove away.

Yikes. Looking back, we could've gotten into SO much trouble. I was a good kid. I didn't break rules. I got good grades. I barely even drank. AND I hated beer. Luckily, the statute of limitations has long since come and gone. I feel safe sharing my story. LOL.

That's the only time I broke into the brewery (or anywhere for that matter), but I'm pretty sure my brother and his friends were regular visitors there in their dead of night vat dipping escapades.

P.S. I still hate beer.


"OlympiaBrewery1989" by Minnaert - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. "Olympia Beer label 1914" by Olympia Brewing Company - http://brewerygems.com/images/1914%20Olympia%20label.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for... NEWS!

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Since N is for NEWS I thought I'd share my most recent news.

I'm wrapping up revisions for my summer release, Lead-Off Bride. It's Book 1 of my brand-new series, Take Me Out to the Wedding. I'm SO excited to share this baseball and weddings story with everyone.


Lead-Off Bride will release first as part of a boxed set with five other authors in Summer on Main Street, releasing June 23 and available for pre-order now.

Then it'll release on its own as an ebook in July, and a print book in August or September.



Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

To get a first peek at the cover and to learn exact release dates (as soon as I know them), plus a lot of other cool stuff (like health & fitness tips, and healthy recipes, and read the next excerpt of my campy soap opera serial Troubles of Tomorrow), please sign up for my newsletter.





In other news, Borrowed Stilettos (Book 1 of the Red Stilettos series) will be out in print any day now. Just waiting for it to show up on Amazon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for... MOUSE!

A to Z Blogging Challenge


This is an excerpt from my sweet romantic comedy, Her One-Night Prince. And yes, it involves a mouse.

Lydia found the mouse almost immediately, and they spent the next half hour trying to trap it. Lydia would direct it with the broom, and Mitch would upend the bucket on top of it. At least that was the plan. They were fast, but the mouse was faster.

“What the hell kind of rodent is that, turbo mouse?” Mitch asked, wiping his wrist across his brow, sweaty from chasing a stupid mouse. He needed to get back to the gym.

Robert sat, stony-faced, in his wheelchair as he watched their antics, but Mitch detected a slight grin on the old man’s face.

Lydia squatted beside the kitchen door, looking more than a little frustrated. The mouse darted out in front of her, running across her shoe. Lydia squealed and leaped into Mitch’s arms.

“I thought you said you weren’t afraid of mice?” he accused with a laugh, disappointed when she pulled out of his arms.

“I’m afraid of anything that runs across my foot like that.”

It was time to liven things up. Mitch stalked across the room in exaggerated tiptoe. “Crikey, mate,” he drawled in an overstated Aussie whisper. “I am the infamous mouse hunta, tracking a very dangerous species of rodent called”—he dropped his voice even further—“the kitchen mouse.”

Lydia giggled as she followed him with the broom.

“We must be very, very cayaful. Oh!” He spotted the mouse behind the wastepaper basket under the desk. “There’s the little rascal right thaya.” With his free hand, he motioned for Lydia to step in front of him. “We must proceed with extreme caution, or else our little mousie will get away.”

Lydia poked him in the shoulder with the broom handle as she neared their target. “Poor Steve Irwin would turn over in his grave if he heard that lame imitation of him,” she whispered. Carefully, she pushed the broom across the floor toward the cowering mouse.

Mitch approached from the other side with the bucket.

“Careful. Don’t let it get away,” she whispered, “mate.”

“I’m just the trapper, sweetheart,” he said in his normal voice. “It’s your job to make sure it doesn’t get away.”

“Oh, the poor thing is petrified. It’s okay,” she cooed at the furry little beast. “Isn’t he cute?”

“It’s a mouse, Lydia.”

“That’s such a man comment.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“It wasn’t meant as one.” She pushed with the broom. “Now! Get it!”

He slammed the overturned bucket to the floor and held it there. He looked at Lydia. She looked at him. They burst out laughing. They slid to the floor, backs against the cabinets.


When he’d caught his breath, he asked, “Did we really just spend the last”—he glanced at his watch—“forty-two minutes chasing a mouse?”

* * * * *
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